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Old 06-06-2006, 07:25 PM
 
23 posts, read 50,113 times
Reputation: 26

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Hi. I've been reading a bunch of the threads here in the NJ forum, and starting to worry... we are moving to South Jersey next month (July 2006) and have been trying to figure out the best location to shoot for. My husband will be teaching at Richard Stockton. I will be staying home with our one-year old. We are moving from Florida -- which most people think is paradise, and we can't stand. It's so oppressively hot (and I'm a desert-born girl) and so expensive. People keep talking about how expensive NJ is, but when we look at housing prices they are not much different than they are here. Plus hurricane insurance is insane (never mind that you might lose your home in a hurricane and feel stressed every time you hear about a new storm forming). Traffic is insane. Florida seems to be a place where most of the residents are from somewhere else and there is a general lack of civic unity and friendliness. To us, the NJ we see online (south NJ at least) appears much more quaint, historical, and we hope to meet some regular all-American friendly families.

After reading several of the posts here, I feel like there are all these hidden expeses that we aren't aware of. We will be renting the first year, and see a few properties online that look promising -- around $1300 doesn't seem unreasonable. One in Swedesboro and one in Maple Shade look particularly promising. We know to stay away from Camden, Vineland, Pleasantville, AC. But what about the small cities in between AC and Philly? Are these towns that have a good feel to them? People say that Cherry Hill and Haddonfield are wonderful, but they are so close to Camden -- does the crime ever spill over?

Are there some kind of costs to living in NJ that we are just not aware of? What do the tolls cost? Aren't there some sort of monthly rates to keep those costs down? We know auto insurance is a lot, but it jumped up a lot when we moved to FL. I called and it will be about $400 a year more. That's some money, but not an extreme amount. We're not rich, so I'm trying to figure out what all the money-talk is about. I don't want us to get there, or decide on a particular town and then find out that there is some secret (to strangers) hole where we must deposit thousands of dollars... that or hand-over our first born to the state.

Thank you for your knowledge in advance!
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Missouri
5,934 posts, read 14,965,045 times
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Sounds like you've done your homework. Burlington County east of Rt. 295 is nice and not overly built up. I am not familiar with NJ much further south than Burlington County, but I have been to Mullica Hill in Gloucester County a few times and that area seems really cute.
If you can deal with the costs of housing + taxes + car insurance, then you'll be fine. IMO it's the taxes that kill you.
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:23 PM
 
Location: At the local Wawa
538 posts, read 1,631,756 times
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Take it from a Richard Stockton graduate- you are much better living near RSC than living toward Philadelphia. Although it seems close by, commuting from Haddonfield or Cherry Hill to Pomona would be a nightmare. Tolls on the AC Expressway can add up- $3.00 each way. Garden State Parkway has low tolls, usually 35 cents. If you really like Haddonfield, and you can afford it, it is a beautiful, quaint town. No crime to speak of. Cherry Hill is very busy, congested, and has no downtown. Sprawling suburb. Having lived down there, I would live in Port Republic, Tuckerton, or Mays Landing. Quaint towns that are pretty close to the shore. If you can afford it, Brigantine or Stone Harbor are really nice too. Of course, Cape May is the premier town down there, the whole town is one big historic district, but expect to pay $600k and up for anything decent. In addition to the towns you named, I would avoid Chesilhurst, Millville, and Bridgeton. Egg Harbor City and Hammonton have been getting shady lately too. Look outside the Philly suburbs and you'll find cheaper rent than $1300.

I found than NJ taxes aren't that bad if you are a renting. Its the property tax that is a killer in this state. Our sales tax is 6% (decent), there is no wage tax (like in Pennsylvania) or tax on personal property (in New England). State income tax is low if you don't make much, like 2%. If you make over 59k, it goes higher, but top rate is 7%, you gotta be making mucho money to be taxed at that rate. Car insurance used to be bad, now there is more competition and rates have come down, but still expect to pay $800 a year with full coverage, clean driving record, less for no collision. Gas is cheaper here than NY or PA.

Last edited by Phish Head; 06-07-2006 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:14 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,216 times
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Default Moving To South Jersey

Hi there,
If you are moving to S. Jersey so your hubby can work at Stockton you dont want to move to swedesboro unless he wants a long comute. Try looking in Tuckerton or Little egg harbor. Tuckerton is exit 58 on the parkway and the exit for Stockton is 44. Tuckerton and LEH are both nice places to live and raise a family and within 20 miles of the college. Lots of shopping around the campus too. Good Luck!! KIM
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:17 AM
 
23 posts, read 50,113 times
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Default How about?

Any views on the Winslow/Berlin/Pine Hill area? Shady, or do-able? I want to be able to take my daughter on walks and not feel scared.

Thanks for the info so far -- it will definitely make us reconsider living close to Philly. Are the back roads to Stockton not worth taking?

Last edited by paulamom; 06-08-2006 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:24 PM
 
34 posts, read 167,414 times
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I grew up in South Jersey and actually went to Stockton for college. But it has been over 7 years since I've been back there. So my information may be a little outdated.

Like I said before, I grew up in Tabernacle which is in Burlington County. It would take me about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get from Stockton to my town and there was no traffic to speak of. I would agree with other posters when they say that it looks close on the map but the commute would be terrible. This is mostly because besides the parkway and the expressway, the roads are mostly double lane highways and small back roads as you approach Stockton.

