Deciding whether to buy in Manhattan or Brooklyn is such a personal decision.

  • What do you want out of your neighborhood?
  • Do you want to be able to walk or ride to work?
  • How long of a commute can you handle?
  • Are you looking for more upside by buying in a less established market?
  • Would you prefer a 2-family home with an income stream?

When I first started writing this, I was planning on doing a Manhattan vs Brooklyn comparison but I quickly realized it was quite one-sided. I think many people who believe they could never live anywhere but Manhattan would be surprised by how easily they could fall in love with Brooklyn. And the many benefits that Brooklyn offers can’t be denied.

Affordability

Of course, many neighborhoods in Brooklyn definitely offer more affordable options but that isn’t the case all over. When people ask me if Brooklyn is cheaper, my response is that it may not always be but generally you get more bang for your buck. At the same budget, you may get more square footage or the outdoor space you couldn’t find/afford in Manhattan, or a condo instead of a co-op, or that washer/dryer you can’t live without. Tax abatements are much more readily available than in Manhattan, keeping monthly costs low so you may be able to stretch your dollar a little further. $1000 off your monthly fees could go toward a larger mortgage to still keep you within the total monthly payment that you’re looking for, therefore affording you a higher budget and more options (assuming, of course, that you can manage a higher down payment).

Commute

Often when I ask people why they are only looking in Manhattan, they say they want a shorter commute. Depending on where you work, living in close proximity to your workplace can be easier in Manhattan but Brooklyn is closer than people think and you may be surprised by the commute times. If you work in the Financial District for instance, getting to work from Brooklyn Heights would take you around 15 minutes; 25 minutes from Prospect Heights. Compare this to 35 minutes from UES or UWS and it’s clear there is a big difference between perception and reality. Getting from Prospect Heights to Union Square can take the same amount of time as from UES/UWS, depending on where you live in each of those areas. Of course if you work in Midtown, this isn’t the case. But even there, the commute is much shorter than people expect as long as you look for a property close to a train.

Charm

The majority of the time that I’ve lived in New York, it has been in Manhattan, mostly East Village. I thought I would never leave the city but the L train shut down forced me into Brooklyn almost 2 years ago and I’m so grateful for that. I do love my old neighborhood – I love so many neighborhoods it would be hard to choose a favorite – but Brooklyn offers so many of the things that I loved in Manhattan, and then some. There is no shortage of beautiful tree-lined streets here like you get in the UWS, plenty of bars and restaurants oozing charm (look at most of the IG bloggers’ pages and you will see at least half of their posts are from BK), and plenty of properties with the pre-war details that we all love.

I could go on, but I’ll leave it here for now. If you want to discuss more, I’m always available.

So what’s your vote? Are you a Brooklynite or a die-hard Manhattanite?

Reach out, let me show you around, and perhaps I can change your mind. 🙂