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Old 11-26-2011, 11:03 AM
 
16 posts, read 73,782 times
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Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are hoping to purchase a home late next year. We work in NYC and currently live in Brooklyn. No kids yet, but we are planning on becoming pregnant next year. Since education is a major priority for us we want to live somewhere that has solid public schools. Our budget is a bit limited, up to 300K or so, so we are thinking about moving to NJ in order to purchase a home that we can afford as well as acquire quality education for our kids in a place with reasonable monthly taxes.

What do you think about Metuchen, Iselin or Woodbridge? Is our budget too small for a place that is at least 10-15 minutes away from the Train station, Metuchen or Metropark station, on foot? We are prepared to commute 3 hours a day round trip.

We are a friendly, well traveled black (husband is bi racial) couple in our early 30s with Masters degrees. Would we be accepted in these places, say for instance at a PTA meeting with other parents? In addition, we are used to walking everywhere in NYC. Would it be odd to see us walking 10 minutes to the train station in these areas, considering our hue? (sorry, weird question.. but I do wonder about it)

Do you have any other recommendations that would satisfy our requirements?

Thanks in advance for your feedback guys. We really appreciate it.

Last edited by MeloMelo66; 11-26-2011 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:19 PM
 
16 posts, read 73,782 times
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Just to clarify, we're not originally from NY, we recently moved from Europe so we're kind of feeling our way around. My full apologies if my questions above seem in any way ill informed. Once again we appreciate your honest feedback.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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$300K is very tight for Metuchen, which has close to the top notch schools in the area (Highland Pk and West Windsor-Plainsboro are the only ones that beat it). You will either get a townhouse or an old fixer-upper there.

Woodbridge is quite large, Iselin is actually part of Woodbridge, but there is a large concentration of Indians in Iselin. Woodbridge proper (07095) might fit your needs actually and there is the North Jersey Coast Line that has a station there. Blacks make up close to 10% of the town's population for the record. I don't see a problem with "getting accepted".
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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Hi HubCityMadMan,

Thanks for your feedback.

Indeed Metuchen has a quality public school system. Once again, I apologize if my question seemed odd. I just figured that I had nothing to lose by asking for honest feedback. I also thought that being brutally honest would facilitate the most pertinent responses and I can see that I wasn't mistaken in that regard.

I had mistakenly thought that 300K would be able to get a basic, functional, small home in the Metuchen area but now it appears that I should revise that figure to an average of 360K. I guess we'll have to start renting in NJ in order to save more then.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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You should consider Fair Lawn also. It should be easier to find a house in that price range, and the train makes the commute to NYC short.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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Hi labcjo,

Thanks for the suggestion! The homes in Fair Lawn seem quite reasonably priced and their public schools are also rated highly on greatschools.

Do you have any other suggestions of places that might be similar to Fair Lawn in terms of price, the possiblility of commuting to NYC and good public schools? What I liked about Metuchen was its walkability, meaning that one wouldn't need to take one's car out all the time.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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As noted above, $300k won't get you a house in Metuchen- especially one within walking distance to the train. $300k will get you a house in many parts of Iselin, but houses within walking distance of Metropark are somewhat limited- it's mostly apartments and office parks nearby. Woodbridge may have some decent options, but the area around the train station may be slightly out of your price range.

You can also look at Avenel, which has a station between Woodbridge and Rahway, and has plenty of houses in your price range and within walking distance to the train. Not all of the trains stop at the Avenel station, though, so you'd have to see if what does stop there meets your schedule. If you look in Avenel, I'd look on the west side of the tracks (toward Route 1)- that neighborhood is still pretty decent.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeloMelo66 View Post
Hi labcjo,

Thanks for the suggestion! The homes in Fair Lawn seem quite reasonably priced and their public schools are also rated highly on greatschools.

Do you have any other suggestions of places that might be similar to Fair Lawn in terms of price, the possiblility of commuting to NYC and good public schools? What I liked about Metuchen was its walkability, meaning that one wouldn't need to take one's car out all the time.
Look into the Radburn section of town. (In Fair Lawn)
Homes are smaller, but they were built to be a waking community. All the homes have a waking path that leads to a shared park, playground, school, and pool -"" without ever having to cross a street. There are stores and restaurants on Plaza Road and Fair Lawn Ave, and while not super exciting, they're absolutely walkable. Train is right there also.

Ive been looking at homes there myself a bit lately, so message me if you'd like more detail.

Other towns with walkable downtowns (Montclair, Ridgewood, Maplewood) tend to be highlu sought after and much more expensive.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Rahway N.J
2,093 posts, read 5,177,098 times
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Where in Brooklyn do you live ?
I am from Brooklyn (sunset Park )and we moved out here 13 years ago


Quote:
Originally Posted by MeloMelo66 View Post
Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are hoping to purchase a home late next year. We work in NYC and currently live in Brooklyn. No kids yet, but we are planning on becoming pregnant next year. Since education is a major priority for us we want to live somewhere that has solid public schools. Our budget is a bit limited, up to 300K or so, so we are thinking about moving to NJ in order to purchase a home that we can afford as well as acquire quality education for our kids in a place with reasonable monthly taxes.

What do you think about Metuchen, Iselin or Woodbridge? Is our budget too small for a place that is at least 10-15 minutes away from the Train station, Metuchen or Metropark station, on foot? We are prepared to commute 3 hours a day round trip.

We are a friendly, well traveled black (husband is bi racial) couple in our early 30s with Masters degrees. Would we be accepted in these places, say for instance at a PTA meeting with other parents? In addition, we are used to walking everywhere in NYC. Would it be odd to see us walking 10 minutes to the train station in these areas, considering our hue? (sorry, weird question.. but I do wonder about it)

Do you have any other recommendations that would satisfy our requirements?

Thanks in advance for your feedback guys. We really appreciate it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:41 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,077 times
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I moved to Woodbridge Proper (07095) in summer 2011. I researched mid-Jersey extensively and decided on WB. Iselin I'd avoid - it's heavily Indian and that is a very insular community. Metuchen is a great town, and I tried to get a house there. But it's quite expensive, so unless you have deep pockets you won't be able to afford much.
As for WB, I live in what's known as the "park section," near Main St. and within walking distance of the train station. I got a small - 1360sf - home for upper $200s (sellers were very motivated). However, larger homes on my street easily go in the mid-upper $300s. The exceptions would be short sales and homes that are fixer-uppers. My neighborhood is quite nice and I really like it here. But whatever you do, avoid Bunns Lane. It's where there is a large public housing complex and house values there have tanked.
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