Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Cost of living in West Village, NYC for college student?

Cost of living in West Village, NYC for college student?


Apr 27th, 2011, 09:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 464
Cost of living in West Village, NYC for college student?

Hi... Trying to put a budget together for a single person (mid-twenties) who's interested in attending college in NYC and renting an apartment (solo) in the West Village? I'm wondering about rent, taxi's, eating out, going out with friends, groceries, and all that goes along with living in the West Village. Thanks for your help.
teadrinker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,340
a lot.

subway if often cheaper than taxi
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 24,175
A friend lived on the Lower East Side in a decent but tiny apartment --- it was a studio that measured about 15x15 - the kitchen was in a corner and if you stood in the middle, you could reach everything without moving your feet other than in a pivot motion. No room for a bed, so he had a futon. For that, he paid $1600 a month -- that was three or four years ago, not sure if rents have changed since the recession.
sf7307 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,646
Living in the west village is not going to be cheap - it's prime territory. Landlords of new very upscale buildings are givig concessions to fill them - but the rents for moderate places have not really dropped much. Anything under $2000 a month in that area is a gift.

And there is alo the issue of proof of income. Landlords are typically very stringent about therenter proving they can support the apartment long-term - as in a job or a huge amount of savings - andnot just pay the fisrt, last and security deposit.

Don't worry about taxis - real New Yorkers routinely ridethe subway except in unusual circumstances.

Prices for food in restaurants is all over the map - you can pay what you want.

Prices in grocery stores are typically much higher than elsewhere due to rents. (When I worked in Jersey i would shop there and prices were at least 30% less.)
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 10:50 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
As others have noted, the West Village will be out of his range.

The East Village, Lower East Side, and the Meatpacking District are the main areas for the night time under 30 crowd. Weekends start in those areas on Thursday night and end Sunday 3 or 4 AM.

As noted supermarket shopping in Manhattan is the opposite of suburban stores. There is little selection and expensive, but there are many little shops that excellent quality at reasonable prices and many, many restaurants that are not expensive. They are in the residential areas.

Unless things have changed the better places to live and they are RELATIVELY cheaper are Upper West Side, Murray Hill, and the East Village/Lower East Side.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 10:53 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Anyone old enough to remember waiting for the Village Voice to be delivered to Sheridan Square on a Wednesday morning to get the jump on West Village apartment rentals? Or reading the obits to see whose apartment is now available.

A lot of the kids these days live in Queens, especially Astoria.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,496
A friend of my daughers just finished grad school at NYU. She lived in the East Village and had a pretty good deal for a 2 bedroom with a roommate. Can't remember exactly how much now but I know she couldn't afford the West Village. As aduchamp said, East Village was full of young people, many of them college students.

My daughter's other friends have lived in Astoria for 5-6 years. I've seen their apartment and it's a huge three bedroom. One of her other friends has a single in Astoria. Think she pays around $1300. Astoria is nice because it's a quick subway ride to midtown but not such a quick ride to other parts of town. You don't mention which college they want to attend so that would make a difference also.
paula1470 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 01:38 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Is you son going to graduate school or for an udnergarduate degree?

In which colleges is he interested?

What is his budget?
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,709
My college daughter lives in the West Village. She is in her Jr. year and lived there since December 2009. She loves it and has established residency (which cut her tuition by more than half)

First, you have to prove that you can afford to live in NYC. Luckily she has a roommate and the parents combined income was just enough to pass the test... You have to provide all kinds of personal info.

Her teeny, tiny apartment is $2500 a month. (Her share $1250) Its on a very cool little street near just about everything she needs. She taxi's quite a bit but mom prefers that to subway at night for her when she is alone.

I'd say expenses depends on how much and how often your student can use the subway vs cab, and how much they cook for themselves rather than eat out. As a student she is in class all day 3 days a week so rarely cooks. Groceries cost a lot more.

