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Best Places to Rent a Home in New York City

Thinking about living in New York City? The Big Apple offers great job opportunities, world-class dining, plenty of green space, exciting nightlife, and more! Here are the top five places to rent a home in NYC!

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Exterior of a 2 Bedroom Rental in a Brick Walkup Townhome. Photo by Instagram user @yadlynd

Photo via @yadlynd

  • Home price: $1,392 median monthly rent
  • Crime rate: Safer than 62% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Renter-Occupied Homes: 64%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Searching for a quieter New York City neighborhood? Be sure to check out Bay Ridge in Brooklyn! Bay Ridge is a family-oriented neighborhood with locally owned businesses, several parks, and great schools like Fort Hamilton High School and Xaverian High School. Renters searching for a home in Bay Ridge will find a variety of charming rowhouses, spacious co-ops, and historic Victorian-style homes, as well as some apartments along Shore Rd! You’ll also be able to enjoy waterfront views here, especially from Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge that goes into Staten Island.

Things to Do in Bay Ridge

Play soccer, hang out with your pup, or watch the sunset at Shore Park. Escape to the Narrows Botanical Gardens, known as the “The Jewel of Bay Ridge,” to see plant exhibits like the Lily Pond, Zen Garden, Native Plant Sanctuary, and more. Attend a Shakespeare play, live poetry reading, or One-Act Festival at brooklynONE Productions. Take the kids to Fairytale Island to play on the climbing walls, trampolines, and indoor slides. Enroll in a cake decorating class or shop for fun confections at Choc-Oh! Lot Plus. Get brunch at Cebu and order some Challah French Toast or NY Steak & Eggs. Enjoy farm-to-table eats like Pumpkin Soup, Fresh Field Salad, or Beet Bucatini from Beets and Carrots. Eat traditional German food like a Kielbasa Teller or Jaeger Schnitzel from Schnitzel Haus. Or satisfy your sweet tooth at Anapoli, an old-school soda shop serving up Old-Fashioned Sundaes, Malted Milkshakes, and Banana Split Frappes.

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Lower East Side, Manhattan

Exterior of Apartments in Lower East Side, Manhattan. Photo by Instagram user @regzuna74

Photo via @regzuna74

  • Home price: $1,065 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Renter-Occupied Homes: 86%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

The Lower East Side (LES) is an exciting and affordable NYC neighborhood—and a top option for renting in NYC! LES also has some of the best entertainment, dining, and nightlife the city has to offer, making it a great place for singles and young professionals. In this Downtown Manhattan neighborhood, you can explore the many art galleries, live music venues, and thrift stores, but you can also enjoy the outdoors at various parks and piers! Plus, when it comes to renting in the Lower East Side, you can choose from a mix of high-rise condos and pre-war walkups. It’s also a breeze to get around the city, thanks to subway stations serving the B, D, J, M, Z, and F trains!

Things to Do in Lower East Side

Head to John V. Lindsay East River Park to join a pickup game of basketball or enjoy a waterfront bike ride. Go on a run or relax on the swings at Pier 35. Visit the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum, and see works from the featured exhibits. Learn about early immigrant history in New York City at the Tenement Museum. Take a stroll or ride your bike across the Williamsburg Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. Wander through Essex Market, and pick up some goods from local vendors like Luna Brothers Fruit Plaza, Luis Meat Market, and other shops. Enjoy Japanese snacks like a Matcha Crack Pie, drink a hot espresso, and play with cats at Koneko. Pick up some Corned Beef or Pastrami from the iconic Katz Deli, one of the most famous delis in NYC. Stop for lunch at Clinton St. Baking Company, and order the Fried Chicken Sandwich or Crispy Potato Pancakes. Or head to Saturday Happy Hour at Bar Belly and try the Jackalope Spritz, Oysters, and Belly Fries.

Park Slope, Brooklyn

Exterior of Garfield Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Photo by Instagram user @bkbybike

Photo via @bkbybike

  • Home price: $2,004 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 70% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Renter-Occupied Homes: 58%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Park Slope is a Brooklyn neighborhood with a slightly more upscale feel, but it still offers great affordability and safety. Here, you’ll find spacious, tree-lined sidewalks and a mix of classic Brooklyn brownstones and newly build high-rise apartments. You also have access to some amazing outdoor spaces at nearby Prospect Park, which has a lake, zoo, plenty of walking trails, and more. Plus, Park Slope is home to Brooklyn’s own 5th Avenue, where you can find tons of trendy shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. There’s no shortage of amazing schools in the neighborhood either, with Park Slope Elementary School, Millennium Brooklyn High School, and Berkeley Carroll School!

