This is a sellers market, in most cases, if you negotiate you will not get the apartment. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/realestate/new-york-city-is-a-sellers-market-so-every-minute-counts.html?adxnnl=1&smid=fb-share&adxnnlx=1370292056-wcAmhbqBP7Rx4/UdHdec5w
You need to be prepared with a pre-approval and an attorney before you look at properties. The more prepared you are the better the chance of getting the apartment you want. My last two listings in LIC sold in ONE DAY with multiple offers. You need a broker who knows the neighborhood and inventory and can get you the apartment you want the day it becomes available. My last Buyer had his heart set on a one bedroom in an LIC new development but we could not even bid on the unit as it had not been released to the market. The developer would not release it until the other units below it had sold. I kept in constant contact with the developers agents, sold one of the lower units and got my client in first the second they released the unit he wanted. We got it in less than an hour after it went to market and had to pay the full ask.
LIC and Williamsburg will have ups and downs just like the rest of the NYC Real Estate Market but they have held up better than most and have exploded to the upside as the market has recovered from the crash.
All the best,