Securing that perfect New York apartment comes with obvious challenges such as staying in budget, qualifying financially, and locating available inventory in your dream neighborhood. But living in the city brings more obstacles than those I just mentioned, and dwelling in the wrong place can prove stressful, reduce the quality of life, and in some cases, make you regret choosing to live in the city at all.
Think long and hard when shopping for an apartment to call home, and try to avoid buying near these five places. You could be happier and healthier for it.
1. An elementary or high school
It might seem like a no-brainer to live close to a highly rated school if you plan to send your children there. But you might want to think twice before purchasing an apartment on the same block as the school. Students tend to linger, play, and could create noise coming and going to class. Parents, caregivers, and school buses will create more traffic, so for nine months per year, your address will be a headquarters for comings and goings, even more so than the expected city bustle.
2. Above a restaurant or bar
Besides the sound of constant chatter, you could have to tolerate around-the-clock aromas coming from the kitchen, not to mention alcohol-influenced patrons at all hours, and potentially, bar brawls. Some residents might find living in the same structure as a pub convenient, particularly if they frequent said establishment. But bear in mind, for resale, apartments above restaurants and bars will usually garner a lower asking price than those without a food service tenant on the ground floor.
3. Next to an aboveground train
I’ve heard that people who live next to a train get used to the clanging on the tracks, eventually. But, what if you buy a place and can’t adjust? Investing NYC in real estate is a huge commitment and requires a huger amount of capital, so think carefully about resale. Selling an apartment with a train line running outside its door won’t be easy, and apartments farther away from the train will typically sell first.
4. In a too touristy area
Times Square, Herald Square, the World Trade Center, Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center –– these are only a few of the many hyper-touristy areas in the city. Although it’s fun to stay close to these attractions as a visitor, living as a permanent resident in any of these areas will probably prompt a not-so-fun experience. If you plan on becoming a longtime New Yorker, trust me, you’ll want to avoid the crowds as often as possible, and that means if you’re choosing Manhattan, stick to the perimeter and avoid the center in most cases.
5. In a subway desert
Location. Location. Location. And in New York City, those words refer to living within a quick walk (three to five minutes, usually) of a “good” subway line. “Good” refers to a line that runs seven days a week and provides reliable regular service to where you need to go or where you’d like to go. Living more than an eight-minute walk from a subway train gets old. And when you go to sell your apartment, chances are, buyers won’t consider purchasing a property that doesn’t include easy access to public transit.