If you have been looking for a home in Manhattan and have found them all too expensive, then you should extend your search to the outer boroughs. While you won't have the convenience of living right in the heart of the city, you will find more affordable homes. Also, you will have a better variety of housing to choose from. In Manhattan you will be limited to apartments (co-ops and condos), unless you are looking at the super-expensive townhomes. In the outer boroughs you will find apartments, as well as single and multi-family houses, including brownstones. So if you're looking for homes for sale somewhat close to Manhattan, then the outer boroughs are where you should look. Here are 2 safe areas that also have lots of amenities and great public transit options.
Riverdale, The Bronx
Riverdale is located in the northwest Bronx. It is right next to Van Cortland Park, one of NYC's largest parks (bigger than even Central Park!).
Riverdale is located right on the Hudson River. There are high-rise developments that overlook the river, as well as a multitude of single-family homes that line the quiet streets. The community is very family friendly and has restaurants, small shops, grocery stores, playgrounds, synagogues and churches, and schools. There are public primary schools, catholic grammar schools, Hebrew schools, as well as The College Of Mt. St. Vincent.
There is a Metro-North train that goes straight into Penn Station. There are also NYC Buses that can take you around the neighborhood, as well as directly to the NYC subway line located on Broadway and 231st street. You can take this subway right into Manhattan. It runs along the west side of Manhattan and makes stops in Washington Heights, Inwood, Harlem, and continues on south until it reaches South Ferry. So if you work on Wall Street or in Midtown, you could take the bus from Riverdale and catch the subway to head right into work.
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Bay Ridge is located in southwest Brooklyn. It has a very old-school classic neighborhood feel. The buildings are mainly low rise, so you won't have that overpowering feeling that you can get in many areas of NYC where you are surrounded by high-rises. The neighborhood is particularly great for people who like brownstone homes. The area also has lots of small mom-and-pop grocers, restaurants, and bars.
The neighborhood is right on the water, so it's a favorite for fishermen who head to the 69th street pier. There are also beautiful parks and botanical gardens. There is a private prep school, as well as a public grammar school in the area. It was listed as the seventh safest neighborhood in NYC according to one report.
Bay Ridge is serviced by the R line of the NYC subway. This line heads into lower Manhattan, making stops at Wall Street, Herald Sq in Midtown, and then over to the Lexington Ave on the East Side. There is also an express bus that you can take right into Manhattan.