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Old 02-28-2014, 09:10 AM
 
82 posts, read 153,854 times
Reputation: 55

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Hi

I'm trying to buy a home for my family with a limited budget. Staten Island seems much closer to being affordable than any of the other boroughs, and I was just wondering if there were any major reasons for that, as well as what it might be like to live and own on SI. When I bring up how much more affordable it might be, my wife says the only ways off SI are the ferry and the Verrazano Bridge, and that the toll is about $15.00 each time. Is the bridge very crowded? Is it really tough to live having only the one exit to go through if you want to drive off SI to get anywhere? Are there enough amenities on SI for you it to be self-contained enough for all your basics, or would you need to drive off SI a lot? Besides College of Staten Island, are there other colleges on SI? What is the commute to downtown Manhattan like? I really know nothing about SI except that housing seems relatively affordable there, but I'm wondering if there's something too good to be true about that.

Also, would there be things for a 19 year old girl to do there?

Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: NYC
18,963 posts, read 12,116,579 times
Reputation: 23121
Quote:
Originally Posted by middle villager View Post
Hi

I'm trying to buy a home for my family with a limited budget. Staten Island seems much closer to being affordable than any of the other boroughs, and I was just wondering if there were any major reasons for that, as well as what it might be like to live and own on SI. When I bring up how much more affordable it might be, my wife says the only ways off SI are the ferry and the Verrazano Bridge, and that the toll is about $15.00 each time. Is the bridge very crowded? Is it really tough to live having only the one exit to go through if you want to drive off SI to get anywhere? Are there enough amenities on SI for you it to be self-contained enough for all your basics, or would you need to drive off SI a lot? Besides College of Staten Island, are there other colleges on SI? What is the commute to downtown Manhattan like? I really know nothing about SI except that housing seems relatively affordable there, but I'm wondering if there's something too good to be true about that.

Also, would there be things for a 19 year old girl to do there?

Thanks.
If I were you stay away from SI. How is SI more affordable than other parts of Brooklyn and Queens? The commute to Manhattan can be decent if you're near the Ferry to expensive and slow if you live far away from the ferry. The traffic getting in/out is ok at off-peak to miserable during normal times. There's very little off-peak hours it is busy everyday regardless weekends. Most people that live there have roots or relatives nearby. Very little business district and many parts of the south are still in bad shape from Sandy.

As for things to do, your 19 yr old daughter will be complaining about spending $$$ to leave SI because there's nothing much to do at SI. There's 1 shopping mall and it's in really old shape and condition.

You should look into NJ or suburbs of NY.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
898 posts, read 1,084,034 times
Reputation: 1366
So there are actually 4 bridges connecting staten island.

The VZ bridge will take you to Brooklyn. It costs $15 to get in but nothing to get out (FYI all bridges only charge toll for getting in but not out). The Bayonne Bridge takes you to Bayonne NJ. The Outerbridge and Gothals (?) bridge will take you to NJ as well but closer to the main highways (Turnpike and Garden State Pkwy).

For Staten Island residents with EZ Pass you can send EZ pass your ID with a Staten Island address and your car registration with a Staten Island address and you pay roughly half price (starting point of somewhere like $8 and it goes down to around $6 the more trips you make). You will also get a discount on the NJ bridges.

The housing is affordable for all the reasons you mentioned - it is pretty distant and there is no connecting subway. It can feel very suburban in the south shore but the closer you get to the VZ bridge the more crowded it will seem but still nothing compared to the rest of the city.

As far as amenities you can certainly find everything you need on Staten Island but there's no culture there (IMO) and you really need an easy commute to Manhattan as far as I'm concerned to enjoy NYC. That means living close to the bridge or the ferry. The bridge has some up and coming neighborhoods nearby but stay north of the bridge or west of Hylan because the area right near the bridge is prone to flooding. You also have various express buses that take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours each way depending on traffic (I'll get to that shortly).

As for traffic - the SI expressway is a MESS right now and will be for the foreseeable future. the infrastructure simply cannot handle the influx of people and cars in recent years and the highway is ALWAYS under construction. You want to live somewhere where your commute does not involve the SI expressway. With that said, traffic on the highway can and does carry over to traffic on the bridge. An accident on the SI expressway west during afternoon rush hour can cause delays all the way to the BQE so keep that in mind.

I'm also not a fan of the culture and people in SI but I'm generalizing. There are plenty of nice people, but the high schools leave something to be desired. I'll be leery about sending my daughter to College of Staten Island and would much prefer to send her to either Brooklyn college or Baruch / Hunter (which are in Manhattan).

I don't know of other colleges in SI but I could be wrong. With that said, the CUNY system is pretty cool in that you can belong to one CUNY and go to another. Thus your daughter can apply to Hunter / Baruch and still take some of her classes in CSI (College of Staten Island).

