An Insider’S Guide To Housing Options Across New York City’S Eclectic Neighborhoods

With its iconic skyscrapers, bustling streets, and diverse neighborhoods, many wonder – are there actually houses in New York City? In fact, the Big Apple has a variety of housing options, from stately brownstones to modern townhouses.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, there are houses in New York City! While densely packed apartments dominate Manhattan, the outer boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx offer traditional single-family homes, row houses, and townhouses with their own outdoor space.

In this guide, we’ll explore the range of housing choices across 5 of NYC’s most popular residential neighborhoods. You’ll discover historic cobblestone streets lined with elegant townhouses, quiet suburban communities with custom-built homes, and everything in between.

Park Slope

Park Slope, located in western Brooklyn, is known for its charming tree-lined streets, diverse community, and vibrant atmosphere. This neighborhood offers a unique mix of residential and commercial spaces, making it a popular choice for residents of all ages.

Row Houses and Brownstones

One of the defining features of Park Slope is its stunning architecture, with rows of beautiful brownstones and historic row houses lining the streets. These iconic buildings showcase the neighborhood’s rich history and add to its charm.

Many of these properties have been lovingly restored and maintained, offering residents a glimpse into the past while enjoying modern amenities.

Living in a brownstone or row house in Park Slope offers a sense of community and a connection to the neighborhood’s history. With their distinctive facades, spacious layouts, and often beautiful backyard gardens, these homes provide a unique living experience that is highly sought after.

Outdoor Space

Park Slope is aptly named, as it is home to several beautiful parks and green spaces. Prospect Park, a sprawling 585-acre oasis, is the neighborhood’s centerpiece and offers a wide range of recreational activities.

From picnicking on the grassy meadows to jogging along the scenic paths, residents of Park Slope have easy access to nature and outdoor activities right on their doorstep.

In addition to Prospect Park, Park Slope also boasts smaller parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the neighborhood. These green spaces provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering a place for families to gather, children to play, and neighbors to connect.


Park Slope is often regarded as one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in New York City. With its excellent public schools, abundance of parks and playgrounds, and family-oriented amenities, it’s no wonder that many parents choose to raise their children here.

The neighborhood is home to a variety of family-friendly businesses, including toy stores, children’s clothing boutiques, and kid-friendly restaurants. There are also numerous community organizations and resources available to support families, such as parenting groups, playgroups, and local events geared towards children and parents.

Carroll Gardens

Carroll Gardens, a charming neighborhood located in Brooklyn, New York, offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities. This residential area is known for its tree-lined streets, beautiful brownstones, and a tight-knit community that fosters a strong sense of belonging.

19th Century Townhouses

One of the standout features of Carroll Gardens is its stunning 19th-century townhouses. These architectural gems boast intricate detailing, elegant facades, and spacious interiors. Walking through the neighborhood feels like stepping back in time, with the rows of well-preserved brownstones exuding a timeless appeal.

Many of these townhouses have been lovingly restored and offer a glimpse into the neighborhood’s rich history.

Tight-knit Community

Carroll Gardens is renowned for its close-knit community, where neighbors look out for one another and foster a strong sense of camaraderie. Residents often gather at the local parks, such as Carroll Park, for picnics, community events, and to watch their children play.

The neighborhood is also home to various community organizations and cultural institutions that bring people together, promoting a sense of unity and belonging.

Access to Transportation and Amenities

Living in Carroll Gardens offers residents convenient access to transportation and a wide range of amenities. The neighborhood is well-served by public transportation, with several subway stations nearby, making it easy to commute to other parts of the city.

Additionally, Carroll Gardens is known for its vibrant dining scene, with a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and bars offering diverse cuisines and atmospheres. From trendy boutiques to local farmers’ markets, residents have access to a variety of shopping options, ensuring that all their needs are met within the neighborhood.

Forest Hills

Forest Hills is a charming neighborhood located in the borough of Queens in New York City. Known for its tree-lined streets and quiet atmosphere, it offers a suburban vibe while being just a short commute away from Manhattan.

This makes it an ideal choice for families and professionals who want to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Single-Family Homes

One of the standout features of Forest Hills is its abundance of single-family homes. This is a rarity in New York City, where apartment living is the norm. The neighborhood is dotted with beautiful houses, each with its own unique charm.

From Tudor-style homes to modern architecture, there is something to suit every taste. Living in a single-family home in Forest Hills provides residents with a sense of privacy and space that is hard to find in other parts of the city.

