Where to live in NYC if I’m remote?
March 18, 2019 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I have the possibility of working remote and “sometimes” going to the office or client meetings. Most likely this would be in midtown. At this point in my life I’d like to have amenities and space over a studio. I’m not tied NYC, Jersey works fine. I like the Boerum Hill area, but I’m guess that’s over my 3k budget. Since it is a work from situation I’d like to have a second bedroom/office.

I’ve lived in Bay Ridge, near the ferry terminal, it was nice but boring. I’d consider Staten Island, I just haven’t actually been there. If I had to time my commute from Bay Ridge, in guessing it would be 45 minutes to Midtown?

What about the suburbs like White Plains, Westchester or even something closer like Bronxville. The problem is that I don’t know any of those places but commutes to the city are feasible I assume, and rents are reasonable with larger accommodations. If I’m overlooking some treasure in Manhattan that is neglected because it is t “cool” or too far out let me know!
posted by geoff. to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Look at the Hudson Valley, you can either take the bus in or the Pascack line to the ferry (I think).
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:55 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

This question cannot be answered without more information about what you want out of life. E.g., do you want a suburban-style experience?
posted by praemunire at 9:56 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]

Wait do you want to be in the five boroughs?

You can get a nice 2 bedroom for 3k or less within 30 minutes of midtown in several places in Brooklyn and I assume also Queens. (Though with less trains, so more precarious.)
posted by schadenfrau at 10:17 AM on March 18

Consider Weehawken/Union City/West New York. Taking a bus into midtown is 10-20 minutes. Or even a ferry if the weather's nice.
posted by monospace at 10:17 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Can you say what kind of neighborhood you want? In terms of amenities, are you thinking doorman? New appliances (dishwasher, W/D, etc.)? New construction with a pool? Elevator?

Queens seem to be a good way to go if you stay in the city and want a newer construction building with one and a half or two true bedrooms. Long Island City has a ton of new construction buildings.

You have good options in brownstone Brooklyn but you're going to have older construction and less space. You could even do Boerum Hill with that budget, although a 2 bedroom would really be pushing it. Amenities are not really going to be a thing until you get to the neighborhoods that are less Boerum Hill / Park Slope-ish, like Kensington. I like those neighborhoods a lot, and they would be good for going out in Brooklyn, but they don't have a lot of new construction and midtown is going to be a real schlep.

I don't know much about Williamsburg / Bushwick / Etc. Brooklyn, unfortunately.

Jersey can be fantastic for an occasional midtown commute. The buildings tend to be either really pricey new construction or older/smaller buildings. The nice thing about Jersey is that you can get a break on city taxes which is a considerable savings (double check this!). For example, if you're in the $150k/yr range, you might save something like $500+ a month in taxes by being in Jersey instead of in the city. That might put some more room in your budget for a bigger place. Going out at night is...well, uh, you save a lot on taxes. (There are some bars and stuff there, don't get me wrong, but if your friends don't live in Jersey you will not be going out with them in Jersey unless they are saints.)

I don't know much about Harlem. North of that, I have had friends who lived in Inwood and Riverdale and they liked it but wow, it takes forever to get all the way up there. For me, those neighborhoods are sort of the worst of both worlds because you pay city taxes but you don't get a huge convenience boost over Jersey. Plus they are super boring. But if you are okay with boring, it is nice to be on the subway instead of Metro North/PATH and you can get a lot of space.

Hope this is helpful!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:18 AM on March 18

I live in Inwood, and yeah, nice apartments, nice parks, kind of boring. Although there is a real night-life scene on Dyckman St, it's just not aimed at my demographic (I'm at least twenty years too old for it) and some very passable restaurants. But it's a long schlep downtown.

But if living in a nice old prewar building and having sort of genuinely middle-middle class neighbors seems appealing, it's worth coming up for a wander around the neighborhood.
posted by LizardBreath at 10:30 AM on March 18

1. I'm not looking for a suburban life, if I have to sacrifice the "suburbs" for better quality of living (more space, washer dryer, modern things like forced air, the last one is just more of a wish list). I'd assume that when I go out, for the most part I'd be going to visit friends in the city. I would imagine my social life is still centered on the city. Many people will point out if I'm taking a 45 minute commute to the city I'd less likely to get invited to things. At my age group, most my friends are married or have friends. Going out isn't spontaneous as it once was.

New construction would be nice, but necessary. Definitely don't need a pool or doorman. I just don't want crappy cabinets that the landlord hasn't replaced in 10 years, plus a radiator that doesn't quite work. I realize I can get that in Manhattan and then I'm back into a tiny 1 bedroom or studio at my range.

I definitely would prefer to stay in the boroughs, but I'm emphasizing that being in the city proper is less important than going 20 minutes out of my way to Jersey or northern edges of the city.

I hope that clarifies some questions. Thanks for the answers, I'll keep monitoring this thread.
posted by geoff. at 11:06 AM on March 18

A friend of mine recently moved into a two-bedroom in Carroll Gardens for less than $3k, so that is possible. It's in great condition (top floor of a charming townhouse, old but recently remodeled). I love that neighborhood, though I don't know how you define boring. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars, at least.
posted by pinochiette at 12:04 PM on March 18

I live in a very large two-bedroom apartment in the historic district of Jackson Heights, and I pay considerably less than $3,000 a month. One zillion train lines stop at Roosevelt Avenue (ok, well, five -- the M, R, E, F, and 7), all of which except the M stop in Midtown somewhere.
posted by holborne at 12:24 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]

No, sorry, I take that back -- the M does stop in Midtown.
posted by holborne at 12:25 PM on March 18

You can rent a 2-bed in a decent building in West Harlem for around your budget. If you're near either the 125th St or the 145th St ABCD it will be a reasonably short trip to midtown (the A and D run 145-125-59...). West Harlem is a real city neighborhood, demographically and architecturally mixed. A lot of nightlife has sprouted up in the past few years. Some upper-middle-class amenities may not be as easily available as elsewhere, though.
posted by praemunire at 2:26 PM on March 18

I'm a big fan of Sunnyside, and there is some new construction, but also some recent renovations (renovations are less-good on the radiator front though..).
You could definitely find some nice 2BR for <$3k.
posted by aloiv2 at 7:51 PM on March 18

I think you should decide how important it is for you to live in the city versus the suburbs, b/c they are just different experiences. You mentioned liking Boerum Hill (busy, bougie, lots of amenities) but that Bay Ridge is boring (so that's a high threshold, Bay Ridge has tons of restaurants, close to the water, what's so boring?) so I'm kind of thinking you aren't going to love the neighborhoods you could get recently refurbished space, like Teaneck NJ or somewhere in Westchester.

3K a month is a pretty solid amount, even in NYC. You can get a nice place within the boroughs, or in nearby suburbs. Seems more like your question is what you care about more, the neighborhood or the apartment itself.
posted by RajahKing at 9:37 AM on March 19

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