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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Albany

Moving to Albany? New York’s capital city is one of the most affordable places to live in the state, and it’s even considered one of the best places to live in New York! If you’re thinking about settling down in this city, check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Albany!

Buckingham Lake-Crestwood

  • Home Price: $219,386 median purchase price; $1,077 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 96% of Albany neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Looking for a low-key, quiet neighborhood in Albany? Buckingham Lake-Crestwood is the one for you! With a variety of housing styles—including Colonial, American Foursquare, and Ranch-style homes—this neighborhood has a cozy vibe. Another thing that makes peaceful Buckingham Lake-Crestwood a great place to live in Albany is the accessible and picturesque walking paths residents can use for fun or easy access to local amenities. To top it off, this safe Albany neighborhood also offers families with kids plenty of great schools in Albany to attend, including Eagle Point Elementary School and Mater Christi School!

Things to Do in Buckingham Lake-Crestwood

Walk or jog along the gravel path surrounding Buckingham Pond or stroll through the wooded areas of park’s wooded areas in Buckingham Lake Park. Take your family out to play on the playground and enjoy a light picnic on the grass at Sunset Park. Drive over to Capital Hills at Albany for an 18-hole golf scramble with friends. Try a Monster Style burger or Chunky Chicago pizza from Spinner’s Pizza & Pub. Place a delivery order for Stagionata Pizza or The Works Pizza from Zoya’s Pizzeria. Share a plate of New Orleans BBQ Butter Shrimp with the table before devouring a Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken sandwich at Restaurant 605. Or treat yourself to a slice of Apple Blueberry Pie, Cherry Pie, or Pecan Pie from The Pie Lady.

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Center Square

  • Home Price: $234,267 median purchase price; $888 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 25% of Albany neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Located near Downtown Albany, Center Square is an eclectic neighborhood with a mix of historic elegance and youthful culture, making it a great neighborhood for singles and young professionals. This Albany neighborhood is home to some of the most notable and stunning architecture in the city, featuring homes ranging from charming wood-frame cottages to enormous brownstone mansions. Aside from historical homes, the area also features lively nightlife, unique shops, and a diverse group of residents who create a welcoming community—complete with meetings and events throughout the year.

Things to Do in Center Square

Soak up the sun and explore historic statues, monuments, and park features at Washington Park or visit the Washington Park Farmers Market in July, August, and September. Head over to Empire State Plaza to get a tour of the New York State Capitol. Attend the latest performance at one-of-a-kind, artistically-designed venue, The Egg. Learn about Albany’s history and culture by viewing art at Albany Institute of History & Art. Start the day with a Matcha Latte and Breakfast Burger or Razz Cakes at Iron Gate Café. Order Chips and Salsa Verde for the table, and try Ancho-Chipotle Chicken, Spinach quesadillas, or Tamales con Puerco at El Loco Mexican Café. Slurp a bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen, Tum Yum Seafood Noodle Soup, or Miso Soup at TapAsia. Or try the Mule of the Month or The Barcelona Gin Goblet with Gochujang Cauliflower Wings at Savoy Taproom.


A white house in Helderberg. Photo by @melemedia

Photo via @melemedia

  • Home Price: $181,700 median purchase price; $1,202 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Albany neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Helderberg is a quaint area filled with historical Colonial and Victorian homes, many of which were built before 1939, giving this neighborhood a down-to-earth feel. This is a great Albany neighborhood for those working in government due to the high concentration of employees living in the area. Families in particular will benefit from this tight-knit community—there are plenty of outdoor and indoor activities in the surrounding areas! Not to mention, with the Helderberg Neighborhood Association hosting annual events, like the community picnic and Movies Under the Stars, nearby schools like New Scotland Elementary School and The Albany Academies, and access to St. Peter’s Hospital, this a great neighborhood for raising kids in Albany.

