New York City is home to one of the biggest Latino populations in the entire United States. According to recent figures, about one third of the population in NYC (about 2.5 million people to be specific, which translates to 29% of the total population) identify as Latino or Hispanic.
Majority of these come from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with Mexicans making up the third largest group of the Latino population which represents about 14% of the 2.5 million.
Putting it another way, if you are planning a move from Mexico to NYC, you’ll be in familiar company.
As a little side note, however, it is to be noted that across the United States as a whole, Mexicans are the single largest group of Latin Americans – and the fastest growing ethnic group in the US.
Now, if you’re planning to move to NYC, apparently it just so happens that this might actually be an excellent time.
The last couple of months have witnessed a mass exodus of New Yorkers from the city, particularly the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. There had also been a moratorium placed on apartment showings which stretched for 3 months running up to the month of June.
These factors, combined, means there are more apartments available for rent now than is usually the case.
As apartment vacancies increase, it’s not good news for the landlords. But it also means they are more willing to negotiate now and offer better deals to renters than you would otherwise get in this wildly competitive market.
Assuming you have all paperwork in place and are ready to make the big move, there are a couple of things you can keep in mind to help make your move to the Big Apple more seamless.
Have a plan
When moving to a small town or city, it’s easy to pack a bag, hit the road and settle in without too much hassle. But moving to NYC, whether alone or with the help of a trusted NYC moving company, is a different prospect altogether.
You just don’t wake up and decide you’re headed to this city. Moving to NY requires a solid plan.
At the very least, you need to have an idea of which borough you’re going to live in. It is advisable to do your research well in advance, and considering the limited movement during the coronavirus pandemic, ideally to start with a virtual apartment search.
If you’re not employed at the moment, you need to be clear on where you will be job hunting before you settle on an apartment.
This is a big city and you don’t want to be commuting halfway across the city every day.
Choose a borough AND neighborhood
The Mexican population in New York City has been growing exponentially through the decades. Today, you will find specific neighborhoods across the five boroughs that are more inhabited by Mexicans than others.
Over half of all Mexicans who live in NYC reside in Brooklyn and Queens. If you are moving here for the first time and need some familiarity away from home, these areas can provide some form of sanctuary as a Spanish speaker.
In terms of actual neighborhoods, you might want to concentrate your apartment search in Bushwick, Flatbush, and Sunset Park if you’re considering Brooklyn.
The neighborhoods of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, on the other hand, carry the biggest concentration of Mexicans in Queens. Corona is another option in Queens, as is Kew Gardens.
Over in Manhattan, East Harlem is a great pick if you want a slice of home away from home. The area around 116th Street and 2nd Avenue in particular is predominantly Mexican.
Research on your potential landlord
Once you have identified a borough, chosen a neighborhood, and think you’ve found the ideal apartment, it’s not a bad idea to run some kind of background check on your potential landlord before you shell out thousands of dollars on your first rental.
You can start with a quick online search, starting with a search of the building on the NYC Department of Buildings website.
When you make the move, before boarding, ask a few of your future neighbors their thoughts on the landlord, including things to do with the maintenance of the building, how fast the landlord (or building manager) handles requests, and tolerance for Latin inhabitants.
That way, you’ll have a better glimpse into the kind of place you’ll be living in.