When you start looking for an apartment, you can start with Web sites that list apartments in Westchester County.
The Westchester Board of Realtors offers a link to a database of available rental apartments as well as homes, condominiums and co-operatives. You can access the national database of available rental apartments, where you'll find listing of apartments, condominiums and town homes. This site offers free e-mail alerts for new availabilities and contains up to six photographs for each listing.
The county newspaper, The Journal News, offers classified listings. The Penny Saver offers listings online as well as through their free publication. Most of these are apartments being offered by the owner of the property without broker representation. Many apartments listed are located in homes and are commonly called “accessory apartments."
New York State has developed a database listing fair and affordable housing statewide, the Affordable Housing Directory (AHD), which is designed to assist you in locating state assisted fair and affordable rental housing and organizations that provide community based housing assistance. New York State also provides an online fair and affordable housing locator service NYHousingSearch.gov to make it easier for landlords to list and lease properties for free, and for people in need of accessible housing to locate such housing, including a detailed way to list and search for accessibility features.
New fair and affordable rental developments that have received funding from Westchester County may also be available and accepting applications.
Is there an organization that can help me find an apartment?
Not-for-profit housing organizations do exist and provide useful information on the rental market. Visit the Westchester Residential Opportunities Web site to learn about rental listings and to get an idea of rental ranges.
WRO can provide many valuable resources for your search, such as:
What is an average rent in Westchester?
Rents in Westchester vary widely so any average can be misleading. However, there are information resources which you may find helpful:
Westchester Residential Opportunities conducts an annual rent survey and provides other information helpful to tenants.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) updates Fair Market Rents (FMR) for apartments in all metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas annually. Information on the Westchester FMR and how HUD calculates the FMR can be found at http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/fmr.html.
Please be aware that you will find asking rents above and below these numbers.
What is the right rent for me?
A good first step for you is to determine a budget for rent payments. Housing can be an expensive item in a family or individual’s budget. Also budget for unexpected shortfalls or interruptions or reductions in income so you will be able to make your rent with no trouble.
Is there any standard for budgeting my rent payments?
It is generally accepted that rent payments should be about 30 percent of your gross income. It may be a challenge to balance this against the asking rents you do find. You have to determine carefully what you can afford.
Is there a central list of rental properties?
No. You will want to take advantage of the Web sites listed above. Additionally, Westchester County does publish a Multi-Family Housing Listing which lists 3,830 buildings and residential complexes. The multi-family properties list details rental buildings as well as condominiums, cooperatives and government subsidized. While the booklet was published in 2000, it is still relevant.