A good friend of mine asked for some advice on selling his Brooklyn home the other day. After offering my two cents and giving him the business card of the ace broker I use, I asked him where he was moving to. “Jersey City,” he replied. That makes three of my close friends heading that way in as many months.
It’s not just my friends, either. Jersey City is booming. As more and more New Yorkers migrate west in search of reasonably priced housing and quick commuter links, Jersey City is fast turning into a landlord’s market. There’s still time for real estate investors to find a great deal, however. If you’re looking to grow your portfolio but are wondering where to buy rental property in Jersey City, let me tell you the neighborhoods to target.
BUYING RENTAL PROPERTY IN JERSEY CITY: WHERE TO LOOK FIRST
You want to take the long view when buying rental property anywhere. It’s not just a matter of understanding current local market conditions. You need to be able to see where the neighborhood is going. I like to put my money down in neighborhoods that are poised for revitalization because that’s where I can make the most difference for the community—and, the best returns can often be realized.
As soaring prices in Downtown Jersey City push long-term residents out of the property market, locals are looking towards less central neighborhoods to call home. The first stop on this search is often Journal Square. In many ways, Journal Square has been preparing for this boom for a couple of years. Several beautifying projects were already underway, including the Journal Squared project, which replaced and reconfigured sidewalks around the PATH station, and the One Journal Square project, which sought to improve the neighborhood’s streetscape. Have these kinds of efforts had an impact on the rental market? It looks that way. Median rent is growing again, up 9% year-on-year in Q4 of this year. Despite this, units are staying on the market less time compared to the previous year. It looks like a good time to be a landlord in Journal Square.
It may not be the most expensive or sought-after neighborhood in Jersey City, but Bergen-Lafayette is experiencing strong year-on-year growth. The latest Pure Properties report shows that the median sales price of condos has increased by 36%. It’s no real wonder these figures are going up. Not only is Bergen-Lafayette nearer to the beating heart of Jersey City than Journal Square, but it’s also already got everything you need for a great neighborhood. The neighborhood enjoys a strong retail area along Communipaw and Pacific Avenues and boasts several light rail stops. Even with all this, it still remains a heck of a lot cheaper than nearby Heights, meaning it’s not too late for you to jump on the Bergen-Lafayette bandwagon.
While the other two neighborhoods listed here have already risen in popularity, Greenville is still very much an up-and-coming neighborhood. To some, Greenville will invoke images of crime. But much of the neighborhood is far nicer than it is given credit for. What’s more, new arrivals will be welcomed into a strong community. Indeed, the Greenville Neighborhood Alliance is making great strides to improve the state of the community. If you are looking for a speculative investment with high growth potential, Greenville could be just the place. Despite remaining undervalued compared to surrounding neighborhoods, the average asking price of homes for sale in Greenville has jumped over 29% since last year, according to Pure Properties. But, as property taxes rise, more distressed homeowners may emerge looking for a quick sale. Greenville is far less affluent than the rest of Jersey City and tax hikes could hit residents hard. It’s an unfortunate situation, but one that could allow you to pick up distressed properties at below-market rates then resell them at rising market values.
HOW ARE YOU FINDING JERSEY CITY RENTAL PROPERTIES?
Wherever you look for your next Jersey City rental property, you need to have a solid real estate investor lead generation system in place and the tools to spot a diamond in the rough. I don’t know about you, but I do know that my HomeVestors® Development Agent has my back. Thanks to the well-known nationwide “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing campaign, I know that if homeowners in Jersey City want to sell their property, they’ll call me first. As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I never miss a good deal.
How’s your Jersey City lead generation strategy looking? Speak to HomeVestors® today to find out how you can find opportunities in the most promising neighborhoods.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.