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How to Live Rent-Free in New York

Doris Benitez
Reading time: 5 min

Did you know that, as per a 2016 study published by StreetEasy, the average resident in the Big Apple tends to allocate approximately 65% of their total income towards rent?

Whatever is left goes towards the prime necessities of daily life: groceries, utility bills and transport.

Considering how to live rent-free in New York? You may want to!

Here’s why:

The classic debate of whether to “buy or rent” will pop up no matter where you reside. Becoming a homeowner within New York City itself is quite a challenging feat. Spending over a million dollars on a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan is perceived as a market norm. Now, if you possess such cash liquidity – that’s great!

However, that may not be the case for most local inhabitants. As per the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the median household income in this incredible yet costly city is $57,782. 

Landlords require that your annual come be a minimum of forty times your monthly rent. To calculate your rental affordability, just divide your annual income by forty. In this case, the average New Yorker cannot afford to pay more than $1444.55/month as rent. 

Temperatures are not the only thing soaring this summer in the Big Apple – so are its local rents! Recently, the median rent of a NYC one bedroom apartment shot up to $2980 – an all time high since the past three years.

Don’t stress – there is some good news: you can still live the good life in NYC and achieve your  goals. Save your hard-earned bucks and live rent-free. Even if you are fresh out of high school, there are top paying jobs you can apply for to launch your New York adventure.

Become a Nanny

Move into a swanky Manhattan apartment as a Nanny and score a full-time job as well. You may not have the whole premises to your disposal – yet you’ll enjoy your own personal space with a fantastic bedroom, own a posh address and be right in the heart of the city. 

Just a bit of friendly advice: you will want to clarify with your prospective employer what your responsibilities will entail, what your schedule will be like and count the number of holidays you’re entitled too. 

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Check out our latest nanny jobs!

Move in as a Caretaker

Help an elderly soul generally manage their affairs by shifting into their home as their caretaker. You can live rent-free by assisting them in their daily tasks such as fetching groceries, paying heating/utility bills and accompanying them to their medical appointments.

Yes, you’ll save thousands of dollars on rent but you’ll also be performing a kind, noble deed in exchange for a roof over your head. What’s more rewarding than that? 

Search for a “Zombie” Home

Such a property is categorized as a “zombie” home as one undergoing foreclosure but hasn’t as yet. Within this time interval, property owners are still fiscally accountable for the property taxes and upkeep. As a potential occupant, you’ll technically live rent-free under the condition of paying those fees.

These ‘zombie’ homes tend to stain the aesthetic beauty of homely, lush NYC neighborhoods with their deteriorating facade and abandoned exteriors. How about you not only enjoy living rent-free but give back to your society by putting in a bit of loving care into the property’s maintenance? Just splashing a fresh coat of paint on the structure and tending to the weeds in the garden will breathe new life into your new home. This way, you’ll be proud to be a tenant here as well. Be careful though when and if going for this option!

Be a Historic Home Custodian

These kind of jobs are few and far in between – but it doesn’t mean that you can’t apply for one. 

As a custodian of a historic property, you’ll protect it from fire, cold weather and any possible theft or vandalism. There may be an occasional tour or two in your living equation as well. In return, you’ll live rent-free with an address in one of the most desirable districts in the City. 

If this sounds like an appealing opportunity to you, just touch base with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. 

Land a Superintendent Role

Becoming a manager or a superintendent of a building will give you access to your own living quarters – rent free ! This will be a full-time job that’ll require you to work diligently with your hands and know your way around with a set of tools. You could be cleaning someone’s pipes, clearing up a gutter or helping mediate conflicts between neighbors. It may be possible for you to manage a part-time job on the side but this role will occupy the majority of your time. 

You’re a brave soul whose going to make it big in this beautiful City of Dreams. However, there’ll be a time bit of struggle which you’ll power through and savour chances to live rent-free so you can save up for your very own home one day.

Start saving up now! Download the JOB TODAY app now and check out our latest jobs:

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