Where to find an affordable apartment in NYC as a new grad

Photo by Darlene Cerna on Unsplash
Photo by Darlene Cerna on Unsplash

Congratulations! You’ve busted your tail, secured the job, and you’re ready to move out of that dorm and into the apartment your dreams so you can binge-watch How I Met Your Mother with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Well, not quite!

Before entering the wonderful world of NYC rentals, let’s get an idea of what’s considered affordable based on your yearly gross income. Landlords are the guardians of that dream apartment you’re in love with and you’ll only get approved for an apartment that a landlord is confident you can afford.

Rule of thumb:

An apartment is considered affordable if your salary > rent x 40

If your annual income is $30,000 spending $750 a month in rent is considered affordable. At $60,000 spending $1,500 in rent is considered affordable and at $100,000 spending $2,500 is considered affordable. Since the average 1 bed in NYC starts at $2,000 most grads can expect to live with roommates.

The average college graduate earns close to $50,000 and they will find the most options in Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bushwick, Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and Williamsburg, Astoria in Queens, or Upper East Side and Harlem in Manhattan. Apartments in lower Manhattan can get pretty pricey, but there are some budget-friendly 2 and 3-bed options in the East Village, Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Gramercy Park.

If you’re a grad earning $60,000 congratulations! There are options available for you in most neighborhoods with roommates, including SoHo, the West Village, and even Chelsea.

Before you let your imagination run wild with dreams of floor to ceiling windows and an up-close view of the skyline, grads should be aware that many of the options available to them will be starter apartments. There are thousands of apartments in the city and the sooner you can set realistic expectations, the easier it is to find which option makes the most sense for you.

For the latest on the NYC rental market follow @NYCRentalExpert on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also please subscribe to my Youtube channel for video walkthroughs and tours of apartments throughout the city.