My first glimpse of the ocean took place a few decades ago in Spring Lake, New Jersey, a tiny seaside town between the more notable Asbury Park and Point Pleasant. My elderly aunt had a summer home there. When my uncle wanted some company on his return ride from our neighborhood in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I jumped in the car without hesitation. After an eternity in my Uncle Jim’s Lincoln, briefly viewing the waves and whitecaps exhilarated me. Long before GPS and having no desire to consult a map, I had no clue how we got there or where I was but that’s immaterial. The memory, featuring salt air thick enough to chew on, is indelibly burned in my brain.
Years later, when I began my real estate investment pursuit in New Jersey, I knew I had to get a better feel for my whereabouts. I couldn’t simply plop down significant dollars on homes in the Garden State before performing my due diligence. Starting my venture in Pennsylvania, I didn’t ignore the prospects for return on investment east of my hometown. I noticed how the best places to buy investment property in New Jersey sprung from New York City demand spillover and the allure of beach properties. My legwork revealed that buying opportunities existed beyond the Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain, two of the four Jersey regions where landforms and geology differ as you move between them.