The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Brooklyn

From the high cost of living and world-class food scene to the best moving tips, here’s everything you need to know before moving to Brooklyn.
Written by Katherine Duffy
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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If you’re thinking about moving to
Brooklyn
, prepare yourself for sky-high rent, terrible traffic, and cold seasonal weather. But for arts and culture enthusiasts, new families, and young professionals, it might be the next spot to call home. 
Brooklyn has been a home for many since the 17th century, when it was known as “Breukelen” and was just a small Dutch village on the East River shore. Hundreds of years later, the once-independent city has been a
New York City
borough for more than one hundred years. 
From millennial hipsters to immigrant families from around the globe, Brooklyn is an attractive place—but it’s also become one of the most expensive places to hang your hat. Luckily,
Jerry
, the
trusted broker app
for auto and
renters insurance
, has created a guide to moving to Brooklyn, including everything you need to know before making the big move.
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What you need to know about Brooklyn before you move

1. It’s one of the most expensive cities in the country 

Unless you’ve lived in
Honolulu
, Washington, D.C., or
Newport Beach
, Brooklyn might be one of the most expensive places you’ll ever live in. This New York City borough has an average cost of living that is 80% higher than the national average, while its housing is a whopping 218% higher. 
Wondering what that looks like in dollars? The average one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn costs a staggering $3,194 per month. If you live in the heart of Brooklyn, you’re looking at figures closer to $4,000 per month, and these figures are on the rise. 
Keep in mind that the average one-bed apartment is just 650 square feet! 
While housing costs account for the bulk of the cost of living in Brooklyn, you’ll still need to take food costs into account. If you want to call Brooklyn home, you’ll need to get comfortable paying $4.95 for a Big Mac, $150 for an average date night, and $8 for a pint of beer. 
The average salary in Brooklyn is $58,022 per year, and the minimum wage is $15 per hour. You may be able to live comfortably on this salary in Brooklyn, but you’ll probably need more than these figures to score your dream apartment. 

2. The job market is hotter than ever

It may be expensive to live in Brooklyn, but there’s no shortage of jobs to help you fund your New Yorker lifestyle. 
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a study showing that in Brooklyn’s metropolitan area, the job growth rate is 5.3%, which is higher than the national average of 4%. 
The area added 497,500 new jobs in the last year—the largest increase among all of the nation’s major cities. 
The industries that saw the most job growth were tourism and hospitality, education and health services, and professional and business services. 
Many people associate Brooklyn’s job scene with being actively involved in arts and culture. While there are opportunities abound to pursue this passion in Brooklyn, it’s also home to many corporate offices, like Etsy, Kickstarter, and Quip. 

3. Car and home anti-theft security is a must 

Brooklyn does have a relatively high crime rate, but most of the crime committed in Brooklyn is theft, meaning that your car or home may be broken into far before you’ll have to worry about assault. 
Brooklyn’s theft rate is 13.8 per 1000 people, while its violent crime rate is less than half that at 5.43 per 1000 people. 
Car theft has been particularly popular, with 1,183 cars stolen in 2022 so far—a 47% increase from 2021—according to the NYPD.  
Just be sure to invest in some upgraded car security if you move to the area (bonus: it could earn you a discount on your
car insurance
!). 

4. It’s a surprisingly great spot for families 

As “the city that never sleeps,” many people believe that New York is for young professionals attracted to the vibrant culture and nightlife that the city provides. But Brooklyn is a great region of the city to opt for if you’d like to put down roots for family life. 
Neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and Windsor Terrace offer excellent private and public schools and kid-friendly parks among beautiful historic residences, tree-dotted streets, and family-owned businesses. 
These neighborhoods cater to a wide range of budgets as well, with Park Slope as one of the most sought-after family neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and Windsor Terrace offering more affordable family living. 
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5. Avoid driving when getting around Brooklyn 

There’s no nice way to say it—
driving in Brooklyn
, like the rest of New York, is unbearable at times. You can own a car in Brooklyn, and many locals use their cars to get around the city each day. 
That being said, New York, and Brooklyn by extension, consistently ranks among the top ten worst cities for traffic in the US. 
What’s more? The average annual car insurance premium in Brooklyn is $2,332 for minimum coverage. If you’d rather skip sky-high insurance rates and congested city streets, Brooklyn has a great
public transit system
to get you just about anywhere you need to go. 
You can opt for biking or walking as well. If you’re new to city biking, make sure you familiarize yourself with the road rules and practice on quieter neighborhood streets. 

6. Enjoy hot summers—at the price of frigid winters 

Brooklyn, like the rest of NYC, experiences all four seasons. Brooklyn’s summers tend to be hot and humid, while its winters are cool with lots of snow, and spring and fall bring mild temperatures with a considerable amount of rain. 
Temperatures range from the high 20s to high 40s in the winter, to high 70s to mid-80s in the summer. 
If you love the heat and sunshine, Brooklyn probably won’t do it for you. But, if you enjoy the crisp fall air, romantic snowflakes in December, new blooms in spring, and warm evenings in the middle of summer, you’ll love the weather in Brooklyn. 

7. It’s the perfect spot for foodies 

We placed this at #7, but it’s #1 in our hearts—Brooklyn is an incredible spot for enjoying delicious food from diverse communities. 
Whether you’re going for dim sum in Brooklyn’s “Little Fouzhou,” grabbing jerk chicken in Crown Heights, or treating yourself to Bamonte's, a 122-year-old Italian restaurant, you won’t be disappointed. 
The area is filled with famous restaurants, but new dining spots featuring creative menus are always popping up around the borough. 

