Home Buying in Jersey City>Question Details

Jen, Home Buyer in Queens, NY

Is The Heights area of JC a good investment. I am a single female and a first time home buyer. There is so much inventory in JC that I am starting

Asked by Jen, Queens, NY Thu Jan 6, 2011

to think purchasing a home there would not be wise if I look to sell in 4 or 5 years.

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I decided to go to the Heights today and check it out. I really, really like it. I walked down Ogden Street, just lovely- to Summit, up to North Street and pretty much in between. What struck me was how clean the neighborhood was and the integrity of the homes there. Not a lot of mash-up of construction and architecture like Queens. Really beautiful actually. Heights is really a little hidden gem of a neighborhood. I stopped at least three people along the way and asked them about the relative safely and quality of living and everyone said that they really love the neighorbood. It is very convenient to NYC,downtown JC, Hoboken. Strange that more folks don't know about this place or actually just by-pass it. It really seems to have everything except that city, city feel. Also, neighboring Union City has some nice property as well. I took the 123 bus back to Manhattan and was really surprised on how nice that part of Union City was.

Thanks again to all for your input. I am actively looking to buy a home or condo in the Heights!
Best,
Jen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 8, 2011
Hi Jen I'm tied up at a closing now can you email me and I'll be sure to respond.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Thanks to all for your excellent insight. I have been working with an great agent who actually introduced me to the Heights area. I actually put an offer on a home in West New York but but rescinded after the home inspection report came back. Lots and lots of work had to be done to the property and I realized that it would have been much more than I could tackle financially and pschologically!

Ideally, I am searching for a two bedroom with a backyard. Since my experience with the home in West New York, I am thinking that maybe a condo would be an 'easier' property to manage by myself. It is really comforting to know that some of you actually live in the Heights area.

I am looking to for something long-term however not fully understanding what is taking place now in JC and seeing so much property available- made me think I should keep in the forefront resale value as well as location going into buying.

Karina: you advised that a one or two family home is wisest? Can you eleborate for me? Thanks! Jen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Hello Jen,
The Heights is very family oriented with mostly single and multi-family homes. The school system is very good and is worth the investment and future re-sale. If you plan on commuting to NYC, try to be closer to the Light Rail.
Sincerely,
Charlaine

Charlaine A Mercado
Weichert Realtors
273 Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201.333.4443 office
201.780.6962 mobile
201.917.1360 e-fax
charlainemercado@yahoo.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Hi Jen,

The truth is that Jersey City is just about the only place that is worth investing in anymore. According to the Otteau Valuation Group, the exurban (read – right next to New York) areas of New Jersey will hit critical mass in about five years. Demand will be incredibly high, and there is virtually no building going on right now in JC to absorb that demand. If you know anything about construction of large buildings, it is usually five years between plans and first sale. What does that mean for downtown Jersey City? It means prices go up – and likely like a rocket. What does that mean for the Heights? It’s all a ripple – what starts in Manhattan rolls over into downtown JC, which rolls up to the Heights. So confident am I that I own property in the Heights – and I actually live there. Believe you me, if I could sell all the property I own in Brooklyn right now, I’d put it all in the Heights. It’s inexpensive up here still – but I don’t think that will continue. The Otteau reasoning is this: gen y and gen z want a walkable community. They grew up with parents who have commuted hours to work from the ‘burbs, and that don’t want to be a freeway flyer. The commute to NY on the PATH from JC is the shortest of any of the towns along the waterfront (5 minutes to Wall Street, 22 to midtown). My suggestion is that if you want to invest in real estate you should work with a realtor who is an investor, and lives in/knows the area you are considering! Please feel free to contact me if you’d like a quick chat about the ins and outs of investing, and where it will work best for you.

TRULIA SIGNATURE
David Leonard
Realtor Associate, SFR
Weichert Realtors
(201) 333-4443
(718) 915-2855 (cell)
http://WWW.DAVIDLEONARD.BIZ
DAVE@DAVIDLEONARD.BIZ
Web Reference: http://www.davidleonard.biz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Jen, Smart girl.

I like Jersey City! A great easy commute into Manhattan with beautiful views.
There are some real good buys there right now.

But (1) The place has been so overdeveloped! But (2) The condos are beautiful and affordable price wise, but the maintenance fees.. in those buildings are petty high right now.. and gues what , they never ( o.k. never say never) but they like, never go down.

My thinking is taht the market will recver overall in the world within the next two years, but Jersey City RE will take about 10 -12 years to see your money back. this is my opinion.

Make a wise choice. You can buy something with a little more commute and make a better investment.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Hi Jen,

Nobody can predict where the market will be in 5 years. I would not think of real estate as an investment in the sense of capital appreciation as a goal. Buy a house because you want a house and it meets your needs and desires. Over the long term of, say, 30-50 years of buying, selling, and owning, real estate will usually end up appreciating significantly, but the short term is a complete unknown.

If you are pretty sure that you will be moving in a 4-5 year time frame, then you should rent. There is always the possibility of significant capital loss in a short time frame in real estate. For example, there is serious consideration being given to eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. If that happens in 2 years, then real estate might take a big hit. If you are then going to move in 2-3 years, you might be upside down and facing a loss. That would be bad news.

So basically if you have a short time frame of less than 5 years where you may have to sell, and you cannot withstand a significant loss, then do not buy real estate. Just rent and eliminate that risk from your life.

Good luck!

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director/Appraiser
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
201 Route 10 East
Succasunna, NJ 07876
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Coolest map-based home search: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Hi Jen! I own in Jersey Heights and lived there for two years. You are right, there is a lot of inventory in the Heights and unfortunately alot of homes are in default as well, affecting values. If you are looking to make an investment there, you should consider a single or two family vs condo, or if it must be a condo, then look for larger unique condos or those close to the light rail.
Selling in 4 to 5 years can be risky no matter where you buy. If you'd like to increase your profits then you should look for a longer hold that will yield less risk and maximize returns.

Since you're a first time buyer there are many things you should be looking at, not just the investment aspect of purchasing.

I work with many first time home buyers and I'd be happy to help navigate through the waters with you. Feel free to email me. You can check out my blog for some sales stats as well. I report downtown Jersey City on a weekly basis and Hoboken.

Best!! And Happy New Year!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
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