Home Buying in Short Hills>Question Details

Neal Lu, Other/Just Looking in Holmdel, NJ

Live in NJ, work in NYC

Asked by Neal Lu, Holmdel, NJ Wed Apr 17, 2013

Hi All,

I am planning on purchasing a home in approximately one year (~May 2014), but I have started looking around now. I will be working in NYC (Times Square), but wish to live in a suburban area of NJ. My criteria are as follows:

1. Budget = $300-500k (or any other amount that would keep the mortgage payment at roughly $2k/month)
2. Fairly highly-ranked public school system
3. Some diversity - specifically, we are looking for an East Asian presence (does not have to be a large presence - we just would prefer for it to not be an exclusively Caucasian area)
4. Ideal commute time to NYC (by either bus or train, to 42nd street) would be 30-60 minutes
5. Single-family home (3br); Townhouse is also acceptable, but not preferred
6. 2 garages preferred; 1 is acceptable
7. Reasonably modern construction - no colonial homes

Any suggestions on areas and what to look for would be extremely appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Neal,
I would suggest Essex, Union and Morris counties. West Orange, Livingston, Basking Ridge, Scotch Plains, Chatham, Summit, New Providence area. Great towns with a good commute to NYC (bus or train).

When looking for a house don't forget about the property tax and monthly maintenance fees (if condo) as well.

I would be happy to help you with your house hunt ;) . Sign up for listing alerts on my website

You will get an email as soon as any new property goes on the MLS. When ready to see, just give me a call.

Best of luck,
Armin Lusinyants
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
Hi Neal,

Welcome to the area !. My office is located in Short Hills and I have been working with buyers and sellers in Short Hills and neighboring towns for 17 years.

You posted your question in Short Hills so I will address this community first. In Millburn ( which is municipality where Short Hills is located ) there are only 2 single family homes for sale right now priced at or below $500,000. The median sale price for the last 12 months has been $1,000,000. Although Short Hills meets many of your criteria, I think that it might be a bit of a financial stretch for you.

There are many other communities close by that would fall comfortably in your price range. Maplewood and South Orange share a school system and are on the train line, affording an easy commute. Although the schools on the surface are not as highly rated as Short Hills, there are many many students that graduate and attend Ivy League and other extremely selective universities. The high school offers at least as many AP courses as Millburn, has award winning arts programs, and nationally ranked robotics teams and fencing teams among others. Most of the homes in Maplewood and South Orange are colonials, but occasionally more contemporary homes and townhomes come on the market.

Livingston is another community you should take a look at. The schools are excellent, and there is a fine housing stock of ranches and split level homes. Livingston is an affluent middle to upper middle class community where education is highly valued. In the past 12 months over 140 properties with asking prices below $500,000 were sold. Livingston is not on the train line, but I have sold homes to many Manhattan commuters who are very comfortable taking the bus, or driving to Harrison and taking the Path.

New Providence, Berkeley Heights and West Orange are other local communities where you might find homes that meet your criteria.

Feel free to email me at Sarahzm@trghome.com , check out my facebook page - Sarah Z. Macyshyn More than Real Estate or call me at 973-960-9513 if you'd like more info or if you'd like to come out and have a tour and see some homes.

All the best,

Sarah Z. Macyshyn
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
You can find some detailed information on NJ here, plus homes for sale in entire state and a list of Realtors serving those areas.


All the best.
Web Reference: http://www.realtypin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
You should take a look at Springfield. This town meets all of your criteria. I live and work here. Call me any time!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013

Based on your criteria, one of the best towns for you to explore would be Livingston. It would give you a decent selection of homes in your stated price range, offers excellent schools and good transportation options to NYC.

Hope this information is useful, feel free to contact me at 201-618-0853 or spreston@trghome.com.

Sharon Preston
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
Hi Neal

I think you should really investigate Livingston in Essex County - it really meets all of your criteria..........please email me, and I will be happy to share more information on Livingston as well as other nearby towns.
I have lived and worked in this area my enrtire life, so I know it well.

My website has some links you might find useful, too.

Best wishes......
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties

email: Debbie.Rose@PrudentialNewJersey.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
Hi Neal

I would strongly suggest Holmdel...... all of you wish list is what Holmdel has to offer you,however you will be on the higher end of the price that you are comfortable with....

Please give me a call at your convenience...I am very familiar with this town....

Hav a great day,

Diane agent
Heritage House Sotheby's International Realty
732 859 2376
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
You should ask yourself a few questions first. How far, time wise, are you willing to commute? How much of a downpayment can you put down? How is your credit?

There are several lovely communities in Long Island, as well as in Queens, that would have some homes in or near your price range. With today's low mortgage rates, you can get much more for your monthly payment, than in the past. Real estate taxes must also be a consideration, because that will have a bearing on your monthly payment, as well.

In terms of school systems, there are many excellent school systems. There are ratings and descriptions of most of them online.

Think about accessability to mass transit, convenience and cost of commuting, as well. A professional realtor could be of great assistance.

Richard Brody
Licensed Salesperson
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty
Cell: (516) 448- 4184
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
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