Its true, taxes are high in Cherry Hill and its because of the schools. Good schools are why the majority of people buy in Cherry Hill. I don't see the current owners abandoning the schools (the reason they've chosen Cherry Hill) just because the houses are 40 years old. History has proven that Cherry Hill homes maintain their value, that too is because of the schools.
Cherry Hill isn't the only township that has good schools. Voorhees, Mount Laurel, Evesham/Marlton all have very competitive schools, the houses are "younger" and the taxes could be lower because the high schools are regional.
As a first time buyer the old saying "buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood" still works and in this market you should have plenty to choose from. You didn't mention your circumstances but if you can move into a fixer upper and make it the jewel of the neighborhood then you've created the home to be envied and the opportunity to boot strap your investment and move up.
Your assumption that other are just as "turned off by the condition of the houses and the property taxes" is focusing on a false premise. History proves the stability of the area and thats because of the schools. I don't see that changing.
This link http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc08/menu/01.html
is to the current report card for NJ schools by county. Marlton and Mount Laurel are in Burlington County. Cherry Hill and Voorhees are in Camden County. It will give you some other choices for schools in these two counties.
Good Luck with your search.
Marilyn Geiger, Realtor Associate
Weichert Executive Club - Top 5%
CRS - Certified Residential Specialist
ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Cell Phone: 609-238-0465
Marilyn the Matchmaker
Connecting Sellers with Buyers