NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - This is the time of year new college graduates find places to live on entry-level salaries. So what are the best options for new renters in the high-priced New York market? StreetEasy crunched the numbers to find the best options while also offering new graduates some advice.
For starters, make sure you have some extracurricular funds so you can actually experience and enjoy New York City, StreetEasy spokeswoman Lauren Riefflin says. Don't spend your entire paycheck on rent. That's not so easy when you're just starting out. Lauren's advice? Don't spend more than 30 percent of your income on rent.
How much money is that? StreetEasy looked at over 120 occupations in New York State. The median entry-level salary is about $48,000, according to Labor Department data. Sticking to the 30-percent rule, new grads making the median starting salary have about $1,200 a month to spend on rent.
So where can they afford to live? The most inventory for around $1,200 is in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Crown Heights in Brooklyn; Astoria in Queens; and Washington Heights in Manhattan, according to StreetEasy.
We interviewed Lauren in Fulton Park in Bed-Stuy, the top neighborhood on the list. It has beautiful brownstones, easy subway access to Manhattan, and more than 1,300 apartments for rent on StreetEasy right now. The median asking rent in Bed-Stuy in April was about $2,300 for all bedroom sizes. Lauren says a studio or one-bedroom apartment would typically be cheaper and a two- or three-bedroom apartment would be potentially more expensive. But plenty of options fit within the $1,200 budget, especially if you take on a roommate or two.
Bushwick is second on StreetEasy's list with some funky industrial loft-style rentals. But even if the apartment buildings look cool (as many in Bushwick do) remember your budget. And again, consider living with a few roommates.
Besides having extracurricular funds to enjoy the city, a lot of graduates will have to start paying back their student loans and need to account for those payments, too.
But recent graduates shouldn't feel limited by their budgets. They have plenty of housing options. If you like the idea of renting part of a brownstone, you'll find that in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. If you want a more traditional apartment, look at Astoria. If modern and industrial is your thing, check out Bushwick. And if you have to be on Manhattan Island, then Washington Heights is your option.
What is StreetEasy's advice for anyone looking for an affordable place to rent or even buy? Follow the train lines. Often if you go just one or two stops beyond the hottest neighborhoods, you'll find more space and lower price tags, while still having a reasonable commute and easy access to the city.