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Old 11-29-2011, 12:05 PM
683 posts, read 372,748 times
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Somerville and Bridgewater are next to each other. Whoops, sorry, I read the post wrong and I can't delete this......
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:10 PM
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
you really couldn't be any less vague.

madison, westfield, chatham, cranford - but don't expect anything large with your budget.
and i meant any MORE vague, not less!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:27 PM
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The thing with NJ is this: You can have good schools, you can have a great commute to NY and you can find a stunning house for 500K.....but you can't do it all in the same town.

I will give you the options as I see it--then I will bottom line it with what I would do.

1) If you want excellent schools, access to NYC and 30 min commute to Bridgewater, but you don't care about size/type home you can look at *some* parts of: Millburn, Summit, Chatham, Madison, Westfield. Be prepared to be shocked at what you get for that amount. I am forever shocked at what you get--but people make do and are happy in these towns. The schools are fantastic, you have access to cool artsy stuff and NY is a hop skip and a jump away, relatively speaking.

2) If you want very very good schools, good commute to Bridgewater, nice size lot/home, but are not as keen on being so so close to NYC, then I would look at: Branchburg, Basking Ridge, Bedminster, Chester, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapak Gladstone. All stunningly beautiful, charming communities with great schools, nice size homes---but a solid distance from NYC. People commute in every day, but it's a grind: When I did it, it was 2 hours door to door. As a result, you have many NYC commuters but you have even more people who work in places like Bridgewater, Parsippany, Menlo Park etc. Also--this is suburbia for sure!

My bottom line:

Give up on the dream to be that near NYC--it is not worth it unless you work there!! Trust me on this.

Living "near" NYC is, in no way, anything like living *IN* NYC. You still have to schlepp in, you still have to deal with highways, malls and suburbia but if you live "in close" you pay through the nose for nothing more than a more tolerable daily commute into NYC--something that will not matter to you as a stay at home worker and your wife when she commutes to Bridgewater.

If I were in your shoes, I would happily settle into the idea that you have hit the jackpot in NJ speak because you are not BOUND to have to be in easy commute distance from NYC. I would give a very serious look at Bedminster, Bernards, Far Hills, Chester etc--all awesome communities... In particular, the Bernards Township school system is excellent. For the times you do want to get into NYC, the train is still an option and you will be riding in it 20 minutes more each way....(which if you do it daily, it matters, but for the occasional jaunt in, who cares?). In my opinion, too, there is a subtle difference in the cultures of these towns too---you do find more vanilla type people in the farther suburbs, but they are also that much nicer and you have a nice sense of community. In towns like Millburn, etc, you can also have a strong community for sure--but it's a more high stress environment. We live in Millburn and love it and it works for us--but if I were in your shoes, I probably would look at the towns I mentioned and feel grateful that you can make that choice.

Last edited by CanonGrace; 11-30-2011 at 01:35 PM..
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