Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Affordable Apartments In The Bronx New York

December 28, 2012

Carol asks…

What park of New York is traditionally upper or upper middle class?

PART! sorry, part…
NYC, sorry, should have clarified. I’m not a New Yorker, nor do I understand much about the set up of New York‘s boroughs (or counties, :D )

Administrator answers:

I need to ask you to clarify this: When you ask about New York, do you refer only to Manhattan, to the five boroughs of New York City, to the surrounding suburban counties of Nassau & Suffolk (otherwise known as Long Island) or Westchester, or New York State as a whole?

Borough, incidentally, is our fancy word for “county.”


Okay, let’s roll.

First, I disagree slightly on two other comments. I don’t think the Upper East Side is “old money.” I think the Upper West Side is old money. The Upper East Side is Yuppie money. But they’re both money, and that’s what you wanted to know, right?

I disagree with the Hamptons answer only because it gives the impression that Long Island is poor, working class, or middle class until BOOM, you hit the Hamptons. Not true. It’s not wrong, it’s just extraordinarily incomplete. It’s also not part of New York City.

Essentially, in Manhattan, any neighborhood at 98th Street or below is “upper middle class” to “so rich, it’s nauseating.” The most difficult to afford neighborhoods are Chelsea and the Financial District/Battery Park area. Headed back uptown, on the east side, you’ll find that at 98th Street, it’s literally like someone flipped a switch on the neighborhoods and at 99th Street, you’re in a whole new place. Currently, the real estate movers and shakers are trying to convince us all that you can live on 115th Street and be on the “Upper East Side,” but it’s a lie. You’re in Harlem. They are trying to gentrify the place, but it’s gonna take a long time before the housing projects, gangs and 70 million Hispanics, some legal, some not, sharing a 1-bedroom apartment are gone. And do we really want them to be? I mean, I think the working class should have someplace in Manhattan we can afford to live too (yes, I’m part of this).

On the west side, it stays tolerably nice quite a ways further up than on the east side, primarily because of the presence of the Ivy League Columbia University campus at about 118th-120th Streets. There’s an area called “Morningside Heights” that’s in that area, and it’s nice but a little more affordable there. After that you hit “Hamilton Heights” (roughly 120th to about oh, 135th) where it’s a whole new world and then “Washington Heights” where, again, they’re trying to gentrify it, but it’s sort of touch and go. Currently, it’s possible to get a place that’s gorgeous on the inside and scary on the outside, and that’s your best case scenario, I believe.

The Bronx doesn’t really have to much to speak about that is in the socioeconomic range you describe. Essentially, Riverdale, the Pelham Bay Park area, City Island, and everything else is…well, you don’t want to live there. Trust me. I live there.

Brooklyn: You have two kinds of nice. You have old New York, Irish/Italian middle class to recently pulled themselves up above middle class status (we’ll call this “type A”), and you have cool, hip, yuppified areas that people have flowed into and built up because Manhattan rents got to be too much and because some found they could own whole houses/brownstones for the cost of a much smaller place in Manhattan (which we’ll call “type B”):

Type A: Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Red Hook, Mill Basin, Brighton Beach. There are two reasons these neighborhoods stay nice. One, they’re so far the f…reak out there, that nobody in their right minds wants that commute, and, two, I did say there’s a big Irish and Italian contingent there. I’ll let you deduce what significance that could possibly have.

Type B: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, DUMBO (stands for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, cute huh?) also known as Navy Yard, increasingly Greenpoint, which might have gone into Type A before, Williamsburg, and Park Slope. Clinton Hill gets an honorable mention.

Everything else…not so much.

Okay, this is clearly a work in progress. I’m going to post it and then update so you have something to read.


Staten Island: I could talk about this, but why? Trust me. Live here a while and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

And the last one left:

Queens: Queens is probably most like Brooklyn in terms of the neighborhood descriptions.

Astoria is the most sought-after spot and there’s also a Brooklyn Heights type affect happening in Long Island City, which, contrary to its name, is not out east by Long Island, but in westernmost Queens, along the East River just outside of Manhattan.

