COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the normal daily lives of New York City residents. Under Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE restrictions that have been in place since March 22nd, NYC’s real estate industry is still considered “non-essential” with the exception of virtual showings. In-person showings will return one day soon, but the question remains, what will the real estate market look like on the other side?

For those choosing to stay in NYC after this is over, many buyers and renters have decided on new criteria for their homes, like the need for outdoor space, a home office, and a bit more square footage. Other city dwellers have decided it’s time to uproot and finally make the move to the suburbs for a backyard, nature trails, and plenty more space.

If you find yourself in the latter group, running for the ‘burbs, you may need to sell your apartment before you can officially escape from the concrete jungle. Let’s connect to discuss selling your home. And while we’re at it, we’ll connect you to the best-in-class real estate agents in your new search area. We take pride in the vast connections we’ve made in the NYC Metro area.

Picking your new hometown is an important one that requires a lot of research. After all, there are hundreds of commuter neighborhoods to choose from. The Whitman Team narrowed down our top 10 picks in the Tri-state area. Give it a read and then give us a shout!

New York – Hudson Valley

If you’re relocating to a commuter town in New York, you’re likely deciding between Long Island and Hudson Valley. 

To the North of Manhattan, commuters flock to Westchester County as a popular destination to call home. Westchester is situated in Lower Hudson Valley and is made up of six cities, 19 towns, and 23 villages. With so many different neighborhood options, you need to decide on your “Must Haves”? Do you want a river town? Do you want the hustle and bustle? Do you want an expensive house on a hill in a sleepier town or a sleek new condo in the center of the action? Do you want to be 35 minutes from Midtown or 65 minutes? Do you need the best school district? Does your budget account for the high taxes that come along with Westchester? 

If you have the flexibility to work remotely, looking further north up the Hudson Valley may be more economical for you. As you stretch into Putman and Dutchess county, you are offered more moderate prices, more space and if you’re so inclined, property along the Hudson River, mountain views, and brisk fresh air.

Hastings-on-Hudson (Westchester County)

  • Commute to Midtown: 53 minutes from Hastings-on-Hudson Station to Grand Central Station (Metro-North)
  • Vibe: Hastings-on-Hudson is a popular, two-square-mile river town 20 miles north of Midtown. The picturesque downtown, spacious parks, waterfront views of the Palisades across the Hudson, and hilly streets are often scouted by TV and film crews. Among the steep hills, you’ll find a valley in which nestles sweet mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and apartments. The community prides itself on its eco-friendly lifestyle and has banned plastic bags and styrofoam. The town is easily walkable, and there are a number of hiking trails to enjoy. The homes in Hastings-on-Hudson are a collection of Colonials, Tudors, historic, and modern.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $714.5K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $397 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.
    • $576.5K – Median Sold Home Price

Bronxville (Westchester County)

  • Commute to Midtown: 31 minutes from Bronxville Station to Grand Central Station (Metro-North)
  • Vibe: Ready to leave the chaos of NYC but not quite ready for the big leap to total suburbia? Bronxville is a quaint, friendly, walkable one-square-mile town, 15 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. It’s a well-kept neighborhood with an affluent community that doesn’t consider itself “flashy.” Throughout the downtown area, you’ll bump shoulders with commuters making their way to the convenient Metro-North train station, students, diners, and shoppers. Outside of downtown, you’ll find a mix of residential homes consisting of apartments, townhouses, standalone homes, and even a handful of rental buildings. Many of the home styles are Tudors and Colonials that were built in the 1920s-1930s.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $1.2M – Median Listing Home Price
    • $523 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.
    • $998K – Median Sold Home Price

Cold Spring (Putnam County)

  • Commute to Midtown: 1 hour, 31 minutes from Cold Spring Station to Grand Central Station (Metro-North)
  • Vibe: For those seeking a life further from NYC with a bit more greenery, scenery, space, and culture, Cold Spring should be on your list of towns to consider. Fifty miles north of Manhattan, you’ll find that this town draws homeowners and weekend explorers alike. This Hudson River town is known for hiking at Breakneck Ridge or Bull Hill, bike trails, and spectacular Main Street. Main Street is lined with dining, entertainment, coffee shops, clothing stores, and antique shops. A vast majority of the 0.6-square-mile village was designated a National Historic Landmark District in the 1980s. The style of homes and architecture is very 19th-century, Neoclassical, and Victorian. You won’t find modern and contemporary homes on your search in Cold Spring.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $450K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $293 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.
    • $446.7K – Median Sold Home Price

New York – Long Island

Long Island is made up of Nassau County to the west and Suffolk County to the east. Nassau County is popular for commuters, as it provides an easy ride to Midtown on the Long Island Railroad. Whether you’re looking for beach vibes, hustle-bustle, or a quiet backyard, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you want more bang for your buck, you can search further east, but be prepared for longer LIRR rides. Pro-tip when searching on Long Island – Check the nearest train station’s parking waitlist, which may be frightful.

