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Old 01-09-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
6,272 posts, read 6,344,189 times
Reputation: 9041

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonno23 View Post
What about any towns that are closer and you can take the PATH train to NY. I'm thinking that w/ having to get in and out of the city for appts, it might end up being too much. What about Hoboken or something that close. What's that like? Too expensive? Not nice neighborhoods?
Thanks so much again.
Hoboken would have been my second choice but you said you wanted a yard. Hoboken is like living in Manhattan, but at a significant discount. Obviously you can hop into town anytime using the PATH. And the town is hip and cool with lots of interesting people. Downside: Parking. Very difficult unless you live in a condo with indoor parking or a house with offstreet parking. Of course you can live in Hoboken without owning a car, but that's a lifestyle choice. However, $500,000 isn't going very far in Hoboken. Just a basic condo. Same for downtown Jersey City or Weehawken.

You might want to consider renting for now. A $500,000 budget is short for cool digs in a cool town. Yes you can find a Cape or Colonial in Rutherford, Ridgefield, Secaucus, Nutley, Clifton etc, but really these are not "hip" areas, just run-of-the-mill bedroom communities.

Or do a two-step plan. Buy a low-end Cape or Colonial in a fairly-close-to-NYC area like Rutherford or Secaucus, or a small condo in Hoboken or Downtown JC and live there for 5-10 years. Then plan a move-up when your budget is better. That way you enjoy what a house offers for the short term while saving up for the dream house/community in a few years.

The bottom line is $475,000-$500,000 or so is not going to get you a decent house with a nice yard in a cool hip town that is very close to NYC. You're going to have to lower your expectations on that budget. Better to get it over with now than start looking at a hundred disappointing properties.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: North Jersey
5 posts, read 13,398 times
Reputation: 14
Ditto what Marc just said about a $500K budget. We live in Clifton, which is considerably more affordable, but has absolutely NONE of the charms of Montclair. We've been considering a move there ourselves, with about the same budget, but the taxes on a $500K home in Montclair are likely to be around $15K/year (that's an extra $1,200/month on top of your mortgage!!).

Oh, I should add, though, that if you can swing it, Montclair is a very nice, artsy type of town, with great restaurants, nice parks and a friendly vibe.

Good luck...
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: NJ
3,391 posts, read 7,503,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotic Smelt View Post
Ditto what Marc just said about a $500K budget. We live in Clifton, which is considerably more affordable, but has absolutely NONE of the charms of Montclair. We've been considering a move there ourselves, with about the same budget, but the taxes on a $500K home in Montclair are likely to be around $15K/year (that's an extra $1,200/month on top of your mortgage!!).

Good luck...
That was my point in my earlier post. Why bother paying that huge extra premium to live in a "cool" town when it only takes 5-10 minutes to drive there. It's just not worth the extra cost in my opinion. It's not like you'll be dining out or shopping there every single day that would make that short drive a hardship. We decided on West Orange for that reason. I'm paying 8k taxes on a $350k house. Similar houses in Montclair were more like $400k with $12k taxes. Downtown Montclair is only 5 minutes from my house. Now I can use that savings to actually spend on what Montclair has to offer.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:45 PM
 
6 posts, read 15,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonno23 View Post
What about any towns that are closer and you can take the PATH train to NY. I'm thinking that w/ having to get in and out of the city for appts, it might end up being too much. What about Hoboken or something that close. What's that like? Too expensive? Not nice neighborhoods?
Thanks so much again.
Hoboken always has its streets full of people, you have choice of restaurants throughout the entire town. You see people eating outside restaurants in the summer. Hoboken is famous because of the nightlife it offers, lounges, bars, it's busy during the night. What you mostly find is condos + apartments. Expensive for what you get, you would have a hard time trying to find parking if you don't own your own parking place. It's the reason why from the beginning I suggested the other places, like I said considering your needs. You can choose from A house with a yard, to a gated community that offer great amenities for everyone in your family. With the advantage of having the city close, close but without the apartment life.

