Are you thinking of moving to the New York suburbs? Before making the move, there are some things you need to know. Having made the move out of NYC to the suburbs myself, I’ve gained firsthand experience and encountered some surprises I wish someone had told me about the NY suburbs. In this article, I’ll walk you through the differences between living in the New York suburbs versus living in New York City and reveal some truths about what it’s really like to live in the New York suburbs.
NYC vs. NY Suburbs: What is it Really Like to Live in the New York Suburbs
Food Delivery is Limited
When you move to the New York suburbs, one big difference you’ll notice is the lack of food delivery options compared to NYC. In Manhattan, you can pretty much get anything delivered anytime, but in the suburbs, your choices are limited.
Sometimes, even if you manage to order from UberEats, the delivery might get canceled because it’s too far for the drivers, given how spread out the suburbs are.
Restaurants and Bars Close Early
Another difference between living in New York City and the suburbs is that restaurants and bars close early. You will find that restaurants can close as early as 10pm and often around 11 pm everything is pretty quiet. In the city, though, 11 pm is just the start of the evening!
Schools in the Suburbs are Competitive
You’d think that the school admission process is less cutthroat in the New York suburbs. Not so. It’s just as competitive as the city.
Preschools have waitlists, and you need to apply a year ahead for your first choice option. Private school admissions are as competitive.
Getting into the top private schools in the New York suburbs isn’t guaranteed, since there are few to begin with.
Lots of Competitive Parents in the New York Suburbs
You’d think that people would be more laid back in the NY suburbs compared to the city. Wrong again. The New York suburbs are full of type-A parents who used to live in Manhattan before making the move to the burbs.
It’s common to find stay-at-home moms who attended Ivy League schools and who worked at top law firms or in investment banking and now their primary focus is their children. Yes, there are plenty of competitive parents in the New York suburbs.
It’s NOT Cheaper in the New York Suburbs
Don’t assume things are cheaper in the New York suburbs; they’re not. In fact, I’ve noticed that food and services are more affordable in Manhattan compared to Westchester and Fairfield County.
You’d be surprised how costly things can be in the New York suburbs, and the limited options make it even more challenging.
Check out our Cost of Living Calculator to calculate exactly how much it will cost you to live in Westchester County.
Limited Parking at the Train Station
When moving to the NY suburbs, many overlook the challenge of parking at the train station. It’s not as simple as showing up at the station; there’s the added hurdle of limited parking or long waitlists at many train stations in the New York suburbs. This can complicate the daily NYC commute in ways you might not anticipate.
School Bus Transportation is NOT guaranteed
When you move to the New York suburbs, don’t assume that your kids will automatically be picked up by the school bus. Many homes located too close to the school aren’t eligible for school bus transportation. To add to the complexity, there are towns in the New York suburbs that don’t provide school bus services.
For example, in Westchester County, designated cities aren’t required to offer school busing. Rye is one of these towns; it doesn’t have school bus transportation!