For as long as I can remember, I wanted to move to New York City. I used to pour over fashion magazines dreaming of being an editor living and working in the big city. While I’m not exactly working at a magazine, I did go to school for fashion, and with the growth of the internet over the years, I feel that blogs and social media are the new magazines. So in a way, I’ve accomplished exactly what I set out to do. With all that said though, there are some things I wish I had known before moving to New York City.
Finding An Apartment
Finding somewhere to live is not an easy task. The city is very expensive.The average cost for a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan is $3,000! When Shelby and I decided to move in together, we decided to not use a broker in order to save some money. In this day and age it’s feasible for you to do all the research you need online without a broker if you’re willing to do the leg work. But we didn’t think it would be as hard as it was to find something. We looked at countless apartments, each of them with their weird quirks, and just when we thought there must not be any 2 bedroom apartments left in the city, we found what ended up being our first apartment. The rental market moves SO fast in the city, so you have to be prepared to sign the lease immediately or the apartment will go to the next person in line. Do your research and be prepared with the the endless amounts of paperwork required and have all the money you need prior to even looking.
Location Location Location
We really only considered living in Manhattan. Sure, you could pay slightly less by living in the outer boroughs (like Brooklyn or Queens) but for us we were willing to pay a little more in order to have less of a commute. What we should have considered before moving though, was proximity to the subway. Our first apartment, on the Upper East Side, was about a 15 minute walk to the nearest subway. Of course since then, they’ve added a new subway line that would have made things much easier.
No elevator? No problem…
Our first apartment was a 6 floor walk up. And our apartment was on the 6th floor. These pre-war walk up buildings are very common in NYC. By law, any building with 6 floors or less are not required to have an elevator. Before moving in, we weren’t that concerned. We actually thought it was great- no need for a gym membership! But then reality set in when every time we got back from a trip we’d have to haul our suitcases up 6th flights of stairs. Every time we went to the grocery store or had a package delivered, it all had to be carried. Let’s just say we got really good at only leaving once a day so we didn’t have to climb the stairs multiple times. Thankfully our current apartment is on the first floor 🙂
Bugs and Furry Friends
It’s inevitable. There will be roaches or mice (or both) in your living space. It’s just a fact of NYC living. You just have accept it. Luckily each apartment we’ve lived in has had exterminators come once a month. And thankfully we have an understanding super who is willing to come retrieve mouse traps.
One of the biggest adjustments was not having a car. It’s not necessary to have a car in the city. Public transportation is great and can get you wherever you need to go. But I did have to adjust some habits. Such as going to the grocery store more frequently as you have to carry everything you purchase. And relying on public transportation means you are at the mercy of train delays and the seemingly never-ending subway closures on the weekends.
Despite all of the above challenges, there are many AMAZING things about living in New York City. We shared some additional tips and thoughts in the video below if you are interested. If you have more specific questions, leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to address them.
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