Here’s an indisputable fact: a lot of people want to live in New York. And why wouldn’t they? With famous landmarks, world-class shopping, and some of the best brunch spots in the world, lifestyle in the Big Apple is chock full of things to do and places to see.

The one downside to living in NYC is the move itself. Since everyone wants to make it in the “big city,” the apartment search can be highly competitive and stressful. As real estate experts in the Manhattan market, Platinum Properties has compiled a list of life hacks that will make finding the right place to live a quick, easy, and even enjoyable experience.

Get Familiar with Real Estate Lingo

If you’re checking out prospective apartments online, you’ll start to notice that many websites use specific vocabulary in their descriptions—and that many of these terms can be misleading. Is a unit marketed as “cozy”? That probably means it’s the size of a shoebox. What about “charming”? That often translates to, ‘on the sixth floor of a prewar walkup with old or outdated features’. Is the layout “unique”? There’s a large chance it will be difficult to fit furniture into the space.

If an apartment depicted online seems too good to be true for your price range, it mostly likely is. By paying attention to the language used to describe a unit, you’ll be able to save time by only looking at legitimate prospects and decrease the probability of getting scammed.

Think Outside the box – or the neighborhood

Trying to find an affordable apartment in the West Village or the Lower East Side? Good luck. While it’s not impossible and good deals do hit the market in popular neighborhoods more often than people expect, don’t waste your time hoping that one will pop up. The next new, hip area in the city is always never far off. Instead of following trends, become a part of setting one. Think of settling in the neighborhood next to the latest Williamsburg, or an underexplored part of a borough along a main subway line. Chances are popular moods will shift, and you’ll have gotten cheaper rent and a head start on the new area where everyone wants to live.

In the Real Estate Business, First Impressions Count

Though it seems counterintuitive, it’s not always the ones who are willing to pay the most that win. If (and more often than not, when) there are multiple potential tenants putting in applications for an apartment, the landlord or management company considers many different factors before deciding on a renter. If you’re meeting them in person, treat it like a job interview. Dress nicely, have all your papers in order, and show them that you’re their best prospect. Even if you never see their face, there are still opportunities to make a good impression. Fill out your forms in neat handwriting and submit them early or on time. At the end of the day, the most important thing to landlords and management companies is to find a tenant who they are sure will pay the rent on time and treat the apartment and building with respect. That’s a little hard to be certain about when your name is written in chicken scratch!

Forget Everything We Just Told You.  Just get a Platinum Agent!

The easiest way to get the perfect apartment is to hand off the dirty work to someone who knows what they’re doing. At Platinum, our experienced and enthusiastic agents are readily available to find the best units, negotiate the best deals, and do it all in a professional and quick manner—because no one knows better than we do about how fast the NYC real estate market moves. We’re happy to work with you to determine your budget, prepare all necessary paperwork, and hand over the keys to the New York apartment of your dreams.