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Old 10-03-2007, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Bucks, UK
523 posts, read 3,281,595 times
Reputation: 1127

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Hi everyone, im a recent arrival to the forum, and would very much appreciate the input of the wise...

Im a Brit, currently living just outside of London, and am shortly to be relocated from the UK to the US with my company, for an assignment of a minimum 2 year duration (with potential to extend). The move is likely to occur in the new year, and my wife and 3 month old daughter (and 2 cats!) will be coming with me.

We have absolutely no idea where to live, never having been to NJ before, but in generic terms ideally we would like to live close to (but not in..we would prefer a detached property with its own yard, and not on a busy road) a small to medium sized town, with a reasonable amount of facilities, shopping and restaurants etc. Probably even more importantly, an area with similar demographics to ours would be great (early to mid 30s, young children/babies) as i really dont want my wife to end up socially isolated in a country where she knows noone, without other new parents around, and with no social centre/hub at which such people could meet.

My company are quite used to assisting with such matters, but its always nice to receive some rather more impartial advice, hence my questions on here.

- where would people recommend living? i will be working in parsippany, and am prepared for a daily drive of up to 40ish minutes each way per day. it would also be great if the place was relatively close to a train station to be able to get into NYC for nights out, etc. People from my company have recommended Madison, Morristown, Morris Plains, and Summit (the latter being maybe too far?)...are these good bets, and any other suggestions? monthly rental budget shouldnt be a problem, as my company will cover this, but im guessing we will have somewhere in the region of $4000 per month.

- in terms of the rental market, we hear an awful lot about the US property situation of late, and how prices are falling etc. Ive no idea how accurate this reporting is, but is it having an impact on the rental market too? am i likely to be able to obtain more for my money in the new year than right now, for example?

- do you think it will be easy or difficult for a british family to settle in areas like those mentioned above? i mostly hear positive experiences from Brits who have lived in the US, but its always valuable to hear the other side of the story. Is my wife likely to find it easy to build up a social network being a stay at home mum, with a young baby?

- in the UK, pets are often a problem in rental properties...i presume this is often the case in the US too? Is checking with the landlord the usual procedure? In the UK, the "no pets" clause is often written into the rental contract

- how extreme is the weather in the areas mentioned above. Personally, i never get a real "feel" for a climate by looking at annual temperature charts and the like. i understand we can basically expect hot summers and cold winters, with a fair amount of snow.

- in terms of leisure activities (bearing in mind our small child) are there many things in the areas mentioned above that would be suitable for us? personally, im an obsessive fisherman (mainly sea and fly, but could be tempted by freshwater), so would be delighted to hear if thats a common/popular activity in NJ!

- im going to need to purchase a couple of cars out there...everyone tells me i should lease them, as the vast majority of cars in the US are leased, but i hate to have a regular monthly outgoing like that, so would far prefer to buy a couple of "nearly new" cars outright...is there such a thing as a "car supermarket" close to the areas ive mentioned, a place with a whole variety of used cars of all brands? (im so unfamiliar with american makes of cars, its unfunny!)

i have so many questions id like to ask, but this post is already turning into an epic, so ill stop there for now...thanks in advance for any advice you can give...im sure it will be very informative!
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Bucks, UK
523 posts, read 3,281,595 times
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oh, one other very quick question...in searching for rental properties on the net, i was recommended "garden state multiple listing service"...any other equally helpful websites anyone can recommend?

cheers!
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Rahway N.J
2,093 posts, read 4,869,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronenborg View Post
oh, one other very quick question...in searching for rental properties on the net, i was recommended "garden state multiple listing service"...any other equally helpful websites anyone can recommend?

cheers!
You can also try
rent.com
zillow.com
graigslist.com
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Rahway N.J
2,093 posts, read 4,869,967 times
Reputation: 3353
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
You can also try
rent.com
zillow.com
graigslist.com
Oh yeah
you could try Rahway
we could use some fresh storys at the pubs
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Weehawken, NJ
2,179 posts, read 5,980,984 times
Reputation: 1150
4K/month you have your choice. I briefly worked in Parsippany when I was on Wall Street, and most of the younger people were living in Morristown and Montclair. You can also look at Hoboken as it's a 30 minute drive.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:30 AM
 
Location: GA
2,738 posts, read 9,343,977 times
Reputation: 1075
Montclair would be a good bet, I think Summit a bit far considering traffic. Morristown area also good. Your wife will feel comfortable as there are a number of things to do with toddlers here where she will meet other mums. Weather is hard to predict. Last winter we had very little snow, and this summer was pretty comfortable. As for cars, since you'll be here a short time, leasing might be a good option. You could travel to the Jersey shore for fishing; only an hour or so away. Good luck!

Brian, you did mean craigslist?
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:08 AM
 
3,269 posts, read 8,724,861 times
Reputation: 2003
Hello fellow Brit. No way would I do Montclair and work in Parsippany -it's too far and too gritty. Your best bet (for your wife staying home) is Madison, Chatham or Morristown. Summit would be great as well - just your commute would be a tad longer. She will have no problem meeting other Moms. Those towns are jammed full of stay-at-home Moms.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:27 AM
 
5,710 posts, read 12,824,018 times
Reputation: 9009
Quote:
Originally Posted by UKOK View Post
Hello fellow Brit. No way would I do Montclair and work in Parsippany -it's too far and too gritty. Your best bet (for your wife staying home) is Madison, Chatham or Morristown. Summit would be great as well - just your commute would be a tad longer. She will have no problem meeting other Moms. Those towns are jammed full of stay-at-home Moms.
Good choices! I might add Whippany and living in Parsippany. Both have easy access to bus into NYC, family oriented towns.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Wayne, New Jersey
31 posts, read 32,663 times
Reputation: 12
I highly recommend Montclair. You'll find many people from the UK who have relocated there as well as many things to do for a stay-at-home mom and the kids. Many neighborhoods in Montclair are in walking distance to parks, cafe's, restaurants, shopping, etc... as well as multiple rail lines into Manhattan (which usually takes anywhere from 35 to 55 minutes depending on what section of Montclair you would reside in.) It is about a 25 minute drive to Parsippany, and may go upwards to 45 minutes in heavier traffic.

Morristown, Chatham, Madison, etc... seem way too sleepy... You'll find more action in Montclair.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:14 AM
 
Location: GA
2,738 posts, read 9,343,977 times
Reputation: 1075
Agree laure768. I get to Parsippany in under half an hour. Montclair has a lot of mommy groups and other activities for young kids, including a new Y, The Little Gym, Music Together. There's plenty to keep a mom and toddler busy. There are many Brits there as well as other Europeans. You'd be very close to the train to NYC. If you check out the upper Montclair area, you could be within walking distance of many things and may not even require a second car.
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