Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to New Jersey

New Jersey is a state in the northeastern & mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. This state is considered to be one of the most livable places in the US. Also known as the Garden state, New Jersey has a lot to offer, from city living and stunning landscapes to some highly rated schools and plenty of outdoor recreational activities. You will be astonished by New Jersey’s natural beauty. 

In addition to this, you’ll find people from diverse backgrounds in New Jersey.

So, if you are considering moving to New Jersey, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of New Jersey of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to New Jersey.

Moving to New Jersey: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to New Jersey

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to New Jersey, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in New Jersey, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to New Jersey? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, New Jersey has an unemployment rate of 4.4%, which is the highest compared to 3.5% in the April 2023 rate.

Jobs that are often in high demand are pharmacy technician, cashier, assistant manager, hairstylist, and automotive technicians.

Finding a job in New Jersey is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to New Jersey from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to New Jersey. Book a flight from your departure city to Newark Liberty International Airport, depending on your destination within New Jersey.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, New Jersey cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to New Jersey may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to New Jersey permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to New Jersey, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in New Jersey, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in New Jersey

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

You can easily get around in New Jersey. There are several options available like NJ Transit that has an excellent public transit system that includes buses and rails.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to New Jersey and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days of moving to the state. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit your local NJ MVC office in person with the required documents. You will also have to surrender your out-of-state license.

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to New Jersey, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with MVC within 60 days. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in New Jersey:

Visit your local NJ MVC office in person and provide payment and necessary documents. You will be required to submit your proof of insurance and some other documents. You cannot register your vehicle online or by mail. Before you register, you must also get liability insurance.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in New Jersey, like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in New Jersey, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person.

To register by mail, you need to fill out a completed Voter Registration Application to your local election official. You can also register to vote at your local NJ MVC office when you apply for your driver’s license. To register by mail, you need to fill out the ‘Application to Vote by Mail Ballot’, and submit it to your local county clerk.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account

Obtaining a bank account in New Jersey is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in New Jersey for easy access is Wells Fargo. New Jersey’s residents has access to a whopping 234 offices of Wells Fargo in the state.

Getting health insurance 

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of New Jersey proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose New Jersey as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$144.41

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$687.67

Gym

$45.00

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in New Jersey

Best places to live in New Jersey

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Newark. This city is the most populous one in New Jersey, it offers a lot of amenities, security, some great scenery, and affordable housing. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Jersey City. Jersey City has cheaper rent options, good in terms of commute, and has some top-rated public schools.

If you are single, you should consider moving to Bridgewater. Bridgewater is home to some great educational institutes and Fortune 500 companies. This is the reason a lot of young professionals live here. In addition to this, Bridgewater has a strong economy and offers a lot of amenities.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in New Jersey is a straightforward process. 

  • New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is responsible for regulating the utilities that provide crucial services such as natural gas, electricity, water, telecommunications, and cable television. You can visit their website and search for electricity, water, and gas providers and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry. 

Should you rent or buy?

The average New Jersey home value is $494,792, increased by 6.2% from 2022. The price of per square feet to buy an apartment outside of centre in Jersey City is $315.00. 

Finding an apartment for rent in New Jersey is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in New Jersey.

Cost of rent in New Jersey

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Newark/Jersey City (Outside of Center)

$2,241.67

$2,500.00

Cost of buying a property in New Jersey

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Newark

$494,792

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

From winter and thunderstorms to fire and hurricanes, it is important to protect your home with home insurance in New Jersey. It is a kind of financial protection that will cover for your expenses if a natural disaster damages your home. Residents in New Jersey are at a risk of severe storms, tropical storms and hurricanes, floods, wildfires, extreme heat and drought, tornadoes, landslides, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Therefore, getting home insurance is a must.

4. Cost of living in New Jersey

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$2,241.67

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($60.15 multiplied by 4)

$240.60

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$86.00

Internet with 60 Mbps

$69.00

Transit pass

$59.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$64.00

Gym membership 

$45.00

Total

$2,805.27

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in New Jersey

On average, there are 205 sunny days per year in New Jersey. The highest temperature in summer is 85° and the winter low is 22 degrees. New Jersey averages 23 inches of snow per year and 48 inches of rain. Winters in New Jersey can be extreme at times. Snow can be light or heavy depending upon the city you reside in. Ice storms, which are different from snowfall, can be expected.

On the other hand, summers are humid and warm. Summers are an ideal time to relax at the beach and enjoy the sunsets. When fall season arrives, the entire landscape becomes vibrant with colors of red, orange, and gold.

6. What to do as a local in New Jersey

After you are done settling into your new home in New Jersey, you will probably want to familiarize yourself with the state and all its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in New Jersey include:

Island Beach State Park – An ideal picnic spot for families.

Cape May Lighthouse – You can get to learn a lot of history here. 

Liberty State Park – Get to enjoy the stunning view of the NYC Skyline.

Some common grocery stores in New Jersey are: King’s Food Market, ShopRite, and Trader Joe’s.

The two most popular big chain stores are Sam’s Club and Costco.

Must-visit food places in New Jersey are Robin’s Nest Restaurant and Under the Moon Cafe.

Visit the popular cities in New Jersey: Newark, Trenton, Jersey City and Atlantic City.

7. Fun facts about New Jersey

  • Fun Fact #1: It’s the most densely populated state in the country.
  • Fun Fact #2: ‘Cape May’, the nation’s first seaside resort, is in New Jersey.
  • Fun Fact #3: The state is also known as the “medicine chest of the world.”

Conclusion

New Jersey is in proximity to the major cities, including New York City and Philadelphia. This offers a wide range of job opportunities, cultural experiences, and entertainment options both for locals and tourists. 

It offers a wide range of natural beauty, including beautiful beaches along the Jersey Shore, family friendly parks, and picturesque countryside. The state has a diverse geography, from the mountains in the northwest to the coastline in the east, which locals will enjoy. 

While moving to New Jersey has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and can raise a family here. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if New Jersey is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in New Jersey. 

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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