As 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.
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 April 13, 2016 and originally published May 7, 2006.