New Investor Looking for Advice in the Jersey City Area

16 Replies

Hi All, I’m a new investor currently living and working in Manhattan. I’m looking for insight on potential towns to invest in, specifically ones that are West of the NYC in New Jersey. Any suggestions? I am looking for single or multi family properties in an up and coming neighborhood. Thanks for any feedback!

@Robert Rubel you could look into North Jersey (hudson county and bergen county).  there are a lot of new development coming up in the area. It is very close to Manhattan, by bus, ferry and path train. i dont know much about bergen county. for Hudson county, people are talking a lot about Jersey city, Union city, Bayonne and Harrison. in those cities, you see mostly two family houses, ranging from 350k to $650k for an average house. 

Diana -- I've been looking a lot into Jersey City and Bayonne. Do you have any experience in these areas? 

David -- I grew up in Morris County, so I would be fine with any area within 1.5 hours from the city.

1.5 hour radius is a relatively large area. I would first try to decide between how active/passive you want to be and what your goals are for cash flow/appreciation. That will help you focus your search. Also your budget.

I would consider Bayonne, and Bergen Lafayette, McGinley Sq, the Heights in JC to all be up and coming. There is tremendous YOY appreciation but there's also a lot of competition. I would try to stay near Light Rail and transportation options. For single family I would look in Bergen County zoned for good schools, something that needs work and you can force appreciation through reno or addition. It's pretty frothy there, too. 

Thank you for your reply Jason! How active or passive would you consider the areas you mentioned right outside of the city compared to areas in Bergen county?

Are there specific towns in Bergen County that you believe are a good place to start?

Thanks again for your insight.

Hi @Robert Rubel

It really depends on what you are looking for. I live in Bayonne and have seen progress towards positive change since moving here (luxury apartment complexes, ferry, Costco, Military Ocean Terminal redevelopment, bike share, park improvements). If I were to buy another home in Jersey, I would likely buy in Bayonne again, but would make sure it was in a pocket convenient to the light rail. For me Bayonne was a good mix of an area I was willing to live (near NYC, walkable, good parks for kids) and invest in (relatively high rent to purchase ratio and reason for appreciation).

Happy to provide more info on the area if you have specific questions.

Hey Rob, im Ryan. Im also a newbie, and I also grew up in morris county. Im active duty military and im stationed down in virginia. Im currently looking at multi family properties in NJ. Im trying to close on something soon and renovate it over the winter. My father is a landscaper and is usually slow in winters (besides plowing) and hes on board to help renovate. This is actually my first time on this website, and I happened to stumble upon your post. I have the added benefit of the va loan with no money down.Who knows, maybe we could help eachother out or partner up on something in the future. At the very least id like to keep in touch and see how your journey in real estate progresses! Take care and good luck.

Hi @Robert & @Ryan I am also from Morris County. I am currently living in a MFR I own with my wife. We are closing in on our next deal. We find properties close to public transportation,particualrly walking distance to NYC direct transit. Im currently in Union county and will be acquiring in Essex County next. Having direct access via public transportation to the city will go a long way in creating a desirable rental units.

@Robert Rubel undefined

@Ryan Cikovsky undefined

@Robert Rubel

Hudson County (Jersey City Heights) is a great deal as it offers room for BRRRR strategy.

A friend of mine from Upper East Side bought a condo there and is getting a 9%+ cap rate. I own a unit in the bldg and get a massive Cap Rate as I bought it distressed.

I love zip code 07306 and 07307. 

Originally posted by @Robert Rubel:
Hi All,

I’m a new investor currently living and working in Manhattan. I’m looking for insight on potential towns to invest in, specifically ones that are West of the NYC in New Jersey. Any suggestions?

I am looking for single or multi family properties in an up and coming neighborhood.

Thanks for any feedback!

