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Old 10-22-2015, 01:48 PM
 
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What's the story on Washington the town proper? Found a gorgeous 5 bed Victorian for $188k, so, who was killed there lol

Found a house in Hoptacong with spectacular panoramic views for $115k, same question! It surely needs work, it was a 60's time capsule but it wasn't falling down. It's just confusing to figure out the real estate, some places the house is $350k and a 70's throwback avocado green kitchen and pink 50's tile bathroom, a few blocks over the house is $250k and totally new inside. I think I'm going to drive myself crazy trying to find the perfect house with everything lining up perfectly, newer remodeled inside, no well, on sewer and gas, no pedophile living half a mile away (my top house I wanted to make an offer on had that little surprise)
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:55 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,063,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
I don't recommend High Bridge. Lots of abandoned properties and empty downtown. Taxes are high compared to surrounding towns.
I'm with you on the taxes, but where are you seeing abandoned properties and an empty downtown? There are three restaurants, a post office, two churches, a high end wine shop, a pizza place, and a couple of other small businesses either on or just off of Main Street.

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Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
Most of the homes you are seeing are probably in Lake Solitude, which is a trailer park.
Some, but not all-there are plenty of stick built homes in all parts of town that would be in the OP's range. I'm not exactly a High Bridge cheerleader because trust me, our elected officials have made some serious blunders over the years (resulting in the high taxes), but in terms of actual quality of life in town its a very nice place to live, and much of that is due to location. High Bridge is surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of public land, the two biggest lakes in the state, Route 31, I-78, and it's on the Raritan Valley Line.

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Originally Posted by kunchbunch View Post
What's the story on Washington the town proper? Found a gorgeous 5 bed Victorian for $188k, so, who was killed there lol
Washington Boro (there is also a Washington Township) is a little run down and a little busy as 31 and 57 run right through the middle of it. It's also pretty far out (Warren County) for your purposes. I would shocked if Washington has seen a murder in the last 50 years.

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Originally Posted by kunchbunch View Post
I think I'm going to drive myself crazy trying to find the perfect house with everything lining up perfectly
I'd say that's about right. This is one case where I think I might see the value in a good real estate agent. Normally I have no use for them, but if you had someone knowledgeable about these areas who could assist you in your home search and tell you which of your concerns were valid and which were, quite frankly, ridiculous (and trust me, some of them are), you'd probably be a lot more at ease.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kunchbunch View Post
newer remodeled inside, no well, on sewer and gas
You're going to have to give up on the sewer, gas, and public water as a must have or find an entirely different place to live. Any house you find is going to have one or more of those. Most of High Bridge has public water, and sewer, for example, but only certain parts of town have gas. These things are not the necessities you think they are-you do realize that there are plenty of people in the Upper Midwest, not very far from you right now who have no public utilities besides electricity, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kunchbunch View Post
no pedophile living half a mile away (my top house I wanted to make an offer on had that little surprise)
Two things to keep in mind:

1. NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation.

2. You can be labeled a sex offender for being convicted of public urination or statutory rape (18 year old dates a 16 year old and gets caught).

Not saying that is always the case, but it's yet another thing that if we all obsessed over it, we'd never come out of our houses, much less move anywhere.

Last edited by Badfish740; 10-22-2015 at 02:08 PM..
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
4,074 posts, read 7,058,372 times
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How young are your kids? If they're younger and school isn't an immediate concern, I would highly suggest that you think about renting for a year. You can use that time to get to know the different areas and towns which is so difficult to do from a 1000 miles away.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:08 PM
 
2,470 posts, read 2,497,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunchbunch View Post
What's the story on Washington the town proper? Found a gorgeous 5 bed Victorian for $188k, so, who was killed there lol

Found a house in Hoptacong with spectacular panoramic views for $115k, same question! It surely needs work, it was a 60's time capsule but it wasn't falling down. It's just confusing to figure out the real estate, some places the house is $350k and a 70's throwback avocado green kitchen and pink 50's tile bathroom, a few blocks over the house is $250k and totally new inside. I think I'm going to drive myself crazy trying to find the perfect house with everything lining up perfectly, newer remodeled inside, no well, on sewer and gas, no pedophile living half a mile away (my top house I wanted to make an offer on had that little surprise)
Washington is meh, they fixed up the downtown a bit, you can definitely live there and be ok.

