The 5 Hottest New Jersey Real Estate Markets in 2018

New Jersey real estate

A view of the footbridge over the lake in Asbury Park, NJ

The New Jersey real estate market still hasn’t reached the heights we saw during the pre-recession housing bubble. That doesn’t mean that the housing market is suffering, though; in fact, there are definitely markets where home values have been rising rapidly over the past year.

This is a list of some of the hottest NJ real estate markets where the average homebuyer still has a great shot at securing a home that fits their budget. That means that we aren’t going to include areas where buyers are routinely outbid by wealthier competitors (we’re looking at you, Hoboken and Montclair).

The towns we are focusing on are desirable areas with specific charms that will make you proud to call them home. Prices in these areas are on the rise across the board, so if you’re looking to purchase a home – don’t wait – this summer and fall are the best times to take the plunge.

 

#5. Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Median home price: $324,500

This booming region remains a bargain despite its beautiful coastal location, so if you want to settle in where things are almost certainly going to continue heating up, this gem might be just the place. With art galleries, museums, water parks, beachfront shopping and dining, and award-winning public schools, Asbury Park will appeal to a wide range of tastes. The city-driven revitalization efforts of the past several years are paying off in terms of development and real estate, so this is a prime time to join the warm and welcoming community of Asbury Park.

 

#4. Mountainside, Union County

Median home price: $595,000

Mountainside is a secluded, beautiful town spread over four square miles. Buyers who desire a location somewhat removed from urban sprawl will want to take note of Mountainside’s status as a retail relief zone as well as its shared border with the nearly 2,000-acre Wachtung Reservation, the largest in Union County.

Mountainside doesn’t have a train station, however, so unless you work locally or from home, this area may not be a good fit. However, Mountainside is in the top 5% in the country for individuals who work in the technological fields, notably computer science and mathematics.

 

#3. New Providence, Union County

Median home price: $586,250

New Providence is a commuter’s dream. With two train stations and a burgeoning downtown area, this 3.56-mile borough is attracting more people now than ever. Once a sleepy town where almost exclusively banks and salons operated, New Providence now has all the hallmarks of a bustling area, notably chains like Chipotle and of course, Starbucks. Buyers are competing to snag homes in Murray Hill, West Summit, and Tall Oaks to avoid the still more expensive real estate markets in Chatham and Summit.

 

#2. Oradell, Bergen County

Median home price: $572,125

Oradell’s shady streets, easily walkable downtown, and small-town feel have been drawing in a large number of homebuyers over the past few years. Located an hour’s bus or train ride from Manhattan, this charming town offers prospective buyers the choice between renovated Victorians, sprawling ranch homes, stately colonials, or more modern architecture. Whether you’re looking for a bargain or a home in which to invest a fortune, you’re likely to see something you love in Oradell.

 

#1. Jersey City, Hudson County

Median home price: $458,800

Jersey City’s Manhattan views and rapidly increasing home prices are probably equally famous at this juncture. Jersey City’s median home prices jumped nearly a quarter in 2017, finally reaching the number #1 housing market slot earlier this year after holding strong at #2 for multiple quarters. Jersey City’s rich history, cultural diversity, and strong public transportation are highly appealing to buyers looking for a home in an urban location.

Are you looking to purchase NJ real estate in the near future? The towns we included here are obviously just the shortlist; there are many other really awesome towns in The Garden State that look promising for potential homebuyers on either end of the budgeting scale.

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Tips for Buying NJ Real Estate During the Competitive Summer Season

NJ real estateIt’s no secret that the NJ real estate market belongs to sellers these days. Homes don’t stay on the market long—one to two weeks in New Jersey, if you get lucky, and some are gone within a single day in the more desirable neighborhoods. If you’re preparing to buy a home during the popular and highly competitive summer season, you’ll have very little time to identify the home you want, submit your offer, and defeat all competing bids.

As daunting as the prospect might seem, there are compelling reasons to take the plunge as soon as you’re financially prepared to do so. With rents climbing relentlessly all over the country (not to mention throughout New Jersey) and mortgage rates showing no signs of reversing their matching upward trend, there’s little to gain financially by continuing to rent.

Although the inventory available for the number of prospective home buyers is not ideal, spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for home sales in NJ. Unless you want to move in the rain or the snow, it’s time to gear up to get out there and find the right home for you.


