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Old 07-14-2010, 04:51 PM
 
Location: on the Hudson
175 posts, read 295,451 times
Reputation: 112

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I work on East 98th Street near Central Park and will be looking for an apartment later this year. I had planned to look for a studio or 1BR in Queens (Sunnyside or Jackson Heights), but I recently got a raise/promotion which makes it possible for me to consider the Upper East Side as an option. I'm a single male in my late 20s with no pets, and my monthly rent budget is $1500 maximum plus utilities.

I know that the cost of living is higher in Manhattan and that I'll get a lot less apartment for my money there, so I'm trying to decide whether the convenience of being able to walk to work would make the tradeoff worth it.

Living Space: I assume that a 1BR on the UES will be out of my price range. How much smaller is a typical UES studio compared to a similarly priced one in Queens? Raw square footage isn't important to me, but I'd like to have at least enough space that I can use bookshelves and screens to divide the room into separate living, eating and sleeping areas. Is this a realistic expectation for the UES on my budget, or will I be living in a tiny box with a fridge and stove in one corner?

Cost of living: How much more will groceries, utilities, laundry and Internet cost me in Manhattan? I don't have a car, but are there any other essential expenses I'm forgetting about that will be more expensive in Manhattan than in Queens?

Noise: How bad is it at night on a typical UES block? Is it worse near particular avenues? During the workweek I'm usually in bed around 10, so I don't want to live somewhere that street and traffic noise is going to keep me up all night, and I've heard horror stories about the construction noise on the 2nd Avenue subway line.

Commute/location: I love the idea of walking to work, which, like I said, is the reason I'm considering living on the UES. I want to be near enough to a subway stop that I can take the train downtown on evenings and weekends, though. Ideally I would be near the express stop on 86th, since I do most of my off-hours socializing in the East Village and Williamsburg. I assume that rents on the UES get higher the closer you get to Lexington -- am I likely to be able to find an affordable place on 2nd or 3rd, or should I expect to be living over on York or East End Avenue?

Rent increases: I've been moving from place to place for the past decade as I got my career started. I'm finally in a position to settle down, so my goal for this apartment search is to find a place that I really like and where I can stay for a long time. Ideally, that would mean a rent-stabilized apartment, but realistically I know that probably won't happen, so how much do I need to worry about sudden rent increases? I know that the UES is increasingly popular with people who want to live in Manhattan but can't afford to live further downtown, and I work in a stable but not big-money profession, so although I expect to be able to handle a moderate year-to-year rent increase, I can't compete with a Wall Street guy if the economy picks up and my landlord decides to raise the rent several hundred dollars at once. $1500 is at the upper end of my budget compared to the $1200-1300 I'd probably be spending in Queens -- that being the case, should I worry that my rent is going to increase dramatically from year to year?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:33 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
307 posts, read 830,413 times
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Don't restrict yourself to a 10 block radius. You'll get a lot more space North of 98th Street.

When I lived in the West 90's, I walked most days to East 42nd Street without a problem and I was a lot older than you at the time.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:08 PM
 
Location: on the Hudson
175 posts, read 295,451 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHEPNYC View Post
Don't restrict yourself to a 10 block radius. You'll get a lot more space North of 98th Street.

When I lived in the West 90's, I walked most days to East 42nd Street without a problem and I was a lot older than you at the time.
My understanding is that East Harlem north of 98th is a pretty rough neighborhood. I like to walk, so I wouldn't mind an extra 10-15 blocks as part of my daily commute, but I want to be somewhere where I'll feel safe coming home from the subway after dark on evenings and weekends.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
307 posts, read 830,413 times
Reputation: 81
Check out the Westside, North of 96th Street. Still in walking distance of East 98th Street, some nice areas and the prices will be less then the
East 80's.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:41 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,404 times
Reputation: 10
Look in Astoria Queens. $1500/month wont get you much in UES, and Astoria is a quick commute, very trendy hood
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:02 PM
 
Location: on the Hudson
175 posts, read 295,451 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by raquelkk View Post
Look in Astoria Queens. $1500/month wont get you much in UES, and Astoria is a quick commute, very trendy hood
Thanks, but what I'm trying to find out isn't "where in the city can I get an apartment for $1500?" -- I know there are a lot of great neighborhoods in Queens where I can do that. What I'm trying to find out is what the trade-offs will be if I decide to live on the UES for the convenience of being close to my job.

(I prefer Sunnyside and Jackson Heights to Astoria -- they're architecturally much nicer, and I love the variety of restaurants along Roosevelt Ave.)
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:04 PM
 
Location: on the Hudson
175 posts, read 295,451 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHEPNYC View Post
Check out the Westside, North of 96th Street. Still in walking distance of East 98th Street, some nice areas and the prices will be less then the East 80's.
Good idea -- I hadn't thought of that. I'll take a look at some of those neighborhoods.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:07 AM
 
38 posts, read 90,564 times
Reputation: 25
One of the differences is that the UES is becoming less hospitable to small store owners, so the stores are getting to be more like mall stores. Same goes for restaurants.
In JH and Sunnyside you still have small shops and authentic ethnic restaurants. In addition, services like dry cleaning and shoe repair are probably cheaper. Most likely food stores will be cheaper as well. Those things add up.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
307 posts, read 830,413 times
Reputation: 81
trebler: There's nothing like walking to work. Take it from me, I did it for 25 years. You'll save yourself at least an hour a day that's over 200 hours a years. It adds up and you'll skip all of the wear and tear.
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:34 PM
 
51 posts, read 134,972 times
Reputation: 26
I live on the UES and enjoy it very much so. There are quite a few "2" room studios in my area for $1400-$1500 which includes gas/heat/hot water? and electric.. Yes they are a bit small for one person they are fine..
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