Real Estate is a hot topic in Jersey City - it’s clear that it’s moving in an upward trajectory. Real estate agents working in Jersey City support clients with different needs - people moving here, to people moving from one area in Jersey City to another, to new buildings, or to houses being restored. We will be talking with real estate agents from the area to get their perspective on the city and what we all need to know about this real estate market.
We met Janis Borroto because of Jersey Girls Food Tours. Her office is down the block from where we live and we see her checking out the local eats, at parties (hello mutual friends), or on her dog's instagram. We love learning about her perspective on real estate and her love of Jersey City.
Why did you decide to become a real estate agent and how long have you been one?
In 2014, after co-founding my food tour company (Jersey Girls Food Tours), I decided I wanted to compliment my local venture by becoming an agent. I’ve always loved the process of finding the perfect home and I wanted to help others do that. I met the broker of PRIME Real Estate Group, Jesse Halliburton, and invited him on a JGFT food tour. The rest was history! I am really drawn to Jesse’s progressive outside-the-box point of view and the company’s marketing and sales approach in general. All the agents at PRIME are super down to earth, well rounded, and highly dedicated to what they do; it’s an awesome culture to be a part of.
You focus primarily on Jersey City, was that important to you?
Yes, it was. It was important to me to be that go-to local expert. I have lived in Jersey City for over 6 years and really love the sense of community here. It makes me happy to contribute to my city, bring people here, and show them how awesome it is.
How did you decide to live in Lafayette? What do you love about it?
Almost 3 years ago, I moved to the Bergen Lafayette neighborhood. I was really just seeking more space and a little more of a laidback vibe than downtown. I’ve seen this neighborhood really transition in just the past 3 years and that’s really exciting to be a part of. I’ve always loved it here, but it just gets better and better everyday.
Aside from proximity to the Light Rail, which is super convenient, I really love bike riding in nearby Liberty State Park. I also really love the people in this neighborhood, the cute restaurants just steps away, and my awesome loft apartment of course.
You have another business in New Jersey - Jersey Girls Food Tours. Your business does a great job at showcasing Jersey City. How do you tie these two together?
My two businesses really go hand-in-hand. There is so much synergy between showing people around town to buy a home and then showing them around town to eat all the delicious food! A JGFT experience is especially great as a ‘crash course’ in eating like a local, so it’s really the perfect thing to do for any new resident. I really enjoy treating my clients to food tours, and they love it too ☺.
What makes Jersey City/Hudson County special in the real estate market?
I think what makes JC/Hudson County so unique is its fusion of old and new and the rate in which it is growing. Jersey City is the fastest growing municipality in the state and to witness it over the past 10 years has been almost mind-boggling. I remember the days when there were just a handful of restaurants/bars on Newark Ave, it was super easy to find a parking space, and you could live in a sweet apartment for $1500/month.
We’ve obviously changed a bit since then and it’s almost unrecognizable since even 5 years ago- with new development on every block, restaurant openings every other week, and apartment buildings going up everyday. Although we’ve experienced quite the transformation, you can still see the bodegas, Italian delis, and dive bars, which for me, is where JC gets all it’s awesome charm and grit. It’s that charm and grit that makes it such a great place to live in my opinion.
What advice do you have to people looking to buy or rent in Jersey City?
My advice would be to start by taking a tour through each neighborhood with me! With Jersey City being the second largest city in NJ, there is a lot to choose from when looking for a place to call home. Each neighborhood has it’s own unique vibe, look, and feel. From Van Vorst to Hamilton Park, the Heights or Bergen Lafayette, Paulus Hook, the Village, Journal Square to Lincoln Park and Greenville - it can be hard to narrow down!
That being said, I really enjoy breaking it down, giving the scoop on each area, and finding the perfect fit in terms of benefits that suit my client’s needs. Jersey City has proven to be a great choice and investment to most homebuyers, sellers, investors, and renters thus far, so I think identifying the ideal location would be top priority when looking to buy or rent here. After nailing down the perfect place, my advice at that point would be to take a Jersey Girls Food Tour of course!
2nd photo provided by Tatsuro Nishimura