Apartment Living BlogApartment Hunting › The Top 5 Neighborhoods for Renting in NYC

From 145th Street down to Canal Street, from the high rises of midtown to the Brooklyn brownstones, if there’s one thing that all New Yorker’s can agree on, it’s this: New York pizza is better than Chicago-style. Oh, and it’s way too hard to find a good place to rent.

In a city where the average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is now $2,745 per month, and, at 54 minutes per day, the average commute time is the longest in the country, finding an apartment that’s both affordable and offers a short commute to Manhattan can feel like striking gold.

However, the tides are turning, and attractive rentals are popping up in desirable neighborhoods all over this concrete jungle. In fact, the New York Times has officially declared 2017 the “Year of the Renter”. Apparently, escalating rent prices are starting to flatline, which is enough to make any New Yorker shed a tear of joy.

So, how do you find these gold mines? Well, to get you started, these are the top 5 best neighborhoods for renting in NYC. Each one offers rentals with lower rent prices and a shorter commute time to Manhattan than the overall average for the city.

Washington Heights (Manhattan)

Washington Heights is one of those last remaining hidden gem neighborhoods in Manhattan. People still haven’t started flocking to it, although there’s plenty of reason to. Washington Heights and its neighboring ‘hood Inwood offer more affordable, bigger apartments than most of Manhattan. It’s also got great food joints (especially Dominican), some new craft beer bars, budget bites, and more. There’s no shortage of fun and enjoyment in this diverse neighborhood. It’s full of big, open green spaces and even home to The Cloisters, the Met’s medieval art museum and garden, and Inwood Hill Park, the city’s only remaining old-growth forest. Between extra space, extra green, and cheap eats, it’s like living in NYC without any of the drawbacks.

Twitter: @TheCloisters

Lower East Side (Manhattan)

Prices are getting up there in the Lower East Side (LES), but this neighborhood is still more affordable than most south of Midtown neighborhoods. It’s also one of the few remnants of the infamous vibe that lower Manhattan had in the 90s. The area is made up of the same tenement buildings from earlier days as well as a plethora of eclectic bars, clubs, and eateries, from x to y to z. It’s one of the best nightlife neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. Lined with art galleries, creative young professionals, and unique shops, it’s also a stronghold for creative New Yorkers and an inspiring place to set up shop for a while.

Prospect Lefferts Gardens (Brooklyn)

This choice is a bit quieter and more family-oriented than the first two. Just south of Brooklyn’s lovely Prospect Park, which houses a zoo and lakeside recreational area, the adorable limestones in Prospect Lefferts Gardens are still rented out at affordable prices. This is a quieter, residential neighborhood, but it is home to plenty of quaint cafes, delicious bakeries, and upscale shops. If you’re looking for a night out, though, you’ll have to head elsewhere in Brooklyn. This neighborhood has even been named one of the top 10 hottest neighborhoods in NYC for 2017, so it’s a great place to plant some roots.

Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn)

The average rent in Bed-Stuy is still well below that of Brooklyn as a whole, and the neighborhood is very popular among renters. It’s got everything a millennial could ask for: a fantastic dog park, cute vintage shops, and an alternative music venue with a massive dance floor (C’mon Everybody). There’s also a lovely and well-preserved historic district. This neighborhood is quintessential Brooklyn, filled with rowhouses and brownstones and life-long residents. The community here is also very close-knit, something that can be hard to find in the Big Apple. Community events and festivities abound, and your neighbor is likely to invite you over your first week in your new pad.

Sunnyside (Queens)

Queens, although often overlooked, is about as good as it gets in terms of low rent prices, short commutes to midtown Manhattan, and a wealth of things to do. Sunnyside, in particular, is an ideal neighborhood for renters. It’s got a diverse, creative community, as well as some of the best neighborhood bars and restaurants, and even a bustling farmers market. Friendly residents and pre-war buildings give this neighborhood plenty of charm. The best part? It’s 15 minutes from Manhattan! You can’t beat that.

Looking for an affordable neighborhood filled with young professionals, creative types, and a lively community? Take a look at these millennial ready neighborhoods!

About :

Elizabeth writes on arts and entertainment, travel and lifestyle, and finance and business. She has a knack (read: obsession) for finding the best deals, travel hacks, and hidden gems everywhere she goes, which she blogs about at Temporary Provisions. You can find her playing the urban romantic in NYC, downing Stumptown coffee in her hometown of Portland, OR, or retreating from the madness in the rain forests of Costa Rica. To see more of her work, visit her personal website.

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