25 things you should know before moving to NYC

25 things you should know before moving to NYC

Moving anywhere new can be scary and hard. It’s best to plan for your move before starting the process, but there are times when moving has to happen fast.

If you make the jump to New York City, there are a few things you should know. Here’s a list of 25:

1. Find friends early, because it can be hard

You think it would be easy to find friends really quickly in a large city, but this isn’t always the case. Everyone is rushing to get to work or their next meeting. Meeting people and making friends takes intentionality. Carve time from your day to meet people, and when the time comes, be a friend to find friends.

2. Everything is expensive

Apartment, food, retail, and taxes are all very expensive in New York City. The only thing relatively affordable is public transportation. Be prepared to pay extra for most things you want.

3. Admire hyperlocal culture

No matter where you live — Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx — there’s so much to be seen right in your own backyard. Take part in the hyperlocal culture of food and retail stores in your neighborhood.

4. Learn how to get around the city

NYC transportation
You won’t need a car because public transportation can take you most places you want to go; walking will take you the rest of the way.

Before you arrive in the city, know how the Subway system works. This will be your most reliable form of transportation throughout the city.

RELATED: 9 Transportation Types In NYC: Options And Price [Low To High]

5. Consider a month to month apartment rental

There’s so much in NYC and each neighborhood is different. Conciser signing a month to month or 6-month apartment rental agreement so you have time to research the best neighborhood to live without committing to a long lease. This gives you the flexibility to look around a bit.

6. You may have to pay a Broker’s Fee

The standard percentage for a Broker’s Fee is 15% of the annual rent on the apartment you’re wanting to live in. All apartment rentals in NYC require a Broker’s Fee. Sometimes the landlord will pay this fee, so know this info before signing a lease.

7. If moving to NYC alone, you may need a roommate

You probably already understand that living in NYC is expensive, so you may need to find a roommate. Roomster is a way to do this. It’s kind of like college again, but you’re both adults.

8. New Yorkers are not rude, they’re rushed

New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude, and it may seem like it, but generally, they’re just rushed. If you don’t stop in the middle of the walkway, zone out while in line, and follow the crowd at the Subway you should be just fine.

9. Learn to walk fast

In the same breath, learning to walk fast — for your sake and others — will benefit you greatly. Not only will you be able to get somewhere quickly, but you also won’t get in anyone’s way.

10. Wealth is everywhere

The amount of wealth in NYC is daunting. Head to the Upper East Side to understand the affluence. The average household income in this area is $311,109 a year.

11. New Yorkers work really hard

More so than most, New Yorkers work very hard. Twelve-hour workdays? Sure, no problem. If you’re going to work hard too, be sure to play hard as well.

12. The pizza lives up to the hype

NYC Pizza

Yes, there are $1 pizza slices, but when you want good pizza, New York City does it right. A few places to check out:

13. It takes longer than you think to get somewhere

So, the place you’re headed is 3 miles away. You could walk, but walking takes an average of 15-20 minutes to walk a mile with crosswalks. So that would take about 45 minutes at best.

Or, you could take the Subway. Between walking to a stop and waiting for a train, it could take up to 45 minutes as well.

All in all, traveling in NYC tends to take longer than you think it will, so plan accordingly if you need to commute long distances.

14. Taxes are really high

Not only will you pay federal taxes and state taxes, but you will also pay a local income tax that ranges from an additional 3% to 3.8%.

In addition, if you buy something, the City Sales Tax rate is 4.5% and the NY State Sales and Use Tax is 4%.

It’s easy to see how fast things add up in taxes.

15. You will need to own the following…

  • Good walking shoes
  • Reliable rain jacked
  • Warm coat
  • Noise-canceling headphones

16. Know how to say “Houston”

It’s pronounced “House-Ton,” not “Houston.” Visitors commonly say it incorrectly.

17. You will pay for quality

Especially pertaining to food, this is true. Quality food comes at a price. You can eat at fast food joints like McDonald’s and Wendy’s., but with so many tasty food options in NYC, you’ll only want to eat at these local spots.

18. Be prepared to downsize…a lot

Say goodbye to most of your things because NYC apartments are very small. Consider down-sizing 75% of what you own. Go ahead and get a twin bed while you’re at it.

19. You may need a storage unit

If you’ll be in NYC for a short time, need temporary storage, or have a few important items such as wine or art that need to be stored; consider putting it in storage at Moishe’s Self Storage. They can hold your items for as little as one month or as long as you need.

20. You won’t need a car

Public transportation will take you wherever you need to go. Plus storage for a car is a nuisance and expensive.

21. Learn to stand up for yourself

New York City is a big place and most people won’t stand up for you. Learn to tell others what you need. And remember, “no” is a complete sentence.

22. There will be noise at all hours of the day…and night

Get used to the noise because there will be lots of it. An apartment on the higher floor is a luxury so if you’re in the single room digits, you may have to endure noise at all hours of the day.

The noise doesn’t stop at night either. Sleeping can be hard, so make sure you know the tips for getting a good night’s sleep in NYC.

23. Avoid Times Square at all costs

Visit it once, then don’t go back. There’s so much that happens in this crowded space. It’s a place where tourists go, not residents. You’ll be bombarded with lights, advertisements, scams, and fake costume characters.

24. The way you dress is about function and fashion

The weather can change at a moment’s notice, so dressing properly is important. Calling for a 10% chance of rain? Then it will rain. Calling for wind? Then it will be windy.

In addition to function, dressing according to fashion is important too. Add a little color pop to your outfit to keep things interesting.

RELATED: How Do You Survive Winter In NYC? Here’s Your Guide

25. It’s not like the movies

New York City is a beautiful place and worth visiting and living if you have what it takes. But as a warning, it’s not the way Hollywood portrays it. It can be lonely without friends and hard without a consistent income. Know what you need, stand up for yourself, and you’ll be just fine.


Contact Moishe’s Self Storage if you’re looking for cheap storage units in New York City to hold wine, art, or other things. Our Manhattan/The Bronx and Queens/Brooklyn Storage Facilities are conveniently located near you. We offer over 20 different storage unit sizes, available to individuals, students, and businesses. Reserve your room, view specials, or contact us.

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