Brooklyn The Borough is back after a short hiatus, during which BTB found a new home and, eventually, a new internet connection.
As I’ve previously mentioned before, my former landlord is still being shady, and I’m still waiting for my security deposit back (more on that another time). However, in addition to upgrading to a better, nicer, safer apartment, I’ve also upgraded to a better, nicer, safer landlord. Whatever that means!
He’s a young man – we’re the same age – and a Brooklyn native, who bought this historic little brownstone in Crown Heights last September and renovated it’s four apartments into comfortable, amenity laden homes for a good price. The building was a featured listing on Brownstoner last year.
The place was a lucky find. I noticed a listing on Craigslist that didn’t have the same pictures as the rest of the ads and made an appointment for the following day. A potential tenant had dropped out because she was unable to break her current lease and the landlord was showing it again (read: no fee). To her, I say, thank you and I’m sorry. After seeing it twice in a few hours, we scooped it up. It even has a dishwasher!
In short, here are some things I learned while searching for my new apartment:
-Bay Ridge is hottt. Or at least it’s prices are! Every broker I spoke to directed me to this neighborhood, citing the amount of space for little cost.
-Rather than dropping monthly prices, some property owners are dropping the first month’s rent. While the broker may still collect a fee, it won’t come out of your pocket thanks to the free month. Or, owners are giving out a free month’s rent in lieu of dropping the monthly cost a couple of hundred dollars, keeping prices inflated.
-Craigslist is great for a lot of things, but many of the apartment listings reused images from other posts just to get you to look at apartments that bare little resemblance to the newly renovated abodes in the listing.
-A lot of property owners jumped on the boom renovation bandwagon way too late. However, this means there are a lot of small, older buildings with marble showers and chrome appliances for cheap. See Sunset Park or South Slope. Also, those are the same thing.
-If you want a “luxury” apartment in Brooklyn, and don’t mind living near the J/M/Z line, many of them are now rentals, and cheap rentals at that.
-The A train is kind of awesome except… the line will shutter service between Jay Street/Borough Hall and Utica Avenue for five weekends (the next two weekends for sure), only to be replaced by a shuttle bus. However, having the A nearby still means easy access to JFK – should I miraculously be able to afford to fly somewhere – and to Rockaway Beach in the summer time.
-Crown Heights buses are terrific. The B65 and B45 specifically.
-Lastly, that landlords don’t HAVE to be assholes, and are capable of giving a shit about where YOU live. Happy tenants are good tenants!
(Photo Bondidwhat via Flickr)