Move from Manhattan to NJ Gold Coast
The Pros and Cons from an Insider
by Sharleen Yuan
According to the data released by StreetEasy, rents in Manhattan increased at the fastest pace since 2016 at 2.6% annually. Similarly, Queens and Brooklyn all saw rents continue to climb while landlords gave less concessions. As of writing, median asking rent of a 2-bedroom unit in Midtown Manhattan/ Brooklyn Downtown/ Long Island City are $4,900/$4,300/ $4,100, according to StreetEasy.
People are reacting to the climbing rents, just as myself back in 2016 when I decided to buy vs. rent, and settle down in Edgewater, NJ. I’ve been receiving calls from people wanting to move from Brooklyn to West New York, NJ, or from Queens to Fort Lee, NJ. My friends and former coworkers working in Manhattan also moved away from the city and bought in Weehawken, NJ. The migration is real. Year over year, New York City has been losing population to New Jersey, due to various reasons. Part of it is simply because people step into their next life stage due to marriage or starting families, and moving to the Gold Coast New Jersey provides residents with better quality of life.
Cheaper, Newer Housing with Kid-friendly Amenities
Looking at price per square foot, condos in Manhattan are 2x more expensive than condos in Jersey City or Hoboken, and 4-5x more expensive than their comparables in Weehawken and West New York.
Setting aside prices, most condo buildings in the Gold Coast area are newer, equipped with indoor pools, kids play rooms, ping pong tables, yoga rooms, large gyms, guests rooms to hold parties, a roof top with grill stands, and Manhattan skyline views. Simply put, it is a enormous step-up from the quality of life that NYC offers.
The number one concern people have is that commute time will be much longer. Well, it is not quite true. Compared to living in Manhattan, your commute may only be a bit longer; compared to living in Queens or Brooklyn, your commute may even be shorter if you live in New Jersey. PATH trains in Jersey City runs frequently and take you to midtown in 20 minutes. For folks living in Hoboken and further north, the NY Waterway ferry service from Hoboken runs every 20 minutes while service from Port Imperial runs every 10 minutes during commute hours, taking just 8-10 minutes to cross the Hudson river. The ferry provides complimentary shuttle rides on the Port Imperial side and on the Manhattan side, with many condos offering private shuttles too. Third option? NJ Transit buses that run one after another in the morning to transport people to the city. Since these are above ground commute methods, you will be able to read news, or even finish some work on your way.
You may be very well aware that New York City levies a city tax, but let me put numbers in front of you. The lowest city tax rate is 2.907% and it goes up to 3.876% if you earn more than $500,000 per year. There is no such tax if you live in New Jersey. The New York State marginal tax rate starts at 4% vs. 1.4% in New Jersey, and goes as high at 8.82% vs. 8.97% in New Jersey. Sales tax in NYC is 8.875% vs. 7% in New Jersey. Jersey City has even lower sales tax at 3.5%.
The Gold Coast has well-rated K-8 schools by Niche and greatschools.org. By the time your children are due for high school, Fort Lee, Tenafly, Edgewater, and Englewood Cliffs are all excellent options to move into.
If you are a real foodie, you’ll love the Gold Coast. Why? Diversity. Italian, New American, Spanish, Mexican, Cuban, Turkish, Ethiopian, Indian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants/bakeries will exceed your expectations. Sometimes I even think Anthony Bourdain should have visited here. The best part? You rarely have to wait. Still miss the city’s Michelin-star restaurants? Take the ferry to your favorite restaurant in NYC! If you are a chef, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, H-mart, and Ranch 99 all have established their presence in the Gold Coast. No more fighting to hail a taxi after you are done with grocery shopping in NYC!
Sometimes when you live in the city for too long, you will feel trapped. Owning a car is expensive in the city; carrying your children in a crowded subway to Central Park is unimaginably hectic. But what if you can have a car, drive casually on a weekend to enjoy Jersey shore beaches with your kids? Or enjoy a long weekend ski trip to any number of nearby destinations in Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont? How about having a picnic in the beautiful Palisades Park?
Once you settle down in the Gold Coast, you will not regret your choice!