Paying $2700 For A Two
In February 2021, the rent on my two-bedroom apartment in Rockland County increased from $2,600 to $2,900. In the meantime, the rent for a two-bedroom in Washington Heights, where I used to live, was in the range of $2,400-2,800. I decided to move back to the city at the end of my lease in 2022.
While checking out apartments in Washington Heights, I also applied to the housing lottery but thought my chances of getting selected were practically nil. Lo and behold, I was selected to apply for an apartment with a monthly rent of $3,200, a little over my budget, but I could manage if I cut back on certain things.
In my excitement, I submitted the paperwork under the wrong tab on the housing portal and by the time I realized it, my log number had been passed. I was heartbroken and devastated that I had missed my shot. But a month later, I was selected for another apartment with a monthly rent of $2,400. I submitted the paperwork in the right place this time and was invited to see the apartment. It was lovely but too small at 540 square feet, so I withdrew my application.
Another month went by and I was selected again. This time it was a $2,700 monthly rent for a 750-square-foot two-bedroom. It was love at first sight when I saw the apartment. The process took a month and finally I signed the lease and moved in December. The timing was perfect and the monthly rent is more in line with my budget.
Stephanie Le, 57
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New York For 2021
We used data and science to determine which places in New York go easy on your wallet.
What is one commodity that seems to be used all of the time but is somehow difficult to obtain? You guessed it: money. For those starting their careers or those thinking about changing careers, one worry is probably on your mind a lot, which is how will I afford the monthly expenses.
So how do you make your income last longer? Live in a cheaper place. Easy as that.
When you think of New York, you may not think of affordable. But that is likely because you are thinking of New York City, the city that never sleeps, not New York State, a place filled with mountains and cute towns and suburbia. New York State has many assets outside of the Big Apple. Ever heard of Niagara Falls? Yeah, that is in the same state as New York City.
If you want to live in Manhattan, you will probably find it difficult to find even a cheap broom closet to live in. However, if you live in suburb and commute in, you may find that your expenses plummet greatly. So the great secret to saving money is that its not so much about where you work that matters, but rather where you live.
While most of the cheapest cities are located in Upstate New York, there are definitely some options near all the hubbub of NYC. But what were the cheapest of the cheap?
Renting A Cheap Apartment In New York
The epitome of big-city living in America, New York is the cultural center of the nation and a place where things are always happening. From its early days welcoming millions of immigrants to Ellis Island, the Big Apple has been a place for business, entertainment, and diverse urban lifestyles. Finance, banking, the stock exchanges, fashion, media, art and myriad other industries contribute to the citys economy. The five boroughs, each housing many diverse sub-neighborhoods, are home to millions of residents. New York became one of the leading cities of the world following World War II, and an estimated 50 million visitors come to see the city each year. From Broadways acclaimed theatrical performances to the early morning television programs produced in Times Square, New York is accustomed to being in the public eye.
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Get Your Credit Act Together
As one broker put it, Credit is everything right now. By federal law, you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies annually. Go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to make the request, and make sure there are no inaccuracies in your reports. The docs you should have at the ready include recent pay stubs, a bank statement, your latest tax return, and a letter providing proof of employment. If you dont, get a rich relative to back you, or be whats called a guarantor.
Short Term Lease & Sublet In New York City
Short term leases in New York City are in high demand. There is less hassle signing long term contracts and renters are willing to move in to the short term sublets on short notice. The cost of the short term apartments vary depending on size, quality of location of apartment. Another factor in deciding whether to rent short term housing in New York City is roommates/flatmates/housemates.
It is common for someone with a two or three bedroom apartment to sublet the rooms out to people for temporary periods in order to help pay for the overall rent and running of the property. This would mean moving in with people you dont know, if you are moving to new york city looking for contacts and to network this is a great way to start. These type of sublets also occur when the main tenant of a one bedroom or studio apartment will be going away for an extended period of time and will rent out their entire apartment for the duration of their trip, hence the market for a short term sublet in New York City. Short term leases are typically a little more expensive than long term per month as they are temporary and the landlord or tenant has to go through the process of finding people to live in the apartment more regularly.
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Paying $4600 For A Two
We were in a beautiful, but cramped, one-bedroom in the West Village. My wife, Marcella, and I were both working from home since the start of the pandemic and we really needed more space if our apartment was going to be both our home and office. Direct sunlight throughout the day would have been nice too!
