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Old 10-28-2020, 06:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 6,204 times
Reputation: 30

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Hello friends,

I apologize in advance if this is lengthy and appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and respond to this. I'm a resident of NJ, originally from NY. Both my husband and I could potentially be working in Trenton, NJ within the next year or so. We've talked about making the jump to PA suburbs when we (hopefully!) are settled in our new positions. There are quite a few things that are important to us in choosing a place to call home, so bear with me. Not sure if such a place even exists, but I'll start with the following:

When are you moving? 1-2 years
Where are you coming from? Middlesex County NJ
Why are you moving? Work, quality of life
Where will you be working? Trenton
Have you been here yet? I have, but not entirely familiar with the surrounding areas.

Will you buy or rent? Buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? Single family home, around 600k (could be more if necessary but prefer to stay on the modest side to account for savings and lifestyle expenses)

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, with 1 preschool aged child but more in the future.
Do you prefer public or private schools? Great public schools
Do you have pets? 1 dog
Do you want or need a yard? Yes, plenty of yard space for dog and children
Are you keeping a car? Yes
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm and quiet

What do you want to be closest to?
Work -- Highly prefer under 45 minute commute to Trenton, however willing to go up to an hour if the area is particularly great with low traffic
Shopping -- Nice, clean shopping centers within 20 minutes
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.) see above
Nightlife -- Not a dealbreaker, but it would be nice to have a downtown area or something similar within 30 minutes for the VERY occasional night out
Train or subway stations -- not a necessity

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? -- Diversity as far as racial, religious, or sexual orientation is no issue for us (I am Hispanic and my husband is Italian). We are mostly moderate in our politics, somewhat leaning on the conservative side, however it's important to us to live in a place that is TOLERANT and RESPECTFUL of ALL neighbors. Of course every town has a few crazy radicals on both sides, but you get my point. As far as age, we definitely want to be surrounded with young families such as ourselves (late 20s-early 40s).


Ok, so I know this seems particular, but I really just want to give the most information possible. I know not all of my preferences will be a possibility, but some of the key factors for us are:

1) Commute under an hour is an absolute must.
2) A place with an emphasis on community engagement. We intend to be active participants in the community wherever we go. Activities & events for the family, school sports, all the good stuff.
3) Great schools of course.
4) Safety. Specifically no places with known high drug use. This is important and most likely a dealbreaker for us.
5) Hopefully this doesn't come across as privileged and ignorant, but we'd prefer to stay in an area where the median household income is similar to ours (around 150k). Growing up in NYC, I lived in low income areas for most of my life. The schools were trash, the streets were dirty, and I've witnessed more crime than I'd ever care to see (from people of all backgrounds). I busted my ass to make a better life and would like for my children to bear the fruits of that labor by being in a place that is safe, clean, educated and well rounded.

If you've made it to the end I truly appreciate you and am looking forward to hearing your responses!

Last edited by apd10; 10-28-2020 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:51 AM
 
1,833 posts, read 1,651,723 times
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Are you willing to live in an old home? New Hope appears to have one place for now and Solebury one place. The taxes are not going to be cheap. Looks like an old home might be in your price range. New Hope and Solebury is a highly regarded school district. Doylestown is another, but again, the taxes will be very high there as well.

Another option you'll have living in PA is cyber school. The education is quality because it's basically "all there". Especially if your children are self-disciplined to do the work they need to do.***

The social piece is there too, but it's much harder to forge relationships. Before the pandemic, most cyber schools offered social events that you'd have to get your children to/they'd have to go on their own for.

NJ side would have some homes more affordable. Some of their districts should be respectable. Not sure which ones on that side. I'd definitely avoid Trenton school district though.
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:52 AM
 
314 posts, read 292,187 times
Reputation: 472
I would think Bucks county would work well and as to Newtown, Yardley, both seem like good starting points. Doylestown is lovely as well but not sure about the commute to Trenton.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:38 AM
 
8 posts, read 6,204 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessimprov View Post
Are you willing to live in an old home? New Hope appears to have one place for now and Solebury one place. The taxes are not going to be cheap. Looks like an old home might be in your price range. New Hope and Solebury is a highly regarded school district. Doylestown is another, but again, the taxes will be very high there as well.

Another option you'll have living in PA is cyber school. The education is quality because it's basically "all there". Especially if your children are self-disciplined to do the work they need to do.***

The social piece is there too, but it's much harder to forge relationships. Before the pandemic, most cyber schools offered social events that you'd have to get your children to/they'd have to go on their own for.

