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It’s not NYC: What makes living in New Jersey different

Shops and People bicycling

At one of its shortest points, less than five miles separates New Jersey and New York City. But living and working is a different experience altogether once you cross over to either side.

If you’re seriously considering buying a home in New Jersey rather than in NYC, then it helps to weigh in on several points before making that big move. Below are some of them.

Housing affordability

For starters, housing options in New Jersey are easier on your pocket. Data from Zillow shows that the median price per square foot is less than $200 throughout the state. Compare this with NYC stats that start around $1,300 per square foot, and it will be easy to see why more people opt for New Jersey.

If you’re looking at houses for sale in Ewing, Pennington, Lawrence, or other neighborhoods in New Jersey, you’ll also see that the median home price is approximately $370,000. In NYC, home prices are usually more than twice that figure.

While it is true that house prices in New Jersey have been increasing in the past several months, so are other real estate markets across the country. This is mainly due to low inventory and high buyer demand.

Numerous outdoor recreation options

Staying sane and in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic may be a challenge, but there are ways to rise over these. You can engage in outdoor activities, like taking a walk in a park or simply relaxing in an open space, to combat these blues.

In New Jersey, you have a choice of places where you can safely enjoy the best of the outdoors.

Looking to cultivate your botanical interests? Ringwood State Park in Passaic County is home to an impressive variety of plants and trees. You can also go hiking and explore the old country houses here that feature English-style architecture.

For recreational skiers out there, Campgaw Mountain in Bergen County is an excellent destination. Visit Washington Crossing State Park if you’re interested in revisiting key historical events and places.

The tax factor

To be clear, tax rates in New Jersey are among the highest in the country. For example, if you have an annual income of over $5 million, nearly 11% of this figure can be taxed by the government.

In the Big Apple, though, you’re taxed not just once but twice – first, by the state of New York; second, by the city itself.

NYC also imposes an 8% sales tax, which can make retail therapy less appealing if you’re on a budget. Meanwhile, sales tax in New Jersey is only around 6%.

Abundance of top-ranked schools

New Jersey schools are considered among the best in the US. Aside from having the second-highest high school graduation rate, the state also produces high-caliber talent from institutions like Princeton University, Rutgers University, and the College of New Jersey.

That’s not to say that NYC doesn’t have high-quality schools. But the admission process for some of these middle schools and high schools in the Big Apple can often be overly complex. Factors like geographic location and language proficiency can make or break an application.

Have you made up your mind about moving to New Jersey? Contact David DePaola & Company Real Estate to help you find the best properties. Call us at 609.883.4161 or send an email to david(at)depaola(dotted)com.