So, yeah. We all know that renting an apartment in Brooklyn is a rich person’s game. And we’re all pretty well aware by now of the fact that the average rent in Brooklyn is approximately the same as the average rent in Manhattan. But even with all this, you know, knowledge that we’ve accumulated about the prohibitively high cost of living in Brooklyn, it still stunned us a little bit to learn today that it’s next to impossible to find a two-bedroom in many parts of Brooklyn for under $3,000/month. Consider us stunned.
As the New York Daily News reports today “the median rent in Brooklyn is now $2,890—up 11.6% in just a year—putting the borough of Kings on the same throne as Manhattan.” And the people (families and those living with roommates) hit particularly hard by this huge increase are those in the market for two- or more-bedroom apartments. In a borough where studios in buildings like 101 Bedford cost $2,895/month (although, as the News points out, it comes with amenities and the ability to get to Union Square in 15 minutes, so… worth it? right?), the price of a larger apartment is going to set you back quite a bit. For approximately the same price as that studio, the News reports, people looking for a larger place could head out to Bed-Stuy, where a three-bedroom goes for $2,800/month, but also features a yard which is more of a “derelict plot of land covered in debris.” Or, pioneering types can head out to the corner of Greenwood Avenue and E. 5th Street in Windsor Terrace where a two-bedroom comes in under $3k, but also sits right on top of an exit ramp off the Prospect Expressway. What, don’t you like the smell of car fumes in the morning?
To put this in a little perspective, paying $3,000/month for an apartment would mean that a family would have to be making well over $100,000 a year (after taxes!) in order to not have their rent eat up more than 33% of their post-tax income. Most people who are much smarter about money than I am will tell you that rent should never be more than 17% of your income, but let’s allow for the fact that this is New York and double that. Suddenly, all those obnoxious articles in the New York Times where people who make $250,000/year and still consider themselves only middle class make sense. (Ha, no. They don’t. They’re still terrible articles about terrible people.) I guess the moral of the story here is, don’t have kids. Don’t ever think about moving out of where you live right now, unless you’re planning on moving far, far away from Brooklyn. Don’t ever make fun of anyone else who talks about leaving New York, because unless you start pulling in 6-figures sometime soon, someday that person could be you. Happy Friday, everyone.
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