General Area in Ridgewood>Question Details

Damon389, Other/Just Looking in Lafayette, CA

Potential Job Xfer, Looking at Ridgewood

Asked by Damon389, Lafayette, CA Sun Jul 27, 2008

I'm seriously considering a big move from the SF Bay Area for a job in NYC, one subway stop away from Penn Station. I have a small family (wife and 6 yr old) and we'd see ourselves living outside of the city in a smaller community and commuting in.

I don't know the area very well, but doing research on the internet Ridgewood sounds pretty nice. Good schools, train into NYC, a vibrant downtown and a sense of community.

We would rent until we sell the house in CA, then buy. Can someone elaborate on the community, schools, commute, etc. I would see us spending ~$750K on a house. What's the market doing? It appears from looking at data that it's softened somewhat, but not too much. Also, are there other towns that you would recommend that have a similar community feel, good schools, reasonable commute, and maybe even a bit more value for the money.

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14
I am attorney with an office in Manhattan. I live in Ridgewood (last 7 years) - at the border of Glen Rock in the area known as the Old Country Club Estates. It's the Orchard School district. What I am not reading in the responses here is information you should have.
There is no midtown direct train from Ridgewood or Glen Rock. On both lines -- You have to transfer at the Secaucus train station - walk through their maze to stand on another platform to get the next train that will go directly into Penn Station. I have found that transfer to be particularly annoying - however when you must get into town quickly and dependably - the train is the way to go.
You must be a Ridgewood resident to park near the train station. Glen Rock residents are on a waiting list to park at the train station / bus station. There are a few parking spaces in Glen Rock available for "outsiders" but they will be filled by about 6:30 a.m.
I recommend the express buses that are clean, reliable during rush hour - they run til 2:20 a.m. and safe. Parking is by meter at the stations - lots of quarters about $3.50 a day but a monthly pass right now is about $150.00. (FYI - The toll alone to drive into Manhattan is $8.00) There is plenty of parking in the town of Ridgewood for commuters right now.
Ridgewood is fabulous especially for your wife and child. Glen Rock is excellent too.
If you want midtown direct trains - you'll have to explore towns further south such as Short Hills and Livingston, NJ which are very expensive.
Web Reference: http://www.mpetersesq.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
If you would like to look at homes in the area (Ridgewood, Ho Ho Kus, etc) please contact me.
Thanks
Sharon@russorealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
There are some great homes on the east side of Ridgewood - plus the Sommerville school is very highly rated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 4, 2008
2 more points As Peter said the West End of ridgewood is the more desirable. People rates the areas of town by the elementary school that serves the area. The most fashionable of these is the Willard school which serves the west end of town.
As Far as Glen Rock is concerned the high school recently rated higher even than Ridgewood in the statewide survey conducted by a local magazine but in either case you would have no worries. As far as renting is concerned you might get lucky. We are finding that, in this slow market, some people are considering renting out their homes rather than sell at a loss. You might want to check our Craigslist to get an idea if this would work.
Glen Rock actually has 2 train stations and as a result a great deal of the town is probably within walking distance to the train and a lot of us get our excercise that wat.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hi Damon,

The median home price in Ridgewood over the past year is $710,000, while the median for Glen Rock over the same period is $575,000. So yes, your money will go a little farther in Glen Rock. If you want figures for any other towns, just ask!

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
text: 914-588-3787
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Great feedback from everyone!!! Assuming that I "seal the deal" w/the job, I'll be asking for more info on short term rentals and homes... A quick question. I see that Glen Rock is one town over (and one less stop on the train) but still very close to Ridgewood's downtown and also seems to have very good schools.

