Monthly Archives: September 2018

Moving to the Bronx? 7 Celebs You Might Meet

Lots of people move to the Bronx because it’s one of the most affordable places in all of NYC to live. While that means it may not have the same ritzy appeal as Manhattan with its lavish Fashion and Financial Districts, a whole lot of influential people either live there now or once called it home. If you’re setting up shop in the borough, there’s a good chance you might someday brush elbows with someone who is well-known, perhaps even an A-list celebrity. Here’s a quick look at a few who have had roots there.

1. J. Lo

Jennifer Lopez is arguably one of the best-known celebs to hail from the Bronx. Indeed, the Jenny from the Block singer got her start there and even goes back to visit her childhood home from time to time. Recently, she was involved in a financial literacy program in which kids from her old neighborhood received lessons from Harvard Business School associates.

2. Al Pacino

Actor and director Al Pacino was born in Harlem, though his mother took him to live with her parents in the Bronx when he was young and he spent most of his youth there. He speaks fondly of the tiny apartment he grew up in and wistfully recants stories of playing tag on the rooftops. These days, he’s seen more often around Manhattan, but one never knows when he might get a case of nostalgia and show up in his old digs.

3. Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren

“Ralph Lauren grew up in the same neighborhood,” Klein said in an interview of his childhood home in the Bronx. “And Ralph always dressed in a sort of peculiar way. I was the edgy one and wanted to look like some tough guy.” The designer acknowledges it was a little odd to grow up in the Bronx and be into art and design, while all the other boys were off playing baseball. Lauren differed from him in this respect too, happily playing basketball and stickball with his friends. In fact, Lauren recently threw the first pitch when the Bronx Bombers took on the Boston Red Sox. Klein has an estimated net worth of over $700 million at this point and Lauren has surpassed $7 billion, so clearly growing up in the Bronx did them some good, regardless of their interest in athletics.

4. General Colin Powell

Retired four-star general and Secretary of State from 2001-2005, Colin Powell also grew up in the Bronx. Though born in Harlem, his family moved to the Bronx when he was young, where he says he grew up with aunts, uncles and cousins all on his street in Hunts Point. “The Bronx is like a small town, where everyone knows everyone else and everyone else’s business,” he’s said. “I found that comforting. The neighborhood was warm and embracing with everything I cared about being within a few blocks of where I lived.”

5. Dominic Chianese and Vincent Pastore

If you were a fan of HBO’s Sopranos, you may recognize these names. Chianese played the role of Corrado Soprano aka “Uncle Junior” and was also in Godfather II, starring as Johnny Ola. He’s an accomplished musician too, and is involved in Joy Through Art, a program in which artists tour nursing homes to brighten the residents’ days. Pastore, on the other hand, played Salvatore Bonpensiero on the Sopranos. You may know his character by another name, which is arguably not fit to print. He’s been in a slew of mafia movies as well and has lent his voice to animated flicks like Zootopia and Shark Tale. These days he’s more active in theater and performed in “CHICAGO” and “Bullets over Broadway.” He grew up in the Bronx as well, but he’s one of the few who have stayed close to home. Pastore reportedly lives in City Island, a small neighborhood stretching little more than a mile, slightly east of other Bronx neighborhoods, in the western portion of the Atlantic’s Long Island Sound.

6. Tracy Morgan

Comedian and actor Tracy Morgan describes himself as “a Brooklyn guy with a Bronx heart.” Best known for his time on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, the star was born in the Bronx, but grew up in the Tompkins Houses of BedStuy in Brooklyn. His debilitating accident in 2014, in which his tour van was stuck by a fatigued big rig driver, took him away from his career for some time. However, by 2015, Morgan was reemerging and even announced that he had purchased the Bronx Zoo with some of his settlement money. The mention came on a piece done with Jimmy Kimmel Live, so the validity of the claim has been questioned, though no reputable source has either confirmed or denied it. In any case, it’s clear his heart still beats for the Bronx.

7. Cardi B

Music bad girl and reality star Cardi B moved to the Bronx from Manhattan when she was in elementary school. She speaks openly about how the challenges she faced shaped her. While she certainly coped with difficult times, she was also named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2018. Although Cardi B has allegedly settled down in Atlanta, she’s still got roots in NYC.

Get Help with Your Bronx Move

Specializing in residential and commercial moves, and providing service for both local and long-distance relocations, Metropolis Moving is here to help. Although we don’t like to brag, our hard-earned  five-star rating on Yelp has given us a bit of celebrity status as well. So, if you’d like to guarantee a “celebrity encounter” and have a smooth move, give us a call at (718) 710-4520 or request a free online moving quote.

