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Old 07-07-2008, 10:44 AM
 
15 posts, read 64,834 times
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OK I am in the US currently in Langhorne, PA. I have been scouting the areas and love West Windsor and Lower Makefield still have to make my way to Montgomery and Pennington.

What I would love to know is which of these towns is best rated in terms of:

1. Elementary Education
2. Racial Diversity
3. Safety
4. Community Feel
5. Access to Commercial stuff e.g grocery store etc.

Also I have a budget of 950, 000 for a house. I prefer open and spacious rooms and a good lot size where would I get a good deal in that amount. I loved Cottonwood drive in West Windsor but it was a bit pricey.

I need help fast as I am living in a Residence Inn at the moment [with a toddler yikes!]
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarehope View Post
OK I am in the US currently in Langhorne, PA. I have been scouting the areas and love West Windsor and Lower Makefield still have to make my way to Montgomery and Pennington.

What I would love to know is which of these towns is best rated in terms of:

1. Elementary Education
2. Racial Diversity
3. Safety
4. Community Feel
5. Access to Commercial stuff e.g grocery store etc.

Also I have a budget of 950, 000 for a house. I prefer open and spacious rooms and a good lot size where would I get a good deal in that amount. I loved Cottonwood drive in West Windsor but it was a bit pricey.

I need help fast as I am living in a Residence Inn at the moment [with a toddler yikes!]
Pennington and Montgomery are beautiful areas with great schools and high taxes. Princeton is Princeton. West Windsor is a good area with great schools but I would rank it last on the list with the other three. You might also look in Hopewell which is again a great area with very good schools. In the $1 million price range, you'll do very well on recent construction in Hopewell with some acreage.

Better make sure you can afford the taxes on a 950K house in those areas. Lower Makefield and Bucks County in general is going to offer more house with maybe 50%-60% of the tax bill in NJ.

There isn't a ton of diversity in these towns, Princeton has an oriental population tied to the university. Montgomery probably has the least community feel since it has no downtown area.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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All of the areas you have chosen have great school districts and very distinctive "personalities". Pennington and Hopewell are more bucolic than West Windsor and with that, a little more limited in their retail selection.

Brookline Estates (Cottonwood Dr.) is one of the newer subdivisions in West Windsor and the homes hover around 1M.

If you like West Windsor look at the homes in Kings Point, Kings Mill, Heatherfield (across from Mercer Co. Park), Hunters Run, Millbrook (large open floor plans on good size lots) or Le Parc (they have a community pool and tennis courts). these homes are all within your range.

West Windsor is a tight little community, very diverse, the high school population is 40% non-caucasion.

I don't know anything about Lower Makefield, but Montgomery, Pennington and West Windsor are all great places IMO, just different!

Good luck with the toddler in the Residence Inn (I was in your shoes some years ago and couldn't wait to find a house)
Good Luck!
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,757 posts, read 32,902,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarehope View Post
OK I am in the US currently in Langhorne, PA. I have been scouting the areas and love West Windsor and Lower Makefield still have to make my way to Montgomery and Pennington.

What I would love to know is which of these towns is best rated in terms of:

1. Elementary Education
2. Racial Diversity
3. Safety
4. Community Feel
5. Access to Commercial stuff e.g grocery store etc.

Also I have a budget of 950, 000 for a house. I prefer open and spacious rooms and a good lot size where would I get a good deal in that amount. I loved Cottonwood drive in West Windsor but it was a bit pricey.

I need help fast as I am living in a Residence Inn at the moment [with a toddler yikes!]
I am a person of color who has raised two kids in West Windsor. Of the places you mention, I rank West Windsor-Plainsboro at the top in terms of elementary education. The towns are also very diverse, close to being a majority minority (at least as far as the younger population goes). The diversity is mostly Asian; all parts of South and East Asia are represented. There is good access to grocery stores; Wegmans, Whole Foods and McCaffrey's are within township limits, and Super Fresh (Plainsboro), Shop Rite (Lawrence) and another McCaffrey's (Princeton) are close by. West Windsor is very safe, from what I see, there is more of a community feel for families with children than for those not of parenting age. The only thing I will say about Pennington/the Hopewells is that I really had a bad time in considering moving there. I encountered much discrimination.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:42 AM
 
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West Windosr keeps sounding better and better. I am looking at houses there but my husband keeps leaning towards lower makefield obviously because of the shorter commute and lower prices. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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I live in WW and work in Lower Makefield. I think that's the best possible combination.

As far as I can see, home prices and tax rates are somewhat higher in West Windsor, but as good as Lower Makefield schools are (Pennsbury, not Council Rock district), they don't hold a candle to West Windsor. WW-P schools are a very big draw. As I have said in the past, there is more diversity in West Windsor. You can definitely get a very nice home in West Windsor for $950K, and it will maintain its value in this uncertain market. The new Toll Bros. development behind Carnegie Center and near Clarksville Rd also has homes in your price range, and even lower. What is your (or his) commute? It is much easier to get to NYC or points North from West Windsor; for other destinations, it depends on where you want to go.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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Sunil's Dad- The problem with the homes in the Estates at Princeton Junction (Toll Brothers) is they don't have any yards, the homes take up most of the lot.

I believe the OP mentioned that she wanted "a good sized lot".
There are a number of big homes on big lots in great neighbourhoods "across the tracks"
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyj View Post
Sunil's Dad- The problem with the homes in the Estates at Princeton Junction (Toll Brothers) is they don't have any yards, the homes take up most of the lot.

I believe the OP mentioned that she wanted "a good sized lot".
There are a number of big homes on big lots in great neighbourhoods "across the tracks"
Yes, that's true, now that I think of it......however, they are even now, much cheaper than 950K, if that matters at all..........
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:47 AM
 
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Hey Sunils Dad you seem to know the area My husbands office would be in Langhorne but I am still leaning towards WW as the elemntary schools there are great as you said. Now any ideas as to where the neighborhoods are more like Brookline estates which is a bit out of our budget?

Also hows the commute since everybody says it will take an hour but the times we went down to WW from Langhorne it took 30 minutes including time we got lost in
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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Hi. I can't say I'm real well-versed on the neighborhoods' names, but most anywhere east of the train tracks and west of New Village Road is pretty much in your price range. The commute from WW to Langhorne should take you anywhere from 25-40 minutes depending on time of day and traffic....
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