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Old 05-25-2013, 06:21 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,617 times
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Hello Everyone,
My husband received a job offer at the nuclear power plant (PSEG) in Hancock's Bridge NJ. I would love to have everyone's input on potential places to narrow down our search. We really do not know NJ all that well ~ just the turnpike on our way up to see family in upstate NY. I have been doing a lot of research on these forums and in other locations and believe we narrowed it down to Swedesboro and Woodstown. I love the idea of small towns with walkable downtowns (it reminds me of my hometown) and both places were mentioned as having good school systems.

I am concerned about commute times for him (we are coming from a place where we both commute in opposite directions, and we have really noticed an impact on our quality of life). We have an 8 year old and a soon to be 6 year old. Our daughter loves horse back riding and nature while my son is into soccer and swimming. We are big library users and I am hoping every elementary school has a nurse assigned to it (is this a usual practice?) We sort of love the idea of living in a small town/city where we can walk to a coffee shop or dinner instead of being out in the suburbs but I do realize that the nuclear power plant in located in a rural area.

Are Swedesboro and Woodstown good places for us...or am I missing a town that I should consider in our relocation search? Do many people live in downtown Swedesboro or do families mainly live in the suburbs around Swedesboro?

Many thanks
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 16,703,725 times
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Either would be perfect for you guys,. I personally like Woodstown due to the older home stock and beautiful down town
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:32 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
18,920 posts, read 23,303,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diskit318 View Post
Hello Everyone,
My husband received a job offer at the nuclear power plant (PSEG) in Hancock's Bridge NJ. I would love to have everyone's input on potential places to narrow down our search. We really do not know NJ all that well ~ just the turnpike on our way up to see family in upstate NY. I have been doing a lot of research on these forums and in other locations and believe we narrowed it down to Swedesboro and Woodstown. I love the idea of small towns with walkable downtowns (it reminds me of my hometown) and both places were mentioned as having good school systems.

I am concerned about commute times for him (we are coming from a place where we both commute in opposite directions, and we have really noticed an impact on our quality of life). We have an 8 year old and a soon to be 6 year old. Our daughter loves horse back riding and nature while my son is into soccer and swimming. We are big library users and I am hoping every elementary school has a nurse assigned to it (is this a usual practice?) We sort of love the idea of living in a small town/city where we can walk to a coffee shop or dinner instead of being out in the suburbs but I do realize that the nuclear power plant in located in a rural area.

Are Swedesboro and Woodstown good places for us...or am I missing a town that I should consider in our relocation search? Do many people live in downtown Swedesboro or do families mainly live in the suburbs around Swedesboro?

Many thanks
NJGoat can give you the best advice, as he lives in one of the townships near Swedesboro.

I think that schools would be somewhat better near the Swedesboro area, but it will be a matter of your choice, when it's all said & done.

If you will be looking for a job the location of your job will play into your choice. If you will be working in Wilmington, I'd keep it with a choice between Woodstown & Swedeboro. If you will be working in Philly, You might want to look at Pitman or Mullica Hill as well as the Swedesboro area, but drop Woodstown.

Your job location as well as your budget will play into your housing selection.
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:17 PM
 
14,724 posts, read 32,051,384 times
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Both the Swedesboro area and Woodstown are good options. In the Swedesboro area you actually have several towns to choose from that are all part of the Kingsway Regional School District: Logan, Woolwich, South Harrison, East Greenwich and Swedesboro.

In my opinion, Woodstown has the better downtown area as it's a little more "together" than Swedesboro's downtown, but the Swedesboro area is going to provide you the better overall community.

To answer some of your direct questions...

Quote:
I am concerned about commute times for him (we are coming from a place where we both commute in opposite directions, and we have really noticed an impact on our quality of life).
The commute will be about 10 minutes shorter coming from Woodstown vs. the Swedesboro area. However, there is virtually zero traffic on either commute and both use the same general roads to get there.

Quote:
We have an 8 year old and a soon to be 6 year old.
Schools are obviously a top priority. Woodstown and the Swedesboro area have somewhat comparable elementary schools, but the Swedesboro area has a better high school. In the immediate Swedesboro area each town has its own K-6 district depending and then they all attend Kingsway regional high school and middle school. The only exception is Logan who only goes to Kingsway high school and has their own middle school.

Quote:
Our daughter loves horse back riding and nature
There are plenty of places to ride and the Gloucester County Dream Park is located in Logan Township, near Swedesboro:

Welcome to the DREAM Park Equestrian Center; Gloucester County NJ

Nature is in bountiful supply in both areas and as developed as the Swedesboro area is becoming you are still less than a mile from active farms and preserved nature trails.

Quote:
while my son is into soccer and swimming.
Soccer is a huge sport in the area and Logan Township hosts one of the largest soccer clubs in the area, especially after they merged with one of the neighboring towns. They offer everything from travel tournament teams, to rec leagues to academy instruction.

Logan Soccer Club

Swimming in this area is done through membership in a local pool or YMCA. The closest one to Swedesboro is the Peachwood Pool in Logan:

Peachwood Recreation Club Homepage

Quote:
We are big library users
There is a large main branch of the Gloucester County Library System in Logan next to one of the elementary schools:

Logan Township Branch | Gloucester County Library System

Quote:
and I am hoping every elementary school has a nurse assigned to it (is this a usual practice?)
All public schools in NJ must have a registered nurse on staff at each building. This is true from PK through 12th grade.

Quote:
We sort of love the idea of living in a small town/city where we can walk to a coffee shop or dinner instead of being out in the suburbs but I do realize that the nuclear power plant in located in a rural area.
It all comes down to compromise. Woodstown will probably give you more of that feel, but it is very easy to be outside of an easy walk to their downtown.

