It's just not good business, in my opinion to personalize a consumer's question.
Whether your comments walked the lline of Fair Housing Laws or not, isn't for me to decide, but what I do know is...........if anyone from West Orange reads your following comment:
"although I work out of West Orange if I had to choose I would definitley go for South Orange. Montclair would be second"
I would bet they wouldn't be thrilled with you or your position on their town.
It's your opinion, yes, but as agents we don't just sell homes we "like", in towns we "prefer".......we sell what the buyer wants and needs.
I am familiar with real estate laws as it pertains to the issue of steering and fair housing. Since I made it clear that my post was my personal opinion, and stated the reasons for my preference for one town over the other, which had no ties to race, religion, gender, etc., I feel it was an acceptable response. The definition of steering stated in the "Essentials of New Jersey Real Estate; Tenth Edition Update", In conjuction with Weichert Real Estate School, reads "Steering is the channeling of homeseekers either to or away from particular areas on the basis of race, religion, country of origion, or other protected class. On these grounds it is prohibited by the provisions of the Federal Fair housing Act."
Further more, all of the references to steering violations, including all the court cases that you can find, have the words "based on (one of the seven protected classes)." Since I didnt even reference any of the seven classes I feel i did not violate the Fair Housing act nor was I trying to steer Mr. Ogden based on one of the protected classes. Now if anyone knows of a legal precedent, or nuance of the law that stats that speaking on a towns size is a violation please enlighten me as I am always willing to learn.
With much respect to ALL REALTORS AND THEIR OPINIONS,
Sharita Hyppolite :-)
I love dogs and you may be crazy about cats. Point is, it's hard for others to distinguish what's more or less desirable for you and your family. Ask locals in each town and they will tell you that theirs is the best...
I recommend you spend some time and see it firsthand. Visit shops, restaurants, parks, downtown. Stop by the board of education and get answers to your questions on school funding, etc.
When you finally zero-in on the town, contact a local Realtor we will be more than happy to show you around!
Best of luck,
I would love to answer that question but that is a conversation best done face to face or over the phone. I would love to fill you in on all of the towns and get more info on what is important to you. So if you wish to do that you can reach me at 973-632-4774 that is my cell.
Keller Williams NJ Metro
All these towns are very close and you can enjoy the best of each regardless of which town you choose.
I suggest you sit down with a couple of agents and see who you like to work with.
My favorite on this board is Sharon Avram & Karen Abramson, I'm sure they will take very good care of you.
and, not to mention............what might be your personal "favorite" town, might not be the right one for the consumer - especially a consumer you don't even know!
Why add a prejudicial slant to your comments?
Dan, its not that agents want to skirt the issue of "desirable, better, sought-after", etc. towns......but those are subjective terms and we risk breaking the Fair Housing laws by showing any kind of preference.......... .or steering a consumer in any one direction.
We can offer facts: charts, graphs, information, stats, and links, but the final conclusion and determination must be left up to the buyer after they have throughly investigated the area.!
So far, you have received a lot of good information - now you need to digest it all!
I grew up for part of my childhood in W. Orange, and have lived in the area, in Essex County, my entire life - and I'm still here, so I certainly know it well.
One person's favorite ice cream is chocolate, and one person's favorite is vanilla (and then there are those people who love strawberry, like me)!.............my point is, as an agent I can lay out the facts - tell you, for example, what town has a performing arts center (S Orange) or which one has a unique dine-in movie complex with cushy seats - one of onlyt 3 in the state ( W. Orange)...........I can tell you which town has hiking trails (BOTH!)......and how to get into Manhattan from either..........but what I can't tell you is which town might work better for your needs and wants....which town will simply "feel right".
That you have to experience and decide for yourself.
It's kind of llike a blind date - you really have to try it out - experience the town and then see if you want to spend more time there!
Have lunch in W. Orange overlooking the reservoir at The Boathouse near Turtle Back zoo.........or simply sip a cup of coffee at Starbucks in S. Orange Village and people watch.......
