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Old 06-01-2015, 10:38 AM
 
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My husband and I are in our 30s, moving from NYC to NJ. We want a new(er), stand alone home and after much searching, have realized that the 2 best towns for us are probably West Caldwell & West Orange. In West Orange it would be the St Cloud area.
Which one is better? What are the differences?
The commute i would love is to be around 1 hour.
Please tell me which one has an easier commute to NYC? less time commute?
I also want a safe town, which has a good school system (at least elementary).
I can not decide between the two towns, with a budget of about $500k - both have nice homes. Which one is the better choice? what are the pros and cons?
any suggestions, advice, or feedback is greatly appreciated!! thank you!!!
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:23 AM
 
Location: NJ
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West Orange would be better for commuting to NYC, simply because it's closer to towns with direct trains (Montclair, South Orange, and Orange). There is also direct bus service into NYC. Is diversity important to you? You'll find a lot more diversity in West Orange, especially in the schools.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC, USA
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if I did not have to consider commute to NYC, I would recommend West Caldwell.

Consider Schools, commute and property taxes when choosing.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:18 PM
 
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Thanks!!!

commute to nyc is a top priority.

WO school is more diverse (like the real world) but not as highly ranked, ??
taxes are higher in WO, which is a negative.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:50 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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Both nice towns. In west orange you get more house for the money but taxes are a little higher. WO schools are very diverse ethnically and economically. West Caldwell is much more homogenous economically and racially. A St.Cloud is a great neighborhood and the elementary school is as good as any school in West Caldwell. You can take a jitney from parts of the st cloud section right to south orange station, easily less than 1 hour from house to NYC. Putting the elementary school aside I don't think the lower rankings of the WO school system opposed to West Caldwell are due to lack of programs or classes.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:34 AM
 
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thanks nykstevenyg. which town do you feel has an easier and quicker commute?
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:06 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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What part of NYC is the commute for the final destination? I live in WO, and have friends in West Caldwell.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:27 PM
 
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@bradykp - the commute for now is to WTC (wall street) area. obviously one day could change to midtown depending on work, but for now its wall street (so path is the way to go). can you shed some light on the differences between WO and WC?

Last edited by alanafk; 06-02-2015 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:20 PM
 
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Question can you shed more light?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanafk View Post
@bradykp - the commute for now is to WTC (wall street) area. obviously one day could change to midtown depending on work, but for now its wall street (so path is the way to go). can you shed some light on the differences between WO and WC?
would love to get more feedback.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:21 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanafk View Post
@bradykp - the commute for now is to WTC (wall street) area. obviously one day could change to midtown depending on work, but for now its wall street (so path is the way to go). can you shed some light on the differences between WO and WC?
so some differences i've noticed, having hung out at my friends' homes and having lived in west orange now for 5+ years.

West Caldwell has some shared services with the other Caldwells and I believe a volunteer FD. West Orange has a professional FD, and is larger.
Homes in West Caldwell appear to be dominated by split levels, where West Orange has a little bit of everything.
Property sizes in much of West Caldwell, from what I've seen, appear to be larger.

I can't speak much to schools yet, but my perception is that West Orange schools are very underrated, for a variety of reasons. My exposure to people who already have kids in the schools tell me that we've got wonderful schools and teachers and many highly successful students. But West Orange doesn't score well on numerous ratings because of 1) large special needs population (because of amazing special needs program), 2) large ESL population, & 3) larger share of low income families than many higher rated schools.

Taxes are higher, as far as a % of assessed value, in West Orange. As a result, home prices are lower.

I'll try of thinking of some other differences. both are great towns. my friend's wife commutes to east side of midtown, so her commute is tough. my commute to Grand Central when i worked in NYC was never more than 70 minutes, door to door. but i've heard commutes have gotten a tad slower since i worked in NYC. I did the bus that ran down Northfield. St Cloud, i imagine, you would do the same unless you drove to harrison for the path? Actually, if you're driving to harrison for the PATH, you're only a few miles farther away with West Caldwell - so maybe that tips the scales towards WC since you wouldn't need the public transit options?

I'm sorta speaking stream of conscious here...
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