Where to rent a NYC-area studio/1BR for $1500 or less?
January 3, 2017 5:40 AM   Subscribe

I work in Chelsea (NYC) and I would like to rent a studio or 1BR within 75 minutes door-to-door for $1500 or less. Where should I focus my search? More details inside.

- I don't own a car, so I'd need wherever I live to be walkable to the train and to a good grocery store.
- The perception of safety is quite important to me. I want to feel safe, and I want anyone who visits me to feel safe, walking around at any hour of the night near my apartment without the need for close attention to the environment.
- My budget assumes the need to pay for a $200+ monthly commuter train pass as well as a Metrocard. If I can commute with just a monthly Metrocard, I can go up to $1650 on rent.
- City, town, suburb, NY, NJ -- all are OK.
- All other things being equal, cheaper rent is better.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is totally doable. Subscribe to Listings Project, then keep an eye out for anywhere in these areas, easiest to hardest commute: Washington Heights, Crown Heights (might be a bit pricy now), Bed Stuy (beautiful houses and very safe, but you may not feel safe), and then anywhere off the PATH train in NJ (you've got the 23rd St PATH near work).

For NJ, your commute probably won't be that bad, but there's a perception that it is, so don't expect to get many visits from your New York friends.

Also if you like biking and are willing to take a bus in the depths of winter, don't rule out the far East Village, which can be quite affordable, in part because it's so far from the subway.
posted by caek at 5:54 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Montclair, NJ has a walkable downtown with a Whole Foods and meets your criteria for commute time. There is lots of new construction as well as older Victorian-ish housing stock divided into apartments.
posted by bcwinters at 5:56 AM on January 3, 2017


Western Queens! Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights all meet your criteria.
posted by Pineapplicious at 6:25 AM on January 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


Journal Sq, NJ is cheap and right on the Path, easy (metrocard only) trip to Chelsea
posted by rmless at 6:50 AM on January 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


Journal Sq, NJ is cheap and right on the Path, easy (metrocard only) trip to Chelsea

PATH is not covered by the monthly unlimited Metrocard, even though you can use the Metrocard to store PATH value. If OP uses the PATH, OP will have to figure in a monthly SmartLink for $89.
posted by praemunire at 8:35 AM on January 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I want to feel safe, and I want anyone who visits me to feel safe, walking around at any hour of the night near my apartment without the need for close attention to the environment.

There is nowhere in NYC where this should be true. You should always be paying close attention your environment. Nonetheless, I came in to suggest Astoria, which still has reasonable rents and a neighborhood-y feel.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 8:38 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


You should do a Streeteasy search to see what areas even turn up as possibilities for that rent (most Streeteasy listings are legit, unlike Craigslist). For instance, a quick search will show you that anywhere downtown, including the EV, for $1500 is out of the question, and for $1650 nearly as much so.
posted by praemunire at 8:39 AM on January 3, 2017


Feeling safe is very subjective, but if your bar for that feeling is very high I'd suggest looking on the upper east side, where you should be able to find a few studios in that price range. The upper west side is the same, but it would be tougher to find stuff in your price range.

I'd also suggest the lower part of morningside heights/Manhattan valley. Feel like Columbia means there is more law enforcement and services there, and I've experienced less street harassment there than further uptown in west Harlem.

Lastly, maybe Greenwood or South Slope Brooklyn? They both have a quiet community feel, and are safe.
posted by sometamegazelle at 9:47 AM on January 3, 2017


Move to Washington Heights and commute via the blue lines.
posted by I-baLL at 10:03 AM on January 3, 2017


I would look into Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope and Ditmas Park, and Sunset Park if you are interested in Brooklyn.
posted by greta simone at 10:09 AM on January 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


How about Riverdale?
posted by mareli at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


If I worked in chelsea I would live in Journal Square. The path will take you right to 23rd street. It's worth testing the commute.
posted by charlielxxv at 2:43 PM on January 3, 2017


I would look into Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope and Ditmas Park, and Sunset Park if you are interested in Brooklyn.

Yeah I would second this. If 75 minutes is acceptable, hell maybe even Midwood would be workable for you. It's about 45 mins from Midwood to Union Sq. on the Q if not less.

P.S. If you intend to keep an NYC-oriented social life, moving out to NJ will make that much more difficult than anything moving to NJ can resolve regarding your commute or rent prices.
posted by griphus at 9:12 AM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


JC is indeed a super easy trip to Chelsea. You do get some social blowback for living in Jersey periodically (even though Jersey City is way more accessible from downtown Manhattan than many parts of actual NYC), and there's the monthly pass transit issue -- but the actual commute would be a snap. But I also haven't been back in 5 years or so, and I don't know whether the areas that satisfy your price requirements would also satisfy your safety requirements. The Grove Street PATH area was a good middle ground when I was there, but it might be too expensive these days.

If you really dgaf about having an NYC-centered social life I actually think Harrison, NJ might check all your boxes. It has a rep for being kinda industrial-grungy (lots of defunct old factories that are in the process of being turned down and converted into housing, etc.) but also walkable and safe. Also still a pretty easy PATH ride to Chelsea, though a bit longer than from JC.

Also nthing Washington Heights/Inwood and Sunset Park/Bay Ridge.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:37 AM on January 6, 2017


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