Tap to Read ➤

7 Important Things to Keep in Mind Before Moving to New York City

Malvika Kulur Oct 5, 2019
Moving away from home to a new city is scary as well as amazing. Every city is different, and the things to keep in mind to make your stay special and full of joy, before moving, vary from city to city. Here are a few things to keep in mind before moving to New York.
We've shown the world that New York can never be defeated, because of its dynamic and diverse population and because it embodies the spirit of enterprise and the love of liberty. And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.
― Michael Bloomberg

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Living in New York is not for the faint-hearted, it is a city that is tough, fast, smart, and a tad difficult to adjust to, especially if you are from a smaller town. It is a city that will either make you fall in love with it, or you may hate it for the rest of your life.
One doesn't become a New Yorker by just moving to the city; it is an attribution that has to be earned because living and surviving in this city is no easy task. Only the fittest survive in New York, because this city is no easy cookie―you need to be mentally fit to take all its challenges and emerge winner.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Before you pack your bags and embark on your journey to the Big Apple, there are a few things that you need to know and thoroughly understand about this city. Elucidated in this excerpt are the most important things you have to keep in mind before moving to New York so that you survive in this city.

Things to Know Before You Move to NYC

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Learn about New York

It is always best to know a little about the city. So, reading up on New York's history, facts, statistics, facilities, amenities, etc., is always a good idea. Know the culture, how to deal with people, cab drivers, manners, or lack of manners that is exhibited there.
For example, they say that you should not stare at people in New York as they don't like it, and they will be rude about it. Also, never go through dark or secluded alleys, to be on the safer side so that you don't get mugged.
People are advised to be alert at all times, as the crime rate in New York is high. It is always best to know what exactly you are getting into rather than landing there and getting a complete shock.

Plan a Visit Beforehand

Before you buy your clothes or shoes, you always try them out first, right? In the same way, before you move to New York, you need to visit it for a couple of days, just so that you can see what the city is like.
Make a list of the places you visited, get the subway and bus schedule, and try hailing a few cabs so that you are familiar with the way things are in this city. Take a tour of the city, and not from the point of view of a tourist; scout the city, and try to imagine yourself living there.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Look around for safe and liveable neighborhoods, outlets that provide your basic essentials, and do your homework regarding the paperwork needed for renting an apartment. When you are scouting the city, do some retrospection and decide whether you can live and survive in the hustle and bustle there.


The best and worst thing about New York is that this city is controlled by money―lots and lots of it. This city tempts you into buying things that you do not need, so you really need to be careful with your money here.
The best thing to do is think of an estimated amount to spend per month, and see if you can survive on that. To start with, you will need to make an estimated budget for your accommodation, food, transport, health, and other expenditure. Then, you need to set aside an amount for emergencies only.
If you are moving to New York with a job, or are planning to get a job once you are in the city, then you need to make sure that your salary covers up all your expenses and the amount that you would set aside for emergencies.


Finding a neighborhood in New York is the key to actually enjoying your stay there. If you are moving to the city due to work, then look for living accommodations close to your workplace.
You need to decide what kind of a neighborhood you want. Do you see yourself living in a place that is quiet, like the Upper West Side or East Side, or do you want noisy setups, like the East Village, Lower East Side, or West Village?
Rent in NYC is no cheap affair, so if you have a few friends, you should consider living on their couch till you are stable enough to get your own place. Finding an apartment that is affordable, safe, and in a good condition is very difficult in this city.
If you are planning to rent an apartment on your own, then go over the lease properly before signing it. If you want to save up on rent, having roommates is the best option. So, if you are not comfortable with people you do not know, either you pay the expensive rent, or you learn to be more open to living with other people.

Job Prospects

If you are planning to move to this city without a job, then you should prepare yourself for interviews. Jobs like bar tending, working at a retail outlet, catering jobs, etc., are very common ones that people who are new to New York take up.
You need to be open to the idea of having multiple jobs that may not pay too much. It is difficult to make a breakthrough in this city, so you have to prepare yourself for some struggle. If you already have a job in NYC, you do not really need to worry about anything except holding onto that job 'cause people in New York are very competitive.

Making Friends

Whichever city you choose to move to, making new friends is the first thing you should do. Friends not only offer you a safety net, but they also help you out if you are looking for a job.
Meeting people and being social is the best way to cope with homesickness, and also to get settled in a new city faster. At the end of the day, we are all social animals, so we need people around us to help us out or just keep us company when we are lonely.
The easiest way to survive in New York is to have a friend who knows this city really well so that you can learn to handle and enjoy the city as much as you can.

Hiring a Moving Company

Moving to New York with too much of stuff is never a good idea. Not only is it expensive, but where will you store it? Storage facilities are available, but they cost a bomb, and are pretty unaffordable if you are still looking for a job.
The best thing to do is to get all your essentials, but you can skip out moving too many belongings. Hire a moving company to do all your heavy-duty moving, but negotiate the price well. Be covered for travel insurance. Apart from hiring a moving company, you can also hire a truck, and drive down to New York yourself.
The experience of moving to New York depends on how the city treats you and what you make of the city. You need to be hardworking and firm, and your goals should be set. It's a beautiful city full of amazing sights, places to visit, and job opportunities. People in New York are not as bad as they are thought to be, so go there with an open mind.
In the words of John Steinbeck,

New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it - once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.
Give the city a chance, make some good memories, and enjoy your stay there. Try not to get intimidated by the city's reputation. Be safe wherever you go, and don't worry too much, because once you are in New York, you would never want to leave it.