Even though a lot of people are saying “New York City is dead” because of the COVID-19 outbreak, many others are moving into the city to take advantage of cheaper rent prices.
As Jay-Z sang in “Empire State of Mind”, there’s no place in the world that can compare to New York. The over 250,000 people moving to NYC each year certainly know that. If you’ve spent time in the city before, you know that it is unlike any other city in the country.
Because of this, you have to be smart when moving there. Moving to New York isn’t for the faint of heart, but we promise you can do it if you are prepared. Read on to learn our best tips for moving to NYC.
- Understand the Costs Involved in Finding an Apartment
Not only are the rents higher in New York City, but you’ll also need to come up with application fees, first months’ rent, sometimes last months’ rent, a security deposit, and a broker fee.
Broker’s fees can run as much as 15% of the yearly rent of the apartment which can be a hefty amount on top of already paying the other fees at lease signing.
- Be Aggressive and Act Fast When You Find an Apartment You Love
Whether you’re renting or decide to buy an apartment in New York, be ready to act fast. Have cash or a certified bank check ready to go or else you risk someone else snatching up the apartment while you’re still thinking about it.
If you’re renting, you might also need a guarantor if your salary isn’t 40 to 45 times the monthly rent. A guarantor is like a co-signer on a loan. If you don’t pay the rent, the guarantor is on the hook for it. They typically need to make 80 times the monthly rent to qualify.
If you have the money to buy instead of rent, here’s what you should know when buying an apartment in the city.
- Be Smart About Your Move Date
If you can avoid a move during the winter months, do it. No one wants to be dragging their stuff all over the city in wind, snow, sleet, and slush. Similarly, don’t move in the dead of summer either. Carrying boxes and couches up to your 5th-floor walk-up is going to be awful in July, the hottest month of the year.
If possible, try to plan it so you’re the only person moving into your building on your move day. This means that you’ll get access to the elevator if you have one (which you will likely have to reserve ahead of time) and you won’t be fighting each other people for prime parking in front of your building to unload your stuff.
- Get Rid of 75% of Your Belongings
New York apartments are not known for their size. If you’re used to living somewhere with ample space and storage, you may be in for a rude awakening. Your NYC apartment is not the place to move your baseball card collection, your massive sectional, or the box of mementos you’ve been carting around since high school.
When decluttering in preparation for your move, think minimalism. Not only will you not have to figure out where to put it all in your apartment, but you also won’t have to move it or pay someone to move it for you.
- Be Ready to Sacrifice Something
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re going to have to sacrifice something in your apartment search. Decide your wants and needs ahead of time. While it might be nice to have an apartment close to the subway, with a doorman, and an elevator, if that doesn’t fit into your budget, you’ll need to know what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to have the others.
The old saying “location, location, location” really applies here. You can probably learn to live with the available amenities, even if it’s not everything you wanted if you find a place within your budget in a great location.
- Sell Your Car
Cars are really more of a hassle than anything else in the city. Parking is expensive and next to impossible to find, traffic is insane, and there are so many options for walking or public transportation that the only reason you have a car in NYC is to leave NYC.
Before you move, sell your car and think of how much you will save by not having to pay for gas, insurance, maintenance, etc. That’s a good thing because you’ll probably need that money to pay for your new apartment!
- Know That Everything Is More Expensive in NYC
Housing isn’t the only thing more expensive in NYC. You’ll also pay more for food (groceries and eating out), tips, services, and taxes. Before you move, make sure that your salary can cover the cost of living in the city.
- Get Out and Explore
Get out and explore your new city! Find new restaurants, parks, neighborhoods, bars, and coffee shops that you love. Take advantage of free entertainment, free museum weekends, and any discounts you can find to experience all that New York has to offer.
- Learn to Change Your Grocery Shopping Habits
Gone are the days of going grocery shopping and buying a cart full of food. Because you’re most likely going to be walking home with your groceries, taking the subway, or riding the bus, you’ll have to carry whatever you buy. Rather than shopping for the whole week, you might only be able to buy enough groceries for a few days.
This might be very different than what you’re used to (especially if you are used to buying in bulk), so you’ll have to adjust how you shop and cook.
Wrapping It Up
Use these tips for moving to NYC to make your move as stress-free as possible. If you know what you’re getting into and prepare ahead of time, you can pull off the move and chase your dreams in the city.
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