Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Nyc

January 3, 2013

James asks…

Could I afford to live comfortably in New York City with this occupation and income?

I am hoping to become an Urban Planner. According to, the average salary for those with 20 years of experience is US$97,250. How far out from New York City would I have to be to live comfortably on that income? Could I live comfortably in Manhattan, or Brooklyn or Queens?

Also, is it common for people to start out living maybe an hour away from NYC somewhere in the metropolitan area and then as their income rises move closer in over time?

Administrator answers:

To Gertrud – you’ve clearly never been to Brooklyn or Queens, and maybe not to Manhattan. He could live comfortably in ALL of these boroughs on that salary – very easily. Particularly easily in Brooklyn and Queens.

The nicest, more expensive areas of Brooklyn are Williamsburg, Greenpoint, the Heights and Park Slope – the average rental prices for a one bedroom in these areas are $1800 – $2200. On $97K a year, you could VERY comfortably afford this – you could probably comfortably afford a two bedroom on that salary, as long as you don’t have a drug problem or gambling addiction that you’re not telling us.

In Queens, the nicest areas, in my opinion (however, my opinion may be less informed than Brooklyn, since I didn’t grow up in Queens and never lived there, only visit frequently) are the areas of Bayside, Forest Hills, and maybe Astoria (Astoria mostly nice, though, because it’s so close to Manhattan). In Forest Hills, I have friends who have a one bedroom for $1500 – others who have two bedrooms (and share the apartment) for $2200. In Astoria, it may be a little more, but you get the picture – it’s really cheap to live in Brooklyn and Queens.

Living in Brooklyn now, in Sheepshead Bay with a roommate, my share of rent is $600. I’m a grad student, with only a part time job, and I live well – I’m able to splurge, go shopping, have a gym membership, keep a car and insure it, have all those luxuries. It’s a nice area, full of Russians and Hasidic Jews, it’s unfortunately a hike to Manhattan (though I’m not complaining) – you can find a large, well lit one bedroom here for $1200. Great deals – but it’s about 40 minutes away from Manhattan. If the commute doesn’t bother you, and you’re looking to save as much money as possible on rent, look into Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Midwood and Sheepshead Bay – great, safe, family friendly areas with half of the rent that you would pay in Brooklyn North.

You could even live in Manhattan on that – the average rental price for a one bedroom in downtown Manhattan is $3000. That’s $36000 a year – leaving you $60K a year (before taxes) to play with, save, pay for bills, etc. Don’t listen to these people who have clearly never lived in the city, or are under the impression that it’s more expensive and unlivable than it actually is. Come and visit for a few days and get the idea yourself. You’ll be fine.

As for your last question – actually, most of the people I know start out in the city, and then move farther out as their incomes increase and they can afford to buy houses. I’m only 23, so there aren’t a LOT of people in my age group doing this, but my friends’ parents or older siblings tend to do this – after graduating, working a few years, and getting a good savings account set up, they move to Westchester, Connecticut or Jersey.

George asks…

What should i know before moving to New York City?

I’ve always wanted to move to NYC but i’m not very used to living in the city so i have some questions. How much does rent start at??? Will i need a car??? What’s the safest, cheapest, and fastest way to get around like taxi, bus, subway,etc.???Do you know of any apartments in Manhattan that allow pets??? And do you know of any really safe good neighborhoods (because i want to possible have children in the future)??? Thanks (:

Administrator answers:

DO NOT bring a car. It’s super expensive to keep it there–you’ll need to get a space in a garage, since parking on the street isn’t always an option, and that can be pricey.

The fastest way to get around is the Subway. Cabs are quite expensive, and the bus can be pretty slow

Some apartments do allow pets. You can go on a rental site like City Habitats, and when you search, you can check off a box that narrows down your search to apartments that allow pets.

