In face of rising costs, city homebuyers search for pockets of value

It’s no secret that New York City is home to some of the highest residential real estate costs in the world. But, according to city real estate experts, there are some values out there – if you know where to look.

Malessa Rambarran of Modern Spaces and Candice Milano of The Corcoran Group, Licensed Real Estate Agents and co-founders of The MR Team, specialize in emerging neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. They say the key is to stay one step ahead of the trends and focus your home search in the next “hot” neighborhoods.

“If you’re in the market for a starter apartment, a studio in Manhattan will average $520,000 and a one-bedroom, $850,000, according to the most recent data,” Malessa said. “However, you can acquire that Manhattan address at a lower price point if you stay away from the highest profile, top-of-mind neighborhoods and take a closer look at the emerging ones.”

Value neighborhoods that are currently on The MR Team’s radar include the Lower East Side/Chinatown/East Village, as well as Nolita, the up-and-coming pocket between the Lower East Side and SoHo. “Lots of great new development is happening downtown,” Candice said. “If you look up and down the Bowery, you’re seeing new residential buildings and upscale hotels going up.”

The other end of Manhattan is also home to some value-packed neighborhoods for home-buyers, including Harlem, Central Harlem, Morningside Heights and Washington Heights, the experts said.

Inflation has hit Brooklyn real estate especially hard. The average purchase price of a studio apartment across Brooklyn is now approximately the same as in Manhattan: $510,000. However, that number has risen a whopping 13 percent since 2016. For more affordable apartments in the borough, The MR Team said, look to emerging neighborhoods such as Fort Greene, Bedford Stuyvesant, Clinton Hills, Bushwick and Flatbush. “We also like Downtown Brooklyn and Greenpoint, which is right on the water,” Malessa said. “Those are two exciting developing neighborhoods that deserve buyers’ attention.”

Western Queens is another area where values can be found, Candice said. “Long Island City has become very popular and is beginning to price out many buyers. But the neighborhood just north, Astoria, is an amazing neighborhood that more people are starting to look at. It’s a great time to buy there.”

Once their clients find the right apartment at the right price, The MR Team said, they face another challenge of New York real estate: limited space. “Starter apartments provide very little room to store bulky or seasonal items,” Malessa said. “The answer for many of our clients is on-demand storage. For example, Zippboxx provides a professional, concierge service where they will store your items for you, and return them whenever you need them. It’s hassle-free, and you never have to lift heavy boxes or travel to a storage unit.”

Rob Marchese
Rob Marchese is one of the founders of Zippboxx Moving and Storage. Since the start of the company it's been Rob's mission to change the way the moving industry is perceived.  The number one goal is to make the moving and storage process as stress free as possible for each and every customer. "The way we do this is by honesty, transparency, and providing a high quality of service."
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