Staten Island is one of the most affordable boroughs of New York City, and with under 500K residents, it’s also the least populous. This makes Staten Island a great place for first-time homebuyers and young families who love the big city vibe but still want some peace and quiet. If you are considering a move to this borough, you might also consider using self storage for the duration of the move or until you remodel your home. Fortunately, there are about 17 storage facilities in Staten Island for you to choose from, offering a wide variety of unit sizes.

The borough’s neighborhoods vary in terms of price and local flair — so here are the top five neighborhoods that hit the sweet spot for first-time homebuyers, combining affordability with great amenities and friendly, relaxed communities:

1. Tompkinsville — Home value of $584K

Tompkinsville is a vibrant neighborhood with a population of around 20,000 residents, including many young professionals and families with children. Homeowners represent about 50% of the residents, and you can find different types of properties, from co-op apartments to single-family homes. Many of the houses and co-ops in Tompkinsville date back to the first half of the 20th century or in the 50s and the 60s.

The properties are a good mix of medium, three- to four-bedroom homes and smaller, one- or two-bedroom apartments, which means that first-time homebuyers can easily find something to suit their needs. Although the neighborhood is mostly residential, you can find a variety of shops and restaurants — you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of authentic Sri Lankan and Mexican food. The Tompkinsville Park, located in the neighborhood, is a great place to spend time outdoors, unwinding and relaxing. All in all, it’s a promising neighborhood for first-time buyers — friendly, diverse and affordable.

2. St. George — Home value of $610K

St. George, located just across the Upper Bay from Brooklyn, is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods on Staten Island’s North Shore, with a gorgeous historic district that includes almost 80 historic homes and St. Peter’s Church. You can find beautiful architecture throughout the entire neighborhood, with many Victorian, Colonial and Tudor homes. However, there are also apartments and condos for sale if you’re interested in purchasing something smaller.

Another great thing about St. George is the views — if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to score a waterfront home or apartment. In terms of amenities, you have Empire Outlets — NYC’s only outlet destination — right on your front steps. The neighborhood also abounds in eating out options, and for entertainment, you can hit the famous St. George Theatre, catch a game at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark or visit the National Lighthouse Museum.

3. Great Kills — Home value of $634K

Great Kills might not sound like a very friendly neighborhood, but don’t worry, you’ll be as safe as can be here. the name of the neighborhood actually comes from the archaic Dutch word “kill,” which translates to creek or channel. And from this perspective, Great Kills doesn’t disappoint. There are many small creeks punctuating Great Kills.

In terms of housing, you can choose between a mix of relatively large single-family homes — most of them built in the 60s and the 70s — but also duplexes and condos. During the past two decades, the neighborhood went through a revival and replaced many old homes with new constructions. So if you’re looking for something contemporary in terms of housing, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.

The vibe of the area is rather suburban, but there are also various shops, diners and restaurants. The neighborhood has a long Italian-American tradition, so if you love Italian food, you’re in luck. Also located here is the expansive Brookfield Park, with its native trees and plants, birds and butterflies, providing access to outdoor fun.

Great Kills Harbor

4. Richmond Town — Home value of $664K

Richmond Town is probably best known for its historic district, consisting of dozens of restored historic buildings from the 17th to early 20th centuries. The historic district hosts many fun events like historical reenactments and is home to restaurants, shops and more. You won’t lack entertainment if you purchase a home in this neighborhood, that’s for sure.

As for housing, most of the available options are single-family homes built from the 60s onwards, plus duplexes and co-op apartments. The neighborhood is walkable and dotted with restaurants and coffee shops. There are several parks also, including Willowbrook Parkway and Latourette Park, where families can go out to hike, relax, have a picnic and so on. Schools in this neighborhood are above average, which can be very important for homebuyers who started or are planning to start a family.

4. Oakwood — Home value of $664K

Oakwood is a densely populated neighborhood, but it still maintains a tranquil, small-town vibe. For sale housing generally consists of small to medium townhomes and single-family houses, ideal for first-time homebuyers. However, there are also large and beautiful Victorian and Colonial homes if you can afford the splurge, and you could even score waterfront properties.

Cedar Grove Beach, Oakwood

Among the outdoor attractions of this neighborhood are the Greenbelt Woods alongside Riedel Avenue and the nearby Cedar Grove Beach. You can also find restaurants, coffee shops and stores in the area.

*Note: Home values mentioned in this article reflect the Zillow Home Value Index 

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Maria Gatea is a creative writer for StorageCafe and RentCafe with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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