Son (24) will be starting a new job in NYC Financial District, where should he live?

SirDuff

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Not NYC specific, but in my last two recent moves, I stayed in an AirBnB for a month to be able to get some sense of neighbourhoods and worklife (obviously still limited). I'm not even sure that AirBnB/VBRO/whatever are legal in NYC and he may not think it worth it, even if they are, but I found it very helpful.

Weirdly, my current place is about 200m from my AirBnB and in DC, the apartment I got was just a few blocks from my AirBnB
 

mjkacmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Not NYC specific, but in my last two recent moves, I stayed in an AirBnB for a month to be able to get some sense of neighbourhoods and worklife (obviously still limited). I'm not even sure that AirBnB/VBRO/whatever are legal in NYC and he may not think it worth it, even if they are, but I found it very helpful.

Weirdly, my current place is about 200m from my AirBnB and in DC, the apartment I got was just a few blocks from my AirBnB
I don’t think they are legal in NYC. But I think short term rentals are a good idea before signing a lease.
 

tinkerdorabelle

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2001
As you can see from the heated debate, the real answer is he can live almost anywhere and people DO make all kinds of different living choices in NYC based on their personal priorities and financial situations.

I have lived on the UES in the same neighborhood I moved to when I graduated from college in the early 2000s. Over the years I have worked in the financial district, midtown east, midtown west, Jersey City, Times Square, Westchester and even Stamford, CT (all via public transit, I have never had a car here). I originally chose my neighborhood because many of my college friends lived there at the time.

I work at a major bank and my analysts, who are right out of college/early in their career, live in all the neighborhoods suggested throughout this thread. Almost all the folks who graduated last summer have continued to live with their parents (from many different US states) until the dust settles post Covid.

Personally, I prefer Manhattan, but there are vibrant communities and easy commuting access via the Path to Jersey as well as LIRR to Long Island and MetroNorth to CT. Unless folks have family in Long Island/CT/Westchester, it's rarer to see recent college graduates chosen to live there, but it certainly happens. Hoboken and Jersey City are more common choices outside the city boroughs. FiDi can be very quiet after working hours, and I prefer to have separation from my office, so that wouldn't be my personal first Manhattan choice, but YMMV.

My practical suggestion is he poke around StreetEasy.com - that's the best source of NYC apartment information right now (renting or buying!) and can give him good info on what he can get in each neighborhood for his money. Finally, there are a lot of sublets available right now, or opportunities to take over leases at a discount or X months free rent. I just negotiated with my own landlord for a significant annual reduction.

Finally, my bank is still primarily in WFH mode, and anticipate it will remain that way until Labor Day. Many firms will consolidate real estate and have folks desk share so they will come in some days vs. all days. Our CEO had been very strong in saying we would return in full force to office, but this position has been softening. Future WFH abilities will vary by function/firm but is good to understand as it may mean he does not need to rush into finding an apartment immediately and could explore different neighborhoods while subletting or taking shorter trips in.

Good luck! It's an exciting transition :)
Exactly, there are many viable options depending on what works for you. I live in Westchester and there are many towns you do not need a car, everything is walkable including the train or easy to Uber to etc. Also you can have a car if you want and a place to park for free, unlike in the City or many places mentioned where parking is a nightmare and you have to pay a large parking fee to have a car.
 
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ashley0139

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 24, 2009
I am old as dirt now but when I was in your son's shoes I moved to Astoria in Queens. It was a little rougher then than it is now but it was a pretty easy commute and I could get to Manhattan quickly and safely. When I made a little more money I moved to Hoboken and then Jersey City and took the PATH into the city. The only thing I recommend is spend some time exploring neighborhoods and see what fits his budget and interests.
I lived in Astoria for a while recently-ish and I loved it, but I wouldn’t recommend it for someone working in the financial district personally. It was great when I worked in midtown though.
 

daisy2013

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
I lived in Astoria for a while recently-ish and I loved it, but I wouldn’t recommend it for someone working in the financial district personally. It was great when I worked in midtown though.
I loved my old apartment by Ditmars a few blocks from Astoria park. If I didn’t marry my husband I would have stayed there for a long time. This wa shears and years a go when I could catch an express train(the W I think) through queens right to union square where my office was. I don’t know what the subway commute would be like now with the cut backs but it may be worth a look at Astoria or lic
 
  • AnnaS

    DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2001
    Hi. I lived in Park Slope too. Not far from Windsor Terrace! My mom still is there now so I visit Park Slope often.
    Small world :)

    My very good friend still lives there - her brother has his own real estate office with his partner there too. My FIL had a pizzeria there many years ago (I met my husband). You can't touch the neighborhood now. Who knew!!! I moved and my parents sold their home in Windsor terrace and followed me and another sister (from Bensonhurst). I was right by Bishop Ford High School.
     

    mamamary

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2006
    Small world :)

    My very good friend still lives there - her brother has his own real estate office with his partner there too. My FIL had a pizzeria there many years ago (I met my husband). You can't touch the neighborhood now. Who knew!!! I moved and my parents sold their home in Windsor terrace and followed me and another sister (from Bensonhurst). I was right by Bishop Ford High School.
    My husband (lived on Prospect Park West) and my younger sister went to Bishop Ford. Maybe we ate at the pizza place. Yes small world. Housing prices are definitely crazy there.
     
