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Moving to New York – The NO BS Guide

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Planning on moving to New York City? After reading this ultimate guide, you’ll be able to decide:

  • Whether it’s worth it moving to NYC in the middle of a pandemic;
  • What is a livable salary in New York;
  • How much money you should save before moving to New York City;
  • What is the best month to move
  • Much more useful information, practical advice, and tips!

Welcome to the most diverse city on the planet!

Image Source: Google Maps

New York City is the most diverse city with 800 languages spoken, and is the largest city in the U.S.

With over 8.3 million souls, New York City is iconic for its culture, sport, and sites. Where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean is where The Empire State Building kisses the sky. It’s famous for its architecture, fashion, food, and schools. It really feels like the center of the world, who wouldn’t wanna live there?

Real Stuff You Should Know Before Moving to New York

Before exploring the vibrancies of New York City, read the stories from others on Quora. Then, get to know the essentials of the city that never sleeps.

Brooklyn – Image Source: Pinterest

Is it worth it moving to New York in the middle of a pandemic?

Good news! The virus outbreak has been under control by the start of the summer, and NYC’s infection rate is among the lowest. Some neighborhoods have possibly even developed immunity, according to The New York Times.

Are you moving to NYC during the pandemic? Don’t worry, MovePrice cares about you and your family and will do all to secure a safe move. Until then, schedule your free virtual move estimate and stay safe in the comfort of your home.

What is a livable salary in New York?

NYC’s expensive lifestyle and high living standards are due to its major commercial, financial, and cultural centers. Different experiences on Reddit are extra helpful because they suggest that moving to New York City is challenging, but amazing and life-changing. Check out the tips given by users who took the step.

A livable salary is roughly calculated up to $2,500 a month to live comfortably as a single person.

(Source: LivingWage)

How much money should I save before moving to New York City?

There are some debates on how much money you should save before moving to New York City, but saving up as much as you can is undoubtedly the best way. Even if you’re relocating because of work, you will still need careful planning of your budget for the U.S.’s most expensive city. Experiences on Quora from people who moved to New York give great insight on the actual amount of money needed to live comfortably, including info on:

  1. The move,
  2. Buying new stuff,
  3. And selling some old stuff.

Source: Pinterest

What is the best month to move to NYC?

It isn’t a must, but it would be easier for you to move on a dry month such as May or June rather than in October or January when it’s either pouring rain or freezing cold with heavy snow. You do have the freedom to choose, but if you’re just getting to know the East Coast, the weather will be a bit challenging. The only period you should avoid is the holiday rush, due to possibly higher rents.

Do movers wear masks?

Yes, our movers do wear masks during all working hours. Our most immense pride lies within providing a secure and safe moving experience for our customers.

What is the cost of getting a driver’s license when moving to New York from out of the country?

As mentioned on, a driver’s license from another state or another country can be used by visitors to drive in New York State legally. This state does not require foreign visitors to go through the process of applying for an international driving permit, while many others do. It is suggested, though, to apply if your license.

Transferring your driver’s license to the state of New York is relatively quick and reasonably priced. Visit the local New York DMV location and be sure to bring:

  • An out of state license
  • Your license application
  • ID and social security number
  • Date of birth
  • New York address

The whole process of getting a license shouldn’t last more than a month, and the fees range from $65-$75, and enhanced documents cost $30.

P.S. Don’t forget to register your car annually!

Cost of living in New York

Monthly costs

When it comes to monthly costs, knowing all info ahead is vital. Here’s an estimated expenses table for an individual and a family of two, with one working adult and 0 –  2 children.

FOOD $3,495 $5,163 $7,760
CHILD CARE $0 $10,776 $23,597
MEDICAL $2,593 $6,988 $6,700
HOUSING $18,708 $21,972 $21,972
TRANSPORTATION $3,899 $7,602 $9,644
OTHER $2,890 $4,818 $5,003
ANNUAL TAXES $5,827 $11,129 $14,669

Source: (Living Wage)

Renting prices

You’ll probably want to know that the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New York City is $3,500, which is two times the national median of $1,480 (Source: Business Insider). Planning your budget before moving to NYC is a good idea, so be sure to have extra on the side for paying the monthly rent regularly, property taxes, security deposits, and the broker fees (which is around 15% in NYC) and other expenses.

Having this in mind, we prepared an easy list to see which part of town will fit your budget plans:

Cost of Living The Bronx Brooklyn Queens Staten Island Manhattan
Overall 151.4 200.7 178.2 163.6 258.3
Grocery $113 117.8 116.3 115 120.4
Health $108 112.6 111.4 113.4 109.3
Housing $182 $331 260.8 224.1 520
Median Home Cost $420,400 $765,100 $603,000 $518,100 $1,202,300
Utilities $152 151.6 149.5 153.4 $150
Transportation $191 192.6 188.5 183.1 161
Miscellaneous $109 120.3 121.4 108.6 149.4

Last tip about rents: When you’re signing the lease, keep in mind the first month’s rent, the security deposit, and broker fee.

