Moving can be exciting especially if you are moving from a small town to a big city like New York. A move like that takes some planning and forethought. If you’re thinking about moving to New York City, here are a few tips from my friends who live there.
Sublet or find a Short-Term Lease
You may find what you think is the perfect neighborhood to live in but until you are there day in and day out, you really don’t know if it’s the right fit. Neighborhoods can be very different from day to night and from season to season. Or maybe you are new to big city living and can’t deal with raucous neighbors or all the noise from the fire department on the corner in the middle of the night. If you have never lived in New York then your best bet is to find a short-term 3-month lease or a sublet. This gives you time to see if this is really a move you want to make and it also protects you from being locked into a 12 month or more leasing situation. In addition to short-term leases and sublets, there are residential hotels, extended stays, roommates, and co-living arrangements that are available. Just make sure you go to a reputable agency or broker so that you do not find yourself in a dangerous living situation.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. New York has some of the best rental protection laws in the United States. If you find yourself in a situation reach out and contact one of the many agencies that help with housing issues in New York City. You can download The ABCs of Housing a guide from the New York HPD that explains housing rules and regulations for owners and tenants.
Many people who move to New York City use an agency, property rental company, or broker to assist them in finding a rental. A rental broker is a licensed real estate professional who works on your behalf to find you the right place at the right price. Often an agency or property rental company is looking out for the best interest of their client, the property owner, whereas the broker is working for you.
Don’t Try to Move Yourself
Navigating the rental market in New York City is far easier than trying to navigate the streets of New York in a moving van. I have friends who said it was easier to just buy new furniture than to try to move their belongings to a new apartment themselves. Luckily, you don’t have to do that. There are many moving companies in New York City that will do the moving for you. You don’t have to worry about navigating insane parking regulations or trying to figure out how you are going to drive a truck from Manhattan to Queens there are services that will handle the move for you. Depending on your budget you can hire movers in queens or the other boroughs to pack as well as transport your stuff saving you time and headache.
Find a place close to the Subway
More important than the amenities the rental has is its approximation to a transit stop. New York is a city of public transit. Without it, the city would be at a constant standstill and no one would ever get anywhere. People who have never lived in New York City do not realize the importance of living close to a transit station, preferably the subway. The ideal location regardless of the neighborhood is to live within a block or two of a subway stop. Roughly 90% of all your travel living in the city will involve the subway. Taxis and hired cars are expensive and are impossible to find during inclement weather. If it’s raining or snowing every taxi you see will be occupied and hired cars will have several hour waits. So instead of having to walk 15 blocks carrying groceries during a snowstorm you really want to make sure you find a place close to a subway stop.
Remember New York City does not just consist of Manhattan there are four other boroughs and numerous other small neighborhoods in each of these boroughs. Each with its own unique feel, history, and people. The key to finding your perfect place in New York is to find what neighborhood works best for you and what you can afford. Before you settle on a place take a walk around the neighborhood, about a 10 block radius, and get a feel for the people, the restaurants, and the shops because this is where you will be spending most of your time. Most people in New York spend the bulk of their time within walking distance of where they live and only venture out to other parts of the city for work and certain events.