Submitted by Left_Act_1 t3_11ha3vp in newjersey

Hi everyone! I'm a 27 y/o FL native who moved to Montclair for a job in NYC. I had previously lived in South Jersey (Philly suburb in Camden County) and worked remotely for a Marlton-based outfit. At the time, I accepted the tradeoff of lower suburban COL for fewer opportunities to socialize [in Philly]. However, the economics permitted me to buy a new car in cash, which I needed to travel anywhere in the area. Philly (unlike NYC) is very accessible by car and I ate dinner/hung out there all the time. I also used the car to explore shore points and basically anywhere I wanted to go!

I started working in finance for a NYC-based firm and earn a starting base of $100k flat (bonus TBD). I go to the office up to 2 nonconsecutive days per week.

In my current Montclair residence, I'm looking at a 17% min rent increase for a November renewal. This is a tenable, but unjustifiable cost for an area that socially offers little more for a 20s single male than the cheaper suburb I previously lived in. My current rent is $2400 for a studio (includes $150 parking and amenity fee).

At renewal, I'm considering moving to Nutley (love Italian American food and culture) and potentially having more space for less money without giving up conveniences (in unit-laundry, parking etc.) or Bloomfield. These options would allow me to commute to the city and keep a car.

In the interest of being closer to college friends, other finance opps, and to younger folks in general, I'm weighing selling the car and moving to Manhattan.

I hope that an UES studio w/laundry onsite would cost no more than $2500 (Nov move in). Fortunately, I have enough assets to be comfortable with not initially saving much (emergency fund will be $15k aside from rest of liquid assets).

I'd like to leave the NE within 8-10 years (maybe FL) and would hate to prematurely dump the nearly new car assuming that NYC will offer a better social life.

Can I have a social life and thrive as a single 20s M with no familial ties in North Jersey? Is the move to NYC worth the requisite tradeoffs?



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jerseyjitneys t1_jasb14n wrote

Nutley is no more of a young person's town than Montclair is. For a combination of parking, access to the city, cost, and young population, have you looked into Harrison?


Left_Act_1 OP t1_jasddc5 wrote

I know, but Nutley is more affordable than Montclair and has more restaurants, bakeries, and delis that I patronize. I think Montclair is extremely overrated anyway.

No difference in social life though.


AnNJgal t1_jasvctz wrote

I say Bloomfield. Close to mass transit, restaurants in can keep the car too.


punicearana t1_jatfb4m wrote

I second Bloomfield. I lived there for a few years, but recently moved back out to Morris County. I loved the Bloomfield area. I felt safe walking most areas by myself (as a female), relatively affordable compared to Montclair, and easy access to nightlife either in Montclair, Hoboken, JC, or even NYC. Just beware that the trains on Montclair Boonton line have an odd schedule on weekends, but if you take a Morristown and Erie train to Newark Broad from NYC or Hoboken, you can usually catch a bus that gets you relatively close to most parts of Bloomfield.


LateNightNewYork t1_jasax6h wrote

Have you hung out in Jersey City or Newark? Those are actual cities in their own right with easy transit access to NYC.


Left_Act_1 OP t1_jasd2g9 wrote

Newark Ironbound would be great except that the food scene is basically all Portuguese and Spanish restaurants. That would get super old super fast!


pleuvonics t1_jat11lj wrote

Coming from Florida idk why you’re complaining lol


Chelseafc5505 t1_jasq6gf wrote

Newark's food scene is far more interesting than you insinuate.

Source: live(d) here 15 years


FriendlyBrownMan t1_jass14m wrote

I’ve lived in Newark for almost 2 years now, and like 85% of the restaurants are Portuguese and Spanish. Not saying there aren’t other options but a huge chunk of them are Portuguese and Spanish, and not having much variety for other cuisines can absolutely get old real quick.


thisguyoverhere77 t1_jashhn1 wrote

2400 for a studio in Montclair? Get out dude. Surrounding towns would be better. Montclair is definitely not worth that amount for that little space.


horatio_corn_blower t1_jat1l2x wrote

Dudes getting shafted, this isn’t typical rent in Montclair for anything outside of the horrible “luxury” apartments. I pay nearly $700 less for a one bedroom with all the amenities in the same town.


