Are you thinking of moving to New Jersey, then you’d like to know what it’s like to live here? Despite being one of the smallest states in the US, it’s one of the most densely populated. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in New Jersey?
New Jersey is a great state with qualities such as connection to major cities, stunning beaches, vibrant local life, retiree-friendly, and quality healthcare that draws people to it. But there are also downsides to living here, including traffic, property taxes, bleak weather, and living costs.
Despite the downsides, New Jersey remains a lovely state. You’ll likely find that the advantages are more than the disadvantages. But the decision to move here can only be yours. So, read on to find out what it’s like to live in New Jersey.
Pros of Living in New Jersey
The beautiful state of New Jersey has several advantages. Here are the main ones:
1. Major Cities Are Easily Accessibility
Are you wondering why many people live in New Jersey? It’s because of the location. This state has that ideal location to get to major places in the United States, such as New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, within a few hours. This depends on which part of the city you’re in, of course.
Its proximity means residents from other states often come here, and some live in New Jersey and work in another state. For example, before the New York government allowed sports betting, many New York residents came down to New Jersey to bet. After all, it’s less than two hours away. The transport system is also quite efficient, with airports and trains travelling between the state and neighbouring places.
2. Stunning Beaches and Environments
New Jersey is a wonderful place to live. On the state’s east coast, you’ll find the Jersey Beaches. These are great places to spend your day out enjoying the sunshine and spectacular views of the ocean. However, it’s not just about beaches, but the overall environment is great.
There are forests and parks all over the state. Well-known ones include Liberty state park, Tyler state park, and Brendan T Byrne Forest. You could also visit Cape May, Sterling Hill Mining Museum, Hindenburg Crash Site, Grounds for Sculpture, and South Mountain Fairy Trail.
3. Vibrant Local Life
As one of the most densely populated states in the US, Jersey is quite vibrant too. There are lots of attractions for residents depending on what you’re looking for. When it comes to amenities as well, this state is excellent. There are several shopping malls, strip malls, restaurants, diners and bars, all over the state. If you’re a sports fan, there are several sports teams in New Jersey that you can watch and support.
4. Quality Healthcare System
The healthcare system in New Jersey is quite excellent. This state has 113 hospitals as of 2019, and many of them are ranked highly. There are also several medical organizations in the state which means residents have easy access to healthcare facilities.
5. Retiree Friendly Communities
With around 295 active adult communities, New Jersey is an ideal place for residents to retire. The healthcare system is quite excellent as several medical facilities take care of senior citizens’ needs. Seniors also enjoy tax breaks, such as the $250 annual property tax deduction.
The Senior Freeze program also reimburses eligible seniors for an increase in the property tax for their residents. The Homestead benefits program also applies to eligible veterans. The New Jersey Division of Taxation provides all the information you need to know about the tax reliefs.
Cons of Living in New Jersey
There’s no good without the bad, and New Jersey has a few negative characteristics.
1. Expensive City to Live In
Living in New Jersey is quite costly and above the national average. This generally depends on which part of the state you stay in. Most times, the closer you’re to New York or Philadelphia, the more expensive things get. Its cost of living is 20.4% higher than the national average. Unless you’ve lived in places like California or New York before moving down here, you’ll find this to be quite expensive.
Homes in New Jersey are also quite expensive. Contrary to almost $300,000, that’s the average price of a home in the United States. You’ll be spending over $100k more to buy a home in New Jersey. Homes here cost $415,066 on average. If buying a house is expensive, then you should also know that rents are a little high.
2. Property Taxes Are Very High
Another thing residents have to deal with here is high taxes. A Bloomberg article reveals that the average property tax in New Jersey is $9,112. This is very high by all standards as the state has the highest property taxes in the country. Owning a property here means you’ll have to pay this tax. Beyond that, the state income tax is also high but depends on tax brackets. Income taxes range from 1.4% to 10.75%, depending on how much you’re earning.
However, the sales tax rates are manageable. New Jersey sales taxes range between 3.3125% to 6.625%. Cities and municipalities don’t charge sales tax which ensures the tax stays low all the time. Residents don’t have to pay sales taxes on prescription drugs, clothing, and grocery.
3. Traffic and Congestion
Traffic is a common problem in New Jersey and something you have to deal with as a resident. The average one-way commute time is 31.5 minutes, way higher than the 26.4 minutes US average. The traffic is because New Jersey is what links New York to Philadelphia. The intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 4 in Fort Lee is the most congested bottleneck in the country.
Fortunately, the public transport system is quite efficient as there are extensive train and bus systems. This limits the challenge of commuting to an extent. 11.5% of residents here take public transit to work.
This isn’t California or Florida, where it’s always sunshine. The weather in New Jersey isn’t exactly the best. This city has all four seasons, and humidity is relatively high compared to many other cities. So, you’re unlikely to enjoy perfect weather. But it’s manageable.
New Jersey is a beautiful state to live in. Several advantages come with living here, but it has disadvantages as well. However, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.