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Old 01-03-2017, 02:19 PM
 
2,997 posts, read 2,204,493 times
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You can't plan for everything but your biggest, most consistent expense will be the mortgage and all the associated parts, PMI, insurance, tax bill, and escrow. Keep that under control and you'll just have to imagine that your gas and electric expenditures are going to be similar to what you do now. You're not going to go around turning on all the lights in the house, only the ones where you are. You're not going to be adding an extra fridge or whatever.

So don't try to figure out that math, figure out how you're going to make the big payment and what you can do to keep that manageable. Set a budget and keep to it, no matter what. Don't think that an extra fifty bucks a month for the nicer yard is something you can swing, don't get into a bidding war, don't take your inspector's advice about fixing things lightly, and don't get too much house if you can't make it work.

There will be thousands in unplanned expenses (our local kindergarten wasn't full day, for example, we never thought to ask) that you'll just never see coming that first year. I almost said 10K like sirk but scaled it back to only the necessities. But, rest assured, they'll be coming and nobody here can say what they'll be because each house is different and each family in that house has been different in their use of it.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:53 PM
 
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Have you considered a 2 br in jackson heights? The neighborhood is much better than you would thinks. There are great alternate schools in the 70s, and no better accesibility than 74th and Roosevelt! Look up the school ratings.

We are excited of the thought of moving to jersey, but the areas of intrest are too far south for a daily commute to times sqaure.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Forest Hills, NY
11 posts, read 6,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapikap View Post
Have you considered a 2 br in jackson heights? The neighborhood is much better than you would thinks. There are great alternate schools in the 70s, and no better accesibility than 74th and Roosevelt! Look up the school ratings.

We are excited of the thought of moving to jersey, but the areas of intrest are too far south for a daily commute to times sqaure.
Too congested with traffic, no parking (need access to it as I work in NJ on the weekends) and I would need at minimum of 3 bedroom. Even in Jackson Heights, I can't afford it. Maintenance for that size of an apartment is asking for way too much.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:35 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
713 posts, read 1,534,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcheung07 View Post
Hi Everyone,

My first post though I have been using city-data for sometime now for information. I hope to provide some in return in now that I'm official.

A little background:

I'm currently living/own a pre-war one bedroom coop apartment building Forest Hills, Queens in New York. My wife and I have been living here for sometime now 7+ years, it's a great and safe neighborhood, convenient and walks to everything as well as highways (yes we own a car). We now have our 1 year old son and he's beginning to explore life and or course as parents we want the best for him growing up as far as friends, social development, education, etc.

Why we are moving out:
Unfortunately, we are going to be priced out of New York for the space we want our family to grow in. 450k for a two bedroom apartment with a 1500 maintenance/month and 1000sq/ft is just not going to work for us. 450k I'm looking into a 3bedroom 2.5bath and simply ROOM. 2000ft maybe?

The Search:
New Jersey Nutley, Pompton Lakes, Livingston, Verona are areas we are looking into as they have good schools for our son's future as well as being somewhat affordable in the 450k price range but still within one hour to New York.

Things I don't know:
How much does it really cost to run a house? Coming from an apartment (coop) where heat/water and taxes is included in your maintenance bill, I really don't know what to expect for a house. Here is what I calculated so far for cost of living in a 2000ft house and I would love input from those who have made the transition or just experience or owning a home. Am I totally wrong on my numbers and am I missing anything here?

Specs of house:
2000ft house with average insulation, etc. Good roof, everything is working and is running gas.

Mortgage - Lets just make the numbers easy and say I purchased the home for 450K cash, yea right!!!!!

Electric - 250 (A minimal lifestyle nothing crazy here, no 5000w system system or anything like that, no fish tanks, etc.)

Water - 100 (Is this what it would cost?)

Gas - 150 (My current gas bill is less than 20 a month for cooking gas is this right for a 2000ft house)

Insurance - 150 (Am I even close with this number?)

Repair Cost (I'm pretty conservative so would this be a good number to set aside for unexpected repairs? No/Less) - 500

Yard work - 50 (Tools, etc, I will probably need to do this myself, a first timer guys/gals)

property taxes (damn NJ is expensive) - 1000 (ex:12k/per yr)

Any input or information here would be greatly appreciated from the community. Hope I'm not missing anything.
Not sure why you are looking at Pompton Lakes. It's not near those towns and the commute to NYC isn't as good. At your budget you won't get anything at that size in Livingston or Verona that's move in or close to move in ready. I am in West Orange which is right between those two towns and at that price you still won't get 2K sq footage but it will be a lot closer. Taxes in WO are slightly more than Verona and Livingston is a much lower rate but the houses cost a lot more. Nutley has high taxes as well. You should add West Orange, Cedar Grove, Roseland and the caldwells to your list. If your commuting to NYC WO has jitneys that take you to the mid-town direct and I believe Livingston does as well from the Livingston mall.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,675 posts, read 8,193,365 times
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Just consider Fairfield County CT done deal
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:54 PM
 
3,296 posts, read 1,563,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcheung07 View Post
Too congested with traffic, no parking (need access to it as I work in NJ on the weekends) and I would need at minimum of 3 bedroom. Even in Jackson Heights, I can't afford it. Maintenance for that size of an apartment is asking for way too much.
3 brs? I see where the price point is obscene. 3-5 bedrooms are at 550k and up, but usually include a garage spot. That little area i mentioned appears to have a community.

