If we are looking to move out of NYC next spring and buy in Montclair, Verona or a nearby town. What should we be doing right now?

Asked by UWSNYC, New York, NY Tue May 17, 2011

Also would love to learn more about the school systems.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Jeffrey Halp…, Agent, Hopatcong, NJ
Fri May 20, 2011
Two sited to visit from great stats and "stuff" http://www.city-data.com and walkscore.com.
BTW: Ever consider other areas. I grew up in Verona, and it was a terrific town, as was our neighbors in Montclair, howevver, I moved away from the area because of the real estate taxes. We moved to Morris County. Easy NYC access on direct trains, great for families of any size, good schools, and plenty of activities. If you have not been introduced to towns like Morris Plains, Morros Township, Denville, Madison, Chatham, or the surrounding areas, you are doing a disservice to yourselves. If you are interested, I would be happy to assist you.
If not, best of luck in your search.
1 vote
Chris Moore, , Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
1. Determine your realistic price range (cash is king, but if you need to borrow - get pre-approved so you don't get disappointed later);
2. Determine your housing requirements (#of bedrooms / baths, etc);
3. Determine your location requirements (quality of schools, public transportation, parks, diversity, cultural amenities, etc);
4. Keep an eye on the market (different price ranges within the same township can reveal vastly different statistics) - Set up a customized property search on our website to gauge activity in your price range;
5. Make sure your current living situation will be in place until you close on your new home.

I can help with all of these important items (with many online links to resources) and guide you through the buying process when you get a little closer to making your pilgrimage to New Jersey. Welcome!

Christopher Moore, Broker / Owner
AmericaOne Realty
20 Church Street, Suite 9
Montclair, NJ 07042
1 vote
Stanton Comp…, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
Are you renting in NYC? We made the move to Montclair, my hometown, from the UWS, in '05. Get a credit report now and try maintain/ improve your rating. Look for any discrepancies and don't open any new lines of credit as a short relationship can lower scores.

Familiarize yourself with neighborhoods, go on message boards, ask lots of questions. Go to the board of ed web sites to see school tour schedules. Come out to a few opens, drive around a bit, play at some parks, go to dinner, see a show at the Wellmont. If you will be commuting, try taking the train and/ or bus out to see how it goes. Any questions, just ask.
1 vote
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Mon Aug 27, 2012

This question was asked in May 2011....I assume the questioner has moved by now :)
0 votes
Judith Amorim…, Agent, Caldwell, ID
Sun Aug 26, 2012
First establish financing and prequalification in connection to working with an experienced real estate proffessional that you feel most confident will help address your specific needs. Second, work with the agent to help research your market, third visit open houses!

I urge you to please consider the established community of North Caldwell, NJ. Just 17 miles from mid town Manhattan, the township provides exceptional education, recreation, community and saftey. Ranking Top 20 within the state; the Borough of North Caldwell provides Public Pre K to 6th grade schooling with a regional 7th to 12th grade middle/high school which ranked 16 in the state.

Please visit my website http://www.judithamorimdias.com and contact me directly (973-444-5643). There are a number of resident families which work in Manhattan and live in the North Caldwell community. With a number of nearby Midtown direct express buses and trains, local residents attest to the quality, happiness, privacy and comfort in their selection of home in North Caldwell, NJ.

Kind regards,

Judith Amorim Dias
NJ Licensed Real Estate Agent

Prudential New Jersey Properties
50 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039 &
14 Forest Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006

Mobile: 973-444-5643
WEB: http://www.JudithAmorimDias.com
Email: Judith.Dias@PrudentialNewJersey.com
0 votes
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Sun May 20, 2012
Again this question was asked 1 year ago....I imagine the question is no longer relevant
0 votes
Gilbert Ross, , Montclair, NJ
Sun May 20, 2012
I would suggest that you speak to a mortgage rep and see if there are any credit issues that need to be taking care of. Since you are not purchasing until next year you will have some time to clear any outstanding accounts and dispute any inaccuracies. I would also start to narrow down what type of property you would want. (condo, single family, multi-family etc...) Also, you should consider what amenities you are looking for (number of bedrooms, baths, style of kitchen, etc...). Please feel free to contact me if you like to discuss this futher.
0 votes
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Sun May 20, 2012
Hopefully the questioner has already moved to NJ since this question was asked May 2011.
0 votes
Robert and S…, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Sun May 20, 2012
Right now there is an abundance of inventory in the towns you mentioned but the homes of value are getting gobbled up pretty quickly since this spring is the "perfect storm" (lowest prices/lowest interest rates in years) for people who have waited a few years to think about buying.

