It’s no secret that being a solo woman in the big city comes with certain hassles. No amount of Sex and the City reruns can prepare you for what cities might have up their sleeves. That’s why we compiled this short guide to help you get started on the path to genuine female independence.
Form Your Support Network
It may sound counterintuitive, but finding a support network is key to living and working “alone” in the big city.NYGal has previously discussed this in our guide to survivingas a woman in a male-dominated workplace.
Living in a big, competitive city is similar to working in a corporate setting – networking is key to advancement and survival. So, get in touch with friends, relatives, colleagues, or anyone else that you can trust to show you the ropes.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Out New Food
While the biggest American cities are notoriously expensive, they’re also melting pots of world cultures, which often manifests in the amount of restaurant and eatery options in the area. New York City, in particular, is home to hundreds of local restaurants, cafeterias, food stalls, food carts, and cafes that offer affordable eats – around 60 of which have made it to Timeout’s list of best cheap eats in NYC.
Take your pick and find out which one of these foodie havens are worthy of having you as a regular. Knowing what food you like and how much you need to budget accordingly, should be one of your top priorities.
Always Bring a Good Book
Lines, lines, lines – this is just one of the realities that you will sooner or later have to face when you’re living and working in the urban jungle. This is why you should always bring a book that can keep you company while waiting in line.
If possible, you should make it one of our ‘6 Books Every Woman Living in New York Should Read’. Any of the books on that list can give you powerful insights on what it takes to survive and thrive in the Big Apple.
Get a Good Real Estate Agent
If you’re looking for a new place to live (or if you’re really lucky – to buy) you’ll need a good real estate agent to show you what’s what.
In line with this, you should also familiarize yourself with what you can actually expect from a good agent. They should be able to tell you about every hidden bill or tax that you need to worry about when finding a new place to live.
Apart from that, your agent should be honest with you about how they’ll be acquiring their commission. Cross-reference whatever your agent tells you with your own research. In an article on buyer-agent commission by Yoreevo, they explain that agents typically get five to six percent of the actual housing cost – paid by the seller of the property.
Ask your agent about commission rebates that refund a portion of this commission back to you, the buyer. If you can see eye-to-eye with your agent about such matters, they’re probably looking out for your best interests. The catch is that you’ll have to devote some time to understanding the real estate rules and requirement of whichever city you’re moving to in order to ensure that you’re not getting a bad real estate agent.
New York can be daunting, but with the right research and a strong network, it truly is a city where dreams come true.