Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to New York State

Known as the “Empire State,” New York is a large state that is famous for some of its various resources and, of course, the Big Apple aka New York City. The weather in New York is quite diverse; you’ll experience chilly snowy winters and warm humid summers. While New York is known for its main city, the state has affordable housing and family-friendly neighborhoods, making it a great place to live. 

If you are considering moving to New York, there are several things that you need to prepare. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to New York State.

What to know before your move to New York

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1. First steps before moving to New York

Planning a move to New York? Have a look at our selection of the Best Moving Companies in New York, Ny, Queens, Brooklyn, Rochester, and The Bronx

Finding a job 

We all know that New York is notoriously pricey, but it is a fantastic place to find a job. Since New York has a healthy financial sector, it offers an excellent opportunity for growth. In addition, New York offers high-paying jobs. 

One of the benefits of living in NYC is that it has a robust job market and is home to many leading American and global companies. High demand jobs in New York include nurses, retail associates and customer service representatives.

CA Labor Market Information (Sept 2023)

Getting there 

The quickest and most efficient route to reach New York City from the west is via Interstate 80, a transcontinental freeway that spans several states and offers scenic views along the way.

Other travel options to get to New York City from different parts of the country include:

  • Flying: You can fly to New York City from various locations within the United States. The flight duration can vary depending on your departure city. Prices vary by season, with peak travel months typically being June, July, and August.
  • Amtrak Train: Amtrak offers train service to New York City from various cities in the United States. The travel time can vary.
  • Greyhound Bus: Greyhound provides bus service to New York City from various locations in the country. The journey duration can vary.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable long-distance moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival in ny state

  • Update Your Address: Changing your address is a crucial step when relocating. You can easily set up mail forwarding either online or in person before your move. Remember to update your address with various organizations, including the SSA, DMV, and home services. To ensure you don’t miss any important notifications, refer to our comprehensive change of address checklist, which covers all the places you need to update when moving.
  • Weather Preparedness: Be ready for New York’s diverse weather from heavy snowfall in the winter to humid air in the summers. Check local forecasts and pack accordingly, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the region’s climate variations.
  • Apartment Hunting: Plan ahead by researching and scheduling apartment visits before your arrival. This proactive approach will help streamline your housing search process and ensure a smoother transition.

2. Upon your arrival in New York

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers. 
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.
  • Roaming around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily transit pass to save money.

Exchanging your driver’s license

When moving to New York State, you will be required to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to the state within 30 days of becoming a resident in New York. Your New York license will be valid for 5 years. To get a list of all the documents required, you can visit the DMV website.

Documents needed for New York driver license and vehicle registration

  • Your new address
  • A completed Change of Address Form
  • Your date of birth
  • Your driver’s license number and license plate number
  • Name of the company your car is leased through, if applicable 

Setting up a bank account 

When moving to New York, it’s essential to establish a local presence by setting up a bank account. This state follows the same procedures and regulations as in other states. Chase Bank has more than 500 branch locations in New York, and it is convenient for every local because it is accessible.

Getting health insurance

Healthcare is an essential expense. We always include healthcare costs in our budget when moving to any place. New York City has many city-operated health clinics, but the healthcare cost in New York City is high compared to the rest of the United States.

The healthcare costs in New York City are as follows:

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance (average cheapest)




Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

Public transit

Public transportation in New York, more specifically, the MTA, stands as one of the most extensive and established networks globally. The 24/7 availability of public transport contributes to NYC’s reputation as “The City That Never Sleeps.” A significant portion of NYC residents relies on public transit or bicycles for their daily commutes.

Currently, there is no daily pass option; instead, you can opt for single tickets or a weekly pass if you’re not interested in a monthly pass. As of October 2023, Metro cards are gradually being phased out and replaced with OMNY, a contactless payment card that allows for convenient tapping to access the bus and subway stations.

Type of fare


Single ticket (with OMNY card)


Single ticket (with single use Metrocard)


Weekly pass


Monthly pass


MTA (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in New York

Choosing to move to New York State often means considering New York City. With each neighborhood offering a unique personality and amenities to cater to your preferences, family status, and lifestyle, finding the ideal one is achievable.

This table simplifies the process of living in New York City. It highlights the top 7 neighborhoods for quality of life in 2023, whether you’re drawn to the city’s vibrancy or seeking employment opportunities. It may help you find the neighborhood you want to live in.




Safe, Greek culture.


Waterfront beauty, fishing history.

Forest Hills

Low crime, great education options.

Midtown east

Central location, iconic landmarks.

East Village

Vibrant art scene, safe.

Park slope

Diverse housing, proximity to park.

Carroll Gardens

Family-friendly, Italian-American community.

Setting up home services 

Utility costs in New York state fall in the average prices and are not that much higher than the national average. However, keep in mind that some parts of winter in New York State are quite chilly and summers are very humid leading to a rise in electricity bills. See the average utility costs below.




(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment



(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)




Numbeo (Oct 2023)

Should you rent or buy?

Planning a move to New York State, particularly New York City, requires awareness of the average costs involved. New York City ranks among the world’s most expensive cities, notably in terms of real estate and high broker fees. For renters, securing an apartment in this competitive market can be challenging, even in upscale neighborhoods.

Cost of rent in New York City


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

New York City (Outside of Center)



Numbeo (Oct 2023)

Cost of buying a property in New York City


Average home price 

New York City


Zillow (Oct 2023)

4. Cost of living in New York


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($85.63 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in New York

New York ranks 9 out of 10 in the Summer Comfort Index and has beautiful autumn but harsh and freezing winters when it comes to weather and climate. On average, there are 230 sunny days per year in New York State. The hottest month in New York is July, with an average temperature of 78°F and the coldest is January at 35°F. In addition, New York is known for its snowfall at 25 inches per year. 

Note: “The Summer Comfort Index considers seven climate variables, including total precipitation, daily minimum and maximum temperatures, extreme high and low temperatures, average dew points, and precipitation days”.

BestPlaces (Oct 2023)

6. What to do as a local in New York

Just like in any state with a major city, New York State locals love weekend getaways to the bustling New York City. When people move here, they often become New Yorkers, immersing themselves in the local culture.

New Yorkers are known for their sports fandom, frequently attending games to support their teams. The city also attracts famous musicians, making weekend concerts a popular choice.

In the winter, New Yorkers enjoy activities like ice skating and snowshoeing. The Adirondack Mountains offer stunning views and hiking opportunities for those seeking outdoor adventures.

In short, New York State has something for everyone, whether it’s the city’s excitement or the state’s natural beauty, keeping locals busy on weekends.

7. Fun facts about New York

  • Fun Fact #1: The original name of New York City was New Amsterdam as the Dutch settlers were the first to arrive in this area, but later the English renamed the city New York in honor of the Duke of York.
  • Fun fact #2: New York was the first state to require license plates on cars.
  • Fun Fact #3: France gifted the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the friendship between the US and France.


Moving to New York State or moving to New York City offers exciting opportunities but requires careful preparation. This guide covers crucial steps for a successful transition. Find a job in New York, plan your route, update your address, and research apartments. Upon arrival, familiarize yourself with your neighborhood, transfer your driver’s license, open a bank account, and secure health insurance. 

Explore New York’s neighborhoods, each offering unique characteristics. Setting up home services and understanding the cost of living are essential. 

Prepare for New York’s varying weather, and discover local activities. Fun facts about the city add a unique touch to your move. For assistance, consider the best moving companies in New York.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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