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Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesNew York City · 2 months ago

honestly, why do people think living in new york is expensive when most people don't own cars ?

owning a car is one thing that contributes to your bills, if you take that out, your expenses drop dramatically 


i understand that the rent is really high here, but the city is so huge that you can find cheaper places. also, the wages are higher here relative to the rest of the country, so its really not as bad as people make it to be.

sure you won't most likely live in some big nice 1,000 plus square foot condo or apartment, but living without excessive need of space is actually more convenient and isn't as bad as people make it to be.

Update 2:

people in tokyo live in even smaller apartments without cars and manage to get by just fine. 

if you don't like the urban life, then maybe you prefer living in wide spaces, big houses and owning a car, but living in urban cities, you learn how to appreciate minimalist living without all the unnecessary junk in your life 

Update 3:

@sot3, most people in new york don't own house so that means zero property taxes , taxes aren't that much of a burden because its not as excessive as people make it to be

people tend to over-exaggerate taxes, 

Update 4:

new york is only expensive if you want to live in luxury, people who complain about how expensive new york is expect to live with luxury and excess 

Update 5:

@lisa, i guess the problem really depends on who you are talking to, if you are from california or new york or boston, you are used to higher prices relative to the country. so it doesn't come off as that much of a shocker

but if you talk to someone from middle america who thinks 900 a month on rent is expensive, then you are talking about a totally different perspective. 

12 Answers

  • CrysV
    Lv 5
    5 days ago

    "new york is only expensive if you want to live in luxury, people who complain about how expensive new york is expect to live with luxury and excess" 

    --No, NY is just expensive compared to most places in the country, and rent is higher for less space. And if it's expensive for middle class people, just imagine what's it's like for lower income people? Those people are not working two or three jobs for kicks. They're doing it just to get by. 

  • East
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Well, the subway and commuter trains aren't free, although without a car, transportation does cost less.

    I walk to work.  I paid 3x for housing in NYC (for 1/2 the size apartment) as I did in NC.

    So paying for that costs a lot.  

    In NYC, if you pay a lot for housing, you live in a slum.  If you pay an astronomical amount for housing, as I do, you live somewhere decent.

    Plus taxes are insane.  

  • Because cars aren't the only thing that costs money in NYC.

    NYC in general is greatly expensive in comparison to every other state. 

  • 1 month ago

    Anyone not using a car must use a bus or subway, which at $2.75/ride currently is way overpriced and undependable because of being run by an incompetent and corrupt MTA, or use a taxi.  Real estate taxes are unreal--I bought a rental property five years ago for $220,000, but because a larger and newer building two blocks away recently sold for $579,000 that is what my real estate tax is based on.

    Food costs in NYC are not low, since most must be brought in from considerable distances.

    With a significant part of the population needing aid from some governmental level, taxes are elevated for everyone else.

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  • 2 months ago

    The cost of renting in New York is double the national median ($2,499 versus $1,175).  

    The price of owning a home is triple the national average ($269k versus $657k).

    The average price of groceries per month in New York is $471.34 compared to the national average of $324.20.

    A monthly transit pass in New York is 25% more expensive than other major cities.

    The effective total state and local tax rates on the median US household income in New York is the third highest in the country at 13.92%.

    All of this makes New York the 7th most expensive place to live on the planet.  People think it is expensive because it is.

  • 2 months ago

    Perhaps because accommodation is still very expensive in New York. Cars aren't the only thing that costs money.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I can see why you were compelled to ask this question anonymously, as there are plenty of inaccuracies to be found in your post. The cost of living in New York City is far, far higher than the national average. Rents are higher, real estate prices are higher, car insurance is higher, I have no idea what you're talking about when you say that forgoing having a private vehicle is automatically going to equate to more disposable income. 

    New York City is one of the more expensive places in the country to own a car, but depending on the particulars of one's situation, having a car might be less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Outside of Manhattan, there are parts of every NYC borough where having a car really enhances a person's life. There are plenty of two-fare zones where people have to take a bus to the nearest subway station and in parts of the city, it's not really all that walkable. Imagine people living in the middle of nowhere Staten Island carrying bags of groceries back to their split level along streets with no proper sidewalks. You want to live on City island without a car? Or out in northeastern Queens? Or out in Gerritsen Beach? 

    Saying "Well the city is big, you can find cheaper places if you look" is just ridiculous. Do you think people want to live in Soundview or East New York or Saint George just because rents are cheaper there? And you know what? They're only marginally cheaper. Living in East New York is only slightly cheaper than living in Ozone Park, so why deal with everything that comes with living in East New York if you're only going to save a tiny amount of money? 

