Moving to Staten Island

So, you're considering a move to Staten Island, New York? Well, you're in for a treat! Staten Island, known as the 'Borough of Parks', is a truly unique part of the iconic 'Big Apple'. With its own distinct charm and character, spectacular views, historic neighborhoods, and breath-taking coastline, it offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Our comprehensive relocation guide is your perfect companion to help you explore the ins and outs of life on the Island - authentic, local, and vibrant. Welcome to an exciting new chapter!

Moving to Staten Island, NY landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Staten Island

1. The "Forgotten Borough" is Far from Forgettable

First things first, Staten Island is NYC's "forgotten borough", yet one of the most fascinating too! A blend of natural beauty, rich history, and diversity of culture, it has its distinctive charm for those who wish to experience life a little slower without straying far from Manhattan's bustle. Staten Island receives less hype than its siblings, but those who decide to dig deeper, uncover its vibrant community, undisturbed green landscapes, and oceanside living.

2. The Staten Island Ferry: Scenic and Free!

Here's a reality that never gets old: a breath-taking, 25-minute scenic ride from Staten Island to Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry, and guess what? It's totally free! Feed your Instagram soul with the charming sights of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, and Manhattan's stunning skyline. The ferry operates 24 hours, so those night owl views are definitely in-play. Yet, be prepared for a commute that's heavier on your day-timeline than the rest of NYC.

3. Rich in Italian Influence

Did you pack your Mamma Mia flair? Staten Island has a pronounced Italian-American heredity. From Italian-themed festivals to pizzerias, bakeries, and more, the borough ensures you savor authentic Italian cuisine at its finest. And it's not just about food; you'll find Italian social clubs brimming with community spirit and participation.

4. The Greenest Borough in New York City

Would you believe that around one-third of Staten Island is protected parkland? The borough boasts of beautiful beaches, serene parks, and hiking trails, including the Staten Island Greenbelt, which is New York City's largest natural setting. So, for folks who appreciate a little green in their city-inked lives, Staten Island is a paradise that enhances your daily quality of life.

5. The Secret Beaches

The term 'beach' might not flock to your mind when you think of New York City, but Staten Island is quite an exception. Aside from its popular South Beach, Staten Island nestles several lesser-known, local hotspot beaches like Midland Beach and Cedar Grove Beach. While they may not rival the beaches of Florida, the quiet escape from typical city chaos is unparalleled during an unexpected heatwave!

6. The Wu-Tang Clan Origin

Staten Island is home to music history. Did you know Staten Island birthed one of the most influential rap groups in history, the Wu-Tang Clan? Even today, the group is celebrated across the borough, with street naming honors and mural tributes. The Island's music scene is diverse and vibrant, with plentiful live performances to get your groove on.

In conclusion, Staten Island may be New York's smallest borough, but it certainly has a lot to offer. From unique rap-history to hidden beaches, stunning Italian cuisines, fabulous island-commutes, and beautiful green landscapes, there's more to this borough than meets the eye. So pack up your bags, say 'hello' to a slower city pace, uncover the secrets behind the 'forgotten borough', and cherish life in your own version of New York!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Staten Island

Pros of Living in Staten Island

Close-knit Community Feel

Staten Island, known as the "borough of parks", promotes a close-knit community feel with friendly residents. Unlike some parts of NYC known for their fast-paced living, Staten Island boasts a slower and more neighborly vibe that encourages strong local connections and social bonding.

Low Crime Rates

Staten Island has relatively low crime rates compared to other boroughs in New York City, making it a safe choice for families or individuals concerned about safety. While no area is free from crime completely, the residential parts of Staten Island are known for their tranquility and safety.

Access to Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

Being home to numerous parks and a botanical garden, residents enjoy access to plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities. These spaces offer everything from hiking trails to picnic spots and are a great way for families to relax, exercise, and connect with nature.

Strong Education System

Staten Island is appreciated for its strong education system. High ranking schools, both public and private, provide quality education, which makes the borough a desirable place to live for families with children.

