So You’re Moving to New York…
Moving to New York City can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You might be questioning yourself, but rest assured, with proper planning and research, you can make your move seamless. Here are some common questions you may have while moving to New York City along with some of the best answers.
1. Manhattan or Brooklyn?
In recent years, the choice of where to live in New York City has expanded beyond just Manhattan or Brooklyn. Your options now range from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey, Westchester, or Connecticut. However, if you are moving to New York City, you probably want to be in one of the five boroughs.
Manhattan is still one of the most coveted boroughs. It has everything from restaurants to shopping to nightclubs and is considered the center of hustle and bustle in the city. On the other hand, Brooklyn is considered the second-most coveted borough and is often referred to as “The New Manhattan.” It has a laid-back West Coast hipster vibe and is gradually becoming a more popular option than Manhattan. In fact, more people now migrate from Manhattan to Brooklyn to spend their Friday nights.
Queens has an industrial vibe, but it is also the largest borough spatially. The Bronx is still considered a little rough, but it has a lot of culture and tourist attractions like the Bronx Zoo, the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and the Grand Concourse. Staten Island is the most suburban and feels more like New Jersey than New York.
2. Broker or No Broker?
Most New Yorkers hire brokers to find their apartments, condos, and co-ops. It might seem tempting to “go it alone” when you are new to the Big Apple, but most people end up hiring a broker to navigate the real estate market in the long run. New York City’s real estate system is designed to favor brokers, which can make it hard to find the perfect apartment without a broker’s help. It doesn’t cost anything to talk to a broker and start looking at apartments, so try to keep an open mind.
3. Apartment, Condo or Co-op?
In New York City, you have two options when it comes to housing – renting or owning. Apartments are for rent, and condos are for purchase (though many New Yorkers refer to condos as apartments). Co-ops are in between renting and buying. Most New Yorkers deal with high homeowners’ association (HOA) fees, so make sure to ask about them before looking at an apartment. You might also need to ask around about other fees too. If you own an apartment, your HOA fees go towards preserving common areas, not your apartment. So, you will still need to pay for any necessary home repairs on your own.
4. What’s Up with Your Neighborhood?
New York City neighborhoods are ever-changing entities. The neighborhood you move into is likely to undergo a significant change within three-to-five years. New York City is a transient culture, and nearly 8.5 million people live in the city right now, with that number rising every year. Neighborhoods can change quickly, which can be both good and bad. Gentrification is a major factor that can change the social and economic climate of an area. While gentrification will most probably change your neighborhood for the better, it might also change it in ways you do not enjoy. Your favorite restaurant might close down the next year and get replaced by a Duane Reade. The only family in the block that has lived there for more than two years might also move away.
5. Where are the Subways?
Moving to New York City can be an adjustment for people coming from cities where they can drive everywhere. However, in New York City, most people walk or use public transportation. Although many new residents bring their cars with them, most end up ditching them. It’s extremely expensive to own a car in New York City. It’s equally expensive and frustrating to take cabs everywhere.
The subway is the most convenient mode of transportation in New York City, and almost everyone uses it, including wealthy residents and celebrities. Make sure to choose a new apartment that is close to the subway, within a few blocks’ distance.
In conclusion, moving to New York City requires some preparation, knowledge, and a little bit of an open mind. The real estate market is set up in favor of brokers, which is why it might be worth considering hiring on. Be mindful of where you want to live within the city’s boroughs and look out for gentrification, which can change the character of your neighborhood. Finally, try to minimize your dependence on cars and embrace the subway system, which will save you time and headaches. Happy moving!