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Old 09-26-2011, 07:35 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,249 times
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My husband and I are in the market for a home (1st time buyers). Our budget is $325K-350K and we were looking into Middlesex County; towns like Sayerville, Avenel, Old Bridge, South River, East Brunswick, Matawan and/or Aberdeen....

It's really driving us crazy because we cant seem to pick where to live. I've already compromised by going South (we live in Jersey City area)

Any pros or cons to these areas? I've heard that traffic in East Brunswick can be a nightmare and that South River can flood.....

Please help...Thank you in advance.

Last edited by F1rstTimeBuyer; 09-26-2011 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:50 PM
 
47 posts, read 131,989 times
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I was born and raised in Edison. The north side of town is out of your price range unless you want a shack and pay crazy property taxes however, the south side of town is more affordable (it was developed earlier and features tons of ranch, cottages and 3-4 bedroom homes). Route 1 has everything you need and two awesome shopping malls (Woodbridge and Menlo Park). I'd stay out of Avenel, it can become shady in some parts. East Brunswick is very nice but traffic is a nightmare; Route 18 has everything you need (don't shop in Brunswick Square Mall its a dump, make the trek to Woodbridge or Menlo like everyone else). Old Bridge is quieter and more affordable but their traffic (on Route 9, Texas Road...) are terrible, Sayreville is very middle class but nice community. Matawan and Aberdeen are upper-middle class and nice. The train gets you access to the city and the parkway is right around the corner. Try the Colonia section of Woodbridge, great mix of affordable homes and its in the same proximity to all the conveniences in Woodbridge and Edison along Route 1 plus the transportation options are great (Route 1, Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike, I-287 is nearish, Metropark Train Station)...

I love my area, it's diverse, it's nice, great people, etc!
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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Agree with mrmocha413. Also take a look at North and South Brunswick as well. They are close and have homes in your price range. Also not all of the south side of Edison is gritty with shacks of houses. There are a handfull of nice SF developments off Old Post Rd, Vineyard Rd etc that are mostly mid-1960s split levels. This is where my parents live. It is a nice middle class area with a good school system.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:57 AM
 
177 posts, read 424,193 times
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I just moved from Northern Edison into South Plainfield, and I love it. Low taxes, excellent "town" feel, and we are happy with it. Home prices are not too bad, and the taxes were about 1/2 of that of Edison.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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North and South Brunswick, as well as South Edison has seen a huge influx of Indians in the past decade, so if you don't mind that, then those areas would be in your range. The Route 27 corridor in South Edison mostly caters to Chinese, and Wood Ave. and surrounding roads in North Edison and Iselin section of Wooddbridge is mostly Indian, also. Some parts of North Brunswick are sketchy, as there is a "spillover" effect from people moving in from New Brunswick. Avoid streets that intersect Livingston Ave. A lot of illegals and ramshackle rental properties in this area. As far as Old bridge, stay away from Laurence Harbor or Cliffwood Beach--VERY backwoods and white trash. Woodbridge proper or Colonia might also be to your liking, but areas like Avenel, Keasbey, Hopelawn, some parts of Fords, Sewaren should be avoided. Again, a lot of spillover from Perth Amboy, and people who have moved in from urban areas of NYC. Highland Park or Metuchen might have starter homes in your range, however both towns are VERY congested with traffic, and homes really don't have a lot of surrounding property. Taxes in these towns are out of control. Highland Park has a noticeable Jewish population. Milltown is adjacent to North Brunswick, but has that "small minded" feel to it. Think about "Real Housewives of Milltown": snooty, think the sun don't rise until they wake up in the morning, and are in HUGE debt to life a lifestyle they wish they could afford. The kids are bused to Spotswood High once they enter high school. The town was without power for A WEEK after Hurricane Irene because the sub-station that provides power was flooded out. A lot of these residents come across as snooty, but they're socially inept. Lots of one level homes in this town, taxes are high. Close to Brunswick Square Mall and easy access to Rt. 1 and Rt. 18.

Avoid New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Carteret, South River, and South Amboy. Either they are Abbott District schools or have public schools I wouldn't even consider sending my children to. Carteret is a "run down" smelly industrial town, with the notorious "Chrome" section that's REALLLLLY bad. South River is lower/working class. Bars on every street corner.

Franklin Township (Somerset County) is the next town over from North and New Brunswick. Avoid the Hamilton Street area, but beyond that, very nice homes, there is some farmland to enjoy, but the entrance/exit ramp on Easton Ave. for 287 is a nightmare during rush hour. Lots of condos, McMansions, and taxes can be high. Stay away from South Bound Brook, Bound Brook, and Middlesex Borough. Lots of flooding and Section 8 in these areas.