Prices per square meter

Did you know that Manhattan is the most expensive when it comes to buying real estate in the U.S.? According to sources, the average price in Manhattan for condo/apartments had increased steadily from $5,167 per square meter to $14,790 per square meter in 2008. Today, it comes to a whopping $18,574 per square meter.


There are two types of taxes in New York – a sales tax and use tax. The sales tax applies to retail sales of certain tangible personal property and services, and it is 4.5%. The use tax of 4% applies if you buy tangible personal property and services outside the state and use it within New York State.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in NYC?

To live comfortably in the city that never sleeps, you will need more than $2000 per month, including rent, transportation, social life, food, utilities, health insurance, and a gym membership.

Source: Pinterest

Moving to New York after college

It takes financial stability to pay for a rental in The Big Apple. For starters, landlords require annual earnings of at least 40 times the monthly rent. It is a high salary for someone who just finished college. Also, you need to have a good credit score, at least 680 or even higher.

Advice: If you think you’ll struggle with paying rent, keep in mind that there are guarantors who can help.

Moving to New York without a job

If you haven’t found a job before moving to NYC, don’t worry! Just take a walk down a busy avenue and look out for job ads on the windows of cafes, bars, bookshops, and other retail stores. On the other hand, take up freelance – or just look for a job online. Working from a café on your laptop really is the New Yorker dream!

How hard is it to find a job in NYC?

When it comes to employment, finding a secure source of income is challenging but doable. The important thing is not to give up if you don’t have luck at first, because it really is one of the largest cities in the world – making it almost impossible not to find a steady job that will cover your expenses.

How do I get a job in New York before moving?

Here are a few key things we suggest you do before moving:

  • Include a potential arrival date on your cover letter
  • Be ready to explain why you’re moving
  • Be flexible and smart when it comes to decision making
  • Connect with locals
  • Join local support groups on social media to get informed

Moving to New York City alone

It can be tough moving alone to a city such as New York. But don’t stress – there are so many different things to do and to experience. Every day you will meet new, interesting people from all over the world. up to 36% of the city’s population if foreign-born. It can be difficult at first but don’t get discouraged.

Where to Live in New York – Neighborhoods

For Students:

Fordham, the Bronx, is an excellent place for students. It is known as a college neighborhood with lower rent prices in comparison to others. It is student-friendly because it also has many bars, nightclubs, food places, and other exciting places for student socialization.

For Young Couples:

Washington Heights, Manhattan, is one of the best areas for students to rent. It is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Manhattan, where the cuisine is often praised. You can enjoy Salvadorian, Dominican and Mexican food.

Manhattan in the morning

Image Source: Pinterest

Astoria, Queens, is the second-best option with an average price of $2000 per month for a pretty large apartment filled with light.

For Families:

Tribeca is the ideal part of the city for families. Filled with green spaces, this fancy and casual hip part of town will be the best home for couples with kids. The public schools in Tribeca are above average – which is one of the most important things for parents when choosing the place to live. The rent price is about $2900, which is a bit above average but still manageable.

For Retirees:

West Brighton, Brooklyn, has more than 30% of residents that are over 65. It meets many standards that can be great for seniors – a beach, boardwalk, and overall kind of vacation vibe. The only downside is the lack of medical services.

Also, Murray Hill, Manhattan, is an excellent option because of the health centers that are newly furnished. It’s a crime-free area, so it’s worth spending your retirement there. Filled with charming houses, it also has budget-friendly places to dine and have coffee.

Other Things to know before moving to New York that you probably already know about


A hot temperature is not something you often see in New York, but instead has around 200 days a year that have a temperature of 60 degrees or higher, mostly in the spring and summer months. This chilly climate may come up as a surprise if you’re moving to New York from a more tropical location, so be sure to pack hoodies, sweats, and an umbrella. (Source: Current Results)

In New York City, 47 inches of rain is standard per year – so be sure to pack all your waterproof gear when making the move. Take a quick look at estimates by filling out this quote to move from your city to NYC!


Public transportation

The public transportation, A.K.A., the subway system will be the most effective mode of transportation. The trick is to remember which lines takes you to where you need to be. The monthly MetroCard ticket comes to around $127 and is often pre-taxed by your employer, so it saves you quite a bit of money annually. (Source: Localize)

Trams and buses are also well connected throughout the streets and avenues. Also, get used to ferries if you’re crossing the water to certain parts of the city, such as Staten Island. Its schedule is easily tracked, and it is usually on time.

Image Source: Pinterest


Widely spread in the city as well, pedaling to work is a pleasant way to go when it isn’t freezing cold! If you don’t own one, try to invest in getting one rather than renting. They ware affordable and are easily found on sites like Craigslist. Once you get it, just be sure to keep the bike locked and safe so no one would steal it.


