Rather than cause for celebration, a below-market price for an apartment in NYC is actually a red flag. Exactly why the price is low can depend on whether you're renting or buying.
If the RENT is too good to be true, here are a few possibilities as to why:
- Bed bugs.
- Scaffolding is about to block the window side of your apartment for the entire term of your lease.
- It was recently learned that the alcoholic super is also convicted arsonist, but the union won't let the building fire him (pun intended).
- Upstairs neighbor is a metal sculptor.
- Next door neighbor boards and sells illegal exotic pets that occasionally escape into the hallway.
- The spectacular pool, roof deck, library, spa and screening room in the co-op/condo building you would be renting in are not actually available for use by you, a dirty little renter.
- Bordello is being run out of apartment below you (it is apartment A, you are 1A and the customers often get confused and buzz you).
- The "owner" subletting you the space actually rented it for the weekend off of AirBnB.com and you will be the 12th person to put down a $1,500 cash deposit.
- That other door in "your" bathroom actually leads to the neighbor's apt, not a linen closet.
- Previous tenant hung himself in the bathroom after he realized it would probably have been a smarter move to buy in '85 when the place went co-op.
If the ASKING PRICE seems too good to be true, here are a few reasons why:
- Bed bugs
- Three words: Second. Avenue. Subway.
- Two words: Subway. Sandwich. (Downstairs, but permeating your apartment with its uniquely sour aroma.)
- The apartment is only shown during the two hours per day it receives natural light.
- Next door neighbor is a hoarder.
- A $25,000 assessment and $1,025/mo maintenance increase will go in to effect 6 months after you close.
- The upstairs terrace leaks.
- The previous owner died in the kitchen after accidentally ingesting rat poison (this actually counts as 2 reasons).
- The area directly adjacent to the west-facing windows will soon become the east wall of a hospital expansion project.
- Close to half of the alleged square-footage belongs to the monstrous common spaces you will never use.
BrickUnderground's Renter's Survival Kit