Tired of soaring rent and difficult landlords in the city that never sleeps? With such an expensive real estate market, buying a condo, apartment, house, or into a co-op in New York City may seem beyond the realm of possibility. But there are great reasons to invest, 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 amount 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, and that means you either have to pay up or keep moving. 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. See which NYC boroughs and neighborhoods are right for you in our guide below!
Known as the “Borough of Homes,” Brooklyn is one of the best places to buy property in NYC. A diverse population, trendy employment opportunities, green spaces, and waterfront views are just a few of the reasons why people love living in Brooklyn.
DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass)
- Home Price: $1,439,015 median home value
- Owner-Occupied Households: 39%
Ranked among the top ten buyers markets in New York City, DUMBO is 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 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. Catch original plays and Broadway musical adaptations at St. Ann’s Warehouse. 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. Try a bottle of wine selected by Brooklyn’s only Master Sommelier at community eating and drinking house Atrium. Get some freelance work done while sipping on fair-trade coffee at Brooklyn Roasting Company‘s cafe. Order everything from classic Italian dishes to homemade pancakes for brunch at AlMar. Or go hunting for vintage furniture at Shibui Japanese Antiques.
- Home Price: $457,472 median home value
- Owner-Occupied Households: 16%
If you’re looking to buy a home in Brooklyn that’s both affordable and in a great location, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (PLG) should be at the top of your list! “It’s a growing neighborhood that’s great for investment purposes,” said Jean Paul Israel, a real estate agent with The KEYNOVATION Team.
This Brooklyn neighborhood just south of Prospect Park is full of limestones, brownstones, rowhouses, and Tudor-revival style architecture. But thanks to a new building code that allows developers to build as high as they’d like, luxury condo buildings are popping up and increasing sales in the area, according to Israel.
“With the historical blocks and the new modern condos in development, Prospect-Lefferts Garden is a vibrant display of old and new Brooklyn, with the charm of Prosect Park next to it,” Israel added.
Before the building boom, the area was primarily inhabited by young professionals. But more young families are being drawn in by the neighborhood’s growing housing availability, 30-minute commute to downtown, and access to great schools in nearby Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy.
Things to Do in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
Visit the Lefferts Historic House or Prospect Park Zoo at nearby Prospect Park. Grab a new book, attend a reading by local author, or go to children’s story time at Greenlight Bookstore. Settle in with a latte and a bagel at PLG Coffeehouse and Tavern. Stroll over to MangoSeed for Caribbean food, including jerk chicken and sweet plantains. Get garlic naan, tandoori BBQ, or curry in a fine-dining setting at Gandhi. Stay out late at Zombie House, a tiki bar that specializes in rum drinks and has pizza rolls to feed your night-time cravings. Or attend meetups for journalists, queer women, and other groups at craft cocktail lounge Erv’s.
There are a lot of reasons why The Bronx is NYC’s hidden gem: affordable housing, large parks, easy commute times, and a diverse culture. If you’re looking for a place to buy a home in NYC that comes with friendly, tight-knit communities and borough pride, give The Bronx a go!
- Home Price: $425,437 median home value
- Owner-Occupied Households: 44%
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 single-family homes with lawns, welcoming neighbors, 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 touted 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, as well as close proximity to private universities like Manhattan College and College of Mount Saint Vincent, meaning kids won’t have to go too far for good education in this NYC area.
Things to Do in Riverdale
Explore lush greenery, go birdwatching, or simply 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. Stop in for a kosher dinner or dessert at The Corner Cafe. Munch on Shepherd’s Pie while listening to live music at An Beal Bocht Cafe. Or visit the Spuyten Duyvil Library to spend the afternoon with a great book.
Want to own property in the city, but not sure where to buy in Manhattan? Living in the heart of The Big Apple means you can eat at the hottest new restaurants, catch the latest Broadway show, or head to a comedy club any night of the week—all while being close to where you work. This NYC borough is one of the most expensive for buying a home, but it’s worth the investment if upscale amenities and resale value are a top priority.
- Home Price: $944,806 median home value
- Owner-Occupied Households: 35%
Hoping to buy property in one of the best neighborhoods in New York? Greenwich Village has a little something for people from all walks of life! “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. And since the 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 there is one major downside. 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 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 Mermaid Oyster Bar or grab a late night Thai coffee 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 historic The Stonewall Inn or at The Monster‘s drag shows.
- Home Price: $883,503 median home value
- Owner-Occupied Households: 29%
Chelsea has long been one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan 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. She adds that West Chelsea real estate is a great investment, especially with Google’s offices expanding 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. Enjoy a seasonal brunch at Cookshop, where you can get everything from almond french toast to a lamb burger. Check out the interactive theater performances, live concerts, and rooftop bar at The McKittrick Hotel. Explore contemporary art galleries like David Zwirner, Jack Shainman Gallery, and Denise Bibro Fine Art. Or dance the night away at beloved gay bars like The Eagle NYC or REBAR.
If you’re looking to live in a more suburban area, Queens has some of the safest neighborhoods in NYC. It’s also a borough with an incredibly diverse population and unique cuisine from all over the world. As one of the best boroughs to buy single-family homes, your money will go a lot further here than in neighboring Brooklyn.
- Home Price: $430,627 median home value
- Owner-Occupied Households: 46%
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.
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
Stop in for a margarita and chimichanga at 5 Burro Cafe. Grab a beignet or pan aux chocolate next door at La Boulangerie. Head to Austin Public for craft beers and post-work happy hour specials. Visit the main strip in June to enjoy live music, food vendors, and crafts 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. Or catch a blockbuster film at cozy neighborhood theater Cinemart Cinemas.
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 Niche.