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Old 07-16-2010, 05:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,978 times
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Hello all, I am a newbie to New York, 35 years young and have a great career opportunity opening in New York City. I am just scratching the surface and need information so this site seemed to offer a great way to get a start on finding out about New York City before the big move.

So here goes, my offices will be in the vicinity of the 100 block of East 55th. I will be making approx 50K a year which isn't the lap of luxury but I hope gives me a decent start. I need to know about; apartment costs with a location near subway or trains in a safe area. Shopping, food, entertainment and probably a million other things that I can't think of right now. Thanks, I appreciate any info you want to share.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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If you could be a bit more specific in terms of what you're looking for in a neighborhood, it would probably help people offer advice.

For $50K/year, you probably won't be able to live in Manhattan - at least not without a roommate - but it's definitely doable in Queens, Brooklyn, or the Bronx. Depending upon how you plan on allocating your resources (do you want to eat out a lot/sometimes? will you need to take taxis every so often? is proximity to nightlife important?), and how long of a commute you're willing to make, there are many possibilities.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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If you want a short commute in a relatively cheaper neighborhood, you can get a one bedroom apartment for $1200-$1500 in Astoria, Jackson Heights or Forest Hills. (I have not done an apartment search lately but this is my impression of what market rents are in these places.) Your commute would be a pretty quick one-train commute from all those places and they are all good/decent neighborhoods. But which one would be best for you depends on your interests and requirements.

Trains from Astoria would leave you at 59th and Lexington and the trains from Jackson Heights and Forest Hills would bring you to 53rd and Lex.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:22 AM
 
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Thank you Dirimini. Good advice on being more specific and thanks Henna for the info on rents, a short commute sounds like just the ticket. So here goes, as too needs in a neighborhood, I attend church regularly (Church Of God), I eat out maybe two or three x's a week and that's usually at deli's and small neighborhood restaurants, I like to run/jog and work out regularly so would prefer location in vicinity of an open space or area for running. I am not an entertainer but work in that industry so nightclubs and lounges/bar entertainment is not on my list of needs, I like to shop, from antique shops to thrift shops, neighborhood botiques and yardsales, and I like to visit with my neighbors.

That's my first thoughts on needs/interests but I will post more as I think of it and as time allows. Thanks again, your input is much appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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This move would be a challenge even for young people. $50k is a very low income in NYC. Be prepared that you will live in some less than pleasant area for $1.5k/month, probably dirty, infested, and unsafe; you will commute close to 2h every day in sweltering smelly subway. You will need warm clothes in winter and constantly running air conditioning in summer. Prepare for crowds and noise everywhere. Unlike California, you won't have much opportunities for hiking, biking, etc., even simple pleasures that Californians take for granted cost money in NYC. The costs of living and taxes will suck your income dry, leaving nothing for entertainment or other comforts. You won't even be able to afford a cheap car. You won't have any savings, so once you get here you will be stuck in this dump.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,295 posts, read 12,367,312 times
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These guys are being way over dramatic.

A standard requirement for rent in NYC is 1/40th your yearly income. That's puts you at $1250 per month.

I also make $50,000 and had no problem finding a decent place to live in Manhattan that isn't dirty, infested nor unsafe. It's not going to be the lap of luxury, but you can definitely live there.

You can use the Real Estate option on Google maps to get a VERY, VERY rough idea about apartments. Also check out the usual suspects, CL, the Village Voice, etc

NYCPD's Crime Map is a resource that I found useful.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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I don't know that I would recommend Manhattan on that income without a roommate, either, because it's not just the rent that will catch up with you. Ordinary items cost more in Manhattan, and that's before looking to the lifestyle of eating out and shopping that you prefer. Queens would offer a fast commute, not close to two hours, and is affordable. Some parts of Manhattan, where you could easily pay more in rent, would take longer than parts of Queens to get to 55th Street.

Be wary of some of the listings on Craigslist, as they are bait and switch, or some can be outright frauds. The New York Times is a good resource for real estate ads as well. One thing to remember is that in NYC, if you engage a broker, or the broker has an exclusive on the apartment you want, you have to pay their fee, not the owner as is customary in other parts of the country. Dealing with a management company or an individual owner would remove the need for this moving expense, but you will have to do all of your own research. Check the sticky at the top of this forum (long thread), that has some useful information for your move.

Check your salary, after factoring NYC resident income taxes, to see how far $50k annually will go for you. Use a calculator such as Paycheck City.com to get a ballpark figure of what you can expect, and then develop a monthly budget.

NYC is not scary, but you have to plan, and initially, live on a budget that might seem overly restrictive.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:55 PM
 
194 posts, read 535,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cali4ever View Post
This move would be a challenge even for young people. $50k is a very low income in NYC. Be prepared that you will live in some less than pleasant area for $1.5k/month, probably dirty, infested, and unsafe; you will commute close to 2h every day in sweltering smelly subway. You will need warm clothes in winter and constantly running air conditioning in summer. Prepare for crowds and noise everywhere. Unlike California, you won't have much opportunities for hiking, biking, etc., even simple pleasures that Californians take for granted cost money in NYC. The costs of living and taxes will suck your income dry, leaving nothing for entertainment or other comforts. You won't even be able to afford a cheap car. You won't have any savings, so once you get here you will be stuck in this dump.
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with this. For $1.5K/month, assuming you don't need to live in the most posh of areas (and that wouldn't be possible), you can certainly find something livable - and it won't be a 2-hour commute. While I won't argue with the noise/dirt issue - and depending upon your constitution, this could be more/less annoying to you - one certainly doesn't need to have a car in NYC. In fact, subtracting the costs one normally associates with a car (insurance, upkeep, registration, gas, parking, etc.), you'll actually save money on transportation, more likely than not.

