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Just got my apt lease renewal - venting
Old 08-27-2007, 01:20 AM   #1
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Just got my apt lease renewal - venting

I live in the big apple. It is a fun place to live with access to so much "stuff", but I really feel like the system is really built to milk you for all you are worth. Most of the stories you read are true. Many people live in closets and pay for the privelege. I have now lived here for 5 years, and every time I move, the place gets smaller and the rent more expensive than before! It is amazing...

So anyway, to get to the point, I finally thought I lived in the place I was gonna call home for a few years. It is a studio, but comfortable in a decent location on the upper west side. Doorman, and all. i really was movin' on up. Now, when you try to rent an apartment in NYC, you don't just get the fun of paying a security deposit and all the other wonderful fees, but you have to go through a "broker" who collects a fee that equates to 15% of your YEARLY rent. So, to give a rough estimate, I was paying about $2k, and had to pay a guy $3600 for literally opening a door for me, and then handing my paperwork to the building I live in. The big selling point on this place from the broker- Oh, don't worry, the place is really nice about rent, they rarely raise it more than 5%. Now, I keep hearing about the cooling of the real estate market in the country. Today I get my renewal notice, $2300. They decided that a "fair" increase is 15% from the previous year.

Now, this is why I feel the system is built to milk you. They KNOW that you have to pay 2500 to move again, plus mover's fees, and whatever else. So, they can raise it JUST UNDER the cost of a broker and know they have you. I'll do my best to bargain, but I'm sure they will do nothing as usual. I keep telling the wife that she needs to figure out how to get a class action lawsuit going against these brokers or landlords, but she won't seem to listen. :P I am actually considering giving up the city for... jersey city. But, it is just one of those things you are conditioned against, uttering the NJ words when you live in NYC. But, I am just so sick and tired of all the stress it causes to take advantage of the best city in the world...

That's it. I'm on the next plane to Thailand. Sorry for the venting. Enjoy your lives in the suburbs! Life is so much easier out there
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:27 AM   #2
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I live in the big apple. It is a fun place to live with access to so much "stuff", but I really feel like the system is really built to milk you for all you are worth. Most of the stories you read are true. Many people live in closets and pay for the privelege. I have now lived here for 5 years, and every time I move, the place gets smaller and the rent more expensive than before! It is amazing...
I think that may be why a lot of us are not all that impressed with the 6 figure salaries people make in the Big Apple. You pretty much have to make that much to survive! In Middle America, a 6 figure salary means a lot more in terms of cost of living.

Sorry that your rent went up so much! That's quite a shock. Have you thought of buying an apartment? Mortgages don't go up and I would guess that soon, your mortgage payment would be lower than the equivalent rent.

Even moving sounds expensive there. When I moved into the house that I bought five years ago it cost me less than $500 with a local moving company. It's probably more now, but not $2500.
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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the system is really built to milk you for all you are worth.
Well, a free market system 'milks you' for whatever you are willing to pay. Do you work for less than the going rate for your occupation?

As you point out, if you don't like it - move! Or buy as Want2retire offers.

Better yet, buy a building and rent it out. Then you can milk all those people, and get rich (or learn that maybe it's not so easy?).

Can you get a multi-year lease? Offer to pay x%/year increase, built in?

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Old 08-27-2007, 09:16 AM   #4
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I have now lived here for 5 years, and every time I move, the place gets smaller and the rent more expensive than before! It is amazing...
I think this is one of the advantages of home ownership-- less brinkmanship over moving.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:24 AM   #5
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You choose to live in an area where real estate is at an outrageous premium. If the benifits you get for living in that area don't compensate for the outrageous cost of living, don't move to Thailand, move upstate
Or, to another state where you can buy a very nice house with more room for less that what you pay for rent.

Don't get me wrong, I am sorry you pay so much for rent and that the system just plucks you for more money when you try to move. If you aren't getting compensated for that through your salary, move away from the source of your woes
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:35 AM   #6
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I am actually considering giving up the city for... jersey city. But, it is just one of those things you are conditioned against, uttering the NJ words when you live in NYC. But, I am just so sick and tired of all the stress it causes to take advantage of the best city in the world...

That's it. I'm on the next plane to Thailand. Sorry for the venting. Enjoy your lives in the suburbs! Life is so much easier out there
Heh, if you think the rent game is ugly, take a close look at the grass on the Jersey side of the fence before you leap. Guess what game gets played with RE taxes? My ho-hum house in a middle class neighborhood Started at taxes of a tad over $5k in 2002 and is now pushing $7k. And that is before I hear the results of the once-a-decade revaluation they are in the process of doing...
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:44 AM   #7
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I live in the big apple. It is a fun place to live with access to so much "stuff", but I really feel like the system is really built to milk you for all you are worth.

