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Random Fashion Thoughts (Part 3: Style farmer strikes back) - our general discussion thread

Superb0bo

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on khakis, I had a bunch of the Orvis "ultimate khakis", and they were really well built. Available in original and trim fits. Think I had the trim fit, but would go for the original today..
 

whorishconsumer

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Based entirely on my anxiety around this topic, and perhaps a small amount of experience, nothing is going to be comparable to what you have in Kyoto. As was noted above, there was temporary inversion in the rental market where tenants were being treated slightly more like human beings, but as was also noted that humanity appears to have dried up. By comparison, I have heard that the buyer's market has remained favorable, although this news is always shared by people mistaking their audience for someone affluent enough for this to be a comfort.

NYC is owned by the propertied and their minions. Understanding this, you may then understand that what is considered a reasonable standard for rent in this city is 40-50% + of one's income. What you will still fail to grasp – because you have a conscience – is the brokerage system that has grown like a malignant tumor out of this city's history. In short, the majority of rental properties are mediated by brokers, who take a sizable chunk of one year's rent (8-15% in Brooklyn, 15% Manhattan). The brokers receive this fee independent of having performed any function. Which is to say, that you can bet on this fee being paid in all cases. The only variable is how much of it you, the renter, are to pay and how much the property owner shoulders. During non-pandemic times there are always 'no-fee' listings, but they are no-fee for a reason (namely poor location and neighborhood). During the pandemic fees were being dropped left and right. But as noted above, those days are seemingly gone.

The real kicker is that as of mid-2019 broker fees were supposed to be banned. However, the state went about it in a very weak-spined, we-don't-really-mean-this way, the issued guidance immediately was challenged by the rental lobby in court and it has hung there ever since.

The exceptions which circumvent the brokers are subleasing (great until the lease is up) and direct owner-tenant agreements. The fact that there is always someone who has at some point in time encountered the latter has given rise to a fairy tale that drifts above the city whispering to all that such arrangements are obtainable. I choose to see this as blind optimism.

Now, if you're okay sacrificing location, amenities and pleasantness, you will find affordable options (if $2k is affordable). If you are willing to take roommates, you will find affordable options. And/or if you have connections – namely people willing to sublet you a rent-controlled apartment or similar – you will find affordable options (this is even rarer than finding a landlord to work with). Secretly I am hoping the reality of COVID and the oncoming winter will smack the city into an about face again in time for me to negotiate my next lease, although that is a shitty thing to bank on.



It's no small undertaking. Congrats on the job, though.


Edit: I'm realizing I'm giving the same treatment I received from this mutual acquaintance I was put in touch with when I was moving here back in 2017. A burly New York cop (I think he was burly, I never met him), his response to my inquiry as to affordable housing was "There isn't any."

I don't mean to pee on dreams. The truth is I moved here as the beneficiary of an advantageous arrangement, back when my income was much less, and without which I would not have been able to live here. People find a way.

Also Boerum Hill is a nice little stretch and I definitely enjoy Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens south of it. Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are also cool. I wouldn't want to live in Downtown Brooklyn, personally. I have a friend who moved from living above the Whole Foods there to owning a Condo on Nevins. Those high-rises just feel kind of dead inside.
I guess the courts made up their mind in regards to broker's fees this past May. "Made up their minds" meaning "were given a large sack of money."

 

gdl203

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It's all supply and demand though. I've rented 6 different apartments in NYC over the years and paid full 15% broker fees only once. When supply is tight and everyone wants the same apartments, you're SOL on broker fees. But when demand isn't as strong (or when you're looking to move outside of the typical summer months), who pays the broker's fees become one point of negotiation on the lease. Going straight to management companies and requesting their vacant listings, is a good way to avoid broker fees.
 

YoungM

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It's all supply and demand though. I've rented 6 different apartments in NYC over the years and paid full 15% broker fees only once. When supply is tight and everyone wants the same apartments, you're SOL on broker fees. But when demand isn't as strong (or when you're looking to move outside of the typical summer months), who pays the broker's fees become one point of negotiation on the lease. Going straight to management companies and requesting their vacant listings, is a good way to avoid broker fees.
That's of limited use, as demand is essentially always strong from the bottom to the upper-middle of the market. New York City is sickeningly supply constrained, which allows landlords tremendous latitude to pass costs onto consumers.
 

whorishconsumer

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It's all supply and demand though. I've rented 6 different apartments in NYC over the years and paid full 15% broker fees only once. When supply is tight and everyone wants the same apartments, you're SOL on broker fees. But when demand isn't as strong (or when you're looking to move outside of the typical summer months), who pays the broker's fees become one point of negotiation on the lease. Going straight to management companies and requesting their vacant listings, is a good way to avoid broker fees.
I don't think NYC exists as an unfettered free market – real estate is clearly provided favoritism.

Good idea on going directly through management companies.
 

gdl203

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That's of limited use, as demand is essentially always strong from the bottom to the upper-middle of the market. New York City is sickeningly supply constrained, which allows landlords tremendous latitude to pass costs onto consumers.
Don’t think that’s factually correct. I’ve seen three cycles of radically softening demand in the 20 years I’ve been here. 2001, 2009 and 2020 all provided repricing opportunities through the whole market. I’m not saying the market is soft now - I have no idea as I’m not looking - but there are cycles, and when landlords sit on property for a few months, they start throwing in free months of rent and paying the fee as incentives.

