Located less than 5 miles away from Manhattan via the PATH train, Hoboken is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in New Jersey despite being only two square mile. Still, the bustling city offers plenty of restaurants, bars, and beautiful city views. What’s not to love? Not only does the city offer great amenities, it also houses Stevens Institute of Technology, one of the best engineering schools in the country. All of these reasons are why Hoboken is considered one of the best places to live in New Jersey.
While the city is home to a lot of college students, it’s also a great place for families and professionals. If you’re considering moving to Hoboken and wondering if it’s the right fit for you, keep reading to get all the details on what it’s like to live in Hoboken.
Things to Know About Hoboken
Easy access to New York City and the rest of New Jersey
Since Hoboken is so close to New York City, you have a number of public transportation options. The most popular is the PATH train, which takes you to several different stops in New York City including the World Trade Center, the West Village, and 33rd Street in Midtown. Of course, you can take it to other parts of New Jersey including Jersey City and Newark. In addition to the PATH, Hoboken also has the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail that can take you to Jersey City, Bayonne, North Bergen, and Union City.
If you’re not a train person, Hoboken offers other options such as water ferries that take you to downtown or midtown Manhattan. There are also plenty of buses that can shuttle you to different areas in New Jersey.
Hoboken is Great for Foodies
Hoboken may be small, but that doesn’t mean they skimp out on their restaurants. They have some truly delectable food options from Cuban to pizza to deli sandwiches. If you’re looking for some pastries, the famous Carlo’s Bake Shop has been in operation since 1910 serving up some of the best cannolis in the area. You can also take classes with the expert and learn how to level up your cupcakes. The classes last about two hours and you, of course, get to eat the cupcake after you are done.
It’s the Birthplace of Baseball
Nope, you read that right. Hoboken, New Jersey is home to Elysian Fields, which is believed to be the site of the first organized baseball game. Back in 1845 the Knickerbocker Club of New York City used Elysian Fields to play baseball due to the lack of grounds in New York City (even back then NYC didn’t have enough space). On June 19, 1846 the Knickerbockers played the New York Nine on the field in the first officially recorded, organized game between the two clubs.
The field is still in service and has been converted to a neighborhood park where you can play basketball, walk your dog, or just hang out. While there’s no longer a baseball diamond, there is a baseball monument commemorating the history of the former baseball field.
Where to Live in Hoboken, NJ
Hoboken isn’t a big city so there aren’t any set neighborhoods that have names. With that said, as you walk through the city you will notice how the vibe changes from street to street. In general there are two ‘locations’ to take note of: uptown and downtown.
If you ask Hoboken locals, they’ll tell you that the northern part of the city is where the rich people live. For example, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had a condo in the area. As you get closer to the Hudson, you’ll notice rents spike as you’ll be getting great views of the water and Manhattan. This area is great if you want some peace and quiet though as there aren’t as many bars or restaurants. They do have some amenities such as a Trader Joe’s, a movie theater, and a new beer garden and restaurants if you walk away from the Hudson.
If you want to be closer to the action, then you’ll want to stay closer to the train station. This is where all the restaurants, cafes, and bars are. It’s no surprise most of the entertainment remains centered around this area as it is close to the university and it is where commuters will arrive after a long day of work!
Schools in Hoboken
Despite its small size, Hoboken is actually home to eight public schools and six private schools. There are four public elementary schools, three pre-k options, and one middle school and high school. Of course, it also is home to Stevens Institute of Technology so technically your child can stay in Hoboken from pre-k until their Master’s!
Of course, it’s not the quantity of the schools that matter, but the quality. Luckily, Hoboken has one of the highest concentrations of top ranked public schools in New Jersey including the Salvatore R. Calabro and Wallace Elementary School. The middle school and high school also offer a wide range of after school activities including student athletics, theater, and music.
While there aren’t a ton of industries in Hoboken proper, you’re so close to Manhattan that you can easily find plenty of opportunities outside of the area. The median income for a household in the city is $136,402 and the unemployment rate is 2.1 percent vs 3.9 percent countrywide.
Although NYC might be a stone’s throw away, if you don’t want to commute there are some options available. Stevens Institute of Technology is the biggest contributor to Hoboken’s economy contributing around $117 million. If you’re into the publishing sector, the city also is the headquarters of publisher John Wiley & Sons. Of course, Hoboken has its own city government, so if you want to work for the government, there are plenty of options available from working on the city council to being a liaison to the officials.
In addition, Hoboken has plenty of small businesses to choose from. In fact, there are over 180 small businesses in the area, though the majority fall into the hospitality industry. Though several businesses shuttered their doors permanently in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic, more than 40 new businesses opened in 2021 including a doggy daycare, chiropractor’s office, physical therapy office, some tasty restaurants, and more.
Cost of Living in Hoboken
With all of the amenities and its proximity to New York City, it should come as no surprise that Hoboken is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in NJ and the cost of living reflects that. When compared to the national average, Hoboken is more expensive in almost every single category except health. Everything else from utilities to groceries is significantly higher, earning Hoboken a 175.3 on the cost of living index in contrast to the average of 100. Houses are especially expensive being almost 300 percent higher than the average. You’d be hard-pressed to find an apartment for sale for under $300,000.
Property taxes are similarly high with most people paying around $8,300 a year. There aren’t a lot of houses available on the market and the ones you do find will cost upwards of $1 million. So unless you have a great job and/or savings, you’ll probably fall squarely into the renter category.
