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 Post subject: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:53 pm 
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Secret inexpensive neighborhoods? 10 roommates? Share your secrets.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:09 pm 
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I live in Astoria. It's still not cheap or anything, but it's cheaper than Manhattan and I share an apartment with my husband. So, I guess the answer is, you find an apartment you can afford and then you shop around for deals on groceries and other necessities and you don't eat out all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Minimum wage is higher too, isn't it? What is the rate in NYC? (Or New York?)

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:16 pm 
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apparently it's $7.25 an hour.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:23 am 
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We're considering moving there next year. Just for reference, minimum wage is the same here, but we pay $1100 a month for a 1400 sqft house with a fenced in yard and deck. Oh, and my ridiculously huge kitchen that's packed completely full. If we could keep the same lifestyle, but with all the New York "stuff," we'd be there in an instant. It's just hard to wrap my brain around scaling down by probably half and then paying twice as much.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:16 am 
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You make compromises. Sometimes you regret them! But the NYC deal is you sacrifice personal space for the "everythingness" that is this city. If you do decide to move here, look long and hard for an apt; do not believe anything real estate agents tell you (e.g. "you'll never find an apt. in this neighborhood for less than $2,300"); do not just live in a neighborhood because it's the cheapest you can find (sometimes that extra $200/month buys you peace of mind, grocery stores, the occasional tree); check out a street you're considering in the daytime and at night. It is so much safer here than it used to be, but there are also issues of noise, garbage, access to transportation, etc. Do your homework and you'll be glad you did. And you'll be amazed how much you can do in a kitchen with only 12" of counter space. Then you face the dilemma of "what of these 6 really cool things can we do tonite?" In the end, it's pretty great!


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:34 am 
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-Roommates or lifemates sharing living expenses. This is a big one...it's pretty tough to afford housing on one's own

-Not living in Manhattan, and probably not living in many parts of Brooklyn either (at least not the parts within 30 minute commute to downtown)

-Smaller spaces means needing less stuff to buy and maintain

-Not having a car

-In some cases 2+ jobs

-No cable TV, but you probably won't have time to watch it between working and hanging out

-taking cheap or few vacations


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:29 pm 
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- live in Philadelphia and hang out with me and just go to NYC every weekend! :P

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:51 pm 
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I have made the same amount of money living all over - Wichita, KS or Brooklyn (working in Manhattan) or Westchester or Raleigh NC or wherever so I have always wondered this.

Though, re what Terry said about not living in most of Brooklyn, we lived in Bay Ridge which is as far away as you can get in Brooklyn, and the small, kind of livable 1 and 1/2 bedroom was $1100 I think.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Some people afford it by having rent controlled apartments or buying at a good time and then holding on forever. they take vacations but always sublet which often funds the holiday or lifestyle. It's harder for new residents to do this, but after a few years in the same apartment, your rent will seem cheap compared to new rentals. Try moving in with someone, and then taking over their lease if they ever leave.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:24 pm 
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sewster wrote:
you'll be amazed how much you can do in a kitchen with only 12" of counter space.

i never did figure that out :|

appifanie wrote:
Though, re what Terry said about not living in most of Brooklyn, we lived in Bay Ridge which is as far away as you can get in Brooklyn, and the small, kind of livable 1 and 1/2 bedroom was $1100 I think.

wow, that's really good. compare this to the minimum $875/month 1 bedroom apartments in central NJ my then-boyfriend was looking at in 2004.

Bay Ridge is pretty far from Manhattan, but it's pretty well connected by subway lines. i'd think somewhere like Flatlands is the furthest in terms of public transportation.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:21 pm 
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JillW wrote:
they take vacations but always sublet which often funds the holiday or lifestyle.


This is so smart! I should do this when I'm away for like a week at a time. mind blown.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:35 am 
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here's the real secret: nonsensenyc.com/subscribe
subscribe and scroll down for space sharing situations, plus you'll see all the other awesome things happening in this city.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:56 am 
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JillW wrote:
here's the real secret: nonsensenyc.com/subscribe
subscribe and scroll down for space sharing situations, plus you'll see all the other awesome things happening in this city.


I love this list! I've been a long time subscriber and donat-er, because it's the best. We should start up a mini-thread just for this for folks to connect and check out the various weird parties and so-forth.

