Being a native of Newark myself, I've seen this area make vast improvements over the past 10 to 15 years.
And developmental improvements continue.
Homes are very affordable, but as Marc stated, when living in urban areas, you just have to keep safety in mind, however, like in many townhome/condo communities, neighbors tend to watch out for each other.
It's a great location in Newark, with public transportation very nearby, the downtown area only blocks away (Broad and Market Street the epicenter of Newark), NJPAC and Prudential Stadium (new home of the NJ Devils), Rutgers (Newark), NJIT, and Essex County College all in the same vicinity.
Also close to major highways, Routes 280 and 21 are both minutes away.
Newark Penn Station also only a few blocks away with trains going to NYC (PATH and AMTrak) and trains going to Central and South Jersey if you don't feel like driving to Atantic City one day.
Beyond the Newark Penn Station location, you have the neighborhood of Down Neck (or Ironbound as some also remember it for historical reasons). This was my neck of the woods so to speak. Lots of great Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian and other ethnic type restaurants. Also an area with small cafes and shops along the main street known as Ferry Street.
Newark has seen a population boost these last 10 years, so it's obvious that at times you could be burdened with traffic congestion. But in North Jersey, that's typical in most towns.
Hope this information was useful for you and all the best on your home shopping journey.
A Home For Sale Realty
A Premier Statewide Real Estate Agency
In my opinion, Newark's political landscape has vastly improved with a new go-getter type of mayor this city has needed in a long time, has been in office for a few years.