Picture this: You’ve found your perfect, spacious, affordable NYC apartment in a neighborhood relatively close to your work, and you’re ready to move! This is the dream!
Before you take the leap, take a moment to consider whether you’ve taken a serious and honest look at your new neighborhood. In real estate, the old saying “location, location, location” still applies.
Is your new neighborhood going to cater to your 4 AM pizza craving? Does it have parks and other leisure spots to unwind? Does the local supermarket carry your preferred vegan brand?
While you might be in love with your new place, those factors will have an impact on your quality of life and should be considered before packing your bags. Here’s what you need to consider when moving to a new neighborhood in New York City.
The Overall Feel
Everybody wants something else. Some people love having to fight their way through crowds and navigating their way through the hustle and bustle. Others prefer more residential neighborhoods, with less chaos and noise.
Whatever works for you, take your time to walk around, check out a few neighborhood landmarks and spots, and really think about how you would feel spending the next few years here. After all, nobody likes the stress of moving, so we try to do it as little as possible.
The Street at Night
You can find out a lot about your neighborhood by walking around there at night.
A neighborhood that seems perfectly fine in the light of day can have a whole different vibe to it once the sun goes down.
Is it completely dark and silent? Are there people still walking around, getting late-night errands done, or strolling home from dinner? In the long run, you’ll probably feel more comfortable if that’s the case.
That said, a quiet and lonely street doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad street. However, there is a different feeling to it and if you’re planning on being out and about a lot in the middle of the night, especially by yourself, this will make a difference.
The Nearest Train Station
When a blizzard or storm strikes New York City and leaving the house seems like a major challenge, the train station can’t be close enough. Anything that’s more than two or three blocks away may be inconvenient.
Walk from your potential new home to the nearest train stations and see how long it takes you, make sure the routes are easy to navigate and quick.
Research how current or planned maintenance might impact those stations or the subway lines you would need to take. An apartment might be one block from the subway but if it’s on a line that has frequent weekend work then it may not be the best bet.
Not every supermarket is the same! If you have certain dietary restrictions, your go-to supermarket should feature all your favorite food options. Walk around your new neighborhood and see what the supermarkets stock.
You don’t want to add unnecessary hassle to your day by having to hunt ten blocks away for special food items, instead of just picking them up at the neighborhood store.
New York City is probably one of the loudest cities in the world, let’s be honest. The funny thing is that we get used to it very quickly.
However, there are a few neighborhoods which may have more noise than others. If you’re looking at high-density areas with a lot of traffic, you may suffer from more noise pollution than others. Check out your potential new apartment at different times of the day and listen to the noise that filters into your space.
Possible Construction Sites
While you’re already walking around your new neighborhood, pay special attention to possible long-term construction sites, as those will be another source of significant noise and disruption.
However, it should be noted that construction sites can also be a good sign, since they represent development and improvement. Find out how long construction will take, its proximity to your building, and whether your building’s noise levels or access will be impacted.
Even if you’re not a regular runner or cyclist, parks can add unforeseen value to your neighborhood.
A nice walk after work or even just sitting down on a bench with your favorite book will add some much-needed relaxation to your day. Studies even suggest that seeing some green will improve your overall health.
Proximity to Your Favorite Places
Sure, New York is a big city and you won’t be able to avoid the occasional long subway or cab ride to get to the special new ramen place or a hot new rooftop.
However, if you’re choosing your new apartment solely because it’s a good deal, and completely disregarding the fact that all your favorite places are at least a 30-minute train ride away, you’ll regret it sooner or later.
Unfortunately, we’re often faced with the decision between lots of space, affordability, and convenience. If all your favorite bars, restaurants, and clubs are on the Lower East Side and you’re thinking of moving to the Upper West Side, think again.