We started looking for apartments at the end of June 2021. After a couple of weeks going to mobbed open houses, seeing overpriced apartments in bad shape, and fruitlessly reaching out to real estate agents, Marcella had the idea to walk around the neighborhoods we wanted to live in and write down the phone numbers of management companies off the placards on buildings that caught our eye.
The apartments from one management company all appeared to be really well renovated and in older buildings. When we reached out, they quickly provided pictures of some units that might be coming to market, and again we were impressed with what we saw. But they wouldnt let us visit. So either we wait for it to hit the market and risk losing out on it or sign without a tour. We tracked down a floor plan and we decided it was worth taking the risk. We signed in early July with a mid-September move in.
We love the large living room in particular and as we are on the fourth floor our windows are just above the tree line, meaning we get sun in there all morning and into the afternoon.
Where Is The Cheapest Place To Live In Nyc
Youll be hard-pressed to find a good deal almost anywhere below 180th street in Manhattan, so we moved to the Bronx. More affordable places to live in NYC are Inwood, Sunnyside, Bedford Park, Washington Heights, Flatlands, Jamaica Hills, and almost anywhere on Staten Island.
Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Readers Digest. Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.
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Renting An Apartment In New York
Learning the nuances
Whether youre looking for an upscale studio or just perusing cheap apartments in New York City, the basics of rental applications are the same. You will need at least enough money to cover the security deposit and one months rent. You will need proof of income that shows an annual salary of up to 40 times more than one months rent. And it wouldnt hurt to bring along a collection of references from employers, former landlords and roommates.
Adjusting your priorities
Location, budget, safety, and housing quality are the main factors here, and apartment hunting in NYC will seriously test these priorities.
When youre renting in New York City, you will have to get used to the crowds. The crowds on the streets, in the elevators, in the grocery stores, on the subway, and even in your own apartment building. The best way to deal with this is to plan the occasional escape. Drive out to Long Island to go surfing in the Rockaways or Hamptons, take the ferry out to Staten Island, or get completely lost in Brooklyns Prospect Park.
Who Is Eligible To Apply
As an out of city or state resident can I apply for an HDC-financed affordable apartment?
Out of town residents can apply for an HDC-financed affordable apartment however, preference is given to current New York City residents.
What are the criteria for students applying for an HDC-financed affordable apartment?
Student Loans/Grants are not considered income. For a low-income apartment, the household cannot be made up entirely of full-time students unless the household qualifies for an exception under federal law.
Can I apply my Section 8 voucher/certificate to an HDC-financed development?
Section 8 voucher or certificate holders are eligible to apply for HDC-financed low income developments. They are processed in the same manner as all other applicants and must meet all applicable eligibility criteria. Of course, the rent of the specific apartment in question must be within the maximum level allowable under the applicants voucher or certificate. If you are unclear about these maximum levels, you should contact the agency that allocated your certificate or voucher.
How is income calculated?
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Cheap Apartments In New York
Find your own affordable home-away-from-home in the heart of the Big Apple by choosing one of our fantastic cheap apartments in New York! Apartments are a great option for families or larger groups, as well as cost-conscious travellers who want to be able to cook at home and save money on restaurants. Live like a local, and really get to know the city during your stay! Our apartments have been carefully chosen and offer easy access to fantastic attractions from the bright lights of Times Square to the gorgeous green expanse of Central Park.
- Harlem Heaven Apartment4.5 out of 5 based on 114 reviews
- 208 West 123rd Street, New YorkShow map
The 80m2 Harlem Heaven apartment can sleep up to 5 people offering guests the unique experience of staying right in…
- 6.3km from New York Centre
- Sugar Hill Apartments4.0 out of 5 based on 49 reviews
- 245 West 131st Street, New YorkShow map
With a great location in Harlem, the apartments consist of 3 self-catering options situated just 15 minutes on…
- 7km from New York Centre
- Annays Central Park Apartment4.0 out of 5 based on 61 reviews
- 1230 5th Ave, New YorkShow map
A charming 92m2 apartment for 5 people a couple of blocks from Central Park in New Yorks Upper East Side….
- 4.9km from New York Centre
But How Do You Know Which One Have The Best Deals
Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and now you just have to choose which area best suits your awesome personality.
We’ve rated the top 10 NYC neighborhoods with the best rental deals using the following criteria:
- Average rent prices
- The average size of apartments
- Access to transportation
- Access to shops/restaurants/recreation
- Neighborhood safety
Choosing a place to live in one of these 10 neighborhoods will allow you to splurge if you budget your finances accordingly.