Still, the majority of people who live in Hoboken are renters. At first glance, it might seem more expensive than New York City, but you do get more space for what you’re paying. A one bedroom is a true one bedroom complete with an eat-in kitchen, living room, and bedroom. The median rental price for a one bedroom is $1,980 and a 2 bedroom is $2,360. You can find more affordable options if you look around a bit and don’t mind a bit of a walk to the PATH train. In general, the closer you get to the water, the higher the rent. With that said, apartments are getting more expensive every year as people flee NYC for cheaper pastures (and lower taxes) in New Jersey.
Safety and Crime
When it comes to safety, Hoboken is quite safe having less violent and property crime than many other cities across the United States. This is attributed to the city’s high median income and excellent school city.
Naturally, no city is devoid of crime. The most common crime in Hoboken is property crime, namely burglary. In fact, in 2020 burglary spiked 38.3 percent, which police officers attributed to unemployment, the pandemic’s economic issues, and recidivism of previous criminals. With that said, when compared to other cities in the United States, Hoboken still remains quite safe and crime continues to decrease.
How many people can live in two square miles? According to the US Census approximately 52,677! The median age is 31.5 with the largest age bracket aged between 25-34. So if you’re a young professional looking to make some connections with similarly aged people, Hoboken is the perfect place for you! It’s also a great place for singles as around 62.8 percent of the population is single.
Although white people are the largest bracket of Hoboken residents coming in at around 70.6 percent, there’s still plenty of diversity with 16.2 percent identifying as Hispanic and 9.2 percent identifying as Asian. Hoboken is also very well-educated as 78 percent of the population has a four year degree.
As part of New Jersey, Hoboken has a humid subtropical climate with humid, warm summers and cold winters. During July and August, the average temperature hovers around 84 degrees. In the winter, the temperature averages around 30 degrees. Hoboken also gets around 48 inches of rain per year and 26 inches of snow per year. All the precipitation can lead to flooding in the main areas of the city. During Hurricane Sandy, the city had to deal with severe flooding issues for days. Since then, the city has created a flood prevention project to curb the damage from future storms. Even with these preventative measures, the lower lying parts of the city still flood often during heavy rainfalls. If you plan on moving to Hoboken, NJ, you should take a look at the flood map and find apartments that are outside of most affected areas.
Luckily, these extreme weather events are not frequent. Instead, you’re more likely to experience thunderstorms during the summer months in June, July, and August. Surprisingly, Hoboken also gets a lot of sunny days numbering around 220 compared to the national average of 205.
One of the benefits of living in Hoboken is that you get to experience all four seasons. While you might get some bad weather, it’s always gorgeous to see the leaves changing color in the fall and the blossoms start blooming in the spring months.
Fun Things to Do in Hoboken
You don’t have to take the PATH train to have some fun! There’s plenty of fun things you can do without leaving the area. Whether you’re a lover of the theater or music, there’s something for everyone. You can watch some free Shakespeare during the summer months at Frank Sinatra Park. Due to Hoboken’s large Italian population, there are also many Italian festivals including Feast of Saint Anthony’s, Saint Ann’s Feast, and the Hoboken Italian Festival. The city also has a farmer’s market that is open every Tuesday from June through October.
Hoboken is also home to various cultural attractions such as the Barsky Gallery, Hoboken Historical Museum, and the Monroe Center. If you prefer to admire architecture, you can enjoy the contemporary design of the new Steven’s Institute of Technology buildings and then admire the gothic design of Church of Our Lady of Grace or the Baroque appearance of Saint Ann’s Church. There’s definitely something for everyone all within walking distance from each other.
If you’re more into parks, Hoboken has several different options to choose from and provide different amenities. You can walk along the pier to enjoy the stunning views of Manhattan or you can hang out at Jackson Resiliency Park to enjoy the open space. If you have dogs, there are also plenty of dog parks to choose from so you and your pup can get some exercise and meet some new friends. If you prefer being on the water, you can go to the Resilience Paddle Sports and take classes or go on a tour along the water.
Moving to Hoboken
So, is Hoboken, NJ a good place to live? That depends on what you’re looking for. However, the small city has plenty to offer and it’s close proximity to New York City makes it a favorite place for young professionals. Hoboken has almost everything you need from great dining, various cultural attractions, nice parks, and good schools. Hopefully this guide provided you with a bit more insight into whether Hoboken is right for you.
If you’re looking for more information on moving to Hoboken or other places in New Jersey, reach out to us! We’re more than happy to answer any questions and our team of professional NJ movers can help you plan your move to Hoboken.
If I live in Hoboken but work in NYC, do I need to pay taxes for both states?
Technically, yes. However, New Jersey will issue a repayment for any taxes you paid in New York state so you’re not paying twice. Just make sure you complete your New York tax forms before your NJ ones! The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to pay NYC taxes.
Will NYC movers charge me for a local or long-distance move if I move from NYC to Hoboken, NJ?
Many people consider Hoboken the sixth borough of NYC and so do many NYC and NJ movers. Considering how close it is to NYC, the majority of movers will consider it a local move and charge a flat hourly rate.
Is Hoboken a college town?
Stevens Institute of Technology has around 7,000 students, which accounts for about 13 percent of the city’s total population. As such, the demographic definitely skews on the younger side and there are a lot of bars (over 100) in this small city.