So you’ve decided to move to New York with your kids, but you don’t know where exactly to move? With five boroughs larger than some states of the world, New York City spans across a truly vast surface. Deciding where you will move with your family can truly be an exhausting affair. There are some things to consider when trying to pick the right part of the city, and especially if you’re choosing the right NYC neighborhood for your family. This can prove to be particularly challenging, since moving with children usually entails more caution, more preparation and, of course, more organization. Here are some tips on what to look out for in that case.
How safe is the neighborhood?
This should be a pretty big item on your list when the neighborhood your kids will most likely call home in the foreseeable future. Even though the crime rate has dropped overall in New York City and it seems that this trend will continue, some of its parts are still better than others when it comes to the amount of crime committed there, especially if you’re also taking the future into consideration. It is smart to avoid neighborhoods with a high influx of tourists since muggers often prey on unsuspecting visitors to the city. If you choose a neighborhood with not as many tourists, you will have the added benefit of peace and quiet. According to recent data, some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in NYC are Hunts Point, Greenwich Village, and Brooklyn Heights, while some of the safest neighborhoods include Fort Wadsworth, Grymes Hill, and Bay Terrace.
How expensive is life there?
Everyone knows that, overall, the cost of living in New York is quite high. Thus, you will have to pay special attention to this item when choosing the right NYC neighborhood for your family. The fact that the cost of living is generally high does not mean that there are not some affordable places. Some of them can be found right in Brooklyn and Bronx, such as Bay Ridge, Kingsbridge or Riverdale. Take the time to explore the costs of living in some of the neighborhoods you are considering.
In some places, you will save on rent, but pay more for the commute. In others, the rent is higher, but prices generally cheaper. For this step, there is plenty of work to be done. You will also need to check listings every day (or even every hour) if you want to get an affordable place in a nice neighborhood, since these are taken up even before you can say, “Honey, look, I’ve found the perfect place!”
Are there good schools in the vicinity?
Now, we all know that education is pivotal in the life of any child, which is why this is also something that needs your undivided attention. Selecting the right school is not easy, though. There are some handy tools online which can really help you in your quest. However, our advice is to actually try to go more in depth. Aside from searching online, you might want to visit some schools you have in mind and inquire about their approach to education. Try to get a feel of the school and trust your instincts. After all, you know your child and you can probably tell which school may not be a good fit.
In addition, try to ask around and see who knows someone that goes to that school. Personal impressions are also important since this will the place where your child spends a significant part of its day for many years. Choosing the right NYC neighborhood for your family cannot be done without this step. After all, this is where your child will spend a large part of its day. Choose well and ensure a good environment for your child’s education.
How long will it take to go to work/school?
New York City has plenty of options to offer on this front. Nowhere is commuting easier than in the Big Apple and many neighborhoods are incredibly well-connected. However, there is more to this story. This item on your list means a lot since commuting will take time out of your day. Option 1: You spend an hour of your day on sitting/standing in busses, trains or the subway. Option 2: You spend that extra time you save on commuting with your family. Which one would you choose?
When choosing the right NYC neighborhoods for your family, choose something that is sufficiently well-connected to your workplace and your child’s school. Calculate the costs of commuting, as well. There is no point in trying to save on rent only to spend additional money on transportation.
How peaceful is the neighborhood?
This item on the list is truly important for families with babies and toddlers. Even if you do not fall into that group anymore, you might want to live somewhere where there are no strange noises in the middle of the night, no commotion and buzz of downtown. Some neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Woodlawn are some of the most family-friendly parts of NYC. This is because they offer a peaceful environment with plenty of entertainment for kids as well as parents. Now, there may not be as many entertainment options as in Manhattan, but choosing the right NYC neighborhood for your family often means giving up on some remnants of youth. Fewer bars and restaurants mean less hubbub, more peace and a calm environment for your family.
Some more things to consider when choosing the right NYC neighborhood for your family
- Consider the moving costs. If you are looking at affordable NYC neighborhoods, chances are that you need to mind the cost of moving, since you want to prevent spending more money than necessary on that.
- Make a list of things that are important to your family and try to rank them. Some things are inevitably more important than others. This will prove to be of immense assistance when choosing the right NYC neighborhood for your family.
- Compromise, compromise, compromise. It might not be what you want to hear, but it is something that you need to hear. In a perfect world, you would find a perfect, entertainment-filled peaceful neighborhood with perfect schools, but choosing the right neighborhood often means you need to take something and give something.