I once too lived in Brooklyn, btw. In one of those far far off parts and far far from the train, King's Highway and a good 20+ minute walk to the train. At $1000 for a 4 bedroom it was great when I was in my early 20's, and it helped a lot when I just moved there. That apt at that price was years ago so those I'm fairly certain those prices don't exist anymore, but it's possible if you don't mind 1 hour or more commutes to mid-town (and long asparagus commutes to the "cool" part of Brooklyn too), though living in Bay Ridge or Flatbush or Midwood any of the really far part of Brooklyn are not so terrible if you work in the downtown/Wall Street area in Manhattan.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:20 am 
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Greenpoint is still pretty affordable, because it's off the G train so it's not directly connected to Manhattan. In the winter it takes me 45 mins to get to the LES, because I take 3 trains, in the summer it takes me 30 mins because I ride my bike.
I pay $1100 for a one bedroom basement apartment with all my bills included.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:39 pm 
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I used to share a 3 bedroom for an outrageous $2600 in Williamsburg. I now live alone in a 1.5 bedroom in Bedstuy near the Kosckiosdfkjsf stop for $1325. Separate full kitchen and a living room on the third floor of a brownstone. I failed at finding a new roommate, so I just have to suck it up. I work full time on the UES, but I get paid salary, so I know exactly how much I'm getting paid each month--something completely necessary when you pay that much and live alone. Broker than broke, but I love it.

A 1 br in Greenpoint for $1100? Insane. My boyfriend pays upwards of $1600 for his, and he just got a rent increase notice in the mail (again).

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Bringing up an old post here, but can someone tell me what I should expect to be included in rent? I've seen some that include all utilities, and some say things like "heat & hot water included." Does that mean gas is included? I can't think of any situation where you'd have a separate bill for hot water, but maybe New York is weird?


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:40 pm 
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In actual apartment rentals in NYC (as opposed to commercial loft-type stuff) I've never known anyone to have to pay for hot water or heat. And in the 5968905683 different apartments I've lived in, I've only paid for gas at about 50% of them. I'd assume though, that "heat & hot water" doesn't necessarily include gas, which is for stoves etc. If something says "all utilities included" that probably covers electric as well, which can get pretty expensive.
meh sorry if this is confusing, I guess it's pretty much a "you gotta ask the landlord" in each individual case type of thing.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:03 pm 
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That makes sense for anywhere, I think. I was really thrown off by the "heat and hot water." I'd figure that would be included in electric or gas, depending on which of those heats the place.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:15 pm 
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I pay for gas and electric, but not heat. So, in the summer the electric bill is way high from AC, but in the winter it's pretty low because we're not paying for heat.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:13 am 
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I think listings mention the "hot water", heat and gas only to sound like you're getting something extra, which more often than not you are not. Who knows, there is probably some miserable apartment out there than doesn't include hot water and is trapped somewhere in 1908.

Currently I pay only for electric. When I did have to pay for gas, it was almost negligible and was not even monthly, more like a billing cycle was every 2-3 months and almost never over $20. Gas cooking bills are probably the smallest utility you'll deal with rentals in NYC.

More importantly, look very hard for "no fee" apartments. They do exist, basically where you won't be shelling out another month or more rent to pay a real estate agent. But on the flip side, it's usually worth checking in with a real estate agent occasionally because they sometimes do have leads on better apartments.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:49 pm 
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Barring any weird unforeseen circumstances between now and spring, this is happening for sure. So I guess we've moved into research mode. We've decided on Brooklyn and want to be within a half hour train ride to Manhattan. I don't want neighborhood suggestions so much as I want to know if there are any unsafe/otherwise shitty neighborhoods we should avoid.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:26 am 
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I think East NY is now considered one of the last neighborhoods to avoid. Please correct if I'm wrong! I'd focus on any area with a subway line within a 5 minute walk, perhaps not the G train, but any other line. This would rule out some cool neighborhoods but considerably cut down on commute time if you're going into Manhattan often. If you already know, for example, that you'll be working near midtown, or chelsea or something, try to live near a line that goes there without transferring.


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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:06 pm 
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We (hubs and I) ALMOST left NY for Louisville, KY. It was before the market took a shiitake and the thought of buying anything of our own in NY was pretty much impossible. We were looking at houses for $60,000 in nice areas of Louisville!!! what the fizzle!

But when the economy crumbled we took advantage and ended up buying a house on LI. I bet that house in Louisville is like $30,000 by now......ah well.

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 Post subject: Re: How do people afford to live in NYC?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:58 am 
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When I moved to NYC in 2006, I lived in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. I got a 1 bedroom for $950 then. Each year the rent increased and by 2010 it was $1150. My sister was also paying about $1100 for a 1 br in Sunset Park. So we pooled our finances and moved into the city together. We now live in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan. It's $2800 a month for a converted 2br so we aren't paying too much more than we paid separate and now all of our utilities are included and we are right there in the city by our favorite area, the east village. The converted 2br isn't as bad as people make it out to be. We still have a living room and now two bedrooms and an office. One of the bedrooms is HUGE so we made it a separate living room with another couch and it's awesome if we don't want to watch the same stuff. It also has an amazing kitchen with nice countertops, a gas stove and a dishwasher! It's heaven.


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