Moving to NYC

Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:14 AM
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Moving to NYC

My fiance and I are planning on moving to New York City after we are married in May of 2005. We are 28 yrs old and now work and live in Washington D.C. We love New York City and really want to spend a year or two living there to experience the city and do something different. Does anyone have any advice on where to rent a one-bedroom apt. in New York - we are not sure where we should live but we want to use the subway as transportation. We are now living in D.C. paying $1400 a month so we are use to high cost of living. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
lw4227 is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:21 AM
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You will have sticker shock. You will have a hard time finding a studio apt at that price. But hopefully you'd be earning more as well. Shouldn't that be the first issue to attack??

Have a look at for rental/sublet listings.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Here's another thought. I've discovered Empire Properties. They manage a nice building midtown next to the Michelangelo Hotel and rent fully furnished one bedroom apartments on short term (more that 30 days) starting at about $2300 including everything. I've visited friends in NYC in apartments not nearly so nice for which they were paying nearly double that. They have other similar properties as well. You might want to check something like that out for a month or two while looking for where you really want to be. Apartment hunting in New York could be a most frustrating full time job.
Patrick is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:35 AM
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As suggested, rents can run very high for every apartment type. If you want to live in one of the prime areas of the Manhattan, getting a nice place for $1,400 could prove a challenge. Out of curiousity, the cheapest I saw on craigslist was $1,700 and that was all the way over in the far east village on Avenue A. (BTW, be wary and ask about location. I noticed one 1Bdr for $1,000 - the only catch it was in Bed-Stuyvestant, one of the worst crime areas of Brooklyn.)

Some reasonable options to consider outside of Manhattan are Brooklyn Heights; Astoria, Queens; or Hoboken, NJ. All have good public transportation, a neighborhood feel, into Manhattan and rents below "the City."

Hoboken, where I've lived for 9 years (but will be leaving next month) has a large community of young NYC professionals, good transportation to NY via the PATH train, bus or Ferry, numerous restaurants and bars, and 1 bedroom rents within your budget. You can find nice apartments in some of the older walkups or in one of the numerous new buildings that have gone up recently. The place where we will be moving from sits right on the Hudson, comes with a free gym, an outdoor pool, and many apartments with spectacular city views.
Ryan is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Make that "good transportation into Manhattan, a neighborhood feel..)

really ought to proofread my posts.
Ryan is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:39 AM
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One word: Brooklyn
Marilyn is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:40 AM
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Have you seen the apt Peter Parker has in Spiderman 2? That's about what you might get for $1400 ha ha.

I second the Hoboken recommendation, it'll avoid sticker shock and give you a neighborhood feel you might be used to; it's similar to Georgetown.
JungleCat is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:43 AM
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You may want to find out which area of Manhattan you will be working in. Most people I know prefer to live on the same side as their work place, which makes it easier to commute to work on the subway. If you live cross-town from your work place, it involves more hassle.

But like others have said, your $1400 budget for a 1-BR is unrealistic (well, unless some unfortunate catastrophe happens in NYC and pushes the rent down). You will have a hard time finding even a studio for that price in Manhattan.
yk is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 12:10 PM
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To pick a neighborhood, first figure out your budget and what part of town you and your husband/wife end up working, and then pick from what neighborhoods are possible in that group from your particular likes/dislikes (e.g., do you want a very active nightlife in your neighborhod, or would you prefer to have peace and quiet).

As to who to find an apartment, many apartments are listed through brokers. This is the easiest way to find an apartment - especially if you want to come down to the city for a single weekend and find a place - but brokers charge a fee of generally 12-15% of the annual rental charges (i.e. about the cost of a month's rent or a little more as a fee). To avoid paying such a fee, which is particularly painful if you only intend on staying in an apartment for a year or two, you can search the classifieds (either traditional like NY Times or Craig's List) or you can call companies that rent their buildings directly (that is what I have done). Often, these companies have many apartments so you might be able to find something in a single trip. The way I got a listing of these companies was a book called Gabriel's Guide to No Fee apartments, but when I just checked it looks like they may have stopped printing new editions - an old edition should suffice b/c it is unlikely many of the companies have changed in the past year or two, and rents in most neighborhoods are still at or below what they were in 2000/2001 (although condo/coop prices have doubled).

Most apartments are shown for a lease to start in about 45-60 days, so you have plenty of time.

As a very general estimate, in the less trendy neighborhoods (Upper East Side east of 3rd Ave), a 1BR will start at $1750 w/o a doorman, $2100 with a doorman and for more "in" neighborhoods up the starting point to around $2500.
vacationdreamer is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 12:20 PM
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My recommendation would be a) get an accurate idea of the rents in the city and suburbs, b) acquire job offers first to see what your income will be and what you can manage for rent, then c) figure out where to live.

