Buy Curious

What to know about buying in Yonkers, Westchester, a riverside commuter burb with low prices but steep property taxes

  • Yonkers is the most populous city in Westchester County and the fourth-largest city in New York State
  • Prices for single-family houses range from $500,000 starter homes to multi-million-dollar estates
  • Co-ops average $200,000 and condos about $350,000; rentals start at $1,600 for a one bedroom
By Nancy A. Ruhling  |
May 31, 2023 - 10:00AM
buy curious yonkers

The $1.75 million asking price for this four-bedroom, four-bath custom Colonial includes the buildable lot next door. 

Coldwell Bankwell Realty

Westchester County’s Yonkers, where scenes from the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio film “Catch Me If You Can” and the 2001 Russell Crow movie “A Beautiful Mind” were filmed, is a suburban-like area overlooking the Hudson River that’s a short commute from New York City.

Historically, it was a retreat for NYC’s wealthiest residents. Today it's the most populous city in Westchester County and the fourth-largest city in New York State. It’s also the home of Sarah Lawrence College and Lionsgate Studios, which has been dubbed Hollywood on the Hudson.

In this week’s Buy Curious, Susan Hawkins, an agent at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, and Geoffrey Weiss, an agent at Compass, give us the inside story on Yonkers.

The question:

I’ve heard that prices in Yonkers are about the same as they are in Riverdale in the Bronx. What can you tell me about this?

The reality:

While it’s true that the prices of the two areas are competitive, Westchester County’s property taxes are significantly higher than those in NYC, Weiss says, adding that “prices in the Bronx are lower than the rest of New York City.”

Because it’s a large city, Hawkins notes that there are a variety of price points, including properties that are "very affordable,” she says. “There are some parts of Riverdale that are more expensive, and in Yonkers, it’s still possible to get a starter house—a single family with three bedrooms—for around $500,000. And along Bronx River Road, where Bronxville and Yonkers meet, you can get a studio co-op for less than $100,000.”

As far as property taxes, she notes they are higher than those in NYC but are among the lowest in Westchester. “But Yonkers has a city income tax,” she comments.

Where is it?

Yonkers is just over the Bronx border, nearly two and a half miles from Manhattan’s Marble Hill.

Why would NYers want to move to Yonkers?

Yonkers’ affordability—“you get more house for your money than you would in NYC” —its proximity to Manhattan, and its “neighborhoody feel,” make it attractive, Hawkins says.

“Commutability is the major factor, especially for those who drive and have been priced out of prime neighborhoods in NYC,” Weiss says.
He adds that his clients who are interested in buying in Riverdale are open to looking for places in Yonkers, too.

Where in Yonkers should you live?

The city, with a population topping 200,000, has numerous neighborhoods. They include planned community Park Hill; Alexander Smith Carpet Mills Historic District, a national historic district with mill buildings and worker housing; tree-lined Lincoln Park; Bryn Mawr, nicknamed “a neighborhood within a park” as it is bordered by green spaces; and Lawrence Park West, which has grand old houses.

What are housing and pricing like?

Houses in Yonkers are in traditional architectural styles ranging from Victorian to 1970s high ranches; they are primarily detached and have yards and driveways or garages. Some townhouses also exist.

“It’s still a pretty competitive market for single- and multi-family houses,” Weiss says. “We’re still seeing some bidding wars with two to three offers, but it’s not like it was when mortgage interest rates were lower.”

According to OneKey MLS, there are 231 single-family houses, co-ops, and condos on the market.

Weiss reports that single-family houses typically sell for $800,000 to $1 million, and multi-families for $800,000 to $1.3 million. Co-ops average $200,000 and condos about $350,000.

Hawkins adds there are some areas of Yonkers where prices of single-family houses are less than $500,000 and others where mansions sell for multi-million-dollar prices.

Per Weiss, rental units are $1,600 to $1,800 for a one bedroom and $2,000 to $2,200 for two bedrooms.

Is there a lot of new development? 

There are some new rental developments and condo developments along the waterfront, Weiss reports.

What’s the transportation situation?

The Westchester County Bee-Line Bus System serves the community with express buses that go to and from Manhattan.

The Metro North Railroad has 10 stations in Yonkers, and Amtrak has a stop in the community.

What is there to do?

