The best way to describe Downtown Manhattan
The best way would be an eclectic mix. While apartments aren’t especially large, they are in close proximity to universities and jobs, so the number of young people are on the rise. Apartment hunting is competitive, as is competition in just about anything else- jobs, night life, restaurant business, etc. Competition aside, there are many bars, cafes, and restaurants to choose from to relax in, and a place for everyone. Gentrification has progressed miles and the Bowery now is almost unrecognizable as the Bowery in the 1900’s. Because of close proximity to Brooklyn, many chose to commute to work in Downtown Manhattan, coming into the city either by subway or bike.
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The term “no fee apartments” is extremely confusing to most renters, even veterans who have lived in NYC most of their lives. A big source of the misunderstanding stems from two different types of apartments that one might advertise as having no broker fee. In the first case, a listing posted directly by the landlord generally has no fee, but ONLY if the renter finds the apartment and contacts the landlord without any assistance from a licensed real estate broker. In the second case, a landlord or property manager can offer to pay broker fees on behalf of the renter, which allows any real estate broker or salesperson to advertise the listing as no fee.
Does that mean I am always better off going directly to the landlord instead of using a broker?
Absolutely not! If the landlord is paying the broker fee, many renters reason they can show up without the broker and instantly negotiate a lower rent. The thinking is, by doing a direct deal, the landlord is saving a few thousand dollars by not paying the fee, and therefore some of that savings should be passed on to the renter. In practice, landlords have more loyalty to their broker partners than to any individual renter. Real estate agents bring the landlords new clients all year long, week after week. Intelligent landlords understand they need to keep the brokers happy, and certainly not allow special deals that would alientate the industry. If a building was known to quote lower prices to direct renters than to brokers, then that same building would very quickly not receive much traffic from agents