Happy Memorial Day! Our home office is closed. Here are some posts to catch up on

By Jennifer White Karp  |
May 25, 2020 - 9:30AM

Here are some of Brick's most popular reads if you need to get up to speed on buying, selling, or renting an apartment or house in New York City now, or want to be ready for when the city is fully open for business.


Memorial Day is upon us, and our office is closed today—or to be more precise—we’ve moved our computers off our respective dining tables for the holiday weekend.

It’s safe to say this Memorial Day will be unlike any other. The parades are canceled, large gatherings are banned, and city beaches are closed. Your typical, unofficial-start-of-summer will likely be a much quieter holiday.

If you’re looking for something to do, this weekend is a good time to brush up on the NYC real estate news you may have missed. A lot has changed since Covid-19 struck—you’ll want to get up to speed if you want to buy, sell, or rent an apartment or house in New York City now, or be ready for when the city is fully open for business, which hopefully will be very soon.

If your lease is going to be up soon, dust off your negotiating skills. Landlords are inclined to keep good tenants now and that can work in your favor to avoid a rent increase. Check out Brick’s tips for negotiating with your landlord during the coronavirus pandemic.

You may be on the hunt for a new rental right, and that’s a very different experience these days. With in-person showings and open houses banned, you’re relying on listing info, photos, and virtual tours. Here’s what to look for when you are virtually touring an apartment you can't visit. Keep in mind that when you sign a new lease, a standard document doesn’t address some of the issue created by the pandemic. Consider adding a rider or two to protect yourself when committing to a place that you didn’t see in person.

Getting a roommate is a little different now too. You’re likely to meet for the first time virtually, and that can make it harder to determine whether you’re a good fit. You’ll also want to see if you're on the same page when it comes to social distancing, as well as the usual roommate issues. Here's what to expect and what you should ask when finding a roommate virtually during the coronavirus crisis.

If you’re selling, you might want to take a fresh look at your listing. How does it read? Does it sound insensitive in any way? What New Yorkers are looking now for has changed: Shared amenities are out, features that promote privacy and safety are in. Do you have room for a home office or a terrace for social distancing outdoors? You may want your broker to play those features up in the listing.

Want to buy and take advantage of the stalled market to get a deal? Here are the best NYC neighborhoods to invest in. Need a mortgage? Here are some tips for getting one now that banks are tightening lending restrictions. Bear in mind that most aspects of the transaction will be conducted online. Here’s what you know about virtual co-op board interviews and one buyer's experience with a closing conducted via a Zoom call.




Jennifer White Karp

Managing Editor

Jennifer steers Brick Underground’s editorial coverage of New York City residential real estate and writes articles on market trends and strategies for buyers, sellers, and renters. Jennifer’s 15-year career in New York City real estate journalism includes stints as a writer and editor at The Real Deal and its spinoff publication, Luxury Listings NYC.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.