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Renter's Guide to Hoboken
Hoboken is a residential neighborhood on the Hudson Waterfront in New Jersey. Nicknamed “The Mile Square City,” Hoboken is just 1.25 square miles in size.
Hoboken is 6 miles (about a 40 minute drive) from Manhattan, and is a popular commuter hub for New York City workers. Hoboken is about a 1-hour drive from Brooklyn, and a 1.5 hour drive to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Weather in Hoboken, NJ, follows four seasons: summer from June through August, autumn from September through November, winter from December through February, and spring from March through May. July is the hottest month, with an average high temperature of 84°F, and January the coldest, averaging a low of 27°F degrees. The city averages 22 inches of snow in the winter months and 77 inches of annual rainfall.
Hoboken was ranked as one of the best cities for recent college graduates in Livability.com’s 2015 city rankings. Livability also ranked Hoboken as the country’s #2 city for singles, citing its high proportion of single people (nearly half of Hoboken’s population) and the area’s romantic feel and wide array of cultural amenities.
Cost of Living in Hoboken, NJ
Over half of Hoboken residents rely on public transit for their commutes, making Hoboken the city with the highest public transportation usage in the nation. Hoboken Terminal is a central hub for several New Jersey and New York City public transit systems. New Jersey Transit operates several stations in Hoboken, and the PATH subway system runs from Hoboken Terminal to stops in Manhattan and Newark. The NY Waterway ferry crosses the Hudson River from Hoboken, connecting residents to New York City. New Jersey Transit buses also service the Hoboken area. Depending on the mode of public transit used, Hoboken residents can expect to pay between $2.50 and $6.00 in one-way transit fares. In recent years, both car sharing and bicycle sharing services have been on the rise among Hoboken residents.
The average commute time for Hoboken County is 25 minutes, which is very close to the national average of 25.4 minutes.
A meal for two in a mid-range Hoboken restaurant may cost anywhere between $25 and $70, and a regular cappuccino goes for about $3.50.
For a 915–square-foot apartment, Hoboken, NJ, residents pay on average $143 for utilities (such as electricity, heating, water, or garbage removal), which is on par with the national average of $147 in monthly utility expenses.
Living in Hoboken, NJ
There are numerous pros and cons of living in Hoboken, NJ. With all the attractions of New York City a short trip away and a great bar scene of its own at a lower price point, it’s no surprise that Hoboken is such a popular place to live, predominantly for millennials. But the cost of living in and around Manhattan is still extremely high, and variable commute times that are easily impacted by traffic may make people think twice about renting in Hoboken.
The Hoboken population is predominately white, with a sizable Hispanic/Latino community, and a considerably lower Asian and African American population—just over 10% combined.
Things to do in Hoboken
Things to do in Hoboken are in no short supply. A huge perk of living in Hoboken is having all of New York City’s activities and attractions within reach, but Hoboken residents take advantage of points of interest in their “mile square city” as well. A popular free thing to do in Hoboken is enjoying the Hoboken Waterfront Walkway and adjacent Pier A Park. Strolls along the waterfront allow for breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, and Intrepid.
The Hoboken Historical Museum is a small museum focused on preserving and sharing the city’s history with residents and visitors. Locals appreciate the museum’s dedicated curating of photos and objects that tell Hoboken’s stories, and the museum frequently rotates its exhibits to highlight the varied culture of Hoboken and its residents.
Top-rated restaurants in Hoboken include City Bistro, The Cuban Restaurant and Bar, Augustino’s, and Cucharamama. As a young city, the bar scene in Hoboken is also popular on nights and weekends. Local favorites for a night out include Moran’s, Black Bear Bar & Grill, and Willie McBride’s.
Regarding culture in Hoboken, the city isn’t known for having its own vibrant cultural scene— with New York City just across the Hudson. Breaking that mold is Barsky’s Gallery, a small, well-regarded contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibits alongside a permanent gallery of historical photos of Hoboken; and the Proto Gallery, a hotspot for contemporary art exhibiting the work of many emerging New York City artists.
Employment and Economy
Stevens Institute of Technology is a major force in Hoboken’s economy, contributing over $100 million annually and employing over 1,200 on its main campus. The publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc. has one of its headquarters in Hoboken and employs over 1,500. Other major employers in the Hoboken area include the Hoboken University Medical Center and Marsh USA, though many Hoboken residents commute to New York City for work. In 2015 the unemployment rate in Hoboken was a low 3%, below the national average (4.9%) and the New Jersey average (6.5%).
Education in Hoboken
The Hoboken Public School System serves 1,800 K-12 students in its three combined elementary/middle schools and one high school, Hoboken High, which has been ranked among the top 200 public high schools in New Jersey. There are also three charter schools, and a handful of private and religiously affiliated schools also provide education in Hoboken.
Stevens Institute of Technology, which has its campus in Hoboken, is the only four-year higher education institution in the city, and enrolls about 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Tips for Renting in Hoboken
Legal Services of New Jersey provides a wealth of useful information on its website for those looking into renting in Hoboken, NJ. Hoboken renters should be vigilant about the terms of their lease and their legal rights according to New Jersey law. For instance, state law mandates that the most a landlord can charge for a security deposit is 1.5 times the monthly rent. Additionally, although leases may require a set late charge in the event that rent is not paid by a certain date of the month, state law prevents landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of those late charges unless their lease explicitly states that late charges are considered part of the tenant’s rent.
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