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New Jersey Suburbs of Philadelphia Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County in South Jersey
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:31 PM
 
16 posts, read 63,314 times
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the useful advice. I was in Gloucester/Deptford area this weekend, and as most of you predicted, the smell of gas was intolerable. Even the homes in west deptford I was planning on looking at to buy were just unbelieveably stinky.

Suffice it to say, I've given up looking at Deptford. We are particularly interested in the FENTELL HOMES community (Fentell Homes in Greenwich Preserves at East Greenwich, along with RYAN HOMES), and are thinking about buying a new home there. I had a couple of questions if someone would be kind enough to help us by answering:

1. Have you had any experience with Fentell homes? I know they built homes in primarily Burlington county, but we are interested in the area in Gloucester county?


2. Is there any good shopping areas/strip malls the likes in the Mount Royal/E. Greenwich area? If so, where are they? We traveled back and forth between 295 and down Mantua road to the community and didn't catch any shopping areas (you know the usual, Target, Walmart, Lowes/Home Depot and the like)


3. I read the responses to my earlier post and someone had mentioned that NJ utilities are horrendous. Can someone explain how this works? Does electricity/gas based not on usage? Is the $$ per KWH much greater than
other parts of the country?


4. What is your feel about Gloucester county in general? I am hoping to potentially sell/rent the home once we leave NJ in about 4-5 years, and was wondering whether there was potential to rent out our home there, if the housing market was still in shambles at that time? (I know Burlington county certainly has more demand on that front).

Would greatly appreciate your help!

Thanks again.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 21,064,243 times
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Have you looked at Burlington county? More 'rural' and less traffic then Gloucester county.. If that is what you are looking for?And no petro plants in Burlington county either
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:40 PM
 
16 posts, read 63,314 times
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I did, and we really liked Burlington county -- only problem is that I have to be within 25 minutes of Penn (off peak commute), and unfortunately there were no homes within our price range for what we looking for. We were interested in 3+ BR single family homes <15 yrs old, priced under $350k. We've found a smattering of homes here and there in Burlington county and we are actively pursuing those, but the Gloucester county homes also were on our radar.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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Why did you give up looking at Deptford? Most of Deptford is far, far away from the refinery and never smells bad. It's West Deptford (totally separate township) that is close to the refinery.

Also, ignore the advice about Burlington County being "more rural." The parts of Gloucester County that are developed with houses are actually more rural in character than most areas of Burlington County like Maple Shade, Mt. Laurel, Cinnaminson, etc.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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No, didn't give up Deptford -- I should remind myself that "West Deptford" and "Deptford" are not the same...

We looked at homes in West Deptford (at the location I had indicated in my earlier post). We gave up on those homes. The smell really was unbearable. I actually like the rural/suburban appearance a bit. I think it makes the area looks nice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:33 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himzie View Post
I did, and we really liked Burlington county -- only problem is that I have to be within 25 minutes of Penn (off peak commute), and unfortunately there were no homes within our price range for what we looking for. We were interested in 3+ BR single family homes <15 yrs old, priced under $350k. We've found a smattering of homes here and there in Burlington county and we are actively pursuing those, but the Gloucester county homes also were on our radar.

Moorestown to Penn is 16 miles and 30 mins and Depford is 15 miles and 25 minutes. And I can tell you for sure its an easier trip from Moorestown to Penn.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:35 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post

Also, ignore the advice about Burlington County being "more rural." The parts of Gloucester County that are developed with houses are actually more rural in character than most areas of Burlington County like Maple Shade, Mt. Laurel, Cinnaminson, etc.
Boy, you are full of mistakes aren't you? Burlington county is NJ's largest farming county..
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:59 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 41,989,316 times
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Quote:
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the useful advice. I was in Gloucester/Deptford area this weekend, and as most of you predicted, the smell of gas was intolerable. Even the homes in west deptford I was planning on looking at to buy were just unbelieveably stinky.
Sorry to say I was "right" about that one. A release of that size where the smell lingers for so long is rare, but it does happen. I don't think the regular odor is that pervasive, but still, not something I would want to live near.

Quote:
Suffice it to say, I've given up looking at Deptford. We are particularly interested in the FENTELL HOMES community (Fentell Homes in Greenwich Preserves at East Greenwich, along with RYAN HOMES), and are thinking about buying a new home there. I had a couple of questions if someone would be kind enough to help us by answering:

1. Have you had any experience with Fentell homes? I know they built homes in primarily Burlington county, but we are interested in the area in Gloucester county?
I honestly don't know anything about Fentell, they are not one of the bigger names around here. I would call a couple local real estate folks and home inspectors from the area and see what they have to say about Fentell.

I do however know about Ryan Homes, which generally has a pretty poor reputation for quality and business practices. Ryan Homes is a part of NVR, which also includes a mortgage company. NVR is currently being sued by the State of Delaware on 39 counts of consumer fraud. A quick google of Ryan Homes or NVR turns up countless complaints about their business practices and shoddy workmanship. Some people have had a positive experience, others a horrible one. My personal advice would be to avoid Ryan Homes and NVR.

