Don’t Look! Apartments You Could Afford if You Didn’t Live in New York
Searching for an apartment in New York can be a stressful ordeal, especially if you are on a limited budget. Sometimes if you’re feeling really down in the dumps about your apartment search and are mildly masochistic, it can be fun to look at your current budget for rent in New York and imagine what sort of apartment this much money would buy you elsewhere in the world. This is even more painful now given the strong dollar.
For example, say you have about $700 a month to spend on rent in New York. You could move into this humble international student abode near Columbia University’s Medical School on the Upper Westside. It’s advertised as “a very small room in a five bedroom apartment” with “no living room space.” It’s only major selling point: “respectful, clean, and quiet” roommates. That’s good because there are FOUR of them.
Alternatively, you could take your $700 (actually only $650) and spend it on this lovely modern studio apartment in Prague. It’s still not huge (only 30 meters squared) but it comes furnished. That’s right—no mind numbing trips to Ikea! It’s also equipped with its own super cute kitchenette, a “luxury bathroom and shower,” free laundry, AND a parking space in a garage. It has a living space, which you can use any way you want because—NO ROOMMATES! And, perhaps most importantly, you would have $50 leftover every month to add to your Czech beer budget.
Also in the East, for only $508 a month this homey two bedroom apartment in downtown Budapest could be yours. That’s right—for $200 less than what you spend on your crappy one bedroom in New York you can get a two bedroom (one of which includes a gallery?), two bath, lovingly furnished apartment in Budapest. There is also free wifi. And again NO ROOMMATES!
Maybe Eastern Europe is not your thing. That’s ok. What about Rome? Rome is everyone’s thing. Thanks to the ever weakening Euro, this one bedroom unit comes in just a little over your budget at $800, but boy is it worth it. There is a modern kitchen and living space with interesting light fixtures and dark wooden floors. The bedroom appears to have three full closets (which are probably the size of your current room in New York) and the apartment is extremely well located with pizzerias, cafes, and wine bars nearby. The Coliseum is also less than a fifteen minute walk away. And again, another top feature—NO ROOMMATES! Also, you’re in Rome and life doesn’t get much better than that.
Let this be a lesson in thinking very hard about your reasons to move to New York, which are probably justified. There is quite simply no other place like it—not even Rome. And the exorbitant rent is just the price to be paid, so no point wallowing in the more affordable alternatives. Now get back to work. Happy apartment hunting!