Last edited by MCarrillo; 01-10-2010 at 01:28 PM..
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:32 PM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
239 posts, read 965,554 times
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You've gotten a lot of good advice. Hoboken is great, I loved living there-- a lot of young people live there (recent college graduates) You won't get a yard in Hoboken but there are some nice parks. A lot of people move from Hoboken to Westfield, where I live now. (A lot of people also move from Manhattan to Westfield) It's too far from the city for your liking (@ an hour) and definitely not as artsy as Montclair, but it is a great family-friendly community with excellent schools (again not an issue for you). Charming downtown, many community activities, I love living here as does my British husband. I have friends in Nutley, they love it. I also lived in Weehawken, it's very spread out and not quite as much fun as Hoboken but you will get a small yard there.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:44 PM
 
94 posts, read 180,069 times
Reputation: 31
Thank you all for these great thoughts. Lots of things I didn't know like not many houses in Hoboken and houses more expensive that I had hoped.

I think we'll try to do a home exchange for 3-4 months and then take the time to know the different areas.
Thank you all again!
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Home
1,483 posts, read 2,545,325 times
Reputation: 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansky View Post
That was my point in my earlier post. Why bother paying that huge extra premium to live in a "cool" town when it only takes 5-10 minutes to drive there.
How many drinks can you have at dinner before driving home?


After living in Hoboken for XX years, the things you seem to forget, like meeting friends for drinks (or even dinner) you have to start counting. It's nice to not have to get your car out to go everywhere.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,636 posts, read 4,686,651 times
Reputation: 2230
I've always wondered, irrespective of the OP, what makes these people asking for "hip" neighborhoods think they are "hip" themselves?
Most people who dig & search so desperately for such places (as opposed to just naturally finding them) are usually the ones who are responsible for turning a "hip" neighborhood into bland, yuppie, urban enclaves.
"Hip" urban areas usually have some element of danger to them (at least they used to).
"Hip" has become a distorted meaning.
Downtown Jersey City USED to be quite "hip" years & years ago. Artists & avant garde types created among interesting & unsafe environs. Now it is NOT that way.
What you are asking for is a liberal minded, safe, socioeconomically acceptable version of "hip".
There is nothing wrong with that, but lets be clear about the true meaning of the question asked.
If you really want the "hippest" neighborhood in NJ.......................... Downtown Newark would be the answer.
Artists are flocking into the wide open & affordable abandon factory & loft space in the Bricks.
But you don't really want that type of "hip"; just a reasonable facsimile there of.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Sunshine N'Blue Skies
13,320 posts, read 18,634,434 times
Reputation: 11618
I'd move to Denville, NJ........Lake Arrowhead to be precise. Then take the train from the station
back and forth to NY.
Denville is an adorable town. Lake Arrowhead is great for families and kids. There is good transportation to the city. You can drive a pretty straight route in from there to NYC.
Thinking hip as artist, TV production, upbeat .........Not sure that this town is hip. Its just a proper town and a good environment.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
6,272 posts, read 6,344,189 times
Reputation: 9041
Quote:
Originally Posted by openheads View Post
I've always wondered, irrespective of the OP, what makes these people asking for "hip" neighborhoods think they are "hip" themselves?
Most people who dig & search so desperately for such places (as opposed to just naturally finding them) are usually the ones who are responsible for turning a "hip" neighborhood into bland, yuppie, urban enclaves.
"Hip" urban areas usually have some element of danger to them (at least they used to).
"Hip" has become a distorted meaning.
Downtown Jersey City USED to be quite "hip" years & years ago. Artists & avant garde types created among interesting & unsafe environs. Now it is NOT that way.
What you are asking for is a liberal minded, safe, socioeconomically acceptable version of "hip".
There is nothing wrong with that, but lets be clear about the true meaning of the question asked.
If you really want the "hippest" neighborhood in NJ.......................... Downtown Newark would be the answer.
Artists are flocking into the wide open & affordable abandon factory & loft space in the Bricks.
But you don't really want that type of "hip"; just a reasonable facsimile there of.
Too much of a connection with "unsafety". I don't think hip has much to do with the safety factor. Hip in the type of people who reside in an area. They are usually smart, fun, urban, dress cool, are usually young, have good senses of humor, look a little weird or exotic, but in a pleasant way, are not afraid to be individuals rather than the boring fearful masses, are interesting to talk to, are often creative or artistic, are a little more "individual" than the beaten down suburbanites, things like that. What is hip? Not sure exactly, but I know it when I see it and when I'm hanging with it.

You see lots of it in some towns like Montclair and Hoboken, you see much less of it in Clifton, Wayne, and Paramus, you see none of it in Phillipsburg.

Just kidding! P-Burg's ok.
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