Given the astronomical real estate and rental costs in New York, it’s not uncommon for many young families in the city to be faced with a major life decision as their children grow: do they stay or do they go? On the one hand, living in New York comes with many benefits, like access to world class cultural institutions, short commute times, and vibrant, multicultural communities. But on the other, the promise of great public school systems, green lawns, and, for families that might not be able to afford to purchase property in New York City, the chance of becoming homeowners outweighs the draw of city life.
If you find yourself leaning towards the latter camp, here are five family friendly New York City suburbs to consider.
1. Pleasantville, New York. New York Magazine deemed this Westchester suburb one of the best places for city-dwellers to relocate to, and it’s not hard to see why. The town offers many of the same amenities available to those accustomed to Brooklyn or Manhattan, including gourmet coffee shops, a walkable downtown, green dry cleaning, and the area’s largest farmer’s market.
2. Scarsdale, New York. Niche.com ranked Scarsdale, also located in Westchester County, as the best suburb to raise a family in New York State. The rankings were compiled by evaluating things like school systems, crime rate, employment rate, and access to things like grocery stores and day cares (all of which Scarsdale got an A in). The only drawback: Housing costs are expensive.
3. Madison, New Jersey. Another top five in New York Magazine’s rankings, we like Madison because of the vibrant community (there are three colleges nearby) and more affordable housing prices (a four bedroom home can be had for around $600,000).
4. Fieldston, New York. Though Fieldston is technically located within the boundaries of New York City (it’s in the Bronx), the area has a decidedly suburban feel. Beautiful, historic homes sit on manicured lawns, and the area is also home to some of New York’s best private schools including Horace Mann and Riverdale Country School. Home prices are still on the higher end, starting around $1.5 million, though what you get for the price is far more than in centrally located areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
5. Milford, Connecticut. Milford was named one of New York Magazine’s best affordable suburbs. Though Milford is slightly further away from the city (about 70 minutes by commuter train), the benefits of living in the town –it’s on the water, offers plenty of shopping and entertainment, and is far more affordable than nearby Fairfield County towns like Westport and Darien–could very well outweigh the commute for your family.