These Are The Most Affordable Towns In The Hudson Valley
Renters and buyers will love this comprehensive guide to the best, cheapest cities to live in around the Hudson River.
When it comes to finding a place to live, the Hudson Valley has something for everyone. Yes, the region boasts estates, mansions, and even a castle or two to fuel your billionaire dreams. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon how you look at it), the area north of New York City has options for the rest of us, too. As buying a home gets to be more of a challenge and renting becomes an increasingly popular alternative, select Hudson Valley towns shine as affordable contenders.
To narrow down the best wallet-friendly hometowns in the Valley, we considered average rental and home costs, referring to Rent Café and Trulia, respectively. We also weighed factors like crime rate, location, attractions, and area income to determine which cities deserve your real estate dollars. Read on to see the most affordable spots in the Hudson Valley.
Cornwall-On-Hudson Elementary School. Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case
Located on the shore of the Hudson River, Cornwall-On-Hudson tops our list of value for money locales. The average cost for a rental is $1,038, with a one-bedroom space running about $985. Aspiring homeowners don’t fare badly either, with a medium home value of $274,200. In this city, the key is to jump on the market while the going is good. Home values rose 10.3 percent in the past year. To put things in perspective, in the 25 to 44 age bracket, $86,538 is the median income.
As for things to do, Cornwall-on-Hudson is a hop, skip, and a jump away from some of the region’s top cultural attractions. Storm King Art Center is right next-door, as is Bannerman Castle and the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum. Residents can spend the weekend at any of the area’s numerous coffee shops before grabbing a slice at one of the local pizzerias for dinner.
Fishkill Creek from NY 52 Bridge. Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case
As the quiet neighbor to uber-cool Beacon, Fishkill gets overlooked all too often. Yet, while lack of affordable housing removes Beacon as a possibility for many people, it makes Fishkill an even more attractive option. For renters, Fishkill is apartment gold. A studio goes for an average of $827, while a two bedroom runs $1,630. Although homeowners are not as lucky, looking at average listing prices of $324,102, Fishkill on the whole is a very livable city. Median household income rests around $53,505.
In terms of cultural to-dos, Fishkill is well-connected to the arts and entertainment in Dutchess County. Mount Beacon a favorite weekend activity, while SplashDown is perfect for families in the summer. As for food, Fishkill boasts cozy comfort foods at spots like Red Line Diner and The Tomato Café.
Bykenhulle House Bed and Breakfast in Hopewell Junction. Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case
Hopewell Junction is a dream for renters who want a central location and bargain prices. With an approximate cost of $1,102 for a 564 sq. ft. apartment, a one-bedroom is within reach in this Dutchess County town. If you’re looking to buy a budget home, take a hard pass on this hamlet. The average home listing price is $412,017, or a little too steep for millennials and first time homeowners. With a median income resting around $84,000 for locals in the 25 to 44 age bracket, apartment living is the way to go.
Hopewell Junction may be small in terms of square footage, but that does not mean it’s boring. On the contrary, the pintsize town is surrounded by a number of golf and country clubs. It is also right next door to Fishkill and Wappingers Falls, which means everything you could ever need is a only five-minute drive away.
Apple Pie Bakery Cafe at the Culinary Institute of America. Photo by Phil Mansfield
Hyde Park is one of those cities that is primed to blow up in popularity at any moment. For now, it lives in the serene intersection between Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck. With nearby attractions, an abundance of dining options, and a proximity to some of the region’s top schools, the town may or may not be the Hudson Valley’s best kept secret. For potential renters, a two-bedroom apartment is the way to go. For around $1,400 a month, you can be the proud owner of 872 sq. ft. of living space. Homeowners have it pretty sweet too, with average listings running about $223,000. As a bonus, the neighborhood boasts strong public school districts in a relatively safe community.
As for cultural venues, there are so many things to do in and around Hyde Park that it's hard to know where to begin. The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill is in the heart of the town, while FDR’s home, The Culinary Institute of America, and Marist College rest along the border. Locals are spoiled with dining options, thanks to their proximity to one of the top culinary institutions in the world. The Eveready Diner is a must visit, as is every single one of the restaurants on the CIA’s campus.
