NYC life under COVID-19: Can you move to a new apartment right now?

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April 30, 2020
can you move during the pandemic real estate

Although many people choose to stay at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, what happens if you need to move to a new apartment? 

A New York stay-at-home mandate was put into effect on March 22nd and was later extended to April 29. However, on April 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo extended this shelter in place once again to May 15th. This means that the New York State on PAUSE: 10 Point Plan is still in effect for everyone. Those who are caught violating these social distancing protocols can be fined up to $1,000. Additionally, an executive order put into effect on April 15th requires all New Yorkers to wear masks when outside and in public spaces, including essential workers and employees.

So what’s next? While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has joined other state governors to develop a plan to restore the economy and lift the shelter in place, this is not something that will happen overnight. Rather, this is a process that could take several weeks. This is because it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t increase infection rate and create a second wave of the virus. While the extension of the shelter-in-place mandate may seem discouraging, it is essential as the extra time is needed to ensure New York State meets the necessary conditions to safely re-open and unpause at a later date.

How to rent an apartment in NYC right now

With daily life interrupted due to the pandemic it means apartment hunting and moving in New York City right now can be a bit more difficult to navigate. Traditional apartment hunting, such as in-person showings and open houses, are no longer available due to the social distancing policies in place.

Instead, many brokers and real estate agents have now gone digital. Buyers are able to easily view potential apartment spaces virtually from the safety of their home. These virtual home tours include interactive 3D home tours, agent-led video home tours, one on one video chat tours, self-tours, and even touring with robots. Here is just one example of a space potential buyers can easily tour virtually:

41 Park Avenue, #009G Murray Hill, New York ($3,112) – studio, 1 bath

the best apartments in new york city
41 Park Avenue, #009G Murray Hill, New York

What to look for before signing a lease

While buyers have many different virtual tour options available, you may still be worried about other unexpected surprises when you move into your new space. These could include downfalls to the space you weren’t able to see just through your computer screen. So what should you look for before signing that new lease? 

If you are a pet owner, an important thing you should check is the apartment and building’s pet policy. A few other important things you should look out for are if the building has any violations or recent tenant complaints, what the nearest public transportation lines are, crime rate of the neighborhood, if there is construction nearby, how the nearby schools rate if you have children, and if the space is in a noisy area. 

While these things can be hard to check without visiting the space in person, you can easily avoid all these potential apartment downfalls by utilizing Localize. We do the intensive research for you and our insights show you the truth about every apartment listed in NYC. These insights include everything mentioned previously as well as how much sunlight the place gets, building amenities, if it’s located in a flood zone or historic district, historic prices for the building and units, and much more! Localize makes apartment hunting easy for buyers and with our algorithms, you can confidently house hunt even from the safety of your home.

Moving and COVID-19

Since many people are now out of work due to the Coronavirus, many are struggling to make ends meet with rent and other monthly bills. Luckily on March 16th, the State of New York suspended all evictions statewide that will last until at least June 20. This is great news for New Yorkers who aren’t able to meet their monthly rentals and won’t be forced to move or even evicted during this trying time. 

The best practice for now would be to stay in your current home if you aren’t required to leave as it can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This means talking to your landlord to see if it’s possible to extend your lease to postpone your move to a later date post crisis. A potential solution could be an agreement between you and your landlord on month-to-month leases for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you have no choice but to move during the Coronavirus pandemic, you probably have plenty of questions about the process. Most importantly, are you allowed to move right now and are moving companies essential?

Under Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE 10 point plan order, moving companies are still considered an essential business, so technically you are legally allowed to move. However, it is important to note that some NYC apartment buildings could have their own restrictions in place in terms of residents moving in or out. This could take some navigating with the landlord and the building’s policies as well as your current landlord with the move-out. 

If you’re looking for spaces that are on the market and ready for an immediate move-in, here are just a few available options:

how to find an apartment in nyc amid COVID19
210 Lafayette Street, #3B

How to move safely during the COVID-19 outbreak

If you’re currently moving due to an already signed lease prior to the stay-at-home mandate or currently house hunting due to a lease that’s already up, you must be wondering how to move apartments during Coronavirus. This is especially important as health and safety should be in the forefront of this moving process. Here are a few tips you can use to keep both you and others safe during your apartment move in New York City:

1. Be aware of your moving company’s COVID-19 policy

Like many other essential businesses during this time, moving companies will also have their own safety practices and protocols in place. These are to ensure the safety for their workers as well as their clients. It’s important to research their protocols beforehand and contact them if you have further questions or concerns.

2. Consider getting a virtual in-home estimate

By getting an in-home estimate through virtual walkthroughs or videos, it will eliminate the need for movers to come to your home. This way you are able to maintain social distancing.

3. Buy all necessary moving supplies at once

If you need to go out and buy things such as boxes, labels, and tape for your move, it’s best practice to make only one trip to the store. This is for your own safety since going once will limit your exposure to others. When in doubt, buy extra just in case!

What would make your next home perfect?
Find it now on Localize ✨

4. Disinfect and clean as you pack

Packing your items requires you to touch everything so it can be a good time to disinfect and clean while you pack up your items. It’s a good way to get rid of dirt and germs before bringing everything to your new place.

5. Finish packing at least 24 hours before movers arrive

The virus can last a while on surfaces so for everyone’s safety, it’s better to finish packing all your stuff up 24 hours before the movers come.

6. Provide hygiene products for your movers

To help ensure the health and safety of the movers and yourself, leave products out they can use while they move your boxes. For instance soap and water and paper towels by a sink they can easily access.

Navigating COVID-19 can be a confusing and stressful time for many. Throwing moving into the mix can make things even more difficult. With all these virtual apartment hunting options, Localize’s insights, and safety protocols in place for movers, we hope you have a safe moving experience!

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