I am originally from Totowa (Passaic County) and my husband was from Clifton. We first moved to Rockaway Township (White Meadow Lake) my husband felt we were moving to the sticks. We had our boys there and it was a great community for them - lot's to do and anything you need in the way of conveniences. We decided we wanted more privacy and moved to Blairstown, (Warren County). We met more people in the first 6 months than in 6 years. I love this town - there are no cabs or food delivery (Shoprite will deliver and sometimes pizza). I walk with a friend on the paulinskill path at 6:30 am and there are a few people that we pass by - there's an airport for glider rides - a small town main street - lot's of farm fresh food. Let me know if you'd like a tour!
You say you are fed up with city stress but just how much solitude are you willing to take? Some small towns have a two level culture, extending from those whose great grandfather lived in town to the newbies. Can you take the time to fit in? Do you want to?
Terrain in NJ can be very hilly to farmland to pine barrens. Some small communities are close to major cultural events: Kingston or Hopewell, near Princeton, come to mind. Others may be quite a distance. Do you care?
Of course, many of our townships were just farmland at the turn of the twentieth century. With the advent of the automobile, we also got suburban sprawl and so there are whole areas that have no town center at all. Robbinsville Township, among others, is trying to create a town center reminiscent of the type construction and town plan you might have seen in 1880.
My advice: Start this spring to take day trips. Find places that appeal to you. Look for the town amenities that you want and need. For example, just how close will you be to medical care? Will you commute to your old doctors? What about schools? Are they important to you?
You may find a community that looks inviting, only to discover that community life revolves around children's activities. I lived in a house for ten years and only knew my immediate neighbors and the people across the street. Not having young children, I found that driving in and out of my garage at the end of a commute and mowing the lawn were my only two outdoor activities. I did find people 6 miles away (which was not walkable) at a church I joined but it was not my immediate neighborhood that gave me the social connection that I sought.
I wish you well with your quest but it seems to me that you have to discover more about what you want on your own before you start dealing with a Realtor, who is, after all, only a person to help you find a house, not define a life style that will make you happy.
I don't know whether you and your husband have embarked on your search but I am writing as I am intrigued by your question. I am a Jersey City guy through and through. Having summered in Avon by the Sea and Spring Lake during my youth, I wanted nothing more than to raise my family in southeastern Monmouth County.
The towns of Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Spring Lake Heights, Avon by the Sea, Belmar and Bradley Beach certainly satisfy the criteria you cite as being important to you and your family. Having raised 3 children here, I suggest you seriously consider a move here.
If I may be of any assistance to you and your family in your search, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Ward Wight Sotheby's International Realty
Formerly from Belleville and do feel your paint. If u would like to puruse Monmounth county areas, please feel free to use the "official MLS" for Monmounth County on my website http://www.PatrizioRE.com
if you need further assistance in Monmouth County, please do ot hesitate to contact me.
Love and Peace,
Francesca, Realtor, ePro
Where do you both commute to work? Have you thought about Piscataway area? It is a easy commute to NYC and being in Central Jersey one can commute to noth and south jersey easily.
Let me know, I can e mail you some nice choices of homes.
Prudential New Jersey Properties
I run a community website called http://www.ILoveMilltown.com that you should check out. It has lots of info - local events, pictures, message boards, links, etc. It even has a section where people can write why they love the area. Hopefully this helps. Good luck.
Everyone else who answered this question is from north Jersey - I am the voice of South Jersey! You can afford so much more house in south Jersey and we have some great communities. Many residents form Cherry HIll, Marlton, Collingswood, Mt Laurel, etc work in Philadelphia. It is easy to get there by car or train. There is another sizable group who commute to NYC. We have both bus and train to the city. For about $400,000 you can find a real nice 4BR home in a good school district - so look into some of the towns I mentioned!
Lichtman Associates Real EState, LLC
There are so many terrific areas in NJ. I have lived in the state all my life. Born in Newark, live in East Orange, then moved to Essex County. This was with my parents and siblings. The towns included Caldwell and Verona. Both nice communities. When I got married, my wife and I lived in Roselle Park, Union County for a year, then moved to Clifton, Passaic County, for a year, bouht our first condo in Glen Ridge, Essex County again and lived there for 1.5 years and ended up settling in Denville, Morris County.