Hi @Michael S. I live in NY, thinking on buying a rental home in NJ was considering Bayonne since I work in Brooklyn. Would really appreciate if you could give more information. Which neighbors or zip codes I should look, which to stay away, etc. Thank you

I'm also new and in NJ (though a little south of you guys in Monmouth County) and looking to get my feet wet. If anyone would like to chat a bit more about things feel free to reach out!

- Dave

I think Jersey City is one of the most underrated real estate markets in the country. I moved from Brooklyn last year, and  closed on a multi-family home in Bergen-Lafayette, there's mass development going on everywhere, "hipsters" and young professionals populate downtown, and are even moving in inner-city neighborhoods. Very reminiscent of Manhattanites  moving to downtown brooklyn for cheaper rent then further in to fort greene/bed stuy. Its not uncommon to see homes sell for 100K more in a year with 0 work done, rental incomes are also pretty strong

I would recommend eastern portions of zip code 07304 

Hi @Ligia Ulloa

I can't really caution against certain areas, but I would recommend looking into what Bayonne leaders "would like" to do. http://www.bayonnenj.org/Articles/Read.aspx?id=925 is great reading for the city's master plan and will give you insight into the future of Bayonne to allow you to buy into areas of progress (if that is your desire).

What I like about Bayonne is that there are areas for just about anyone. The progress I've seen to date has bee positive (Costco, luxury apartment builds, bike share, park improvements) and the progress announced has been exciting (ferry, additional luxury complexes, trolly, commercial development for higher streets, warehouse jobs, connected parks). For renters working in Bayonne, there will be warehouse, commercial and medical jobs to name a few. For those working outside of Bayonne, the light rail and bus system are robust for easy access to Jersey City, NYC, Newark and more. On top of this, it is a very walkable city with great parks and access to water (Hudson River or Newark Bay) and a cruise line.

As a heads up, Bayonne will be going through a tax revaluation shortly. Depending on the results, prices and profitability ratios may change slightly depending on how each house's appraisal has appreciated vs. the average. This doesn't scare me off, but it might for others depending on levels of risk aversion.

Originally posted by @Michael S. :

Hi @Ligia Ulloa

I can't really caution against certain areas, but I would recommend looking into what Bayonne leaders "would like" to do. http://www.bayonnenj.org/Articles/Read.aspx?id=925 is great reading for the city's master plan and will give you insight into the future of Bayonne to allow you to buy into areas of progress (if that is your desire).

What I like about Bayonne is that there are areas for just about anyone. The progress I've seen to date has bee positive (Costco, luxury apartment builds, bike share, park improvements) and the progress announced has been exciting (ferry, additional luxury complexes, trolly, commercial development for higher streets, warehouse jobs, connected parks). For renters working in Bayonne, there will be warehouse, commercial and medical jobs to name a few. For those working outside of Bayonne, the light rail and bus system are robust for easy access to Jersey City, NYC, Newark and more. On top of this, it is a very walkable city with great parks and access to water (Hudson River or Newark Bay) and a cruise line.

As a heads up, Bayonne will be going through a tax revaluation shortly. Depending on the results, prices and profitability ratios may change slightly depending on how each house's appraisal has appreciated vs. the average. This doesn't scare me off, but it might for others depending on levels of risk aversion.

Not so scare you or anyone else off but such a re-evaluation just happened in Jersey City downtown and had a rather big impact on many building/apartment owners. Our neighbors' and our taxes were double to tripled. Obviously, most owners will appeal the decision but who knows the outcome...

As far as I heard, JC downtown didn't do a re-evaluation for a very long time which is the reason for the absurd increase.. You should check how long Bayonne didn't do a re-evaluation for that matter and be prepared (depending on your neighborhood) to have doubled amount of taxes. 

Please note that the tax increase for some owners is a tax DECREASE for others... this is only a re-evaluation and rebalance of taxing certain neighborhoods more and the others less depending on how they improved (or not) since the last re-evaluation... Mine improved a lot and hence got a hug increase... others in worse neighborhood will see their taxes go down by a lot...