Elizabeth, New Jersey, sounds like a very regal city, and many people think it was named after Queen Elizabeth. In fact, it was actually named after Elizabeth, the wife of Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, one of the two original proprietors of the colony of New Jersey. The city has been around since 1855 and is now one of the larger suburbs of New York City, which is just 15 miles away. Today, Elizabeth is a thriving town that is home to nearly 125,000 people.
Despite its very close proximity to one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, Elizabeth has comparably affordable housing. The median home price sale price for the period of MayJuly 2013 was $183,000, below the national median price of $208,000. However, the 79 houses sold during this period represent a 147 percent increase in the number of sales compared to the previous year, which suggests that the housing market in Elizabeth is recovering from earlier slow periods.
Elizabeth has a much lower than average number of owner-occupied homes. Only 24 percent of homes are owned, while 67 percent are rented. This percent of homes occupied by renters is more than double the national average. Only 8 percent of homes and apartments are vacant, so youll want to get a head start if youre looking for rental housing. The fact that so many homes are rented bodes well if you want to find a rent to own house so you can bypass the large amounts of money needed for down payments and closing costs.
The employment market in Elizabeth has come a long way from its beginnings as the home of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Today, transportation is one of the citys biggest industries. The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal and the Newark Liberty International Airport are located in Elizabeth. Elizabeth is also home to the Bayway Refinery, which is owned by Phillips 66 and supplies petroleum to the New York/New Jersey area. Celadon is a planned mixed-use development that will include skyscrapers, retail outlets, offices, a hotel and a boardwalk; it is currently under construction with expected completion by 2020.
Elizabeth has several distinct neighborhoods. They include Uptown (also called Midtown), the citys largest commercial district, which is located at the junction of Broad Street and Morris Avenue. It has a historic district, including the First Presbyterian Church, which was originally a site of one of the battles in the American Revolution.
Bayway includes many older, well maintained homes along Bayway Avenue. This part of town is located in the southern part of the city, bordering the nearby town of Linden.
Elizabethport is the oldest part of town and is where the original Singer Sewing Machine Company was located.
Elmora is located in the western part of Elizabeth along Elmora Avenue, which is home to many working class and Jewish families. This part of town has several kosher restraurants. Elmora is also the site of the midtown New Jersey Transit Train Station, as well as many high-rise condominiums. The northwest part of Elmora is called Elmora Hills, which includes more affluent homes.
Downtown, also sometimes called The Port, is the oldest and most diverse part of the city. Although this was once a struggling neighborhood, revitalization efforts have refurbished or replaced old houses and apartments. New construction is also occurring in this part of town and it is becoming a more appealing place to live.
The Frog Hollow and Keighry Head neighborhoods contain many affordable apartments and homes for rent, and cater to a largely working class population.
North Elizabeth, or North End, has its own train station to provide easy access to New York and Newark. It is also home to a diverse working class population and includes many more upscale homes and apartments as well.
Peterstown is located in the southeastern part of Elizabeth. Peterstown is ethnically diverse, very industrial and is home to many working class and middle class families.
Westminster is an affluent, historic neighborhood that boasts some of the largest homes. The Elizabeth River runs through the Westminster neighborhood, which adds to the visual appeal.
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