How to Create a Roommate Agreement

Long before your NYC moving company pulls away from the curb of your new place, one thing you’ll need to take care of is creating a roommate agreement if you’ll be sharing your space with someone. It doesn’t matter if this person is your sibling, your best friend since the second grade, or even a significant other, having some kind of agreement is essential—not because you don’t trust them, but because you care enough about your roommate and yourself to make 100% certain you’re both on the same page before there is an issue. After all, life will likely take you in separate directions at some point. Perhaps one of you will be accepted to a new college, get a great job in another state, or maybe you’ll get tired of bickering over who’s turn it is to clean the bathroom. You roommate agreement will help ensure you both stay protected and that your relationship endures even if your living arrangement doesn’t.

Have an Attorney Look it Over if You Want Legal Protection

Most roommate agreements are never used in any kind of legal capacity, simply because in agreeing to terms in advance, both people usually want to do their part to stick to it. Each party knows what’s expected of them, and so disputes or issues are far less likely to occur in the first place. However, sometimes a roommate skips out on rent or does something else that can only be remedied through the courts. If you want to ensure your agreement is legally-binding and does not include any clauses that would prevent you from seeking reparations through the court system, have a lawyer review your contract before you sign. While it is an added expense, consider what it will cost you if your roommate doesn’t pay for a month of rent or their pet causes damage and you’re on the hook with the landlord for it. You could be out that cash if your contract isn’t written correctly, so having it reviewed by an attorney may actually be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Remember, life happens. Your roommate may be a great person whom you’d trust with your life, but people lose jobs and the cute pup they bring home may turn into Cujo. Moreover, we’re not lawyers. We’re residential movers. If you have a legal question, always go to a lawyer. That said, we’ll outline some things good roommate agreements usually have, and let you take it from there.

Cover All the Bases in Your Roommate Agreement

Your roommate agreement should be customized to your lifestyle and needs. Don’t rely on a template to build something that accurately reflects the both of you. After all, two college students may be worried about quiet time for study and obscure houseguests showing up, while two business professionals may be more concerned with who gets the bathroom at 6am when it’s time to get ready for work or what the guidelines for dinner parties are.

Rent

Include details about who is responsible for collecting the rent and paying it to the landlord as well as which day payment is due. Also outline what happens if one party fails to follow through. It’s worth noting that rent is not always equally split. For example, one roommate may pay slightly less if they have a smaller room or don’t have a private bathroom and the other does.

Utilities and Services

Like rent, utilities are not equally split all the time. For example, if one roommate wants premium cable channels, he or she may be expected to pay the difference. A roommate with a hobby which consumes a disproportionate amount of resources, such as cooking, which might use more gas, could result in utilities being split up differently too. A few things to include are:

  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Home Phone
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Trash
  • Professional Landscaping or Housekeeping Services

Guests

Cover things like visitors, overnight guests, and parties. You can be specific as to when non-residents are allowed over and how long they can stay. If you prefer, you can also break things down by guest type. For example, if you don’t care if your roommate’s mom comes to town for a week and crashes on your sofa, but you’re not keen on bumping into their latest fling at 2am in the kitchen while you’re in your pajamas, hammer it out now.

Pets

Explore what kinds of pets you’ll allow, what the guidelines are for keeping them, and who will be responsible for pet deposits and payment for damages.

Chores

Caring for your place can be split up any way you like, but make sure both people know what’s expected of them. For example, on roommate might not care if the dishes sit for a day or if shoes and coats are left in a communal room, while these things could drive the other roommate nuts. One roommate may loathe the idea of carrying trash out to bin, but may love scrubbing the bathroom until it shines. If that’s the case, there’s no reason why the cleaning fanatic can’t have that job on a permanent basis, provided the other roommate keeps up with the trash.

Sharing

Some roommates are cool sharing everything, from toiletries to clothes. If you or your roommate don’t subscribe to the “what’s mine is yours” philosophy, outline what things are off-limits. Make note of how you’ll cover shared household supplies, too, like toilet paper, cleaning stuff, and cooking gear.

Noise

If you need your home quiet at specific times for things like study and sleep, make sure these details are included in the roommate agreement.

Additional Rules

Some people like to set additional house rules, like whether tobacco or alcohol can be used in the home, while others might set up a petty cash or emergency fund and allow all parties to draw from it under specific circumstances. Make note of any additional guidelines you have or processes you think might eliminate issues and make cohabitating easier.

