• What to Know + Ask When Looking for a High-Rise Home

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    Renting an apartment is overwhelming, but what is even more overwhelming are all the options out there. Not just options of units, but the types of rentals that are available, too. There are apartments, condos, townhouses, and then if you’re lucky a home. It seems like every month there is a new building shaping the Hudson County Skyline, but there are few things you need to know before moving into one. Keep reading to find out everything there is to know when touring apartment rentals in Hoboken + Jersey City, and beyond — including questions to ask, and more. Keep reading to find out what to know + ask when looking for a high-rise home. 

    high rise tips

    Condominiums vs. Apartments

    A condo is when you are renting directly from the owner of the unit whereas the apartment is owned by a corporation or management company. Condos will have an HOA {Home Owners Association} that regulates everything that goes on in the building’s common spaces. An example is The Maxwell buildings, as these are all owned individually and rented out directly from the owner. Many of the high-rises that are being built along the water are not individually owned units, they are run by a company.

    About High—Rise Condos

    These units are not listed on the Multiple Listing Service {MLS}, you will find high-rise condos on sites like Zillow.com or Trulia.com. This is because the buildings will have an in-house leasing office that handles just that building. With 200+ units the availability frequently changes, so working directly with the on-site team works in everyone’s favor. If you already have a local realtor they will be able to set up all the appointments at these buildings for you. They can do the leg work in finding that available and at what price prior to going in. {Most of the buildings are no fee to the tenants!}

    Read More: Tales of a Hoboken Homeowner: 5 Tips for Creating a Balcony {Urban Garden} Oasis

    What You Need to Know Before Moving In 

    High rise buildings in Hoboken + Jersey City on average are more expensive than the condos, however, they have lower move-in costs. Many buildings will offer concessions like one month free, a lower security deposit with good credit, and no broker fee. Below are a few tips to know b before looking into living in one: 

    • You’ll need a salary that is 40x the rent. You can combine the salaries of all adults living in the unit to create that. 
    • You’ll need good credit -—650 and above is the sweet spot.
    • Plan out for a four to five move-in date. If you are looking to move in three months, don’t visit these buildings just yet. Start looking around eight weeks out from your move-in date. 
    • You’ll need a clear background check — no evictions and clean record.

    See More: 10 Easy Upgrades to Make Your Hoboken Rental Feel Like Home

    What to Ask  

    Now on to the most important part — what to ask. Surely, you’ll have a load of questions to ask when viewing a high-rise apartment. Below are a few important questions to keep in mind. 

    How many floors vs. elevators are there?

    The last thing you want is to get an apartment on the 30th floor with only two elevators in the building. Just like the highways, there are rush hour times that cause traffic on the elevators. 

    Who is the management company?

    Research the management company online and read reviews. Don’t rely on them entirely, but also ask questions in Facebook groups for your area.

    What is the pet policy? 

    If you have a furry family member or are planning to get one in the near future, ask about their pet policies. Do they have an extra pet deposit? Do they charge more monthly rent when you have a pet? How many can you have in one unit? And also check out the nearest pet amenity space. It may be in the building or close by — you don’t want to be walking too far in the middle of January. 

    Ask the building about their subletting and Airbnb policy.

    Over the last few months, Hudson County has seen some major changes in their Airbnb policies,  adding many restrictions to the popular vacation rental service. You may want to see what the building’s policies are on these and lean toward the stricter/zero allowance. This allows the building to have more control over who is in and out of the property. 

    Additional questions to ask:

    • The lighting situation — do they have recessed lighting or will you need to purchase lamps?
    • Is there a washer/dryer in-unit or in the building as a common amenity? If so how many units + how many machines?
    • What is the lease break policy
    • What is the parking situation
    • Additional amenities? Perks?

    Living in a high-rise is a whole new experience from your starter apartment third-floor walk-up {not that there’s anything wrong with that, either}. But if you’re going to be upgrading or switching up your current living situation, you want to be prepared and have your research done before moving in. 

    What other questions did you ask your landlord or management company before you moved in? Let us know in the comments! 

    Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

    We release new episodes every Tuesday!


    Written by:

    Tatiana is a born-and-raised Jersey Girl originally from Bergen County. Tatiana works as a full-time real estate agent in both Hoboken and NY. In her spare time she loves petting every single dog that passes by on Washington Street and has become a travel bug, enjoying exploring the amazing cultures and decor found around the world. Starting @HobokenHomes was an idea Tatiana developed recently, and now she finds it allows her to meet so many amazing residents in town and share the hard work they've put into their homes.