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Many young people dream of living in New York City, and tens of thousands of people relocate here every year.

Are you ready to turn your dream into a reality and call the Big Apple home? Are you curious about where to live in NYC in your 20s?

If so, this guide is for you. We're here to help you find the perfect place to call home. Explore below as we share insights into the best neighborhoods for young adults in NYC.

Where to Live in NYC in Your 20s

We understand that life in New York City varies dramatically depending on which borough and neighborhood you decide to call home.

Below, we've compiled a list of the top 5 neighborhoods in New York City, as rated by its residents. These rankings are based on factors such as affordability, proximity to restaurants and coffee shops, public transportation access, and crime rates, ensuring you have the most informed insights at your disposal.

Neighborhood 1: Financial District, Manhattan

The Financial District, or FiDi, is a popular neighborhood in Manhattan among recent grads and young professionals. It’s where Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange are located, after all.

Financial District, Manhattan

Because it’s located in Manhattan, rent prices in the Financial District are pretty high. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,401 per month, which might not be in the average 20-something’s budget (at least, without multiple roommates).

However, this neighborhood is more affordable than many other Manhattan neighborhoods, such as SoHo or the East Village.

Neighborhood 2: Astoria, Queens

Astoria, Queens, is an excellent option for young people who love living in a multicultural environment.

Astoria is home to people from all over the world, and it has much more affordable rent prices than many other NYC neighborhoods, with the average rent for a one-bedroom coming in at $2,600 per month. It also features a mix of multi-family, low-rise buildings, and high-rise options.

It’s easy to get from Queens to Manhattan, too, thanks to New York’s many train and bus options. You can also just bike across the Queensboro Bridge if you prefer.

Neighborhood 3: Bushwick, Brooklyn

Bushwick is an appealing neighborhood for young creatives and 20-somethings who want to be part of an upbeat community where something fun is always happening.

Bushwick is home to numerous murals, art galleries, and an annual block party hosted by The Bushwick Collective. There’s no shortage of bars, beer gardens, restaurants, and coffee shops here, either.

For a one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick, the average price is $2,800 per month, making it more affordable than most Manhattan neighborhoods, as well as other Brooklyn neighborhoods like Cobble Hill and Park Slope.

Neighborhood 4: Fordham, The Bronx

Fordham is a popular neighborhood in the west Bronx, where we recently have helped to move a lot of students -- because it’s home to Fordham University -- as well as recent grads and 20-somethings.

It’s also located near the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo and features a wide range of delicious Latin American restaurants.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment here is $2,125 per month, making it much more accessible to young people who are just getting started in the city.

Neighborhood 5: St. George, Staten Island

In general, Staten Island isn’t as appealing to young people as the other New York City boroughs. However, it does still have some neighborhoods that attract 20-somethings.

For example, St. George features beautiful historic architecture and is a diverse area that welcomes people of all backgrounds. It’s also home to a variety of delicious restaurants, including several serving authentic Italian cuisine, and offers easy access to the Staten Island Ferry.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment here is $2,400 per month.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood

When moving to New York City and choosing a neighborhood, it’s essential to consider these five factors:

Neighborhoods in NYC

The Boroughs

There are five boroughs that make up New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Each one has its own hot spots, benefits, drawbacks, and preferred neighborhoods.

When most people think of NYC, they think of Manhattan. It’s home to many of the city’s most popular attractions, including Central Park and the Financial District. It also has the highest cost of living, meaning it may be inaccessible to a lot of 20-somethings, even if they live with multiple roommates.

The Bronx is a good option for those who love easy access to parks, green spaces, and the country’s largest metropolitan zoo. It also has many well-known restaurants, bars, and cafes and is close enough to Manhattan to help you feel like you’re part of the action.

Brooklyn is located on Long Island and is a popular destination for creatives. It’s home to many art galleries, museums, and other attractions. It’s also more expensive (although not as expensive as Manhattan).

Queens is also located on Long Island and is closer to JFK and LaGuardia airports, so it’s an excellent choice for frequent travelers. It’s also home to many popular restaurants and bars, and it’s easy to get from here to Manhattan and back.

