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Old 02-17-2007, 07:57 AM
 
47 posts, read 247,989 times
Reputation: 32
Default Is there such a thing as an affordable place to live in Jersey??????

Where do all the people live (with children) on a 50k salary in Jersey?
With these requirements:

Good schools
low crime
not apartment living

Is this feasible in Jersey or should I give up hope and move to NC?
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:47 AM
 
5 posts, read 24,015 times
Reputation: 11
hello,
I am wondering the same thing.. I lived in NJ all my life!
and I am having a really hard time looking for an affordable place to live .
I am currently living in westfield have to kids and have to uproot them out from highschool due to not being able to afford to live here anymore .as well as having to move .my rent in the 9 hundreds for a 2 br and this was cheap!
(I have been renting) live here 16yrs!! I am scrambling around to find an area
that is safe for my kids as well as a good school system .. I am scared to death!! I have a month to find a place because the landlord is no longer able to function and the kids took over property and want to get more money like 1000.00 more for this place!! We have always been good tenants and never ever gave this man a problem in the years we live here.. I also know its buisness..what it all comes down to is money!! money I dont have ..
I am beside my self because I am scrambling to find a place to live asap.
I have been looking and rents are really high everywhere! I hope any one who reads this can give me any help!! info anything I was thinking about moving to Georgia because I know someone there and rents are a lot cheaper but so far from what I can see or hear ..yes the rents are cheap! but the schools
there dont offer as much as here who knows maybe they do but I am really searching for info on this ..I dont want to move there at all because my heart is saying maybe and my head is saying no way!!! I dont own much at all
but i can tell you that I need to look out for my children so they dont end up suffering over this !! sorry long post..

Last edited by frstlexus1; 02-17-2007 at 08:51 AM.. Reason: Some words left out
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:54 AM
 
9,125 posts, read 23,184,913 times
Reputation: 3329
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcov2005 View Post
Where do all the people live (with children) on a 50k salary in Jersey?
With these requirements:

Good schools
low crime
not apartment living

Is this feasible in Jersey or should I give up hope and move to NC?
To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's possible to own a house in NJ on 50k/year with kids unless you bought it some time ago.

Having two kids myself, I can see how it could be difficult to live nicely on 50k/year even without paying anything for housing. Of course, that's partly due to the rest of our "consumer culture" which seemingly requires you to have two cars, nice clothes, plenty of toys/video games/computers for the kids, and the now mandatory 42" plasma TV (which I still refuse to buy, btw- nothing on TV is worth spending $2k to watch....lol).

And, not that it's impossible, but even in NC, how do you propose to own a home on $50k/year without struggling (and that's assuming that your $50k/year NJ job pays that much in NC to begin with)? Most mortgage companies use 3x your salary to figure out how much home you can afford, but that's maxing you out on their debt ratios, and assumes you have very little in the way of credit card/car/student load debt. Even at 3x income, that puts you in a $150k +/- home, which will give you a mortgage payment of around $1,000, plus property taxes, h/o insurance, and PMI- total payment approximately $1300-1400 I'd think. Multiply that times 12, and you're spending around $16,000/year on your house, not including utilities, maintenance, etc. Based on $50k/year, you're probably taking home around $40k/year (or less), so you're paying close to 50% of your net income just to have a roof over your head- not a great ratio IMHO. Of course, you could always go the "interest-only, no-down, reverse, your kids inherit a $150k house with a $300k mortgage when you die" route, which I wouldn't advise.

Kinda makes apartment living look a little better, no?

Bob
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:07 AM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,275,857 times
Reputation: 306
The good schools issue is a very loaded issue. Quality of the schools in NJ vary greatly which might surprise someone from another state. The school issue weighs on people more than the crime issue as the crime is contained for the most part in a small number of communities(most in the old NE corridor).

Someone making 50,000k hopefully has a spouse who is making at least 30,000k. Still you will be making tradeoffs as far as housing and education if you compare this to other states in the U.S.
How long will you live in NJ? Is this a long-term thing? Many of the towns with old housing stock might have decent elementary schools but often these are the same towns with fair to poor performing middle and high schools. Some of the high schools in higher income towns are not that great either but you have to research this. The really great high schools in Nj for the most part are in the wealthier towns. There are too many extremes and no-it is not fair. If you want to learn more you have to dig and maybe read up on Abbott Districts in NJ.

I had lived in NC as a young teen and even way back then it was a different world than NJ was at the time. Your money would buy you MUCH more there and the quality of the schools overall is better(less extremes). High schools there usually have kids coming from a larger radius so there are more kids from different income levels in one school. If you like the south you would probably find more of a quality life there and much less stress.