NJ side would have some homes more affordable. Some of their districts should be respectable. Not sure which ones on that side. I'd definitely avoid Trenton school district though.
Thanks for the suggestions! We aren't planning on moving for at least another year, so hopefully (please dear God) the pandemic is over and activities will go on as they used to. I've considered moving somewhere closer in Jersey but the surrounding areas of Trenton are pretty bad. I've been to New Hope a few times on weekend getaways and while I enjoy vacationing there, I don't think I'd love living there. I will definitely look into Solebury! I've seen others recommend areas like Warrington, Hatboro, and Yardley for context. It seems there are homes in my price range, so hopefully others can provide some insight on what it's like living there.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:40 AM
 
1,833 posts, read 1,651,723 times
Reputation: 1223
On the NJ side, West Windsor and Robbinsville seem to be considered top notch for the area. Hamilton and Bordentown are at least very respectable if not more. Lambertville (right across from New Hope) is respectable. A bit low on school rankings it looks like, but a great place to live otherwise. This will also probably mean reasonably priced too. Bordentown is definitely safe. Hamilton is still a nice area, and it sounds like police deal with potential trouble from Trenton well.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:40 AM
 
8 posts, read 6,204 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by salonva View Post
I would think Bucks county would work well and as to Newtown, Yardley, both seem like good starting points. Doylestown is lovely as well but not sure about the commute to Trenton.
Thanks! I've seen others recommend those areas as well. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more information about them!
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
554 posts, read 182,089 times
Reputation: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by apd10 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions! We aren't planning on moving for at least another year, so hopefully (please dear God) the pandemic is over and activities will go on as they used to. I've considered moving somewhere closer in Jersey but the surrounding areas of Trenton are pretty bad. I've been to New Hope a few times on weekend getaways and while I enjoy vacationing there, I don't think I'd love living there. I will definitely look into Solebury! I've seen others recommend areas like Warrington, Hatboro, and Yardley for context. It seems there are homes in my price range, so hopefully others can provide some insight on what it's like living there.
If you would consider a twin (called duplex in other places) there are many of them in Yardley in your desired price range. It is a nice town, and very proximate to Trenton. Levittown has a number of homes in that price range and is also close to Trenton. It was built in the 1950's during the postwar housing boom. I work there and if I were to choose, Yardley would get the nod.

While very charming, the property taxes in Cheltenham township (which includes much of Jenkintown and Glenside) are a lot higher than elsewhere. On a $350k home, you would likely pay $4-6k in other places but could easily pay $10k+ there. As was mentioned above, you might get a larger home at a given price point.

Wish I could give you first hand living experience in these towns, but I don't live in any of them.
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:46 PM
 
172 posts, read 85,130 times
Reputation: 439
Quote:
Originally Posted by apd10 View Post
Hello friends,

I apologize in advance if this is lengthy and appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and respond to this. I'm a resident of NJ, originally from NY. Both my husband and I could potentially be working in Trenton, NJ within the next year or so. We've talked about making the jump to PA suburbs when we (hopefully!) are settled in our new positions. There are quite a few things that are important to us in choosing a place to call home, so bear with me. Not sure if such a place even exists, but I'll start with the following:

When are you moving? 1-2 years
Where are you coming from? Middlesex County NJ
Why are you moving? Work, quality of life
Where will you be working? Trenton
Have you been here yet? I have, but not entirely familiar with the surrounding areas.

Will you buy or rent? Buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? Single family home, around 600k (could be more if necessary but prefer to stay on the modest side to account for savings and lifestyle expenses)

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, with 1 preschool aged child but more in the future.
Do you prefer public or private schools? Great public schools
Do you have pets? 1 dog
Do you want or need a yard? Yes, plenty of yard space for dog and children
Are you keeping a car? Yes
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm and quiet

What do you want to be closest to?
Work -- Highly prefer under 45 minute commute to Trenton, however willing to go up to an hour if the area is particularly great with low traffic
Shopping -- Nice, clean shopping centers within 20 minutes
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.) see above
Nightlife -- Not a dealbreaker, but it would be nice to have a downtown area or something similar within 30 minutes for the VERY occasional night out
Train or subway stations -- not a necessity

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? -- Diversity as far as racial, religious, or sexual orientation is no issue for us (I am Hispanic and my husband is Italian). We are mostly moderate in our politics, somewhat leaning on the conservative side, however it's important to us to live in a place that is TOLERANT and RESPECTFUL of ALL neighbors. Of course every town has a few crazy radicals on both sides, but you get my point. As far as age, we definitely want to be surrounded with young families such as ourselves (late 20s-early 40s).


Ok, so I know this seems particular, but I really just want to give the most information possible. I know not all of my preferences will be a possibility, but some of the key factors for us are:

1) Commute under an hour is an absolute must.
2) A place with an emphasis on community engagement. We intend to be active participants in the community wherever we go. Activities & events for the family, school sports, all the good stuff.
3) Great schools of course.
4) Safety. Specifically no places with known high drug use. This is important and most likely a dealbreaker for us.
5) Hopefully this doesn't come across as privileged and ignorant, but we'd prefer to stay in an area where the median household income is similar to ours (around 150k). Growing up in NYC, I lived in low income areas for most of my life. The schools were trash, the streets were dirty, and I've witnessed more crime than I'd ever care to see (from people of all backgrounds). I busted my ass to make a better life and would like for my children to bear the fruits of that labor by being in a place that is safe, clean, educated and well rounded.

If you've made it to the end I truly appreciate you and am looking forward to hearing your responses!
I agree with the Yardley and Newtown suggestions. Morrisville is another possibility. Yardley and Morrisville are in Lower Makefield Township, (zip 19067). Depending on where you'd live in either one, and where you'd work in Trenton, the driving time could be as short as 15 minutes.

