Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Nyc

April 1, 2013

Charles asks…

Are the perks you get in Northern New Jersey worth the cost of living?

I think the people who moved out of North Jersey because of cost of living apparently weren’t into paying a lot to get a lot! Do you agree?

PLEASE be detailed in your answer. Don’t give me a simple answer like “Yes, I do agree on both questions.” I would like you to use at least a few specifics. Thanks.

Administrator answers:

What exactly ARE the perks of living in Northern New Jersey???

I grew up in New Jersey, but I moved to NYC as a young adult. I have lived here for over 30 years. I prefer NYC! I think there are far better perks here! (Great mass transit, easy of mobility, easy access to culture, etc.)

EDIT: Well, I was asked to make this more specific, so I’ll give it a shot.

The asker asked me to tell more about how I have dealt with housing. (I think that’s what he’s asking, anyway.)

I entered the housing marked decades ago, remember. But even then, I couldn’t afford to live where I wanted, and couldn’t afford much of anything, actually.

I guess I started by not being so picky. I moved every month at first, every three months for the next year or so, and then every year after that. It took a while before I could afford to live in the same place for a few years at a time. (This was when I was in my 20s, mind – in the late 70s/early 80s.) I also always lived with roommates – sometimes quite a lot of roommates!

Eventually, as I got a bit older, got a better paying job, and learned more about great neighborhoods outside of Manhattan, I ended up living with just my (then) boyfriend in a pretty large apartment all by ourselves. We ended up getting married, and then, years later, were able to afford to buy something during a downturn in the housing market. We were then able to sell when the market was high and buy an actual HOUSE. This was nice, because we had two kids by then.

I live in a great neighborhood, close to mass transit, with many restaurants and stores and great schools for kids. It’s near a major museum, a major park (and many little ones,) and has lovely tree shaded streets. I finally work pretty close to home, which is unusual, since I used to work in much tougher neighborhoods pretty far from where I live.

Now my neighborhood isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It didn’t used to be that way. When we first moved here in the early 80s, it was dirt cheap to live here! But things change. We became savvy about where we wanted to live that was cheap, but nice. And then other people thought the same thing, and prices went up. But, since we got here first, we did okay.

Young people can do this today. Go find a great neighborhood that is not yet so expensive. Things do change!

Lisa asks…

Im thinking of moving out of DC, and Im stuck between Los Angeles and New York City which one is better?

I’m a single in my 20′s no kids. Money is not too much of a factor. I love New York City but living in a condo is my only negative but who stays home in NYC?? But I need advice people which one would you recommend and why?

Administrator answers:

Move to New York City (:.

Our weather is really nice. There’s snow usually every winter. In the spring, there are a lot of nice parks that you can go to as well as other outdoor activities. In the summer, there are plenty of beaches and other things that you may find interesting. We do have all four seasons, whereas Los Angeles is generally hot weather and does drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The limits in NYC are endless :].

If you do decide to come to NYC, it does not necessarily mean that you will live in a condo. There are large houses, brownstones, and apartments in the city as well. You also have the options of Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, and Brooklyn. Even though most people favor Manhattan, you can still check out our other boroughs for additional options. The real estate prices are also a bit cheaper outside of Manhattan. I know some people who move around the city every few years just to get a change of scenery.

There are also a lot of attractions here that can keep you busy for your entire life. There are many job opportunities and a diversity of people. Throughout the city, you will be able to experience various foods. Right now, I am still in my teen years, but I have tried food from almost every culture out there!

If you decide to ever have children or start a family in the future, the schools in NYC are excellent. There are also specialized high schools and good colleges (Columbia, Cooper Union, NYU, etc.).

Living in NYC is very fast-paced. You will see people out at six in the morning and people going home at around four in the morning sometimes. There is also a lot of nightlife and you will feel safe in most neighborhoods at any time.

We have a great transportation system (MTA). There are trains/subways/buses that cover just about every single portion of the city. Currently, the city buses and subways are only $2.25 per ride, and you can transfer up to three times. Trains and buses arrive within five to twenty minutes depending on whether or no it is rush hour. Taxis can also be called from any part of the city! There are also two airports, Laguardia (domestic) and JFK (international).

At the previous answerer, I do not know why you would assume that there are such “bad people” in NYC. I mean seriously, it is such a stereotype. There are killers and crazy creepy people in EVERY city. Also you CAN drive in NYC, it is just a bit more difficult due to traffic in Manhattan only. This is why you have the option of cheap and efficient public transportation. My entire family in NYC have owned cars their entire lives. This city is not any worse than half the other cities in the United States.

Good luck in making your decision ^^. Make the choice that suits you best :D .