Let me know if there are other questions I can help you with

EDIT: I also agree with the above poster about NJ. Given the choice I would invest in the house in NJ with a decent commute to Manhattan than SI.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:42 AM
 
Location: NYC
18,963 posts, read 12,116,579 times
Reputation: 23121
If you want your daughter to go to a real college with a real campus experience you have only St Johns U in Queens or Fordham in the Bronx. I graduated from St Johns so I have more bias there but other than that most other colleges around are commuting colleges without a true campus feel.

If you go to NJ then you can find Rutgers, Kean, or Montclair U. they all have pretty big campuses.

AFAIK about SI, it's gonna be a mess there traffic wise for a few years(try 10 yrs) until the repairs are done.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:56 AM
 
264 posts, read 486,461 times
Reputation: 134
SI is less expensive for a reason. Unless you are in St. George and near the ferry there isn't much going on for a 19 yr old.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: New York City
633 posts, read 1,066,217 times
Reputation: 299
Please do not move your family here. Google "drug epidemic on Staten Island". SI has the highest rate of drug abuse and overdoses in all of NYC and the second highest in NY state. The kids out here USE. Okay, some don't like mine, but the majority do. Pills and now on Heroin. The drug deals are out in the open, everywhere. The "nicer" the area the worse it is. We moved here from Queens, biggest mistake in my LIFE. There is a moronic mentality here. You watch cable TV? That mentality is all over here.

I have a 20 yr old that has one friend because EVERYONE SHE KNOWS USES DRUGS! I REPEAT...EVERYONE SHE KNOWS USES DRUGS. She is graduating this spring from CUNY, and we are trying to relocate far from here.

You go to any train station, the strip malls, deals in the open. I had to sell my home in Annadale (nice, affluent area, upper middle class) because the drug abuse was insane, the dealers pulling up all day and night. I am NOT exaggerating. Staten Islanders are not nice. Kids are all beyone spoiled, there is a "I'm more important that you" attitude that prevails here. It is a TERRIBLE place for kids.

Once out here you realize the toll on the VZ isn't your problem....
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
3,875 posts, read 8,176,514 times
Reputation: 1604
Quote:
Originally Posted by middle villager View Post
Hi

I'm trying to buy a home for my family with a limited budget. Staten Island seems much closer to being affordable than any of the other boroughs, and I was just wondering if there were any major reasons for that, as well as what it might be like to live and own on SI. When I bring up how much more affordable it might be, my wife says the only ways off SI are the ferry and the Verrazano Bridge, and that the toll is about $15.00 each time. Is the bridge very crowded? Is it really tough to live having only the one exit to go through if you want to drive off SI to get anywhere? Are there enough amenities on SI for you it to be self-contained enough for all your basics, or would you need to drive off SI a lot? Besides College of Staten Island, are there other colleges on SI? What is the commute to downtown Manhattan like? I really know nothing about SI except that housing seems relatively affordable there, but I'm wondering if there's something too good to be true about that.

Also, would there be things for a 19 year old girl to do there?

Thanks.
For the toll on the VZN Bridge, it's about $6 (I think it's like $5.98 or $5.76 or something. I forget offhand) if you have an EZ Pass with a Staten Island discount. The $15 toll is only if you're paying cash. (It's only collected entering Staten Island, so a round-trip for $6 isn't too bad).

Generally, the bridge itself doesn't have too much traffic. However, the roads leading up to it are a different story. They're doing some kind of construction project on the SI Expressway, and I can't figure out what it's for (they did some reconfiguration of the on/off ramps a year or two ago, and they plan on extending the bus lane, but that's further west, so I have no idea what they're up to).

The supermarkets and stores are generally well-stocked enough that you can find what you need in your own neighborhood. Some people go to New Jersey for shopping, but it isn't really necessary. (There's three bridges to NJ: The Goethals, Outerbridge, and Bayonne Bridge)

There's the College of Staten Island (which is a public university), and then Wagner College & St. John's University, which are private.

Keep in mind that the ferry isn't the only way to get to Manhattan. There's also buses to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn that connect to the subway (those would be the S53/S79/S93), and there's numerous express buses that bring you directly to Manhattan (some go to Downtown, some go to Midtown, some go to both).

