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Old 03-04-2012, 10:34 PM
 
217 posts, read 775,536 times
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I am looking into buying my 1st house. My wife and I are planning to move in fall of 2013 when we are out of our lease so I am just starting to educate myself. We currently live in Hartsdale/Scarsdale, NY but I cannot see myself living in Westchester County as the taxes are disgusting. I won't pay NY/NYC another dime in tax so NYC is out of the question. LI is a possible but a very hard sell. CT has a sketchy transit to NYC so that's on the short list. That leaves Rockland County and NJ. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with NJ at all.

I currently work in White Plains, NY and my wife works near WTC. She currently has a 1.5 hour commute from Scarsdale to GCS via Metro-North, subway to WTC and then a walk to her building. She'd like to keep that commute. Can someone give me some safe areas in NJ that allow that transit with good school districts (planning to have children in 3-4 years)? Budget around $650K depending on the taxes.

Must haves: not a particular style but prefer newer and in move-in condition/4+BR/2+BR/Central Air/parking for at least 2 cars (prefer garage)/back yard with room for patio and potential pool

Last edited by SAgosto; 03-04-2012 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:57 PM
 
390 posts, read 1,287,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAgosto View Post
I am looking into buying my 1st house. My wife and I are planning to move in fall of 2013 when we are out of our lease so I am just starting to educate myself. We currently live in Hartsdale/Scarsdale, NY but I cannot see myself living in Westchester County as the taxes are disgusting. I won't pay NY/NYC another dime in tax so NYC is out of the question. LI is a possible but a very hard sell. CT has a sketchy transit to NYC so that's on the short list. That leaves Rockland County and NJ. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with NJ at all.

I currently work in White Plains, NY and my wife works near WTC. She currently has a 1.5 hour commute from Scarsdale to GCS via Metro-North, subway to WTC and then a walk to her building. She'd like to keep that commute. Can someone give me some safe areas in NJ that allow that transit with good school districts (planning to have children in 3-4 years)? Budget around $650K depending on the taxes.

Must haves: not a particular style but prefer newer and in move-in condition/4+BR/2+BR/Central Air/parking for at least 2 cars (prefer garage)/back yard with room for patio and potential pool

You'll want to look at New Jersey transit rail line map here: http://www.njtransit.com. Go to "Scheduale and Fares", then "Train", then go to "Use Our Rail Map to Select Stations".

The best option (it would seem) would be to look at the Bergen Line. It'd be a short drive via the Parkway to the Tapenzee Bridge to White Plains, and your wife could take the train to Hoboken where the PATH goes to the WTC.

Almost all the towns on the Bergen Line (which goes through Bergen County) are known for being very safe towns with excellent school systems, and lots of great housing options in your price range (you'll want to look at Glen Rock and north). Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus are two very popular towns on this board.

The easiest commutes into NYC from New Jersey is via the towns on the Montclair and Morristown lines, which offer midtown direct service non stop to Penn Station. Your drive to White Plains will be longer, but the train ride into Penn Station can be as short as 30-35 minutes from towns like Glen Ridge and South Orange. The towns in Essex County (Glen Ridge, Montclair, South Orange, and Maplewood) have a VERY different feel from towns in Bergen County (Glen Rock, Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus) and people tend to want one OR the other. Do some digging around on these boards to find out more about the areas.

Towns like Summit, Millburn, Chatham, and Madison are other great towns on the midtown direct line, but the train ride is a little longer, and your drive will also be longer.

All of the above towns have great school systems, but can vary greatly from there. I'd start my search in Bergen County if I were you. Best of luck!


Also, if taxes are an issue for you, check out this link to get a better understanding of each town's taxes: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/0216/2014/

Last edited by labcjo; 03-05-2012 at 12:27 AM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:48 AM
 
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I would look at Mahwah or Ramsey. Mahwah borders New York State and is probably a 30-40 minute drive to White Plains without traffic. Schools are excellent if I may say so myself. Housing is generally newer and will go pretty far on your budget, and taxes are reasonable. The town is quite large and has a lot of sections, so you'd have to take a look and find your preferred flavor. Some neighborhoods are very residential with virtually no commercial presence, but there is a nice downtown. Ramsey borders Mahwah and is similar in a lot of respects. It might be a little less diverse. Train runs between 45 minutes and 1 hour to Hoboken, and the PATH is a transfer and 10 minute ride to WTC. If her schedule allows her to catch the express trains, she can make it to WTC in an hour.

Ramsey and Mahwah put you close to 287 for your driving commute without a ton of benefit to her commute (assuming she gets the express). Living further south (Ho-Ho-Kus, Waldwick, Ridgewood) will add 10 minutes or more to your drive depending on traffic conditions.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labcjo View Post
You'll want to look at New Jersey transit rail line map here: http://www.njtransit.com. Go to "Scheduale and Fares", then "Train", then go to "Use Our Rail Map to Select Stations".

The best option (it would seem) would be to look at the Bergen Line. It'd be a short drive via the Parkway to the Tapenzee Bridge to White Plains, and your wife could take the train to Hoboken where the PATH goes to the WTC.

Almost all the towns on the Bergen Line (which goes through Bergen County) are known for being very safe towns with excellent school systems, and lots of great housing options in your price range (you'll want to look at Glen Rock and north). Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus are two very popular towns on this board.
Thanks for the help. Would you consider the Bergen line to be reliable? We won't consider MetroNorth/CT line because it is a bit sketchy in the winter time. Glen Rock appears to be 33-35 miles and 45 minute drive from my work in White Plains which isn't too bad but the bridge might be killer. Houses are priced similiar to NY (Rockland/Westchester) but taxes are definately lower.

