Moving from a small town to the Big Apple is no small feat. New York City is one of the largest metropolises in the world and navigation as a new resident can be tricky. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about how to start preparing for the big move, consider the following five tips:
Prepare in Advance
Start preparing for your move a few months in advance. You need to have some financial foresight and save enough money to cover moving costs, such as a moving truck, deposits, fees and first month’s rent. You also should have some excess savings that give you a cushion in case of an emergency.
Look into the average costs for restaurant dining, groceries, home goods, parking, activities and housing around the city. This gives you a good idea of what you need to budget and the costs you will encounter when you first take up residence in NYC.
Take a Test Trip
You should take at least one trip into the city before you move. This enables you to get a real-world picture of what life is like in the city. Visit neighborhoods you are considering living in or near and spend time in local coffee shops, restaurants and attractions. These are great places to observe the city and you will find people who can provide insight about the neighborhood.
Check out Walk Score’s website so you can scout the most convenient and walkable areas of the city. You also should reference a crime map so you know where is safe to walk, visit and live.
Find an Apartment
Check out the rental market a few months before your big move. See what is available and the average price in your preferred neighborhoods. Use online resources like ForRent to find New York apartments that you can afford and then check in with the landlord for more details and about any additional costs. Make sure you ask about the utilities you’re responsible for, the average cost of utilities, parking costs and any deposits. You might want to take a second trip out to the city to visit your top contenders in person.
Outfit Your Apartment
Create a list of necessities and frivolities that will make your new place more comfortable. Start with a list of the basic furniture you have and the pieces you need to purchase once you’re moved in. Create a detailed shopping list of what you need right away and your budget. Then make a separate list of items that can wait until you’re settled in and have some time to save up for. This process will help you shop smart and financially plan ahead.
Check out the Community
Now that you know where you’re going to live, check out how the locals live and what they like to do. For example, do you see people cycling around the city, running in a park or participating in outdoor yoga? When you move, join a running group or outdoors group to meet new people. Or if you notice a lot of people hitting certain restaurants or bars, check them out to see what they’re like.
You also should visit the local community centers and take note of the activities they offer. Not only will you get a good sense of the neighborhood, but you also may make some friends in the process.