Choose the Right New York City Borough for You

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Choose the Right New York City Borough for You

Emily Gojko · Sep 24, 2009

People native to New York City simply refer to it as the City, but that can be confusing. The New York City borough that they are referring to is really Manhattan. New York City, however, is comprised of 5 boroughs. Each borough is different, and it is important to choose the one that is right for you.

Luxury in New York City

If you are moving to New York City, and you are looking for luxury, then Manhattan is the place to be. Manhattan is home to famous people and famous places, and is the hub of it all – museums, restaurants, shopping, etc. However, all of this excitement comes with a price tag – a HUGE one! A small studio in an older low rise building can cost you $1500 per month. That is excluding utilities. Granted, everything is relative, and salaries tend to be higher in New York City ($1500 may not seem totally insane after awhile).

High rise apartment buildings are everywhere in Manhattan, and can go from the moderately priced (relative to Manhattan) to the insane (exceeding $20,000 per month). That being said, it is also important to be familiar with the different neighborhoods of Manhattan. Greenwich Village is very trendy and artsy, while the Upper East Side contains a lot of old money and families.

The Action of the City Without the Price Tag

Living in Manhattan for many is a sticker shock. Brooklyn has become, in many areas, almost an extension of Manhattan with its own neighborhoods and cultures. Brooklyn Heights, for example, is home to many high rise apartment buildings and brownstones, as well as great parks, shopping and restaurants. This is a great area for young families that want city living for a (slightly) lower price tag. Other areas, like DUMBO, are more artsy and have great loft spaces and galleries.

Suburbs in the City

That may sound like a misstatement. How can you have suburbs in a city? Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island each boast areas that are by New York City standards, considered suburban. For example, many areas in Queens are predominantly made up of single family or duplex homes. Some areas also have apartment buildings, but usually mid rise building or low rise building only. As with the suburbs where there is a central point for shopping and transportation, many areas in Queens are like this. For example, Forest Hills is centered on Austin Street – home to restaurants, shopping and transportation. Then outside of this central areas are a mix of homes and mid-rise apartments. Rent in Queens is not inexpensive. In Forest Hills, a one bedroom is about $1600. Many areas in Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island are like this too. Riverdale in the Bronx is one of those areas. It borders Westchester County, and it is absolutely beautiful with pre-war apartments and huge, old homes. But, what’s great is the 1 and 9 train are right there to take you were you need to go.

When moving to a New York City borough, you need to familiarize yourself not just with the boroughs, but also the neighborhoods within each borough. Each is unique and different, and above all, they each carry a different price tag.

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Emily Gojko: I am a writer, marketer, and manager with a strong background in real estate development and management. I am also a native New Yorker with an obsession for home design shows, so I have personal and professional experience making the most of small spaces, and dealing with good and bad living situations.

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