Priced out or just weary of Manhattan? Dreaming of Brooklyn's spacious apartments and skyline views without Brooklyn's sky-high prices? You're in luck. Jersey City's got huge amounts of available, affordable housing, a welcoming community vibe, a steady stream of foodie-approved new restaurants, and a blissfully short commute into the city that in no way involves the L train. Here, nine reasons why you should consider crossing the Hudson:
1. The commute from Brooklyn to Midtown seems longer each day: Ditch the L train or any other form of commute that can’t be accomplished in the time it takes to drain a green tea matcha latte. You can take the PATH train from Jersey City to the World Trade Center in five minutes, Greenwich Village in 16 minutes and 33rd Street in just 22. Or commute to Midtown or Lower Manhattan via four ferry routes set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.
2. You will be ready to retire by the time you scrounge together the down payment on a NYC studio: Homes in Jersey City are significantly more affordable. You can snap up a one bedroom luxury condo with skyline views for $530,000, a doorman two bedroom, two bath with its own washer/dryer and a fitness center in the building for $950,000 and plenty of other choices a little more inland for under $450,000. And rents are equally enticing, such as a 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom, two bath loft with a washer/dryer within walking distance to the train is $2,500/month, or a one- bedroom with a terrace and a modern kitchen for$1,950.
3. You're tired of paying more--for everything: Everything from rent to bottled water to cable tv to a package of toilet paper is cheaper in Jersey City than in Manhattan. And it's not just because the sales tax is just 3.5% versus 8.5%.
4. Another neighborhood bookstore just closed: Jersey City is home to independent bookseller WORD, not to mention a plethora of unique boutiques (Tia's Place, Modern Sage, Kanibal Home, Hazel Baby, Another Man's Treasure). There’s also a mall, because sometimes you just want to run all of your errands in one place.
5. You're a foodie: Jersey City has a ton of trendy and highly-rated eateries (many of them helmed by former NYC chefs)--including Kevin Pemoulie’s Thirty Acres, Dale Talde’s TALDE Jersey City, Gregory Torech’s Union Republic, David Viana’s The Kitchen at Grove Station and Dan Richer’s Razza Pizza Artigianale--and the tabs at any of them won't break the bank. There’s no need to give up your Stumptown or Counter Culture pour-overs either: Jersey City is quickly becoming the state capital for single-origin and hand-crafted espresso drinks at coffee shops like Mod Cup, Legal Grounds Coffee Company and Dames Coffee Espresso Bar.
6. The competition for affordable NYC real estate stresses you out: With 6,000 units of housing under construction and an additional 12,000 planned for in the next two years, there’s going to be room for 50,000-70,000 people to move to Jersey City.
Above: The Centenary Condominiums
7. Your inner beach-bum needs attention: Jersey City is just a little over a one-hour drive or train ride to the hip, sandy shores of Asbury Park. Twenty minutes more will get you to beautiful Seaside Heights. And without any bridges or tunnels to negotiate, the trip will feel far less stressful. Speaking of cars, if you live in Jersey City, yours is probably conveniently parked in the space that came with your apartment or, since residents are eligible for parking permits, on the street in front of your house.
8. Running the Central Park loop makes you feel like a hamster on an exercise wheel: The Jersey City Waterfront Walkway stretches 18.5 miles from Bayonne to Weehawken. You can walk it, run it, scoot it or bike it (bring your own, rent one at Grove Street Bicycles or check out a CitiBike, coming to Jersey City in summer 2015) and take in some of area’s top sites—the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Colgate Clock, Liberty Science Center—along the way. But it's not the only place to enjoy the outdoors. Jersey City is spending a record $6 million on renovating and building city parks. Its crown jewel, Liberty State Park, hosts a killer Fourth of July fireworks display on the Hudson River and, coming in November 2015, Tough Mudder!
9. It would be nice to exhale once in a while: The stress of NYC is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure but with fewer people, less congestion, and more open sky, Jersey City residents say they can feel themselves decompress the minute they exit the Path train in their home state. (The awesome panoramic views of lower Manhattan don’t hurt!)
From brownstones to high rises, beautiful parks to the Hudson River, food trucks to farm-to-table, get it all--for less--In Jersey City. Click here to Make It Yours.