New York City Apartment Living

Neighborhood Hunting 

Brownstone definitely on my dream list
This is on my Dream List

It has been said that in NYC you have to wait for someone to die to get an apartment to die for, but this is a little too morbid for me. Instead of scouring the obituaries in the paper, sit down and really think about what elements you want to be surrounded by; your individual measure of livability. This will create your perfect situation for New York City Apartment Living.  When making your list you need to include cost, quality, proximity to transit, safety, schools (if you have children), shopping and services, food, nightlife, diversity, green space, and health. Then categorize these necessities in importance, because of course, the cool bar down the street is nice, but if you have to walk six blocks to take the train to work, the apartment is not worth it. Also, make sure when making your list that you stay realistic in what you can actually afford. If you are a broke college student, clearly you could never afford a trendy flat in SoHo by yourself. If you must make a dream list and a reality list.

Budget your money

It may be Chilly, but it will be free.
It may be Chilly, but it will be free.

Living in New York City if often many people’s dream, to come and take a bite out of the big apple. But living here is very expensive. To live efficiently you need to know where to spend and where to save. When constructing your budget, my number one tip is to, take your income and minus it in the least by 2 months of a paycheck for the whole year, so that if for any reason you need a nest egg, you have one. On your budget list, you need to include the prices for rent, electric (summer and winter),  groceries, eating out, transportation and laundry. Also when budgeting each subcategory of living that you try to be the most thrifty you can be, cutting coupons, finding a location with the cheapest items, and sharing when possible. Also, look out for free events around the city: at museums, art shows, walking tours, etc.


Roommates: I love you because you pay the other half of my rent.
Roommates: I love you because you pay the other half of my rent.

When living in New York City, living with roommates means splitting costs and making your budget bigger, and even if you are not the college-age crowd of 20 somethings, it’s now becoming more popular for adults of all ages to be seeking a roommate to split their bill with. The benefits of having a roommate or roommates financially outweigh the benefits of living alone, but when living with a roommate gets to be job-saving money you may need to rethink your living situation. When looking for a roommate, try to ask your friends for anyone they know who is looking for a roommate, but try to not have it be anyone that can cause unemployment or broken friendships; your boss’s sister or your best friend’s, hot boyfriend is off-limits. If you go the route of Craigslist make sure to first meet in a public place, make sure to discuss personal and lifestyle habits, financial contributions, cleaning duties, and interests/ hobbies.

Utilizing Your Space

Make Small Apartments  Big on Style
Make Small Apartments Big on Style

When you move into a new NYC apartment you need to look at your space and determine what raw material you are working with. Don’t buy a queen size bed if your room will only fit a  full. Figure out the limitations and assets that your new space has given you. You may not have a wide closet, but since it is deep you can add shelving and multiple rods to utilize the space. Once you have figured out space’s assets, choose a theme in which you want to organize and decorate your apartment to it. When picking a theme make sure you are realistic in the budget you set forth for the space and the number of knick-knacks since you want to be decorative but not cluttered. Remember also to do DIY projects when you can to save money, get a mirror at the corner thrift shop instead of from Pottery Barn.

When to Move

Moving out & on to greener pastures
Moving out & on to greener pastures

Your landlord is terrible, you can no longer afford your rent, your roommate moved out, you broke up with the partner you were living with, or you just need more space; you need to move out. All reasons to move out and find a new apartment can be a hassle, but if you plan ahead it doesn’t have to be. If you have to break your lease, or even if you don’t, make sure to give your landlord notice you will be leaving.  Also, make a definite move-out day to tell your landlord and be moved out 2 days before, so you have time to clean and move everything. Make sure to remove everything out of your apartment, and make the proper arrangements to move furniture that is unwanted. Plan ahead to remove everything to clean the whole apartment as easily as possible, and remember to try and leave your apartment cleaner than when you moved in. If you have any damaged work with your landlord to not get charged later, but also record the condition your apartment was in on moving out to eliminate the next tenant blaming you for the hole they punched in the wall. If everything is cleaned and in good condition, you should get your deposit back, so clean with effort, maybe even hire a professional cleaning service 

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