All the descriptions online and informational links..........(I have a number of them on my website, so please visit and take a look: http://www.DebbieRoseSells.com) are great, but nothing will be more productive than getting out there - driving around with a local agent who can point out all the things being discussed here, and let you get the feel and flavor ot the various towns.
Who knows - maybe another option will surface once you get the process started.
If you've already seen a coupke of homes you liked, then clearly you have identified a price range and are familiar with the property taxes...so that's a big hurdle you've overcome!
In regard to school systems with help for special needs students - I can say that my relatives have 2 special needs children and have been extremely thrilled with the support they received and the education their children are currently enjoying. I don't want to share any of their personal information here, but would be happy to disucss this one on one.
All the best with your search, and please reach out to me if I can be of help in any way!
Prudential NJ Proerties
I agree, a lot of good questions. As mentioned by some of my colleagues, we really can't steer buyers to any particular town based on any kind of ranking system. We can tell you, however, that the 4 towns you mentioned do fit many of the needs you specified for your home search such as Good Schools, accesss to the arts, access to NYC transportation, etc. I noticed that you have a preference for Victorian Style homes, as well. The towns you mention do have a decent inventory of older, Victorian era or turn of the century homes you prefer as do many other Essex County communities. It really comes down to your price range and space needs.
As far as schools are concerned, there are sites that rank schools. It is a good idea to check these sites and see what the community is saying about them in their feedback sections. Here are a couple of sites you might check out.
I would be happy to talk with you and help you find a home that is the right fit for your family. Being a life long resident of Essex County, I am familar with all the towns you are considering. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Great questions! with that said, as realtors we are not allowed to rank towns and stir you into one direction or another.
The schools in most towns in the area are funded by taxes and some federal and local funds. As to the special education programs, you will have to check each school individually... It depends what type of special needs you require (if any).
All the twons you have mentioned are great for commute and have many different sections in them.
South Orange and Montclair both offer Train transportation to NYC.
Montclair is a town that most people that come from the city find appealing. Many restaurants, boutiques, great parks, beautiful older charming colonial and victorian homes. Lots of places to eat, drink and enjoy some concerts and plays.
South Orange has the SOPC which bring lots of shows and entertainiment. Great town with lovely older charming homes and a downtown village area. A train and bus to NYC. Taxes in both South orange and Montclair are similar ( a little higher than verona and west orange).
West orange is a large town with many sections that vary in their style and population. There is no "downtown" but it is by the south orange reservation. There is the turtle back zoo and the south orange arena that will allow you lots of great activities with kids and also a great hub for transportation if you need one. West Orange does not offer a train but has a Jitney shuttle to East orange and South Orange trains in various parts of town.
Verona is a smaller town than the other 3. It is tucked between Cedart Grove, West Orange, West Caldwell and Montclair. Great town with lots of great italian restaurants and bars. Nice and close community. Beautiful Verona park is a wonderful place to spend the day with the family. Only bus transporation to NYC.
So..... Many choices and if you ask me, you should definately consider few other options in the Essex County as well.
If you have not yet selected a local realtor to assist you in your search, and give you lots of information about the different towns in the area, please feel free to call me and schedule a buyer's consutlation so you can interview our team and we can share more informaiton with you.
Feel free to call or txt at any time.
LOTS of LUCK!
Sharon and Karen Home Team
Keller Williams Suburban Realty
I am Prudential relocation certified . I would be happy to take you and yours on a tour of the towns and help you to reach a decision as to what community is right for you.
Hope to hear from you.
One of the major differences is that unlike S. Orange and Montclair, W. Orange has no train service to NYC. My recommendation is talk to friends who live in these communities and spend some time taking them in yourself. Go have lunch. Walk around. Check out the movies, shopping, etc. Each town has its own vibe and you will know if you feel that it's a fit for your family or not after spending a bit of time there.