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Old 07-05-2018, 10:25 AM
 
8 posts, read 1,486 times
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Hi all - living with partner in the UWS now (very upper - at the 103rd stop of the 1 train). However, due to changing family situation we're looking to leave our 2 bedroom and get a large one bedroom. He commutes to Washington Heights, while I currently work in Midtown west.

Budget of $3k, but would prefer to pay save some money if possible. I think we could find something in our current area but finding something large and renovated at that price may take some hunting, so we're thinking hard about moving a bit further out for rent savings while still keeping a high quality of life. We bought furniture to fit our current spacious place, so working with a king sized bed, loveseat plus 2 chairs, etc, a full sized kitchen is a must, and really like having the dishwasher and washer/dryer. We're certainly going to move out of state in 2-3 years, so we're really just looking for somewhere that we can be comfortable transitionally.

Any suggestions or thoughts? I'm guessing the obvious sweet spot may be Manhattanville/west Harlem as it won't add too much time to my commute to midtown and would leave us with a couple subway line options. However, while we'd like to still have convenient grocery store and a few restaurant options, we're also both kind of sick of the noise and city life, so there's a certain appeal to the green open space of a place like Riverdale. I'd also personally like being in Riverdale as there is a horse stables there (a hobby of mine that I've had to put on hold while living in Manhattan), but I'm concerned that we'd have to get a car and that would eat up anything we're saving in rent.

Would love to hear of any options that feel a bit more suburban and may save some cash while not having a 1+ hour commute to midtown. Would also love thoughts on the safety and vibes of upper Manhattan neighborhoods.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:40 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
7,584 posts, read 2,699,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmany23 View Post
Hi all - living with partner in the UWS now (very upper - at the 103rd stop of the 1 train). However, due to changing family situation we're looking to leave our 2 bedroom and get a large one bedroom. He commutes to Washington Heights, while I currently work in Midtown west.

Budget of $3k, but would prefer to pay save some money if possible. I think we could find something in our current area but finding something large and renovated at that price may take some hunting, so we're thinking hard about moving a bit further out for rent savings while still keeping a high quality of life. We bought furniture to fit our current spacious place, so working with a king sized bed, loveseat plus 2 chairs, etc, a full sized kitchen is a must, and really like having the dishwasher and washer/dryer. We're certainly going to move out of state in 2-3 years, so we're really just looking for somewhere that we can be comfortable transitionally.

Any suggestions or thoughts? I'm guessing the obvious sweet spot may be Manhattanville/west Harlem as it won't add too much time to my commute to midtown and would leave us with a couple subway line options. However, while we'd like to still have convenient grocery store and a few restaurant options, we're also both kind of sick of the noise and city life, so there's a certain appeal to the green open space of a place like Riverdale. I'd also personally like being in Riverdale as there is a horse stables there (a hobby of mine that I've had to put on hold while living in Manhattan), but I'm concerned that we'd have to get a car and that would eat up anything we're saving in rent.

Would love to hear of any options that feel a bit more suburban and may save some cash while not having a 1+ hour commute to midtown. Would also love thoughts on the safety and vibes of upper Manhattan neighborhoods.
If you want a 1 bedroom under $3,000, then Riverdale is a good idea. You don't have to get a car if you move to Central Riverdale. It's very walkable, with the shops and stores and banks all there. There is a West Side express bus (BxM2) that can take you directly to Midtown (it terminates at 34th Street-Penn Station) or perhaps the BxM18 if you leave early enough which runs down 5th Avenue and up Madison going to Riverdale. It does not make any stops until 56th street, so it is a quick alternative to the BxM2. Spuyten Duyvil is another option but has a much smaller shopping area. Spuyten Duyvil is often times lumped in with Central Riverdale, depending on how far north you consider Spuyten Duyvil to go.

You can of course take the bus to the 1 train but why put up with packed buses when you can ride in comfort? You can get an unlimited Metrocard for the express bus which is $59.50 per week and when you don't use it perhaps you can give it to your husband since it is good on the subway as well.

With the BxM18 your commute would be around 35 - 45 minutes when there's no traffic. You can also take Metro-North which is roughly 25 minutes to Grand Central. If you know which exits to use, you can simply walk to your office in you work in the area. There are shuttle buses called the Hudson Raillink that run throughout all of Riverdale to the Metro-North stations (Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil respectively).

