A couple of different posts recently on two of my favorite real estate websites–namely, Curbed and Brick Underground–reminded me how difficult, even discouraging, the process of finding that perfect new home can seem when approached from afar, but also how it all usually works out for the vast majority of NYC rental apartment seekers.
In other words, the THOUGHT of moving, of finding a NYC rental apartment that you can afford, and will feel like home, is often much more daunting and scary than the actual process, and, most important, the end result.
But for some reason, the thought of moving to a new neighborhood can strike fear into the heart of even the most intrepid New Yorker. Perhaps it is because most of us actually spend time in our neighborhood, walking the streets, shopping at the store on the corner, etc. as opposed to suburban dwellars who will hop in their car and drive to the next town to run their errands.
Take Curbed’s piece on What the Average Manhattan Rental Apartment Looks Like. Now, we’ve all heard that the average price of Manhattan rental apartments is as high as it’s been in years… but what does that really mean?
Curbed decided to look at what was being advertised at that moment in all four of your basic NYC rental apartment sizes—-studio, one-bedroom-, two-bedroom-, or three-bedroom rental apartments–for the “average price” in each category. So a studio advertised for $1989 (the Manhattan average for such an apartment) was a generous 500 square feet in a doorman building.
And the one-bedroom Manhattan rental apartment Curbed found at the average price of $2,690 a month is a pretty spacious looking beauty (pictured at top), in a building with a roof deck and screening room! My takeaway? If this is the kind of thing you can get for the average price, there must are plenty of great rental apartments for considerably less.
Of course, compromise is the name of the game for most of us when it comes to real estate in this town, so you may find yourself looking for a new neighborhood that is more affordable than your current one, now that prices seem to be bouncing back to higher levels.
Brick Underground launched an interesting new column a couple of weeks back called Transitions, which consists of personal accounts of what it feel like to move into a NYC rental apartment located in a completely different neighborhood than the one in which you’re used to.
This gets to the core of my own trepidations about moving: once I understand a neighborhood–and I’ve lived in NYC rental apartments in four separate communities over the years, three of which I’ve really loved, for different reasons–it’s hard to imagine uprooting and living somewhere else.
Which of the local restaurants are actually any good? Is that dry cleaner worth the price… or should I try the one up the block? Which ATM has the cheapest fee, which bodega the cheapest ice cream, what’s the pre-walk at my new subway station!?
Anyway, the point of Transitions so far is that even though your new neighborhood seems totally foreign at first glance (one person moved from the East Village to Midtown East; the other from Greenpoint to Hudson Heights), you can find pros and cons everywhere you go (Greenpoint has the great Peter Pan bakery; Hudson Heights the great Fort Tryon Park, etc.) and you’re likely adapt to your new surroundings very quickly. And, of course, any NYC rental apartment that’s within easy walking distance to a subway means that all of the city’s wonders are just a train ride (or two) away.
So what’s the takeaway? Well, although it can be stressful figuring out a new neighborhood, NYC is filled with a variety of great nabes in a variety of prices, and once you settle in you’ll soon discover all of the things that make your new neighborhood great.
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