Moving to NYC Guide
Welcome to New York, the most populous city in the U.S. with 8.5 million residents. Whether you’re a college student, post-grad or just moving to NYC to claim your piece of the Big Apple, use this housing guide to help you land an apartment in a neighborhood you like.
Living and renting in NYC is expensive – rents are high and budgets are tight. Use the calculator below to see how much rent you can afford. Be aware that landlords require that your salary is 40 times your monthly rent. If the combination of your salary and your roommates’ does not meet that level, you might need a guarantor.
New York City is made up of five boroughs and within each are distinct neighborhoods that have a mood and vibe all their own. Manhattan ranges from upper-crust living along Central Park on the Upper East Side to edgy, no-holds-barred tastes on the Lower East Side. Brooklyn offers a more casual lifestyle for the young and hip and when you add in Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, it’s all there for the taking.
Choose Living Style
Due to the high costs of rents, many people find roommates to help share costs. But if you prefer to go it alone, there are a few options. See three living styles below.
Find a roommate and apartment
For this option, you will first need to find a roommate and ideally one who is compatible. Get tips on finding a roommate. Then, you can search for apartments together and split the upfront costs together, too.
Get your own apartment
This is perhaps the priciest and most challenging option because you are going it alone and laying out the costs yourself. But, just think: You can do what you want when you want and there is no one to bother you.
Find a sublet or vacant room
What’s good about this option is that you won’t have to pay a broker’s fee and you’re not tied to a lease. Also, the utilities will already be set up and you just move in. Read tips on finding a sublet.
In NYC, there are two main types of rentals: Fee and no-fee listings. Fee means you pay a real estate broker to find you a rental. No-fee means you rent through a management company and you do not pay a fee. A broker’s fee is one month’s rent or anywhere from 8 to 15 percent of the full year’s lease.
Once you find the apartment you want, it’s important to move fast. That’s because it’s a competitive city and desirable apartments come on and off the market quickly. Before you submit an application, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper paperwork together (see charts below) and most importantly, you have a guarantor lined up.
NYC Living Tips
Now comes the fun part: Living in New York City! As you’ll quickly learn, it can be quite expensive and you might run into some issues with roommates, landlords and budgets. But, we’ve put together some tips to help you get through:
Any tips on how to get along with my roommates?
For starters, use the golden rule and everything should fall into place
Do I need renter’s insurance?
A quick answer is, “yes you should.” If your cell phone or bike gets stolen, the loss will be covered. Or, if a pipe breaks and your clothes are ruined, you have coverage.
What if I don’t have hot water? Can I stop paying rent?
If your place is “uninhabitable,” you could have grounds to withhold rent.
What if I need to break my lease?
There are ways out.
What if I need to move? Can I sublet my apartment?
Probably. NYC is a prime city for subletters and sublettees. Just check with your landlord.
Is there a way to live more cheaply?
Ah, grasshopper — this is the eternal question. The answer is, you can!
Like, on $25 for an entire weekend?
Yes! There is plenty of cheap food and free entertainment all around.