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There are many calculations that you need to make when choosing where to live. You need to consider many things and define your priorities before property hunting begins. Do you want more space, or do you want to be surrounded by people? Is proximity to a park vital to you? Is one subway line really enough? What is your budget? This article can be your guide for choosing a New York City neighborhood when buying an apartment.

Get to know NYC’s boroughs

Before you decide in which neighborhood you’ll live, you need to know the pros and cons of each borough. New York City has five of them: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. If you have an opportunity, get to know all five boroughs to get a feel for each place.

Manhattan is the heart of the city. It’s home to several business districts, such as Midtown and the Financial District. However, it’s also the most densely populated of all the boroughs.

On the other hand, Staten Island is a borough of parks. It’s much quieter and has many suburban neighborhoods. Living in the suburban areas became one of the trends that emerged-during Covid-19 in the real estate industry. So, if you’re looking for green space, Staten Island can be perfect for you.

Yellow cab in a busy NYC street of Manhattan
Manhattan has business districts and expensive real estate

Explore NYC’s neighborhoods

When you decide which borough is the perfect fit for you, it’s time to decide on a neighborhood. Making a decision probably won’t be easy because there are hundreds throughout the city. Each one has its own benefits and features. Exploring all of them on foot would take a lot of your time. Instead, do online research and see what residents of each neighborhood find as an issue or advantage.

There are neighborhoods in NYC that serve some specific needs. For example, there are few retirement communities on the Upper West Side. Some areas are home to thriving immigrant communities, such as Washington Heights with a Dominican population, or Astoria, which is called “Little Egypt.”

Some NYC neighborhoods became famous (and extremely expensive) thanks to some TV shows, and as a result, many people have moved there. Of course, trends change, and you should consider your specific needs when choosing a New York City neighborhood and buying an apartment.

Decide on your priority when choosing a New York City neighborhood?

Finding an apartment in NYC that satisfies the three most important factors for buyers – location, space, and the price is almost like hitting the lottery. Even though it’s rare, it isn’t impossible. You just need to be very patient and (very) lucky. Before you start your search, take your time and think carefully about these three factors and decide which seems to be the most important in the long run. If you want an apartment with a lot of space for an affordable price, probably you’ll find it in a neighborhood that’s a bit off the beaten track. If you can’t imagine living in a location without lots of amenities and things to do at any time, you need to have a sufficient budget.

Location is one of the significant factors that affect the value of the property. And, for the majority of homebuyers, location is still the crucial factor. Some need to be close to work; others want to be near their family and friends, etc. However, lives and priorities may change. You might get a new job; your friends may decide to relocate somewhere else, etc. Therefore, find a place that fits your biggest priorities and the place that seems suitable for your future goals.

Consider public transportation

Owning a car in NYC is expensive, and traffic may be a big problem, so don’t forget to consider public transportation options. Neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn and the Financial District are major subway hubs. Still, they are too expensive and too crowded to buy an apartment. Other central business districts like Midtown, Jamaica, and Long Island City are also easy to reach by plenty of subway and bus lines. If you know that you’ll be working in a particular area and don’t want a long commute, look for neighborhoods on subway lines close to that part of the city. If you prefer going through the city by bike, Citi Bike has a large presence in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Bridge and buildings at night
Brooklyn neighborhoods are easy to reach with many subway lines and by bike

Are you looking for some peace and quiet?

Everybody knows New York as the city that never sleeps. Still, it has some quiet neighborhoods like the Upper East Side in Manhattan and Bayside in Queens. If peace and quiet are your priorities, don’t look for an apartment in the areas close to major roadways or areas where big construction projects are currently happening.

In case you find an ideal apartment in a peaceful neighborhood of Brooklyn (such as Borough Park, Brooklyn Heights, or any other), you’ll need all the help you can find in Brooklyn for your upcoming relocation. Reliable local movers will find the right solution for your needs, so you’ll be able to relax and move-in stress-free.

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Choosing a New York City neighborhood that fits pedestrians

There are many pros to buying an apartment in NYC. As a New York resident, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on your feet. The majority of neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly, but some parts of the city are more walkable than the others. If you wish to have parks, grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and other amenities all close by, consider these neighborhoods:

  • Manhattan borough – the East Village, Nolita, the area around Union Square
  • Brooklyn borough – Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights
  • Bronx borough – Concourse, East Tremont

Do you want to be close to nature?

NYC has plenty of areas where green space is abundant. Central Park is surrounded by some of the most expensive real estate. If you are a nature lover, consider Pelham Bay or Morris Park. They are in the northeast corner of the New York City borough of the Bronx. These affordable neighborhoods are close to Pelham Bay Park, which has beaches, horse stables, and a wildlife sanctuary. And if you are considering Manhattan, search for apartments in neighborhoods of Inwood and Washington Heights, and you’ll be able to enjoy enormous Inwood Hill Park. Tribeca and Battery City Park are also great options.

If you prefer spending your time in parks with waterfront views, there are sections of Brooklyn and Queens that can be a good solution. For those wanting to be in the heart of the city and close to the water, Roosevelt Island can be a great option.

New York City neighborhoods around Central Park

You have many options when choosing a New York City neighborhood close to parks

Final thoughts

Before choosing a New York City neighborhood and making a definite decision, visit that area at different times of the day and during the weekend. Remember to check how much noise there is in a neighborhood and if there are some other quality-of-life complaints. New York is an enormous, thriving city. It has an abundance of things to do, so it’s hard to be bored in any neighborhood. We wish you good luck and successful relocation.




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