Northern New Jersey

The sales pitch

This 23-year-old condo is in Bernards Township, N.J., less than an hour’s drive from midtown Manhattan. It features a large living area with crown molding and plush carpet that opens to a deck. “It’s a very versatile, open floor plan,” says Lin Crabtree, GRI, ABR, Realtor with Weichert Realtors — Basking Ridge. “And very sunny and bright.”

Price: $199,900
Area median price: $390,200 in the New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island metro area (up 4 percent from one year earlier)
1 bedrooms/1 bath
Approximately 1,100 square feet
One assigned parking spot
Bedroom with reading nook and three closets
Formal dining room with chair railing
Large deck
Listed by: Weichert Realtors -- Basking Ridge

The adjacent formal dining room has chair railing and a contemporary chandelier. The kitchen is outfitted with European white cabinetry, undercounter lighting, tile floors and a smooth-top range.

The bedroom has a reading alcove, ceiling fan and three closets. The freshly painted bathroom has a new cherry vanity with a granite top and tile floors. The unit also has its own laundry room.

The community has a pool and tennis courts.

What else you can get for $200,000

For $200,000, North New Jersey buyers typically are “going to be looking at condos, town houses and single-family homes that are one to two bedrooms,” says Gary Large, president-elect of the New Jersey Association of Realtors and manager of Prudential’s Morris County regional office.

The age “will vary,” he says. “Some of the town houses and condos will be newer — within the last 10 years. And some of the houses will be older. In Northern New Jersey, the typical single-family home was built anywhere from the early 1900s to the 1960s, Large says.

Condition will differ, too, he says. It runs the gamut from “threadbare to condos and town houses with nice appointments from when they were built 10 years ago,” he says.

In many northern New Jersey locations, $200,000 is buying more in 2011 “because these prices have corrected — and in some cases fairly dramatically,” Large says. Buyers may see “a $200,000 house today that was a $225,000 house four or five years ago.”

And there is “absolutely much more choice in terms of what you can find,” Large says. That said, “I think you always want to shop carefully,” he adds. “The nice thing is you have options, so you don’t have to jump at the first thing you see.”

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