Home Buying in Gillette>Question Details

Ela, Both Buyer and Seller in Mountainside, NJ

Need guidance on Union County towns. New Prov, Mountainside, Gillette, Springfield, etc

Asked by Ela, Mountainside, NJ Sun Feb 14, 2010

Hi, i will be actively looking for a home in Union County this spring. I have been doing some research and have found that New Providence,Mountainside, Berkeley Heights, Cranford are nice towns with decent schools. However, I drove 5 minutes past berkeley heights and found a town called Gillette in Long Hill Township. Houses here were cheaper and much newer and nicer - not to mention bigger. I know the schools are ok. well, not as good as New Prov or Berkeley Heights, but my question is - are Gillette, Millington, Stirling good towns to live in or should I stick with the before mentioned towns - I have read mixed reviews and i am really confused as to what the better towns are.e I am looking for a large enough property, where I would have the capability of installing an inground pool at some point. Yet, school system and resale value of property are very important to me. I have a budget of about 950K Any advice is appreciated. Thx

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Hi Ela, are you still out there and considering a purchase in the Long Hill, Berkeley Heights, New Providence area - you had also expressed an interest in Basking Ridge earlier on. All of these towns are great - each one different, but all well regarded. I'd suggest you also add Warren Township - and Watchung to the list of contenders, they feed into Watchung Hills Regional High School, as does Long Hill Township (Gillette, Stirling, Millinton all fall into this township).

Thought you might find recent posts on activity in Basking Ridge and Warren helpful. If you do find this type of info helpful, just let me know and I would be happy to provide it for any community you are considering...all a part of the way that I add value to those I serve.

Warren Update: http://www.trulia.com/blog/jeanne_feenick_-_new_jersey/2010/…

Basking Ridge Udpate: http://www.trulia.com/blog/jeanne_feenick_-_new_jersey/2010/…

Let me know if you could use some assistance - I'd be honored - Email: jeanne@feenick.com

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
Another thought Ela is this - from a resale standpoint, it is also good to reflect on the composition of the market is a given community overall. I can help you with that as well. Always good to have a very clear understanding of the market and where your price point fits within it to be sure you are comfortable with your current decision as well as future prospects for resale.

Long Hill feeds into Watchung Hills High School. Once you have shifted your sights this far, you may want to also explore Warren and Watchung. Separately, Basking Ridge is a great community as well. These three are in Somerset County.

Hope to hear from you Ela, I'd be honored to help you get your arms around the options, guide your search and support your purchase.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Find success at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
Ela,
My office is located in Gillette and I have been selling real estate full time in the area for the last 25 years. You have a good bead on the market. You will get a little more house and land in Long Hill that the other towns you are looking in. The schools system you can check out online at the previously mentioned school websites. Schools are very personal issues for each buyer. It is safe to say that all of the towns you are looking in have at least above average schools.
Regarding resale, your price point falls in an interesting range. Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Long Hill all have house price peaks of about 1.4 million with the vast majority of the housing stock below 700000 in all of the towns. Right now the higher end market is selling slower than the lower end market and especially so in these towns. Have you considered looking in some other nearby towns of Chatham, Madison, Basking Ridge, Warren, Watchung? They are slightly more expensive towns with a larger inventory of million plus dollar homes. You may be able to find a sharply reduced property there in your price range. Even if that is not the case, you could purchase a home in the 950 price range knowing that you were purchasing more of a midlevel priced home for that town which should help its resale hold up.
If you do want to look in Long Hill, I would be glad to help. I live in the town, my kids go to school here and my office is right here as well. Hope this helps and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
Hi Ela, I understand your concerns and more confused you may become before you decide which is the right approach for you. I've been a resident in Long Hill Twp. since 1979. My telling you this is "Oz" will not help you to decide if tis is the place for you and your family to live. My collegues all provided you with good answers to your request. The bigger problem with social networking is they cause more disconnect then connecting you to to resouces and what you really wish to learn.

