Notes on the Best Time to Move to NYC

You know you're coming to the Big Apple sometime soon. But when exactly should you plan to move? Should you just move soon as possible, or stay patient and move at the most affordable time of the year? We've got you covered on the main things to consider.
Ross Sapir
By Ross Sapir
5 Min Read

If you're coming to NYC for grad school, a new job, or just to follow your dreams, it's key to keep in mind that moving can be much easier, and cheaper, during certain months of the year. They might not be the most convenient months, but if your schedule is on the flexible side, and you're willing to wait, hopefully these notes will help. If you're dead-set on moving to the city ASAP, though, we've got plenty of information to help you take that route, too. Read on for our ideas about the best time to move to NYC.

First of All, February

It's well known that February is the most affordable time to move to NYC. This, either fortunately or unfortunately, is because nobody tends to want to move in the middle of winter. Prices slip from July (the most expensive month to rent in NYC) until February, when landlords are really eager to fill up apartments. New York is definitely dreary in the winter, so it makes sense that the thought of moving in February is a bit less attractive, but if you're on a budget (and who isn't), February could be the best call for you.

If you're about to start a new job, it could be worthwhile to ask whether working remotely for the first few months, until February, would be possible. You'll know, based on your company, whether your coworkers would be responsive to this kind of request, but it can't hurt to bring it up, or at least consider bringing up. Fellow New Yorkers tend to understand that we're all trying to save as much as possible out here!


It might go without saying, but the best time to move is very often ASAP. When you're looking for an apartment, you'll notice that most of the listed places are "Available immediately." New Yorkers move fast, and if you see an apartment in your price range that you know will work for you, it's essential to jump on it. You might end up waiting a lot longer for the right place, in which case, as your arrival date approaches, whether for work or school, you may have to end up settling for a place you don't love. 

Though the city is painfully expensive in all kinds of ways, if you have a plan for what you'll be doing here, there's no such thing as moving to NYC too soon. There is such a thing as too late, and you want to avoid that as much as possible.

Depending on your situation, moving to the Big Apple ASAP may or may not be feasible, but if you've got the energy and are desperate to get here, there's no point in waiting a few more months. Check out our blog on the apartment-hunt process to get started!

Avoid the Rush, If You Can

While July is the most expensive, fall and spring months can be some of the most hectic. These are the times when people are moving in to start school, an internship, or a new full-time position. If it works with your schedule, look at months like October and March. The prices during these months won't be extraordinarily high (by NYC standards) or extraordinarily low. These will most likely be run-of-the-mill months, move-in-wise, which is great. Moving companies (like us!) will be even more flexible, and streets and stairwells won't be packed with a sea of people moving in on June 1st, for example. 

Ask your landlord, too, when the quietest hours in the building are, so you can plan your move day accordingly. In some buildings, 9 am might be prime, but in others, 1 pm might be the slowest. It all depends, but asking the landlord, or maybe even doing a bit of recon in the weeks before your move-in, can make a huge difference.

Take Your Time

In the end, it's all up to you. If your schedule has you moving in during one of the busiest months in NYC, that doesn't mean it won't be the best possible time to arrive. In fact, starting your life here at the same time as a bunch of other people can be really exciting, and make you feel like a part of something awesome right when you get here. If you don't mind chaos, and have a plan for coping with it on move day, it's ultimately up to you to decide when you want to start your NYC journey. It's pretty impossible to avoid chaos here anyway, and when you really think about it, if February is the most affordable month to move here, won't that also be one of the busiest? 

When it's all said and done, there's no bad time to come here, which also means that there's no such thing as the "best" time. Everyone should come here in their own time, when they're ready, and when they've got a plan to dive into an exciting new life here. 

If you're feeling anxious about when you should come to NYC, just remember that a lot of other people are going through the exact same thing, and that you've got total control. Once you're here, you'll forget that decision was ever an issue. You should be proud of the fact that you've already made the leap and chosen to live here, and there's no doubt the city is psyched to welcome you when you arrive.

We'll be here to welcome and help you, too! Reach out with any questions about the moving process, and check out some of our other blogs here.

You're invited!

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