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Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

8 great New York City starter homes

These NYC pads would be perfect for first-time home buyers

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What does a "starter home" look like in New York City? In other cities, that may mean spending a modest amount of money on a single-family home; here, that's … not going to be the case. But there are still deals to be had for young (or not-so-young) first-time buyers who want to own a piece of NYC—if you know where to look.

We set out to find great starter homes in the city, covering a wide swath of what's available in New York right now. And in a break from the last time we looked at starter homes, every single property featured here is asking around $500,000—which is reasonable since, according to a recent StreetEasy study, the typical first-time buyer can afford up to $524,000 in NYC.

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1. 87 St Marks Place, #3D

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87 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

For some first-time buyers, location may be more important than space—and if that’s the case, this East Village studio, asking $475,000, might just be the perfect place. It’s not particularly big, but it does have some nice perks, including a built-in Murphy bed—no need to worry about fitting a futon in here—and a wood-burning fireplace. Monthlies are also low, with maintenance coming in at $592. It’s located on St. Mark’s Place at First Avenue, so a prime location.

2. 137 W 142nd Street, #2B

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137 W 142nd St
New York, NY 10030

There are a lot of lovely details packed into this Harlem two-bedroom, listed for $499,000. The apartment has a cozy vibe thanks to muted green paneling in the living room, and decorative molding in the formal dining room. Big windows let in plenty of light, and the apartment also comes with a dishwasher and several closets. It’s located on West 142nd Street, close to the 3 train at 145th Street.

Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

3. 100 Overlook Terrace, #72

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100 Overlook Terrace
New York, NY 10040

A spacious one-bedroom in the upper Manhattan enclave of Hudson Heights is asking just $515,000. The roomy apartment opens up into a large foyer, with a big living room (with its own terrace), eat-in kitchen, and master bedroom with two closets also part of the package. The unit also has a small, windowless “home office” that the current occupants use as a nursery. Maintenance comes in at just under $1,000/month.

GreenehouseNYC for Jeffrey Harris, Compass

4. 19-19 24th Avenue, #R402

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19-19 24th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11102

A one-bedroom co-op close to Astoria Park is going for $499,000. That one bedroom isn’t the biggest, but there’s plenty of space elsewhere: a large living/dining room area, extra storage in the foyer, and even a balcony.

Courtesy of Corcoran

5. 35-05 72nd Street, #3F

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35-05 72nd St
Queens, NY 11372

Jackson Heights is chock full of nice apartments that are priced right for those on the hunt for a starter home, including this large one-bedroom listed for $430,000. The co-op is plenty spacious: It has a big living room, eat-in kitchen, and tons of closet space in its one bedroom.

Pearl May Studio, Courtesy of Compass

6. 40 Clarkson Avenue, #1G

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40 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226

“Nice things in small packages” would certainly apply to this studio apartment in Flatbush, which is listed for $338,000. Though the apartment itself isn’t huge—it is a studio, after all—it does have a nicely sized kitchen that’s big enough for a small table and chairs, with lots of cabinet space and even a dishwasher. If you don’t need a ton of space but love to cook, this may be the place for you.

Melanie Green, courtesy of Compass

7. 2116 Dorchester Road, 4L

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2116 Dorchester Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11226

Ditmas Park is known for its sprawling, lovely Victorian houses, but you can find deals on slightly less sprawling, but still quite lovely, co-op apartments. The perfect example is this quirky two-bedroom condo that has just listed, asking $539,000. The 900-square-foot unit has a space for a home office (who doesn’t dream about that these days?), a walk-in closet, a dishwasher in its eat-in kitchen, and a roomy living area. Two ceiling fans with leaf-shaped blades are fun, and there are rustic touches like reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and a wall covered with a repurposed tin ceiling.

A living area with hardwood floors, white walls, a ceiling fan with leaf-shaped blades, and a planter. Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

8. 683 41st Street, #18

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683 41st St
Brooklyn, NY 11232

In Sunset Park, a 500-square-foot one-bedroom that was recently renovated is going for $420,000. There are some nice decorative touches—beamed ceilings, exposed brick—along with lots of windows and a walk-in closet. The kitchen isn’t huge, but is charmingly rustic. Its location is also a plus; it’s less than a block from the neighborhood’s eponymous green space.