I have an offer you may wish to check out.

On Saturday, February 20th, 11:00-12:00 we will be hosting a Market Update Seminar for Buyers and Sellers.
We will disucuss the local real estate markets. We will have a Real Estate Attorney and a Financial Mortgage Expert on hand to answer questions and clear up your concerns.

I invite you to invest 1 hour of your time. This is an opportunity for you to take away a wealth of information. Come learn what's happening in our real estate markets. Watchung is in the center of 5 surrounding counties were in the center. I will have a real estate attorney on hand to answer questions. Join us! Call me to reserve your seat(s).

I look forward to hearing from you.
John

John DiNizio
Broker Associate
Weichert Realtors
908-295.1688
Web Reference: http://www.JohnDinizio.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Though I don't live in the area anymore, I grew up in Meyersville, which is part of Long Hill Township. It's a wonderful community. I still have relatives and friends in the area and if you'd like to talk to them about your concerns, email me.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Hi Ela,

Oops...about that link I promised - here you go:
http://jeannefeenick.weichertagentpages.com/Content/Content.…

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Search the MLS at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Gillette and Millington are little gems where you can have the great convenience of New Prov and Berkeley Heights without the expense. Lots are generally larger, which gives you room for that pool. I have friends who love living in Long Hill and they like the small town feel. Millington is especially charming. You have easy access to other great towns like Chatham and Basking Ridge too. Since it is in Morris County, you have a slightly better tax treatment than you get in Union County. The only difficulty I have ever faced with clients is some road areas that get noise from Rt. 78, but that really only applies to those areas in the southern end of the town. If you'd like some help getting to know Long Hill and the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact me and best of luck with your search.

Janet Ellis
908-581-6349
Keller Williams Towne Square Realty
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
Web Reference: http://janetellishomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Pool, larger property, nice big house, and a budget of $950K will all fit together in Long Hill Township, but doubtful in the other communities.

I work for Prudential in Summit, but live in the Millington Section of Long Hill Township. We came out here from Summit, all of ten miles, ten years ago, and have never looked back. Two kids in the K-8 school system, with no complaints at all. With only 1050 children in K-8, in three schools, K-1 Gillette, 2-5 Millington, and 5-8 Central (Stirling) the staff knows every child. The 9-12 years are at Watchung Hills Regional, which is Long Hill, Watchung, Warren and Green Brook. I believe there are about 2,300 students, which is a bit over twice the size of Summit High, but they have well over twice the advance placement programs and a much more diverse program selection because of their size. The SAT scores are within a few points of each other.

Homes selling in Long Hill will commonly be the better part of 20% lower than Summit for a comparable size home, if not larger, and almost certainly a larger lot. The tax rate in Long Hill is higher, but for what you get is very comparable with Summit for the same type of home.

Long Hill, which by the way is Morris County, is some 27 square miles, much of it the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and has 9000 residents. There are three rail stations on the Gladstone branch feeding into and thru Summit, with Midtown Direct available morning and evening.

Summit and Westfield are city environments, New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Cranford are more suburban, and Long Hill is bit towards being semi-rural.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Raised in Summit, love the town, but very pleased with the move we made to Millington.

Paul (862) 258 - 5008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Hi Ela, Gillette/Long Hill Township is a great community and yes, the prices are more forgiving. It feeds into Watchung Hills Regional High School along with Warren, Watchung, and Green Brook. I can help you in all of the communities you have mentioned - generally at the Watchung and Long Hill line properties open up a bit and you'll get more land.

This will all come into focus with time, worry not. The link below is to a page on my website - scroll down to find links to school info, including the Star Ledger School Report Card which is a great tool for comparing and contrasting schools.

Reach out to me Ela and I will help you evaluate the communities and property choices.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Search the MLS at http://www.feenick.com
http://jeannefeenick.weichertagentpages.com/Content/Content.…
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
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