Everything You Need to Know About Moving to New York

If you’ve decided to move to New York, get ready for a vibrant lifestyle filled with everything from autumn apple picking to Broadway shows.

You’re moving to one of the most densely populated states in the country, with more than 19 million residents. What many people don’t realize is that the population is concentrated in a few cities, with nearly 8.5 million in the most populous city, New York City. 

While moving to New York can be exciting, moving, in general, can be a hassle. You have to ship all your belongings over and adjust to a different life. It can be a significant shift depending on where you move, and information is key to ensuring a smooth transition.

This article will cover a few things that will be critical to navigating your new life. By the time you read it, you will be as informed as a local New Yorker and ready to enjoy life in the Empire State.

New York Climate

New York State is bound on the north and west sides by Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and Canada. To the south, you have Pennsylvania, and to the east is Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

New York State Relocation Guide

Because of its location, residents get to experience all four seasons, with warm, humid summers and plenty of snow in the winter. Upstate New York will reach subfreezing temperatures for parts of the winter and is generally cooler than Staten Island and the rest of NYC.

When the first settlers arrived in New York, they were surprised that the winter was freezing since the state has the same latitude as the Mediterranean, which has much warmer weather.

January is cold for New Yorkers, with daily averages of 33°F in Westchester County and NYC. When you go as far north as the St. Lawrence River, you’ll see daily averages hover in the 20s for most of the winter.

Summers can be pleasant, though, with averages in the 80s for New York City residents and the high 70s to low 80s for people who live Upstate. 

As for precipitation, it can snow quite a lot. Upstate New York has an especially snowy winter, with Syracuse receiving around 115 inches of snow annually. So if you’re a fan of watching snow blanketing over the ground and experiencing relatively mild summers, you’re moving to the right state.

In New York City, the snowfall varies. Some years living in the Big Apple, you’ll get a dusting or two. In others, NYC residents will go through major storms that shut down the city. 

New York Taxes

To maintain its healthy economy, residents in New York City and elsewhere pay a lot in taxes. The state has one of the highest per capita tax rates in the country. Taxes include progressive income tax, sales tax, business tax, property, and excise taxes.

When moving to New York, expect to pay a 4% sales tax and 4 to 8.82% in income taxes, depending on which income bracket you fall in. The progressive income tax means that the more you earn, the more tax you will be paying. This system is designed to ensure equality and reduce poverty in a state with a high cost of living.

Those who run their own business are subject to a few more taxes, depending on which industry they operate within. The table below showcases how business taxes are split by industry.

Industry Tax Rate
Manufacturing Corporations 4.425% – 8.85%
Small Businesses 6.5% – 8.85%
Financial Corporations 9%
Other Taxpayers 8.85%


Residents who own real estate anywhere in the state must also pay property taxes. The tax is 1.925% of your assessed home value, and it’s a significant bump compared to the national average of 1.070% for property taxes.

Finally, excise taxes are imposed on alcohol and gas. On top of the 4% sales tax, consumers have to pay an additional $6.44 per gallon of alcohol, according to the New York Liquor Tax. Gas is also taxed at $0.08 per gallon.

As you can see, moving to New York is not cheap, and NYC, in particular, is known as one of the most expensive cities in the country. While a view of the Empire State Building in the Big Apple is something many people dream of, you need to earn a high salary to make a living in New York and truly enjoy city life.

Job Opportunities in New York

New York has one of the largest economies in the world. It plays a major role in the national economy too. It could be its own country, as its gross economic product is higher than many countries.

The state has passed several policies supporting businesses, and as such, many companies are headquartered here, especially in NYC. It’s relatively easy to set up a business in the state and get to market quickly. New York City alone boasts 220,000 employers, 98% of which are small businesses.

New York’s economy is mainly based on the service sector, although there are some manufacturing jobs. Because of such a large service sector, almost 25% of New York’s workforce is unionized, which helps foster stability for employees. The current unemployment rate is 7.6% and decreasing.

Also, worker’s rights are a strong part of New York culture. 

