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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 04-08-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,809 posts, read 34,424,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraysFerryB4 View Post
Not to cut you down Southbound! Haddonfield would be my school of choice as well. You may have missed them being on the local news in the last 3 weeks as to being particularly affected by Christies's cuts. They had a town meeting and lots of people came to save sports, teachers and programs...all in advance of most other towns because the folks in Haddonfiled are "taxed out". The buildings are outdated and in need of help. That was why I cited them as being in trouble. The poster may have to weigh staying in a place like Haddonfield for "4 to 5 years" and still be in the plus on a resale. Haddonfield being one of the best also comes with the highest price.."you get what you pay for". For this reason, I think Collingswood is the better bet on more reasonable but you don't get a #1 rated school like Haddonfield...a rare find.
I obviously don't see the local news so pass on certain topics, although I frequently check KYW-TV's website so that I don't give bad data. I have not been gone a long time, either. My current location is plainly on my posts.

The OP asked for certain things. I feel that I have not misrepresented my recommendations. I told her that the communities with the best school systems are least likely to give her the newer construction that she wants.

In the past there have been posters whose desires were better fits to Collingswood & I have suggested it. I have no dog in this fight. I got fed up & bailed. I was in South Jersey for over 40 years. My sister is a school teacher & lives in Pitman & will be adversely affected by Christie's policies. My best friend is a government worker & lives in Haddon Heights & the same goes for her. Both will be forced out of the state.

I'm glad that you like Collingswood so well & it's working for you. My recommendations to the OP give her one of her two major requirements. I have said nothing negative about Collingswood, but when you continually toss negatives to other communities & continue to promote Collingswood & now are trying to insinuate something about me, I have to ask you this. How many of the OP's main desires will she get in Collingswood?
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,809 posts, read 34,424,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LNTT_Vacationer View Post
Actually Haddonfield is in great shape as the received very little state education money and was therefore cut very little proportionally speaking. iirc, they are now one of the few sj districts done with state education aid and therefore not subject to more cuts.
Thanks, I had heard as much, but no longer being in South Jersey did not want to mention that, in case I missed some detail, as I have no wish to misrepresent the current situation.

I did watch Christie's budget speech on the NJN website. I'll refrain from commenting, as I am no longer a resident.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:11 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,469,826 times
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I think the biggest determining factor here will utlimately be taxes. A $400k budget can quickly become a lot less when the property taxes in a lot of these towns are factored in. For every $6 per month (or $72 per year) in property taxes, you lower your puchasing power by about $1,000. If the OP is expecting say $7k in taxes and that becomes $12k in Haddonfield or Haddon Heights the buying power is reduced by almost $70k to $330k and now you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in those towns. I think it is very important for people looking to relocate to NJ to understand the property tax situation fully before saying I have x to spend on a house.

If the OP wants new construction (less than 10 years old) and all the amenities that houses like that have to offer, plus land, plus community feel with good schools, Camden County is out of the picture (mainly because of the desire for newer housing and land). What you are left with will be Burlington County (Marlton, Mt. Laurel, Moorestown, Cinnaminson) or Gloucester County (Washington Twp., Pitman, Mullica Hill, Swedesboro).

Out of those options Burlington County would be the easier of the commutes to CC each day. The budget pretty much precludes anything remotely new in Moorestown. Marlton would be a good choice and areas of Mount Laurel are nice as well. Gloucester County probably gives them the best bang for the buck with newer houses, schools, generally lower taxes, etc., but the commute to CC is going to be hell.

Welcome to NJ, now pick your poison.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:46 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,809 posts, read 34,424,526 times
Reputation: 10256
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think the biggest determining factor here will utlimately be taxes. A $400k budget can quickly become a lot less when the property taxes in a lot of these towns are factored in. For every $6 per month (or $72 per year) in property taxes, you lower your puchasing power by about $1,000. If the OP is expecting say $7k in taxes and that becomes $12k in Haddonfield or Haddon Heights the buying power is reduced by almost $70k to $330k and now you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in those towns. I think it is very important for people looking to relocate to NJ to understand the property tax situation fully before saying I have x to spend on a house.