Moving to Staten Island may be a better choice if you prefer a quieter and more affordable life. It has a more suburban feel, which some enjoy. However, it’s also farther from the nightlife and other exciting parts of the city, and it’s not accessible by subway, so you’ll have to take a ferry or bus when you want to leave.

Personal Needs

When finding an apartment in NYC, consider what you specifically want and need in a neighborhood.

Do you want to live somewhere that is LGBTQ-friendly (if so, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen are some of the most well-known places)?

Do you want to be close to a particular religious or ethnic community (for example, Crown Heights in Brooklyn is a popular place for Jewish people, Washington Heights has a large Dominican population, and Astoria is home to “Little Egypt”)?

Location

It might be tempting to call the West Village home because Carrie Bradshaw lived there. Ask yourself if that location (or any other neighborhood) is practical for you.

For example, how close is it to your job? If you’re an NYU student, can you quickly get to the school’s Manhattan or Brooklyn location? Do you have easy access to public transportation and affordable grocery stores?

Consider safety when choosing a location -- both a borough and a specific neighborhood, too. Look up crime rates in the area so you can pick a place that feels secure and gives you peace of mind.

Space

How much space do you want in your apartment? You may have an easier time finding larger apartment buildings that give you more bang for your buck if you’re willing to step off the beaten path and explore some of the city’s less popular neighborhoods.

Price

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the rent prices.

Each borough has certain neighborhoods that are pricier than others. For example, Hudson Yards and Tribeca are some of Manhattan’s most expensive neighborhoods, whereas Yorkville on the upper east side is much more affordable.

Tips for Finding the Right Neighborhood

Are you still unsure of which neighborhood you want to move to in NYC? Here are some additional tips that can simplify the decision-making process:

Finding the Right Neighborhood in NYC

Tip 1: Take a Tour

It’s not always easy to tell from looking at pictures if a walk-up in Williamsburg or a condo in Greenwich Village is as good as it seems.

We strongly recommend taking a hands-on approach before making a decision. Visit the neighborhood, soak in the vibes, assess the safety, and consider your daily commute to work or school. We've seen how these factors can significantly impact your quality of life in the city.

If you aren’t able to visit in person, you can at least research the area based on the apartment’s address to see if any red flags pop up.

Tip 2: Look for Vacancies

During your tour, look for signs indicating that an apartment is for rent or that someone is looking for roommates. You can also use rental apps like NY Rent Own Sell and StreetEasy for help finding vacancies in your preferred neighborhood.

Remember to stay when going to check out potential apartments. You may want to take a friend with you -- not only will they help you feel more confident when visiting a new-to-you area, but they can also help you decide if a particular place is worth living.

Tip 3: Check Out Rent Prices

Of course, the rent price will be one of the most significant factors in your decision-making process.

Consider the monthly rent at a specific apartment, as well as what you get in exchange for that price.

For some people, paying more for extra privacy or easy access to a particular part of the city is worth it. Others are willing to sacrifice some of their creature comforts in exchange for a better price.

Tip 4: Consider the Culture

How does the neighborhood seem from a cultural standpoint?

Is there a lot of diversity? Do you feel comfortable and safe walking around there? Do you see people who look like you or seem like they have a similar background?

Tip 5: Consult Current Residents

Stopping people outside their building and asking if they like their neighborhood probably isn’t the best or safest way to choose a place to live. However, you can consult online communities on platforms like Reddit to find out what people like or dislike about particular areas.

If you do know someone who lives in a specific neighborhood, it’s also a good idea to reach out to them and hear the pros and cons from their perspective. They might even know of an available apartment, too!

Conclusion

The city that never sleeps is home to a wide range of neighborhoods -- far more than most people realize.

Playing the New York City real estate and apartment rental game can be challenging, but the tips and suggestions in this guide can help you find a neighborhood that works for you.

Are you ready to hire movers and make your way to NYC?

If so, reach out to us at Oz Moving & Storage. We are an NYC moving company with over 30 years of experience.

Get a free quote today!

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