Upstate NY Forum launch - what the heck is Upstate?

14 Replies

Thanks y'all for jumping into the UpState Forum!  Lot's of people use the term UpState, and since I've got my BP alerts set up... it isn't solely used by New York Upstaters... apparently lots of different states like to throw around 'upstate'  Anyway, I digress.  

SOOO, all you Upstate NY peeps.  How do we define ourselves geographically?  I know a lot of people interpreting "upstate NY" think of areas north of NYC....  In fact I had a friend in college (RIT) that came to Rochester (upstate) thinking he would be close to NYC.... WOW!!  He should have looked at a map first.... 

Upstate is a huge and somewhat ambiguous term for areas in NY.

How are we going to effectively use this forum?

Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany...  I don't necessarily want to talk to all these groups if I'm digging into my local markets.  

Maybe because I'm from Albany I'm bias but..

Albany/Troy/Schenectady = Upstate

Kingston/New Paltz = Downstate

Plattsburg = North Country

Binghamton = Southern tier

Syracuse = Central

Buffalo = Western

Rochester = would likely fall into central  but could be western

Having a Western NY forum could help seperate the confusion of the term "Upstate NY". Western NY could include Rochester and Buffalo and all the smaller markets surrounding those areas. 

Most Rochester residents would probably say Upstate, but in the context of this forum, Rochester should probably be a part of western NY. Rochester has a lot more in common with Buffalo than, say, Troy or the Hudson Valley.

If we're getting that specific, there are a few more areas to consider.

  • Adirondaks
  • North Country - Watertown, Potsdam, etc.
  • Long Island (very different than NYC)
  • The Finger Lakes
With that many regions, I think it's better to just use city names rather than regions.

Being from the NYC area, Anything north of Westchester county would be upstate. For us downstaters, Upstate is a large area. I would classify Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo as western NY.

If you asked the average person outside of New York State where Upstate NY is, the most common answer would be "north of NYC." Of course this could mean north of the Bronx, but in general I feel its some sort of imaginary line drawn through Rockland and Westchester counties, basically where the core suburban areas end. For the purposes of this forum, I feel thats the best defintion. 

Of course its all relative, the person who lives in Poughkeepsie and commutes to NYC everyday on the MetroNorth would probably not say that Putnam and Orange counties are Upstate. 

I'm new to BP, but have been listening to the podcasts for a while now and I definitely think it would be beneficial to separate out the regions and key words as there seems to be a lot of chatter about Rochester on here! I live and invest in the Capital Region (Albany, Troy, Saratoga) so this may be a good way to subdivide out the 'Upstate' forums to focus more on the area. Just a thought! I agree with some of the other posters though, I think of Upstate as the Albany/Capital Region area and Syracuse as Central and Rochester and Buffalo as Western. 

Is there a way to break out the forums into a more specific group for the Capital Region? I primarily invest in multi-family rentals (buy and hold) and am constantly looking for new opportunities. PM me if you'd like to discuss.


Yes, I agree with most posters. Upstate is close to NYC.  Maybe with 2 or 3 hours if even that far. i include Westchester, Putnam, Orange as well as the Albany area. Buffalo and Rochester are Western NY and Syracuse is central. A WNY Facebook board I am on for another industry have people from Syracuse in it.  I think it has more to do with utilizing all available markets nearby with such a limited amount of work in that industry.

I think a separation based on real estate market characteristics is more useful than a geographical one. For example, the areas economically influenced by NYC commuters: Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam behave very differently than areas influenced by NY State employees from Albany, or farmers from (not sure?). Some groupings may not even be geographically attached, like NY college towns.

Any other suggestions on economically similar areas in NY?

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