If it were me, I wouldn't commute from the Cherry Hill area. How about Galloway? If you are staying at home and your daughter is only 1 year old you won't have to be concerned with schools or daycare. Plus you say that you are going to rent for the first year, it would make sense to be as close to Stockton as possible. When I was there, the area around Stockton wasn't bad . If I remember correctly, Stockton had a on-campus day care center called Free2Be, so if you did want to work or volunteer or have some free time, it would be available. I lived an a nice townhouse in Northfield. I also lived in Ventnor (which I wouldn't recommend for a family but it was fun as a student). The far end of Margate and Longport are very nice but I suppose that wouldn't be an easy commute either.

You mentioned taking walks with your daughter...A lot of the areas around Stockton are rural and do not have sidewalks but there are going to be lots of walking trails (ie dirt), etc...

P.S. I would also agree about not living on the Jersey side of Philly. I used to work in Cherry Hill and the traffic is not fun. Mays Landing is good. I'd also agree that Cape May is very nice but also very windy. It feels good in the summer but during the winter time with the wind whipping across the water. It is bitterly cold!!! I've been there in December and it was unbearable.

Last edited by restlessinmn; 06-08-2006 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 06-08-2006, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Jersey Shore
1,574 posts, read 3,259,603 times
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I lived in Cape May County and Atlantic County very recently and can tell you there some nice family towns. Unfortunately, I don't know their proximity to Stockton. Restlessinnm mentioned Northfield. A great town to raise a family as is neighboring Linwood. Taxes are high, though and homes don't come cheaply. Brigantine IS a nice area and still affordable in comparison to other towns close to the beach. Forget Stone Harbor and Cape May unless you can plunk down 1 mill and up for a home. These are towns for the extremely wealthy.

Mays Landing, Galloway, Egg Harbor Twp are all good suggestions. They are large towns with many schools so make sure to do research on the good ones! Smithville is part of Galloway and a very interesting town. It is a planned community around a historic shopping center. The center has a pond with paddle boats, restaurants, bars, antique and specialty shops. They have all kinds of special festivals and things-great for children. The subdivisions have walking trails, 2 community centers with pools, playgrounds, a day care, a puppet theater-it's really very nice and the elementary school is good. If it is close to where you want to be I'd check it out. Home prices are not bad.

Good luck!
South Jersey is a hidden gem. If you do move to one of the nicer towns, you will like it. Take a trip to Ocean City if you can-you'll be hooked!
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Old 07-04-2006, 06:39 PM
 
23 posts, read 50,113 times
Reputation: 26
Default Pollution

Thank you everyone for your information!

We are definitely narrowing places to consider down. My husband is flying up next week to look at places in person and find a rental for us. We've been looking at the information on city-data and another site that shows environmental pollutants. Does anyone have an opinion on the Beesley's Point area? close to Ocean City.... there is a coal burning power plant right there. It's set to close next year, but in the mean time, we worry that the air quality would be very bad (especially for our little one).

We think that all of the refineries on the Delaware River knock that part of the state out of contention altogether (nevermind the commute -- we've decided to avoid that at all costs if possible).

Aside from this one power-plant near Ocean City, does the area seem to be pretty clean?

Thank you!
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:18 AM
 
Location: ♥State of the heart♥
1,117 posts, read 3,229,256 times
Reputation: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulamom
Thank you everyone for your information!

We are definitely narrowing places to consider down. My husband is flying up next week to look at places in person and find a rental for us. We've been looking at the information on city-data and another site that shows environmental pollutants. Does anyone have an opinion on the Beesley's Point area? close to Ocean City.... there is a coal burning power plant right there. It's set to close next year, but in the mean time, we worry that the air quality would be very bad (especially for our little one).

We think that all of the refineries on the Delaware River knock that part of the state out of contention altogether (nevermind the commute -- we've decided to avoid that at all costs if possible).

Aside from this one power-plant near Ocean City, does the area seem to be pretty clean?

Thank you!
Hi Paulamom!
I love Beesley's Point! Very pretty there.

The plant is going to close next year, as you mentioned, but in the meantime it doesn't add much pollution to the air or bay relative to other areas. Our kids have called it "the cloudmaker" since they were little. No one around here even pays much attention to it.

The air quality in this general area is very good since we are pretty much on the ocean. The ocean/bay water quality is quite good since regulations when into effect about 15 - 20 years ago. We frequently see pods of dolphins in the waters, which indicates how clean it is.

Beesley's Point is a part of Upper Township. This is one of the most desirable areas in this region. The school system is excellent. The high school is Ocean City which is brand new now, and very nice. I have friends whose children go there and they love it.

Housing is reasonable, some new homes, mostly existing homes which could easily be remodeled. Lots of kids in the neighborhoods. Easy access to the parkway, which is how your husband would most likely go to Stockton. (Great school - lots of friends kids go there as well!)

The township property taxes are the most reasonable in this general area as well. Check also Seaville - nice neighborhoods there too. Good Luck!

Editing to add that I live 15 minutes south of Beesley's Point. Friends, our doctor, our vet, my hairdresser, etc are there, we've lived in this area for over a dozen years. I'd be happy to help with further information!

Last edited by Adream; 07-05-2006 at 11:20 AM..
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:03 PM
 
Location: new jersey
14 posts, read 39,266 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001
Sounds like you've done your homework. Burlington County east of Rt. 295 is nice and not overly built up. I am not familiar with NJ much further south than Burlington County, but I have been to Mullica Hill in Gloucester County a few times and that area seems really cute.
If you can deal with the costs of housing + taxes + car insurance, then you'll be fine. IMO it's the taxes that kill you.
yeah all of those are good I live in burlington county and I can tell you first hand that all of the little towns like mansfield, chesterfield are good places to live
there are nice new houses also
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