Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In Manhattan

April 29, 2013

Michael asks…

how much on average is the cost of living in New York?

Im interested in moving there and how much on average do you have to pay for each of the following establishments?

Rent
Groceries
Gas/electricity
Transportation
& any others.

And what sort of yearly salary should I be aiming for to comfortably live there (ideally in Manhatton) without any complications. i.e. missing rent, not being able to afford food & so on.

Administrator answers:

Well… The rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is probably $1900. Groceries on average would cost an average american about $450. As for transportation, there is no need for a car in New York because of their awesome subway system. This may cost around $100 per month. Gas/electricity aint cheap in the big apple, especially around winter. I would say with heating and airconditioning, it should total up at around $380 a month – average. Also if internet, phone, and cable is a necessity, then a bundle (1 yr. Contract deal) should cover the three of those things for around $130 a month.
All I have to say is if you’re looking to live in Manhattan, which is probably the most expensive city in the country, then you’ll need about $170,000 a year at least to stay afloat. If this is too much try other locations such as the bronx whic are considerably cheaper.

Susan asks…

I am moving to california in a year and I love the city life but I dont know where to live?

Im thinking the LA area but I dont know where in LA to live. Please help me out and also be specific. THANKS!

Administrator answers:

If you want to live here and enjoy the weather, then you have to pay for it. You put up with the smog and the traffic, enjoy the weather and pay your rent or mortgage. My advice is to start checking out craigslist, rent.com, and apartments.com if you are looking to rent. You’ll quickly see that the minimum rent for a non-ghetto place is about $1,000/$1,200 per month for a studio/1BR. Really nice areas (like the West LA area) easily run $3,000 or more. Want to live near the beach? Expect to pay a premium.

The answer to this really lies in the answer to the question, “Where do you work”? It’s not good at all to live in South Bay if you have a job in Pasadena. It’s stupid, in fact. The one thing that grinds people down more than anything here is the traffic. It’s the worst thing about living here. So rather than worrying about “cheap and safe”, your FIRST order of business should be getting a place close to your job. THEN you can worry about safety and price. But, to reiterate, nothing is cheap here.

One thing that many people just cannot grasp about LA is the sheer immenseness of this area. Around most cities, you have a central city area, some suburbs, and then spaces between cities. Around LA, there is a solid mass of urban, suburban, and commercial property that stretches for about 100 miles in every direction. From the air, you cannot tell where one city ends and another begins. Because of this urban sprawl, there is no line of demarcation where the housing prices drop steeply. 30 years ago, that line was around Corona, southern Orange County, and Simi Valley. Now it’s past Riverside, Palmdale, and western Santa Barbara county.

“LA” is such a big place, there are so many neighborhoods/cities where you can live. Of course, even within a city or neighborhood, there are safer sections and less-safe sections.
In Los Angeles, some nice sections are West LA, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Eagle Rock. Palms and Mar Vista are pretty good, too. In the Valley(part of LA), you have Encino, Tarzana, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Granada Hills, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, West Hills, and Chatsworth. Glendale and Burbank are good places, and are incorporated cities of their own.

To the east: South Pasadena, parts of Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Glendora, San Dimas, Laverne, Azusa, Rancho Cucamonga.

Along the beach: Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdes, Rancho PV.

In Orange County aka “The OC”: Seal Beach , Huntington Beach , Newport Beach , Corona Del Mar , Laguna Beach , Dana Point , Capistrano Beach , San Clemente , Brea, Yorba Linda, Orange, Tustin, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Rancho Santa Margarita, Lake Forest

To the west: Agoura, Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Simi Valley, Moorpark.

This is not an all-inclusive list, but it’s a start. If you want to see the safety and price factors, go to www.lalife.com. Also, the LA Times did a nice job of outlining all 277 neighborhoods in LA County: http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/. Time to get researching!

Betty asks…

Which area is better to live in Midtown East Or Upper West Side?

Which is more safe also, and have better people, more expensive in the city?
This is in New York City.

Administrator answers:

Upper west side for sure – try to avoid living in midtown unless it is lower than 30th and higher than 55th. Upper west side is quite vast – the nicest areas are between 65th – 85th st, either on central park west or on the other end at west end, riverside dr. You’ll see alot of nice brownstones in these areas. If you are wanting cheaper options, you can try amsterdam or broadway. Still nice apartments between the 20 block radius and much closer to all the subway stops. If you are wanting to live experience living on the east side, try 59th to 65th sts. Technically upper east side but close enough to be considered midtown east.

