Top 10 Questions about Moving to, Living in, and Visiting New York City Answered

I’ve been living in New York City for 12 years and have gained some valuable knowledge since moving here from North Carolina. Some of the most commonly asked questions I get via email and DM’s on Instagram, pertain to moving to New York City and living in New York City. I did a blog post last year detailing Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to New York City. Make sure to check that out and if you’re curious about the dating scene in New York, well then this post is for you. Also here’s a little history on Harlem, the neighborhood I call home. I decided to compile a few (this isn’t even the half of them) questions and answer them here. If you have a question that I didn’t touch on, please drop it in the comments and I’ll answer them (to the best of my ability). 

1). How much money do you need saved up before moving to New York City?

A lot. I’d say at least 3 months rents and a few thousand for extras (bills, food, etc). Especially, if you move here without job (which I don’t recommend). I’d say to be comfortable without a job lined up a minimum of about 7K should suffice for about 3 months. Here’s a blog post on what I Spent in a Week in New York City

2). Where are the rents cheaper in New York City?

I’d say Harlem, The Bronx and Queens. If you want to be in the city (Manhattan) then Harlem is your best bet (but you really have to look). These boroughs also seem to have more Rent Stabilized Apartments than other boroughs. 

3). How much are average rents in New York City?

Well I’m only going to speak on Harlem but my 2 bedroom started at $1300 (6 years ago). My rent is now $1480. That’s the beauty of Rent Stabilization. But now the average rent in this area for a 2 bedroom is probably around $2500-$3000+ monthly. A 1 bedroom is probably around $1800-$2200. A studio is probably around $1500-$1800 monthly. 

4). How did you find your apartment?

I got out and walked around the neighborhood. I looked for signs that said apartments for rent. Mainly I just happened to walk by and saw some painters and asked if I could look inside. The rest is history. 

5). Whats the best way to find an apartment?

I’d say get out and walk around the neighborhood. If you don’t live here already, make a trip prior to moving to walk around the neighborhoods you may want to live. Take down the numbers on signs and call. I’d also look into No Fee Rental Companies in NYC online. This way you can bypass a broker who can charge an astronomical amount to find an apartment for you. No Fee Apartments are usually Rent Stabilized as well. 

6). How much money do you spend daily in New York City?

New York is a very expensive city. It’s hard to leave your house without spending at least $10-20. Bodegas and street carts are life savers. A coffee on the street cost about $1.25. A bacon, egg and cheese with run you about $3. A single ride on the bus or subway is $2.75. Just to put things in perspective. Here’s a rundown of what I spent in a week in New York City

Photography by Rose Lazard || Editing by Monroe Steele

Zara Top get similar here || & Other Stories Skirt (currently on Sale) || Altuzarra Sandals || & Other Stories Hat get similar here || Big Chop Hair Clipins || Cult Gaia Bag || Indigo Pony Earrings


7). How do I got about finding a job in New York City?

I’d say Linkedin is your best friend. Set up a professional Linkedin Profile with your work experience and research the companies you’re interested in working with/for. Linkedin is often the first place a job listing is posted. Outside of Linkedin I’d try Indeed and Monster before Craigslist. If you have friends or family that already live here tell them to keep and ear to the ground for you for job opportunities. This city is a lot about who you know. This works the same for apartment hunters. If a space opens up in the building of a friend, they’d be the first to know and can quickly alert you.  

8). I’m visiting New York City and would like a list of places to thrift, brunch and things to do. Can you give me some suggestions?

I get this question so much I just send people links to old blog posts. Honestly, I really don’t have time. There is way too much to do here. So here are a few great places to thrift and vintage shop, here are some must see places where you can take cool photos and here are my favorite brunch spots in New York City. Here’s also a list of cool things to do in and around the city. If you’re visiting Harlem here are some great places to shop and spots to eat as well as things to do. 

10). I’d love some recommendations on where to stay for a visit or for New York Fashion Week in the city.

Here are a few of my favorite hotels in the city worth checking out if you’re planning a visit to New York City. Some of my favorites for Fashion Week include 11 Howard, Nomo Soho, Arlo Soho Hotel, The Smyth and 50 Bowery.

Drop your questions below in the comments!

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  1. Chrissy Mosi
    August 13, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    Great post !! I agree about Linkedin it’s a great way to network

    • monroesteele
      August 14, 2018 / 8:47 am

      It’s such a great response. I use it for everything. Thanks so much for reading.


  2. Nenette
    August 13, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    No NY question dear, just want to say how much I love this outfit. The colors on the skirt are beautiful and gorgeous shoes too.

    • monroesteele
      August 14, 2018 / 8:47 am

      Thanks so much Nenette! The skirt is still on sale so check them out!


  3. Gloria
    August 13, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    This was a great read. New York can be very exciting but comes with a high price tag. Thanks for being so transparent. I think thats what most of us love about you!!! Oh and I just read your post on how much you spent in a week. Yah…I may not be so far from you. I try to pretend that I don’t spend that much! lol

    • monroesteele
      August 14, 2018 / 8:47 am

      Haha Thanks Gloria. It’s such an expensive city! I’m glad I’m not alone. LOL. Thanks for reading!


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