@Jtarantino...I work in Westfield and the surrounding areas. Did you check out the website for school rankings I included in my last post? Westfield and New Providence rank quite high on the charts though Westfield has a teriffic downtown with shopping and restaurants..
If you are interested in more information about the area or having me send you some listings, just give me a call or email me so i can get some more specifics.
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Jeanne makes a good point. Being close commute to the city and also having good schools causes prices to be higher than towns furter away from the convenience of an weasy commute.
There are several lovely towns that meet your needs, including Metuchen, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Fanwood and those mentioned by Suzanne too, as far as commute and schools (check out http://education.state.nj.us/rc/ ) most , not all of the "newer" homes or those being built are usually more than $750K.
However, there are also some terrific older homes. Just curious why you would want new only? Both new and old have their problems (I know...when I moved here from Brooklyn I bought brand a brand new house first, , my current home was built in 1972).
If you give me a call or email me, we can discuss things in detail and I can get a better idea of what you need and where to recommend you look for a home.
Look forward to hearing from you.
If you are willing to move west you'll have more luck. My husband still commutes into the city everyday from Somerset County - and I did the same for many years. We are right on the I-78 corridor which makes it very doable, but adds to the commuting time.
There are a number of new(er) colonials in Basking Ridge and Warren that would be newer and fall in your range. Basking Ridge has two train stations and bus service to the city. Warren does not, but it is right across 78 so you can either hop on 78 or cross over to get the train in Basking Ridge or points east of it.
Take a look at the Gallery view below. If you'd like to discuss further, I'm here and ready to assist.
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There are other communities that may suit you as well. Denville comes to mind as one with an awesome downtown area, commuter trains, and Denville is a lake community. It would be worth a 'day trip' to drive around and see which 'tickles your fancy'.