My Husband is thinking of taking a job in New York City. We are looking for a single family home in Northern

Asked by Christina, Massachusetts Sat Apr 26, 2008

New Jersey that is in a good family neighborhood. What can we expect to pay for a home? What areas should we consider?

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29
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
This is what I mean.

Carol, Millburn to NYC is NOT a 25 minute commute under any circumstances. By train it is 45 minutes to midtown, then you need to get to your destination, an easy 20 minutes. So it's an hour to a midtown job. And that doesn't count 10-15 minutes to get to the Short Hills train station. Downtown is 45 minutes to Hoboken, transer, then PATH for an additional 20 minutes, plus a 10 minute walk if you're lucky. So again, minimum 1 hour, probably more like 1:15.

Lin,
Clinton is well over 1 hour to NY City, more like 1.5 hours during rush hour.

Please everyone, if you're going to state travel times, at least check the NJ Transit website before advising out of town buyers. It is outrageous to give someone false hope by stating a 25 minute commute time to NY from Millburn or 45 minutes from Clinton.

-Marc
Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
5 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Sun Apr 27, 2008
Carol,

I'm not sure where you are getting your information. There are no 25 minute trains from anywhere you are talking about. Millburn is a 40 minute train ride. A 40 minute train ride does not include 10-15 minutes getting to the train, and 15-30 minutes getting to your ultimate Manhattan destination. So it an hour to 90 minutes to make this commute. That it what Christina and her husband need to know and plan for.

Short of living in Hoboken across the street from the P.A.T.H., there are no 25 minute commutes from New Jersey to New York City. It just doesn't exist. We all are proud of and want to market our hometowns here on Trulia, but we need to stay real at all times as part of our ethical responsibility.

-Marc
3 votes
Zack, , Westchester County, NY
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Marc, you're rapidly becoming my favorite realtor on this site.

I just drove back to westchester from Allentown, PA and remember passing Clinton because it prompted me to make a comment about Hillary and it was about 15 mins from the PA border. You couldn't get from Clinton to NYC in 45 mins if you had a helicopter, for commuting time, unless you leave before 5:30 am, I won't believe you can make it in under 2 hours.

Christina, you're gonna pay a ton to live anywhere nice that is a normal commute to the city. Westchester county, as John says, is another option, but taxes are about 50% higher then NJ and the commute is similar. I personally believe coming into Grand Central (42nd and Lexington (which is 3 1/2 ave by number)) is much easier than Penn Station (33rd and 7th/8th) or Port authority (42nd and 8th) since Penn services LIRR also so its massively crowded. That said, getting to midtown manhattan will still leave you probably 20 mins to your destination. Also, when you check metronorth times, like the 33 mins John mentions below, add 5 mins to the time for every morning peak train. I've taken these trains everyday for more than 7 years now and the morning trains are NEVER on time. Going home the times tend to be more accurate. The MTA publishes on-time stats that are impressive, but on time is considered within 5 mins and 59 seconds of scheduled arrival. When your train ride is supposed to be 30 mins, that's a 20% buffer they've given. I'd guess that NJTransit suffers from similar problems and stat manipulations but cannot speak to it personally.

Zack
2 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hi Christina,

The first consideration is commute time and method. If your husband is willing to take a train and travel between 60-90 minutes, you have a million options. If he only wants to drive himself in and keep it at 45 minutes or less, you still have options, but they are going to be expensive.

Keep in mind that commuting time is VERY IMPORTANT and you tend to get some pretty dramatic under-estimates on how long it takes to get into Manhattan. Everybody seems to be selling the area they live or work in which may or may not be in your best interest.

So why don't you speak to your husband and post back with your commuting time limits and whether you would entertain taking public transportation. A good deal of your quality of life will be tied to this number.

Once we know your method of commuting and your maximum time limit, we can suggest some communities that will be suitable.

