Living in Queens NY | 5 Invaluable Tips

May 22, 2014

Did you know: If Queens collectively decided to rebel from the concrete establishment of NYC and do its own thang, it would establish itself as the fourth largest city in the United States, larger than Houston, Philadelphia, and even that one person town in Nebraska? (It would be Nebraska, wouldn't it.) And yet picky renters talk about Queens like it's a second-rate place to go, after you can't find that one perfect apartment for less than a million dollars a month or so. Let's prove them wrong, Queens! For those who are considering living in Queens, or those who are already here, here's 5 tips on how to best do your thang and live it up in the best borough of NYC.*

*Potential bias may be present due to the corporeal location of the author.

1. Get Used to the Diversity

And when we say diversity, we mean everything. The neighborhoods cover all walks of life, from the young professionals of Astoria to the Chinatown (and Koreatown, and Japantown, and etc.) of Flushing, to the overhyped glamour of Forest Hills. So do the people. You'll find East Asians, Indians, Armenians, Romanians, and every other -ians on the planet. Sometimes even Americans. If you're looking for a niche culture, you've come to the right place.

2. Everything Is Cheaper When You're Living in Queens

But actually. The average apartment rent in Queens is over $1,000 cheaper a month. One THOUSAND dollars. Imagine how many extra bars of chocolate that can buy you a month. And it's not only the apartment costs. Food, utilities, and the overall cost of living is lower too. By moving from Manhattan to Queens, you can probably save yourself an extra $20,000 a year: money that could be put to good use stuffing your face with chocolate.

3. Living in Queens Doesn't Mean You Can't Work in Manhattan

In fact, it's the complete opposite. Astoria, one of the biggest up-and-coming places in Queens, boasts a 20-minute train ride to Midtown Manhattan, and the drive is even quicker. The commute time is typically no longer than that of Brooklyn residents working in Manhattan, and who'd want to live in Brooklyn anyways?All-in-all, the extra ten to twenty minutes of commuting every day is definitely worth the gigantic chocolate eggs awaiting you at the end of the tunnel.

4. Gentrification Has Made Queens Enjoyable to Live In

Queens has never had the "artistic, hipster" vibe of Brooklyn that really just indicated tattoos and grungy looking bars, so its form of gentrification has been nowhere near as noticeable. However, its variety of small, ethnic enclaves are rapidly becoming larger and better developed, and its wealthier areas such as Jackson Heights and Elmhurst are spreading into the surrounding neighborhoods. Throughout Queens, gentrification is a slow but steady reality that's made it a viable location for many people in the past ten years.

5. Excellent Cultural Events Benefit Those Living in Queens

Queens, because of its high diversity and multitude of separate but flourishing cultures, has among the best offerings of free events in New York City. The Museum of Art now offers Passport Fridays, a free outdoor music or dance performance featuring international culture followed by a film. Weekly Latin Festivals take place at the Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside. Noguchi Museum is offering free concerts in its sculpture garden every other Sunday. Take advantage of all the opportunities available in Queens, cause there's some things you won't find anywhere else. (sit, down, Staten Island).

Need more reason to move to Queens? Just check out these freakishly low rents in Queens.

Landlord Rights NYC | The NYC Landlord Tenant Law

May 16, 2014

People are selfish. It's a fact of life. This is why Facebook posts are invariably about how the poster feels about all other Facebook posts , Kim Kardashian does phony charity trips to boost her image, and 17 year old girls will never converse about anything but themselves.

This unfortunate fact also means that most tenants don't care that much about the other side of the coin: landlord rights in NYC. A common theme among tenants goes along the lines of: "Aren't landlords the big, bad money-grabbers charging us exorbitant rents and kicking us out for the smallest things? They don't need rights: they already have all the power."

However, that's just patently not true. Quite a few landlords managing their own small places, independent of big-time management companies, have just as much struggles trying to find and manage tenants who aren't unruly and loud. Consequently, we've put together a quick list of what landlords ARE entitled to under NYC laws, and when they can legally kick tenants out.

