New Jersey is well-known for its higher cost of living. Being a New Jersey resident can cost a pretty penny, especially when compared to other states, but we do have more affordable areas. You may assume you need to live in one of our less-safe cities to survive in the state, but you’ll be surprised to learn that isn’t the case. There are plenty of great places to live in New Jersey that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The following towns are some of the most affordable in New Jersey based on factors including housing costs and median income – they are also lovely places to live.
, Clayton is the most affordable city in New Jersey. The crime index is well below the national average and the location is ideal. Residents are within an hour from Atlantic City and Philadelphia. Outdoor lovers will appreciate the Glassboro Fish and Wildlife Management Area and proximity to Wharton State Forest. Local businesses worth checking out include Nick's Pizzeria & Steakhouse, Barbara Anne's Downtown Cafe, Twin Kiss Drive-In, and Liberty Diner. Clayton High School was ranked among the best schools in the nation by Newsweek and was also a top 100 school for academic rigor.
A home in this shore town costs about 20% less than the median home price in New Jersey. Residents are just minutes from the beach and boardwalk at Seaside and can enjoy the lovely Jake's Branch County Park, pictured. Local businesses include Stone Fire Grille, The Pub, Casertano's Cucina, and Sand Castle Diner.
3. Gloucester City
This historic city is located right on the Delaware River, just across from Philadelphia. Residents can enjoy great skyline views and local businesses including Max's Seafood Cafe, Vitale's Italian Bistro, and McMichael's Pub and Grill. Gloucester City has been called the birthplace of rock and roll. Bill Haley & His Comets got their start here. Also of note, Betsy Ross was married in this city. It isn't hard to find a home here for under $100,000.
4. Franklin Park
Conveniently located between the bustling cities of New Brunswick and Princeton, residents are just minutes away from endless entertainment opportunities. Housing costs are a bit higher here, but so is the median income. You can still find some very affordably priced condos and town homes. The area has some great Asian and Indian restaurants including Udipi Cafe, Aroma Royal Thai, Pho 99, and Spice Rack Indian Fusion.
Enjoy lakeside living for less in lovely Hopatcong. Beautiful modern homes are reasonably priced at under $250,000 and older homes can be found for as low as $125,000. A recently renovated gem on Dartmouth Trl. is currently priced for sale at just $119,000. The crime rate is well below the national average and residents can enjoy fishing, boating, and swimming on the lake. Local restaurants you'll love include Twist On Thai Cafe, Grotto Restaurant, and Patrick's Pub, right on the waterfront.
Palmyra, in Burlington County, offers easy access to Philadelphia via the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, a crime rate just below the national average, and housing costs that are 40% lower than the state average. You'll find many homes priced at or under $100,000 and a gorgeous waterfront nature park. You'll also find a variety of businesses located on and just off of Broad Street including Barista Cafe and Curran's Irish Inn.
A Philadelphia suburb, Audubon is just minutes from the trendy New Jersey neighborhoods of Haddonfield and Collingswood. Though, as you can see from this aerial photo, the town is mostly residential, there are still some great businesses including Legacy Diner and The Treehouse Coffee Shop. There is also a shopping plaza with a Walmart, Acme Supermarket, Applebee's, and more.
This safe little city offers so much to do. The town is home to the Broadway Theatre, Total Turf Indoor/Outdoor Sports Complex, Bus Stop Music Cafe, Sweet Lula's Restaurant, JG Cook's Carolina Blue, and All The King's Men Chess & Game Center. You'll also find several lovely parks including Alcycon and Betty Parks on Alcycon Lake.
This Sussex County town is the "Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World," home to dozens of minerals (many fluorescent) including several that are found nowhere else on earth. To learn more, you can visit the Franklin Mineral Museum, one of the town's most popular attractions. Franklin is also home to Blackbear Golf Course, Walkill Country Club, Iron Deli, and Chrissy's Place Restaurant. You can find a home here in almost any price range, from cozy ranch homes for under $100,000 to massive mansions for under $500,000.
A suburb of Wilmington, Delaware, Pennsville is paradise for nature lovers. It is home to Killcohook National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Mott State Park, and Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy hiking trails, boating, bird watching, and so much more. Residents can also enjoy great local businesses including The Graystone Cafe, Big Mike's Grill, Pat's Pizza, Italian Kitchen of Pennsville, Shag's Crab & Seafood, Pennsville Custard Stand, and AJ's Tavern. Housing costs are 50% less than the New Jersey state average.
You may notice that not all areas of the state are covered in this list. This is because it can be difficult to find truly affordable areas in New Jersey. Still, this list spans much of the state, and all of these towns offer costs of living at least 20% lower than the New Jersey average, along with crime rates below, or significantly below, the national average. Additionally, average property taxes in these towns are all around (and even under) $5000 per year. While not as low as you might find in other states, it’s not bad for New Jersey rates. If you live in an amazing, affordable town in the state, please share with me in the comments. It’s always great to learn about budget-friendly living in New Jersey.