Moving to New York City is a dream for people from all over the world. Little surprise then that there are over 200 languages spoken in the city. Whether you grew up in a small town and would like to experience all that the big city has to offer, or you are looking for a sea change in your career and daily life, New York City can provide enough memories to last several lifetimes. Of course, with so many people moving to New York every year, it can be daunting and challenging to make the transition – but not impossible. Here’s how to make your wish of living in New York a reality.
New York City is expensive. How expensive? It routinely ranks in the Top Three most expensive cities in the United States, alongside San Francisco and the cities of Southern California, and often finds its way to the very top of the list. Needless to say, it’s strongly encouraged that you save up as much as possible in advance of your move. Though you may have heard fantastic stories of celebrities moving to NYC with $50 in their pocket, don’t take that risk. If you do, there may not be a happy ending to your story – instead, you’ll be moving back home, dejected and broke!
Get Rid of Everything but the Essentials
The odds are good that no matter how small your home or apartment currently is, your new place in New York is going to be even smaller. Housing is competitive, expensive, and limited, so do yourself a favor, and throw out, sell, or donate all but the essentials. Craigslist, 5Miles, and the Salvation Army make it easy to do away with your old things, and in some instances, you may even be able to make a little bit of cash in the process. If you do, don’t spend it! See the recommendation above!
Set Up Job Interviews
It is strongly recommended that you secure a job before you move. To do so, scour job listings on Monster and LinkedIn. If you find something that seems like a good fit, ask individuals if it would be possible to set up a preliminary interview via phone, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Many employers are willing to have a phone or video interview to “feel” the candidate out; this will save you from having to travel to New York to interview, and allows them to determine if they want to invest in you as a serious candidate.
Look for Apartments in Advance
Just as you should find a job before moving, it’s also a good idea to love for apartments in advance as well. Why? Because finding apartments for rent in NYC can be difficult; it’s better to start early to give yourself the best chance of finding a place that suits your needs. Use tools like ForRent to filter through available rentals based on your criteria. For example, if you plan on bringing your cat with you, you can limit results to apartments that accept pets. It certainly beats looking for apartments on foot. Did you know that New York City is 300 square miles? Without a game plan in place, you could be looking forever!
Consider Getting a Roommate
To save money and jump start your New York social life, you may want to consider getting a roommate. In fact, when you discover what NYC apartments are going for, you may realize that you have to! Thankfully, finding a roommate in the day and age of the smartphone is pretty easy. Sites like EasyRoommate and Roomiematch act like dating sites in many ways, but for roommates; they ask you about your needs and preferences and then try and pair you with suitable individuals.
Study the Subway System
If you own a car, you may want to consider selling it prior to moving into the city. The reasons for this are many, but in simple terms, it comes down to the fact that owning a car in NYC is often more of a hassle than a blessing. Instead, you’ll likely be taking the subway system, or the Metro. Purchase an unlimited 30-day metro card when you arrive, so that you can hit the ground running. To navigate the city, study the NYC Metro map and use GPS directions for additional guidance. On Google Maps, for example, the train icon will provide you with transit instructions, rather than driving directions – it can be very helpful.
They say that New York is the city that never sleeps. Once you arrive, you’ll see that there’s a lot of truth in that saying. You may at times feel overwhelmed, and you will likely question the financial wisdom of your decision more than once, but it’s worth remembering that experiences are priceless, and in New York City, there are enough experiences to last a lifetime. Take the plunge and have fun!