Archive for June, 2008



Renter’s Insurance Recommendations

This thread on has a useful discussion about Renter’s Insurance providers. Apparently, you should not mention it on your application if you have a gun in the house. Who knew?

Universities as Landlords…and Tenants

The New York Sun ran an article this week on the issue of housing New York’s increasing college student population. With over 100 post-high school educational institutions in the 5 boroughs, New York hosts approximately half a million college students each year and this number is only set to grow. Housing students is a challenge, as many are priced out of the rental market in the neighborhoods close to their schools and this can lead to students cramming 2, 3 or more people in a single bedroom and housing costs greatly add to the financial burden of higher education. Continue reading ‘Universities as Landlords…and Tenants’

Improving Your Crappy Apartment

I am a great believer in nesting and have never let renting stop me from enjoying inexpensive home improvements that make my apartment as comfortable and attractive as it can be. Painting, hanging up shelves and making minor repairs have all helped to alleviate some of the dissatisfaction that can be a result of living in an apartment where I can’t make all of the aesthetic choices. If you hate your kitchen, ask the landlord if you can paint the gross old cabinets or even install some new cheap Ikea ones on your own dime.

Doing minor repairs and decorative upgrading on your own can save you money in the long run because landlords charge a lot more for new, shiny and modern looking apartments when in reality some of these improvements are inexpensive to do yourself. A new kitchen can increase your rent by hundreds of dollars a month, while a few cans of paint and a few hours of elbow grease is a one-time expense that can be as little as $50.

In this post from the blog BushwickBK, the author shares his tips for improving a crappy apartment. In the comments others chime in about how they’ve made their imperfect spaces more livable. On the other end of the spectrum of what constitutes a “crappy apartment” is this story from the New York Times archive, chronicling the full-scale renovation work that some renters have undertaken on property that they don’t own.

Have any of you made improvements on a rental apartment?

Luxury Rentals Offer Tempting Incentives

View from a penthouse

As the economy slows, large luxury rental developments are having a more difficult time attracting tenants. In order to remain competitive these buildings are offering a range of perks from covering moving expenses, paying broker’s fees and waiving security deposits to free morning breakfasts and maid services. Some are even offering up to two months free rent!

Read the full NY Times story…

Welcome to NYC Rentopia

Hi!Welcome! This is a new website dedicated to the rental market in NYC, with news, information and links to my listings for apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Most real estate websites about New York are focused on the sales market in spite of the fact that 2 out of 3 New Yorkers are renters. The rental market is just as complex as the sales market and there are as many reasons to rent as there are renters: some people prefer the freedom that comes with being a tenant–the security of knowing that the landlord or super will make repairs and maintain the building. Some tenants aren’t sure how long they want to stay in the city or plan to eventually move in with a family member or significant other. Often, the monthly cost of a rental is far lower than a mortgage payment would be on a comparable unit and many renters are on their way to home ownership, remaining in a lower-cost rental while saving for a down payment.

NYC is a city of renters and this website will chronicle that facet of life in New York.

About Me

Michelle Erfer is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York City.
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