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Old 11-09-2014, 01:34 PM
 
11 posts, read 31,161 times
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Hi - we are a young family in our early 30s (with a toddler) and we are considering a move from NJ to SJ.
My husband will commute to a job in Cinnaminson while I would be commuting to Center city.
We are looking to purchase a house and want to keep our monthly payment to 2k or less (including taxes, but we have up to 90k for downpayment).
We are considering Haddonfield as we used to rent there in 2009 for about a year and we really liked the walkability, proximity to ACME, CVS, ice cream store, nice restaurants and of course the PATCO into Philly. We always assumed if we came back we would just purchase in Haddonfield (based on the above we should be able to get an ok house up to 350k I think).
However I recently realized that we never really made any friends in Haddonfield itself, we never tried to get into the community life and thus get a feel for the soul of the town. Now we have a young child and I find this a really important aspect of our decision. We are both working professionals but our HHI will be about 160k so I am afraid that puts us in the "poorer" category of Haddonfield. I am afraid of getting caught up in a keeping up with the Jones's culture (I dislike spending money when not necessary and would rather have extra at the end of the month than drive a newer car), of neighborhood cliques comprised mainly of stay at home moms (staying home is definitely not an option for me), of my child feeling like the poor neighbor in school.
Am I right to worry about those things in Haddonfield? Or am I grossly generalizing (I do not mean to offend anyone, I really am trying to get more information and this forum seems to be a great source). Could you tell me what we could expect as a professional couple with no family money but with desire to work hard and make a good life with good people around us?

If you have other suggestions for us - short commutes (30-40 mins max), good school district, walkability are important for us.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:04 PM
 
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You are definitely going to see the "keeping up with the Jones'" attitude. Most of the wives are SAHM so with both of you working you will already be in the minority. The public schools are great but a lot of the wealthier kids go to Haddonfield Friends School and then Moorestown Friends for High School.

We liked Collingswood better. The schools are fine. The downtown is awesome and it has way more young families. It's also not as stuck up as Haddonfield. A Collingswood mom brags about her organic, almond flour, non GMO, gluten free cookie recipe. The Haddonfield mom brags about her membership in the DAR and wonders how they let an African American be a member. (True story)

Look, its not a bad town. Its just WASPy and I didn't relate to the moms who had nannies so they could have a spa day and coffee with friends EVERY day. Taxes played a part too. That $350K house in haddonfield has a $7500 property tax. That same house in Collingswood has a $5000 property tax and 1000 sq feet bigger.
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:14 PM
 
11 posts, read 31,161 times
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Christina,

thanks for your response. I was hoping to get perspectives along the lines of yours.
Collingswood would not work for us due to the relatively low rankings of the high school - I would love to be done with moving around for as long as I can manage. But maybe Haddon Twp? Do you have any (similar in spirit) feedback for the Westmont section?
Honestly as a mom I would probably want to talk about the project I am working on at work or any boss/work related issues, what words my toddler is learning(or is slow at learning), behavioral issues, what to make for dinner that is quick and healthy - pretty vanilla I would say I definitely am not interested in private schools, competing with others and cooking with organic almond flour. I am afraid I may be describing an utopic life...I hope not.

What is DAR btw?
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:50 PM
 
1,622 posts, read 3,795,058 times
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Daughters of the American Revolution.

Haddon Twp and Westmont are more like Collingswood than Haddonfield. They have good schools as well but really not much of any downtown. BUT, you are right in between Haddonfield and Collingswood so you have those downtowns. There is a PATCO station right at Westmont so access to the city is easy.

Also look at Audubon. Our friends had a house near the lake. Her husband worked in Princeton and liked the easy access to 295 and it's a short drive to PATCO. It is a pretty area and they have a lot of events in the park.

Moorestown is Haddonfield-esque but less pretentious. Very cute downtown, good schools. Easy drive to Philly and super easy drive to Cinnaminson. It used to be older families but the dynamic is changing as young professionals are coming in.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
31,174 posts, read 32,112,743 times
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Daughters of the American Revolution.

Yes, that sort of thing. I once went to The Indian King Tavern Museum and the docent had been an international opera diva. She was a lovely woman--down to to earth, conversational, knew her history.

