Rentberry’s Picks: Places to Rent Near New York City

“He thrived on the hustle, bustle of the crowds and the traffic,” once said Woody Allen describing his character’s love for New York City. Of course, what he said sounds both romantic and true, but only to some extent. The truth is that Big Apple is just as romantic and astonishing as it is debilitating and expensive. This city gives you all the opportunities you dare to ask for but wants from you just as much in return — your time spent in traffic, your energy wasted on two part-time jobs, and your money allocated for paying sky-high rent.

If you feel like it’s time to slow down and downshift but still not ready to ditch on your action-packed lifestyle, moving to some of the places listed below might be the answer. Keep reading to learn about the excellent locations to rent near New York City. Who knows, maybe one of them will soon become the place you call home.

Jersey City, NJ

Driving distance from NYC: 6 miles (or 12 min)
Median rental price: $2,748/mo
Walkability score: 87 out of 100

Gone are the times of Jersey City being dismissed by apartment hunters. As the demand for rentals in Manhattan and Brooklyn keeps on growing, and these two boroughs become priced out for an average American, the population of Jersey City soars. Thanks to the quick train commute to NYC, living in Jersey City appears to be an excellent way out. The current situation with rentals in NYC results in New Jersey turning into the fastest-growing metro area in the state. The pandemic only heated things up even more, and now countless NYC residents are fleeing to the suburbs.

At the moment, local rentals are reasonably priced, but as luxury high-rises appear along the waterfront and the restaurant scene becomes more and more upscale and diverse, there are reasons to expect a significant rise in prices during the next few years.

Union City, NJ

Driving distance from NYC: 7 miles (or 14 min)
Median rental price: $2,609/mo
Walkability score: 94 out of 100

Just a short while ago, Union City was not receiving even a part of the attention it does now. Wonder why things changed so drastically? Partially because of Manhattan and Brooklyn becoming priced out, but mainly because Union City boasts architectural beauty, a large number of artists living there, and its rich history.

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But what makes Union City insanely cool is its smart system of transportation and record-high walkability score. Need to head over to the Big Apple? Hop on a transit bus, use a ferry, or make it to your destination point via the Lincoln Tunnel. With so many transport options, a local walk score of 94 should not come as a surprise. Want a cherry on top? The average rental price in Union City is only $2,609 per month, which means you’ll no longer have to spend half of your income on housing.

Hempstead, NY

Driving distance from NYC: 24 miles (35 min)
Median rental price: $2,375/mo
Walkability score: 74 out of 100

If you think that easy access to New York and nearby cities is the only thing Hempstead prides itself on, you are anything but right. With a population of nearly 800,000, this town is a great place for a well-balanced life. Choosing to strike roots in Hempstead, you get the best of both worlds. Spend only half an hour on the road and get your daily portion of New York City. Travel back home to Hempstead to breathe calmly and freely during a relaxing walk along Jones Beach or Brierley Park. On top of that, rentals in Hempstead are reasonably priced, which means saving more money for your own future home or spending them on things you love.

Newark, NJ

Driving distance from NYC: 11 miles (17 min)
Median rental price: $2,035/mo
Walkability score: 79 out of 100

Home to only 281,054 people, Newark is a relatively small town. Nonetheless, it’s got plenty of things to pride itself on. Apart from quick access to NYC, which is a huge benefit in its own right, Newark boasts one of the highest grossing arenas in the US, the most extensive collection of Tibetan Art (Southeast Asia doesn’t count), and the record amount of cherry blossoms. Needless to say, it’s only a small part of the things Newark is famous for. But what’s especially important is that local rental prices are below $2,000/mo, which is itself a good enough reason to at least consider moving there and staying for good.

newark - best places to live near new york city

New Rochelle, NY

Driving distance from NYC: 23 miles (30 min)
Median rental price: $3,400/mo
Walkability score: 65 out of 100

Located in the southeastern part of New York, New Rochelle is a small town filled with close-knit vibes you won’t find in any big city. A couple of years ago, New Rochelle was ranked high among the best places to raise children, which is not surprising as the place is safe, green, and calm. What’s more, New Rochelle has named the 13th greatest place to live in back in 2014. Now add to that adequate housing prices and close proximity to NYC, and you’ll clearly see why some people ditching New York for the sake of living in New Rochelle.

Larchmont, NY

Driving distance from NYC: 24 miles (32 min)
Median rental price: $2,087/mo
Walkability score: 91 out of 100

Those who’ve been to Larchmont at least once in their lives tend to call this place lovely, and they’ve got solid reasons for that. This family-friendly village on the water is ideal for a balanced life filled with long walks in the open air, cozy evenings with family and friends, and productive weekdays spent 24 miles away from home, in NYC. Larchmont is a feast for the eyes; it is green and extremely walkable. Local rental prices are slightly higher than in other locations on the list, but in the case of Larchmont, you can easily understand what you pay for.

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Lindenhurst, NY

Driving distance from NYC: 33 miles (44 min)
Median rental price: $2,863/mo
Walkability score: 53 out of 100

On the southern shore of Long Island lies the small yet picturesque village of Lindenhurst. Home to as little as 26,979 people, this place is a perfect match for those who choose tranquility to overstress. Don’t be fooled by the size of this village. Regardless of being small and cozy, Lindenhurst boasts some great dining options and amazing walking routes. Speaking of housing, rental prices in Lindenhurst are absolutely reasonable.

Fort Lee, NJ

Driving distance from NYC: 15 miles (20 min)
Median rental price: $2,495/mo
Walkability score: 79 out of 100

Fort Lee is one of the best places to live near New York City. What’s more, it’s located right on the other side of the Hudson River, so if you want to live close to Manhattan, you should definitely take a closer look at Fort Lee.

This town will be a perfect choice for anyone tired of high rental prices in the City but not prepared to give up Manhattan completely just yet. It is small and cozy but very diverse and vibrant. If you are looking for a lively and energetic place with lots of local restaurants and a high walkability score, Fort Lee will not disappoint you.

Westfield, NJ

Driving distance from NYC: 22 miles (30 min)
Median rental price: $3,503/mo
Walkability score: 44 out of 100

Go for Westfield to live in a suburban and relaxed atmosphere — it is a good option for families with kids who want to have the ability to enjoy family weekends in New York but prefer to lead a quiet life. The cost of living in Westfield is significantly lower than in New York City, but you have to consider that you might have to purchase a car, as it is not the most pedestrian-friendly town in the state.

Living in New York City is especially good if you live slightly outside the city. You can still enjoy all the perks of being a part of the vibrant city but at the same time enjoy quiet evenings and cozy weekends in the NYC suburbs. If you are aiming for more balance and harmony in your life, moving outside of the Big Apple might be the answer.

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