According to Jeffrey Otteau, the leading real estate valuation expert in the state of New Jersey, the townhouse market slightly lags the single family home market. Right now the single family home market in Glen Rock has recovered but for the townhouse market you might have to wait a year or two to see a complete recovery. Bottom line is if you plan on only living there a short time it may not be a good idea. But long term, barring unforeseen circumstances, a townhouse should be a fine investment. As far as trains in Glen Rock, a home/townhome right on top of the tracks will sell for less. A rule of thumb would be a 10% difference for being extremely close to the tracks.
I'm a Glen Rock resident and real estate agent. If I can help you in your search please call me at 201-421-0506.
Happy to hear you and your husband are thinking about a move to Glen Rock. I'm a Realtor living in Glen Rock for the past 10 years and absolutely love the town. As for your questions regarding townhome investments and values, as of late townhomes seem to be a good investment, although single family homes do dominate the market. Being that it is in close proximity to downtown Glen Rock, the trains, the pool (it's terrific!) and the fields, I can't see it not being a good investment. In Glen Rock, chances are you'll be near enough to one of the train lines wherever you purchase and the noise level will variy upon location. I live on the same street as these new townhomes and I've just gotten used to the noise. It's really not bad.
Since you're a first time home buyer I'd like to extend an invitation to you to my First Time Home Buyer's seminar that I'll be holding in March, here at my office in Ridgewood. Tons of helpful information regarding mortgages, interest rates and the buying process. For more information, please feel free to contact me any time at (201) 734-1459. I'd love to be of further assistance to you.
Since you don't have a yard with a townhouse you tend to spend less time outside where the train noise can be an irritant but really the only way to decide is to go there and see for yourselves. it really does not seem to affect value.