Sure, there are problems. It is a huge city. There are some developers who have taken advantage of the housing boom in the area--renovating or building quickly with their main concern being their bottom line, not the quality of the construction. There are also some great things on the market right now.
I currently rent downtown, and plan to buy in the near future. I also work downtown--I don't plan to leave Jersey City in the near future.
The waterfront developments are slated as luxury living, with light rail running through the streets and very high prices, and thus taxes. Just a little away from the waterfront there are some renovated condos with lower taxes (not new construction fares better). There are restaurants on Grove and Newark Aves, and PJ Ryans is a fabulous pub on Marin Blvd.
Like with any city, do your research! Don't move near the projects unless that is the type of neighborhood you want. Lock your car, lock your bike, but take your kids to the park. There are tons of little kids playing (with parents) in the parks (Van Vorst, Hamilton, and Liberty State Park are all downtown)
It's definitely worth a look!
I would suggest the Paulus Hook area of JC. It's right on the water, so it is pretty. There are several Light Rail stops right in the area and it is a short walk to the Grove Street PATH. Goldman Sachs has its office tower in Paulus Hook so there are many young professionals living and working there as well as many new restaurants and boutiques. There is also the 50 Columbus new rental building right at the Grove Street PATH station. Check out today's cover story in the real estate section of the NY Times - it's about two Manhattanites who bought a place at Dixon Mills in JC.
Good luck and feel free to contact me directly if I can be of any further assistance.
The Turoff Team at
Robert DeRuggiero Realtors
201 993 9500