North of Edison, you start to enter Union County. Scotch Plains, Cranford might be to your liking. Linden, Rahway, Roselle...don't even THINK about buying in these towns. Winfield Park is essentially an upscale trailer park, but it's very hard to purchase a home here, as the homes in Winfield park are passed down through families.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:36 AM
 
1,041 posts, read 2,878,617 times
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Good post tyler. You covered everything. I was in the same boat as OP, around same price too (under 400k) First time buyer, commute to NYC. Me and wife looked at South Brunswick, North Brunswick, Highland Park, Franklin Park, Franklin, Somerset, and Milltown. We ultimately chose North Brunswick. Good schools, good commute to NYC via Jersey ave, reasonable taxes (all things considered). My suggestion in North Brunswick, look along the 130 corridor. Its a different world compared to North side of Route 1.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:10 AM
 
262 posts, read 759,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler77 View Post
North and South Brunswick, as well as South Edison has seen a huge influx of Indians in the past decade, so if you don't mind that, then those areas would be in your range. The Route 27 corridor in South Edison mostly caters to Chinese, and Wood Ave. and surrounding roads in North Edison and Iselin section of Wooddbridge is mostly Indian, also. Some parts of North Brunswick are sketchy, as there is a "spillover" effect from people moving in from New Brunswick. Avoid streets that intersect Livingston Ave. A lot of illegals and ramshackle rental properties in this area. As far as Old bridge, stay away from Laurence Harbor or Cliffwood Beach--VERY backwoods and white trash. Woodbridge proper or Colonia might also be to your liking, but areas like Avenel, Keasbey, Hopelawn, some parts of Fords, Sewaren should be avoided. Again, a lot of spillover from Perth Amboy, and people who have moved in from urban areas of NYC. Highland Park or Metuchen might have starter homes in your range, however both towns are VERY congested with traffic, and homes really don't have a lot of surrounding property. Taxes in these towns are out of control. Highland Park has a noticeable Jewish population. Milltown is adjacent to North Brunswick, but has that "small minded" feel to it. Think about "Real Housewives of Milltown": snooty, think the sun don't rise until they wake up in the morning, and are in HUGE debt to life a lifestyle they wish they could afford. The kids are bused to Spotswood High once they enter high school. The town was without power for A WEEK after Hurricane Irene because the sub-station that provides power was flooded out. A lot of these residents come across as snooty, but they're socially inept. Lots of one level homes in this town, taxes are high. Close to Brunswick Square Mall and easy access to Rt. 1 and Rt. 18.

Avoid New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Carteret, South River, and South Amboy. Either they are Abbott District schools or have public schools I wouldn't even consider sending my children to. Carteret is a "run down" smelly industrial town, with the notorious "Chrome" section that's REALLLLLY bad. South River is lower/working class. Bars on every street corner.

Franklin Township (Somerset County) is the next town over from North and New Brunswick. Avoid the Hamilton Street area, but beyond that, very nice homes, there is some farmland to enjoy, but the entrance/exit ramp on Easton Ave. for 287 is a nightmare during rush hour. Lots of condos, McMansions, and taxes can be high. Stay away from South Bound Brook, Bound Brook, and Middlesex Borough. Lots of flooding and Section 8 in these areas.

North of Edison, you start to enter Union County. Scotch Plains, Cranford might be to your liking. Linden, Rahway, Roselle...don't even THINK about buying in these towns. Winfield Park is essentially an upscale trailer park, but it's very hard to purchase a home here, as the homes in Winfield park are passed down through families.
Wow, Tyler really nailed this on the head. I'm originally from NY -- just moved to NJ a few months ago, but had been dating my girlfriend --now wife -- (who grew up in Milltown and then North Brunswick) for 5 years. In those 5 years, I have driven through, or visited, most of those areas, and Tyler's description of each and every town was so on point, at least from what I've seen. Though, I think you were a little tough on Milltown. Not EVERY one living there is like that, but, I definitely wouldn't live there based on the property taxes and the fact that they supply their own power, and if the power ever goes out, it's for a week at a time.

My wife and I are currently renting now (in the Sayreville area, more towards the South Amboy/Parlin side of town) -- it's overall a nice area for short-term renting, but we wouldn't want to permanently live here.

Tyler, when it's time to buy, I'd like to talk to you, once we narrow down some areas, to get some extra advice. Would you be open to that?

