I'm not an agent, I'm a homeowner, so I don't have anything invested in this besides information. :-)
I moved to Jersey 6 years ago (from NYC) and just bought last year at the bottom of the market. I live in West Orange. When I first moved from the city my criteria were a diverse (at least %15 people of color), safe town with good schools for my kids that was no more than 40 minutes from the city on the train. That narrowed it down to West Orange, South Orange, Maplewood and Montclair. We ended up in West Orange and my husband takes the train at the Orange train station. It takes exactly half an hour into the city.
Now that I know the area well, I realize we would have been happy in any of these towns. The area is quite safe, and although property taxes are high (like most of New Jersey) we get excellent town services for our $$. There are a few towns with lower taxes like Roseland, Essex Fells, the Caldwells, and Fairfield, but none of them are on a direct train line, and commuting by car is hell unless you're taking the GWB - and even then it's no picnic. We've been very happy out here, it's been a great experience for our kids, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Signed, Loving the Suburbs
There are some very nice areas in Morris County that are very commutable. Pompton Plains, Kinnelon, Riverdale and Montville would be some good choices for you. They are all family communities and good schools. The commute is approximately 1 hr to Manhattan.
If you would like to see some properties in these areas please do not hesitate to contact me at 201-259-5205.
Where are you commuting to? How many bedrooms? If you'd like to give me some more information I could run a search in Monmouth County. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to see some properties.
Good luck in your search!
Vist me at NicholasRepp.com
Check out towns on the Midtown Direct line (NJtransit.com), Millburn - 35 min to Penn Station. Add just 5-15 min to your commute to NYC for Summit (Morris county), Chatham (Union county), New Providence (Union).
If you need more info on the neighborhood use the link bellow. Just input the street and the town or just a zip code and you will get all the community stats.
Let me know if I could be of any further assistance. Good luck!
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Metuchen for one. Small town, adorable main street, great schools, train station with direct trains to NY, close to major highways. The pool might be a bit more difficult to find.
Scotch Plains, Fanwood, New Providence and Berkeley Heights also with trains to NY, and highly regarded school systems.
I work in all these areas and would be happy to speak to you to get more info and help determine your best fit . Feel free to call me for a no obligation chat. 908-675-0167
Parlin, Sayreville, Old Bridge fit your interest and are in an area i I can help you with.
You can find more info here
Hope you get a chance to look through all the great properties.