Does Brooklyn live up to its stereotypes? 

When it comes to stereotypes, Brooklyn’s got a lot of 'em. From being known as a modern hipster hangout to starring in multiple NY mob feature films, most people would agree that Brooklyn’s stereotypes precede it. 
But does this famous New York City borough live up to its reputation? Yes—and no. 
It’s true that Brooklyn is one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country. Its historic brownstone buildings, art galleries, museums, and endless indie cafes are integral to this borough’s identity. 
But while its quirky, eclectic landmarks like Coney Island, Prospect Park, Green-wood Cemetery, and plenty others are permanent cultural fixtures of Brooklyn, the borough has become increasingly diverse, making Brooklyn’s food and art scene that much better. 
That being said, if you’re not into pricy caffeinated drinks, craft beer distilleries, art shows, and limited square footage, Brooklyn might not be your thing. But if this Borough’s unique charm has piqued your interest, read on to learn how to make your move as smooth as possible. 
Key Takeaway For many locals, the unmatched arts and culture scene, historic aura, and incredible food are worth the steep rent and risk of theft. 
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Finding a place to live in Brooklyn

After deciding what to do with your car and securing employment, finding new digs will be top of mind when preparing for your big move to Brooklyn. While this is an exciting time, finding your next place to call home probably won’t be easy. 
Brooklyn’s current housing market is extremely competitive. The current median home sale price is $880,000, and if you’d like to buy in downtown Brooklyn, you’re looking at a median home sale price of $1.3 million. 
Unless you have buckets of cash at your disposal, you’ll likely need to rent. Unfortunately, rent prices aren’t much better. 
We noted earlier that the average one-bedroom apartment is $3,194 to $4,000 depending on how close to downtown you are. Two-bedroom apartments range from $5,500 to a cool $8000, and prices continue to climb as you move further downtown with more bedrooms. 
When choosing a neighborhood to live in, start by making a budget so you can be confident about exactly how much rent you can afford—and where you can afford it. Then consider the other factors, from your household makeup to your nightlife needs, that go into determining the perfect place for you. 
If you’re not familiar with Brooklyn’s 77 neighborhoods (according to City Planning), here are a few pointers: 
  • Most iconic neighborhoods: DUMBO, Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy
  • Best neighborhoods if you’ve got kids: Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Windsor Terrace 
  • Best neighborhoods for foodies: Crown Heights, Bushwick, Cobble Hill
  • Best neighborhoods if you want to keep your car: Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill
  • Most affordable neighborhoods: Bay Ridge, Flatbush, Sunset Park 
Be sure to spend some time in the neighborhood before you move. Staying a few nights, if possible, and getting a taste of local offerings will help you find the right fit. 
Pro Tip Finding roommates is one of the best ways to make living in Brooklyn affordable. 

Moving to Brooklyn checklist 

So you fell in love with an eclectic neighborhood and found a place to live in Brooklyn. Now, it’s time to get the ball rolling on your move! Follow these checklists to keep things smooth throughout the process, from the first box you pack to your first night in your new home

Before you go

Before you move, make sure to: 

After you get there

Once you arrive in your new home, you’re not finished yet! Don’t forget these essential steps to help you adjust to your new Brooklyn life: 
  • If you moved with a car from another state, be sure to
    register your car
    in New York and
    update your insurance
    .
  • Buy renters insurance
    to protect yourself and your belongings (and your wallet!)
  • Update your mailing address, voter registration, and healthcare information. 
  • Explore your new neighborhood! Check out nightlife, restaurants, coffee shops, and historic landmarks—and don’t forget to find the perfect late-night takeout place. 

How to save on car, renters, and home insurance in Brooklyn

Whether you’re keeping your car in iconic DUMBO, renting a studio in Williamsburg, or buying the perfect family home in Park Slope, you’ll need insurance if you want to move to Brooklyn. 
Thankfully, insurance super app
Jerry
can help you find savings on every type of insurance, from auto to homeowners—with or without a
bundle
!
No matter what type of insurance you need, Jerry can compare quotes from some of the nation’s top providers in 45 seconds and get you signed up in record time. Just download the app, enter your information, and let Jerry handle the rest! 
And if you’re getting ready to move to Brooklyn, we’ve got good news: just by using the Jerry app to shop for car insurance, users save an average of over $800 a year. With money like that, you might be able to afford that extra square foot of apartment space! 
“As a young person who owns a sports car and a high-end sedan, I couldn’t find quotes below a certain threshold. By using
Jerry
, I managed to find full comprehensive coverage on both vehicles and saved $150 a month!” —Channing Y.
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FAQs

If you enjoy all four seasons, gorgeous brownstone buildings, are looking forward to a rich arts and culture scene, and you don’t mind paying through the nose for an apartment, then Brooklyn might be perfect for you. 
But if snow isn’t your thing and you can’t bear not keeping your car, you may want to reconsider Brooklyn as your next home.
Depending on whether you do the move yourself, hire professionals to help you, and how far away you live, moving to Brooklyn can cost a few hundred to several thousand dollars. 
On top of your initial moving costs, you’ll need at least $5,000 per month to live in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.
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