I cover Essex, Union and Morris Counties.
I would suggest West Orange as a possibility. There is a direct bus line (Coach USA bus #77), which takes approximately 45 min......(.even though you don[t seem to want it, .there is also a town jitney service that takes you to a NJ Transit Midtown Direct train - it goes straight to Penn Station in about 35 minutes.)
W. Orange has lots of recreational oppportunities, and is centrally located for a trip to the shore (60 min)... or the country.... or NYC.
Your price range should offer you a nice 3/4 bedroom home with 2 - 2.5 bathroomss and a family room. You could find anything from a charming tudor style to modern ranch or split level.
There sre several malls nearby, including Essex Green, right in W. Orange - with a brand new AMC Dine-In Movie complex (with lounge chairs and waitress food service all while watching a movie!)....The Mall at Short Hils and the Livingston Malls are only a 15 min drive.
Like to eat out? Choose a cuisine, and you can find it........from large stores and chain restaurants to small boutiues and trendy restaurants...., the West Orange area has it all.
Visit my website for links you might find helpful in your new home search.
Please reach out to em if I can be of help!
Prudential NJ Properties
Also, there are lower priced units in Cambridge, but you are right about prefering a single family house. You have more privacy and more space. There is quite an inventory on the market now and prices are good, so if you tell me what your top price is, I can email some listings to you.
Even if you decide you don't like Nutley, it's still good to have a larger view of the real estate market in New Jersey. I hope you give me a chance to convince you about the advantages of Nutley.
Just finished reading what you're looking for...I'm a Realtor in Hoboken, NJ which is pretty close to Edgewater as you all ready know. However, I grew up in Bergen County, specifically, Ridgewood, where I attended elementary, junior and senior high school. As a result, I know Ridgewood and the surrounding areas pretty well. It's a beautiful area close to NYC, has many shops and restaurants and is home to many young professionals and young/growing families because of excellent school systems. Have you looked in that area? I'd love to share my knowledge of the area with you! Feel free to email me at Jerry@RELB.com with any questions.
Best of luck.