Manhattan street|Manhattan|Man with laptop thinking|Doing paperwork
Manhattan street|Manhattan|Man with laptop thinking|Doing paperwork
New York CIty housing
July 27, 2018

Is it possible to find Manhattan apartment on a budget?

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You want to live in Manhattan. Great! You want to find an apartment in Manhattan on a budget. Ugh. Not so great. Manhattan, as you might know, is expensive. Living cost in Manhattan is more than double than nations average. And an average monthly cost for an apartment is around $3,667. So finding a place to live in Manhattan, while on a budget is not easy. But not impossible, though. If you get your act together and make wise decisions, and with some luck, you may actually be one of the few that managed to live in Manhattan apartment on a budget. It's hard to overstate how important luck will be in your search, but there are some things you can do to increase your odds. Here are some guidelines you should follow.


Finding a Manhattan apartment on a budget is not an easy thing to do.

Look in Washington Heights

Out of all the neighborhoods in Manhattan, Washington Heights is the cheapest by a large margin. For the other neighborhoods, you are looking at minimum $3,000 monthly for a one bedroom apartment. In Washington Heights, you can expect around $1,980 monthly for your rent. That's at least a $1,000 each month that you save purely on rent. There are some things about Washington Heights you should know if you want to make it your home.

The lifestyle of Washington Heights

The majority of people living in Washington Heights are of Dominican birth or decent, so the Dominican culture has greatly influenced Washington Heights way of life. Most of the businesses in the neighborhood are owned by the locals, so it would be a good idea to ask around when looking for work. A sizable Orthodox Jewish population lives in Washington Heights, and you will clearly see their contribution to the feel of the area. All in all, there is a lot to discover in Washington Heights. You should try and visit it as much as you can. Knowing someone who lives there makes it much easier for you to find housing. A lot of good apartments are only rented to people who someone can vouch for, and you will need that someone.

Get your financial situation organized

You want to know if you can move on a budget. Ok. What is your budget? Before you start looking for a Manhattan apartment on a budget you need to get your finances under control. No matter how much you have, this is not a cheap endeavor and you will need money in order to live in a Manhattan.

Job hunting

If you don't have a stable job, you should think very carefully about moving to Manhattan. There are other neighborhoods in NYC that are cheaper in which you can more easily find better accommodation. If you are set on living in a Manhattan apartment on a budget, you need to have some funds to sustain yourself when you go job hunting. There is a proper way on how to start looking for a job in NYC. You will need enough for at least six months of living in Manhattan without income. Once you start looking for a job, you need to be active. Manhattan is alive and buzzing, but if you are lazy the buzz is useless.

Man with laptop thinking

Finding the right job is essential if you want to keep living in Manhattan

Get your credit info

When you start looking for a Manhattan apartment on a budget, vital information that you will need to provide is your credit. You can check online for that information, which we recommend you do so you can make sure that there are no mistakes or inaccuracies in your account. The documents you provide need to include:

  • recent pay stubs
  • a bank statement
  • your latest tax return
  • a letter providing proof of employment.

A general rule is that the combined yearly income of all the residents must be at least 40 times the monthly rent. So if you are paying $1,980 monthly, your apartment needs to make at least $79,200 per year.

Doing paperwork when buying Manhattan apartment on a budget

Get your paperwork done so you have everything ready in a moments notice.

Advice for looking for a Manhattan apartment on a budget

If you have your finances organized, it is time to start looking for an apartment. There are some steps you can take in order to increase your chances of finding one, but luck will play a huge factor. You need to the be first and you need to have everything prepared. If you are not prepared, being first will be useless.

Find a good broker and be a team player

Typical brokers fee is 15%. For that money, you should do yourself a favor and find one that is good. Try interviewing a few, before you settle. Once you do, be sure to inform your broker about everything. They will stress this, and we stress it also. Tell them if you have less than perfect credit. If you own pets. That you are looking for cheap accommodation. Everything. If this is going to work, you have to be on the same side. Secrets and surprises will only waste time since they will find out everything eventually.

Save money on moving companies

When moving you should try and save money as much as possible. With some simple guides, you can do the packing on your own. You can get free moving boxes in NYC buy looking online, or by checking your local stores. Get fair movers to help you move, but otherwise try to do everything either by yourself or with help from friends. You will pay your movers by the hour, and you want them to be as efficient as possible. Try moving in the offseason (not during summer) and during the work days. That is when the moves are the cheapest. If you have heavy objects to transfer, you should hire reliable furniture movers NYC to help you out. When it comes to movers you want them to be cost efficient, not cheap.

Final verdict

Yes, it is possible to find a Manhattan apartment on a budget. But it won't be easy or fast. Unless you are really keen on living in Manhattan, you should look at other NYC neighborhoods. If you are keen, well good luck. You are going to need it.


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