If your student is going to live alone, I'd say they need $500+ (at least) a month above and beyond their rent and utilities.
Austin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,392
My daughter lived in the financial district, upper East side, and Astoria. Astoria apartment was a lot bigger for less money, easy subway ride, and many young people live there. She was in grad school at NYU and worked in the city. West Village is celebrity central and quite pricey!!! If I win the lottery I am going to get a nice townhouse there! LOL
rbnwdln is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 300
Streeteasy is a great website for NYC real estate. Go there and check out rentals in the West Village (you have to do an "advanced search" to specify neighborhood). Then your young friend can get motivated to choose his or her field of study well and study really hard so that they might someday be able to afford to live there.
EricH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,519
For the West Village I think you can probably figure on about $20,000 to $30,000 a year in rent, and maybe $10,000 in expenses. Talking Trustafarian territory. Plenty of less expensive alternatives though, as noted above. There's also Hoboken, one PATH train stop from the West Village.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,898
Rent and utilities are a minimum of $2000 per month (I'm assuming a private cell phone and fast Internet). I think you could o it on $30K per year if you scrimp and save a lot. If you don't care to have a real life, then $25K per year. You can save a lot by not living alone, but the budget allows for a teeny studio.
doug_stallings is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,709
Agree with Doug.
Austin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,646
For cheaper places to live in Manhattan you need to head to Inwood or Washington Heights. the UWS is just as expensive as the west village (due to so many prewar buildings). there may be some bargains in Murray Hill due to the huge turnover in the "dormitory" buildings -but typically those are a small one bedroom shared by 2 or 3 young people.

Can't commend on LES - but I don't think it's really a lot less.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 27th, 2011, 07:59 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Coincidentally the lead story in this week's Time Out NY is about NYC apartments and hints on how to score one.

Aduchamp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 28th, 2011, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,424
Murray Hill does seem to be the new "hot" neighborhood for lower rent (but not low by any means) Manhattan apartments.
MFNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 28th, 2011, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,646
No response from teadrinker? Have the NYC prices scared off him/her? Do agree tht $60,000 per year ($30 to live nd $30 for tuition) isn't anyhting to sneeze at.

But think what you're getting.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 28th, 2011, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 293
Aduchamp1, I'm old enough to remember going down to Sheridan Square. Those of us in the know went the night before because that's when the papers were delivered. About 9 pm I would be standing at the newsstand at Sheridan Square waiting for the delivery.

Unfortunately, the West Village has become one of the trendiest places to live. You may be able to find a studio for $1800 per month, but I would think about budgeting $2,000 - 2,500 per month.

If the student is living in the Village and going to NYU or The New School, transportation costs can be greatly reduced as it's an easy walk.

Grocery prices vary greatly and can be lessened with a bit of imagination. Comparison shopping is critical. I also buy in bulk from Costco (yes, I schlepp stuff home on the subway) and get some great prices on meat from Western Beef.

Huge expenses come in the form of electricity, phone, computer and cable. New York's philosophy seems to be tax it if it moves and then put a tax on the tax. A pay-as-you-go phone may be cheaper than a landline.
Gothampc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 30th, 2011, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 23

Advice coming from a New Yorker and a Real Estate Broker:

Median rent for W. Village is $3785. I know of some really small 1 beds for around $2K and that's a steal, even with a 5th floor walk-up, no laundry. It also depends on when you're coming in. As soon as you hit August - September, prices immediately sky rocket as the students start to move in and landlords are fully aware and make 10-15% higher/month than they would for an April-May lease start.
Concessions like free months and 'no broker fee' are quickly fading as we're back to pre-recession vacancy rates. If you're adamant about renting the space yourself to avoid a broker fee, hit up www.urbansherpa.com which lists direct landlord contacts and you may be able to find something.
Rule of thumb for landlords is you have to make 40x the rent. So if the rent is $2,000 your annual income should be $80k. Most will accept guarantors, but the logic is that they should make 80x the monthly rent (combined) so their salary (ies) need to be $160k. Guarantor needs to be US based with social security number.
For shopping if you're going to stay in W. Village, walk over to Trader Joes at Union Square. You can keep your grocery bills very low by shopping there in comparison to some of the small supermarkets like Gristedes or Gourmet Garage.
Metrocards are $104/month for an unlimited 30 day or $2.25/ride.
You can get 10cent wings Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Croxley Ales with a $4.00 beer of the week and a $5.00 pint of beer and a shot at Blue and Gold on East 7th. This town is full of cheap food and booze, as long as you stay away from the Trendy spots.

Hope it helps!
NataliyaNewYork is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:24 AM.