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Old 04-17-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Oh, I have to say, I've seen that same scenario played out in Chatham too. Many of the NJ Rich Burbs are guilty of this.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ/Amagansett, NY
4,171 posts, read 4,869,518 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnydrama64 View Post
Look...lets all relax for a second...Ive been in NJ all my life and almost closed on a home in Chatham...You are crazy to think that Chatham does not have a better school system and town. The people make the town right? Well theres no comparison..why because Short Hills has a billion dollar mall? Lets all not pretend the word "jappy" doent exist...it exists baby...and plenty of it. Chatham is a nice family town....and if you desire to keep up with the Jones and have your kids be wanting everything in sight and throwing tantrums, by all means, live in Short Hills.
I have spent most of my life in a town that shares a border with BOTH of these towns, and as long as I can remember, there has never been a time when Chatham's school system outranked Millburn's. As the previous poster said, you are just as likely to run into pretentiousness in Chatham as you are in Short Hills.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for the lively debate! The attitudes of both towns do worry me. It seems to be less severe in Chatham, but the neighborhood is still wealthy by most standards and I wouldn't be surprised if we run into these "attitude issues". We have actually expanded our search to the Wyoming section of Millburn. Or more accurately, we found a property that fits all our criteria in Wyoming. The remaining questions are the following:
1) If we build a new house there that's bigger and better than everyone else's on the block, will there be backlash against us? Will the value of the house maintain itself given all the other properties will be smaller and more modest?
2) What is Wyoming section of Millburn really like? It seems to have all the advantages of Short Hills without the cost of Short Hills. The streets looked lovely there. I've also heard some call it "the ghetto" section of Millburn. Any truth to that? Is there anything blatantly wrong with Wyoming that I'm missing?
3) Also, what's the parking situation in Millburn? Can we get a permit?

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
366 posts, read 927,759 times
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Originally Posted by Jerseydrifter View Post
1) If we build a new house there that's bigger and better than everyone else's on the block, will there be backlash against us? Will the value of the house maintain itself given all the other properties will be smaller and more modest?
Thanks again everyone!
I'm not a real estate pro but I think they might answer this one as follows. Generally if you build what becomes the most expensive house on the street, your neighbors might benefit from some appreciation more than you would if that same house were built in a more expensive neighborhood. Future well-to-do buyers might love your house, but not be so keen on the idea of living so close to all of the other "modest" homes on the block. I wouldn't expect a backlash unless you built some hideous monstrosity completely out of character with the neighborhood, which sometimes happens in the towns around here.

I would probably be leery of building an expensive new home in a community I don't know much about, or knew few people, no matter how tony a reputation it has. Although t sounds like you could afford to live just about anywhere, I'd be more inclined to buy a resale where I could add some value and see how I liked the community, schools, commuting, etc. Then trade up or build if you decide the town is for you.

Rhys

Last edited by RhysNJ; 04-19-2010 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ/Amagansett, NY
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Since there is no land left in Millburn to build, there are "tear downs" everywhere. I'm sure you probably noticed in your search for a house. Since this has become the norm, I dont know that it will have the same negative impact that it would in a town with a lot of new developments, but this is just a guess. I am not a real estate expert either.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseydrifter View Post
Thanks everyone for the lively debate! The attitudes of both towns do worry me. It seems to be less severe in Chatham, but the neighborhood is still wealthy by most standards and I wouldn't be surprised if we run into these "attitude issues".
That's why they call it "Chatitude"! Just kidding, nice town and people.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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hey there---first of all, congratulations on your upcoming move. I echo everyone here who is telling you that your choices are all good ones and that you can't go massively wrong with any of them.

My two cents are as such:

- Both are lovely towns with manageable commutes.

- Both have lovely town centers although I find Chatham's to be more charming than either the Short Hills center (which is tiny) or Millburn.

- To me, Chatham has more tear downs and therefore *relatively* more up and coming vs. Short Hills where most of the homes on the market are renos and there are less tear downs. Having said that, it's a bit like comparing Miss Universe to the first runner up. One may be more "this" than the other but they are both pretty perfect.

