Good Schools and Affordable Housing in NYC: Jackson Heights

Sure, we all want our kids to get great educations and grow up somewhere they feel safe with enough space to be a kid. Well as New Yorkers, we’re kindof screwed. Getting your kids into a good public school where there is also affordable housing in NYC can feel impossible. We’ve been looking around for a few years and have found a handful of neighborhoods in the nooks and crannies of the subway map that offer amazing schools, real square footage, parks and commute times that are better than moving to off the LIRR or Metro North or New Jersey Transit. Besides, you don’t reallyt want to leave the city do you? Here’s the first neighborhood profile of many that will help you on your search to stay in the city without sacrificing your children’s well being.

Jackson Heights, Queens

Now don’t you dare balk at the word “Queens”. We all know that it’s the new Brooklyn. No one in their right mind is buying real estate in Brooklyn right now. Prices are so inflated that you can’t barely get a bombed out crack house in Bed Stuy for less than a million dollars.

Jackson  heights has a stunning historic district full of pre-war apartment buildings that offer enough room to roam. The other bonus of a lot of these big apartment buildings is that they have private gigantic gardens and play areas, some with places to grow your own vegetables, indoor play rooms, party rooms, gyms, and all sorts of other amazing perks. Not to mention laundry in the building, live in super, elevators, and occasionally parking. All of this and a real two bedroom apartment for between $00 and $600k? Yup.

Other pros about the neighborhood are:

  • Amazing food. Seriously, if you love Asian cuisine, you will be able to gorge yourself. Markets sell every obscure ingredient you’ll ever need to cook at home and the restaurants like Jackson Diner, will blow your mind and for insanely good prices.
  • A major subway hub at Roosevelt and Broadway connects you via express stops during rush hour to the E, F, M, R, and 7 trains.
  • You’re also steps from a LIRR station.
  • There’s a farmers market on the weekends and movies in the park in the summer.

But, there are some things to watch out for and here they are:

  • These coops are notorious for requiring a minimum of 20% down; some even require 25% or more
  • It’s a little crazy right around the subway station and it might scare you the first time you go there, or it will remind you of that back packing trip to India that you took after college. Either way, it feels a little intense but when you get a block or two away, it settles into a quiet and beautiful neighborhood.
  • P.S. 69 is the best elementary school in Jackson Heights with an evenly diverse population, excellent test scores and an overall amazing reputation. It’s a zoned school so if you don’t live in the zone, then your kids are most likely not going to go there.
  • Be wary of converted Jr 4s. That means that someone converted a tiny eat in kitchen into a second bedroom that will measure about 8 feet by 9 feet.
  • The main, and pretty much only, park in the area is Travers Park. There isn’t any grass at all but there are some trees and the playgrounds are awesome.

p.s. 69 Jackson Heights zone map


The New York Times recently published an article on the changing fabric of the neighborhood so if you want to get a good price, you best be getting on it fast. You can read the article by clicking the image below:

Jackson Heights, Queens: Diverse and Evolving
Other neighborhoods to watch (posts coming soon!):



Broad Channel

Middle Village

Rego Park

Forest Hills

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1 Comment

  1. Regina Elliott
    March 18, 2016 at 9:35 AM — Reply

    I don’t live in NYC ,I’m in WV but the article about good schools in a good neighborhood is a must have

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