If the OP wants new construction (less than 10 years old) and all the amenities that houses like that have to offer, plus land, plus community feel with good schools, Camden County is out of the picture (mainly because of the desire for newer housing and land). What you are left with will be Burlington County (Marlton, Mt. Laurel, Moorestown, Cinnaminson) or Gloucester County (Washington Twp., Pitman, Mullica Hill, Swedesboro).

Out of those options Burlington County would be the easier of the commutes to CC each day. The budget pretty much precludes anything remotely new in Moorestown. Marlton would be a good choice and areas of Mount Laurel are nice as well. Gloucester County probably gives them the best bang for the buck with newer houses, schools, generally lower taxes, etc., but the commute to CC is going to be hell.

Welcome to NJ, now pick your poison.
Well put.

Depending on what they will have for a down payment, they might be able to buy in Camden County. Most likely what she would be looking at, to allow for taxes, in Haddonfield would be the tract that sits between Haddon Ave. & Grove St. Hardly new construction, but very nice houses, none the less. Cherry Hill & Haddon Heights are pretty much the same kettle of fish.

Her best bet in any of those 3 towns is a situation where someone elderly lived there, kept the place up, but it needs updating, & the house is priced accordingly.

Gloucester County is definitely the best bet for her, but it entails the commute from hell for her husband. Pitman's schools do continually rank well in the state. Some of the other communities involve regional schools.

Burlington County locations are somewhere in the middle, for the most part, with Moorestown being the best of the lot, although taxes will price her out of the new construction (McMansions) & leaves her with about the same choices as Haddonfield, minus Haddonfield's school system.

I danced around it in an earlier post, but since you said it already, this is a case of pick your poison.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,662 posts, read 3,812,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think the biggest determining factor here will utlimately be taxes. A $400k budget can quickly become a lot less when the property taxes in a lot of these towns are factored in. For every $6 per month (or $72 per year) in property taxes, you lower your puchasing power by about $1,000. If the OP is expecting say $7k in taxes and that becomes $12k in Haddonfield or Haddon Heights the buying power is reduced by almost $70k to $330k and now you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in those towns. I think it is very important for people looking to relocate to NJ to understand the property tax situation fully before saying I have x to spend on a house.
True. There are two small surrounding towns where $300K (nj prop tax equivalent of $400K) would maintain a safe, small town feel and get a very nice home - Barrington, Audubon. Although $330 still gets one a pretty nice, although not big and new, home in Haddon Heights.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,809 posts, read 34,424,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LNTT_Vacationer View Post
True. There are two small surrounding towns where $300K (nj prop tax equivalent of $400K) would maintain a safe, small town feel and get a very nice home - Barrington, Audubon. Although $330 still gets one a pretty nice, although not big and new, home in Haddon Heights.
I'm not too sure of the school situation in either of those towns. My brother-in-law grew up in Barrington, & his parents did not care for the public schools & couldn't afford totally private, so he & his siblings were sent to parochial schools. He has two sisters currently living there & their kids also are going to parochial schools, but I don't know if it's just because that's where they went or if it's because of necessity.

My parents had neighbors who moved to Cherry Hill from Audubon, where they had put 2 kids through the public school system & were happy with those schools, but that was too long ago to be valid, so if someone has information on those schools, it would be helpful.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 21,778,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think the biggest determining factor here will utlimately be taxes. A $400k budget can quickly become a lot less when the property taxes in a lot of these towns are factored in. For every $6 per month (or $72 per year) in property taxes, you lower your puchasing power by about $1,000. If the OP is expecting say $7k in taxes and that becomes $12k in Haddonfield or Haddon Heights the buying power is reduced by almost $70k to $330k and now you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in those towns. I think it is very important for people looking to relocate to NJ to understand the property tax situation fully before saying I have x to spend on a house.