We, with our two children have been here for approx. 19 years and could never be happier. The feel is like Mayberry. small town feel with great services and activities, low crime rate and an active and highly rated school system, as well as a favorable tax structure and affordable pricing in which your 3-500 range will buy you a lot. This also includes the neighborin tows of Boonton, Parsippany, Rockaway, Morris Twshp, & Morris Plains.
Known as the HUB of Morris County, Denville has direct NYC trains from the Denville train station, plus Rtes 46, 80, 287, 15, & 202 pass thru it for easy access anywhere. We are just 10 minutes to Historic Morristown which is known as Hoboken West.
So if you were to ask me about towns to live in or at least explore, you can see where my passion lies.
Call me and we'll talk.Sincerely,
Jeffrey David Halpern, CSP
Prudential New Jersey Properties
64 Diamond Spring Road
Phone: (973) 625-1250 x143
Fax: (973) 625-1672
Cell & Txt:: (201) 317-7527
â€¦â€¦..JUST A SOLUTION
I just heard from a couple that bought in Morris Township - moved from Brooklyn - initially drawn to Warren Township/Wathchung/Long Hill Township area - which is very nice and has an open feel. But in the end, they compromised to shorten their commute. We found a great house in the $500's and they are very happy. This area gives you the small town neighborhood feel - but access to a Metro/Suburban town - Morristown - which isn't a bad thing - I'd count Morristown along with Summit, and Westfield as communities that are similar in this way.
Long Hill Township is a less expensive option in Morris County - it feeds into Watchung Hill High School, along with Warren, Watchung and Green Brook, all in Somerset County. If you are looking for more property, Watchung and Long Hill Townhship are the points on 78 where the lot size opens up. Next along that westerly route comes Warren and Basking Ridge. Bridgewater presents many options at all price points but is a vast community, Bernardsville has a small town feel, cute downtown and a train station. Basking Ridge has train and bus access too, a small downtown, but is larger community in feel if not in fact than Bernardsville.
I'm sure that the couple that faced the same quandry you are facing would be happy to chat with you if you'd like. Just send me a quick email if I can help you with your search and provide an introduction to them.
May sound a bit like a cliche - but it is a great time to buy Susan!
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
I moved to the East Coast in the 90â€™s from Orange County, CA. I first lived in Greenwich, CT for a year, and then moved to the Jersey Shore, where I live now. These moves were facilitated by corporate jobs before I hung up that hat and became a Realtor. When I first moved to NJ, I looked at several towns in Morris and Essex County, but ultimately decided on Monmouth County. I get up to Morris, Essex, Somerset and Hunterdon Counties regularly, but Monmouth is home. After many years, I can say I am glad I made the decision to call Northern Monmouth County home. Hereâ€™s why:
Having the best of all worlds. Easy and comfortable commute via ferry to NYC within 40 minutes. Great outdoor recreation opportunities along the shoreâ€¦beaches, Sandy Hook, abundance of parks with extensive recreational programs, bike lanes, marinas, boating, horse farms. Great restaurants, theaters, downtown and pier areas for shopping and strolling. Extensive choices for education and healthcare. Gorgeous settings with lots of greenspace. Not congested. Small town feel. Small and strong communities with much community involvement. When you want the city, itâ€™s an easy commute by ferry, train or bus.
The housing stock is varied in Monmouth County with diverse options from Victorian communities, very traditional colonials, newer developments, and areas where there are no signs of development housing.
If you would like a snail mail relo package for Monmouth County, please contact our office. It includes several community guides, maps, and recreational guides, along with housing information and statistical reports.
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group
I came down from North Jersey 22 years ago and raised my 4 children there so I'm biased! But, I cannot imagine anywhere else I would rather have done so!
For additional info, go to my website where you'll find demographics and a whole page devoted to Spring Lake. The prices are high, but we have the 2nd lowest ratable in Monmouth County and hold our values extremely well!
Best small town ??? My vote is Clinton Twp. Hunterdon County! Clinton has a wonderful Main Street with quaint shops, great restaurants, historic museum and so much more! Great fishing, golfing, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, you name it! Here is a link:
Also, check out my website for current listings;
I'd love to help!
