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Old 03-04-2010, 10:33 AM
Location: Cranford, New Jersey
7 posts, read 22,636 times
Reputation: 19


My wife and I are renting in Avenel right now, but our lease is up in about two months and we're looking at moving to either Clark or Cranford. Can anybody give any advice as to which is better? They seem pretty close in most important aspects, but we're looking for someplace with a low crime rate, affordable living, good schools, conveniences in town (ie stores and stuff), proximity to train (I commute into NYC) and such. Basically we're looking for a place to settle down, and the plan is to rent there for a year to make sure we like it before buying. Can anybody give me any advice on why I would or would not want to live in either?

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Old 03-04-2010, 11:49 AM
Location: Historic Downtown Jersey City
2,705 posts, read 6,785,562 times
Reputation: 1186
Cranford is considered more desirable, and housing prices reflect that. Cranford has a downtown (Clark does not) and a train station (Clark does not). Cranford's schools are a notch above Clark's.

Also, Clark has a reputation for racism, whether it's deserved or not (when I was growing up, it was deserved).
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:59 AM
18 posts, read 33,405 times
Reputation: 15
Red face Cranford

I have lived in Cranford since 1978 and have never regretted our decision. Small town feel, nice downtown area, activities in new Community Center for all, sports programs,two town pools, library,parades. Lots to do if you want to get involved.

My two kids both attended all public schools and both went to a great university and were well prepared. Wakable neighborhood schools including High Shool. We are both teachers so we stayed on top of our kids (should do wherever you live). We feel the school system is first class.

Only drawback is the possibility of flooding. Check carefully with Realtor for areas. We had to buy flood insurance to get mortgage so we went in with our eyes open. Two floods since 2000 (none before that). Much of town does not flood.

Iwould highly recommend Cranford based on our experiences.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:13 PM
Location: Edison, NJ
89 posts, read 365,076 times
Reputation: 35
My only issue with either town is the generally small lot size. Seems like most houses are on a tenth of an acre or slightly larger...
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:47 PM
9,124 posts, read 30,923,358 times
Reputation: 3501
Your money may go slightly farther in Clark, but you'll lose the proximity to the train, and the walkable downtown. Of course, if you're not living within walking distance of the train station in Cranford, you're out of luck anyway, since there's a long wait list for parking.

Last edited by Viralmd; 03-04-2010 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:19 PM
54 posts, read 199,306 times
Reputation: 30
I lived in Cranford for 4 years and my in-laws live in Clark and my husband grew up there. I would say Cranford hands down for the reasons people have mentioned. I think with the new parking garage it is easy to find parking for the train now...but I could be wrong..
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:31 PM
Location: New Jersey
478 posts, read 1,419,078 times
Reputation: 120
My brother lives in Cranford..his house is smaller then mind and cost like $75,000 less...but he pays $9000 in RE taxes while I pay $4000 a year..I worked in NYC too (was laidoff)... commuted from ocean county..yes a bummer but love where I live.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:24 AM
46 posts, read 84,213 times
Reputation: 19
Pretty much what everyone has said here is true. Clark is a nice town. But Cranford is a little nicer and has more of a downtown with the train station right in the middle of the town. But its also more expensive. If u can afford it. Choose Cranford. If not, u won't go wrong by choosing Clark either.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:51 PM
6 posts, read 30,613 times
Reputation: 10
We recently moved to Clark and don't regret our decision. Although there is no down town area like in Cranford, there are plenty of stores, super markets and restaurants to satisfy many people's needs. Plus Cranford, Westfield, etc. are so close that it doesn't really matter. We came from and work in the city so we know what its like to live close to stores. We take the Rahway train to work which is the same distance as going to Cranford but the Rahway train home can be faster. I also notice that you do get more lot for your money in Clark than in Cranford as we know people that live there. Good luck
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:08 PM
Location: Coral Springs
143 posts, read 336,185 times
Reputation: 53
Both are good areas, I would suggest you take a drive around & see what you like. I rented for a year in Cranford years back and really like the town. The only reason we did not stay was that I needed to be closer to a east/west corridor (78/22) for my job.
Overall I would choose Cranford: I would say schools are better (you can look up scores on the state site or check greatschools.com) and the neighborhoods are very well kept up. Some areas of Clark (esp near parkway) are a little worn out looking IMO. I have heard about the racism - esp in Winfield Park- but many towns in the area (including my current one) have that reputation.
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