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"Tonight I'm gonna take that ride across the river to the Jersey side, take my baby to the carnival and I'll take her on all the rides." -Tom Waits plant
Life in New Jersey

New Jersey: famed home to living legends and good times. It's close to the Big Apple and comprised of locals proud of their hometown. Destroyed in the mainstream media as a location where over-tanned damsels in distress are saved by the muscle-clad brain-dead, Jersey has far more to offer than you might expect. It's known as the Garden State, and contains plenty of seaside communities as well as cities made simply for pleasure. Stroll through Hoboken, Fair Lawn, the illustrious Atlantic City, and Cape May and you may just find a place to call home.

You Have Arrived

Getting to New Jersey is simple -- surrounded by highways and waterways, it's accessible, to say the least. Once here, make certain to secure a property in a neighborhood that suits you best. Deposit and first month's rent are required for most spaces and it's likely you'll need proof of income or a saintly cosigner to pave the way. Always make certain to complete a move-in checklist as well. Renters insurance is also suggested -- when relying on neighbors to turn off faucets or put out the blaze caused by their indoor marshmallow roasts, one can never take enough caution.

Places to Check Out

Hoboken: Small town, rich past.Birthplace of crooner Frank Sinatra and rumored to have given birth to baseball as well, Hoboken may be small in stature, but it's large in culture and heart. Moving to Hoboken is an option for displaced New York residents -- it's affordable and likely to grant far more spacious apartment homes than its big-city counterpart. One trip through the Holland Tunnel and you're mingling elbow to elbow with your elite brethren.

For nights spent in town, follow the locals that flock to Caf Matt and Mera for Indian-inspired tapas or San Giuseppe Coal Fired Pizza and Cucina for Italian fare. International cuisine is at your fingertips here. There are also stellar parks and the beautiful Hudson River Waterfront in Hoboken, as well as enough green space to spend the day taking a stroll or perusing boutiques in the square with a pleasant backdrop.

Housing costs might seem high for New Jersey, but consider that the price you pay for such close proximity to the big city and what rent would cost for the same two bedroom there. Many high-rise apartment complexes and small units are available citywide. A standout option is 333 River Street, a luxury apartment complex with more amenities than units. The grounds house a putting green, rooftop deck, spectacular views, and an on-site concierge. Public transportation (plentiful in Hoboken) and Sinatra Park are within walking distance as well. The location of these apartments for rent in New Jersey makes them top-tier.

Fair Lawn: Historic Splendor. Fair Lawn encompasses the history of the east coast. Homes and facades are often added to the national historic register. Those exteriors also make for a beautiful community. When renting in Fair Lawn, skip the apartment complexes and search for single-family homes for rent. The space provided for the dollar amount makes checking out this area worthwhile and it's nice to come home to a vintage-chic house every night.

Warren Point is a great area to browse homes, and it's likely to provide the best bang for your buck when it comes to rental properties. If searching for homes that appreciate in value, consistently look in Radburn.

From amazing eats at Taste of Home Russian Deli to a bit of nightlife via the Dutch House Tavern, there is a lot going on in this little city. Public transportation is thriving with bus routes around town and short train rides into New York City and surrounding boroughs.

Atlantic City: Flashy Fun.It's all fun and games until someone loses their bus fare -- which could definitely happen at area casinos here. Drinking, cavorting, dropping those coins into the slots it feels so fine, and yet if you don't limit spending to a roll or two, those shiny state quarters will likely go the way of the buffalo. Pomp and circumstance, Vegas can have them; Atlantic City is fun for the rowdy set and it doesn't stop at the roulette table. The boardwalk also lends a romantic escape, fried sweet treats, games of a more innocent variety, and brightly colored wares from shops lined up down the pier.

Atlantic City is prime for the taking and recalls of yesteryear and antiquated diversions. Life here is rich in the traditions of the past, but provides some live entertainment to whip you back to the present. Many national and talented acts perform here, and there isn't a dull moment in this happening town. World-renowned chefs like Bobby Flay invest here and their restaurants are consistently packed to the brim, while local staples like Dock's Oyster House and Amada tapas remain beloved haunts.

Living here is simple and fun, so forget settling for drab and boring confines and embark on an apartment hunt that will lead you to a waterside home for rent rather than a walk-up flat or sky-high loft. Beach living is relaxed and easy. Or, set up shop near shore in a high-rise if you prefer -- those are plentiful in small-format studio and one-bedroom layouts nearest Seaside Avenue and the boardwalk.

Cape May: Cozy Harbor.While portrayed as a sleepy town compared to Atlantic City, this cape town is tucked away and secluded from the mayhem of most cities. The waterside is soothing and there isn't much traffic or public transport to smog up the fresh air. It's serene and seasonal -- living here, residents experience vibrance in summer months and relaxation during winter, making it the best of both worlds. People enjoy a slow stroll to meet some company at nearby Pier House or Hooked Up Seafood depending on whether it's a splurge or save kind of evening.

When moving to Cape May, consider its seasonal atmosphere. Some local businesses close for the winter when the weather gets chilly. Cape May is a great place to know your neighbors, so you can hang out together and wait for spring. Looking for apartments here may be daunting, since it's a destination spot that specializes in short-term vacation rentals. Scroll through advertisements to find vacancies and landlords who are looking for more permanent residents.

Apartment complexes like Channel Apartments are beachside beauties, with faded facades worn by the sea. They're both charming and nautical, and they won't set you back as much as a you might think.

Things to Consider:

New Jersey is home to a bevy of bustling towns, some rich with history and lore and others steeped in seaside tradition. Many neighborhoods in New Jersey provide their residents with close proximity to adventures of all sorts -- be it a day trip to the big city or a sultry night on the boardwalk. Don't sell the state short, and look into as many neighborhoods as humanly possible before settling down. There is a place for every budget and style in this East Coast state.

NJ Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how NJ ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released New Jersey’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"New Jersey renters expressed general dissatisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "They gave most categories below-average scores."

Key findings in New Jersey include the following:

  • New Jersey renters gave their state a D overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for New Jersey were public transit, which received an A+ grade, and safety and low crime rate, which received a B.
  • The areas of concern to New Jersey renters are state and local taxes (F), jobs and career opportunities (D), affordability (D) and pet-friendliness (D).
  • Millennial renters are unsatisfied with their state, giving it an overall rating of D, while renters who are parents are less satisfied, giving it a F.
  • New Jersey did relatively poorly compared to neighboring states like Maryland (A-),Delaware (B+) and Pennsylvania (B).
  • New Jersey did relatively poorly compared to other states nationwide, including California (A-), Texas (A) and Michigan (B-).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.

Surveyed Cities in New Jersey