Whether it’s in a movie or real people, many move to the city that never sleeps each New York Minute in the hope of pursuing their dreams. Over 8.6 million people live in New York City. But it isn’t for everyone. The city has the biggest population loss in the United States with out of state migration, resulting in one million people leaving since 2010.

Before deciding to move to Manhattan, it’s best to figure out whether a move to New York City is a good idea for you.

Where You Live Will Change Your New York Experience

New York City isn’t geographically big, it’s roughly only 300 square miles, but there are hundreds of neighbourhoods to live in within the five boroughs. Finding the right neighbourhood for you is key to whether New York feels like home. Spend time in all five boroughs, investigate your must-have and nice to have list, and get exploring areas on different days of the week and different times of day and night.

It’s Not a Cheap Place to Live

New York constantly sits atop the list of the most expensive cities in North America. According to a survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1-year 2016 American Community Survey the cost of living in New York is 22 percent higher than the national average. It’s estimated that you’ll need a salary of at least $87,000 USD each year to keep up with the cost of urban living in the area. Median rents in Manhattan are around 3K each month, while Brooklyn or Queens is closer to $2,500 each month. Unless you have a great salaried job offer, or don’t mind living with lots of roommates in a microscopic place this may not work. Budget for your move ahead of time and overestimate your expenditures (and round up) to avoid running out of cash every month. Also note, that because housing is competitive, a lot of landlords will need proof of salary of as much as 40 to 50 times your monthly rent and/or someone to co-sign as a guarantor should you lapse on rent.

If you’re looking to buy, the median price for a home in New York is just under a million dollars, so be prepared to spend or understand that home ownership may not be in the cards for you. If you can’t’ afford to buy, know you’re not alone, as according to a recent New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey 68 percent of New Yorkers don’t own their homes.

Strap on your Fitbit

If you hate walking, New York City is probably not for you. If you live near a subway station that will save you some steps, but most New Yorkers will walk a couple of miles every day just as a part of their commute. Good, comfortable walking shoes are a must have.

Late Nights & Convenience

The nickname ‘the city that never sleeps’ is true. Bars can open their doors as early as 7AM and don’t need to shutter their doors until 4AM, and there are many 24-hour shops or bodegas to get whatever you need. Same goes for cabs, spas, gyms, clubs, and even some restaurants. So, if you’re on shift work or keep irregular hours this could be the right city to maintain a social life no matter what the hour is. There is a lot to see and do in this city, and if you watch your budget you can have a great time.

Moving With Kids

Educational options for NYC kids are as competitive as getting a rent-controlled place with a view of Central Park. Research school options before working out your living arrangements to make sure that your kid(s) end up in the best possible school. Many NYC parents opt to pay to send their kids to private school, which is more convenient, but will also cost money.

Don’t Move on False Hopes and Fantasy

The TV, movie, or vacation version of New York city may accurately encapsulate an era in the city, but that won’t be your experience. You’re not Sarah Jessica Parker, Ilana Glazer, or Woody Allen, and moving to a city with a false hope of something you envision isn’t going to work out – no matter what city it is.

There are Slices of Nature

New York is known for having some beautiful parks, and residents who appreciate these small spots that contain greenery. Some argue that these parks seem better simply in contrast to the concrete jungle. If you’re craving a house with a lawn and a driveway, they do exist, just not in Manhattan. Consider moving a little further away to Queens in a neighbourhood like Little Neck if you want your own piece of grass that isn’t shared in Central Park.

Cockroaches and Bedbugs and Match Box Sized Apartments

Big city living comes with the risk of cockroaches, bedbugs, and infestations in your apartment thanks to your neighbours no matter how vigilant you are. While small spaces are expected in New York, pests don’t need to be. Before signing a rental agreement ask about bedbugs. The NYC Bed Bug Disclosure Act, states that landlords must notify prospective tenants in writing about any bed bug infestations that have occurred in their building in the past year. You can also search for pest related complaints at specific addresses on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development website.


Love to drive? New York City may not be for you. On the flip side, if you detest driving you may fit in. A recent U.S. Census found around 56 percent of New York households don’t have a car. Those who do have cars and want to keep them will need to shell out anywhere from $400 to $900 each month for parking alone for garage parking, or jockey their car constantly for street parking.


If you’re not willing to give up on your pet, you’ll need to do some extra research before moving to New York. A lot of buildings won’t allow pets, period, whereas others have limitations on only specific breeds and weights of dogs. Read the fine print and ask questions before you sign an agreement to make sure Fido can come with you, because who wants to be in a new city without their best friend?

A Trial Run

If you’re unsure of your New York, or any city, move consider taking on a temporary contract for a shorter period of time, like a year or 18 months to help determine if it’s right for you. You may just fall in love.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.