Married couple Ryan and Jen want to move from the Big Apple to the smaller apple of New Jersey. He’s a musician and she’s an executive assistant, and they just don’t have a New York City budget. Ryan and Jen have been married for two years and living in Queens in Jen’s small rental.
They want to invest in a property in Union, NJ with rental potential. Along with House Hunters, this couple embarks on their first home buying journey. They want to find the perfect spot within their $700,000 budget, and they also need to make sure that the place works for their dog Stanley.
Jen and Ryan’s main goal is to find a place that they can use to rent out units. They want it to have at least three units, a backyard for Stanley, lots of natural lighting, and two bedrooms for them. They want to turn one of those rooms into a studio for Ryan.
His: Ryan want a home move-in ready. He has lots of allergies, so he doesn’t want to suffer through those trying to renovate. He also prefers modern style homes.
Hers: Jen doesn’t mind a fixer-upper home. She also prefers Italianate or row homes.
House #1, $699,900
This home is located about a 20-25 minute train ride to New York City. It’s a foursquare home that was built in 1920. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It’s been newly renovated. Some of its standout features are its hardwood flooring, defined areas, and basement rental area. It has a small kitchen that Jen and Ryan would want to expand by removing one of the walls.
The backyard has multiple layers, including an area that could be turned into a stage, and a garage that could be remodeled into a music studio. Without the renovations, they could rent the extra room for about $1,550 a month.
House #2, $629,000
This a four person family home that was built in 1889. It has an Italianate style. It has four units, and three are already being rented out. The first floor has four bedrooms and one bathroom. The home looks very worn and in need of a lot of upgrades. The first floor has two bedroom next to each other. Jen suggests that they just combine the rooms and turn it into a large master suite.
The second floor has most of the extra rooms. The bathroom on one of the floors is lovely, and the other needs work. They could make an additional $3,200 a month renting this home out.
House #3, $839,000
This home is located by a chapel, because it used to be a monastery. It’s a contemporary home with three units. It’s been newly renovated. The place has an open concept kitchen with all new appliances. It has some of the original brick and exposed beams.
It’s missing a yard, but that’s being added to the building. This place has the rental potential of about $3,500 a month.
Decision Time: House #3 was way over budget, but had everything they wanted, except the yard. House #2 needed so much work but had a lot of rental potential. House #1 didn’t have enough units for renting, but seemed to marry both of their styles the best.
Jen and Ryan picked…House #2.
They paid $630,000 instead of $629,000 because it had a few offers. They have already been working on some renvoations.