Column: Is a lifestyle or buying into a community still attainable on Long Island?

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I have met and assisted many buyers and sellers over the last thirty-eight years of being in the real estate business. Everyone has had their particular reasons for purchasing for the first time as well as those sellers that move out of their current home to relocate somewhere locally or out of the area.

I read the story in the Aug. 23 edition of Blank Slate Media’s publication by Rose Weldon about what is going on with millennials. They obviously are moving out of Long Island to other states due to affordability with respect to the price of housing, as well be able to locate viable jobs to enable them to stay put.

It reminds me of my column on Aug. 2 about “where have the millennials gone” (, and all the reasons why.
After conversing with many millennial buyers, the majority of them want to stay and initially rent because of the high cost of purchasing, down payments, closing costs, and yes, their student loan debt.

Unfortunately, New York City’s rents are way too costly for them to even consider, even though they may work there; so they opt for something local and then work hard, and hope and pray that they can pay down their debts and save for that “white picket fence” home or condo or co-op.

But for most, especially if single, there isn’t a sufficient lifestyle like being in New York City, but financially they must stay put living at home as the only viable option for a majority of millennials.

So there is really no choice for either a lifestyle or community environment, especially for those living on Long Island, where there really isn’t anything comparable to New York City, where they feel more comfortable with the action seen within their group.

Many do travel to the city to work and hang out after hours and on the weekends too! I can see in many cases some are not the happiest and it’s probably affecting their outlook on their future, eventually getting married or if already married as to where to plant themselves and “grow their roots in a community.”

Leaving their home base from where they were brought up, and relocating, can be a major jolt mentally and a serious life change, which I am quite sure, can be very traumatic. But what are their options when affordability and lifestyle are at stake?

Most of the time neither is attainable locally but easier to attain out of New York. For other groups who can afford it, there is a choice for buying into a community for that grassroots friendly feel or possibly a lifestyle as in a homeowner association that those types of gated and open communities, with clubhouses, pools, tennis, and safety can provide.
When a decision is made to buy a home, families will generally search out a town that has the best schools within their budget.

This will be crucial if married with children and expecting to stay long term. Also important is very good transportation, (as the Long Island Railroad is trying to accomplish upgrades in adding a third track in the middle of Long Island especially for those working in New York City) as well as what may be offered in the town, enough things for the kids to do, cultural events, concerts in the summer and safe places to hang out.

The local neighborhood and neighbors are also important, so they come away with a good feeling of the area.

The North Shore and its towns boast superior parks, (Great Neck has had a state-sanctioned Park District for as long as I can remember, which comprises twenty-one active and passive parks) summer concerts, community pools and superb school districts (dining and shopping as well) making the area a major draw for families excepting above-average education for their children.

It’s also a major contributing factor to higher prices within those towns.

However, I have always said as I believe most would agree, when you become a homeowner, that your home is where you live and bring up your children and make friends and build relationships, but at the same time create your own specific lifestyle, whatever that may mean to you.

Why are home prices higher in Nassau than in other areas? The reasons are all of the above as mentioned.

However, Long Island’s demographics have been evolving over the years, whereby the “graying of Long Island” is continuing. But who will be replacing that group when they are gone?

Unfortunately, it’s about affordability and the money necessary to become a homeowner and to buy into a community and/or create that special lifestyle! It will be predicated on what our local and state governments as well as businesses do to stem the tide of losing our millennial population as well as gaining more people from outside New York State.

We must begin to do something now, by stepping up to the plate and begin figuring it all out and making some hard decisions. Only time will tell to determine our success in this major endeavor.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 Great Neck. He has earned designations as a graduate of the Realtor Institute and a certified international property specialist.
He can be reached by email, at:Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com, or by cell: (516) 647-4289.


  1. “After conversing with many millennial buyers, the majority of them want to stay and initially rent because of the high cost of purchasing, down payments, closing costs, and yes, their student loan debt.”

    God forbid anyone should mention the strip mining the the public “service” unions are doing to our collective prosperity, so great is the fear of offending them. It’s always someone else’s fault.

    My kids have student loans too. They don’t don’t come NEAR the cost of my school property taxes by themselves


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