2021 Best Places to Live in New York

The state of New York is an extremely popular one. Businesses and families across the country make the decision to relocate here on a daily basis. However, the list of amazing places to move to is long and varied. That is why Best Cross Country Movers have prepared a smaller, much more focused, list for you to choose from. We will be presenting you with our top 10 best places to live in New York and explain why they made it there.

Top 10 best places to live in New York in 2021

While there were many entrants, here are the cities that made it into our list:

  • Buffalo
  • Rochester
  • Yonkers
  • Syracuse
  • Albany
  • NYC
  • East Hills
  • Floral Park
  • North Hills

Each of these cities offers an amazing quality of life, as well as some unique circumstances that simply make them better than most others. Of course, you will still want to decide where to relocate based on your preferences or economic/social/environmental factors. We will provide you with all the information you will need to make an educated choice.

a couple holding their child
Relocating to one of these cities can considerably improve your quality of life.


Population: 257,000

Median individual income: $37,400

Median home value: $90,000

Average rent: $780

Area Feel: Urban-Suburban

The first city on our list, Buffalo features amazing diversity, excellent nightlife options, great commute times, and outdoor activities. Most residents rent their homes even despite the lower-than-average housing prices. It is sometimes referred to as the “City of Good Neighbors” due to the fact that its residents generally have positive interactions with one another. Being the 2nd largest city in the state, it has a wealth of available amenities and services. The cross country moving companies Buffalo has on offer are numerous and experienced, which makes it easy to secure quality relocation assistance. But you might want to book early, as they might get quite busy during the summer.

Some of the disadvantages include extremely cold weather during the winter, numerous potholes on the roads, and somewhat low-rated public schools.

Best places to live in New York – Rochester

Population: 207,000

Median individual income: $35,600

Median home value: $83,100

Average rent: $850

Area Feel:  Urban-Suburban

Similar in statistics to Buffalo, Rochester is another city that has great diversity, nightlife, and a large variety of available services and amenities. As you might notice, the rent is somewhat higher, due to many young people choosing to enroll in one of the city’s colleges. The public schools in the “better” parts of the city are generally well-reviewed and offer excellent educational opportunities. This is the main reason why interstate movers Rochester has on offer are extremely busy during the school breaks. Booking early is a good idea.

two people holding drinking glasses
Rochester is famous for its nightlife.

One of the problems that you may encounter in the city is that there are quite a few “dangerous” neighborhoods. They offer low-price housing options but they lack the safety and good public schools. Therefore, you will want to take your time and research the neighborhoods before you actually relocate.


Population: 200,000

Median individual income:

Median home value: $404,000

Average rent: $1,400

Area Feel:  Urban

As a suburb of NYC, Yonkers has excellent diversity (#2 in New York), great job opportunities, and is a generally great place for families. You are in close proximity to Manhattan but are away from most of the hustle and bustle. But you have amazing shopping and dining options within the city itself. Some of the notable locations are the Ridge Hill Shopping Center, the George Washington Bridge, and numerous top retail stores along Central Avenue.

However, the peace and quiet and this very proximity to everything that NYC has to offer come with a hefty housing price tag. While it is not impossible to find an affordable home in Yonkers, it is quite a challenge. But once you do, interstate moving companies Yonkers has will help you relocate to your new home without any issues.

Lastly, the city is well-known for being at the forefront of the fight against racial inequality and social injustice. The people of Yonkers generally view themselves as equal, no matter their social class or standing.


Population: 143,000

Median individual income:

Median home value: $95,000

Average rent: $815

Area Feel: Urban-Suburban

Syracuse is one of the cities that offer amazing outdoor experiences. Some of the notable experiences include enjoying the waterfalls during summer, apple picking in the fall, enjoying the various slopes in wintertime, as well as smelling cherry blossoms in the spring. Furthermore, there are numerous lakes, trails, and state parks that all vie for your attention.

Syracuse is also one of the most affordable cities on our list, due to the low home prices. Despite this fact, many people choose to rent their homes due to somewhat restricting property and state taxes. But this fact makes cross country movers Syracuse has on offer extremely experienced due to the volume of relocations to this city. If you want to get the best deal on your relocation, you might want to avoid the summer.

person giving a stack of $ bills to another
Your money will last longer in Syracuse

The disadvantages of Syracuse are cold winters, high state and property taxes, and a somewhat higher than average crime rate. The public schools in the city’s “worse” neighborhoods are generally low-rated and do not get a lot of funding.

Overall, Syracuse is a vibrant suburban city that is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The culinary scene is exceptionally diverse and the housing is very affordable, but the city struggles economically. The situation is looking to improve in the coming years, though.


Population: 100,000

Median individual income:

Median home value: $180,000

Average rent: $970

Area Feel: Urban-Suburban

Another affordable city to relocate to, Albany has some of the lowest utility, healthcare, and transportation costs among the cities of similar size. The city is also in close proximity to NYC, Boston, and Montreal, allowing you to take advantage of all the events that are taking place there. That is not to say that the city does not host its own events.

Albany prides itself on its culture, welcoming everyone to its borders. The motto of the city is “Come as you are, whoever you are!”. As you might imagine, the whole place is extremely diverse and welcoming to newcomers.

