Buying Rental Properties in Elizabeth, NJ

10 Replies

Hi Everyone, 

I am looking to buy my first rental property. I have come upon an opportunity to buy a Multifamily rental property in Elizabeth, NJ. The seller says that Elizabeth is a great place to invest because it has the most train riders in the area and is a growing area. The property already has tenants, one section 8 and the other cash paying. This property also comes with a 2 year home owners warranty from American Home Shield to cover any repairs. 

This looks like a good opportunity but I am kind of hesitant. Is Elizabeth a good  place to invest ? Not really sure if it is a safe area and whether I will be able to manage the tenants. 

Any advice or experience in this area would be appreciated as this is my first time and I am not sure of what exactly I should be looking for ?

Thanks

@Altaf Essani The best thing you could do as a new investor looking to buy your first property is link up with a very good agent who has experience with investors!

@Altaf Essani Elizabeth NJ is a very commuter friendly area with many working in NYC. Having a property in an area like Elizabeth is great with the crowd making NY money looking to pay NJ rents. One thing to take into consideration is what is your knowledge on Section 8 and would you want to handle a cash tenant? Also, what kind of tenants are you looking for? Elizabeth is next to Newark airport and not considered a very pleasing area. If you know anything about Newark, Elizabeth is pretty much the same. I would expect things in this neighborhood to fall into the D ratings. Be prepared to deal with less than desirable tenants/applicants with a few good ones possible due to the close location to NYC/jobs

It depends on what part of Elizabeth.  The elmora & westminster sections are good.  some parts are very seedy and eyesores. 

try to stay west of 1&9. 

@Altaf Essani You may need to do more research on the area. I wouldn't buy a property and take anyone's word for it. Good luck! 

I take the train from NY to Rahway which stops at Elizabeth and North Elizabeth station. Tons of commuters get off in Elizabeth. I am also looking for a multifamily in this area but have found that prices and taxes are too high in most cases, or the property needs a serious rehab. 

@Altaf Essani I'm born & raised in Elizabeth and own two 2 family houses here. I think it can be a great place to invest for cashflow. However, as already stated, location is the key. Elizabeth is a large city (4th largest in NJ I believe) and the neighborhoods run the gamut from A to D. You don't want to be in the D areas of Elizabeth, especially as a newbie.

My current tenants are month-to-month and  pay cash, so that in and of itself is not an issue IMHO. Also, I don't have any experience with Section 8, but I do have a friend who has one Section 8 tenant in Elizabeth and his experience has been mostly positive. It really comes down to the individual tenant. For that reason, I personally prefer to receive a property vacant and place my own tenants. Might be slightly more costly up front but proper tenant screening will save you money and headaches long term.

Best of luck. 

Thank you all for your input. I am not too sure about the different areas in Elizabeth and will have to look into that. They have not told me the exact address yet, but they say it is on East Jersey Street, Elizabeth. Anyone know if this is in a good area ?

Again, depends. East Jersey near Elmora Ave is good. East Jersey near 1&9 is bad.

Do you local guys have good agents who work well with investors? Ive been looking for some guidance while i save some more for a multifamily.

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