Hopatcong will depend strongly on the street and how close to the lake you are. Lakeviews and lakefront will cost a lot more.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:25 PM
 
2,470 posts, read 2,497,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
I'm with you on the taxes, but where are you seeing abandoned properties and an empty downtown? There are three restaurants, a post office, two churches, a high end wine shop, a pizza place, and a couple of other small businesses either on or just off of Main Street.



Some, but not all-there are plenty of stick built homes in all parts of town that would be in the OP's range. I'm not exactly a High Bridge cheerleader because trust me, our elected officials have made some serious blunders over the years (resulting in the high taxes), but in terms of actual quality of life in town its a very nice place to live, and much of that is due to location. High Bridge is surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of public land, the two biggest lakes in the state, Route 31, I-78, and it's on the Raritan Valley Line.



Washington Boro (there is also a Washington Township) is a little run down and a little busy as 31 and 57 run right through the middle of it. It's also pretty far out (Warren County) for your purposes. I would shocked if Washington has seen a murder in the last 50 years.



I'd say that's about right. This is one case where I think I might see the value in a good real estate agent. Normally I have no use for them, but if you had someone knowledgeable about these areas who could assist you in your home search and tell you which of your concerns were valid and which were, quite frankly, ridiculous (and trust me, some of them are), you'd probably be a lot more at ease.



You're going to have to give up on the sewer, gas, and public water as a must have or find an entirely different place to live. Any house you find is going to have one or more of those. Most of High Bridge has public water, and sewer, for example, but only certain parts of town have gas. These things are not the necessities you think they are-you do realize that there are plenty of people in the Upper Midwest, not very far from you right now who have no public utilities besides electricity, right?



Two things to keep in mind:

1. NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation.

2. You can be labeled a sex offender for being convicted of public urination or statutory rape (18 year old dates a 16 year old and gets caught).

Not saying that is always the case, but it's yet another thing that if we all obsessed over it, we'd never come out of our houses, much less move anywhere.
Right along Route 513 in between the train station and 31 are quite a few abandoned properties. The burned down Chinese restaurant, the old factory across the street, not sure what it once was. Plus there are a fair amount of vacant residential properties and beat up, if not boarded up, houses along Fairview.

The string of towns from High Bridge, to Glen Gardner, to Hampton have all seen better days. I kinda like them and live in that area myself with no issues.

That said, I actually like High Bridge. But compared to southern Sussex, it is expensive for what you get, both tax wise and home wise. I'll always see a few cheap houses in High Bridge in the 200-250k range, and most of them are trailers in Lake Solitude (not that theres anything wrong with trailers, but I'm not spending $225k on a thin trailer). The modulars up on the hill (King Hill Road, Mark Dr) are nicer modulars but still in a trailer park with almost no land and not as cheap.

I'll still take Hunterdon over Sussex, though, and pay more for less.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:35 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,063,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
Right along Route 513 in between the train station and 31 are quite a few abandoned properties. The burned down Chinese restaurant, the old factory across the street, not sure what it once was. Plus there are a fair amount of vacant residential properties and beat up, if not boarded up, houses along Fairview.
The Chinese restaurant just burned, and quite frankly, it was kind of dump to begin with so no big loss there. I think that insurance/environmental concerns (it backs to the South Branch of the Raritan) are the reason things are held up there. Exact Level Tool just got cleaned up, but I don't even notice it's there really. The houses along 513/Fairview did seem to see a lot of foreclosures, but they'll turn over. We had a few foreclosures in our neighborhood, but they were all purchased at auction by investors and flipped, which gave a nice boost to the overall values in the last two years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
That said, I actually like High Bridge. But compared to southern Sussex, it is expensive for what you get, both tax wise and home wise.
Well sure-my wife is from Hampton (Sussex County) and we'd love to live there, but the problem is where do you work? My FIL does Hampton to Mendham every day and it's an hour and forty five minute trail of tears most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
I'll always see a few cheap houses in High Bridge in the 200-250k range, and most of them are trailers in Lake Solitude (not that theres anything wrong with trailers, but I'm not spending $225k on a thin trailer).
Maybe before the real estate crash, but there's quite a bit on the market in High Bridge (not in Solitude) in the $200-250K range right now. So much so, in fact that we're thinking of buying of them and renting our current house.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:04 PM
 