    Comparing life in NYC to life in Tokyo is absurd. Have you ever even been there? The Tokyo Metro makes the NYC subway look like a Thomas the Tank Engine theme park ride. And everyone takes the metro or the buses in Tokyo because taxis are about five times the price. 

    Who says New Yorkers don't own their own homes? By most estimates, approximately one third of New York City residents own their homes. That's roughly 2,850,000 people. Have you never been to Staten Island? It's practically nothing but single family homes. Astoria, Bay Ridge, Broad Channel, Forest Hills, Laurelton, Marine Park, Midwood, Park Slope, Wakefield, Whitestone, those neighborhoods are mostly filled with owner-occupied single family and two-family homes. 

    And while you claim that New York City isn't expensive, you concede that what a person might consider to be expensive is relative. Well, obviously, but then again, isn't everything relative? How does that make a lick of sense? If you live in North Carolina and earn $50,000 a year and own a home worth $250,000 chances are that your quality of life is far better than someone living in New York City earning $50,000 a year and paying $20,000 in rent annually. In fact, someone could earn $30,000 in a place like North Carolina and probably still maintain a higher standard of living when you consider that taxes are lower and things like utilities and insurance are cheaper. 

    You obviously don't know a lot about New York City and you are completely oblivious to what things are like in the rest of the country. I can see why you were compelled to hide behind anonymous.  

  • 2 months ago

    It's one thing, but it's not the only thing, and it's not dramatic in New York City.  Housing in New York City costs more than the total of the cost of housing and a car in most other places, so your cost rises.

    They don't "think" it is more expensive; they know it.  Just the cost of housing alone in New York City, even without considering any other bills, can easily be over three times the total of all your expenses and bills somewhere else -- so your expense rise dramatically.

    The number of bills might drop, but the amount goes up.

  • Lisa
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I assume that by New York you mean New York City and not the state itself.  But do you mean Manhattan or the five boroughs?  It makes a difference.  I will respond as if you mean all five boroughs.  I was born and raised in New York City (primarily in Queens) and, when I moved away from my parents, I moved straight to Manhattan.  Here's my response.

    Rents in much of Manhattan are not just high, they are astronomical compared to some parts of the United States.  And that's for a tiny studio or one bedroom apartment.  Those tiny places are not suitable for raising a family.  In addition, the less expensive apartments (which still cost a lot) are often in poorer neighborhoods, and the schools are sometimes quite poor.  Many parents living in Manhattan therefore feel that they have no option but to send their children to private schools.  The private schools in Manhattan are a whole lot more expensive than the private schools in many other places.  Grocery stores in Manhattan are more expensive than in most parts of the country (due to their rents being higher and also that it is more expensive to truck the groceries in) and most forms of entertainment are more expensive, too.  When I lived in Manhattan, one of my favorite things to do was walk around in the streets.  That much is free.  Going to Central Park is free.  And there are certainly some cheap restaurants if you know where to look.  But I found my life was fairly constricted due to money.  Forget Broadway shows.  Forget going to the symphony.  I could afford to go to art museums, but I sure didn't go as often as I would have liked. . . due to the expensive.  

    Parts of Brooklyn are now also quite expensive (primarily the parts closest to Manhattan).  However, there are cheaper places to live within the five boroughs.  The problem?  An awful lot of people living in the outer boroughs work in Manhattan.  If you are lucky, you live within walking distance of a subway stop (apartment buildings near subway stops are almost always more expensive) and only have to take one train to get to work.  However, if you live in Queens and work in the Wall Street area, you need to take two or three different trains.  It costs the same amount of money to take three as to take one, but it can be a very time consuming process.  If you are not lucky, or if you can only afford cheaper housing, then you end up in an apartment that is not close to any subway stop.  You have to take the bus to the subway.  This takes more time and more money.  This is what happened to my parents.  

    My parents both worked, and it took them 2 1/2 - 3 hours a day, round-trip, to get to work.  Those were then hours they couldn't spend with their kids or cleaning the house or putting in overtime at work or whatever.  There are quite a few people in the outer boroughs that have cars, though.  And them?  They can drive to the subway stop but, often, have to spend significant time trying to find a parking spot or have to pay for parking.  As far as driving to a job in Manhattan?  That would be crazy.  Parking is extremely expensive and traffic is horrific.

    I love New York City and I always will.  But, like San Francisco and Boston (for instance) it really is very expensive.  Financially speaking, it is much easier to live in that more suburban or rural areas.  On the other hand, there is an awful lot to appreciate about New York.  I had a trip planned to visit just a little less than a year ago, and then Covid hit.  I had to cancel.  But I will return. . . over and over again.  

    Hope this answers your question!

  • SOT3
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    The loss of a car savings is quickly taken over by the taxes and rent differences.

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