Riverdale would offer you a lot more space for much less. One bedrooms with a doorman can be had in buildings like the Whitehall for $2,700 a month and there are other options for under $2,500. If you're concerned about shopping, many residents either go to Manhattan to shop or to Westchester. Going to Manhattan, you wouldn't need a car. You could shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's if you're more thrifty, and take the express bus home (BxM2 runs from West Midtown, making stops in Midtown, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side (Madison and 5th) and then Mount Sinai). BxM1 serves East Midtown, making stops in East Midtown and the Upper East Side (3rd and Lex respectively).

The different express buses are below:

BxM2 - http://web.mta.info/busco/schedules/bxm2cur.pdf

BxM1 - http://web.mta.info/busco/schedules/bxm1cur.pdf

BxM18 - http://web.mta.info/busco/schedules/bxm18cur.pdf

Last edited by pierrepont7731; 07-05-2018 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:10 PM
 
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I'd be really surprised if you couldn't find a decent one-bed for $3K in that immediate vicinity or even further south. Maybe the w/d might be a bit of a challenge.

West Harlem is nice but less inexpensive than you might think and certainly full of the noise and bustle. You could get a decent-sized recent-construction two-bed at the Langston for $3K with d/w but no w/d. Right around the corner from the ABCD at 145th St., straight shot to midtown west and to Washington Heights.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:14 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
7,584 posts, read 2,699,692 times
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Originally Posted by kmany23 View Post
Thanks, helpful info on riverdale commute. I work all the way on the Hudson so Penn station transit options are easier than Grand Central, but there is the 7 to get crosstown if needed.
Depending on what time you have to be in, I would do the BxM18 to the 7. Take the BxM18 to 5th and 43rd and transfer to the 7 train at 5th Avenue. 2 stops to Hudson Yards. You can of course take the subway, but you'd be looking at 2 - 3 trains plus a bus. Bx7 or Bx10 to the 1 train, the 1 train to 96th, 2 or 3 train to 42nd and then the 7. If you do Metro-North you'd need a Metro-North pass, plus a Metrocard for the subway and shuttle bus.

That's the only issue with Riverdale is the amount of transferring, hence why I recommend the express bus to cut down on so many transfers. The commute and lack of entertainment will be your biggest complaints.

Riverdale is a sleepy suburban bedroom community and it functions as such, so most residents go to Manhattan for night life. The BxM1 and BxM2 run 7 days a week late into the night to and from Riverdale, so you are only a short ride away from the Upper West Side and Upper East Side (roughly 25-30 minute ride each way depending on where you board which is not terrible at all).
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:18 PM
 
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Hi - tried searching google maps from penn station or grand central to about 5 currently listed apartments in Riverdale (tried to select a variety of locations within Riverdale) and all commute options are showing over 1 hour to either Penn or GC. No mention of any of the buses you note, it's just giving me the BxM1, 2, or 3. Any idea why? These routes you mention are only at rush hours?
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:20 PM
 
8 posts, read 1,486 times
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Originally Posted by randomperson2 View Post
I'd be really surprised if you couldn't find a decent one-bed for $3K in that immediate vicinity or even further south. Maybe the w/d might be a bit of a challenge.

West Harlem is nice but less inexpensive than you might think and certainly full of the noise and bustle. You could get a decent-sized recent-construction two-bed at the Langston for $3K with d/w but no w/d. Right around the corner from the ABCD at 145th St., straight shot to midtown west and to Washington Heights.

We could, but we'll be moving during low season (Nov 1) and our experience with lower inventory was that it was a challenge to find large apartments. Plus, I'd rather spend 2.5 than 3 if we can. It seems like there are more renovated 700 sq ft + in Harlem.

The washer dryer isn't a dealbreaker, but with 2 cats it's very nice to be able to wash blankets and clothes as often and easily as I like.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:28 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
7,584 posts, read 2,699,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmany23 View Post
Hi - tried searching google maps from penn station or grand central to about 5 currently listed apartments in Riverdale (tried to select a variety of locations within Riverdale) and all commute options are showing over 1 hour to either Penn or GC. No mention of any of the buses you note, it's just giving me the BxM1, 2, or 3. Any idea why? These routes you mention are only at rush hours?
You need to change the settings on Google Maps. I have friends who live in Riverdale and I visit them with the express buses or Metro-North. The BxM1 and BxM2 serve a different section of Riverdale (the part of Riverdale uphill). They run 7 days a week, running as late as 12:30 - 12:40am to Riverdale during the week and 11:00pm-11:15pm to Manhattan from Riverdale. The BxM18 is a rush hour only bus serving the Wall Street area and Midtown, and they from about 06:15pm - 07:45am from Riverdale, and 4:15 - 07:15pm to Riverdale. On weekends the they run late to Riverdale 12:40am - 01:15 on Saturdays and 12:30am on Sundays). Refer to the schedules I posted for more info.

