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Old 09-23-2015, 05:31 AM
 
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Hello,
We will be relocating shortly from the UK to NJ. We have 2 children 14 & 13 and are looking for the best option for them in terms of:
1. Best schools
2. Downtown with activities for teenagers (cinema, bowling etc)
3. Walkable downtown with activities for all family
4. Employment
5. Diverse community as we are native Greeks, having brought up in the UK
6. Low criminality rate
7. Relative sanity in house prices .

We have narrowed down our search to :

Madison
Summit
Chatham
Cranford
Westfield

Can anyone please shed some light and provide helpful feed back?
Many thanks in advance & much appreciated

Kambepas
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:28 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,060 posts, read 3,705,359 times
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Key info missing - are you looking to buy or rent? what's your budget? size of unit/number of bedrooms? max commuting distance/time you're comfortable with? prefer to drive or use public transportation?
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:28 AM
 
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Every single one of those towns is beautiful with good schools and you would be lucky to live in any of them. My grandmother lives in Westfield and my family has been there since the 40's. "Old money" town, with lots of new money coming in. Cranford is a slightly less ritzy Westfield. SUmmit and Chatham are SUPER expensive. Madison has probably the nicest downtown in NJ.

Congrats and welcome to NJ!
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:02 AM
 
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Thank you Chris41336. Your answer is much appreciated as I am a loss at the moment. We are more inclined towards Madison ourselves, hopefully we will be lucky enough.
THANK you so much!!

Last edited by kambepas; 09-24-2015 at 06:11 AM..
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:11 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davenj08 View Post
Key info missing - are you looking to buy or rent? what's your budget? size of unit/number of bedrooms? max commuting distance/time you're comfortable with? prefer to drive or use public transportation?

Thank you Davenj08. Our budget is around $450k to $600k) to buy with a requirement of a 3 bedroom house (2 bathrooms) and maximum commuting time around 20-30' from New Providence which is where my husband's job will be. Driving will be fine, but ideally public transport would also help, in case of emergencies, where we are left with 1 car in the household. Location and good schools with some walking options in a nice downtown for the teenagers to go out are the most important things along with a sense for community.Also, activities for teenagers as well as the family as a whole would be a bonus.
Thank you for your reply in advance. Much appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris41336 View Post
every single one of those towns is beautiful with good schools and you would be lucky to live in any of them. My grandmother lives in westfield and my family has been there since the 40's. "old money" town, with lots of new money coming in. Cranford is a slightly less ritzy westfield. Summit and chatham are super expensive. Madison has probably the nicest downtown in nj.

Congrats and welcome to nj!
thank you chris!!!you made me feel welcome already!!thank you lots!!
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:25 PM
 
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Welcome to NJ , we moved 2 years back from London. Millburn, new providence, Chatham, Livingston, west orange, summit are areas which are great as long as u can drive almost everywhere.

Millburn Chatham May be difficult in your budget but the other towns maybe possible.

Don't bank on public transport after moving from the UK. The best public transport here is worse than the worst there.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:35 PM
 
2,592 posts, read 3,326,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kambepas View Post
Thank you Davenj08. Our budget is around $450k to $600k) to buy with a requirement of a 3 bedroom house (2 bathrooms) and maximum commuting time around 20-30' from New Providence which is where my husband's job will be. Driving will be fine, but ideally public transport would also help, in case of emergencies, where we are left with 1 car in the household. Location and good schools with some walking options in a nice downtown for the teenagers to go out are the most important things along with a sense for community.Also, activities for teenagers as well as the family as a whole would be a bonus.
Thank you for your reply in advance. Much appreciated.


Public transportation within NJ is geared more towards getting commuters in/out of Manhattan. Getting from point A to point B within NJ on public transit can sometimes be tricky.

Take a look at New Jersey Transit - Home and browse at the different NJ Transit train lines to see which towns are on which train line.

At the above site you can also look at the NJ Transit bus lines.

Coach USA is another option for buses, but again more geared towards commuting in/out of the City.

In NJ it can be difficult getting around without a car & if your hubby will have the car at work every day than you may want to consider getting a little 2nd car for doing shopping, taking the kids places, etc.

All the towns that you are interested in are very nice. And, you won't be that far from the City & I'm sure you & the kids will find lots to do there on weekends & school holidays!
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:31 AM
 
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I would add scotch plains to the list, I agree Summit and Chatham will be above your budget. scotch plains is known to be more diverse. Sanity in house prices is something we know nothing about
Property taxes are very high in Union county. But these are also very popular towns to raise kids. public transportation is close to useless in the suburbs, be prepared to get a second car.
Since your budget might constrain you, look in several towns, it might just come down to the best house. The good thing is you don't need a nyc commute, so you can look in somerset county as well. One definitely pays a premium in towns that are on the train line or bus line to nyc.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:36 AM
 
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Thank you all. Yo have certainly given me food for thought.
I see the house prizes are crazy high in some areas!!A very crucial & decisive factor though are the schools. The kids will be changing countries and from an Academy status School in the UK I may be prepared to go further in budget as long as the school is worth it.
Between these schools, which ones would you suggest :
Summit High School
New Providence High
Governor Livingston @ Berkeley Heights
Madison High (who so afr have been extremely helpful whenever I communicate with them)
Chatham High
If you have any other suggestions, please , I would really appreciate it.

Thank you all so much!!
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