The Five Best NYC Neighborhoods for One-Bedrooms Under $1,500/Month

Bay Ridge rentals neighborhood

New York City’s insanely high rents coupled with its equally insanely high cost of living make being a financially solvent adult person, well, hard. Living paycheck to paycheck is the name of the game and to make ends meet we do all sorts of crazy things like living with mom and dad way longer than we’d like to admit or sharing a railroad apartment with a rando off Craigslist.

Sure, you could stay at your parents’ place forever or bunk up with a roommate in a two-bedroom to save on rent, but you’re an adult, and at a certain point the Venmo-and-futon lifestyle gets old. But according to our sister site, StreetEasy, a one-bedroom apartment in NYC can command a median asking rent of $2,700/month, so landing a one-bedroom without spiraling into debt is quite the feat.

If you’re willing to branch out a little (i.e. live deep in the outer-boroughs), you can land a reasonably priced one-bedroom. Looking at rental inventory on Naked Apartments between March and September of this year, we found the top five neighborhoods with the most one-bedrooms available for under $1,500/month. While the majority of the neighborhoods are in Central and South Brooklyn, a neighborhood in Manhattan also made the list. See the full round up below.

1. Bay Ridge 

Bay Ridge topped the list for NYC neighborhoods with the highest density of one-bedrooms under $1,500/month. Forever immortalized in popular culture as the stomping grounds of Tony Manero in “Saturday Night Fever,” Bay Ridge was traditionally Italian and Irish community with deep roots. More and more, however, the neighborhood is becoming home to many residents of all ages and nationalities, perhaps due to its relatively low rents and quiet, tucked away ambiance.

There’s no sugarcoating it, this south Brooklyn enclave is a hike from the city. Living in Bay Ridge, you’ll be far closer to Staten Island than Downtown Manhattan (it’s about 50 minutes on the R train) but you’ll trade in commute times for amazing views of the Verrazano Bridge and a much more relaxed pace of life.

Homes here are a mix of Tudor style single-family homes and large, pre-war apartment buildings. If you’re looking to rent, go for one of the pre-war apartment buildings. It might not be recently renovated, but you’re likely to get a much bigger space than you would in most other parts of the city for the same price.

Ditmas Park Rentals
(Ditmas Park. Source: Christheobscure via Flickr Creative Commons)

2. Flatbush – Ditmas Park 

Second on the list for neighborhoods with the most one-bedrooms under $1,500/month is Flatbush-Ditmas Park, a neighborhood in South Central Brooklyn. As the name might suggest, the neighborhood marries the smaller enclave of Ditmas Park with the larger adjacent area of Flatbush. Proximity, however, does not necessarily translate to similarity. Flatbush and Ditmas Park are very different. Ocean Avenue separates Ditmas Park to the west and Flatbush to the east. In Ditmas, you’ll find many large, single family home with lawns, garages and lovely rambling, wraparound porches. It’s an area of the city much more analogous to Saratoga Springs than Central Brooklyn. Along the arcaded boulevards of Cortelyou and Argyle, you’re not likely to find a one-bedroom under $1,500. As you move deeper into the neighborhood east of Ocean Avenue, however, you’ll have better luck. There, you’ll find more commercial activity, fewer trees and many large, pre-war, walk-up apartments. If you’re looking for a one-bedroom under $1,500/month, chances are you’ll end up in one of these buildings.

Crown Heights Rentals

3. Crown Heights

Crown Heights is third on the list for neighborhoods with the highest density of one-bedrooms under $1,500/month. Here you can expect to find apartments in townhouses and brownstones converted into multi-family homes and large, pre-war apartment buildings. Many of the apartments in the area are walk-ups and you won’t find a doorman in sight, but, hey, you’re on a budget.

The neighborhood is large so proximity to subway lines depends on your location. The 2/3 and 4/5 run down Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenues and are the lifeblood for residents commuting into Manhattan. The farther you live from these avenues, the longer the commute, the greater the schlep and the cheaper your rent. The neighborhood has large Caribbean and Orthodox Jewish populations and is becoming increasingly popular with young people. Given its proximity to the central Brooklyn’s cultural hub and Prospect Park, the neighborhood is lively and great place to live.

Jerome Park Bronx

4. Jerome Park

You may not be familiar with the north Bronx neighborhood Jerome Park, but if you’re on the hunt for a one-bedroom under $1,500/month, it’s  safe bet. The neighborhood features many single-family homes, but rental options are concentrated in the area’s many large, six-story apartment complexes. These buildings are mostly walk-ups and often feature courtyards. The neighborhood is close to Van Cortlandt Park and serviced by the 4 train.

Check out Jerome Park

Inwood Rentals

5. Inwood

Inwood is the only Manhattan area to make the list of best neighborhoods for one-bedrooms under $1,500/month. Though it’s about as far as you can get from Midtown Manhattan and still be within the 212-area code, the commute downtown is a straight shot on the 1 or the A. Given its relative distance from the heart of the city, the neighborhood has a small town feel, featuring lots of park space, relatively little commercial activity and a low density of residents. Most of the rental options are in medium-size, pre-war apartment buildings.

Check out Inwood