What is the Real Cost of Living in Union Square?

Marlene Burns Team May 24, 2023

Union Square, situated between downtown and midtown Manhattan, is a vibrant neighborhood with the best big-city life. From excellent dining options to shopping and relaxing in the Square, this area attracts locals and tourists alike. Below, we delve into the expenses associated with living in Union Square, including home prices, utilities, groceries, transportation, and average salaries.

A dream home in the heart of the city

Due to its prime location in Manhattan, living in Union Square comes with a hefty price tag. The median price of homes in New York City is $660,700. However, Union Square is in a particularly expensive area of Manhattan. The prices of apartments can start at much higher rates. Prices will also vary based on apartment size, building amenities, and location. For instance, a three-bedroom apartment in the prestigious, historic Decker Building overlooking the Square will cost significantly more than a studio apartment on the top floor of a walk-up a few blocks away.

Aside from the purchase price, prospective homebuyers should consider closing costs, which typically range from 2%-5% of the unit's purchase price. For example, a $3 million home would entail closing costs between $60,000 and $150,000.

Owners of Union Square real estate also face recurring expenses, including property taxes and homeowner's insurance. Property taxes in New York City are among the highest in the nation, with Union Square homeowners paying several thousand dollars annually. Homeowner's insurance costs fluctuate based on the property's value, location, and coverage options.

Moreover, residents of co-op buildings usually have monthly maintenance fees covering utilities and the building's upkeep. The amount varies depending on the building's features and services. A low-maintenance apartment building might entail lower upkeep fees. On the flip side, it will lack the amenities, such as a gym or conference room, that a larger building with higher maintenance fees offers.

Considering potential renovation and maintenance costs is essential, as historic buildings in Union Square often require regular repairs and updates. Therefore, setting aside a portion of your budget for these unexpected expenses is advisable.

Utilities in Union Square

Utility costs in Union Square depend on factors like apartment size, usage, and service providers. Monthly utility bills generally begin at around $200.

Electricity costs vary based on apartment size and energy consumption. Prices may rise during the summer months due to increased air conditioning usage. During the colder months, heating costs in Union Square depend on factors like the size of your unit, insulation, heating system efficiency, and personal preferences. Winters in Union Square are generally cold, meaning heating costs will be a bulk of your utility bills between late fall and early spring.

The monthly management fee for co-op or condominium residents usually includes gas and water bills. Internet service charges depend on the provider and package, with high-speed plans ranging from around $50 to $100 per month.

These approximate estimates vary based on individual usage patterns, provider charges, and seasonal fluctuations. Other costs include cable or satellite TV, landline phone service, and additional internet services.

Food, food, food

Union Square is renowned for its lively GreenMarket, a farmers' market offering fresh produce and artisanal foods. Supporting local producers can be cost-effective, but adjusting your budget is crucial. Expect to pay at least $300 a month for groceries. The prices of dining in Union Square restaurants vary, but meals at mid-range restaurants usually cost around $15. Bills at more exclusive restaurants will, of course, be higher, but they will also be worth it as Union Square has amazing fine dining options.

Getting around

Union Square boasts a central location with excellent public transport connections. The current monthly fee for an unlimited Metrocard, allowing unlimited subway and bus travel, is $127. Costs may differ if you frequently use other transportation modes like taxis, carpool services, or bike rentals. Owning a car in Union Square can be expensive due to high parking fees and limited parking availability.

Locals love that Union Square is serviced by the 14th Street-Union Square Subway Station, one of the most useful in the city. From the station, riders catch trains on the Four, Five, Six, L, N, Q, and R lines, taking them to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and the New Jersey Transit station. In addition, many appreciate that Brooklyn is speedily accessible from Union Square, a mere fifteen minutes away on the L train.

Average salaries

Considering Union Square's high cost of living, it's essential to review the average salaries in the area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, the mean annual income in NYC was $70,663, with abundant job opportunities in finance, technology, and healthcare. The minimum wage in New York City is $15 an hour. However, remember the cost of living in Union Square is higher than the Manhattan average, necessitating a higher income to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

The right real estate agent

To find the perfect Union Square home, work with a team of realtors with unmatched expertise, extensive experience, and unwavering reliability – the Marlene Burns team. They offer a deep understanding of the neighborhood real estate market and years of experience helping clients navigate its complexities.

The Marlene Burns Team prides itself on its unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. They understand that buying a home is a significant investment and have honed their negotiating skills to help secure the best offers for their clients. They will do whatever it takes to meet your needs and preferences — a dedication that helps explain their reputation. Their approach means listening to your goals and working tirelessly to find the perfect home that fits your vision. Contact the Marlene Burns Team today to find your dream home in Union Square.

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