Just seeing the size of the school grounds, and activities offered in jersey really make me wondet about nyc public schools, and how we are shortchanged.

Just from the short research I have done, the Edison area offers nice homes, but over an hour commute to the Duece.

Most people say move west of the lincoln tunnel, but i am looking south. North elizabeth is striking my intrest, so are areas south of there.

Our ideal home would be a comfortable distance from school and express bus or train. We also like classic styles or modern brick ranch.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Rutherford
380 posts, read 1,135,933 times
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You're asking the right q's but I agree, you can't know for sure until you find a house, get an inspection and see what it needs. Getting a new vs. an old house probably makes a huge difference. I have a fatal inclination for old houses and it has cost us dearly. Just had to replace a 20-year-old boiler. There went $7200. At least we knew it would happen eventually. I decided that even inspectors are not trustworthy unless you find one yourself -- realtors will not recommend them if they scuttle sales. So both times we bought old houses, we found much more later that really needed fixing and the inspectors had not prepared us for how much it would cost.

I would advise against a corner property as it costs you a lot more time or money to shovel, rake, plant, and mow.

We felt Rutherford was the best town close to NYC and have been happy here. Safe, quiet, pretty, nice kids, good schools. Just a bit noisy from its proximity to Newark. It has both buses and a train station. The commute is always longer than they say -- for us it is anywhere from 40 mins to 1.5 hrs door to door by bus (with train being more predictable, roughly an hour) and from 15 -45 mins by car, depending on hour/traffic. You can find a house in your range. Our property tax just crossed the $10K line last year. We seriously considered Nutley too and probably would have been happy there too.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:56 AM
 
Location: NYC area
545 posts, read 454,675 times
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I think Nutley, Rutherford, and Hasbrouk Heights might be good places to search although there is little in your price range and it's likely you will get more in the 1500 sq foot range. However, if you find a place with a finished basement, it usually isn't calculated in the square footage although it does add living space for another living room or play room.

I know you want space, but have you thought about looking at coop buildings in Fort Lee or Edgewater? Good commute, schools (especially elementary) are pretty good, great asian food in the area, and many parts are walkable. You can get a 3 bedroom in your price range. And obviously in a coop, the monthly maintenance will be really high but if it takes care of all your monthly bills it may even out compared to property tax, insurance, utilities, cable, etc. Plus then you usually have an onsite gym or play room which can save you money on those monthly fees.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Forest Hills, NY
11 posts, read 6,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annikan View Post
I think Nutley, Rutherford, and Hasbrouk Heights might be good places to search although there is little in your price range and it's likely you will get more in the 1500 sq foot range. However, if you find a place with a finished basement, it usually isn't calculated in the square footage although it does add living space for another living room or play room.

I know you want space, but have you thought about looking at coop buildings in Fort Lee or Edgewater? Good commute, schools (especially elementary) are pretty good, great asian food in the area, and many parts are walkable. You can get a 3 bedroom in your price range. And obviously in a coop, the monthly maintenance will be really high but if it takes care of all your monthly bills it may even out compared to property tax, insurance, utilities, cable, etc. Plus then you usually have an onsite gym or play room which can save you money on those monthly fees.
Annikan, Thanks for some input. Yes I was considering the 2000ft to include the basement space as a home office/den area. We are shifting away from coop and apartments because ideally, I need that separate entry for the office access. As the search continues, looks like we need to move a bit further away from the city.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:21 AM
 
Location: NYC area
545 posts, read 454,675 times
Reputation: 945
Also check out Leonia. Since your price range is on the lower side, I would come up with 3-5 towns you are okay with and then just look for the right house. Maybe your list would be Leonia, Rutherford, Hasbrouk Heights, Nutley, etc. Then if there are only 1-2 houses in your price range in each city, you have a wider list to choose from.

You can definitely find something you like if you cast a wide net. I just had a coworker who is only 25 buy a house in Ridgewood for 400k. It needed/needs work but he and his dad are slowly doing a lot of the work themselves--new flooring, paint, new tile, etc. And he's contracting out the bigger stuff like new kitchen cabinets. It looks good for that price, although it's only about 1400 sq ft.
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