The Swedesboro area would be my personal recommendation for several reasons:

1. Collectively it is a more developed area while retaining much of the rural character/feel. Do to that development you have a lot more variety of amenities from restaurants to pharmacies and supermarkets. You also have a lot more in the way of variety in terms of kids activities and things to do.

2. The area is in a convenient location that would allow a very reasonable commute to the nuclear plant, while still giving easy access to Philly, Wilmington and the main South NJ suburbs (Cherry Hill, Marlton, Voorhees, etc.).

3. You have a decent amount of variety. Some of the towns have very old housing stock (Swedesboro) while other feature the latest in highend townhomes, McMansions and everything in between. The area is still growing, so there is a lot of upside.

4. Depending on the community you pick, taxes can be amazingly low for NJ. Logan has a population of less than 7,000 people, but half of the 26 sq. mile township is industrial park. That huge ratable base means people in Logan pay 30%-50% less for their property taxes than people in other areas.

5. While there are basically five towns that make up the Swedesboro area (Logan, Woolwich, Swedesboro, South Harrison and East Greenwich) they are all united by going to the same regional high school. Kids have the option of playing sports for the other towns if they choose and the way the towns run together means that living in Woolwich still means you can access things in Swedesboro and Logan very easily.

Based on your wants/needs, I would rank them like this...

1. Logan (I live here, so yes I am biased, lol. Honestly though, it hits all your buttons and if you lived in Woodstown, you would probably be visting Logan/Woolwich/Swedesboro a lot anyway.)

2. Woolwich (Shares the school system with Swedesboro, primairly composed of new developments. Fastest growing township in NJ, reputation for attracting affluent professionals.)

3. Swedesboro (Same schools as Woolwich and the two towns are very connected. Swedesboro has some gorgeous old homes and then some newer developments. The actual "downtown" is here, but it is mainly just restaurants, bakery, etc. The older sections aren't dangerous, but have a reputation of being a little "sketchy".)

4. Woodstown (The only town in Salem County I would consider living in. It's basically a Swedesboro/Woolwich hybrid, but there are less amenities, less rec options and the schools aren't as good, but still solid.)

5. East Greenwich (Great town with some older, but mostly newer housing stock. The only knock here is that the town is located further north. Logan/Swedesboro/Woolwich are exit 10 on 295 and are within a couple miles of Woodstown. East Greenwich is more like exit 17/18 on 295, so it would mean a longer commute for no appreciable gain.)

6. South Harrison (This is a hidden gem of a town of around 2,500 people. The majority of houses are new construction on large lots. This area has a very rural vibe with lots of active farms and horse boarders, but attracts affluent professionals. Their elementary school is one of the best in the area, but there is nothing...NOTHING...out there. If you want to buy a soda you need to drive to Swedesboro to do it. The only rec program I am aware of is baseball, for anything else the kids play in the Swedesboro/Woolwich or Logan leagues.)
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Sewell, NJ
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Great question. We live in Mantua Township and moved here for the good schools: Sewell and Center City for Elementary; J Mason Tomlin for 4-6th grades, and a regional middle and high school.

We had a friend in Mullica Hill who worked at the power plant and made the commute from a neighborhood off of Clems Run (a road in Mullica Hill).

Harrison Township (Mullica Hill) has a drawback in that many / most homes have higher property taxes than we pay in Manuta. Most of Sweedsboro and Woolwich would be lower; Woodstown lower still.

Email me if you want more info about our town. pastphil at gmail dot com

I love NJGoat's comments, tho' I don't agree with all the points made, they are well made and represent a helpful viewpoint. I'd love to meet up with that person and talk about how great South Jersey is--most people have no idea what a treasure this part of the world really is.

And, I also appreciate the fact that a person like that has taken time to offer real input in a useful site like this!
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:51 AM
 
14,724 posts, read 32,051,384 times
Reputation: 14106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastphil View Post
Great question. We live in Mantua Township and moved here for the good schools: Sewell and Center City for Elementary; J Mason Tomlin for 4-6th grades, and a regional middle and high school.

We had a friend in Mullica Hill who worked at the power plant and made the commute from a neighborhood off of Clems Run (a road in Mullica Hill).

Harrison Township (Mullica Hill) has a drawback in that many / most homes have higher property taxes than we pay in Manuta. Most of Sweedsboro and Woolwich would be lower; Woodstown lower still.

Email me if you want more info about our town. pastphil at gmail dot com

I love NJGoat's comments, tho' I don't agree with all the points made, they are well made and represent a helpful viewpoint. I'd love to meet up with that person and talk about how great South Jersey is--most people have no idea what a treasure this part of the world really is.

And, I also appreciate the fact that a person like that has taken time to offer real input in a useful site like this!
Thank you for the kind words. I should have prefaced my comments by saying that they were solely my opinion based on my decision when we moved to the area. I love the overall area and I don't think you can go wrong with any of the towns in the three main Gloucester County regional school districts...Kingsway, Clearview and Washington Twp. Each has slightly different feels, town makeups, etc.

Personally for me based on what the OP said, the Swedesboro area offers a lot more than Woodstown does for a young active family, but that doesn't mean Woodstown isn't nice. I also like Mullica Hill/Mantua, but have to wonder what the commute would be like coming from those areas. All but the closest developments in Mullica Hill would probably add about 20 minutes to the commute to the power plant.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:12 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,617 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you for everyone that replied to my initial query (ESP. Nj goat for being so detailed in the response). We are actually travelling up tomorrow and Friday so we can tour the towns and schools. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to help me with our research.
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