In terms of price, uws is pricier than midtown east. Uws is also much safer, esp in a city like manhattan – uws is as ‘suburban’ as you get so it’s alot quieter and family friendlier than the other neighbourhoods.

Laura asks…

I am moving to New York (Brooklyn) in October with 2 friends, how much does it cost to store a vehicle there?

Does anyone have any advice about completely relocating? I am moving from the armpit of America (Louisiana), to New York and I would like to get some advice about the move. I am currently researching apartment rentals and employment. I am apprehensive about the move because of the financial difference between here and New York. I am going at the end of August to actually look at apartments and get a job. I just really need some advice. What would be the ideal amount of money to bring with me to live on between paychecks,(I will have roughly $5500.00 to bring, will that be enough) and any other advice that I would need. Thank you so much for your help. NYC Bound!

Administrator answers:

Welcome! Well, one can write a book on advice for relocating to NY, but here’s some tips:

First thing: Culture shock! Get ready for the crowds & the ridiculous prices. You can find cheap things, but it takes some work to find them. I’m talking about everyday things like meals, transportation, groceries & such. Shop around. Eat at home, bag breakfast & lunch!

Lodging: Ideally, you’d find a job before you find housing. Then you can narrow down preferred neighborhoods & cut your commuting expenses dramatically. If you can stay with friends for a while it would be ideal. At least try to do a short-time lease if you have to rent a place in a rush. Since you’re moving with 2 pals, I’m assuming you are all coming here together, that makes things more difficult because you have all 3 to coordinate. We locals spend most of our time commuting, so even though the distances are short, allow for that. In the city “1-hour-away” can mean anything from 6 blocks on. Traffic can be a nightmare.

Employment: Well, the good news is that you’ll almost certainly find a good job, paying a whole lot more than it would in Louisiana (why do you think the rest of us stay here?). It will probably be in Manhattan, so I see crowds & subways in your future. You won’t *need* the car, but it does come in handy anyway.

Typical Minimum Expenses: Normal commute 1 back & forth trip = $4. Avoid taxis unless you’re late for a job interview, the prices are a joke. We have the best public transportation in the world, regardless of the crowds & the long waits for the next bus. Breakfast = $5, Lunch = $10 (all eating out). Newspapers = $0.50 each (you need the classifieds). Monthly phone bill = $50 (local). Gas/electric = $100/150 (it’s summer). Laundromat = $2 per washer or about 25 minutes in dryer. That’s it, the rest is luxuries, at least until you settle down.

Now, what to do with a car. When you say “store”, that usually means place the car in a garage indefinitely. It’s more expensive & less safe. You *will* want your car once in a while, especially if you get a job interview away from Manhattan (yes, there are jobs elsewhere in NY). In Brooklyn, it depends on where you live. It’s crowded by suburban standards, but it’s possible to find spots right on the street, free; or at least with alternate side (once or twice a week you have to clear a street for the broom trucks), or meters that are free in the evenings. If you want a permanent space, some modern buildings have their own parking (anything from $100 to $300/month), some even rent to non-tenants that live nearby or commute from further away. If you end up living in an area a bit far from the subways (& you have to come to Manhattan), you can always drive yourself closer & use day parking, that can be as little as $7 per day in the outer boroughs, up to $20 per day in the city itself. This day parking assumes you drop your car before 9am & pick it up before 7pm. If you stay longer they charge you a lot more. Gas — last time I looked — was about $3.50 premium.

OK, that’s all I can think for now. Good luck!

Thomas asks…

My daughter wants to attend Brooklyn college next fall. What would be a good,safe area to look at for housing?

We’ll be looking for an apartment. What neighborhoods can you suggest that will be convenient to the campus as well as Manhattan. Of course, price will be a factor as well.

Administrator answers:

Congrats. I heard Brooklyn College has one of the most beautiful campuses. Well, I suggest sticking to searching for places in Brooklyn or maybe even Queens. Neighborhoods in the Northwestern part of Brooklyn such Williamsburg, Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights. Will run up to about $1500 for something like a 1 bedroom aparrtment. And areas around Coney Island like Midwood, you can generally find something cheaper and still in good condition.

In Queens, try areas like Astoria, Long Island City, Glendale, Middle Village, Flushing, Forest Hills, Holliswood…all safe and conveniant.

Craiglist is a good place to start your search
good luck!

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