Rental Basics in New York>Question Details

Kerri Nicole, Renter in New York

Where is the cheapest safest place for me to live if I am in search of a job in Manhattan?

Asked by Kerri Nicole, New York Thu Dec 1, 2011

I will be graduating from the Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill, NC and will be relocating to NYC after the first of the year. I am single with no kids and need a safe neighborhood in which to live by myself. Inexpensive as well. I am willing to commute up to an hour a day and am looking into jobs in the city before I graduate. What is the best place for me to rent?

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Kelly Killian’s answer
Hi Kerri:

Depending on where you work in Manhattan, that would put you either in various locations in Brooklyn (Financial District and anywhere up town), Riverdale in the Bronx (Mid-town West), Queens in places such as Astoria, Forest Hills, Sunnyside (Midtown down to the Financial District), and if you want to take the LIRR you can go out to the border of QUeens/Long Island (Bayside, Little Neck etc) where it is a lot more suburban. Also, if you don't mind filing two state taxes, you could consider NJ on the Path. As you can see, where you work and the ease of getting there by public transport is are going to need to ride the trains to figure out the best places to consider. And just as a note, we aren't allowed to discuss crime statistics in the various neighborhoods, but there are a few sites that will provide maps and statistics for you.
Kelly Killian
Bond New York
Relocation Division
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
Unless you go way north to Washington Heights and Inwood, the terms cheap and Manhattan are polar opposites. Even then, depending on your familiarity with different cultures, you may feel out of your comfort zone.
For the best options aside from Manhattan, see the link below from a blog post I wrote a while back about this very topic. The comments about having a job and/or guarantor are spot on, though some smaller landlords in the boroughs will allow for you to pay rent up front in lieu of proper financial qualification with documentation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
You may have to be more specific about what you consider inexpensive. Also, your age, and what you are looking for in a neighborhood would also be important. If you are young, in your 20's, I can tell you where my sons' friends live that seem to be less expensive and safe. Astoria (Queens) is very popular, and has a hpping scene, and Williamsburgh (Brooklyn) is also one of the go-to places. When you say NYC, do you plan to get a job in Manhattan? You should also decide whether you want to commute by subway, or whether you are willing to take other transportation, that could be more costly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
Your question reminded me of the episode on Seinfeld in which George takes up residence under his desk. It was by far the cheapest and safest place for him in New York. See

If that doesn't work for you, it sounds as if the other advice here is pretty good.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Hi Kerri. New York rentals and "inexpensive" are mutually exclusive terms. In Manhattan rents are high and space is small but it's all about location isn't it? I absolutely agree with Charlotte that a job is a must have if you're doing this on your own. I don't know the market in your home town but I would suspect that a studio rental here would be the equivalent of a home mortgage payment in Chapel Hill.

Also be aware that New York is probably the safest large city in the states. Since you have flexibility of location and would be willing to commute, check into Queens. It's much more affordable and as I live in Queens, I can tell you there is reasonable opportunity here. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 1, 2011
Get ready... NYC has some leasing requirements that you should meet.
A job is a MUST HAVE requirement - without a job you need a guarantor - someone willing to sign a lease for you/with you and who earns enough money to qualify as your guarantor.
You need to have at least 2 months of rent and in most cases a real estate brokers fee equal to one month rent up to 15% fee. Manhattan is very expensive start to look in Queens or Brooklyn. Go to the website and search for a studio apartment that is one room, a kitchen, a bathroom. The other suggestion I have if looking for a roommate situation. If you get a job, you can ask people at work to help you.
I recommend if you can, come in for 3 months to find a job first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 1, 2011
What is your budget....If you are interested in Queens and Western Nassau Counties, check out
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 1, 2011
New York is pretty safe. I would be happy to help you find some place in nyc you would safe, comfortable and of course inexpensive. Feel free to call or email me to discuss exactly what you are looking for.

John Bohan
Licensed Real Estate Professional
25 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
Cell: 917.572.6738
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 1, 2011
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