U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Jersey
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 06-10-2012, 06:22 AM
 
82 posts, read 332,150 times
Reputation: 45

Advertisements

Hi all

I have tried to look through this forum but it's a bit overwhelming, so I am just going to ask some questions and forgive me if they have been answered in other threads please!

Some background: We are probably going to be relocating to the US sometime between June and December next year. The two best areas for us jobs-wise (given that we want to be on the east coast) are NYC and Boston. I know a fair bit about Boston. I know a fair bit about NYC too yet next to nothing about the state across the river . If we do end up working in NYC, we don't want to live in Manhattan and not are not overly keen on Queens or Brooklyn; so far we have considered places like Greenwich and Manhasset but NJ may have what we are looking for too, in terms of:
- first and foremost, a decent living environment for our kids and good public schools
- a relatively easy commute into Manhattan, preferably using public transport
- housing budget yet to be finally determined (will depend what we can sell our current house for, exchange rate when we move etc) but probably in the region of $1.5m, with a bit of leeway either side. For this price, we would like to get preferably a 3 and ideally 4 bedroom house.
- we do want to live in a "nice" area.

Good schools are non-negotiable, the rest we can be more flexible on.

Any suggestions for suburbs that we can look at that fit our criteria, and their pros and cons would be welcome.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-10-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
71,505 posts, read 67,567,560 times
Reputation: 89421
With that budget, you'll have some good choices, remembering that northern New Jersey is one of the most expensive places to live in the US, primarily because everyone wants that suburban life with access to NYC. Still, your budget will give you access to most of the towns with the best schools.

Start by looking at Ridgewood. Sort of the quintessential NY suburb in NJ, older, well-established town with a quaint downtown and great school system. Commute to NYC, depending upon where in NYC you work, is about an hour and 20 minutes by train. Could be a little shorter or longer.

That is a normal commute. Commuting time is the hardest thing for people not from this area to swallow. Between NJ and NYC is this mile-wide river called the Hudson, magnificent to look at, framing the eastern side of the city--and a couple hundred thousand people need to cross it at the same time every day. Those same people are also converging on the points on the Jersey side of the river that provide access to the city--PATH (underground rail system) tunnels, vehicular tunnels, ferries.

Ridgewood is a town in northwest Bergen County, not far from the New York State border (yes, people from New York state get on trains and buses and travel THROUGH New Jersey to get to NYC--look at a map, and you'll see what I mean.

Another town that seems popular with good schools is Westfield, although I have never been there myself. Others here can expound upon that.

An advantage to living in these areas of New Jersey is that the ocean and mountain and country areas are a relatively short ride away.

If I were you, I'd take NYC over Boston. Don't get me wrong. Boston is a cute, charming little city, and Massachusetts has some lovely areas. But it's only a few hours' ride from the NY/NJ metro area, as are Philadelphia and Washington DC, the other cities on the Boston-Washington corridor. New York, however, is The City. And Masschusetts' beaches cannot compare to New Jersey's!
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2012, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Montclair, NJ
478 posts, read 1,126,851 times
Reputation: 154
That's some good advice there. I'd add Summit, Montclair/ Glen Ridge, and Millburn to the mix. Your dollar will go a lot farther in NJ (with the possible exception of Millburn) than Manhassett and Greenwich.

I have to disagree on the NJ beaches though- The Cape beaches blow away anything we have in terms of natural beauty and crowds. Just be prepared for for cold water and fog.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2012, 11:15 AM
 
82 posts, read 332,150 times
Reputation: 45
Thanks guys, that gives me something to start with, so i can start researching areas, real estate etc.

MontclairNative, any indication of commute times from the suburbs you've mentioned? Mightyqueen, that is indeed a commute longer than I had expected! I was hoping to be able to keep it to maximum an hour.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2012, 11:19 AM
 
82 posts, read 332,150 times
Reputation: 45
Oh, by the way where we live now is a city that has stunning beaches with really cold water so that aspect wouldn't be a change!! Haha. But ultimately what will determine where we live is probably going to be jobs, where we would both (spouse and I) probably have wider choices in the NYC area, though both of us have come across pretty perfect sounding jobs in Boston too. Who knows what will be out there in a year's time though...
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: UK but on the way to NJ!
239 posts, read 1,085,735 times
Reputation: 102
Here are some towns to research that have what you are looking for (schools, commute, etc.)

