Feeling stagnant while living in Florida, Falyn decides to shake things up with a move to NYC. Renting from a distance was challenging, but she lands in the heart of the East Village, and what she thought would be a deal breaker (five flights of stairs) turns out not to be such a big deal after all. Here’s her story.
I was born and raised in Florida. I had been living in Delray Beach with a roommate for about a year, then the pandemic happened. I was laid off and moved in with my parents in Boca Raton.
The apartment I shared was a large two-bedroom, two-bathroom place with walk-in closets and a patio. The building had a gym, pool, and doorman. We split our $3,500 rent and I loved the apartment’s size and amenities—especially in-unit laundry, but I didn’t love the area—there wasn’t much going on and I wasn’t meeting any new people.
After I moved in with my parents, I eventually found a new job by as a project manager for a creative agency. My new job was a 45-minute drive, which was long and exhausting.
[Editor's Note: Brick Underground's series The Newcomers features first-person accounts about why a renter or buyer decided to take a chance on NYC and live here now. Have a story to share? Drop us an email. We respect all requests for anonymity.]
I was feeling very stagnant; I wasn't making new friends. I wanted to be outside my comfort zone and move to a city where there were things for me to discover. Losing my job during the pandemic made me realize I wasn't living my life to the fullest and so I decided to move to NYC
In late December, I reached out to Julia Chin, an agent at BOND New York. She moved extremely fast! This rental process was initially very intimidating because I wasn't able to see apartments in person.
And the NYC rental market was insane. There were not many options to choose from and I felt super lost. I had found a roommate on a Facebook group, so I needed a two bedroom but was open to a flex-two. Our budget was about $4,000. The neighborhoods I liked best were the East Village and Kips Bay.
Fortunately, Julie was there to visit all of the apartments I was interested in—a total of six—and took tons of videos and photos for me. She was also honest about the pluses and minuses of each apartment.
In February, I moved to a real two bedroom in an older walkup building in the heart of the East Village for $4,200 a month. We are on the fifth floor and oddly enough, I had told Julie that being past the third floor was a deal breaker. But once I saw this apartment, which has in-unit laundry, I changed my mind. Turns out, I don’t hate walking up stairs. I am already used to them.
It’s definitely more difficult moving from out of state. I had to ship boxes to a family member's house and hope that everything got there in one piece.
My building is small with just a few tenants so I know everyone already. It doesn’t have amenities, but the fact the apartment has a washing machine and dryer is amazing! The size is decent and layout is great. My roommate and I are on opposite sides of the apartment, which is ideal since we both work from home. We can’t even hear each other! Both of our bedrooms can fit a desk, which was a necessity. I was able to keep the job I had in Florida and work remotely.
Another key requirement was safety and our street is feels safe and quiet. There is a police precinct on our block, so I feel comfortable coming home at night. We are also very close to popular bars and restaurants, which is really nice.
I love spending my day at Tompkins Square Park. I also enjoy going to coffee shops—Coffee Project and All The King's Horses Cafe. Concerts at the Irving Plaza are a blast and I also go dancing with my friends on the weekend.
Food shopping is a little more complicated since I don’t have a car anymore but there are lots of grocery stores. At first, I was intimidated by taking the bus and subway but now I love the convenience and I take the bus often if I can’t walk to where I need to go.
I have a few friends who live here so I’m meeting their friends. I’m also meeting my roommate's friends to expand my social circle.
Friends from home like to visit and they think my apartment is super cozy and nice. People feel safe in my apartment and they also love how close I am to everything.
Now that I am in NYC, I often think about something that happened back in Florida. That day, I was sitting in my backyard with my cousin and feeling upset. I told her that I thought NYC might not be in the cards for me. I was having a hard time taking the next step and making a move.
While I was venting, my cousin doodled the NYC skyline on a sticky note. I kept the sticky note on my desk as motivation and three months later I moved into my new apartment in NYC. I still have that sticky note. It’s a great reminder to dream big.
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