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Top tips if you are planning a move to New York...

Wednesday 17th July 2019

Moving to an amazing, culturally-diverse city like New York is an exciting decision, but one that involves a lot of forethought and planning. Visit and explore the city to take note of the areas you might like to live, get advice from 'New Yorkers', and check out job opportunities before finalizing your decision. Before your move, take time to save some money, choose a neighborhood you want to live in, and find an apartment; plan all the details of the move ahead of time to prevent last-minute stress. The official website of the City of New York: http://www1.nyc.gov

Visit the city and explore. Before making a final decision, visit NYC and go beyond the tourist experience; take public transit, and visit small shops, pharmacies, grocery stores, and local restaurants. Bring a notebook with you to take detailed notes about the places you liked the most, things you want to avoid, and details that you want to remember. Make sure to visit all five boroughs of the city:

  • The Bronx: known as the home of the New York Yankees and the birthplace of the hip hop genre; it is also where you'll find the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.
  • Brooklyn: home of tourist favourites like the Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, and Park Slope.
  • Manhattan: location of some of NYC's most famous attractions, including Times Square, the Empire State building, Central Park, and Broadway.
  • Queens: home of the New York Mets and the Queens Botanical Garden.
  • Staten Island: known for the famous Staten Island Ferry, Historic Richmond Town, and NYC's largest forest preserve.

Get advice from New Yorkers/people already 'on the ground' If possible, have a conversation with a resident New Yorker about all of the best and worst aspects of living in NYC. If you do not have any friends or acquaintances in the city, visit online communities or message boards to ask questions and seek advice before your move. If someone you know has moved to NYC recently, ask them for any information or resources they can provide. For example, you could ask: "Can you tell me about the transit system in your area?" or "What do you wish you had known before moving here?"


Save up. The basics of life are more expensive in New York (comparable to London), for the most part, so you should make sure to have extra money in the bank before moving there. Between paying any costs associated with leaving your current residence and finding a new place to live, it's important you are prepared and have some savings put by to get you started.


Testing Out the Job Market in NYC. Ensuring that you will have a job in your new city is of the utmost importance. Get the ball rolling on finding employment by pre-emptively sending us your CV ([email protected])


Look for opportunities in areas that interest you. New York is famous for being a hub for Finance, Legal, HR, Sales/Marketing, Digital, Banking, IT and Construction recruitment, but if your interests are not aligned with that, it's still a place ripe with opportunity!

Finding an Apartment - Choose the area you want to live in. NYC has hundreds of distinct neighbourhoods to choose from, situated in its five boroughs. These communities are unique and feel like small cities of their own. Research, explore, and follow your gut feeling to choose the right area for you. Some popular neighbourhoods in NYC are:

  • Greenwich Village: one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in New York; home to NYU and Washington Square Park.
  • SoHo: a gentrified lower-Manhattan neighbourhood full of art galleries.
  • Financial District: home of Wall Street, One World Trade Center, Federal Hall, Battery Park City and the 9/11 Memorial.
  • Meat Packing District: home of the Chelsea Market and Whitney Museum of American Art, and a prime neighbourhood for fine dining and nightlife.
  • Tribeca: known for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Search for apartments. Scour Craigslist and "for rent" ads or simply go on the Spare Room website if you are keen to keep costs down initially! Don't hesitate too long before signing a lease on an apartment that you like though as they go very fast. Consider your commute. Transportation is a big issue in NYC, so consider your daily and weekend transit needs before choosing an apartment. Check if there are buses that stop nearby, how far away subway stations are, and how easy it is to get a taxi. Aim to be close to a subway, particularly if you find a job far that is from your desired neighbourhood. You can search the subway map on the MTA website: http://web.mta.info/maps/submap.html


Think about a sublet. To make sure that you're comfortable in the neighbourhood, consider subletting an apartment for a few months rather than signing a year lease right away. Subletting will also allow you to avoid paying broker fees and skip the credit check portion of the apartment search. Finding a sublet is fairly simple by way of Craigslist and other online listing websites. Searching through social media in general or asking friends who live in the area are other ways of finding a sublet.


Arrange your initial accommodation. If you will be arriving in NYC before you have an apartment to stay in, arrange for a place to stay in the interim. Look well in advance to find accommodation, and do some extra research to find cost-effective options. Instead of hotels, consider short-term room rentals through sites like Airbnb, hostels, academic housing, and couch surfing?