All four seasons are represented in the city, with great outdoor activities for every season. You can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rafting, and much more!

However, despite the diversity, the city can be quite polarizing. This means that there seems to be a large gap between those that are doing well for themselves, and those that are not. This also means that there are numerous residential movers that offer cheap relocation solutions. However, these companies pose a degree of risk, as anything that is cheaper than normal does.

And you are not going to like the downtown traffic jams and the parking situation in the city. While this can be remedied by simply utilizing public transportation options, it is still a daily occurrence. And, like in most other places in New York, get ready for long winters.

One of the best places to live in New York – NYC

Population: 8,500,000

Median individual income: $64,000

Median home value: $606,000

Average rent: $3,250

Area Feel: Dense urban

It was expected that NYC is going to make this list. Living in this city is an extraordinary experience, after all, and every day people are tempted to relocate here. The advantages are numerous, from high-income potential and a vast array of available job opportunities to unrivaled cultural, sports, and entertainment events.

NYC is also home to 65 Fortune 500 companies, second only to Tokyo. This means that commercial movers in the city are top-notch and extremely experienced in their craft. And there is a huge number of them. You will have numerous choices when it comes to selecting the ideal moving assistance.

one of the best places to live in New York - NYC
One of the best places in the world – NYC

Honestly, we could speak about the advantages of NYC the whole day and we would still only scratch the surface. It is not one of the most popular cities in the entire world for no reason, after all. But it does come with significant drawbacks, too.

Simply expensive

You simply need to take a look at the average rent to start seeing the problem. At around $3,250, you are going to have a hard time finding an affordable home to rent. A lot of NYC’s residents choose to move in with roommates to manage their monthly expenses better. There are cheaper options, of course, but that usually means an hour of commute. But once you find a home, you will have a selection of some of the best cross country movers New York City has to offer to get you there. Their prices might be a lot higher than you’re used to, so you might want to check into some other options. But if you want speed, efficiency, and amazing service quality, NYC is where it’s at.

And then there are the living costs, which are exorbitant. NYC is known as the 7th most expensive city in the entire world. An average cocktail in the city is around $20, before the tip! You will also need to adapt to seeing crowds everywhere you go, and to the bluntness of NYC residents. People have places to be, and they do not sugarcoat their words. It is “go fast” all the time.

But, there’s no doubt that you can “go big” in NYC, easier than in most other places on the globe. The city offers unrivaled opportunities, and there is something for everyone.

East Hills

Population: 7,150

Median individual income: $86,000

Median home value: $1,056,000

Average rent: $2,700

Area Feel: Rural

Moving on to some of the less-populated places, East Hills is a place where more than 40% of its residents have a master’s degree or higher. If you look at the individual income and the home value, it becomes apparent that this is one elite community. Furthermore, you will want to “hit the books” before meeting new people, just to make sure that you fit in.

Life in East Hills is not cheap, not by any stretch of the imagination, but the median household income of around $224,500 is sure to cover the living costs. In this “village”, most people hire packing services instead of packing on their own. Their time is simply too valuable. The area is extremely safe, and boasts the 3rd lowest poverty rate in the entire state, at 1.4%.

person holding a college diploma
Most people in East Hills are well-educated.

If you are comfortable with living in a rural environment (which is the greatest downside of East Hills) and have the means to secure a job, you are sure to enjoy your time here. Oh, and have you seen the housing prices? Be prepared to “shell out” quite a few of your savings to get a home in East Hills.

Floral Park

Population: 16,000

Median individual income: $52,800

Median home value: $594,000

Average rent: $1,850

Area Feel: Dense suburban

Another smaller place, Floral Park has a motto of being “A Great Place to Live!”. With schools that get amazing ratings, low poverty rage, great income potential, and almost reasonably priced homes, we tend to agree. The median age of its residents is only 42, meaning that there are numerous young professionals and students choosing to relocate to Floral Park. You might encounter a shortage of storage services, however, as students occupy most of the available units. They are not impossible to find, but you will need to do some research.

Floral Park is also the 14th most densely populated place in the state, making it an extremely dynamic place. While there may not be many amenities as in larger cities, there is everything that you need for a comfortable day-to-day life.

North Hills is one of the best places to live in New York

Population: 5,800

Median individual income: $88,400

Median home value: $1,060,000

Average rent: $1,600

Area Feel: Dense suburban

To cap our list off, the village of North Hills is definitely one of the best places to live in New York, due to its amazing unemployment rate of only 0.8%! That, coupled with high-income potential makes this area one of the best to build a career or simply enjoy a life of luxury. Living in North Hills is considered to be “ritzy”, as it is one of the richest areas in the state.

two people looking at a tablet screen
It is easier to find a job in North Hills than in most other places.

The median age of its residents is 58, making this one of the “older” communities on our list. This also means that the residents generally prefer a slower, more mature lifestyle. Needless to say, nightlife options are severely limited, and there is not much going on in the area by way of events.

As you can see, there is no shortage of amazing places to relocate to. These were some of our best places to live in New York but that does not mean that there are no others deserving of the name. You would do well to explore all the possibilities before you make the final decision.

Get A Free Moving Quote

Step 1 of 3

City You Are Moving From(Required)
City You Are Moving To(Required)