3 Towns with Easy Commutes to NYC
Living in NYC isn’t for everyone, but luckily, the Metro New York area offers tons of choices for newcomers in search of a place to call home. From brownstone Brooklyn to a bungalow with water views in Staten Island to a historic farmhouse in Connecticut, the housing and neighborhood choices in and around New York City abound. If you prefer to live outside the city, consider these three towns with easy commutes to NYC.
New Rochelle, NY
Just north of the Bronx in the southern slice of West Chester County, New Rochelle offers a vibrant downtown area with a parade of shops, restaurants and bars. Street parking here is easier to come by compared to Manhattan, so owning a car is less of a hassle. The biggest advantage is the commute time: from New Rochelle to Grand Central Station is just over 30 minutes. Obviously, depending on your destination in NYC, you’ll have a subway ride on top of that, but if you work anywhere in Midtown, the travel time is quicker than if you lived in many other areas of NYC. For nature, you’ll have Glen Island Park a 105-acre green space (and beach) along the Long Island Sound (heaven!). And you’ll be 10 minutes’ drive from beautiful Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.
What you’ll pay
One bedroom/one bath rents start in the $1,500 range and a two bedroom/two bath unit rents fall around $2,700. If you’re looking to buy a condo or co-op, you might have a lower payment than if you rent. Apartments for purchase start less than $100K and go up to around $250K. Taxes and Homeowners Association Fees are additional, but the monthly payment can run anywhere from around $1,000 to $2,500 depending on size and condition.
Downtown is a historic district with Late Gothic Revival and Art Deco Architecture, so needless to say, Stamford is a pretty town with a lot of character. Bedford Street is where the action is, and if you prefer to live in a more urban environment, look for a flat nearby. The district is walkable but a free trolley loops every 30 minutes from morning until 11 p.m. (9 p.m. on Sundays), transporting locals to restaurants, shops and nightlife. The waterfront has been revitalized in recent years, bringing Harbor Point, a mixed-use community with apartments, lofts, eateries and retail just two blocks from downtown. Metro-North sits in the heart of downtown and travel time to Grand Central is an hour or less.
What you’ll pay
If you have a down payment on your side, purchase a condo in the $200K to $250K range. Two-bedroom apartments in downtown aren’t cheap, but significantly less than living in Manhattan and some areas of Brooklyn. Expect to pay in the $2,700 range, and about $500 less for a one-bedroom. If you dream of more space (and a yard!) and don’t mind an hour-plus commute, you can buy a single-family home in the range of $400K and you’ll have plenty of space to romp and relax, yet be close to downtown Stamford’s offerings.
Jersey City, NJ
Manhattan, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island views are a given from Liberty State Park, one of the perks of living in Jersey City. Mana Art and Cultural Center, the Hudson River Waterfront and the bars and restaurants on Grove Street will give you plenty to do if you don’t want to venture into NYC on weekends. If you do, PATH trains stop at Jersey City and travel to the World Trade Center, Christopher, 9th, 14th, 23rd and 33rd Streets in Manhattan. The commute time is quick – about 10 minutes to the World Trade Center and 30 minutes or so to Midtown.
What you’ll pay
Some luxury buildings loaded with amenities in JC will be as expensive as living in Manhattan. Location is key too – the closer a building is to the PATH station, the higher the price. But know that there are deals here as well; you just have to spend some extra time scouting the listings. Two bedroom apartments can be had for less than $2,000/month, but if you want to live in the lap of luxury, you could pay twice that much. Plan to stay a while? Buy a one-bedroom condo in the $200K range.
Do you live in a town with an easy commute to NYC? I’d love to hear about your experience living there. Please leave a comment!
This post is part of a partnership with CubeSmart, a self-storage and logistics company with locations in the NYC area.
Stamford skyline photo by John 9474. Glen Alen Park photo by Jim Henderson.
Liberty State Park photo by Anthony F. via Yelp.