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Old 05-29-2010, 03:03 PM
 
9 posts, read 26,703 times
Reputation: 16

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Hello all,

I'm currently a resident of Siloam Springs, AR. Population ~16,000. I've been here for almost six years now. I originally came here from Southern California to go to school but ended up on a different path that has led me to becoming an EMT; hence my cheesy user name. Over the past couple of years I have become very bored with this city and the sedate nature of my job in this city. I would be looking to work for FDNY EMS first as an EMT and eventually as a paramedic.

For the past year or so NYC has captivated me. The size, the percieved potential and opportunities, the vibrancy, the people. Oh, and the tall buildings. Very touristy, I know, but I love skyscrapers and interesting architecture. I crave the experiences that are possible in NYC. The restaurants, bars, nightclubs, etc. Art, in many of it's different forms is also very important to me.

Living car-free is also very important to me. I do own a motorcyle but only have it because I love riding and do need to go further distances quickly in this car-centric city. Therefore the extensive mass transit system of NYC seems ideal to me. Additionally, I am a bicycle nut and can see myself riding all over the city.

However, moving to NYC would probably require me sell my motorcycle (costing me some $$$ right now), sell/donate the vast majority of my possesions (not a big deal, they're just things), and move 1,300 miles away from family. On the other hand, I feel I would gain experiences and adventures I could never have anywhere else.

Assuming I worked for FDNY EMS, I would make a little over $30k my first year as an EMT, building to over $60k after five years as a paramedic. I am extremely good at living on less and living on a budget. I don't do roommates; maybe if I was desperate. I know housing would be a challenge at first but I figure a $1000 studio in The Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens would be easily doable for me.

My question to everybody is: Is the sacrifice to move to NYC worth it? What made it worth it to you? I know I am a little starry eyed right now but is this a reason to move? I do plan to visit the city later this year. Your insight and feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:47 PM
 
Location: East Village
755 posts, read 1,993,865 times
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Just skimmed your post and this was one thing that stood out to me: most landlords have a 40X rent requirement. If you're only making $30k per year, you won't be able to get a $1,000 per month studio - if you find one of those in the first place, that is.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Astoria, Queens, you know the scene
750 posts, read 2,128,424 times
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You can't live comfortably alone in NYC for $30K. You'll definitely need roommates and you'll only be able to afford maybe $500 a month max in the outer boroughs, which won't get you much. Life in NY won't be comfortable for the 5 years it takes you to earn $60K, but once you reach that level you'll be comfortable as a single person in the outer boroughs. But even at $60K, you'll have to pinch pennies, live in a small studio or 1 bedroom in the other boroughs for $1200 or so a month etc. If you have a significant other, you'll be much better off with expenses. NYC is really only good if you earn at least $100K for a single person, $150K as a couple or $250K plus for a family. Again, these are just the comfortable, middle class lifestyle thresholds for NYC. Needless to say, it's an expensive place to live, but worth every dime.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:11 PM
 
10,604 posts, read 20,734,839 times
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The general rule is 40x rent = annual income, so you should be ok paying $750 per month. I am not sure if there are studios in the Bronx or on Staten Island for that price - in any case, people who are making 30K in NYC generally have roommates. Even at 40K and more.

One thing I wasn't sure was - have you actually been to NYC or your visit later this year will be your first ever?
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
317 posts, read 1,019,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loratliff View Post
Just skimmed your post and this was one thing that stood out to me: most landlords have a 40X rent requirement. If you're only making $30k per year, you won't be able to get a $1,000 per month studio - if you find one of those in the first place, that is.
I lived in a $1,000 studio when I made $32K/year. It was a little tight, but it's possible.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,296 posts, read 4,511,458 times
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Come back in a few years after you've saved more.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,653,851 times
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Also, unless you need the money (which it sounds like you would), a motorcycle is fine to have here because small spaces to park are relatively abundant (you just squeeze in between cars. some people hate this, but you're fine if you leave enough space). You won't spend much on gas, and you can get around quickly. But having a bike and an unlimited metrocard will be expensive for you.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,750 posts, read 25,526,667 times
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The rental requirement of 40x is generally for managed buildings. Individual owners, that you'd be more likely to encounter in the outer boroughs take other factors into account. For example, if you worked for the FDNY, and found an owner-manager in Queens who had good experience with FDNY, or a family member who worked/works for the FDNY, etc., you could have a personal connection whereby they could reduce the qualification threshold. It happens, but generally when there's a connection, since an individual owner is responsible only to their bottom line, not to a board of directors or shareholders. And, some might view a responsible member of the FDNY as a stabilizing force in the building, so they might be a bit more flexible.

Generally, at your starting income, I agree that you'd be looking at a roommate situation. But, if you could come to the city, get an inexpensive sublet, and potentially network with other members of the FDNY who are looking for a roommate, or who want to get an apartment in a roommate situation.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:16 AM
 
9 posts, read 26,703 times
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Thanks for the info all. I will be putting some more thought into the roommate situation. I do enjoy living alone but a roomie wouldn't be the worst thing in the world starting out. In answer to a question asked: no, I have never before visited NYC. I've read and watched plenty about the place, but I know that is absolutely no substitute for an actual visit. I am tentatively planning a trip there later this year. I plan to stay in a hostel for 10-14 days to keep expenses low and to get a good feel for the city. Might be a good litmus test for the roomie situation. Don't have a lot of money saved right now; maybe $2k. I'm trying to sell my house right now which will put some money back into my pocket and as soon as I get my motorcycle paid off (or just sell the thing) I will be able to start saving some serious money. Once again, thanks for all of the great advice. Any more will be graciously accepted.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:36 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,381 posts, read 22,620,647 times
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You could try somewhere in Jersey City or Newark , its very expensive living up here. Compared to down there. Living alone can be somewhat lonely in a City like NYC , a roommate is probably not a bad idea. If you can find a local or Regionalite then your transition here will be smoother.
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