Reliability can be pretty bad for all three modes during rush hour. With the ferry, the ferry itself is reasonably reliable (far from perfect, though), but the problem is that the buses that connect to it aren't always reliable (due to various reasons. Sometimes it's because of traffic, other times it's because of crowding, other times it's because the drivers don't leave the depot on time, or some combination of the three). Of course, this happens everywhere, but the issue is that if your bus comes late, you'll miss the ferry and be forced to wait at least 15 minutes for the next one (assuming it's running well and you're traveling during rush hour, or else it's at least 30 minutes)

With the express buses, different routes have different degrees of reliability. I've heard that the express routes along Hylan Blvd are especially unreliable, because even though they're frequent, they travel down a very congested road. (There's a bus lane, but apparently, problems spill over and affect it as well). Once you're on the expressway, there's also that congestion to worry about (it usually moves, but slowly. They're doing construction on the bus lane in Staten Island, but the Brooklyn one is open, and moves pretty well. But when you're in regular traffic, it can get bad at times). There's also some routes that run through NJ to Midtown Manhattan, but are affected by problems at the Lincoln Tunnel.

With the routes to Brooklyn, they have reliability issues within Staten Island. (The S93 is generally pretty reliable. The S53 is a busy route, so it can be somewhat unreliable at times, but it makes up for it in frequency. I don't know how the S79 is, because it's frequent, but it goes down Hylan Blvd. Again, I'm not sure how much the bus lane helps in the AM rush). But at least once you're in Brooklyn, the subway is usually pretty reliable.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:41 PM
 
Location: NYC
9 posts, read 36,426 times
Reputation: 28
I enjoy living on Staten Island after living in Queens and Brooklyn all my life. I work in Manhattan and start very early in the morning. My commute at 5:30 am is 40 minutes to downtown Manhattan from the SI Mall area. When I return home at 3:00 pm it takes me one hour. VZN bridge costs about $6 and is paid only once. My mother takes the express bus to Manhattan, 55th Street, and it takes her 1:30 hours each way. The commute is no big deal for me especially after driving to Queens from Manhattan for a living every day for 10 years during rush hour, that was nightmarish. I don't have to deal with alternate side parking and there is parking everywhere I want to park including the front of my home. I used to get home in Ridgewood, Queens and look for parking for an hour and find nothing! It was insane and it took its toll on me. I like my kids' public school, it is very good. The homes are a bit more affordable here. I am planning to buy a bigger home on the south shore. There are a few colleges on SI, a good nursing school, it's very close to all that NYC has to offer, I am personally very pleased to live here. SI is self contained, everything I need is here. Look at Eltingville, Great Kills, the middle and southern areas of SI and you will find a nice place to live that you will like. I highly recommend it. A previous post mentioned drugs, just keep in mind that they are everywhere in NYC. I have never seen so much drug use in my life as I saw living in Forest Hills and later attending NYU and I used to work for a few years in Bushwick!! Take that as you may. Give SI a look and you may like it.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:41 PM
 
749 posts, read 810,991 times
Reputation: 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by vision33r View Post
If I were you stay away from SI. How is SI more affordable than other parts of Brooklyn and Queens? The commute to Manhattan can be decent if you're near the Ferry to expensive and slow if you live far away from the ferry. The traffic getting in/out is ok at off-peak to miserable during normal times. There's very little off-peak hours it is busy everyday regardless weekends. Most people that live there have roots or relatives nearby. Very little business district and many parts of the south are still in bad shape from Sandy.

As for things to do, your 19 yr old daughter will be complaining about spending $$$ to leave SI because there's nothing much to do at SI. There's 1 shopping mall and it's in really old shape and condition.

You should look into NJ or suburbs of NY.
I wonder how I have managed to live in S.I. for 45 years, and raised two daughters!!!!!!!! if I were to think of Staten Island the way you describe it..........
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:49 PM
 
749 posts, read 810,991 times
Reputation: 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by SINY2NC View Post
Please do not move your family here. Google "drug epidemic on Staten Island". SI has the highest rate of drug abuse and overdoses in all of NYC and the second highest in NY state. The kids out here USE. Okay, some don't like mine, but the majority do. Pills and now on Heroin. The drug deals are out in the open, everywhere. The "nicer" the area the worse it is. We moved here from Queens, biggest mistake in my LIFE. There is a moronic mentality here. You watch cable TV? That mentality is all over here.

I have a 20 yr old that has one friend because EVERYONE SHE KNOWS USES DRUGS! I REPEAT...EVERYONE SHE KNOWS USES DRUGS. She is graduating this spring from CUNY, and we are trying to relocate far from here.

You go to any train station, the strip malls, deals in the open. I had to sell my home in Annadale (nice, affluent area, upper middle class) because the drug abuse was insane, the dealers pulling up all day and night. I am NOT exaggerating. Staten Islanders are not nice. Kids are all beyone spoiled, there is a "I'm more important that you" attitude that prevails here. It is a TERRIBLE place for kids.

Once out here you realize the toll on the VZ isn't your problem....
I have lived on Staten Island for 45 years, and worked in Edison, Somerset, Plainfield, Marlboro in New Jersey for myriad of years in Emergency Rooms. And drugs are EVERYWHERE........
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