The city is abundant with green spaces and parks full of students, joggers, dog owners, and walkers. Take a look at the best parks in NYC and enjoy the beautiful and mild springs going on picnics, strolling around, and playing sports with your family and friends.

Also, walking to work/school is an option if you live nearby, but it is important to consider that not every sidewalk or street is walking-friendly, as a lot of construction is being done every day in New York City.

Image Source: Pinterest

Owning a car

Know this: you do not need a car if you’re planning on moving to New York! You must know by now that the round-the-clock fleet of yellow and black cabs are NYC’s trademark, spreading across the whole city. Other driving companies like Uber and Lyft are also at your disposal: The primary, low-cost option is UberX that has a base fare of $2.55, costs $.035 a minute, $1.75 a mile, and has a minimum fare of $7.

Image Source: Pinterest


New York is the epicenter of culture. Both mainstream but explicitly the underground scene is booming. Contemporary performances, plays, theater, music, and clubs are scattered all over the city.

No matter your interests, you will be sure to find them in New York City. Be sure to visit the most popular cultural sites like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Broadway, and The Bronx Zoo.

Source: Pinterest

Did you know that the New York Public Library has around 53 million books? It really is the best city in the world if you’re interested in an academic career. Some of the best community colleges include:

  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Bronx Community College
  • Guttman Community College

And it’s also home for Columbia University, one of the most prestigious Ivy league schools, among whose students are J.D. Salinger, Amelia Earheart, Alicia Keys, and Barack Obama.

If you’re planning on studying in NYC, be sure to know all the best places for student discounts in the city.


Moving to New York also involves getting to know city culture and nightlife, and what better place to kick it off than the East Village? It is filled with old-school bars, performance spaces, and music venues. Both dining casually and drinking cocktails are standard in the East Village.

It is one of the most expensive cities when it comes to going out, but if you’re feeling fancy:

Take the subway 6, and move from a casual dinner to one of the best dance clubs on the Upper East Side. Our recommendations are:

  • Slate NY
  • Retro club NYC
  • TAO Downtown Club

East Village Street Art

Image Source: Pinterest


Treat yourself with excellent food available practically everywhere in NYC and let your taste buds enjoy. Our recommendations for some authentic New Yorker snacks include:

  • hot dogs (try these first at any location in the city!)
  • PIZZA, New York-style @ Joe’s Pizza
  • New York-style cheesecake
  • Doughnuts @ Supermoon Bakehouse
  • Baked pretzels or
  • The Waldorf Salad (if you’re counting calories!)

Source: Pinterest

Cost of Moving to New York

The cost of moving to New York can vary greatly depending on where you move from, and the amount of furniture you are moving. Another important thing that comes is adjusting to the cost of living in NYC, which is among the highest in the USA.

Moving to New York from California

Cost of Living New York City California
Overall 187.2 149.9
Food 116.6 105.1
Home 294.3 239.1
Utilities 150.5 102.4

If you’re planning to move to New York from CA, get your estimate by filling out our quote.

Moving from Chicago to New York

Cost of Living New York City Chicago
Overall 187.2 93.4
Food 116.6 94
Home 294.3 79.5
Utilities 150.5 97.7

Not satisfied with living in Chicago? How about NYC. See how much it would cost you to move by filling out our quote.

Moving to New York from San Francisco

Cost of Living New York City San Francisco
Overall 187.2 269
Food 116.6 116.6
Home 294.3 596.2
Utilities 150.5 150.5

If you’re leaving San Fran and getting ready to call NYC home, get your estimate by filling out our quote.

Moving from Florida to New York,

Cost of Living New York City Florida
Overall 187.2 102.8
Food 116.6 102.8
Home 294.3 102.6
Utilities 150.5 101.3

Florida is great, but NYC is the center of economy, culture, fashion, urban life. Move here, but first, get your estimate by filling out our quote.

Moving from Texas to New York

Cost of Living New York City Texas
Overall 187.2 93.9
Food 116.6 93.7
Home 294.3 84.3
Utilities 150.5 99.2

Say goodbye to Texas and hello to The Big Apple! Do it with MovePrice. Get your estimate by filling out our quote.

Moving to New York from the Midwest

Cost of Living New York City Midwest
Overall 187.2 80.3
Food 116.6 93.2
Home 294.3 40.2
Utilities 150.5 96.5

Leaving Midwest to try something new in NYC? Get your estimate by filling out our quote.

Source: BestPlaces

How Can MovePrice Help You With Your Move to NYC

MovePrice can help you.

MovePrice uses world-leading technology that 100% accurately determines the price of your move. Even more, everything can be done entirely online. You just have to fill our move quote form, and we will arrange a virtual move survey at whatever time suits you the best.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach us and we will explain everything to you!

Schedule your free virtual move estimate and get ready to call the Big Apple home.

Your #1 moving company,



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