Top 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know If You’re Moving to New York City for the First Time

need to know about moving in NYC


So you’ve decided to move to New York. It’s one of the most exciting cities in the world – but it can also be one of the most intimidating.

We NYC movers at Man With A Van want to help. Today, we’re highlighting the top 10 things you absolutely need to know if you want to act like a New Yorker.

10) Have Your Checkbook Ready When Apartment Shopping

If you already signed an apartment lease – then that’s great! If not, then you’ve got some work to do.

You could write a book on how to shop for an apartment in New York City. One of the most important tips we can give, however, is to bring a checkbook with you when looking at an apartment. New York is one of the fastest-moving real estate markets in the world. If you don’t make a deposit on that apartment today, then somebody else could make a deposit 10 minutes later. If you like the apartment – take it.

9) Get Closer to a Subway Station

If you’re going to take the subway to work every day (and yes, you’ll probably have to), then living close to a subway station is crucial. Nobody wants to take a bus to a subway station every day. Ideally, your apartment will be within a 10 to 15 minute walk of a subway station.

(However, services like the free Downtown Connect bus system can be a lifesaver if you live in an area that isn’t served by the subway).

8) Don’t Listen to People Who Randomly Approach You on the Street

Sure, the “human experience” is part of living in New York City. However, when someone approaches you on the street in New York City, it’s almost always because they’re trying to sell you something – or worse. Just pretend you don’t hear them and keep walking. Many New Yorkers also advise against giving people on the street money.

7) But Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Directions

This tip kind of contradicts the last point. However, don’t be afraid to ask for directions. People are friendlier than you think – whether you’re dressed like a total tourist or trying to fit in like a local, you shouldn’t have trouble getting accurate directions.

6) You Won’t Spend As Much Time in your Apartment as You Think

Even if you’re introverted, you won’t be spending as much time in your apartment as you think. It takes 15 to 20 minutes longer than you expect to get anywhere in the city. You’re going to spend a lot of time walking and commuting, and you’re going to spend even more time going out around town on evenings and weekends. Don’t get too freaked out if you have a small, uncomfortable apartment – it’s just a place to sleep.

5) It’s Not As Expensive as You Think, If You’re Careful

Yes, New York City is one of the most expensive places on the planet. However, it’s only expensive if you’re not being careful. If you take the time to research attractions, go to museums on free days, and plan your public transit passes, then you can save a considerable amount of money.

The reason people have trouble with money in New York is because the city makes it really easy to spend a lot of money. Small transactions quickly add up. Transit passes, ice cream, drinks, street food, and more will all cost more in New York City. However, you only have to spend money on these things if you want to.

4) Save Money By Living on the Fringes of Neighborhoods

Living in the heart of Williamsburg or Manhattan isn’t affordable for the majority of people. Unless you’re lucky or rich, you’re not going to live in the heart of a trendy area.

Fortunately, every neighborhood has trendy and non-trendy areas. By living on the fringes of these areas, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Instead of living in the heart of the East Village, for example, live around Avenues C and D. Or, look at a place like Manhattan Valley.

3) Check an Apartment’s Address to Confirm Its Location

At the same time, be wary of landlords who write locations like “East Williamsburg” on their apartment listing. Some people are very generous with their location listings, and will extend a neighborhood several subway stops passed its real boundaries.

2) Don’t Be Afraid to Pay a Broker Fee

Broker fees are an acceptable practice in New York City. It’s been part of apartment hunting for decades. For years, renters were expected to pay broker fees. That’s gradually changed over the years, and you can find plenty of places on the market where the landlord pays the broker fee (these are typically advertised as “no fee” listings).

Nevertheless, paying a broker fee (which can be as much as 15% of a year’s rent) is often the only way to get a good apartment at a good price. Consider negotiating the broker fee to a lower rate – but don’t be afraid to pay it.

1) Above All, Get Out and Explore

You’re living in New York City. There’s never an excuse to stay in at night, or avoid going out on weekends. Take the subway to a far corner of town. Beaches, hills, parks, quaint fishing villages, and crowded cities are all within an hour of your location on the subway. Don’t be afraid to explore.

The next time you need movers in New York City, call Man With A Van for safe moves at a reasonable rate!

The Best Secret NYC Moving Tips from Real New Yorkers

moving tips from professional movers


Moving between apartments in New York can be annoying. Your friends probably don’t even own a vehicle – not to mention a truck. Meanwhile, crowded city streets make the entire process time-consuming.