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    Finally, my bank is still primarily in WFH mode, and anticipate it will remain that way until Labor Day. Many firms will consolidate real estate and have folks desk share so they will come in some days vs. all days. Our CEO had been very strong in saying we would return in full force to office, but this position has been softening. Future WFH abilities will vary by function/firm but is good to understand as it may mean he does not need to rush into finding an apartment immediately and could explore different neighborhoods while subletting or taking shorter trips in.
    This is a great point. I also work at a bank (not in NYC) and we're still in work from home mode for the foreseeable future. Our office has not even re-opened for in-office work yet, and they've already told most departments that they can expect to be "mobile", without assigned offices and workspaces, as a permanent change going forward. Eventually, we'll be able to go in the office to work but it will be shared spaces and will be done as needed rather than expected daily. DH works in commercial office construction and has already been actively working on real estate consolidation for many of his clients.

    OP, if there's a chance your son may be either part time or full time work from home - even if temporarily - that might be a good thing to consider in his apartment hunt. It can be a long day if you're working in your living room or at your dining table... and then have to have dinner or watch TV in the same exact spot. I have a 2000 sq ft house and still get stir crazy after working at home all day. Perhaps he might want to prioritize space or configuration of the apartment in order to have a dedicated and productive working area, if he ends up WFH. That can play a role in the area he decides to live in.
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    Saw this in today’s NYT and thought of you. Hope all is going well for your son’s search:

    I would have gone for the West Village Studio too ... but good for her it was gone and she got a one bedroom there. Love the West Village. DH worked in Soho so we spent LOTS of time in the West Village! And its a hop to the Financial District. I don't think most who aren't familiar with NYC realize how HUGE it is and every step further out is a giant step.
     

    klacey1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2008
    I'd recommend the East Village (a friend looking has reported some mad low post-COVID rents here!) or Bed-Stuy. The only areas out of the boroughs I'd reccommed are Jersey City or Hoboken.

    I spent two years right after college commuting to Chelsea, then SoHo from Westchester and it was the absolute worst. I moved back to my hometown to live with a boyfriend and it's a huge regret of mine. My commute was close to 2 hours each way, it was expensive and it was much harder to bond with my coworkers, who lived in the city and could stay later at happy hours and make plans together for the weekend.

    A short commute should be the number one priority for your son (which I think you realize!). If after a short spell (he definitely should not sign a long-term lease), he'd prefer something more suburban, he can discover other options. But at the beginning of his career, when he is working long hours and putting in the effort to impress his boss and trying to make friends with coworkers, he'll want to be as close to the office as possible.
     

    tasha99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2006
    I just skimmed a little of the other posts (sorry--busy morning). These are my apartment thoughts on living in NYC.

    Not NYC specific, but in my last two recent moves, I stayed in an AirBnB for a month to be able to get some sense of neighbourhoods and worklife (obviously still limited). I'm not even sure that AirBnB/VBRO/whatever are legal in NYC and he may not think it worth it, even if they are, but I found it very helpful.

    Weirdly, my current place is about 200m from my AirBnB and in DC, the apartment I got was just a few blocks from my AirBnB
    I've done the same with travel work--rent a hotel or airbnb short term, then get a feel for where it's best to be. At least in the past, NYC didn't allow airbnb, but NJ did. We stayed in an Airbnb in NJ for a couple months towards the end of my husband's prior job. It was a beautiful 1BR apartment that despite being in the basement, had a balcony with an amazing view of the city (it was on the cliffs above Hoboken.) It was $3500/month, but no committment other than the month at a time that we booked it for. Compared to corporate type short term housing, it was a steal. I think a similar apartment with a lease would have been cheaper.

    You don't move to NYC to live in NJ, just my 2 cents... 😂
    The problem with living in NYC is the city tax rate. It saved us a lot to move across the river, though we ended up not staying long term. We had a much better view and a lot more space in NJ than in NYC, but it was a little more of a pain to get over to the city with the slightly longer commute. Compared to living in Westchester County (where my husband lived before I met him), the commute was short though. He seemed to think it was the happy medium for commuting time and living space.

    That said, we very much loved living on the upper west side. Commute for husband was to midtown, but it was very short). Key elements to an awesome apartment: close to a subway station (cannot understate this--it's so handy to be within a block or so of the subway), close to a grocery store (as you'll be walking unless you order groceries delivered), and a doorman for security. When we first started dating, it was kind of hilarious how the doormen gatekept me from going to the elevators for a while (I was on a list, which felt so weird, but it was a historical building with a public tourist display and then the living areas only for people who lived there). The apartment we had was slightly cheaper than the airbnb in NJ, but not nearly as large or nice. Prices are likely different now, but might be cheaper because of Covid.

    I guess in short: NJ: more space, better view, less convenient. NYC: less space for the money, less likely to have a view since it's all up close, shorter subway rides. Study the subway from home to work, as a route that requires no changes is really convenient.
     
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