Hi, My husband and I are looking to buy a house in the South Orange or Maplewood. Our daughter will be starting elementary school soon. How do?

Asked by Amv, Maplewood, NJ Mon Jul 26, 2010

South Mountain Annex, Clinton, and Tuscan rank? Is one better or more desirable than the others?


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Robert North…, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Thu Mar 3, 2011
We would all love to know if you bought a house and which district you ended up buying in.
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Peter DeCicco, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Mon Jul 26, 2010
As a Clinton alum myself, I think highly of that school! BUT... really they are all great and your decision may come down to which house or neighborhood you feel best suits your lifestyle and needs.
I always advise my clients to also take tours of the schools, which many times has greatly affected their home search.
I can give you the number of the school Superintendent and you can pick her brain - she will be able to directly answer more questions than a Realtor can.
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Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Mon Jul 26, 2010
The best way for you to compare schools is to visit the NJ state website which issues report cards for all the schools and allows you to compare them with others in an "apples to apples" kind of basis. Because it is all from the state it is data driven and not opinion based. From there you can ask around also, but at least you'll have the facts. Here is the site: http://education.state.nj.us/rc/

Hope that helps.
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Rena Spangler, Agent, Maplewood, NJ
Mon Jul 26, 2010
Hi Amy,

Maplewood and South Orange have a shared school district with a total of 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 1 high school. You can check out the individual schools by going to the district website: http://www.somsd.k12.nj.us. I would also suggest visiting each school and meeting the principal to get a feel for the different schools.

Good luck!

Rena Spangler
Sales Associate
Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Jul 26, 2010
Since opinions are often subjective, and what may be good for one may not necessarily be the case for another, consider doing some homework of your own first--check for any online information, if the schools happen to have a summer program and are open--consider a visit, ask for a tour of the facilities, speak to the principal, teachers, etc., ask all your questions and then make your determination--will your comfort level be reached. As already stated below, real estate professionals are prohibited from “steering”—enticing a buyer to purchase, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
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Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Mon Jul 26, 2010
Hi Amy,

Unfortunately it would be considered "steering" for an agent to answer this question. Which is an illegal activity. Google "real estate steering" for more information. So you are likely to get a bunch of rather evasive responses to this question, along with the inevitable solicitation for your business.

Your best bet is to evaluate the areas yourself by visiting and interviewing potential neighbors. You should also interview and select a local Realtor to help guide you in selecting a home. Since you have narrowed your search to these two areas, you should use an agent who is located in one of the two towns in which you have interest. And one who has 10 plus years of experience. Remember that real estate is a tough business and most agents come and go within 2 years. So make sure you interview potential candidates and verify that they are veterans who have made the cut.

Good luck!


Marc Paolella
Relocation Director/Appraiser
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Coolest map-based home search: http://www.marcpaolella.com
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