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Old 03-15-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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Hi,

We are relocating from Atlanta, GA to NJ. Both me and my wife will be working in NYC (Midtown and Downtown) and are looking to rent a 2 BR apartment in a pet-friendly place (have a dog). We have a 4yr old daughter who would be joining elementary school soon.

We are willing to spend up to $3K/month for rent. A very good school district and door to door commute time of 1hr is what we'd love to have. Not sure of areas that would allow us to have both. Please help me with some suggestions. Thank you.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:57 AM
 
1,320 posts, read 3,501,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmHereInNJ View Post
Hi,

We are relocating from Atlanta, GA to NJ. Both me and my wife will be working in NYC (Midtown and Downtown) and are looking to rent a 2 BR apartment in a pet-friendly place (have a dog). We have a 4yr old daughter who would be joining elementary school soon.

We are willing to spend up to $3K/month for rent. A very good school district and door to door commute time of 1hr is what we'd love to have. Not sure of areas that would allow us to have both. Please help me with some suggestions. Thank you.
2BR for great school district at 3K that allow dogs is certainly possible. In my view, I don't think 1hr door to door will be not possible with a very good public school district.

Unfortunately towns with very convienent access such as Path to Manhattan do not have good public school districts. Jersey City has crappy public schools, Hoboken is better than JC but still meh.

Once you want top notch public schools, you either go north to Bergen counties or further out west and that already puts you over 1hour commute door to door. Towns like Hoboken and JC can offer door to door commute of 30-40min if your apartment is right by the station and office is also right by the station in NYC.

If you are willing to commute longer, you have lot more choices.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:04 AM
 
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Thank you Babo111. A great school district is paramount to us. Which parts of Bergen county would you recommend to keep the commute as short as possible?
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:20 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,294 posts, read 50,558,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmHereInNJ View Post
Thank you Babo111. A great school district is paramount to us. Which parts of Bergen county would you recommend to keep the commute as short as possible?
This may seem like "who is buried in Grant's tomb", but the parts of Bergen County closest to the city would have the shortest commute*. Look at Rutherford for the shortest BC commute. However, if schools truly do mean more to you, then add another 15 or 20 minutes to your commute and go for Ridgewood or Glen Rock.

*Of course there are always exceptions! You also have to look at a map and realize that North Jersey sits west of and alongside of Manhattan. So, for example, Fort Lee, which is part of Bergen County is directly across the river from upper Manhattan but because it is not near any train service, the commute to midtown and downtown would likely be longer than some of the other towns further out but on the Bergen County train line.

Look at the NJ Transit website:

New Jersey Transit - Home

and

Here's this cool map somebody posted last week with travel times.

The New York Times > New York Region > Image > Travel Times on Commuter Rail
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IAmHereInNJ View Post
Thank you Babo111. A great school district is paramount to us. Which parts of Bergen county would you recommend to keep the commute as short as possible?
I think one of the best public school district in NJ is considered to be Englewood Cliff. Don't think you can find 2BR there for 3k though since they are mostly houses and probably need to pay north of 3K. Commute from there is probably going to be more than 1.5 hour each way

Another option I almost always suggest is Edgewater. They have their own elementary school and then kids attend Leonia school system. Commute from Edgewater would leave you couple options. If you don't mind paying a lot, you can take the ferry service which takes you right across the water to midtown west where then you can take shuttle service in Manhattan. To get to downtown, you could take the bus all the way to Port authority then take MTA. OR take the bus and get off to take the lightrail then take Path to World Trade Center. Bus ride to Port Authority takes about a hour. I know what it says on Google Maps but River Road is very very busy road because it is the only road below the cliff that goes links Bergen and Hudson.

Please note when I say commute, that's just literally the time you'll be spending on the bus, lightrail, train, or whatever. Not door to door.