Do you have an estimate on how long the commute is from Hoboken to the WTC via the PATH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by labcjo View Post
The easiest commutes into NYC from New Jersey is via the towns on the Montclair and Morristown lines, which offer midtown direct service non stop to Penn Station. Your drive to White Plains will be longer, but the train ride into Penn Station can be as short as 30-35 minutes from towns like Glen Ridge and South Orange. The towns in Essex County (Glen Ridge, Montclair, South Orange, and Maplewood) have a VERY different feel from towns in Bergen County (Glen Rock, Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus) and people tend to want one OR the other. Do some digging around on these boards to find out more about the areas.
Thanks. I will look into it. I am fairly anti-NYC as I prefer to drive to work but I am sure there are employment for an IT folk like myself in NJ if necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by labcjo View Post
Towns like Summit, Millburn, Chatham, and Madison are other great towns on the midtown direct line, but the train ride is a little longer, and your drive will also be longer.
I think I would prefer a 50 min max ride with my wife having 1.5 hours or less door-to-door to WTC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by labcjo View Post
All of the above towns have great school systems, but can vary greatly from there. I'd start my search in Bergen County if I were you. Best of luck!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by labcjo View Post
Also, if taxes are an issue for you, check out this link to get a better understanding of each town's taxes: NJ Spotlight | Interactive Map: The State of Property Taxes in NJ
We are considering NJ because the taxes are lower but the prices appear to be similiar to NY. It's a huge chunk of change so something to consider.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:05 PM
 
217 posts, read 775,536 times
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Originally Posted by vfrex View Post
I would look at Mahwah or Ramsey. Mahwah borders New York State and is probably a 30-40 minute drive to White Plains without traffic. Schools are excellent if I may say so myself. Housing is generally newer and will go pretty far on your budget, and taxes are reasonable. The town is quite large and has a lot of sections, so you'd have to take a look and find your preferred flavor. Some neighborhoods are very residential with virtually no commercial presence, but there is a nice downtown. Ramsey borders Mahwah and is similar in a lot of respects. It might be a little less diverse. Train runs between 45 minutes and 1 hour to Hoboken, and the PATH is a transfer and 10 minute ride to WTC. If her schedule allows her to catch the express trains, she can make it to WTC in an hour.

Ramsey and Mahwah put you close to 287 for your driving commute without a ton of benefit to her commute (assuming she gets the express). Living further south (Ho-Ho-Kus, Waldwick, Ridgewood) will add 10 minutes or more to your drive depending on traffic conditions.
I actually bought my SUV at Prestige so I am familiar with Ramsey. I forgot the area but I saw some ridiculous houses on the road. Google has Ramsey about 30miles/40 minutes from my work but not sure how that would be in the morning as I typically come in at 8. Interesting that taxes appear to be lower in Ramsey/Mahwah than Glen Rock.

~1 hour commute to WTC is a big upgrade from the Hartsdale commute now. This is a fair trade off for both of us. Atleast, I'd save on the gas.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:47 PM
 
217 posts, read 775,536 times
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Where are you coming from? Westchester County (Hartsale/Bronxville)
Why are you moving? Buy first house
Where will you be working ? If NYC, what part of NYC? White Plains/Near WTC area but possible change to Times Square in the future)

Will you buy or rent? Buy
What is your budget ? 700K
What kind of place are you looking for ? 4BR/2BA; MID 2K SQ FT; Central Air is a must; Lot big enough for pool/patio

Will anyone (spouse, children, pets) be moving with you ? Wife; small dog; planning on 1-2 children
Do you need/want good public schools? Yes. Important.

Briefly describe the kind of neighborhood you'd like to live in
(examples: families with young children, young, mature, artsy, diverse, safe, close-knit, block parties, etc) families with young children; safe (obviously)

List three things that are important to you in order of importance.(examples: nightlife, outdoor activities, rural/urban, safety, downtown area, charming, new construction, proximity to XYZ, family oriented, easy parking, short commute, etc) . short commute to drive wife to train station (less than 1.5 hours *MAX* door-to-door for wife to WTC; ~25 miles to current job in White Plains), safe/family oriented, would love new construction


Westwood is appealing. Found several new constructions for $650K.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:15 PM
 
390 posts, read 1,287,478 times
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Do you have an estimate on how long the commute is from Hoboken to the WTC via the PATH?

You can find (usually very accurate) schedules on PATH - The Port Authority of NY & NJ Don't forget, she also has the option of transferring at Seacaucus for NY Penn Station, and catching the subway from there. Not sure which would be quicker
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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If I recall correctly, the actual travel time from HOB to WTC is about 11 minutes.

Waiting for a train adds time--not much of a problem M - F rush hour, but weekends and non-rush you'll wait longer, especially since there are often track shutdowns because the WTC station is under construction.

Westwood is a good town.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:19 AM
 
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11 minutes is fair. That would put the total commute time from Weswood to WTC area in about 1 hour and 20 minutes total.

Any other areas in Westwood area that fit my criteria?
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:54 PM
 
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The Glen Rock/Ridgewood/Ho-Ho-Kus area is one of the nicest in all of Bergen County. Remember, most of these towns are ultra small and close by, so really it can just come down to finding the home you like the most.

Ridgewood does have a walkable downtown though, if that's important to you.
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