I have lived in the northern end of Brick, near Route 70 and Herbertsville Road, for 28 years. I have never called the police, except to report a motor vehicle accident.
In my opinion, this is the best combination of affordability and location. From my home, the Garden State Parkway (northbound) is 2.3 miles away, Crystal Point Yacht Club is one mile away, and Allaire State Park is 6 miles away.
The center of Brick, where most of the shopping is located, is about 4 miles southwest of my neighborhood. There is a Bed Bath and Beyond, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Bon Ton, Sports Authority, AMC Movies, and Ethan Allen Furniture.
In the opposite direction, it's a 5 mile drive to Sea Girt. The Brook 35 Plaza has a Starbucks, Talbots, Gap, Banana Republic, Coach, Williams Sonoma and other higher end shops.
It's about a 5 mile drive to the NJ Transit Train Station in Point Pleasant Beach.