The buroughs can be expensive, too, so don’t think that just because you live in Brooklyn means you’ll get a cheaper apartment. Plus the commute to Manhattan can be quite long (from Queens to Manhattan it can be as much as 45 minutes, which can be a real pain.) In terms of cheaper apartments, the higher up or lower down you go, the cheaper they will be. Gramercy Park is expensive, as is Midtown. If you go on the Upper East Side, try not to live above 100th, since that borders Spanish Harlem. Wall Street is nice but it’s completely dead at night, which can be a positive or a negative depending. SoHo and the Meatpacking Distract will be pricey, AND on
weekends the bars and clubs there are packed, which can be both really noisy and kind of sketchy–if you want kids, I would stay away from there.

I live on the Upper East Side in the 80s and I love it. It’s pretty family-oriented. West 4th around Perry Street is gorgeous but I think the rent is pretty high. Neighborhoods can really vary depending on the street–a street in Alphabet City may be really nice, but two avenues over it might be sketchy. You’ll really need to look at the apartments to tell.

In terms of safety–any city can be unsafe–you just need to be aware of your surroundings. However, stay away from Harlem, which can be dangerous. Keep in mind that the areas near Columbia University can be nice, BUT it is very close to Harlem.

Some other tips: See the apartment before you buy or rent it. Decide whether it’s important or not to have a doorman and/or laundry facilities in the building (if there are those things, it can sometimes be more expensive.) Figure out what you can pay for an apartment but factor in that you will need to pay for cable/Internet (runs about $120/month), gas/utilities (anywhere from $30 to $110/month), and possibly a broker’s fee. Be sure you take out renter’s insurance. For drinks, pay attention to happy hours–drinks during happy hour can be really cheap and can save you a lot of money.

Good luck!

Maria asks…

where are the cheaper areas to live in NYC?

I may be moving to NY in the fall for school, depending on where i choose to go.
i know NYC is pretty pricy, so i’m anticipating having to pay a lot in living expenses, though i’d like to live in an area slightly less pricy, if possible.
what areas of the city are okay to live, and not quite as expensive as like, manhattan?

Administrator answers:

What is your price range?

If you are moving here for school talk to their placement office. I am sure that there most be other students from out of town, perhaps they could help you arrange for a share apartment.

Laura asks…

What is the cost of living in San Francisco CA?

Anyone know the cost of livin in SF? Any good websites that offer that information? Thanks.

Administrator answers:

It’s not cheap, but you hear some people who don’t know what they’re talking about who make it seem like the most expensive place on the earth (it’s not – Tokyo, London, NYC, Oslo… All more expensive).

I have a roommate. I pay $600+ utils for my half of a 2-bedroom apartment in the Inner Richmond district.

Groceries are pretty much average: prices don’t change much from one Safeway to the next. However, produce is *super* cheap here. When I was between jobs and living off my savings, I could easily squeeze by on $50/week as a single 2-something dude.

I have a car, and it’s not necessary – it’s more because I’m a car nut, and it’s a hobby. I more or less saved up for years for my dream car. I pay $400/mo for the car, $95 for full-coverage, and on average $50-200/mo for gas, depending on how much I drive. I use the bus, subway, or walk the vast bulk of the time.

All told I’d say my monthly obligations really only total $1200-1300; the other half I spend on alcohol, car parts, clothes, etc.

Also, keep in mind that most jobs in San Francisco pay much better than in other parts of the country.

Joseph asks…

where is a good affordable place to stay in NYC for a week? student budget?

im planning to go for holiday with my friend but we have no idea about NYC and its cheap budget hostels/hotels

Administrator answers:

Look on craigslist. You will find room 125-150 per week. It will be room in some family apartment. Many rooms bad. Many rooms good. Look and find. But no problem. You find nice room 125 per week. 2 blocks to subway, 15 minutes to midtown.

Ken asks…

How much money would it take to move from New York to Noway?

As far as plane tickets? How much is rent in Norway?

Administrator answers:

Immigration/permit info is at the following link, you need a valid reason to be in Norway before you can move here.


Rent depends on the type of housing you want. These prices are for Bergen:
-Collective (private room but all other facilities shared) is 2500-4500 NOK/month ($450-750, considering currency exchange costs).
-Hybel (1-room apartment, sometimes sharing bathrooms/laundry with other people in the building) is 3500-5500 NOK/month ($600-900).
-Small 2-room (1 bedroom) flat is 5500+ NOK, but often closer to 7000 NOK ($900+).
-2 bedroom flat is 8000+ NOK ($1350+).

