For decades, individuals and families have flocked to New York City for a chance to experience the hustle, bustle and nonstop action this truly one-of-a-kind city has to offer. Its no surprise that the unmatched night life, incredible diversity, and world class museums, restaurants, and shops leave many wanting a more permanent stay in the city that never sleeps. Once you’ve decided to call New York home, the next step is determining which neighborhood of the city to move into. With so many options to choose from, the process can seem overwhelming. However, with a few key factors in mind, finding the right New York neighborhood that matches your budget, lifestyle, and space needs can be a painless process.

Factors to Keep In Mind When Choosing a New York Neighborhood

Narrowing down your New York neighborhood search can be as simple as considering a few key factors: price, lifestyle, and space needs.

Price: Let’s face it, the most important factor to consider when selecting a neighborhood in New York is cost. Rent in a number of New York neighborhoods are notoriously high, however there are less expensive options available. Whether you’ve got a little more stretch in your wallet and can afford a downtown Manhattan space, or the less expensive outer boroughs are more in your range, New York certainly has options for everyone.

Lifestyle: New York is unique in that its sheer size enables individuals of all different lifestyles to find the neighborhood that suits their specific needs. For example, certain neighborhoods are more suitable for families with school age children, offering outdoor spaces for play, increased levels of safety, and high performing schools. On the other hand, young newcomers to the city often find that a neighborhood featuring trendy restaurants, bars, and an active social scene is of higher interest. Once you’ve identified the important criteria for your neighborhood, you’ll be able to narrow down your search.

Space Needs: When choosing the New York neighborhood that is right for you, keep in mind how much space you’ll need to live comfortably. It’s no secret that in many New York neighborhoods, extra space comes at an added price. Those new to the city often find themselves compromising on space. This is especially true for those who find it necessary to pair up with a roommate or two…or three.  However, there are certain areas, such as Brooklyn or Queens, where your dollar can go a little further.

New York Neighborhoods to Consider

Once you’ve taken into account the factors that will ultimately influence the neighborhood you choose, you can begin the exciting process of researching areas that might be the right fit for your new New York life. Ultimately, it’s hard to do wrong no matter where you choose because in New York, you’re always just a brief bus or subway ride from the next adventure. A few of the most popular neighborhoods to consider include:

East Village: East Village is considered to be a hotspot for the dining, culture, and nightlife that many move to the city to experience. Young professionals and students make up a large portion of this area’s residents, particularly due to the presence of a few nearby New York University dorms. Rent in this area averages around $2,800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, making it one of the more affordable New York neighborhoods. Conveniently situated, public transportation is easy to catch in the East Village.

Williamsburg: Williamsburg is one of New York’s most trendy neighborhoods, credited as the birthplace of the city’s hipster movement. The growing popularity of this area has brought with it clubs, galleries, shops, restaurants, and bars, making it an ideal location for those that value a vibrant social scene. The cost of living in Williamsburg isn’t cheap, as an average one bedroom apartment will set you back around $3,200 each month. Public transportation in Williamsburg is not as well connected, though there are convenient options for those who work in Downtown Manhattan.

Harlem: You’ve likely heard the Harlem name, and there’s much to love about this classic New York neighborhood. Above all, those that call Harlem home take pride in the area’s rich history as the birthplace of the civil rights movement and American jazz. One of the more affordable neighborhood options, Harlem serves as an attractive option for many young professionals and students. The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Harlem sits at about $2,000 per month, and it is well connected to public transportation routes.

Battery Park City: For individuals who are searching for a quieter neighborhood with low crime, strong schools, and beautiful public open spaces, Battery Park City is a great option. An ideal location for families with children, Battery Park City is nestled between the Hudson River and the Financial District. The Battery Park City Esplanade is one of the area’s shining features, offering stunning views of the river and great outdoor spaces to play. With a median rent of about $3,700, Battery Park City proves it’s worth every penny.