04/27/16 5:27pm
Dance the dance of gentrification. Via LVM Group.

Dance the dance of gentrification. Via LVM Group.

There is nothing inherently wrong with steampunk on its face, other than how ridiculously loud a crowd of steampunks can get outside the Way Station every single goddamn night of the week. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with magicians or whiskey tastings either, nor even anything inherently wrong with condos, to be honest (they’re just little houses stacked on top of each other, an efficient way to live, and efficient living is one of the reasons New York is great). But throw all these things together in a cauldron of real estate and they start to emit an odor that smells a lot like gentrification.

This is what happened in Crown Heights last week, at a party celebrating “condo conversion:” aka turning a pre-war apartment rental building into much less affordable condos starting at half a million dollars. The party “kicked off with a splash at a Steampunk/Vaudeville-themed launch party,” according to a press release. If a real estate agent is trying to get you to buy their property by throwing you a steampunk party, there’s a good chance you might be a gentrifier. (more…)

02/09/16 3:50pm
Impress your friends with how nicely you live vs. how little you make! via website

Impress your friends with how nicely you live vs. how little you make! via website

If you’ve wandered around Fort Greene any time over the last year, then you’ve seen the eyesore of a building that’s been under construction for forever at Ashland and Lafayette. Well, guess what? It turns out that the city wants people to live inside, and on any budget. From the looks of their breakdown, almost half of units in the building qualify as “affordable,” priced drastically below market value (prices below)

250 Ashland is now accepting applications through April, so read on to find out whether you qualify, and what you can look forward to if you win the housing lottery. (more…)

02/03/16 11:39am
That could be your back wall, paying you thousands of dollars. via The Better Half

That could be your back wall, paying you thousands of dollars. via The Better Half

It used to be that making a living wage meant leaving your house and going to work. But now, maybe just leaving the house is enough: according to a location scout interviewed by BrickUnderground, giving a film crew access to your apartment could pay you anywhere from $1,000 per day to $50,000 for a three-day shoot!

Of course, it’s not as easy as lights, camera, action — there are a handful of criteria that influence location scouts’ decisions when choosing an apartment to use for a film or series (the BrickUnderground post lists seven things scouts look for). Lucky for you, we turned those criteria into an easy quiz you can take! Don’t be discouraged if your apartment doesn’t make the cut. But DO be very excited if it does.  (more…)

01/28/16 9:15am
Shady landlords will try to hide rent stabilization like it was a 4-foot guy in a purple beard. Via YouTube.

Shady landlords will try to hide rent stabilization like it was a 4-foot guy in a purple beard. Via YouTube.

The battle between New York City tenant and landlord is as old as time and as epic as the great battles of history, on par with Ali/Frazier, Luigi/Waluigi and Wile E. Coyote and the Acme customer service department. Sure, there are good landlords out there who care about preserving the neighborhood, but often as a lowly tenant you can often feel overwhelmed and outmatched by the resources of the landlord industrial complex who seem to be endlessly conspiring to turn you and everything you own into a condo. So it helps to be armed with the right tenant rights information to stand up for yourself in case the landlord tries to pull some shady moves.

The good folks at ProPublica have put together a handy 10-point list of common ways landlords try to screw you, and what you can do about it. It includes not turning on the heat, refusing to do repairs and jacking your rent up more than allowed. Keep it handy; we hope you never have to use it. (more…)

01/19/16 3:18pm

21 Commercial St. in Greenpoint as of Dec. 2015. Image via New York YIMBY

“Affordable” apartments are few and far between in the borough, so every time they pop up it’s a big deal. DNAinfo is reporting that more than 100 new and renovated affordable (as in, actually affordable) apartments are now accepting applications, with rents as low as $494 (!!) for a waterfront studio in Greenpoint. Other apartments are available in Bushwick, Williamsburg, East New York, Bed-Stuy and East Williamsburg, but the deadlines are fast approaching. (more…)

07/23/15 9:02am

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It’s time to say goodbye to the real estate listings as we know them, brokesters. Shed a tear for the apartment days of yore. Oh, don’t worry, this isn’t a eulogy for the death of cheapness; you can still find reasonably-priced places to live without our help. That said, this week’s apartments are an epic send-off from here at Brokelyn headquarters. We’ve got Sunset Park to Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights to Coney Island. And these spots aren’t just light on the wallet—they’re featherweight. Take that, by-application-only affordable housing! (more…)

06/24/15 2:00pm

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It’s already almost July, which means that we’re moving into (hah, get it?) the season where everyone who ever went to college somehow has to move at the same time. Why? Because we’re all still clocked into lease turnovers that match academic semesters of days past. So get ready to claw at your fellow higher-educated man for these apartments—they’re pretty sweet. This week we’ve got plenty spots in Crown Heights, a few in Bed-Stuy and one shining gem in Dyker Heights. Have at it! (more…)

06/10/15 1:02pm

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Oh, you thought renting an apartment was all a numbers game, did you? Or maybe you thought it was just literally a game. Either way, you’ll be pleased to hear that the churning corporate machine of city real estate has definitely found some humanity this week. Goodbye, low-pixel jpegs of plastic tile. Hello, high-fidelity photographs of sun-washed hardwood. We’ve got everything from Bed-Stuy to Flatbush to Crown Heights to Bensonhurst. We’ve got 2, 3 and (almost) 4 bedrooms. In short, we’ve probably got what you’re looking for. (more…)

06/03/15 2:48pm
Brokelyn-Brooklyn-Eco House

Got a spare backyard for a tiny house. Image via Craigslist

We’ve certainly heard of people asking if anyone has a spare room or couch in Brooklyn. This has to be the first time someone actually wants to bring not only a room, but their entire house with them. Brick Underground found this Craigslist ad from a CUNY PhD student and professor asking for a place to put his “8×26 ft…off the grid” home. He’s open to living in someone’s backyard or driveway, with the added incentive that “it doesn’t look like a trailer.” Someone people can barely live with the roommates who actually live with them, let alone someone who has a small house in their backyard. But, on the bright side, he’s probably less crazy than that guy living in your local dumpster.

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05/27/15 9:53am

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Can you believe it’s only (almost) June? We skipped spring and scooted right into summer weather, But you can’t just start lazing around, kiddo! Your lease is up soon. You gotta move, remember? As per usual, Brokelyn is making it easy for you. This week’s apartments feature beautiful, sprawling boxes to call home, in locations we never thought we’d see again for a brokester’s price range. Let’s check ’em out, shall we? (more…)