Living in New Jersey: The Pros and Cons

Recently, we cam across a survey by Wallet Hub listing the best and worst real estate markets in the country based on criteria like housing cost, foreclosure rate, home price as a percent of income, and more. After living and working in New Jersey and New York for decades, we weren’t shocked to see that both states had metro areas with real estate markets ranking among the worst in the country. The northeast, overall, is an expensive place to live, which makes it harder to afford homes. It’s also a heavily populated place, which means there’s often a lot of competition for what homes are available. We were surprised, however to see where certain New Jersey cities ranked for certain metrics:

  • Newark has the second-highest mortgage delinquency rate in the country, behind only New York City. Jersey City ranked third.
  • Newark also had the lowest median home price appreciation rate in the country, followed closely by Paterson and Elizabeth, NJ.
  • Paterson also ranked second-highest for number of homes with negative equity, and had the fifth-highest number of days on the market.

The news about New Jersey isn’t all bad though. The good news is, according to separate WalletHub studies:

  • New Jersey is the wealthiest state in the nation.
  • New Jersey’s public school systems rank second in the nation.
  • When it comes to energy costs, New Jersey ranks lower than all surrounding states including New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and all of the New England states.
  • New Jersey residents rank fourth in the country in terms of residents who are “financially literate.”
  • New Jersey ranks 10th in a report on best states for working moms.

If you’ve spent as much time in New Jersey as we have, you know there’s a whole lot more to love than just that, including miles of gorgeous coastline, proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia, beautiful historic towns, plenty of public transportation options, great sports teams and world class shopping, to name a few!