Author Topic: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?  (Read 6328 times)

Sarita

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NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« on: September 20, 2013, 07:10:11 AM »
Hello fellow (or former) New Yorkers--

I found MMM via WaPo and have been making significant changes in my spending habits.  It's exhilarating!  Next big decision is my living situation.  I live on the Upper East Side, and walk to work in Midtown East.  I love the short commute and the ability to walk to work, so don't want to only have $$ as the sole consideration.  But it's definitely the main one.

As a single female who sometimes comes home late and prefers a sedate neighborhood, preferably one with trees and greenery, do you have any recommendations for other neighborhoods in Manhattan/other boroughs that are of good value and safe?  I've a relative newcomer to the city, so don't have a lot of experience with the area.

Changing the job is not something I want to do right now-- I work at a non-profit that does work I am passionate about, and have a really great situation there in many ways.

Thank you in advance for any recommendations!


naners

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 07:42:53 AM »
Welcome to the city! Check out the Meetups page, there is an NYC meetup happening on Oct 5th if you'd like to join us.

WRT your question, it would be helpful if you could be a bit more specific about where your work is, since much will depend on trains. If you can get off Manhattan but still have a pretty quick subway ride to work, you can save a lot of money.

Also, what is your current rent and what kind of price range are you hoping for?

Sarita

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 08:30:54 AM »
Thanks so much for your reply, Naners!  I really appreciate it.  Thanks too for mentioning the Meetup-- I'll definitely look that up!

I work right near Grand Central Station. Currently paying $1725 for a walkup 1 bedroom on the UES.  New renters coming in to the building are paying $2100, so in addition to being unhappy with current rent I am looking at a probable increase if I stay here.    Willing to go to a studio.  Very resistant to sharing a place, but if it was the right situation I would at least consider it. 

Thanks again :)

hoyahoyasaxa

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 08:38:27 AM »
Sarita,

My wife and I live in Sunnyside, Queens.  We live literally 30 feet from the nearest 7-train stop that gets to Times Square in 25 minutes.  It's quiet, diverse, safe and we're paying $1525 for a nice one-bedroom in a brand new building.

blake201

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 08:58:31 AM »
Sarita,

My wife and I live in Sunnyside, Queens.  We live literally 30 feet from the nearest 7-train stop that gets to Times Square in 25 minutes.  It's quiet, diverse, safe and we're paying $1525 for a nice one-bedroom in a brand new building.

That's awesome to hear! Just to jump in on this thread, my husband and I live in Downtown Brooklyn  and it has just become too expensive. I work in Midtown (7th Ave near Penn Station) and we were thinking about Sunnyside.

blake201

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 09:02:13 AM »
Oh, and to answer the original poster... some of the other neighborhoods my husband and I are investigating for affordability (without making the commute too long)... by which we mean a small 2-bedroom apartment for less than $1,800 a month:

Sunnyside, Queens (as suggested above)
Jackson Heights, Queens garden apartments, great diversity, cool ethnic grocery stores
Kensington, Brooklyn (love the idea of living by Prospect Park, but this does add 10 minutes to my commute).
Forest Hills, Queens (but to get to work fast, would have to take the LIRR, which increases commute costs)
Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Sarita

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 09:32:05 AM »
Thanks, everyone!  I'll start researching your recommendations.  Very happy to see fellow Mustachians in NYC!

naners

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013, 09:50:46 AM »
Ditmas Park/Kensington in Brooklyn might be a possibility. You can take the Q to Times Sq and walk over. From Cortelyou to Times Sq is about 30 min on the train, but you have to figure in walking time on both ends as well. That said, I live in Kensington, about a 10 min walk from Cortelyou, and I rent what I consider to be a nice 1BR for $1375. Studios can be had for less than that. In fact, buying a co-op for around $200K is a real possibility here! I like the area. Kensington is very quiet and non-trendy; mostly working class but safe (like you I'm a single female and I don't feel at all uncomfortable). Ditmas Park around Cortelyou is much more happening and has lovely big trees; rents are proportionately higher. East of Ocean Ave there's considerably more crime, ditto as you head more than a block or two north of Cortelyou.

One thing that's worth thinking about is whether the money saved is worth the increased commute. Say you get something for $1500 in BK or Queens; then you have to pay for your metrocard and add at least an hour a day of commuting time. Is that worth a $200/mo savings?

Sarita

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013, 10:36:13 AM »
Thanks for your additional comment, Naners.  The commute time/ price issue is a real one, and my time is precious to me, particularly with a very intense (but lovable) job.  Given that I don't have debt and have cut back severely on all other areas, I have some flexibility.  But if they jack up my rent a couple hundred dollars more, I think I have my answer!

Sarita

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2013, 11:19:18 AM »
Thank you for your reply, Serpentstooth-- it's good to see an emerging consensus of recommendations...

blake201

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 01:11:19 PM »
Anything on the 7 line in Queens will drop you off at Grand Central, which makes for an easy walk to Midtown East locations. We live at the end of the 7 in Flushing, which may not be the best fit for you. We have friends who like living in Sunnyside and Woodside, and the commute is fairly quick. Another place popular with our friends is Astoria, though it's a bit pricey to me. My husband and I are looking to buy in a few years in Jackson Heights, which is affordable, and on the 7 and E lines.

