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5 Things to Know Before Moving to New Jersey

June 01, 20234 min read

Despite the fact that New Jersey is one of the country’s prettiest states, it often gets a bad rap—or forgotten—because of its proximity to New York City. Shows like Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey don’t help either, leading people to think we’re all about big hair and bigger mouths.

It’s called the Garden State for a reason; one drive outside of the New York Metropolitan area will show you: the unparalleled beauty of Palisades Interstate Park, the Great Falls of the Passaic River, are just two examples. Those of us fortunate to call New Jersey home know you’ll never regret moving here, but here are some key things to know before you come

1. Be Prepared for Extreme Weather

You cannot fully appreciate just how extreme until you live here. Even if you are moving from somewhere like Ohio, you may be thinking the weather can’t be that much different, right? This state can experience nor’easters in the winter and early spring. Once here, you will finally understand the true meaning of the word “blizzard.” Waterproof boots and a quality car battery are essentials. You’re not off the hook in summer, either. There are around 30 thunderstorms every summer here.

2. Have an Emergency Plan

Due to extreme weather, New Jersey can experience multiple power outages per year. You might remember when we made national headlines during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, severely affected by the 90-mile-per-hour winds. While that is an extreme example, locals are used to power outages that you might find uncomfortable unless you’re prepared. If you don’t have an emergency shelter, at least have an emergency kit with water, solar charger, and a source of heat to get you through.

3. Don’t Try to Pump Your Own Gas

Before you reach for that nozzle at the fuel pump, you should know that it is illegal to pump your own gas here. In 1949, it was ruled that due to fire hazards, it is in the best interest of the public to leave the job to station attendants. Don’t complain. When it’s 10 degrees below zero and snow is falling an inch per hour, you’ll learn to enjoy it. Folks elsewhere dream of full service gas stations!

4. Get to Know the “New Jersey Left”

Officially called a “jughandle,” these little slip roads can be very confusing when you first start encountering them. Michigan has something similar that locals call a “roundabout.” Basically, rather than turning from a left-hand turning lane (that would be far too simple), jughandles use an exit ramp on the right side of the road. Be prepared to do a lot of backtracking for a while until you learn to not miss your exit.

5. BYOB is not just for parties.

Many restaurants in New Jersey that do not have a liquor license allow you to bring your own bottle without a corkage fee (unless a municipal ordinance prohibits it). Yes, just like your college parties, only classier. (Some establishments with a license will also allow it with the corkage fee, but it’s best to ask beforehand.)

Up Next: Check out our Pitfalls to Avoid for First Time Home Buyers >>>>>

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  • Don't get personal. It’s time to move out emotionally—and physically. Survey each room, and pack away personal items such as family photos, bric-a-brac, medicine, etc

  • Declutter and Update. Take out bulky furniture, old electronics; clear off desks, tabletops, shelves. Keep rooms (especially bedrooms) decluttered and minimal.

  • Paint a fresh perspective. Whites, neutral, pale grays, can make your house feel fresh and new again— and the buyer feel calm and at home.

  • Shed some light. Make sure every light bulb is energy- efficient, and at the highest wattage the light fixture will allow. Give all fixtures a deep clean for maximum sparkle.

For the rest of the checklist, Click Here for our Top 10 Seller Checklist

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Stacy Esser

SEG RE COACHING| Top 1% in the NJMLS | Best in Bergen Mag | John Maxwell Coach | Stager | Lux Specialist | Real Trends America’s Best | Women to Watch

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