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It is no secret that living costs in New York City can be varied. Some neighborhoods are more luxurious than others, but there are many affordable options as well. If you are planning to move to NYC, you are probably interested in knowing more about these differences. First, you probably know that there are five boroughs in NYC: Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Manhattan is the most popular one among the five. For this reason, many people want to know more about Manhattans neighborhoods. The two neighborhoods that are most mentioned in Manhattan are Upper East Side and Upper West Side. For this reason, most people like to know about the Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared. Also, your relocation will be swift and non-stressful with Divine Moving and Storage NYC

What is the main difference between the Upper East Side vs Upper West Side- living costs compared? 

If you were to ask New York residents which is better, Upper East Side or Upper West Side – you would probably get very different answers. Most people have their favorite neighborhoods, so it’s not easy to make a choice. However, one thing is for sure and that is that both neighborhoods are good places for living. Both neighborhoods are wonderful to explore. If you have time, you should visit both neighborhoods before your relocation. See how you like the overall vibe of neighborhoods and which one suits more to your lifestyle more. However, you can’t make your choice based only on your preferences. Personal preferences aside, some features can be measured, such as living costs. For this reason, have a look at both neighborhoods and compare their living costs so you can decide what suits you best. In any case, moving to Manhattan is an unforgettable experience. 

two women and a man smiling behind a pile of moving boxes
Moving can be easy and even fun with the right help and the right attitude

Is Manhattan the right place for you? 

Well, before you start choosing between the Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared, you should first know something about Manhattan. Sure, Manhattan is a popular place worldwide, but not many people know about Manhattan except for a few basic details. This borough is a very fascinating place. With a population of over 1,5 million, Manhattan never sleeps and there is always something happening. It’s general knowledge that Manhattan is pretty expensive. While this is true, there are many reasons that explain outrageous prices. First, after you move to Manhattan with the best movers in Manhattan, you will notice that living in Manhattan is very convenient. Everything is within the reach and you don’t even need to have a car. Public transportation is excellent. Additionally, the best way to travel in Manhattan is by subway which operates seven days a week and 24 hours a day. 

Luxury flourishes in Upper East Side 

If you are thinking in terms of upscale living, this is the perfect choice for you. Upper East Side movers can help make a crucial difference in your moving experience. Being familiar with every step of the way, they are sure to bring you safely to your destination. Upper East Side refers to the area of New York that falls between the East River, 96th Street, 59th Street, and Central Park. It is often mentioned in movies and tv shows and is well-known for its abundance of amazing architecture, high-end cuisine restaurants, and luxury designer boutiques. Additionally, Upper East Side is home to many popular buildings such as Museum Mile. Upper East Side was an affluential neighborhood in the past and it still maintains high standards. For this reason, not everyone can live in this neighborhood. 

a chef laying out vegetables on wooden plates
Upscale dining is frequent with r Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared

The overall cost of living in the Upper East side 

Upper East Side is higher in prices, both when it comes to housing and living expenses. The overall cost of living index is high but close to the national average. However, housing costs make the biggest difference in pricing. Living costs come in second, being much higher than the average. Still, it depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have after your relocation with local movers NYC. There are more affordable apartments for rent. You don’t have to live a life of luxury, and you most certainly can have a wonderful time on Upper East Side. But, if you plan on raising a family here and sending your kids to schools in the area, expect higher living costs. This is especially true for those who want their kids to go to school in the Upper East Side, as the majority of them are private and expensive as well. 

The real estate prices in Upper East Side 

The cost of living mostly depends on the cost of real estate properties. Finding an affordable home to buy or rent in Upper East Side can be really challenging. The median price for a condo is around $2.5 million. A co-op is a little more affordable as the median price is around $1.600 million. This is the reason why more than 60% of residents rent their homes. Renting prices are also high. For example, the median home rent is around $4000 which is a lot. However, the apartment options go from a one-bedroom apartment to really big apartments and penthouses. The median renting price for a one-bedroom is around $2000. The demand is pretty high and this is why the prices are expensive. If this is too much for you, you should consider moving to Chelsea with Chelsea movers for example.  

Upper East Side is a little more expensive than Upper West Side
Upper East Side is a little more affordable than Upper West Side

A neighborhood that is home to young but large aspirations 

This lovely neighborhood is also located near Central Park, with West 59th Street, West 110th Street, and the famous Hudson River surrounding it. It is therefore not a big mystery how amazing it is. Make sure to find reputable Upper West Side movers if you are moving to the neighborhood. It is home to many big businesses and famous cultural and artistic centers. Some of the most famous buildings are located here such as the Time Warner Center and Shops at Columbus Circle, the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, The Beacon Theater, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Hayden Planetarium. Considered to be most popular amongst intellectual elites and the younger generations of businessmen, Upper West Side doesn’t lack in popularity. Additionally, Upper West Side is one of the best places to live in Manhattan and NYC as well.  