-Marc
Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
2 votes
Carl Ben Wit…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Thu Oct 23, 2008
Christina,
Good luck in your search and move. I live in Upper Montclair and cover the area in two counties. Each town has its own image and benefits. Montclair has a reputation as an eclectic, tolerant, cultured population with homes ranging from $175,000 to $4,000,000 (Michael Strahan's house). 5 train stations on Midtown Direct train to Penn Station, one seat, always on time. Buses by DeCamp and NJ Transit. In nearby Nutley, a delightful victorian 1850 house on a cul-de-sac is listed at $749,000. For a useful consultation, please reply here or call. http://www.CarlWitzigHomes.com and link to primary site. Carl
1 vote
Matthew De F…, Agent, Nutley, NJ
Wed Aug 7, 2013
There are a ton of Great Areas within commuting distance in NYC I have several sites myself you can look at
http://www.AllWyckoffRealEstate.com
http://www.Homesinnutleynj.com

You can see what is for sale as well as Market Statistics and more.
0 votes
Judith Amorim…, Agent, Caldwell, ID
Sun Aug 26, 2012
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

Web Reference: http://www.judithamorimdias.com
0 votes
Ania, Home Buyer, Nutley, NJ
Mon Jul 25, 2011
Nutley is a great family town with good schools. We just bought a house there, 35 minute commute during rush hours to the city on 192 bus just off of Kingsland road. We moved from NYC. Home prices range from 250K to 550K for a 3 bedroom home.
0 votes
Matthew De F…, Agent, Nutley, NJ
Thu Apr 28, 2011
If your looking for a home close to NYC go here and Search http://www.HomesINNutleynj.com if you have any questions you can find my number on the web site.
0 votes
Alan Ellenbo…, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Wed Apr 27, 2011
Christina, everyone is really trying hard to help... But remember the child's fable about,
0 votes
Glen Dabaghi…, , Nutley, NJ
Wed Apr 6, 2011
Look into Nutley. It's a quintessential cozy town with a plenty of municipal activities, street fairs, etc. Home or Townhome prices are reasonable and best of all... 25 minute commute by bus to Port Authority or 30 minute commute to Penn Station by train. Buses and trains are either a 5 min. walk or 5 min. drive from Cambridge Heights Community. Check out http://www.ForSaleByOwner.com
~Glen
0 votes
John A. Falco, , New Jersey
Thu Nov 11, 2010
Christina,

Most of northern NJ is a good location for NYC commute. Any town with a NJ Transit Train would be a great start for home searching.

Do not forget to get a home inspection: We do home inspections, radon tests and termite / wood destroying insect inspection all across New Jersey.

Regards,
John
201-500-7460
john@fha-homeinspections.com
0 votes
Joe Pieretti, Agent, Caldwell, NJ
Sat May 3, 2008
Hi Christina,

We read all of the answers to your question. We are in "information overload". Every answer was excellent. And we are going to add ours. Is your husband's opportunity an excellent one? Do you have a house to sell? Will your husband's potential employer be giving him a relocation package? Will you be working also when you get here? If it's beneficial for you to relocate, there are many wonderful communities in Northern New Jersey. All have something to offer. My wife commuted to Manhattan for 22 years. We live in Bloomfield -- approx 8 miles from NYC -- she worked in the upper 50's and 5th Avenue -- and it took her 1 hour door-to-door. If you want to talk some more, you can reach us through our website. http://www.jerseyjoerealtor.com
Web Reference:  http://jerseyjoerealtor.com
0 votes
V Hedvat, Home Seller,
Thu May 1, 2008
Hi Christina,
North Caldwell is a wonderful community. I have lived in this area all my life. My husband and I have raised our children in this community. The school system is among the best in the state. There are many young families, too. Both my husband and I have work in NYC. My husband commutes every day by car because his job requires it. However, we also use mass transportation. There is a park and ride from a mall within 5 minutes from North Caldwell. Shuttle buses run every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 20-30 minutes throughout the day. There are also two train stations near by in Little Falls and Montclair. There are many people who live here and work in New York.
As a matter of fact, we are getting ready to put our 4/5 bedroom house on the market. We live in one of the most desired sections of the town. Our neighbors are all families with children. Many of us work in NY. If you have not found anything yet, please let us know if you may be interested in learning more about our house. In addition, I am a real estate attorney so if you have any other questions about North Caldwell or any other communities, I would be happy to try and answer them. I hope this was of some help.
0 votes
Brian Parkes, , Montvale, NJ
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Where in NYC will you be working?
What type of atmosphere are you looking for in your home town?
How large of home do you need? VS want?
Are schools a concern?
NJ has it all --it is just a matter of what you can afford or willing to invest?
I still say Ridgewood-it has it all! If you had one day to look and a budget 500K+, spend it in Ridgewood.
Good Luck- if you need anything you know where to find me.
Brian
Web Reference:  http://www.bparkes.com
0 votes
Phil, , Lakewood, CO
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hi Christina,

My wife and I are relocating in May to Southern California - due to my new job. We've enjoyed living in the Half Moon Bay community in Croton on Hudson (right on the water), but gotta go where the job goes.

