Harlem is one of New York City’s most well-known neighborhoods for its history, its architecture, and its many famous residents. Founded in the 17th Century as a Dutch outpost, the town New Haarlem (eventually anglicized to today’s spelling) was named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem has played many different roles in New York’s evolution, and it was once considered a resort town for the wealthy until the mid-19th Century. Today, it is a neighborhood that is often overlooked, but one that many would appreciate if given a chance.
Harlem is bounded by the East River to the east; the Hudson River to the west; 155th Street to the north; and it has an uneven southern border that ends at either 110th Street (to the west of Fifth Avenue) or 96th Street (to the east of Fifth Avenue). It is most notably home to Columbia University at its southwest corner, an Ivy League school that was one of only nine colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. South Harlem is defined by its low-to-mid-rise character and historic brownstones, while much of 125th Street and above is less historic yet still absent of the skyscrapers that you would find in Midtown. Buyers looking for everything from a single-family home to a new construction condo will find what they need in Harlem.
Upper Manhattan offers a surprisingly easy commute to the rest of Manhattan thanks to its many options for transportation. It’s one of the few neighborhoods that is both more convenient for commuters and more affordable than other parts of the city. With most neighborhoods: the easier it is to commute to midtown, the higher the real estate values. But we don’t expect that to last forever. Affordable real estate in New York doesn’t stay affordable for very long.