Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheap Apartments In Staten Island New York

February 7, 2013

Ruth asks…

I want to move to NY, Manhattan. where do i start?

I’m 18 and work as an apprentice administrator for a construction company, this is NOT what i want to do in the long run! I want to be something successful enough to be well off in New York‘s, Manhattan. I have always felt lost in anything I do, i want to be so many things, an interior designer, or a chef at one point but i still don’t know what i want to be just something to do with IT. can any one help?

Administrator answers:

My friend, my advice, don’t rent an apartment in Manhattan. Consider renting an apartment in the outer boroughs (i.e. Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island). You will find cheaper accommodation in the outer borough. Once you’re successful, you can then move to Manhattan.

I hope this information is very helpful.

Good luck
Native New Yorker

Paul asks…

can i afford to live in new york?

i wanna move to new york when im 18. i turn 18 in a year. i have a GED but not a high school diploma. i would like to live any where near the city. like brooklyn or queens or something. i was just wondering where and if i could afford and find a cheap one room apartment if im new to the city.

Administrator answers:

Realistically, you would have to make a lot of sacrifices, and it likely wouldn’t be worth it. If you were willing to rent out a room in an area like Port Richmond, Staten Island (that has a lot of houses that are subdivided), then yeah, it’s possible, but it’s not a particularly good situation.

Nancy asks…

moving to new york what should i look for?

I need to be somewhere in the city where the record labels are. I dont need a big apartment. just big enough for 1-2 people and a cat. nothing fancy. need it to be as cheap as i can get. What areas are close enough to the city that i could also look in? what kind of apartments should i look for?
was also wondering how do i go about looking for a roommate?

Administrator answers:

You’re going to want to live in one of the boroughs of New York City besides Manhattan. Manhattan, as you probably already know, is the heart of the NYC and is much more expensive concerning real-estate. Don’t fret, however–you can use the subway, which is very close, fast, and convenient. You can buy a pass for unlimited access for a month; I think it’s around $70 or $80. If you go by ride individually they’re $2+ each.

You can go to Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, or Bronx. I would rule out the Bronx because obviously it isn’t the safest place. I’d also rule out Staten Island because it’s farther away than the other boroughs. Personally, I prefer Brooklyn over Queens. Both these places are safe by normal standards. There are always exceptions, so just be sure you’re not buying in a bad neighborhood. Most of them aren’t.

For the cheapest prices, rent out a studio. This includes the essentials–bedroom/living space, kitchen, and bathroom. Usually they never go over 600-700 square feet. Some can be as small as 300, depending on where you buy. Prices for studios can range a bit–it depends a lot on the location. But, there are plenty that are under $1,000 a month. You can always tour them or look at the photos provided online to see if they’re decent enough for you. Remember to make sure the studio has its own bathroom (some don’t), because if it doesn’t then you’ll be sharing one bathroom with every other person on the floor.

Some really useful sites that will help you get a feel for what’s available are:


For the first, you can put in the borough you want to search, as well as minimum and maximum price range, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. For the second, you can put in the borough you want to search, minimum and maximum prices, and a bunch of other selections in the advanced search. I have found them both very useful. They have pictures and sometimes there is even a floorplan for you to look at.

As for looking for a roommate…There are websites like and where you can post detailing that you’re looking for a roommate. You also can spread it by word of mouth, posting things around the city, etc.

Sharon asks…

Where do you suggest I go to in nyc?

Ima 19 yr old girl still In college. I finish in a year. I would like to go to nyc to live there. I know its hella expensive and I wouldnt be able to afford an apartment on my should I just rent a room? Like a basement room? Or should I try bufallo or rochester? I really want nyc for its diversity…where in nyc besides manhatten or staten island

Administrator answers:

If you live in a basement room in New York, you will likely be sharing it with rats. Diverse rats.

You know, the United States is a really big country. There are lots of other cities in this country that are “diverse,” and a LOT cheaper to live in than New York. Buffalo and Rochester are fine if you don’t mind long, cold, snowy winters.

There are “diverse” cities with warmer climates.

And the unemployment rate in New York City for someone in your age group is about 25% right now.

Ken asks…

I might want to move to new york city?

okay well here is the background.. i’m a down home country girl from the south.. i’ve been to new york city a couple times. but i really want to move there and go to college there. but i really don’t know the cost of living what type of job i’m going to have to get.. or anything.. if some new yorkers could help me out that would be great. or anyone that knows anything about it!.. thanks ya’ll!

Administrator answers:

This question was asked before by someone like you. Here is the answer I gave to that person:

NYC is expensive even for middle-income people. Most likely you will be living in Queens or Brooklyn. Manhattan is full of rich and poor people.

Monthly Bills and Expenses (2008 dollars)

Studio Apartment: $1500.
Utilities (gas and electricity): $150.
Subway/bus fares: $124 ($4/rountrip for 31 days).
Food: $300.
Life Insurance: $50.
Clothes: $60.
Miscellaneous: $200.
Total: $2384

That means you must make about $2384 per month after taxes. Or you must make about $28608 per year after taxes.