You can browse flats by city here:

Or place your own ad for free here:

Flight depends on time of year/day of the week. The cheapest one way flight I found in September from NYC to Oslo was $418.


You’ll need the funds to pay up to 3 months on a rent deposit. How much you need in savings depends on whether you’re moving for work, studies or family. If you live in shared housing on a tight budget, ~$1700/month (10000 NOK) would be minimum to cover costs, though the requirement to get a study permit is slightly less than this.

Helen asks…

Moving to NYC, need to find good elementary school and good apartment?

My family is moving to NYC (hubby got transferred for work) and the process has been really overwhelming. We have a four-year-old about to start school soon, so we’d like to move to an area with a good school…but all the good schools are near apartments that are far and above out of our price range. Anyone have any suggestions on where to look or how to start looking? Thanks!

Administrator answers:

A good way to start would be going to Here is the link for NYC:

Near the top of the page they list the closest towns/cities to NYC such as manhattan, brooklyn, queens..etc..
There are links within each town near the bottom that lists all of the schools for those cities. And you can use to see more details on these schools. I would strongly suggest using their New York City forum, it is extremely informative with a lot of New Yorker’s to help. (very top of the page.) You will need to choose between a good education and an expensive apartment or a not so good school and a cheaper apartment. Any apartment within your price range will most likely have an elementary school that starts with “PS” with a number after it and they are mostly overcrowded buildings with little opportunities to succeed. If you need to, move 3 miles away to New Jersey and have your hubby take the train to work, it’s a lot cheaper.
Other helpful sites are:
NYC Craigslist

Chris asks…

Is it Cheaper to Buy a Foreclosed Apartment in Manhattan?

And if so how, and what is the best way to go about it, and how much should I have saved? And I’m talking really nice place for not a lot of dough. I’ve found apartments to buy for 90k in Manhattan, so I ‘m thinking if I find a foreclosed place, I want it for less than 90k. Can this happen and how???

Administrator answers:

I would take a long hard look at the 90k apt. Odds are it is a studio with less than 500 sq. Feet.
NYC tax office should have a list of places in default whether it is available to the public is something you will need to call and ascertain for yourself.

Sandy asks…

Where are the cheap motels around NYC?

I am taking 3 couples (all young adults) to NYC for a couple days, We need a place to stay that wont break the budget. I had thought of staying in Northern NJ or in new york state. Any advice? Thanks!

Administrator answers:

The cheapest way to stay in the city is to use the hostels. Some are better and more comfortable than others so do your homework. If you do want an actual hotel, know that even places like Best Western can be around $200 in the city. Look for deals on the hotel’s website if you have a particular hotel in mind or call and ask to speak to the manager to ask about any manager’s specials.

Also, avoid the touristy areas like Times Square. Those will be more expensive than hotels in less touristy parts of Manhattan or another borough.

Your hotel might be a little cheaper, but I would avoid staying in NJ or just out of the city in NY state. When you add in the cost of the added transportation for NJ Transit, Metro North or Long Island Railroad to your hotel, it might equal or come close to a hotel or hostel in the city. Also, not all of those trains run all night so your nights would be cut short. And part of your day could be shot just getting into the city everyday depending upon just how far out you end up. Plus, some of those hotels like to advertise that they are “close to NYC” but in reality are an hour away – more by train.

This is a list of sites that have hostels:

And here’s a list of sites for cheaper hotels:

You might also want to try craigslist for people who are renting out their apartments for weekends that they will be away. Since you would have to find more than one place, this might more of a crapshoot for you, but it might be worth looking into anyway. I’m pretty sure there’s even a website for such a thing, but I really can’t remember what it is, but thought I’d mention in case someone else knows what I’m talking about and give you the name.

Good luck and have fun.

Edit – I found some sites for the possibility of staying in someone’s home instead of a hotel.

I’ve never used any of them, so I can’t vouch for any, but I have it on a list of free/cheap things from some article I found on the web.

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