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It's become abundantly clear that I can't afford to live in Manhattan. Question is... Jersey City vs. Brooklyn.

I'm couch surfing right now and was looking for a place in Manhattan, but I've arrived at the conclusion there's no way I can afford to live here.

As someone who is going to be spending a lot of their time in Manhattan, should I move to Brooklyn or Jersey City? Are rents comparable between the two?
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4 years ago
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I agree with the real estate professional! If you really work hard to find a studio or work with a creative Broker willing to work for his/her money you can find something in the City for the same price as Brooklyn but if your not willing to put in the effort then I would definatly VOTE: NJ! I live in Weehawken on Boulevard East (the entire street has houses only on one side of the street with the other side being a cliff that over looks the entire City skyline). I have a 3 bedroom, 2,500 Sq Ft. Townhouse for just under $2,000! I can take the bus, jitney, Path or Ferry into the city All ranging from 10-25 minutes commute time! All of which delivers me to 42nd-8/9th Ave. You just have to figure your final commute from there! I have only ever worked in the city, but if I don't feel like going out in the city there is nothing more enjoyable then eating/drinking/dancing/entertaining in Hoboken (which just got a W Hotel). By the Way; The People are nicer, calmer, there is less traffic/noise & I could be byest but I think the Air just might actually be a little fresher on this side of the big pond! Hope This Helps!

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Andrew Barron
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4 years ago
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I pretty much agree that Brooklyn is like "hipper" or whatever, and has a ton to offer, but devils advocate--
I think it's easier to get to and from manhattan from Jersey City than it is from most places in Brooklyn... not to mention it's so much easier getting anywhere else int he world from Jersey City than it is from Brooklyn too.
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Kazbeen Kazba
Kazbeen Kazba
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4 years ago
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There is nothing easier about Jersey City. Brooklyn is right over the bridge or a few stops on NYC subway. Jersey is completely annoying to get to through the Holland Tunnel and much more expensive to take a cab. Stay within the NYC subway/bridge system.

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Genevieve Hannon
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3 years ago
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i was born and raised in manhattan and lived there for 33 years, lived in williamsburg, brooklyn for 3 years and it was hip, laid-back, with great eats, but the L train was a unreliable (and still is), then i moved to the paulus hook neighborhood of jersey city, the downtown waterfront section and have never looked back. paulus hook (and hamilton park and van vorst park areas too) are clean, safe, quiet, gorgeous, tree-lined, brownstone-lined, affluent, racially diverse, family-friendly, with great restaurants, clean sidewalks, you can have a big backyard and apts always come with washer and drier, unlike brooklyn, less crowded than brooklyn, fresh air, dog-friendly, more pet-friendly housing, cool, hip people as well, not so young and noisy as hoboken, pretty like parts of park slope or brooklyn heights, no "jersey shore" types in downtown jersey city, cute boutiques, and an excellent hospital that's a flagship of mt. sinai. i have a huge three-floors apt in a brownstone with a huge backyard, high ceilings, moldings and ceiling details, hardwood floors, marble mantle fireplace with huge victorian mirror, all new kitchen appliances, butcher block countertops, a kitchen the size of most bedrooms, a large office/second bedroom, storage and washer and drier in basement, beautiful wooden staircase, terracotta tiled bathroom and kitchen, lots of light, on a quiet, dead-end street with great neighbors, garbage/recylcing service, five minutes to the lightrail, super nice absentee landlord, and my landlord allows me to have 8 furry kids including dogs, cats and rabbits for $1450/month. ou'd be hard-pressed to find a crappy studio in brooklyn or manhattan for that price. i am all for jersey city, but especially downtown waterfront and the park areas. they are lovely. cheers!
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3 years ago
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that sounds wonderful! How did you find your apartment? can I have your realtors name and number?

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3 years ago
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Any chance your fantastic landlord has any additional properties to rent that are similar to yours in style and price??!! I'll be relocating to the NYC area for a job offer in November and am finding it difficult to find housing that is affordable, nice, in a nice area that has enough space AND will allow my pets (4 cats & 2 Pugs). I'm moving from Las Vegas, where I have lived my entire life and renting my beautiful, almost brand new 2100 sf home in order to move across country for this opportunity of a lifetime job...so this will be quite a downsize for me...all I really care about is a nice place in a nice area with a convenient commute to Manhattan that will allow me to have all of my furry children...they are non-negotiable. North Jersey seems to be the closest commute to where my office will be (34th & 10th), and I'd really like to NOT keep my car so convenience to my commuting site is key. Any help/suggestions you could give would be greatly appreciated. I've started my search early in the hopes that I will find the perfect place...Thank you!

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3 years ago
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Maybe your realtor contact info. would be helpful too! thank you in advance!!

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3 years ago
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I live in Downtown Jersey City and no of no places in the Paulus Hook area or the Van Vorst area for the pricing that you've described, so PLEASE also tell me where this is :)

I'd move in a heartbeat. I'm spending $1950 for a studio with washer/dryer and parking. I love the location, but $1450 certainly sounds a lot better :)

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Michael Mitchell
Real Estate Professional
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4 years ago
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I think it depends on what your looking for because the prices of rentals in Manhattan are comparable to those in Brooklyn. You may have to be willing to go uptown and give up a little bit of space but there are quality studios and 1 bedrooms for as cheap as $1135. So many people not familiar with Manhattan buy into what they hear about Harlem and uptown so they have the crazy idea that anything above 96th street is somehow dangerous. Manhattan rental prices have come down considerably in the past year and there are still some great deals out there, if I were you I would look again at Manhattan or contact a good broker.
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Kazbeen Kazba
Kazbeen Kazba
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4 years ago
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I agree with Michael - but would further that by saying - find an individual owner (read: investor) who needs to pay the mortgage on the property and negotiate. Large rental buildings just jack the price up and have a greater risk tolerance in terms of having a vacant property.

