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Old 09-17-2018, 03:44 PM
 
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hi! we currently live in waldwick and are looking to move. we are looking into the bergen county area but are torn between a few different towns.

We love waldwick and its community, but the houses are a bit "plain"... my husband and I are both architects and we are looking for something with more character. This is why we started looking into Wyckoff, Midland Park, Ridgewood (mostly out of budget) and Glen Rock. We have four little kids and we looked into these towns because of their school system. Just recently I bumped into a few homes in Oakland. This town was never in our radar as it seem a bit "far" from the "center", but I am very surprised to see the houses for sale in this area. I feel like you get more property than in Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff, for the same price... I find myself now in a crossroads and would like to read opinions on the matter...

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:06 AM
Status: "Uncomfortably numb" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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I know Midland Park best, since that's where I grew up and returned to when I raised my daughter. Because it's an older town, it does have some houses with more style than some of the newer, box-like construction of the past thirty years or so. Of course, if you are looking for "new construction" as so many people on this board seem to, you're not going to find as much of it as you would in formerly-more-rural towns like Wyckoff that jumped onto the McMansion bandwagon.

Different areas were built up at different times, so you will find varying flavors of architecture.

I remember walking along Hillside Avenue when my daughter was little and noticing that of the houses there. Every one was different, every one had its own features in the doorways, roofs, etc. That was 20 years ago, so maybe they've all been turned into boxes by now, lol, I don't know. But my father lived on Hillside Avenue in the 1920s and '30s, and then on Bank Street, so that's an older part of town.

The area closer to Waldwick with the "Tree" street names (Evergreen, Spruce, Pine...) was built up around the 1960s. It was called "the estates", and they were small houses that all looked the same, sold for $10K at the time, and drew in the people from the Bronx and other parts of NYC who were looking to flee the city at the time. Most of those houses have been upgraded and remodeled and don't all look alike anymore.

You'll also find areas that have the '50s and '60s split level type of houses, and I last lived in a house on Center Street, the tall, skinnyish rectangular type of house with a front porch you'll also see around town. That one was built in the 1890s and was one of the houses built for the workers at the mill (now Mill Gardens assisted living facility).

You'll also find some older homes that have some style on the streets near the section of town still referred to as Wortendyke, the original town name.

It was a good town to grow up in, and it was a good town to raise my kid in. If your heart is set on having your son grow up to be a football star, it's not such a good choice.

Oakland is also a good choice. It still retains some of its country feel and you'll run into less of the snob factor found in Wyckoff, Ridgewood, or Glen Rock. NOT saying that everyone in those towns is snobby, because that's not true, but with the higher overall affluence you will naturally find a higher percentage of people in those places who define themselves and possibly others by their possessions and income. Oakland has some low-lying areas near the Ramapo River that flood. If the house prices look too good to be true, that's probably why.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:13 AM
 
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Isn't Wyckoff by Teaneck?

Very high priced area. Bergen County

My family had a house in Upper Saddle River. Had horses in the back. This was eons ago... In the 80s.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: NNJ --> NE FL 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creamer1 View Post
Isn't Wyckoff by Teaneck?

Very high priced area. Bergen County

My family had a house in Upper Saddle River. Had horses in the back. This was eons ago... In the 80s.
No, Wyckoff is between Midland Park and Franklin Lakes.

I grew up in Midland Park as well (80's & 90's) and bought a home in Wyckoff back in 2012 (moved to Florida in 2015). If either budget/good school district is a concern, I'd focus my search on Oakland. They have great schools and feeds to either Indian Hills or Ramapo High School. The negatives are location and high effective property tax rates.

If we were moving back to NJ, I'd probably stick to Wyckoff. You get more property and the effective property tax rate is one of the lowest in Bergen county.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Glen Rock, NJ
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Glen Rock resident here. Biggest difference I would see is Oakland doesn't offer a train line and further West from NYC, where as RW and GR do have train lines, hence why there's a bit likely price difference and supply/demand difference. GR is fairly small and for the most part densely populated meaning most properties are 1/4-1/2 acre lots and like it or not, you'll get to know your neighbors and their kids. You'll find some larger patches of land along the line that borders RW but you'll tend to find the housing values/taxes will also be reflected in the larger parcels.

GR is a very walkable community where as Oakland is a bit more sparse and as I'm in Oakland every week for sport, it doesnt strike me as the most walkable friendly town but they do have some cool rec areas and programs, I mean it's a family town after all. I so tend to feel Oakland is a bit isolated (more rural for sure) where as GR seems to connect to other towns seamlessly as well.

Schools, I can only speak for my experiences with my kids so far in GR, which is that it's a really small school district (no busing required) that annually performs amongst the best in the state. Small class sizes for the most part and your kid gets to participate in everything/anything inside/outside of the school that they want without the higher competition in numbers that you would get with the large school districts.

Taxes, yep they're high (but relatively similar to many Bergen county towns). But you have 4 kids so the math works out better , hehe.

Snob factor is irrelevant to me because I dont surround myself around people that I dont like, be it GR or anywhere else.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:36 AM
Status: "Uncomfortably numb" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creamer1 View Post
Isn't Wyckoff by Teaneck?

Very high priced area. Bergen County

My family had a house in Upper Saddle River. Had horses in the back. This was eons ago... In the 80s.
No.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:37 AM
 
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Glen Rock is a great place. Love visiting family there.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:42 AM
Status: "Uncomfortably numb" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
64,689 posts, read 61,021,466 times
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Another advantage to Glen Rock (and Ridgewood) that might sound silly to some but would have value to me is that because they are older, long-established towns, there are a lot of houses with older trees on the property that add to the atmosphere of the town. Lots of leafy streets.

While for some that could be a no-no because of the irrational fear of having leaves on the lawn that strikes the heart of so many in suburbia, I would see that as a beautiful advantage. Since the OP and spouse are architects and appreciate character, that might appeal to them.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:52 AM
 
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As you're finding out, it's all about optimizing the town/location versus the house you want. For me, the actual house matters. If I can afford a better house by going a town over (assuming this doesn't affect commutes or schools), I have often chose that. Some folks set their mind on a town and that's that and they will buy what they can afford there. Which is a perfectly good way to go about it as well.

Oakland is a lovely town. I feel there is slightly less materialism there compared to some of the surrounding towns. If it works for your commute, you should take a deeper look there if you are looking at Wyckoff. The schools are good and feed into Ramapo/Indian Hills for high school which is shared with Franklin Lakes and Wyckoff
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
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I grew up in Glen Rock, so I'd recommend it! But seriously, all 4 towns are nice, with Oakland and Wycoff being a bit lower density.
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