Help me move to Brooklyn
April 1, 2012 3:43 PM   Subscribe

I would like to move to Brooklyn. How?

I'm 22. I graduate from a really well-regarded state school next month with a degree in anthropology and English. I have no debt and no connections in the city. I'm looking at a June 1st move-in, I think.

I currently have $1500 and a car that will sell for $2500. My mom has generously offered to pay my phone bill each month while I'm gathering my bearings. The plane ticket is $120. That pretty much leaves me enough for first month's, last month's, a deposit, a metrocard, a mattress, and a little food, right? I'm hoping to save another $700 before I make the move, but I'm not counting it as a certainty in my plans. Will I have any trouble securing a place from out of the city?

How should I go about finding a job? I have experience in graphic design, community outreach, and editing. I'm not picky about the job itself, though I would prefer if it were related to my interests. Should I just go ahead and apply to everywhere looking? Will not being in the city count me out of the running? What's my best bet here?

Honestly, any tips, tricks, or warnings would be amazing. I'm stalking Padmapper, but besides that, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm not even sure if I'm asking the right questions. Please feel free to contact me at Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Will I have any trouble securing a place from out of the city?

Some, more corporate landlords used to ask for a "tri state guarantor."
posted by R. Mutt at 3:51 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you have no connections in the city, and on that budget, I'd strongly consider subletting a room somewhere for cheap (say, for $600-$900/month) on a month-to-month basis till you find a job. Otherwise you will have no money after you pay your three months' deposit (not to mention that it may be difficult to even get a place without a co-signer) and may be in trouble unless you find a job instantly. You also don't know where you're going to work. You might want a place that's not too exceptionally far away. You might also want some time to walk around different neighborhoods and apartments and see what you like.
posted by shivohum at 3:51 PM on April 1, 2012 [6 favorites]

In all likelihood, you will have trouble finding a place to live (at least, a safe place with people who are responsible and will treat the apartment and you with respect) without a job. Especially because you don't have any savings to pay for rent or necessities if you don't find work within the first few weeks, no landlord is going to rent to you, and no one is going to let you move in with them unless they are utterly irresponsible. I think you need to look for a job now, from where you are, and then move once you find one. It's hard, but not impossible. And yes, you should start applying now. Jobs for new college grads that start in June are interviewing now.
posted by decathecting at 3:52 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Best Route to Living Well in Brooklyn
Apt Hunting in NYC - What to Expect
New York, New York!
Renting An Apt on Freelance Income

You will likely need a guarantor to substantiate that there's going to be a fall back person to pay rent in case you can't.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:55 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

From NYU: Update of a roommate scam.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:57 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Me-mail me for the possibility of a cheap sublet if you decide to come mid-Mayish.

But look at craigslist for roommate situations. You will not be able to afford your own place on that amount of money. If you want to go really cheap, keep an eye out for collective houses in Bushwick and Bed-stuy (in areas that you might find to be sketchy if you aren't familiar with the area). You can get a room for like $500 in a beautiful brownstone (though you'll be living with 12 people).

Without any real experience, I would think you'd have a tough time getting a job from afar without any connections. You'll probably want to get here and try to get a service job of some kind (barista, retail, waiting) while applying to 'real' jobs, but those are pretty hard to come by as well (and be able to pay the rent). If you don't have any more cushion than that (meaning if your parents won't/can't float you if you get in a bind) I would stay at home for the summer, work a lot and save up, and move here in September with a bigger cushion and maybe some more experience depending on how you spend your summer. Because you might get here, end up in a crappy living situation with no job, and find yourself out of options within the month.

But that's worst case scenario. Many many young people like yourself have moved here with less and made it just fine over time.
posted by greta simone at 4:39 PM on April 1, 2012

I moved to Brooklyn about a year ago with less money but a couple of connections. Are you absolutely certain that you have no friendly acquaintances from high school who are living in NYC already? Friends-of-friends?

Do you have history with a crappy retail job that will hire you in advance of you arriving? I spent a couple months working for $10/hr at a drug store which at least made my savings dry out more slowly.

Apartments go really fast - a lot of listings only last for a day or two. I looked at dozens of apartments before I found one that worked out.
posted by modernserf at 4:45 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

100% find a roommate situation on Craigslist. No landlord or broker is going to deal with you. It's sad but true that the rental market is so tight here that you have to check all the boxes to even have anyone talk to you, and that generally includes proof that your annual income is at least 40 times the monthly rent. (E.g., to rent a $1k/month apartment you have to make $40k, and so on.) It's true that many people just looking for a roommate will also not want to take a risk on you. Especially coming from out of state and with no job. It would be much, much, much easier if you could crash on a friend's couch for a week so you can meet people in person and show that you're a real human being.

If you know someone, anyone, with a local NYC address you can put on your resume, it will also help immensely.

Lots of people do what you're trying to do, so it's definitely doable, but know that no part of the process will come easily—because there are lots and lots of people trying to do it, competing for jobs and rooms in apartments and so on—and you may end up blowing through your savings before finding a reasonable job and having to head home with your tail between your legs. As long as you're okay with that then go for it.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 6:08 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

with the amount of money you have, its definitely doable but with limitations. you won't be able to find your own apartment so as most people here said, look for a roommate on craigslist. as for the job, yes apply to everything, you will need some kind of income asap to keep you afloat. if you want, you could keep looking for a better job while working. if you had a nyc address to put on your resume, that would probably help but it probably won't count you out. best of luck!
posted by cm1088 at 9:20 AM on April 2, 2012

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