Ever wonder what it takes to live in New York City? Not only financial, but, social status? Well coming from a native New Yorker of over 50 years I can tell you it may be more than it’s worth. Unless you are born in the City and attend known schools you are going to find it difficult to understand how to successfully live here without feeling like you don’t fit. Lets look at the profile and see how this measures up.
Educated female graduated from three New York colleges with advanced degrees. Recently changed professions going from a high paying career in sales to a low paying, but rewarding profession of helping others. Single, two kids attending Middle School. What is the first step-looking for the right school, the proper neighborhood, and the affordable housing option. If she is looking for a good deal, the Upper East side is the option.
How far Upper is necessary? Well if you go to the low 90’s you find that a decent apartment with enough space to accommodate the family rents for anywhere from $3000-$5000 per month. Can you imagine paying $5000 a month for the ability to live on the Upper Eastside of Manhattan where last we checked, a garbage dump was being built! If that doesn’t entice you perhaps going a mere 10 blocks north might be more in line with the budget and space requirements. Get ready for sticker shock when you venture in to any of the newly refurbed buildings that sit in the heart of what used to be anything but ideal real estate.
For anywhere from $3000-$400 you can live in an area that current residents tell you is “nice, but when it gets dark we take a taxi to our building”. Furthermore they state, “Once inside you have a lovely place to live”. Really, should you be afraid to venture out when it is dark when you spend upwards of $3000 a month for rent-not sure this is a viable solution.
It has become painfully obvious that New York City has morphed into a City of the haves and the have nots. If you expect to live here be sure you have $40,000 a year to pay for rent. But don’t stop counting because you still have to pay cable, utilities, groceries, transportation and of course cell phone. So add that all up and you are upwards of $5000 a month for the luxury of living in one of the most exciting Cities in the world; well maybe not the kind of excitement you heard about.
Or if you want to keep some of your hard earned cash you can try Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, or parts of the Bronx. Recent checks have living in decent neighborhoods in those boroughs running about 50% lower than Manhattan. Is it worth it to be in the heart of the action to pay more or could you be happy in close proximity without the NYC zip code. I say be comfortable and be able to afford the luxury you seek.
It is doable to live in the heart of the City on a conservative salary. The only draw back, you might not have left over for extra fun. So choose wisely and remember being in NYC has a special meaning for all who come.