Rondout Creek in Kingston. Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case
Even though Kingston is rapidly coming into its own, the city still has a hard time shaking off its reputation as a high crime area. In fact, the crime rate dropped 23.4 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a report from the Kingston City Police Department. In other words, secure your spot now before everyone realizes what a catch this waterfront town truly is. A one-bedroom averages at about $1,000 a month, while a two-bedroom is slightly more at $1,172. Be warned that rent costs are on the rise (two-bedroom rentals increased five percent in the past year). While apartment prices are up, home costs are down six percent from last year, falling around $237,000. Buy now, watch home value rise later?
Another perk to living in Kingston is the abundance of historic sites and hip eateries in the area. The Hudson River Maritime Museum and the Rondout Lighthouse are great picks for families, while Duo Bistro and Diego’s Taqueria will satisfy everyone’s cravings.
Related: How To Spend A Day In Kingston
Chef Michael Kelly runs Liberty Street Bistro in Newburgh. Courtesy photo
Like Kingston, Newburgh is one of those up-and-comers that people still underestimate. With Newburgh Brewing Company right on the river, the city cannot maintain its under-the-radar presence much longer. Rent is competitive — a studio apartment here runs around $800 – so it’s no surprise that costs are on the rise, with a four percent increase on studios in the past year. Homeowners should seriously consider Newburgh as a viable city to put down roots as well. Although average house prices dropped slightly from $210,000 to $209,000 last year, don’t expect the decrease to last much longer.
In terms of attractions, Newburgh is the place to watch. Staples like Newburgh Brewing Company and Billy Joe's Ribworks have been churning out delectable food and drinks for years. Creative entrepreneurs are also capitalizing on the low rent costs and prime riverside location (we see you Liberty Street Bistro).
A loaded shake at Lola's in New Paltz. Courtesy photo
New Paltz may not be the city for first-time homeowners, but it is a dream destination for renters. As a college town, New Paltz offers some of the most competitive rental rates in the valley. A one-bedroom is a steal at $981 for around 622 sq. ft., while a two-bedroom averages $1,379 for 906 sq. ft. Anyone looking to buy a home should visit, but not live in New Paltz. The market currently averages $347,000 for an abode that touches toes with SUNY New Paltz.
Unsurprisingly, New Paltz is very affordable when it comes to food and culture. With a median household income resting at just over $41,000, reasonable rates are the secret to this city’s success. As long as you’re okay with college students as your neighbors (this is a real possibility, since the city’s median age is 21.5), New Paltz is the place for you.
City of Poughkeepsie
The Poughkeepsie waterfront. Wikimedia Commons/JulianColton
When it comes to affordable housing in the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie is hot. The average cost for rentals, $1,356, will get you a reasonable 846 sq. ft. of space. Those of you looking for a home of your own can also score a deal in the city. For about $218,000, you can claim a house that is a short drive away from the scenic Hudson River.
Land in Poughkeepsie is a coveted commodity for small business owners, who know that now is the time to turn that vacant building into the next coffee shop or farm-to-table restaurant. With the Bardavon Opera House and the Walkway Over the Hudson less than a ten-minute drive away from one another, Poughkeepsie residents always have weekend activities and attractions at their fingertips.
Town of Poughkeepsie
Vassar Chapel in Poughkeepsie. Wikimedia Commons/Sabatheus
While the distinction between the city and the town of Poughkeepsie is a confusing topic for everyone, except for Poughkeepsie residents themselves, the two spaces do have their differences. Case in point, the rent in the town of Poughkeepsie is slightly higher, at $1,407 for 897 sq. ft.
Homeowner costs are similar to those in the city, but schooling is where the two regions truly differ. The town of Poughkeepsie leads the way with standout public and private school options, including Spackenkill Union Free School District, Oakwood Friends School, Poughkeepsie Day School, and Our Lady of Lourdes High School. As for higher education, Vassar College is located in the picturesque Arlington district.
Related: A Vassar College History
Downtown Warwick. Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Case
Rounding out the list is Warwick, the Orange County town that charms locals and visitors alike. In terms of living accommodations, a spacious 950 sq. ft. one-bedroom rental will set you back $1,150. House prices are steeper, running about $379,000. Warwick residents have a median age of 46 years and make an average of $67,000.
Whether you choose to live in Warwick or visit for just a day, there’s no end of activities to add to the itinerary. Start at any of the farms and orchards in the open landscape before heading to Warwick Valley Winery for a tasting or Pennings Farm for dinner and a show.
Related: Warwick Boasts NY's Top Vineyard