Edison has several hundred properties on the market, and is a larger town (for NJ!). Options in housing can range from the 200's to over 1M.
I have lived in Middlesex county my whole life. Feel free to contact me for more information.
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So, if you look at the map of Edison NJ, 08820 is about two NJ Train stops closer to Manhattan using Metropark Train Stn http://metroparktrain.blogspot.com/ and one stop south is Metuchen Train Stn, and one more stop is Edison Train Station 08817 http://edisontrainstation.blogspot.com/
So, if you do not mind to be two stops away, just a few more minutes more, you can save some money on housing at Edison 08817 and 08837 area or Piscataway 08854 area.
Also, the closer to Manhattan, the job pay seems to be higher, so if possible, everyone should consider keep changing jobs toward Manhattan to get the highest pay of their education and experience.
However, the farther from Manhattan, the cheaper the living cost, so one need to consider to move out of tiny Manhattan, or even Jersey City, ...etc to cheaper and bigger homes for family life.
But, as you know, there is always a balance of job, family and commute time and cost.
On the other hand, consider Monmouth Junction NJ where we are, my neighbor, my kids' classmate, just invited us to their home. Wow! $1.5 million dollar house on 5 acre!!! We are at 08852, so don't think only 08820 has luxury house, ok?
I am working at AT&T Middletown now and no longer need train to commute. Otherwise, if you did a search, you shall find 2br 2ba condo at Edison is about the same as 3br townhouse at Forest Gate at Somerset.
School wise, 08820 has a JP Stevens High, very good, but I am planning to send my kid to Middlesex Academy of Science that is new and as good and located at Middlesex County College.
If you come to Somerset, you will see even cheaper price. Like in our Forest Gate townhouse, you can get one for only $250k. But then, when I went to Philly work, I had to drive to Edison Train Station first to park the car there then take train to Trenton, it is a bit inconvenience. But, if, say, you work at Rutgers or Johnson and Johnson, Somerset is as convenient.