We are selling our townhome at HMB, feel free to check it out. We are next to the Croton-Harmon train station with a 40min commute to NYC. Very convenient.

http://www.philipmoffett.com/p169156524/

Good luck with your search!
Philip
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Warren, NJ
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hi Christina, there are many wonderful communities in New Jersey that are commutable to NYC. As you can glean from the answers so far, the commuting times vary. Consider whether midtown or downtown is your target and then consult the NJ Transit schedule to get a real look at commuting times. Once you narrow that down, you can see that there are loads of agents that would like to help you. In terms of evaluating other factors, the Star Ledger Interactive School Report Card is a great tool to compare and contrast school districts along various criteria. Both the NJ Transit schedule and School Report Card can be accessed from my website, http://www.feenick.com. Incidentally, I did the commute to lower Manhattan for years, my husband commutes to midtown still. I've helped clients buy homes in Somerset and Union counties who commute each day to the city and would be happy to connect you with them along the way. Best of luck to you as you evaluate the job opportunity and begin your home search. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of assistance.
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Matthew De F…, Agent, Nutley, NJ
Sun Apr 27, 2008
I would say NUTLEY, NUTLEY, and NUTLEY!!!!! I have a ton of NYC commuters that live in this town its a family type area with access to NYC and all other areas. About 10 miles form NYC its safe, quiet and affordable
Web Reference:  http://www.nutleyrealtor.net
0 votes
Zack, , Westchester County, NY
Sun Apr 27, 2008
Carol,

I checked the schedule, the shortest train during morning commute from Millburn 37 mins, summit 39 mins, Maplewood 31 mins and South Orange 30 mins. Saying these are approximated 25 mins, would be identical to me posting here saying I was looking for a house and saying my budget was $600k for South Orange, $620k for Maplewood, $740k for Millburn and $780k for Summit, yet I could only get a loan for $500k. I'm just approximating, so what's the harm? We could waste months of time looking at houses in these areas that are unaffordable because of this approximate, just as the original poster could spent months looking in areas because she believes the commute to be 20-50% shorter than it is due to posts like this. Plus, unless Hotel Pennsylvania is turned into corporate space which I saw an article about a while back, which if its happening now, wouldn't open for years, Penn station is not near much in terms of work, so you'll be spending another 15-20 mins getting from a severely crowded station, to the subway, to get to where your job really is.

If I missed a 25 min train, please correct me as I was checking the morning commute weekday schedule, which is what someone working in NYC will need.

Zack
0 votes
Carol Eisens…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Apr 27, 2008
Marc,
If you check the train schedule from Millburn, summit , Maplewood and South Orange the mid town direct is approx. 25 min. to penn station. There are lovely homes in walking distance to each of these train stations that are affordable. Summit even has an express train 1st stop nyc!
0 votes
Brian Parkes, , Montvale, NJ
Sun Apr 27, 2008
Ridgewood, NJ is always a great option.
Web Reference:  http://www.bparkes.com
0 votes
John Garibal…, , 10591
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hello Christina,

Have you considered Westchester County? The lower Hudson river valley is such a beautiful and historic area. The towns located on the river are small and family oriented and offer so many amenties. It is a buyers market and prices have adjusted. Also, metro north railroad provides service to Grand Central Station! For example, from Tarrytown an express train will have you in mid town Manhattan in 33 minutes.
Check out my website at http://www.JohnGaribaldi.com
0 votes
Barbara Ostr…, Agent, Closter, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Christina, I grew up in Massachusetts and have raised my family in Bergen County (Teaneck) for the past 25 years. We specificially chose Teaneck because of its good schools, multicultural population, diverse housing AND easy commute to NYC. The NJ Transit buses take about 35-40 minutes tops during rush hours, and run all through the day and evening up to 1AM (my husband worked in the city in advertising for years, often needing to keep later hours!). By car, outside of rush hours, it can take as little as 20 minutes. There are other communities around us as well, all with nice family neighborhoods and good schools. I would be happy to work with you, and am very familiar with what each town offers. Give me a call or email me, and let's get together!
0 votes
Vita Strakhm…, , 07446
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Christina, I live and work in Bergen county and both my husband and my brother-in-law commute (my brother-in-law via ttrain to NYC and my husband usually driving, sometimes via bus to LIC, Queens). It takes my brother-in-law about an hour and it takes my husband about an hour and a half. If you contact me drectly with your price range and criteria, I will be more than happy to send you what's available and where.
Web Reference:  http://www.vitastrakhman.com
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hi,

