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20 Things Only NYC Renters Can Relate To

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Buying a home is far more cost effective than renting a home. After all, every payment you make toward a mortgage is going to come back to you when you sell your home. The money you put toward your rent, however, is not coming back to you – ever. Maybe that deposit will come back to you, but that’s it. For those renting in New York City, too, there is a certain standard of living that only NYC renters can relate to. In other parts of the country where you can rent a 3000-square foot house for under $1500 per month, renters in NYC aren’t even close to that. Here are a few things you’ll only relate to if you rent in the city.

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Less Square Footage

When you rent in New York City, you take a chance at not being able to get a good size apartment. And by good size, we mean that most people cannot afford anything that has more than 1000-square feet. And by that we mean that 1000-square feet is like a mansion and still costs renters thousands of dollars every month. Meanwhile, in Florida you can buy a 3000-square foot home for a mere $1300 a month mortgage and we think that is a LOT of money. It’s just what happens when you have to rent in a city in which the cost of living is so expensive.

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Bedrooms? What are Those?

Unlike other places across the country, there are not always bedrooms in New York City apartments. Sometimes renters don’t even get this option, which is why it’s always funny to you when someone is talking about their expensive $900 per month rent for their two or three bedroom apartment in Des Moines. You pay three or four times that and don’t even have one bedroom in NYC.

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No Kitchen

Sometimes apartment renters in the big city don’t even get a kitchen. You might get a small fridge in the living space that has a little bit of a counter on which you might place a toaster oven or microwave, but that’s about it. Forget amenities. You don’t always get those if you want to afford rent. It’s like dorm-living with a much higher price tag that your parents probably are not paying for.

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No Laundry

In my house, I have a laundry room that’s the size of a good-size bedroom (seriously, it’s 11×12) and it’s just for our washer and dryer. In NYC, most people don’t even have a washer or dryer, and if they do, it’s not in a room this size. It’s probably in a completely different room on another floor of the building, and that’s probably expensive. Otherwise, it’s public laundry facilities. On a good note, however, you can wear so many of your items time and time again without actually needing to wash them. At least that is what you tell yourself.

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Great Exercise

On a good note, you’ll get great exercise if you live in a rental in NYC. Many of them feature walkups, which means you’ll be lugging your life up and down several flights of stairs on a regular basis, and that’s great exercise. Many buildings don’t have an elevator if they’re only a certain number of stories, and a lot of people get great exercise renting in the city for just that reason.

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Too Much Money

You could buy a really big house in another part of the country for what you pay for rent. In fact, you could probably buy several really big houses in other parts of the country for what you pay for rent on a tiny apartment that barely has space in which to move. And you think about that a lot. But then you remember you would never give up city living for a mansion on the beach somewhere else. I mean, why would you?

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Combined Rooms

Something that many people can relate to renting in the city is that they have combined rooms. And we are not just talking about studios. We are talking about rooms that you might not put together in any way otherwise. Like, how about living in an apartment in which the bathroom and the kitchen are in the same room without a door to separate them? That sounds sanitary and amazing, right?

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You Carry a Resume

You know that when it comes to renting in the city you need a renter’s resume to give to potential landlords at a moment’s notice. I mean, you see it, you hand it over and you start writing that check for the first and last and security before he even has a chance to go over your information because you know you have to snap it up right this very second because…

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…It Might be Gone in 10 Minutes

If you wait to think about it or ponder it or bring your significant other back later on, chances are good that anything even remotely sizable, decent, upgraded, cheap, perfectly located or anything else even remotely good will be gone in an instant. And we mean that; in an instant. You have to rent right now or yesterday, because nice places are gone in minutes.

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Other People’s Expensive Rent Makes you Laugh

When someone is complaining that they are spending too much on their rent in Florida and you ask them what they’re paying, you want to laugh and probably punch them right in the face. Who complains about paying $1200 per month on a three or four bedroom , two bathroom apartment that has water views, a huge kitchen and more than 2000-square feet? I mean, you paid that for your 300-square foot one room apartment with a communal toilet.

