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Best Places to Buy a Home in New York City

Moving to New York City? With such an expensive real estate market, buying a condo, apartment, house, or co-op in New York City may seem beyond the realm of possibility. But, there are some great reasons to invest in a property, such as:

  • Tipping point: In certain neighborhoods, it can be more financially responsible to buy than to rent. Street Easy has even developed a tipping point tool to help you determine the number of years it takes for your investment to pay off.
  • Equity: While it requires a more substantial investment than in other areas of the U.S., buying property in NYC still helps you build your credit and put money into owned assets.
  • Tax breaks: Buying a home can add to your deductions when it comes time to file your taxes.
  • Freedom from rent hikes: Finding a rent-controlled apartment isn’t as easy as it used to be, which means you either have to pay up or find a new place to live. Owning a unit in a co-op or a single-family home means you don’t have to worry about a temperamental landlord or rental company.
  • Room to decorate: Paint the living room and put as many nails in the wall as you want! Buying an apartment means you can get creative with renovations, decorations, and remodels.

If you’re thinking about buying a home in NYC, you’ll need to consider affordability, amenities, ease of commute, and budget. Check out this list of the best places to buy a home in NYC!

DUMBO, Brooklyn

  • Home Price: $1,683,175 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 81% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Owner-Occupied Households: 41%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Short for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Over Pass, DUMBO, Brooklyn is ranked among the top ten buyers markets in New York City, making it one of the best places to consider buying property in NYC. Thanks to waterfront views of Manhattan and one-of-a-kind converted warehouses, DUMBO is a hot neighborhood for singles, established professionals, and creative types.

DUMBO’s role in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle (which also includes Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Navy Yard) has solidified it as a happening neighborhood that’s here to stay. Subway access via the A/C or F trains make it a short commute into Lower Manhattan. Residents can also bike, drive, or take the ferry.

The neighborhood’s prime location, access to green spaces like Main Street Park, and plenty of hip restaurants and bars make this a great place to live in New York. Just remember that DUMBO is among the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn, which means it’ll come with a higher price tag. And as more Manhattan residents flock to this popular NYC borough, prices will continue to go up, so get in while you can!

Things to Do in DUMBO

Swing by First Thursday Gallery Walk to explore rotating exhibits at various art museums and pop-ups throughout DUMBO. Stroll through Empire Fulton Ferry Park for amazing views of the Manhattan skyline and the harbor—and be sure to get tickets for Jane’s Carousel. Catch original plays and Broadway musical adaptations at St. Ann’s Warehouse. Go hunting for vintage furniture pieces at Shibui Japanese Antiques. Get some freelance work done while sipping on fair-trade coffee at Brooklyn Roasting Company’s cafe. Order Italian dishes like Fettuccini alla Bolognese, Eggplant Parmigiana, or Spaghetti at AlMar. Or try a bottle of wine selected by Brooklyn’s only Master Sommelier at community eating and drinking house Atrium.

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Forest Hills, Queens

Quaint cottage style white colored home with traditional red stone and siding. Photo by Instagram user @nycforesthills

Photo via @nycforesthills

  • Home Price: $510,930 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Owner-Occupied Households: 46%
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Wondering where to live in NYC that allows you to own a home with a yard, drive to work, and walk your kids to school? Far from the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn and Manhattan, Forest Hills sits in the center of Queens as a residential oasis. Built on gently rolling hills, Forest Hills is filled with rustic, tree-lined streets that make the area feel different from the rest of NYC.

From spacious Tudor-style houses to pre-war apartments, Forest Hills has housing options for any budget, making this Queens neighborhood a great spot for singles, young professionals, families, and retirees alike!

Even though Forest Hills has more of a suburban feel with its friendly community and affordable home prices, you won’t miss out on great NYC amenities or diverse cultures by living here! The neighborhood has large Jewish and Asian populations, access to green spaces like Forest Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and plenty of things to do within walking or biking distance.

Things to Do in Forest Hills

Visit the strip to enjoy live music, food vendors, and crafts during the summer months at the Forest Hills Festival of the Arts. Join the members-only West Side Tennis Club to practice your tennis swing. See more than 75 animal species at the nearby Queens Zoo. Catch a blockbuster film at the cozy neighborhood theater Cinemart Cinemas. Stop in for a margarita and chimichanga at 5 Burro Cafe. Or grab a beignet or pan aux chocolate next door at La Boulangerie.

Greenwich Village, Manhattan

  • Home Price: $951,089 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 2% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Owner-Occupied Households: 39%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking to purchase property in one of the best neighborhoods in New York? Greenwich Village is a fantastic neighborhood with a little something for everyone! “Everyone loves the Village,” said Jackie Roth, a realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “[It’s] still one of the best neighborhoods with beautiful streets and townhomes, great schools, restaurants, and shops.”

