Moving to New Jersey? Understand the Lingo!

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Becoming familiar with real estate terms and the local slang is necessary when you’re contemplating buying a house on The Jersey Shore in Ocean County, NJ

Key Terms to Know When Buying a Home

Appraisal – A report highlighting the estimated value of the property completed by a qualified third party. Lenders rely on appraisals to validate a home’s value and to ensure they’re not lending more than the home is worth.

Closing Costs – The fees required to complete the real estate transaction. Paid at closing. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items, including points, taxes, title insurance and more.

Credit Score – A number ranging from 300-850 that’s based on an analysis of your credit history. This helps lenders determine the likelihood you’ll repay the loan.

Down Payment – Down payments are typically 3.5-20% of the purchase price of the home. Some 0% down programs are also available. Ask your lender for more information.

Mortgage Rate – The interest rate you pay to borrow money when buying a home. As mortgage rates fluctuate, consult a lender so you know how it can impact your monthly mortgage payment.

Pre-Approval Letter – A letter that shows what they’re will to lend you on your home loan. This, plus an understanding of your savings, can help you decide on your target price range.

Inspection Contingency – A provision in a contract requiring an inspection to be completed. This essential step gives you information on the home’s condition and potential repairs.

Affordability – A measure of whether someone earns enough to qualify for a loan on a typical home based on the most recent price, income and mortgage rate data.

Equity – The value of your home above the total amount of liens against your home. Many homeowners are realizing they have more equity that they thought and they’re using it to move.

Search for Homes in Ocean County

New Jersey is influenced by two major metropolitan areas, New York and Philadelphia. NYC influences much of North Jersey and Philadelphia, South Jersey.  There’s a mix in the middle, occasionally referred to Central Jersey, though that’s hotly debated. For example, you’ll find Yankee, Mets, Giants, Jets AND Phillies and Eagles fans in Ocean County.

Anyway, here’s some NJ slang you may need to make the transition to The Garden State a little easier

A.C. - For when saying Atlantic City takes too much time for New Jerseyans heading down the Parkway to “America’s Playground.” The inspiration for the board game Monopoly, A.C. is home to a world-famous boardwalk, casinos and the beach.

Benny - Not the politest Jersey phrase, a benny is a northern visitor to the shore. It may have originated from an acronym from the train stops of visitors: Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark and New York.

The Boss - BRUUUUUUUCE! New Jersey’s most famous rock and roller, Bruce Springsteen, is a native of Freehold. The nickname “The Boss” reportedly came from the early days of the E Street Band when Springsteen was in charge of distributing the nightly pay among his bandmates.

Central Jersey - An often-debated, possibly mythical place in between northern and southern Jersey fighting every day for recognition in the great battle of the regions.

The City - Nestled in between two major cities, New Jersey is in a prime location. For north Jerseyans, the phrase refers to New York City or Philadelphia for south Jerseyans.

Disco Fries - A late-night Jersey diner classic, a plate of French fries topped with beautiful brown gravy and gooey mozzarella cheese. Yum.

Down the Shore - A term for those traveling to points on the Jersey Shore. When you’re there, it’s simply called “the beach.”

Exit- The best way to describe to people where you live in the state. What exit?

Fat Sandwich - Most notably found on College Avenue in New Brunswick, fat sandwiches give you the whole greasy menu in one — from French fries and chicken tenders to onion rings and mozzarella sticks — and it’s glorious.

J’eet Yet? - It’s our way of saying “Did you eat yet?” often followed by “No, djew?” (No, did you?).

Jersey Devil - A legendary creature said to live in the Pine Barrens with hooves, horns and bat wings. Sounds like a real handsome devil. Also, the namesake of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Jug Handles - Most commonly found in New Jersey, jug handles allow drivers to turn left from highway exits by going right on ramps that curve like the handle of a jug. Visitors always have a hard time with them, and we can’t help but love watching the confusion they create.

Pork Roll - The perfect breakfast meat. See also: Taylor ham.

Ripper - A deep-fried hot dog named for the “rip” of the casing as a result of the frying process. Made famous by Rutt’s Hut in Clifton, and it’s a must-try in New Jersey.

Shoobie - Similar to Benny in describing day trippers to the shore, but it’s used by those who live along the southernmost regions of the Jersey shore. It is said to have originated from those who took the train from Philly to the shore and brought their lunch in a shoe box.

Taylor Ham - The perfect breakfast meat. See also: pork roll.

Tomato Pie - Popular pizza in the Trenton area that puts its focus on the sauce. It’s thin, crunchy and makes us feel complete.

Twentyregularcash - Jersey doesn’t pump its own gas. A classic “twentyregularcash” to the gas station attendant gets you the gas you need without thinking about it too much.

Wawa - A popular convenience store and gas station hybrid with a loyal following — for the right reasons. Grab me a pretzel and hoagie, please.

Youse - Short for you guys… Southerners would say, “ya’ll.”

OK, that was fun. But buying a home is serious business and obviously a major transaction that can seem even more complex when you don’t understand the terms used throughout the process.

If you’re looking to become a homeowner this year, it’s important to know these housing terms (and a little local lingo) and how they relate to the current market so you feel confident throughout the homebuying process.

Karl Hess provides expert real estate services to residential buyers and sellers in Ocean County. Contact us today for more information on Ocean County Real Estate and for professional assistance navigating this complex home market.


Special thanks to Connor Iapoce from “Jersey's Best” for the NJ slang!