In Terms of Housing Cost, Safety and Quality of Life

General Rule of Thumb

If you look at a map of New York City, the best places to live in Brooklyn are the areas hugging the East River, closest to Manhattan. The reason for this is because of their close vicinity to Manhattan, the hub of commercialism and price-gouging real estate. If you were to take a subway map, you will see that neighborhoods that require only one train to get to Manhattan are often times the safest, the most family-friendly, but also the priciest. During the late 1990s, many white-collar workers who worked in Manhattan began to move to Brooklyn due to soaring prices in rent and cost of living. This mass migration led to the gentrification of predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods. Nowadays, there are parts of Brooklyn that cost as much as Manhattan. 

Map of Brooklyn Boroughs

Map of Brooklyn Neighborhoods

5. Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights(74052)Credit: Jared Hoffman

Housing Cost: one bedroom ($2,000 - $3,000) two bedroom ($2,600 - $4,000)

Train: M, R, 2, 3, 4, 5 Trains. Takes about 15 minutes to get in to Manhattan.

Safety: Very Safe


  • Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, 185 Court St
  • Grace Church School, 254 Hicks St
  • Packer Collegiate Institute, 170 Joralemon St
  • Plymouth Church School, 75 Hicks St
  • PS 08, 47 Hicks St
  • St. Ann's School, 129 Pierrepont St
  • St. Francis College, 180 Remsen St

Median Household Income: $88,877

Conclusion: Arguably one of the most sought out places to live in the outer boroughs of New York City, Brooklyn Heights is a great neighborhood to live in if one can afford its high prices. It is the most expensive neighborhood on this list for good reasons. Beautiful brownstones and plenty of trees that adorn the clean streets in a richly historic district make it well worth the money. Not to mention that it's very safe and less than 30 minutes away from Manhattan. The Brooklyn Heights Promenade offers an excellent view of the city and is an ideal place to go for a morning jog or for walking your dog. The only drawback to Brooklyn Heights would be its lack of diversity, being a predominantly white neighborhood.

4. Cobble Hill

Cobble HillCredit: fuzzpup

Housing Cost: one bedroom ($1,700 - $2,600) two bedroom ($2,400 - $3,700)

Train: F, G, M and R Trains. Takes about 30 minutes to get in to Manhattan.

Safety: Safe


  • Public School 29, 425 Henry Street
  • Brooklyn School for Global Studies, 284 Baltic Street
  • School for International Studies, 284 Baltic Street

Median Household Income: $65,628

Conclusion: Cobble Hill is tucked away south of Brooklyn Heights across Atlantic Avenue. Due to its prime location, thriving bar scene, renowned restaurants, and reasonable prices, it is perhaps the most sought after part of Brooklyn after Brooklyn Heights. Less of a hustle and bustle feel, Cobble Hill is definitely more quiet and laid back compared to Brooklyn Heights or the Lower East Side. Recent census indicates that at least 20% of the population is Hispanic and 10% is black. There is also quite a substantial Middle East population from Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. 


3. Williamsburg

WilliamsburgCredit: diana gee

Housing Cost: one bedroom ($1,500 - $2,500) two bedroom ($1,800 - $3,500)

Train: L Train. Takes about 15 minutes to get in to Manhattan.

Safety: Safe


  • Eastern District High School
  • I.S. 318
  • Progress High School
  • Lyons Community School
  • Public School 250

Median Household Income: $25,813

Conclusion: Williamsburg, Brooklyn is best known for being the ultimate hub for young 20 something year old hipsters and has since grown a strong hate it or love it vibe. Nevertheless, it makes this list because of what is has to offer: quick commute to the city, vast array of quality restaurants, beautiful East River State Park and relatively cheap housing. It is remarkable how quickly Williamsburg has grown over the years. Just 10 years ago, Bedford Ave. was dark, empty and dead. Today, Bedford Ave. is crowded on weekends and is jam packed with coffee shops, restaurants, bodegas and second-hand stores. 


2. Park Slope

Park Slope(73939)Credit: John-Paul Pagano

Housing Cost: one bedroom ($1,600 - $2,500) two bedroom ($1,800 - $3,000)

Train: F, G, B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 Trains. Takes about 30 minutes to get in to Manhattan.

Safety: Very Safe


  • MS 51, 350 Fifth Avenue
  • PS 39, 417 Sixth Avenue
  • PS 107, 1301 Eighth Avenue
  • PS 124, 515 Fourth Avenue
  • PS 282, 180 Sixth Avenue
  • PS 321, 180 Seventh Avenue
  • Secondary School for Law, Journalism and Research, 237 Seventh Avenue
  • Beth Elohim Day School, 274 Garfield Place
  • Berkeley Carroll School, 181 Lincoln Place; 701 Carroll Street; and 515 Sixth Street
  • Montessori School of New York, 105 Eighth Avenue
  • Poly Prep Lower School, 9216 Seventh Avenue
  • St. Francis Xavier, 763 President Street
  • St. Saviour Elementary School, 701 Eighth Avenue
  • St. Saviour High School, 588 Sixth Street

Median Household Income: $96,532

Conclusion: If you were to cruise the streets on a sunny day in Park Slope, you would see a lot of baby strollers. For parents with young children, it is seen as a haven for bringing up their family because of its green neighborhood feel and its close proximity to the Manhattan, where most people commute for work. For those who live elsewhere, it is often ridiculed as an enclave for liberal yuppies and so called "annoying parent types." But really, these people have never lived in Park Slope and truly enjoyed what the neighborhood has to offer. It offers plenty of tree-lined streets, town houses, delicatessens, cafes and wonderful restaurants all at about half the price of the East Village.   

1. Greenpoint

GreenpointCredit: Brian Rose

Housing Cost: one bedroom ($1,200 - $1,800) two bedroom ($1,800 - $2,500)

Train: G Train (average 15 minute wait). Takes about 35 minutes to get in to Manhattan.

Safety: Very Safe

Schools: Public School 31 and Public School 34

Median Household Income: $33,578

Conclusion: Greenpoint is one of the best neighborhoods to live in Brooklyn. Having been born and raised in Greenpoint, I've seen the neighborhood transform over the years to blossom to what it is today. It is located all the way north-west of Brooklyn, bordering Queens and Williamsburg. Although it has seen a large influx of yuppies moving in over the years, it is still relatively quiet and unknown compared to the more popular Williamsburg. Greenpoint used to be a predominantly Polish neighborhood, but now has a much more mixed population. It is home to two excellent elementary schools, P.S. 34 and P.S. 31. In 2011, P.S. 31 was the highest-ranking school in the entire city. Home to a lot of artists and young professionals, it is the perfect place to raise a family.