I DID IT!! I accomplished one of my biggest dreams! Moving to New York City (NYC)! Since I was four I have dreamed of living in NYC! Twenty years later here I am with my own place in one of the biggest cities in the world! Figuratively speaking I have climbed my Mount Everest and it feels amazing! Of course, the climb was not easy but before I go into the move of a lifetime let me recap the places I have been so far this year.
It has been six months since my last blog post and a lot has happened. I will not go into detail about each adventure but if you have any questions feel free to comment below!
Let's Catch Up!
My year started off in Washington DC with my cousin! We both had a blast bringing in the New Year together! A month later we caught up again in NYC!
In March I flew across the country to visit my big brother in California. I experienced Uber for the first time, and hung out with my brother's high school buddies! The best part was parasailing! I honestly would've stayed in the sky all day if they let me!
My next big trip was a road trip to Toronto, Canada from Peekskill, NY with two of my AmeriCorps colleagues. We definitely saw a lot during our weekend trip! Thanks to a friend who used to live in Toronto we knew all of the great sites to see. I’m sure it is safe to say that we all fell in love with Toronto. On our way back to the New York Hudson Valley area we stopped at Niagara Falls
With my time living in Peekskill, NY coming to an end I decided to spend my last month exploring as much of the area as possible. Here are some to the adventures:
Between moving from Peekskill to NYC I traveled down south to catch up with family and friends:
Now that you have been caught up with my travels it’s time to share my big move experience! On to my not so sexy move to NYC. (The subtitle is dedicated to my best friend as a thank you for her continuous support! I am not living sexy in the city yet and the lack of cat calls while lugging a ton of stuff into my apartment while moving would confirm that. Sorry, bestie!) In February I received the awesome news that I had been accepted into my dream university for graduate school! Once I confirmed my attendance I started price comparing different neighborhoods in the six boroughs of NYC and searching for any advice. Unfortunately, most of the advice I received was outdated due to the the forever changing market. The best advice I received from everyone is that moving to NYC is hard! Don’t get me wrong moving anywhere is a headache but the hoops you have to jump through to move to NYC are very unique!
My real apartment hunt started the beginning of August. With a very good family, friend’s cargo van packed with all the apartment items I drove to New Jersey to stay with family while I searched for my apartment. The original plan was that I would find my apartment through a real-estate company, MyGradpad, which supposedly makes finding an apartment easy by doing all the searching for you. After listing my apartment preferences utilizing MyGradpad’s website and speaking to a Realtor several times prior to my scheduled apartment tour date I was confident that I would be able to find my apartment and move in within days. My confidence went down the drain the week before my apartment tour when I did not receive any correspondence from MyGradpad. The Realtor finally emailing me 12 hours before the tour with an address to meet her at brought my confidence down even more.
Luckily I went with my gut and scheduled an apartment viewing later in the afternoon through Apartment Finder just in case the MyGradpad folks did not have it together. And boy I am so happy I listened to my gut! I am not sure where my apartment preferences got lost in translation but the Realtor from MyGradpad found a way to show me everything I did not want. She even went as far as trying to tell me that what I was looking for was impossible to find. Little did she know I did plenty of research prior to the tour and of course I had to let her know in a nice way. Once the Realtor figured out she was not dealing with your average Joe she started frantically looking for apartments in line with what I wanted. Unfortunately for the MyGradpad folks, I had lost all faith in them and I was putting all of my hope into my later scheduled tour. Was my experience an example of why New Yorkers have the reputation of being mad? Is this madness the result of dealing with “professionals” who are never prepared? I would say the answer to both questions is yes, but New Yorkers are not the only people who experience this madness.
After grabbing a late lunch with my good friend Shanny, who stuck with me the whole day, and picking up our student ID cards we headed to my next apartment tour. I found the apartment listing on Apartment Finder. With this search engine, you put in what you are looking for and the results match you with apartments in the area. With all glory to God, the afternoon tour led me to the apartment I am now living in! This apartment checked off all of my preferences and more. The Realtor was very professional and he was also from North Carolina (like me). Once the renovations were complete in mid-August I moved in using movers from MovingHelp.com. The helpers were very nice and professional. After everything was moved into my apartment I drove the cargo van back to my very patient and a kind family friend in North Carolina. (If you are reading this thank you so much for your patience and understanding!)
Overall my moving experience was extremely stressful. I would agree with everyone who advised me that the move would be hard, but it honestly could've been worse. Thanks to my family in the New York area I was not homeless during my search. Thanks to the support of my family and friends I did not lose my mind or show my anger towards anyone.
Now That It's Over
Here are the main takeaways from my NYC moving experience. Please do not take any of my advice as gold. This is all from my experience!
Everyone’s moving experience is different- Just like anything else in life, everyone experiences something different. If you encounter someone who tries to tell you there is only one successful way to move to NYC take their advice with a grain of salt. I personally tend to stay away from individuals who serve their advice as gold.
Do a lot of research- Having done my research prior to trying to officially find an apartment made life a little easier. I had a general idea of the price ranges for each neighborhood I was interested in, which helped me stick to an apartment in my price range. My knowledge also helped me weed out when someone was trying to sell me bologna. And looking into the crime rate in the area is a good idea!
Over save- Typical leases require for you to pay first months rent and a security deposit (depending on your credit) up front. In addition to the upfront payment, a broker’s fee is also required when moving into some NYC apartments.
Have some fun- During my apartment hunt, I found the time to explore parts of NYC I had never been. Some of the places included walking along the Hudson River at RiverSide Park, having a picnic in Central Park, and going to Atlantic Beach with family. These small adventures helped me distress.
I can not thank all the people who supported me during my move enough! (And if you read all of this a special thanks to you too!)
Whatever your “Mount Everest” is in life I encourage you to keep pushing to get to the top! Accomplish something that your younger self would be so proud of! I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life. There are so many places for me to discover and tons of people to meet! It’s time for me to start climbing the next mountain!