Review Periods

Schedule time to review your roommate agreement together, perhaps on an annual basis. Your feelings and situation might change after you’ve lived with a person for a while, and it’s good to keep your contract current to address what’s happening in your lives.

Disputes, Grievances, and Penalties

Spend some time discussing how you want to handle issues if they come up and how you plan to work out differences. Make note of what recourse the non-offending roommate has or consequences someone might face for breaking any house rules you set.

The Inevitable End

At some point, you will in all likelihood stop living together. Sometimes, the split is a surprise, so it’s helpful to outline how much notice you need and who’s responsible for finding the replacement roommate. The departing roommate may also be responsible for paying rent until the contract is up or until a replacement is found. You’ll also want to make note of any shared property, such as furniture, and determine who keeps what.

Get the Five W’s In

Agreements should always include the five W’s: who, what, where, and why. In other words, make sure you’ve got your legal names, what kind of an agreement you’re making, the property address, and the purpose of the agreement outlined. You can take this a step further and describe who gets which bedroom.

Sign on the Dotted Line

Both parties will need to sign and date the agreement. For legal purposes, it’s better if this is done in front of a notary, so there’s no question about the validity of the signatures.

Hire Awesome Movers

Once you’ve established guidelines with your roomie and are ready to relocate, let us know. We can help whether you’re planning a long-distance move or are moving locally within NYC. Plus, we’ve got a perfect five-star rating on Yelp and have for years, so we’ll be here to get you settled and be around when it’s time to move on as well. Get your free moving quote online or call us at (718) 710-4520 to start planning right away.

6 Helpful Tips When Moving in the Fall

There are tons of reasons why moving in the fall is great. For one, it’s much cooler out, so the physical tasks are far less grueling. Secondly, most people time their moves for when school is not in session; that goes for families and college students. If you manage to hold off until after the school year begins, you have a much easier time getting in with a quality moving company, and you may even have better luck negotiating a lease. Of course, the autumnal months come with a few challenges as well. Here’s what you can do to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch.

1. Use Moving Crates, Not Boxes

Autumn brings about 4-4.5 inches of rain per month to New York. It’s not your imagination—it really is slightly wetter out there. That can be a serious problem if you’re carrying cardboard boxes around. To avoid ruining your belongings or having them spill out on the sidewalk, consider renting plastic crates instead.

2. Declutter and Donate

Now’s the time to go through all your stuff, especially spring and summer gear, and get rid of anything you won’t be using in the near future. Another good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in the past six months or year, it should go too. Look into non-profits you can donate to. Not only will you get a feel-good vibe, but you may also be able to claim it when tax time rolls around in a few months. Think outside the box with donations; animal shelters will often take used blankets and towels, while there is a myriad of domestic violence and homeless shelters which can use everything under the sun, particularly games and books for children, as well as hygiene supplies and clothes. Your local food pantry would also likely be thrilled to have your non-perishables, especially if you can get them in before they fill up from Thanksgiving donations.

3. Cover the Floors

Pick up some of the floor covers painters use and lay it out at your old place and new home to protect the flooring. At the very least, you’ll probably be tracking leaves inside, but if you’re dealing with inclement weather, you’ll want to protect the floors from mud. If you’re having trouble finding some that’s not slippery and is safe to walk on, invest in a couple of large mats and keep a broom and/ or vacuum handy. You can also minimize what you track in by sweeping the path to the door before you start.

4. Book Your Movers Early

Yes, it is slower in the fall, but reputable residential moving companies still book up well in advance. If you’re coordinating a long-distance move, you’ll want to give as much notice as humanly possible. If it’s a local move, target at least a month in advance. If you’re reading this and just realized you should have booked movers months ago, don’t fret. Sometimes even awesome moving companies get cancellations or have availability at the last moment, simply because life circumstances change. Make this your first priority, so you’re not stuck scraping the bottom of the barrel.

5. Schedule Your Connects and Disconnects

Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a few days for utility companies to get you up and running, so do a little research in advance and see if you can transfer some of your current services to the new place or get established with new providers if you can’t. You’ll also want to schedule your disconnects for the day after you plan to be gone from the old place. In the hustle and bustle of moving, it’s easy to forget and you don’t want to be on the hook if the landlord or next tenant racks up bills in your name.

