Moving to New York City (Part 1)

By 

Lighthouse

Updated

June 23, 2022

Moving to New York City (Part 1)

Many of us dream of moving to the ‘Big Apple’. The hustle and bustle of the city, bright lights, and endless opportunities. But, moving to New York is no easy feat. There are many factors to consider such as where to live, rent prices, or commuting. 

That’s why we’ve set out to create this two-part ‘Moving to New York' guide. In Part 2, we’ll tackle the culture, job market, and transportation in Gotham City. 

Down below are the topics we’ll be covering in this Part 1 of the guide.

Chapter 1: Welcome to NYC! A City Overview

Chapter 2: Cost of Living in NYC

Chapter 3: Renting in NYC

Chapter 4: Best Neighborhoods in NYC to Rent

Let’s get things started!

Chapter 1: Welcome to NYC! A City Overview 

It’s easy to understand why NYC is known as the ‘city that never sleeps’. It’s home to over 8 million people (making it the largest city in the U.S.), 26,000 restaurants, and a 24-hour lifestyle. 

Once upon a time, it was the first capital of the United States. Now, it's the most linguistically diverse place on the planet (which is just as cool). You can find over 800 languages spoken there. 

New York is jammed-packed with history, culture, diversity, and environmental phenomenons. Did you know lightning strikes the Empire State Building around 23 times a year? There you have it- there’s always something to see, learn, or do.

Speaking of learning- keep on reading if you want more information on what to expect when moving to New York. 

​​Chapter 2: Cost of Living in NYC

Can you guess what we’re going to say about New York’s cost of living? You guessed it- NYC is the most expensive city to live in throughout all of the U.S. 

Their prices really are unbeatable, and we don't mean that in a good way. 

Let's take a look at the cost of living in New York and how the average income compensates for the high expenses. 

Average Income in NYC

New York is one of the top ten states with the highest average income, hovering at the $101,945 range. This is a huge pro since costs run so high in the city. 

The median income in NYC for a 3-person family is $107,400. For a single individual, the average salary in NYC is $67,250 per year. 

Additionally, the New York region experienced an average growth in weekly wages of 7.5% this past year. We love hearing that!

Average Cost of Items in New York City

It’s common knowledge to most that living in NYC is PRICEY. Not only do they have one of the least affordable housing markets in the country. You also have to factor in their high income tax rates and expensive products into your budget. 

Depending on which borough you live in NYC, you will encounter different costs of living. Manhattan's is the most expensive- finding itself 143% above the American average. 

Living in other New York boroughs still remains costly though. In the cheapest neighborhood, the cost of living is still 40% higher than in the rest of the U.S.

Take a look at our chart down below to see the average cost of items in New York. 

Chapter 3: Renting in NYC

So, you must be thinking- given that they have the highest cost of living, NYC rent must also be the most expensive. 

Well, we’ve got some news for you. San Francisco actually has the highest apartment prices. Rent in New York City takes the second-place medal, averaging at $2,700 per month. 

Their astronomical rent prices also come in the form of tiny rental units. Small or micro-apartments have taken over the New York rental market (although between you and me, many residents call them shoe boxes.) 

The average size of an apartment in New York is less than 700 square feet. However, micro-apartments can be as small as 400 square feet. 

Rent costs also vary depending on the size, location, and building complex. 

Regardless, you can expect to pay around $2,600 for a studio apartment. You'll be looking at a price of about $3,100 for a 1-bedroom unit or $3,495 for a 2-bedroom apartment. 

You can quickly find yourself overwhelmed with the New York rental market. If you want a helping hand finding a rental and like the sound of getting cash back on your rent, check out Lighthouse! 

Chapter 4: Best Neighborhoods in NYC to Rent 

Finding the best neighborhood in New York to live in can be a daunting task. There are many locations to pick from, and you definitely have to keep rent prices in mind. 

To break it down, New York is split into five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. 

You can find great rentals in all places, but specific neighborhoods might suit you better than others. 

Check out this list of the best New York neighborhoods down below to see what fits your lifestyle. 

Most Affordable in the City: Kew Gardens, Queens 

This densely populated neighborhood is predominantly a residential area. It's located in the center of Queens and prides itself on being a quieter location. 

You can find many apartments, condos, and single-family homes to rent in Kew Gardens. 

Rent for a 1-bedroom unit averages at $1,950- pretty affordable given New York rent prices. What's even better is that the apartment sizes tend to be above average for NYC.

 

Best for Families: Battery Park City, Manhattan

Battery Park City is one of the best neighborhoods in NYC for families. 

It's located in the south of Manhattan and is surrounded by an abundance of parks and scenic water views. 

Two of the best public schools- PS 276 and Stuyvesant High School- reside in the area. It's also far enough from downtown to offer families more peace, quiet, and safety. 

Best for Young Professionals: Astoria, Queens 

Perfect for those up-and-coming professionals that are looking for convenience and affordability. 

Astoria offers apartments to rent that are below the average NYC rent price. On top of that, apartment sizes are generally bigger in comparison to Brooklyn or Manhattan. 

It's also easy to get to Midtown from this location. Lots of transportation options are available to neighborhood residents, making daily commuting easy. 

Best for Recent College Graduates: Murray Hill, Manhattan

Located in Manhattan, Murray Hill has been attracting college graduates since the 1990s. 

This neighborhood is especially desirable because of its bustling social community and nightlife. Newspapers have even nicknamed it a "postgraduate playground" because of its energetic bar scene. 

Many college students and adults also find work within the area. That comes as a great benefit since they can walk to work and get the perks of living in a fun location. 

Most Urban: Lower East Side, Manhattan 

This neighborhood, located in Lower Manhattan, has quickly grown over the decades. New developments are on the rise as plenty of apartments are being built and rented. 

The Lower East Side is known for its nightlife and 24/7 lifestyle. The hustle and bustle of this area is ongoing as its many bars, restaurants, and clubs never sleep.

Several subway lines are also accessible from this area, making it easy to get around town.  

Most Hip: Williamsburg, Brooklyn 

Williamsburg has been pegged as one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the U.S. 

Hipsters and artists alike continue to set trends in this alternative area. If you want to be right in the heart of the hipster scene, the south side of Williamsburg is still authentic to its roots.

Many tech companies and startups have also set up shop in Williamsburg over the years. As such, the north part of this neighborhood has become more techy and modernized.

TL;DR: Conclusion

You've reached the end of Part 1 of our NYC City Guide. As you can see, NYC is very robust and has SO much to offer. 

Let's rehash what we spoke about in this part of the guide. 

New York City is the largest city in the U.S., with millions of people and thousands of restaurants. This concrete jungle also boasts a 24/7 lifestyle. The cost of living is the highest in the country (143% higher than the US average), but rent is only the second most expensive across the nation. it averages at around $2,700 per month. The good news, average individual income is pretty high, settling at the $67,250 mark. The city has five boroughs: Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. Every neighborhood is unique and has differently-priced rent costs. 

If you're moving to the great city of NYC and need a partner in your rental search, come check us out! We'll also help you get cashback on your rent (which will go a long way in this super expensive city)! 

Let us know what neighborhood you'd move to in NYC in the comments below. Check out Part 2 of this guide to get a real understanding of the lifestyle, job opportunities, and transit system in NYC. 

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