I want to rent starting in August, how far in advance should should I start looking?

Asked by Eric Roseman, Wynnewood, PA Sun Jan 22, 2012

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Bill Eckler’s answer
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Jan 23, 2012

There is no such thing as starting too early........by beginning the process sooner than later, you will have an opportunity to get an accurate feel for yourself of the true rental market, availability, locations, and price range.

Because you are looking doesn't mean you have to commit now. We see a definite advantage of starting early and collecting information so that when the time is right for you....you will be ready for the time.....

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck,

1 vote
Elena Ravich,…, Agent, New York City, NY
Sat Mar 3, 2012
Hi Eric, While some owners know their upcomping availablilities in advance, you will have a lot more options a month - month and a half before your desired lease start date. You should note that Manhattan is the fastest moving rental market in the World and you should be very well prepared and ready to move fast when you see a place that you like. I would be happy to assist you with your apartment search in Manhattan. You can also look check out available listings here
Elena Ravich
Rakita Realty
646 593 7207
0 votes
James Kelleh…, , Brooklyn, NY
Tue Feb 28, 2012
I agree to an extent that you can't start too early. If you know New York well and have a very good idea of where you want to live then do your research for a couple weeks in June, then be ready to lock something down during the first week in July. This will give you the biggest selection. Typically if you are looking for August then anything you view in June won't be available to you unless you are really lucky, and in those cases you are limiting what you have available to you because there won't be that much. When I said I agree to an extent I meant that the market changes quite frequently sometimes by a few hundred dollars so you start looking at areas now then you get priced out by August and have to start all over again. The best thing you could possibly do is decide what you are comfortable spending, think about what kind of apartment you need then check out the areas that have apartments that you can afford that fit your criteria. If you are not from New York do not be scared to search other areas outside UES. Then do your research for a week or two at the end of June so you know what the market is. When July 1st comes around see as much as you can and have your paperwork and money ready so when you see a good deal(which is where your research comes in handy, too many times do I have renters kick themselves for weeks because they passed something up that they compare everything else to and can never find anything close because they didn't know it was a great deal and be forced to settle)be ready to jump on it. And if you a dealing with a professional who knows what they are doing it may be not a coincidence that the first place they show you is exactly what you are looking for. Some of us actually listen to our clients say I rent 100 apartments a year just listening. Good Luck.
0 votes
Elan Gavish, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Feb 23, 2012
Four to eight weeks. If you look to soon, you wont get the move in date you are looking for you and you will have to pay for days that you are not living there. If you look too late, you will miss out on all of the inventory. The best time is 4-5 weeks and be ready to apply with your backup documents. Let me know if you need help! - Elan (646) 808-9494
Web Reference:  http://www.hudnyc.com/
0 votes
Alan Harper, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Feb 17, 2012
I would start looking in June. If you have decent credit, stable employment, and good rental history, a landlord would prefer you over other applicant s and might not mind holding on to the property for a month or 2. I have seen in some instances where they will verbally accept the offer, but contingent upon a certain date that they will no longer accept other applicants. In the Houston market, I would say a month and a half would be the soonest you would start looking because rental properties are being leased within days sometimes here.
0 votes
Aimee Anders…, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Wed Feb 1, 2012
It depends on your market. Are you in a market that is short on rentals? If so, you need to be Johnny on the spot and be able to snatch one up when it comes on the market. So, looking now is not logical if you can't start renting until August. If you market has a lot of rentals, I would say June. What you can do now is really focus on where you want to live, neighborhood, area, etc... So when the time is right to look for a place to live, you have narrowed down the area. BTW - why rent when you can buy - rates are never going to be this low again!
0 votes
Barry Herbst, , New York, NY
Tue Jan 31, 2012
Hi Eric. Research areas that interest you, and more importantly, areas that you do not want to live in.

Apartments that are available now will most likely not be available in August-so don't waste your valuable time searching now. I suggest you start in May or June. the summer rush is when it is busiest for rentals.

Barry A. Herbst
0 votes
Ronnie Shuma…, Agent, New York, NY
Tue Jan 24, 2012
Hi Eric,

While I normally don't agree with advice from out of town agents, Bill hit the nail on the head.
It is never too early to make a connection with a real estate agent here in NYC. With vacancy rates below 1% even in this traditionally "slow" rental season, you can only expect things to be tight and quite competitive come June for your August start date.

I have started seeing one or two listings for June already and again, as Bill said, education is key. Sometimes getting educated early can help you to commit when the time comes.