6. Make One Room Your Grand Central Station

By this, we mean stage an area of your current home as a packing and storage area. Keep all your packing supplies there as well as a notepad and paper, so you can create a to-do list as you go. Begin stacking your packed items in one corner and make sure each one is labeled well, so it’s super easy to load and sort out what goes where at the new place. You’ll need to set up your packing station at least a few days in advance. If you’re packing your stuff alone and only have a studio or one-bedroom apartment, give yourself at least 1-2 days to pack everything. Add 1-2 days for each additional room you need to pack. To be clear, if you’re working, attending classes, or are otherwise occupied for the greater part of a day, those don’t count as “days.” Seriously. Give yourself ample time to pack in an unrushed way.

Get a Free Moving Quote

Our epic five-star rating and experience with all sorts of moves can help make your fall relocation a breeze too. Give us a call at (718) 710-4520 or grab a free online moving quote now.

How Much Does it Cost to Move in NYC

If you’re preparing to launch yourself into the world, one of the biggest questions you may have is, “How much does it cost to move out?” The answer will be different for everyone. Obviously, if you can carry everything you own in a suitcase and are planning to live on a friend’s couch, it’s going to be a whole lot cheaper than packing up a lifetime of belongings and getting your own apartment in NYC. Instead of giving you a one-size-fits-all answer, we’ll break down some of the most common expenses associated with moving in NYC, so you can create your own estimate with a bit more accuracy.

Application Fees: $25-100

Here in the Big Apple, landlords have the upper hand due to the housing shortage. Most will charge you an application fee of some sort, which goes toward their processing time and a background check, and this can range anywhere from $25-100 for each application you submit.

To minimize the number of applications you put in, have a packet ready for the landlord which includes things like employment verification, paycheck stubs, tax returns, bank statements, references, and a copy of your ID. You may also be able to sway the landlord to take you by providing him or her with a good faith deposit of a few hundred dollars. Some landlords require this as well, so have it ready regardless. It’s also worth noting that if your credit isn’t good, you haven’t established credit yet, your income is low, or your work history is lacking, you’ll likely need to have someone with a stronger track record co-sign on the lease with you.

First and Last Month’s Rent: $1,997-3,662

Once approved, your landlord will expect you to pay the first and last month in advance. We grabbed average NYC apartment prices from Naked Apartments. If you’re going solo, the cheapest method is to go for a studio in the Bronx at $1,450 per month, meaning your first and last month will come to $2,900. You may be able to trim costs a bit by going in on a two-bedroom with a friend, in which case the cheapest local is still the Bronx, and your half of the first and last month will be $1,997. If you’ve got your sights set on Manhattan, which is the most expensive area to live, the least you’ll pay is $3,662, based on sharing a two-bedroom with a friend. Bear in mind if you’re super cozy with someone and plan to share a bed, you can also theoretically halve the cost of a studio, but given the small footprints of NYC apartments, it can be a challenging situation for even the closest couples.

The Bronx

  • Studio: $1,450/ mo
  • 1 Bedroom: $1,600/ mo
  • 2 Bedroom: $1,997/ mo

Queens

  • Studio: $2,175/ mo
  • 1 Bedroom: $2,100/ mo
  • 2 Bedroom: $2,999/ mo

Brooklyn

  • Studio: $2,350/ mo
  • 1 Bedroom: $2,400/ mo
  • 2 Bedroom: $2,600/ mo

Manhattan

  • Studio: $2,250/ mo
  • 1 Bedroom: $3,100/ mo
  • 2 Bedroom: $3,662/ mo

Security Deposit + Pet Deposit: $1,450-1,831 + $75-250

Landlords collect a security deposit to cover any damage you cause to the property, and the amount is typically equal to a month of rent. You should be able to get this deposit back when you move out if you’ve taken care of the apartment well, but you may need to document the conditions when you move in and when you move out.

If you’re bringing a pet along with you, expect to provide a deposit for damage caused by the animal as well. Something small, such as a cat, will probably require around $75, whereas a larger dog could run well over $200.

Moving: $300-650

Your moving costs will vary depending on the distance between your new place and old place, as well as how much stuff you plan to move. Naturally, a long-distance move will cost much more than a local move.

All Moves: Getting your items packed up and ready to go will require boxes, tape, filler (like bubble wrap or peanuts to protect breakables), and markers adds up. Expect to pay about $50 for packing supplies if you’re only moving one room.