Ferry Access to Manhattan

The Staten Island Ferry is not only free but also provides mesmerizing views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. This makes commuting to jobs or attractions in Manhattan a unique and enjoyable process.

Cons of Living in Staten Island

Limited Nightlife and Shopping Choices

Staten Island doesn't offer as many nightlife and shopping options as other parts of NYC. Although there are local pubs and businesses, it simply can't compete with the bustling and diverse choices available in boroughs like Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Long Commutes

The lack of subway system means residents relying on ferries and buses for commuting. This system can lead to longer and sometimes unpredictable commutes, especially during peak traffic hours or inclement weather.

Perceived Isolation

Due to its location, Staten Island is sometimes seen as detached from the rest of the NYC boroughs. Residents sometimes feel isolated as their borough isn't as integrated into the NYC culture as the four other boroughs.

Higher Cost of Living

Although cheaper compared to Manhattan, Staten Island still has a higher cost of living compared to many parts of the US. From groceries to housing to recreation, things can get pricey, making it a little more challenging for some people to manage finances.

Limited Diversity

Staten Island has less diversity, both in terms of population and cuisine options, compared to the rest of NYC. While it's not entirely homogeneous, it falls behind other boroughs like Queens or Brooklyn that are known for their rich multiculturalism.

Modern day picture of Staten Island, NY highlighting pros and cons of living in Staten Island, NY

Is Staten Island a Good Place to Live?

Staten Island, NY is a great place to live because of its vibrant community, beautiful parks, and easy access to Manhattan. It offers an excellent balance of urban and suburban living, boasting a diversity of restaurants, shops and cultural institutions but also with a more relaxed, less crowded vibe typically found in other parts of New York City. So indeed, Staten Island is not just a good but a fantastic place to live!


What Is Staten Island Famous For?

The Staten Island Ferry

Offering free rides 24/7, the Staten Island Ferry is more than just a means of transportation. This 25-minute trip grants passengers breathtaking views of the New York Harbor, including the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The Staten Island Zoo

Believe it or not, Staten Island lays claim to the "biggest little zoo" in America. With over 1,400 animals and 350 species, the Staten Island Zoo is a favorite among locals and tourists alike and is especially known for its reptile collection.

The "Forgotten Borough"

Staten Island is often referred to as the "forgotten borough" because it is less populated and visited compared to the other four NYC boroughs. Yet, with its unique attractions and quieter, more suburban atmosphere, many argue that Staten Island is a hidden gem in its own right.

Food and Culture

While often overshadowed by the culinary scenes of its neighboring boroughs, Staten Island boasts a mouthwatering food scene starting with its 'Little Sri Lanka' neighborhood to renowned Italian fares. Not to mention, it is home to the annually held St. George Day Festival, a unique earth day and art celebration honoring the community's creativity.

Capital building of Staten Island, NY in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Staten Island, the property tax rate as of 2023 is approximately 0.87%, which is lower than the national average of 1.07%. The property tax rate in Staten Island is considerably lower compared to the other boroughs of New York City, making it a desirable location for homeowners.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Staten Island is 8.875%, which is comprised of 4.5% New York City sales tax, 4% New York State sales tax, and 0.375% Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge. This rate is higher than the national median sales tax of 6.5%, making goods and services more expensive compared to some regions in the U.S.

Income Tax

The income tax rates in Staten Island, as part of New York, range from 4% to 8.82% based on income brackets. These rates are significantly higher than the average top marginal state income tax rate in the US, which is around 5.06%. High earners in Staten Island will potentially have a larger tax burden compared to those in other states.

Note: All the above percentages are approximations and may vary depending on specific circumstances. Please consult with a tax advisor for more accurate information.