Lufkin_Cruzer t1_jaskkg1 wrote

I agree with other posts. Hoboken and JC seem like what you are looking for.

Both cities have a younger social scene & you’ll have good access to NYC via the PATH.


tehdiplomat t1_jasqve2 wrote

If you aren't finding the social scene in Montclair, you kinda have to get to at least Hoboken/JC. Certainly Bloomfield is cheaper, but it's going to be the same social scene.

The other piece is.. you are 27 now, its not as easy to just stumble into people your age to socialize with you have to be more intentional about your pursuits. Find some meetups of things you are interested in.


Left_Act_1 OP t1_javwk97 wrote

This is true and I'm hesitant to leave a more comfortable life in New Jersey on the assumption that geography will make most of the difference.


tehdiplomat t1_jaw1ueo wrote

Yep definitely a possibility. Stabilize your rent, add intention to socializing and if that doesn't work, do something more drastic.

I'm in Bloomfield, what are your hobbies?


a_trane13 t1_jash8vh wrote

I don’t think you’re going to find many decent UES studios for $2400, but maybe with some searching.

Personally I think living in the city in your 20s is great (big boost to happiness if you’re social and like restaurants and bars) and not having a car is a big savings in both money and worry.


Whalers7997 t1_jasqtd8 wrote

Montclair sucks. Live in Nutley or Verona


sutisuc t1_jatjkyp wrote

Montclair does suck but nutley and Verona suck even more


JoelEmDeez t1_jaswpu2 wrote

Pretty sure most of the studio/1 bedroom are cheaper in Harrison and you have path train there. And if you happen to work by WTC that a quick but PACKED commute with no switching.


aTribeCalledLemur t1_jasyhra wrote

Don't stay out in burbs. Move by the PATH train.

Downtown Newark, Harrison, Jersey City, Hoboken. You are connected to the urban part of New Jersey and can easily get to NYC as often as you want.


sutisuc t1_jatjr12 wrote

Downtown Newark is as prohibitively expensive as where OP is living at this point. Shit went from cheap to unaffordable in the blink of an eye


Left_Act_1 OP t1_javwuns wrote

Yeah lol, I have a problem with paying $2k+ rent to live in Newark


horatio_corn_blower t1_jat0cyo wrote

Montclair has rent control laws that cap increases at 4%; unless there is some sort of loophole for your current place, increasing by 17% is not allowed.

Check the law here.


sutisuc t1_jatji55 wrote

That only applies to older buildings (>30 years old) which I’m guessing OP doesn’t live in


Left_Act_1 OP t1_javwpol wrote

I live in 2 Willow South on Bloomfield. Candidly, was a mistake to move into a corporate owned "luxury" complex.


horatio_corn_blower t1_jatlsio wrote

Source? There is nothing in the ordinance that I linked that has anything about the age of the property.


sutisuc t1_jatlvne wrote

That’s a statewide regulation unfortunately that local law cannot circumvent, it sucks


horatio_corn_blower t1_jatpn93 wrote

Yikes, yet another thing to add to the extremely long list of reasons why I would never live in one of those horrible new corporate apartment buildings.


Knobbies4Ever t1_jashgzl wrote

Ditch the car & get a place in Hoboken or Manhattan.

ETA: downtown Jersey City is also pretty fun/viable w/o a car, but I think Hoboken might be more of the vibe you're looking for.


BYNX0 t1_jasmjzq wrote

OP literally said that he didn't want to drop the car. And they're moving out of Montclair for cost purposes. Hoboken is probably more expensive than Montclair. Did you even read the post?


Knobbies4Ever t1_jasth22 wrote

>I'm weighing selling the car and moving to Manhattan.

Note the title of the post: "Move to NYC worth it?"

I suggested Hoboken as a car-free alternative to UES. Rents are probably similar. OP mentioned Italian food & culture, and Hoboken certainly has that. Pretty great access to NYC and plenty of 20-somethings looking to socialize.

If you have a counter-point on Hoboken / UES / Nutley etc, or another option you'd like to suggest, I'm sure OP would appreciate it.


BYNX0 t1_jat0rnm wrote

They didn't offer it as a menu choice, pick and choose.