Summit
Millburn
Westfield
Scotch Plains
Fanwood
Cranford

With that budget you can get a really nice home. You probably wouldn't need nearly that much in the bottom 3-4 towns.

I live in Westfield and prefer it to Summit and Millburn. Westfield-Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Cranford pretty much meld into one town in terms of where I shop, services I use, where my friends live.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2012, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
71,505 posts, read 67,567,560 times
Reputation: 89421
OP, you can probably find something within an hour or an hour and ten. Again, it can vary depending upon where in the city you work/how far you have to go once you are inside the city.

In general, though, the closer to NYC you are, the more crowded it is, with smaller yards and houses closer to one another, and the schools aren't usually as good.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2012, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
71,505 posts, read 67,567,560 times
Reputation: 89421
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontclairNative View Post
That's some good advice there. I'd add Summit, Montclair/ Glen Ridge, and Millburn to the mix. Your dollar will go a lot farther in NJ (with the possible exception of Millburn) than Manhassett and Greenwich.

I have to disagree on the NJ beaches though- The Cape beaches blow away anything we have in terms of natural beauty and crowds. Just be prepared for for cold water and fog.
Oops, forgot about the Cape--was thinking of where my niece lives. Although, NJ does have SOME nice natural beach areas--most people just think of Seaside or Point when they think of the Jersey shore.

The Atlantic is about ten degrees warmer in NJ this year due to the mild winter. Went yesterday--the water was beautiful.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2012, 11:09 AM
 
63 posts, read 172,446 times
Reputation: 50
I'll voice a minority opinion here and say that if you're coming from Europe (and I'm going to guess you're coming from the UK or Ireland?), you may find Boston more to your liking than New Jersey. I'm a native New Yorker and a city girl at heart, and though I love many things about where I live now (West Orange), I'd love to live in a Boston-style suburb. Many of the suburbs there are contiguous with the city, so that you get a less purely suburban feeling--they're more walkable, more village-like, and less sprawling and car-oriented. The suburbs here in NJ aren't generally cookie-cutter strip-mall-plagued Dullsvilles like you find in the Midwest, but they are mostly very suburban.

Of course you can also find very "suburb-y" suburbs in Boston too, as you get farther away from the city itself, but with your budget, you'd be able to find something in a near suburb and enjoy somewhat shorter commuting times than you would in northern NJ. There are walkable suburbs here, but people tend to overstate the walkability a bit, in my experience.

Perhaps I'm making too many assumptions, and you'd actually like a big sprawly suburb. But I wouldn't rule out Boston, at least.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2012, 11:04 PM
 
82 posts, read 332,150 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauras23 View Post
I'll voice a minority opinion here and say that if you're coming from Europe (and I'm going to guess you're coming from the UK or Ireland?), you may find Boston more to your liking than New Jersey. I'm a native New Yorker and a city girl at heart, and though I love many things about where I live now (West Orange), I'd love to live in a Boston-style suburb. Many of the suburbs there are contiguous with the city, so that you get a less purely suburban feeling--they're more walkable, more village-like, and less sprawling and car-oriented. The suburbs here in NJ aren't generally cookie-cutter strip-mall-plagued Dullsvilles like you find in the Midwest, but they are mostly very suburban.

Of course you can also find very "suburb-y" suburbs in Boston too, as you get farther away from the city itself, but with your budget, you'd be able to find something in a near suburb and enjoy somewhat shorter commuting times than you would in northern NJ. There are walkable suburbs here, but people tend to overstate the walkability a bit, in my experience.

Perhaps I'm making too many assumptions, and you'd actually like a big sprawly suburb. But I wouldn't rule out Boston, at least.
Your assumption about where I'm from is incorrect (South Africa actually!) but the rest you have right. In Boston we've been thinking of Brookline and Newton and yes, I think these would suit us better than a pure "suburb". However, as I mentioned jobs will primarily determine where we end up so it's good to have all the options in advance!

One more question, I've seen some threads refer to Summit as " uppity". Although I'd probably be working on Wall St if I end up in NY I am not very keen on the competitive hype ( schools, cars etc) that is associated with this mileu - would this be what we would find there?
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Jersey

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top