Housing Market

The Staten Island housing market presents unique opportunities for buyers and renters. Though median home prices are higher than the national average, at $598K, it is more affordable compared to Manhattan's $1.4M. Renters can expect prices around $1,900, lower than Manhattan's average by about half. About 70% of Staten Islanders are homeowners, indicating a stable market. Though navigating the market can be challenging, its relative affordability within New York City and strong local economy make Staten Island an attractive option.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Staten Island, NY is relatively high compared to other US cities. However, it remains one of the more affordable boroughs in New York City. Prices for housing, food, and healthcare are above the national average, but lower than in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Transportation costs are comparably lower due to the extensive public transit system. Despite its high living costs, Staten Island offers a unique blend of urban amenities and suburban comfort, making it an attractive living option. It's essential to consider these factors while budgeting for life in Staten Island.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Staten Island, NY experiences a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are typically hot and humid, with highs often reaching above 85degF. In contrast, winters can be quite cold, with temperatures frequently dipping below 32degF, and sizable snowfall is common. Spring and fall seasons bring mild temperatures and are generally pleasant. As part of New York City's coastal location, Staten Island is subject to occasional severe weather, including blizzards, nor'easters, and hurricanes. Notably, the area was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, demonstrating its vulnerability to such natural disasters. Despite these potential hazards, the diverse weather conditions offer a rich variation of experiences for residents and visitors alike.

Typical weather in Staten Island, NY

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and social assistance

* Retail trade

* Educational services

* Professional, scientific, and technical services

* Construction

Staten Island, NY, often referred to as "the borough of parks", isn't just bustling with recreational spaces and extraordinary architectural delights. It's also buzzing with economic activity, hosting a diverse array of industries contributing to its lively job market. Looking back historically, manufacturing and maritime industries used to be the beating heart of Staten Island, thanks to its strategic location. Fast forward to present day, and you'll find that healthcare and social assistance have taken center stage, followed closely by retail trade, educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services. Not to mention the resilient construction industry that continues to thrive, keeping the city constantly evolving.

Planning to move to Staten Island, NY, and on a job hunt? You'll be stepping into a job market experiencing a rising employment rate, with a variety of career paths to choose from! Job seekers particularly thrive in the healthcare, retail, and educational sectors, given the growing demand. If you possess a knack for scientific studies or technological hacks, you'll feel right at home in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector. And if you're skilled in the world of construction, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you! In terms of geographical hotspots, North Shore, home to various retail outlets and hospitals, and Mid-Island, with its several educational institutions, are the best areas to keep an eye on for job hunting. Happy hunting, and here's to you landing a job that makes living in Staten Island not just rewarding, but also fun!


Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, fellow traveler! Let's talk a bit about the bustling transportation scene in Staten Island, NY. If you're curious about average commute times, buckle up! Commuters from this borough spend about 43 minutes traveling to work, which is longer than the national average. But who is in a rush when you've got scenic views on the Staten Island Ferry, or the reliable rails of the Staten Island Railway to ride on? Both are popular public transportation options offering great service across our beloved island. For those fly-aways, Newark Liberty International Airport is right around the corner in New Jersey. Whether a jump across the pond or a jaunt to the next state, this air travel hub has you covered. Staten Island traffic and transportation - always moving, always thrilling!

What is the traffic like in Staten Island, NY?

Best Neighborhoods in Staten Island

1. St. George

This neighborhood is the Borough's civic center and offers a unique blend of old and new. If you are a fan of stunning architectural buildings, St. George will not disappoint you - it's well known for its historic Victorian homes. It also holds the title as the neighborhood closest to Manhattan, making commuting a breeze for those who work in the city. Being home to the Staten Island Yankees, the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, and the Staten Island Museum adds to the neighborhood's cultural flair. So, if you're someone who enjoys a mix of historical charm, easy commuting, and local culture, St. George is calling your name!

2. Willowbrook

If you're in search of tranquility and a family-friendly environment, Willowbrook might just be the perfect choice for you. Known for its top-rated schools and serene parks, this would be an ideal neighborhood for families with children. During the weekends, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll around Willowbrook Park, which boasts a beautiful pond and charming picnic areas. So grab a picnic blanket, your favorite book, and say hello to peaceful weekends!

3. Tower Hill

How about waking up every day to an enchanting view of the city skyline or the Verrazano Bridge? Then look no further, because Tower Hill is where you want to be. This neighborhood is renowned for its impressive homes and stunning views. Be it an early morning coffee or an evening glass of wine, your mood is sure to be elevated with such picturesque vistas. It's not just about the views though - it's a close-knit community where you'll soon be on first-name terms with your neighbors.

