To compile this list, we combed through our most recent Best Places to Live issue and considered factors such as median area income, mean and range of home sales prices (and rentals!), as well as additional details from atmosphere to local crime rates. So whether you’re looking to downsize for budgetary reasons or just starting out on your own, here are our top picks for the most affordable places to live in Westchester.
We’ve already crowned the Old Village section of Ossining one of our Best Places to Live for it’s historic areas and increased focus on redevelopment of natural areas. It’s also insanely affordable as far as Westchester goes. Certain homes may sell for as much as $1 million, but there are so many selling on the low end (close to $325,000) that the town average is actually less than $450,000! Rents trend between $1,500 and $3,000, and the average household income falls just a hair over the $80,000 mark. All-in-all it’s a quiet, relaxed little town with low crime rates, perfect for singles, new couples, and retirees alike.
Another of our Best Places to Live picks, homes averaged just $269,000 in 2017, and after a year of development in the luxury homes market is still only about $430,000. Rents are likewise very reasonable, usually between $1,300 and $2,500. Incomes are also typically only around $55,000, keeping prices a bit lower that surrounding areas, both in terms of properties and local businesses. As a result, Peekskill has seen a recent boom in the influx of young artists and professionals, something the town is thrilled to foster. Only about an hour train ride to Grand Central and full of amazing food, sights, and local businesses, Peekskill may very well be one of the most quickly developing areas in Westchester.
This quaint village within the town of Cortlandt boasts a median total household income that only just last year passed $100,000. Rentals are on the cheap side for Westchester, typically ranging between $1,300 and $2,000. The average home sale price is only about $342,000, and with average property taxes just shy of the $10,000 SALT tax threshold, Buchanan is looking to be the only town on this list not significantly impacted by recent tax code changes.
A hamlet of Greenburgh, Hartsdale is particularly affordable with a household income below $80,000. Sale prices on homes are a bit pricier, around $629,000, but rents generally hovering between $1,500 and $1,800. Crime rates well below the national average make Hartsdale an excellent choice for downsizing, though because some of the other choices on this list tend to have cheaper property taxes, renters may find it even more favorable than buyers.
Mount Kisco is a foodie’s dream with beloved eateries like the various “Little”s and the Exit 4 Food Hall, but it’s also a steal for anyone looking to lower their housing expenses. The average household income is only about $67,000, so the area is very amenable to singles and young couples. Rents average between as little as $1,200 and $2,000, and homes sell for an average of just $525,000. And seeing as Mount Kisco is only about three square miles in total, everyone is just a short walk to the train station.
We love spending our weekends in “NewRo,” so much so we wouldn’t mind moving there full-time. Combined incomes tend to be less than $75,000 per year, and housing costs span a broad gamut with plenty of regular turnover; while homes sell for an average of about $680,000, rents can range anywhere from $1,200 to as high as $5,000 monthly in some of the city’s luxury apartment buildings. Older Westchesterites might remember New Rochelle as being a bit more rough-and-tumble than surrounding areas, but most recent data pegs both property and violent crimes as some of the lowest on this list, nearly 20 percent below the national average!
Port Chester, with all its incredible food, music, and nightlife, is also easy on your budget. The average income is only about $56,000 — one of the lowest on this list — and that keeps rents fairly cheap: usually starting around $1,400. Home values are a bit broader, anywhere between a quarter- and a half-million dollars, though the average tends toward the higher end at $485,000. Considering the social scene of food, drinks, and art, Port Chester is an fantastic place for young singles to set up shop and seasoned rockers to set down their amps.
Tiny but mighty, Tuckahoe fits top-notch schools, plenty of diverse community events, and some dynamite eats — including one of our favorite burgers — plus two train stations into just one square mile. Real estate is definitely at a premium in such a small town, but it doesn’t come with a premium price tag: though homes sell for an average of $750,000, rentals are not nearly as steep — in the $1,600 to $2,500 neighborhood. With an average income under $70,000, renting is probably the ideal route for commuters looking to shorten their time on the Metro-North without fully giving up their suburban lifestyle.
For those totally fine with giving up their suburban lifestyle, White Plains offers a similarly short train ride to Manhattan, but also plenty of retail and business spaces all its own. While individual homes certainly still remain, they tend to be far outnumbered by more modern, often luxury apartments and condominiums, driving the average sale price of all homes up to around $648,000. Rents, however, are plentiful and reliably start at as little as $1,250 per month, something you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in Westchester. It is a bit more expensive to live in White Plains, but with an average household income of about $82,000 it tends to balance out. Many upscale residences even include parking in their prices, which cannot be understated.
Specifically Northwest Yonkers. The neighborhood commonly referred to as “Woodstock Park,” is aptly suited for the young and youngish. Average incomes fall below $65,000, which keeps rents low. While apartments in parts of Yonkers can rise as high as $5,000 a month, $1,800 is a far more reasonable average, with smaller studios going as low as $1,100. Northwest Yonkers is hillier than southern Yonkers, so we highly recommend it and its scenic views of the Hudson to outdoorsy types who don’t mind living in a more urban neighborhood, but don’t want to have to “get away” in order to get in a good hike.
Think we missed the mark? Let us know your pick for Westchester’s most affordable town!