Many people dream about renting a good-spaced apartment downtown.
New York City is famous, (not in a good sense), for it’s high cost of living. With this in mind it is simply reasonable to stop for a second and ask yourself: “How much can I afford to rent a room in this big city?”
If you want to be financially smart, you have to pay a reasonable rent that doesn’t cut through most of your paycheck.
This way of thinking will enable you to save some money apart for vacation, gym, small investments, and rainy days.
That’s why, in this article we will see what kind of space you can rent with a maximum of $1200 per month.
Let’s dive right into it and find this out together.
Space And Comfort
We all have to celebrate one thing. Rent stabilization laws that now are limiting landlords from increasing the rent higher than a certain limit.
This allows you as a tenant to renew your lease each year, while not worrying of paying $500 more of rent.
The medium rent that a landlord asks for a two-bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side of New York is around $4000 a month. But your budget is only $1200 so even if you are to share the apartment that is still $800 short.
However, that can be easily fixed. Here are two options:
Smaller Two-Bedroom Apartment
You can try to find a smaller two-bedroom apartment which comes at a rent of $3000 a month.
If you are two people, you can get the smaller room and agree with the other to pay $1800 while you pay only $1200.
These kinds of deals are always done between roommates where one has more “space” than the other.
If you are lucky enough, and if you scout the areas around for a while, you might be able to find a three-bedroom apartment which is at a price of $4000 a month.
Three people sharing that apartment is perfect since you only have to pay around $1300 each, (tell your parents you need $100 extra… every month).
Now there are some other ways to cut down on the rent price and find a room that’s suitable for you.
You can find more information on coliving in New York on SharedEasy’s website.
Cut Down On Appliances
Look, it’s simple.
The price of a monthly rent, heavily depends on all the extra services that the space has to offer.
If you are looking at an apartment that has a dishwasher, a washing machine, an air conditioner, and WIFI then you might be looking to pay south of $2000 for all of that.
However, if you don’t mind washing the dishes yourself, and if you’re more a fan of a blanket than the AC, you can find yourself a place that doesn’t offer these services and is cheaper by cause and effect.
Create a home
Start by being your own interior designer.
You don’t need a lot of luxury around the place. One bene bag next to your bed can be perfect for guests.
Buy some quotes and stuff and decorate the walls a little.
You see, a $1200 room won’t come as the perfect bedroom that we see in college movies. It will probably be around 20sqm which is enough for one person to live in peace.
Buy your own drawer if the room doesn’t come with one.
How much rent can you afford?
Now, let’s take some time to focus a bit on the numbers. Let’s analyze your annual income, after taxes and subtract 70% off of that. That’s your total amount that will be dedicated to rent.
Here’s a simple way to look at all the calculations: Don’t spend more than 30% of your whole annual income to pay rent.
That means that if you are currently earning 50k a year after taxes, then around 16k are dedicated to rent.
Divide 16k per 12 months and you’ll have roughly a budget of $1300 to pay for rent.
Consider a Paying Upfront
Sometimes it is much simpler to get a low monthly rent by paying a couple of months upfront.
Landlords prefer people who are sure about staying in the apartment.
Paying three or even six sometimes, upfront might make your landlord cut down like $300 off of your monthly rent.
Consider One-Bedroom Apartments
Okay, maybe you have searched up and down for a cheap enough two or three-bedroom apartment but with no luck.
Why don’t you narrow down to one-bedroom apartments or studios that can be at the same price you can momentarily afford?
Studio apartments are like a tiny house inside a cubicle. You have your “bedroom” and your “kitchen all in the same room.
The only thing separate is the bathroom and maybe the balcony if you’re lucky.
However, the thing with studio apartments is that they come in really cheap and you can get your hands on one even for less than $1000 a month. But if you are looking for a bit more space than that then pay the full $1200 and you can get an empty space of 500sqft.
Which leads us to…
Furnish It Yourself
It is always better and cheaper to get a room for like $1000 more or less and buy your own furniture.
You can get a cheap bed at IKEA which you can put together yourself. A drawer, some of those quotes we mentioned earlier, a couple of chairs and a working table and the bene bag.
The thing about furnishing the apartment yourself is that you get to keep the furniture when you leave the house.
Finding an apartment for $1200 in New York is not an impossible task, especially when you are deciding to colive with others.
However, even if it happens that you are alone, you can still find some solid options.
Do your research and remember that space is always a priority over comfort. You’d rather have a 900sqft empty space than a 200sqft averagely furnished room.