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Old 07-25-2010, 08:31 AM
 
82 posts, read 191,895 times
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Married with 2 kids with about 185k to spend. We are looking for places that have a great school system, low crime rate, and are affordable. Any specific towns I should be looking for? Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Basking Ridge, NJ
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For $185K you aren't going to find anything in NJ in any town let alone a good school system and low crime.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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While I wouldn't go as far as the poster above and say that you won't find "anything" for $185k, you'll definitely be challenged to find a decent home in a safe neighborhood, and asking for great schools will make it even more of a challenge. You could try Woodbridge, where you may find some sub-$200k homes- the schools are decent and it's not gang-land, but it's not what I'd consider an ideal town, especially in the areas that you'll find sub-$200k homes.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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thanks...i can stretch it to 225k if that makes a difference at all...I just refuse to live in areas like Irvington, Newark, the Oranges, New Brunswick...etc
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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At $225k your options open up quite a bit. I'd still recommend looking at Woodbridge, as well as Edison (the south side will have homes in your price range). You can also look in Piscataway or Somerville. All of these are blue-collar towns with decent (not great) schools, and fairly low crime rates.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: North Brunswick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
At $225k your options open up quite a bit. I'd still recommend looking at Woodbridge, as well as Edison (the south side will have homes in your price range). You can also look in Piscataway or Somerville. All of these are blue-collar towns with decent (not great) schools, and fairly low crime rates.
You may find an old ranch or cape cod fixer-upper in that price range in Piscataway, but more than likely it'll be in the area that's close to Plainfield and IMO a little closer than I would like. As a former substitute teacher in Piscataway's school district, I can tell you the schools are great as far as quality of education goes, but there is some questionable student life, especially on that side of town. The high school is a beautiful campus, but it does have some Plainfield residents sneaking in.

South Plainfield (a completely different town) may work. From what I hear their police department is better at patrolling the border and my father works there. You have to look around, but it's a blue collar town so you may find an old cape or ranch in that price range if you look around.

Dollar for dollar, Woodbridge will be your best bet and it is a very large town, but again you'll have to look thoroughly to find something in that price range, perhaps in the lower income sections like Avenel, Hopelawn, Keasbey or Fords. Of these lower-end sections, Fords is the nicest but that isn't saying much. I don't know if you'll find anything in that price range. Keasbey is tiny, and difficult to get to, but from what I hear is to be avoided at all costs. Hopelawn, like the other two mentioned, borders Perth Amboy and has a Perth Amboy zip code, but I know people who live there and have never had any problems. Avenel is on the other side of town and directly borders Rahway, and the state prison is right there, but that doesn't negatively impact the area in any way. From what I hear Avenel is no worse than any place else, it just looks very deceiving. I've been there many times and never had a problem, but it's a very ugly place.

The best schools in the area are in Edison, but I seriously doubt you'll find anything there. Maybe in that gritty old cape neighborhood by where Rt 1 and Woodbridge Ave meet, like off Silver Lake Ave for example, but even that is pushing it.

There is also South Amboy or South River. I don't know much about SA except that it is very tiny, but I don't think it's an unsafe place at all. SR will be my last choice, it is OK to say the least. It has a lot of people who've lived in the area their whole lives, including a few I know personally who've moved there straight from East Germany in the 1940's. But it definitely has it's trash too. Don't go near the "crack house" on Ferry St. Overall it's hit or miss.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:10 PM
 
Location: NJ for now
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Be sure to factor the taxes in the towns for the areas into your price.. Say you purchase a 200k home in Manville and have 5,000 for taxes another town may have 7,000 for the same priced home... Not going to find much in Somerset or Middlesex counties. Not knowing much about you or what you are expeccting, kids ages, how many BR you need etc.. It is really difficult to help any further.. Do your homework and find out what payent you can afford. then create levels of affordability.
for example: now these #'s are est. off the top of my head ...

180k mortgage around 5% intrest with 6,000 taxes is what? $1,700 a month ballpark. talk to your mortgage guy and let them set a mark like that and then you can adjust accordingly .. If you find 4800 taxes subtract from your payment.. now it is 1,6000 a month ... in NJ it is truly all about the taxes.

I am not a mortgage person so talk to a pro it is free...
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Friends of mine bought in Somerville about 2 years ago for 230,000. Old colonial which needed a lot of cosmetic work but otherwise in good condition. Downside is that it was on a busy street. Also have friends looking in Manville. They are finding homes in your price range but many of them are foreclosures and ugly on the inside. Worth a look though, especially if you don't mind putting in a little elbow grease to fix a home up. Somerset has a number of townhomes. Not sure the price range though. I'd call the school systems in each of those towns decent. They certainly aren't tops in the state but I believe they rank somewhere in the middle.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:08 PM
 
82 posts, read 191,895 times
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thanks all for the contributions...guess I should have mentioned I was looking for a 3 bedroom house...I've seen some affordable houses...just not in desirable areas. I would rather keep living with my parents atm than to move to places like avenel, south plainfield, south river, etc...I have looked at Manville and I did see a handful of homes in great shape for a good price....the only problem is that it's in a flood zone lol
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:38 PM
 
82 posts, read 191,895 times
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anyone know if Port Reading is nice?
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