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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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You also should consider the cost of monthly maintenance in a condo versus putting that same amount into your own home. Taxes may be higher, but the full amount of real estate tax is deductible on your federal and state income tax returns. My wife and I went through the same decision process 6 yrs ago and opted for a house not a condo. Never looked back.

Posted on: 2011/3/4 17:25
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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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+ Interest rates are at an all time low.

+ Seems like we are at the bottom in regard to pricing.

+ Paulus Hook is a great area for a family.

+ You get tax breaks.

- Taxes are HIGH

- Your taxes may go up because the state of NJ is broke like every other state and they will get the money from raising property taxes.

Happened in Hoboken a few years ago to the tune of about a 40% increase at one time. That's will harsh your monthly cash mellow.

All in all, if you can do it and have a longer horizon, sounds like a good idea.

Posted on: 2011/3/3 23:09
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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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My 2 cents, and I have a contrarian view on things.

I think buying at the moment is probably better than renting. Prices are low, interest rates are near as low as you can get. For your time horizon (6-10 years) if you can find a condo in one of the tax abated properties your mortgage and maintenance may work out less than renting an equivalent property.

Here are a few pointers:

1. Be absolutely sure the property isn't prone to flooding nor sink holes. A friend of mine had a property on Washington Street/Paulus Hook that was nearly destroyed by a sink hole. I'm also sure many residents in both Harsimus Cove and Paulus hook can attest to flooding nightmares. There are FEMA maps showing flood risk - I did see a very good one a while back - I'll try to find the link.
2. If buying - for 1000 sq ft, property taxes can be unexpectedly high and the City is going through a reassessment process. Expect a bill of around 7-10k/year for an unabated property.
3. Flood and property insurance can add ~4k/year or so to the bill. My experience on buying in JC is that the property taxes and insurance have effectively made the escrow for tax and insurance equal to the mortgage payment.
4. Whatever your bank tells you your monthly payment to service your loan, multiply that by 2 to cover the tax and insurance escrow or direct payments.

zillow.com is a pretty good resource for renting and buying.

You're going to pay around 2k+/month to rent. Over 10 years that works out at $240k+, with zero return. Do a bit of research though. Get a good advisor. I can't think of a better time to buy if you do your homework.


And Paulus Hook versus Harsimus Cove? They're both great JC neighborhoods. It probably just boils down to how close you want to be to stuff important to you. (Mall, Path, Grove Street, whatever).

Posted on: 2011/3/3 1:27
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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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We always enjoyed Paulus Hook with kids and the waterfront offers a great place to get out to walk and play. It is more of an event to go to Van Vorst Park, but no problem on a nice day or when you have an hour to kill. The parking is tight, but better than some areas. You do have occasional break-ins or vandalism on the street. P.S. 16 is a good, small school for a public school in Jersey City. There are no issues about enrolling if you live in the neighborhood. In fact, students from other parts of Jersey City attend because there are not enough students in the area enrolled. Good luck!

Posted on: 2011/3/3 0:01
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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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IMO you should never buy a place while planning on moving in 5-6 years. You might be OK if property prices go up a bunch, but you're just as likely to lose some money on that transaction.

If that is your time frame you can probably rent a nicer place for less money and save up the remainder to buy a nicer place when the time comes.

The other poster is correct as well. The public schools in Harsimus as not as good, while the public schools for Paulus Hook are actually pretty nice for young kids. That's an extra $1,000 or month a so you can afford in Paulus Hook over Harsimus if you're planning on having kids.

It is a very personal decision, but I would err on the side of living where you like (buying or not), you never know what is going to happen in 5 years you might as well love the place you live now if you can.

Posted on: 2011/3/2 18:56
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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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PAULUS HOOK IS A CRIME-RIDDEN HELLHOLE THAT NOT EVEN YOUR DOG SHOULD VISIT!

SEE: JC LIST THREAD LINK!


Posted on: 2011/3/2 18:25
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Re: Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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It's really a decision only you can make.

There are things to consider, like which school you will be zoned in (and proximity to private schools if you decide to go that route). Will you also have parking or will you have to street park it? Are the buildings elevator buildings or walk ups (if you have a child you will have to lug the kid up and down the stairs and a stroller too).

Paulus Hook is nice because there is the waterfront and your kids can run around without worrying about cars (but there's lots of dog poop to avoid). But on the negative side, there's not a ton going on in the neighborhood during the day and there's only one small park for the kids. VVP is close by but on a really hot or cold day it's a hike with a little one but it's doable. PS 16 is one of the better schools but you may or may not get in based on over flow. GL!

Posted on: 2011/3/2 17:53
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Buying: Paulus Hook or Harsimus Cove
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My boyfriend and I are looking to purchase a 2 bedroom condo in downtown Jersey City. Initially, we wanted a place we could grow into: second bedroom for a study...then turn nursery. We also want private outdoor space and at least 1000 square feet. In Harrsimus Cove, we found plenty of properties that met and exceeded our requirements.

But then went to see a property in Paulus Hook. It's consideratbly smaller, but does have a small private terrace and parking.

Question: Should we buy for the present and grow out of the unit in 5-6 years but enjoy the area now? Or should we buy for the future in the less ideal location (for our personal tastes) and not feel forced to move for 10ish years?

Posted on: 2011/3/2 16:47
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