Some of the highest growth jobs in New York include:

  • Retail Sales Associate
  • Registered Nurse
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Sales Associate
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Shift Manager
  • Direct Support Professional
  • Home Health Aide

As you can see, these are relatively attainable positions that will pay you well enough to afford living in New York. You might need an extra income bump to afford NYC, but that’s the case with other big cities throughout the country, such as San Francisco and Seattle.

New York Education

In addition to excellent job opportunities, you also have access to various nationally and globally ranked colleges when you move to New York. There are many universities that those who are college-aged can attend and then graduate with excellent career prospects. Here are the top ten best colleges in New York.

  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • New York University
  • University of Rochester
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Syracuse University
  • Fordham University
  • Yeshiva University
  • Binghamton University – SUNY
  • Stony Brook University – SUNY

Most of the universities on the list are private, which means tuition will be higher than state schools. But, SUNY schools are public and very affordable for residents. Students can take advantage of programs to reduce their college costs in public universities.

Whether you live in the Finger Lakes region or the Upper East Side, the public education system offers affordable and quality education to everyone moving to New York.

Best Places to Live in New York

While New York City is known as the greatest city ever, there are other cities in the state that have a lot to offer. Other major cities include Rochester and Buffalo.

There are also plenty of small towns and mid-sized cities that promise a quieter way of life. So if you want to make the trek to move further upstate, you won’t be disappointed.

And with state-to-state car shipping, relocating to New York is even easier, whether you’re headed up north to Lake Placid, opting for an apartment in the Lower East Side, or settling in a small town closer to the Pennsylvania border.

New York State Relocation Guide

When you’re not living in one of the five boroughs, you’ll save money on living expenses. Even better, you’ll save time without the hassle of traffic or not being able to find a parking spot – ever. 

Many people don’t want to pay the high rent prices or navigate the concrete jungle with its endless city blocks and subway stairs. And not everyone has enough money to move to the upscale Manhattan neighborhoods or the nicer neighborhoods of the outer boroughs.

So, while NYC is great to visit for the street food, Central Park, and Carnegie Hall, it might not be the best place for raising a family and settling down. 

Here are some other cities to live in if you are moving to the state.

Great Neck Plaza

A suburb of NYC with almost 7,000 people, Great Neck Plaza provides an urban feeling without the high costs. There are many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops, and the public school system is highly rated. If you’re apartment hunting, one month’s rent for a modest apartment is around $1,958.


Jericho is another suburb of NYC with almost 14,000 people. It’s one of the best places to raise a family in New York and has a low crime rate. The city is highly diverse and always has something going on. Plus, there’s plenty of green space and activities for kids.


Located just outside of Rochester, Brighton has a population of 36,272 people. The city is full of both young professionals and retirees, making for an exciting mix of activities. Most Brighton residents own their homes, and renting a one-bedroom apartment costs about $1,049 per month.

Cayuga Heights

Cayuga Heights is a small town with almost 4,000 residents. It’s an upscale village in Ithaca and has plenty of outdoor activities, such as visiting the botanical gardens, waterfalls, and trails. You’ll also be next to all the cool coffee shops and restaurants of Ithaca, including Moosewood and Coal Yard Cafe.


Syosset is bigger than Cayuga Heights, with around 19,000 residents, but it is a bit more expensive. The monthly rent is approximately $2,734, which is on par with a lot of NYC boroughs.

Most New Yorkers would choose to live here over New York City due to the less dense population, the fresh air, and the brilliant autumn foliage.


New York City is a melting pot of backgrounds and a cultural capital, and other cities in Upstate New York offer a great mix of charm and natural beauty. While it can have a harsh climate in the winter, the state has warm summers and lots of employment opportunities.

Education is top-notch, even at the K-12 level, and there are plenty of activities, from hiking the gorges near Ithaca to going apple picking in Victor. Those visiting the city can see Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Central Park, and much more. 

When relocating across states, most people hire professional movers, but you should also consider professional auto transport. Ship your car to New York with Guardian Auto Transport, the best car shipping service in the United States.

We completely understand what a big process relocating to New York is and want to make it as smooth as possible. So get in touch today and request your free quote.

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