Moving to New Jersey
Get ready to embark on an exciting journey as you contemplate moving to the vibrant and diverse Garden State – New Jersey! Teeming with lush green parks, stunning shorelines, impressive school districts, and bustling cities just minutes from Manhattan, it's no wonder New Jersey's charm has been captivating newcomers for years. As you dive into our comprehensive relocation guide, expect to uncover the state's hidden gems, find your perfect neighborhood, and master the ins-and-outs of living in Jersey. Welcome to your new beginning in a state that's sure to amaze and delight!
What to Know Before Moving to New Jersey
1. There's a reason it's called the Garden State
Yeah, we know, New Jersey gets a bad rap for being an industrial wasteland. But that couldn't be farther from the truth! With over 9,000 farms covering 715,000 acres, New Jersey is home to more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables. During the warmer months, farmers markets and roadside farm stands are a frequent sight, and there's an excellent chance you'll get some sweet, juicy Jersey tomatoes or fresh, crunchy corn in your local grocery store. So embrace your green thumb when moving to New Jersey; you might even feel inspired to start your own vegetable garden!
2. Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll - pick a side
No, seriously, people in New Jersey take this debate very seriously. The mystery meat that has become a New Jersey staple for breakfast sandwiches is known as either Taylor Ham or Pork Roll, depending on where you're from. People from North Jersey call it Taylor Ham, while those from South Jersey and the Philadelphia area refer to it as Pork Roll. Either way, be prepared to defend your chosen name with gusto, and make sure you try it at least once during your time in the Garden State. We promise it's a life-changing experience.
3. Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi are practically royalty
When moving to New Jersey, you should know that two of America's most beloved rock legends hail from our fair state - Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Born in the working-class town of Freehold and the seemingly serene suburb of Sayreville, respectively, these iconic musicians have become emblematic of New Jersey's enduring spirit, scrappiness, and heart. And if you're really lucky, you may even spot them at a local bar, attending a charity event, or, in Bruce's case, lurking in the shadows of the Asbury Park boardwalk.
4. NJ Transit will be your frenemy
Getting around the Garden State is a breeze with NJ Transit, the statewide public transportation system that includes trains, buses, and light rail. Convenient for commuters heading to New York City and Philadelphia, NJ Transit will become both your best friend and your worst enemy. The good news is you won't have to worry about driving in traffic (except for local driving, of course). The bad news is that delays, cancellations, and crowded trains or buses are just part of the package when it comes to public transit in New Jersey. So be prepared to roll with the punches and always have a plan B!
5. Get ready to embrace diners and Wawa
Considering that it's known as "the diner capital of the world," it's no surprise that New Jersey residents hold their late-night dining spots near and dear. With over 500 diners to choose from, get ready to discover your favorite greasy spoon and indulge in a classic Jersey diner experience. And speaking of late-night food cravings, you'll also want to pay homage to Wawa, the convenience store (and so much more) that's developed a cult-like following in the Garden State. Offering delicious made-to-order hoagies, coffee, and an array of tasty snacks, Wawa is a staple of New Jersey culture.
6. We've got our own weird "language"
Here's a fun fact: New Jerseyans have their own regional lingo! Let's start with "down the shore." This phrase means "going to the beach" and typically refers to the Jersey Shore, the 127-mile stretch of beach that runs from Sandy Hook down to Cape May. Be prepared when people ask you to "pass the jimmies," they're requesting for the rainbow sprinkles that you put on your ice cream. And when you hear someone saying that they're heading to "the city," there's a good chance they're referring to either New York City or Philadelphia, depending on their location within the state. So brush up on your Jersey-speak, and you'll fit right in!
In conclusion, moving to the Garden State is an adventure filled with unique experiences and discoveries. So embrace the quirky, lovable aspects of New Jersey, and be prepared to fall in love with your new home.
