The New York metro area has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, and finding affordable housing can be a challenge for many frustrated homebuyers. But according to a new study by the listing site Trulia, there are still some neighborhoods within the New York metro area that provide the good value for first-time homebuyers.
In order to determine a neighborhood’s overall value, Trulia generated an overall value score. The score was based on a neighborhood’s cost of living, commute time, schools, low crime rate and neighborhood amenities using data from Yelp.
Trulia points out that the neighborhoods that made the list are not necessarily the cheapest, but the ones that offered the most overall bang for the buyer’s buck. Other neighborhoods studied offered more affordability, but longer commute times or excessive noise pollution from airports or highways.
The Ludlow neighborhood, located in Yonkers, NY, was tied for first in overall value for first-time homebuyers. It has a very low crime rate, great schools and a wealth of neighborhood amenities. And with a median home value of $463,401, Ludlow is also fairly affordable.
Also tied for first was Mount Vernon’s North Side neighborhood. It had one of the lowest crime rates of all the neighborhoods in the study (tied with Ludlow), and scored well for easy commuting to Manhattan. The median home value in North Side is $432,040, making it affordable as well.
Two Bronx neighborhoods ranked third and fourth, Woodlawn Heights and Pelham Gardens, respectively. Both neighborhoods scored high on the quality of its schools and amenities. However, they had the lowest crime scores of all the other top neighborhoods that made the list.
Woodlawn Heights edged out Pelham Gardens on housing affordability with a median home value of $430,226, compared to $471,666 in Pelham Gardens.
Staten Island’s Westerleigh neighborhood rounded out the top five. It has a very low crime rate, as well as one of the highest education scores of all the neighborhoods on the list. However, a longer commute time, lower affordability and neighborhood amenities kept it from ranking higher. The median home value is $505,450, which is the third highest on the list.
Commuting to and from Staten Island can be time consuming, even if you are commuting on the island itself — let alone to Manhattan. Staten Island is the least accessible via mass transit with no direct train line in or out of the borough. Trulia noted that its commute score was based on data provided by the Census Bureau, and the mode of transportation (mass transit or car) was not specified.
The other best value neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers — Rochdale, St. Albans, Glendale, and Woodhaven — are all located in the borough of Queens..
Glendale, which had the highest median home value ($612,648), was also one of the safest neighborhoods on the list. All four Queens neighborhoods scored high for their schools, but low for commutability. Glendale and Woodhaven edged out St. Albans and Rochdale for neighborhood amenities.
Neighborhood rankings could also change depending on the marital status of the homebuyer. For example, a single working professional might favor a neighborhood with a faster commute over one with better schools.
“That said, when considering value as a measure of what you actually get for what you pay for schools matter – especially as an investment. Not everyone needs a home with a pool or hot tub, but these homes are worth more, especially if they are sold down the road,” Trulia’s Managing Editor David Weidner tells BuzzBuzzNews.
Click here to read the entire report.