You normally don't think of a house with a big backyard when you think of New York City. That's probably because most people conjure up images of Manhattan. However, there are other boroughs to consider, and this is where you should focus your search. The outer boroughs have more space and are less congested than Manhattan. If you are looking for a house with a backyard, it is entirely possible to find a suitable home, as long as you focus your search on the right locations. Here are three locations to investigate.

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

Dyker Heights is a beautiful section of Brooklyn located near the water. It's in the southwest section of the borough, close to Bay Ridge. The area was originally designed as an upscale housing development around the turn of the 19th century. Because of the original design, there are lots of large, single family homes and not as many tall apartment buildings like you will find in central Brooklyn. The houses are old and very spacious. They are wood frame homes, not the brownstones that you will see in area such as Bed-Stuy or Park Slope, so don't be disappointed if you don't see that "classic" Brooklyn style. Even though the homes don't have that iconic brownstone look, they are gorgeous and you will fall in love with them upon seeing them up close.

If you are planning on raising a family, then this is one of the best places to live. The area is considered one of the safest places in all of New York. The area has subways, as well as express buses that travel right into Manhattan.

Great Kills, Staten Island

One of the main advantages to Staten Island is that the houses tend to have big yards. Some people lament that the commute into Manhattan from Staten Island is a pain, but the major benefit to living on the island is that you have so much space. You won't find as many places in any other borough with backyards. For all intents and purposes, you could consider most of Staten Island a suburb. Once you head south on the Island, past the densely populated northern section around the Ferry, you will find that the island is mostly single family homes and very few apartment buildings. There are commercial strips (Hylan Road and Forest Ave) where you will find strip malls, but the residential areas are quiet, tree-lined streets with homes with big backyards.

Van Cortland Village, The Bronx

This little neighborhood is located in the northern section of The Bronx. It's right next to the huge Jerome Park Reservoir. This reservoir is surrounded by trees and gives the neighborhood a very peaceful atmosphere. There are many single-family homes to the west of the reservoir. The other great thing about the area is that it is right next to Van Cortland Park. This is a huge park (that rivals Central Park in size) and further makes the area feel more "suburban" than other areas in The Bronx. The residents can also walk to a huge shopping center located in the neighboring section of Kingsbridge. There are also express buses that travel into Manhattan.

For more options and information, contact a real estate agent in your area.