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Old 08-03-2010, 07:37 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,759 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thinking of relocating from Queens to NJ price range is under 300K

Hi everyone. I figured I'd try this and I really hope someone can help with ideas. Currently I live in Queens NY. I'm looking for a home most likely in NJ and have no idea where to start! My budget is under 300K. I earn 60K. Not much for a single mom (no child support) I'd like it to be of walking distance to the train and less then 45 minutes door to door to midtown if possible. Right now my commute to midtown in an HOUR! I live in a tiny apartment and its driving me crazy. I am a single mom with two boys who are in fifth grade. I've always lived in apartments and am looking forward to not having to bump into my kids and have a bathroom timeslot which hopefully owning a house will enable me to no longer do. The most important things are:

Neighborhood - (has to be safe at all hours of the night for a single woman to walk) also being home alone without a man it DEFINATLEY has to be safe!!!!

Price-under 300K

Commute to midtown-45 to 60 door to door

Junior high and high schools-SO important-no drugs, gangs, just a nice school where parents get
to know eachother!

Train-walking distance-my family doesn't have a car and I'd like them to be able to visit whenever

Shopping-no more then a few blocks at least for essentials like if I forgot to buy soap and its 10 PM I'd like to be able to either walk it or drive and be back in ten minutes either wayt

Neighbors-where people sit outside and drink their cofee and say "good morning" lol

Street-where children are outside playing.

Demographics-I live in a diverse but mostly European town. Would
prefer similar in NJ.

Am I dreaming or is this possible?
Any help is appreciated!!! Thank you thank you!!
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Weehawken
316 posts, read 676,152 times
Reputation: 63
You can do it, but - as with most of us - it won't be easy to get all that you want on your budget.

Kenilworth, Fair Lawn, Bogota, Lyndhurst or Nutley might work for you. This forum, NJTransit.com, Zillow, NJ State Police reports (http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/info/ucr...008-sect-7.pdf - note, it's searchable by town name) etc. will help you figure out whether they have what you need. Good luck!

P.S. Please research the towns you're thinking of thoroughly and visit repeatedly before buying. And don't expect a real estate agent to find you the right place. You might find a great one, but just as likely you'll find one who is just focused on closing a deal, any deal, so she can pay her bills.

P.P.S. Be sure to look out for NJ property taxes!

Last edited by Ninasimonejr; 08-03-2010 at 10:29 PM..
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:14 AM
 
Location: NJ
377 posts, read 729,279 times
Reputation: 96
Fair Lawn would be ideal under 300K would be tough possibly do-able.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:14 AM
 
1,111 posts, read 2,564,468 times
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300K will not get you all those things. I moved from Queens (1 Bed) to Jersey City (1 bed) and paid $240K for a pre-war apartment and about $250 monthly maintenance. No parking, right off of main street. Moved out of there. Also, 60 Min door-to-door commute, no way no how on 300K. From JC I took the path and took me a little under 60M.but again it was a 1 bedroom.Not for kids at all. Options are to stick it out where you are or move to a different (more affordable) state than NJ
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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It will be difficult to support even a 250m loan on a 60k salary with 2 growing boys. Don't overextend yourself. Lower your standards or be prepared for a lot of disappointments.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:28 PM
 
1,093 posts, read 1,563,706 times
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I may come across as a dick so I apologize ahead of time but I'm just going to tell you straight up. It's not possible on what you are asking for. You need to either lower your expectations, need more income, or rent instead in NJ.

Yes, you can and will find homes under 300k in NJ that's reasonable commute from NYC and make it with 60k if you were a single. However you have two boys you'll need to support as single mother. It is a just a matter of time till you have cash flow problem. To give you an idea, do a simple monthly cash flow on spreadsheet and you'll see very quickly it's going to be very tough owning a home in NJ at 60k with two children on single income. I might even say it's a bit irresponsible.

