How to Move to New York: 3 Tips You Need to Know

So, you’ve decided to move to New York?

You must have heard plenty about the Big Apple – from being the true melting pot of cultures, to being the world’s entertainment epicenter and top destination for great cuisine, and of course, as the residents love to call it – the greatest city on the planet.

It may be all of those things, but New York City takes some getting used to, double so if you’re coming from a smaller city or town or have never visited before.

Life here is fast-paced, so you’ll need to learn fast. While it’s not until you actually set foot in the City that Never Sleeps that you’ll truly feel its pulse, researching about the city and what you can expect beforehand would be helpful (an obvious these days now that everyone is connected to the Internet).

Expect a crash course on apartment hunting, deposits, value of the dollar, and of course – the infamous broker’s fee. Don’t worry, it will be a whirlwind at first, but you’ll be fine.

If you’re hiring a moving company, it’s important to hire the best movers NYC who understand the lay of the land. A company with a good grasp of regulations like move-in dates, freight elevator negotiations, and insurance certificates.

That aside, here are some other important tips you might want to keep in mind if you have a move to the Big Apple on the cards.

Tip 1: Picking a neighborhood will be key to your experience

We want to hazard that at this point you’re aware that New York City is divided into boroughs. Five boroughs to be specific:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island
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When choosing a place to live, it is important to understand that it’s not all about the boroughs. Sure, each borough is different (like in very different) from the next, but these boroughs are also home to hundreds of neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe; some even their own subculture.

The point we want to stress here is that you should avoid picking a neighborhood based on preconceived notions of the areas you think you should stay in.

Take time to understand the various boroughs and neighborhoods and figure out how these will impact on your life (pocket-wise, accessibility to public transport, your personal convenience, the culture etc.)

In doing so, you increase your chances of settling for the right neighborhood.

It is not easy, considering the size of the city and number of neighborhoods, which takes us to the next point.

Tip 2: Opt for a short-term lease

One of the many good things about residing in such a transient city is the ability to tailor your living arrangements based on your own individual needs.

Unless you’ve had the time to explore NYC (either before or in anticipation of your move) it’s extremely difficult to understand the quirks of the neighborhoods you’re narrowed down to.

For this reason, we always advise anyone moving here to opt for a short-term lease at first (or consider sub-letting). This is a nice way to understand the neighborhood (never mind your place of residence) better before you lock down a permanent home.

Your initial expectations of the place might not be as rosy as you thought, so the last thing you want is to tie yourself down on a long-term lease in a neighborhood (or building) you don’t feel at home in.

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Test out the neighborhood and immerse yourself wholly to feel if it’s a good fit.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if it fits your lifestyle and ticks all the right boxes – proximity to subway, safety, affordability, good property management, and whatever else you consider important – then decide if you want to put down roots there for good.

Tip #3: Having some fallback money helps

You might have heard about the high cost of living in New York. Yes, it’s true that this is one of the most expensive places anywhere in the world.

So much so that if you want to live comfortably, you’ll need to make at least $128,552 annually if you’re a renter (almost $150K if you’re a homeowner), according to research from GoBankingRates that looks at the cost of living and ideal salary in America’s largest cities.

That in mind, if you don’t have a job lined up already when moving to NYC, it’s an absolute necessity to have some money to fall back on. Not only is a long-distance move expensive, but life happens and you don’t want to find yourself in dire straits.

That’s not the way you want to start your life as a New Yorker.

If your budget isn’t enough to allow for life in Manhattan (or Brooklyn) there are many other more affordable – or less costly, rather – neighborhoods in the boroughs of Queens, Staten Island and so on.

Better to start off small and work yourself up without having financial worries at the back of your mind to think about every time.

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