I keep telling the wife that she needs to figure out how to get a class action lawsuit going against these brokers or landlords, but she won't seem to listen.
No offense to you at all, but I hear this sort of thinking a lot. As expressed by others here, how exactly does a system "milk" you, if you willingly agree to the terms? I lived in NYC for many years. You are correct, the prices of things there are completely out of control. That is one of the big reasons I decided to move out here to the Phoenix area. You actually CAN afford to buy your own home here (which I did). That was a dream I realized that I would never achieve in NYC.
Why do you believe that a landlord cannot set his prices to whatever he wants? Does the landlord not "own" that building? If a restaurant decides to sell a cookie for $300, should there be a law saying that they cannot do it? Granted no one (more than likely) will want a $300 cookie, but they still have the right to try to get that much for one. I guess what I am trying to point out, is that anyone that owns something, has the right to try to get as much for it as they can. Just like when you got your job offer to work, you tried to negotiate the best salary that you could. Should a company be able to file a class action lawsuit against millions of workers because they all asked for salaries that were "too high"?
The counter that I usually hear to this line of reasoning is, "well... they are rich... they do not need it". I beleive that the theft of $5 from someones pocket is the same for anyone, if they are wearing ripped jeans, or an expensive armani suit.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:12 AM   #8
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I feel your pain Olav, but I have to agree with the majority - this is what happens when you're on the renting side in an owner's market. You don't have to go to Thailand to find a better situation. There's a lot of nice cities and towns out there and I wouldn't be surprised if most of them have never even heard of apartment brokers. Better yet, you could probably even buy a nice house - with a yard and a patio where you can play with the dog and drink an adult beverage as you unwind from the day.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:52 AM   #9
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I keep telling the wife that she needs to figure out how to get a class action lawsuit going against these brokers or landlords, but she won't seem to listen.
The alternative is rent control ... not a pretty solution. Oh, and let's freeze the price of gas at $2.00, nah, make it $1. Don't mind the lines.

Just raised the rent on 2 of my units 5% ... tenants didn't even flinch. Seems that even with the "cooling" of the RE market; ownership costs still out weigh rents.

Have you bought milk lately ... holy smokes! $4.50
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:16 AM   #10
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Sorry to all the ones jumping on the guy.....

BUT, I think he has a point... why do you HAVE to have a broker I can go rent an apartment here just by walking in the door and signing a lease...

I can buy a house without a broker also...

His point was that there is no way he can get around that system...


there is always Jersey (or Newport).. they seem like a nice place and right at the path...
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:15 PM   #11
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His point was that there is no way he can get around that system...
Only a minority jumped on him. I think most of us recognized that he was just venting and we were agreeing that if he wanted to stay in NYC that he was in a system that would screw him as long as the market stayed the same.

Brewer poured some cold water on moving to Jersey.

When I did some work in NYC all of the guys/gals I knew that worked there all lived on Long Island. The commute was murder, but they wanted a house with a yard and all of those suburban goodies.

I really do sympathize with Olav - and was just pointing out that while he can't change the system he does have alternatives. He might even find one he really likes.

Like the people I know who came to Texas from NYC and said they were never going back.* One guy told me "I didn't know people could live like this".

*Of course they were all later eaten by rabid armadillos - except for the one who was lost in the giant mulch fire.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:15 PM   #12
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...I am actually considering giving up the city for... jersey city. But, it is just one of those things you are conditioned against, uttering the NJ words when you live in NYC. But, I am just so sick and tired of all the stress it causes to take advantage of the best city in the world...

My dad worked in NYC in the 40s, lived in Newark in a 5-floor studio walk-up. His company gave him a commuter bonus because he lived out-of-state. It was a shorter commute than many of his co-workers.

I just re-newed my Tenant Union membership. Some 35-years ago, one S.F. landlord was gouging tenants, TWO or THREE of them organized, and voila, we have been enjoying rent control ever since.

My rent is an arm and a leg but frankly, I'm putting off retirement because I want to continue living in "The City." Its a vicious game here but I'm willing to play it; when I move which probably will be soon, I will be paying two arms and two legs, probably about 80% more than my current rent.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:19 PM   #13
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i get a kick out of all the perpetual renter stories from manhattan

you can get a bigger place in one of the outer boroughs for half the price of manhattan. i bought a co-op in queens for $134,000 a few years ago and it pretty much doubled in value by now. my monthly payment is $1300 for mortgage and maintenance. in the last 4 years my maintenance went up by $50. My mortgage will never go up. the money i save i used to buy a car my wife and i use to drive into manhattan on weekends to shop. Dagastino's and one of the 5 Whole Foods. we actually prefer the Whole Foods in Long Island on exit 41N of the LIE, but sometimes don't feel like driving out there

my wife has a friend who's husband used to live on the UWS and now owns in Queens as well. He is so pissed off for all the money he wasted, in his own words.

