Back on the search
Nothing too exciting showing up in Wildwood. I expanded my search a bit to go higher and found a place in North Wildwood that looks similar to the first 2 houses. Same vintage and layout, but missing a porch. Problem is that it is listed for 250K which is a bit more than 189K and 89K and it had a family renting it out. Location is everything and people are willing to pay an extra 100K to live in a neighboring town that has less diversity and less low income families.
The house was OK, but during the viewing, the family renting the place out was still there so I felt like a creep walking though the house thinking about how I'm going to repaint the bedrooms of a vacation home while a single mom with her little kids gets out of my way. After leaving, I decided not to move forward with an offer - I can't have that bad karma on my hands if I own the place. I don't want to be the guy that puts a struggling family back on the search for a home just so I can have my old home to fix up.
I went down to Trenton during the weekend to do some shopping and chatted with the owners of Artifacts Gallery: http://www.artifactsgallerytrenton.com/
Trenton is another beautiful and historic New Jersey city that is now on hard times. Once home to industry and Trenton Tomato Pies, all of that has moved out and it's now just a perennial placer on any of America's worst cities lists. I haven't explored much of Trenton, but from what I've seen, there are some nice looking old homes and factories that could be renovated. The owners of the Artifacts Gallery and staying strong and hanging in there while most other businesses have fled the city for the suburbs.
I always find it amazing that a city like Trenton which has a built-in industry being the state capital is in such bad shape. You would figure there would be some run-off of all of the state employees, but seems like they don't patronize the local businesses and just come in to work and leave. New Brunswick is a similar city where you have Rutgers which you'd figure would provide tons of jobs for the surrounding neighborhoods, but sadly right off campus are some sketchy areas.