George asks…

Could I afford to live comfortably in New York City with this occupation and income?

I am hoping to become an Urban Planner. According to, the average salary for those with 20 years of experience is US$97,250. How far out from New York City would I have to be to live comfortably on that income? Could I live comfortably in Manhattan, or Brooklyn or Queens?

Also, is it common for people to start out living maybe an hour away from NYC somewhere in the metropolitan area and then as their income rises move closer in over time?

Administrator answers:

To Gertrud – you’ve clearly never been to Brooklyn or Queens, and maybe not to Manhattan. He could live comfortably in ALL of these boroughs on that salary – very easily. Particularly easily in Brooklyn and Queens.

The nicest, more expensive areas of Brooklyn are Williamsburg, Greenpoint, the Heights and Park Slope – the average rental prices for a one bedroom in these areas are $1800 – $2200. On $97K a year, you could VERY comfortably afford this – you could probably comfortably afford a two bedroom on that salary, as long as you don’t have a drug problem or gambling addiction that you’re not telling us.

In Queens, the nicest areas, in my opinion (however, my opinion may be less informed than Brooklyn, since I didn’t grow up in Queens and never lived there, only visit frequently) are the areas of Bayside, Forest Hills, and maybe Astoria (Astoria mostly nice, though, because it’s so close to Manhattan). In Forest Hills, I have friends who have a one bedroom for $1500 – others who have two bedrooms (and share the apartment) for $2200. In Astoria, it may be a little more, but you get the picture – it’s really cheap to live in Brooklyn and Queens.

Living in Brooklyn now, in Sheepshead Bay with a roommate, my share of rent is $600. I’m a grad student, with only a part time job, and I live well – I’m able to splurge, go shopping, have a gym membership, keep a car and insure it, have all those luxuries. It’s a nice area, full of Russians and Hasidic Jews, it’s unfortunately a hike to Manhattan (though I’m not complaining) – you can find a large, well lit one bedroom here for $1200. Great deals – but it’s about 40 minutes away from Manhattan. If the commute doesn’t bother you, and you’re looking to save as much money as possible on rent, look into Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Midwood and Sheepshead Bay – great, safe, family friendly areas with half of the rent that you would pay in Brooklyn North.

You could even live in Manhattan on that – the average rental price for a one bedroom in downtown Manhattan is $3000. That’s $36000 a year – leaving you $60K a year (before taxes) to play with, save, pay for bills, etc. Don’t listen to these people who have clearly never lived in the city, or are under the impression that it’s more expensive and unlivable than it actually is. Come and visit for a few days and get the idea yourself. You’ll be fine.

As for your last question – actually, most of the people I know start out in the city, and then move farther out as their incomes increase and they can afford to buy houses. I’m only 23, so there aren’t a LOT of people in my age group doing this, but my friends’ parents or older siblings tend to do this – after graduating, working a few years, and getting a good savings account set up, they move to Westchester, Connecticut or Jersey.

Sandy asks…

where are the cheaper areas to live in NYC?

I may be moving to NY in the fall for school, depending on where i choose to go.
i know NYC is pretty pricy, so i’m anticipating having to pay a lot in living expenses, though i’d like to live in an area slightly less pricy, if possible.
what areas of the city are okay to live, and not quite as expensive as like, manhattan?

Administrator answers:

What is your price range?

If you are moving here for school talk to their placement office. I am sure that there most be other students from out of town, perhaps they could help you arrange for a share apartment.

Nancy asks…

What is the cost of living in San Francisco CA?

Anyone know the cost of livin in SF? Any good websites that offer that information? Thanks.

Administrator answers:

It’s not cheap, but you hear some people who don’t know what they’re talking about who make it seem like the most expensive place on the earth (it’s not – Tokyo, London, NYC, Oslo… All more expensive).

I have a roommate. I pay $600+ utils for my half of a 2-bedroom apartment in the Inner Richmond district.

Groceries are pretty much average: prices don’t change much from one Safeway to the next. However, produce is *super* cheap here. When I was between jobs and living off my savings, I could easily squeeze by on $50/week as a single 2-something dude.

I have a car, and it’s not necessary – it’s more because I’m a car nut, and it’s a hobby. I more or less saved up for years for my dream car. I pay $400/mo for the car, $95 for full-coverage, and on average $50-200/mo for gas, depending on how much I drive. I use the bus, subway, or walk the vast bulk of the time.

All told I’d say my monthly obligations really only total $1200-1300; the other half I spend on alcohol, car parts, clothes, etc.

Also, keep in mind that most jobs in San Francisco pay much better than in other parts of the country.

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