Pros and Cons of Living in New Jersey
Pros of Living in New Jersey
Proximity to Major Cities
New Jersey's location is ideal for those who love to explore, as it sits between major cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Residents can easily commute to these cities for work or enjoying the numerous entertainment options and cultural attractions they offer.
Beautiful Beaches and Coastal Areas
The Jersey Shore boasts miles of pristine coastline with beautiful beaches, boardwalks, and recreational opportunities for families. Each coastal town has its unique appeal, offering everything from excitement and nightlife to tranquil and serene waterfront escapes.
New Jersey consistently ranks high for its public education system, offering residents some of the best schools in the country. Several prestigious universities, such as Princeton University and Rutgers University, call this state home, providing excellent opportunities for higher education.
Diverse Cuisine and Culture
New Jersey's diverse population brings a wealth of culinary options, with influences from around the world. From Italian to Indian and Polish to Latin American, New Jersey offers a rich culinary landscape showcasing the state's vibrant and varied cultural heritage.
New Jersey contains abundant natural beauty, with numerous state parks, hiking trails, and wildlife reserves. From the New Jersey Highlands to the Pine Barrens and Great Falls, there is an outdoor adventure for everyone in the Garden State.
Cons of Living in New Jersey
High Cost of Living
Living in New Jersey can be expensive, particularly in areas closest to New York City. Housing, transportation, and daily expenses generally surpass the national average, which can make budgeting more challenging for residents.
Traffic and High Population Density
With a dense population and many commuters heading to New York City, traffic can be a significant issue. Aside from highway congestion, residents may also experience higher wait times and busier public transportation on a regular basis.
One of the downsides of living in New Jersey is the notoriously high property tax rates. Homeowners in the state often face the highest property tax burdens in the country, making it a substantial expense for those living in New Jersey.
The weather in New Jersey is characterized by hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters, which may not be ideal for everyone. Additionally, the state is subject to hurricanes, nor'easters, and significant rainfall at various times of the year, making weather an important consideration for residents.
Limited Job Market in Some Industries
While New Jersey has a relatively strong economy overall, it may not offer the same level of opportunity for all industries. Residents who don't work within industries commonly found in the area, such as pharmaceuticals or finance, may have more limited job growth potential or have to commute longer distances for work.
Is New Jersey a Good State to Live In?
New Jersey is a great place to live because of its top-notch education system, diverse culture, and beautiful beaches. Additionally, its convenient location provides easy access to New York City, Philadelphia, and the Pocono Mountains for more adventures and entertainment opportunities.
What Is New Jersey Famous For?
Known as America's Playground, Atlantic City is home to a bustling boardwalk, numerous casinos, and iconic beaches. The city has been a major tourist destination since the late 19th century and offers visitors a lively nightlife and plenty of entertainment options.
Thomas Edison's Laboratory
One of the world's most famous inventors, Thomas Edison, had his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It is here that he developed groundbreaking inventions such as the phonograph and the incandescent light bulb. Today, visitors can explore the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park to learn more about his life and work.
One of the most influential television series of all time, "The Sopranos", was set in North Caldwell, New Jersey. The show, which followed the life of mob boss Tony Soprano and his family, gave viewers a glimpse into the lives of New Jersey residents and made the state synonymous with the hit series.
Lucy the Elephant
Located in Margate, New Jersey, Lucy the Elephant is an kitschy wooden elephant structure that has been attracting visitors since 1881. Standing at six stories tall, Lucy is a prime example of American roadside architecture and has been lovingly restored and maintained for future generations to enjoy. More information can be found on the official Lucy the Elephant website.
Overview of Tax Rates
New Jersey has the highest property tax rate in the nation as of 2023, with an average effective rate of 2.47%. The state's property tax burden is more than double the national average, making it challenging for residents to afford homeownership.
As of 2023, New Jersey has a state sales tax rate of 6.625%, which is relatively low compared to rates in other states. However, this does not take into consideration local sales taxes that may increase the overall sales tax burden for some residents.
