Prospective NYC Homebuyers Are Moving to New Jersey
As soon as your neighborhood bodega’s $1.50 cup of coffee doubles in price, you know rental prices are the next thing to rise.
As the property values in New York City, along with surrounding areas such as Ridgewood in Queens and Kingsbridge in the Bronx, continue to ascend, dozens of once ignored neighborhoods and boroughs around Manhattan and Brooklyn are popping up on everyone’s radar as viable alternatives and piquing interest in both renters and prospective homebuyers.
Many residents are even considering moving across the river to New Jersey, where the commute is still manageable and the cost of living as well as the median home price is less than half. Another neighboring city, Hoboken, was once the go-to for budget-conscious New Yorkers willing to make the move to the Garden State, but as the prices there have surged as well, Jersey City is quickly becoming the next hot destination.
All of the alluring qualities of New York City are steadily reaching the outskirts in areas such like Jersey City, which has essentially become an extension of Manhattan. Not only are many considering the move to Jersey City, but it has become a common stopover on a visit to the Big Apple due to its rich culture, nightlife, and an array of different cuisines. With ferry service, the Holland Tunnel, and PATH trains, residents can easily access everything in the region within forty minutes or so, which is an even faster commute than experienced by some citizens living in southern Brooklyn and Queens boroughs.
Everyone is well aware of New York’s bustling food scene, but is Jersey City the underrated culinary haven we’ve been missing? On this side of the Hudson River, you’ll find rich culture in the most culturally diverse city in the country, as ranked by a 2019 study. Within minutes you can find authentic Portuguese food in the Ironbound District, Cuban flavors in Union City, and bold Indian spices in Little India.
Don’t say this too loud around any New Yorkers, but many say that the best pizza in New York City…isn’t actually in New York. Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City has been voted time and time again as not only the best pizza in the area, but second best in the country. NYT top food critic Pete Wells has given it the highest praise, and it turns out that no one can argue with him when it comes to Dan Richer’s brick-oven pies.
Considering Jersey City’s population increase of 9.3% since 2010, now is the ideal time for potential homebuyers to start looking. If you’re one of the recently polled 10 million Americans with the goal of homeownership, this may be the perfect place to start house hunting. The city is growing at more than twice the statewide average and shows no sign of slowing down.
A senior designer in lower Manhattan, Jennifer Tobias, had the right idea when real estate prices in NYC were out of her budget. When describing her 310 square foot studio near Van Vorst Park that she purchased in 2007 for $195,000, she describes, “a similar apartment in New York City would easily cost twice as much.” In a mere 7 years her property’s value has climbed up to $312,000, meanwhile the cost of living in NJ is substantially lower than Manhattan.
For those already residing in other boroughs of New Jersey, Jersey city has the same appeals as it does for those in NYC. If you’ve been searching for the right place to settle down and become a homeowner or you’re looking to make an investment, you don’t have to travel far. In the past, many Jersey families have moved to the suburbs after a couple of years once their children were a bit older. Today, Jersey City has so much more to offer. Between the beautiful parks, public transportation ranging from only $1.60-$2.25 per ride versus the MTA’s $2.75 fee, great public school systems, a booming arts scene, record-breaking diversity, and a thriving sense of community, this city may be one of the last affordable East Coast options for urban living.
An NYU grad, Lina Dorkhman, had a soft spot for her home state of New Jersey, but always planned on moving back to New York after saving up some funds while living at her parents house in Middlesex County. After endless showings of windowless apartments in NY, Lina and her soon to be roommate, Olivia Zhang, gave into the charm and appeals of Jersey City. When speaking of potential New York apartments, Olivia says, “I knew that I’d be able to find a place in my price range, but I also knew the kind of places you can get for that.” You certainly get more bang for your buck in Jersey City, with all of the same opportunities at your fingertips. Not to mention you can avoid the New York City tax, which ranges from 2.9 to 3.9 percent of your income, if you reside in NJ. In addition to paying a substantially lower income tax, as low was 1.4 percent, compared to NY’s 4 percent. Yet, you can still work in NYC and reap the salary benefits.
Between the higher cost of living, real estate prices, and property taxes, creating a home in a fast-paced metro area may seem impractical, but there are handfuls of options when searching for your dream home.
Think outside of the box and consider surrounding areas where you’re able to enjoy all of the perks of city life, but also have a backyard. The neighborhoods in many resident’s budget, in Brooklyn for example, are miles from a train stop and quickly lose the city-feel. As Michael Barry, the president of Ironstate Development Company conveys, “Jersey City has been maturing for decades. At this point, it’s an extremely well-known marketplace and is seen as a housing opportunity for anyone moving to the New York scene.”
Beat the crowd and begin your search where your dollar, well twenty dollars, can still go a long way. Whether you’re a New Yorker fed up with spending half of your income on housing, a New Jersey resident looking to make the move to a waterfront city, or even someone living across the country interested in the East Coast urban lifestyle, Jersey City may be calling your name.