Marc does make a valid point about transit times and I have attached a few links to help you navigate transportation options throughout the state. The illustration shown on the front page of the Seastreak Ferry site shows why water transport is more direct than train, bus, or car. The NJ Transit site will provide schedules for all of the points mentioned in this thread. NY Waterways is another ferry that many in our community use on a daily basis to commute to NYC. You will also want to investigate what options exist for you to park at any of these locations. Many train stations have limited parking available without a permit, and waiting lists for a permit can run into the years. Consider your drive times to and from the train stations, bus station, or ferry dock. How far is the NYC transport destination from the office?

When I first moved from CT to NJ, I looked extensively at Chatham and Summit. The pull of the water and the shore, along with more for the $$ pulled me to Monmouth County. I do think Chatham and Summit are wonderful communties, though!

A side note if looking at train schedules.......

When I lived in CT and commuted to NYC - I went into Grand Central. Once I moved to NJ, my commute took me into Penn Station.

Here's the links:
http://www.seastreak.com/SeaStreak
http://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=MainTo
http://www.nywaterway.com/ferry/terminals/belford.asp

Deborah Madey - Real Estate Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey
0 votes
Valerie Reyn…, , Morris County, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
I represent the Morris County area. Coming from Mass, you will probably not have price and tax shock. Prices are based on location to transportation to NYC- near the trains and how west will you go. The more west, the cheaper. Chatham for ex can cost you $100,000 more than Morris Plains which is further along the train route, for ex. Roxbury, which is further west and which now has a new train station near by, will be $75,000+ cheaper than Morris Twsp. But Roxbury's taxes are higher. Washington Township and Mt Olive are the furthest west and they are by far the cheapest towns but add a 20 min commute. Parsippany and Rockaway are on the bus line, with express buses.

Essex and Bergen counties are more congested, way higher in taxes but quite a bit closer to the city. I would explore home prices on such places as Realtor.com. And if you decide to come to Morris County, give me a call.
0 votes
Carol Eisens…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
The best way to commute to NYC is by train. I would suggest to you Millburn, Summit, Chatham and Maplewood. They are all approx. a 25 minute commute and wonderful family communities to live in.

If you would like town and school info on any of these, please email me and I will mail them out to you.
0 votes
Lin Jan, , Clinton, MI
Sat Apr 26, 2008
How big is your family? How many BRs are you looking for? You should also consider western NJ - the Clinton area. Lots of trees, great , quiet neighborhoods to get away from it all on weekends. I live in Clinton and it is 45 min to each large city - NYC and to Philly..very central! From here most drive to the train sta.or take the bus to commute to NYC. LK
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hi Christina,

Where your husband will work in the City will determine your commuting options. Your lifestyle preferences, of course play a large part. We have a very large commuter population from Northern Monmouth County to NYC every day. The ferry service options provide downtown and midtown points. Many of our commuters also use train or express bus service.

What you can expect to pay might range from the 200's to 7 figures. With more input from you, I can narrow that wide range to one which will reflect properties within your preferences.

I moved to NJ from CT, and chose Northern Monmouth County because I wanted to be near the water and have more open space while retaining the ease of NYC access for both work and pleasure. We have the ocean, and rivers, inlets, bays; a wonderful county park system with large parks for hiking, biking, and sports, the 1600 acre Sandy Hook Park, great programs for children and adults, bike lanes for riding, local runs, marathons, many options for riding and stabling horses, and wonderful schools. If you would like a comprehensive relocation package for this area, including maps, transportation options, and community guides, it is yours at no charge upon request.

A partial list of towns within easy commuting distance of the ferry include Middletown, Red Bank, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, Highland, Atlantic Highlands, Oceanport and Long Branch. The relocation package includes information for each of these towns and more.

Regards,
Deborah Madey - Real Estate Broker
Peninsula Realty Group
(732) 530-6350
0 votes
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