This TikToker moved to New York City on a budget of $2.3k a month to rent an apartment — and was told that was “too low.” Is it counterproductive to try to make this happen in the Big Apple?

This TikToker moved to New York City on a budget of $2.3k a month to rent an apartment — and was told that was “too low.”  Is it counterproductive to try to make this happen in the Big Apple?

‘I’m embarrassed’: This TikToker moved to New York City on a budget of $2.3k a month to rent an apartment — and was told that amount was “too low.” Is it counterproductive to try to make this happen in the Big Apple?

Long gone are the days when you could arrive in New York City with a suitcase, $20, and a dream.

Vivian Armacost found this out the hard way after she moved from Indiana to New York to pursue a career in consulting. She did the smart thing and created a housing budget for herself. But to her surprise, this didn’t match the Big Apple’s market demand.

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“I’m embarrassed to say my budget is $2,300 when I talk to brokers or people who rent apartments,” she said in a viral TikTok video late last year.

Someone at a New York building rental office told her that this was “a very low budget” and that she was unlikely to have an apartment within that range for herself.

That seems like a pretty big budget for a 20-year-old working her first job, but as the data shows, Armcost likely isn’t the only one being priced out of rent in the big city.

So nice, they charge twice

The leasing agent wasn’t exaggerating when she told Armacost that the $2,300 budget might be tight. The average monthly rent for an apartment in New York City is $4,163, according to the latest numbers from Rent.com.

Armacost isn’t the only one feeling the pain. More than half of the city’s residents are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities, according to a 2021 analysis from the nonprofit Community Service Association of New York. Given the way rent has been trending since then, there are likely more New Yorkers burdened with rent now.

Not surprisingly, high housing costs are pushing middle-class earners out of New York. Census figures show the city’s population has declined by 5.3% since the pandemic struck, much of that due to its residents fleeing for cheap pastures.

Read more: Thanks to Jeff Bezos, you can now cash in on luxury real estate — without the headache of being a landlord. Here’s how

Leave the Empire State behind

Armacost hails from Indiana. Maybe her wallet would have preferred to stay there.

More and more young people can’t afford New York or California anymore. Instead, they are looking toward the Midwest because of higher housing affordability.

Given that Rent.com puts the national average monthly rent at $1,964, Armacost’s $2,300 would be a good monthly rental budget in most other U.S. cities.

However, you may want to do some research, as high rent is not a problem exclusive to New York City. San Jose, Boston and San Francisco aren’t too far away, with rents ranging from $3,795 to $3,631. So Generation Z across the country may have problems on either coast.

However, it is not only young people who face this problem. Many people approaching retirement face the same affordability crisis. New York because it is one of the most expensive metro areas for age. Places in states like Mississippi, Oklahoma, or Alabama are much cheaper to live in after retirement.

Of course, for those who don’t want to make a big cross-country move, there are other options. Commuter towns, or bedroom communities, have long been a less expensive option for those who want proximity to a big city but at a less expensive rent. One TikTok commenter from Armacost has a suggestion for her (and anyone else struggling with the high cost of living): Go to New Jersey.

The user, who goes by @jamais_vmin_, says moving there was the “best decision ever” because he could buy a “huge” house with a garage and backyard for $1,700 a month. New York is no longer “worth it” to them.

“Secondary cities” also provide residents with an alternative. These are smaller cities that are often cheaper than larger metros, according to real estate analysis website Globe St. These include places like Seattle, Nashville, and Las Vegas.

But Armacost continues to try to get into the Big Apple. She recently posted on TikTok that she had been selected for the New York City housing lottery, which provides affordable housing. Can she hack it? Only time will tell.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. They are provided without warranty of any kind.

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