Yep, this is me looking not so impressed. This beauty was one of the apartments we were shown last weekend in NYC on our search for the perfect home. But let’s be honest. We are not going to find a home that’s even close to perfect. I know I don’t have room to complain. I was fully aware of this when Mike convinced me to spend the next two years in the city, but I was definitely picturing something nicer than what you see above. At 800 square feet, can you guess how much it’s going for? $2900 a month. Yes, you read that right.
The first apartment we looked at was missing a living room. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and a teensy space to dine. When we asked where the living room was, our broker and the building’s superintendent looked at each other and smirked. “Welcome to New York.”
I’m used to small spaces. We’ve always lived in apartments. The one we live in now in KC is a grandiose 1100 square feet. But we pay $950 a month for it. For 1100 square feet in NYC on the Upper West Side, we’ll have to pay around $3400 (which is relatively inexpensive compared to other swankier parts of the city). And we’ll be very lucky if a washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher are included.
I read an NY Times article a few weeks ago that said that you need to be making around $130K in NYC to live like you’re making $50K in most other places in the US. That was made very clear in the rent requirements we were given by a few brokers. Here’s what we learned is needed to be approved to rent just about any place in the city:
a) Proof that your yearly income is 40X the monthly rent.
b) Or a full year’s rent-payment up front.
c) Or a guarantor who has proof that he/she has a yearly income of 80X the monthly rent.
If Mike was making 40X a $3400 monthly rent, I’m not quite sure he’d be getting out of the Army. Luckily, we were able to save my (measly) paychecks when I was teaching and a chunk of Mike’s when he was deployed, which is what will get us through these next couple of years.
So, to get back to the point of my post, we’re still on the hunt. We looked at four apartments and weren’t satisfied. They were either too far from Columbia, too expensive, too small, or too ratty. And apparently, we started looking way too early. They say 4 weeks is the max amount of time before move-in that you should start searching since it’s such a transient city. We went at 6. So our plan is to keep an eye out for something online and then beg one of Mike’s brothers to check it for us in person.
But despite our apartment blunder, here are a few incredible aspects of the city that made me so excited for our move.
Anonymity. What struck me about this scene was less that this woman was walking around with a parakeet on her shoulder, and more that I was literally the only one who noticed. There isn’t anything that is considered out of the ordinary in this city. (Although, I did get quite a few glances for having an actual baby with me). I can’t wait to people-watch.
Our new lunch date spot. At least during the warm months. Columbia’s campus is gorgeous and is such a perfect space for Cam to find some freedom within the confines of the city. Hopefully the kids and I will be able to stop by frequently during Mike’s breaks.
Vegan non-dairy pizza in a flash. I’m still nursing Kate and have eliminated dairy from my diet (it makes her gassy and fussy). While we were in the city, we stayed at Mike’s brother’s apartment in Greenwich Village and ordered this, no problem. Do you know how hard a pizza made with dairy-free cheese would be to find where we live in KC?
Family. What could be better than chatting the evening away over pizza, beer, and wine with a few of the people you love most on a pretty NYC apartment terrace?
Momma’s Ruby Slippers by Kendra Canty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License