Welcome to New York, the most populous city in the U.S. with 8.5 million residents. Whether you're a college student, post-grad or just moving to NYC to claim your piece of the Big Apple, use this housing guide to help you land an apartment in a neighborhood you like.
Living and renting in NYC is expensive – rents are high and budgets are tight. Use the calculator below to see how much rent you can afford. Be aware that landlords require that your salary is 40 times your monthly rent. If the combination of your salary and your roommates’ does not meet that level, you might need a guarantor.
New York City is made up of five boroughs and within each are distinct neighborhoods that have a mood and vibe all their own. Manhattan ranges from upper-crust living along Central Park on the Upper East Side to edgy, no-holds-barred tastes on the Lower East Side. Brooklyn offers a more casual lifestyle for the young and hip and when when you add in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, it’s all there for the taking.
The UWS is a popular choice for newcomers and New Yorkers alike. It has a casual, residential vibe, lots of green space, friendly bars and classic NYC cultural institutions and it’s a favorite backdrop for TV shows and rom-coms.
With tons of affordable bars and restaurants, a 24/7 nightlife and lots of rental options, the East Village is another popular neighborhood for young newcomers. Plus, living in the East Village gives you automatic local cred.
See our neighborhood guides for lifestyle info, maps, data and moreView All Neighborhoods
Due to the high costs of rents, many people find roommates to help share costs. But if you prefer to go it alone, there are a few options. See three living styles below.
For this option, you will first need to find a roommate and ideally one who is compatible. Get tips on finding a roommate. Then, you can search for apartments together and split the upfront costs together, too.
This is perhaps the priciest and most challenging option because you are going it alone and laying out the costs yourself. But, just think: You can do what you want when you want and there is no one to bother you.
In NYC, there are two main types of rentals: Fee and no-fee listings. Fee means you pay a real estate broker to find you a rental. No-fee means you rent through a management company and you do not pay a fee. A broker’s fee is one-month’s rent or anywhere from 8 to 15 percent of the full year’s lease.
Once you find the apartment you want, it’s important to move fast. That’s because it’s a competitive city and desirable apartments come on and off the market quickly. Before you submit an application, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper paperwork together (see charts below) and most importantly, you have a guarantor lined up.
When it comes time to sign the lease, review it carefully:
Now comes the fun part: Living in New York City! As you’ll quickly learn, it can be quite expensive and you might run into some issues with roommates, landlords and budgets. But, we’ve put together some tips to help you get through:
For starters, use the golden rule and everything should fall into place
Quick answer is, “yes you should.” If your cell phone or bike gets stolen, the loss will be covered. Or, if a pipe breaks and your clothes are ruined, you have coverage.
If your place is “uninhabitable,” you could have grounds to withhold rent.
There are ways out.
Probably. NYC is a prime city for subletters and sublettees. Just check with your landlord.
It depends on the reason.
Generally heat, hot water and electricity.
Trust us — this happens all the time. First, you pare down, then think vertically.
Think creatively. New York City is overflowing with parties in small apartments.
Figure it out because now that you live in NYC, there will be many more coming!