Suburban Vibe

Forest Hills has a distinct suburban feel that sets it apart from the hustle and bustle of other New York City neighborhoods. The streets are lined with well-maintained houses and manicured lawns, giving the area a peaceful and welcoming ambiance.

Residents can enjoy the benefits of living in a close-knit community, where neighbors often know each other and come together for events and activities. The neighborhood also boasts several parks and green spaces, offering residents a chance to escape the city and enjoy nature.

Good Schools

For families with children, Forest Hills is an excellent choice due to its highly regarded schools. The neighborhood is home to some of the best public and private schools in Queens, providing students with a high-quality education.

Forest Hills High School, for example, is known for its rigorous academic programs and diverse student body. Additionally, the neighborhood is within close proximity to prestigious universities and colleges, allowing students to continue their education at top-tier institutions.

Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights, located in the borough of Queens, is a vibrant neighborhood that offers a unique blend of history, cultural diversity, and convenient access to public transit. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a newcomer to the area, there’s always something new to discover in Jackson Heights.

Historic District

Jackson Heights is home to a designated historic district, which preserves the neighborhood’s rich architectural heritage. The Jackson Heights Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, showcases the distinctive pre-war apartment buildings and garden co-ops that give the area its charm.

Walking through the tree-lined streets of the historic district, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a bygone era.

Cultural Diversity

One of the standout features of Jackson Heights is its incredible cultural diversity. The neighborhood is known for its large immigrant population, with residents hailing from countries all over the world.

This diversity is evident in the variety of cuisines, shops, and community events that can be found throughout the area. From traditional Hispanic bakeries to authentic Indian restaurants, Jackson Heights truly has something for everyone.

Access to Public Transit

When it comes to getting around the city, Jackson Heights offers excellent access to public transit. The neighborhood is serviced by several subway lines, including the 7, E, F, M, and R trains, making it easy to travel to other parts of Queens, as well as Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Additionally, numerous bus routes pass through Jackson Heights, providing even more transportation options for residents and visitors alike.

For more information about Jackson Heights, you can visit the Jackson Heights Life website, a community forum dedicated to all things related to the neighborhood. Here, you can connect with other residents, get recommendations for local businesses, and stay up-to-date on neighborhood news and events.

Whether you’re drawn to Jackson Heights for its historic charm, cultural vibrancy, or convenient location, this diverse neighborhood has something to offer everyone. Exploring its streets and immersing yourself in its unique atmosphere is an experience that you won’t soon forget.

Jamaica Estates

Sprawling Properties

Located in the borough of Queens, Jamaica Estates is known for its spacious and luxurious properties. It is a neighborhood that offers a sense of exclusivity and privacy, with its tree-lined streets and well-manicured lawns.

The houses in Jamaica Estates are often characterized by their size and grandeur, offering ample space for families to live comfortably. Many of these properties are multi-story homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, perfect for those looking for a larger living space.

Custom-Built Homes

If you’re in the market for a home that is uniquely tailored to your preferences, Jamaica Estates is the place to be. The neighborhood is known for its custom-built homes, where homeowners have the opportunity to work closely with architects and designers to create their dream residence.

From the layout and floor plan to the finishes and fixtures, every aspect of these homes can be customized to suit the homeowner’s taste. This level of personalization is a major draw for those who want a home that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Semi-Rural Feel

Despite being located in the bustling city of New York, Jamaica Estates manages to maintain a semi-rural feel. The neighborhood is characterized by its lush greenery, quiet streets, and a slower pace of life compared to other parts of the city.

This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of urban living without sacrificing the convenience of city amenities. Residents of Jamaica Estates can enjoy the best of both worlds – a peaceful neighborhood with easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

According to a recent study by Niche, Jamaica Estates is rated as one of the best places to live in Queens, with high marks for its safety, schools, and family-friendly environment. With its sprawling properties, custom-built homes, and semi-rural feel, it’s no wonder that Jamaica Estates is highly sought after by those looking for a unique and desirable place to call home.


While towering apartment buildings dominate Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, New York City offers much more than vertical living. In the outer boroughs, you’ll find traditional houses with backyards, front porches, and neighborhood charm.

By exploring communities like Park Slope, Forest Hills, Jamaica Estates, and beyond, you can find your perfect NYC home. Just be prepared for spirited neighborhood personalities, cultural diversity, and the dynamic energy that comes with city living!

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