Affordable House-hack near NYC?

13 Replies

Hey all - getting tired of paying NYC rent and am considering house hacking. Any suggestions for areas where I could buy a 2 or 3-family home for under $550k with a less than 1hr commute to NYC w/ public transportation?

Looked at a bunch of areas but haven't been super impressed with anywhere yet after looking at the numbers.

I was considering:

Yonkers, NY
Eastchester, NY
Mount Vernon, NY
New Rochelle, NY
Hastings on the Hudson, NY
Journal Square, Jersey City NJ
Maplewood, NJ

Long Island seems to be a bit expensive and house prices a bit high right now. I love Queens but its a bit more than I want to spend.

What does everyone think?

Union City, NJ

North Bergen, NJ

Yonkers is a gold mine. I am just getting familiar with the areas. I can send you a list from the MLS to look at for consideration. If you PM me and give me the details I'll forward.

Hi @Rich Vetter,

Welcome to BP!

House Hacking in NJ as long as you conduct your Due Diligence correctly. First, stop into Newark Penn Station and pick up the NJ Transit Train Pamphlets to see all the stops and break them down from express or regular stops. Big difference based on income, stability, education and renting capabilities.  JSQ buy in is higher to Maplewood but Maplewood location has better schools there and in the immediate towns (First Flip was on Prospect Street) Then you need to see what your pre-qualification looks like with FHA or Freddie Mac( Mortgage Banker) then you need to tie in a real estate agent professional that is truly transactional to those markets. (Transactional = They own Multi's as well and know the term Housing Hacking)

Let me know if you have any questions.


Joe Scorese

Thanks all for the responses. I know I may not be able to have it all (good area, affordable, reasonable commute) but I'm certainly going to do my due diligence and make sure I know exactly what is out there.

@Scott Sankhi  Looks like I can definitely get a lot for my money but that is a bit further commute than I'd like - I work in the flatiron district and Goggle Maps said its about 1:40 commute.

@Marc Weisi Awesome suggestions! Definitely intrigued by Union City. Any additional tips for that area? Where to live in it? Thanks to your suggestions I'm also looking at West New York, NJ.

@David Lichtenstadter I've heard great things about Bayonne. Definitely going to look into this a bit more. Commute looks about 1:15 door to door.

@Steven Perre Yonkers really intrigues me for a house-hack. I have no connections in the area and Yonkers is a BIG place. Any suggestions for which parts of Yonkers I should be looking in?

@Joseph Scorese Great post. At first I thought your name was Scorsese like Martin! Very very good point to check for express vs local trains. A lot of times I Google Maps the directions and I know that may not be entirely on point, but usually its fairly accurate. I'm definitely going to start checking the NJT timetables. Did you like Maplewood? From what I've read about the area and the schools, it seems like a terrific place where you can get a lot for your money. Commuting looks super easy, taking the Maplewood NJT to Hoboken and hopping on the path which lets me out right in front of the office.

Also @Joseph Scorese, is it difficult to qualify for the FHA? Of course I know I need to do my research on the mechanics of it, but I always figured I wouldn't have any difficulty qualifying. I have a great job, great credit, no debt.

@Rich Vetter the thing to keep in mind w/ UC is that typically the closer to the Hudson River (said another way, the further east), the more expensive the properties. Honestly though, there aren't really any bad parts of town. Don't take my word for it though, reach out to agents in the area and see what they have to say as well. Best of luck and let me know if you need/want any help.

White Plains, NY  - New Rochelle, NY as you noted above. If you need help with looking at properties feel free to let me know.

Hi @Rich Vetter ! Funny because I was thinking the same thing last night after listening the podcast with GC.  I currently own a co-op in Oakland Gardens - would love to house hack in the area but everything around my way in $1 million plus (INSANE).   I ended up looking in New Rochelle - I'm originally from there as well.  Found some homes in the 500K range however I'm so new to this, I want to keep learning a bit more first before I pull the trigger.

@Steven Perre I'm curious as to what areas of Yonkers you are talking about.  I remember it being on the low end back in the day.

@Rich Vetter, please feel free to PM me and to discuss.  There are now multiple options to look at House Hacking. I think Maplewood is a winner based on location, community and rents.

@Rich Vetter , I'm doing it in a large three family is JSQR. Used an FHA 3.5% down and returns have been great so far. Highly recommend JSQR. Easy to get in and out of NY. Fairly low crime, rising rents and a ton of development going on.

Hi Rich,

There are a ton of opportunities in Hudson County, NJ which would make for quick commutes into NYC.  Rental demand is always high the closer you are to the city as well.  That's why I house-hacked in North Bergen.  I'm 35 mins. into NYC by bus, have a driveway to park in, plus yard... and with a couple tweaks I was able to greatly force appreciation.  Lots of similar towns in the County which you can do the same.

Maplewood is a fantastic town as well.  While there are a lot of renters and I even have clients with multi-families there, I feel the appreciation and rental demand are higher the closer you are to NYC.

Do y'all think Newark, Orange and East Orange a quality places to look into. I know they all have sketchy areas; but on a long term basis, would they expect to appreciate with     All the pricing out in NYC?

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