The rent is so damn high that many New Yorkers are pinching pennies just to scrape by after they’ve paid the landlord. With average Manhattan rents and home prices on the road back to pre-recession highs — and with some city dwellers spending close to half of their income to cover housing costs — it may seem like there aren’t any more deals to be found. But there are still many neighborhoods offering a bigger bang for your buck — you just have to travel to find them. Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, offered five nabes where bargain hunters can snag a home without blowing their life savings.
Thirty-five years after “Saturday Night Fever” brought international fame to this southwest Brooklyn nabe, it remains a “solid, comfortable, middle-class area,” Malin said. Shore Road is known as Brooklyn’s “Gold Coast,” with a range of housing stock from row homes to stucco mansions.
Average home sells for: $625,000
Why it’s a deal: The ride to Manhattan may take up to an hour, but “most residents find the quality of life in the area worth the commute,” Malin said. And you won’t be bored: Third and Fifth avenues are exploding with restaurants and shops.
This little-known East Bronx neighborhood looks like a New England waterfront community in some parts. “You won’t believe you are in NYC,” Malin said. It’s near Pelham Bay Park and Orchard Beach.
Average home sells for: $600,000
Why it’s a deal: These prices are a steal for a unique beachtown vibe in NYC. City Island is close, offering plenty of restaurants. The catch? You’ll need to take a bus and a train to get to Manhattan.
The northernmost neighborhood in Manhattan is becoming a real-estate refuge for people priced out of the Upper West Side and other areas. “Inwood feels worlds away … but, in reality, it’s only a short subway ride from the center of the action,” Malin said.
Average home sells for: $460,000
Why it’s a deal: “Housing costs are among the lowest in Manhattan,” Malin said. But there are also unique draws, such as the Cloisters, a medieval art museum housed in a rebuilt abbey.
An urban oasis in Queens, Sunnyside is known for its brick row homes, some with excellent views of the Manhattan skyline. Also, “the area’s diversity is phenomenal,” Malin said. Given the variety of international cuisines, “it’s paradise for a gourmet on a budget,” he added.
Average home sells for: $350,000
Why it’s a deal: “The neighborhood average [for home prices] … is far below the city average,” Malin said. And getting to midtown is a breeze: The No. 7 train will get you there in 15 minutes.
The surfing mecca in Queens is the largest urban beach in the U.S., with a seven-mile-long boardwalk. Known as the “anti-Hamptons,” it’s becoming a hotspot for young, creative types — “one of the first signs of a property boom,” Malin said.
Average home sells for: $250,000 to $380,000, with homes in the new waterfront community of Arverne-by-the-Sea going for $550,000 to $900,000
Why it’s a deal: Rockaway Beach is undergoing a transformation, with new projects popping up all over — so buying property there is a good investment, Malin said. Arverne-by-the-Sea boasts some of the lowest prices you can find for waterfront property. It’s a trek to Manhattan on the A train, but the Water Taxi to Pier 11 at Wall Street is faster.