Things to Do in Helderberg

Express your creativity with an open studio membership or take art classes for kids or adults at the Albany Art Room. Visit Opalka Gallery to witness the talent of nationally-recognized artists of Modern and Contemporary art and design. Have a one-on-one basketball shootout or a quick game of tennis at Lincoln Park. Walk the trail with your pups while breathing in the fresh air at Normanskill Farm Hiking Trail. Slurp Raw Oysters or order a bowl of Tomato Basil Soup and a Kimchi Turkey Reuben at Albany Ale & Oyster. Enjoy a classic Meatball Parmesan sandwich, Baked Ziti, or Eggplant Rollettes at Ragonese Italian Imports. Sample Beer-Battered Spicy Cheese Curds, a Moose Rack burger, or a Buffalo Mac & Cheese quesadilla from Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern. Treat yourself to Cookie Monster ice cream, Bolio’s Banana Barge, or Passion Fruit Sorbet from Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream.

North Albany-Shaker Park

A brown house in North Albany-Shaker Park. Photo by @joebonitatibus

Photo via @joebonitatibus

  • Home Price: $130,350 median purchase price; $853 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Albany neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

In the 1900s, Irish immigrants from Limerick settled in what’s now known as North Albany-Shaker Park—though it’s often referred to as “Limerick” by locals. While it started out as an industrial neighborhood, this safe Albany neighborhood has grown to include libraries, public schools—like Arbor Hill Elementary School and North Albany Middle School—and more! An affordable area, this neighborhood offers a variety of small historical single-family homes and new medium-sized homes. But perhaps the biggest draw to North Albany-Shaker Park—especially for those working in the healthcare field and families—is the close proximity to Samaritan Hospital – Albany Memorial Campus!

Things to Do in North Albany-Shaker Park

Become a member and practice your swing on the highly-rated private golf course at Wolferts Roost Country Club. Take a bike ride or power walk across the beautiful Albany scenery on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Surprise your little ones with tickets to fun rides like the Tilt a Whirl and Rock-Spin-Roll at Huck Finn’s Playland. Devour a plate of Fried Chicken with Honey Butter Cornbread, Bourbon Glazed Meatloaf, or Southern Fried Fish at Ma’s Soul Bistro & Catering. Share a Pita Board and try out the Chicken Parm Risotto or Steak Kebob at Risotto. Dine on a variety of fresh, seasonal food featured on the weekly rotating menu at IL FARO Restaurant & Bar. Relax and unwind after a long day with a pint of beer, Prime Rib French Dip, and Pirate’s Rum Cake at Ship’s Pub. Or go to Johnnie’s On Broadway for Friday Happy Hour and enjoy discounted signature drinks like Johnnie’s Margarita, Broadway Punch, or Sour Patch.

Pine Hills

An apartment building in Pine Hills. Photo by @georgealmorealty

Photo via @georgealmorealty

  • Home Price: $155,846 median purchase price; $923 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 42% of Albany neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

If you’re looking for an affordable Albany neighborhood with a youthful energy, Pine Hills might just be the one for you! Not only does it have amenities like local parks and movie theaters, but it’s also near University at Albany’s downtown campus and College of St. Rose’s main campus, making Pine Hills one of the best Albany neighborhoods for college students. Plus, with schools like Pine Hills Elementary School, LaSalle School, and Albany High School, Pine Hills is a great spot for families and educators to settle down. And with affordable brick apartments and Colonial Revival homes in the area, residents can find all kinds of housing options that fit the budget!

Things to Do in Pine Hills

Stop by and snag a vintage vinyl record from Last Vestige Music Shop. Grab a friend and get tickets to see a play at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre—or classic movies in their Pine Hills Film Series at the Madison Theatre. Bring your kids to the splash pad at Ridgefield Park. Go fishing or on a quick stroll with a buddy at Tivoli Lake. Savor a Classic Chicken Sandwich, Bad Boy Special, or a Hand Pressed Hamburger at Chicken Joe’s. Get a taste of Latin American food in Albany with Empanadas, Arepas con Queso, and Papas Chorreadas from Moliendo Café. Share a Chicken Fiesta, Hawaiian, or Brooklyn Cob pizza with your family at Paesan’s Pizza and Restaurant. Munch on a plate of Lobster Mac and Cheese, Shrimp & Grits, or Crispy Red Snapper at The Cuckoo’s Nest.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Albany, NY - 5 Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods

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.