Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Nyc

January 4, 2013

Richard asks…

Does anyone have any advice for a recent college graduate who wants to move to New York City?

I have no idea on how to get started. Should I look for a job first or should I try to move there first before I get the job? What are the bad neighborhoods? How much money should I have saved up before I go?

Administrator answers:

I moved to NYC about two years ago from the Midwest. I was 23 at the time and had just graduated college.

As far as an apartment goes, when you first get here I would strongly advise against signing any sort of lease. There are plenty of people here subletting their apartments–you don’t need to sign a lease; you don’t need to do a credit check (which is great since a lot of young people your age don’t have much credit anyways).

Look for apartments in Brooklyn and Queens and shy away from Manhattan to start. In Brooklyn or Queens, if you stay close to Manhattan, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500-1000 a month (in a sublet).

As far as money goes. I moved here with $3,000. Some people say that’s not enough, but it worked fine for me. Keep in mind that I wasn’t expecting to live in Manhattan right away. All of the apartments I looked at when I first moved here were in Brooklyn or Queens (I eventually found my 1st apartment in a sublet, for only $550 a month in Williamsburg, Brooklyn).

Keep in mind that when you move here, even if you get a sublet, you will need 2-3 months of rent to actually move in. It usually consists of first months rent; a security deposit (equivalent to one months rent); and sometimes the last months rent (however sometimes landlords won’t ask for this and your security deposit will cover the last month’s rent).

A good piece of advice is to not use any sort of rental broker/real estate agent, etc. They are out to make a buck and can spot newbies to this city from a mile away. Don’t let that scare you away, but just be aware that you’re going to stand out when you first move here. Use a site called Use it for everything! That will be your bible.

Keep in mind that no one will set up an appointment with you to tour an apartment if you’re not already living in a city. Too many people want to rent, so if they find out you can’t tour it immediately, you’re out of luck. When I moved here I stayed at a hostel (a very cheap, bare bones place for young travelers to stay at). Just do a google search and you’ll find a listing of hostels here.

Once you’re in the city, then you can actually get out there (by searching of course) and look at apartment. You really have to hit the ground running, but you’ll find something. There are so many people in this city renting, so expect that you’re going to have to look at 5-10 apartments before you find a good fit.

As far as jobs go, your college degree will not open any doors for you here. Literally millions of people have college degrees here and most have something even more valuable–years of experience. As a fresh college grad it can be extremely difficult to get your foot in the door because here in NY everyone expects you to be the best at what you do–most resumes go in the trash, because for every job there is a thousand people trying to get it.

Most of my friends, including me, had to do retail jobs the first few months we lived here–no one would hire us beforehand. For some friends the retail thing lasted a month or two, but it wasn’t uncommon to take up to a year to land the first “grown-up” job here.

Wow, that’s a lot. It really sounds tough, and it is, don’t get me wrong. But you’ll quickly realize that New York is a city of people who really are determined to make it… So if you’re willing to put your share of effort into it, NY can be a wonderful place! If you’re not willing to put 150% into everything you do, you’ll get pushed out of this city in a matter of days. It sounds tough, but it’s worth it if you’ve got enough ambition.

Ruth asks…

what is there to do for a teenager over spring break?

everyone seems to be going to florida. and i have nothing to do. i live in ohio and theres not much to do here. i want to go somewhere but im only 17.

Administrator answers:

Ah well, go to New York!
I am Canadian, heh, but from what I can tell Ohio is kind of close..?
I bussed to NYC last summer, and I was only 19 and I went with someone who was 18. Because in the USA you can’t rent a hotel room before you’re 21 we went on and rented an apartment – a much smarter idea! You can cook your own food in the apartment, and if you get one in a good location (do research!) it is super safe! It ended up being a lot cheaper than a hotel – plus you end up feeling like a ‘real’ New Yorker, a bonus in a city full of confused tourists. New York is a lot more ‘cultured’ than going to Florida for spring break – and there is a lot more to see – you just won’t be able to drink or anything. New York really wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be, either, so don’t be too worried about going there as a teen, everyone was really nice to us. Do New York! If you’ve never been there before, you’ve got to go there! If you go with a few friends, it will only cost you like 250$ each to rent the apartment for the week, and I came from Canada and it only cost me $200 to bus to NYC and back from Ottawa – I am sure it’ll be cheaper for you. New York offers a lot of free stuff to do, it is just the hotel and food that’ll end up costing you – so rent an apt. And cook your own! Going back to your apt. Shouldn’t be a big deal either, get a 7 day subway pass – it’ll end up taking you 15 minutes tops to get back to your place.
If you need any help planning stuff – I could even give you the info for the person I rented from – the apartment was near times square AND central park (near columbus circle) and all the tips I can think of to save some $$.
Good luck!

