New York Habitat featured in New York Magazine
April 26, 2004
Section: Smart City
You think of your apartment as a place to live. I think of mine as a revenue stream. As you make your summer plans, please consider: Failure to maximize this most crucial of all New York resources is profligate to the point of unseemliness. What are you doing with your apartment while you're gone? If you're leaving it empty, you're throwing money away. Tsk-tsk.
In the past year or two, thanks to short-term subletting, I've outsourced virtually my entire New York existence. My "international jet-setter homeless-guy lifestyle", as I refer to it, has allowed me to save while working and playing in Spain, Germany, Mexico, Australia, and Bali -- that's just in the past seven months. I no longer "live" in New York, but periodically cycle through town for a week or two to collect checks, pay bills, "take" meetings, catch up with friends -- then disappear again.
It all started four years ago when I met a Realtor who specialized in short-term leases. I began to sublet my tiny downtown studio (rent: $900) to offset the cost of business trips. It made sense: I'm single, I'm self-employed, and I make my own schedule. Most important, I have debts. I want them dead. Poof.
I list with several services now, but my favorite is New York Habitat (www.nyhabitat.com) - it's fun and businesslike at the same time. I've sublet for as short a period as two days (not worth it) and for as long as three months. For five-to-fourteen-day stays, I net about $110 a night. For a month, I take in about $1,450.
[...] Now I've turned on half my building to the joys of short-term sublets. If the landlord comes snooping, they've got my back. And if a plumbing disaster strikes, I have three people within ten minutes to act as my proxy. So far, any problems have been handled as well as if I were at home.