10 Things to Know Before Relocating to New Jersey

Between its close proximity to the brighter and shinier New York City and the unflattering stereotypes of its residents, New Jersey can get a bad rap from those unfamiliar with the area. However, if you find yourself relocating to New Jersey, don’t worry -- there’s a lot to love about this beautiful state. Here are 10 things to know as a New Jersey newcomer.

1) New Jersey may be small, but its population isn’t
While the state of New Jersey is ranked only 47th out of 50 states in terms of area, it’s ranked 11th in population size. Home to nearly 9 million, New Jersey can be a crowded place, especially if you’re near NYC or Philadelphia. Don’t want to live with all the hustle and bustle? There are still plenty of picturesque areas that offer residents scenic views and peace and quiet. New Jersey is known as the Garden State, after all.


2) You aren’t allowed to pump your own gas
Full service gas stations are the norm here, since a law passed in 1949 forbids drivers to pump their own gas, due to safety concerns.


3) Speaking of gas, ever heard of Wawa? You will soon.
Wawa is every New Jerseyans’ favorite convenience store. Having somewhat of a cult following, Wawa is THE place to fuel up and grab a cup of coffee if you’re in New Jersey. And with all the extra time you’ll save not pumping your own gas, you’ll be able to spend more time perusing this regional favorite. 


4) The state is divided, but no one can agree on how
Most everyone that lives in New Jersey agrees that there’s a very distinct difference between North Jersey and South Jersey. But Central Jersey? The jury’s still out on that. And what about The Shore as its own region? Some say yes, some say no.


5) New Jersey Pizza > New York Pizza
New Jerseyans are passionate about their pizza, and locals believe that the best pizza comes from New Jersey, beating out a New York City pie by a long run. This belief also applies to bagels.


6) The Jersey Shore is nothing like how it’s portrayed on TV
As entertaining as it may be, the true Jersey Shore is nothing like the popular reality show. While there are some towns that cater to a rowdier crowd, all areas down The Shore are extremely family-friendly and relatively ‘guido-free.’. Going ‘down The Shore’ during the summer months is a sacred tradition for those living in the state, and once you visit its 130-miles of stunning beaches and quaint boardwalks, you’ll understand why.


7) It’s not cheap to live here
It seems just about everything in New Jersey is a little more expensive, whether its consumer goods, insurance, or taxes. With the cost of living index sitting at 127 (higher than the national average of 100), it isn’t a cheap place to live by any means. Good thing the state also boasts one of the highest median household incomes in the country.


8) There are some weird traffic laws
Traffic circles are a popular thing here, so learning how to properly navigate one is imperative before driving in New Jersey. There’s also a thing called the Jersey Jughandle, which is a ramp on the right side of the road used to make left-hand turns on busy roads. Studies show that using a jughandle improves efficiency and safety when traveling on high-speed roadways, but to those outside the state, it can take some getting used to.

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9) Diners are open 24/7
With approximately 600 diners throughout the state, New Jersey has been dubbed the Diner Capital of the World. And with nearly all of them open 24/7, you’ll never have to worry about curbing that 3am milkshake craving.


10) You’re close to major cities without having to live in them
No matter where you live in New Jersey, you’re within a relatively short drive to the major metropolises of Philadelphia or New York City. This is beneficial for a number of reasons, but the most popular among New Jerseyans are the sports. While North Jersey typically roots for NY-based teams, South Jersey residents are all about the Philadelphia Flyers and Eagles.


Relocating to New Jersey? We’ll be your new best friend! Dwellworks Property Advisors can help you find housing and settle in faster, so you can focus on enjoying your new home and familiarizing yourself with New Jersey’s unique quirks.

Owen M. McCafferty II