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Roommates are a Must

Most people in NYC have a roommate of some sort to help them afford to live in their tiny little apartment with no space at all. It’s just how life is when you want to live somewhere like this. It’s often not affordable for the average person, so you have to cram as many people into one small space as possible. Other people have roommates across the country, but they get to do things like have their own rooms and bedrooms and bathrooms, and space. Not always the case in NYC, renters from elsewhere.

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Privacy is Minimal

If you’re currently laughing, it’s because you have no idea what that word even means. Privacy in a NYC apartment? You can’t even get privacy from yourself in many situations, and that’s why it’s so laughable that you’d get it sharing an apartment with your roommates. Most people can’t find a second to themselves because they don’t have the space, the room or anything else that looks even remotely like privacy. Your idea of privacy is taking a long walk through the city with millions of other people that you don’t have to talk to.

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Parks are Your Yard

Renters and buyers in other cities across the country look for nice yards. Do they have a fence and a nice grassy area? What about a pool? In Florida, we want to make sure we have an outdoor kitchen and living area. In New York City, you just want to know how many blocks it is to the nearest park since that’s the only grassy area you’re going to get for the rest of your rental life in this particular area or building.

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Boundaries Mean Everything

Boundaries are a way of life in NYC. You have to find them and you have to understand them. You know that a mere city block can make a huge difference in what you pay for rent and what you get as far as your address and amenities are concerned. That’s why you know you have to do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily have to do if you rented somewhere else entirely, and that’s why people in this area are so uptight about things like one square block.

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Furniture is Minimal

When you rent in NYC, there is no, “Let’s go shopping for lots of new furniture to make this place look amazing!” like so many people across the country do when they find a new place to live. In fact, you might find that you have to go out and find a piece of furniture that somehow converts into a couch, a bed, a table and a kitchen stove to make things work in your new apartment. I mean, it might not be quite so extreme, but you know what we mean.

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Hosting Out of Town Guests is Impossible

It’s not always possible to let your friends and family come stay with you when you rent in NYC. It’s like everyone and their mother wants to come stay with you so that they don’t have to pay for a room in NYC, and that’s not how it works. You barely have the kind of space you need to accommodate yourself, let alone the millions of friends and family that suddenly want to come visit since you have this amazing and awesome new place to live. I mean, come on people.

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Carrie Bradshaw’s Life is a Lie

She has this gorgeous brownstone apartment in which she has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and all kinds of stuff, and she’s a freelance writer who has a column a week published and she still manages to buy a bunch of Manolos. Can you say Rent Control? There is not a chance she gets all that on the salary paid to a writer who writes one column a week. It is literally not even remotely possible in the lives of most everyone on the planet. We do give her credit for being a total badass though, and inspiring women everywhere to want to write and be rich at the same time.

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You Know the Neighbors Very Well

You might never in your life have even met your neighbors, but you probably know more about them that is absolutely necessary. In fact, you might know more about them that you ever wanted to know about anyone, ever. You probably know their deepest darkest secrets, their favorite way of doing things and what they’re cooking for breakfast every single day. You probably have very little privacy from them and against them, so you know them quite well.

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Take Out is Everything

Renters in NYC can absolutely relate to the fact that take out is the best thing that ever happened in the history of so many things. Without takeout, it’s impossible to eat dinner in a one room apartment without any sort of appliances in which to put anything except for maybe a small container of milk. Without takeout, you’d be quite hungry. But then again, your diet probably leaves a lot to be desired, so it’s a good thing you get all that exercise walking up and down several flights of stairs each day.

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Cooking? What’s That?

Who said cooking was something you could do around here? Many NYC renters don’t have full kitchens. And those that do have something that even remotely resembles a full kitchen probably has to use the things in there for storage for their other things, likes shoes and clothes, so there is no way to do things like cook and make food of your own. Good thing that this is the city that never sleeps and there is always food available on a regular basis so that you can get what you need to sustain your life in the most basic of manners.

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Written by Tiffany Raiford