The combination of dramatically rising rents, ridiculously low mortgage rates and bolstered consumer confidence in our fragile, yet seemingly slowly recovering economy has created a perfect storm of buyer enthusiasm. With rental rates increasing up to 10 percent over the last year, renters are beginning to ask themselves a very important question: Why pay a landlord $3,000 plus a month's rent for a one-bedroom (on average), when I can buy for the same amount?
But there's just one problem. Brokers aren't the only ones frustrated about the lack of great inventory out there. Buyers are feeling the effects of tight inventory too, and realizing they may have to compromise on long lists of "must haves." So, how do you find the perfect apartment?
As my dear mentor Tony Robbins says, "Where focus goes, energy flows." Little things done every day produce extraordinary results. If you want to lose weight, you can make your portions smaller, and if you do this every day, you'll start to see that scale move by the end of the month. If you are looking to build a better business and have more cash flow rather than just revenue, you have to focus daily on taking massive action and whacking your expenses. If you are looking to build a great team, you have to concentrate on your people and culture. If you focus every day, just doing little things will produce extraordinary results.
It's the same with buying an apartment: If you're looking for the home of your dreams, then you have to look everyday with sheer focus. If you want to make a great decision -- whether buying, selling, renting, investing in New York City or anywhere for that matter -- I would recommend reading these blogs: Curbed, Urban Digs, Brick Underground, the Wall Street Journal's real estate section, and the New York Post's real estate section. This will give you a complete understanding of what is going on in the market around the world, and specifically in New York City. You will become aware of new homes that are coming on the market; you'll be kept informed of changes in capital gains and property taxes, whether increasing or decreasing. You'll be kept abreast of up-and-coming neighborhoods that you may not have considered, or new developments slated for sale that may be just what you're looking for.
Next you need to align yourself with a residential real estate broker who is doing the same, so they can help guide you in making the best decision for your situation. I often find that what you start out thinking you want takes a 360 degree turn by the time you make your decision. You need a broker who will bring you every viable option, even if it wasn't what you thought you wanted at first. Little things done every day produce extraordinary results, so if you've looked at a thousand apartments and still not found the one for you, don't get frustrated. Keep on the hunt, every day! It's out there!
I would love to hear your apartment hunt stories: What are the biggest frustrations you've come up against? Leave them in the comments...