Top Five NYC Neighborhoods For Under One Million

Finding an apartment in NYC for under a million sounds like a dream. But some dreams can come true.

By Team Agorafy September 14, 2016

Sometimes it can feel as though you need a trust fund, or to manage a hedge fund, or have a rich relative die and leave you a Picasso in order to put a down-payment on an apartment anywhere in New York City.

Recently, the median price for a Manhattan studio apartment reached nearly $1 million (anywhere else the US, this kind of money can easily get you a McMansion). So, if you don’t have a $1 million, does it mean all is lost? Does it mean you just can’t buy a “starter apartment” ever? Well…you can—that is if you’re willing to put in some serious ground-work and look into outside-of-the-box locations. Here at Agorafy we investigated what NYC neighborhoods still have affordable housing options—and no, you don’t need a million bucks to buy there. Enjoy.

Related: The Best Commutable City For New Yorkers To Raise A Family? Allentown, PA. No, Really.


Jackson Heights, Queens

Agorafy pick$210,000

Photo courtesy of Alan Chin / The New York Ti
Photo courtesy of Alan Chin / The New York Ti

Jackson Heights, AKA: “Little India”, is a great alternative for people priced out of hip and historic Brooklyn. Apartments are brimming with details like arched doorways and built-ins, most have wood floors, and units are usually quite spacious. This cozy studio unit, for example, is relatively big (550 sqft) and will only cost you $210,000. The neighborhood is super diverse and boasts a massive international foodie presence. A commute to Manhattan is an easy, breezy 30 minutes on the E, F, M, R and 7 lines.



Agorafy pick$155,000

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Noonan / NY Daily News
Photo courtesy of Jeanne Noonan / NY Daily News

The New York Times once referred to Riverdale as a “leafy oasis within city limits” and, boy, were they right. This bucolic, hilly ‘hood is located at the northernmost tip of the Bronx and, if you are finally over the infamous Manhattan non-stop noise, smell of burning tires and polluted air, is a great place to settle down. You can nab a 650-square-foot one-bedroom apartment for as little as $155,000. There are plentiful river views of the Harlem and Hudson, as well as a ton of pre- and post-war buildings. Be warned though: commuting to that insane asylum called Manhattan might be a bit of a pain, with just the 1 train and a lonely Metro-North stop on the southern end of the neighborhood.



Agorafy Pick$399,999



We know we promised to look into “outside-of-the box locations,” but that doesn’t mean that we have to steer clear of Manhattan borough – not just yet. In the realm of $1 million-dollar studios, Yorkville gives us a nice break: this decently-sized co-op, for example, can be yours for only $399,999. This, however, might change soon. With the 2nd Avenue train construction under way, we have no doubt that the quaint and cheap Yorkville will at some point turn into a “vibrant cool neighborhood” (read – unaffordable hipster-paradise.) Meanwhile, you can enjoy Yorkville ethnic food while it’s still cheap.


Sheepshead BayBrooklyn

Agorafy pick$549,000

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Just south-east of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is Sheepshead Bay—a waterfront neighborhood that might not be the most popular, but it’s making a come-back. This working middle-class neighborhood in south Brooklyn hosts a mix of cultures. You won’t be run over by helicopter moms and adopted babies riding eco-friendly bicycles, but you will find old restaurants like Jordan’s Lobster Dock that opened in 1938, and Randazzos Clam Bar, both frequent movie locations. The dock is still lively and has charter and dinner cruises. You can find a two-bedroom apartment located on a quiet residential block for $549,000. On Emmons Avenue and Ocean Avenues, new condos are found at higher prices—but your space is almost as big as the bay itself. Transportation is the B/Q line upon which you can finally finish War and Peace during your commute to Manhattan.


Ward Hill, Staten Island

Agorafy pick: $594,000

Photo courtesy of Tom Crimmins Realty
Photo courtesy of Tom Crimmins Realty

Any chance you’ve ever secretly dreamed of owning a McMansion? We know we have. Well, there is your chance: Ward Hill in Staten Island has plenty of spacious houses that go for the price of your typical Manhattan closet. This 4-bedroom townhouse here boasts panoramic views from Sandy Hook to Statue of Liberty and will only cost you $594,000. Now, we understand that moving to Staten Island puts your commute game to the whole new level—it takes a bit over an hour to get to Midtown—but then again, you get to enjoy the ferry.


Team Agorafy



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