Also I am bit biased though because I love that town (lived there 4+ years)
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:34 PM
 
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I'd look west to Essex and Union counties instead of Bergen. Summit, Millburn, Glen Ridge, Maplewood, South Orange.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:45 PM
 
3,183 posts, read 2,814,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babo111 View Post
I think one of the best public school district in NJ is considered to be Englewood Cliff. Don't think you can find 2BR there for 3k though since they are mostly houses and probably need to pay north of 3K. Commute from there is probably going to be more than 1.5 hour each way

Another option I almost always suggest is Edgewater. They have their own elementary school and then kids attend Leonia school system. Commute from Edgewater would leave you couple options. If you don't mind paying a lot, you can take the ferry service which takes you right across the water to midtown west where then you can take shuttle service in Manhattan. To get to downtown, you could take the bus all the way to Port authority then take MTA. OR take the bus and get off to take the lightrail then take Path to World Trade Center. Bus ride to Port Authority takes about a hour. I know what it says on Google Maps but River Road is very very busy road because it is the only road below the cliff that goes links Bergen and Hudson.

Please note when I say commute, that's just literally the time you'll be spending on the bus, lightrail, train, or whatever. Not door to door.

Also I am bit biased though because I love that town (lived there 4+ years)

The Edgewater ferry is absolutely amazing for a stress-free and fast commute. However, it drops you off on the far west side of town - perfectly fine if that's where you are going, not so much if you need to cross Manhattan during rush hour. Which bring up this:

An important thing to consider is where exactly the offices are. To take Fort Lee which was mentioned earlier as another example, it has pretty strong schools and one of the best possible non-ferry public-transit commutes -- arguably the best -- from a town with good schools in terms of door-to-door time if both your offices are on the west side, since you can take a really direct bus across the GWB and then the A express train down, but isn't as great for reaching the east side unless you're driving (at which point you should go a couple towns further north for less density and even stronger schools for a marginally longer commute). Since you're renting and can move if the jobs do (and may want to anyway for more space as the kid grows or if you want to add more to the family) you should really tailor where you look to the precise location of your offices, and it's hard to give ideal advice without that (and any other desirables you might have beyond good schools, quick commute, and $3K budget for a 2 bed, which actually leaves you with a lot of choice).
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:18 PM
 
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Thank you for all the suggestions so far. Please keep them coming.

My daughter is only 4. In Atlanta, there is state-funded Pre-K. But, from my research, it appears that private pre-k appears to be the option in NJ. So, I am wondering if it makes sense to stay in Newport/Hoboken for the commute and send her to a Montessori until she is eligible to start attending Public elementary school for Kindergarten. If thats the route we take, it gives us another year to determine which neighborhood to move into. But, are there any disadvantages that I am not thinking of? Is there a specific timeframe by when we need to move into the new place to guarantee her admission in a public elementary school? Are there waiting lists or lottery for admissions to public elementary schools?
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:10 AM
 
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Sounds like a reasonable plan.
There are no lottery or waiting lists for public elementary but there may be for preschools, so make a call to the preschool you are interested in. Also be aware that childcare, and after school care, can be very expensive in and around NYC.
You will need to show proof of address for enrolling in public school. I know of some Bergen county towns that send a child to a neighboring school if the school they are zoned for is full for that grade but I don't think that it happens that often.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Fanwood
310 posts, read 526,010 times
Reputation: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
This may seem like "who is buried in Grant's tomb", but the parts of Bergen County closest to the city would have the shortest commute*. Look at Rutherford for the shortest BC commute. However, if schools truly do mean more to you, then add another 15 or 20 minutes to your commute and go for Ridgewood or Glen Rock.

*Of course there are always exceptions! You also have to look at a map and realize that North Jersey sits west of and alongside of Manhattan. So, for example, Fort Lee, which is part of Bergen County is directly across the river from upper Manhattan but because it is not near any train service, the commute to midtown and downtown would likely be longer than some of the other towns further out but on the Bergen County train line.

Look at the NJ Transit website:

New Jersey Transit - Home

and

Here's this cool map somebody posted last week with travel times.

The New York Times > New York Region > Image > Travel Times on Commuter Rail
It's I who posted this (twice!)
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