You can also wait until June, get thrown into the feeding frenzy that is NYC rentals and have a hair-pin trigger finger. Everyone's decision making process is different, but that's my two cents.

While I may not write as much lately, I have wrote about the supply and demand here, back in December of 2006 for reference in the link below.

HHH=Happy Home Hunting
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hello Eric. While I agree with the general consensus below for the most part but there is more to consider. Here's a recent article in the NY Times about renting in NYC. I strongly suggest you take heed of this article or you'll pay the price (as it were) in more ways than one. Good luck.

0 votes
Jose Carrero, Agent, NY,
Mon Jan 23, 2012
to be on the safe side the end of June and the beginning of July, and apply for the apartment ASAP.

0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hi, you can team up with an agent now, see what is available in your price range, and keep an eye on the market..if your expectations and price range are realistic you will most likely have a number of options. As it gets closer you can then get more aggressive and feel comfortable with your knowledge of the market.

0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Very good advice thus far. Start doing your research earlier, and seriously look in June.

The only thing I'd add is that if you've targeted a specific building or a very specific area, there are techniques for doing it earlier. If you're dealing with a large management company, it might make sense (if supply is limited) to express your interest earlier. And if you're dealing with an individual, here's a tip: Have a Realtor look through properties that rented in August 2011 and August 2010. Those leases are coming due, and some people will decide not to renew. You then contact the owner with a message something like: "Hello. I understand that you have a rental unit at [address] and that there's a possibility that it may be available in August. If so, I'd like to express my interest in possibly renting your unit." That sort of letter might put you at the front of the line, so to speak.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
You can begin now by researching areas of interest and be prepared to begin your search in June; keep in mind that most rentals disappear quickly.
0 votes
John Peitler, Agent, NY,
Mon Jan 23, 2012
June. However it is good to get your paperwork together before then. Please call Erika at 917-335-8569 for assistance. Thank you and good luck.
0 votes
Laura Thierer, , New York, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hi Eric,

If you are looking to start your rent in August, consider starting your search by the end of June. Have in mind that summer time is "high season" for rentals. It would be a good idea to have your financial information and paperwork ready by that time. Many landlords require the following: income 40x the rent, an employment letter, in case you need a guarantor with an income 80x/100x the rent, good credit record, most recent W2 form, first 2 pages of most recent tax return and most recent bank statement.

I've worked with out of town clients before, so in case you decide to work with a real estate agent, feel free to contact me.

Good luck with your home search!


Laura Thierer
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Ardor NY
o: 212-588-3000
c: 914-426-0075
0 votes
Mark J Cohen, , New York, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Realistically, 4-6 weeks in advance of your desired rental term is optimal. Regardless of when you start looking, all landlords are generally considering first come, first serve so one should be prepared to commence a lease within two weeks of when you find the place you like or risk losing it to someone else. Many landlords will favor an applicant that is willing to commence a lease immediately which means you could have overlap between what you have now and what you are getting. To keep it really tight, the closer to your desired date and the more likely you can avoid this happening. Few landlords will wait around for you so unless its a situation where it's still occupied and waiting for somebody to move out and have it touched up you should expect if its vacant that your landlord will want a lease that starts as soon as possible.
0 votes
Annette Holm…, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hi Eric,

If you are planning on moving to New York City you should first speak with an agent so that you have all of your paper work in order. Renting in New York is not like anywhere else in the world. You need to be employed for at least one year and make 40x the monthly rent., if not you will need a guarantor that makes 80x the rent. Often times this person needs to live in New York as well, if not you are limited as to where you will get approved.
For an August move, June is a good time to start looking. Any earlier and you won't be able to find Aug !st move ins.

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you might have.

Best of luck,
Annette Holmgren
Bond New York
401-837-9445 c
0 votes
Danica Corde…, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hi Eric

June is a safe bet to start your search for a rental. Many of the major landlords put apartments on he market once they are empty and ready for a quick turnaround to a new tenant. With a clear set of parameters and all your paper work inorder you may secure your next home in as little as a week to two weeks. Should you decide on an apartment that requires a sublet in a coop or condo the process may be as long as 8 weeks before you have the apartment.

Before starting this search consider making sure all you paper is inordered and you know what your credit report is.

Please call 212 381-2343 or email DCordell-Reeh@halstead.com should you like assistance. In rentals thetenant usual pays the brokers fee.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, NY,
Mon Jan 23, 2012
If you are looking in NYC for an August 1st Lease...you should begin your search the last week of JUNE.
If you should need further assistance, feel free to email or call...
Christopher Stokes Moseley
Senior Executive Vice President
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
212-203-8722 mobile office
0 votes
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