Pompton Plains (Pequannock Township) would also be a great choice. Its a charming town, with white picket fences, nice neighborhoods, and a good school system. There is a small downtown area with restaurants, library, stores, etc. There is also a community lake. There are several towns in North Jersey that would meet your criteria. Please contact me with any questions, and good luck! Welcome to New Jersey!
If you are going to buy in 2011, the time is now. Prices are already low and while they should fall some more due to more short sales coming on the market (which bring prices down), the real issue that you should focus on is Mortgage Interest Rates that appear to be on the rise. A 1% increase in the rate will decrease your mortgage affordability (and price of the home you can afford) by about 10%.
The estimate by New Jersey housing guru Jeff Otteau is that we will see a 6% fall in prices in New Jersey in 2011. Most bank and other economists expect that decrease to be in the first half of the year. The banks that are projecting this are the same ones that are releasing their distressed inventory (short sales and bank owned) into the market in higher levels so this is a self fulfilling prophecy.
If you are going to buy, look now, and when you find the house you like, buy it.
To check out towns and schools go to:
By July & August often many of the top homes may already be under contract, as buyers want to be in for the start of school.
Rentals are often listed 60 days prior to the lease start date.
There are a number of towns to choose from. Much will depend on your home style preference. Each town has its own "flavor".
Some communities you might want to investigate are:
Montville, Randolph, Florham Park, in Morris County......also Chatham & Madison have charming town centers (and mid town direct trains to Manhattan), but you'd need to look in the upper part of your range for them.
In Essex County, try: Livingston, Roseland, North Caldwell.....Millburn is another great option, with a "downtown" area with the train to NYC, restaurants and shops..... but choices there will be limited in your price range.
All of the above towns are an easy commute to Parsippany.
Of course, there are many more towns to consider, and it is difficult to make suggestions without speaking and getting a better sense of what will and won't work for you.
Rentals are available in all towns.
Please visit my website and look at the links I have provided to town and school information.
I'd be happy to help you, so feel free to contact me! I am a lifelong resident of this area, so I can at least help point you in the right direction, and answer any questions you might have.
Best wihes with your move - and welcome to NJ!
Prudential NJ Properties