Long Distance NYC Apartment Hunting Tips

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Moving to a new city is nothing short of exciting (especially when it’s New York City, but we’re not biased).One of the most important things to have set in place for your arrival is an apartment, of course. While searching for an upscale apartment in New York City isn’t always easy – especially if you’re doing it from across the state or across the country – don’t let the stress of searching for your new pad take away from the exciting journey you’re about to pack up for. Here are our go-to long distance apartment hunting tips for new New Yorkers!

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Manhattan’s West Side vs. East Side

Believe it or not, there are quite a few differences between the West and East Sides of Manhattan! From family-style mom and pop shops to vibrant nightlife, which neighborhood best suits your lifestyle?

Know the Neighborhood

Finding a place to live in a new city is intimidating for a few reasons – you aren’t familiar with the neighborhood, you’re not able to attend any physical showings, and if you aren’t moving with a friend or family member, you’ll want to be close to popular spots to socialize and make new friends. Luckily, the neighborhoods in New York City each have their own characteristics that can really help you pick which area best suits your lifestyle. Here’s how you can narrow down on neighborhoods you’d consider living in:

  1. Keep in mind your commute to work.
  2. How far is the subway, bus stop, and other means of transportation?
  3. Tap into social media and see what others have to say about their experiences living in your top choice neighborhoods.
  4. Be close to what you love. For example, mom and pop coffee shops for the coffee lover, and nearby parks or hiking trails for the avid runner.
  5. What’s your lifestyle? If you like to take advantage of vibrant nightlife, the West Side is for you. For families, the Upper East Side is peaceful and residential. 
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Start to Look Way in Advance

If you currently don’t live too far away from New York City, start your apartment search 1-3 months before your ideal time to move. If you’re packing up and carrying all of your belongings from quite a distance, follow apartment listings for at least 3-4 months. This allotted time will help you get a feel for the neighborhood, average rent pricing, and how much you should budget yourself throughout the move. While you’re at it, keep your eyes open for no-fee apartments to avoid paying a broker fee.Keep in mind that if you’re moving for school or work, you’re on a timeline! When it comes to move-in day, keep our list of movers in the Upper East Side handy. It just so happens we have one for West Side moving companies, too!

A friendly tip: Ben Hur Moving & Storage packs up and relocates moves to and from New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, and Westchester!

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Know the Real Real Estate Timeline

Truth be told, searching for the right apartment, in the right neighborhood with the right move-in date is a tough job. Apartments usually aren’t on the market until a month or less before the move-in date you want, and that’s because the demand for real estate in New York is so high. On the other hand, if you fly out a few months in advance to look at places, there’s a slim chance those units will be available when you want them. So now what?

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Discover West Side Luxury at Emerald Green

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  • First thing’s first: Be flexible on your move in date. If you know your first day at a new job is set in stone, give yourself at least a week before then to schedule a move in date. This will ease the stress of moving by giving yourself a flexible move-in date, as well as more time to settle in.
  • If you’re able to, fly out and sign the lease. Although it’s a lot to get done in a weekend, flying out to New York will be super productive in your apartment hunt. Pre-schedule apartment showings with a realtor so you have a game plan to cover all options. It may also be easier to negotiate your move-in date in person, compared to over the phone or via email communication.
  • Stay with a friend until you’re on your feet. Moving to New York City is a big change, and it’s a lot to take in all at once. If you have a friend who currently lives in the city, don’t be embarrassed to ask if you can stay with them until your move-in date. You may even realize how nice it is to have a roommate to split the cost of living with! (Hint hint”¦ we have a guide for that, too!)
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NYC Apartment Moving Checklist

So you decided to move to the Big Apple, eh? Congrats, and welcome to the city! Your first order of business is to find a place to live. Keep our apartment moving checklist close at hand to easy your search!

Could you use a bit of advice from current New Yorkers on their long distance move? Let’s chat going on Facebook and Twitter!