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Old 05-24-2011, 11:19 AM
 
Location: nj
4 posts, read 13,254 times
Reputation: 10

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We are currently in west milford and looking to move before our daughter starts kindergarten in 2012. We are looking to move to an area with a better school district, easy transportation into NYC and place where you can walk to downtown area. I would be communitng to the Oakland area, so trying to stay west of route 17 seems to make sense. We know we will need to downgrade from our current home which is fine if it means a better school district and easier commute ongoing.

It seems that most towns on the Bergen line fit that bill - Glen Rock, Allendale, Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus, and Ramsey.

Questions:
- which of the towns is the most ethnically diverse?

- which ones would be easiest for a newcomer to feel welcome in?

- knowing that they are all more expensive towns, which one tends to be the best value - more house for your money/lower taxes?

- which ones tend to have more of a sense of community (block parties, active town organizations etc.)

- any other towns you can think of that match the criteria that I did not include?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:30 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 4,052,010 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by lull View Post

It seems that most towns on the Bergen line fit that bill - Glen Rock, Allendale, Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus, and Ramsey.

Questions:
- which of the towns is the most ethnically diverse?

- which ones would be easiest for a newcomer to feel welcome in?

- knowing that they are all more expensive towns, which one tends to be the best value - more house for your money/lower taxes?

- which ones tend to have more of a sense of community (block parties, active town organizations etc.)

- any other towns you can think of that match the criteria that I did not include?

Thanks in advance!!
Honestly, you picked towns that are more alike than different I would base your decision on where you can find a house you like in your price range.

One town I would add is Mahwah. I think it's one of the best value towns in NW Bergen. I also think it's more diverse than a lot of the other towns.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:40 PM
 
39 posts, read 79,226 times
Reputation: 10
We are in the same situation. Moving from south Jersey though. Talk about a downgrade in house! Ha! But you work in Oakland? One of the towns we are considering is Oakland.

I guess you have figure what you can afford and the go from there. So what is your price range? That will help everyone help you figure out a town!
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:03 PM
 
Location: nj
4 posts, read 13,254 times
Reputation: 10
our price range depends on what we think we can get for our house - but we are looking for a house somewhere around 625k.

My DH's current commute is long, and if he gets a different job it would probably be in NYC, so finding something with a train commuting option would give him more flexibility. We also have relatives from out of town visit often, so being close to a downtown would be nice so they can walk to things and that is something I miss where we are living now.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:58 PM
 
1,471 posts, read 3,434,489 times
Reputation: 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by lull View Post
We are currently in west milford and looking to move before our daughter starts kindergarten in 2012. We are looking to move to an area with a better school district, easy transportation into NYC and place where you can walk to downtown area. I would be communitng to the Oakland area, so trying to stay west of route 17 seems to make sense. We know we will need to downgrade from our current home which is fine if it means a better school district and easier commute ongoing.

It seems that most towns on the Bergen line fit that bill - Glen Rock, Allendale, Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus, and Ramsey.

Questions:
- which of the towns is the most ethnically diverse?

- which ones would be easiest for a newcomer to feel welcome in?

- knowing that they are all more expensive towns, which one tends to be the best value - more house for your money/lower taxes?

- which ones tend to have more of a sense of community (block parties, active town organizations etc.)

- any other towns you can think of that match the criteria that I did not include?

Thanks in advance!!

Yikes.

Most diverse? None. Put a gun to my head and I'd say Glen Rock.

Newcomer? Ramsey, maybe Glen Rock which is a lot of new money, as opposed to the old money of Ridgewood.

Value? They all cost a fortune. Of the group, Ramsey is probably the most affordable, but only by a bit. Ho-Ho-Kus is probably the most expensive, but again, only by a bit.

Community? All, but Ridgewood probably has the strongest sense of it.

Oakland is very nice too. Kind of like a smaller, more affluent West Milford.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:44 PM
 
Location: nj
4 posts, read 13,254 times
Reputation: 10
What are the commuting options for Oakland and Mahwah into NYC? The reasons I did not start looking into them much is it did not seem that either would work well for commuting into NYC and there was not a downtown area, but definitely worth looking into more - thanks!

How are the schools for Oakland and Mahwah? It seems that for Oakland you are given the same choice as Wyckoff and can go to either Ramapo or Indian Hills High school - is that correct or is it split based on where you live in town?