The towns you mention in Essex county are different in size and cultural diversity. Montclair offers much in the way of beautiful 19 century homes, great restaurants, 3-4 movies theatres, the Wellmont theater for musical venues and the like, boutique type stores and is serviced by 5 train stations to mid-town. Verona is smaller and more main-street America and the beautiful Verona Park in it's center. Caldwell also has a town center "up the hill" from Verona and much more bucolic than Montclair. Other surrounding towns don't have the town centers that Verona, Caldwell and Montclair have but offer different neighborhoods in very different price ranges.

Perhaps you have educated yourself already on what each town has to offer, picked a good mortgage company to arrange your financing and suitable downpayment. Also, a good real estate agent will give you a tour of each neighborhood and a sampling of homes in each so that you can familiarize yourself with what each offers. That way you can concentrate on the areas you like. Also, it's important not to concentrate on a price of a home but rather the payment on a home you can feel comfortable with. Factors like taxes can change from town to town and alter the payment so be aware of how much the payment will be and not so much the price to see where your value is in a home.
If you haven't yet made a decision, I'll be happy to assist.
Sandra Bolcar, Broker Associate
0 votes
Carl Ben Wit…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Wed Jun 1, 2011
My daughter is a fabulous teacher in Verona now. I also work with agents who are retired teachers there. I work with residents of Verona. I live in Montclair, previously GlenRidge. Lots of resources available to you for first hand info, just ask me.
As Jim Stanton says below, watch your credit now. Get some sound advice by talking to my consultant on credit, Fred S. Happy to connect you. Just ask.
Surf the web on houses- Weichert.com is user friendly and gets high marks for the area. Realtor.com is most visited web site in area and nation. Houses are sorted by rooms, prices, generally. Happy to talk or visit or tour anytime. Just ask. Carl - 973 632 8593 cell.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed May 18, 2011
Good answer from Mary - save, save, save, and be careful with your credit picture. Good idea to get a report so you can see where you stand and improve it while you have the time.

We look forward to having you here in NJ!

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011

1) Saving, saving, saving

2) Making sure your credit is in order, and repairing any problems that appear on your credit report. You can get your credit report free online, OR have a qualified mortgage bank/broker run the credit report for you. They can also give you an idea of what your approximate price range will be based on your current finances and even project out a bit based on your anticipated future savings/salary increases etc.

3) Not make any major credit card purchases

4) Not being late on any credit card payments

5) Start doing some research on the areas via the internet.

6) Visit the towns you may be interested in. Drive around, maybe even go to a few open houses on a Sunday afternoon to get an idea of location, price etc.

7) If you will be commuting to NYC for work, try to do the commute to and from to see how it fares up.

8) Speak to a local agent who is familiar with the area. Local agents know their territory very well, and once they know your needs, can recommend towns you may not even have considered.

9) If you need to sell your home, get it on the market before your projected move. Speak to a local agent in NYC too, get get an idea of the time it is taking to sell a home in your area.

10) About 5-6 months before your planned move, start looking at homes. Typically from contract to close takes 60-90 days so you will have time to find a home and close in your desired timeframe.
0 votes
Karin Carson, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
Now is a good time to start working with a local agent who can guide you through evaluating the towns and types of properties that will work for you. The more you learn from this year's market the better armed you will be going into it as a serious buyer next year. I often work with people over a long period of time, and ensure they receive the right advice and education so that they can make good decisions when they are ready.

There are websites you can refer to for some hard data on the schools - for example schoolreports.com. Since I have children in the school system I do also give a lot of school information to my clients and recommend that buyers talk to other parents in town. Often I make those connections for you.

Karin Carson
Keller Williams NJ Metro Group
0 votes
Jane Shebroe, Agent, Jupiter, FL
Tue May 17, 2011
I work mostly in the Montclair, Verona, Cedar Grove, North caldwell area, so I know the essex county schools systems are great. But the schools are graded on different things. I am told that some schools are more sports oriented and others are more focused on academics. So definitely do your homework online, and you may call the schools with specific questions as well.

Since home shopping is a very personalized thing, I like to get to know more about individual wants and needs before recommending anything. Please feel free to contact me. http://www.RealTerrific.com or RealTerrific@aol.com to discuss further.

Web Reference:  http://www.realterrific.com
0 votes
Sharon and K…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
Dear Themarshall,

Many buyers as yourself move from NYC to the towns you have mentions especailly Montclair. Before anyone looking to purchase a home there are several steps that must be taken.

1. contact a mortgage rep and find out what is the status of your credit. This will give you enough time to fix any "mistakes" or other blemishes if needed and also will give you an idea of what is your BUYING POWER. Since you will not know what will be the interest rates when you are getting near next spring you should get few quotes of budget including 1-2% higher interest rate (just in case).

2. Take some time to get to know the towns you are interested in. Perhaps take a drive on weekends and see which sections or towns are mostly to your liking. Find out about transportation from each town, schools, social life ets...

