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The 10 Best Places to Live Right Outside of NYC

Union City, NJ

Living in New York City undoubtedly has its attractions, including being close to the Hudson River. However, protecting your savings account isn't one of the big benefits of living here. Obviously, this is no small town; it is a diverse community that costs an amazing amount of money just for day-to-day expenses.

In other words, the city is expensive and shows no signs of getting any cheaper. Then there are the crowds, the tourists, and the cramped apartments to contend with throughout New York City, including popular areas such as the tribute to the World Trade Center and Midtown Manhattan.

Fortunately, there's a way to enjoy the job opportunities and cultural attractions of the city without going broke. Provided you're willing to commute from areas like Westchester County, Nassau County, Jersey City, and Long Island, you'll find plenty of great places to live right outside of NYC. 

Look around, and you shouldn't have too many problems finding somewhere that's affordable around the Long Island Sound that is attractive and, by comparison to NYC, blissfully relaxed. Obviously, no one wants to spend half their life stuck on a train, and luckily, you don't have to plan multiple trips to Grand Central Station. 

We've combed the area and found 10 places that are within easy traveling distance to NYC. Some of them are big, some of them are small, and some of them are slap bangs in the middle of Hudson County, which provide easy access to NYC suburbs or NJ Transit Trains in the area.

What they all have in common is their easy traveling distance to the city, their relative affordability, and their ability to offer commuters the best of the Big Apple with none of its downsides. Without further ado, here are the safe neighborhoods in and around Greenwich Village and more. 

These places are all significantly lower in price and can provide a family home for many residents in the best suburbs in the area. Living in a small community is an affordable option for people in New Rochelle and beyond and provides a low-cost option for a comfortable life and a quick commute in New York State with close proximity to the big city. 

Our Methodology 

When examining single-family homes with more space and a diverse population only a few miles north of areas like Port Washington, we did a lot of research. We wanted areas with a low average rent, a tight-knit community, and a small-town feel with a median home price that wasn't too high. 

While these places might be higher than the national average, they're not far from path train sources, including commuter trains, movie theaters, and other amenities. Here's the process we used when examining the different living options available to you:

  1. Reading the previous article to find places of improvement 
  2. Update any information that might be out of date
  3. Add more data that gives better context for the article
  4. Improve the grammar, spelling, and other important structural elements
  5. Update the article regularly to ensure that it stays relevant and readable

The 10 Best Places to Live Outside New York City

When examining places to live near NYC, we considered access to the Long Island Expressway and Ronkonkoma Branch train stations, important major highways, historic architecture with important cultural events, public transportation, affordable housing, and amenities within walking distance. 

You might not be that close to Downtown Manhattan, but cultural attractions and excellent schools make a picturesque town like North Shore or Metro North areas appealing to young professionals, especially if you want to enjoy shopping centers with affordable Prices in Fairfield County and New York State. 

10. Old Bridge, NJ

Located just 35 miles from Manhattan is the small city of Old Bridge. Accessibility to NYC is a breeze thanks to its convenient location near I-95 North. The city also offers a Park & Ride service through NJ Transit. Yes, the cost of living is higher than the national average but lower than NYC.

While you won't have immediate access to the Hudson River, this small town is not far from places like Jersey City, Westchester County, Nassau County, and New York City itself. Long Island and the Long Island Sound are just a wish away when you live here!

Blessed with some great parks (including Cheesequake State Park, one of the oldest parks in the US) and offering enough shops, restaurants, and great weather to keep you entertained, it's an excellent (not to mention affordable) alternative to NYC and New York City suburbs and busy city life. 

9. Rockville Centre, NY

Rockville Centre is a small town of 24,201. Despite its size, it has a lively, vibrant atmosphere and a downtown that's positively booming. The cost of living is high here, but that's common for anywhere not far from Grand Central Station and Port Authority. It's just a short drive to Midtown Manhattan.

Thankfully, foodies will love the huge selection of restaurants (over 100, by the last count), while beach lovers won't be disappointed with the short 10-minute drive to the easy access ocean. The median property price of $786,400 is obviously quite high by national standards. 

That said, compared to the average for New York City, it's more than reasonable. You won't be too far from NYC suburbs and that big city life. New York suburban living is a unique experience, and the best New York suburbs provide suburban living with excellent schools and more affordable housing.

8. Jersey City, NJ

As the cost of living in NYC keeps growing, so does the interest in Jersey City. Despite the increased demand, rental properties are still reasonably priced - expect to pay around $2,366 per month with housing costs of about $553,300, depending on where you're located.

Along with the relatively attractive cost of living compared to New York City, residents can expect plenty of entertainment and cultural opportunities. Best of all, NYC is just a 13-minute drive away, putting the city in easy reach for commuters who love the bustling downtown area.

Furthermore, you're not too far from Grand Central Terminal and can enjoy all the excellent schools that New York suburban living has to offer. Affordable housing, great public transportation, an excellent restaurant scene, reasonable average rent, and a lower cost of living: what's not to love?

