As the Kanye line goes…
“How you go to New York, what you ain’t never took a tour there?
What you ain’t know you gotta be rich just to be poor there?”
It’s true. Long and gone are the days of me fantasizing about old New York, where starving artists could survive for months off of selling one piece of art. No, not Manhattan (now). If a rent stabilized apartment wasn’t bequeathed to you (and I never hear of that happening, so I’m not sure it does), then you’re stuck living with many roommates or living in the area of no-mans land which is in between no train stops and oblivion.
In my years of being in New York City, most of it was spent in Manhattan. I stayed in Queens for a bit, lived in Brooklyn here and there, it was cool – but, Manhattan was always where I ended up living for years and years. Needless to say, it’s a borough that I feel connected to – so, I’d like to stay.
BUT…to live in Manhattan requires insane standards. Like…
1. PERFECT CREDIT:
No, all those Free Credit Commercials are not just for entertainment. Basically, if you don’t have good credit – you probably won’t even be considered at all beyond this point (unless stated otherwise), even if you have rich parents who are willing to be the co-applicant on the apartment.
Sidenote: I urge you to find out your credit score and maintain it if it’s good or work on repairing it. Trust me. You will thank me later. Every grown-up told me this and it went in one ear and out the other.
2. LEASE APPLICANT MUST EARN 36x THE RENT:
So, if a standard 1 bedroom is $2700 (and that’s on the cheap side) then your annual salary must be (36 x $2700) $97,200. Pretty crazy, right?
Some places don’t accept guarantors at all, but if they do – the guarantor would need to earn 80x the rent. Again, if your rent is projected to be $2700, then your guarantor would need to make (80 x $2700) $216,000 a year! Also, the guarantor usually needs to live in the same state or in the area…so in case you were thinking of asking that rich Uncle in Tulsa – you can forget about it! That’s if you even have a rich Uncle…most of us don’t.
So that’s real life Manhattan. It really boils down to good credit really, so I urge you folks to get it together. Do what you can to fix that score. If you don’t have good credit, you’ll be turned away by fancy boutiques like Vivian.. embarrassed by your hooker past (ya’ll know what I’m talking about!). Then when you get it together you can come back and ask “You work on commission right? Big mistake. Huge”
I realize all these precautions are to protect the landlords (that word always makes me think of medieval times the time period not the dinner theatre – oooh remember when I was knighted? CLICK HERE), but really? The city is at stake. Sure there is room for Young Urban Professionals (“Yuppies”), but the entire island shouldn’t house them only. It’s irritating to say the least.
This venting post is coming out as I have been in the process for looking for a new apartment and it has been a horrendous experience. I swear…I’m saving my coins to buy an eco-friendly and sustainable house. It may not be in Manhattan, but as long as there are solar panels and a hammock for me and Vladimir – I will be happy.
*NOTE: This is obviously not Vladimir, The Russian Blue Fraidy Cat
In the mean-time you may find me homeless in Union Square and don’t act like you don’t know me. So when you see me, throw me a dollar. Thank you!