The cost of homes in South vs. Central NJ (Opinion)
Depending on what town you're looking in, the cost of homes in South Jersey is far less than Central/North Jersey.
A young couple from Somerset County is looking to buy their first house. Everything their looking at is $600k and up. Their friends just bought a house in Burlington County for under $5k and it was really nice. They had no idea there would be such a difference in the real estate markets.
They were concerned that it was too far from her family who watches their baby 2 days a week. It's probably an hour drive from her parents' home to most decent places not too far into South Jersey. You do get a lot more for your money the further south you go. But even just below Mercer County, the difference is noticeable.
There are great school systems in South Jersey, much like in Central Jersey, but the cost of homes is in some cases much less.
The main reason is the proximity to New York. There is a higher income level the closer you get to NYC. Income levels are slightly lower the further away to get from the big city. Also, people would flock to the more-affordable housing if it weren't for the childcare situation, which is usually a relative who would have at least an hour drive.
The other fascinating difference in buying a home in South Jersey is we rarely use a real estate attorney. South of Trenton, people rarely ever heard of using an attorney when buying a house, unless they come from north of there.
I've purchased a few homes in South Jersey and didn't have to use a lawyer. The title company and the realtors walk you through the process. Lawyers only tend to make the process more contentious and expensive. But many people in Central Jersey wouldn't think of doing it without one. You do you.
After a quick search and comparison with similar homes in comparable towns, the difference in price was pretty consistent. Like we've said on the air many times and most of our listeners agree, it's like two different states. But let's not go there again!
32 Forest Ave, Medford, NJ 08055, $479,900. See the full listing here.
17 Apache Dr, Manalapan, NJ 07726, $685,000. See the full listing here.
205 Summit Rd, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054, $799,000. See the full listing here.
2 Christie Ct, Manalapan, NJ 07726, $1,399,000. See the full listing here.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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