Property Grunt

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Clueless German

I must have missed 60 Minutes. What are you saying?

Below is an email that was sent to me that I thought was a joke, then I realized this guy was serious. I have edited the email to protect the writer from any rightfully deserved ridicule.

Rent: 300-600$/month, up to 800$/month if nothing else available

My name is Hans Gruber. I'm a 25-year old German student doing an intership at the Insanely Expensive University of New York. From June 1 to August 31. I am looking for a room or a shared room, ideally on-campus or somewhere near Greenwich Village in Manhattan, or near Washington Square Park, most ideally for the whole three months, but I would not mind moving elsewhere if the room is not available for the whole time of my stay.

Rent should be about 300-600 $/month, but no more than 800$/month, if nothing else is available. I have no preference for any special kind of roommate, since I am a rather relaxed person and feel that I can get along with nearly any type of person.

I will have financial support from a stipend and rather good savings, so I will have a stable income for the time I spend in New York.

Some quick facts about myself:

I'm a graduate student of education science just about to finish my studies. I like to have my personaly space and respect that of others, but I am also rather open-minded and friendly as long as I am treated in the same way. I enjoy rock music, but either on headphones or on a low level. I am rather tidy, but I don't mind a roommate being not so much into tidying up. I don't necessarily have to be best-friends with my roommates, but I feel it is important that we do like and respect each other.

So, if you have a room that fits my needs - any place to stay from June 1 to August 31 at best - and think that you can get along with me, please contact me via e-mail I_AM_A_CLUELESS_GERMAN_EMAIL_SERVICES, I check my mails regularly.

Thank You in Advance! -- Hans Gruber

Hans can absolutely find a sublet in Greenwich Village for 800 bucks. But he will need some really durable knee pads and have an appreciation for Turkish Prisons.

What baffles me is the fact that Hans actually thinks that he has a choice on where he lives. Somone has to sit him down and say "Dude, you're a f**king grad student. You don't get to decide where you live since you are poor."

It would be a miracle if he were able to achieve his apartment goals considering the fact that the rental market is so bad that we have college students from middle class families squatting in office buildings.

Brokers will stay the hell away from him as soon as they find out that he is only staying for the summer. Landlords want at least a one year term on their lease. As for his stipend and stable income,who cares? Even if a landlords is crazy enough rent to him, Hans is going to probably have to lay a desertation size report on his credit and finances. In fact he will definitely need a gurrantor. Also it is very unlikely that Hans will be able to pay the broker's fee.

If Hans wants to stay in his budget he will probably be learning more about the outer boroughs, particularly Red Hook and Flushing. Because those are probably the only places he will find a sublet at the price he wants. And with the Manhattan rental market being so brutal, I predict there will be a spillover into the sublet market and I wouldn't be surprised to see bidding wars over Manhattan sublets. It is going to be that bad.

For all of you foreign grad students who want to spend some quality time in Manhattan, don't be like Hans. Make friends with Americans from Manhattan while they are visiting your country so you can mooch off of them when you visit New York City.