We really like where we live but it is just not ideal for DH to continue this commute ongoing, the lack of things to walk to is a slight hindrance, the town is so spread out that there is not the sense of community that I would like, there is not too much diversity. We knew when we moved here we might end up moving if the commute situation did not change, so figured it would probably be easiest to do so before kindergarten. It seems that Oakland and Mahwah are a little more diverse and there may not be as much keeping up with the Jones - that is one thing that I really like about where we are is there is not much social pressure in regards to *things*.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 16,799,291 times
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might add wyckoff and midland park. Commuting is more difficult to NYC tho. However not by much. You can get a free bus to ridgewood train station in Midland park if you have a monthly pass, so I've heard. Bus ride is probably 7 mins with stops.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:54 PM
 
1,527 posts, read 4,052,010 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by lull View Post
What are the commuting options for Oakland and Mahwah into NYC? The reasons I did not start looking into them much is it did not seem that either would work well for commuting into NYC and there was not a downtown area, but definitely worth looking into more - thanks!

How are the schools for Oakland and Mahwah? It seems that for Oakland you are given the same choice as Wyckoff and can go to either Ramapo or Indian Hills High school - is that correct or is it split based on where you live in town?

We really like where we live but it is just not ideal for DH to continue this commute ongoing, the lack of things to walk to is a slight hindrance, the town is so spread out that there is not the sense of community that I would like, there is not too much diversity. We knew when we moved here we might end up moving if the commute situation did not change, so figured it would probably be easiest to do so before kindergarten. It seems that Oakland and Mahwah are a little more diverse and there may not be as much keeping up with the Jones - that is one thing that I really like about where we are is there is not much social pressure in regards to *things*.
For Mahwah, you can either take the train from the Park N Ride in Ramsey on 17 South or there are also Coach USA buses. For Oakland, I guess you could also go to the Park N Ride, but there also the CoachUSA buses from various points, which probably makes more sense.

The schools are very good in both Oakland and Mahwah. Yes, Oakland, Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes share Ramapo-Indian Hills High School District. Students can go to either of the schools, it's not divided up by area. There are also university programs at those schools, so that is also a factor as to where kids choose to go (they are only offered at one or the other of the schools). Check out the NJ Report Cards at the NJ Dept of Education site also if you haven't already.

There really isn't a walkable downtown in either Oakland or Mahwah (nor in Franklin Lakes or Wyckoff), at least in comparison to towns like Ridgewood or Glen Rock.

I think Oakland and Mahwah are two good towns (schools etc) where you get a little more house for the money in comparison to some of the other NW Bergen towns.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:06 AM
 
205 posts, read 690,802 times
Reputation: 68
For your budget of $625K, your best bang for your buck towns might be: Ramsey, Mahwah, Oakland, Midland Park and Waldwick.

Occasionally 3 bedroom houses pop up in Ho-Ho-Kus, Ridgewood, Allendale or Glen Rock within your budget, but they get snapped up right away or need a lot of work or have a very small yard or on a busy street. Your best chance at finding one and making it yours is to work with a realtor that is central to the community you are interested in. We chose to use Marron Gildea & Donohue when we moved here a year ago, and we were able to get in to see the house we ended up buying before it was ever listed officially. But I think if you use a realtor who has offices in your top town/towns it really gives you an edge.

Good luck in your house search!
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:19 PM
ira
 
Location: Bergen County
657 posts, read 3,919,848 times
Reputation: 297
Quote:
Originally Posted by lull View Post
We are currently in west milford and looking to move before our daughter starts kindergarten in 2012. We are looking to move to an area with a better school district, easy transportation into NYC and place where you can walk to downtown area. I would be communitng to the Oakland area, so trying to stay west of route 17 seems to make sense. We know we will need to downgrade from our current home which is fine if it means a better school district and easier commute ongoing.

It seems that most towns on the Bergen line fit that bill - Glen Rock, Allendale, Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus, and Ramsey.

Questions:
- which of the towns is the most ethnically diverse?

- which ones would be easiest for a newcomer to feel welcome in?

- knowing that they are all more expensive towns, which one tends to be the best value - more house for your money/lower taxes?

- which ones tend to have more of a sense of community (block parties, active town organizations etc.)

- any other towns you can think of that match the criteria that I did not include?

Thanks in advance!!
Don't focus too much on the "walk to downtown" criteria. Ridgewood is a large town (area wise). The chance of you finding a house from where you can walk to downtown is very slim. Even if you end up in Ridgewood, you will most likely drive to downtown and then walk around it. You can do the same if you live in Glen Rock or Ho-ho-kus. Drive to Ridgewood downtown (same 5-10 min drive) and then walk around. I know a few families who picked Ridgewood because of the downtown only to find out that they cannot walk there. They still have to drive.
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