if you think life in manhattan is too expensive, move. for the price of a studio, i can easily find you a 850 square foot 1 bedroom for $250,000 to $350,000. i've known a lot of people who never lived in manhattan and never want to pay the price of living there. it's one of those elitist made up things made up by the people that live there that they are somehow living a better life
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:22 PM   #14
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Like the people I know who came to Texas from NYC and said they were never going back.* One guy told me "I didn't know people could live like this".
I moved from Boston to Houston in 1991. I gave up my Boston 150K, over 100 years old house, in bad need of renovation in every aspects for a 60K house in Houston, larger, only 10 years old, zero repair needed.

Yup, I was one the guy who said "I didn't know people could live like this."
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:31 PM   #15
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I moved from Boston to Houston in 1991. I gave up my Boston 150K, over 100 years old house, in bad need of renovation in every aspects for a 60K house in Houston, larger, only 10 years old, zero repair needed.

Yup, I was one the guy who said "I didn't know people could live like this."
Why people live in such high priced East & West Coast areas is beyond me, except that that is where the high paying jobs are. You really have to take cost of living differences into account when evaluating job offers in these areas, though.

When my ex and I moved from San Diego to College Station (TX), we had a similar experience. We got a house with twice the square footage, over twice the lot size, very much upgraded in comparison, and in a much nicer neighborhood. We didn't even have to look hard, and it only cost about 85% of the price. Even considering the higher property taxes, we felt pretty happy about it.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:41 PM   #16
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i happen to know a little about nyct since i own a couple of those unit. it's NOT that people want to rip you off, it's just the cost of living in nyct is so damm expensive. for example. my mom half-as 1 bedroom unit co-op fee is already $700/mon in maintenance fee, $115/mon. for a parking spot (optional), and a nice gift, i mean really nice gift for the super (handyman in the building) every damm holiday coming and her unit is in Queen first floor. we can't even dream about living in manhattan..

u certainly can go directly to the homeowner and skip the broker and i wish u the best of luck. (it's certainly do-able). it's just like selling your own home without a real estate agent. do-able but sometime pian in the -ss.

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Old 08-27-2007, 12:44 PM   #17
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the maintencance varies by building. wife and i looked in a building a few months ago and they wanted $1300 a month for maintenance including utilities. we did the math and it would have been like $3500 a month mortgage and maintenance. you might as well buy a house for $600,000 and the payments would have been the same
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:47 PM   #18
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you can get a bigger place in one of the outer boroughs for half the price of manhattan.
The landlord's assistant who showed me the apt. had just bought a house in one of the ugly suburbs. He looked out the window and said, "you don't get much in The City." I suppressed my wide-open mouth thinking OMG, look at the view (both east and west) and considered the "bones" of the place; it was designed when they knew how to design apts. and it has a claw foot tub that I actually use. Did I mention it is within walking distance of the Opera House, the Presidio, my job, the Bay, and and and?
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:49 PM   #19
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You guys better be quiet or REWahoo is going to take his rattlers on a little road trip to come visit you!

One of my friends who is an ex-New Yorker was a third or fourth generation city-dweller, he now lives about a half mile from my house. He told me he grew up never imagining living anywhere else but the city. Then he got a scholarship to go to college in Florida and he saw that there was life outside New York. When he graduated he became a NY state trooper and they assigned him to some small town in upstate New York. He said that was when he seriously reconsidered his future in regard to not living in NYC. Eventually he joined the DEA and wound up in Texas by circumstance after getting out of a bad assignment in the Bahamas.

His wife and his mom both were a little nervous about the move to Texas (they had visions of rattlesnakes and the Klan coming to visit). After his dad died (retired NYPD who refused to leave) his mom moved here and is living a few blocks away. I saw his wife in the grocery store a while back and she said they were trying to convince her parents to move here as well. She said that she told her mom that before she left she thought that anyone who wanted to leave the city was crazy. But now, she said, she can't imagine ever living there again.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:55 PM   #20
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The landlord's assistant who showed me the apt. had just bought a house in one of the ugly suburbs. He looked out the window and said, "you don't get much in The City." I suppressed my wide-open mouth thinking OMG, look at the view (both east and west) and considered the "bones" of the place; it was designed when they knew how to design apts. and it has a claw foot tub that I actually use. Did I mention it is within walking distance of the Opera House, the Presidio, my job, the Bay, and and and?

i really don't care that i'm not in walking distance of anything in manhattan since i'm within driving distance. most of the views in NYC are of other building's walls since the buildings are so close together. and since my wife and i don't work in manhattan either it makes even less sense to live there. she's a 10 minute walk from work and i like to take the local train to get a chance to read.
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