ny??? not to sound like "that" guy but JC is not ny so please dont come here expecting it to be like it. When you get here you will realize this isn't ny.
But to your point, PT in JC is good and can get you anywhere within a few intues depending on where you live. I'm not sure how much you plan on spending but IF you want to live in the city cheapest locations are the Heights, Greenville, Bergen. The last two are the cheapest and Bergen is actually right next to downtown (Newport is in downtown) so has some PT with light rail or bus, but they are both Bergen and Greenville are high crime areas so i wouldn't recommend it.
The Heights is safer and still has easy access to downtown via light rail or bus. The Hieghts would run you more money though, IMO for 2 or 3bd in the Heights would be around $1400. Central ave is serves the area for most shopping needs.
If you want a quieter area that still has easy PT, i would say check Bayonne. You may be able to get more for your money in that town.