20 Things Only NYC Renters Can Relate To

A lot of think that renting a place can get terribly expensive depending on the area, the conditions, and the kind of accommodations that are being provided. Sometimes the location is considered more upscale, other times it is simply because the landlords want to attract a certain type of tenant. No matter how much you might pay in rent however it is not entirely likely to be what NYC renters have to deal with. New York City comes by its reputation of being an expensive city honestly enough, as it is in fact a rather high-rent location that offers very little for a great deal of money. If you ever happen to want to move to NYC then perhaps you should pay attention to what renting the Big Apple could be like.

Here are 20 things only NYC renters can relate to:

20. Big rent for less space

You might think you’re little crackerbox apartment costs too much for the price you pay, but in New York it’s fairly common to get charged one to two thousand for something that’s a thousand square feet or less. In the city that never sleeps, a thousand square feet is like a mansion to many people, but as unattainable as an actual mansion might be to most. Rent in many states is dirt cheap when compared to what it costs to rent something of comparable size in New York.

19. Bedrooms are not as common

Many of us that have rented or still rent an apartment don’t believe it’s possible to live without a single bedroom. Renters in New York City often don’t even get one bedroom for the price they pay. Fold out bed are a big thing in New York and sometimes they are included to save space so that a landlord can get more rent for more rooms. So the next time you think about complaining about how much it is for a one to two-bedroom apartment, keep in mind that many renters in New York City don’t even have that one extra room.

18. Learn to eat out or eat light

Many apartments in New York City do not have kitchens believe or not. The kitchen space is often composed of a mini-fridge, a counter, and maybe a sink. Apart from that you might need to learn how to eat from the microwave or a hotplate. In many ways some apartments in New York are not unlike dorm living, apart from the fact that your parents aren’t going to foot the bill and the nearest restaurants are set to bilk you out of whatever is left after paying the rent.

17. No laundry room

So let’s see, no kitchen, barely any bedrooms, if any at all, and you expect laundry? Sure, just go down multiple flights of stairs, down to the depths of the building, taking load after load to an expensive coin laundry on site. Or you can take your laundry to a public laundromat and hope that nothing gets stolen. This might make you really believe that you can wear the same clothes for days at a time without smelling your own funk.

16. Free exercise

Unless you live in a highrise there’s a good chance that your building won’t have an elevator, which means that you’ll be taking whatever you have to carry up several flights of stairs more often than not. The good thing however is that you get free exercise each and every day. Who needs the gym when you can do multiple sets of stairs in your own building?

15. Money down the drain

For the price a person pays for an apartment in NYC they could easily buy a house almost anywhere else in the country. There’s no doubt that many people think about it, but just as many dismiss this because, let’s face it, NYC is a hub of human activity. Like the song says, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. The only issue now is making it in the first place. Seriously, it is extremely expensive.

14. Combination rooms

There are other states that practice this same habit, but none like those of NYC. Imagine having your bathroom and kitchen being the same room without any dividing wall between them. Or even better, think about trying to entertain and then having to kick everyone out at a certain hour because your bedroom is in the same space? It might get a little awkward but many New Yorkers make it work.

13. Come with references

Most landlords will want first and last month’s rent, your personal information, and a well-written resume of where you’ve lived before and how it went. This might seem a little invasive but they want to know that they’re going to be able to get paid on time and without any undue fuss. A tenant that has a history of running out in the middle of the night and not paying the rent isn’t bound to instill a lot of confidence.

12. Be ready to say yes at that moment

If you have to think about it or go and speak to your spouse then be aware that the place you’re looking at might not be available when you get back. Space in New York City comes at a premium and if you’re not ready to commit the moment you walk into the right place then chances are that you’re going to have to settle for something less than what you want.

11. Hearing about other people’s rent is a joke

Don’t compare rents with a New Yorker. Just don’t do it. What most people spend on their mortgage, for a house that they can do anything they want with and will own eventually, a New York citizen will pay on a one-bedroom space with or without a kitchen area, no laundry, and possibly a communal toilet. So if you’re talking to a New Yorker about anything home-related, leave out the matter of how much you pay, or at the very least be humble about it and don’t complain.

