Moving to New York City Tips


The busy streets of New York City - when you move to NYC you get to walk everywhere with ease

Here are some helpful moving to New York City tips for when you are ready to make the leap to the best city in the world…

1. If you’re moving to New York City, you don’t need a car.

Despite its somewhat negative image in movies and the news, the subway system here is one of the best, most extensive, and least expensive in the world. This vast transportation network of trains is complemented nicely by dozens of bus lines (especially handy for long crosstown trips) and thousands of yellow cabs trolling the streets at all times, day and night. There’s also the newly added CitiBike system. Plus, there is no better walking city on the planet… one of the reasons why New Yorkers–especially Manhattanites–are among the least overweight in the United States.

Sure, some New Yorkers own automobiles and either spend around $450 a month for a garage, or spend way too much time driving around searching for a space on the street, only to have to move again the next day because of alternate side of the street parking regulations, which facilitate the street cleaners. If you love your car and have lots of extra money or lots of spare time, then of course you CAN bring your car with you, on your move to Manhattan. But we’ve known people (and, in fact, we are people) who have lived here extremely happily for decades without one.

2. Moving to NYC without a car not only means less hassle once you get here, it also gives you a nice, instant drop in your fixed monthly expenses.

No car, of course, means no monthly car payments, no quarterly car insurance payments, no need to buy gas or antifreeze or lube jobs or pay for parking meters or parking tickets. Admittedly, your rent is likely to be higher than you’re used to if you’re moving to Manhattan other place in America, but it’s important to think of your overall New York City-living budget when figuring out how much you can afford for rent.

Midtown Manhattan filled with people to give you tips when moving to New York City

3. Moving to New York City tips for making the transition more smooth is to get to know the neighborhoods.

A comfortable apartment in a well-maintained building with your checklist of “must” amenities is a priority, of course, but nothing can influence your quality of life here like living in a neighborhood that fits your needs and desires. For example, if you have kids and want to live in neighborhood and building that is kid friendly. Or if you’re moving to NYC and have a job lined up, you probably want to consider neighborhoods on the same subway line as your place of employment. Don’t be too rigid, though: one subway transfer’s usually pretty easy to deal with on a daily basis; it’s only when you get into two or more transfers (and throw a bus into the mix) that your opening yourself up to too-frequent frustration.

Exterior shot of a brownstone brick building with wrought iron hand rails in NYC is the perfect place to look at when moving to Manhattan

4. Speaking of neighborhoods, important moving to NYC advice – ask yourself – do you want to live where you work, or where you play?

Or do you value quiet streets and a sense of separation at the end of your day (and night)? The easternmost areas of the Upper East Side, for instance, can feel far away from the subway, and the bustle of the big commercial avenues, but it is pretty and peaceful over there. Plus, the crosstown bus makes it easy to get to the train, the area’s world-renowned museums, the Madison Avenue shopping, and Central Park.  And there are always taxis….

View of the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC a young girl standing by the railing overlooking the water

5. Finally, one thing you should know about moving to New York City: there are plenty of great apartments for rent here, but they get snatched up in a hurry.

A common “rookie” mistake is not being ready to sign a lease on the spot, and watching someone else grab your dream home.  When going apartment hunting in NYC, whether by appointment or as part of an open house, make sure you bring a letter of recommendation or verification from your current and / or previous landlords; your most recent pay stubs; your most recent tax returns; copies of your bank statements; and your check book. You should also ensure that you have enough money in your checking account to sign that day. Most NYC rental apartments require a security deposit, usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. You will also be expected to give a check for your first month’s rent, and sometimes your last month’s rent, when you sign your new lease.

Making a move to the big city is an exciting time and many remember what helped them with their transition.  What are your favorite tips for moving to New York City?

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