Still Worth Living in NYC in a Post-COVID World?

crookedhillary's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 620

Manhattan Monkeys,

I wanted to get your thoughts on how you're approaching your current living situation due to the city being shutdown and work-from-home etc. Im particularly interested in hearing from folks with alternative living situations outside of the city that they are using now in the interim (moving back to parents house, significant other's home, etc). I left NY over a month ago to relocate to a family member's house and as you might expect, a lot of white collar businesses and financial firms are in absolutely no rush to return to work given our jobs can easily be managed remotely (one silver lining to takeaway from all this). So what initially seemed like a brief hiatus from Manhattan is turning into a possible Q3 or later return, and even then it likely will not be a 100% return to normal. My firm is actually toying with the idea of having people work 20-30% at home permanently, with the remaining days in the office.

In that scenario, I struggle to find a reason to continue "living" in Manhattan and paying these crazy rents if I wont be there for a few more months and even then will only need to show face in the office ~3 days per week. Also nightlife in Nyc probably won't be back to normal for quite a long time, so the benefits of living here looking forward the next ~12 months seem minimal compared to what it once was.

Im curious if anyone is thinking of some creative living situations to adapt to this post-Covid world in the near term. Whether that be moving back into a family member's home for a year, moving further out into the burbs (since you wont have to commute everyday), or some other arrangement. I just can't stand to continue paying so much in rent for an empty apartment in a city that likely wont be the same for quite some time. We've all dreamed of a day where we could get paid what we do without having to pay Nyc rents, and this situation we're in might be paving the way to do so in some fashion.

Comments (81)

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
May 6, 2020

I'm very seriously considering moving in with family outside of NYC after my lease ends June 30th until most restrictions are lifted (assuming my firm allows it and it's >2-3 months). Then come January/February move back and have pocketed 6 months rent.

To me, it doesn't seem worth it to pay NYC rent while working from home and not being able to get any of the benefits of living in the city.

May 6, 2020

Your family is outside of the city? Are you just planning on moving all of your stuff out of the apartment then and keeping it in storage/family's home? We loosely considered this but one of my roommates is many states away from NY and I don't feel like moving his shit.

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
May 6, 2020

My family is in the Midwest, not NYC suburbs sorry for the confusion. I would rather not move back for an extended period of time, but to me its worth all the money saved on rent for 4-6 months. I don't think it would be worth it for a shorter amount of time given the costs of moving back and forth.

I don't have a lot of stuff outside of personal belongings so I have no problem leaving behind a < $1,000 of furniture.

May 6, 2020

Thats a good idea. Solid timing for the end of your current lease too... Mine is a few months away so unfortunately I dont have that luxury

    • 1
May 6, 2020

Glad someone started this thread. I was debating starting something about how the jungle monkeys are negotiating (if at all) their rent when their lease ends. We left about 7-8 weeks ago to our respective non-NY homes.

I'm in the heart of the island (a very commercial area) and my roommates and I are currently negotiation a new lease with our current building that would start July 1. Our management initially offered 1 mo free on a 13 mo lease. We countered with a 2 mo free on 13 mo lease but they balked at that. However they agreed to 1.5 free rent on 13 mo lease. I still think we can do better but we'll see.

We aren't considering moving out of the city or back home at all. As recent grads I'm curious as to what other people are able to negotiate or get a general sense if people are gtfo of the city. More leverage for me that way ;)

May 6, 2020

I haven't considered moving home or anything. But I am going to try and take advantage of the rental market if this continues when my lease is up later in the fall and totally upgrade

    • 3
May 6, 2020

I've lived in "luxury" rental buildings in Manhattan for almost a decade now and I can tell you that prices are incredibly resilient at that level here. I understand these are unprecedented times so we'll see what happens, but I don't think rentals will move down as much as you think. Maybe a small decrease and 1-2 months free at best, but that's nothing to get excited over when your standard one bedroom in a doorman high rise will run you 3-4k per month. I think it will impact smaller landlords with a few units vs. the major players like TFC, Moinian, etc. Just look at rentals on StreetEasy from any of those guys. Prices are virtually unchanged now compared to 6 months ago. I realize it's still early in the shitshow, but I don't think you'll be getting any stellar deals at that level anytime soon.

