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!