When it comes to planning a New York City vacation, there are numerous accommodation styles worth considering. From hostels, to bed and breakfasts, to hotels and motels, you can find a little bit of everything in Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs. But did you know that there is also a booming rental market for city guests? Whether you’re in town for a weekend, a week, or an extended stay, apartments and condos can be rented for a comfortable and authentic New York experience.
I met up with Fred Owens, a licensed New York real estate agent partnered with Kian Realty NYC where we got the chance to talk holiday/vacation rentals and tour some available units.
Sojourner: Why should visitors to New York City consider renting apartments as opposed to staying in hotels?
Fred: While visitors from all over the world dream of one day waking up in the “city that never sleeps,” the cost of lodging in New York often prevents travelers from experiencing some of the most quintessential attractions the city has to offer such as a Broadway show or a night out on the town. So, in order for visitors to get the most out of a New York City vacation without taking out a second mortgage to stay at a top hotel, vacation rentals can be a lower-cost alternative. Choosing a vacation rental makes a lot of sense for travelers who prefer a home away from home environment. Whether traveling with children or with more than a few guests, sharing space, a kitchen, laundry, private bedrooms, and all the amenities of home makes for a more comfortable and pleasurable vacation experience.
S: Are apartment rentals easy to come by? What is the process of renting an apartment?
F: Vacation rentals are very easy to attain, however, it is very important for visitors to understand what they’re getting. Travelers should be sure to ask the landlord key questions such as: A) What is the pet and children policy? B) What is the cancellation and payment policy? C) How many people can stay? D) When/Where you’ll need to pick up the apartment keys? E) Is daily maid service included?
If the landlord does not offer one, always request a rental agreement/contract. This usually covers payment (such as security deposits and refunds), check-in and checkout information, fees, and other details. This can help protect you should a disagreement arise.
As with any other lodging, travelers will have the most options for location and amenities the further in advance they reserve accommodations. It’s also important for travelers to keep in mind that they will most often be staying in an apartment building where people live full time. Being courteous is a must.
S: Does a visitor have to be in New York for an extended stay for these rentals to be worthwhile?
F: No. The average hotel price in New York City is $300 per night. Most vacation rentals are often less expensive than hotels, there’s more space and more amenities. Also, staying in a vacation rental can give travelers the sense of living in New York City instead of just visiting.
S: What amenities do rentals come with?
F: Amenities vary; however usually standard is a kitchen with cooking utensils, refrigerator, bed/s, linens, Wi-Fi, and Cable/Satellite TV.
S: How would someone go about finding apartment rental listings?
F: There are many websites, which travelers can use to seek vacation rentals in the city. One of my favorites is VRBO.com. When travelers are exploring the various sites, it is important that they be aware of rental scams, which are an unfortunate part of the vacation rental industry. Employing the services of a local licensed real estate agent, such as myself can help provide travelers with keen insight on safe and desirable areas of the city as well as landlords who can legally provide vacation rentals.
S: Are there listings across the five boroughs?
F: Yes. While every borough has vacation rental options, the most desired rentals tend to me in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
*If you have questions or would like to search for a rental, Fred can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 212.757.8268 x126.