4. Tottenville

If you're a lover of history and charm, Tottenville, the southernmost point of New York State, should be on your radar. This neighborhood has retained its 19th-century allure with well-preserved Victorian and Colonial homes as a testament. If you are a beach enthusiast, the Conference House Park is the place to be, as it offers stunning beachfront views and hiking trails. An added advantage is great schools and lots of family-friendly activities.

5. West Brighton

A delightful blend of urban and suburban, West Brighton caters to multiple tastes. If you want the convenience of being close to shops, restaurants, and other city commodities but also crave a little peace and quiet, this is the place for you. The famous Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is a highlight of the neighborhood, promising art and nature lovers a great day out! So, are you ready to get the best of both worlds in West Brighton?

In conclusion, Staten Island has neighborhoods that resonate with different life styles and tastes - whether it's the modern yet historic vibe in St. George, the tranquil family environment in Willowbrook, the stunning views in Tower Hill, the historic ambience in Tottenville, or the perfect balance between city and suburb in West Brighton. Now, don't you just feel like moving already?

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Things to Do

Staten Island, the city ironically often overlooked in the bustling hub of New York, is a hidden treasure waiting to be explored. From unsurpassed natural beauty to rich historical sites, it offers a unique blend of attractions that go beyond the concrete maze of Manhattan. Whether you are new to Staten Island or merely seeking novel experiences, here are seven top things to do that promise unforgettable memories.

1. Visit the Staten Island Zoo

The Staten Island Zoo, often known as the 'biggest little zoo', offers an immersive experience with an eclectic mix of animals. It's a great spot for families, offering educational programs and interactive sections like the petting zoo. Don't forget to visit the Reptile Wing which houses the borough's official mascot, a tortoise named Staten Island Chuck!

2. Explore the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

A bundle of attractions housed in a single venue, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, is a must-visit. Once a home for retired sailors, it now serves as a significant cultural hub. You have the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Noble Maritime Collection, the Staten Island Children's Museum, and a stunning botanical garden full of vibrant flora to explore.

3. Relish the Tranquility of the Staten Island Greenbelt

If you love nature and need an escape from city chaos, stroll through the Staten Island Greenbelt. It's an undisturbed oasis home to a myriad of trails and paths that weave through woods and serene ponds. An unforgettable must-do in the Greenbelt is the High Rock Park, where you can enjoy picturesque picnic spots and bird-watching platforms.

4. Appreciate the Artistry at Postcards 9/11 Memorial

Dedicated to the Staten Island residents who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the Postcards memorial is a beautiful and tranquil place to reflect. Set against the backdrop of the New York Harbor, the memorial offers an impressive spectacle of modern artistry combined with a potent emotional resonance.

5. Visit the Oldest Surviving Farmhouse, The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House

A hidden gem in the heart of Staten Island, dating back to 1662, the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House is a humble yet powerful testament to the Island's history. Pay a visit and step back in time to experience how the survival techniques from the 1600s shaped the Staten Island that we know today.

6. Find Quirky Fossils at the Mount Loretto Unique Area

Who knew Staten Island could serve as a time capsule for prehistoric creatures? At the Mount Loretto Unique Area, you can roam around fossilized footprints of mammals dating back 220 million years! This is also a wonderful spot for birdwatchers as it's home to numerous species of migratory birds.

7. Enjoy Unparalleled Views from the Staten Island Ferry

You can't talk about Staten Island attractions without mentioning the famous Staten Island Ferry. Not only is this a convenient commuting option, but it offers one of the best ways to take in breath-taking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the stunning skyline of Manhattan - all for free!

There you have it! Staten Island, from its lesser-known historical houses to the scenic beauty of its parks and gardens, is filled with surprises at every corner. So, next time you think there's nothing to do on this "forgotten borough," think again. It's time for you to explore and make your own list of cherished spots in Staten Island!

Things to do in Staten Island, NY?

Find Movers for Your Staten Island Relocation

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