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5 Things to Know When Moving to New York City

moving from the suburbs to a city

So you decided to move from your quaint suburban home to the hustle and bustle of a large city. Perhaps its for that dream job or it has always simply been a dream to experience life in a big city, either way the move is highly stressful for many. What can you expect and what should you know to make your move a little easier? 

1. Plan on Downsizing

Life in a big city is more crammed, from your actual living space to the packed subway cars. When searching for your apartment, do not be shocked by the size of what your broker shows you. Unless you have a very high budget that affords you a spacious apartment with multiple beds, baths, and closets, space will be at a premium.

  • Closets can be hard to come by, even some of the largest apartments in NYC have smaller closets than you might currently have.
  • Go through your belongings before the move- this is a great opportunity to declutter and get rid of things that you no longer need or use.
  • Consider placing items in storage that will not fit into your new space.


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2. Visit Your Building Before the Move

After you officially secured your apartment, visit the building before the move to get acquainted with the location of freight elevators, loading docks, etc. This is also a great time to find out about building cable and internet options.

  • Introduce yourself to doormen, supers, and maintenance staff before the move. A smile can go a long way, and you will come to find that these individuals can be very helpful!
  • The friendlier you are to building staff, the more likely they will be give you “inside information” about move-ins in regards to elevator reservations, fees, etc. Knowledge is king in big cities!
  • Find out what cable companies your buildings support as well as if these companies offer preferred rates for building residents. Once you have made a selection, schedule an installation as soon as you know your move-in date as many companies are booked afew weeks out.

3. Fees

Big cities and luxury condo buildings seem to have a fee associated with everything. Try to understand what fees you may run into during your move so you can be better prepared.

  • If you are renting, ensure you have enough money in your checking account before you start your apartment search to cover things such as 1st month’s rent, security deposit, and broker’s fee. Do not be scrambling at the last minute to transfer money and get certified bank checks….you will need these!
  • Be aware of building fees associated with elevators if your move runs over schedule or outside of normal elevator operation hours
  • Have cash on hand at all times during your move for tipping

4. Known Your Building’s Moving Requirements & Be Prepared

Buildings have different requirements for moving in as well as logistics for move-ins. Be sure to review all this information so you can pass it along to your movers. Additionally, make your move less stressful by having an inventory system in place for your belongings and your valuables.

Check your building’s elevator schedule and schedule a move with them based on available timeslots. As soon as you have your date and time, pass this along to your movers so they can schedule their route accordingly to ensure timely arrival.

  • Verify if your building requires a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from the moving company as well as the amount. If required, ensure your moving company can provide this document. Insurance amounts vary from building to building.
  • Consider using a box numbering system for your belongings, so you can easily take inventory once your items arrive to the apartment.
  • Take caution with valuables! Keep all jewelry, watches, etc. on your person. Ladies- consider using your expensive bags rather than packing them and leaving them with the movers.