You’ve decided that moving to New York is the right next step in your life. A metropolis that big is full of opportunities for everyone, regardless of what your story is. But before you start packing your bags, you should do some research and try to find out what the best places to live in New York are.
To help you find a new home in the so-called Capital of the World, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the best parts of the 5 boroughs of New York City. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, and – who knows – maybe your future area is on our list as well!
How to Choose Among the Best Places to Live in New York
Before you decide which part of the Big Apple to put down roots in, there are certain criteria you should take into consideration. Depending on what your reasons for moving are, you will consider different factors. They could significantly affect your quality of life in a city this big, so pick up a pen and paper, and create a list of all the things you expect your future neighborhood to have. Here are some suggestions.
Find a Part of New York That Fits Your Budget
The cost of living in New York is known to be the highest in the country and even one of the highest ones in the world. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some parts of the Big Apple that are more affordable. What you are looking for is the perfect balance between the amenities you need and the cost of living you can afford.
Move Close to the Best NY Employers
If you’re moving for a job, you will want to move as close as possible to your future workplace. This will not only increase your chances of landing a dream job, but your commute time will be significantly shorter, too. And trust us, commuting in NYC can be a nightmare.
Look for Areas With the Social Scene You Prefer
Every corner of NYC has its own vibe and charm and attracts a different crowd. Some places are more tailored to young people, recent graduates, young professionals, and millennials. These areas will usually have some of the best restaurants in New York, lively nightclubs, bars, coffee shops, and stores. Other places are better for families, quieter, and more remote, with easy access to NYC public schools. Bottom line, choose a place that fits your needs.
Being Close to Schools and Colleges
Needless to say, if you’re moving for school, you should find a spot close to where you will be attending classes. Ideally, you’ll want to live on campus and make things easier for yourself. However, if you’d rather reside off-campus, there are still some great options the Big Apple has to offer.
Other Criteria – Walkability, Crime Rates, Amenities
What are the other things you simply need your future neighborhood to have? Perhaps you don’t have a car and need to find a highly walkable area? Take some time to think about your current lifestyle and what your non-negotiables in this respect are. The clearer your criteria are, the easier the process of finding a home will be.
Now that you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to take a peek at some of the top areas to pick in each of NYC’s five boroughs.
The Top Areas in Brooklyn
Brooklyn is NYC’s most populous borough, with a population of over 2.5 million. People from all over the country – and even from across the globe – flock here chasing the famous American dream. This comes as no surprise, given that Brooklyn has a lot to offer to its residents. There is an ethnically and racially diverse community, a stable economy based on manufacture, shipbuilding, and construction, a lively cultural scene with events and festivals happening year-round, and several parks and other attractions both for tourists and residents. In short, as a resident of Brooklyn, you’ll find everything you need right at your doorstep.
Some of the top places to move to in this borough include:
- Williamsburg – a hip, urban, and highly-walkable environment ideal for young professionals and singles. Although the housing prices have been on a steep rise, you definitely get a bang for your buck.
- Greenpoint – an up-and-coming neighborhood and the heart of the arts in Brooklyn. There are galleries and studios around every corner. Living here certainly isn’t cheap though, with the average homes exceeding the value of $1 million.
- Sunset Park – a rare, yet-to-be-discovered gem of Brooklyn is home to a highly diverse population. Unlike its abovementioned neighbors, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to live here. The average homes here sell for around half a million.
Top Choices in Manhattan
Brooklyn might be the most populous, but Manhattan is the historical birthplace of New York City. It is considered by many to be the financial and cultural capital of the world. The luxury of living close to Wall Street, the UN headquarters, the NY Stock Exchange, and Fifth Avenue, along with easy access to many of the most fun things to do in New York, comes at a high price – the housing prices in Manhattan are among the highest in the world.
For this reason, most people who work in Manhattan live outside of it and commute daily. However, those who choose to move to the borough usually opt for the following neighborhoods:
- East Village – this artsy area is tailored to the younger population, and it mainly attracts students from all around the country. The median household income is around $70,000, while the average home sells for roughly $400,000.
- Kips Bay – if you put a high value on easy access to all the amenities you can think of, Kips Bay is for you. With rent just below $2,000, it is relatively affordable compared to the rest of the borough, and the average household here makes around $90,000.
- Upper West Side – also known as UWS, this area provides easy access to the world-famous Central Park, which makes it perfect for those who like to enjoy their afternoons outside.
Places to Consider in Queens
Ask any local, and they will tell you that Queens provides the same benefits as Manhattan, without making you overpay for every single thing. In fact, most of those people who commute to Manhattan for work live in Queens. It simply makes sense – the two boroughs are close to each other, and Queens is way more affordable. The World’s Borough, as Queens is often called, is the location of the John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the Mets’ Citi Field, Aqueduct Racetrack, and many other landmarks.