New Jersey income tax rates range from 1.4% to 10.75% across six income brackets in 2023. Both lower- and high-income residents experience heavier income tax burdens compared to many other states, contributing to a high overall tax burden for New Jersey residents.
New Jersey's housing market is characterized by high demand, limited inventory, and relatively pricey options compared to other states. Its median home value of $342,000 is significantly higher than the national average. Additionally, the state has one of the highest property tax rates in the US, leading to increased cost of ownership. In the rental market, New Jersey's median rent sits at $2,000, also higher than the national average. Buyers and renters in the state should be prepared to face steep prices and tough competition in this in-demand market.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in New Jersey is relatively high compared to other states in the United States. High property taxes, housing costs, and general living expenses contribute to this. While salaries in the state can be more substantial, the high costs often offset the benefits. However, the state's quality of life, including its proximity to major cities like New York and Philadelphia, quality education, healthcare, and recreational opportunities, contribute to its overall attractiveness. Despite this, it is essential for potential residents to consider their financial capacity before moving to this expensive state.
Weather & Natural Disasters
The climate in New Jersey is classified as humid subtropical, characterized by hot summers and cool to cold winters. The state experiences considerable humidity, leading to muggy conditions during the warmer seasons. Typical summer highs range between 80-90°F (27-32°C), while winter temperatures can fall below freezing, averaging 35-46°F (1-8°C). Annual precipitation is relatively consistent throughout the year, with an average of 45-51 inches (114-130 cm), contributing to New Jersey's lush green landscapes.
New Jersey's coastal location also makes it vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters, including hurricanes, nor'easters, flooding, and severe thunderstorms. Winters can bring heavy snowstorms, strong winds, and ice storms, leading to hazardous conditions and power outages. Additionally, New Jersey faces occasional risk from tornadoes, although mostly minimal. With climate change, rising sea levels and inland flooding present ongoing challenges for the state's infrastructure and environment.
Economy & Job Market'
Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences
Transportation and Logistics
Technology and Information Services
New Jersey\'s economy has deep roots in history, with the state playing a crucial role during the Industrial Revolution. The Garden State continues to bolster its economy with a diverse mix of thriving industries today. Pharmaceuticals and life sciences are a driving force, as NJ is home to major global pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. The financial services industry also thrives, with Wall Street\'s influence extending across the Hudson River. Add to that a robust transportation and logistics sector, a renaissance in advanced manufacturing, and New Jersey\'s emergence as an East Coast tech hub.
If you\'re planning on relocating to New Jersey and hunting for a job, you\'re in luck! The state\'s diverse economy offers opportunities across many sectors. The northern and central regions, especially along the I-78 and I-95 corridors, are best for job seekers due to their proximity to New York City, vibrant corporate environment, and biotechnology hotspots. Unemployment hovers around the national average, providing a balanced competitive job market. Roll up your sleeves, update your resume, and dive into the Garden State\'s ample employment opportunities – you may just discover your dream job amid the beautiful backdrop of rolling hills, bustling cities, and picturesque shorelines!'
Traffic and Transportation
Oh, New Jersey! The mighty, tiny Garden State, where commuters experience the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From long trips to traverse this little land to the plethora of options for getting around, New Jersey's transportation scene is one for the books!
In big cities like Newark or Jersey City, the average commute time hovers around 35 minutes, giving workers plenty of time to enjoy their morning podcasts or the delightful scenes of the Turnpike. But fear not, public transportation awaits like a knight in shining armor! The extensive NJ Transit system offers buses and trains that link cities, making it an ideal choice for urban commuters. Don't forget the PATH trains connecting to New York City, which serve as a lifeline for many!
In the realm of air travel, behold, the Newark Liberty International Airport: New Jersey's gateway to the skies. This bustling airport whisks travelers away to far-off destinations, making sure the Garden State's residents are always well-connected. So, hop in your car (or on a train) and explore the wondrous land of New Jersey!
