Homeownership vs. renting in NJ … what’s better? — Forever 39 Podcast
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Whether you decide to rent or own in New Jersey, one thing you know you'll be faced with is a steep monthly payment. New Jersey is known for it's high cost of living, and that's especially true when you look at the state's average cost for both renting and buying.
A report issued in 2017 from the National Low Income Housing Coalition finds the average market rent in New Jersey for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,420 a month, which means a family must earn $56,819 to be able to make it affordable. For a one bedroom apartment, the average rent is $1,165. Those averages, according to the report, makes New Jersey the sixth most expensive state in the U.S. when it comes to renting an apartment.
Financial experts have said that no more than one-third of your gross income should be spend on rent, but in New Jersey, that's just not possible for a lot of families.
According to the report, the average salary for New Jersey renters is $17.85 an hour, but people need to make $27.31 in order to afford the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment.
The picture isn't much better for those that choose to own.
According to Zillow, the average price of houses on the market as of May 4 is $299,000. That's lower than the average price of homes sold in New Jersey though. That number stands at $253,200 as of May 4.
So now that you know what you're looking at in terms of cost, now comes the big decision — should you buy or should you rent? In this week's Forever 39 podcast, we debate the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Just want to put your feet up on the weekends with a good book, buying a home is probably not in your best interest, especially during the spring and summer when the lawn needs to be cut on a weekly basis. And if you're someone who doesn't have a lot of pocket change, owning a home can be a huge hit because all maintenance costs are on your shoulders. So renting might be the choice for you.
There are some who hate the thought of giving a landlord their money and having nothing to show for it in the end, so that would take renting off the table for those people. And when you rent, you can't exactly engage in many weekend DIY projects because you're forbidden from doing major remodeling.
If you're struggling now with this question, perhaps looking at the disadvantages and advantages of both options will help. Money Crashes put together an excellent list for those in limbo.
David Matthau contributed to this report
Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Do you have selfitis? PLUS: Is it better to rent or own in New Jersey? Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode. Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Annette and Megan, Forever 39
Join us for next week's podcast when we discuss driving behaviors in New Jersey, annoying co-workers, and the decline of friendly neighbors.