At one time or another, many of us have no doubt dreamed of moving to New York City and making it big. But living in the Big Apple is out of reach for most. All the same, there are plenty of other reasons to live in New York State, even if you put aside NYC.
For one thing, New York is one of the best states for soaking up art, culture, and live entertainment. Much of that (but not all) will be centered in NYC, which is one of the entertainment capitals of the world. New York, believe it or not, also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The reputation of NYC in particular for high crime mostly comes from perceptions of decades ago now, but NYC is lower than the national average in several categories.
New York State is also an ideal spot for people who enjoy having four distinct seasons in their year. If you want a hot summer, beautiful autumn, and a snowy Christmas, moving to New York State could be a great idea.
Speaking of weather, however, not everything is ideal about New York. Although the seasons are distinct, New York has fewer sunny days and more humidity compared to much of the rest of the country. Residents of New York also tend to carry a higher tax burden than the rest of the country. And, last but not least, there’s the question of cost of living.
There’s no easy way to put it: New York has a higher cost of living than most other states. That includes things like goods and services, utilities, groceries, transportation, and yes — housing. Not only are property values frequently at a premium in the state, but other costs like HOA fees and even homeowner’s insurance can be higher than you’d like, perhaps leaving you to compare rates and find a better provider.
But not every place in New York is prohibitively expensive. Here are a few places that might well fall within your price range if you’re thinking of moving to New York:
Most Affordable Places to Live in NY
- Ilion: A town of about 7,700 people, Ilion has low unemployment and a cost of living 20% lower than the national average. Housing prices are a whopping 72% lower than the national average, and rental prices are about 52%. One of the drawbacks, however, is that crime tends to be a bit higher in Ilion compared to much of the rest of the state, but the village still rates a high livability score.
- Ogdensburg: With a population of around 10,000 people, Ogdensburg is in much the same boat as Ilion: very low real estate prices and cost of living compared to the national average, but higher property crime rates. Violent crimes are 11% lower than the national average.
- Massena: While Massena enjoys the same relatively low real estate prices as the rest of the state, its employment numbers are not encouraging. Unemployment is significantly higher than in the rest of the country, and you could end up searching for work to afford that lower-than-average mortgage.
Least Affordable Places to Live in NY
- NYC: It should come as no surprise that NYC is the most expensive place to live in the state (and possibly the country). Real estate prices there are a whopping 78% higher than the national average, with 1-bedroom apartments renting for $2,200 a month or more. If you plan to live here, expect to pay more for pretty much everything.
- Kaser: Kaser is a relatively small town, but what’s not small are its real estate prices, which are 98% higher than the New York average. That’s bad news for potential homeowners, but not nearly as bad for renters: Kaser’s rent prices are 12% lower than the average. For that same $2,200, you can get a 2-bedroom house or apartment.
- North Hills: Much like Kaser, North Hills has a small population (about 5,000 people). But housing prices clock in at 234% of the New York average. Houses typically list for anywhere from $1.6 to $2.2 million. The rent is higher too, but thankfully not by much ($12%).
- New Square: For a less alarming place to live, New Square is a town of about 7,800 people, and housing prices that are only 18% higher than the state average. A typical home in New Square will run anywhere from $415,000 to $600,000. Renting a 2-bedroom apartment might cost you anywhere from $2,800 to $3,300 a month.
Of course, there are plenty of factors to consider when it comes to finding a place to live — education, safety, amenities, walkability, and overall quality of living — but finding a place you can afford to live is definitely the first step.