    • 3
May 6, 2020

Fair points. My lease is up in September in the LES so I'm wishfully thinking for the future here

    • 2
May 6, 2020

Where are these luxury 1 beds for 3-4k?

May 6, 2020

As a condo owner who is likely going to rent out the place within the year, I'm probably on the other side of this and relieved this is the case. I'm still worried about the long term impact on housing valuations but I've got another couple years before my IO ARM ratchets up and I need to sell. Seemed like such a great leveraged bet at the time...

May 6, 2020

My roommates and I are gonna continue living there when this is over. I mean at the end of the day it's still NYC and you can have a good amount of fun by just being outside with some friends. Sure the bars or some museums won't be open but that doesn't mean you can't get drunk with your friends at Central Park or something. There is plenty to do in the city besides drinking at bars.

I agree with some above posters about trying to find a steal for an apartment. We're paying $5.5k for a 3 bedroom but think we could find something in the $5k range in a better neighborhood later this year

    • 1
    • 1
May 6, 2020

I have never found NYC worth it and only put up with living here because it's the best bet for my career. I'd say that more than half of my friends who can actually afford to live here actually do not care for it at all and that most of the people I have met who LOVE this place and COULDN'T IMAGINE living ANYWHERE ELSE are fucking mediocre losers with zero self awareness who really can't afford it at all.

    • 4
    • 3
May 6, 2020

Agreed especially when there are luxury 2 Bedrooms in Jersey for $1600 in a peaceful area. Everything is based on preference.

Array

May 6, 2020

the cost of living is much better in GARY INDIANA fuck NY

    • 4
  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 6, 2020

Wtf is it with the "post covid world" phrase? Life is going to go on chill the fuck out.

    • 2
    • 1
May 6, 2020

First year Analyst, huh.. You must be an expert.

Once you get your 2020 bonus check, compare that to what the class before you made last year. That's your "post-Covid world."

    • 3
    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 6, 2020

Just got paid my expected 30% bonus and got a raise lmao thanks for reminding me :)

    • 2
May 6, 2020

30% bonus... Yikes

    • 8
    • 2
  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
May 6, 2020

Yeah man, $80k out of college working 40 hours a week, yikes...

    • 2
Funniest
May 6, 2020

Lol. I made 2x that at your age and paid more in taxes last year than your entire salary. Don't brag to strangers on the internet.

    • 12
    • 15
May 7, 2020

I think you have a point for 2020 and maybe 2021 even, but I don't think there's going to be a fundamental reset on comp like there was post 2008 namely since this wasn't a financial crisis (at least at inception). PE carry may be underwater for the recent vintages that have just finished their investing periods but new money will certainly pay up. on the hedge fund side too - credit opps galore and the pain won't be permanent.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020

hear some banks are going to roll out a phased workplace re entry july or august... as others have said might just stick around the city since there's other things to do here as well aside form bars. Lucky for me my family lives in the tristate area, so thinking of parking my car near my apartment so i can drive home on the weekends

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
May 7, 2020

Well, NY wasn't even worth living in pre-covid so..

    • 3
May 7, 2020

Despite the lockdown, I still prefer being in NYC over all other places. I don't need to pay any rent. I live by myself in a condo that was purchased by my family. My family is in California.

Array

    • 2
    • 2
  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
May 7, 2020

My view is that if you can save some money and stay out of the city, you should do so. Cases are falling rapidly here but there is still a level of density that makes NYC less safe than elsewhere. And most of us who are white collar bankers/lawyers/etc have at least another 3-4 months before we are going to be back in our offices in force.

Personally, our lease is up for renewal at the end of May, (Luxury 2bdrm near flatiron). We were likely going to move anyways to a three bedroom in one of the trendier parts of Brooklyn, but we hadn't signed a lease and the ability to see apartments basically fell away starting early March when we all went remote. We just decided to not rent an apartment for now and got a house in East Hampton for the summer. This, of course, didn't save us money but we had to cancel an international trip and the saved money from not carrying an apartment made it not that much worse. Come August we'll reassess the market and the likelihood of returning to work and then make another decision. But as long as NYC is mostly shut down, I don't see the point.