With inventory throughout the state being as scarce as it is, you may need to be willing to be flexible regarding the superficial aesthetics of a home.


When you imagine your dream home, it probably has all the latest upgrades, a certain type of kitchen layout, and glistening hardwood floors. Realistically, you will probably find that you can be fully happy with a home that needs a few upgrades over the next handful of years, gradually transforming it into the perfect reflection of your tastes.

We understand that enduring home renovations isn’t for everyone, but if you find a home in the style you like in the neighborhood you desire that only needs a few tweaks, you should seriously consider moving quickly and locking down the property in that area while you can.

Once you’ve found the home, of course, it’s time for the nerve-wracking process of winning out over the competition. Here are our best tips for ensuring that your offer is the one that stands out from the pack.

  1. Get preapproved before you start shopping.

You know your credit score, you’re sure your healthy income is entirely stable, and you know you have a very manageable level of debt compared to said income. However, the home’s current owner doesn’t have any of that information unless you show up with paperwork proving that you’ve been preapproved for the appropriate amount by a mortgage lender.

This act alone will make your offer more enticing to a buyer, clearly. Although you’d think buyers would realize they should have an offer to substantiate their bid, many prospective buyers still begin touring available homes without any kind of approval letter.

Submitting an offer accompanied by a preapproval is the only way to demonstrate that you’re a truly serious buyer, prepared to move quickly and decisively.

  1. Show up to see a home with a blank contract.

If you find the one, you’ll have no time to lose in placing a bid. Even an hour could make a difference between snagging a great home or missing your chance.

  1. Don’t submit an offer with a contingency contract.

Otherwise, your offer is going to get shuffled to the bottom of a thick stack of stronger offers. Try not to have any hint of hesitance or uncertainty. If you want a home, go for it as clearly and cleanly as you possibly can. If you aren’t sure, move along swiftly so you don’t miss out on the home that’s right for you.

  1. Arrive with the biggest down payment you can.

Average down payments have continued to rise, following trends that have become more entrenched over the last four years. Sellers are more likely to be attracted to larger down payments, often linking such offers to financial stability and a smooth transaction. While gathering funds for a strong down payment might be a pinch in the short-term, the payoff is likely going to be worth it.

  1. Don’t bid below asking.

It goes without saying that there are times when a home is priced far above what it’s really worth, and your real estate agent will advise you in such cases. However, in any of the hot New Jersey markets, you’ll need to stay within 5 – 10% of the asking price. Your agent is probably going to advise you to make a strong, bold offer for the home you’re sure you want.

Summer is the Perfect Time to Buy Real Estate in New Jersey

real estate in new jersey

Have you recently taken a critical look at your current home and decided that it may be time to move? Maybe you or your spouse received a promotion or were asked to move locations for a job. Either way, are you thinking of buying a piece of land or a new home for you and your family? Many people want to know the best time of year to purchase real estate in New Jersey. We don’t have the perfect answer for you; there are so many variables that play into buying property. Fortunately, there are always homes up for sale, so it’s always best to wait until you find what you’re looking for, within the time span that you’re given.

We can tell you that if you’re looking for more options to look at and walk through, the best time is going to be spring and summer. Not many people enjoy checking out a future home in the bone-chilling cold. The thought is that once winter ends, people are itching to leave their old homes and find a new one. Here’s another thought: the early bird gets the worm. It’s best to start looking when there is still a slight chill in the air, and as it gets warmer and warmer, you’ll be seeing more and more homes go on the market.

real estate in new jersey


These days, technology can be your best friend when searching for real estate.


Hop online and you’ll find countless possibilities just by clicking on one real estate company’s website. We’ve found that online real estate searches peak in July in the state of New Jersey. People may have a little more time on their hands with no kids in school and not having to run in every direction for activities each evening. Watch out, though, because prospective home buyers are out in full force come summer months, so you’ll have competition!

Because of the added competition of additional potential home buyers, you run the risk of having any offer that you make being topped by other home buyers or simply just getting lost in the home-buying frenzy. Get out there early, take the appropriate and necessary time to find what you’re looking for, and make an offer.