Housing wise you will not be able to buy in a "middle class" type of area. If that is not a problem for you than you will probably look at all these issues differently. Being lower middle class in most of the southern U.S. allows for a quality of life for a family that can still be very decent. Not the case in NJ at all. Those median income statistics have never told the real story.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:30 AM
 
47 posts, read 247,989 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks for your answers. When I said 50k income that is exactly what I meant. I am a single mom with one income-myself. I love the north eastrern part of the US. I have lived there most of my life. I lived in NC for a couple years but not the Raleigh or Charlotte area. Currently I live in South Florida and want out ASAP. I am a city girl at heart but it is hard to do when you have kid and a large dog and a 50k income. I want very much to relocate back up to the North East and was hoping that Jersey would be a viable option. But from what I read on these forumns, it most likely isn't. I really don't need to own a house right now. I am ok to rent, I just don't want an "apartment". I want a towhnhouse or a single family house. Something with more space and somewhat of a yard. In South fl you can't get that without paying atleast 1400-1500/ mo for rent! I was hoping that would be doable in Jersey for around 1200/mo in a safe, decent schools (middle and highschool) area. I like the fact that Jersey is close to Philly and NYC. At least I would be able to get my "city fix" living there!
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:01 AM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,275,857 times
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You would probably have to be farther out(away from the city) to make it work. Maybe a place like Orange county New York or somewhere in PA. Otherwise the trade-offs would probably be too much for you.
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Manchester Township, NJ
337 posts, read 743,354 times
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You can look in the lower part of South Jersey--but you better hurry as prices are rising fast. The suburbs of Millville (not the city itself) are still pretty decent and you can get a small house for under $200,000. Just don't forget the horrendous taxes, though.

Seriously, go to www.realtor.com (broken link) and put in Millville and choose your price range. Be sure to check off "all" on the surrounding areas page. Keep in mind you probably want to avoid anything in Commercial Township (incl Laurel Lakes) as these are drug areas. And forget Bridgeton.

BTW, it might actually be better if you search in western Atlantic County. Better schools overall. You can luck out and get a nice rancher in Buena Vista Twp. for under $200,000. Again the taxes but not as bad as the northern part. Another search on the above website would be "Buena" and surrounding areas. Try that also. We live in Buena Vista Township and it is really quite decent and very little crime. There is a small revitalization going on around Richland with its little train station. They are trying to re-create a 1930ish appearance when the regular train actually stopped here. It's really quite quaint.

I realize it would be a huge move for you but if you insist on staying in New Jersey that is what I would advise you to do. Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:35 PM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,275,857 times
Reputation: 306
Default South, North, or Central

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcov2005 View Post
Where do all the people live (with children) on a 50k salary in Jersey?
With these requirements:

Good schools
low crime
not apartment living
It would be easier if you would specify south nj if you are interested in it. Most people reading your post would assume you meant north or central NJ as on an earlier thread you talked about "the city" and people assume you mean you want access to NYC. If you like Philly then yes you would have decent access in south NJ and it is cheaper overall compared to the rest of the state.

I have never lived in south NJ but I have to say that I sort of like the area that is right next to Phila(is it the Cherry Hill area?). Some of those little towns are older, walkable, and w/o the typical centerless suburban feel. The people down there seem more relaxed than in the rest of the state. If they commute to "the city" they get there pretty quick from what I hear. It does not have the NY area feel to it as far as the friendly factor goes. I think most of it is very safe and "diverse" whatever that means to you.

Many people will tell you that you would have more options looking in PA. Also that the taxes and insurance would be less there. All of that is true for the most part. It just depends on what you like. If money was no object you could look at more areas of course. I would probably like the Cherry Hill area more than a main line suburb or say a town in Bucks county. But those areas would give you less of an urban feel and I prefer areas that are more urban. It is very difficult to get the urban/country mix in NJ anymore without paying through the nose. Those days are pretty much over.
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:15 PM
 
47 posts, read 247,989 times
Reputation: 32
thanks for everyones input. I will have to take a trip and visit Jersey and PA.
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:18 PM
 
6 posts, read 48,971 times
Reputation: 17
Default Looking for a White working class NJ city with low rents

Hi Everybody!

I have to leave my apartment on written notice from my sister, the executrix of my mother's will, within three months here in Brooklyn. My late mother was the landlady. The notice may never come but the house has to be sold and divided four ways (amongst my two sisters, brother and myself) according to the will.

I am looking for a one bedroom apartment to store a lot of tools and supplies for my home imrovement business. Obtaining enough business requires a large population and the advertising that works for me is leaving flyers door to door. I have to be sure it's legal and that the cops won't hassle me or people I hire to do it.

After looking for a house unsuccessfully in New Jersey the last three years I think West New York, Piscataway, Ridgefield, Lyndhurst or Clifton might be what I'm looking for. I want to pay around $1,000 a month.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know!

Yours truly,
John
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