Things to Do in Park Slope

Play on the playground, go skateboarding, and see the historic Old Stone House at Washington Park. Head to the Barclays Center to cheer on the Brooklyn Nets (NBA) or New York Liberty (WNBA). Spend an evening at Union Hall, and catch a comedy show from Joel Kim Booster, Rachel Feinstein, and more. Visit Puppet Works, a marionette theater that shows classic stories like The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast. Shop for trendy secondhand finds, or sell some of your old pieces at Beacon’s Closet. Get your morning started at Brew Memories, and try an Iced Vietnamese Coffee, Brown Sugar Matcha Latte, or Thai Iced Tea. Try a Spicy Mango Salmon Wrap, Kale Quinoa Salad, and other fresh eats from South Slope Eatery. Order a delicious Italian meal like the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho or Eggplant Parmigiana at Bar Toto. Go wine tasting and take home a bottle of your new favorite white or red at Brookvin.

Sunnyside, Queens

Tri-Level Apartments in Sunnyside, Queens. Photo by Instagram user @vicksadventure

Photo via @vicksadventure

  • Home price: $1,466 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 51% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Renter-Occupied Homes: 80%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Marked by an Art Deco archway is the hidden gem neighborhood of Sunnyside! This Queens neighborhood offers affordable rental options, including a mix of homes with backyards and cozy lofts. Sunnyside is a diverse, close-knit community, and the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District hosts annual events like Sunnyside Restaurant Week and Outdoor Movie Nights. In Sunnyside, there are plenty of green spaces to escape the concrete jungle along with quaint cafes, up-and-coming restaurants, and mom-and-pop shops. If you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter while having an easy commute into Manhattan, this NYC neighborhood is the place for you!

Things to Do in Sunny Side

Go on a bike ride, attend Shakespeare in the Park, or chat with your neighbor Sunnyside Gardens Park. Head to the Thalia Hispanic Theatre to watch live performances like Tango Gotham, Flamenco al Son Latino, and Divas de España. Take a Musical Theater Class, or enroll the kids in Theater Camp at Secret Theater Academy. Go thrifting at Stray Vintage and search for your new favorite vintage piece. Pick up fresh Irish goods like tea, bread, and other groceries at The Butcherblock. Enjoy Mexican fusion meals like the Surf & Turf Guacamole or Grilled Mexican Pizza at La Flor. Chow down on the Loaded Hummus, Vegan Tacos, and Pecan Chewies from Sanger Hall. Try authentic eats from Paraguay like Puchero, Mandioca Empanadas, and Bife a Caballo at I Love Paraguay. Unwind with some craft beers like the Sunnyside Blonde or Zea Mays Mexican Style Lager from Alewife Brewing.

Washington Heights, Manhattan

  • Home price: $1,142 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 44% of New York City neighborhoods
  • Renter-Occupied Homes: 91%
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

With a diverse community and affordable rent, Washington Heights is a great, urban neighborhood in Manhattan to call home. Located in the northernmost area of the borough, Washington Heights has been coined “Little Dominican Republic,” and there are tons of spots where you can experience the culture! In this lively neighborhood, you can settle down in one of the neighborhood’s co-ops, waterfront properties, or industrial-style lofts. You’ll also be able to take in the great views of the Hudson River and have access to plenty of parks and outdoor spots including the largest dog run in Manhattan, Sir William’s Dog Run. And if you’re commuting into Downtown Manhattan or one of the other NYC boroughs, you can hop on the A or C subway train.

Things to Do in Washington Heights

Join Sunset Yoga, play basketball, or cool off in the splash pads at Fort Tryon Park. Visit The MET Cloisters Museum to learn about the Middle Ages and Medieval culture. See Hispanic art like ceramics, sculptures, architecture, and more at the Hispanic Society of America. Pick up some local goods like Mexican herbs, ripe orchard fruit, fresh pastries, and more at the Fort Washington Greenmarket. Shop for some new reads or join a book club at Word Up Community Bookshop. Attend a concert at United Palace, where you can see big music acts like Mumford & Sons, Lady A, and John Legend. Pick up sweets like Guava Turnovers, Pineapple Cheesecake, and Cannolis from Carrot Top Pastries. Fill up on an Overlook Burger, Cheese Fries, and a Dulce de Leche Gelato Milkshake at Burger Heights. Get a taste of the Dominican Republic with dishes like Mofongo Con Chicharron, Almejas Casino, and Arroz con Pollo at La Casa Del Mofongo.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.