I am a lifelong Bergen County resident, and I'm happy to answer any questions you have about the area.
As far as the best values, it really depends on what you are specifically looking for. Is the best school district important? Is access to public transportation important? Is a commuter rail line important?
Those are some of the questions you should answer, and then I could help point you in the right direction.
Towns like Tenafly and Ridgewood are known for the schools, but they tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum. That is not to say that there are not specific homes and/or specific areas in those towns where you could find a great deal ... especially in today's market.
A town that, to me, is a little bit of a sleeper is River Edge. River Edge shares its school district with Oradell, and yet it doesn't seem to have the draw (nor the high prices) or the two towns I mentioned previously. And River Edge has the added benefit of a NJ Transit railroad station in the town.
If you don't mind being a little farther from Manhattan, you could look at Emerson (again with a rail stop), Northvale, and Rivervale.
Closer to The City, you might look at Fairview or Cliffside Park, both of which tend to have lower prices than say Fort Lee and are just as close to NYC.
I could go on and on -- as there are 70 municipalities in Bergen County, but I hope this gives you a little insight.
If you'd like to chat further, you can shoot me an email at Bob@SellitWithBob.com.
Happy House Hunting!!
The problem is the areas that are the more desirable areas (and as an agent I really can't offer that opinion one way or another) are obviously the more expensive ones- for a reason. Usually it is access to the city from Bergen County that counts and what people are willing to pay for.
Areas that may be considered less desirable may be further out or higher crime areas and obviously, less expensive.
As you know, for resale you want to be in a community that is in the desirable category. Presumably, you would be much more likely to at least get back what you put in. These days, I can't name any communities that are necessarily up and coming (which probably would be the best place to invest) because of the economy. There are probably agents out there who would disagree and they could very well be right.
I also realize that I am probably stating the obvious.
I am surprised, knowing how expensive many parts of Bergen County are, how affordable some of the properties we were looking at are. However, he is a single dude and is looking preferably for a townhome type unit and doesn't need more than 2 bedroom. We saw a 2 bed/3 bath unit, with a garage in Wood-Ridge, that was literally within walking distance to the train and bus and approx. 10 minutes from the city for about 260k. There is quite a bit out there under the 300k range. Taxes in some communities are killer (but there aren't many places in NJ where you can escape tax pain).
All of the above (rail nice to have but bus is sufficient). Been focusing on Leonia, Pal Park, Ridgefield, Cliffside Park, Little Ferry (relatively low tax areas) but seems like the good deals get snatched up quickly. I've not considered Rivervale or Emerson but know the good reputation that Northvale has. Thank you very much , I will do my due diligence on those towns.