What are the good locations in NJ,CT and PA?

20 Replies

Hi everyone. I have been visiting Biggerpockets for months now and I would like to get more insights from other Biggerpocket members. My name is Meng and I live in New York City.  I've been searching a lot on websites and reading books about real estate investments for almost a year now. I believe I'm ready to buy a property of my own and either buy and hold or fix and flip. There's just a few questions I want to ask Biggerpocket members. There are three places I want to explore my options of buying a house however I want to know what are the safe place to do so.

1. New Jersey? ( I heard East Orange, and North Bergen is a good investment there.

2. Connecticut? (New haven is a good and safe place place)

3.Pennsylvania? (North-East part are mostly the safest from what I researched)

If there's places you think it's best visiting I would gladly consider checking it out.

If any one can suggest or give me some advices for a beginner who is ready to take the next big step in the real estate business I would greatly appreciate it. Also if anyone knows a few good real estate personnel that would be good to look into that will be a great help. 

Thank you so much.  :)


I live in VA, but am moving to New Haven in a few months. I am probably going to do a flip in VA before I move up there and want to do both flips and buy and holds.

Toured some of the neighborhoods and I have no doubt there are deals to be had there. I know there are a few other BP members looking in New Haven, but I don't know if any live in New Haven.

I would be interested to stay in touch if you do a deal in New Haven. I have a financial backer and am building websites for investors. Working on a couple of We Buy Houses websites right now.

Perhaps there is room to collaborate.

Best of luck to you,


Hi Meng,

I am currently living in Queens but am from CT originally. I think within a couple of hours of NYC there are some great opportunities in CT. Bridgeport has always had a reputation for being a rough area, but that might give you the chance to buy cheap and flip OR buy cheap an get a good cash-flowing property, even if the neighborhood is less than stellar. New Haven also offers some similar opportunities from what I've researched. 

One thing to keep in mind is how far out you are willing to manage a property. New Haven is close to 90 mins by car from where you are, with Brideport being much closer. There are probably tons of other markets in SW CT that would be good, especially for buy and hold, but those two come to mind right away.

@Meng W.

East Orange is typically thought of as a bad area.

What is your strategy? Do you want to buy in C and D areas and try and manage it? Will you have a property manager? This will greatly determine what areas are best for you? Both good and bad areas will have deals and will be best for different startegies.  

@Meng W. , what do you mean by "safe?" Are you talking about a safe bet, a low crime area, etc? Whatever the definition, New Haven is too diverse an area to apply an across-the-board description to it. Connect with some people who know the neighborhoods and go from there. But be very wary of choosing a city - any city - on the whole.

Yes, I do mean safe area with low crimes. I will do that thanks. 

@Meng W.

To find out about an area go to IREM.org search for ARM certified property managers. Call 5 ask them what parts of the city they like/dislike and why. Ask them what they see expenses running per category per unit. What do they see them selling for per unit, what is the market occupancy rate. What are the market rents? Ask them if they know anything coming up for sale. Great way to pick up some good info and possibly a deal.

You can also search NARPM.org for the RMP (Residential Management Professional) and MPM (Master Property Manager) certified.


@Will Melton- Thank you for your insight. It's good to know that I have someone to contact while in New Haven. I'll look around that area this weekend because it's not that far of a distance from where I am. I will definitely keep in touch. 

@Andrew Sparks- I have heard bad things about Bridgeport but also good parts about it as well. Is there a specific area of Bridgeport that is considered safe? I will consider SW CT and Bridgeport traveling there and maybe just staying a couple of hours scooping the neighborhood. How about the NW of CT (i.e. Sussex,Califon, Skillman and so forth?) How about Hoboken, I heard a lot of good things about this location.

@Charles Worth- East Orange has many good houses (especially concrete houses). I looked at Trulia and Zillow and it's a decent price compare to Tri-Boro. I have also checked on many websites even google map to see if it was a good part of NJ to visit. I am planning to buy and hold. These questions you've asked are definitely considered while scooping the neighborhood. Thank you.

@Paul Timmins- Thank you this is a great help.

@Meng W. ,

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@Raymond B. thanks, this helped a lot

@Will Melton @Andrew Sparks Account Closed I will look into Allentown, I was thinking of visiting that location this weekend. Is it a safe and low crime area? Do you recommend anywhere?

I guess it is a bit difficult tagging people on a small tablet. Sorry guys i will respond when I get on a computer.

@Meng W.

12 murders in 2014 in Allentown. Reference: http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/pa/allentown/crime/

Buy and holds, you're looking at 18102, 18103, 18109. Flips are in 18104, and then areas of Bethlehem 18018, 18017. South Bethlehem is good for holds.

@Meng W. : I will be interested in looking at allentown. Will send u a PM

Hi Meng,

New to REI myself, but I was an agent. I live in the area around East Orange. Taxes are a bit high for my tastes but as of late the crime isn't much of a concern. If your talking NJ, and tenant rights. All of NJ is very tenant friendly. I suggest screening, and vetting any tenants very carefully.

@Curtis Long @Mark Gallagher Thanks this information helps a lot. This week I did drop by in Milford, New Haven (N,W, S and E of New Haven) and Hamden. So far it is what I predicted before I went there. Mildford and Hamden are very quiet places and limited to transportation ( you must have a car!) but overall I do see myself living there and simply renting the property out with it. However I do need to check up more is : Will it be an area that I can easily rent out to people? New Haven certain part of New Haven (I have to check my log book) seems diverse meaning blacks, Spanish and Whites. It's not a bad place at all but the map stated that it has a moderate crime level. I might need to check in that area again. Do you know anything about these locations?

@Curtis Long  WELCOME !!!!! Thanks Curtis. I am planning to go to NJ probably this weekend if not the next for sure. Do you recommend any place there that I should visit. I know from BP members that Hoboken is pretty expensive there. However I will just take the tour anyway. Maybe who knows, it might be worth investing there...maybe. :)

@Meng W.

I like Central Pennsylvania around Harrisburg, the state capital city, low unemployment, etc

I also like Pittsburgh area, revitalized economy based on university, medial and financial businesses,

I am an agent and investor in Pittsburgh and we have areas to meet just about anyones investment goals.

Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to learn more about the area.

Hi BP members, I have been doing thorough research on NJ.  I wonder if 07018 is a safe area?

@Meng W.

That is East Orange. I won't say its a bad market but its definitely a tough area. I know a developer who was trying to build the type of development you build when you think an area was on the upswing and despite offering security, shuttle buses and great amenties still could not sell it. However, there might be someone on here making that area work. 

Hello Meng,

I am a fellow investor out of PA. If you are looking for safe bets around here and nice areas, I suggest right where I invest, Bucks and Montgomery County. Give me a shout if you are around, we can talk and strategize a plan of action for what yyou want to do out here.



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