I recommend you look at rental options instead of purchase and save the different between rent vs. own. Biggest saving for that will come from not paying property taxes and insurance. Also while NJ has good school districts so does Long Island.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:50 PM
 
1,164 posts, read 2,293,366 times
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I hate to discourage you but in that price range you are not going to find very much especially that close to the city. It sounds like you are hoping to have two bathrooms but reallistacly on that budget, probably not. That big of a house loan on your salary is going to be a very big stretch and you can't forget about the hidden costs of owning a house, maintanence, lawn care, water & sewer bill, property taxes, heating/cooling, furnishings, random emergencies, etc. The houses you will see in NJ for that kind of money are not exactly the american dream, I know, my budget was similar last summer and I about wanted to cry at the first few houses we saw. We ended up finding a fantastic house much further north for under $300 but it's not a town I would recommend for a single parent who works in NYC, the commute is too long so your kids would spend way too much time alone.

But all is not lost, why not consider renting in NJ?? The rents are much much cheaper than Queens (former Queens girl myself ) and the places are much nicer, things like washer and dryer, dishwashers, garbage disposal, two bathrooms, newer fixtures, backyard, parking spots, NO ROACHES and best of all good school districts for much less money than in Queens. So you may not own your home but you also won't own the problems that come with owning a house and you'll get a feel for the area perhaps in a couple of years you will be in a better situation to buy and by then you'll have a better understanding of neighborhoods and where you'd want to buy.

I think Rutherford would be an excellent fit for you, train station in town, downtown area, VERY close to the city (when we first moved we got to NYC faster than from Queens) express buses, decent about of stores good access to highways and the school system is great. Another good option is the town next door, Lyndhurst. The school system is not quite AS good but definitely better than NYC public schools and the town is family friendly has two train stations, one with a free park and ride plus express buses.

What part of queens are you coming from?
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:20 PM
 
574 posts, read 1,435,125 times
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I used to live in Queens so I know about tight spaces and needing more breathing room.

It's actually doable to buy a house at 300k that's near the train and within an hour door to door of work, if you got $$ and are willing to make some compromises. I bought home just recently at 5x my husband's income because we put a significant amount down as downpayment. If you got the fund and dont mind a fixer upper or a townhouse, you can do the same.

There are some nice towns in South Bergen you can check out. Just do a quick search and you'll find some towns that others have recommended here including Rutherford, Lyndhurst, etc.

The question though is do you really want a house because if you're a single mom realize that a house will require alot of maintenance. A townhouse complex with an association that will handle the maintenance may be better for you. Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:30 PM
 
Location: North Jersey
292 posts, read 315,152 times
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Recently brought a modest cape in a nice neighborhood that was move in condition, but needed some improvements for under 300K. That part can be done but maintaining, as other people have said, with a 60k salary and two growing boys will be extremely difficult. You don't want to be housepoor. We have a dual income household and it is still costly. In the past two months, we have spent at least 2000-2500 on things we didn't think about but needed to have. Need a lawnmower? $300. Planning to paint? $200-300. Can't tell where that leak is coming from so now you have to hire a plumber. Who knows how much? The point is things will come up all the time and you may not have the wiggle room to address them. Renting might be a better option for right now or pool your resources with another family member to buy. The first-time buyer home credit was great for us because it allows us to hang on to that money to be used as a cushion when things come up.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:16 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,775 posts, read 8,696,388 times
Reputation: 3201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon-Hate View Post
Recently brought a modest cape in a nice neighborhood that was move in condition, but needed some improvements for under 300K. That part can be done but maintaining, as other people have said, with a 60k salary and two growing boys will be extremely difficult. You don't want to be housepoor. We have a dual income household and it is still costly. In the past two months, we have spent at least 2000-2500 on things we didn't think about but needed to have. Need a lawnmower? $300. Planning to paint? $200-300. Can't tell where that leak is coming from so now you have to hire a plumber. Who knows how much? The point is things will come up all the time and you may not have the wiggle room to address them. Renting might be a better option for right now or pool your resources with another family member to buy. The first-time buyer home credit was great for us because it allows us to hang on to that money to be used as a cushion when things come up.
you missed Craigslist. bought my 1 yr old Craftsmen mower for $75. $260 brand new!
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