Is there any price difference between the two towns? Looks like both are worth looking at...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Hi Damon - I'm in the minority here, as I don't work in Real Estate. I did, however, just move to Ridgewood from Manhattan, so can comment on both. Bottom line: It's a great town to live in.... Lots of New Yorkers move out here (usually when they have their second child, as we did!) and some of that flavor spills over. You can't do any better for: Cosmopolitan feel & people, access to NYC and 'charm'. But, it's not cheap! I think you could find a rental fairly easily these days. And, for close to 750K, you could probably find something near the village. Check out streets like Colonial, Overbrook, etc... We were surprised that homes in "Upper Ridgewood" went for significantly more, but you might prefer to live closer to the action of the town. If you want more insight from a recent Manhattan-ite turned suburbanite, leave me another note here and we can get in touch.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Ridgewood is a great town. My dad and brother still live there. I grew up in the next town of Ho-Ho-Kus. Train to NYC located directly in town. $750,000 may not get you much house wise, but I am a little out of touch with values. Taxes are very high, but the schools and recreational areas are very good. You pay for what you get. If you need a realtor, call Tarvin Realtors. I have no affiliation to them, but I know that my brother has dealt with them extensively. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Also, there are currently 62 houses available in Ridgewood under $750K. I will be more than happy to sent these to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Ridgewood, allendale, and Ramsey are all great towns with train stations, great school sytem, and the type of towns where you can walk around. If yo contact me directly, I'll be more than happy to send you more information and listings in your price range, available both for rent, and for sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Hi Damon,

Ridgewood is a great choice for all the reasons you mentioned. Taxes tend to be very high, but the school system is prime. Nearby alternatives where your money might travel further include Wyckoff and Glen Rock.

Two other communities that come to mind include Montclair in Essex County, and Summit in Union County. Both have that similar downtown and community experience, and both are on the pricey side similar to Ridgewood. Montclair's alternative is Glen Rock. And Summit's alternatives include New Providence, Mountainside, or sections of Springfield.

Chatham in Morris County is another alternative, though the downtown is smaller than the other three. Also pricey.

If you choose the "second tier" alternatives above, you can easily drive in to take advantage of the downtowns without having to overpay for the prestige. The second tier towns are definitely not "chopped liver" by any means and you will find them very attractive.

If you have any other questions, just contact me via my website. I sell and appraise in all of these towns.

Renting is also an excellent idea, as prices are definitely softening, even in the top communities. That will also give you time to shop on a more relaxed basis before pulling the trigger.

-Marc
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
I agree with the previous agents who posted answers, and can offer you a referral to superb agents in both the Montclair/Glen Ridge area as well as the Maplewood/South Orange area. The trains are direct to Penn Station with a shorter commute than those in western Bergen County, the communities are terrific and the schools are solid. Please contact me (my phone numbers are on my webpage) and let me send your information to these top experienced agents who can then send you listings and set up a time to start showing them to you. You will have very good choices in your price ranges!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Ridgewood is a very sound choice. Schools are excellent and you have a vibrant dowtown area with sidewalk cafes and upscale stores. If you are going to work near Penn Station you would take the train from the downtown station and either the subway from Hoboken or change to a train that brings you directly to Penn Station..
There are 2 towns that could be considered "suburbs" of Ridgewood. Glen Rock and HoHoKus both have excellent schools of their own (All 3 high schools are rated in the top 25 in the state). Have trains on the same line . House prices in all 3 are roughly similar. In my opinion Ridgewood house prices have declined somewhat more that in other towns probably due to the fact that in previous years they advanced more than others.
If you wanted to consider Montclair you would find a town similar to Ridgewood with the advantage of a train service directly to Penn Station and the ambiance of a college town. I used to live there myself and commuted daily to NYC.
I would be more than happy to prepare a small relocation package for you as I have done in the past or others.Its difficult in a forum such as this to give the detail that you would need to make your choice.
Peter Rogers
Fydell@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
You might want to check out Long Hill Township, Chatham, New Providence, Summit, or Maplewood. All are close to the train line and have a nice sense of community.

If you check out municipal websites you can get a pretty good idea of the towns themselves. Also the NJ Department of Education website can provide a wealth of info on schools and school districts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
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