Fortunately, we want to help. Man With A Van’s professional movers have helped people move in New York City for over a decade. Here are some of the best tips we’ve collected over the years for a fast, efficient, and affordable move in New York City.

You Can Hire Professional Movers at a Surprisingly Affordable Price

Everything is more expensive in New York. Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of moving companies available. This competition keeps prices low. That’s why Man With A Van is proud to offer affordable moving rates in New York. We’ll show up with a spacious vehicle – like a sprinter van or box truck, depending on your needs – and two strong, experienced movers. You pay a flat hourly rate, and your move will be over faster than you thought possible.

Whatever moving company you choose, it’s probably not going to be as expensive as you think. You’re unlikely going to have a friend with a truck in New York City, so you’ll have to rent a van anyway. You also need to take things like insurance into account.

When you add up all the costs, you realize professional movers offer very good value in NYC.

Get Rid of Everything You Haven’t Used in 6 Months

Moving in NYC is hard enough. Make your move easier by getting rid of extra stuff. Get rid of everything you haven’t used in 6 months. New York has a very active Craigslist section. If you put something on the “free” section, you could be contacted in seconds. You can also leave pretty much anything (aside from electronics or metal stuff) on the curb to be picked up beside your trash and recycling.

In any case, the less stuff you have to move, the easier your moving day will be.

Shop for Apartments With your Checkbook in Hand

Apartments move quickly in NYC – especially if it’s a fair-priced apartment in a good part of town. If you’re going apartment hunting, you need to bring your checkbook with you. Be prepared to pay one month’s rent, a security deposit, and possibly a broker’s fee the moment you sign the lease. Yes, this is all normal in New York City (although you may be able to find “no fee” apartments that waive the broker fee).

Furnish your Apartment with Craigslist

Up above, we mentioned how active Craigslist can be in New York City. Use this to your advantage by furnishing your apartment on Craigslist. You’ll be amazed by how much stuff is available within walking distance of your apartment. If you don’t want the hassle of moving furniture into or out of the city, Craigslist is a dependable source for used furniture.

Understand the Subway System

Whether you work from home or in the middle of town, you’re probably going to need to take the subway at some point in your life. You should never sign a lease in NYC without checking the subway map first. How far away is the nearest station? What kind of delays and detours can you expect on weekends? (Check for the inside scoop). How long does your commute take, according to Google Maps? (You can typically add 15 to 30 minutes to this commute time). Ultimately, you’re going to be taking the subway a lot in New York City – and you’d be a fool to rent a place without fully understanding the public transit situation.

Where Will You Park?

Whether you’ve rented a moving truck or hired professional movers, you may need to park in front of your apartment to move your stuff inside. Unfortunately, parking isn’t always easy in New York City – especially with a larger moving truck.

That’s where Man With A Van succeeds when others fail: Man With A Van’s moving trucks – including spacious sprinter vans and box trucks – are as maneuverable as any ordinary vehicle, but spacious enough to fit a multi-bedroom apartment or home inside. You get the maneuverability of a car with the size of a moving truck – so parking isn’t a disaster when you roll up to your apartment for the first time.

Ask About Elevator Passes

If you’re moving to or from a large apartment building, then you may need to get an elevator pass. Elevator passes can be reserved for a specific time of day. instead of having to wait for the elevator to go up and down all day, you can get fast access to your apartment to complete the move as quickly as possible.

Man With A Van takes pride in offering competitively-priced moving quotes in New York City. Visit to request your moving quote today!

Top 6 Best Apartment Hunting Tips in Philadelphia

moving to a new apartment


Moving to Philadelphia for the first time? Finding the right apartment isn’t impossible. Today, we’re explaining the best locals-only tips for finding the perfect Philly apartment.

1) Pick a Few Apartments and Neighborhoods Online, Then Go for a Walk

Philadelphia is home to a surprisingly diverse range of neighborhoods. You’ll be surprised by how much the city can change from one neighborhood to the next. That can be both a good and bad thing.

The best way to determine your perfect neighborhood is by going for a walk. First, scan a few online listings and write down some addresses. You may even want to setup some appointments with landlords or realtors.

Then, start walking. There’s no better way to see a neighborhood in Philadelphia than by walking. The city is surprisingly walkable. You could even take advantage of one of many walking tours.

