Commuter Solutions: The Best Places to Live in New Jersey Close to New York City

updated Nov 16, 2022
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Working and living in New York City is the dream for many people, but it’s also not very affordable, especially with high rent prices and even higher homebuying costs. That’s one of the reasons many people turn to commuting from just outside the city—to save money, but also, for some, to live in a quieter town with a little less hustle and bustle. New Jersey is a great place to turn to if you’re ready to get out of the city, but you still want to work there, but some cities and towns in the Garden State are more affordable and easier to commute from than others.

If you’re considering a move across the Hudson, here are five towns to consider—they’re definitely a little quieter and less expensive to live in than NYC, but you can still get to work in an hour or less.

Union City

Union City is in Hudson County, NJ, basically directly across the Hudson River from New York’s Hell’s Kitchen and surrounding the Lincoln Tunnel. It’s behind Weehawken (another commuter-friendly town on the waterfront that’s more expensive—median home values are more than double that of Union City) and is just a short drive from Hoboken, where there’s a bustling bar and restaurant scene.

Union City itself has quite a few restaurants and a lot of Latin food to offer. A quick walk down to Weehawken’s Hamilton Park, and you can see the New York City skyline.

The Numbers: $355,400 median home value, $2,139 median rent.
The Commute: ~15-30 minutes by car or by NJ Transit bus.

Jersey City

Jersey City (also part of Hudson County) is a much larger city borders Union City and Hoboken—it’s actually the second most populous city in the state. It’s home to the Liberty Science Center, the Liberty National Golf Course, and Liberty State Park, where you can see the NYC skyline as well as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Jersey City also has a lot of food to offer—mostly Italian and American cuisine.

The Numbers: $391,800 median home value, $2,053 median rent.
The Commute: ~25-45 minutes by car or ~30-40 minutes by PATH train.


If you’ve ever been to Metlife Stadium to catch a football game, you’ve passed by Carlstadt, since it borders East Rutherford in Bergen County. Carlstadt also offers mostly Italian and American food, and is also home to the Hackensack Meadowlands Conservation and Wildlife Area, a trust to protect over 800 acres of lands within the Hackensack Watershed—right next to the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

The Numbers: $401,300 median home value, $2,082 median rent.
The Commute: ~30-40 minutes by car or by NJ Transit bus.


Teaneck, also in Bergen County, is located between Hackensack (but we’ll get there next) and Englewood. You’ll also find pretty much any kind of food you can think of there, from Greek to Cuban cuisine. Teaneck is home to an eco-art park called the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, and it’s just a short drive to Leonia (where you can see a prehistoric-inspired theme park called Field Station: Dinosaurs) and Engelwood, where the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center is.

The Numbers: $382,000 median home value, $2,304 median rent.
The Commute: ~35 – 45 minutes by car or ~40 – 50 minutes by NJ Transit bus.


Just west of Teaneck, and not far from the Teterboro airport, is Hackensack—another city in Bergen County. Hackensack is home to the New Jersey Naval Museum, the Foschini Park baseball fields, and the Hackensack River County Park, where you can walk trails and go fishing. Much like in Teaneck, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines.

The Numbers: $308,100 median home value, $2,145 median rent.
The Commute: ~30 – 50 minutes by car, ~50 – 1 hour by NJ Transit bus.

Note: All housing cost data comes from Zillow’s Home Values tool, based on data from July 2017. Commute times come from Google Maps, NJ Transit and PATH and are calculated with Midtown Manhattan as the destination.