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What You Need to Know About Affordable Housing in NYC

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Affordable Housing What You Need to Know About Affordable Housing in NYC

This is crazy: the average price of renting a two-bedroom apartment in New York City is around $2,500 per month. It gets worse. When it comes to cheap housing NYC style, you can expect to pay one of the highest rents in the whole world.

Are you looking for affordable housing in NYC? If so, use the tips and information here to find the right property for your needs!

Know How Much Rent You Can Afford

Are you so over researching "affordable apartments NYC" all the time? You're not alone. When you're searching for the most affordable rentals NYC can offer, it's not always going to be a walk in the park. 

Let's face it: for most New Yorkers, paying their monthly rent is their priciest expense. As a matter of fact, some New Yorkers are paying over $3,000 just to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Naturally, everyone knows that Manhattan is one of the spendiest places that you could possibly live in the city.

On the other hand, you're way more likely to get a bigger bang for your buck when you rent in less expensive areas like the Astoria neighborhood in Queens. Not to mention that the Borough Park in Brooklyn is pretty cheap to live as well.

Want another word of advice? If you're planning to settle down in New York City, then you'll probably want to bring in a salary of more than $50,00 per year. Once you reach this dream salary, you'll easily be able to spend less than a third of your income on a small studio.

Pro tip: if you choose to spend even more than 30 percent of your monthly income on rent, then you're putting yourself at a greater risk of becoming rent-burdened. Despite the fact that so many young professionals are doing the exact same thing right now, you definitely don't want to be struggling while you're adjusting to a new place.

For those who need a push in the right direction, try moving as far away as you can from Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan. That's because you're much more likely to find affordable housing in a neighborhood that lies a bit further from the center of the city. How can you beat that?

Get to Know the Boroughs in NYC

Want to know how to find the best low-income apartments NYC has to offer? We got your back. First of all, it pays to get to know the boroughs in New York City before you move.

But here's the catch: memorizing New York neighborhoods can actually be a headache-and-a-half for newbies to the Big Apple. For starters, it's super important to know that besides Manhattan, every other borough is called an outer borough. On top of that, you can basically take the subway everywhere that you need to go.

If not, you can typically find a quality bus to take you the rest of the way. Feeling totally clueless? Do yourself a favor and grab a New York City subway map to explore anywhere from: 

  • Manhattan
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens

Let's talk about Manhattan for a moment. As we mentioned above, this is truly one of the spendiest boroughs in New York City. But here's the kicker: surprisingly, you might be able to find some deals in this area.

That is if you don't mind living in an uber tiny apartment. However, if you're an expert at living minimally, then you might just find a place is the liveliest part of the city. Some of the cheapest Manhattan neighborhoods to check out include East Harlem, Central Harlem, and Alphabet City.

That's not all. Have you ever considered moving to Brooklyn? Located to the east of Manhattan, Brooklyn has become a hotbed for young professionals. In a nutshell, you can't go wrong looking for affordable housing in Bushwick.

What's the real deal about Queens? Lively and diverse, Queens is the perfect spot to find cheap housing too. Although it's not as cool as trendier parts of the city, chances are that you'll find a Queens apartment at the right price for you!

How to Search for Apartments

On the hunt for the most affordable rentals NYC can provide? We've got you covered. First things first, going to a broker is a great idea if you already have a ton of cash upfront. 

As if that's not enough, hiring a broker in New York City can also help you find hidden deals that you couldn't discover on your own. But wait - there's more. Unfortunately, you can expect to pay a good chunk of your annual rent in brokerage fees with this particular option. 

Think about this: for those seeking affordable housing in NYC, you can't go wrong with subletting a room either. Perks include finding a cheaper rental more quickly without having to sign any crazy contracts. Another advantage is that you'll typically be able to rent month-to-month after your first year too.

Honestly, the only con to subletting is that the original lease-holder can come back and kick you out whenever they want. Moving forward, getting a guarantor could potentially be a great idea as well. In case you didn't know, a so-called "guarantor" is a person who can front the rent if you ever come up short.

If this sounds good to you, then you might want to ask your parents to help you out as your official guarantors. Bonus points for using this option if you don't exactly have the best income or credit. How about moving in with a New York-based friend?

Admit it: there's nothing better than moving in with someone that you feel safe and comfortable with. But we all have to confess that being friends with someone is much more different than being roommates with them.

Prefer living with a stranger instead? To be honest, you'll probably never see them anyway!

More Housing NYC Tips and Tricks

Seeking out more NYC housing tips and tricks? We've got a few more tidbits up our sleeves.

No matter if you choose to hire a broker or do the hard work yourself, here are a couple of final things to keep in mind during your NYC apartment search:

  • Look up the address of your apartment online
  • Be prepared before you view the apartment
  • Ask the landlords about rats and pests

Firstly, you should look up the address of your apartment online before you check it out in real life. Don't fret - all you have to do is punch the necessary info into Google Street View to see if you like the apartment's location. You can always learn more about the particular neighborhood in the "Address Report" section as well.

This might seem obvious, but it's super savvy to be prepared before you view the apartment for the first time. That includes bringing things like pay stubs, proof of employment, and a W-2 from your job. Don't forget about gathering information about your references and guarantors too.

Here's life hack. By simply emailing the proper documents to yourself, you're guaranteed to have them exactly when you need them. You should also be ready to hand over your security deposit and first month's rent at this point.

Besides this, you need to ask the landlords about rats and pests before you move in. Since things like bedbugs, mice, and roaches are no stranger to New York City apartments, you'll probably want to scour the cabinets under the sink for nuisances immediately. And get this: your landlord is obligated to tell you if your apartment has been sprayed for bedbugs recently.

 Desperate to rent an apartment in NYC? It helps to check out a few open houses while you're in the area!

You Can Still Find Affordable Housing in NYC

Want to know a secret? You can still find affordable housing in NYC. Yes, you read that right.

Incredibly enough, knowing how much rent you can afford in the first place is the key to finding the cheapest housing in New York City. Besides this useful trick, it doesn't hurt to get to know the boroughs and master your apartment search either.

Ready to take it to the next level? Be sure to view the apartment online and in-person before you sign away any of your money. Once you feel satisfied with the price and location, moving in should be a breeze!

Need help finding affordable rentals? Contact us to speak with a local real estate agent today!

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