Last edited by focus282; 09-29-2011 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:33 AM
 
1,041 posts, read 2,878,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by focus282 View Post
Wow, Tyler really nailed this on the head. I'm originally from NY -- just moved to NJ a few months ago, but had been dating my girlfriend --now wife -- (who grew up in Milltown and then North Brunswick) for 5 years. In those 5 years, I have driven through, or visited, most of those areas, and Tyler's description of each and every town was so on point, at least from what I've seen. Though, I think you were a little tough on Milltown. Not EVERY one living there is like that, but, I definitely wouldn't live there based on the property taxes and the fact that they supply their own power, and if the power ever goes out, it's for a week at a time.

My wife and I are currently renting now (in the Sayreville area, more towards the South Amboy/Parlin side of town) -- it's overall a nice area for short-term renting, but we wouldn't want to permanently live here.

Tyler, when it's time to buy, I'd like to talk to you, once we narrow down some areas, to get some extra advice. Would you be open to that?
Milltown doesnt seem to bad. Yes it does seem secular, but we actually got out bid for two houses in Milltown before we went under contract on our house in north brunswick. Milltown (north side anyway) has a SMALL downtown, community events, is close to major highways, shopping and NYC transportation. Only way to get rid of that secular atmosphere is to get fresh blood in there.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:11 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 2,867,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyStarksNJ View Post
Milltown doesnt seem to bad. Yes it does seem secular, but we actually got out bid for two houses in Milltown before we went under contract on our house in north brunswick. Milltown (north side anyway) has a SMALL downtown, community events, is close to major highways, shopping and NYC transportation. Only way to get rid of that secular atmosphere is to get fresh blood in there.
I for one have never experienced this stereotype of Milltown. Most people I have met there I have found to be quite pleasant. The north side has some nice houses with distinct character too.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:58 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,205 posts, read 4,862,727 times
Reputation: 1792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler77 View Post
North and South Brunswick, as well as South Edison has seen a huge influx of Indians in the past decade, so if you don't mind that, then those areas would be in your range. The Route 27 corridor in South Edison mostly caters to Chinese, and Wood Ave. and surrounding roads in North Edison and Iselin section of Wooddbridge is mostly Indian, also. Some parts of North Brunswick are sketchy, as there is a "spillover" effect from people moving in from New Brunswick. Avoid streets that intersect Livingston Ave. A lot of illegals and ramshackle rental properties in this area. As far as Old bridge, stay away from Laurence Harbor or Cliffwood Beach--VERY backwoods and white trash. Woodbridge proper or Colonia might also be to your liking, but areas like Avenel, Keasbey, Hopelawn, some parts of Fords, Sewaren should be avoided. Again, a lot of spillover from Perth Amboy, and people who have moved in from urban areas of NYC. Highland Park or Metuchen might have starter homes in your range, however both towns are VERY congested with traffic, and homes really don't have a lot of surrounding property. Taxes in these towns are out of control. Highland Park has a noticeable Jewish population. Milltown is adjacent to North Brunswick, but has that "small minded" feel to it. Think about "Real Housewives of Milltown": snooty, think the sun don't rise until they wake up in the morning, and are in HUGE debt to life a lifestyle they wish they could afford. The kids are bused to Spotswood High once they enter high school. The town was without power for A WEEK after Hurricane Irene because the sub-station that provides power was flooded out. A lot of these residents come across as snooty, but they're socially inept. Lots of one level homes in this town, taxes are high. Close to Brunswick Square Mall and easy access to Rt. 1 and Rt. 18.

Avoid New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Carteret, South River, and South Amboy. Either they are Abbott District schools or have public schools I wouldn't even consider sending my children to. Carteret is a "run down" smelly industrial town, with the notorious "Chrome" section that's REALLLLLY bad. South River is lower/working class. Bars on every street corner.

Franklin Township (Somerset County) is the next town over from North and New Brunswick. Avoid the Hamilton Street area, but beyond that, very nice homes, there is some farmland to enjoy, but the entrance/exit ramp on Easton Ave. for 287 is a nightmare during rush hour. Lots of condos, McMansions, and taxes can be high. Stay away from South Bound Brook, Bound Brook, and Middlesex Borough. Lots of flooding and Section 8 in these areas.

North of Edison, you start to enter Union County. Scotch Plains, Cranford might be to your liking. Linden, Rahway, Roselle...don't even THINK about buying in these towns. Winfield Park is essentially an upscale trailer park, but it's very hard to purchase a home here, as the homes in Winfield park are passed down through families.
That sounds like a very fair assessment and great information for potential home buyers. We didn't have all the above towns in our top list but we did look in Somerset, Franklin Township, North/East/South Brunswick and Bridgewater. We ended up buying in South Brunswick because that offered the best fit for our requirements.
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