PC: Daryan Shamkhali, UnSplash
I’m taking a break from the recent profile series to give you insights about living in New York City. From housing to drinking, I’ve asked a handful of New Yorkers to talk about their experience. I reached out to Erik Holmlund of Bohemia Realty Group for advice on
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days How to Find an Apartment in the Concrete Jungle.
Finding Renaissance: Erik Holmlund
Name: Erik Holmlund
University/Area of Study: Biola University, Classic Literature/Film
Occupation/Company: Real Estate Agent/Bohemia Realty Group
Hometown: Carlsbad, CA
Current Location: Harlem, NYC
Restaurant/Food: Rudy’s Mexican Grill in Solana Beach, CA (Catered my wedding)
Coffee: ACP Coffee (A new local coffee shop just a few minutes from my apartment. Uh-mazing!)
Libation: I make a killer Margarita. 3 ingredients: Tequila, Fresh-squeezed Lime Juice, Agave nectar.
Color: Turquoise Blue, like the color of a wave right before it crashes.
Hobby: Basketball, volleyball, CROSSFIT! (when I have enough money for a membership)
TV Show/Movie: Too Many favorites, so I’ll just pick one of the many…Stardust with Claire Danes!
Clothing Line: Bombfell (not a clothing line, but awesome nonetheless)
Artist: Yoshiko Sugawara – A wonderful old Japanese lady who lives next door to my parents that paints the most gorgeous watercolors. I have one up in my apartment.
Music: Right now, Josh Garrells, but it varies between hipster coffee shop music, oldies (a la Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack) and John Mayer, because how can you not?
Author: I’m sorry, call me a nerd, say it’s because I was homeschooled, but JRR Tolkien is just unbeatable.
So, you’ve decided to move to New York. Congratulations! You are in for a unique real estate experience. Moving in New York is unlike moving anywhere else. To quote old Frankie, “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!” However, part of making it here is working smart, not hard. In the housing hunt, that’s where I come in – your agent.
Get an Agent
To avoid sketchy situations and a frantic search, find an agent you trust at the outset. Start asking around your personal network. Referrals are the best and most trustworthy way to weed through it all. Bohemia Realty Group (my company) is an awesome place to go if I do say so myself! If you choose my company, ask for me, I’d love to meet you and get you into your next place!
Get ONE Agent
Choose an agent you trust and like and stick with them. We will arrange all the showings and meetings and viewings, and you can just show up. We don’t get paid unless we get you the apartment, so the more loyal you are to us, the harder we’ll work for you. Also, if you work with me, I’ll buy you coffee, so you’ll have that going for you.
Be Prepared Before the Showing
Moving in New York is a significant financial decision. Talk with your agent about the costs involved. I tell my clients to have 3-4 months’ worth of rent saved up to cover the broker fee, 1st month’s rent, and extra security. Also start getting paperwork for an application together before you view apartments because once you’re out there, things will happen fast. A little work on the front end saves a lot of work on the back-end!
Let Us Know What You Think
“Oh God, I hate that light fixture.” “You call this a bedroom? More like a closet!” “I can’t with these stairs right now.” “I need more sunlight in here!” When you’re talking with your agent, be direct about what you love and what you hate, what you can live with and what you can’t live without. The more honest you are, the better we can direct your search. Also, it gives us the opportunity to help you prioritize your desires.
“As with anything in life, a mixture of preparation, flexibility, and humor will serve you well.”
Listen to Your Agent
So, you want a washer/dryer? A large living room? A queen-sized bedroom? 3 gargoyles? Your budget and your neighborhood will determine what you’ll get and what you may have to pass on. $2500/month buys something different on the Upper West Side than it does in Washington Heights. To get that spacious updated haven you’re dreaming of, (you know, with the gargoyles) you may need to move further north, or up your monthly budget. Know what you absolutely must have, and what you can live without.
Now you’re prepared to start your search. As with anything in life, a mixture of preparation, flexibility, and humor will serve you well. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, want to know where to get really great coffee in New York City, or want to know if I can really get you an apartment with a gargoyle (spoiler alert: probably not, but I’ll try because that would be awesome).
To contact Erik you can reach him at:
Editor’s Note: I’ve known Erik for the better part of a decade. He was one of the first friends that I made during college, we were roommates over one summer where we didn’t have AC in Southern California, and I’ve even had the chance to spend time with his family for the holidays. Erik moved to New York before me to pursue an acting career, and has become an up-and-coming Realty Agent in the city. I highly recommend Erik and Bohemia Realty Group for all your NYC housing needs. Also, I should add that I do not make any profit, receive benefits, or any other monetary favors for posting this.
Now that the legal jargon is done with, CALL ERIK TODAY!