Home Buying in 07090>Question Details

jmarin, Home Buyer in Westfield, NJ

First Time buyers, young family - what towns in Union/Essex county, should we be considering?

Asked by jmarin, Westfield, NJ Wed Oct 9, 2013

We are a young family, first time home buyers, currently living in Manhattan and we’re looking for advice on what towns we should be considering in the Union and Essex county areas. We have friends in Westfield and like it very much, but otherwise have not started visiting towns yet. We’re looking for family friendly neighbors, good schools, with a reasonable commute to Manhattan (train access preferred). Something with a fun, downtown/main street area would be great, but is not a deal breaker. Our price range is approx. $500k. Any feedback appreciated.

Help the community by answering this question:


First off, I wish you the best on your upcoming search.

There are many great towns in Union and Essex county. I grew up in that area and know most of them. You should probably look around the Raritan Valley line for an easy commute. They're actually runnig some test trains that could potentially take you directly to Manhattan. As of now, you would have to take a connecting out of Newark.

Towns like Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, and Cranford all have great school districts and their communities in general are close knit and friendly. If you want a cute downtown, I would concentrate primarily on Westfield or Cranford.

To really understand where you should focus I would need some more details on the type of house that would be ideal. Feel free to contact me at maniespkw@gmail. I would love to extend a hand of help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 11, 2014
With young kids I would definitely consider Roseland which is in Essex County. Roseland is arguably the best bang for your buck property tax wise in all of the state. The High School that Roseland sends to (West Essex Regional) was ranked the 16th best public school in the state. The 15 school districts ahead of West Essex all pay substantially higher property taxes.

You're also just a mile away from Bloomfield Ave. which has a nice downtown type of area.

Reach out to me, once I know exactly what you're looking for I'll be able to find you a home that fits your parameters whether it's on the market or not.

Kyle Kovats
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
Westfield is a tterrific area, as are some of the surrounding towns like Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Cranford. Scotch Plains and Fanwood are very accessible to Westfield's downtown - you can even walk from a few areas.

You tend to get more for you money in the surrounding communites, but of course, you can something very nice for $500,000 in Westfield.

Train service is key. Fanwood, Westfield and Cranford all have train stations. Just starting to get "one seat" rides on some routes so you don't need to change in Newark. Hopefully that will be amped up in the coming months.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
There are always tradeoffs when searching for a home. I agree Westfield is a great town, good schools, charming homes, nice down town and good commute. The down side is you get less property and house for you money then say Clark or Cranford. Westfield and Summit are very similar that way. Where Berkeley Heights and New Providence offer more affordable housing with an easy commute the city. Although they do not offer the fun downtown that you are looking for. I am a lifelong resident of this area and would be happy to give you an area tour.

Lisa Kulback
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 19, 2013
Your price range, and your wants as far as a downtown and friendly neighbors would lead me to encourage you to look in Berkeley Heights. It has a low tax rate because it is in Union County and has train service to NYC.
Take a look at my site http://www.yournjhouse.com . it will allow you to browse the area. You can also call me, and I can offer you some advice on what is closer to the train or closer to what you have in mind for your home.

Best regards,

Joe Nunes
RE/MAX In Action
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 25, 2013
Armin Lusinyants, Agent, Short Hills, NJ
Hi there,
Check out following towns....

Essex County (higher property tax):
Millburn- disadvantages: more expensive (upper 500's); advantages: great schools, super easy commute to NYC (35 min direct train), beautiful downtown
Livingston - disadvantages: longer commute to NYC (50 min bus trip to Port Authority (Coach USA bus #77) or a new jitney service from the Livingston Mall ($2 each way) which takes you to the Mid Town Direct train (into Penn Station) from the S. Orange station; advantages: bigger house/yard for the price, great schools.

Union County (lower property tax rate):
Summit (closer to NYC, but more expensive)
New Providence, Berkeley Heights (great schools and easy commute to NYC (njtransit.com)

Need more info about any house in particular or would like an introductory tour of the area?... I am here to help in any way!

I look forward to speaking to you!