In general though, in Queens, you have to know the good neighborhoods from the less good simply by knowing. There’s not a really strong geographical pattern to it. In terms of where the money goes, Forest Hills, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, are right up there, but they’re way out there geographically. They’re right on the border of Long Island, which explains their identity crisis. They’re in Queens, but they think they’re Long Island and only Forest HIlls is accessible by New York City subway. The rest depend on express buses or the Long Island Rail Road.

You’ll find that the most expensive neighborhoods are the ones that take the commute to work the most out of the equation. This is true even in Manhattan.


1. I am available for follow-up questions.

2. If you give best answer to anyone else after all of this, I’m going to impale myself and then haunt you until you go insane (joking — we’re funny here in New York City).

Lisa asks…

whats the cheapest place to live that’s close to new york?

Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, NO STATEN ISLAND (i live there), even Jersey.

The idea of living in jersey is very new to me. Tell me where would be the cheapest place that isn’t that bad of an area? Bad meaning chalk outlines in the arpartmetn hallways.

Looking for one bed room apartment. if all areas are too expensive jersey will be fine.

I want it to be urban or semi urban. I have no interest living in subburbs that are deserted.

Administrator answers:

Do you need to live near a subway, train, or even an express bus into Central or Southern Manhattan for work?

The expense and time to travel should be factored into the answer.

Without that, let me suggest some areas in Brooklyn or Queens that might work and are close to good subway Lines.

In Queens:

Forest Hills / Kew Gardens (central Forest Hills right near Austin Avenue is a bit pricey, but if you move away from the center by a few blocks its more affordable). My sister lives in a one bedroom there and loves it.
in Brooklyn:

Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope are great but expensive. They are not cheap.

Williamsburg (watch it because parts of Williamsburg are not still not safe), Prospect Heights, and Cobble Hill are among the areas that once were affordable but are now pricey.

However, so much of Brooklyn has improved — and makes it a great and (compared to Manhattan) relatively affordable to live. Here are some areas:

Prospect / Lefferts Gardens near Propsect Park -
Windsor Terrace
Bay Ridge
Clinton Hill

But when looking at Brooklyn remember:

1. Although some neighborhoods have trendy sounding names, take it on a street-by-street basis.

2. Although some neighborhoods are perfectly safe, many are ethnic enclaves. You might find living in Borough Park inconvenient, for example, since so many stores shut down on Saturdays. In addition, females might find very nasty looks from the very religiously inclined residents if their skirts are too short.

3. Crowded, busy streets are generally safe as long as stores are open. Empty dark streets in good areas should be avoided at night. It all depends.

4. Just because a Brooklyn neighborhood is not chic with cute little cafes, trendy restaurants etc. Does not mean that is not perfectly safe and very livable.

Chris asks…

Living Expenses in Tokyo vs Living Expenses in New York City?

Is the living expenses in Tokyo pretty much the same as in New York City?

Administrator answers:

Huh I would say is very similar. Although some consider Tokyo more expensive, I still think it is the same. Housing is pretty similar however apartments in Tokyo are much smaller than Manhattan. Food is the same but if you buy beef and fruits in Tokyo it will cost you a fortune! Fish, seafood and chicken are much cheaper in Japan.
The good thing about Japan is that the fast food can be much healthier than a fast food or a deli in new York City and cost the same. There are several small shops which offer amazing and affordable mealslike noodles with vegetables, soups and meet/fish over rice. Here you can have a wrap for almost 8 dollars and to me is very heavy.

Taking taxis in Japan is definitely more expensive and also travelling within the country. Drinking are pretty much the same. A martini drink can cost $14 dolars in a lounge in New York City and it can cost the same in a pub in Tokyo.

I am comparing housing in the coolest area to live in Tokyo with Manhattan. Of course Queens, some areas in Brooklyn, and Bronx are much cheaper. Also Tokyo is a huge city, and the further you get from the main area, the cheapest it get.
Some expensive areas: Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Hajuku, Omotesando, anywhere in Minato-ku, Ginza, etc…

Michael asks…

Is it really that hard to move to new york?

