Moving from New York City to the suburbs can be a major lifestyle change. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far from NYC to find more space. Both Long Island and Westchester are two suburbs within close enough proximity where you can easily commute to the city for work, and play with your kids in your backyard afterwards. While Westchester and Long Island have many similarities, there are subtle differences that can swing your decision if you have to choose between the two. Let’s take a closer look at these two suburban areas.
Housing in New York City Suburbs
The most obvious benefit of moving from city to suburbs is how much living space you get for your money in comparison to New York City. In order to see what you get, let’s look at the median home price and median cost per square foot, according to Zillow:
New York City: $550,000/$501 per square foot
Westchester: $517,100/$251 per square foot
Long Island: $364,000/$348 a square foot
It looks like in both Long Island and Westchester the cost of a home is lower and you’re getting way more space for your money than in NYC. However, in Westchester, in which a home costs more than in Long Island, it’s cheaper per square foot. This may be because Long Island has more population density than Westchester, meaning there are more homes available but there is less space and they are smaller in size than in Westchester.
Transportation to and from NYC to Westchester or Long Island
Getting Around by Car
Long Island and Westchester are two of the nation’s largest hubs for commuters, offering multiple driving routes into the five boroughs. However, when leaving Long Island via car you have to travel through NYC, which can be a pain when traffic is congested (pretty much always). In Westchester you can travel around NYC to leave the state.
Getting Around by Train
Each offer great train options for commuters. Westchester has the Metro North which links directly to Grand Central Station, while Long Island has the LIRR which goes directly into Penn Station. These are the two busiest commuter rails in North America and total over 600,000 passengers each weekday and almost 200 million riders a year.
Flying from JFK or LaGuardia
Queens is technically on Long Island and it’s easier to reach JFK airport via car and the LIRR in comparison to Westchester. LaGuardia is within driving distance to some areas of Westchester but it’s safe to say Long Island has the edge when it comes to airport access.
Outdoor Activities in Long Island and Westchester
When it comes to the outdoors, Westchester and Long Island have a ton of open space with parks, golf courses and equestrian trails. Westchester is closer to several mountains and hiking trails, so if you like to hit the slopes or hike, you’ll be able to access your favorite mountain more frequently.
When it comes to the water, Westchester has access to the Hudson River and hosts an active sailing scene. Long Island has beaches on the South Shore and Fire Island, home to many small summer villages on the Atlantic Ocean, and the Great South Bay is home to Blue Point Oysters and has a rich history in the seafood industry. There are also countless options for fishing; both shore casting and deep sea and the East End of Long Island is more than just the Hamptons as it has a ton of farms and vineyards.
Education in Long Island and Westchester
School districts remain a constantly debated topic among families. Westchester and Long Island each have great school districts and universities. Though, the edge for school may go to Westchester as they have a more schools in top national rankings and more access to private schools and prep schools.
Ready to plan your move to or from NYC to the suburbs?
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