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Old 04-16-2008, 09:23 PM
 
15 posts, read 79,975 times
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We've been looking in several Bergen County towns for 2 years now, after having been away for over 10 years. We started looking in Allendale, where we used to live, but have since expanded to Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus. We haven't had much luck finding what we're looking for. Although we're moving back from NC where housing is more affordable, we are still amazed that prices in towns like Ridgewood aren't budging. It's not that we're being picky, but 2 million for a house with a kitchen that hasn't been renovated since the 70's seems a bit ridiculous! I know it's a bargain compared to NYC, Westchester and Greenwich, but at some point something's got to give. Towns like Upper Saddle River seem to offer a lot more for the money, but we're not sure it's for us. We like the idea of a downtown with a community feel. Any opinions/ideas?
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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I have to agree with you.. Prices haven't corrected all that much(if at all)in Bergen Co.
Seems everytime you turn on the TV..all you hear about is- Home prices depreciating, housing starts lowest level in XXX years, foreclosures up 57% etc etc.
I personally think the tri-state area is pretty much somewhat immune to this...it comes down to supply and demand, also the fact that NJ is the most densely populated state.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
322 posts, read 1,190,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPNARD1 View Post
I have to agree with you.. Prices haven't corrected all that much(if at all)in Bergen Co.
Seems everytime you turn on the TV..all you hear about is- Home prices depreciating, housing starts lowest level in XXX years, foreclosures up 57% etc etc.
I personally think the tri-state area is pretty much somewhat immune to this...it comes down to supply and demand, also the fact that NJ is the most densely populated state.
It all depends on what part of Bergen County. Ridgewood has a very highly rated school system which makes it more desirable for families. Therefore prices really haven't dropped as much as in other parts of Bergen Co. Where I currently reside (Lower Bergen County) the housing market has definitely slowed down. New builds are virtually non existent. Many resales sitting on the market for long periods of time.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:47 AM
 
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location is everything!!!! If you want a downtown or community feeling go to the towns you like. This is not a flash in the pan deal its your home for a long time and location is so important. I would not go to a town just because I got a good deal. You can always change a house but you cant change land or location!
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
370 posts, read 1,365,834 times
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I live right near Ridgewood and this town is very different from all the ones around it. While it is just as expensive if not more you are not getting as much home for you money. You are paying for a zip code. The schools are good there but so are many of the schools in the towns in that area. I don't understand why people need to live in a town to enjoy the Downtown area. I have quite a few friends that live there and when we meet to go out there they still get in their cars and drive there just as i do. They drive 4 minutes and I drive 6.
I have 1/2 the amount in taxes and my homes is Brand new and large and theirs is small and old and they paid $300K and up more than me. Oh but I guess I am still losing out because I can't tell people I live IN Ridgewood....
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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I used to live in Ramsey, it has a decent downtown but still Ridgewood is nicer. Commute to/from NYC is also easier in Ridgewood so that's a plus too.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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I live right near Ridgewood and this town is very different from all the ones around it. While it is just as expensive if not more you are not getting as much home for you money. You are paying for a zip code. The schools are good there but so are many of the schools in the towns in that area. I don't understand why people need to live in a town to enjoy the Downtown area. I have quite a few friends that live there and when we meet to go out there they still get in their cars and drive there just as i do. They drive 4 minutes and I drive 6.
I have 1/2 the amount in taxes and my homes is Brand new and large and theirs is small and old and they paid $300K and up more than me. Oh but I guess I am still losing out because I can't tell people I live IN Ridgewood....
Well I live IN Ridgewood, and can tell you I don't live here for the zipcode although maybe some people do. If going out in the downtown is the deciding factor than of course you can live in a neighboring town. As a matter of fact, the restaurants downtown are pretty average. I live here because it is a an amazing family town. There are a ton of young families, lots of activities for kids, a very active newcomers club, and I can walk to it all. The towns nearby are also GREAT, but not as outgoing imho. So you may get a bigger home but you are more distanced from your neighbors, literally and figuratively.

