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Moving to NYC - Could use some advice

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#1 sviola



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Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:43


My wife was offered a research positionin New York and we're looking into moving there in the second half of the year. We live in Brazil (although I am British) and I could use some advice from people living in NYC area. These are the things I'd like some assistance with:

1 - Housing. We have a small kid (will be 2yo by the time we'll move) and we would like to find a nice neighbourhood which is safe, not far from work and not expensive. I know this might be a difficult question, but we have no idea on how Manhattan is regarding this aspects and so far the prices we've seen for renting are quite high. (We're looking for pricing south of $2k).

2 - Still regarding rent, do the prices advertised usually include building fees, utilities or any other expense I'm not aware of? Or are these things to be expected to be paid on top of the rental price?

3 - Work. I'll have to look for a job while there. Where can I find a sample american resume so I can adjust mine to it?

4 - Should I start sending out resumes before I arrive (and have the Visa issued) or should I wait to arrive? Do companies hire prospective employees during the Visa process?

5 - Safety. As we live in Rio de Janeiro, I'm used to high levels of violence and crime. What should I expect in Manhattan? I know it is quite safe, but are there places and situation we should be aware?

6 - Anything else I should be aware?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Best Regards,

#2 Roger H.

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:10

Welcome to NYC - hope it all works out for you. Lots of dreams are made and crushed here everyday but hopefully that doesn't include yours.

Now for some of your questions:

1 - 2K for a place in the city - you might get a "loft" for that. You gotta remember that this is NYC and there are places that cost $37,000K/month (penthouses but still).


Look on Craigslist there (don't stray away from there, LOL) and you'll see some decent stuff but generally not cheap. Upper East/West Side are nice homes but for 2K that might be 1bedroom.

http://newyork.craig...3717434587.html - That might be not too shabby for a 2 bedroom.

Some of the other parts of town are crazy expensive, maybe Gramercy park or Greenwich Village or so. Really nice but definitely crazy pricing.

2 - Most of the pricing you'll see wont include most utilities. Odds are you wont pay for water/sewage and maybe even heating if you are lucky but generally you pay your own electric usage as well as cable/internet and whatever else.

3 - Check on Monster.com or generally just Google it.


http://www.resumewri...e%20resume.html - click different types of Jobs to see what different ones look like.

5 - Not much "violent" crime in NYC. Sure might run into a drunk "tough guy" or the average pick pocket or something but in general the city is pretty safe - sometimes I swear they have a million cops around. LOL. There is ALWAYS a cop within 100meters every time I've checked.

6 - Anything else to know? Ooh... "hide yo kids, hide yo wife.....!!" :rofl: :shifty: (Don't worry if you didn't get it, yet) :p

Now this is for "the city" which is Manhattan, NYC includes 5 boroughs (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn (Kings), Manhattan & Staten Island).. those are also considered NYC so if you meant the other places you can look around, outside of the city is much cheaper and doesn't take long from anywhere in NYC to get to the city via trains if needed. Most people take the subway/bus to work and that's usually a 20-45min thing on the long end.

#3 Joe User

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:24

For goodness sake, if you're trying to live on a budget, move to Brooklyn or Queens, not Manhattan. Especially if you have a kid and want any forms of open space.

Try Forest Hills or Kew Gardens for Queens, I lived there for 42 years. It's a 25 minute commute and the neighborhoods have open spaces that kids need.

Here's my old neighborhood: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/1244338

#4 Ryan Hoffman

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:02

I live in Manhattan. I love living here!

1. For south of 2k you are at the low end of the market. That would be a very small studio (0br 1ba) in an elevator building, or in a walkup (and 4th+ floor in a no elevator building) *maybe* a 1br 1ba. I live in a 1 br 1ba (~700 sq ft) apartment in an elevator building, and my rent is over $3k/mo - I have a roommate that lives in the living room, we even added walls so there is a room. This type of sharing with temporary walls is a normal situation in NYC apartments. As far as your max budget goes, a lot of buildings require you to make 40-50x the monthly rent, yearly, to even apply to be a rentor.

Be careful when looking at real estate ads, many say "2br" but in the fine print say 1br "convertible". Convertible means, you can add 1 more bedroom if you build temporary walls - converting common space into a bedroom.

Another real estate marketing tactic is the "1st month free" or "x months free" deal. The cost of 1 month's savings is averaged over the term of the lease, and you just pay that small amount less each month. So if you found an apartment for $3000/mo and signed a 1 year lease, with 1 month free, your "net monthly rent" would be $2750/mo. Bottom line: if they are advertising the place with a "months free" deal, ask the realtor what the "net rent" will be.

2. Most rentals in the $2k range only include water and heat. Electricity, cable/internet/phone is all on you. Power in NYC is more expensive then in other parts of the US. My electric bill is over $150 a month, and I just have 1 roommate.

Depending on the area in which you buy, the broker fee structure works differently. In the Financial District (southern tip of Manhattan) listings are usually "NO FEE", which means you do not have to pay a brokers fee - but the building is actually paying it for you. In other areas, there is probably a brokers fee, so imagine it will be about 1 months rent (possibly a few % more). Easy math is you need 1 month rent * 3.5 to move in to a place (1st month rent + security + brokers fee).

One hidden fee that you might encounter is an application fee. When you finally find the apartment that you want, the building may charge a fee (usually between $50 and $100) to process your application to rent the building. Often times on that application you need to submit your financial information.

3. What industry are you in?

4. Same question, it really all depends. It also depends on how awesome your resume really is :shiftyninja: .

5. Totally safe, don't even worry about it. With that said, you can get killed in the safest place in America if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Exercise common sense. NYC is a big place, there is a lot of awesome friendly people - but there are also some crazy people and bad apples.

6. Like the other posters have said, there are other places that are more affordable to live in NYC that are outside Manhattan. Come to think of it, I wrote this whole post because it seemed you were interested in moving to Manhattan, but you also refer to it as "NYC". Here is a quick tip: "NYC" refers to all 5 boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx). All of the areas outside of Manhattan have much more affordable housing. Brooklyn for the most part has much better public transit (Subway) then the other outer boroughs. If you do not move into Manhattan (or many parts of Brooklyn), most likely you will want a car.

With all the negative things aside, try to move into Manhattan!!! It's awesome!!! I absolutely love it!!!!

#5 OP sviola



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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:15

Thanks all for your replies. You have been very helpful.

3. What industry are you in?

4. Same question, it really all depends. It also depends on how awesome your resume really is :shiftyninja: .

I'm a Software Engineer. And I have 8 years of experience and worked on some of the top US IT consulting companies (and for one of them I worked for a project in the US, although I was offshore).

#6 Ryan Hoffman

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:29

You should contact Software Developer recruiters in NYC. You can probably find them on LinkedIn somehow, they are all over me all the time there. I don't think you will have a problem getting a "Senior" Software Developer title in NYC with that background.

#7 spacer


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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:37

My advice? Don't. NYC is a poop-hole.