Moving to New York, NY

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Last Updated on May 31, 2024 @ 8:22 pm

Thinking of Moving to New York?

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Living in The Big Apple Below.

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New York City At-A-Glance

Crowded streets, expensive rents, a competitive job market. No one ever said moving to New York was easy. After all, this is a dense city with nearly 9 million people packed into five boroughs (with more than 1.5 million living on the sliver of an island that is Manhattan). NYC is made up of immigrants coming from all over the world, with more than 76% of movers coming from another U.S. state–namely New Jersey, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

New Yorkers will often say the “highs are higher and the lows even lower,” and there’s much to consider when deciding whether or not to move to the Big Apple. In fact, your experience will likely be nothing like what you expect it to be. New York may not be for everyone but for many, it’s the only city they can imagine living in.

New York City Essential Resources

New York City Essentials City of New York website Everything you need to know about living in New York City. Chock full of useful resources, including information about the NYC government, programs and initiatives, and local events. Voter registration Use this site to register to vote online or print off a New York voter registration […]

There’s No Place Like New York City

People move to New York City to pursue their biggest aspirations. There’s a reason why it’s called the city of dreams, and those who dwell here would agree there’s just no other place like New York City.

From the food, to the views and the entertainment, you’ll constantly be in awe of the architecture, people, and the blending of cultures. Plus, with some of the most famous skylines in the world, it’s hard to not feel in awe of the beauty surrounding you in the city. There are so many things to do in a city like NYC, that you’ll simply never run out of restaurants to try, shows to marvel at or legendary spots to pop into. 

And if you’re looking to move to New York City with your dog, you’re in luck! NYC has been rated the tenth most dog-friendly city in America. Not only are there plenty of parks to explore, but there are countless dog-friendly restaurants and events around the city to bring your dog to.  
While you’re exploring all that NYC has to offer, make sure you’re doing it like the locals! There’s a certain way New Yorkers do things, including how they speak, so be sure to learn the language. New York has its own set of common sense values and tricks for survival, so be sure to get familiar with the ways of the locals.

The Big Apple Economy is Driven By Numerous Industries

Numbers alone can’t tell the story of New York City’s economy. From real estate to tourism and the financial industry to fine arts, the local economy is driven by numerous industries, many of them based in the Big Apple. While certain job sectors are extremely competitive, there are many employers that have contributed to the steady increase in employment and wages. Tourism is high and real estate development keeps growing. You’ll pay a pretty penny just to visit. Not surprisingly, New York regularly ranks as THE country’s most expensive cities to live in.

Oh, and hope you like crowds as the Big Apple crams 71,907 residents in every square mile, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

  • Unemployment rate: 4.8% (as of August 2022)
  • Average weekly wages for all industries: $1,727 (as of August 2022)

Rent is An Extremely Steep Price Tag in NYC

While those thinking of moving to New York City may have hoped rents in Manhattan had dropped, the average rent recently hit $5,000 for the first time on record. It represented a 29 percent increase over the previous year. That’s enough reason to think twice before moving to NYC.  Regardless of the fluctuating price tag, be prepared for the sticker shock. Oftentimes, if a deal is too good to be true, then it really is just that. In your apartment hunt, have all your paperwork and financials together because the application process is competitive.

If you’re wondering just how to find somewhere to live when moving to New York City, we’ve got you covered with all the information you’ll need. Before you make it to NYC, be sure to familiarize yourself with the various types of apartments you will find.

It gets worse. The cost of living is 137 percent higher than the U.S. average, which means you’ll pay more here for just about anything, including a home. The average home price is $2.4 million. You’ll pay 44 percent more at the grocery store and 18 percent more for transportation.
One option to offset costs is to find temporary housing before you move to the city. That way, you can explore and discover which borough is right for you. Once you’ve discovered which neighborhood is for you, you want to make sure you get the most out of your money. There is a lot to consider when apartment hunting in New York City, so check out our guide on finding an apartment in New York City

The Five Boroughs in NYC Offer Unique Neighborhood Vibes

The five boroughs of New York City are all unique and come with something different to offer. There are countless neighborhoods to explore throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx.

Brooklyn: Though real estate is especially expensive, Brooklyn has become NYC’s hippest and fastest growing borough.

