Housing

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Moving Costs for First Time Renters in NYC and LA

The overall moving cost for a first-time renter is approximately $8,300 and $5,400 for NYC and L.A. respectively. The cost considerations include apartment rent, security deposit, shipping, temporary housing, and utility costs. Below is a deep dive into our findings.

Methodology

We looked into articles covering all kinds of moving costs and cost of living in New York and L.A. for this research. Though we did not find the requested information pre-existing, we were able to come up with an overall cost of moving into NYC and L.A. for a first-timer from summing up all costs gathered. In one case, information on the cost of moving to L.A. was retrieved from a source published in 2015. Although this is outside of the typical 2-year time frame of a Wonder request, this source was used because recent data on L.A. moving costs was very limited. A complete breakdown of our findings can be found below.

New York city

For first time renters in NYC, the following cost factors are to be considered:

RENT: The average cost of moving into an apartment is classified as;

a. A studio apartment moving cost ranges from $420 — $700.
b. Single bedroom moving cost ranges from $700 — $1100.
c. Two bedroom moving cost ranges from $1100 — $1500.
d. Three bedroom moving cost ranges from $1500 and above.
There is a likelihood of paying triple the monthly rent upfront as a deposit.

ADDITIONAL COSTS:

a. A security deposit of about 50% to 150% of the monthly rent.
b. The monthly cost of food/drink is about $100 — $150 per person.
c. Transportation cost of $121 monthly for MTA metro card use.
d. Utility cost of about $175 per month. This is for a variety of services such as cable, electric, gas, and internet etc, that would be provided at home depending on user's lifestyle and preferences.
Painting services cost between $150 to $300 per 100 square feet.
In apartments that require the windows to be washed, it would cost $40 — $50 per hour. If a plumber would be needed, it would cost $140 to $180 per hour.
e. Brokers fee of between 10% to 15% of annual rent where applicable.
f. Shipping cost to NYC depends on where you are moving from, and what is being moved. It ranges from $500 to $10,000.

TEMPORARY HOUSING: The average cost per night in NYC hotel/hostel varies according to standard. For a cheap accommodation, away from the central city area and "often have shared baths, very minimal services", it costs $100 and below per night.
For NYC hotel rooms, it ranges from under $200 to over $450 per night based on the quality of rooms and services available.

OVERALL COST: Taking the upper limits of all cost ranges for a single room apartment, a first-time renter in NYC would budget:

1. Single room apartment — $1,100
2. Deposit of three times the monthly rent — $3,300
3. 150% of monthly rent for the security deposit — $1,650
4. Utility cost — $175
5. Assuming brokers fee applies to 15% of monthly rent cost per month — $165
6. Assuming you are moving from within the US — $500
7. Assuming you would stay in a temporary apartment for 1 week at $200 per night — $1400
Total — $8,290

Therefore, it would take approximately $8,300 for a first-time renter in NYC.

los angeles

For L.A., the cost considerations are:

RENT: Monthly apartment rent in L.A. are classified based on locations;

a. For city center, single bedroom accommodation goes for $1450 and above, $2500 and above for three bedroom accommodation.
b. For outside city center, single bedroom accommodation goes for $1000 and above, $2000 and above for three bedroom accommodation.
c. A studio apartment ranges from $900 — $1395.
There is also a security deposit which could be $500, a certain percentage of the annual rent or a full month rent.


ADDITIONAL COSTS:

a. Shipping cost to L.A. depends on where you are moving from. It ranges from $775 within the US to $2,903 from outside the US.
b. Transportation cost is about $100 per month for unlimited use.
c. Internet cost ranges from $40 to $90 per month.
d. Food and drink cost ranges from $1 to $60.
e. Basic utility cost ranges from $70 to $243.

TEMPORARY HOUSING: There are accommodations ranging from $30 to $300 per night provided by Airbnb, an L.A. vacation accommodation rental service provider where you can stay while you get your apartment ready.

OVERALL COST: Taking the upper limits of all cost ranges for a single room apartment in city center area, a first-time renter in L.A. would budget:

1. Single room apartment — $2,500
2. Assuming security deposit to be — $500
3. Basic utility cost — $243
4. Assuming you are moving from within the US — $775
5. Assuming you would stay in a temporary apartment for 1 week at $200 per night — $1,400
Total — $5,418

Therefore, it would take approximately $5,400 for a first-time renter in L.A.

In summary, the cost consideration for first-time renters in the NYC is $8,300 and $5,400 for L.A. The costs comprise apartment rent cost, utility cost, shipping, transportation, and security deposit costs.
Sources
Sources