Yonkers Historic Waterfront is a major attraction offering a recreational pier, restaurants, and an amphitheater for live performances.

Bronx River Pathway, part of the 807-acre Bronx River Reservation adjacent to the Bronx River Parkway, is a nine-mile, paved trail between Valhalla and Yonkers.

Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, which used to be part of a grand estate, is a 43-acre city public park. Tibbetts Brook Park spans 161 acres.

Hudson River Museum features exhibits on art, history, and science.

Dunwoodie Golf Course, an 18-hole course, has a pro shop, a driving range and a clubhouse restaurant. Sprain Lake Golf Course has 18 holes and was designed by Tom Winton.

The outdoor mall Ridge Hill has a variety of brand-name shops, including Banana Republic, L.L.Bean and Old Navy, and restaurants and coffee shops, including Starbucks and Subway. Cross County Center, an outdoor shopping mall, has more than 80 stores and restaurants, including Zara, Gap, Boston Market and Carvel, as well as children’s play areas.

Empire City Casino has a racetrack, restaurants, and live entertainment.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema shows new and classic movies and serves cocktails and bite-size eats at your seat.

Seasonal activities include Bicycle Sundays, when a 13.1-mile section of the Bronx River Parkway is closed to traffic in May, June, and September.

And the city is known for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade that marches along McLean Avenue.

What’s the restaurant/nightlife situation?

Calling Yonkers’ restaurant scene “a microcosm of NYC,” Hawkins says that the selections are varied.

More popular spots include Peter X Kelly’s, X20 Xaviars on the Hudson, which sits on a Victorian pier and offers fine dining; the bar and grill Saints And Scholars; La Lanterna, an Italian restaurant with a beer and wine garden; Frank Pepe Pizzeria; Pizza Barn, famed for its super-size slices; JJR Highridge Fishery; the Brazilian steakhouse Texas de Brazil; Yonkers Brewing Company; the Irish pub Rory Dolan’s; and the sports bar Yard House.

There also are a number of chain restaurants ranging from Outback Steakhouse to TGI Friday’s.

How about grocery stores?

The city has several major grocery stores, including Whole Foods, ShopRite, Costco, and Stew Leonard’s.

Numerous smaller groceries and delis, including H Mart, an Asian grocery that also offers prepared meals, and A&S Pork Store of Yonkers.

Check out these listings in Yonkers.

buy curious yonkers

322 Glenbrook Ave.

Located on a cul de sac, this 5,500-square-foot custom Colonial has four bedrooms and four baths. The $1.75 million price includes the 3,900-square-foot buildable lot next door. Built in 2004, the house has an elevator, a sweeping central staircase, and two-car garage.

buy curious yonkers

209 Saint Johns Ave.

This 1933 Tudor-style house, situated on a corner lot, has seven bedrooms, three full baths, and one half bath. Features of the 3,775-square-foot residence, which is asking $1.05 million, include a renovated kitchen, living room with a beamed cathedral ceiling, wood-burning fireplaces, a sunroom, patio, two-car detached garage, and finished basement.

buy curious yonkers

42 Rockland Ave.

Built in 1909, this Colonial features a covered porch with columns and awnings. The 2,590-square-foot residence has five bedrooms, three baths, a patio, hardwood floors, a two-car garage, and original moldings and details. It is on the market for $849,000.

buy curious yonkers

1-3 David Lane #5P

This two-bedroom, two-bath co-op, which has a renovated kitchen, hardwood floors, and a balcony, is listed for $330,000. The building features a doorman, gym, sauna, an indoor and outdoor pool, and assigned parking. 

buy curious yonkers

701 Ridge Hill Blvd. #5K

This one-bedroom, one-bath condo is in the luxury development Monarch at Ridge Hill, where amenities include 24-hour concierge service, a basketball court, running track, gym, sauna and hot tub, and an indoor pool. The pet-friendly building, opened in 2009, also has assigned parking. The 690-square-foot unit has a renovated kitchen, washer and dryer, and patio. It has been reduced from $449,000 to $399,000.

Nancy A. Ruhling is a freelance writer based in New York City.



Nancy A. Ruhling

Freelance Journalist

Nancy A. Ruhling has written for over 50 digital and print publications, including The New York Times, HuffPost and Mansion Global. The Queens-based journalist frequently contributes articles to Brick Underground's Buy Curious column. 

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