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Old 02-04-2019, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
3,350 posts, read 2,516,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewin888 View Post
What is 1/2 acre yard looking like ?



About half the size of a full acre and twice the size of a 1/4 acre.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Central NJ and PA
4,889 posts, read 1,904,380 times
Reputation: 3817
Spending a couple nights in a hotel and commuting is a great idea.


Three years for a parking pass isn't uncommon, but that will vary a lot with each town. About the only way to know is to contact the town clerk and ask, once you find a town you're interested in.


As for the yard, I love doing yard work and am sad that my now-full-time job doesn't leave me more time to spend outside. We bought an electric mower last year, and it's so light and quiet. The kids are now responsible for mowing. (They're 11, 12 and 14.) I also make them pick up the 'monkey balls' - those stupid, spiky things that fall off our numerous sweet gums. The trees are my only headache. We have over a dozen mature trees, and in addition to spending way too much time with the leaf blower and rake, the gums drop the balls all year long. I do the weeding, mulching, trimming and pruning. About half the people on our street have a lawn service take care of things. I'd say about a third of our outdoor space is in front, and the other 2/3 in back.


Geographically, and depending on what part of the state you're in, NJ has a really different feel than LI; at least the part of LI I'm familiar with. My ex-husband's family was from the Five Towns area, and one thing that I wasn't crazy about was the lack of natural, open space and the same-ness of the land in general, if that makes sense. (One thing I miss is Fire Island, but NJ has some very nice beaches.) I'm sure a lot of people don't care about that, but I grew up in the country, and after 30 years in Manhattan I wanted someplace that felt less city-like. We're in Berkeley Heights, and one of the things that drew us (or at least me) to the town was that it has all these little undeveloped pockets of land owned by the town scattered around. While there's no guaranteed they'll stay undeveloped, we're probably only here until our youngest graduates high school, then we'll retire to the Northern/Cenral part of PA. There's also the Great Swamp to the north, and the Watchung Reservation to the south. Of course, the swamp is flat, but our town and the reservation are very hilly and wooded.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Central NJ and PA
4,889 posts, read 1,904,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonCoNJ View Post
About half the size of a full acre and twice the size of a 1/4 acre.
Haha!! Ours is roughly 150 ft. across and 300 ft. deep. Our yard feels pretty big, but then the house is only 1,300 sq. ft. Put a larger house on it, and the yard won't feel so spacious.


In all this talk, we forgot to tell the OP that NJ has a bazillion independent school districts, and that the schools pretty much go by town.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:05 PM
 
12,891 posts, read 12,918,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookspage View Post
Newer single-family construction really doesn't exist in North Jersey for the most part. Here and there you will see one pop up on a existing lot/teardown. But you'll pay dearly for those. I'm sure LI is the same. Even finding existing homes that are recently updated can be tough. You might be able to get a tiny bit more for your money when you head to Mercer and Middlesex County, but that is probably taking you out of your radius for your commutes.

I don't know LI that well to be able to say where you will get more house. But from my experience with jobs and kids and commuting around NJ, my first suggestion is always make do in the area where you will have the better commute even if it means a slightly lesser house
They're usually going for 800k or more in my area.

NJ will generally be cheaper the further from the city you get, which makes for a brutal commute. Idk if LI is the same, because it's an island and is only so big, so it may be more expensive further away out in Suffolk County than equally far spots in NJ, but like others said, you won't be getting great deals here unless you're willing to sacrifice a decent commute.

School districts are not much of an issue though. Generally, nice towns = really good schools.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:00 PM
 
2,510 posts, read 2,159,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
They're usually going for 800k or more in my area.
Yep. Even older houses with just new finishes (new kitchen, new bathrooms, nice wood floors throughout, consistent paint) getting insane premiums. People do not want to renovate, they would rather roll it into the mortgage which makes sense.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:01 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
6,955 posts, read 7,967,926 times
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To put it simply ...the "good school districts" are all in towns where you can't afford to live!
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:37 PM
 
341 posts, read 257,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEmissary View Post
To put it simply ...the "good school districts" are all in towns where you can't afford to live!
That's what it looks like, it's a cycle, can't get into good schools because you don't live in good neighborhood, but you can't afford those houses because you didn't go to school in that area.. Well hopefully each generation makes a bit more than last, so that at least we can afford to get a place and send our kids to nicer schools.

Despite the commute, I am still open to moving to NJ, but I always thought at least there could be $100-$200k difference in similar condition homes, just basic 1250-1500sqft, with at least a back yard, garage, and upgraded kitchen and bathrooms and a home that looks like you can just move in without having to tear down all walls and floors.

You can find some houses for $600k in just "regular" not the best of the best school districts in Long Island like North Shore, Port Washington, Garden City, but looking into the house, you just wonder how did people live in this condition?

Other illusion that causes this is how cheap houses are in other states, or even upstate like westchester but I never checked the schools there. I even considered Florida, there are some great school districts down there, but I was told that coming from North East, we really can't handle the heat and humidity more than few years.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:16 PM
 
3,305 posts, read 3,412,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tailgunner_ed View Post
I was told that coming from North East, we really can't handle the heat and humidity more than few years.
Neither can anyone else down there, which is why just about every space is air conditioned...
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:00 AM
 
Location: NJ
21,009 posts, read 14,968,319 times
Reputation: 15165
zuckerberg gave 100 million dollars to Newark edu, a town of 26 sq miles, so that must be a real good school district with taxes and cash gifts to bolster edu.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:38 PM
 
53 posts, read 61,471 times
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The website www.niche.com has lists of ratings for public schools throughout the USA, plus rankings for diversity, quality of life etc. Also check out www.greatschools.org

The township where I live (Millburn) has an A+ rating for all the township public schools and has the Midtown Direct trains to Penn Station, trains to Hoboken and adjacent to I-78, Routes 24 and 124, 15 minutes to Newark airport. Millburn (zipcode 07041) house prices are lower than Short Hills (zipcode 07078) although they are in the same school district. I have one of the smallest and cheapest houses in Short Hills (3 bed and 1.1 bath) on a large lot, but selling it as I’m leaving the USA lol!
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