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Old 12-27-2012, 07:35 PM
 
248 posts, read 598,679 times
Reputation: 187

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Hey guys,

I would greatly appreciate your help. Found this site while googling 'good neighborhoods in NJ' and found it extremely helpful

Budget: 250-350K (depending on the house obviously)
Looking for: 3BR and 2Bath
Schools: Not a priority since all 4 are working adults.
Commute: Looking for something close to the train station. 2 work in NYC 1 works in Westchester, NY across the Tappan Zee Bridge. (Unless if there are better commute options)

Towns currently looking at:
Avenel
Woodbridge
Edison
Colonia
Iselin
Metuchen
Rahway

Are there any goods/bads about the above places? Which one is my best bet? I want it to be a safe neighborhood especially at nights. I am basically searching for places within a mile or two of a train station. Is that a good strategy or is parking readily available?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:46 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,456 posts, read 16,146,980 times
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Well, holy smoke; I wouldn't pick a single one of those for the person working in Westchester - what a commute!

Look further north - I have no idea as to prices of houses, but better options would be Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Rutherford, Kearny, Belleville, Nutley (all better situated for the NYC commuters - and a good 1/2 hr to 45 min shorter for the Westchester commuter. You cannot rely upon mapquest/google/bing for travel times during the extended rush hours. To get to Westchester from any of the towns mentioned in the OP will take up to 2 hours each way with traffic - IMO. I have left SI at 6 am and run into traffic on the way to Westchester taking me well over an hour.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:49 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 33,056,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
Well, holy smoke; I wouldn't pick a single one of those for the person working in Westchester - what a commute!

Look further north - I have no idea as to prices of houses, but better options would be Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Rutherford, Kearny, Belleville, Nutley (all better situated for the NYC commuters - and a good 1/2 hr to 45 min shorter for the Westchester commuter. You cannot rely upon mapquest/google/bing for travel times during the extended rush hours. To get to Westchester from any of the towns mentioned in the OP will take up to 2 hours each way with traffic - IMO. I have left SI at 6 am and run into traffic on the way to Westchester taking me well over an hour.
I know! I nearly choked.

OP - please DO NOT choose anything south of exit 145 (even that's a little south) on the Parkway unless you want a life of misery.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
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Agree with other posters. Look around Mahwah, but not sure what your budget will get you.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:23 PM
 
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The others are right about it being quite a trip to Westchester from that area. If you're set on looking in those towns, I can tell you what I know since I'm somewhat familiar with those towns and I'm currently looking to buy in some of them also (and I have the same budget as you).

Avenel - Avenel is an industrial town. IMO it's very ugly and gray. The other towns on your list are much nicer areas to live.
Woodbridge/Edison/Iselin - You can probably get a decent 3BR home for your budget in any of these towns (except North Edison, which is more high-end and probably out of your budget). They're all middle class towns close to shopping, but not necessarily walkable. They're all fairly safe.
Colonia - Similar to the towns above, but most people seem to hold it in slightly higher regard. The houses are a bit more expensive and it's a higher income area.
Metuchen - Metuchen is the nicest town on your list IMO. It is very safe and Main Street has a nice strip with restaurants and shops. There is also a train station in the middle of town. As I mentioned, my wife and I are currently looking to buy and have the same budget as you, but we've found that Metuchen is out of our price range. For $350K you may be able to get something with very little space and/or a fixer-upper. It will also likely be on the outskirts of town.
Rahway - I don't know much about Rahway, but from what I've heard it's not as nice as the other towns and has higher crime. You'd have to verify that, though.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:36 AM
 
248 posts, read 598,679 times
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Thanks for the input guys!

The reason I was looking at these towns is because there is a colleague that makes a daily trip to Tarrytown from Iselin everyday and says the commute using (GSP to Tappan Zee) is only 1hr in the mornings and 1hr 10m in the evenings. And there is a 'possibility' of getting transferred to their Iselin building but can't tell when.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:55 AM
 
16,438 posts, read 19,857,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP1987 View Post
The reason I was looking at these towns is because there is a colleague that makes a daily trip to Tarrytown from Iselin everyday and says the commute using (GSP to Tappan Zee) is only 1hr in the mornings and 1hr 10m in the evenings. And there is a 'possibility' of getting transferred to their Iselin building but can't tell when.
For reasons that I will never be able to fathom, some people seem to give incredibly optimistic/inaccurate versions of how long it takes them to go from point A to point B--and I believe that your colleague is one of these folks. One hour during the AM commuting time from Iselin to Tarrytown? I don't think so, unless...perhaps...he begins his trip at 5:00 AM and manages to go very far above the speed limit.

An example of these incredibly optimistic/inaccurate commute times, I can recall a friend of my parents, back in the early '60s who had to travel from Bayonne to Matawan each day. He claimed that it took him 20 minutes! And, to make his claim even more ridiculous, this guy refused to take toll roads and usually drove under the speed limit.

His route--from 43rd St. in Bayonne to somewhere in Matawan, began with him driving north on local streets to Jersey City, then north on Rt 440 through Jersey City, then West on Rt 1 & 9 to Newark, then--finally--south on Route 9, and then...God only knows what route he took. In reality, during morning commute time, he would have been lucky to get to Newark in 20 minutes. My father challenged him (in a friendly way) about his claimed commute time, but this guy was adamant that he drove--on non-toll roads--from Bayonne to Matawan in 20 minutes.

And, I guess you wouldn't be surprised that he also claimed that he got a regular 40 mpg from his poorly-maintained Rambler sedan. (Translation: You couldn't believe anything that this guy told you!)

As the others have stated, you should not be looking at the Middlesex/Union County area of NJ if you need to travel to Westchester each day.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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You'd be better off in the sticks of upstate NY and then move if necessary to the area if your job re-locates.

As Retriever said, and hour to Westchester is flying even in the best case scenario. The GSP in Middlesex through Union & Essex is nasty, throw in rain or snow and it's 45 minutes just to go 15 miles through that stretch. The traffic on the GSP has been worse ever since the NJT tolls nearly doubled. Then include the Tappan Zee Bridge? My God - either your colleague is a NASCAR driver and drives on the shoulder most of the trip or he's lying through his teeth.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:23 AM
 
248 posts, read 598,679 times
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Haha thanks for updates! I was surprised at his claims but he said he has been doing it for 17 years.

@ Retriever: He said he gets 40mpg too! He said he bought a hybrid to save on gas.

Can't believe this dude actually made me consider looking to move to NJ... Not worth moving until I get transferred to the Iselin location.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:51 PM
 
16,438 posts, read 19,857,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP1987 View Post
Haha thanks for updates! I was surprised at his claims but he said he has been doing it for 17 years.

...and he has probably been lying to people about his travel time for 17 years, also.

As to his mpg claim, 40 mpg in a hybrid is believeable, unlike my parents' friend who claimed that he got that kind of mileage from a broken-down '60s era Rambler. So--perhaps this guy doesn't lie about everything, but he is a liar when it comes to how long it takes him to commute to work.
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