The BxM3 serves the area of Riverdale along Broadway and runs 7 days a week as well to and from 23rd street in Midtown, but not as long as the BxM1 and BxM2 do. If you show me some of the listings I can tell you more about the area. Riverdale is quite large and HILLY and broken up into subsections. You should definitely factor in any hills into your commute because you will likely live on a hill somewhere in Riverdale (they are almost impossible to avoid).

I would recommend making some tweaks in Google because if you just put in the address, they will give you whatever option they think is best which may not be correct. Put in things like "bus" only, fewer transfers, and then the express buses will come up. Your best bet is to look at the bus schedules I gave you. They give a pretty idea of how long the commute will be. If you want the best commute, opt for apartments in Spuyten Duyvil (sometimes called "South Riverdale") or Central Riverdale. North Riverdale is the most northern part of Riverdale and the least pedestrian friendly outside of Fieldston, thus meaning you'd have the longest commute from there to Manhattan and a car.
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:13 PM
 
8 posts, read 1,486 times
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Originally Posted by pierrepont7731 View Post
You need to change the settings on Google Maps.
Thanks, I had checked preferred bus but wasn't getting anything different. I've looked now by setting a departure at 6PM and do see the 18 bus line from Grand Central, but it's still showing 57 minutes to Sputen Duyvil (so presumably a bit longer if I went into central Riverdale). That lines up with what the schedule you liked for th 18 shows. Quick look at the 1 and 2 schedules shows the same - 50 minutes to 1 hour or more (depending on stop in Riverdale) to midtown stop.

Am I missing something? I know you thought 35-45 minutes without traffic, but that doesn't seem to line up to google or the schedules.

Not sure that's really going to work for me. If I add in getting to my office from the bus stop that's another 15-20 minutes. I don't know if I'll always have this job but it's unlikely the next one will be right next to the stop, so it is in fact probably closer to 1.5 hour commute each way. I think 1 hour is probably my upper limit of tolerance as far as commute goes because I really can't work from home much and tend to have long days.

May be stuck looking at what neighborhoods are safe but a bit cheaper among west harlem, hamilton heights, etc, even if I don't particularly love the atmosphere.
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:38 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
7,584 posts, read 2,699,692 times
Reputation: 2820
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmany23 View Post
Thanks, I had checked preferred bus but wasn't getting anything different. I've looked now by setting a departure at 6PM and do see the 18 bus line from Grand Central, but it's still showing 57 minutes to Sputen Duyvil (so presumably a bit longer if I went into central Riverdale). That lines up with what the schedule you liked for th 18 shows. Quick look at the 1 and 2 schedules shows the same - 50 minutes to 1 hour or more (depending on stop in Riverdale) to midtown stop.

Am I missing something? I know you thought 35-45 minutes without traffic, but that doesn't seem to line up to google or the schedules.

Not sure that's really going to work for me. If I add in getting to my office from the bus stop that's another 15-20 minutes. I don't know if I'll always have this job but it's unlikely the next one will be right next to the stop, so it is in fact probably closer to 1.5 hour commute each way. I think 1 hour is probably my upper limit of tolerance as far as commute goes because I really can't work from home much and tend to have long days.

May be stuck looking at what neighborhoods are safe but a bit cheaper among west harlem, hamilton heights, etc, even if I don't particularly love the atmosphere.
Unfortunately traffic in NYC has worsened considerably, so 35 - 45 minutes is more in the summertime outside of rush hour at that. Your other option is to take Metro-North in. From Spuyten Duyvil or Central Riverdale it would be a 5-10 bus ride to the station (Spuyten Duyvil), then 25 minutes to Grand Central, and then another 10 minutes on 7 train. That's about a 45 minute ride. I haven't factored in the walk from the subway or the walk to the shuttle but let's say 5 - 10 minutes each way. Roughly an hour....

With Metro-North you'd have a much more predictable commute that isn't tied to traffic, but one more transfer. The monthly would cost $208, plus you'd need a Metrocard ($121 for the monthly for the subway and shuttle bus).
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, NYC
1,843 posts, read 1,092,495 times
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Could do top of the hill in Washington Heights. No need to up the cost of travel with the Metro North or Express Bus (pretty expensive relatively to commute on!). It's really nice up there on Pinehurst and 184th or something like 187th and Fort Washington.
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