They clearly stated "Wanting to keep the car" and move to another, more AFFORDABLE NJ town.

OR, as a completely separate option

Ditch the car and move to manhattan


sweetbitter_1005 t1_jasz7cw wrote

Have you considered Hoboken or Jersey City? Lots of young 20's / 30's singles live in both cities. Rents are high, but living with a roommate is a great way to expand your social circle. I lived in Hoboken for several years before I got married and had a car. There is street parking and you can also rent a spot in a garage. Easy commute into the city by bus or PATH from Hoboken or JC.


housespecialdelight t1_jaszbm3 wrote

If you do not want to ditch the car, have you looked into Hackensack? There are some newer apartments and there are lots of places to eat. You're not too far from the city.

If you choose to ditch the car, look into Jersey City. Hoboken and JC are crazy expensive for paying for a parking spot. I lived in Hoboken and I didn't pay for a parking spot but spent way too much time searching for a spot. Prices are way more expensive now but 5 years ago I had a 2 bedroom in Hoboken for 2400. I did sell my car at one point and missed the freedom of it.


Mugstotheceiling t1_jat1dy2 wrote

I live in the sack. Not a super happening town itself but there’s some good food and breweries. I do appreciate that I can have my car to go upstate or I can commute into the city for weekend options. I mostly WFH, commute into midtown occasionally.


CityTowner t1_jat1vsq wrote

Move to NYC. As a young male you'll enjoy it much better. But, keep your car, rent a parking space or driveway in New Jersey and put your car on Turo. That way you can keep your car and make money at the same time, while you're not using it. Worst comes to worst, move back to Jersey and still have your car. Good luck!


Jimmytowne t1_jat4q3l wrote

If you don’t have friends in Montclair at 22, you probably won’t find them at 27. It’s a generational clique


crusty_juggler84 t1_jatnwdg wrote

for a single dude looking for a scene, whether men or women, or whatever sort of food or nightlife, you’ve pretty much got it made. you can go cheaper than montclair, but i don’t think a change of locale is gonna sort your dysfunction. as the proverb says - “wherever you go, there you are”.


Left_Act_1 OP t1_jatvyt1 wrote

Don’t understand. I’ve got it made as in Montclair checks the box?


ThatBitch1984 t1_jato30p wrote

Why don’t you just move to Jersey City or Hoboken?

EDIT: and keep the car


Marabuto1994 t1_jauafas wrote

how did you get the finance job? i graduated as a business major 7 years ago and still cant find a real job


Bulky_Dark_7050 t1_jauqaqa wrote

Move to Manhattan. There’s nothing like it. Your salary won’t go as far and you’ll have trouble finding a studio for $2500, but there’s tons of people your age and a wealth of cultural and recreational activities. The restaurants, bars, theaters….just the energy and vitality on the streets. It’s so much better for a single man your age than any New Jersey suburb. Go for it!


littlelaws232 t1_jasbbni wrote

At that age yea it is it’s a lot easier to go out and find things to do, also way less time commuting and a lot of connections you can make it’s definitely worth it


onecuewithtea t1_jasn6iv wrote

Yeah I think you’re better off in Nutley. It’s small, but it’s very convenient for commuting to the city. You’re not to far from major highways, cities, and shopping centers.


iberian_prince t1_jasq3c4 wrote

Just move to nutley. NYC would have a lot more to do at walking distance and more for socializing but it would also be more expensive and youd be getting less living wise. I lived in nutley as a youth. Its deff changed but better to be able to go to nyc whenever and not have to live there


pleuvonics t1_jat1w9f wrote

I’d move to NY. So much more opportunity and with how crazy the world is I would savor all my youth that I could and not worry about later. You make so many connections and honestly as close as some of these cities are to transit to NY, it’s still way too long to go back and forth for work or leisure. If you’re working and single it’s a no brainer for me.


LastTrifle t1_jat1wme wrote

Go to Hoboken same rent practically better social life


Exoticshade t1_jb17lv6 wrote

Move to NYC! It’s a great experience, easy to get around and secretly you want to do it, go for it!


glasssa251 t1_jat8sf5 wrote

Don't sleep on Morristown as an option. Lots to do, easy commute to the city.