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Old 04-02-2010, 06:11 PM
 
29 posts, read 71,971 times
Reputation: 18

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Hi all-

I have combed these threads over the past few weeks, as my husband is strongly considering a job in Ridgefield Park and it's my job to find out where we should live. About us: We have a preschooler and another one on the way, in our late 30s, well educated but not Ivy Leaguers. We love living in a walkable town--we currently live in the Bay Area and walk to parks, the grocery store, community center etc. We much prefer older homes (pre-1950s) to newer ones and, for better or worse, always choose character and charm over square footage. We both grew up in loving, hard-working, flatly middle class families, and though we are more financially well off than our parents were, we are hoping (and trying) to raise our kids similarly in terms of values, work ethic, and appreciation for opportunities. Good schools are important, but we don't have to be in the "best"/most competitive districts. We may also look at Catholic schools.

Hopefully that gives you a good sense of who we are. Now, where should we live? We've considered renting for a while, if we could find a house (no apartments or condos)--our max rent would be about $3500/month. If we were to buy, our ideal budget would be about $500k, though we could stretch to $600k if necessary. Questions:

1) From everything I've read, I'm currently considering Midland Park, Westwood, and Cranford. Do they sound like good matches for us?

2) Are these towns a reasonable (30 to 45-minute) commute to Ridgefield Park? I know the mileage on Google maps; I don't know the traffic.

3) Is there any public transportation to Ridgefield Park, or will he have to drive? I didn't see a train stop there in my research.

All information, advice, and any other suggestions for towns to consider would be most welcome and appreciated.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:42 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,380 posts, read 25,659,618 times
Reputation: 4558
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBaby View Post
Hi all-

I have combed these threads over the past few weeks, as my husband is strongly considering a job in Ridgefield Park and it's my job to find out where we should live. About us: We have a preschooler and another one on the way, in our late 30s, well educated but not Ivy Leaguers. We love living in a walkable town--we currently live in the Bay Area and walk to parks, the grocery store, community center etc. We much prefer older homes (pre-1950s) to newer ones and, for better or worse, always choose character and charm over square footage. We both grew up in loving, hard-working, flatly middle class families, and though we are more financially well off than our parents were, we are hoping (and trying) to raise our kids similarly in terms of values, work ethic, and appreciation for opportunities. Good schools are important, but we don't have to be in the "best"/most competitive districts. We may also look at Catholic schools.

Hopefully that gives you a good sense of who we are. Now, where should we live? We've considered renting for a while, if we could find a house (no apartments or condos)--our max rent would be about $3500/month. If we were to buy, our ideal budget would be about $500k, though we could stretch to $600k if necessary. Questions:

1) From everything I've read, I'm currently considering Midland Park, Westwood, and Cranford. Do they sound like good matches for us?

2) Are these towns a reasonable (30 to 45-minute) commute to Ridgefield Park? I know the mileage on Google maps; I don't know the traffic.

3) Is there any public transportation to Ridgefield Park, or will he have to drive? I didn't see a train stop there in my research.

All information, advice, and any other suggestions for towns to consider would be most welcome and appreciated.
Since i live next to Westwood , i can say it meets your needs , it has Train Station , there are plenty of Catholic Schools nearby , There are nice parks , a beautiful downtown ,etc. Theres no Light Rail to ridgefield park yet , that won't open intill 2014 or 15. If you live in Ridgefield park , there are only bus lines , but there is a light rail terminal in North Bergen , which will take you down to Hoboken , Weehawken , Union City , Jersey City , Bayonne and interconnects into the NY Ferry and PATH subway systems. Midland Park is an ok community , just like Westwood , Although there isn't a Train Station. The Nearest line won't take you to Ridgefield yet , that line has stalled and won't be opened till 2013. Cranford is the furthermost away form Ridgefield Park , if you live there you have to take 2 trains and 1 bus to Ridgefield Park which is about 1.3 hrs each day ,but is not uncommon around here. Since people tend to go work in the urban areas and live on the outer edges. Have you tried Teaneck,NJ , its only a 20 min car ride form Ridgefield park and has lovely unique homes. If you did live somewhere else in the state , there are plenty of other places , that have that 50s house styles.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:06 PM
 
29 posts, read 71,971 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks for the response--very useful. And just to clarify, our preferred housing type is home built before 1950 (1900-1930s in particular). What about driving in a car from Cranford to Ridgefield Park--would that commute be better or worse than the 1.3 hours of train/bus?
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:14 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,380 posts, read 25,659,618 times
Reputation: 4558
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBaby View Post
Thanks for the response--very useful. And just to clarify, our preferred housing type is home built before 1950 (1900-1930s in particular). What about driving in a car from Cranford to Ridgefield Park--would that commute be better or worse than the 1.3 hours of train/bus?
A Car would be about almost 2hrs , Teaneck would fit you nicely , its right next to Ridgefield park and has a unique style of 1900s-1940s type of houses.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:54 PM
 
29 posts, read 71,971 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks again. Anyone else have any suggestions/comments on nearby towns that would suit our family's needs and lifestyle? River Edge looks fairly close and sounds nice too. Thoughts?
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:50 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,450 times
Reputation: 10
Hello,

I grew up in Ridgefield Park and love visiting but would not raise my children there. Westwood is a very nice town with a wonderrful town area with parks, shopping and restaurants. Not sure about the school system. You can check on NJ.gov. I believe there are school ratings.

It would be about a 30 minute commute by car. Not much mass transit in the area unless you are heading into Manattan.

If you consider Cranford, your husband would need to take the NJ Turnpike (toll road) or the Garden State Parkway (toll road)and then Route 80. All of these highways are commuter nightmares as they all lead to thoroughfares leading into Manhattan.

Midland Park is a very nice town but little in the way of a toen area. Ridgewood is the town next to Midland Park and they have a wonderful area. You might also consider Tenafly, Cresskill or Demarest. These school districts in these towns are highly rated.

If you need any other infomraion, please ask.

Have a great Sunday!
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