First month, first impressions!!

It feels like yesterday when I arrived to New York City… Before coming here I made my previous research about the place where I wanted to live, so I could focus on a specific area, and that place was without a doubt Hoboken, New Jersey. Hoboken is ideal for living, you are just 15 minutes away by path from The city and has it’s own character. You have everything you need in the ”Mile Square City”, and what I love the most about it is that you can walk, bike or run by the Hudson River Walkway Waterfront with its stunning views of New York City.

Living in Hoboken, NJ is not the cheapest option, but definitely worth every single penny. You can find a room around $900 a month or you can go for a studio which is somewhere around $1600. In my case, I came with my partner, so we chose to live in a studio, one that I’ve found through Zillow / Trulia. This studio has been on the website for a month before we made it to the US, and they lowered the price twice, so I guess we made it just on time. We spend the first night in a Hotel in Manhattan, and then we decided to book a room through Airbnb in Jersey City, in order to see the different studios we liked in the nearby areas. What we did not expect was to find and rent the studio in the next two days, so basically we could have just saved the Airbnb.

Regarding the rental, I wanted to play it safe so I decided to go for an agency and therefore a broker. When you rent a studio you have to consider different things: the amount you have to pay the first month (one month rent, one or one month and a half deposit plus one month for the broker). Afterwards, you will be asked to provide your contract with your annual income, which might be considered insufficient for a studio rental, because generally they ask you to earn 40 times the amount of the monthly rent, which is a lot. Then they usually ask for a good credit score something we don’t have as foreigners. Credit score means that you are reliable, and you paid all your bills on time and you are a good citizen. If you don’t have a credit score, then another option is to provide one or more guarantors, which means people willing to sign for you, usually responsible if you don’t pay your rent. Said this, it might seem scary at first, you might think it’s impossible, but let me tell you that it’s not, especially if they see you decided about the place. The studio we rent was the first we visited and although things didn’t seem easy at first sight, we were able to rent it in less that two days, which was incredibly fast!

Once we had the studio and an address, I was able to apply for a US bank account, the social security number, and get a US sim card all in one day. At the beginning I was a bit worried, I thought that I did not have enough time to get everything done before I started to work, but here things happen very fast, and all you need to do is to keep pace with your priorities, and then just relax and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Said that, life in New York City is very intense, in so little time you get to do endless things, which is simply amazing. I couldn’t be in a better place, there’s always something to do in the city that never sleeps, I could never get over this city! For me NYC is a vibrant place, as they say  ”it’s a city of superlatives, a place where the best, the brightest, and the biggest is the norm.”


Cristina Marin

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