Choosing the right neighborhood is an individual endeavor for anyone. But add a kid or three to the mix and it gets exponentially more difficult. For one thing, real estate brokers are barred by federal discrimination laws from steering clients with children to areas that might fit best. (Even describing an apartment as “family-friendly” is verboten.)
For another, as more public and private schools open up, including in the outer boroughs, parents don’t necessarily pick where to live based on school choice alone. “Now when I have parents tell me what neighborhood they’d like to live in, I can generally give them three or four decent public schools in those neighborhoods,” says school consultant Robin Aronow, founder of School Search NYC.
Finally, with prices ticking upwards across the boroughs, buying or renting in the go-to kid-friendly neighborhoods may be wildly out of budget. “People should look at places in Queens and Brooklyn that aren’t immediately transparent and obvious, but because of, say, green space or close proximity to public transit, would lead them to believe that over time this is going to accrue value,” says Michael Graves, a broker with Douglas Elliman.
With that in mind, BrickUnderground spoke to parents, real estate brokers and school experts, and sourced data on prices, listings, schools, crime and more to rank the 10 best neighborhoods for young families. (You’ll find an explanation of our methodology at the end.) The first half of this list is made up of under-the-radar ‘hoods that are (nearly) perfect for raising children, while the second half rounds up some of the classic spots to raise a family.