    • 2
May 7, 2020

Wow East Hampton for the summer. Nice. Got any open bedrooms or couches??

May 11, 2020

East Hampton is boring.

Array

May 7, 2020

I keep getting the "omg, I can't believe you are still in NYC!?" comments. Drives me nuts.

I do not apologize for being an "adult" who is mildly independent and prefers to not live with his mother. Love em to death, but since when has the "going gets tough" = Run home to Mommy and Daddy indefinitely? This whole thing exposed the weird hyper dependency/sheltered/support thing that most people deny... End rant.

I don't hate the idea of lease ending people considering a no fee, larger sq. footage, no city tax type of option. If the signal from your firm is WFH through the fall it seems like a solid choice. Maybe NJ/PA/CT? Better access to outdoors, have a car parked, less restrictions than NYC in the coming months. Hell you might even like it. Still a train away to Manhattan... Just comes down to effort and multiple movings YoY, which is a pain in the ass.

    • 3
May 7, 2020

Couldn't have said it better myself. I am 27 years old. I have friends ranging from 25-28 that took off the second they closed a bar here. Every one of them is texting me asking why I stayed in the city and didn't go "home"?? "Are you going crazy up there??" I am a grown adult. This is my home. I love my mom and we get along great, but I haven't spent 3+ months living with her since I was 18. Would it be nice to hang out by a pool and get some sun? Of course, but I've an adult whose built a life elsewhere and feels no desire to run to my mommy the second inconvenience hits me.

    • 1
May 7, 2020

Ha, I hear ya. My roommate (25+ y/o law man) stuck around as well. We have been joking about all the flak we catch from friends and the hinge girls that set olympic land speed records running home to Daddy. I get it, I get it, I get it, people; you went home expecting this thing to be a week or two and now you are stuck...

The point being: Me sticking around my home, my belongings, my job, and choosing not to carry the virus from the epicenter to my rural hometown/parents is not unusual. In fact, I am a hero and should be spoken to as such. Thx.

    • 3
May 7, 2020

Man I am in this boat too. All my buddies who are 24 and older all scrambled back to our tier-3 hometown... for what, some free food? I haven't nor wanted to live at home since 18 and corona isn't changing that in the slightest. Like Willy said, I'm a grown adult and New York is my home now

May 8, 2020

How about this man - by the time you graduate high school, you've probably used up 90%+ of the time you will spend with your parents over the course of your life. On a percentage basis. That might be generous given your scenario (IE, haven't lived at home much after graduating HS). My parents are getting older, I very well could have spent 98% of the time I will spend with them. So I went home because I can, and because I love them. I'm enjoying this time; I'm fortunate to be able to do so.

Array

    • 3
May 8, 2020

That is a very good point, certainly a great way to capitalize on the opportunity and enjoy time with family.

Sarcasm and jokes aside, pet-peeves are meant to be petty and it was rooted along the lines of, "Why do I have to answer this question/comment every time I answer the damn phone?" sorta thing.

Valid reasons to stay. Valid reasons to go. The funny part is that the questions kept coming from one direction...

    • 1
May 11, 2020

Same...I will never understand why people feel the need to boomerang right back the second things get a little rough. But it just goes to show the majority of NYC yuppies are just living out extended college years in the city. They still view themselves as tied to their old childhood homes (can't tell you how many times I've been asked when I'll move back to my home state). Inevitably, they'll "grow up" and "settle down" in the same suburb they were raised in and the cycle begins again.

Me on the other hand, I decided to be as fully independent as possible after college, and nothing short of dire financial need is going to put me back under my parents' roof.

    • 1
May 7, 2020

I'm not sure why you're shitting on your friends who've decided to go back home to greener pastures, and much larger SQFT (hows your 300 SQFT per person going?).

I mean...you can't even work out or run outside. I'm not sure staying in NYC in a tiny box for a few months is really to be proud of.

Array

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 7, 2020
dontbugme:

I'm not sure why you're shitting on your friends who've decided to go back home to greener pastures, and much larger SQFT (hows your 300 SQFT per person going?).

I mean...you can't even work out or run outside. I'm not sure staying in NYC in a tiny box for a few months is really to be proud of.