Eventually, you'd have to decide how much space you have to have, and how much of your income you're willing to spend for housing versus how long a commute you're willing to endure every day.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:11 PM
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$1400 would not get a studio apt in any good neighborhood in NYC last summer.
More like $3000. will get you a 1 bedroom.
I think the Brooklyn idea is a good one.
I really recommend online apt hunting using Century 21, William May, Gotham, just look at as much as you can online and get an idea of what you need and what you will be able to afford.
Good luck, it is tough but I think worth it
Scarlett is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:23 PM
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I was surprised by the low rent of $1400 in DC. Am wondering where the apt. is.
k_999_9 is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:27 PM
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If you are moving to NY for only a year or two, primarily to get the NY experience, then I have to respectfully disagree with the Hoboken suggestion. Hoboken is a lovely small town - very young, cute, lots of bars and restaurants, with easy access to the city, but it is not the same as living in the city.

I think vacationdreamer's points are very good (although I think that many of the smaller buildings are shown for lease in 15-30 days, so you actually have even more time). Renting an apartment in Manhattan is exhausting - plan to spend thousands in brokers fees or hours and hours on foot.

While I really doubt that you will find anything in the $1400 range, you may find something in the $1800-2000 range (no doorman, no elevator). Cheaper neighborhoods include:

The Yorkville area of the Upper East Side (above 70th, east of Lex) - very young, preppy, has a neighborhood feel, a great place to start in NY but not trendy, far from downtown, a little homogenous...

The LES - trendier, some great spaces, but can be very far from the subway, still a bit gritty in some places...

Hell's Kitchen - centrally located on the West side, up and coming, but some of the apts aren't that great...

Throw out the conventional financial wisdom that you shouldn't spend more than a quarter of your income on rent. It may not be fiscally sound, but you are only young once...

I know many of the responses (mine included) are a bit negative, but let me also say: for all the headache, and the stress, and the pain that it causes, living in NY is totally worth it.
KikiLee is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 03:08 PM
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We live in Washington Heights, and have a 4 bedroom apartment, in a rennovated building so there are deals that can be had in the city. WE are right off the A train and it's a quick ride to midtown.

It does depend on what you are looking for and your budget. You also might think about buying since the real estate prices have come down a bit in the city. That way you are actually investing and your rent money is not going down a hole.

If you need more info let us know.
wantsomesun is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 03:18 PM
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I would start out on the job front. I think you will find salaries in NY may be quite different from what they are in DC - and you will probably be able to afford more than you think. Also, young people in Manhattan - to live in an even reasaonable neighborhood -get used to sacrificing a lot of other things to pay for a decent apartment.

If you look at the real estate section this will give you a quick overview of what types of apartments are avaialble where. I second the idea of not living in Jersey or Brooklyn - after all if the purpose is to experience the City you really need to be n the middle of it. One thing you might look for is a sublet in a co-op - sometimes the rents for those are limited by board regulations - and if you can find one may be a little more reasonable. (For perspective I live in a middle class buidling on the UPW and to sublet a 1-bedroom here is $2500 minimum - the market rate would be $3000 plus).
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 04:12 PM
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I forgot to add that I agreed with sacrificing and living in Manhattan rather than Hoboken - I have many friends in Hoboken, and it is nice and actually has a lot of nightlife, but it is not NYC.

For the record, I pay about $2100 for a pretty good size 1BR in a doorman/high rise building in the Yorkville area, close to shopping and a nice park. The downsides are that the area is not trendy and I am fairly far from the subway. For the most part, being close to the subway = $$$

Also, when looking at NY salaries, don't forget to add in the painful NYC income tax, which can just about double your state income tax bill (don't know what DC's tax situation is like).
vacationdreamer is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 04:34 AM
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I strolled through the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn last thursday night and noticed a gentrifying of the area; lots of renovated buildings, yuppies pushing strollers, etc...
Is this a phenomenon happening in a lot of areas because of high rents right in the city?
mitchdesj is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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One other thought that hasn't been mentioned: you will need a considerable amount of cash just to get into an apartment in NYC. You will need to put up the first month's rent, you will also need a deposit in the amount of at least one month's rent, and, if you use a broker, you will need that 12-15% previously mentioned for their fee. Most of this (except maybe the broker's fee) will require a certified check, so you will need the cash in hand. In addition, most landlords require that your income exceed several times the annual rent. This means that if you don't meet the criteria, you will need someone to co-sign ASAP in order to get the apt.

Again, not to be negative, just warning you about the realities. As someone who has moved to NYC from elsewhere twice (don't ask!), I am always amazed at the cash outlay required upfront.

I have also found that it is very difficult to find an apt without using a broker. They handle a significant percentage of the apartments on the market and can definitely make your search easier -- especially if you are coming from outside the city. Just be sure to ask for recommendations because some are less scrupulous than others.

Good luck to you!
lisettemac is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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Even if you don't use this company, their site is good for browsing and getting ideas of what and where you can afford. Good luck~
Scarlett is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Most have said you want to live in the city, and that's entirely at your discretion. I know people who live in Brooklyn, Queens and NJ who get into work in the city faster than some who live in the city. Like someone else said, I would get the job first, then judge where to live based on that.

On that note, if you chose to live right outside of Manhattan, but within a 30 min commute or less, (and cheaper rent for a bigger space) consider the following areas:
Brooklyn: Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Park, Williamsburg, Metrotech
Queens: Astoria, Sunnyside, Long Island City
New Jersey: Hoboken, Weehawken and I'm sure others can come up with more.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, but now live on Long Island, so if you need help with those areas, let me know. but is a great source to get an idea.
missjanna is offline  

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