A useful statistic to answer your question is DOM or Days On Market. This is in average the time it takes for homes to go under contract.
I calculated it from the Middlesex County MLS for single homes.
New Brunswick (December): DOM= 85 days
New Brunswick (January): DOM=71 days
Edison (December): DOM= 77 days
Edison (January): DOM= 58 days
It appears that Edison is moving faster that New Brunswick.
And, of course, one day, your kids going to Rutgers Univ, you do not need to pay dorm fee and expensive dinning hall meals. And, if your kids can get over 1,500 on SAT, they will get full scholarship. That's you will save $200,000 for each kid with such advantage...
Even if your kids later go to NYU, Columbia or U Penn for graduate school, they are all easy access WITHOUT a need of car (that may save your kids car, insurance and life to the extreme at their young age).
One last word, do NOT worry about "not so shine condition" since there are many countractors out there can replace everything NEW for you in a few days cost effectively. The "location" is the most important!
Even more, this coming year, 2009, Rutgers Univ shall have 1,500 more students. On the one hand, Rutgers will have more tuition to cover NJ State budget cut, so Rutgers will be fine, e.g. it is going to resume expanding Football Satdium from 43,000 seats to 58,000 with $103 milliions to kick off. Many jobs will be open and local business will prosperous...
On the other hand, many high school students choose Rutgers over many top private universities like Columbia Univ, John Hopkins, Cornell, ...etc and over top out of state universities such as UC Berkeley, UCSD, Univ of Washington, U Michigan, Virginia Tech, Rutgers never got so many TOP students coming to the campus for past year or two that you shall see in near year or two's University Ranking by US News and Report.
Rutgers is moving forward very fast. e.g. Barnes and Noble already running Rutgers bookstores, and it is going to build a huge 3 story Barnes and Noble next to New Brunswick Train Station with over 4,600 sq ft right next to College Ave and Somerset St.
Rutgers also receive huge donation to build Business Center and Building at Livingston Campus. The towns around Rutgers will also be booming because many Rutgers parents came to buy houses for their kids going to Rutgers to save $800 to $900 a month dorm expense. Many of my friends and colleagues do. e.g. Grace from North Jersey, whose two sons going to Rutgers, so she bought a house at New Brunswick can walk to College campus, and later her sister, a top realtor in Montville area also did the same thing for her 3 kids. Later some of the kids going to graduate school at NYC still using New Brunswick Train Station.
If you got a chance to go to some of Rutgers course such as MicroEconomics, MacroEconomics, Sociology, Psychology ....etc. you see thousands of students, you got the energy and idea!!! Do you know Rutgers got 900 students majoring Economics this year? Do you know 1400 students taking General Chemistry?
You can read Daily Targum http://www.dailytargum.com/ to get an idea of the area, and try to get property "within walking distance" of Rutgers Univ, say College Ave in New Brunswick, and you shall be fine. And, you would be surprised so much resource you can use such as student center, library, concerts, ...etc.
And, if your parents would like to enrich life, Rutgers has a free program "Senior Audit Program" that they can go to audit hundreds of courses they love.
I personally believe New Brunswick will be booming, if not yet, especailly area around Rutgers University, the center of the resources and energy. e.g.
Edison (#35), Piscataway (#23), Franklin/Somersey (#5)... are ranked Top 100 Best Places to Live in America in 2008 by CNN Money Magazine http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2008/snapshot and if you take a look at the map, they are all around Rutgers Univ.
It depends on the location, I have a listing at One Spring Street that I have up for rent and sale... I am getting a lot of activity on the rental end.. the bottom has dropped out of the sale side of the building, but there is interest. I sold two units at Hiram Square, both were 2400 sq ft townhomes.. and they were sold pretty quick ( 90 days) .
Give me a location and I can give you comps in the area. Some of the new construction is moving also, but I think the builder still has units left.. so the competition would be with them.
Again, give me a better idea of what area / development in New Brunswick and I can give you better information.
Call, emial.. and we can discuss.
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
732-213-1409 - Direct