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Average Cost of Living in New York City: An In-Depth Guide

The cost of living in New York City is higher than in most other American cities. However, having access to everything will cost something. With the help of an experienced local agent, you can manage the stress of covering living expenses with a few rebates and a low mortgage.
The cost of living in New York City is higher than in most other American cities. However, having access to everything will cost something. With the help of an experienced local agent, you can manage the stress of covering living expenses with a few rebates and a low mortgage.

Whether you’re buying your first home in New York City or have decided to buy after years of renting, the cost of living in the city will be high. However, you get one of the best transit systems in the world, the best museums, and an endless list of things to keep you occupied in exchange. You can soften the cost of moving with the help of an experienced realtor to guide you through the process.

When you’re moving, an agent who knows the city can help you manage your expectations and also uncover ways for you to save. Here’s just a little of what you can expect spending as the cost of living in New York City along the way.

Typical Home Prices in New York City in 2019

The housing market in New York City is cooling down, which is great for potential buyers. When things get too hot, it becomes a seller’s market and listing prices end up being only a jumping off point for a much higher sale price. As the market cools down, potential home buyers in New York get a chance to haggle down in prices.

Ask any real estate expert and they’ll tell you that the start of spring is the beginning of the real estate season. However, things fluctuate more in New York City than in most other cities. For buyers, spring and summer are the best time to get a good deal on a home, with April and May being good for getting a deal.

When Amazon was slated to move their second headquarters into Queens, there was much buzz about the market expanding there. Since the cancellation, the overall market has cooled with more expansion happening in Upper Manhattan and Brooklyn. Current median home values are hovering just under $800,000 but expect them to bounce back soon.

How Much Are New York City Property Taxes?

New York City is one of the most highly taxed cities in the entire country, meaning that home buyers should expect to pay heavily for their homes. If you’re buying a second home or a “pied-à-terre” in New York, watch the latest news. There has been much talk about taxing second homes that hit over the $1 million mark.

Working with an experienced local realtor is one of the best ways to save money. Talking to them about your budget and being flexible about when and where you move means you might be able to pounce on a deal.

While most other cities have about a month lead time on any rental or purchase, New York is an outlier in that you have to be ready to act fast. Real estate changes hands in NYC in an instant.

The City calculates property taxes based on the value of the home. The municipal government will reassess the value from time to time to ensure that it’s taxed correctly. The average New York City property tax is around $4,800 per year, making it one of the pricier places to hang your hat.

Average Homeowners Insurance in New York City

Both renters and buyers are advised to insure their domicile in New York City. Flooding, fires, and, sadly, terrorist attacks can be catastrophic in the city. If you’re not prepared for the worst, you’ll be devastated worse than your neighbors.

For NYC home buyers who hold a liability of $100,000 and a deductible of $1,000 on a home that’s worth the median value, expect to pay an average of $5,700. While this number is higher than in many other cities, it’s also relative to the value of a home in New York.

Also, as dense as homes are placed in New York City, it’s rare that insurance companies are going be dealing with just a single major claim at any point. If disaster strikes, it will hit more people since everyone is so packed together. If you were able to get a good deal on your home, your insurance could be lower based on the price of your mortgage.

Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in New York City

New Yorkers will pay different maintenance and repair costs depending on what borough they’re in.

Manhattanites are more likely to buy a home inside of co-op or an apartment complex. Co-op owners are expected to pay fees to keep the co-operative running. Maintenance fees can run as high as a mortgage payment would be in another city, upwards of $1,500 per month.

For owners in outer boroughs like Staten Island or Queens, it’s more likely that you’d be able to get a single family home where you must manage your own repairs and maintenance costs. In these cases, you must focus on the costs of maintaining your HVAC system for the cold winters and humid summers. Expect to pay around $350 per visit from your heating and cooling specialist.

Other Costs of Living in New York City to Consider

New York City costs of living will vary depending on which neighborhood or borough you buy your home in. If you buy an inexpensive home in the far reaches of the city, you’ll save on property taxes and on your mortgage, but you’ll pay in other ways. One of the most expensive things you’ll end up paying for is transportation, whether through taking the train everywhere or paying to maintain a car.

If you’re in Manhattan or central Brooklyn, you might have to pay for parking. While this gives you peace of mind and keeps you from having to deal with alternate side parking rules, you could pay $500 a month just to keep your car in the city.

Don’t forget about the New York City cut of your income tax if you live in the city. While you’ll get a lot out of having access to the Big Apple, you’ll pay through the nose for it.

Find a Top New York City Real Estate Agent

Navigating the fast-moving world of New York City real estate is a challenge without the help of an experienced local real estate agent. An agent who knows the city will know which neighborhoods are heating up, which are overpriced, and which are on their way down. They’ll help you to set goals that match your budget and help you navigate the real cost of living in the area.

When you buy with Clever, you get paired up with the top agents in New York City. They can save you money all along the way and ensure that you qualify for Clever’s buyer rebate which entitles you to get 1% of the homes over $500,000 to pay for closing costs. Contact us today to be matched with an agent who can help you find the best home for your budget.


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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