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Old 10-09-2011, 10:22 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,546 posts, read 50,793,031 times
Reputation: 60558

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You could find a house in your budget in some decent towns in Monmouth County, NJ, but you might have to accept a longer commute. I've been a commuter to Manhattan from Jersey for more than 30 years, and more people than not that I work with have commutes longer than one hour.

Here's an example. A quick search on Realtor told me that there are indeed some 3 Br houses for sale in the $300K range in Hazlet, a small, family-oriented town in an area just inland from where the Atlantic Coast in NJ begins. Your commute would be on the North Jersey Coast line, taking the train from the Hazlet Station to Newark Penn Station (approx 45 minutes) and then catching the PATH train to the World Trade Center (approx. 25 minutes). Then it will take you about five minutes to walk to the WFI. That's an hour and 15 minutes, and you still have to add on time to get from your house to the station and connection time between trains. So, you're looking at a more realistic commute of at least an hour and a half. That's pretty normal.

On the other hand, I did the same search criteria for Rutherford, NJ, which would be less than an hour commute, and I did pull up a few houses in that price range. However, one said "subject to bank approval", which probably means short sale, and another indicated that it had a 1950's interior, meaning you'd probably need to do a lot of renovations. This is another decent, safe town in which to raise a family, but in a somewhat more densely populated area than in the counties farther south.

Unless one has a very generous budget to work with, something gets sacrificed in either commute time, money, or quality of life when choosing a town to commute from in NJ. You cannot get all three, so you have to pick the two that are most important to you.

Other people on the Jersey forum would know details about different areas than the ones I know You can always take your questions over there, too, to get more information.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:45 PM
 
7,612 posts, read 8,032,639 times
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I cannot imagine you being able to find a house at 300K even with a 2 hour commute unless it is a fixer-upper. Also, you must realize that the property taxes are going to be at least 8K. Gas/electric/oil heat are also going to be higher.

I would strongly suggest that you rent for at least a year in order to get to know the area before you purchase. You do not want to buy something that you will later regret. Also the process of buying a home is very different here from the rest of the country and more expensive. You will need to become acquainted with that before you purchase. You will not be able to find an apartment for 1300 rent per month for 3 adults and 2 babies. It would be more like $1800-2K for something decent.

Did you not discuss housing with your employer before you accepted the job or at least looked around the area when you interviewed?

Most people commute more than an hour here. You get used to it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:42 AM
 
6,926 posts, read 9,075,933 times
Reputation: 2866
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomate View Post
Can anyone give me some advice on what areas we can consider to move where the commute time will be within an hour (most important criteria)?

Ideally I would be looking to purchase a townhome or home (least 3bed/2bath) within $300k. Not sure how realistic that is. I could rent I suppose, but not a big fan of renting.

At your price range, consider getting a co-op townhouse. In Northern Queens neighborhoods like Bayside, Bay Terrace, Little Neck and Douglaston, there are some 3BR coop townhomes that are priced in the $350K range. School districts there are good and some have received Blue Ribbon awards (research on which schools these are). They also have good Catholic parochial schools if you prefer not to avail of the public schools. Lots of child enrichment activities at the nearby Queensboro Community College. They have nice parks, good shopping, and you can commute in a little over an hour to WFC via LIRR or express bus. Another area with coop townhouses you can check out is Kew Garden Hills - though KGH is served only by express bus.

On the other hand, if you insist on buying a house/townhouse and not a coop, and you're winning to expand your price range to around $400K, you can find 3BRs in places like Laurelton, St. Albans or maybe Queens Village. Those places have playgrounds, parks, access to shopping etc. Public schools are spotty but you can send kids to affordable Catholic parochial schools in the area. You can get to WFC in a little over an hour via the LIRR. Some homes in those places list for slightly over $400K but you might be able to negotiate on the price (just don't lowball to $300K) because some homes in those areas have market values below their mortgages with homeowners eager to sell.

Check out with realtors like Prudential Douglas Elliman or Bay Benjamin.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Palm Beach County
614 posts, read 1,408,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomate View Post
Hey All,

My family will be moving due to a new job in the world financial center. Family consists of Me, wife, 1.5 year old, a newborn on the way, and grandpa.

Can anyone give me some advice on what areas we can consider to move where the commute time will be within an hour (most important criteria)?

Ideally I would be looking to purchase a townhome or home (least 3bed/2bath) within $300k. Not sure how realistic that is. I could rent I suppose, but not a big fan of renting.

I'm originally from Chicago suburbs so I assume things might run differently in the NYC surrounding areas.

Other things that would be nice are good schools, parks, etc.

