Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Nyc

May 5, 2013

Laura asks…

How much should I spend each month?

If i make $6000/month is it wise to spend $1300 rent on a 1 bedroom apartment (utilities are included in the rent). I will have to also spend on groceries, phone/tv bills, and car payments so I’m looking at spending $2000 a month. Is this ok for a single female? If not what do you suggest? I also want to live in Astoria, Queens, NY (I prefer urban life)

Administrator answers:

Thirteen hundred seems reasonable to me (for your salary). I doubt you will be able to live on $2,000 a month. New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the u.s.

I live south of you a couple hundred miles. My mtg payment is $1500 a month. Overall, costs me about 3k a month to live.

Been awhile since I’ve lived in greater NYC, but I doubt it’s gotten any cheaper. Used to ride the 7 train into Manhattan every day. Boy do I miss that – GRIN.

Lizzie asks…

Is $20,000 a dodgy price for a house or are American houses just generally cheap?

I’m looking to buy a house/apartment in USA, and the prices are sometimes as low as about 20K… Now, in England you’d be lucky to get a house for 300K so should I be wary of these low prices or is American realty just generally cheaper and this is in fact a normal price? :-)

Thank you :) )
What about small apartments that aren’t in major cities?

Administrator answers:

Without knowing more details, no one can tell you if that’s a good deal, a crummy house, or some shady action going on.

$20k buys a perfectly reasonable manufactured home in North Dakota.
$20k buys a foreclosure without any copper remaining in the Chicagoland area.
$20k buys a decent forclosure sale in Florida, Nevada or Georgia.
$20k buys half a parking space in New York City.

Buying a condo/flat in a city (not a “major” city — let’s consider Omaha to be an example city, since it’s big, but not quite so overpriced/overpopulated as a NYC or LA), you’re still going to see a huge spread of prices, depending on size, amenities, and area: $50k to $500k.

Sharon asks…

I’m going to study at Parson, in Manhattan…Which is the cheapest way to live at New York City with a dog?

I’m going to study at Parsons The New School of Design and I don’t know where me and my (standard schnauzer)dog could live at. I’m looking for somenthing very cheap. And I don’t mind not living in Manhattan, it could be at the Bronx too.

Administrator answers:

You could look on craigslist. People usually post apartments for rent on there. I’ve lived in Brooklyn all my life. Everything in NYC is pretty damn expensive as you probably know, especially if you want to have pets. Most of the apartments in my neighborhood don’t allow pets at all, but a lot of people make agreements with the landlord to pay a little extra. Apartments around here are usually about $1,150.00 and up (once in a while you may see one for $900.00 – $1,000). Sometimes the gas and electric is included. You could try looking for a cheap room for rent, but of course a small space like that is not good to have a dog in. Good luck!

Chris asks…

In NYC how much would an apartment the size of Carrie Bradshaw’s (SATC) cost?

I’ve always been curious about this, it would cost a great deal right? I know it varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, so when doing this please use the most inexpensive neighborhood within New York.

I also wasn’t sure what category to post this in, sorry if this is grossly in the wrong place!

Administrator answers:

The most inexpensive neighborhood? Probably less than $1000, but you don’t want to live there. In her neighborhood (I think the upper east side), probably around 4K. In a reasonable neighborhood, probably around 2K if you get lucky. To buy, I would guess about $2-3 million in her neighborhood. It could be more. $300K asking in a mroe affordable, but still livable neighborhood, but it would sell for less these days, probably about $250K. In the cheapest areas, it would sell for more like $150K. Location is everything in real estate.

The place she gets in the movie you cannot rent. It costs many millions of dollars. Probably $10-20M, largely because of the location and outdoor space.

Jenny asks…

What kind of lifestyle can you live in NYC for USD500 per month (rent, bills excl) ?

I’m thinking of doing a 4-month continuing education programme and don’t want to go hungry.
If that isn’t enough, how much would you say would do?
USD500 excluding rent, bills etc. I’m thinking USD1000-1200 for that.

Administrator answers:

Yeah, $500/mo isn’t going to cut it in NYC.

Edit: How much? $500 is probably the ABSOLUTE minimum for rent. Even with roommates. $80/month for transportation … If you’re using subway/walking. You have to plan where you live and study to do that option, and getting an apartment close to a subway stop (outside of manhattan) means your rent goes up a bit. But cars are even more expensive due to insurance and parking.

Minimum of $100 for utilities. I think I paid about $150 combined for all utilities (gas, sewer, electric, phone.) It’s more in the summer and winter, less in spring and fall. I think the most I paid was $200ish.

And then food. If you’re cooking at home ALL the time and never eating out, think about a %15 mark up on your current food bill. If you’re eating out, and doing it on the cheap, then you’re talking min $8 lunches and $12 dinners.

All in all, I wouldn’t even TRY it on less than $800 per month… And that would be in a less than pleasant neighborhood with 2-3 roommates. To get a decent neighborhood, think $1200 month with 1-2 roommates.

Edit2: Oh. Excluding rent. I generally spent $800 – $1000 per month total when I lived in NYC and never felt like I was scrimping on anything. That included: eating out 4-5 nights per week and lunch every day. Necessities like toilet paper and toothpaste. Transportation. Books (I generally bought 2-3 per week). Movies, comedy shows or other entertainment. And a flight somewhere. I was generally gone at least 1 weekend per month.

So if you are talking $500 per month on discretionary spending … It will take care of you … But not in a lavish style. I don’t drink at all for example, so there is no alcohol in my budget of $1k per month. If you are even a moderate drinker, you’ll run out of cash fast. But if you’re NOT a drinker, then you can easily get by on $500 discretionary without worrying too much about money.

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