Armin Lusinyants
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Many commuters to New York usually prefer some of the Midtown direct train towns for a door to door commute that is less than an hour. Feel free to visit the website below for more information
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 13, 2013
Please give me a call if you are looking for a great lender. 810-335-3503. Or you can send me an email at wallen@proficiomortgage.com and I can send you an inquiry form to get your paperwork started and try to get you pre qualified.

William Allen
Mortgage Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
A key part of the home search is narrowing down the Towns that you want to consider. You can go online and research all the Towns that others have mentioned (Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, etc). But I would also suggest that you visit these Towns during their town-wide events. Westfield has its "FestiFall" and "SpringFling" each year; Cranford and Fanwood/Scotch Plains also have street fairs, as do some of the larger churches (for Columbus Day, etc). Westfield also hosts summer concerts in Mindowaskin Park.

If you are considering Westfield and have small children, I'd suggest you come visit during the upcoming Halloween Parade -- usually the Sunday before Halloween -- a parade through town where the High School Marching Band leads the kids thru town -- fun for all. This will give you a feel for the Town and allows you to potentially meet others with kids.

I both live and work here in Westfield and focus on western Union County -- I'd be happy to share my expertise on schools, parks, neighborhoods with you -- please contact me at your convenience.

Marilyn Holda-Fleck
Prudential NJ Properties-Westfield
Cell: 908-456-0779
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
Mid town Direct train is already on the Morris Essex Line and is coming to the Raritan Line by 2014, all under an hour most close to 30 minutes. Westfield, the slightly better value Cranford and Fanwood on the Raritan Line or come North to Maplewood, Millburn, Summit, Chatham, Convent Station, Madison and Morristown are all great bets, good schools, quaint and charming towns. Lesser known and kind of undervalued are New Providence and Berkeley Heights. New Providence was rated top schools in NJ this year. You can see my pictures of the towns on my Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/Edith.ReMax
Having been a realtor for over 30 years I have lived in many of these towns and would be happy to take a day and give you a free area tour. Just call my cell with preferably 24 hours notice. Edith Miller Angelo RE/MAX Achievers 917.991.9225
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
As others have mentioned, Westfield, Cranford, Fanwood, & Scotch Plains. They are great choices since schools are excellent & there is ez acess to NYC. Clark, too, is a great town with excellent schools and a serious focus on children. There is no train unless you drive to another town (like Rahway or Linden where parking is not restricted to residents), but there is bus service.

I'm a lifetime resident in this area, and a Realtor in this area--as well as Essex County--for 10+ years and would love to help u settle here. BTW, taxes in Essex County tend to be higher than in Union County.

Feel free to contact me at ur convenience.

Teri Malone, Weichert Realtors, Westfield
732-423-2792 Cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
Given your preference for family friendly neighborhoods, good schools, reasonable commute to Manhattan, and affinity for Westfield, I would say you should be considering Westfield (obviously), Cranford, and Scotch Plains/Fanwood. There are excellent options in your price range in these towns. Westfield will have a few homes in that price range, while Cranford and Scotch Plains/Fanwood will have dozens of options for you.

I'm a tech-savvy agent with in-depth knowledge of these neighborhoods. I have a great track record of helping young couples find their home in these towns. I work tirelessly and am confident that I can help you find the right home, negotiate a good deal, and smoothly navigate the process to the closing table.

Contact me directly for more information.

Best regards,
Jesse Flowers
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
Hello and welcome to New Jersey!

In Union County take a look at Westfield, Cranford, Fanwood and Clark.
In Essex County take a look at Monclair or Glen Ridge.

If you need help call us....

Jane DeVincentis and Karen Hoffman
973-820-5053 or 973-670-1053
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
Hello. And it's great to hear you will be moving to nj.

I was going to suggest Westfield I also thought of Clark. Another great on Cranford. I have sold some homes in this area to first time home buyers and know the market well.

If you would like send me your email and I can send you some options. I work with a lot of first time home buyers. I would love to help. So please feel free to contact me.

Melissa Silva
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013

I would love to discuss your options via phone/email and assess your situation better!

Please call me at 201-815-0943 or email me at alankong.kw@gmail.com

Thank you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 9, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer