There are some apartments you will want to avoid altogether when selecting a new rental. Many people find out by making mistakes. Meaning they will rent an apartment because it looks okay on the inside and give little thought to what is happening right on the outside.
For example: you might think it is convenient to rent an apartment right over a supermarket or a convenience food store or even a restaurant. While it is convenient you may not feel all that wonderful when your apartment is invaded by a mouse or two, or when you come home to find that roaches are also camping out en masse.
Food establishments, including restaurants, will bring rodents and other creepy crawlers into your apartment.
Another pass might be first floors.
There are some exceptions to the rule if you absolutely need or want a garden or some outdoor space with your apartment rental. More often than not you can get a highly coveted garden or some sort of outdoor space in a ground floor apartment. Be forewarned though: you will also be receiving visits by a wandering mouse or two because, well, this is New York City and they travel on foot primarily on the first floor or right beneath. Everything in the city, however, is a trade-off. I know many people who rent ground floor apartments who are perfectly willing to put up with the occasional pest in order enjoy the joys that a little outdoor living in your home can bring. If you don’t have the stomach for this then first floors are out.
While on the subject of first floors – it should also be noted that most first floors (apartments without gardens to lure you) have other issues you might want to consider. Heating, for example. If the building is not properly maintained and the boiler has some issues you might experience less heat than your upstairs neighbors. Heat rises. Some apartments on the ground floor are rented for less than a similar apartment on a higher floor. This is one of the reasons. You can always ask the landlord and while I don’t believe most landlords always tell the truth – you might want to then ask the superintendent or the previous tenant.
Top floor apartments and what you need to know before you say “I’ll take it!”
Brownstones, in particular, have very nice apartments. If it’s on the top floor then you will want to know if the apartment has any issues with leaks. Only a stellar landlord or management company will actually make the on-going and necessary repairs to the roof. If, however, the landlord or management company isn’t top notch, then chances are you might have some issues when it rains and even more disturbing issues when it snows.
My goal in telling you to be careful when renting is to help you ask all the important questions and to save you a bundle in moving costs. As expensive as it is to find your gem of a space, you certainly don’t need to do this every year.
To rent smart, you’ve got to see the whole picture.