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Everyone has a different idea of what the perfect home should look and feel like. Some New Yorkers dream of living over a great Chinese takeaway while others want to live in a renovated warehouse. Whatever your real estate dream, you need to consider the neighborhood businesses and hotspots in the area before you sign a lease. You’ll be very glad you did when you need a bag of Cheetos at six in the morning or cough syrup in the middle of the night.

A 24/7 Convenience Store


Image via Flickr by Jan Kordylewski

A convenience store is just that — convenient. Many thoughts go into picking out the perfect neighborhood, and while the biggies are undoubtedly important, some people forget about the small but essential details. You should look for a place with a convenience store no more than a block or two away from your home. You never know when you might need a case of Red Bull, a bag of chips, or a small sewing kit. You certainly don’t want to take the bus or subway for such small purchases.

A Local Pharmacy

Similarly, easy access to cough drops, headache medicine, and bandages is imperative. Pharmacies are likewise important for picking up prescriptions, and they’re also helpful if you run out of cosmetics or soda. You may not find a place near a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic, but your local pharmacist is an enormously helpful substitute.

A Good Grocery Store


Image via Flickr by David Shankbone

Unfortunately, convenience stores and pharmacies won’t cut it for all groceries, and there’s nothing worse than trying to cart your bags on the bus, the train, or even in a cab. If you scout out an apartment that has a grocery store or market within walking distance, you can get fresh produce anytime you like. You may also want to look for a local butcher or an organic market.

An Amazing Pizza Place


Image via Flickr by Joe Hall

Pizza is practically the signature dish of New York City. Although there are amazing restaurants dotted all over the city, nothing beats a New York-style slice. Every neighborhood has its spectacular pizza place. Get close to yours, and you can fulfill your cravings for excellent sauce and gooey cheese when you want.

A Great Bar

The quintessential neighborhood bar is another hotspot. You need a place where you can gather with your friends and local buddies. This is the place where you’ll go to unwind, watch the game, catch up with your pals, and watch the neighborhood go by.

That being said, you might consider different locales. It all depends on what’s important to you. You might want a neighborhood with a fantastic bookstore, the kind that encourages you to get comfy on a couch and read the day away. Another option is the hot coffee shop. You might not get a La Colombe, but the city overflows with local cafes and coffee shops that all promise the best cup and phenomenal pastries.

The perfect neighborhood is different for everyone, so it’s ultimately up to you. As you hunt for your new digs, think about the things you can’t live without — the nonnegotiable details. What do you need to have near your apartment?


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