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Old 01-31-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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Hi,

We recently saw a home on New York Avenue in "The Heights", Jersey City and would love to hear from you folks as to whether this would be a good purchase.

We are married with twins (2 yrs old) and recently moved from Atlanta, GA. I was born and raised in NYC while my husband was born in Florida. Our budget is 500k and are looking for our first home. My husband is a wounded/disabled Iraq vet, and this home appears to have have a decent driveway for his wheelchair equipped van. I work in downtown Manhattan, so commute doesn't seem too bad.

It is located behind Palisades Ave, between Griffth st and Hutton St...close to Riverview park. The home is new construction and is a two-family attached (e.g townhouse/row house)...the builder is asking 550k, so we hope to get him down to 500K.

I have attached a picture from google maps of the location as well.

So, would this a wise choice? We were having pizza in an area called 'hoboken' (sp?) and folks there said that the heights will boom in the next 10years or so while the couple across from the table said 'keep dreaming'...so we're confused..?

We appreciate and look forward to your thoughts.

Also, if there are other areas worth considering, please let us know; The potential for a boom (10yrs?) makes the heights home seem interesting.

Thanks in Advance,
James and Amber
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:32 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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well, if you grew up in NYC, not sure how you don't know Hoboken. That section of the heights has no reason to not increase in value. Your challenge will be the schools. My friend lived on Ogden Ave and took the bus to Port Authority. Awesome commute from there.

Look into the builder and what other buildings they've done. Try and get as much info as possible. In my opinion (and many of my engineering friends', some who worked for some of the builders in Hoboken and Jersey City) - the buildings were mostly thrown together as cheaply as possible.

How long will you stay there? It should be a great rental property in a few years. also, how big is the place? a friend of mine just bought a 1 bedroom in the "A" building near pavania and exchange place for around $400k
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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My wife is a teacher at Liberty Academy Charter School right around the corner from there, so I know the area well. The area is not bad, but it's not great either...it's really just pretty run down. There was a lot of gentrification happening before the real estate collapse but that has really slowed to a stand still. If you value diversity it's certainly a melting pot. Lots of Hispanic,African American, and white residents, mostly low to middle class,I wouldn't count on anything "booming" in the next 10 years and the schools around there are not good at all.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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If you were considering something more suburban I'd recommend Rutherford. Good schools, good commute to NYC and your budget will get you a nice house, not new construction but something with some updates. The better urban areas are really on toward the river, from Weehawken North to Fort Lee.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdstyles View Post
My wife is a teacher at Liberty Academy Charter School right around the corner from there, so I know the area well. The area is not bad, but it's not great either...it's really just pretty run down. There was a lot of gentrification happening before the real estate collapse but that has really slowed to a stand still. If you value diversity it's certainly a melting pot. Lots of Hispanic,African American, and white residents, mostly low to middle class,I wouldn't count on anything "booming" in the next 10 years and the schools around there are not good at all.
This quote nails it.

For a 500K budget with two kids, I'd be looking elsewhere, especially if I needed public schools later on.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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My wife and I and our 3 year old daughter live in the Heights on Bowers St. not far from New York Ave. As others have said, the main issue is schools. We are looking to be out of here by the time she is 5. The Heights is relatively safe and depending where you are, within a 15-30 minute walk to Hoboken. Also, if you have a car, find a house that has a driveway since parking can be a real bear around here, especially with the snow. Message me if you have other questions.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
well, if you grew up in NYC, not sure how you don't know Hoboken. That section of the heights has no reason to not increase in value. Your challenge will be the schools. My friend lived on Ogden Ave and took the bus to Port Authority. Awesome commute from there.

Look into the builder and what other buildings they've done. Try and get as much info as possible. In my opinion (and many of my engineering friends', some who worked for some of the builders in Hoboken and Jersey City) - the buildings were mostly thrown together as cheaply as possible.

How long will you stay there? It should be a great rental property in a few years. also, how big is the place? a friend of mine just bought a 1 bedroom in the "A" building near pavania and exchange place for around $400k
growing up in NY, most of my friends where on the that side of the river so didn't venture too much into jersey :-)

We were initially thinking of living in this home for a few years (e.g. 5 or 7) and then renting out both units while we move to another area (single family home) as our kids get older. The idea being that we would keep this home for several years with the hopes that the market will help bring up the value.

Is that overly ambitous? From what I have read from your posts, this may seem to be too "pie-in-the-sky"

Our plan B is to purchase the single family now and explore investment options after that.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Yes, I wouldn't recommend buying there (or anywhere really) if your timeframe is only 5-7 years and you expect to make money.

I don't know what your financial situation is though.

If you can afford to move in 5-7 years should you choose to do that even without having to sell the JC house, and can afford to keep it as a rental, then maybe it would work for you. You'd have to make sure you do the math on the rental part of it (how much rent could you get for it vs. expenses).
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHunters007 View Post
growing up in NY, most of my friends where on the that side of the river so didn't venture too much into jersey :-)

We were initially thinking of living in this home for a few years (e.g. 5 or 7) and then renting out both units while we move to another area (single family home) as our kids get older. The idea being that we would keep this home for several years with the hopes that the market will help bring up the value.

Is that overly ambitous? From what I have read from your posts, this may seem to be too "pie-in-the-sky"

Our plan B is to purchase the single family now and explore investment options after that.

Thoughts anyone?
my friend is doing this with his condo in the Pavonia/Newport area, which, granted, is more developed already.

The area you're looking into does benefit from the fact that Hoboken is almost fully developed, even though they keep trying to add more buildings, and the fact that the light rail elevator is connecting the Heights to Hoboken. I think a 5-7 year time frame, then renting out the unit, would be quite fine, personally.

I'm not sure exactly what the other people's concerns are.

Do i think you'll make a ton of money off of high returns on the price? no...but if you buy it and hold it and rent it out, i think rental prices in the area will remain strong, and especially so as the economy improves.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:03 AM
 
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I know this post is a bit old, but I'm actually considering a house in JC Heights on Webster Ave. Very nicely kept older home which sold in 2005 for $340k and asking price now is $225k. With that said, I don't understand why some people are saying not to expect a high return on a home in this area. In this case I would blame the price drop on the economy not the location. Wouldn't it be fair to say that if/when the economy bounces back the value of the home could potentially rise again well into the 300's? Granted the $225k is asking price and it could end up selling for more.

I'm still confused with this neighborhood though, some people say its terrible and others say it isn't that bad. Can someone who actually lives in the area shed some light on this? I live in Union City now, how does it compare? Not really interested in what someone who lives in the suburbs has to say unless they know what they're talking about. I can google JC Heights and read all sorts of crime reports, why then are there $600k plus condos down the block from said property?
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