While most of listings probably won't start appearing until a month or so before your intended move date, I found there were plenty of good options. No reason to have to pay a broker 12-15% commission.
Jersey City (just to the south of Hoboken) is exploding w/ <30 population. Sweet brownstones close to PATH and ferries; none of the beer-brawling Hoboken problems that you have likely seen in the news. My ND grad daughter ('05) was just transferred back from Chicago to NYC. When I asked if she's looking in Hoboken, her answer was: "I'm too old for Hoboken." You get the idea. GL with the search.
However, I do so with the caveat that I am moving out of JC and back into the city when my lease expires in March thanks to the ineptitude of the Port Authority and lack of reliable PATH train service post-Sandy.
I know quite a few folks moving back from NJ to MH/UES.
I lived at Columbus and Monmouth from 2007-2009 if you have any questions about the area.
Good eateries, good bars, fun things to do. Look at the Grove Street or Hamilton Park area in Jersey City. If you can't afford those apartments, check out anything relatively close to Journal Square.
Maybe I am biased because the majority of the people I grew up with in Monmouth County live in Hoboken, and I will be moving to JC in May, but Hoboken is like one giant, horrible frat party.
Downtown JC has come a long, long way since my days there in the 1990s. Still, it is a tad quieter than Hoboken, which can turn into a frat boy Disneyland on weekend nights.
Finding parking is also slightly easier in JC than Hoboken.
I know he'll be out of there in 5 months, for sure.
You lose almost all benefits of living that close to Manhattan, from a commuting standpoint, by living further from the major transit points because Hoboken is such a walking heavy place. You may be able to see the city from a lot of those apartments, but the people who live there still commute over an hour each way.
As far as the luxury buildings are concerned, I have a number of friends in the Tea Building, which is like a doorman NYC place, and they are all satisfied. It has a continuous shuttle in the morning to downtown for the PATH. .
My other friend just got transferred to Boston about a month ago, and has been trying to rent his place for like 6 weeks, no bites. A lot of places got their ground floors destroyed in Sandy, so I think it is odd right now in the rental world now, but should be all cleared up in 5 months.