2) Understand Philadelphia’s Neighborhoods

Like any city, Philadelphia is home to certain neighborhoods with certain characteristics and stereotypes.

Bella Vista and Queen Village are known for their affordable living, although you might not get the same tree-lined streets and impeccably-manicured parks you see in a place like Rittenhouse. Passyunk is popular among young families and urban professionals. It also has a great local dining scene that’s become even better over the years. Fishtown feels gritty and a little sketchy when you first arrive, but you’ll soon feel at home at a local dive bar. If you’re looking for a laidback vibe and even a bit of hippie culture, then West Philadelphia is a good place to start your apartment search.

Overall, Philadelphians have a “thing” where we take our neighborhood more seriously than other cities. Choosing your neighborhood is a big decision.

3) Know Your Commute

It would be silly to pick a Philadelphia neighborhood without first knowing your commute. The city has some very bad commutes – especially if your daily drive takes you along the I-76, also known as the Schuylkill. If you take the Schuylkill to work every day, then you’re better off taking a detour with the longer, more scenic Kelly Drive instead.

If you want to be extra careful during your Philadelphia apartment hunt, visit your apartment during rush hour. Take a test drive of your commute and see for yourself how good – or bad – it can be. Overall, Philadelphia’s traffic isn’t as bad as certain other cities in America. However, there are certainly some trouble spots.

4) Scan Local Listings

Craigslist is ubiquitous for apartment hunting across America. However, Philadelphia apartment hunters have a few additional options available. Rental Beast is a startup that launched in Philadelphia several years ago. It provides a more user-friendly searching experience. There’s also Zillow, Trulla, and Padmapper, all of which are available across America and provide greater insight into Philadelphia’s rental markets and neighborhoods.

5) You Have Unique Renter Rights in Philadelphia

As a renter in Philadelphia, you have certain legal rights. The landlord is responsible for keeping your heat at a minimum of 68 degrees during the winter months. They’re also responsible for making sure your toilet flushes.

If you want to report a problem with a troublesome landlord, you can do so through the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections here.

Overall, Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in America. Your apartment building could be nearly a century old. Unless you’re living in a brand new building, you’re likely going to encounter some problems.

6) Call Your Landlord – Don’t Email

For whatever reason, landlords in Philadelphia frequently don’t respond to emails. Most people have a much smoother experience calling landlords on the phone. Call your landlord to get a faster response. Maybe it’s the number of scams in the city, or maybe it’s just the personal connection. Just trust us – calling is always better for getting apartment stuff done today.

Work with a Local Moving Company

Man With A Van is a locally-owned Philadelphia moving company with 10+ years of experience moving customers across the city. Man With A Van is known for its competitive prices, reliable moves, and friendly movers. To request a free, no-obligations estimate, visit Man With A Van online today. Or, call for immediate assistance.

How to Break a Lease



Do you need to move out of your place? If your move is unexpected, then you may need to break your lease.

Breaking a lease isn’t quite as big of a deal as people make it out to be. Yes, you’re breaking a legal contract. However, people break leases all the time. Some people get a new job a few months into a lease. Others find hidden problems with a place soon after moving in.

No matter why you need to break a lease, we can help. Here’s everything you need to know about breaking a lease.


6 Secret Tips for Moving to the Perfect Neighborhood


Do you want to move? Are you frustrated by your current living situation? Do you envy your friends who live in other neighborhoods?

No matter why you want to move, we’re here to help. You already know what to look for in your next home. Today, we want to help you choose the perfect neighborhood. Here are 5 ways to find your perfect neighborhood by considering things people don’t always think about:


The Cost of Moving: DIY Versus Professional Movers

cost of moving


Before moving, you need to ask yourself a simple question: are you going to move everything yourself? Or are you going to pay for professional movers?

Many people believe they can save a considerable amount of money by moving stuff on their own. Sometimes, this is true – especially if you’re only moving a few small items. However, many people are surprised by how affordable professional movers can be.

Today, we’re comparing the costs of professional movers with DIY movers.


Top 5 FAQs About the Price of Professional Movers


If you’re moving to a new place, then you’re probably debating whether or not to hire professional movers. On the one hand, you need manpower and a moving truck or van. On the other hand, you may be tempted to do it yourself and save money.

We get a lot of questions about moving company prices here at Man With A Van. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the rates and fees charged by most moving companies: