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NYC affordable on this transfer?

NYC affordable on this transfer?

Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by deng890 View Post
I agree. Reena, you've already made the decision to come and good luck to you. Just watch out with housing in NYC, and definitely don't take Bladerunner's advice about looking in East Harlem. Just to put it into perspective- I once looked at renting a room in a place in East Harle
. The apartment looked nice in the pictures but when I got there the area was very rough and scary, the landlord admitted a homeless guy was murdered on the door step a few months back And even then they were asking $900 for the room! Try looking outside Manhattan. It might be nice to be able to get off the subway at 2am after some partying and be home, but it's also important to come home every night to somewhere comfortable and safe.
My sister actually made a really good recommendation, which is to move to CT for the first couple of months. Settle into my job, get to know the area and NY well, take my time to do research, etc and take it from there.

Like you say, I don't want any surprises when I get there. But I do want to live in New York eventually. I think Harlem will be my last reserve, but with UES or perhaps brooklyn. Or maybe i should just buy a bloody one bedroom somewhere nice! Either way, I need to eventually be near Harlem 125th or GC.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by HumphreyC View Post
Speaking of Harlem - here are some before and after pics of the area from the 1980s to 2007 (sorry, it's an old thread so some of the pics have disappeared). The eighties really were a nadir for a lot of American cities and it's amazing how bad things got.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=149448
How, thanks for sharing this! What a radical change. The 80's pics look bloody scarey, but I know the area has really improve lately. Especially West Harlem...
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by Reena81 View Post
My sister actually made a really good recommendation, which is to move to CT for the first couple of months. Settle into my job, get to know the area and NY well, take my time to do research, etc and take it from there.

Like you say, I don't want any surprises when I get there. But I do want to live in New York eventually. I think Harlem will be my last reserve, but with UES or perhaps brooklyn. Or maybe i should just buy a bloody one bedroom somewhere nice! Either way, I need to eventually be near Harlem 125th or GC.
I think that would be a really sensible idea. Give yourself time to adjust, time to really go and get a feel for what parts of NYC you like. There are some beautiful places in Brooklyn, but also some not so nice, but everyone's preferences are different so I think that your sister's idea is probably the most sensible. If I didn't have kids, we would probably want to live in the city as I love the buzz of it all, but also love where we are in CT, peaceful, beautiful parks and only a train ride away from the city. Another nice train ride is on the Hudson line, the train literally goes right down the Hudson and in the Summer it is a lovely journey.

I look forward to reading how you get on and what decisions you make along the way. It's always interesting reading about other people's experiences
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by Reena81 View Post
My sister actually made a really good recommendation, which is to move to CT for the first couple of months. Settle into my job, get to know the area and NY well, take my time to do research, etc and take it from there.

Like you say, I don't want any surprises when I get there. But I do want to live in New York eventually. I think Harlem will be my last reserve, but with UES or perhaps brooklyn. Or maybe i should just buy a bloody one bedroom somewhere nice! Either way, I need to eventually be near Harlem 125th or GC.
This definitely makes sense, you really need to take your time to actually check out the areas/apartments and how it will fit with travelling to CT every day. However, I would rule out Brooklyn right away -- that would make for a horrendous commute! By the way, I know you said that you are used to commuting, but I don't know how often you have had to deal with fun NY things like it being so cold that the doors freeze shut and folks can't exit the train! That's the kind of learning curve you will face. By the way, South Norwalk has quite a decent scene for food, music, nightlife.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

I agree that Brooklyn to Connecticut would be a huge commute. Also there are areas of Brooklyn that are more expensive than Manhattan and areas that are still really bad. A friend moved to Bushwic in Brooklyn recently..I went to visit her and I'm glad my husband was with me. It was one of the worst areas of NYC that I have ever been to!

The Harlem thread and pics were interesting! Spanish Harlem or East Harlem has changed dramaticaly even since 2007! The pictures are a mix of East and West Harlem. Also there is even a Victorias Secret on West 125th! Just shows how much things have changed.

In the 70's and early 80's even the Upper West Side Wasn't so great. My grandfather had a store on 80th and Amsterdam and the area was downright scary in the 70's!

I remember in the 80's you really didn't want to go past East 86th street. Times have changed alot but you still need to be careful.
New York on the whole is actually a safe city to live in and I love it and can't imagine living anywhere else but like with any city you have your good and bad areas.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

To me, the image of life in New York is shaped by the "Rom-Com" effect. In your by the numbers romantic comedies set in New York, there always seems to be a guy or gal who lives in a beautiful, spacious house or apartment (normally in a stunning brownstone building, with original hardwood floors, a friendly doorman, and with Central Park around the corner). They go out to nice bars and restaurants all the time, they take cabs everywhere, and they do it all while working a job in PR or something that in reality wouldn't pay anywhere near enough to support that lifestyle.

In all honesty, $45k will probably be enough for you to survive on in NYC. Once your tax and contributions are taken off your salary, you pay your rent and general living costs, and you pay for your travel out to CT every day, there won't be much left over. I wouldn't say "don't do it" - the chance to live in NYC won't come along very often - but I would say "temper your expectations. As some have already pointed out, you're looking at a lengthy daily commute, and if you want to enjoy the social aspects of the city on the weekend, you will have to make some serious sacrifices elsewhere to save your money.

If your long term plan is to settle in the US (you mentioned a green card), why not live in CT to begin with? After a promotion or two, you'll surely be in a stronger place financially to make the move into Manhattan.
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Old Jun 25th 2011, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by Reena81 View Post
My sister actually made a really good recommendation, which is to move to CT for the first couple of months. Settle into my job, get to know the area and NY well, take my time to do research, etc and take it from there.
That's what most people have suggested you do if you really want this, of moving to CT. At the very least you'll be saving yourself a lot more money and time on the commute, which gives you a breathing room to do stuff.
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Old Jun 26th 2011, 4:42 am
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by deng890 View Post
definitely don't take Bladerunner's advice about looking in East . Just to put it into perspective- I once looked at renting a room in a place in East Harlem. The apartment looked nice in the pictures but when I got there the area was very rough and scary, the landlord admitted a homeless guy was murdered on the door step a few months back
East Harlem varies block by block. I was thinking of the area between 98th and 103rd, near Lex, east of the Metro North line. There are projects further east, but this area is all walk ups, and has some nice restaurants and a good vibe.
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Old Jun 26th 2011, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by Reena81 View Post

I'm confident I'll get it, as me and the employer have been talking about it for months and she told me to apply last week. Having said that, you never know, they might give it to some else!
Time to get the job and the visa now! Go get 'em!
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Old Jun 26th 2011, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by Bladerunner View Post
East Harlem varies block by block. I was thinking of the area between 98th and 103rd, near Lex, east of the Metro North line. There are projects further east, but this area is all walk ups, and has some nice restaurants and a good vibe.
It does vary block by block and for someone who is not famailiar to NYC (especially a female) I would recommend the Upper East Side instead.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 3:14 am
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by Reena81 View Post

I want to die with no regrets. None at all and this would be one of them.

Cheers.
Originally Posted by Reena81 View Post
Hello. I'm not planning to live a lavish lifestyle at all. I actually intend to house/flatshare, probably in West Harlem, which will obviously be much cheaper than renting a whole flat on my own.

Also, don't intend to party much during the weeks. Maybe the odd diner, movie, bar, museum, etc. But as someone already posted on the forum, I'm not intending to dine at the Ritz! If worst comes to worst and I have to go back to London, I'll just crash at my parent's until I get a new job again. Working for an airline, I could get back from less than $150 dollars, (perks!) and I have money saved for for a deposit anyway.

I really don't want to live in CT, as I want to experience NY living, (by this I don't mean the crazy, blow your money everynight lifestyle). Just going for the chilled out, hazy flow of NY. Nothing else. I'm a good budgeter and there are plenty of people who get by in NY on less salaries. It can be done!
Some things dont fit. Your company, Virgin Group is moving you from UK to US ? at 45K/yr before taxes ? Then certainly they would know that it is low wage to move a 1st world worker to another 1st world workplace.