Landlord Rights NYC

1. Right to Collect the Rent on Time

Well, duh. There's more to it, though. If any payment of rent is missing, the landlord can file papers to begin the legal process of eviction IMMEDIATELY after the payment is missed. However, most landlords will typically give a week to a month of extra time, to save themselves the legal hassles of eviction. Once the landlord has begun court proceedings and obtains a judgement of possession / Warrant of Eviction, the landlord can legally kick the tenant out after a reasonable amount of time to move their belongings out.

2. Right to Have Clean Surroundings

Thought it's the landlord's job to keep the hallways, elevator, and stairs clean, the tenant is equally responsible to keep their belongings and trash out of these areas. Furthermore, tenants must keep their apartments in a good condition, as determined by the landlord. Excessive damage or hassle can be added as a charge on the tenant's rent or security deposit.

3. Right to Enter Tenant's Apartment Reasonably

In order to enforce the above rule, landlords have the right to enter their tenant's apartment to confirm that everything is in order and nothing is damaged/illegal/destructive. However, the landlord must inform the tenants ahead of time, and excessive entries are not permitted, though this definition is ambiguous.

4. Right to be Notified of Apartment Damage

If there is damage to the apartment at no fault of the tenant, such as a leaking pipe or blown fuse, then it is the right of the landlord to be informed as soon as possible to ensure rapid repair of the problem. Lingering problems such as water leakage can cause greater damage as time goes on, so it is to everyone's benefit if the landlord can take care of the crisis rapidly.

5. No Responsibility for Tenant Damages

If the apartment has been damaged under the responsibility of the tenant, such as large holes in the walls appearing, broken appliances and smoke-covered walls or carpets, the landlord has the right to demand that the cost of repairs come out of the tenant's security deposit.

6. Right to Advance Notice When Leaving

The landlord has the right to at minimum, a month's notice before the tenant leaves an apartment. This rule is enforced to ensure that landlords have a reasonable amount of time to find a replacement renter for the apartment room.

Was this information useful? If you'd like more information on landlord-tenant policies, head over to AddressReport and give us a +1 on Google Plus or a "Like" on Facebook!




The 2014 NYC Celebrity Star Map Infographic

May 12, 2014

Where do the biggest stars, celebrities, and famous (for whatever reason) people live in New York City?

The giant NYC Celebrity Star Map by real estate data leader AddressReport has just been updated for 2014, highlighting the Manhattan and Brooklyn abodes of New York's most famous citizens -- including NYC's most notable actors, athletes, musicians, and more*!

NYC Celebrity Star Map 2014 by Address Report
(*Note: As always, requests for full street addresses of celebrities will be ignored. Please don't bother asking.)

Celebrities That Live in NYC

Want to know where New York City's famous actors, athletes, singers, musicians, artists, and celebrities are living? The NYC Star Map plots the celebrity homes of hundreds of the Big Apple's most famous stars, from addresses up north in Morningside Heights and Harlem down to those in the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Red Hook, and beyond.

If you enjoyed the New York Celeb Map, see our breakdown of how much celebrities pay for rent in NYC!

Star Map NYC 2014 - A Guilty Guide to New York Celebrities

Let's admit it. One of the guilty -- though largely unspoken -- pleasures of living in NYC is going about our daily business in close proximity to some of the world's most famous personalities.

Whether it's serial model-bedder Leonardo DiCaprio, Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, Cruise-less Katie Holmes, sports & fashion icons Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, entertainment power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce, rocker Jon Bon Jovi, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Anderson Cooper, the ever-irascible Alec Baldwin, Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford, Friends star David Schwimmer, Homeland's Claire Danes (a SoHo native who is now coupled up in the West Village), Justin Timberlake, SNL alumni Bill Murray, Steve Martin, and Andy Samberg, Sex & The City beau Chris Noth, Rock Royalty Liv Tyler, or even the legendary David Bowie (a favorite downtown NYC celebrity sighting), the denizens of New York have grown spoiled from constantly bumping into some of the most recognizable celebrities on Earth.

Too Manhattan for you? Perhaps Brooklyn's Lena Dunham, Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean Luc Picard to the real fans, but, yes, also Professor X), Keri Russell, Steve Buscemi, Sarah Jessica Parker & Mathew Broderick (who actually have been buying and flipping townhouses in both Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights), or Anne Hathaway (our personal favorite Brooklyn celebrity sightings) are more your speed?