I've lived in Bergen county (but not Ridgewood) my whole life by the way.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:16 PM
ira
 
Location: Bergen County
657 posts, read 3,920,543 times
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Originally Posted by cari2 View Post
Well I live IN Ridgewood, and can tell you I don't live here for the zipcode although maybe some people do. If going out in the downtown is the deciding factor than of course you can live in a neighboring town. As a matter of fact, the restaurants downtown are pretty average. I live here because it is a an amazing family town. There are a ton of young families, lots of activities for kids, a very active newcomers club, and I can walk to it all. The towns nearby are also GREAT, but not as outgoing imho. So you may get a bigger home but you are more distanced from your neighbors, literally and figuratively.

I've lived in Bergen county (but not Ridgewood) my whole life by the way.
I agree with you. Ridgewood has so much to offer to families with kids. Downtown is just a small part of what's great about Ridgewood. Many people only look at high housing prices and high taxes and don't realize what you get for the money. Yes, the downtown is nice, the schools are great but there is much more than that. For example, Ridgewood has its own paid fire and police departments, which is something that many smaller neighboring towns don't have. The town offers tons of activities for kids. Especially sports-related. The library is one of the best I've ever seen. And I agree - it has a great sense of community, despite the fact that it's very large.

To the OP, it took us over year to find our house. It's hard because you know what you want and you want to get it within your price range. If you want to be in Ridgewood and you can't find the house that you like, maybe you could "adjust" your requirements a bit. We, for example, had to sacrifice a bedroom. I wanted 4 bedrooms but after looking for almost a year and not seeing anything I liked in our price range, I decided to "drop" a bedroom. Now, we have 3 bedrooms (I wish I had 4) but I am so glad I ended up in this wonderful town. Another suggestion is to expand your price range. Look at houses that are $50-100K higher than your upper limit. Even in Ridgewood, seller are willing to negotiate.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:01 PM
 
15 posts, read 79,975 times
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Default prices in bergen county towns

Thanks for all the advice -- I appreciate hearing everyone's opinion! Ironically, the reason we liked Ridgewood (and Allendale when we were there) was the sense of community we sense in these towns, not the ability to say we live there. In fact, that would be exactly the reason we would NOT want to live in a town -- the snob factor. We know they exist everywhere, but we are hoping to find a place where we can get to know our neighbors and have a good sense of community. Having said that, we certainly would appreciate having a larger house and more space, and feel that we are willing to make that trade off to a certain extent in Ridgewood. However, we want to know that it was worth it, I guess. After all, the prices and taxes seem to be among the highest in Bergen County! We decided to go up in price by quite a bit, but even in the high end of the market, houses just seem overpriced. On a separate note, can anyone comment on Orchard, Willard and Ridge schools? These are the areas we're looking in and don't really know too many people who can help us differentiate between the schools. Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:30 AM
 
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On a separate note, can anyone comment on Orchard, Willard and Ridge schools? These are the areas we're looking in and don't really know too many people who can help us differentiate between the schools. Thanks!
Ira, do you want to tackle this first Well, all three are on the "more expensive" side of town. So if you want more house for your money you should try the other side of town. Those schools are also excellent, and you get the same community benefits. Having said that, this is my opinion on the schools based on my experience as well as my friends:
Orchard - smallest of the three by far. Parents love it and love that their kids get a lot of attention. Many of the people live in the old country club area, but it is slightly more diverse than the others so it is generally not snobby and you will meet lots of nice people. Drawback is that they are testing a new math program that is very controversial (called TERC if you want to read about it and draw your own opinion).
Willard - overcrowded. the area is so popular that there are so many young families there that the school is now very crowded. Great neighborhoods though, with lots of sahm's with mini-vans.
Ridge - draws people from the other side of the old country club and the heights area. A very, very good school with a very active home school association. Somewhat snobbier than the others as most of the parents/kids have lots of $.

For full disclosure, we are in Orchard...
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