The cost of living in the Upper West Side  

Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared, you now need to know the cost of living in the Upper West Side. Housing prices are again very high and so are the living expenses. However, renting can be more affordable, since many students rent apartments here. It is a neighborhood generally geared more towards the younger population and their lifestyle. The neighborhood is home both to Columbia University and the Juilliard School of Music as well. Additionally, it is a neighborhood that has better traffic and walking options than Upper East Side, so it is possible to save money that way. Walking is, therefore, a popular activity in the area. Demand for apartments is also high in this neighborhood. So, if you don’t have to prepare for emergency moving, you will at least a couple of weeks or even months to find a good home.  

picture of buildings in NYC
Upper West Side mostly has one-bedroom apartments for renting

How much does it cost to rent an apartment on Upper West Side? 

Upper West Side is a little more expensive than Upper East Side. The difference is small, but it still exists. For example, the median home price in Upper East Side is around $1,100,000 while in Upper West Side is around $1 200 000. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $2,700 which is also slightly higher than Upper East Side. The one-bedroom apartment is the most sought and it’s also the most common housing option. Students are the biggest renters in Upper West Side. For this reason, you should avoid a search for an apartment at the beginning of the school year. Apartments will be more expensive than usual and you will hardly be able to find one. Therefore, you should start preparing for your relocation and getting moving boxes Manhattan during the off-season. The off-season usually starts in October and ends in April. 

Upper East Side vs Upper West Side in terms of different tastes 

You can’t make your decision only based on Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared. Since both neighborhoods have similarly high pricing when it comes to housing and costs of living, your potential decision to pick a favorite comes down to your preferences. Upper East Side has the reputation of being the more expensive area of New York, and people who choose to live there usually have the goal of enjoying what it has to offer. If you are looking to settle down and have a family there, count on higher amounts of money. There is a high probability that the people living there are accustomed to a certain lifestyle. There are many things you should know about living on Upper East Side. For example, the food scene is one of the best in the world. There are many restaurants for every taste and occasion.  

an aerial view of Central Park between Upper East Side vs. Upper West Side
Central Park is on the borders of both neighborhoods, so you will be able to enjoy its vicinity wherever you decide to live

What can you expect from living on Upper West Side?  

Upper West Side brings a more refined atmosphere with a lot of culturally enhanced features. You will probably have an easier time fitting in here, and it would be somewhat easier to save money. You probably didn’t know that Upper West Side is the biggest neighborhood in Manhattan and it has a population of around 220 000. Additionally, Upper West Side is mostly a residential neighborhood with low crime rates. It’s a perfect place for young professionals and families with kids. As both neighborhoods are pretty good for living, it’s not easy to make a decision. So, if you have a hard time choosing between the Upper East Side vs Upper West Side, you can use this simple guideline to help you: 

  • Are you living a single life or are you planning/already having a family? 
  • Do you have a car? 
  • Is this a temporary or permanent move? 
  • Do you want a simpler lifestyle? 

Take time to make a decision 

Choosing where to live is one of the biggest decisions in life. For this reason, you shouldn’t rush or make a choice without a lot of research. There are many factors to take into consideration. The first one is the cost of living of course. Money plays a large role in almost every decision in life, unfortunately. You shouldn’t spend a lot of money to move to a neighborhood that you can’t afford. For this reason, it’s good to know the Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared. Another factor is job options and public transportation. Also, if you plan to start a family, you should choose a safe neighborhood that has a good choice of public and private schools. You must also see the potential of your future neighborhood and see if there is room for growth. 

woman thinking about Upper East Side is a little more expensive than Upper West Side
Take time to make your decision

Whichever neighborhood you choose, you won’t be disappointed 

The prices are as equally important as your living experience. While it is important to find affordable housing options, it is also important to find what your heart desires. This also means that you can be surprised at what suits you better. If you are still having a hard time choosing between Upper East Side and Upper West Side, relax – they are both amazing and located near each other. When you see the Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – living costs compared, you will have an easier time making a decision. Manhattan is the most popular borough in NYC for many reasons. No matter which neighborhood you choose, you won’t make a mistake. Just remember that Central Park is always at your side. 

About Author

Born and raised in the upper east side of NYC. I consider myself an expert with anything moving or storage related aspects in New York City. Having been in the NYC relocation industry for almost two decades I found myself at a point that I am able to answer and help my clients on the first phone call. NYC is amazing and I can't wait for it to recover from the COVID related closures. Feel free to email or call anytime! 212-244-4011