Touted as the birthplace of the Beatnik movement, Greenwich Village is known for its free-thinking spirit and eclectic interests. Greenwich Village has a ton of historical and cultural significance that pays tribute to the LGBTQ community and is home to The Stonewall Inn, which launched the gay rights movement. And since the Manhattan neighborhood is home to New York University (NYU), the area is flush with creative thinkers, eager young professionals, and a booming nightlife.

Historic brownstones and ample green space draw in families, but homes in this area are expensive. According to Roth, money doesn’t go far with homes in this Manhattan neighborhood. Since Greenwich Village is an in-demand spot, Roth says home inventory continues to be tight. That said, if you have the budget or you’re quick enough to act on a sale here, this is one of the best places to buy a home in NYC!

Things to Do in Greenwich Village

Play a game of chess, take the kids to the playground, or lounge in the green space filled with NYU students at Washington Square Park. Mosey over to Macdougal St to indulge in lobster rolls at the upscale seafood spot Mermaid Oyster Bar. Grab a late-night Thai Coffee or Classic Beef Pho at Saigon Shack. See up-and-coming standup comics and famous comedians like Dave Attell and Chris Rock perform at the Comedy Cellar. Finish any evening out with live music at Blue Note, SmallsLIVE, or one of the many jazz bars in the area. Or spend time among the vibrant LGBTQ community at The Monster’s drag shows.

Riverdale, Bronx

  • Home Price: $358,962 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 73% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Owner-Occupied Households: 49%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for the best place in The Bronx to raise a family? Check out Riverdale! This neighborhood is in a prime location along the Hudson River and offers spacious single-family homes, a welcoming community, and a relatively quick commute into Manhattan.

Known for its Colonial and Tudor-style architecture, Riverdale homes offer more space and room to grow for families looking to settle down. Riverdale is also known as one of the best NYC neighborhoods with the lowest tipping points, so buying a home here can pay off in two years or less.

This Bronx neighborhood also has top-rated K-12 schools like Horace Mann School or Riverdale Country School and is in close proximity to private universities like Manhattan College and College of Mount Saint Vincent, which provides kids with access to quality education in this NYC area.

Things to Do in Riverdale

Take the family out to explore lush greenery, go birdwatching, or enjoy the view of the Hudson River at Riverdale Park. Take in 28 acres of blooms or check out the latest art exhibit at Wave Hill, a public garden and community center. Play a game of hurling or watch the Manhattan College Jaspers play lacrosse at Gaelic Park. Visit the Spuyten Duyvil Library to read a novel or participate in family storytime. Start off your morning with a Russian Omelet, French Toast, or Avocado Toast at The Corner Cafe. Or munch on Shepherd’s Pie or Bangers & Mash while listening to live music at An Beal Bocht Cafe.

West Chelsea, Manhattan

Skyline view from ground level of the Highline in West Chelsea. Photo by Instagram user @highlinenyc

Photo via @highlinenyc

  • Home Price: $1,206,670 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 16% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Owner-Occupied Households: 31%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Chelsea has long been one of the best Manhattan neighborhoods for arts, culture, and nightlife, but its prime location often means a pricey and saturated real estate market. That’s why Roth recommends checking out West Chelsea to avoid the astronomical prices and still get the excellent amenities.

“West Chelsea is relatively a newly developed neighborhood and is close to Hudson Yards but has more old-world character,” Roth explained. West Chelsea real estate is a great investment and companies like Google and WeWork have large corporate offices in the area.

Transportation and access to the train can be lacking, which is one of the reasons why West Chelsea attracts fewer families and more ride-sharing inclined young professionals. Overall, though, Roth says the neighborhood largely attracts home buyers who are interested in art and technology.

Things to Do in West Chelsea

Walk or jog along The High Line, a 1.45-mile elevated park that used to be the home of the New York Central Railroad. Explore contemporary art galleries like David Zwirner, Jack Shainman Gallery, and Denise Bibro Fine Art. Check out the interactive theater performances, live concerts, and rooftop bar at The McKittrick Hotel. Dance the night away at beloved gay bars like The Eagle NYC or attend drag shows at REBAR. Or enjoy a seasonal brunch at Cookshop, where you can get everything from a Cookshop Burger to Pizza Bianca.

Hoping to learn more about the best places to live in NYC? Explore these guides to the 25 safest, most affordable neighborhoods and best boroughs in New York City!

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Whether you plan to buy property in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, or Queens, Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities throughout NYC that can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes.

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