Queens: Queens, on the other hand, is the largest and most diverse borough in NYC with nearly 100 unique neighborhoods. 

Manhattan: If you’re looking to be in the epicenter of the arts, business or culinary scene, you may want to consider living in Manhattan

Staten Island: Meanwhile Staten Island, “The Borough of Parks,” is known for being the most laid back borough, fit for those who don’t want to give up their car or yard.

Not sure you found the right NYC borough for your lifestyle? You’re not alone. We crunched the data and found that thousands of New Yorkers move from one borough to another. Still not sure, don’t worry, check out some of the other best neighborhoods in NYC here.

NYC Subway: One of the Most Efficient People Transports in the World

New York’s sprawling system, while imperfect, transports more than 2.4 million around the city every day, making it one of the most efficient people transport systems in the entire world. Before the pandemic, over 1 billion people would go through the turnstiles each year! Certain trains are more reliable than others and it’s good to be aware of weekend and night schedules, which can change because of track work. 

Additionally, you have access to Citi Bike, a bike share program that has 25,000 bikes and over 1,500 stations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Jersey City and Hoboken to take advantage of during the warmer months. Transportation apps like Uber, Lyft and others also offer alternatives to the ubiquitous yellow cabs. New York City also has some other unique ways to commute around the city, which you can find here

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Choose From Some of the Top Colleges in the Nation

Of all 50 states, New York ranks 13th overall when it comes to education. Because of the large number of immigrants and ethnicities that make up New York City as a whole, students attending public schools are exposed to a vast array of different cultures. 

New Yorks’ higher education system is composed of 309 colleges and universities, including a mix of public institutions, nonprofit private schools and for-profit private colleges. More than 130 four-year, degree-granting institutions are located in New York, which is the most of any state in the U.S. Students will have their pick of prestigious universities such as Cornell, Columbia, Syracuse, New York University, which are all ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list.

You’ll Get a Taste of All Four Seasons in the Big Apple

New York gives you a taste of all four seasons. While winters can be bitterly cold and summers can be hot and humid, spring and fall are often the best times to be in the city. The weather can often change on a whim with a snowstorm one week and spring like conditions the next that melts everything off the streets. On average, Central Park typically sees its first flakes around Dec. 15. The snow season usually stops by early March, with January and February the two most likely months to see considerable snowfall in New York. 

  • Average temperature in August (warmest month): 88°F high, 75°F low
  • Average temperature in January (coldest month): 39°F high, 26°F low

10 Can’t Miss Things to Do in New York City

It’s impossible to narrow it down to only 10 must-see things to do in a city like New York. Here’s a starting point for the top 10 things to do in New York City that you don’t want to miss.

  1. Attend a show on Broadway. There are usually anywhere from 33 to 45 different shows to choose from. 
  2. Take a stroll through the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), which is world famous not only for the artwork, but also for The Met Gala, a yearly showcase of fashion who’s who. 
  3. Take a Sex and the City tour, which highlights several famous NYC buildings and locations featured in the show, including Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, and SoHo. 
  4. Do a day trip to Governors Island and have a picnic directly across from the Statue of Liberty. 
  5. Shop til you drop on Fifth Avenue, which is one of the most popular shopping areas in the world, or stop by the largest Harry Potter Store in the Flatiron District.  
  6. Hop aboard a row boat or take a gondola tour of Central Park, which is an often underestimated way of exploring the world’s most famous green space. 
  7. Conquer the Empire State Building, which provides stunning 360-degree views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more. 
  8. Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, a 1.3 mile-long stunner that has remained an iconic landmark of the city since it opened in 1883. 
  9. Pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which displays moving tributes to the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11
  10. Down a slice of New York-style pizza which is characteristically large hand-tossed thin crust, sold in wide slices to go. You’ll have your pick at a number of infamous joints nestled in the city.

Shawnna Stiver

Shawnna Stiver is a veteran content writer and copy strategist with over 22 years of experience. She has had the pleasure of writing traditional, digital and social content for the following industries: beauty, construction, consumer goods, entrepreneurship, financial services, health/wellness, home improvement/DIY, lifestyle, moving, non-profit, parenting, self improvement and travel. In addition, she’s led content strategy for the self-storage industry since 2022.
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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
Contact the editor: [email protected]


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