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Old 01-22-2017, 07:39 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,024 times
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We are just beginning to look into Orange County, as we want more house for our dollar and more space for our kids (ages 4 and 6). We both work in NJ, about 45 minutes from Westtown. We heard Warwick is nice, and Middletown isn't . But I can't find anything on westtown.

Our current town has a lot of great features - good schools (with art, music programs included in the curriculum), great community center with activities for children (sports, summer camp, etc), public swimming pool, but houses are expensive and the town is getting crowded. We saw a lovely house in westtown and would love some advice on what it is like to live there.

Thank you!

Last edited by Tm2017; 01-22-2017 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:10 AM
 
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That home is probably in the Minisink Valley School District, but you would need to specifically check on that. I don't know much about this school district so I can't help you there, but especially when you have pre-school age kids, in NY you are house shopping by school district, not by mailing address. With limited exception, your school district will be the most defining aspect of where you live. So my suggestion is to find out which school district this home is in, and then direct your inquiries with regard to the school district (maybe starting a new thread).

It may also help if you informed us where in NJ you live currently. That may help discern how different your prospective community is from where you are coming from.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 987ABC View Post
That home is probably in the Minisink Valley School District, but you would need to specifically check on that. I don't know much about this school district so I can't help you there, but especially when you have pre-school age kids, in NY you are house shopping by school district, not by mailing address. With limited exception, your school district will be the most defining aspect of where you live. So my suggestion is to find out which school district this home is in, and then direct your inquiries with regard to the school district (maybe starting a new thread).

It may also help if you informed us where in NJ you live currently. That may help discern how different your prospective community is from where you are coming from.

Thank you. The home is in the Minisink Valley school district. Any information about the schools would be greatly appreciated. We are moving from South Orange, NJ.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:55 PM
 
920 posts, read 1,083,473 times
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Originally Posted by Tm2017 View Post
Thank you. The home is in the Minisink Valley school district. Any information about the schools would be greatly appreciated. We are moving from South Orange, NJ.
Others will have to help you on the school district, and more specifics as to the area, but from a general point of view, it will be a very different experience than South Orange. South Orange is Suburban-Urban, while Minisink Valley is Suburban-Rural, and you will find a different vibe and different types of people in each area. Your prospective community will be far less liberal/hipster/wealthy/white collar than where you are currently. It will also appear to be "in the middle of no where", even by Orange County standards. There is not much major shopping, ect nearby, and its a bad place for a NYC commute, since its not near 17 nor 87. All of these characteristics may be positives or negatives, depending on your interests and needs.
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:27 PM
 
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This is really helpful. Thank you. We won't be commuting into the city, but we are looking at a two family house so we can have rental income from one unit. From your description I am wondering if finding renters would be an issue. Any information about schools would be helpful, idlf anyone else wants to chime in.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:11 AM
 
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I grew up in Westtown and am raising my kids here. I'm 48 and have lived here since I was 3.

My husband and I both went to Minisink.

I have a love/hate relationship with the whole area.

Pros... Westtown and all the surrounding small towns are super safe, beautiful, and wonderful people live here.

Cons... There's not much to do for kids, teens, young adults and older adults.

Some people don't care about that though. If you like country living, it's wonderful here!

Things to do here with young kids besides the country living type of stuff:

The Galleria Mall in Middletown, which I don't really like. They have a movie theater and Billy Beez (for little kids), and a small arcade. That's it. The food court has very little selection, and there's a Japanese Steakhouse (Fugi, which is very good but expensive), and Johnny Rockets, which I've dined at 2x's and didn't like. There was a Ruby Tuesdays, but it just closed.

We have no book store anywhere around (there's a tiny one in Warwick I think), no children's museum, no Apple store (to fix our Apple products, we have to go to Palisades Mall, and hour plus ride), no zoo (Space Farms in Sussex NJ, a 40 minute drive, is the closest thing to a zoo).

The Castle in Chester has fun stuff (roller skating, laser tab, go karts, mini golf, arcade), but it's expensive so not as a regular thing.

There's an indoor play space in one of the old strip malls in Middletown. It's changed hands many times over the years (was a Jumpin Jakes, now has a couple of small rides, I don't know the name).

There are parks with playsets and grass in all the towns around. We used to drive the hour plus to Van Saun Park in Paramus for a nice park day experience when we wanted a bit more.

We had sent our kids to a Catholic School in Middletown when they were little (daughter had a seizure disorder and I was afraid to send her to Minisink - I felt like it was too big). Then we homeschooled and still do (although daughter went to Minisink for 9th and 10th grades and loved it). Many of Minisink's administrators and teachers are former students, and there are 2nd and 3rd generation families there. I think that says a lot of positive things about the school and area in general.

As homeschoolers, we realized Minisink district (not the actual school) has no library. The district voted itself out of the public library system years ago. If your kids go to school, you might not even realize this or care, but as homeschoolers, I was disappointed. Thank goodness we own property in New Hampton and pay taxes to Goshen School District for it, which enabled us to get a library card there and can use in Middletown, Goshen and Warwick libraries. There is a 'resource center' in Greenville that some concerned people volunteered and opened up as a small, local library. But again, a lot of people don't care about this.

As your kids get older, again, there's nothing for them to do. If they're busy with sports, after school scheduled activities, etc, I guess it's fine. You'll be driving them from one activity to another to keep them busy. And when they drive themselves, other than the mall, there's literally no places for teens to go. And the mall has a curfew for teens on Friday and Saturday nights, so they can't even go there and walk around and hang out (and again, there's nothing for them to actually do at the mall anyway). It's a problem with the area. When I was growing up here, the only thing to do was get a keg and have a party in a cow field (which we did all the time). The police crack down now, so the kids don't do that. They can go to each others houses, and drive around.

If Middletown was a more cultural city, the area would be amazing. But it's the opposite of that. And Middletown is where you'll do the majority of your shopping and dining.

So, I love it and hate it.
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