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Old 01-14-2013, 07:30 PM
 
10 posts, read 10,411 times
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Hello everyone,

I recently got a new job in Voorhees (not by choice, thats where the office sent me) but I have lived here pretty much my whole life and want to move somewhere new. I am not familiar with central jersey or southern jersey (besides voorhees, berlin, marlton) ... which is why I need your help!!

My main priorities are: safe city, good downtown, stuff to do for people in their 20s, and not toooo far from voorhees (I am willing to have a far commute to get away if the city is worth it!). I would like to meet people my own age (24) and single and not live in such a family oriented town.

What I am looking at right now are:

South: Haddon Twp, Mullica Hill, Mays Landing, Collingswood, Swedesboro, Marlton, Haddonfield, Collingswood

Central: Lawrence Twp, Florence, Bordentown, Robbinsville, East Windsor, Hamilton Twp, Mercerville, Palmyra, Ewing

Any other ideas would be fantastic and greatly appreciated :-)

It seems collingswood would be the best choice but my mom implies that i would not want to BUY a condo there.

THANK YOU!!!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:21 PM
 
1,450 posts, read 3,191,916 times
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I'd add Moorestown to your list of possibilities. It only about 10/12 miles from Vorhees, so your work commute will be a breeze. Great safe town, and if you are looking to buy, due to the fact that Moorestown is a desirable community with great schools, re sale and retaining/increasing home value is also a good bet. Moorestown being proximate to Philly means you'll be able to take advantage of the Philly nightlife on the weekends.

KoalaNJ

One down side is that Moorestown itself is dry, so you have to go to neighboring communities to purchase alcohol.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:13 AM
 
1,787 posts, read 5,428,109 times
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East Windsor and Hightstown share 08520. Hightstown has a small walkable town and East Windsor does not and could be a 45 min. to 60 min. commute, off of NJTP exit 8.
Tavern On The Lake
Downtown Hightstown Inc

Robbinsville does not have a downtown, but is developing a town center: Washington Town Center | Sharbell

Hamilton Twp. includes towns within this township (including Mercerville), none have a downtown. Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although I've been to Collingswood, I don't know much about the town. But from what everyone says, it looks like it may work for you. Collingswood, New Jersey | Collingswood, New Jersey
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 40,306,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymchamp88 View Post
Hello everyone,

I recently got a new job in Voorhees (not by choice, thats where the office sent me) but I have lived here pretty much my whole life and want to move somewhere new. I am not familiar with central jersey or southern jersey (besides voorhees, berlin, marlton) ... which is why I need your help!!

My main priorities are: safe city, good downtown, stuff to do for people in their 20s, and not toooo far from voorhees (I am willing to have a far commute to get away if the city is worth it!). I would like to meet people my own age (24) and single and not live in such a family oriented town.

What I am looking at right now are:

South: Haddon Twp, Mullica Hill, Mays Landing, Collingswood, Swedesboro, Marlton, Haddonfield, Collingswood

Central: Lawrence Twp, Florence, Bordentown, Robbinsville, East Windsor, Hamilton Twp, Mercerville, Palmyra, Ewing

Any other ideas would be fantastic and greatly appreciated :-)

It seems collingswood would be the best choice but my mom implies that i would not want to BUY a condo there.

THANK YOU!!!!
I think your best options overall are looking into Collingswood, Haddon Township and Haddonfield. Those towns are all in close proximity to Voorhees, they all have a downtown scene ranging from bars to higher end restaurants and they all have PATCO stations which means Philly and all it has to offer is a 10 minute train ride away. Those towns also provide easy access to the main shopping areas in Cherry Hill and provide easy accees to the AC Rail Line if you want to go there for the weekend and not drive.

As far as buying goes, that's all situational. Buying means at least a 7-10 year commitment to an area, so I would not advise it unless you are sure you will be staying. If that plan then includes maybe getting married and a kid in that timeframe then your priorities change. For the most part you aren't buying a condo in any of those towns because there really aren't any outside of the Lumberyard in Collingswood which are pretty pricey and the whole project has experienced issues selling units and lost value.

What you would be looking at in those towns (primarily Collingswood and Haddon Twp.) would be smaller single family homes or twins (basically a single family home attached by one wall to another single family home). There are plenty of options in those towns in the $200k and under range. If you want to buy a condo/townhome then most of those are going to be in towns like Cherry Hill, Voorhees and Marlton. All are good towns, but you then lose the accessible downtown you want and chances are the condo or townhome you would buy won't be that much different in cost from some actual houses in say Collingswood.

Your list is pretty much all over the board as far as towns go, but given your list of priorities, I see no reason to settle in Central Jersey and then eat the 40 (or more) minute commute to work everyday. What you listed as your wants are all available in that immediate area. The process then comes down to deciding whether it is better to rent or buy. In your situation, I think renting in the area for a year gives you a chance to get a feel for everything and then you can decide where you would want to buy.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:17 PM
 
681 posts, read 1,425,014 times
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I am from S. Philly and vote Collingswood as well. Moved here in 2006 and am very happy; especially with the random acts of crime that keep creeping up in Philly. You could find an apartment or a small row for about the same price and be in Philly in 12 minutes by PATCO, 24/7. You will also meet a new crew around the Haddon Twp area just a mile away at places like the Pour House and P.J.'s and you could even walk if you imbibe too much. The reason we moved here is that I did not want to lose my connection to the city and trust me, the more in NJ you go, the more you will. Collingswood is like a "village" with all of the benefits of the city in a cool, hip suburb. You can get to Vorhees in 15 minutes without the highway as well.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:51 PM
 
37,903 posts, read 25,855,674 times
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I don't know about the central Jersey towns, but the only towns you listed that have a downtown and not all familes are Haddonfield and Collingswood. They are both on the Patco line which will get you to Philly in under 10 minutes. The other places, Mullica Hill, Marlton, Swedesboro are very suburban and will have lots of families with children. Mays Landing is going to be a long commute, especially in summer (it'll take you at least twice as long to get home on Friday nights) and IMO not enough to do to be worth it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:00 PM
 
10 posts, read 10,411 times
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Thank you guys so much for your replies I really appreciate it! You guys have been very helpful.