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Diana Chabrier
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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Come To Bay Ridge Brooklyn the new affordable place just mins away from Manhattan. Where right know you can get a top floor two bedroom with bridge
And water views plenty of sunlight and skylights for only 337,000
For more go to www.bnyrealtor.com

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3 years ago
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In my opinion it depends on where you work in the city and how long you want your commute to be. I'm born and raised in Jersey but I've lived in Manhattan (before the ridiculous rents) and in Brooklyn Heights (again, before the ridiculous rents).

Depending on where you want to live in Jersey City and Brooklyn, the former will almost always be the cheapest (this is changing too of course). I know the areas far out in Brooklyn that are gentrifying are still quite questionable while the areas closest to the PATH are pretty safe. And although the PATH can have its days it's still reliable and the cheapest way to get into the city. The $54.00 30-day unlimited card is the best. And the fares don't increase as frequently as the MTA's does.

Good luck though!

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4 years ago
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As someone who has lived in neither Brooklyn or Jersey City (yet), I feel I am very qualified to answer this lol.

But, if I were you, I'd move to Brooklyn. It's a pretty cool place to be right now and the rents are definitely more affordable then in Manhattan. I feel like it's just a whole lot easier to get to and from Manhattan from Brooklyn than it is from Jersey City, though realistically they are both pretty easy.

I guess it also dependns on where you are going to work- if you are going to work anywhere outside of the city, there's no way I'd live in Brooklyn and commute to Jersey. But, if you're going to work in Manhattan, I'd go with Brooklyn

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Diana Chabrier
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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Come To Bay Ridge Brooklyn the new affordable place just mins away from Manhattan. Where right know you can get a top floor two bedroom with bridge
And water views plenty of sunlight and skylights for only 337,000
For more go to www.bnyrealtor.com Trust me Bay Ridge has been kept a secret for
Far too long. All the best D.C

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3 years ago
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Most Definitely Brooklyn! If you want to have a genuine NYC experience you have to actually live in NYC! Seriously. NJ is a totally different place it's a car driven culture so you might as well be living in another part of strip mall centric America. Brooklyn doesn't have that. Like Manhattan it has blocks and tree lined streets, corner bodegas, brownstones, hip trendy cafes, internationally known restaurants etc. And also you have to deal with Jersey people in Jersey! Yikes! Not that they all are bad, but if you have ever ridden the NJ Transit on a Saturday night into Penn Station it's like a reenactment of an episode of the Jersey Shore! If you don't believe me just try it for yourself. I think I saw "The Situation" cloned by about 10 different guys! how tackie. The creative/hip capital of the US is now Brooklyn, come be a part of it!
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1 year ago
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do you know how ignorant it is to judge an entire state by one type of people? firstly, my whole family was born and raised in Brooklyn... they all have cars. There are many areas of Brooklyn that have trains into NYC, but most of em don't! In southern brooklyn (no, not red hook, actually down south!) almost anyone who can afford it, drives. I gotta tell ya, I'm 25, I love art and music and warehouse parties, i love good food, but it drives me nuts when people who live in downtown or northern brooklyn think they know brooklyn! Yeah, a major television show has made acting like a drunk "@!&$%" idiot popular. So you're going to judge the entire state? First of all, Jersey City is home of amazing art galleries and "trendy" cafes and restaurants too! Downtown jersey city has transportation that takes nor transfer directly into NYC in 15 minutes. Parts of Brooklyn, many transfers. I love Brooklyn, but this new Brooklyn attitude against other places, especially against Jersey, is crazy! Ten years ago all of Manhattan felt that way about Brooklyn!

I grew up on the Jersey Shore. My friends from that area are either travelling the world, making film, designing album covers, and I spent my last few years studying Buddhism. Please realize that NYC is supposed to be a place where ignorance is over run by so much diversity and open mindedness. You're squashing our name.

Jersey is home of many artists. It has mountains, farms, marshlands. It also has areas that smell to high heaven! And areas that suck to drive in and are , yes, full of strip malls. But, don't you know it! New York has that too! Brooklyn! Long Island! Queens, the Bronx! Yikes. So relax, breathe, and ask yourself... how much time have you (or any other people who like to generalize about NJ) spent really exploring your neighbor land? NY and NJ color one another. Appreciate the differences, the good, bad and ugly - because neither would be what it is without the other.

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Gerard splendore
Gerard splendore
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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Of course,go for BROOKLYN! Depending on what you want, you can find something in Manahttan, but it is all contingent on your knowing what you want, what you can spend and being flexible! I sell real estate in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and have rented and owned in Brooklyn and it is the best!

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Dwayne Henry
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3 years ago
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As someone who grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Brooklyn (and works in Manhattan) I go with Brooklyn. If you are working near Wall Street or down by the WTC Jersey City makes sense, but there are so many potential commute problems that I've faced coming in from Jersey.

1. The PATH train can be unreliable. Your backup is the Ferry, but if you live too far away from the Hudson it doesn't help much.
2. Area's in Brooklyn with multiple train lines offer safety nets for your commute. If you're in Williamsburg, Bushwick, or Bed Stuy you can potentially have the J,M,Z, G or L trains as opposed to just having the PATH. The same with living in any other reasonably distanced part of Brooklyn. There are more train options than just the PATH.
3. Don't talk to me about the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel. That is NOT consistent.

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3 years ago
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Brooklyn is a great choice and i had similar issues when i first moved there. I was very fortunate to find a real estate broker who was both knowledgeable and honest. Usually its either one or the other. If you are planning on moving to the downtown brooklyn area its worth it to find someone who lives and works there. You can look her up on the prudential/elliman website. Imma Giocoli.

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