Walking around the neighborhood the other day up here about 145th streets, a sign advertising apartments for rent beckoned from the attractive brick building. Always curious, I dialed the number.
Damn if a woman from the agency didn't call me back twenty eight minutes later.
"Hi, this is Karen, returning Paolo's call about the apartments on Convenant Ave."
"Hey Karen, Hi, this is Paolo. Thanks for calling me back."
"Sure. So what are you looking for?"
"Well, actually, I'm not really looking, just curious. At some point in the near future, I'd like to get a two bedroom with my sister or a friend, and I'm pricing out the inventory, to see what's out there."
"We have some nice two bedrooms here, I'd be happy to show you one."
"How much are they going for?"
"The 2 bedrooms start at $2,000"
"Oh. wow, that's way too much for me."
"What price range are you looking for?"
"Hmm...well, I'm hoping to find a cute two bedroom for $1,200. No more than $1,500, but at $1,500 it really needs to be perfect, with a nice porch or backyard."
"Oh, you won't find that in Harlem. Harlem is an up and coming neighborhood, and the rents are reflecting that lots of people want to live here now. You can't find a two bedroom in Harlem for under $2,000."
"umm...actually, my neighbors are looking for one now, and $1,500 is their limit, and according to them, they have seen lots of nice 2 bedrooms for that price."
"They must be lucky, you just can't get a 2 bedroom in Harlem anymore for less than $2,000. I can show you a one bedroom in our building for $1,500"
"Karen, thanks, I appreciate that, but I'm not paying nearly that now, and I want a two bedroom that reflects the price I currently pay. On Craigslist, I search for 2 bedrooms in Harlem with the max price set at $1,300 and many show up every week."
"Hello? Hello? Karen?"
p.s. fukin real estate agents, who regulates these people? I mean, like, srsly, "You can't find a two bedroom in Harlem for under $2,000" That is an inaccurate statement. They shouldn't be able to say things like that. But I don't know...buyer beware, free market, due diligence, and all that other tra la la.
Related from the NYO: Overall, Harlem remained the cheapest place to rent in June, with average prices ranging from $1,287 for non-doorman studios to $2,636 for full-service, two-bedroom apartments. (via Uptown Flavor)