Sounds like Collingswood would be the best bet. I really would like to buy a condo (150,000 and under if possible). I dont know why my mom is so against me buying a condo in collingswood though... i guess she just thinks its not as nice as the other towns or the condo wont be worth as much later on? The only condos I have found in collingswood though are really either expensive (but very nice) 250,000 or really cheap and not near the shopping.

Anyone know about re-sale in collingswood? Or anything about if its a good place to buy?

If i buy a condo how long committment in general would i need?


To NJGOAT: What you said is really one of my main issues because i dont want to buy a house which limits me from collingswood. I saw the lumberyard that do look very nice but out of my price range, i didnt realize they were losing value though. I just think renting is a waste of money unfortunetly but maybe its my only option.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:54 AM
 
1,787 posts, read 5,428,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymchamp88 View Post
...I just think renting is a waste of money unfortunetly but maybe its my only option.
Think of renting as a way of knowing if the area is the place for you. If you buy in a location that turns out to be a big mistake, that would be a bigger waste of money.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Rutgers '17
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Robbinsville is not a good value at all.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:54 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 40,306,070 times
Reputation: 14548
Quote:
Originally Posted by gymchamp88 View Post
Thank you guys so much for your replies I really appreciate it! You guys have been very helpful.

Sounds like Collingswood would be the best bet. I really would like to buy a condo (150,000 and under if possible). I dont know why my mom is so against me buying a condo in collingswood though... i guess she just thinks its not as nice as the other towns or the condo wont be worth as much later on? The only condos I have found in collingswood though are really either expensive (but very nice) 250,000 or really cheap and not near the shopping.

Anyone know about re-sale in collingswood? Or anything about if its a good place to buy?

If i buy a condo how long committment in general would i need?


To NJGOAT: What you said is really one of my main issues because i dont want to buy a house which limits me from collingswood. I saw the lumberyard that do look very nice but out of my price range, i didnt realize they were losing value though. I just think renting is a waste of money unfortunetly but maybe its my only option.
Like I said earlier, these older towns that have the downtowns and easy PATCO access you want, simply don't have condos. They just don't.

The LumberYard project in Collingswood was a large scale project undertaken by the town beginning around 2008 or so to add condo/transit oriented development to the downtown. The original units sold well into the $400k range. This was way overpriced when similar sized single family homes could be purchased in town for $250k or less. The project had issues selling units, especially when the whole housing market crashed. The project has now been stalled for several years while they figure out what to do. The early buyers in the project have lost a ton of value compared to what they paid. They are now no longer building units to sell, but have switched the last phase to mixed use retail and rentals so the town can begin to recoup some of their investment. The whole thing has been a giant cluster. I would RENT in the LumberYard if a unit was available, but I wouldn't buy there.

Regardless though, given a $150k budget any condo you would be looking at would be an older unit in the Voorhees, Marlton and Cherry Hill areas. Those are where lots of condos were built as those towns expanded. You could buy in one of those towns for your budget, but it's not what you are looking for in terms of a town to live in. That budget would buy you an older twin or rowhome in Collingswood, but that doesn't seem like what you really want either.

In terms of re-sale in Collingswood, the town took a hit just like everywhere else in the recession and values haven't really rebounded much. Just to qunatify what I am saying, I grew up in Collingswood and my parents still live there. I also am good friends with a local real estate broker who also grew up in the town. Collingswood is a town going through a lot of changes. 15 years ago Collingswood was nothing but a blue collar leaning bedroom community with a half empty downtown that's only feature was a hair salon, florist, jewelery store and a secondhand shop. Around 10 years ago Collingswood began a major intitiative to revitalize the downtown. It has now become a thriving restaurant district and the town itself has become a favored destination of younger couples looking for a "Philly-light" environment. The town has decent schools and plenty of affordable housing stock while being convenient to everything. The issue the town has now is that it is still in flux. There are a lot of older retired couples looking to sell and move and some of younger "pioneers" are having kids and now considering to move to more traditional suburbs with better schools. Basically, the future of Collingswood as either a premier town or falling back towards obscurity is a little up in the air.

Overall it doesn't matter what you buy, most would advise you that buying anything means a 7-10 year commitment to living there. That's how long it would take you to pay down the mortgage enough, or gain enough in value to offset the cost of selling the property. So, you can't just buy a condo, live in it for a couple of years and then sell it without taking a HUGE loss.

Given that you are young, want a relatively carefree lifestyle, don't know what your life will look like 7 years down the road and don't know much about the area overall, renting is far and away the right option for you in the short-term. Find a decent apartment in Haddon Township, Collingswood or Haddonfield and live there for a year or two. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the area and where you would want to settle and perhaps buy. You may think this is "throwing money away", but you would be throwing a lot more money away if you bought and then two years later decided it was a huge mistake.
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