While buying a home before starting a family is often seen as a rite of passage in the US, if you live in New York City you’re more likely to rent than own. High rents and the financial demands of raising children may lead you to rent only the space that you really need. As a result, expanding your family means having some difficult choices to make. Census data shows that a crowded, populous borough like Manhattan has relatively few children.
Don’t dodge Brooklyn
There are housing options for families in all the boroughs. Choosing a neighborhood will depend on your priorities. Brooklyn is an excellent borough to expand your family. If you’re looking for a home with an additional bedroom, Brooklyn offers the smallest price increases as a share of current asking rents.
While the supply of 2-bedroom apartments is lower than that of the studio and 1-bedroom apartments across the city, the drop in inventory in Brooklyn is also the smallest of the five boroughs. Bushwick stands out among Brooklyn neighborhoods with abundant 2-bedroom rentals.
Queens neighborhoods are a close second if you’re looking to upgrade from a studio or a 1-bedroom flat. Overall, Queens has four neighborhoods: Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, and Kew Gardens Hills, with more 2-bedroom rentals than studios or 1-bedroom apartments. Of the Queens neighborhoods, Long Island City also stands out for requiring only 6 percent more rent for the median 2-bedroom unit compared to the median studio or 1-bedroom unit.
When two aren’t enough
If you’re seeking the third bedroom, options narrow dramatically. Only six neighborhoods in New York City offer more 3-bedroom apartments than 2-bedroom apartments: East New York, Canarsie, Bayside, Ridgewood, North New York, and West Harlem. Interestingly, in Manhattan and Queens, the additional cost of a third bedroom is lower, on a percentage basis, than upgrading to a second bedroom.