Where to Live in the Tri-State Area

Everyone who works in the finance industry in New York from Analyst to Managing Partner has to decide where to live and what method of transportation to use to get to work every day. In the NYC area there are many options that you have when deciding your transportation and location of residence, but as we all know, the job is a major factor in the decision.

As an analyst in the banking division the trend is to live as close as possible to the office so that you can walk to work and do not have to bother with the trains when it is 2AM and you are wiped out from the long day. An asset management or a PWM analyst however usually lives in East Village, Chelsea, or any other area where you are close to a more exciting nightlife as in these divisions you get off between 6 and 8pm and it is not as important to live very close to work.

Someone who is a senior VP or an MD and has a family usually lives in Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, or another similar area outside the city. This most likely requires an hour or longer commute and I have seen that people take the train or some even drive to and park in the city, which can be a major headache, as those of you who often drive in the city during rush hour experience. Some higher level employees however, choose to live in the city where they take advantage of a short commute but have to sacrifice the size of their living quarters, which can be tough if you have a large family.

Although these are the common trends, I have seen outliers. For example, I have worked with someone who lived in South Jersey and either took a 2+ hour ride on the NJ transit, drove his car and incurred the usual gas and toll expenses, or if he was in a hurry he would take the ferry that takes you to the World Financial Center, but the daily round trip ticket would be around $40. The worst part is, this person had to wake up at 5AM to be in the office between 8 and 9. The reason he lived so far is because his girlfriend had a job that required her to live close to her office in Philadelphia.

How do you approach your living and commuting situation? Is proximity to your office a primary factor in where you choose to live? Or is it based on a nightlife preference or a family situation. I would love to hear unique experiences from those who work in NYC to share where you live and what factors were considered when you decided on your living situation.

Comments (29)

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 6:32am

It literally takes 15-20 minutes to get from Astoria (Queens) to Midtown Manhattan on the subway (Astoria is adjacent to the Upper East Side across the East River). The rent is more affordable and the real estate is more spacious. Also, its kind of nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.

Queens and Brooklyn are definitely not suburban, but certain places are affordable, within 20 minutes of Manhattan, and nice enough places to permanently settle. You aren't going to be a partier for the rest of your life, right?

"Of course I'm a snob. Whats the point in aspiring to be mediocre?"
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 8:08am

Why didn't the guy just live close to 30th St. Station in Philly? $40/day is nuts and could easily afford him and his SO an apartment near the train station.

Array
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 9:35am

I've lived in Hoboken, Jersey City and NYC all have their benefits. Someone like myself who is in PWM doesn't have to be in the office for late hours and had the luxury of living further away. I must say though, Jersey City was pretty great...5 minutes from the PATH train paying about $800 all in a month in a pretty big apartment.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 9:54am

Jersey City boys. Takes me 20 minutes door to door from my apartment to my office right down by Wall/Broadway and costs like 3$ a day. Best commute I've had yet. And the apartments in JC vs NYC... fughdetaboudit.

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 10:05am

I believe there's 24 hour transport to Jersey City as well as Hoboken?

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely. And Rhaegar died.
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 10:25am

Anomanderis:
I believe there's 24 hour transport to Jersey City as well as Hoboken?

Path runs 24hrs, but you can wait up to 20mins for it late at night

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 10:58am

I live in Brooklyn. For me it's one stop to Wall St. or I can walk the bridge when I've got some extra time to kill and really soak up a great view (the people biking the bridge kill me though). It's good to get as much sunlight as possible. Having said that it's not cheap, but it definitely can be if you choose wisely and live a little further out.

Biggest benefits: Brooklyn Bridge, skyline view of the financial district, less crowded than Manhattan, cheaper than Manhattan, almost every subway line converges in Downtown Brooklyn, brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park to take dates to for a stroll.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 11:19am

kheric:
I live in Brooklyn. For me it's one stop to Wall St. or I can walk the bridge when I've got some extra time to kill and really soak up a great view (the people biking the bridge kill me though). It's good to get as much sunlight as possible. Having said that it's not cheap, but it definitely can be if you choose wisely and live a little further out.

Biggest benefits: Brooklyn Bridge, skyline view of the financial district, less crowded than Manhattan, cheaper than Manhattan, almost every subway line converges in Downtown Brooklyn, brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park to take dates to for a stroll.

What neighborhood of Brooklyn are you in and what is your rent? I'm nearing a move to the city from northern suburbs and have heard some good things about BK/Queens, so any insight would be helpful.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 11:29am

TerpStreeter:
kheric:
I live in Brooklyn. For me it's one stop to Wall St. or I can walk the bridge when I've got some extra time to kill and really soak up a great view (the people biking the bridge kill me though). It's good to get as much sunlight as possible. Having said that it's not cheap, but it definitely can be if you choose wisely and live a little further out.

Biggest benefits: Brooklyn Bridge, skyline view of the financial district, less crowded than Manhattan, cheaper than Manhattan, almost every subway line converges in Downtown Brooklyn, brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park to take dates to for a stroll.

What neighborhood of Brooklyn are you in and what is your rent? I'm nearing a move to the city from northern suburbs and have heard some good things about BK/Queens, so any insight would be helpful.

