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Old 10-02-2013, 12:01 PM
 
19 posts, read 72,211 times
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Hi,

Answers from the sticky pasted below. My family and I have been renting on the North Shore of Long Island since 2005 and I think we're ready for a change. Neither of us is originally from this area and we have little knowledge of New Jersey. We are in the very early stages of this idea and wouldn't be moving until the summer...just looking for some ideas to narrow down our search a little bit.

Where are you coming from? Long Island
Why are you moving? Looking for a different vibe, I guess is the best way to put it. I'd love a little bit of space, a smaller town feel maybe...a community that's a little more down to earth? I'm a little bit crunchy and grew up on 40 acres in Michigan...I know I won't ever find that here...don't really want to because I like being within easy day-trip distance of NYC, but it might give you an idea of where I'm coming from!
Where will you be working? If NYC, what part of NYC? My husband works in Midtown and currently has a door-to-door commute of almost an hour and a half. I am home with our three children (7 and 4 year old twins).

Will you buy or rent? Rent for now.
What is your budget? About $2500 (we currently pay $2000 for a 3 bedroom apt in a two family home in the cheapest part of our town, but could manage a little bit more for our own yard)
What kind of place are you looking for? Minimum of 3 bedrooms. Would like a single family home with a bit of a yard. Basement would be nice. We are a single car family, so parking for one is sufficient.

Will anyone (spouse, children, pets) be moving with you? We are a family of 5 with 2 indoor cats.
Do you need/want good public schools? We want decent and safe public schools. Our older son does receive special education services, so honestly, the quality/accessibility of that is more important to us than test scores. Would prefer schools with smaller class sizes, but also realize that this isn't a perfect world! I'm accustomed to working closely with my son's teacher (twins aren't in school yet), so a close-knit school is more important to me than one that has the best statistics.

Briefly describe the kind of neighborhood you'd like to live in
We want a family-friendly neighborhood...safe, decent schools, local parks, etc. We're really not cut out for an urban setting, but my husband does need to be able to get to Manhattan using public transportation and within the 1.5 hour commute time he currently has (less would be awesome). Nightlife is a non-issue. I need a convenient grocery store and would love a walkable downtown area, but I don't mind driving a bit for something like Target.

List three things that are important to you in order of importance: (1) Family-oriented (including safety and decent schools), (2) Reasonable commute by public transportation (less than 1.5 hours), (3) space, trees, nature....is that possible??
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 33,707,036 times
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The first places that came to mind are Rockaway and Denville.

eta, here are a few rentals:

http://www.weichertrents.com/4895665...26price%3d2500 (not much land, but decent house)

http://www.weichertrents.com/4863027...26price%3d2500 (again not much land, but like above with lake community)

http://www.weichertrents.com/4895453...26price%3d2500

http://www.weichertrents.com/4895650...26price%3d2500 (1.7 acres)

http://www.weichertrents.com/4895648...26price%3d2500

just an idea of what's around that area.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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Rutherford would be one town I'd check out.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:39 PM
 
173 posts, read 614,243 times
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Cranford has smaller lots, but offers everything else you are looking for! It is very green, with people jogging and biking throughout the day to and from nice parks in town. There is so much to do here with kids! Once you meet a few parents at school you will not be bored here. The town center is fabulous, the schools are great and getting more excellent each year (big focus on reading literacy here). There is a train station right in town. Like Denville, there are flood prone areas here, just do your homework. Highly recommended!
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
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What kind of commute do you want for your husband? driving? train? bus? 90 minutes can be quite different among those choices.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:12 AM
 
19 posts, read 72,211 times
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Thank you for all of the input so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfFull View Post
What kind of commute do you want for your husband? driving? train? bus? 90 minutes can be quite different among those choices.
He definitely needs public transportation as we intend to remain a single car family. Right now he takes a bus to the LIRR station...I don't think he really has a preference as to what type of public transportation, so long as it's reliable.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:27 AM
 
173 posts, read 614,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmbill View Post
Thank you for all of the input so far!



He definitely needs public transportation as we intend to remain a single car family. Right now he takes a bus to the LIRR station...I don't think he really has a preference as to what type of public transportation, so long as it's reliable.
In addition to a train service, there is an express bus to NYC from Cranford. If he leaves at 7:30am, he will be at the Port Authority Bus terminal at 8:15am. http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/bus/T0113.pdf
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
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Wayne provides a decent balance of your priorities.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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I lived 8 years of my life in Long Island in both counties. Don't have high expectation about the change, LI and NJ are surprisingly alike in terms of living. You may get slightly more space unless you move much further out and get toward South Jersey.

One big difference is that in NJ is within short driving distance, you can get 'outdoors' feel quick. Oh and yeah can't forget cheap gas
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:40 AM
 
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Although it isn;t small town by any means( in fact there is no central downtown at all and it's one of the largest "towns" in NJ by both population and area) I would definitely say Wayne.

This place in Packanack Lake seems to check a lot of your boxes. Packanack Lake is a community within Wayne it is pretty tight knit, has an awesome elementary school, easy access to NYC( commute would be about 1 hour and 15 minutes door to door) and tons of activities.

48 Lake Trl East, Wayne, NJ 07470 (MLS# 3074757) - Wayne NJ Real Estate - ColdwellBankerMoves.com
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