7. New Rochelle, NY

With a population of just 79,846, New Rochelle is a tiny speck in comparison to New York City. But bigger isn't always better. Over the past couple of years, the city's downtown has undergone extensive redevelopment, resulting in a vibrant, walkable center packed with retail space and recreational opportunities.

Rent is affordable (at least in comparison to the average for NYC), and the small community is friendly and diverse. By train, you can expect to be at Grand Central in about half an hour. The cost of living is naturally high considering the easy access to New York City and NYC suburbs. 

However, the city is not far from those New York suburbs, and the city boasts stops for Penn Station and is only a few miles north of areas like Metro North. The lower cost of living here also includes beautiful hiking trails and access to the Hudson Line, making this a great city for commuters.

6. Carlstadt, NJ

If you like the idea of living somewhere where the median home value is just $507,700, and the median rental property is an equally attractive $2,082, you might want to consider Carlstadt. As the second largest city in the area, its lower cost of living makes it a popular alternative to NYC and White Plains.

Located on the fringe of East Rutherford in Bergen County, Carlstadt is an attractive city with an enticing food scene, a good selection of shops, and some first-rate entertainment options. It's also not far from some of the best suburbs in NYC, including New Canaan and New Rochelle.

For nature lovers, the Hackensack Meadowlands Conservation and Wildlife Area provides countless opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting. If all that wasn't enough to tempt you, the easy 30-minute commute into NYC just might. Hiking trails and easy access to NYC with low crime? Sign us up!

5. Red Bank, NJ

According to Thrillist, Red Bank is the kind of place where every day feels like the weekend. With its combination of quaint charm and historic grandeur, it's certainly packed with attractions. It has the feel of a New York City suburb without the legendary sprawl of those areas.

The cost of living here is more decent than you'd expect in the area, and many schools are of high quality. Furthermore, the dining options are legendary, as is the slightly weird and wonderful collection of small boutiques and shops that you might enjoy visiting while living here. 

The most popular of these include Kevin Smith's comic book store, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. Over the past couple of years, interest in the city has driven up property prices. Even so, you can still snap up a single-family home for the very attractive sum of just $547,500.

4. Yonkers, NY

Curbed NY has named Yonkers as one of the best NYC commuter towns. It's hard to disagree. Blessed with low rental costs and scores of cultural institutions, parks, breweries, restaurants, and even an outdoor amphitheater, it's a lot of fun to visit, even if the cost of living is pretty high.

That said, you can factor in the reality that you can be at Grand Central in less than half an hour, and you can more than understand the appeal. Not far from places like Westchester County, Nassau County, Penn Station, Metro North, White Plain, and New Canaan, Yonker is a dream. 

How's the crime? About on the national average, though slightly below in violence and nearly half in property crime. Expect to pay about $602,600 for a home in this area, which is a heavy increase in the last 10 years. Most people in the area are older, with an average age of 62.

3. Armonk, NY

Looking for a more rural life? With a population of just 4,800 and a breadth that spans just six miles, Armonk is tiny. But despite its diminutive proportions, it packs a massive punch – and a cost of living that, while below New York City standards, is still a little high. 

That said, the city is packed with first-rate restaurants, charming little boutiques, and some very hip bars. The Wampus Brook Park Nature Preserve and Kensico Reservoir provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun and recreation. While housing ain't cheap, you can be in NYC within the hour.

If you're raising kids, you're in luck because this area has some very strong and well-funded schools. You get about 12 students per teacher, which is a great ratio and a $28,848 per student spending rate. That's nearly three times the national average, ensuring that your little one gets the attention that they need in this city.

2. Newark, NJ has named Newark as one of the best places to rent near NYC. The small city of 280,139 people certainly has a lot to recommend it. Located just 11 miles from NYC, it's packed with attractions, including the biggest collection of Tibetan Art in the nation. 

Even better, it has the greatest number of cherry blossoms in the country. Rental prices are reasonable (expect to pay around $1,804 per month), and house prices are just $385,700. That's a great median and one that makes it a great place to live. 

Furthermore, the short 19-minute drive into NYC makes it a great option for commuters. There are a decent number of jobs available in the city, including law enforcement positions that make almost $80,000 a year. You may have to commute to New York City to find a great career. 

1. Union City, NJ

Set just 7 miles from NYC is Union City, a growing city with a growing reputation. In the last few years, New Yorkers looking for a cheap alternative to Manhattan and Brooklyn have been flooding into the city. With a more reasonable cost of living, this gives you an NYC life at a good price.

The median rental price is an attractive $2,261 per month, leaving you with a lot more cash to play with come payday than you'd have in NYC. Buying a house here is also much less expensive, costing just $454,600 on average compared to the millions in New York City. 

The city itself boasts plenty of attractions, including an outstanding transportation system with a great commute, great walkability, and some stunning architecture. Amenities are bountiful, with scores of restaurants, bars, and shops to enjoy. Crime is also lower here than average, particularly in NYC.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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