Thanks in advance for any valuable advice.

Regards from the midwest.
^^You will be better off renting. 300k is not going to buy you much in NYC or the outskirts (while keeping within your desired hour commute).

You can look into renting on Staten Island, Long Island, Bayridge Brooklyn, Forest Hills Queens and I'm sure others will chime in as to good areas with schools, etc....

Best!



P.S. The only place I can think of that will meet your budget is South Jersey and that is DEF going to be more than a hour.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,144 posts, read 5,978,986 times
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Also consider Bergen County NJ, where there are defintely places within yr price range at about an hour's communte or only a bit more, to lower Manhattan. You will easily find a 3 bedrm 2 bath high rise condo in Ft. Lee NJ (just on the other side of the George Washington Bridge) for under $300, and homes for that price a bit farther out in Teaneck, Bergenfield, or Hackensack NJ. All are decent suburban communities with good schools, parks, amenities, etc etc, plus good degree of ethnic diversity as well.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,335,216 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomate View Post
Hey All,

My family will be moving due to a new job in the world financial center. Family consists of Me, wife, 1.5 year old, a newborn on the way, and grandpa.

Can anyone give me some advice on what areas we can consider to move where the commute time will be within an hour (most important criteria)?

Ideally I would be looking to purchase a townhome or home (least 3bed/2bath) within $300k. Not sure how realistic that is. I could rent I suppose, but not a big fan of renting.
Literally, LOL as well.

For that space and money, you might have to extend your commute 3 hours BY PLANE!

Sorry, NYC is not Chicago nor the midwest. Here there is a whole different economic scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomate View Post
what would be some areas to at least check out?
Literally, there is nowhere halfway decent where you can purchase a home for that kind of money. $500K is the starting line, and an hour's commute w/b the minimum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomate View Post
"1300-1600/month" - is that rent or mortgage?
That w/b for a 3 bedrm DUMP! $3K is the beginning point for a decent 3bdrm in the outer boroughs. Forget about Manhattan.

A 'nice' 3bdrm apt rents between $3500 - $5000, and of course you can pay even more!
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
7,947 posts, read 6,521,230 times
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I can unequivocally state that the above post is completely wrong at least in the case of SI, which is right about 1 hr to the WFC as long as you live near the train or X Bus.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,416 posts, read 28,015,744 times
Reputation: 7250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
At your price range, consider getting a co-op townhouse. In Northern Queens neighborhoods like Bayside, Bay Terrace, Little Neck and Douglaston, there are some 3BR coop townhomes that are priced in the $350K range. School districts there are good and some have received Blue Ribbon awards (research on which schools these are). They also have good Catholic parochial schools if you prefer not to avail of the public schools. Lots of child enrichment activities at the nearby Queensboro Community College. They have nice parks, good shopping, and you can commute in a little over an hour to WFC via LIRR or express bus. Another area with coop townhouses you can check out is Kew Garden Hills - though KGH is served only by express bus.

On the other hand, if you insist on buying a house/townhouse and not a coop, and you're winning to expand your price range to around $400K, you can find 3BRs in places like Laurelton, St. Albans or maybe Queens Village. Those places have playgrounds, parks, access to shopping etc. Public schools are spotty but you can send kids to affordable Catholic parochial schools in the area. You can get to WFC in a little over an hour via the LIRR. Some homes in those places list for slightly over $400K but you might be able to negotiate on the price (just don't lowball to $300K) because some homes in those areas have market values below their mortgages with homeowners eager to sell.

Check out with realtors like Prudential Douglas Elliman or Bay Benjamin.
You forgot to mention that those are not diverse neighborhoods, but majority black neighborhoods. They are not bad neighborhoods, solidly middle class for the most part, but with very few whites or other races living there.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:03 PM
 
9,347 posts, read 13,929,431 times
Reputation: 9408
$300K is doable for 3br/2bath. But you're not going to get the most desirable areas (read: school systems), nor the most up-to-date house. My guess is the OP won't find what he wants for $300K.

$500K is NOT the starting line, not by a long shot. Maybe in 2008, but those days are gone.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:05 PM
 
6,926 posts, read 9,075,933 times
Reputation: 2866
Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
You forgot to mention that those are not diverse neighborhoods, but majority black neighborhoods. They are not bad neighborhoods, solidly middle class for the most part, but with very few whites or other races living there.
Laurelton, St. Albans, QV, maybe. With a budget of less than $400K, one should feel happy to land a home in a solidly middle class neighborhood within commuting distance to NYC.

Northern Queens - Bayside, Bay Terrace, Little Neck, Douglaston, etc. - on the other hand is pretty much racially diverse.
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