At the moment I’m still in school in Melbourne, Australia and I’m only 16. My whole life I have dreamed of moving to New York but after doing some research like the availabilty of jobs and cost of apartments and general goods It just seems really difficult, it seems too expensive. Is the whole of new york that expensive or is it just some areas. Is it really possible to move and to live there with ease? Is it really that hard to live in new york

Administrator answers:

Lol well it depends on your standards.

Most foreigners in rich countries think of Manhattan when they think of NYC and how amazing it is. They don’t seem to realize about the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens which are not as glamorous, and where most foreigners who move into these areas only do so because they are poor.. I think it depends for your reasons on why you move to NYC. As you are an Australian teenager I do not think you would move to NYC with the same reasons as people from Puerto Rico, Poland or Russia would move there for – and thus I do not think you would like to move into the more affordable parts of the city, e.g. Brooklyn, the Bronx, etc.

Manhattan is very expensive to live in, yes. Manhattan is what you see on T.V. And in shows like Gossip Girl. I have no idea who you are and what you are like, so I do not know if you would be okay with moving into somewhere like the Bronx or some other ghetto if you really are desperate to live in NYC. There are affordable places, it’s just that they are not as nice and glamorous as the parts of NYC we see on T.V. And Hollywood movies.

Sharon asks…

Is New York City Kicking middle Class out?

Middle class income 2 kids And moderate debt, can’t afford things like I used to! Don’t understand! I need some Real Enlightment!

Administrator answers:

First of all, you have to define “middle class income”. The median income in NYC is $51,000 per year, so is it roughly that, or is it something super-high like $200,000?

You could live in the outer boroughs. A 2-bedroom in a garden apartment complex on Staten Island costs $1,400 a month in a decent area (and that was just doing a quick search. You could probably find some cheaper if you look), so that’s fairly affordable. Staten Island and The Bronx generally offer the best value for your money.

You could also try the immediate suburbs outside of NYC like Bayonne and Harrison in NJ.

I hope this information was very helpful.

Ken asks…

affordable living in nyc with a child, is it possible?

i`m a nineteen year old single mom. im currently living in korea with my parents because they are here overseas for the military. i have an infant child and i’m really looking into transferring. do you think living in new york city with a child and going to school could be affordable? what kindof programs and privileges are there that i could take advantage of?

Administrator answers:

It is difficult to answer that question without knowing what kind of profession you are in/what your salary is. Typically, though, in will be easier to afford an apartment in one of the outer boroughs (Bronx or Brooklyn, for instance) than in Manhattan. With a child, you are going to want to be in a safe area and you will not be able to enter into a roommate situation. You said you are thinking of transferring…I’m assuming that means your company has a New York City branch? If so, you can ask those employees as well.

Good luck!

Linda asks…

can someone explain some of the boroughs in Manhattan?

I am doing a project for school called a Budget project its hard to explain but you try to plan out your future by choosing a realistic job, find an apartment, etc. I want to live in NYC so i was wondering if anyone could explain some of the Pros and Cons of the different boroughs in Manhattan…I’m most interested in SoHo, TriBeCa, NoHo, East Village, Greenwich Village, etc

thank you so much

Administrator answers:

Those are neighborhoods, not boroughs. There are 5 boroughs in New York and Manhattan is one of them. The others are Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Each one is it’s own county and has many neighborhoods. Manhattan is the main borough. It is surrounded by the other four boroughs and New Jersey (which we think of as another borough sometimes, but one we don’t go to, like Staten Island). We call Manhattan “the city” and the other boroughs are called “the outer boroughs”.

As for those neighborhoods, The East Village is the most affordable. It is young and very free spirited. Greenwich village is nearby and similar. It’s a little more upscale, but not much. It also has a lot more gay bars and lots of cute little streets and cafes. Both are heavily influenced by NYU which is kind of between them, but has a bit of a bigger influence on Greenwhich village.

