Hudson Valley Towns Rank Highly on Best Places to Live List
Local spots top the charts in Niche’s 2019 rankings of where to live, buy a house, and raise a family in New York.
English: View over Center Square neighborhood, Albany, NY, USA, near the end of a winter day from the Alfred E. Smith Building
Andy Arthur. Cropped and color-corrected by Daniel Case prior to upload
When we put together our list of the best place to live in the Hudson Valley every year, we take into consideration everything from family-friendly attractions and walkability to affordable living options, community culture, and local history. We look at hidden corners and local favorites in a geographic area that spans from Albany all the way to Westchester County, considering which spaces attract a variety of interests, individuals, and lifestyles in the process.
Niche does something similar, except that it ranks cities and towns across the nation and not just in the Hudson Valley. With such a vast range of places from which to pick and choose, Niche calculates its rankings based upon its inhouse information on top performing elementary and high schools combined with population and urban clustering data. With so much to consider, it’s more than a little impressive when a location makes the company’s top 50 list.
That being said, it’s even more impressive when a Hudson Valley hotspot makes that list. So, when we spotted a number of local communities on Niche’s rundown of the best places to live, buy a house, and raise a family in New York, we were more than a little overjoyed. Without further ado, here are the Hudson Valley locales that made it to the top 50 in Niche’s Best Places to Live reports for New York State in 2019:
As the only Hudson Valley town to rank on Niche’s list of best places to live, Menands is a shining star in the Albany area. Although it’s not a large community (we’re talking just under 4,000 people), Menands offers suburban living with opportunities for additional income through rental space for nearby Albany residents. Add to that an A-plus public school, family living, and diversity rating, and Menands is a dream destination for all who want to live close enough to the Capital Region without venturing into the heart of it.
On Niche’s 2019 report of the best places to raise a family in New York, Menands is also the only Hudson Valley location to appear on the list, clocking in at number 47. On the rankings of best places to buy a house in New York, below, Menands sits at 44.
Topping the charts for the best spot to settle down in New York is West Sand Lake, a pint-sized town that sits just outside of Albany in Rensselaer County. With just shy of 3,000 residents and a median home value of $218,100, West Sand Lake is a dream destination for individuals who want to hop on the home ownership bandwagon. A large majority (93 percent) of locals own homes in West Sand Lake, so it’s a very achievable goal.
We’re not joking when we say that Albany County ranks front and center on Niche’s rundown of the top spots to buy a house in New York. In fact, the county’s towns appear on the list an impressive three times. Voorheesville is the leader of the Capital Region pack, thanks to the fact that 82 percent of inhabitants in the small-town community own a home. As for median value, prospective residents can expect to pay around $230,100 to score the abode of their dreams.
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Also on the list of Albany hotspots is Altamont, which ranks highly for its public schools, family-friendly attitude, and crime and safety. With just under 2,000 inhabitants and a median home value of $255,500, Altamont is a cozy suburb that sits just a short drive from Albany.
If you want to live closer to Albany proper without setting up shop in the heart of the city, check out Helderberg. A neighborhood in Albany, Helderberg has a larger population (4,035) than the other Albany suburbs on the list and a convenient proximity to the metropolitan restaurants, bars, and parks. Median home value is on the affordable end at around $178,995, a number that’s slightly lower than the national average of $184,700.
Across the river in Rensselaer County, Castleton-on-Hudson awaits young professionals and first-time homeowners. A small suburb of Albany, the town holds 1,350 residents and boasts top-rated public schools and a family-friendly atmosphere. At $165,500, median home value is quite low in comparison with other locations in the Hudson Valley. In other words, it’s perfect for new families or couples who want to make the switch from renting to buying.