You’re out, you’re proud, and you want the queer vibe to continue steps from your abode. It’s time to find the perfect place to call home. But that’s not an easy feat in this wild city. Concessions and compromises are the norm and not the exception. You’re working 40+ hours and living paycheck to paycheck. So what is a lez in the big city to do? It’s time to get some perspective on what “The Real Market” cost of living is in some of the most gay-friendly neighborhoods outside of Manhattan.
GO speaks to two out brokers for advice on up-and-coming, possibly “more affordable” queer friendly hoods and what to expect when looking for your very own digs!
Cristina Candio and Christina DeCurtis are the founders of The Real Market Team from Compass. Together, they have been working in the real estate industry for nearly a decade with ties to all five boroughs stretching out to Long Island.
GO: We’re lucky enough to live in New York City, the capital of the world. Currently, it’s estimated that over 700,000 people here identify as LGBTQ. That being said, not every neighborhood is created equal. Some streets you can easily grab your girlfriend or wife’s hand walking down the block, while on others, you just know that doesn’t feel like a good idea. What have you seen to be some of the best queer quarters that New York has to offer?
Cristina & Christina: We all know Chelsea is painted with rainbow flags all throughout its proud 495 acres. But lez be honest, it’s become too expensive for many, especially those new to the city. There’s more on that rainbow brick road.
GO: Like where?
C&C: Bushwick is quickly becoming a haven for the eclectic kind, offering dozens of galleries and small independently owned businesses to explore. This area is still a great bang for your buck with one bed rentals starting at $1,800. If you’re looking to buy, you could still get into a one bed condo under $500,000 or if you go for all the bells and whistles, you can easily be closer to $700,000.
GO: What about Park Slope, the lesbian pilgrimage?
C&C: Of course, can’t forget about our Sapphic stomping grounds! Although higher in price than Bushwick, you can definitely find some gems. We’ve seen one beds as low as $1,975 and one bed condos starting at $575,000. You may be paying a bit more, but you have access to long established local havens like Ginger’s Bar. The sense of community is very strong here.
GO: What about the woman who wants a doorman, and maybe a pool?
C&C: You can certainly find those in Bushwick and Park Slope but there are more options in DUMBO and Williamsburg but you will pay more for them. Luxury in DUMBO will run you $3,400 for a one bed and a million for a one bed condo, versus Williamsburg that can cost $3,000 for a 1 bed and about $800,000 for condo. These are two neighborhoods offering more than amazing waterfront views, the foodie scene is unparalleled, along with the vibrant night life.
GO: I’ve heard Queens real estate is hot and becoming more and more popular in the lesbian community. Can you touch on that?
C&C: Queens is huge now. Astoria is probably your best location for a variety of reasons. This town has it all! You’ll find everything from Greek, Moroccan, Japanese, to Brazilian restaurants and bars. Oh, and don’t forget spots like ICON or Albatross Bar which have that “Cheers feeling” but this time Norm is there with his boyfriend having a Moscow Mule. The average price here for the rental market can start at $1,700 in a walk-up and go up to $2,500 for an amenity building, whereas the starting sales price is around $600,000 for a condo. But Queens doesn’t stop there. Sunnyside is beautifully lined with lush trees, gorgeous English garden inspired townhomes and adorable local watering holes. This neighborhood feels like a suburb within the city. You can find real value here with one bedroom rentals starting at $1,600 and condo prices under $500,000.
GO: Wait…what about Jackson Heights? Isn’t that the most populated LGBTQ community in Queens?
C&C: Absolutely look into Jackson Heights! This neighborhood offers beautiful historic co-ops and houses and is home to the Queens Pride Parade, Queens Pride House and the Queens Center for Gay Seniors. We actually just marched in the parade this year. The flavor you’ll find here is like no other. You could become a local with one bedroom rental prices starting under $1,700 and coops with prices starting as low as $200,000.
GO: What if our readers want more info?
C&C: If you’re looking for your very special space to call your queer home, then contact us, your friendly neighborhood queer brokers! We’ll be happy to help guide you. As our community grows in visibility so will the number of inclusive neighborhoods. More and more rainbow flags are being hoisted and flying proudly. After all, shouldn’t pride be everyday?
(Please note figures are median prices taken on average size properties and vary according to property type. For a more in depth look at pricing, please contact Christina or Cristina to discuss, you can reach them via the contact info below.)