Tips for Finding the Right NYC Neighborhood for You!


So you say you want to find the right neighborhood for you? If you’ve lived in the city for a while, the decision process is probably a bit easier – you’ve had some time to become comfortable, and inevitably developed some preferences and must-haves. But what if you’re new to the city, or you’re considering an area which you don’t know much about? The variety of neighborhoods to choose from is likely to give you decision paralysis (and probably a migraine to boot)!

I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you what’s the right neighborhood for you, but I can recommend activities and factors to contemplate which will help you find a great place to live.

Step #1 – Lifestyle Questions

Your Ideal Block

What sort of neighborhood feel do you want?

  • Tree-lined streets with brownstones and townhouses?

  • Very modern, with a strong city feel  (i.e. you can see skyscrapers from your apartment)?

  • Hip and trendy?

Daily Commute

  • What’s your ideal time frame for commuting?

  • How near (or far away) do you want to be to your office?

  • How far are you willing to walk for transportation?

  • Is accessible parking a necessity?

Neighborhood Amenities

  • How important is it to you to have certain amenities nearby (gym, grocery store, etc)? Remember – if things that you need often aren’t close, then you’ll have to spend a lot of time and energy going out of your way to get to them.

Parks and Public Spaces

  • Is having green space nearby important to you?

  • Do you have pets who need to be walked?

Social Aspects

  • Would you like to be within walking distance of bars and restaurants?

  • Do you prefer to be far removed from an area that has an active nightlife?

Step #2 – Online Research

After taking time to consider the questions above, you’ll want to find some data to help you make the right decisions — it’s time to do some research!

  • Online Neighborhood Guides – These websites provide a whole slew of information about neighborhoods throughout the city.

Step #3 – Neighborhood Tours

No matter how much research you do online, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) can substitute for actually going to the places you’re thinking about to get a feel for what they’re really like. Go to local restaurants and shops. Can you picture what it would be like to go to those places on a regular basis? Ride the train to get a real sense for how long it will take you to get to various destinations. Visit the neighborhood during the day, the evening, during the week, and on weekends if you can. Some areas will have a vastly different feel depending on the time of day and even the day of the week.

Got other questions related to figuring out the right neighborhood for you? Feel free to reach out to me — I’m always glad to help!

Nikki R. Thomas
Licensed Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group – Village Office

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