A lot of people do not make that much money when they are starting out in their careers. That is why a lot of young people are staying with their parents or sharing an apartment with a roommate. New York is not cheap but this is approximately what you would need, as a minimum, to live comfortably. Just as comparison, it would cost approximately $350,000 (before taxes) for a married couple with one child to live comfortably in a two bedroom apartment (Queens or Brooklyn). $350,000 is not a lot of money in New York City.

Sure there are other places that you can live cheaper but there is a huge trade-off and it is usually not in a better neighborhood. Crime is still a problem in poor and lower middle-income neighborhoods. I don’t think you want to live in a housing project or a subsidized home.

New York City is approximately 440 square miles (land and water) and is broken into five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens. New York City is not just Manhattan, it is all five boroughs! It is an insult to New York City residents when people say the real city is in Manhattan. Again, the real city is all five boroughs.

New York City has real people who are from all over. This means they are no nonsense people. Most of them are not mean spirited or evil but they have to go to work or school and do not have the time to play mind games with people.

With the exceptions of some police movies and TV shows, there is no TV show or movie that accurately portrays NYC life. They are just for fantasy and entertainment.

Don’t expect a lot of things to happen to you for the better. New York City is that way; it forces everyone to be direct and upfront with important things. Go to school with the intention of learning and trying to do the best academically. You are not going to school to socialize, find a boyfriend or girlfriend, looking cool in attitude or fashion, or even just partying. You are going to school simply to learn. You will find out that most of the students are transient people to you and could care less if you are popular or not.

If you have that mind set and don’t expect a lot social gratification then you will do fine in the City. If you end up with one or two friends then you are doing okay.

But New York can be intimidating so don’t get upset or depressed. People at first seem cold and uninviting. But after awhile you will see decent people who are just trying to make a living. If you ever move to Manhattan then try exploring the other four boroughs – where the real New York City residents live. That alone will surpass any night life Manhattan has to offer.

Mark asks…

NEW YORK! How much does it cost rent an appartment there?

Administrator answers:

Depends on the neighborhood. In Manhattan, about $3,000 monthly. But available apartments are VERY difficult to find. In the outer borough, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, they start about 1200-1500. Understand that the closer to Manhatttan they are the more exspensive they tend to be. On Staten Island, the rents are far cheaper but, you do you have access to the NYC Subway system for commuting. The rents there start at 800.

Before deciding on a price, I’d investigate the neightborhoods. NYC is really cool because the neightboords vary so drastically in the space of a mile. You may love Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope but not be fond of Bensonhurst or East New York. All are in Brooklyn and all differ dramatically.

Laura asks…

Best places to live in New York?

This is my last year in high school, and I’ve been thinking about moving to NY after college. I’ve already discussed the idea with potential roommates. Can you recommend me some cheap apartments? and if you don’t mind can you pick an area with an decent neighborhood. Maybe some where in Brooklyn, if that even exist.

Administrator answers:

Morningside Heights is a college oriented community. Inwood in upper Manhattan is decent west of Broadway.
In Brooklyn parts of Flatbush are okay.
In Queens, Flushing, Yellowstone, Astoria
Lots of places in Staten Island.
Just finishing HS and already planning where to live after college! You like to think way ahead!

Susan asks…

How is living in New York City? ?

I’ve always been fond of New York City. And I live in Canada. What I’ve always wondered is what is it like to be living in the Big Apple? NYC? The City That Never Sleeps?

Like money-wise. Real-estate-wise. “Getting-An-Apartment”-wise. Traffic-&-Street-Crowding-wise.

C’mon, tell me! I love New York!!!

Administrator answers:

Born and raised here and I have a love/hate relationship with NYC. The city had changed A LOT since I was as kid in the 80s, basically not as crime ridden. Only long time Manhattan residents have access to cheap-er rent otherwise, if you want to live in Manhattan you will have to cough up over a $1,000 plus for rent depending the neighborhood. It’s less if you have room mates but you’re still going to be paying roughly $800, plus other expenses. The other boroughs, Queens, Brooklyn, & Bronx are up and coming and still have pockets of cheap rents available. You’ll have to travel a bit more but you’re still in NYC. Some people save by living in Staten Island but the commute seems like a bit too much. Living in Jersey might save you money but you’ll have to either pay double fare for both Jersey & NYC transit or if drive the now $12 toll charge to cross the Hudson.

Almost everyone uses the MTA NYC subway and there has been a huge recent increase in bike riders. The city has a lot of new bike lanes. They’re great if you don’t have some a#*!hole double parked. Most people walk a lot, if you didn’t previously walk, get ready! New Yorkers walk really fast, and frequently zig zag around idling tourists.

New Yorkers are very friendly if you spark conversation which I feel is easier to do than other parts of the country.
New Yorkers may come across as aggressive and overly ambitious but they’re some of the most approachable people in the world. Don’t believe all the generalizations. Good luck.

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