Speaking of Patrick Stewart, have you seen his incredibly endearing Twitter rant about Time Warner Cable's absurdly awful customer service?

Sure, we New Yorkers are far too cool to start snapping photos or asking for autographs. But even the most hardcore of locals has felt that special rush of recognition and excitement that comes from stumbling upon a bona fide celebrity sighting.

NYC Celebrity Map - Plotting the Celebrities Who Live in NYC

Plotting where hundreds of celebrities live in New York (specifically, Manhattan and Brooklyn), the NYC Celebrity Star Map lets you quickly skim through your neighborhood to spot any notable names, so you can casually drop some knowledge on your friends living elsewhere in the country, while claiming you only care to know about your famous neighbors so you can avoid the inconvenience of running into them at the bodega.

Table of Celebrities That Live in New York (by NYC Neighborhood)

Besides the star map above, we've listed out the NYC celebrities by borough and neighborhood in the table below. So, if there's a particular star who really tingles your jingles (or if you just want to know which celebs call your 'hood home), you'll have a mighty easy time doing a search through our list:

Manhattan Celebrities

Adam Goldberg Chelsea
Adam Horowitz Chelsea
Ashley Dupre Chelsea
Calista Flockhart Chelsea
Cameron Diaz Chelsea
Elizabeth Berkley Chelsea
Harrison Ford Chelsea
Ira Glass Chelsea
Jason Robards Chelsea
Kate Winslet Chelsea
Katie Holmes Chelsea
Kelsey Grammer Chelsea
Matthew Modine Chelsea
Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban Chelsea
Norman Reedus Chinatown
Alan Colmes East Village
Alan Cumming East Village
Amanda Seyfried East Village
Britney Spears East Village
Cher East Village
Chloey Sevigny East Village
David Schwimmer East Village
Kathryn Stockett East Village
Russell Simmons East Village
Chase Crawford Financial District
Isla Fisher Financial District
Sacha Baron Cohen Financial District
Tyra banks Financial District
Caroline Wozniacki Flatiron District
Chelsea Clinton Flatiron District
Jeff Gordon Flatiron District
Tom Brady & Gisele Bündchen Flatiron District
Alison Pill Gramercy Park
Jay Baruchel Gramercy Park
Jim Parsons Gramercy Park
Alec Baldwin Greenwich Village
Annie Leibovitz Greenwich Village
Anderson Cooper Greenwich Village
Brian De Palma Greenwich Village
Dany Levy Greenwich Village
Gilda Radner (1980) Greenwich Village
Jessica Chastain Greenwich Village
Julia Roberts Greenwich Village
Leonardo DiCaprio Greenwich Village
Mary Kate Olsen Greenwich Village
Mary Louise Parker Greenwich Village
Nate Berkus Greenwich Village
Rachel Ray Greenwich Village
Rosie O'Donnell Greenwich Village
Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick Greenwich Village
Sean Parker Greenwich Village
Susan Sarandon Greenwich Village
Tom Cruise Greenwich Village
Barak Obama (1984) Harlem
Neil Patrick Harris Harlem
B.D. Wong Lower East Side
Lady Gaga (2005) Lower East Side
Carol Burnett Midtown
Lady Gaga Midtown
Liam Gallagher Midtown
Michael J. Fox Midtown
Angie Everhart Midtown East
Derek Jeter Midtown East
Goldie Hawn Midtown East
Kim Cattrall Midtown East
Tommy Hilfiger Midtown East
Uma Thurman Midtown East
Carmelo Anthony Midtown West
Hiroki Kuroda Midtown West
Katharine McPhee Midtown West
Mekhi Pfifer Midtown West
P Diddy Midtown West
Christopher Meloni Midtown West
Stone Phillips Murray Hill
Cynthia Nixon Noho
David Bowie Nolita
Iman Nolita
Arianna Huffington Soho
Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz Soho
Dakota Fanning Soho
Daniel Craig Soho
Guy Fieri Soho
Jon Bon Jovi Soho
John Legend Soho
John Mayer Soho
Justin Timberlake Soho