Yardley and some of Morrisville are part of the highly-rated Pennsbury School District. A real-estate agent would be able to advise you on the best sections of Morrisville based on your needs.

Both Y. and M. have grocery stores, libraries, chain pharmacies and places to eat, and are a very short distance from Kohls, the Mall, and all the typical "big box" stores, etc., etc.

Newtown Township (zip 18940) is not far from Yardley, and is about 30 minutes or less away from Trenton Transit Center, to give you an idea. Newtown is part of Council Rock School District, another district with high ratings. Your child is still very young, and the public grade schools in the area are excellent.

Newtown has a popular farmer's market as well as supermarkets, restaurants, shopping centers and gyms, including The NAC, a huge place where you can probably meet other people, especially during the summer as there's a water park there. Newtown Borough, which is smaller and older, has a nice main street called, "State Street," with quaint little shops and eateries.

There are a lot of other shopping centers, the type you see in most big suburban areas, that offer a lot more variety, but you'd have to drive just a bit to get to them. Target, Walmart, Costco, TJ Maxx, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc., are up and down the major roads nearby.

Langhorne, (zip19047), especially the part closest to Yardley, might check off your boxes, too. (Sesame Place is in Langhorne.)

I'd also advise you to check with a real-estate agent regarding your preference for a friendly, young, family-oriented community in any of these towns.

Political affiliations vary, but venturing a guess, I'd look to the recent Trump car parade held in Newtown with over 7,000 cars participating. Maybe they weren't all from Newtown - and maybe some of the cars simply got caught in the line - so who really knows?

Unfortunately, with respect to your concern about drugs, they are everywhere, and this area is no exception. It's not openly flaunted here, though, and you would probably never suspect it exists at all, but the evidence lies in the random, petty crimes that pop up occasionally, incidents that could be prevented by locking car doors, for example.

Lastly, as far as median household income, here's the latest, taken from Census.gov (2014-2018):
Lower Makefield Twp: $145,986
Newtown Twp: 118,250
and from Income by Zipcode, because I could find no direct Census data for Langhorne by itself.
Langhorne: 75,417


Good luck to you!
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Old 11-02-2020, 07:13 PM
 
8 posts, read 6,204 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieThruTheGlass View Post
I agree with the Yardley and Newtown suggestions. Morrisville is another possibility. Yardley and Morrisville are in Lower Makefield Township, (zip 19067). Depending on where you'd live in either one, and where you'd work in Trenton, the driving time could be as short as 15 minutes.

Yardley and some of Morrisville are part of the highly-rated Pennsbury School District. A real-estate agent would be able to advise you on the best sections of Morrisville based on your needs.

Both Y. and M. have grocery stores, libraries, chain pharmacies and places to eat, and are a very short distance from Kohls, the Mall, and all the typical "big box" stores, etc., etc.

Newtown Township (zip 18940) is not far from Yardley, and is about 30 minutes or less away from Trenton Transit Center, to give you an idea. Newtown is part of Council Rock School District, another district with high ratings. Your child is still very young, and the public grade schools in the area are excellent.

Newtown has a popular farmer's market as well as supermarkets, restaurants, shopping centers and gyms, including The NAC, a huge place where you can probably meet other people, especially during the summer as there's a water park there. Newtown Borough, which is smaller and older, has a nice main street called, "State Street," with quaint little shops and eateries.

There are a lot of other shopping centers, the type you see in most big suburban areas, that offer a lot more variety, but you'd have to drive just a bit to get to them. Target, Walmart, Costco, TJ Maxx, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc., are up and down the major roads nearby.

Langhorne, (zip19047), especially the part closest to Yardley, might check off your boxes, too. (Sesame Place is in Langhorne.)

I'd also advise you to check with a real-estate agent regarding your preference for a friendly, young, family-oriented community in any of these towns.

Political affiliations vary, but venturing a guess, I'd look to the recent Trump car parade held in Newtown with over 7,000 cars participating. Maybe they weren't all from Newtown - and maybe some of the cars simply got caught in the line - so who really knows?

Unfortunately, with respect to your concern about drugs, they are everywhere, and this area is no exception. It's not openly flaunted here, though, and you would probably never suspect it exists at all, but the evidence lies in the random, petty crimes that pop up occasionally, incidents that could be prevented by locking car doors, for example.

Lastly, as far as median household income, here's the latest, taken from Census.gov (2014-2018):
Lower Makefield Twp: $145,986
Newtown Twp: 118,250
and from Income by Zipcode, because I could find no direct Census data for Langhorne by itself.
Langhorne: 75,417


Good luck to you!
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I have heard amazing things about Newtown and am going to consult with a realtor in that area. Appreciate the suggestions!!
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Old 11-02-2020, 07:46 PM
 
172 posts, read 85,130 times
Reputation: 439
Quote:
Originally Posted by apd10 View Post
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I have heard amazing things about Newtown and am going to consult with a realtor in that area. Appreciate the suggestions!!
You're very welcome. I'm glad I could help.
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