Things to Do"
If you're moving to New Jersey, you're in for a treat! The Garden State has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment, history, and unforgettable experiences. To start off your New Jersey journey, check out these seven top things to do that will leave you feeling like a local in no time. And remember, Jersey is more than just The Sopranos and Jersey Shore – prepare to be pleasantly surprised!
1. Stroll Along the Jersey Shore
From Sandy Hook to Cape May, the Jersey Shore offers miles of beautiful beaches and boardwalks perfect for a sunny day out. Besides sunbathing and swimming, you can also enjoy incredible amusement parks, mouth-watering food stalls, and lively nightlife. Don't forget to check out the Victorian architecture of Cape May and enjoy some saltwater taffy while you're at it!
2. Experience New Jersey’s Wine Country
Yes, you read that right – New Jersey has a thriving wine scene! With over 50 wineries throughout the state, you'll have plenty of opportunities to embark on wine tours and tastings. Popular stops include the Cape May Winery, the Renault Winery Resort & Golf in Egg Harbor City, and the Alba Vineyard in Milford. Cheers!
3. Get a Taste of Nature at the Grounds For Sculpture
This 42-acre sculpture park and museum is a true hidden gem in Hamilton. Stroll through its beautiful gardens featuring over 270 unique sculptures, as well as wandering peacocks and other wildlife. In addition to the sculptures, don't miss the rotating exhibits and art classes inside the on-site museum. It's definitely a place where nature and art intertwine for a truly Instagram-worthy experience.
4. Indulge Your Inner Foodie at a Jersey Farm-to-Table Restaurant
New Jersey is nicknamed the Garden State for a reason! With abundant farms and fresh produce, the state is a haven for farm-to-table restaurants. Agricola Eatery in Princeton, The Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill, and The Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May are just a few favorites among locals and visitors alike. Get ready to savor some delicious, locally-sourced dishes that highlight the best of Jersey’s harvest!
5. Discover the Pine Barrens
New Jersey's Pine Barrens is a vast, mostly untouched wilderness area in the central and southern regions of the state, covering over 1 million acres. From kayaking through the serene rivers to hiking along the Batona Trail, you'll be immersed in a unique and diverse ecosystem. Keep an eye out for the notorious Jersey Devil, a legendary creature said to dwell in the Pine Barrens – or maybe just stick to the area's fascinating history and rich folklore!
6. Visit a Historic Revolutionary War Site
New Jersey played a crucial role during the Revolutionary War, with numerous battles fought within the state. Step back in time by visiting some of these historical sites like Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville (where General George Washington made his legendary Christmas night crossing of the Delaware River), the Princeton Battlefield, or Jockey Hollow in Morristown. A perfect activity for history buffs, as well as anyone who appreciates a lovely day outdoors!
7. Take an Adventure to the Abandoned Village of Feltville
This lesser-known site, also known as the “Deserted Village,” is located within the Watchung Reservation of Union County. Established as a mill town in the 1840s, the village has been abandoned and repopulated several times throughout its history. Today, you can explore the remaining historical buildings and learn about the village's history in the Interpretive Center. It’s a unique and slightly spooky way to spend an afternoon!
Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or foodie, New Jersey has something to offer for everyone. So grab your sunscreen and your sense of adventure – it's time to make the most out of your life in the Garden State!"
Find Movers for Your New Jersey Relocation
As you embark on your exciting journey to the Garden State, trust Great Guys Moving to ease the moving process for you. With our vast experience in connecting people to reputable movers with excellent service and competitive pricing, we can assure a stress-free transition to your new home in New Jersey. Don't miss out on the opportunity to secure a seamless moving experience—simply provide some essential details about your move, and let Great Guys Moving connect you with the best licensed and insured moving companies suited to your requirements. Request a free moving quote today and make your relocation to New Jersey a breeze!
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