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5 Things to Consider When Moving to New York

5 Things to Consider When Moving to New York

So You’re Moving to New York…

You’re probably excited. You’re probably terrified. You probably hope you don’t run away in a few years. Here are a few questions you may be asking yourself, and the best answers  to make your move as seamless as possible.

1. Manhattan or Brooklyn?

Though Manhattan or Brooklyn used to be the question, the choice is more likely between Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey, Westchester or Connecticut now. Though if you’re moving to New York, you probably want to be in one of the five boroughs.

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Manhattan is obviously one of the most coveted boroughs. It has everything, from restaurants to shopping to nightclubs. This is the center of the hustle and bustle in the city. Brooklyn is considered the second-most coveted. Some even refer to Brooklyn as, “The new Manhattan.” Brooklyn tends to have a laid-back West Coast hipster vibe. More people actually migrate from Manhattan to Brooklyn to go out on a Friday night now than the other way around.

Queens has an industrial vibe yet is its own beast as the largest borough spatially. The Bronx is still a little rough, yet it has plenty of culture; the Bronx Zoo, the Bronx Botanical Gardens and the Grand Concourse are all touristy areas. Staten Island is very suburban and feels more like New Jersey than New York.

2. Broker or No Broker?

Most New Yorkers hire brokers to find their apartments, condos and co-ops. When most outsiders move to New York, they swear they don’t need a broker. Yet they often crack. It’s not a bad idea to find a broker before heading to the Big Apple. Even if you want to try to “go it alone” for a bit, you might want a broker in the long run. The New York City real estate system is set up to favor brokers. It doesn’t cost anything to talk to a broker and start looking at apartments, so try to keep an open mind.

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3. Apartment, Condo or Co-op?

In New York City, you can rent or own. Apartments are rented and condos are purchased (though many New Yorkers refer to condos as apartments).

Co-ops are in between renting and buying. Most New Yorkers deal with high homeowners’ association (HOA) fees, though. Make sure you ask about HOA fees prior to looking at an apartment. You might also need to ask around about other fees too. If you own an apartment, your HOA fees go to preserve common areas – not your apartment. You’ll still need to pay for those costs on your own.

4. What’s Up with Your Neighborhood?

New York City neighborhoods are ever-changing. They are practically living things. The neighborhood you move into won’t be the same hood in three-to-five years. New York is a transient culture. Nearly 8.5 million people live in the city right now. That number rises every year. This is kind of shocking when you think about how many people move to and from New York each year. Neighborhoods can change fast – which can be good and bad. Tons of factors can change a neighborhood’s flavor.

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One of the major changes is gentrification, which is the changing of the social and economic climate of an area. Even though gentrification will probably change your neighborhood for the better, it will probably change your neighborhood in ways you do not enjoy too. Your favorite restaurant will close in a year and become a Duane Reade. The only family on the block who has lived here for more than two years will move away.

5. Where are the Subways?

It’s hard for people who are moving New York from “driving cities” to adapt to the walking and subway lifestyle. Plenty of people bring their cars with them. Most people ditch the cars after a few months. It’s extremely expensive to own a car in New York City. It’s equally expensive – and just as annoying – to take cabs everywhere.

Everyone uses the subway. Even wealthy residents and celebrities. It’s just more convenient than a car. Make sure your new apartment is close to the subway – within a few blocks.

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Featured photo credit: Aurelien Guichard/New York City via flic.kr

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Bethany Cleg

Photographer, Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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