2,470 posts, read 2,497,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
The Chinese restaurant just burned, and quite frankly, it was kind of dump to begin with so no big loss there. I think that insurance/environmental concerns (it backs to the South Branch of the Raritan) are the reason things are held up there. Exact Level Tool just got cleaned up, but I don't even notice it's there really. The houses along 513/Fairview did seem to see a lot of foreclosures, but they'll turn over. We had a few foreclosures in our neighborhood, but they were all purchased at auction by investors and flipped, which gave a nice boost to the overall values in the last two years.



Well sure-my wife is from Hampton (Sussex County) and we'd love to live there, but the problem is where do you work? My FIL does Hampton to Mendham every day and it's an hour and forty five minute trail of tears most of the time.



Maybe before the real estate crash, but there's quite a bit on the market in High Bridge (not in Solitude) in the $200-250K range right now. So much so, in fact that we're thinking of buying of them and renting our current house.
I was thinking of Mill St, not Fairview, though Fairview went through a rough period I agree it looks better. As does Cregar. Mill Street looks like a West Virginia mountain holler. Some seedy looking characters always walking around down there too. Who the genius was who put a yield sign on 513 should be tarred and feathered. That intersection needs a stop sign. When you come down the hill from Califon, no one making the left stops because they think they can just yield and assume you are making a right turn...rant over
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:06 PM
 
3,996 posts, read 8,738,656 times
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Originally Posted by kunchbunch View Post
Looking at Stanhope, Newton, Netcong, Sparta...loved Panther Valley but the hoa fees kills me. Our priority for our new home is safety (criminals and bears lol) views and little hometown things to do/walk to. Budget is $250k-ish which is sticker shock, our house in NW IN has been gutted, granite everything, copper sink, large yard, 3 bed and is $150k with $800 taxes lol. Houses for $150k look like they need to be torn down in NJ and it scares me that I see some houses that sold for $350k a few years ago now going for $200k. How did that happen?
That area is one of the few in North Jersey that rose and fell hard with the housing boom/bust. Its far out from most of the major places of employment in NJ and the prices have historically reflected that (and I would say they currently do as well). As the housing market got a bit out of control in Morris/Bergen/Passaic, etc people moved further and further west causing the prices to skyrocket. As housing prices declined, people no longer felt the need/desire to move so far out just to get a cheaper house and the prices have corrected themselves.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
4,074 posts, read 7,058,372 times
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Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
That area is one of the few in North Jersey that rose and fell hard with the housing boom/bust. Its far out from most of the major places of employment in NJ and the prices have historically reflected that (and I would say they currently do as well). As the housing market got a bit out of control in Morris/Bergen/Passaic, etc people moved further and further west causing the prices to skyrocket. As housing prices declined, people no longer felt the need/desire to move so far out just to get a cheaper house and the prices have corrected themselves.
Excellent recap.

And the OP is lucky enough to be located with a job out in that area and gets the benefit of the lower prices. OP - you may have sticker shock, but if you browse a bit further east, you will quickly see that you are looking in some of the most affordable areas in northern NJ.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:18 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 8,063,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfFull View Post
And the OP is lucky enough to be located with a job out in that area and gets the benefit of the lower prices. OP - you may have sticker shock, but if you browse a bit further east, you will quickly see that you are looking in some of the most affordable areas in northern NJ.
OP is lucky to have found this area seven years (and a financial crisis) after I did...lol
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