Port Washington (Nassau County)

  • Commute to Midtown: 54 minutes from Port Washington Station to Penn Station (LIRR)
  • Vibe: Port Washington is located on the North Shore of Long Island on Cow Neck Peninsula. What do locals love most about Port Washington? The view and its proximity to the coastline, boating, fishing, and sunsets by the dock. The area is loaded with marinas, parks, yacht clubs, and golf courses. It spans 5.6 square miles (4.2 miles of land and 1.4 miles of water). There is a healthy mix of shops and restaurants along Main Street. All the locals agree on the strong sense of community and pride in Port. Always want a seat on your morning commute? You’re in luck since Port Washington is the first stop on its line.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $923.6K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $511 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.
    • $981.5K – Median Sold Home Price

Rockville Centre (Nassau County)

  • Commute to Midtown: 34 minutes from Rockville Centre Station to Penn Station (LIRR)
  • Vibe: People love Rockville Centre for the ability to live car-free. The entire town is only 3.4 square miles, and the booming downtown is a three-block radius. Some call Rockville Centre a “mini-Manhattan” because people walk everywhere and ride bikes and scooters. The village actually encourages walking over driving and was recently looking into a trolley system to move folks around. There are plentiful places to eat in town, and it’s a quick 15-minute ride to Jones Beach or Long Beach. A major commuting perk is that the train station offers a direct line into Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $699K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $381 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.
    • $285K – Median Sold Home Price

New Jersey

Searching for a commuter town in the Garden State to call your own? You can get to Midtown by train, bus, ferry, or a quick PATH train ride.

Hoboken (Hudson County)

  • Commute: 19 minutes from Hoboken Station to 33rd Street Station (PATH)
  • Vibe: Hoboken is a vibrant, walkable, one-mile radius town on the Hudson River, directly across from Manhattan’s west side. The city views are not to be missed, both day and night. Walkways, parks, playgrounds, and skate parks span the eastern edge of Hoboken, creating breathtaking moments along the river. The town is lined with brownstones, giving the space a rich small city vibe. Downtown Hoboken consists of more walk-up apartments and multi-family homes, while Uptown Hoboken is a mix of newer rental buildings, condos, and brownstones. The main thoroughfare, Washington Avenue, is sprawling with shops, delicious dining establishments, and bars.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $785K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $730 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.

Jersey City (Hudson County)

  • Commute: 23 minutes from Journal Square Station to 33rd Street Station (PATH)
  • Vibe: Jersey City is quite large, spanning 15 square miles, and is divided into six wards with uniquely different vibes (Downtown, Journal Square, the Heights, Bergen-Lafayette, Greenville, and the West Side). It is diverse in culture and vast in population and geography. Luxury high-rises run rampant in downtown Jersey City, and Journal Square is booming with commercial development. The Heights has a more artsy ambiance, while Downtown is known for its hustle-bustle and family-friendly vibe. The further out neighborhoods have a more residential flare. The views of downtown Manhattan across the water are breathtaking.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $649K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $574 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.

Ridgewood (Bergen County)

  • Commute: 57 minutes by train from Ridgewood Station to Secaucus to Penn Station (alternative commutes include train through Hoboken or bus to Port Authority)
  • Vibe: Ridgewood is consistently among the top-ranked neighborhoods to live in New Jersey. The village is located in Bergen County, the most populated county in the state, and is known for its Victorian homes and turn-of-the-century farmhouses. The town comes with a price, like much of the county, and is known for great schools, tons of parks, and a thriving downtown.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $859K – Median Listing Home Price
    • $313 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.

Connecticut

Last up are our top commuter picks in Connecticut. Compared to New Jersey and New York, Connecticut has the lowest state income tax; compared to the higher real estate taxes in popular New Jersey and New York suburbs, Connecticut’s real estate taxes are generally lower.

Greenwich

  • Commute: 45-65 minutes from Greenwich to Grand Central Station (Metro-North, Amtrak)
  • Vibe: Greenwich is the largest town on Connecticut’s Gold Coast and the wealthiest town in the state. It is consistently among the top Connecticut towns to live thanks to its greenery, beaches, various train stations with express schedules to NYC, and gorgeous downtown packed with high-end shops and dining. The town is known to have high earners and great public schools. If your budget affords it, this waterfront town is not to be missed.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $2M – Median Listing Home Price
    • $529 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.
    • $2M – Median Sold Home Price

Stamford

  • Commute: 59 minutes from Stamford Station to Grand Central Station (Metro-North)
  • Vibe: Stamford is a fan favorite for those looking for a big city feel with lots of people. Transportation is at the heart of Stamford with Amtrak and Metro-North trains running through it, access to seven airports, and major highway connections; Stamford is even equipped with a trolley that takes a 30-minute loop around the city with 14 stops. Another perk is that this vibrant community is along the water. Many large companies have their HQs in Stamford. The downtown is packed with music venues, theaters, nightclubs, and restaurants. Whether you choose to live downtown or in one of the various neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, Stamford is not to be missed if you’re considering a Connecticut commuter home.
  • Affordability (data from Realtor.com, 5.6.2020):
    • $519.9K  – Median Listing Home Price
    • $248 – Median Listing Home Price/Sq. Ft.