10. Having a roommate is not optional

Most New York citizens that simply can’t afford the high life will need to take on at least one if not multiple roommates in order to make ends meet. Most anywhere else in the US it is possible to take on more roommates and still have adequate space, meaning a room for everyone and plenty of breathing space in between. In New York it is necessary to share breathing space most times just to pay the rent and have a little left over.

9. What is privacy?

Privacy is a fantasy in a New York City apartment. With multiple roommates and not enough space to stretch out there is much less in which to be alone. The best bet anyone has at privacy in New York is to be around millions of people that they don’t have to speak to. Believe it or not, that counts as a private moment in New York, largely because many people don’t interact on a regular basis with their neighbors.

8. You don’t have a backyard

Some houses in New York City might have a backyard. It’s that small patch of grass and a patio that is located directly behind the house and is overlooked by businesses, condos, and other apartment buildings, thereby destroying the attempt at privacy. In an apartment there is no such thing as a back yard. The interesting thing about living in an apartment in the city is that eventually you begin to realize that the parks that exist around your place are your back yard, and better yet, you don’t have to do anything to keep them nice.

7. It’s important to learn about boundaries

Where you rent is extremely important. How much you pay and the conditions are entirely dependent upon where you’re at and how valuable the area is deemed to be. If it is in the middle of town and close to virtually everything then expect to pay a great deal. If it’s in the slums or a less desirable area then you might get away with paying a little less, but you’ll have to do without a lot more. It’s a trade off either way.

6. You need to learn how to minimize

It’s only possible to cram so much stuff into one tiny space. So unless you luck out and get a loft that costs the same price as a tenement apartment you’re bound to be stuck buying smaller furniture and using most of it for more than a single purpose. This is when your table becomes your desk, storage space, and possible cooking surface if you need to go to that extreme. Learning how minimize is essential when living in a NYC apartment.

5. Having a house party is out of the question

The issue of space, or the lack thereof, keeps cropping up as an issue. Relatives might want from out of town and avoid the cost of getting a motel room, friends might need a place to crash, but the sad truth is that more often than not you simply won’t have the room. Whether it’s because of your roommates or because you can almost reach out and touch both walls with your arms extended, company should not be a high priority.

4. Don’t believe what you see on TV

If you see someone on television that has a brownstone and is working only a minimal amount of hours per week feel free to call them on it. In New York it is simply not possible to afford anything when you’re only working part-time. If you see someone that’s not a movie star or otherwise well known socialite saying that they own their own home or apartment and work only a few hours a week, don’t believe the hype.

3. Eventually you will know your neighbors

You may not talk to them or get to know them, but eventually you will still know them. You will be able to observe their habits, smell what they’re cooking due to the proximity, and even learn a few deep, dark secrets that they wouldn’t reveal under different circumstances. It might sound a little creepy and in reality it kind of is, but with people being stacked in apartment buildings as much as possible it’s almost impossible to not get to know someone even if its in a peripheral manner.

2. Eating out is the only way to survive

It might sound less conducive to a healthy diet, but if one wants to keep surviving from day to day they will eventually learn to pick a favorite place or several places to go to eat each day and night. With limited space and little if anything in the way of a kitchen you’ll quickly learn that eating out is the best way to keep yourself fed. While it might promote more waste and become another expense, at the very least you won’t need to worry over an exorbitant grocery bill. Plus, all the exercise you get by taking the stairs up and down is a good way to burn off those calories.

1. You will learn how to use every available space

Considering the lack of size and amount of space you will have when you take on roommates it is important to learn how to use space wisely. You might not get a full closet, you might have to share a dresser, and you may very well have to use what could be kitchen cupboards as a place to store your one coffee mug along with several other items that are anything but food related. If there is a square inch of space in your apartment it will be used eventually.

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