New York City in 2020 looks much different than its past iterations. A strong contender for the world’s most dynamic city, NYC has lost much of its voice in months since COVID-19 began its reign of terror. Our streets are quieter, and we face an uncertain future.
But as every New Yorker knows, there’s nothing quite like living in NYC. You can still find safe and secure housing for your family, where you can sit tight and wait for the city to come back to life. As more and more Americans face the possibility of evictions and prolonged unemployment or reduced hours, having a safe place to call home is of paramount importance.
What’s more, social distancing mandates are likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Until the threat of COVID-19 is contained, our homes will continue to double as offices, classrooms, gyms, art studios, and beyond. Whether housing affordability is your primary goal or you hope to secure an older place in a family-oriented neighborhood, here’s what you need to know.
Home is Where the Heart Is
For starters, did you know that housing is tied directly to our health? When we live in an environment that’s unsafe or that lacks stability, our emotions, psyche, and physical health are all at risk. Housing instability is a widespread social issue that may increase the odds of adverse health outcomes, including ongoing depression, and all ages are affected.
We could all use a little health boost as we face a global pandemic. As such, safe housing can effectively serve as your family’s sanctuary, whether it’s an Upper West Side brownstone or a cute studio in Hell’s Kitchen.
For the greatest chance at successful home hunting in NYC, start your search with identifying your housing goals. Ask yourself questions such as:
- What is the minimum amount of space your family requires, post-COVID?
- What are your budget parameters?
- How important is the age of the property to your housing search?
If you or anyone in your household will be working from home or taking classes online into the foreseeable future, home office space should also be a top consideration.
New Horizons in Housing and Employment
For a large number of working New Yorkers, commuting to the office has quickly become a relic of the past. In some ways, working from home opens up your housing possibilities, as it no longer matters if your house is close to the subway. Interestingly, your employment opportunities may also be expanding, as remote work becomes increasingly ubiquitous.
Even jobs that are traditionally performed in person, such as nursing, are moving towards remote channels. As a registered nurse working remotely, your opportunities may include positions in health informatics, or as a nursing instructor. It’s important to note that remote nursing jobs may require that you hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related healthcare field.
The good news for NYC-based job seekers is that, if you lack particular qualifications, online learning is enjoying a veritable heyday in the wake of COVID. It’s the perfect time to start fresh, with a new home in NYC and an exciting new career path.
The Inspection Process
The architecture of NYC, from its brownstones to towering, shimmering steel skyscrapers, is world-famous, and for good reason. The countless buildings across the five boroughs offer a glimpse into our city’s colorful past. Unfortunately, historical buildings weren’t always built to any particular code, and hazardous materials were widely used in construction projects around the nation until 1989.
That year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally banned the use of asbestos in new materials. Specifically, the use of asbestos-containing flooring felt, rollboard, and paper products are prohibited by the EPA. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fiber, yet it has been linked to a variety of health problems, including lung cancer.
So, if your prospective new home was built before the 1990s, make sure that asbestos is on your home inspection checklist. Additionally, look for signs of structural damage, water issues, and faulty wiring, as well as outdated fixtures and appliances. From a cost standpoint, consider whether you can swap outdated components and systems. If not, it may not be the property for you, especially if you didn’t sign up for the pressure of a fixer-upper.
You may also want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of incorporating eco-friendly materials into any necessary home improvement projects. With or without the threat of a pandemic, when it comes to your family’s health, as well as the health of the planet, you can’t be too thorough.
Finding safe and secure housing in NYC involves much more than simply identifying the city’s safest neighborhoods. You must also be mindful of considerations such as property age, your ideal square footage, and even your feelings about the property. As you social distance yourself in your new home, your surrounding environment should make you feel safe, secure, and better prepared for anything.
Author: Sam Bowman