All I can provide is my own experience and, as I mentioned, I only had to pay a full broker fee once out of 6 leases in the last 20 years.
 

YoungM

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Don’t think that’s factually correct. I’ve seen three cycles of radically softening demand in the 20 years I’ve been here. 2001, 2009 and 2020 all provided repricing opportunities through the whole market. I’m not saying the market is soft now - I have no idea as I’m not looking - but there are cycles, and when landlords sit on property for a few months, they start throwing in free months of rent and paying the fee as incentives.

All I can provide is my own experience and, as I mentioned, I only had to pay a full broker fee once out of 6 leases in the last 20 years.
That's fair, but those three dates represent a era-defining terrorist attack, the largest recession in 90 years, and a huge pandemic. The last one - the only one I am old enough to know well - only resulted in a pretty short-lived softening. Outside of exogenous shocks, the market has been consistently tight. Vacancy rates in New York run around a fifth of those in a place like Dallas, and that's reflected in things like broker's fees.

Higher in the market (particularly in larger buildings or new construction), you can absolutely negotiate, but that cost is just getting built in, and those units tend to be more expensive per square foot anyway.
 

BlakeRVA

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That's fair, but those three dates represent a era-defining terrorist attack, the largest recession in 90 years, and a huge pandemic. The last one - the only one I am old enough to know well - only resulted in a pretty short-lived softening. Outside of exogenous shocks, the market has been consistently tight. Vacancy rates in New York run around a fifth of those in a place like Dallas, and that's reflected in things like broker's fees.

Higher in the market (particularly in larger buildings or new construction), you can absolutely negotiate, but that cost is just getting built in, and those units tend to be more expensive per square foot anyway.
I think @gdl203 isn't talking about people who move every 1 - 2 years, but rather taking advantage of the market softening and locking those discounted rates long term (5 - 10 year). It's not an opportunity everybody moving to New York has, but it does occasionally present itself.
 

gdl203

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Double-checking that my own experience isn’t totally extraordinary… this article from Sep 2020 (when things were really soft) discusses share of no-fee rental listing pre and post pandemic shock:

The share of no-fee rental listings in New York City is rising, with 75 to 85 percent of all listings in Manhattan and Brooklyn eschewing broker’s fees during the month of August. That’s a substantial increase from about 50 percent in pre-pandemic January, according to data provided by TextLuke.com, a service that scans apartment listings and makes recommendations based on a user’s requests and responses.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/03/realestate/no-fee-apartments-new-york-city-coronavirus.html?referringSource=articleShare

In any case, it would be naive to think that a law prohibiting renter-paid brokers fees would actually benefit renters. Landlords would simply reprice rents to account for the additional cost of paying the broker.

Highly recommend noting down the names of management companies of buildings you like/are in neighborhoods you’re interested in, and contacting them about current and near-future vacancies. They obviously prefer to rent without listing through a broker.
 

vanmosh

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I mean - if anybody wants to get a realistic view of what the "no fee" rental market looks like at this very second, just go to StreetEasy and click the no fee box. Problem solved! Yes, the majority of no fee units are going to be from major management companies and will be predominantly newer construction, but there are also some real gems in there, especially from owners looking to lease out condo units. There was also this one site NYBits that was supposed to specialize in no fee listings that I used years ago, but it was kind of hit or miss, and most of the hits were also on StreetEasy.

One unorthodox way to get a no fee lease in a building that would otherwise require a broker's fee is to do a lease takeover. Check out the listings project and look for lease breaks/lease takeovers. Once you're in the building, there's no brokers fee to renew.
 

peachfuzzmcgee

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All this rental market stuff is interesting. I ended up having the interview and also got all the deets and now I'm sitting around wondering if it's even worth it.

Overnights and 60k as the salary. My wife makes similarly so I don't doubt I can make it in Brooklyn but I'm so sick of working overnights that I might end up just using my savings and looking for a new career. Go back to school or something. Haha

Kyoto is going backrupt and taxes may be increasing. Honestly COVID got me wondering what's the next step right now.
 

sinnedk

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All this rental market stuff is interesting. I ended up having the interview and also got all the deets and now I'm sitting around wondering if it's even worth it.

Overnights and 60k as the salary. My wife makes similarly so I don't doubt I can make it in Brooklyn but I'm so sick of working overnights that I might end up just using my savings and looking for a new career. Go back to school or something. Haha

Kyoto is going backrupt and taxes may be increasing. Honestly COVID got me wondering what's the next step right now.
two suggestions for career changes

1. sales always makes great commission I am talking about b2b not b2c.

2. tech - product management or qa are good careers
 

OccultaVexillum

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Strong disagree with that. If you're investing in going back to school then make it something that is interesting and you enjoy, not something solely "with a good job projection".

If that ends up being one and the same for you, then awesome.
 

hoodog

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Strong disagree with that. If you're investing in going back to school then make it something that is interesting and you enjoy, not something solely "with a good job projection".

If that ends up being one and the same for you, then awesome.
This, so much. Follow the heart as long as possible.
 

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