When a typical Manhattan apartment starts feeling a little too cramped, it’s time to upgrade to a townhouse. But many New Yorkers are worried that the extra space and privacy will come at a price; a price soaring into the 4-5 million dollar range. First-time buyers may just assume that their first home in the city will be a small studio or one bedroom apartment. But on the contrary, there are a few townhouses throughout the city that may be realistic for first-timers.

We’ve done the research and found that it’s possible to enjoy a more spacious and private townhome in the city for under the $2M mark.

Brooklyn Townhouses

For townhouses without the insane price tags, start in Brooklyn. Although $2M isn’t going to get you a penthouse (or even a bathroom in a penthouse, let’s be honest), it will get you a bit more space than an apartment in Manhattan, and a whole lot of potential. Bedford Stuyvesant offers multi-level townhomes with original details along tree-lined streets in Brooklyn. Although these homes could use a little TLC in the kitchen and bathroom department, they offer a solid foundation to create a space that fits your lifestyle. Built in the late early 1900’s, many townhomes here feature multiple fireplaces, wood paneling and have preserved much of the character and charm over the years.

For those who appreciate impressive architecture, Stuyvesant Heights won’t disappoint. While townhouses in Borough Park may not win the “best looking townhomes” award, they still offer the space and potential in a reasonable price range. It’s also a very popular spot for the Jewish community, so you can be sure the delis in the area are on point.  Brooklyn’s a big place, and there are pockets throughout the city where you can find townhomes with potential for under $2M. Try looking at Crown Heights, Clinton Hill, and Bushwick too, as these cities attract millennials and hipsters who are setting out on their own for the first time. (Sidenote: And all the cool kids call it Bed-Sty. You’re welcome.)

Manhattan Townhouses

If you’re not quite ready to call yourself a Brooklynite, Manhattan has pockets of real estate that won’t break the bank. Like Washington Heights for example. Washington Heights is just north of Harlem. It’s kind of like that crazy aunt you only see on the holidays, kind of quirky but far enough removed from the rest of the family to make everyone comfortable. It’s location uptown, away from the big city, means more affordable real estate and bigger homes. It’s an ideal setting for anyone trying to live the filet mignon lifestyle on a Ramen noodle budget.

Hamilton Heights is another neighborhood worth exploring. Townhouses here come in at around the $1.8M range and are the perfect blend of 1900’s elegance and modern style. Victorian pocket windows, multiple fireplaces with original mantels, and crown molding add to the character, while recent upgrades and contemporary finishes add to the function and comfort. Hamilton Heights offers a wide range of architectural styles and connects easily to the rest of Manhattan by the 1, A, B, C and D lines.

Now before you scroll on by, hear us out on this one: Harlem. Harlem has some gorgeous townhomes with multiple levels and 5+ bedrooms. Harlem gets a bad rap, but if it’s space and charming real estate you’re looking for, you will find it here. Rich in history and culture, Harlem features some of the best soul food restaurants in NYC and is a paradise for music lovers. Townhouses here fall in the $1.8M range and offer homes with character and personality.

Don’t listen to the people who tell you $2M won’t get you anything in NYC. It’ll get you about 2 million slices of pizza from 2 Bros Pizza, a lifetime worth of subway rides, and classic NYC townhomes just bursting with potential.

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