If you’re planning on pulling a double act, that is, selling and buying a new home, take advantage of the summer months. Since there are more homes on the market, it’s easier to do both the selling and buying in a shorter time frame. For people that definitely need to sell their current house before buying a new one, there will be more prospective buyers during the golden season. We don’t want you to get cornered into having two mortgages, so plan intelligently!real estate in new jerseyUltimately, though we suggest summer as the best time to buy real estate, it also depends on the buyer. One person’s needs are going to differ from another person’s, which will affect when someone can handle the added burden of house shopping. For example, financial statuses are one of the biggest factors in determining the best time to buy. It’s crucial that you ensure that you have enough money to effectively traverse the home-buying process. Another important factor to consider is your personal schedule. If you can’t take off work during the summer, wait until there is a lull to pursue real estate shopping. If, however, you decide that you want your kids to be part of this process, there’s no question that summer break is the best time to shop.

Summer is smack dab in the middle of the most popular months to sell real estate. Don’t sweat it though, find a professional that will guide you along. Before you know it, you’ll be stepping into your new home and letting out a satisfied sigh of relief.

How Will Rising Interest Rates Affect the New Jersey Real Estate Market?

New Jersey real estate

Over the past ten years, real estate prices have fallen in New Jersey. That trend is slowly changing. In most areas of New Jersey, the home values have not reached the 2005-era peaks. While it is feared that current federal tax reforms will have a negative impact on home values in New Jersey, there are many scholars, such as Monmouth’s Professor Peter Reinhart, who claim that the positive impacts will outweigh the negative outcomes.

The current Congressional tax reform will have a major impact on the housing market in New Jersey. For instance, state and local taxes (SALT) will involve a new $10,000 tax cap on deductions. This is much less of a price for taxpayers, because, in 2015, New Jersey citizens paid $17,850. The deduction cap on interest on new home mortgages decreased from $1,000,000 to $750,000 of principal. This also involved elimination of interest deduction for home equity mortgages. Homeowners who have existing mortgages can still deduct interest.

There are several negative impacts on the New Jersey housing market that are due to rising interest rates. Existing homeowners with a mortgage over $750,000 and lower than $1,000,000 will probably not decide to relocate if a larger mortgage would be required by moving to a new home. This would mean that the low inventory of availability of homes for sale would stay low. Thus, there would be a diminished ability for those in the market to buy a home to receive tax benefits of property tax and interest deductions. This would result in more of the buying market to rent, versus purchase a home, and existing homeowners who would typically upgrade to a larger home would not be able to afford to do so. With a decreased number of home buyers starting out in the market, in conjunction with a decreased number of homes for sale, less overall transactions will likely occur.

New Jersey lawmakers can implement certain policies that would help offset any potentially negative effects of the recently imposed tax laws. The New Jersey governor and legislature could possibly eliminate the $10,000 cap on local property tax deduction, which would offer a reprieve to those who pay more than that on their property taxes. There is a controversial approach which involves viewing the overall New Jersey tax structure as a whole, and relates to shifting away from income and property taxes and implementing business or sales taxes that are not already deductible to ‘individual homeowners.’ Some other available alternatives to decrease the burden on homeowners include municipal consolidation, cost cutting, and cost sharing. This would increase property tax revenues in the United States.

There are some positive outcomes from the tax reforms related to housing and the rising interest rates. One example of a positive outcome involves the increase in demand for the rental market. Another example involves the upgrades and improvements landlords will do to already existing apartment communities, given the increase in demand for available rental properties. Furthermore, a lower tax rate for pass-through entities and corporations would potentially lead to greater profits which could be reinvested in housing.  Companies which purchased detached, single-family homes to utilize as rental properties after the recession might experience an increase in demand as there is a decrease in the benefits of home ownership.

 

 

How to Start Investing in NJ Real Estate

NJ real estate

You do not have to have a six figure salary to start investing in real estate. On the contrary, it is possible to get your start investing in NJ real estate with very little start-up money. Even college students are taking an interest in owning properties. Real estate investment has the potential for higher returns than other investments with an average annual return rate of 11.42% compared to 10.31% with the S&P500. With real estate investments, you have control over your assets: your knowledge and hard work directly affects the value of your assets. Real estate investment is a great way to grow your assets no matter where you are starting from.