VHT, courtesy The Corcoran Group

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1. 87 St Marks Place, #3D

87 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

For some first-time buyers, location may be more important than space—and if that’s the case, this East Village studio, asking $475,000, might just be the perfect place. It’s not particularly big, but it does have some nice perks, including a built-in Murphy bed—no need to worry about fitting a futon in here—and a wood-burning fireplace. Monthlies are also low, with maintenance coming in at $592. It’s located on St. Mark’s Place at First Avenue, so a prime location.

87 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

2. 137 W 142nd Street, #2B

137 W 142nd St, New York, NY 10030
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

There are a lot of lovely details packed into this Harlem two-bedroom, listed for $499,000. The apartment has a cozy vibe thanks to muted green paneling in the living room, and decorative molding in the formal dining room. Big windows let in plenty of light, and the apartment also comes with a dishwasher and several closets. It’s located on West 142nd Street, close to the 3 train at 145th Street.

137 W 142nd St
New York, NY 10030

3. 100 Overlook Terrace, #72

100 Overlook Terrace, New York, NY 10040
GreenehouseNYC for Jeffrey Harris, Compass

A spacious one-bedroom in the upper Manhattan enclave of Hudson Heights is asking just $515,000. The roomy apartment opens up into a large foyer, with a big living room (with its own terrace), eat-in kitchen, and master bedroom with two closets also part of the package. The unit also has a small, windowless “home office” that the current occupants use as a nursery. Maintenance comes in at just under $1,000/month.

100 Overlook Terrace
New York, NY 10040

4. 19-19 24th Avenue, #R402

19-19 24th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11102
Courtesy of Corcoran

A one-bedroom co-op close to Astoria Park is going for $499,000. That one bedroom isn’t the biggest, but there’s plenty of space elsewhere: a large living/dining room area, extra storage in the foyer, and even a balcony.

19-19 24th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11102

5. 35-05 72nd Street, #3F

35-05 72nd St, Queens, NY 11372
Pearl May Studio, Courtesy of Compass

Jackson Heights is chock full of nice apartments that are priced right for those on the hunt for a starter home, including this large one-bedroom listed for $430,000. The co-op is plenty spacious: It has a big living room, eat-in kitchen, and tons of closet space in its one bedroom.

35-05 72nd St
Queens, NY 11372

6. 40 Clarkson Avenue, #1G

40 Clarkson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226
Melanie Green, courtesy of Compass

“Nice things in small packages” would certainly apply to this studio apartment in Flatbush, which is listed for $338,000. Though the apartment itself isn’t huge—it is a studio, after all—it does have a nicely sized kitchen that’s big enough for a small table and chairs, with lots of cabinet space and even a dishwasher. If you don’t need a ton of space but love to cook, this may be the place for you.

40 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226

7. 2116 Dorchester Road, 4L

2116 Dorchester Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11226
A living area with hardwood floors, white walls, a ceiling fan with leaf-shaped blades, and a planter. Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Ditmas Park is known for its sprawling, lovely Victorian houses, but you can find deals on slightly less sprawling, but still quite lovely, co-op apartments. The perfect example is this quirky two-bedroom condo that has just listed, asking $539,000. The 900-square-foot unit has a space for a home office (who doesn’t dream about that these days?), a walk-in closet, a dishwasher in its eat-in kitchen, and a roomy living area. Two ceiling fans with leaf-shaped blades are fun, and there are rustic touches like reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and a wall covered with a repurposed tin ceiling.

2116 Dorchester Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11226

8. 683 41st Street, #18

683 41st St, Brooklyn, NY 11232
VHT, courtesy The Corcoran Group

In Sunset Park, a 500-square-foot one-bedroom that was recently renovated is going for $420,000. There are some nice decorative touches—beamed ceilings, exposed brick—along with lots of windows and a walk-in closet. The kitchen isn’t huge, but is charmingly rustic. Its location is also a plus; it’s less than a block from the neighborhood’s eponymous green space.

683 41st St
Brooklyn, NY 11232