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Old 05-15-2012, 10:51 PM
 
Location: NYC
142 posts, read 461,997 times
Reputation: 86

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Hello all! Lifelong New Yorker here making the move from Queens to Manhattan to be closer to work and to be, well, in Manhattan.

I've begun my apartment search. After taxes, I end up with about 78k yearly but I also freelance on the side which usually bumps my yearly income up to the 80s-90s.

I'm looking for a one bedroom or a pre-war studio (they tend to have separate kitchens and small "dressing rooms") somewhere downtown as I work on Maiden Lane. I'd love to be able to ride my bicycle to work.

Is it possible to find a REAL apartment for less than 2k somewhere downtown? I'm talking alphabet city, Chinatown, little Italy or the Lower East Side. I wouldn't mind going to midtown, Chelsea, Clinton or the like but I doubt I'd find something cheaper there. I'm getting discouraged! It seems like a ton of brokers are just baiting and switching too.

Considering my freelancing, that leaves me with roughly 7k in monthly income. They say you should go no higher than 30% ($2,100).

Is this a total pipe dream? Should I just stay in Queens? I'll be DAMED if I'll go to Long Island City and pay Manhattan prices. I don't mind living in Harlem or Washington Heights or Inwood at all, but at that point the inconvenience factor comes to play because it's not such a short commute and I might as well stay in an outer borough at that point, no?
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:07 PM
 
Location: London, NYC, DC
1,118 posts, read 2,287,754 times
Reputation: 672
There are plenty of below-$2000 apartments on the LES. The trade-off will be quality. To say that the LES has some of the worst Manhattan apartments and apartment buildings would be an understatement. Not to say that it's a bad neighborhood, but the upkeep is less than stellar to say the least.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Ridgewood, NY
3,025 posts, read 6,810,077 times
Reputation: 1601
you should definitely be able to find something decent with your budget in any one of those areas... plenty of people live over there making far less... Also there are parts of LES/Alphabet city that still remain largely unchanged (demographics wise) and the prices somewhat reflect that...
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:18 PM
 
Location: NYC
142 posts, read 461,997 times
Reputation: 86
Ugh, thank God. Because I was starting to worry! Looking at ads online makes it seem like all brokers are crooks (though I know it's not true).

I'm really not picky and I'm used to small spaces (my old apartment was roughly 400 sq. feet and was laid out railroad style and I was as happy as a clam). I've always, always been drawn to the LES. You could say it "speaks" to my soul. My uncle owned a bar on the Bowery many years ago, my grandfather worked in the lighting district all his life and I know Chinatown like the back of my hand.

Are there lots of utility included places?
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:39 AM
 
5,481 posts, read 8,581,436 times
Reputation: 8284
Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorkobserveher View Post
Hello all! Lifelong New Yorker here making the move from Queens to Manhattan to be closer to work and to be, well, in Manhattan.

I've begun my apartment search. After taxes, I end up with about 78k yearly but I also freelance on the side which usually bumps my yearly income up to the 80s-90s.

I'm looking for a one bedroom or a pre-war studio (they tend to have separate kitchens and small "dressing rooms") somewhere downtown as I work on Maiden Lane. I'd love to be able to ride my bicycle to work.

Is it possible to find a REAL apartment for less than 2k somewhere downtown? I'm talking alphabet city, Chinatown, little Italy or the Lower East Side. I wouldn't mind going to midtown, Chelsea, Clinton or the like but I doubt I'd find something cheaper there. I'm getting discouraged! It seems like a ton of brokers are just baiting and switching too.

Considering my freelancing, that leaves me with roughly 7k in monthly income. They say you should go no higher than 30% ($2,100).

Is this a total pipe dream? Should I just stay in Queens? I'll be DAMED if I'll go to Long Island City and pay Manhattan prices. I don't mind living in Harlem or Washington Heights or Inwood at all, but at that point the inconvenience factor comes to play because it's not such a short commute and I might as well stay in an outer borough at that point, no?
In all honesty, LIC is in my opinion a lot nicer than the LES. Nicer water front with better views, more bang for your buck, and unlike in the LES, you're not always within a few blocks from a housing project. Plus you're only a few train stops away from Manhattan.

