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How to Plan a Pre-Move Visit to New York City

Updated on May 6, 2013

So You Are Planning to Move to NYC?

So you are planning to move to New York City? Well that is really no surprise. Every year, thousands of new people arrive in the city in pursuit of opportunities, adventures, and dreams. Many of the people who come here fail to establish themselves- and are forced to retreat back to wherever they came from, broke, self-esteem shattered, with their tail between their legs. Don’t become one of them!

Why do they fail to make it in New York City? – Because they did not come with a plan.

Successfully moving to New York is not as easy as stuffing a suitcase with clothes and hoping on the next plane to the city. New York City is a very competitive place, and if you are going to make it here you need to come prepared. The first step that anyone who is planning to move to NYC should take is to visit the city.

There is no better way to see if moving to the city is the right choice for you than to spend some time here. Visiting the city and checking things out for yourself will give you a good idea of what the neighborhoods that you can afford are like, and how you will cope with the, at times stressful, atmosphere of the city, as well as provide a glimpse of what your life in NYC might be like.

When you come for your pre-move visit, you will need to set aside some time to scout out different parts of the city and collect information that will help you when it comes time plan your move. Below are some of the things that you should seek to accomplish during your pre-move visit.

What to Accomplish on Your Pre-Move Visit

1- Scout out some neighborhoods online before you come! – Scouting neighborhoods is an important step because it will allow you to size up some of the many living choices available in the city- and see if you possess the fortitude to tolerate them! But, you should not pick just any old neighborhood to explore. Before you come, you need to do a little homework, and have a few neighborhoods picked out. You should focus only on neighborhoods that you can afford. This is very important, because you will need to know what circumstances you will be living in when you get here. It may be night to fantasize about living in a spacious SoHo loft, but realistically, few people can afford such a living arrangement when they first get to the city. To make it in NYC, you need to keep realistic expectations.

2- Spend some time walking around each neighborhood – When you get here, you need to spend a few hours in each neighborhood that you picked out. Your objective is not to pinpoint specific buildings that you want to live, but rather to get a feel for each neighborhood. Does it feel safe? Does it have enough of the types of residential businesses and services that you frequent as part of your lifestyle? Is it quite enough for your tastes, or lively enough to keep you entertained?

3- Create a budget – Now that you have sized up neighborhoods, you should have an idea of how much you can expect to pay to live in a neighborhood that is acceptable. Use this information to create a moving budget, so that you will know how much you will need to save to pay your first few months rent. This is an essential step to keep you from going into debt, running out of money, and being forced to flee the city before you have had a chance to establish yourself. DON’T GO BROKE OR GO INTO DEBT, be smart, make a budget and save lots of money.

Helpful Resources for Planning your NYC Move

In order to do your homework on the various neighborhoods in NYC, you will need to use a handful of online resources. Here are some of useful ones:

Moving to New York Guide – Guides on how to move to NYC, how to find a job, how to make new friends in the city, how to find an apartment & guides on different popular neighborhoods for people moving to the city. – New York CityExtremely detail data about population demographics for every neighborhood in New York City, and a very active forum for people to discuss NYC related topics.


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