All Articles Tagged "landlords"
By Erica RivaFlowz Buddington
I’ve been there. I’ve walked through my suburban town agitated by it’s smallness and thought, “I need to get the heck up out of here.” Sidney Shaw taunted me with her brownstone in “Brown Sugar” and the depiction of rain and passion mixed in Chicago’s urban terrain had me yearning to get my “Love Jones” on. Tapas bars, jazz clubs, underground hip-hop shows, networking, after work mixers; I knew there was a wanna-be-socialite heaven in one of United States’ big cities waiting for me.
I was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I wasn’t raised there. I was uprooted at nine for a chance at better schools. My family and I moved to Long Island, NYC’s suburban area. Immersed in small town gossip and quiet, I yearned for the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Two nights ago, I finally moved back. After tenure at a college in silent Virginia and a bout back home with the parental units, I finally have something within New York City to call my own.
While flipping through the blogs of friends of friends, I’ve noticed a common yearning amongst us. It seems I’m not the only one who wants bright lights, skyscrapers and the metro. I witnessed a multitude of womanly words yearning for their day in Atlanta, Houston, L.A., Chi-town and many other resemblances of the big city. So here’s how:
1. You should start saving. Some people have this illusion that the minute you step on the pavement of the big city, fame and fortune will come to you and record labels, publishers or their new corporate job will take care of the rest. Nope, not at all. Create a budget projecting how much you’ll need to spend each month, make each month and save each month. Start off with a savings of about $3,000-5,000; this will help when fending off rental broker fees, hunger pains and tips for overeager food deliverymen.
2. You’ll need a secured gig. This economy is no joke and even if we were still in the Clinton era, you’d still need a job the minute you get here. Unless you have family/friends that are willing to let you sleep on their couch or in the guest bedroom; don’t speed here to start looking for a job the next morning. Even with a start off fund, you’ll need a gig to keep your head above water. Shoot freelance queries to blogs/publications for some extra side money, apply for certification if you’re taking the substitute/teacher route, find internships and/or find something that’ll keep the lights on until you’re discovered.
3. Don’t wait to be discovered. While keeping the lights on, make serious connections. There are plenty of conferences, events, rare bookstores, open mic spots and more in metropolitan areas. Your kind dwells here. Just look for someone with your attire, a Starbucks cup in hand and goals written all over their face. Networking and surrounding yourself with positive ambition oriented persons is the one of the fastest routes to the top.
4. Pick your borough. I have a friend from Iowa who loves Fat Joe and decided, from a few rap lyrics, she was going to move to the Bronx, New York for her big move. The problem is, she works in Queens. Regretfully, she does a 2-4 hour commute back and forth to work everyday. Use Google maps to find the distance from your desired borough, check out the train/car routes to get there and make sure it’s conducive to your agenda. Come visit before you sign any leases or make any promises! Make sure the spot you’ve chosen is right for you.
5. Go get your spot. Ha! Rentals in big cities can go anywhere from $1,500 to a cool hundred grand. I don’t think so. Unless you’ve got some secret trust fund or just won the lotto, I’ve got some other suggestions for you. Search Craigslist or other real estate related websites for sweet deals. You can rent anything, from a $1,500 cute studio, to a $1,200 ground floor of a two-family residence. Make sure you can envision your writing, painting, planning, meditation etc. area before you say, “I’ll take it!”
(Wall Street Journal) — Agustin Gutierrez, a construction worker from this town in the hills northeast of San Francisco Bay, lost his job in 2009, then, 10 months later, he lost ownership of his home. Now, the husband and father of four rents the same five-bedroom ranch from McKinley Capital Partners, an investment company that’s at the forefront of a new breed of big-money landlords. McKinley, which has acquired more than 300 foreclosed single-family homes in the Bay Area over the past two years, recently teamed up with Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, a New York hedge fund, with plans to buy at least 500 more foreclosed homes in the next year. Those homes, too, will be rented to people like the Gutierrez family.
(New York Times) — It is almost second nature for some New York City tenants to suspect their landlords of cutting corners when it comes to fixing a balky heater or securing dangling light fixtures. But now tenants can find out a lot more about any landlord’s portfolio by clicking a link, “NYC’s worst landlords,” on the apartment search pages on Craigslist. It provides information that highlights, with the help of Google Maps, landlords with the worst inspection records. The agreement with Craigslist is part of an eight-point package that Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, is proposing on Monday to empower tenants and compel landlords to act more responsibly.
And with the support of the Bloomberg administration, the package would deprive landlords with dubious records of certain taxpayer subsidies; they would not, for example, be permitted to accept rental vouchers, and they would be denied new leases or lease renewals from city agencies. “We need a more aggressive and creative approach,” Mr. de Blasio said. “And when landlords know that there will be financial ramifications to inappropriate behavior, that is the best way to induce change.” Mr. de Blasio’s package arrives at a time when the issue of affordable housing for low-income families has become a more prominent concern. In Albany, tenant and landlord advocates are girding for a major battle over state rent regulations that are due to expire in June.
(Smart Money) — 1. “This building is in foreclosure.” In late 2009, Melody Thompson called her landlords to ask about the well-dressed picture-takers outside her four-bedroom Portland rental home. “Oh, we’re refinancing,” she remembers them telling her. Then in late April, a formal bank notification arrived in the mail, stating that the home was in foreclosure and would be put up for sale in late August. “I was immediately angry,” says Thompson, the executive director of Financial Beginnings, a financial literacy nonprofit. “They lied.” The sale has been postponed twice as the landlords apply for a mortgage adjustment, but Thompson is still hunting for a new place.