Newcomer to the NJ real estate market

6 Replies

Hi BP members,

I am a 22 year old college graduate looking to buy my first home/condominium in New Jersey (why rent from someone when you have the option to buy). My current job pays $90k and I’ve got a little over $20k saved up. 

My goal is to buy a property which I can live in and fix up (owner occupied loan), whilst saving up for another property/duplex in the nearby area which will go under renovation and eventually be rented out.

I ask you for advice on my game plan and on the location where I could make this all possible. I am single and would be fine with settling in any city from Atlantic City up to Jersey city. What markets in NJ are expected to increase over the next 5-10 years? Do you see Atlantic City experiencing any sort of boom in the near future?

I’d appreciate any feedback and look forward to getting my journey started!

- Cheers

Alex Kenny

Welcome @Alex Kenny Im a south jersey investor as well as a property manager in the area. If I were in your position I would look to purchase up to a 4 family owner-occupied place with FHA or Conventional financing. I know the AC market and surrounding markets well, if you want to connect let me know.

Cheers, any questions you may have shoot them my way! :)


I would agree with Keven, perhaps a small multifamily would be better. You can even do a two-family. The reason I say that is you can fix one unit while renting the other unit. Hopefully the 2nd unit will be enough to cover most if not all of the mortgage/taxes/insurance.

If you buy a SFH and live it and fix it up you are still paying 100% of the mortgage/taxes/insurance. This may hinder the speed at which you can purchase more properties.

@Alex Kenny congratulations Alex.. your thinking is on the right track for such a young age. I would definitely look into a duplex or triplex or even a quad.. If you go FHA you only need 3.5% down.. rent out the others and then after a year.. you can rent out the one your staying in if you wanted.. and find another primary residence.. Good luck.

@Alex Kenny What town do you work in? I would try and look around a short commute area. Areas that I see appreciating, long term regardless of an impending downturn, would be areas like bound brook, rahway, and wharton/dover. All are undergoing/have undergone further development in their downtown areas. I know Wharton and Dover are specifically in an opportunity zone which which I think will bode well for appreciation long term. All three of those areas are at decent price points for central to northern NJ, but the key is what really makes sense for you and your full time job at this point. 

@Alex Kenny Welcome to the world of REI in NJ. I'm a landlord and property manager in South Jersey. I think there are a lot of good points mentioned above to consider. @Tyler Drapeau is a really keen point - your commute time. Time is valuable and having more will allow you to work more on your business or enjoy your life more. It easier to have a 10 min commute to work and travel once a week out your rental an hour away than the inverse. Keeping 1.5 hours a day is very valuable and will reduce your overall stress. If working remotely is an option then I would greatly consider looking heavily in South Jersey both mainland and the shore side in AC. There are some incredibly low price multi-families you can house hack as @Keven Vanegas stated. Using an FHA or using a homestyle loan you can get into a duplex easily and even possibly a quad or tri with $20k.

As for as areas:
Places you don't need thick skin for but are close to where you grew up and have MFHs: Little Egg Harbor, AC, Hammonton
Places you need a thick skin for and are kind of close to where you grew up and have MFHS: Vineland, Millville
Places that aren't close but have really good MFHs: Gloucester City, Wildwood, Woodbury 

Best Luck