New Yorkers are loud as hell and the townies aren’t gonna take it anymore!
Hardboiled Manhattanites shed their urban digs in record numbers when COVID hit.
They invaded idyllic towns surrounding the city in pursuit of clean air — bringing city noise, litter and a fuhgeddaboudit philosophy with them.
“They seem to have a different life understanding: That living in New Jersey is just like living in the city — the constant noise, hosting friends until the wee hours of the night,” Olga Avdaev, who until recently enjoyed a peaceful life in Rockaway, NJ, with her husband and two kids, told The Post.
“I used to live in the city, I know the mentality, but after living so long in the suburbs you become neighborly. They are not there yet.”
An estimated 5 percent of the city’s population, or more than 300,000 people, particularly those in higher income ZIP codes, bum-rushed the burbs last year, according to US Postal Service data.
Homes from Lakewood, NJ, to Beacon, NY, and many places in between have seen an increase in home values between 35 and 45 percent as a result, according to Realtor.com. Meanwhile, city real estate values dropped, according to Zillow.
In towns like Greenwich, Conn., home prices aren’t necessarily rising, but inventory that sat stagnant is now moving quickly as city fleers gobble up properties that grant them more outdoor space during this pandemic year.
While this isn’t quite a repeat of the postwar suburban flight, the influx of creative-class professionals is bringing a distinctly urban flavor to the land of homeowners associations and three-car garages.
Avdaev, a 35-year-old financial advisor, saw her bubble burst in March, right as COVID hit. Every week, a parade of suburban wannabees invaded her neighborhood to view houses on her street.
“At some point, showings had over 30 cars, primarily New York license plates,” she said. (Houses in the area typically sell in the $350,000 to $600,000 range and home values have risen 5 percent in the past year, according to Zillow.)
When a couple moved in next door to her three-bedroom 2,000-square-foot house in spring, they immediately began construction, which continued for months, including at night and on the weekends. The racket of workers barking orders and the roar of bobcats ruined her childrens’ naptimes, making life “unbearable.”
What’s more, over the summer Hurricane Isaias, which brought damaging winds and flooding to the tri-state area at the end of July, knocked a large tree down onto Avdeav’s property. She was miffed that the new neighbors didn’t even bother to check if her family was okay.
“They had zero interest in stopping by and asking if we need any help,” she said.
Another suburbanite who has lived in the same four-bedroom, two-bath, 2,100-square-foot house in Greenwich for 30 years, and asked to remain anonymous for fear of adding to the neighborhood strife, said she was at first happy to welcome new neighbors from the city to her street.
In October, home sales in Fairfield County jumped 80 percent, according to Redfin.
But things quickly turned sour after she caught them letting their dog pee on her property.
“What an inconsiderate and disrespectful new neighbor,” she sighed, of the urbane couple who bought a nearby four-bedroom, split-level house for $1.6 million.
When confronted with the pooch’s micturitions, rather than apologize, they sassed that the grass in their neighbor’s front yard was “fair game.”
“I left the city to get away from the noise,” said another Greenwich resident, a stay-at-home mom who left Queens with her spouse and young child more than two years ago.
At first it was blissful, but then the city found her. In March, a young couple from Manhattan moved into a 6,000-square-foot house around the corner that had been sitting vacant for three years. The new neighbors immediately made their presence known with frequent late-night drinking parties that were often rowdy and loud.
One night in late spring, when the newly minted neighbors had friends spilling out onto their balcony, laughing and yelling and drinking, she tried to get them to quiet down. But they shouted back: “We are just celebrating our new roommate!” and carried on.
“It was just enough noise to wake a sleeping toddler,” she said.
Noise violations have become such a problem in these areas that real estate experts are now having to get in front of the trouble before they sell.
“Whether it be construction early morning or late-night music — it’s just unacceptable,” said Alison Bernstein, founder and president of Suburban Jungle, a real estate advisory and tech platform that is seeing a 500 percent boost in business due to the influx of Manhattanites. “Understanding your family’s personality and planning accordingly will give you a greater shot at having successful relations with your neighbors. If you’re a family of six who likes to stay up late with two barking dogs, you may want to think about living where there is space and separation.”
And while many suburban shops have leaned on urban migration to get through the hard times during the pandemic, there can be too much of a good thing, they griped.
“Every day is like Christmas,” a sanitation worker in the Hudson Valley said of the gargantuan uptick in garbage pickups.
Chris Hahn of Bar-ken Service Center, a car shop, in East Chatham, NY, added that they are having to turn customers away because they can’t manage the volume, which includes “a lot of people that we do not normally deal with.”
But don’t expect to criticize a New Yorker without getting a mouthful in return.
Kate, a Broadway and opera singer who lives in a $10 million home in the coveted Belle Haven section of Greenwich with her husband, a doctor, and two kids, arrived in the area after leaving the West Village in July.
“If people moved here, they moved here because a home was available,” she said. “You prefer homes in these towns to remain empty?”