Laura asks…

Anyone know any nice but affordable apartments in New York?

Im a college freshmen, and I am very interested in moving to New York in the near future. Im majoring in Journalism: Communications & Broadcasting, so maybe Im looking into being a news anchor. But I was wondering if anyone who lives in New York knows any affordable but nice places In new york to live, Im not picky as long as its safe and resonably nice. I would appreciate the help? :) Thank you.

Administrator answers:

‘reasonably priced’ doesn’t exist in nyc (if you want a good, safe area). But i am curious what you would think is reasonably priced. In manhattan a studio (1 room only) runs from $1400 (walk-up building) to $3000 (doorman, elevator). And the prices go up and up. I make $60 k per year and can hardly afford my $1200 rent stabilized tiny apartment. And beware…the cheaper the price, the more scary the neighborhood.

Helen asks…

Would a drag queen cleaning service be good for New York?

They have one in Miami when the guys dress up in drag and go around to people home and clean house. Please tell me why or why not this would work.

Administrator answers:

Well here’s the thing.
The people of NYC as a whole would embrace it.
They’d think it was great because NYC already loves dearly the drag queens it has so…the more the merrier, but in NYC it’s a little difficult for this to play out in reality and here’s why:

You pretty much only have 2 classes of people living in NYC.
The uber wealthy, who would think having drag queens clean their 7.5 million 5th ave apt. Far to campy and perhaps even embarrassing should a neighbor unexpectedly drop by.
Then there’s the “everybody else class”. Who tend to be the younger, living with sometimes several roommates kind of people because NYC is so d*mn expensive, so much so that if they can afford a cleaning person it’s usually a cheaper undocumented worker because A- they can’t afford much more and B- they understand how hard it is for someone to survive in NYC so they’re more than happy to “help” someone out by offering them the work.

The other, average everyday looking people are the middle class folks who commute to Manhattan either by carpool and most usually by train, and they live in the suburbs where drag queens are far less common as they are in Manhattan. Plus, the “uniqueness” of the whole ‘drag queen as maid’ would be based on you being able to sit and watch that drag queen clean your house or apartment. Not a lot of people are home when the maid comes because some people prefer it to just be done while their at work so effectively it could be a drag queen, a guy dressed in a polar bear suit, or a 7 year old taiwanese worker that’s actually cleaning their apartment and they wouldn’t ever even know it.

John asks…

Moving from the US to the Bahamas, how much money do you need to make?

I am a recruiter and am working on a position for a company in the Bahamas. They will relocate someone from the US and will provide a work permit but I have been researching housing and it seems extremely expensive. If someone has made around $70K in the US what would they need to make in Nassau for a similar lifestyle. Are there any good links on the internet to help with this.

Administrator answers:

This is not an easy question as there is no “similar lifestyle” in the bahamas.
Things are just different, and most things that we take for granted are luxuries in the bahamas.
The cost of living, in general, is about 30% higher than living in a US city.
Utilities are thru the roof, and not dependable.

Customs taxes make purchases very costly,
60K-70K is certainly doable, but it’s not going to get you the same lifestyle as you had in the states.
Keep in mind, most bahamians fly to Florida on a regular basis, just to pick up clothes, deals on food items, electronics and most anything else that is needed, as the are either low quality or over priced in the bahamas.
Most of my friends make around 40k (tax free).. But live just above the rim. (old car, cheap clothes, fast food).. 70K would give you a 2-3 year old car, decent apartment (not on the beach), and $ to go to florida to shop for clothes and things.

I currently live in the bahamas but my consulting firm is NYC based. I make 6 figures easy (us taxed).. And still don’t live the lifestyle I lived while in the states.. Just can’t get the same luxuries/quality and pay high prices for car repairs, household goods, applicances etc.
I drive a 6 year old vehicle and gas is $5a gal.
Oh,, and btw.. I live with bars on my windows in the bahamas.. Something I didn’t have to do in the US.

Michael asks…

What is it like living in new york city?

I lived in alabama my whole life and hate being around rednecks and thugs. A lot of people here don’t care about the finer things in my life. I always wanted to live in the city and walk the streets and look at the bright buildings. I graduate in 2 years then I want to go to pace university which is in new york.

