So this afternoon, we've been taken around Manhattan's Chelsea district by the broker we selected from Australia before we arrived. Essentially we've spent the last few weeks looking at listings to find the price range, floor plans and location we liked.
Today we visited 7 different locations that we liked. By the end of it at 18:00 I'd completely lost track of which place was which!
Decisions have to be made quick in Manhattan as places don't stay available for long.
Ask if you can take photos/video of the apartment you are viewing. A lot of places don't bother adding photos to listings because they don't need to, someone will view and rent it ;-) This makes it hard to reflect later.
As you go round, have a notepad and write down what you like and don't like STRAIGHT AWAY. Doing this at the end of the day is hard and you will get confused.
Have a list of criteria that is important to you for the apartment. Ours was:
- Floor to ceiling windows letting lots of light in
- View of river or skyline (higher than 20th floor so not looking straight at other buildings or tops of roofs)
- Lots of cupboards/wardrobe space
- Decent Shower & water pressure in bathroom
- Modern appliances in Kitchen
- Bike rack & Storage available
Ask for floor plans of the apartment you're viewing.
Take a A4 sized folder with you to hold all the paper work and brochures you get through the day.
We've not been too fussed about facilities like a pool room, shared entertaining area as we really don't think we'll use them. We may use the gym, although I suspect we'll register with a purpose built gym with classes and personal trainers anyway. A lot actually charge extra for these areas so always ask this.
The good news was that although we can't apply for a Social Security number/card until we've been here for 10 days (crazy huh!!?!), we can sign up for both Bank Accounts and also apply for an Apartment.
We're hoping to make our minds up on a place tomorrow morning!