Why Weehawken is much more expensive than Union city?

18 Replies

I am wondering if anyone familiar with both Weehawken NJ and Union City NJ have thoughts on why prices in Weehawken is around $200k more than Union City prices. The homes in Weehawken near the water with NYC views are understandable. i know the schools in Weehawken are better. Is there anything else i am missing?

@Diana Tian
If you are comparing the average house price between Union City and Weehauken, Weehauken commands a higher price for the reasons that you mention: Better school district, most of Weehauken front the Hudson river with some new developments with great amenities and expensive properties with stunning views of the NYC. But also the commute to NYC is better: more options such as the Ferry, quicker bus rides, The Hudson-bergen Light Rail, etc.

People will also pay a higher price to live in Weehauken than Union City because it is perceived as a better city.
That zip code commands a premium.

Thank you for sharing your perspective! it is interesting to see the price differences of houses on palisade ave or park ave. They are on quite similar but one side is union city, the other side is weehauken. 

Hi @Diana Tian , as @Patrice Penda has mentioned, some of the obvious, such as better schools, new developments will play a role in the prices of the neighborhood. The underlining factor that determines a neighborhood's price is demand and sales (comps), which happens over a longer period of time. 

As more people are willing to buy into an area, and more investors force appreciates the properties value by rehabbing and improving, this raises the overall value of other homes. This process repeats, more commercial investors see the trend, also buys into it, etc., which in turns makes the neighborhoods even better. 

And then a Starbucks opens up and the neighborhood is set.. lol

Hi Diana,

I live in Union City, very close to the Weehawken border. 

Union City is a lot denser in terms of population. Also, in my opinion, the properties in Weehawken are higher quality, and are better maintained. Finally, it is more convenient to get to NYC from Weehawken; many bus lines run on JFK Blvd East. The eastern side of Union City actually benefits from that, and property costs in Union City tend to decrease the further west you go.

@Michael Lee , this area is in a dire need of a Starbucks, or any decent coffee shop, really!

I am a realtor in that area and own an investment property in Union City. The schools in Weehawken are better, and that is a factor. But it is more then that -  Union City is a mess. Its over-populated, and as commendable as it is that the city works to save low-income housing they make it extremely difficult for builders and developers to build up and improve existing homes. By making it difficult for people to build/rehab they prevent real growth and development for the town. I was in the construction office the other and watched a man finally resort to screaming that it has been 2 years and he hasn't been able to get finished because of the city - and I know this is true. I watched them brush him off, refusing to allow him to schedule a meeting with the head of the construction office. I have personally waited 6 hours for an inspector to show up, and had them cancel or change appointments on me without telling me. I have been a property owner there for 12 years - and they prefer to cater to the renters then the owners, and make growth impossible. Its sad that I have to say these things, but its the truth and the opportunity for the city to become something greater and match the growth Jersey City is having is hindered by the their policy. I inquired about adding 1 floor to my 3 story (basement+2) building. The whole rest of the block with the exception of 3 other houses are 4-5 stories. I was told that adding any floor would require going in front of zoning and add 6 months to the process. SIX MONTHS! My neighbor added that 4th floor 15 years ago, the whole block is 4-5 stories - in other towns this would not be necessary. Submit plans, but adding a floor to a rowhouse when THE WHOLE REST OF THE STREET already is built higher is insanity. In Hoboken, JC and Weehawken you would not need to go in front of zoning and add 6 months for the addition of a floor if it already exist on the block. The best thing about the town is the Mayor- he seems to really care about the people, and he gives out his cell phone number. He personally calls people back. If only the building department were as caring as the mayor. The taxes are also high compared to the property values, and thats because of the over-population and gazillion children squeezed into tiny apartments there. 

I am happy to get some thoughts from locals. @Tania Patch , I can't agree with you more on the union city building department. that scares a lot of investors away from union city. @Vlad S. unit city border is a great area for investment. it could be more affordable and also get the benefits of the school zone. Woodrow Wilson Elementary School is ranked really high, score 10, and top 10 in New Jersey . the school district covers Weehawken and part of union city. 

Thank you all for your inputs here. 

Among all these areas - Union City/ North Bergen/West New York/ Guttenberg-  where is the best place to invest now (2-4 family) and gain property appreciation in the next 5 years ?

I like them all but a little less interests in north bergen. I think union city is catching up with West New York/ Guttenberg. but West New York/ Guttenberg are very solid . 

Union City - best location and prices; but the building department is very hard to work with. it is hard to get anything done. it has the highest tax...even though they all have very high taxes;

North Bergen - it is furthest away from the city. the area west to union city/jersey city is less expensive but lower quality of houses. The area north to Guttenberg is really nice but priced higher as well compared to other three cities. it has a lot of 1 - 2 families houses. it is great for a large families. 

West New York/ Guttenberg - they are small - maybe too small for a lot of investors to explore. the location is good and also next to Hudson River. the building department is more friendly. I haven't seen a big growth as in union city. 

Those owns places on union city , do you also get inspection notice from city time to time?

I got once or twice a year and one of them got violation but when I called no one can respond to that.

Really weird housing system

@Tania Patch I own few studio on union city , what stop me from investing more on union city , one of the studio condo I bought with propriety tax 1.8k , two month after I got new bill of 3.8k . Shocking .

Called many attorney , no one seems interesting to help me because amount is too low to dispute. And is own by the LLC .

Do you know how can I dispute myself?

Another 2 reason I think W is more expensive than U are two reason

1. W has More luxury building or I should say most building are luxury compare to U

2. Water front and more bus line to New York as well as closer to mahathan /

@liz C. If it’s a condo perhaps you can get a few neighbors to do it with you to share cost? Or the board? Not positive how it works best. I’ve always hired a local tax dispute company to do it. Suggest you ask around who does it in the area.

@Vlad S. thanks for sharing. I have been debating if I should do it myself or hire a lawyer. 

@Vlad S. Thank you so much , by the way which website is the one you can find out your neighbors tax.

I know all apartment are tax half of my price , my mortgage broke told me once . But didn’t k ow which one to look for it


Originally posted by @Liz C. :

Vlad S. Thank you so much , by the way which website is the one you can find out your neighbors tax.

I know all apartment are tax half of my price , my mortgage broke told me once . But didn’t k ow which one to look for it


Here's a link that may help:

NJACTB - New Jersey Association of County Tax Boards

Is the current local government in Union City keeping the city the way it is with the building department the way it is?  I am a Union City resident and own two homes in the city.  I actually like UC and feel that the mayor has done some good things, but it may seem that he doesnt want to lose that base of support he has there by keeping new residents out.

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