Apartments for Cheap

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Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Nyc

December 23, 2012

Mandy asks…

Do you have any nieghborhood suggestions for a Columbia University Student?

My husband just got accepted to an MFA program at Columbia. We are unfamiliar with New York, and the Columbia Area. We have a one-year-old son, and I will be working from home so we would like a “safe” area where he and I won’t be scared all day long. The problem is we don’t have a lot of money, and will barely be able to make rent.

Administrator answers:

Columbia does offer family housing, and you should contact their housing deparment to discuss. They can also help you find apartments.

NYC is pretty darn expensive. But Columbia is an excellent school. I think the trade-off is worth it.

The neighborhood right around Columbia, Morningside Heights, is safe and studenty. Above 125th street on the west side gets kind of dodgy in some areas. For a family, you’d do best sticking to the Upper West Side (the area from around 59th Street to around 103rd Street), Morningside Heights (around 103 to 120ish), or going north to Riverdale, which is part of the Bronx. Riverdale feels quite suburban, in an urban way :grins:, and the apartments there tend to be larger than those found elsewhere in NYC. I also like Inwood, just below Riverdale, but that area feels very urban. In Inwood, I like the “Park East” and “Park West” complexes quite specifically. Lots of families in these neighborhoods, especially the Upper West Side and Riverdale.

Less expensive areas of NYC include parts of Queens and Brooklyn and Staten Island, but those would be one heck of a commute to Columbia, so I don’t recommend them. Inwood and Riverdale are also considered less expensive options.

You could consider some areas of Westchester County, although that increases your commute. Yonkers has some decent neighborhoods, lots of rental apartments, is cheaper than NYC, and is commutable to Columbia. Tarrytown has rental apartments, is stunningly beautiful, and very safe, but is a bit further.

If you have a car, then Westchester County is a very good option, because there tends to be lots of parking, relatively speaking, and drive from the towns along the Hudson River (the west side of Westchester) down to the west side of NYC isn’t too bad, depending. There are trains into town as well – he could get off at 125th street, on the east side, and bus over to Columbia.

You can also consider parts of northestern New Jersey, near the George Washington Bridge, but the commute to Columbia may be difficult – more awkward train connections and more traffic if driving.

NYC is a lot safer than the films and tv make it seem. Once you get used to the feel of the city, you’ll be surprised – hopefully pleasantly. When I moved there, I had to get over my own fear, and I did so, very quickly. But you’re right – you want to live in a decent neighborhood, and that will take some research. Start with the resources Columbia offers, and go from there.

Laura asks…

How much does it cost to move from San Francisco to NYC?

I have about as much stuff as fits in a one bedroom apartment (including bed, sofa, tables, etc.).

Administrator answers:

I moved from Southern CA to Virginia, approximately the same distance. It cost about $1500 to rent a moving trailer that hooks up to the back of our pick-up. With the heavy trailer in tow, gas milelage is cut in half. On the plus side, hotels on the way are cheap. There were a ton of highway signs advertising their rates, so we always picked the lowest one. So, it will cost you a moving truck or trailer, gas, food, and hotels. Takes about 3 days. And don’t forget to bring an air freshener for the car!!

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