Find the right community to complement your interests in New York City

Recently, The New York Times and several other newspapers released a market analysis that conveyed the changes made in New York City between 1940 and the present day. The report explored 116 neighborhoods and found that no one section was rich or poor in the 1940s. It highlighted the fact that a three-room apartment on the Lower East Side that rented for $12 a month was within walking distance from a 33-room apartment on Sutton Place that rented for $18,000 a year.

"New York is a city of contrasts," the report began. "An amazing, infinite, inspiring, shocking, beautiful, ugly, old, new city of seven million plus." What's even more interesting, several decades later, the same adjectives still apply, but the city has grown even larger. It draws a magnitude of new residents annually and the streets offer people new opportunities each and every day.

While this subtle insight into what the Big Apple was like in the 1940s gives residents a historical idea of what this great metro area is like now, prospective homebuyers looking for real estate in New York may find it meaningless in terms of their home search. Today, it would be difficult to find such a diverse price range in neighborhoods, and certain areas are very much divided by class and price ranges.

Depending on the amenities a homebuyer looks for will often determine the area in which he or she shops for property. For example, affluent families who want a safe place to raise their children may consider moving to the West Village, while younger homebuyers may consider the East Village for its bar scene or Chelsea for its art galleries. These areas each offer their fair share of restaurants and entertainment options, but they also attract their own crowd and demographic.

Investing in a home can be stressful time, especially when searching for property in one of the biggest cities in the world. New York can provide its residents with all the resources they need to be successful in any endeavor, but homebuyers need to make sure they don't bite off more than they can chew and purchase homes in areas that don't complement their lifestyles. It may be worthwhile to visit a variety of communities in the big city before entering closing. Shopping around may help a buyer gain a better perspective of the city and people who will be their neighbors.