Kelly Ripa Soho
Mark Consuelos Soho
Nick Denton Soho
Rachel Weisz Soho
Samuel L. Jackson Soho
Winklevoss Twins Soho
Judge Judy Sutton Place
Bethenny Frankel Tribeca
Beyonce Tribeca
Billy Crystal Tribeca
Bob Vila Tribeca
Chris Martin Tribeca
Deron Williams Tribeca
Dylan Walsh Tribeca
Gwyneth Paltrow Tribeca
Jay-Z Tribeca
Jennifer Connelly Tribeca
Jeremy Piven Tribeca
Jon Stewart Tribeca
Meryl Streep Tribeca
Murilo Benício Tribeca
Paul Bettany Tribeca
Steven Pasquale Tribeca
Natasha Lyonne Union Square
Zach Braff Union Square
Bill Murray Upper East Side
Christopher Walken Upper East Side
Charles Grodin Upper East Side
David Cone Upper East Side
David Wright Upper East Side
Donald Trump Upper East Side
Drew Barrymore Upper East Side
Eddie Cantor (1960) Upper East Side
Emirel Lagasse Upper East Side
Frank Sinatra (1951) Upper East Side
Ivanka Trump Upper East Side
Joan Rivers Upper East Side
Kelly Rutherford Upper East Side
Mariah Carey Upper East Side
Melania Trump Upper East Side
Mia Farrow Upper East Side
Michael Bloomberg Upper East Side
Ricky Martin Upper East Side
Spike Lee Upper East Side
Tom Brokaw Upper East Side
Aaron Spelling Upper West Side
Al Pacino Upper West Side
Alan Alda Upper West Side
Alan Brinkley Upper West Side
Albert Maysles Upper West Side
Alex Rodriguez Upper West Side
Andrew McCarthy Upper West Side
Andrew Tobias Upper West Side
Andy Borowitz Upper West Side
Angela Bassett Upper West Side
Antonio banderas and Melanie Griffith Upper West Side
Beverly Sills Upper West Side
Bob Costas Upper West Side
Bono Upper West Side
Boris Karloff Upper West Side
Buddy Fletcher Upper West Side
Chris Noth Upper West Side
Connie Chung Upper West Side
Cyndi Lauper Upper West Side
David Bowie Upper West Side
David Duchovny Upper West Side
David Hyde Pierce Upper West Side
Denzel Washington Upper West Side
Derek Stepan Upper West Side
Diana Ross Upper West Side
Diane Wiest Upper West Side
Donna Karan Upper West Side
Faye Donaway Upper West Side
George Plimpton (1950) Upper West Side
Glenn Close Upper West Side
Harvey Weinstein Upper West Side
Helen Gurley Brown (1962) Upper West Side
Howard stern Upper West Side
Jack Palance (1982) Upper West Side
John Lennon Upper West Side
John McEnroe Upper West Side
John Stossel Upper West Side
Josh Groban Upper West Side
Judy Garland (1969) Upper West Side
Judy Holiday (1921) Upper West Side
Laura Nyro (1968) Upper West Side
Lauren Bacall (1955) Upper West Side
Leonard Bernstein (1940) Upper West Side
Lew Frankfort Upper West Side
Lillian Gish (1993) Upper West Side
Lloyd Blankfein Upper West Side
Margaret Mead Upper West Side
Mariska Hargitay Upper West Side
Mary J. Blige Upper West Side
Matt Damon Upper West Side
Maury Povich Upper West Side
Nora Ephron (until 2012) Upper West Side
Rex Reed Upper West Side
Richard Holbrooke Upper West Side
Robert DeNiro Upper West Side
Roberta Flack Upper West Side
Robin Williams Upper West Side
Rock Hudson (1960) Upper West Side
Rosemary Clooney (1968) Upper West Side
Rudolf Nureyev (1974) Upper West Side
Ruth Ford (2009) Upper West Side
Sean Lennon Upper West Side
Steve Kroft Upper West Side
Steve Martin Upper West Side
Steven Spielberg Upper West Side
Sting Upper West Side
Tea Leoni Upper West Side
Tiger Woods Upper West Side
Tina Fey Upper West Side
Tony Randall (2004) Upper West Side
Tyson Chandler Upper West Side
Brooke Shields West Village
Calvin Klein West Village
Claire Danes & Hugh Dancy West Village
Courtney Love West Village
Daniel Radcliffe West Village
Heather Mills West Village
Jennifer Aniston (2012) West Village
Jim Carrey West Village
Julianne Moore West Village
Liv Tyler West Village
Sofia Coppola West Village
Yoko Ono West Village