3. Interview agents for the position of "buyers agents" so you will be ready to go and will have an ambasador in the area to answer all your local questions.

4. about 5-6 months prior to your projected move, start looking at homes on the market in the towns you have selected and attend open houses or visit homes for sale with your agent.
After that, find your dream home and continue with the process with your agent as your guide.

*** If you need to sell your current home you may as well get going on that one pretty soon too.

Lots of luck to you and your family and welcome to NJ.

As a local Team, it would be our pleasure to assist you in any way. Feel free to reach out to us via our contact information on our profile.

The Sharon and Karen Home Team!
0 votes
Blanca Rosar…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
Hi! Well, there's a good question. I tell all my first time home buyers that the first thing they should start looking at is there credit history. I also advise not to open any more credit cards and make large purchases like a new car within the year that they are looking to purchase a new home.

You may also want to start sitting down with a mortgage broker to discuss mortgages, our office provides one for all of our clients. Ask all the pertinant questions that you need to know when your ready to apply for one. I have a buyer's guide that I can send you that can help you through the process if you would like me to send it please email or call me with you contact information.

Purchasing a home is a financial decision and you want to be prepared for it. You are starting in the right place by asking all the right questions. I wish you all the best of luck!! If you have any questions about the buying process or about the towns that you are interested in and the market conditions please feel free to contact me at anytime.


Blanca Rosario
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
736 Valley Rd | Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
O: 973.233.2337 | C: 917.664.0885 | E: blanca.rosario@cbmoves.com
Web Reference:  http://www.blancarosario.com
0 votes
Robin Seidon, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
It's a great time to come out and drive around to see the different towns which may help you to zero in on where you'd like to focus once you decide to get serious about your move. It's an absolutely beautiful time of year and there are quite a number of properties on the market right now. I also highly recommend reading our local on-line news site: Baristanet.com. It has everything that goes on in the area including Montclair and Maplewood and is quite newsy. And of course, you'll want to take a close look at your finances, your credit record and what you may have to do to put your financial house in order. I have some great mortgage brokers that I can refer you to that makes the process completely painless. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to come out and look around.
All the best,

Robin Seidon
Keller Williams NJ Metro Group
15 Bloomfield Avvenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
0 votes
Ilia Wood, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
Dear HomeBuyer,

The first question I have for you is: Do you have to sell your place in NYC? If so, you should contact a local realtor and find out the steps to take to sell your place. In today's market it is smart to sell your property first, especially if it the purchase of the next home is contingent on the sale of your current place.
If you are renting and you don't have to sell then it is much easier.

The first thing I would suggest is to contact a mortgage broker or a bank to get a pre-approval. This is important for a couple of reasons. Most realtors will ask you for one before they take you out to look at homes, and this way you know exactly which price range your income yields or you are comfortable with. It is not fun to look at homes outside of your price range and then have unreal expectations if you have to look in a lower range.

After you have a pre-approval I would contact a realtor in the area you are looking into. This way you can come out and visit the area and get an idea of what each town has to offer. A local realtor will have vast knowledge of the towns resources, amenities and most of all home inventories.

I work in Montclair and cover the towns of GlenRidge, Verona, Bloomfield, Maplewood and surrounding towns.
If you like I would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have about the process of looking for a new home. There is time since, you are thinking of next Spring, but there is no harm in getting your research started early.

I can be reached at:
Ilia Wood
Keller Williams Realty - NJ Metro Group
201-892-8978 (cel)

Please feel free to reach out.

Good luck!
0 votes
Gilbert Ross, , Montclair, NJ
Tue May 17, 2011
Congratulations on your decision to buy a home. Now is a great time to buy in most areas. The thing I tell my buyer clients to do first is to speak with a mortgage professional. You want to review your financial situation and be pre-approved for a mortgage. There is a difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified. If you have any other questions my contact information is below. I work in the Essex County area and would like to answer any other questions that you may have.

Thank you
Gilbert Ross Jr
Realty Executives International
277 Fairfield Rd Suite 126
Fairfield, NJ 07004
973-900-3630 (c)
0 votes
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Tue May 17, 2011
Hello Themarshall,
Since you do not plan on purchasing until next year, I suggest that you begin by viewing properties on-line that are located within the towns that interest you. Try to find out as much about the communities as you can so that when the time comes closer to make your move; you will have a better idea of what neighborhoods you prefer.
Here are a couple of links to the schools in Verona and Montclair:



Hope you find this helpful,
Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes
David Burnham, , Washington, DC
Tue May 17, 2011
Talk with an agent and a home inspector. Both will give you ideas of things that might be eye soars or places to improve you property.

There are a lot of little things, like neutral paint colors, decluttering, removing personal items, finishing up projects, etc. that you can get started now on.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Montclair Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more