How's the house-hunting process coming? Still not in a home yet? If you live in New Jersey, that's a shock to literally no one. It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to buy a decent home in the Garden State right now.

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If you're anything like me, you're currently pulling your hair out every single day having to deal with NJ's real estate market. For any household that brings in less than $180k per year, it's not a great time right now.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
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NJ Real Estate Market

Several factors contribute to why New Jersey residents may be less likely to own a home compared to residents in other states. As a matter of fact, there are seven.

Photo by Mackenzie Marco on Unsplash
Photo by Mackenzie Marco on Unsplash
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1.) High Cost of Living: New Jersey consistently ranks among the top states in terms of cost of living. This includes high housing costs, property taxes, and other expenses. The high cost of living can make it difficult for residents to save up for a down payment or afford monthly mortgage payments.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
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2.) Property Taxes: NJ has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. This can make homeownership less attractive or feasible for many residents, especially when combined with the already high housing prices.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
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3.) Limited Affordable Housing: In some areas, there's a shortage of affordable housing options. The housing market may be dominated by expensive single-family homes or luxury apartments, leaving few options for those with lower incomes.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash
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4.) Population Density: NJ is one of the most densely populated states in the U.S. High population density often leads to higher property values and housing costs.

Photo by J Torres on Unsplash
Photo by J Torres on Unsplash
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5.) Commuter Culture: Many residents of New Jersey work in nearby cities like New York City, Atlantic City, or Philadelphia. Some may prefer to rent near their workplace rather than buy a home in New Jersey due to the convenience of commuting and the high cost of living in urban centers.

Photo by Ruth Enyedi on Unsplash
Photo by Ruth Enyedi on Unsplash
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6.) Student Loan Debt: Like much of the United States, student loan debt is a significant financial burden for many residents of New Jersey. High levels of student debt can make it challenging to save for a down payment or qualify for a mortgage.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
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7.) Interest Rates: With interest rates over 7%, people are facing $2500-$3500 per month for a home that's barely 2000 square feet. It's hard out there, right now!

That's why it's no surprise that New Jersey has one of the lowest rates of homeownership in the entire nation. Out of all the states in America, New Jersey ranks as the #4 WORST homeownership rate.

According to ThisOldHouse.com, New Jersey’s homeownership rate is 8% less than the national average of 65.7%. The only way our ranking will improve is if inflation evens out, interest rates drop, and everybody magically starts affording life again.

Will we ever see that happen again? Who knows. We can always hope, right?

If you're one of the lucky ones that actually can afford a house right now, here's where the experts say you should look in NJ:

The 15 best places to live in New Jersey

Listed in descending order, here are the 15 places in New Jersey that Niche graded the highest.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

If you want to move to South Jersey, make sure you don't do ANY of these things:

20 Things That Shock People After They Move to South Jersey

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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