Greener pastures? Idk but depends where you're from I guess. And you most certainly can run outside as I've been doing it since March 13 when this all started, so that's simply incorrect. You can be outside all day, I'm assuming you're not living here nor have lived here as everyone was out this past weekend, social distancing or not. Bottom line is you can find things to do in the city, unless you're one of the fellow IB douches who only loves NYC for its bars.

I'm not sure running home to mom and pop when shit hits the fan is something to be proud of either.

    • 5
  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
May 7, 2020
Intern in IB-M&amp;A:

I'm not sure running home to mom and pop when shit hits the fan is something to be proud of either.

1000% this

May 7, 2020

I definitely agree with this, but to play devils advocate here think about how nice it would be to bank up your current salary without paying rent while coronavirus continues to play out. Agree there's still plenty of things to do, but the city is not at 100% and wont be for a little while longer so id argue there's no better time to do the live-at-home-with-mom thing again than right now. You wouldn't be missing much, and people probably wouldnt even notice you're gone right now anyways. Besides, looking at your bank account in 6 months when you decide to move back might open up a bunch of other options for you next year that were not previously realistic. Idk just a thought.

    • 2
Most Helpful
May 7, 2020
Intern in IB-M&amp;A:
dontbugme:

I'm not sure why you're shitting on your friends who've decided to go back home to greener pastures, and much larger SQFT (hows your 300 SQFT per person going?).

I mean...you can't even work out or run outside. I'm not sure staying in NYC in a tiny box for a few months is really to be proud of.

Greener pastures? Idk but depends where you're from I guess. And you most certainly can run outside as I've been doing it since March 13 when this all started, so that's simply incorrect. You can be outside all day, I'm assuming you're not living here nor have lived here as everyone was out this past weekend, social distancing or not. Bottom line is you can find things to do in the city, unless you're one of the fellow IB douches who only loves NYC for its bars.

I'm not sure running home to mom and pop when shit hits the fan is something to be proud of either.

Alright, I'll bite because this is the only reason I ever read this site anyone is to see how the younger generation of future rainmakers have (de)evolved.

Let's draw up a scenario, You're a 28 yr old post MBA associate. You've been working hard pre-MBA, during the MBA, and now post MBA, all away from your "Tier 3 city" (I would hide those sentiments in front of clients) home and parents.

During the normal course of your American adulthood, you probably won't see your parents much during the year, maybe Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even less as you get married, have kids, and live out your life. Then one day they're gone and you realize you've never taken the time to really get to know them post adulthood, or almost worse, tried to cram it into their last weeks / days and live with that guilt.

Here we have this once in a lifetime pandemic where you can work from home, have deeper conversations, ask for advice, learn more about each other, help around the house, taken on a new hobby or skill together, spend valuable time together. In general, create memories you'll look back fondly upon.

Instead...you'd rather spend time in your small, substandard 2-bedroom flex (per tone of the above, I'm going to guess everyone is junior associate or below), eat cold UberEats, and hang out in Sheep Meadow with the rest of the junior crew on the weekends. On top of that, you justify your decision by saying everyone else is "running home to mom and pops".

I encourage you to do some thinking, and wouldn't bring that attitude back with you to the office (assuming I let you keep your job).

I have 2nd residence in Amagansett, and I choose to make the most of the situation by not running my head into a brick wall (along with the rest of my network who have a decent head on their shoulders). Feel free to make your own choices.

Array

    • 17
    • 1
May 8, 2020

To be fair to your response, I was jabbing pretty hard and being massively sarcastic, but it was mostly just that. Nothing more, nothing less (hence the end rant). I was being petty and not seriously addressing your manhood, familial relationships, and second pad in Amagansett. I will steer clear from that other debate you have going on...

I am all for leaving. I don't need to calculate square footage to understand that it makes sense, but it also makes sense to stick around. That was my point. I didn't even think about the "puff my chest I am a big boy" defense argument until I had to recite my choice for the 10th time.

    • 1
May 7, 2020

Worth living compared to what??

Everywhere is hit by COVID.

Whether you like it or not NYC is still going to be "The Spot"

An incoming medical student interested in health tech, consulting, and entrepreneurship.

May 7, 2020
Comment
May 8, 2020