Jeffrey T. Vroom
In Morris County, the usual suspects are Madison and Chatham when it comes to charming small towns. They are nice, but they are also wildly overpriced due to their convenient access for NYC commuters. Other interesting options in Morris County might include Denville which has a cute downtown and great schools. A surprising option for you might also be located just over the border in Warren County - Hackettstown. You might want to take a visit. Really cute downtown, small but not too small, yet convenient to shopping and recreation. Fairly affordable also. I wouldn't commute to NY City from there, but if that is not a concern, you might like it.
If you have further questions on the Morris County option, contact me via my profile or website.
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
I moved to New Jersey nearly twenty years ago from Arizona. One of the most appealing things to me was the "small town" atmosphere I experienced in South Jersey. Have you possibly looked into Haddon Heights, Haddon Township, Collingswood, or Barrington? They are all located in Camden County where we still seem to be maintaining a healthy investment with our real estste. One area you can check out is the web site put out by the New Jesey Association of Realtors: http://www.RealStoryNJ.com. It is a great resource for you to find out exactly what is going on with different townships and counties in the State financially with property values. The one nice thing about this area is that it has that small town feel yet very close to a major metropolitan area and within a short driving distance to the shore!
I am constantly defending my decision to move to and stay in the area when people find out I have relocated from the west, but then again, there are good points and bad points to everything!
Long Hill Township is easily accesible by train and highway. It has a wonderful small town feel and is bordered by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge! Yet you're close to everything!
We'd love to have you check out some of our communities in Ocean County! If you'd like some information contact me via email and I'll get it out to you.
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
Monmouth or Ocean County have some really great deals, schools and low taxes.
Bricktown was named the safest city in America 2 years ago.
Come on down and pay a visit. I would love to show you around.
You may already know of River Vale since you were raised in Bergen County. If you have been thinking of leaving Northern New Jersey for greener pastures, you may want to consider River Vale first.. It was ranked on Money Magazines top 100 places to live, and with less than 10,000 residents you small town feel right in the middle of Bergen County. Check out the link below
Roy Low (River Vale Resident and local Realtor)
There are several lists that are often released about the best towns to live in, but in my opinion it's a matter of personal preference and needs. I also grew up in Hudson County and I understand exactly where you're coming from.
There are many beautiful towns. These are simply some of my personal favorites based on aesthetics, school systems, and community activities. In no particular order:
Hardyston (Crystal Springs) I'm a bit biased here but this development is one of the few in New Jersey that will provide you resort style living like you would find in the golf resorts of S. Carolina or Florida. It is continually growing and utilizing smart growth. Within the next year to a year and a half the community will be building a brand new town center with old fashioned charm and appeal including an ice rink, movie theaters, a farmers market, and unique non-chain small town shops, and walkability. Good schools, low taxes, low home prices. It's work taking a look at.
Sparta: Cute town center, nice homes, good schools, but high property tax and can be somewhat pricey
Mendam: Beautiful community, good schools, think Polo/Ralph Lauren feel - but can be pricey
Chester: cute downtown, shares Mendham schools, more affordable than Menham
Westfield: A bedroom community in Union County with outstanding schools. Very community oriented, close to everything, and a bustling downtown
Peapack/Gladstone, Far Hills, Bernardsville, Bernads Township, Bedminster are some of my favorites.
Tewksbury - reminds me of Holly Hobby -very country storybook
Oldwick -also very quaint country
Fair Haven - Rumson/Fair Haven Schools are outstanding, trendy downtown area
Spring Lake - I know little about schools there but very pretty and pricey
Have heard Colts Neck is very pretty but don't know much about it
It also may be worth looking into Allentown
Two of my favorites also include: Princeton and Moorsestown, NJ (in South Jersey) which is consistently noted in reports for being one of the best towns in NJ.
There's also some towns that are spearheading Green living in NJ. If that's important to you, I'm also happy to send you that list.
You'll hear different opinions from everyone. I would take into account the towns that are mentioned in all these posts and start taking day trips. If you ever want to tour the areas in Sussex, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties I'm happy to show you around.
I hope that helps.
Mountain Resort Properties