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Old 09-10-2018, 01:05 PM
4 posts, read 1,778 times
Reputation: 14


Hi folks,

Looking for some timely advice and draw upon experiences of people here since we are crunched for time with this decision.

I have a new job lined up in NYC, scheduled to start in about 4-5 weeks- maybe able to negotiate out another week or so. My wife already works in Jersey city and has been commuting there.We currently live in Cherry Hill NJ and like the school system , neighborhood etc. Two boys (1st & 5th grade this year).
We are looking to first rent so that we can get a feel for the area and either sell or rent our house in Cherry Hill for the time being. When we buy, which is in about a year's time, we want to stick under the 500-550K price point(Either Single family home or Townhome).

With that in mind, obvious focus points are
1. Recommendation for Areas with 1 hr to 1.5 hr Commute to NYC (midtown office - maybe 10 min walk from Times Sq) and Jersey City (Newport area) - such that we are able to deal with picking up kids by 6pm etc.

2. Schools are equally important- something similar to Cherry Hill would be fine. I care about diversity, good high school graduation rate, AP programs and am reluctant to go purely by whatever number a private website ranks a school district.

We would preferably want to rent in the same area we can later afford to buy in.
Based on the Map I was considering - Monroe, Wayne, West Orange, Glen Ridge. I am continuing to look at other places.
Any comments on the places already listed or other areas you know of is much appreciated.

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Old 09-12-2018, 01:36 PM
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Reputation: 16

I don't have a ton of knowledge about the Wayne or West Orange areas but Monroe is an up and coming town for families. There are a lot of new construction houses that are reasonably priced and I believe the school district is adjusting to the new influx of people.

You may want to consider some towns along the Northeast Corridor line, such as South Brunswick, East Brunswick or even Metuchen. They all have good school districts and should be within a 1 1/2 hour commute into the city. Metuchen has a cute downtown area. East Brunswick and South Brunswick are a little more suburban but have easy access to Rt. 1 and the Turnpike.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:19 PM
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Default Edison

Lots of towns with good schools in that price range. Your limiting factor here obviously will be the 1-1.5 hour commute time - is that door-to-door or on the train?

Edison (North side - 08820) has some great schools and train ride is under 50 minutes from Metropark into NY Penn. Getting home by 6 to pick up kids would be difficult though as 50 minutes on the train turns into 1 hour 30 door to door.

Areas with good schools and slightly shorter commutes (i.e. Summit) will be in a higher price bracket. In Edison, you will have a lot to choose from in the 550k range for a single family home, and 400s for townhomes.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:07 PM
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I'm in a similar situation. I live in Delran and commute to midtown everyday. The wife and I have been looking into Montclair, cranford, and scotch plains.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:47 PM
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Adding onto my previous comment, I recently decided on Edison (moving in from NYC) for full disclosure.

I had also previously considered Fair Lawn, because of the similar commute and good schools, but 1) housing stock there is not as good comparatively for the price - older and small and 2) the trains were not as frequent as from Metropark.

Also briefly looked at Woodridge (schools not ranked well) and Summit/Chatham (priced out).

Best of luck on your searches!
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:45 AM
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Thanks for the responses so far. We drove around Wayne, Parsippany, Summit, Livingston, Montclair. We like Wayne , not so much Parsippany- didn’t quite have that suburban feel we got from Wayne, maybe didn’t see the right areas. The others we were priced out, Going to check out Monroe, Metuchen, SouthBrunswick next. I feel overall we would feel better being next to both bus as well as train options for our commute.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:45 AM
Location: Central NJ and PA
1,952 posts, read 599,530 times
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How important is diversity? If this is more of an 'it would be nice' rather than 'it's critical', a suggestion would be Long Hill Township (Gilette/Stirling). You'll be at the maximum for commute time, but there's housing in your price range and schools are good. Rentals can be tough to find, but there are a few. There's no NJ Transit bus, but there is the Lakeland bus into Port Authority, along with the NJ Transit trains.
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:32 AM
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Reputation: 21
550k gets you different houses in different towns, with different taxes. In fair lawn where i live, on the more sought after parts of town, 550k gets you a 3 or 4 bed with 2 bath, about 1800 sqft which is nicely renovated with 12k taxes. there is also a new town home community being built with lowest price point being around 540k - radburn at crossings by pulte. This is just a skip and hop away from train station that has express trains. not sure about teh tax, but could be 15k (my guess). thsi also has radburn association fee and HOA fee.
Fair Lawn schools are very good, commute is very good (tons of bus option and 2 train stations), but no nice downtown area, but all the malls of paramus <5 mins drive away.

good luck with your search.
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