There are many reasons why rental properties are very high in this tri-state area. One reason is due to our proximity to both NY, PA and CT. Please reach out to us so we can discuss your many options within this area. We can be reached at (908) 912-5295 or via email at Toni@MorettiTeam.com. You can also feel free to visit our website at MorettiTeam.com. Thank you, again, for posing your question on Trulia.
Plus, when it's harder to get pre-approved for a home loan, renters rent as they work on improving credit history and save for a down-payment.
Cutting your expenses, increasing your income, save, live below your means - All things that I would do and have done when I was in your position. When I moved out of my parents house for the first time, I rented a 3 bedroom apartment for $1300 in Harrison NJ and took on 2 roommates. My expenses were about $600/month of which I lived with them for 5 years and was able to save and reduce my debt - mostly my student loan debt and credit cards.
If you have children, this might be harder to do - i.e. live with roommates. But, it's possible if you research rentals and find a landlord willing offering market rent or below market rent.
Renters should consider becoming qualified buyers. After all, they are PAYING for the real estate anyway, they just don't own it.
Establish a budget.
Reduce you spending.
Live below your means.
Increase you income.
Reduce you debt.
Buy a single family home.
Landlords are in business to make money. Rent control laws in some New Jersey cities prevent landlords from realizing a decent return on their investment, thus also discouraging investment in rental units. And, whenever a tenant refuses to pay his rent and has to be evicted, the owner is going to suffer a financial loss that will be passed onto the other tenants. Add to that the tax burden, property tax, income tax, etc., and you have a situation where an environment that is not friendly to investors/landlords has lead to a shortage of rental housing units and a problem with supply and demand.
These two factors, the owner's 'cost of doing business' and supply and demand force rents to go higher and higher. The higher the owner's 'cost of doing business' the higher the rents will go as he/she is forced to pass along those costs to the tenant. The lower the rental units to tenants ratio, the higher the prices of rent are going to go as the competition for those units increases.