Nov 11, 2020
There is a huge presence of Brits in the United States, with an estimated 700,000 expats calling the US home. A staggering number of these (120,000 to be specific) have put down roots in New York City.
So there is the off chance you might bump into a fellow compatriot in the Big Apple.
The land of freedom has a population as big as London’s, two cities that pride themselves as the capitals of the world, with 8.3 million vs 8.9 million residents across the wider metropolitans respectively, so obviously there is the law of probability.
The two cities, though, share plenty of similarities.
Like London, NYC is also a financial and media hub. You’ll also find the same high-street brands in the American East Coast city that you’re used to in London.
Some of New York’s most important cultural touchstones should be familiar too, thanks to Hollywood.
While the cultural shift won’t be as dramatic as you would expect in most other global cities – after all, the language is the same – the transition from London to NYC will no doubt require some getting used to.
New York is as unique as cities come, but being a Londoner, the bedding-in period should be more seamless.
Still, there are some aspects which will come as a shocker, especially with regard to housing.
We’ve put together five important tips which should prove useful when moving from London to the land of freedom.
- Sell as much as you can
Moving house is a total pain, even when moving across the street. There is just so much stuff to deal with, besides the packing.
When it comes to moving countries, the stress takes on a new dimension, particularly if you’re relocating with your stuff – and double when moving with family.
To make it easier on yourself, it is imperative that you sit down and create a list of what you plan to take with you and what you intend to leave behind. That’s especially when you consider the apartment you’ll be moving into won’t be a replica of your pad in London.
Shipping everything in your household is not practical. Besides, that means you’ll have huge moving costs to deal with, which you should take into account whether your employer is footing the bill or not.
So weed out your items until you’re left with as lean a list as it can get.
Don’t worry, in the event you need to move some items from home once you’re settled in, there are plenty of reliable NYC movers you can always make use of who deal with international moves and do not charge an arm and a leg like some of the big players.
- Choose wisely before renting
New York City is divided into boroughs, each with its own set of vibrant neighborhoods whose culture varies from one to the next.
Before you rent your first apartment, evaluate the boroughs first and then find a few neighborhoods that feel more like “your type of thing”. From there, you can then zero in on two or so options.
- Avoid getting into a long-term lease at first
There is more to NYC neighborhoods than meets the eye. Usually, the best way to get the feel of a certain place is to visit in person and probably hunker down for a few weeks.
The last thing you want when moving to New York (or any place else for that matter) is to sign a long-term lease only to find out the apartment or neighborhood isn’t what it promised at first.
This is why it makes sense to opt for a short-term rental which allows you to recon a couple of neighborhoods you’re eyeing before you eventually settle for the most ideal one for you.
- Not all rentals are in rental buildings
An apartment in a rental building is different from one in a co-op or condo building. If you’re looking for nicer finishes, appliances, and amenities, you might want to go for the latter.
However, there are downsides associated with co-ops and condos, notably higher application fees, more red tape (especially in the case of co-ops), and often, restrictions on how long you can rent.
- Your housing options will be more limited if you’re bringing the dog
If your stay is set to be a lengthy one or you’re moving with the whole family, obviously you’ll want to take the dog with you.
If so, it’s good to keep in mind that many apartments in New York have limits on the dog breed and weight, with some even prohibiting pets outright.
If you happen to find a place with less stringent rules, you might also want to factor in your pet’s personality when shopping for an apartment.
For example, the first floor might be a good idea if your dog is getting on in years, but not so much if the constant sound of footsteps freaks them out.
All in all, it’s an exciting adventure you’re about to embark on. Happy moving!