DIY Moves: Truck rental companies will lure you in with a $20 offer, but that’s just the base rate for the smallest rental truck rental, which is suited for moving one bedroom. They also will charge you $2+ per mile you drive it and you’ll have to gas it up, plus you’ll probably need to rent tools like a dolly. Moreover, damage to moving trucks is expensive to fix, so you’ll probably want insurance. Plan on these things running at least $175, though you’ll need to calculate the number of miles you’ll drive to get a better estimate. Also, you’ll want help moving, which means you’ll need to set aside some cash to buy food and drinks for your friends. Set aside $50-75 for this.

Hiring Movers: If you want the process to go smoother or you don’t have people to help, hiring residential movers is a great way to go. Bear in mind, these costs will vary based on a number of factors, such as the amount being moved, the items being moved, and how difficult it is to access the new place and the old place. It usually takes 3-4 hours to handle a one-bedroom local move, and you should estimate these costs at $100- 150 per hour.

Repairs: Varies

Repairs aren’t always necessary because your landlord should have your space move-in-ready before your arrival. However, if there are things you need to take care of, such as paint, changing out shower heads, or adding security features, these expenses can easily run into the hundreds.

Furniture: $250+

If this is your first time living on your own, you probably only have a bedroom set, meaning you’ll need living room furniture, a dining room table, and perhaps other pieces. Even if you’re putting together a new place with used furniture off a peer-to-peer marketplace like Craigslist, you can expect to spend a minimum of $250. If you have more refined tastes, check out your favorite catalogue and add up the cost of outfitting communal spaces.

Household Supplies $200+

Odds are, you’re moving in with nothing in the way of household supplies. Again, you can cut costs by purchasing some things used, such as kitchen gear and a vacuum, but the bare minimum you’ll probably spend is about $200.

  • Trash bags
  • Cleaning supplies (dish soap, laundry detergent, sponges, all-purpose cleaners, a vacuum, etc.)
  • Toilet paper/ tissues
  • Cooking equipment
  • Dinnerware

Utility Deposits/ Connection Fees: $75+

Things like power, gas, water, cable, and phone service often have one-time connection fees or require deposits if you don’t have good credit. These can run anywhere from about $25-150 per service. To get more accurate numbers, contact the companies you hope to work with in advance and find out what their charges are. For estimation purposes, allot $75 in startup fees for each service you plan to use.

Renter’s Insurance: $125+

“Even if you think your possessions aren’t worth very much, it only takes one sink to overflow into your neighbor’s apartment to set you back $2,500 to $10,000 or more,” says Brick Underground. The monthly cost of a policy will vary based on your coverage, but some go for as little as $125 per year in NYC.

Living Expenses

Granted, living expenses aren’t really costs paid to move out, but you will need to have money set aside to live off the first month. We won’t include these in our final totals because there’s a huge variance depending on whether you’re living on ramen or hitting Broadway shows every weekend, but you should familiarize yourself with what your monthly bills will be before you take the plunge. Consider things like:

  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Entertainment
  • Laundry
  • Services and Utilities (internet, Netflix, power, water, etc.… not necessarily in that order)
  • Debts
  • Insurance
  • Household supplies and maintenance fees
  • Education costs (tuition, books)
  • Ongoing rent costs

Emergency Fund

As a general rule of thumb, people should have about three months’ worth of expenses set aside in an emergency fund. This will carry you through if you lose your job, become sick, or face another type of financial crisis. Add up what you’re paying each month in living expenses and multiply it by three.

How Much Does It Cost to Move Out?

If you’re incredibly thrifty and don’t have a pet, you’re likely looking at a minimum of $4572 to move out in NYC, not including living expenses. Most people will land in the $5,000-6,000 range, though your expenses might be a little less than what’s listed here if you’re planning to share a one-bedroom with someone.

How’d we get that number?

By adding up the known minimum costs of:

  • Application Fees
  • First and Last Month’s Rent
  • Security Deposit
  • Moving
  • Furniture
  • Household Supplies
  • Utility Deposits
  • Renter’s Insurance

Ready to Plan Your NYC Move?

Moving out on your own is a big deal. At Metropolis Moving, we’re here to make sure you get off to the best start possible. We’ve got some pretty awesome Yelp reviews, if we do say so ourselves. Plus, our pros work diligently to help minimize your moving expenses, while handling your belongings with the care and concern they deserve. We also don’t expect pizza at the end of a long day, and won’t hold it over your head for all of eternity that we once helped you move. Our team is glad to walk you through the process of what to expect and what your total moving costs will be, so give us a call at (718) 710-4520 to chat or request a free moving quote online and we’ll be in touch with the details ASAP.