It’s Newer in New Jersey

For two years, Steve McGee and Dennis Kenney shared a “one-bedroom-plus” at Chelsea Landmark on West 25th Street, with practically 900 sq. toes that included a eating room and an additional half lavatory. The month-to-month lease climbed into the excessive $6,000s.

Mr. McGee, who got here to New York from the Midwest for work, totted up the quantity he had spent on lease in his seven years within the metropolis. It was within the neighborhood of $500,000.

“I didn’t need to maintain placing my cash within the arms of a landlord as an alternative of contributing to one thing I’d personal,” mentioned Mr. McGee, 50, an govt whose workplace is in Union, N.J. “I could possibly be effectively on the best way to having a pleasant quantity of fairness.”

Mr. Kenney, 41, who’s from Boston and spent years shifting amongst New York leases, was particularly desirous to set down roots. A couple of years in the past, he discovered himself instructing performing arts on the Gulf Coast of Florida and planning to purchase a house there. That’s the place he met Mr. McGee, returning with him to town.

“I used to be completed with New York till Steve got here alongside,” mentioned Mr. Kenney, a star stylist and life-style professional whose firm known as Style With Den.

The couple launched into the hunt for a house to purchase, ideally in a brand new constructing with loads of facilities, not in contrast to their rental constructing. “We usually are not fixer-upper sort folks,” Mr. McGee mentioned.

Their one-bedroom residence on the waterfront has practically 1,350 sq. toes, with a den.CreditKatherine Marks for The New York Times

They centered on Chelsea and TriBeCa to be close to a PATH station for Mr. McGee’s commute to and from New Jersey. After grappling with Manhattan tunnel visitors, he had began leaving his automotive in a storage close to the Grove Street PATH Station in Jersey City and taking the practice there. From that time, he drove the 15 miles to work.

The couple thought their value vary of $1 million to $1.5 million can be ample for a spacious two-bedroom appropriate for having guests. But the locations they noticed turned out to be a lot smaller than they anticipated.

At one Chelsea condominium of their value vary, they have been alarmed when the agent mentioned the unit was going to be cut up in two.

“The place was an amazing measurement, however after they confirmed us the place the residence was going to be chopped in half, we have been shocked,” Mr. McGee mentioned. “That was an awakening for us.”

They began to fret about how little sq. footage their cash may purchase.

Farther downtown, they visited the gross sales workplace for 91 Leonard Street, in TriBeCa, which was nonetheless below development. For their price range, they might get not more than a one-bedroom of round 700 sq. toes. Also, the constructing wouldn’t be prepared for occupants till May 2019.

Back in Chelsea, they visited the large London Terrace Towers complicated, relationship from the 1930s, and noticed two obtainable co-op items. “If we lived there, we might get misplaced within the shuffle,” Mr. Kenney mentioned. And they have been nonetheless inclined towards one thing new somewhat than one thing outdated.

They noticed two obtainable items on the London Terrace Towers in Chelsea, relationship from the 1930s. The complicated was a bit too large, and too outdated, for his or her tastes. CreditKatherine Marks for The New York Times

The two have been more and more disheartened at their Manhattan choices. So Mr. Kenney recommended the apparent different: New Jersey.

“I’ve by no means been the one who must be across the crowd each time,” he mentioned. “I recharge after I get away. Steve was very glad in Manhattan, and I opened his eyes to this world in New Jersey.”

They didn’t should go far. Port Imperial, as soon as a derelict delivery hub alongside the waterfront in Weehawken, was being developed right into a cluster of residences and retail. Everything was new. Their first cease was Avora, an 11-story, 184-unit constructing subsequent to the Port Imperial ferry terminal, with postcard views of Manhattan.

In exhausting hats, they walked by. “We beloved it from the get-go, however thought we had to have a look at a few different locations to verify this was the one we needed to land on,” Mr. McGee mentioned.

They preferred the aesthetics of Henley on Hudson, a few half-mile south. But it wasn’t brand-new, and the placement lacked Avora’s transportation benefit — the ferry terminal immediately outdoors.

So it was again to Avora, the place they have been ready to select from a number of items. On a low ground, they picked a one-bedroom with a den overlaying practically 1,350 sq. toes — together with a storage area — for $1.1 million. The month-to-month condominium payment is within the excessive $900s, and annual taxes are round $15,000. Situated on the fringe of the Hudson River, “it’s nearly as if we’re floating on the water,” Mr. Kenney mentioned.

The Henley on Hudson improvement, additionally in Weehawken, wasn’t brand-new and was farther from the Port Imperial ferry terminal.CreditKatherine Marks for The New York Times

The couple arrived in the summertime with their two canine, Fergus and Mambo. “Within three days, this home was magazine-ready, with the final flower petal in place,” Mr. Kenney mentioned.

They have all of the facilities they loved in Chelsea — together with a washer-dryer, fitness center and dry-cleaning service — in addition to widespread areas and a pool. “We had no concept how a lot we might admire a pool till we have been in a constructing that had one,” Mr. McGee mentioned.

Construction continues at Port Imperial, with storefronts beginning to open. In the meantime, they’ll simply drive elsewhere. And without having to cross the Hudson, Mr. McGee’s commute is way speedier.

Once reluctant to depart town, he has discovered himself “pleasantly shocked” by life in New Jersey.

Avora, which is steps from the ferry terminal, affords a fitness center, pool and dry-cleaning service.CreditKatherine Marks for The New York Times

“We have gained much more of an appreciation of how lovely town is from this vantage level, particularly at night time,” Mr. McGee mentioned of their skyline views. “The walkways alongside the Hudson River have impressed us to be extra lively.”

Mr. Kenney commutes by ferry to Manhattan. A month-to-month move to West 39th Street prices $272, whereas a one-way journey for the eight-minute trip is $9.

“I can see from my window when the ferry is coming,” he mentioned, “so I do know when to move out.”

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