You did it. You took the plunge and bought an apartment in New York City. Maybe you looked at hundreds of options before you made your choice; perhaps you fell in love with the first apartment you looked at; either way, you secured housing in NYC, which is an amazing accomplishment. However, before you start packing up the moving truck, you need to take a step back and access your new living space. Housing in New York is notoriously hard to come by, and a home that doesn’t require significant improvements before they are comfortable living spaces are nearly impossible to find. Therefore, the new apartment you just bought is going to need some love before you are ready to move in. Read this NYC Buyers guide to Renovating to learn about some low-cost renovations you can perform in your new New York apartment to make your living experience more pleasant.
Painting and Flooring
If you don’t love the floors or the walls in your new apartment and think you may want to change them at some point, consider doing it before moving in. Flooring and painting are both projects that are 100% easier and less expensive when you can do them in an empty apartment.
Storing anything in New York while you attempt to complete a project is notoriously difficult and expensive. The logistics of moving all of the furniture and items out of an apartment to complete a project is a difficult undertaking when you consider narrow sidewalks and lack of available parking. If you are going to complete any project that will require moving furniture, complete it before moving in.
Remodel Your Kitchen
The decision to remodel your kitchen should stem from your needs as a homeowner. Do you often cook or choose to grab take out most nights? If you enjoy a home-cooked meal and expect to spend a lot of time in your new kitchen, a remodel can add significant value to your new apartment-both in terms of your enjoyment and future resale.
Expect to spend 5-15% of the apartment’s value on a full kitchen remodel project. If you don’t have time to remodel your kitchen or such a renovation is not in your budget, consider switching out the cabinets to give you more storage space or installing new appliances to make cooking more enjoyable.
Upgrade Your Bathroom
Never underestimate the importance of a comfortable bathroom in your apartment. Bathrooms in New York City are notoriously small, so painting the walls a more neutral color can make the space seem larger.
Replacing old showerheads and light fixtures is an inexpensive way to transform any bathroom. You can pick accessories that match your style and choose a showerhead that will make your showers as pleasant as possible. Simple, affordable changes can make a world of difference.
Restore Old Wood
Older apartments in New York City tend to have beautiful wood molding throughout the apartments or other amenities like built-in cabinets. Unfortunately, many landlords and owners do not adequately care for these wooden pieces, and they usually fall into disrepair and need to be restored.
If you want to make your apartment aesthetically pleasing, consider taking on the restoration before moving in. Start by sanding any wood piece in your apartment down to the bare wood. Sanding removes all of the old finish that was layered on improperly for years. Make sure you paint these pieces with wood paint and do your research before you touch them. Once the wood pieces in your new apartment get restored, you will be amazed at the transformation that occurs within your apartment walls.
Add Collapsible Structures and Built-in Storage
Most New York homeowners complain about the lack of space and available storage they have in their apartments. Avoid this pitiful by taking the time to add built-in storage space and collapsible structures throughout your residence. This strategic step adds resale value, especially if you can do so without compromising the apartment’s square footage. Add in a collapsible table or a murphy bed for guests without compromising these spaces permanently.
Install floating shelves wherever possible to create more storage space. Floating shelves do not take up floor space and look great on exposed brick walls, which are common in New York City apartments.
Before you make a move, read our NYC buyers guide to renovating for affordable choices you can make as a new homeowner to make living in your New York City apartment as enjoyable as possible. Good Luck!