Just because both developers are in the same PUD, isn't a bad thing though. Throughout the real estate slump, a lot of these places ended up being developed by two or sometimes even more companies at the same time, each working on different sections. For instance, in Cinnaminson, the Harbor development is a joint Orleans and Ryan venture.

So, my advice here is to do your homework on Fentell, which seems on the surface like a good builder.

Quote:
2. Is there any good shopping areas/strip malls the likes in the Mount Royal/E. Greenwich area? If so, where are they? We traveled back and forth between 295 and down Mantua road to the community and didn't catch any shopping areas (you know the usual, Target, Walmart, Lowes/Home Depot and the like)
The closest main shopping area is going to be in Deptford around the Deptford Mall (~20 minutes with traffic). It has everything you are looking for. Additionally, a lot of people from that area will also make the trip up to Cherry Hill which is the mecca of shopping in South Jersey. You also aren't that far from several shopping areas in Delaware, the advantage of which is being sales tax free. We tend to do our large item purchases like TV's in Delaware, but even regular shopping trips can be worth it as well.

Quote:
3. I read the responses to my earlier post and someone had mentioned that NJ utilities are horrendous. Can someone explain how this works? Does electricity/gas based not on usage? Is the $$ per KWH much greater than other parts of the country?
You pay for usage just like you would anywhere else. In the East Greenwich area, you would have the same providers I do, which is Atlantic City Electric and South Jersey Gas. You would then pay for water (most likely American Water Co.) and sewer.

I have a 2,200 sq.ft. 3BR 2.5BA house. Our house is pretty much builders grade in terms of windows and insulation and we have an older, but high effeciency HVAC system. There are 5 of us all together and my wife and 2 of the kids are home all day. We have gas heat, hot water and cooking and an electric dryer and central AC.

We average around $100 a month for electricity and that goes up to around $200 in the summer with the AC on. We average around $25 a month for gas and that goes up to around $180 during the coldest winter months, this year we have averaged about $100 a month. Our water bill runs around $40 a month and sewer is $95 a quarter.

I'm not sure on actual per KwH and therm rates, but I believe electric runs around .11 cents per KwH. NJ is also an energy "choice" state, so while you are locked into the provider, you can choose the supplier and some people have managed good savings with that.

Quote:
4. What is your feel about Gloucester county in general? I am hoping to potentially sell/rent the home once we leave NJ in about 4-5 years, and was wondering whether there was potential to rent out our home there, if the housing market was still in shambles at that time? (I know Burlington county certainly has more demand on that front).
In general Gloucester County is one of the few areas still growing. It experienced a ton of growth during the boom and some areas such as those around Swedesboro (East Greenwich, Woolwich and Logan) are still growing with plenty of new construction despite the slump.

Overall, the most desirable communities and the ones that attract the most people are based around the best school systems in the county which are:

Washinton Twp. - Covers only Washington Twp. itself.

Clearview Regional - Includes Harrison Twp. (aka Mullica Hill) and Mantua.

Kingsway Regional - Includes East Greenwich, Woolwich, Logan, Swedesboro and South Harrison.

I think long term prospects on Gloucester County are good, hence why we decided to settle there. It isn't as developed as Burlington County is (at least versus the areas in BC near Philly), but it certainly has that potential and continues to grow. Basically, I wouldn't worry about being able to rent out a house as long as it was in one of the aforementioned school districts.

However, I need to ask, why buy if you are only planning on staying 4-5 years? Would it not make much better financial sense to rent yourself?
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:10 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 41,989,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
Also, ignore the advice about Burlington County being "more rural." The parts of Gloucester County that are developed with houses are actually more rural in character than most areas of Burlington County like Maple Shade, Mt. Laurel, Cinnaminson, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
Boy, you are full of mistakes aren't you? Burlington county is NJ's largest farming county..
I think you're both right. I get a more rural vibe from Gloucester County in general, then I do in most of Burlington County, but neither one is nearly as urban as Camden County is. Both GC and BC are big places and they both have their areas that are heavily developed and areas that are less developed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by himzie View Post
No, didn't give up Deptford -- I should remind myself that "West Deptford" and "Deptford" are not the same...
Socio-economically and in terms of schools, Deptford and West Deptford are very similar places, so worth it to still take a look at Deptford if you are leaning that way.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,806 posts, read 32,987,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think you're both right. I get a more rural vibe from Gloucester County in general, then I do in most of Burlington County, but neither one is nearly as urban as Camden County is. Both GC and BC are big places and they both have their areas that are heavily developed and areas that are less developed.



Socio-economically and in terms of schools, Deptford and West Deptford are very similar places, so worth it to still take a look at Deptford if you are leaning that way.
I would be very cautious of Deptford, particularly new housing. Deptford was best known for the pig farms. The pig farmers sold out & they are building housing on those former pig farms. Given the right weather conditions you'd be wishing for a refinery emission release.
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