Lori, Home Buyer in New Jersey

I am looking to move my family from NJ to WPB, FL within the next year to 18 months.

Asked by Lori, New Jersey Fri Nov 14, 2008

I have two toddler daughters that will be attending school in the next few years and woullike new construction information (in the $1M range) and also school information. I want to live in a nice area that has the same quality schools that I have here in NJ. Also, I am curious as to the cost of hurricane, flood, and any other insurances that are required. Also, property tax valuation, rates, etc. for a home in that range. I have seen the crime rate is also higher than the national average - is this correct??? Thanks so much!

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Lori,
I am a Broker-Associate with Boca Executive Realty and I cover the West Palm Area down to Delray Beach.
As far as West Palm Beach is concerned and new construction, it would be easier to track down your schools first and then find a suitable place to live in the area around there. If you are not limited to West Palm Beach itself, $1M could get you into Palm Beach Gardens, West Lake Worth (A+ Schools), Wellington (mostly A schools) and West Boynton Beach (A+ Schools)...all with great properties available.
*Boynton Beach is about 15 minutes to downtown West Palm Beach
*Lake Worth about 10 minutes
*Wellington about 10-15 minutes (depending on the route)
*Palm Beach Gardens about 10-15minutes.
I would suggest possible IBIS or Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Canyon in Boynton Beach and Isola Bella Estates in Lake Worth. Canyon is a very family/kid friendly community and would be excellent if you are not geographically bound even though many people live in Boynton and drive to West Palm.

Insurance on new build is fairly low if you have concrete construction, hurricane shutters and tile roof. I would say budget $2000/yr. If you choose to live East of I-95 (near the water) you will pay more.
Taxes are based on the sales price. The exact calculation varies from municipality to municipality and is typically lower the further west you go. Typically drop 15% off the assessed value for the land. Subtract $50K for the homestead ( full type resident ) ... and then budget 1.9% of that number for taxes annually.

Crime... tricky... the best way to find out is to find out by neighborhood... or drive the area and ask a police officer. Most $1M+ communities have 24/7 Armed Guards, walls and manned Gates for access. In those communities,"crime" is usually limited to teenage mischief.

I could help you pinpoint some areas to consider... based on budget, proximity to work/amenities... and just floorplans you like. $1M buys a LOT of house and a LOT of choices these days!!

David Podgursky
Boca Executive Realty, LLC
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Hi Lori,
First of all I want to tell you that due to the current economic situation there is not allot of what I would call new construction. There is however plenty of inventory of homes less than a year to less than 5 years old. One of the earlier answers metioned Wellington as having great schools. I would agree and the other area is Jupiter. Their schools have been consistently A rated. In Jupiter there is a community called Abacoa that is very family oriented and has price ranges from $200,000 to $2 million. Jupiter is closer to the Ocean, Wellington is closer to horse country(home of the Winter Equestrian Festival).

Here are a few websites that can give you some background on demographics and crime rate although the planned communities tend to have lower rates due to gates and guards and other deterants. In your price range you are probably looking at a planned community.




Your carrying costs will probably look high compared to New Jersey but remember Florida is a no income tax state so they derive revenues from property and other taxes.

2% of 85% of the purchase price of your home will be a good budget number for annual taxes. Most planned communities will have homeowners association fees for maintaining common area(pools, fountains, landscaping, etc) Insurance cost are all over the place and you should definately shop this around to several companies. I have found $2000 annual per $400,000 of improved value( remember you don't insure the value of the land..) to be a good benchmark. Flood maps are available on line so you know what you are getting into with each property you consider.

I hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 20, 2008
Hi Lori,

My hometown is West Palm Beach. Some of the best new construction in the absolute best areas with A-rated schools would be in Wellington. Wellington is sought out for its school system and happens to be home to some of the nicest communities in Palm Beach County.

I reccomend a community called Olympia. There are also some other gated subdivisions in Wellington like the Polo Club that may work for you as well. Wellington also has a very nice fly in community called The Aero Club that has some beautiful new construction homes in your price range. I would love to send you a list of all the reccomended communities in the area. You can e-mail me for the fastest response.

As far as the crime goes, West Palm Beach does have a higer crime rating than some of the surrounding areas like Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. These areas are only within as little as a 10 minute driving distance to the city of West Palm Beach. Everything in West Palm is close to either the Turnpike or 95 so it's very easy to get almost anywhere.

You're either driving to the beach, away from the beach or parallel to the beach. Very simple!!

I hope this information helps.

Kindest Regards,

Erica Muller
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Lori, There are some excellent and complete answers here. Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens do have top rated schools. Start looking at websites. (Have a look at mine. It has many links to good information.)

There are some almost new homes available now. Tour timing of 18 months might be good for new construction. There are some new local communities under construction.

Marsha Montoya Mayer-n Realtor
Paradise Properties of Florida, Inc.
Email: marsha@mypalmbeachrealty.com Direct Cell: 561-329-0428
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 24, 2011
Hi Lori,

It sounds like you already own a home in NJ that you will need to sell in order to relocate your family to Florida. I would recommend working with the same company on the sell side and the buy side to help make the transaction go smoothly. This way the two agents can work together to help make your sale/ buying experience less stressful. I'm with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and could refer you to top agents in both areas to interview with if you would like. Please contact me through my profile if you would like assistance. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
All good questions. You have time to search, let's take a look in St. Lucie County. Crime rates are better, home priving per sq ft is better. You should check out Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce. There are ocean front and great areas is you prefer golf.
Ron and Debbie Albert
Coldwell Banker Residential
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
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