Looking to buy a house in The Garden State, but you're not quite sure where to start? Never fear, because we've put together a guide to buying a house in New Jersey, and even packed in some extra bonus material about the state overall. So, let's get right to it.
New Jersey is super close to New York, which of course means that some areas of the state come with pretty hefty price tags. Don't let that scare you, though, since there are plenty of options where the price might be just right. To help you out, we checked out gathered data and put together a list of a few cities in the most/least pricey categories, for 2019.
Most expensive cities:
Least expensive cities:
Look these over before setting sights on your next destination. It'll be way more satisfying and less stressful if you follow the right steps to your new home.
The housing market in New Jersey isn't exactly as well known as the various reality shows churned out from the place over the past decade or so. So to aid you on your quest of new home selection, we've got a sneak peek at what the market's like in Jersey, up next.
The New Jersey housing market was reportedly strong throughout 2018, and that trend continues into 2019. The shortage of inventory in the state means high buyer demand, and therefore high home prices. So, it's been a seller's market for a while now, and will continue to be through the beginning of 2019.
However, things will be looking up for buyers as 2019 progresses. The market's predicted to shift over to favor buyers as prices start leveling off later in the year. So, if you can hold tight just a little longer before starting your hunt, your wallet may seriously thank you for it.
Though New Jersey's undoubtedly got plenty to offer as a state to move to, one city is clearly in the lead for its most moved-to destination in recent years, and that's Jersey City. Jersey City has all kinds of benefits, including beaches, delicious diners, good public transit, and NYC as practically its next door neighbor (only this place has WAY cheaper prices). Not too shabby.
That all being said, Jersey City living still has a pretty impressive price tag of its own. Home values here average $480,900, currently. Home values have increased a whopping 13.8% over the past year, and they're expected to rise another 7.6% within the upcoming year. Homes are listed on the market for about $585,000 as of late, and renting a house costs around $2,100/month.
Jersey City's not the only option for your new place, obviously. The state's actually got a TON (and we do mean a TON) of new construction underway lately, all across the state. Seriously, you could throw a rock out of someone's window and hit some new construction, no matter where you were. Any major city you could name — Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Newark, Jersey City, New Brunswick — all have development in progress. The power of choice is yours.
It's all well and good to know where you want to look for your new house, but it's even better to know how much you'll paying for it. That's why we're about to check out some home costs and property values, New Jersey-style.
As far as home values go, research says the average currently is $324,700 for the state. Home values have increased 5.9% over the past year, and they're expected to rise another 7.0% within the upcoming year. The price per square foot is about $181. Homes are listed on the market for around $319,900, and they're closing for about $279,400. Renting a house costs about $1,900/month.
Let's check out those apartments, though. According to sources, you can find one-bedroom places going for about $880/month in Camden, $1,024/month in Newark, $2,590/month in Jersey City, $1,024/month in Trenton, and $1,634/month in New Brunswick, just to give you an idea.
Alright townhouse-seekers, you're up. Townhouse rent in New Jersey ranges from the low-side of about $650/month for a studio with one bathroom in Runnemede, to about $1,850/month for a two-bed/one-and-a-half-bath place in Newark.
The Jersey Shore is wonderful, and makes New Jersey a very attractive place to live — until a hurricane comes along. Jersey's coastal location unfortunately means the place is not just a host for epic beach parties, but that it also plays host to hurricanes once in a while. So, you may need to review your homeowner's insurance policy to make sure you have coverage.
New Jersey is one of 19 states that require a mandatory hurricane deductible as part of its homeowner's insurance policies, so you can't really escape needing it. But considering the amount of damage these storms can dish out, you'll really WANT it, anyway.
If you're unsure of what your homeowner's insurance policy covers, don't hesitate to reach out to your agent. You'll be grateful, should disaster ever strike, that you took measures to prepare yourself in advance.
Though hurricanes do like to visit New Jersey from time to time, the state's actually most prone to blizzards, in the natural disasters category. Once all that snow melts, the water has to go somewhere — most likely to your basement. So, it might mean you need to add on even more coverage.
If you live in an area deemed to be "high-risk", your mortgage lender might require you to purchase extra homeowner's insurance coverage specifically for flooding. Though it's important to note that even areas not in designated high-risk areas might still need it. Why? Because water damage is no joke, and neither is having to pay for it.
Before you find out if you even need it, maybe you should first know what it is. Well, broken down, flood insurance will cover your property (the actual structure of your home and your belongings within it - to an extent) if natural water (i.e. rain, waves, etc.) decides to wreak havoc. Many policies will say that the water must cover at least two acres of normally-dry land, in order to qualify for reimbursement.
Once again, if you're unsure if you have it/need it, talk with your agent. They'll be able to get you set up with exactly what you need.
The quality of the school system in a certain state might be another good thing to take into consideration before making your move. So, how does a New Jersey education rank against the other options in the US? Let's find out.
Here are some 2018 WalletHub stats about how New Jersey schools ranked in the country:
The top-rated schools in the state are High Technology High School in Lincroft, and Princeton University in Princeton.
It's time for the more fun section of this guide, where we get into some nitty-gritty about New Jersey itself. Before we convince you to buy a house here, let's outline a few reasons why others already did. We talked to some locals about PROs and CONs to Jersey living, for your reading pleasure.
PROs, as voted by New Jersey Residents:
CONs, also as voted by New Jersey Residents
So now we know a bit about WHY people move to New Jersey, but let's check out WHAT these people do, once they arrive. We talked with the locals a bit longer to find out the state's lesser-known hotspots, full of fun activities for all.
Here just a few of the state's coolest attractions:
We've done our best to bring you just a bite-sized guide to buying a house in New Jersey, and hope the lowdown on the state's housing market and Jersey-style trivia will seriously aid you in your quest. buying a new house should be an exciting endeavor, and having some background information beforehand should (hopefully) increase the chances of that.
If you're looking to buy a house in the state where you can just as easily go "down the shore" you can hop over to New York.