Seconded. I'm moving up there end of August and wondering about your BK experience.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 11:31am

TerpStreeter:
kheric:
I live in Brooklyn. For me it's one stop to Wall St. or I can walk the bridge when I've got some extra time to kill and really soak up a great view (the people biking the bridge kill me though). It's good to get as much sunlight as possible. Having said that it's not cheap, but it definitely can be if you choose wisely and live a little further out.

Biggest benefits: Brooklyn Bridge, skyline view of the financial district, less crowded than Manhattan, cheaper than Manhattan, almost every subway line converges in Downtown Brooklyn, brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park to take dates to for a stroll.

What neighborhood of Brooklyn are you in and what is your rent? I'm nearing a move to the city from northern suburbs and have heard some good things about BK/Queens, so any insight would be helpful.

I live in Brooklyn Heights and I own my place. Having said that, 1 bedrooms there roughly start around $2,400 and go up depending on size/ammenities. You can do better if you look around DUMBO or Vinegar Hill (which is basically the eastern end of DUMBO). I would also suggest looking in Downtown Brooklyn, as that is cheaper but drastically changing every month as the Fulton Market is flipping from something out of Harlem into something on 14th Street. There is a lot of new construction taking place there right now, and you would be just as close to the subway lines as they essentially converge under Borough Hall.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 12:08pm

I am going to be working in mid-town and living on Roosevelt Island, mostly because I am not a single guy and need a 2-bedroom. The prices on Roo Island are about half of midtown or the UES and my building is literally next to the subway station. The F train from there takes you to the Bryant Park Station (right next to Times Square and near about every Midtown-based bank) in four stops. It is also really quiet over there and a nice escape from the hustle and bustle.

For others with families, Westchester (Specifically Bronxville and Mt Vernon) are excellent options as well. The Metro North Railroad gets you from there to Grand Central in 30 minutes.....also ideal for Midtown bankers.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 2:45pm

jpc100:
second roosevelt island, only real con is that cab rides can add up if you don't want to wait for the F at 3am

If your working until 3am you just expense it

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 3:17pm

West New York is a little more reasonable than Hoboken. Its just north of the Lincoln and NJT and jitney buses service it all day/night for reasonable fare. Plus you don't pay city taxes. Compared to Hoboken the parking situation is way more amenable. Ive never even seen a boot in Weehawken/West New York/Guttenberg.

In Hoboken they boot people on Sundays when theres parking everywhere. And I 2nd what someone else said about the PATH wait times at night and on weekends. Ive lost 3 lbs of water weight sweating my ass off on a PATH platform to get to the city at night.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 3:50pm

NYU:
West New York is a little more reasonable than Hoboken. Its just north of the Lincoln and NJT and jitney buses service it all day/night for reasonable fare. Plus you don't pay city taxes. Compared to Hoboken the parking situation is way more amenable. Ive never even seen a boot in Weehawken/West New York/Guttenberg.

In Hoboken they boot people on Sundays when theres parking everywhere. And I 2nd what someone else said about the PATH wait times at night and on weekends. Ive lost 3 lbs of water weight sweating my ass off on a PATH platform to get to the city at night.

You are stuck with the ferry though living there, thats not an option if you work late

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 4:59pm

Bobb:
NYU:
West New York is a little more reasonable than Hoboken. Its just north of the Lincoln and NJT and jitney buses service it all day/night for reasonable fare. Plus you don't pay city taxes. Compared to Hoboken the parking situation is way more amenable. Ive never even seen a boot in Weehawken/West New York/Guttenberg.

In Hoboken they boot people on Sundays when theres parking everywhere. And I 2nd what someone else said about the PATH wait times at night and on weekends. Ive lost 3 lbs of water weight sweating my ass off on a PATH platform to get to the city at night.

You are stuck with the ferry though living there, thats not an option if you work late

Im not sure what you mean by 'stuck'. The Ferry is a bonus every morning if you dont want the cheaper alternative of the bus. Then you have the bus to get home all day and night. Plus, if you work late youre taking a car home to your place 10 minutes from the Lincoln.

 
Jul 10, 2012 - 7:23pm

Kings Point estate. Waterfront estates are very baller and even more so when they're 30 minutes away from Penn Station

Competition is a sin. -John D. Rockefeller
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 11:45pm

hartfordwhalers84:
Any recommendations for a guy with a wife and baby, and isn't a MD?

Somebody else mentioned it, Weehawken and West New York are both really nice by the water and the ferry runs pretty frequently until midnight. Also, car service home from midtown late takes 15mins:

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger
 
Jul 10, 2012 - 11:55pm

hartfordwhalers84:
Any recommendations for a guy with a wife and baby, and isn't a MD?

How old are your kids? The answer will depend a lot on that. If I read it correctly and you have one baby not old enough for school yet, you can look at Astoria, Jersey City, Brooklyn, as others have mentioned. You can send your kids to private pre-schools, because moving to the more suburban areas won't help for now since public schools don't start for a few years. Most of these places are great.

If you can take a longer commute, the options are enormous. Much of it depends on your priorities.

 
Jul 11, 2012 - 3:33pm
"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger
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