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Old 05-26-2013, 07:45 AM
Location: Bronx, NY
1 posts, read 2,391 times
Reputation: 10



I'm a 37 year old female looking to move from the Bronx, NY to New Jersey. I live with my fiancé and we have a child on the way. The reason why I'm looking at Bergen County is because we are in the area about once a week (shopping, visiting his family, financial advisor/taxman, mechanic, etc). My fiancée is from Teaneck. We tend to be in Jersey a lot so with the cost of gas and tolls (GWB), we thought it was best to move to Jersey.

I'm in the process of selling my co-op and will be looking for a realtor in Jersey to assist me with looking for a 2-3 bedroom townhouse or condo. I would prefer a 3 bdr townhouse, but with my price range it doesn't look like I'll find one in a nice area. Looking to pay no more than $275,000 (to be negotiated).

What I'm looking for:

- 2-3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse/condo
- max $7500 in property taxes
- safe neighborhood
- good/great schools
- public transportation close by (work in lower manhattan)
- access to highways
- shopping areas nearby

These are just to name a few. I would like advice as to where to move with what I'm looking for.

Thank you
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:03 AM
1,645 posts, read 2,537,756 times
Reputation: 2842
Ridgewood is the best place to live in the BC, but for your price range would be out of your league. I can not say I know of any town with good schools that has what you are looking for in your price range.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:22 AM
2,535 posts, read 6,285,025 times
Reputation: 1598
Yeh, if you cant afford Ridgewood you really should just forget Bergen County altogether. OR you could check out Fair Lawn or Rutherford. Good schools, easy access to trains and highways and there are both condos and small single family homes in your budget. There are also about 25 other towns in Bergen County that are equal to or better than Ridgewood, 5 based on schools alone. Sorry, useless, uninformed postings just make me grumpy. Good luck with your search!
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:53 AM
3,309 posts, read 3,495,443 times
Reputation: 1961
First off, if you are looking to move only because you tend to be in the area weekly, don't. You commute daily, and the cost of coming here weekly (in terms of dollars and time) doesn't even scratch the cost of living here.

In terms of what you want in your price range, unless there's a specific condo/townhouse community I don't know of that offers that, it doesn't exist in Bergen County.

One potential compromise would be to get an older two-bedroom co-op in Fort Lee. Net present value would be in your budget (maintenance higher than you'd like, buying price lower, total equivalent cost in budget). The town itself meets all your criteria, but, this housing option might not be to your liking, and public transit would be bus across the GWB or Lincoln Tunnel and then you'd need to take the subway to lower Manhattan.

Another potential compromise would be Bergenfield or Ridgefield Park. Public transit will mean taking the bus to Port Authority and then the subway to lower Manhattan - look up specific routes on nj transit's website (may or may not be one that is relatively direct). You should be able to find a single family 3 bedroom home on your budget if you want that, but might go a bit above budget on taxes. Schools are merely adequate by northern NJ standards but will be head and shoulders above the Bronx. Between the two, Bergenfield is physically nicer but Ridgefield Park has a somewhat stronger school system.

Another consideration is Teaneck itself -- maybe the housing market has weakened enough that you'd be able to find something there, doesn't hurt to look. Same downsides as Bergenfield and Ridgefield Park and more expensive, but could potentially get babysitting help from the fiance's parents and it's a much prettier town than the others mentioned.

All the above potential suggestions are safe with good access to the local highways and shopping.

With all of the above stated, with the combination of the budget and need to get to lower Manhattan on a daily basis I'm not sure that Bergen County is the right choice in general, but those are some ideas if you're set on it.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:53 AM
1,434 posts, read 3,084,804 times
Reputation: 1706
As ridiculous as it sounds, your budget is fairly unrealistic for a Bergen County town with good/great schools. You might be able to get a very old, no frills, 2 BR condo in a town like Fair Lawn, Rutherford, or Teaneck in the $250,000 range. But, honestly, you're going to have to add about $100,000 onto your budget for a chance of some decent options. And even then your options will be limited. Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:40 AM
550 posts, read 900,030 times
Reputation: 434
We owned a co-op in Fort Lee and can say confidently that it was a great place to be. We recently moved because we always wanted a single family house.

In particular, we lived in one building that was run well financially, and as a result, there was no underlying mortgage on the building, which meant that any excess we paid in maintenance built up a nice healthy reserve for our "rainy days." So the annual increase in maintenance was relatively low, compared to other co-ops. (Keep in mind that you'll still have a mortgage on your own loan.)

The unit was quiet and the building itself was sturdy. We had a huge area in the back, equipped with a pool, barbecue area, tennis and basketball courts, a playground for kids, not to mention four fully functional elevators and a freight elevator at your disposal, a library, a community room, a newly redecorated lobby and doormen. All of this was extremely and pleasantly affordable.

For your price, I'm sure you can get something decent.

I'd be happy to provide more details if interested. Just drop me a line.
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