I just wouldn't throw my kids into that good, better, best environment. I'd rather live a couple of miles away in the next township.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:33 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,806 posts, read 32,161,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodonj View Post
Hi - we are a young family in our early 30s (with a toddler) and we are considering a move from NJ to SJ.
My husband will commute to a job in Cinnaminson while I would be commuting to Center city.
We are looking to purchase a house and want to keep our monthly payment to 2k or less (including taxes, but we have up to 90k for downpayment).
We are considering Haddonfield as we used to rent there in 2009 for about a year and we really liked the walkability, proximity to ACME, CVS, ice cream store, nice restaurants and of course the PATCO into Philly. We always assumed if we came back we would just purchase in Haddonfield (based on the above we should be able to get an ok house up to 350k I think).
However I recently realized that we never really made any friends in Haddonfield itself, we never tried to get into the community life and thus get a feel for the soul of the town. Now we have a young child and I find this a really important aspect of our decision. We are both working professionals but our HHI will be about 160k so I am afraid that puts us in the "poorer" category of Haddonfield. I am afraid of getting caught up in a keeping up with the Jones's culture (I dislike spending money when not necessary and would rather have extra at the end of the month than drive a newer car), of neighborhood cliques comprised mainly of stay at home moms (staying home is definitely not an option for me), of my child feeling like the poor neighbor in school.
Am I right to worry about those things in Haddonfield? Or am I grossly generalizing (I do not mean to offend anyone, I really am trying to get more information and this forum seems to be a great source). Could you tell me what we could expect as a professional couple with no family money but with desire to work hard and make a good life with good people around us?

If you have other suggestions for us - short commutes (30-40 mins max), good school district, walkability are important for us.

Thank you for your help.
The area of Haddonfield that you can afford is between Grove St & Haddon Ave. It's much less pretentious. You could also look in Cherry Hill at Erlton, south of Rt 70.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:38 AM
 
11 posts, read 31,161 times
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Thanks for the perspectives so far. Any other opinions? Maybe someone with a different point of view?
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:17 AM
 
884 posts, read 1,548,098 times
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Haddonfield has a cute downtown but it isn't particularly vibrant in my experience; I've driven through town many times and hardly seen anyone on the street. The town does seem to have a very elitist, WASPy vibe, and there's little if any diversity to speak of. For such a wealthy place along a commuter rail link, I'd expect a lot more vibrancy, but it's a far cry from a Montclair or South Orange in North Jersey.

Haddon Township feels more blue collar to me, though I know it's schools have a better reputation that Collingswood's. I see tons of young families here, but they definitely don't come across as fancy as people in Haddonfield, or as alternative as Collingswood. Haddon Township remains very insular-feeling though, like a lot of people grew up and stayed here. The town also seems poorly run sometimes, as is evidenced by the decade-long battle to build Haddon Towne Center and the failed attempts to redevelop the Westmont Theater. It's not particularly diverse either.

Overall, the whole Haddon Avenue corridor is overwhelmingly white and family-oriented, with the only real variety being differences in wealth.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:16 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,190 times
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Default Moving to Haddonfield

Hi dodonj, I live in the town next to Haddonfield and I can tell you that the schools are much better than Haddon Twp and other near by towns. Yes, you might have a "keeping up with the Jones' attitude, however, I have found the community to be welcoming and the town comes together as a community throughout the year-New Years Eve, 4th of July, sidewalk sales. Also, I substitute in the schools and I find the students to be well behaved and friendly. The teachers dedicated and the students are engaged. I know a great Realtor in Haddonfield. His name is Ron Woods and he has been in the business for 26 years. His number is 856-428-5150 x 241. Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:44 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
8,443 posts, read 11,734,381 times
Reputation: 5533
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJhighlands87 View Post
Haddonfield has a cute downtown but it isn't particularly vibrant in my experience; I've driven through town many times and hardly seen anyone on the street. The town does seem to have a very elitist, WASPy vibe, and there's little if any diversity to speak of. For such a wealthy place along a commuter rail link, I'd expect a lot more vibrancy, but it's a far cry from a Montclair or South Orange in North Jersey.

Haddon Township feels more blue collar to me, though I know it's schools have a better reputation that Collingswood's. I see tons of young families here, but they definitely don't come across as fancy as people in Haddonfield, or as alternative as Collingswood. Haddon Township remains very insular-feeling though, like a lot of people grew up and stayed here. The town also seems poorly run sometimes, as is evidenced by the decade-long battle to build Haddon Towne Center and the failed attempts to redevelop the Westmont Theater. It's not particularly diverse either.

Overall, the whole Haddon Avenue corridor is overwhelmingly white and family-oriented, with the only real variety being differences in wealth.
I was in Haddonfield ~3x/week last summer, and I found the main commercial corridor of Kings Highway had very good foot traffic during the day. It's vibrant for a bedroom community of just under 12,000. That's obviously a very relative variety of vibrancy, but it's quite good for an upper-crust Philly suburb, and I predict it will only get better as walkable, densely-populated towns continue to rise in cachet.

The Waspy vibe has definitely persisted, even if Catholics are now most likely the plurality, with a moderate, and steadily growing, Jewish population to boot (~10%). Openly gay couples weren't all that uncommon either. No doubt the town is overwhelmingly white, as are Haddon Heights and Haddon Township. I don't detect a prevailing elitism. While I certainly agree there's an undercurrent, I have the feeling it isn't hard to avoid.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 11-11-2014 at 10:58 AM..
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