Ethan Hawke Boerum Hill
Hope David Boerum Hill
Amy Ryan Brooklyn Heights
Lena Dunham Brooklyn Heights
Mike D Cobble Hill
Norah Jones Cobble Hill
Anne Hathaway DUMBO
Jonathan Safran Foer Park Slope
Maggie Gyllenhall Park Slope
Peter Saarsgard Park Slope
Nick Lachey Park Slope
Patrick Stewart Park Slope
Steve Buscemi Park Slope
Vanessa Minnillo Park Slope
Maggie gyllenhaal Park Slope
Peter Sarsgaard Park Slope
Zoe Kravitz Park Slope
Keri Russell Park Slope
John Turturro Park Slope
Jason Segal & Michelle Williams Red Hook
Ed Westwick Williamsburg
James Lafferty Williamsburg
Pat Kiernan Williamsburg

Where New York's Celebrities Lived in 2013

Below is the 2013 AddressReport (formerly named Rentenna) NYC Celebrity Star Map. Compare where celebrities lived in 2013 vs. 2014:
NYC Celebrity Star Map 2013 by Address Report

Where New York's Celebrities Lived in 2012

And for the historians, below is the 2012 AddressReport NYC Celebrity Star Map:
NYC Celebrity Star Map 2012 by Address Report

Why Insurent's Renter Cosigner Service Is Needed Now More Than Ever In 2014

May 08, 2014

Insurent Rental Cosigner

I have been a huge advocate for Insurent Lease Guaranty’'s rental cosigner service since they first launched a few years ago. I was a rental broker before I started this website and if we had Insurent when I was working my life would have been far easier. There was no such thing as a rental cosigner service in 2008. This meant hundreds of qualified renters with good credit couldn’t rent their desired apartment. In NYC the criteria for income is a strict 40-50x the monthly rent. This means if you were to rent a $2500 one bedroom you would have to make $112,500.  Insurent Lease Guaranty requires only 27.5 x the monthly rent so for that same $2500 apartment you only have to make $68,500.  If you were not born in the United States (or have no U.S. credit)  you could forget trying to rent at all unless you could put up 6 months of security.

Their service is a necessary one in NYC and it is now becoming just as necessary in the rest of the United States. Rental prices are  expected to soar in most cities making it difficult to rent everywhere this upcoming rental season unless you make six figures and have perfect credit. Insurent lease guaranty will allow you to have “very good” credit vs. the usual needed “perfect” which allows some breathing room if you forgot to pay off your Gap Credit Card when you were 22 years old. (Yep, that was me.)

Fortunately Insurent Lease Guaranty has expanded to Boston, Chicago and Washington DC -- and it appears further expansion is throughout 2014.

There is a fee to use the service, but it is less than a one-month fee of the rent (far cheaper than broker fees in NYC and Chicago), and it allows far more breathing room to pick an apartment you actually want to live in.

To find out if an apartment is right for you get the full story on AddressReport


NYC's latest "it spot" Madison Square Park

May 04, 2014

It seems as though Manhattanites have a new favorite neighborhood each year, whether they're crowing about the old world charms of the Lower East Side or singing the praises of Tribeca's luxury lofts. While most hot neighborhoods' reputation wears off in a matter of months (or until New York magazine announces a new Next Big Thing), it seems as though Madison Square Park's glory days are here to stay. At the epicenter of a number of desirable and culture-packed enclaves, including Gramercy, the Flatiron District, and Kips Bay, Madison Square Park is home to some of the city's most desirable shopping, restaurants, and the addition of the new 45 East 22nd Street residences. The 64-story glass tower, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, has all the details guaranteed to make it a hit among discerning clientele when its doors open to residents in 2016. With homes ranging from studios to four bedrooms, in addition to a stunning penthouse and multiple amenity floors, the building is a perfect fit for folks from all walks of life, whether they're single, living with roommates, or moving with a family in tow. With convenient transportation just down the block, plenty of green space within walking distance, and easy access to the best the city has to offer, it's clear that 45 East 22nd is about to become the hottest address in town.