- Agree with the statement there is more $$ in Short Hills but see my reference above.

- I do think the elementary schools in all of Millburn are incredible. My experience as the mother of a child with an IEP and another who is a performer is that the schools have exceeded our wildest expectations here in Millburn. Even in the midst of this budget issue, to date, none of the cuts will change that. However, be forewarned that there is some potential redistricting at the elementary school level within all of Millburn so even with your Wyoming school home, make sure you are not on the border. You can find the map of the school districts in the Millburn Township website.

- If your children are in the performing arts, Millburn has the Paper Mill Playhouse.... Both towns have access to other fine services in Summit such as the Center for Visual Arts in Summit, NJ Ballet (Livingston) etc. In Millburn, we have a fine recreation department that offers Soccer, TBall and Lacrosse--Summit does same and I am sure CHatham offers it as well--but not as familiar.

- I live in Short Hills and I do shop both on Rt. 10 and Rt. 22

- In terms of the demographics...... There is a great website by the name of Neighborhood Scout that breaks down all kinds of demographics in various elementary schools. For the most part, I do think Chatham is traditionally more homogenous and waspy. Short Hills and Millburn are attracting a influx of people who are here solely for the schools--so there are more Asians, Jews, Indians. There are also many Wasps in Short Hills--especially near and around Old Short Hills. Regardless of nationality or background, it is a very nice, welcoming community of incredibly SMART parents. This is a town with a huge emphasis on education so expect to see a lot of ivy degrees--among the parents.

- In addition, there is some SERIOUS cash in Short Hills and Millburn. You don't generally see it evidence in elementary school but it flourishes quickly once all the students enter middle school together. The economic diversity is vast.....but it ranges from upper middle class to billionare wealthy and everything in between. That is NOT something you will see in Chatham. There is a veritable who's who of folks who live in Short Hills....

- The HS is a pressure cooker---but it performs. Last year, it sent 10% of their student to top Ivys and the rest all went to pretty good schools. I hear they offer every single AP course possible. BUT--and here is the big but--it is a DIFFICULT HS experience. Many kids have multiple tutors and even activities like tennis, soccer etc quickly morph into pressure situations as everyone here strives to excel. I think the emphasis on achievement here can get old fast.

- Having said that, I will also say that I am perennially impressed with the young people here--polite, mature, self assured.

- The pressure in the HS is an issue I think a lot about--I struggle between wanting to get my kids into a more normalized environment and walking away from incredible hard to find resources and opportunities. The school system here produces on par with top private schools in other parts of the nation.... and I can't say that about Chatham. From what I hear, there are tracks for different academic interests. Last year, the HS had a sign for a bake sale on week. The following week they were congratulating one of their students for winning a 2009 Grammy--that's Millburn for you.

- Finally, I think the Wyoming section of Millburn is a hidden gem. It does not have the same cache of Chatham or Short Hills--but I think that is just a matter of time.

REGARDLESS--all your choices are really good.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:37 PM
 
74 posts, read 114,797 times
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Oh and in terms of the attitude---here is my honest observation. Generally speaking, I find that the "wannabes" and "almost theres" are more rude and have more to prove than other people. For that reason, and only if I have to generalize, I do find that there are very rude people in some of the up and coming areas. The truth is that people in Norther NJ--especially people with money--have sharper elbows than our midwestern counterparts. I don't always like it---but I have also made many warm friendships here as well. Any snobbery I have encountered has more to do with education than money.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:06 AM
 
8 posts, read 44,174 times
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Thanks so much for the detailed response, MommaBear2Cubs! I really appreciate the input. I hope you are right about Wyoming being a hidden gem because we decided to pull the trigger on the house in Wyoming and won the bid over the weekend. We are really thrilled with the outcome and can't wait to move in and start exploring the neighborhood and meeting new people.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:39 AM
 
135 posts, read 398,140 times
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Chatitude, LOL, never heard that one.

How does Summit compare to these towns (outside of commute/parking situation). IE with schools and town attitude?

And what is parking situation in Chatham specifically for residents?
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