It's true - NYC is not for everyone. And it's certainly not for those are happier in suburban locations. You may indeed get an older apartment, in an older building, and probably won't be able to drive to Walmart or Target or any other big box stores. But for some people, those things aren't important.

In terms of neighborhoods/areas, I'd add Bay Ridge, Sheepshead Bay/Bensonhurst, Gravesend, and Riverdale; but I do agree with a previous poster that, being that your office is located on the east side of Manhattan, Queens might be your easiest commute. I'm a bit partial to Brooklyn because of the green spaces (which Queens might very well have, but I'm not so familiar with Queens - been there lots of times, know people who live there, but never lived there myself). Bay Ridge has the fantastic Shore Road Park and esplanade, right on the bay near the Varazano bridge, but it's probably about a 1.25 hour commute. Prospect Park in Brooklyn is gorgeous. And Brooklyn is known as the borough of churches - you can go two blocks without finding a church of some denomination!

You might also consider Washington Heights or Inwood - but here you'll have to look closely, because some blocks/areas are wonderful, and some not so nice. Another plus for this area is that you are near both Fort Tryon and Inwood Hill Parks - two of the most beautiful in the city, both right on the Hudson river. The commute to 59th St. and Columbus Ave. on the A express is not bad, but you'll have to transfer to another train to get you to the east side, if you don't want to walk 15 minutes to your office from there.

In the end, you, like most non-rich NYers, will probably not have everything you want in your immediate vicinity, so prioritize those things which are more important. And then do what most NYers do - when you have time, go to beautiful Central Park and enjoy it (and you'll be working not terribly far from there anyway); go shopping for bargains on Delancey St., or stroll around looking in overpriced boutiques in SoHo or TriBeCa; if you miss mall shops, go to 34th, where they have Victoria's Secret, Zara, Express, H&M, etc., etc., etc.

Also, be aware that, unlike many other cities, here you have to pay a hefty fee if you rent through an agent - usually one month's rent. CL is a good start for no-fee apartments, but another poster was correct that you must be very careful about unscrupulous/bait-and-switch deals. If something smells fishy, forget about it. You'll need some tenacity, and some luck, but I think it's possible to find something you'll be at least relatively happy with. Good luck!

(Added on edit: By the way, you can get street views of almost any street in the five boroughs on Google Maps. Yes, it's not like being there, but it can give you a general idea of specific areas, and can also be helpful if you have the address of an apartment that interests you.)
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:32 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,978 times
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Many thanks to all for the info. negative and positive. Sounds like advance planning coupled to research - research - research will provide the best chance for a successful relocation. Also it seems that I will be experiencing a different style of daily living (this maybe putting it mildly) and am in for something of a cultural/surrounding environs shock.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:00 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,328,460 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali4ever View Post
This move would be a challenge even for young people. $50k is a very low income in NYC. Be prepared that you will live in some less than pleasant area for $1.5k/month, probably dirty, infested, and unsafe; you will commute close to 2h every day in sweltering smelly subway. You will need warm clothes in winter and constantly running air conditioning in summer. Prepare for crowds and noise everywhere. Unlike California, you won't have much opportunities for hiking, biking, etc., even simple pleasures that Californians take for granted cost money in NYC. The costs of living and taxes will suck your income dry, leaving nothing for entertainment or other comforts. You won't even be able to afford a cheap car. You won't have any savings, so once you get here you will be stuck in this dump.
I concur 100% with the above, with one exception, the average commute is more like 1 hour, not 2.

$50K is a pauper's wage in NYC, just enough to tread water if you're financially prudent. Most are not so they drown.

Sounds like you live a fair enough lifestyle in Cali. Here in NYC you will suffer a significant drop in lifestyle. Unless you have some fetish need to be in NYC---think thrice!

-----------

Now, before you give too much credence to those that disagree, there is the subjectives:

1) How desperate you are to live in NYC
2) Your personal sensibilities and what you consider decent

You'll read some say this and that is decent--it's all subjective. One thing is certain, "decent" means living at the lower strata of NYC life. For some, they are just so happy to be here, that $1,000 per month to live in the middle of the ghetto and all such a place entails is worth it. For others such a circumstance would be unacceptable. So what's acceptable to you?

Another example, few people on a $50K income eat out 3x per week, many don't eat out at all! Going to shows, clubs, bars, etc., in other words living an average post-college and/or a full fledged adult lifestyle in NYC is quite costly. Most those who say you can do it on $50k are the types of individuals who do not participate in the average and live quite frugal and some would say meager lifestyles. Most appealing I'd say if you're coming from some one red-light cow town in Oklahoma or the equivalent, but if you're living an average southern Cal life, then the appeal is probably zero.

At 35 and $50K this is a life decision---think wisely. Another thing to consider is that at that age and salary, here in NYC, considering an average 'young urban professional' lifestyle, you're a bit behind the curve; with most you're age, here, earning 50% to 100% more. So unless, realistically, you see a 50% salary bump within the next 5 years----you may always be behind the curve.

Luck!
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