Administrator answers:

I heard that it is expensive to live in New York. I have never lived in New York before but I have been there from time to time. Let me tell you some things I have noticed or heard about:

-There’s lots of buildings in NYC. It’s crowded and the people there really know how to cross streets.
-There are Jewish neighborhoods there (and lots of Jews).
-Some homes are made of bricks.
-People park their car near the sidewalk (you gotta learn parallel parking!).
-There’s a Chinatown.
-You can take a Subway to go from place to place. The entrance to a Subway station features a little hole that has stairs that come down into it.
-Some people (in Brooklyn) speak with an accent.
-I know someone who works in NY. He walks around in NY. He occasionally spots a tourist looking up at a tall building. That tourist gets in his way (since he’s not walking, but staring!)
-There are yellow taxis that you can take. Simply wave at a taxi and you can get into one. You have to pay the taxi driver to take you somewhere. I heard that some taxi-drivers (aka cab drivers) don’t take black people because they don’t want to go into bad neighborhoods.
-You come across a homeless guy from time to time on the sidewalk. I remember the time when I walked by one. The guy was sleeping and there was a box of munchkins next to him.
-There are like 99 cent pizza slices. The pizza is cheap due to competition.
-The NYPD is tough! They easily take down bad people.
-There’s a lane for people to ride bikes (right near the street).
-Lots of people live in apartments.
-I have never seen a person in New York who speaks with a foreign accent. Also, there are still bad people in NYC. This is because it is a city. New York just happens to be one of the safer cities.

——–If you don’t want to be around thugs, don’t work the night shift and chose a good neighborhood. I suggest choosing a Jewish neighborhood (unless you feel alienized).

Sandra asks…

Living in LA or NYC while attending Acting Courses/ Workshops?

I am from Australia and have been looking at Acting courses in La and New York, My 2 options are getting a student visa & doing the TVI 8 week course in either LA or NYC but that is quite expensive or i can do weekly courses, i’ve been looking at Larry Moss & Aaron Speiser & i could apply for a work visa and be earning money at the same time. If anyone has done any of these courses or know any better ones please let me know :) also the living situation does anyone know about cheap Accomodation for someone in my situation?

Administrator answers:

I’d suggest you to contact some acting workshop before you take any step, because i’m also going to ny after my graduation, so i also did the same way, just contact them & ask what are their requirements, & for accomodation you have to find a cheap apartment, normally they charge for about $800-$1700 depending upon the size & rooms, & i’d suggest you to go either nyc or los angeles, both are nice places to learn acting course, & see if your parents can afford about $3000/month, or u find a job there, for further info, u can mail me & ask me…

Good luck

EDIT: apply for student visa if you wanna learn the course & would like to come back or apply work visa, if you wish to stay there further, & doing a job in student visa isnt’t a big deal, my friend is in canada & he is doing a job , he is still in school, that’s not an issue.

Steven asks…

What’s the average cost living in New York city?

Im going to graduate pretty soon and wanted to move to NYC, what would be th average cost of renting an apartment and utilities in the nice side of manhattan?

Administrator answers:

New York City is one of the most expensive cities to live in. Mercer Resource Consulting ranked as the 12th most expensive city in the world with Tokyo at number one, London at number two and Moscow at number three. In 2003, New York was ranked ten but due to currency fluctuations between the dollar and the Euro, 1:1, 0.8:1, European cities have surged to the top. Within the United States, New York remains the most expensive city with Los Angeles at twenty-seven and Chicago at thirty-five. The median income of a New York is $60,765, $10,000 more than the national median. Based on a US average at an index of 100.0, the overall cost of living in New York is 189.1. Housing is almost triple the national average at $314,000 for a house and $2,483.64 for one months rent of a two bedroom apartment. Secondary education is about $2,000 more than the national average at $7,428. Utilities, including electricity and gas, are almost twice the national index at 179.9. Food and groceries is about 1.5x the nation’s index at 142.5. A mere cup of coffee with table service is $5.48 while in Buenos Aires, ranked 141st, the same service costs $1.10. In fact, despite attaining a lower ranking than cities like London and Tokyo, one thing remains the most expensive in New York, phone service for one month at $25.99. The cheapest city surveyed by Mercer Resource Consulting was Pittsburgh ranked 112th. According to the index, a person who earns $50,000 in Pittsburgh will need $97,9776 in New York. Overall, New York City is two-times as expensive as any other city in the United States.


Lizzie asks…

How much does it cost to live in California?

Three friends and I are planning to move to LA when we are 25. We are 14 now, but don’t let that age fool you we each have 25K saved up. We were wanting to each get an apartment so we don’t have fights over splitting rent. How much would it cost per average of 1 person? Thanks!:) best answer gets all stars.

Administrator answers:

Oh just make up some numbers, in 10 years none of them will mean anything anyway. What it costs to live depends on where, exactly, you want to live and how high on the stick you want to live. It is going to cost more than anywhere else you can imagine unless you live in NYC. The state is going broke so taxes of all kinds are astronomical, food is not cheap except the fruit you can grow in your back yard if you have one and there is virtually no public transportation so a car is manditory.

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