BTW - I myself lived in the LES for 22yrs. Its overrated! That is unless you're one of the rash of yuppies who migrated from some lame midwest town and are just happy to be in NYC.

Last edited by louie0406; 05-16-2012 at 06:53 AM..
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:10 AM
 
Location: NYC
142 posts, read 461,997 times
Reputation: 86
Nope! Born and raised in New York with the accent and impatience to prove it!

I happen to love the LES. Don't know why--just do.

But I hate hipsters... it's a trade off! LIC is not as nice as everyone thinks it is. Some parts are still REALLY seedy and REALLY desolate and there are NYCHA projects in LIC for sure. If I'm going to pay 2k a month for city views, why not BE in the city? Doesn't make sense to me.

One thing that irks the hell out of me is real estate agents who call LIC "Midtown East." F*ck off. That's annoying.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
18,476 posts, read 31,648,692 times
Reputation: 28013
Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorkobserveher View Post
Nope! Born and raised in New York with the accent and impatience to prove it!

I happen to love the LES. Don't know why--just do.

But I hate hipsters... it's a trade off! LIC is not as nice as everyone thinks it is. Some parts are still REALLY seedy and REALLY desolate and there are NYCHA projects in LIC for sure. If I'm going to pay 2k a month for city views, why not BE in the city? Doesn't make sense to me.

One thing that irks the hell out of me is real estate agents who call LIC "Midtown East." F*ck off. That's annoying.
I would absolutely never pay 2K to live in a old law tenement on the LES. You have got to be kidding.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: NYC
142 posts, read 461,997 times
Reputation: 86
Different strokes. It's incredibly convenient for work and I love the neighborhood.

... but I'd rather not pay 2k at all! I'd rather pay the rent I paid when I lived in Italy two years ago. Gone are the days of the $600 apartment. Sigh.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Chittenden County, VT
510 posts, read 2,244,023 times
Reputation: 292
As someone who lives on the Lower East Side and pays less than 2k for a one bedroom I can tell you that they do exist. It's also only about 400sf in an old tenement style walk-up. The neighborhood is obviously incredibly convenient as I pretty much never have to take the subway on the weekends since my life is generally below 14th street. That said, it is LOOOOOUD. I'm not noise sensitive, I've lived on major avenues in Manhattan and Brooklyn for a decade, and nowhere is even close to LES levels of noise. I don't even live on one of the "party" streets, either (no bars or restaurants within 2 blocks).

I'm not sure how old you are but if you're in your twenties and single the LES can be a wonderful place. If you don't like hipsters you'll probably be annoyed walking out your front door, though. I've had my fill of the LES and am heading to Jersey City in the near future but to answer your question, yes, there are sub 2k apartments available. Just don't set the bar too high for what to expect for that kind of money.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:06 AM
 
5,481 posts, read 8,581,436 times
Reputation: 8284
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffcon0 View Post
As someone who lives on the Lower East Side and pays less than 2k for a one bedroom I can tell you that they do exist. It's also only about 400sf in an old tenement style walk-up. The neighborhood is obviously incredibly convenient as I pretty much never have to take the subway on the weekends since my life is generally below 14th street. That said, it is LOOOOOUD. I'm not noise sensitive, I've lived on major avenues in Manhattan and Brooklyn for a decade, and nowhere is even close to LES levels of noise. I don't even live on one of the "party" streets, either (no bars or restaurants within 2 blocks).

I'm not sure how old you are but if you're in your twenties and single the LES can be a wonderful place. If you don't like hipsters you'll probably be annoyed walking out your front door, though. I've had my fill of the LES and am heading to Jersey City in the near future but to answer your question, yes, there are sub 2k apartments available. Just don't set the bar too high for what to expect for that kind of money.
I totally agree with you in regards to the noise. I became tired of the fast paced life and noise of the LES and moved to Queens back in 09. I have a 700sf 1BR that I pay $1100 a month for. I still work and commute to the city every day, and to be honest, its an easier/faster commute to midtown Manhattan from where I live now than it was when I lived in the LES. Its nice to come visit and hang out on the wknds, but as far as living there, I've outgrown it. I much prefer the tranquility I now have on a very quiet residential street just 15 minutes from the LES.
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