And Jackson Heights has those beautiful garden apartments! Plus it's an awesome and very diverse neighborhood.

ioseftavi

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 01:21:59 PM »
I love Astoria, but if you're near GCT then I agree with the other posters - something off the 7 train is going to be your best bet by far.  Sunnyside is cute as hell - my fiancee previously lived there and loved it.  LIC is still kinda in transition - not from a bad neighborhood to a good neighborhood, but rather from industrial neighborhood to residential.  As a result of this the majority of residential buildings in LIC are new and - my opinion only - overpriced relative to paucity of local options for food and entertainment.  Jackson heights is cute but a bit farther out than the others I've mentioned, still definitely a great area.

lhamo

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 06:12:29 PM »
We  lived in Jackson Heights and loved it.   Awesome neighborhood if you like to cook -- can take your pick of ethnic groceries (Indian, East Asian, and every variety of South and Central American you can imagine).  CHEAP compared to Manhattan prices, too. 

Rental prices might be a bit cheaper a couple of stops out in Elmhurst, but that neighborhood was definitely a bit sketchier when we lived there (2000-2003)

RedMaple

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2013, 06:33:39 PM »
I know everyone is recommending Sunnyside, but when I was apartment hunting I checked out an apartment in the area and I really disliked the neighborhood. Perhaps it was just the stop. But with that said, you'd have to take the train with these people.

RhythmKats

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2013, 06:40:36 PM »
I live in Astoria and prices have definitely risen in recent years (I think as people get priced out of Brooklyn and come here). But it is a nice neighborhood and you could find something for less than you are paying now. You could take the N/Q and make an easy transfer to the 7 at Queensboro Plaza.

I also agree that Sunnyside is a great neighborhood. We have friends that live there. I've always found the 7 train to be pretty quick and reliable. If you search in the area by the 74th/Roosevelt Ave stop on the 7 (not sure if that's technically Woodside or JH), you could take the E train to Lex and 53rd. Only about 10 blocks from GCT. The E runs express from 74th to Queens Plaza. As well as have the option of the 7, F,M, & R trains for non-work related travel....and buses to LGA.

Also, biking to midtown from Queens is not too difficult. There are more and more lanes and I believe Citibike will have a station in the Queens Plaza area soon. I think you could get to the GCT area from Sunnyside in 35-40 mins by bike, which would save you metro card fare. Also, I find that the price of groceries, etc is cheaper here than in Manhattan. So while you may have to invest in a metro card, you may see savings elsewhere. There's also a year round Greenmarket on Sundays in Jackson Heights. Sunnyside may have a seasonal one, not sure.

@iosetavi...I hear you about LIC....who's going to pay to live in all those places? I think there are more going in. I actually really like that area, but the high rises are a drag.


Queens rules! It's the best borough for food and diversity:)

RedMaple, Just curious what you didn't like about Sunnyside. The feel, the people? I'll agree that there are some areas that aren't as nice, but I think it's mostly just a working class neighborhood. I've never felt unsafe there.

nybeccaboo

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2013, 03:24:02 PM »
Kensington has my vote as well since I live here.  I own my 1 bedroom apartment and paid $205,000 for it a few years ago - actually right before the housing bubble burst. (the good news is the value remained the same).  I have quick access to the F/G train and the B/Q is only a little bit further for me. As Naners said, it's a relatively quiet neighborhood and I've never felt unsafe walking home late at night/early in the morning (single female as well). It's definitely an up and coming working-class neighborhood - I've seen a few of the "cool kids" recently and I bet they're getting priced out of other neighborhoods.  There are a ton of trees and Prospect Park is only a 5-10 min walk away. Plus, I love the diversity in the neighborhood.  I can walk down the street and hear 4-5 different languages and everyone is fairly friendly for NYC standards.

Elaine

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 10:52:22 AM »
Astoria is very safe and affordable. I'm a small woman, often mistaken for a teenager, and even I don't get harassed here. You can live somewhere safe in Brooklyn for $1800 in a studio, or you can go to queens and pay $1200-$1500. I split rent with my SO so it's 750 each. I paid less in one area of Brooklyn but got harassed on the street constantly (catcalled, "hey baby" "smile" "talk to me", all that shit). Astoria is also awesome for about a million other reasons, you should check it out!

Raymond Reddington

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Re: NYC Mustachians.... recommendations for neighborhoods?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2018, 03:49:04 PM »
Old thread, but I wanted to throw out a shoutout for Woodlawn Heights in the Bronx. Very nice area, affordable real estate when compared to the rest of the 5 boroughs, very safe, and many options for commutation between subway/bus and Metro-North. Also, this is a neighborhood where you can buy, not rent, and grow wealth through equity which will allow you the freedom to sell and pocket the appreciation if you decide to live somewhere less expensive once you hit early retirement. Property taxes run about a third of what they do in nearby Westchester. If you're wealthy enough, you can buy a multifamily home, live there, and take on a tenant in the other unit to offset the mortgage somewhat. Not to mention the neighborhood actually has lots of things to do in it, unlike many residential neighborhoods - cough, Morris Park - and is very family friendly.