If the OP wants new construction (less than 10 years old) and all the amenities that houses like that have to offer, plus land, plus community feel with good schools, Camden County is out of the picture (mainly because of the desire for newer housing and land). What you are left with will be Burlington County (Marlton, Mt. Laurel, Moorestown, Cinnaminson) or Gloucester County (Washington Twp., Pitman, Mullica Hill, Swedesboro).

Out of those options Burlington County would be the easier of the commutes to CC each day. The budget pretty much precludes anything remotely new in Moorestown. Marlton would be a good choice and areas of Mount Laurel are nice as well. Gloucester County probably gives them the best bang for the buck with newer houses, schools, generally lower taxes, etc., but the commute to CC is going to be hell.

Welcome to NJ, now pick your poison.
btw- I am in Cinnaminson/moorestown and can get to the stadiums in exactly 20 minutes in traffic.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:57 AM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,469,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I'm not too sure of the school situation in either of those towns. My brother-in-law grew up in Barrington, & his parents did not care for the public schools & couldn't afford totally private, so he & his siblings were sent to parochial schools. He has two sisters currently living there & their kids also are going to parochial schools, but I don't know if it's just because that's where they went or if it's because of necessity.

My parents had neighbors who moved to Cherry Hill from Audubon, where they had put 2 kids through the public school system & were happy with those schools, but that was too long ago to be valid, so if someone has information on those schools, it would be helpful.
Barrington and Audubon both have decent school districts. Barrington kids go to Haddon Heights for high school. Audubon is it's own district. Of the two, I would personally take Audubon over Barrington if school district was the only choice. However, you can get some really nice houses on the Haddonfield side of Barrington and that kind of neighbrohood really doesn't exist in Audubon.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:00 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,809 posts, read 34,424,526 times
Reputation: 10256
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Barrington and Audubon both have decent school districts. Barrington kids go to Haddon Heights for high school. Audubon is it's own district. Of the two, I would personally take Audubon over Barrington if school district was the only choice. However, you can get some really nice houses on the Haddonfield side of Barrington and that kind of neighbrohood really doesn't exist in Audubon.
Yeah, the Haddonfield side of Barrington is really nice, but then I love old houses. They built 'em to last, & they did. It blends the two towns pretty well, so you get pretty close to the same thing as in Heights for less taxes.

I know that Haddon Heights has a good system, so the Haddonfield side of Barrington might work for the OP, if she can deal with the older houses as she'd get a bigger place than Audubon & that area of Hadddonfield between Haddon Ave & Grove Street.

A lot of the older houses in South Jersey have been updated & will get her a lot of the amenities that she probably wants in newer construction.

Since she feels that this might be a short-term move, I'm trying to advise her somewhat differently than if she was moving to stay, permanently. She'd probably be thrilled with the houses in Voorhees, but if they would be there long enough for the kids to hit high school, that would not make her happy. Honestly, I think that they'd be coming out a lot better in the short-term if they find an older house, because chances are, if they buy in a low-turnover area, that the seller will have more wiggle room on price.

Having moved from the Midwest to South Jersey myself, as a teenager, I understand where she's coming from, but these are old towns & frequently the occasional new house is built to blend in, and the housing styles are different from what she's used to, for the most part.

I think that her best bet is to find a compromise that she can live with for housing & go for a good school system. I know that I loved being so close to Philly & didn't plan to leave, but when investors went into my neighborhood & systematically acquired perfectly good houses & tore them down & put up small McMansions, my property taxes shot up so high that I had to get out.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: NJ
983 posts, read 2,762,839 times
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I agree with the others who listed Moorestown, Haddonfield and Cherry Hill. All of these are very nice towns with excellent schools and you should be able to find a nice house in your price range. Haddonfield and Cherry Hill are the most nicely located as far as access to Philadelphia and the PATCO high speedline (if your hubby works in Center City, taking PATCO is the way to go!)

Moorestown and Haddonfield are old-fashioned Main Street towns with beautiful old architecture and that American apple pie vibe. Cherry Hill does not have a main street. It is mostly homes from the 1960s to current and tons of shopping and restaurants. Cherry Hill also has the nicest library ANYWHERE.
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