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Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 12:52 am
by BetaTheta
I work in Princeton, NJ. It's a really expensive area. I've been fortunate enough to 'only' pay $650/month for rent (all utilities included). My friends pay several hundred more. Nevertheless, I want to go down to at least $400.
I don't own a car and I think the only viable places are those nearby a train station. I tried craigslist for New Brunswick, but it's been hard to find anything below $500.
Does anyone have any advice? I don't mind taking public transportation at all as a good chunk of it will be subsidized by my work place. I tried looking for Metuchen and Edison, but no luck.
It would be nice if I could live in a place with a decent social life (I'm still in my mid twenties). I'm not sure if it's worth looking north of Edison, as I think my commute might start becoming too long, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:07 am
by jennypenny
Have you looked the other direction? Trenton/Hamilton/Yardley? (all 1 or 2 trains away) For your age group, I'd be looking toward Frenchtown, Lambertville, New Hope, Yardley, etc. Does NJTransit run a bus from there to Princeton?

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:01 am
by secretwealth
This is heresy, but I really believe it: for the tristate area, you can save a lot of money with a car. You can rent a house in an area not covered by public transport, and still have a commute of less than 1 hour. Since houses in areas far from public transport can go for significantly less than the cost of bus fare plus the higher rents in an area near a train line or bus. At least starting in NYC, if you go an hour away by car rents get a lot cheaper than going an hour away by train.

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:40 am
by BeyondtheWrap
@OP: Have you tried living with roommates?

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:23 am
by BetaTheta
Thank you guys for your suggestions. Jennypenny, I'll definitely look into those areas more (I did a quick Craisglist search for Yardley...nothing too promising yet).
I might just look into getting a car. I'll do some searching in the broad NJ region to see if I can find places below $400.
The place I have currently is with roommates. I'm actually looking actively for places with roommates as singles easily go $1000+ in my area.

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:46 am
by borisborisboris
Honestly $650 is pretty good in that area, and I think you're only going to find cheaper if you have even more roommates, have a long commute, or move to a questionable part of Trenton. Salaries are high there, so hopefully you are able to take advantage of that.
I used to work in Princeton [township], and got myself into an overpriced apartment that I rented by myself, which was a mistake. I had looked in Lambertville also - the best I could find on short notice was a $700 studio that did not justify the long commute. However, I had some friends that did better:
-Go 4 or 5 ways on a little house in Princeton boro. It's not terribly happening, but the best you'll do in the area, walkable to a lot of things. Bike commute to the office parks on Rte. 1 via the canal tow path. Excellent public library.

-Another friend lived in Levittown, PA, which he said was boring, but cheap. Car required, but you could carpool if you convinced other friends / coworkers to move out there and room with you. I think income and property taxes are lower in PA.

-Find a job in nearby Philly, which has some affordable / safe neighborhoods, is ridiculously bikeable, cheap public transit.

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:25 pm
by secretwealth
I visited Philadelphia for the first time a year ago and though, "wow--this would be a great place to live for someone in their early 20s." Those kids in Brooklyn have no idea what they're missing.