What should I know before moving to New Jersey?

Though New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the U.S.A, the state is densely populated with a total of 8.8 million living in around 8,800 square miles. Moreover, though Jersey may seem small on a map, the state has produced quite the cultural influence. Bruce Springsteen, Tony Soprano and Disco Fries all hail from the glorious Garden State. 

NJ HAS THE HIGHEST PROPERTY TAXES OF ANY STATE

New Jersey has the highest property taxes throughout the United States! At 2.42%, the NJ property tax rate is more than double the national average. However, the good news is that more than 50% of NJ property taxes are used to fund the public school system throughout the state, which means that NJ is home to some of the best high schools in the country. The property taxes also go to the county (paying for police salaries, and county parks). Another chunk of the property taxes go to fire services, road maintenance and garbage collection. In general, the cost of living in New Jersey is higher than the national average when it comes to rent, groceries, restaurants, childcare costs and monthly utility prices. New Jersey is a rather wealthy state with a per capita income of $70,471. Moreover, real estate prices are quite high (with a median property price of $444,000). Compare that to neighboring Pennsylvania (which has a median property price of $197,000). Despite the coronavirus pandemic, many areas of Jersey have actually seen a growth in real estate prices over the past year. Despite the state’s high property tax rate, New Jersey can be an attractive option for many New Yorkers looking to relocate. Jersey has a reduced income tax rate when compared to NYC. This can be a huge benefit to living in Jersey while working in New York City, because you get to pay a lower tax rate than you would if you still lived in NY State. 

COLD WINTERS & HOT SUMMERS 

With 23 inches of snow on average, New Jersey winter’s can be quite the challenge. Don’t be surprised if a nor’easter comes your way. The average low temps in NJ peak winter times can be as low as 21 degrees fahrenheit. Families who love snow sports can visit many of the ski resorts in the state throughout the winter season. There tends to be more snowfall in North Jersey than in South Jersey, so keep that in mind if you are not a huge snow lover. Though the winter’s may be tough, Jersey summers are an absolute treasure. For decades, Jersey families have been making memories along the Jersey shore in quaint small-towns like Cape May, Asbury Park, Sea Girt, and Wildwood. And, if you want to have some non family-friendly fun, you can always head to the iconic gambiling capital of Atlantic City. The vibrant boardwalk and serene Atlantic Ocean views are some of the greatest parts about living in the Garden State. If your family is not into the beach, you can also organize a camping trip in one of the many great state parks in New Jersey. 

JERSEY HAS A EXCELLENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

New Jersey has a relatively low rate of car ownership. At 29 cars per 100 people, New Jersey ranks 41st in total number of registered cars. Part of that is due to the excellent and reliable modes of public transportation available throughout the state via the PATH train, Amtrak and NJ Transit.New Jersey has dozens of train lines that connect its residents to NYC, Delaware, Philadelphia and all throughout the great state of Jersey. Via the PATH train, commuters can get to downtown Manhattan with unbeatable convenience, particularly if you live in Hoboken or Jersey City. If you need to go to the popular NJ destinations of Newark, Trenton or Camden, you can take the NJ transit.

YOU CAN’T PUMP YOUR OWN GAS

One of the funniest parts about living in Jersey is the bizarre gas station law that prohibits individuals from pumping their own gas. Though it’s certainly convenient to never have to get out of your car at the gas station, some New Jerseyans may be caught off guard if they find themselves at self-service stations in other states. 

MEET: THE JUGHANDLES

Another distinct aspect of life in Jersey is riding the Jughandles. NJ has a unique twist on the traditional traffic intersection. In Jersey, left turns are made via Jughandles (you turn right into a shoulder and the road then merges into the direction of the left turn). They may be slightly confusing at first, so get familiarized!

WHAT IS A TAYLOR HAM?

New Jersey definitely has a number of foods that are distinct to the state and its history. One of which is a Taylor Ham, a type of Pork Roll that was developed in Jersey in 1856. Though you can also find Pork Rolls in Philly, Delaware and Maryland, they won’t be referred to as a ‘Taylor Ham.’ ’Another NJ classic are the ‘Disco Fries.’ This dish is a must try. Disco Fries are fries covered in cheese and gravy which are often compared to Canada’s famous Poutine fries. You should be able to find them at any NJ diner.  If you’re not interested in trying these new foods out, be sure to grab a Jersey bagel. Though New Yorkers may disagree, New Jersey is the place to go for delicious bagels (yes, they also claim it's the water). Bagel shops are a staple throughout the state. 

READY TO MOVE?

If you’re looking to move to Jersey, be sure to reach out to some local moving companies in your area and request a free quote. Moving to a new home can be a huge endeavor, so start planning your move as soon as you can. 

 
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