Fun new map shows you where you can afford to live alone, if at all

by -
Dream big, right? via DNAinfo, edited by Sam Corbin

We’ve talked a lot of talk about what it takes to afford the rent in this town. Whether it’s showing you just how much of your income goes to rent, or lamenting how much the cost of living has gone up since 2009 (or just in the past six months), you’re no strangers to the despair we feel about the real estate market.

But even though you already knew you were doomed to have roommates for the rest of your life, and you came to terms with the fact that you could never afford a one-bedroom, the universe thought that you needed to hear it again. So now, courtesy of DNAinfo, you can actually play a sick interactive game with your rental prospects. Simply enter your annual income, and watch as Streeteasy data crunches the numbers to show you where your money can get you a solo living situation. Caution: contains graphic imagery of disappointment.

First, let’s enter the average annual salary for a freelancer, which is around $37,000. Here’s what that turns up:

Okay cool, great. No worries. Now, let’s adjust the number to $39,960 to see what the most basic apartment offerings are. Probably somewhere a little off-the-beaten-path in BK, like Midwood, right? Here we go:

On the bright side, you'd be real close to Yankee stadium
On the bright side, you’d be real close to Yankee stadium

Okay, so it turns out that the only place you can live alone for under $40,000/year is the Bronx. Let’s jump up our salary to six-figures — doctors, lawyers, accountants, here’s looking at you! Where does that get us?

Do the rent thing
Well this is shocking

Oh, good. Let the record show that you now need to make $100,00 in order to live alone in Bed-Stuy. We’ll spare you the slow ebb toward higher and higher figures, and just break down other Brooklyn neighborhoods below.

The most expensive neighborhoods are pretty predictable, but their numbers are still shocking. In order to rent solo in Williamsburg, you’ve got to make upwards of $130,000/year. Both Gowanus and Greenpoint demand a sky-high sum of $136,000/year. Dumbo’s doable on a minimum income of $162,000/year. If you want to live alone in Bushwick, you’ll need $107,960/year. Renting alone in Crown Heights requires making $104,000/year. 

There’s really no good news here, but at there’s lesser evil on the outskirts. You can live in Flatbush on a mere $72,000/year, or kick it in Coney Island on $79,800/year. Bay Ridge is in sight if you make $80,000/year or more.

Yep, this map is depressing, to say the least. It certainly doesn’t help that all of New York is colored in varying shades of dark blue, like the deepest fathoms of the sea. It also doesn’t help that the button at the bottom encourages you to “Try Again.” With what money? 

Excuse us while we actually go buy some more Powerball tickets.

Related Articles


With so many new rentals coming on the market, Brooklyn could see a drop in average rent as landlords compete for tenants.


Brooklyn may already be the most unaffordable place to own, but many renters are still holding out for a better future. They're not wrong...


It seems like whenever we talk about the rent around these parts, there's a lot of gnashing of teeth and shaking our fists at...


Hey, remember how AirBnB described Crown Heights as "rundown" and "seedy"? Good times. Anyway, people renting there are probably wishing that was the reputation...


  1. This is assuming that people actually respect the metric of keeping their housing cost to 30% of their income. I don’t think I know anyone who pays less than 40% and I know quite a few who pay 60%. You just make it work depending on what kind of a commute you can deal with.

Leave a Reply