While you don’t have to be well-off to get your start in real estate investing, you do have to have a well thought-out and realistic financial plan—and stick to it! Part of this plan means understanding the commitment you are making. Real estate investment is not a “get rich quick” scheme. This is a business investment and it will take time, money, energy, and a lot of work to see a return on your investment. Create a business plan before you start. The plan should include how many properties you wish to buy, the time frame for these investments, and the cost of these investments.

In order to make a sound business plan for your real estate investments, you will need to educate yourself. Before you spend time and money on an expensive class, do some research online. There are a plethora of free online guides, podcasts, blogs, and articles designed to provide essential information to those breaking into the world of real estate investment.

Another way to educate yourself is to talk to those in the know. Make connections with the people that are already successfully doing what you want to do. You can find these people locally or online through different real estate forums. These experts can give you invaluable first-hand knowledge of the industry and help you make other connections with vendors, contractors, and other businesses in your area. All of this knowledge will help you find your niche in the market.

The two biggest things you need to know are types of property and location of property. You also have to know how much of a financial investment will be required, as well as the time investment that different types of properties will require. Additionally, the ability to evaluate a locality or neighborhood and make an informed assessment of its potential value is an invaluable skill in this arena. An important thing to remember when making these assessments is to buy where the numbers work out—which means understanding your financial limits and sticking to your business plan.

It is imperative to remember that, like with any business, there are risks. Expect challenges and set-backs because every property comes with its own set of problems. Real estate investment is a business of constant learning and adapting to new and ever-changing variables, which is what makes it such an exciting investment.

The most important thing you can do is get started! Even the most well laid plans will go nowhere if you never act. Do the research, make your plan, and take the first step towards building your financial future.

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney in NJ?

real estate attorney in NJ

Finding a new home is an intimidating adventure, but before you know it, you could be making an offer. What follows could be satisfying relief, or complete disaster. The answer: yes, you do need a real estate attorney in New Jersey, to ensure that your home purchase goes off without a hitch.

What does a real estate attorney actually do?

Most people have heard of, and potentially even worked with, a real estate agent, but a real estate agent’s job is different than an attorney’s duties. Our first suggestion is to begin your search for a NJ real estate attorney as soon as you start house hunting. The process of purchasing and selling a home includes intricate legal contracts and all paperwork involved in the transaction is extensive. An attorney will review the contracts, provide representation and closing services, and will be able to offer a third-party opinion on the process.

Barbara Casey, a past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association, shares that “Real estate transactions are emotional transactions.” She said, “The decisions you make can often be clouded by emotions.” Because of this, it is helpful to have outside opinions on one of the most important decisions you will make during your lifetime.

In Monmouth County, New Jersey, hiring a real estate attorney is not mandatory for a closing. Even so, it has now become normal practice in the area. Most people now recognize the critical importance of legal counsel on the matter of a home purchase or sale. There are certain services that you should expect from any experienced NJ real estate attorney.

Some of the services will naturally vary slightly, depending on the attorney, but all good attorneys will collaborate extensively with the mortgage company and seller. A real estate attorney will help their client to understand the process, serve as an advocate, and assist in making significant decisions. In addition, they will closely read the contract to make sure it’s all in your best interest as well as attend the closing with you. Generally, they will educate you about things you didn’t know you might need and explain the paperwork/contracts. One final key attribute of a superb attorney is that they will offer you options, but will still allow you to make the crucial decisions. In the end, your attorney should be there to advise while ultimately leaving the final decisions up to you.

At Veitengruber Law, we provide top-notch and comprehensive real estate transaction services. A quick overview includes:

  • Negotiating sales or lease agreements
  • Reviewing and drafting real estate contracts and title opinions
  • Directing due diligence in title search cases
  • Handling various kinds of deeds

Now that you know what we as real estate attorneys do, here are a few tips on how to find a reliable attorney to handle your upcoming real estate transaction.

Research how long they have been in practice as well as how much and what kind of experience they have had. This could include the number of closings that they complete per month. Make sure to find out if they have any complaints against them and the exact list of services that they provide. Finally, ask if they can give the name of a client that will give them a reference. If you have a special case, search for an attorney that has experience handling your specific type of case.

At Veitengruber Law, we have attorneys that want to help you and provide all the services that you will need during your NJ real estate process. Our professionals have incomparable financial acumen and experience. We strive to help our clients in the best way possible, all while remaining professional and efficient. Visit our website and give us a call or send an email to find out more about how we can meet your needs.