If Queens sounds like the right borough for you, here are some neighborhoods we think you should consider:
- Ridgewood – This lively neighborhood is perfect for younger people who want to find the right balance between affordable and livable. With a wide array of housing options and a diverse population, there’s something for everybody in Ridgewood.
- Astoria – One of the best things about Astoria is that it is very well-connected to all the important parts of the city – including SoHo and the Financial District. Cheap housing is easy to find here, and the average household income exceeds $60,000.
- Bayside – This community is known as one of the oldest ones in NYC. It has a diverse population and easy access to several highways that connect it to other boroughs. There is a wide array of restaurants and cafes where you can spend your leisure time.
Staten Island Has Some Great Options
Formerly known as the Borough of Richmond, Staten Island is the smallest of the five by population. However, this doesn’t mean it is any less worth considering. The economy of the borough is mostly based on healthcare, education, and retail trade, and it has been on the rise over recent years.
Although Staten Island is not as famous as Brooklyn or Manhattan, it still has some great choices to offer. Here are our favorites in the region:
- Huguenot – When we think of the Big Apple, we usually picture endless traffic jams and constant humdrum. But this is not the case in Huguenot. It also provides easy access to some lovely beaches and several parks and golf courses.
- St. George – If you’re planning on working in another borough but living in Staten Island, St. George would be an excellent option for you. This historic community mostly attracts families with kids and young professionals.
- New Drop – this community is one of those vibrant, up-and-coming neighborhoods that always offer something to do on a day off. The population is quite diverse, and the streets are scenic, making them perfect for an afternoon walk.
All the Neighborhoods of the Bronx
If the five boroughs in New York were cities, the Bronx would be the tenth-most populated city in the States. The birthplace of hip-hop seems to have an undeservingly bad reputation. Sure, there are some run-down areas where you probably shouldn’t walk alone at night, but there are also upscale neighborhoods that are completely safe and family-friendly.
If you’ve decided that the Bronx should be your next home, we suggest considering the following neighborhoods:
- Riverdale – this area is the northernmost point of NYC, and it has a population of young professionals and families with small kids. The median household income exceeds $50,000, and the poverty rate is much lower than in the rest of the city.
- Morris Park – this neighborhood has traditionally been the location of a considerable Italian population. It provides easy access to the Zoo and River Park, which makes it a good choice for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
- Pelham Bay – this is a popular choice among families and retirees. It has an exponentially low crime rate, and it offers its residents numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. It also has easy access to Manhattan via public transport.
If you don’t care about which borough you are in as much as about finding an area that fits your specific needs, don’t worry. We have some suggestions for you, too.
Top Choices in NYC for Families
If you’re moving with kids or want to start a family in NYC, you’ll probably want to find an ideal neighborhood for that. Your future address should be in a family-friendly environment, highly walkable, with access to good schools and lots of fun things to do for kids. If that is the case, you will surely love living in Battery Park City, Murray Hill, or Tribeca.
The Best Areas to Retire In
Perhaps you’d like to retire in the Big Apple. Although this city doesn’t seem to be the first choice of most retirees, we believe it could be a good fit. There are some quiet neighborhoods with a slow pace of life that you’d surely enjoy. Some of our recommendations include Upper East Side, Hell’s Kitchen, and Park Slope.
Where Do All Young Professionals Live
You’ve recently graduated, and now it is time to work on advancing your career. What better place to do that than the Big Apple? Living in the financial center of the world will surely give you a chance to learn from the best and become an expert in your field. If you’re a young professional looking for a home in NYC, we suggest you consider Financial District, Brooklyn Heights, and Dumbo.
Some Great Areas for Students
Are you relocating for college? Unless you’re planning to live on-campus, you should probably find a place near your future school before you give your New York City movers a call. You will ideally want to move to an area that is populated mostly by students, with relatively low costs of living and lots of amenities, bars, restaurants, and fun things to do. If that is the case, we suggest you start looking at homes in Washington Heights, Roosevelt Island, Bushwick, and Greenpoint.
Areas Perfect for Outdoor Activities
Do you enjoy spending your free time outdoors? Whether you like walking, jogging, or simply basking in the sun, the Big Apple has some great neighborhoods for you. There are over 1,700 parks and recreation facilities here, so you can rest assured that you’ll have a wide array of choices to pick from. Some of our favorites are Bulls Head, Todt Hill, Windsor Terrace, and Cypress Hills.
Top Suburbs Around the Big Apple
You like the idea of being close to big cities, but you’d rather avoid the hustle and bustle and live in a smaller suburban town away from the public eye? We can’t blame you; large cities can get overwhelming. Luckily, there are several suburban communities that offer a much calmer way of life. Perhaps among them is the town you’ll soon start calling home. We suggest you look up Jericho, Great Neck Gardens, Upper Montclair, and Kensington.
Ready to Experience the Empire State of Mind?
Have you found your future home yet? Then it’s time to pick up the phone and order moving services. We’re sure NYC will bring new changes into your life and make it richer and more exciting, regardless of the area you choose.