SoHo is very expensive and very trendy. It has huge loft apartments and overpriced shoping. People in SoHo sometimes look down on other neighborhoods and sometimes it’s considered a bit snobby. NoHo is similar, but less trendy and less expensive. TriBeCa has gotten more upscale lately. It has some similarities to SoHo and NoHo.

You have to make a decent living to live in Manhattan at all or you have to live in a tiny apartment with a lot of roomates. I grew up on the upper east side of Manhattan and I’ve also lived in a shoebox with two other people in Greenwich Village. The outer boroughs have much better deals and they are commuting distance to jobs in the City.

I hope that helps. Good luck.

William asks…

Whats the diff between the boroughs in nyc?

Queens,bronx,brooklyn,etc… Is manhatten a borrough? any&everything would be cool

Administrator answers:

- Lower Manhattan: Home to the financial district/WTC. Many skyscrapers and many new highrise condo’s. Not as much nightlife as Midtown. Feels more modern than Midtown.
{Battery Park, Chinatown, Little Italy}

- Midtown Manhattan: Many skyscrapers. Home to the vast majority of the skyscrapers. Very expensive. Most of NYC’s entertainment, shopping, tourist attractions, clubs and stuff
{Chelsea, Flatiron, Upper East&West Side}

- Upper Manhattan: Mainly home to working class minorities with an increase of hipsters seeking cheaper real estate. Crime is moderate to high.
{Harlem, Washington Hts, Inwood}

- Northwest: A lot of activities, mostly low-rises and mid-rises and some small houses. Very very very diverse area; with a lot of Hispanics towards Corona-Flushing Meadows Park. Some white enclaves. Cool area. Crime can be low to high depending on where you’re at.
{Astoria, Corona, Elmhurst, Long Island City}

- Southwest: Mostly working class South Asians and Blacks and middle class white howard beach. Dense suburban type area. Not much too do in terms of activities, long subway ride into Manhattan.
{Richmond Hill, Ozone Park}

- Northeast: Dense suburban area. Mostly middle class East Asians+Whites. Good schools. Crappy subway service.
{Bayside, Fresh Meadows, Flushing, Murray Hill}

- Southeast: Dense suburban area: Mostly middle class Blacks (though South Jamaica and Jamaica are lower income, the rest/majority is middle class). Not much shopping/activities. No subway service. Very quiet area and parts are very nice. Low to moderate crime.
{Cambria Heights, Laurelton, St. Albans, Rosedale, Hollis, Addisleigh Park}

- The Rockaways: The eastern rockaways are mostly low income people in projects while the western parts are very jewish/white and wealthy. The project parts have very high crime.
{Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach, Neponsit}

- North Brooklyn: Mostly low-income and working class people. Very high crime rate and a lot of affordable housing. Mostly row houses and projects. Has some decent areas like Canarsie, Prospect Leffert Gardens and a few others. Parts closer to Manhattan have more hipsters seeking cheap real estate (Park Slope for example).
{Brownsville, East New York, Flatbush, Crown Heights}

- South Brooklyn: Mostly row houses. A lot of Italians, Jews and now Asians. A lot of activities. Low crime.
{Bensonhurst, Midwood, Borough Park, Gravesend}

- South Bronx is a notorious ghetto area. Mostly low income people and immigrants. A lot of low-rise apartment bldgs and projects. This area is mostly Hispanic with a lot of Blacks too. Home to Hunts Point which is famous for prostitution. Very high crime area. Home to Hip Hop
{East Tremont, Morissania, Tremont, Mott Haven}

- Northwest Bronx is the rich white part of the Bronx. Mostly mansions and stuff and very hilly. Very low crime.
{Riverdale, Fieldston}

- Northeast Bronx are mostly lower middle class blacks in dense suburban type houses. Not as much crime as the South Bronx. Moderate crime.
{Williamsbridge, Edanwall}

- Southeast Bronx is mainly middle class white people in dense suburban type neighborhoods. Low crime.
{Throgs Neck, Morris Park}

- Most of it is very suburban with a lot space. Known for it’s italian population. The far nothern parts are pretty rough while the rest has low crime. The so called “forgotten” part of NYC.

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