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Moving To New York City
Planning your big move to Americas largest city can be a daunting prospect – especially if youre unfamiliar with its prices. As such, its important to ensure youre fully aware of the cost of living in New York City and familiarise yourself with your desired apartments local amenities and nearby transport connections.
When moving to New York, its certainly advisable to overestimate your budget. Along with rental costs, groceries and shopping can also take their toll on your bank balance, as can all those nights out! Students moving to New York City should certainly bear this in mind when looking for furnished apartments in New York on a long-term basis.
If youre looking to live on a budget, there are still plenty of great options for affordable apartments in New York. Whats more, transportation and household utilities cost a lot less than in major other cities. As long as you can stay on top of your finances, living in the city that never sleeps is an incredibly rewarding experience. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
Chinatown: An Affordable Enclave In Downtown Manhattan
- Median rent: $2,500 this August, much less than its neighbors in Soho, Nolita, and the Lower East Side!
- Subway info: Chinatown is geographically small, so there are only a few subway stations to know. The B and D trains stop at Grand Street, while the J and Z trains stop at nearby Bowery. The 6 train stops at Spring Street and Canal Street, which is also serviced by the J, Z, N, Q, W, and R trains.
- Notable attractions & amenities: The Deluxe Meat Market on Mott Street is great for both buying meat for cooking or grabbing prepared dishes. The Museum of Chinese in America, has both permanent and rotating exhibitions highlighting both the history and present of Asian Americans.
Chinatowns narrow streets have plenty of hidden landmarks and beauties. You wont find much new construction here, but many of the walkup buildings have been renovated. The neighborhood has easy access to the rest of Manhattans downtown neighborhoods such as Soho, Tribeca, Nolita, and the Lower East Side, but with significantly lower rents. Plus, youll be in the heart of a highly culinary neighborhood, with restaurants like Nom Wah Tea Parlor standing the test of time for over 100 years!
CENTRAL HARLEM RENTALS UNDER $2,400 ON STREETEASYArticle continues below
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How To Find A Cheap Apartment In Nyc
Ten tips for finding a cheap apartment.
Make direct contactThe easiest way to save money is to avoid paying a broker’s fee. “Look for a building with a rental office directly on site,” suggests architect Hayes Slade, whose Slade Architecture firm knows something about affordable housing . “That way you can negotiate directly with the landlord and skip a real-estate agent fee.” In order to ditch online searches, Slade recommends walking the streets of your desired neighborhood and looking for offices and for rent signs. That’s how investment banker Jessica Gutierrez found a studio she loves in Battery Park City. “Ask doorman,” she says. “I would first ask if this a condo or is there a leasing office. If it was a condo, I would ask if they had a list of owners renting out their apartments. At the ones that did, I would leave my business card, and I got a lot of callbacks from owners renting their apartments themselves.” Victoria Hagman, president of the Brooklyn-focused agency Realty Collective, hit the pavement too. “When I was looking for an apartment,” she says, “I would go to moving sales every weekend and ask, ‘Has your landlord found someone to take your apartment yet? Can I see it?'” For more tips, look for Realty Collective’s new apartment-hunting classes at the Brooklyn Brainery .
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Avoid Moving During Peak Season
New York City is home to more than half a million university students. While many live in the dorms, there are plenty of renters mixed in. Since school runs from August/September until May, it makes sense that theres a lot of activity from May-September. Since theres a higher demand for apartments during the spring to early fall, many owners and management companies also work hard to ensure leases end during this time. However, if you can you should try to move in the winter for the following reasons:
- Rent prices are significantly lower in the winter months than summer months. If you can get a rent-stabilized apartment, youll end up saving big in the long run.
- You might not have to pay a brokers fee as there are fewer people on the market in the winter months and owners are more willing to pay the brokers fee to fill the vacancies.
- Theres more flexibility when your lease officially starts as theres less competition. So even if you close a deal on December 15th, you might be able to move on January 1st. That way youll avoid paying for an apartment youre not living in yet.
- Some owners might offer some incentives to entice renters during the colder months. That might mean something like a flat-screen TV or maybe even one month of free rent.
- You have more negotiation power during the colder months. While there might be less inventory, there are also fewer people looking so you might be able to reduce the rent by a hundred dollars or more.
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