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Looking for Apartments, Update 1

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 8 comments.


View from Edgewater apartmentsAs I mentioned on Friday, my girlfriend and I are looking for an apartment somewhat halfway between where we both work (Queens and central New Jersey). The island of Manhattan tends to cause problems drawing straight lines on a map, so we’re looking in two places: on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge and on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

I’m not happy about increasing my commute time, but as coworker Bob says, sometimes we have to make sacrifices. (On the other hand, Dad says sometimes we have to do what’s right for ourselves.)

While we visited Staten Island a few weeks ago, this weekend we drove around Edgewater, Fort Lee, and Englewood. We stated with, Edgewater is a town that sits on the Hudson, overlooking the New York City skyline (see photo above). There is a lot of new home and new apartment contruction on the waterfront in addition to the many tower apartments already located there. The verdict: too expensive.

We drove through Fort Lee which didn’t impress us, but we spent a lot of time in Englewood. There were definitely certain areas that were nicer than others, with Palisades Ave. providing the delineation. The prices were acceptable but still high. My portion of rent would be similar to what I’m paying now, and my gas and tolls expenses would increase.

SeaviewNext weekend, we will look at one more apartment in Staten Island (pictured at left).

I don’t think there is a compromise that’s going to allow me to save money up to buy a house within a year. I’ve limited my expenses to the point where I hardly use my heating and air conditioning to save on electricity and I have the most basic cable package that’s available ($16/month).

Perhaps I’m siphoning too much of my income off to retirement, and I would be better served by putting a portion of the 8% I direct into my 401(k) (that’s a recent increase to coincide with the new job) and the monthly $333 I put into my Roth IRA into a high-interest savings account earmarked for an eventual down payment.

Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published May 7, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Kyle

I used to live in Edgewater, and now in a town just north of Hoboken. NJ’s Gold Coast area is booming with tons of construction, but you should be able to find a rental for around $2000, no?

btw, I enjoy your site. Thanks!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,480 (Platinum)

Thanks, Kyle! Finding a rental for around $2,000 is not a problem — finding one (a 2BR) for around $1,500 is. There are some really beautiful locations in that area of New Jersey, but I’ll be going back to a long commute. If I were still working in Newark it wouldn’t be as bad.

I’ll find a way to make something work.

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avatar Kyle

Yeah, 2BRs for around $1500 is tough to find. My rent at an apt on River Road back in 2001 was $1700 for a one bedroom. I love the area because of the proximity to Manhattan and it’s not quite suburban living, which I’m not quite ready to tackle. Good luck with your search!

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avatar Sixpack

We actually rent in Manhattan in Harlem for $1575 for a 2 bedroom with washer & dryer in the unit.

Riverdale in Manhattan is pretty decent for rentals as well.

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