Or, was is it that you volunteered to take a position that there were no takers ? Why all this matters ? Because in your enthuisism, you forget getting your paper work for Green Card will be difficult iff they cannot make a good case for you.

Do you have atleast a Bachelor's Degree + specialized experience ?

Here are some nuts and bolts cost of living: The area around 125th St. on the Metro North is not yet gentrified hence gritty. If you chose to live in Harlem or elsewhere in the Bronx, you would need to get a metro card. (mta.info) which would run you about $104.

Groceries in Manhattan are generally about 15-30% more expensive than the other boroughs. And, in some neighborhoods as high as 75-100% more. In my neighborhood a loaf of whole wheat is $3.99, and a gallon of milk $4.19. Eggs are $4.00 a dozen. A Quart of Juice (on sale) $3.39 ( This is this morning's receipt )

A pint of beer even in the cheapest dive will be $5. If you go regularly to your neighborhood bar, maybe the third pint in on the house.

The cheapest postpay cellular plan with fees and taxes is about $50+ If you land up in a apartment share in an old rent-stablilized building, it is most likely that the infrastructure is poor and as a result the utility bills will be higher and you'd have to share the bill.

In Harlem you might get a hotdog still for a $1, but I doubt it. On weekdays you will return back from CT totally bushwhacked. Come weekend you will be glad to just stay put.

Take a spreadsheet and start plugging in what you currently spend in London and then plug in what you might have to shell out in NYC. Unfortunately you have said nothing about your lifestyle to make a economic estimate of your survival in Manhattan. OTH, If you can cut down your commute fare by living next to your work place, you can then hit manhattan during weekends.

Welcome to the Big Apple !!!!!

Last edited by anuny; Jun 27th 2011 at 3:18 am.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 3:21 am
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by penguinbar View Post
It does vary block by block and for someone who is not famailiar to NYC (especially a female) I would recommend the Upper East Side instead.
UES is the most expensive neighborhood in Manhattan. Yes, there are some rent controlled buildings, and yes there are some Mitchell Lama buildings but the OP is not qualified, and illegal sublets are rare to come by.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 3:37 am
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

If one shops at 125th St. Fairways, and frugal, one can bring the grocery bill to about $250 a month sans good cut of steak and beer












[Having said that, I must go and validate it this week ]
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 4:07 am
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by anuny View Post
If one shops at 125th St. Fairways, and frugal, one can bring the grocery bill to about $250 a month sans good cut of steak and beer










[Having said that, I must go and validate it this week ]
Just make sure you put on those loaner coats when you go in the Meat Locker, or your ears will snap off. Parking can be tough, make sure you have wheel locks, on your car/truck.

Reg. Frank R.
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Old Jun 27th 2011, 4:22 am
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Default Re: NYC affordable on this transfer?

Originally Posted by anuny View Post
UES is the most expensive neighborhood in Manhattan. Yes, there are some rent controlled buildings, and yes there are some Mitchell Lama buildings but the OP is not qualified, and illegal sublets are rare to come by.
The Upper East Side is actually one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Manhattan. East of Lexington Avenue anyway.It used to be one of the most expensive. You still can get a rent stabilised apartmentif you look but not a rent controlled one. Unless you've lived in an apartment since 1971 it's not going to be rent controlled. Tribeca, The Upper West Side, Soho, Greenwich Village are much more expensive. Even the East Village has gotten pricey. I have a friend who lives in a 4 bedroom 2 bath duplex apartment on 78th and 2nd with a backyard for $3600 so she pays $900 a month. She's been there just under a year and found it on craigslist.Another lives in a 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath on 93rd and 2nd for $2400 so her part is $800. You'll have a hard time finding a share for under $1000 but it can be done. You will have utilities as well. Forget about the Bronx all together.

Costco is on East 117th and we are getting a Fairways on East 86th which is an easy walk from my apartment. Also if you use coupons and look for sales you would be amazed at how much money you can save. I got my $87 grocery bill down to $18 with coupons and sale items a few weeks ago.
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