Home Buying in Demarest>Question Details

NJ Newbie, Home Buyer in New Jersey

Which neighborhoods in Northern Jersey has the best school system and is within 40 minutes of commute to NYC?

Asked by NJ Newbie, New Jersey Mon Jan 14, 2008

I'd like to put a list of towns together that has nice homes and a great school system and high resale value of homes...so far I've heard of Demarest, Alpine, Tenafly...

Help the community by answering this question:


Allendale, Ridgewood and Ramsey are all along the train line-great resale, schools & all have beautiful downtown areas. You can really work the train schedule to keep if from door to door about an hour. Less than that I have never really hear of -unless you live in Hoboken and walk to the path- or go very early. lived right outside the lincoln tunnel and it still took 45+ min in the morning. So closer to the city does not garuntee a quicker commute. Later I moved out further and the commute was the same that is the way the train schedules are set up. Not all trains stop at all stops - so the farther out they have some express trains. On the weekend and off hours obviously it take a few min to drive--There is no Traffic.
Web Reference: http://www.bparkes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Hello NJ,
The trains from Millburn are according to the schedule 37-41 minutes to Penn station in the morning and 41 to 45 minutes from the Summit stop. Newer homes in either of these towns are rare except for multi million dollar tear downs.
Here are some links for elementary schools in Summit and Millburn;
http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc06/rcoptions.php?c=13;d=31… Millburn
http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc06/rcoptions.php?c=39;d=50… Summit

and middle schools
http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc06/rcoptions.php?c=13;d=31… Millburn
Hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Hi NJ,

Newer houses, great schools, 40 real minutes to New York... Englewood Cliffs. I have prepared a report for you with detailed listing sheets for everything in Englewood Cliffs that is presently on the market. Have a look and let me know what you think. The link is shown below:

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
You can also go to http://www.census.gov or http://www.searchq.com to get the free information on your neighborhood demographic, local school performance, housing value and even household income.
Web Reference: http://www.searchq.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2014
New Jersey transit has about 5 train lines which lead into Manhattan in under an hour from Morris, Essex, Bergen and Union County. There are numerous towns with excellent school systems and fabulous architecture, so you would have to be more specific as to what your price range is as well as your educational needs. You can find more information at FindNJHouse.com, the website follows the different train lines into Manhattan. There are also express bus lines information.
Best of Luck,Gerri
Web Reference: http://findnjhouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 24, 2014
By far you forgot one amazing town River Edge. Let me know if I can help being the local resident for the last 18 years and the local expert. contact me at 201-803-7208 or email me at aderbalian@remax.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 21, 2014
I live and work in the Northern Valley area of northern New Jersey. These towns include Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood, Haworth, Cresskill, Demarest, Closter and Tenafly. They are all wonderful towns with tons of things for children and great schools. They are commuter towns with buses to the city (Sorry, no train as of yet) and many of my buyers live here and work in Manhattan. Just a great lifestyle. Let me know if I can help you with a tour of the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2014
The best school systems depends upon what you are looking for. I have watched various school systems rise and fall on various barometers for over 15 years and there are a few which always stay on top. But, again, the ratings depend upon how the data is being interpreted. Mountain Lakes has been a top contender for many years and then fell off the charts only to return again. Millburn (Short Hills) has been fairly consistent. My personal choice has always been Glen Ridge because of the personal, "hands on" education students receive. Some of the questions which should be asked, are what percentage of the graduating classes move on to highly accredited colleges? How many students graduated? How many graduated with honors? What are the class sizes? Test scores are helpful, but can be skewed by the number of students within the school system. A small town like Glen Ridge gets penalized for having a small student base. Most realtors will be able to answer these questions. Remember, one size does not fit all. Something that works for one child may not be the best fit for another. Research is most important. As for an easy commute, follow the train line into Manhattan on any good map. Talk to a realtor. Feel free to call me. I will be happy to help.
Adele Schnabel, Agent, Montclair, NJ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2014
Northern New Jersey has some of the best schools in the country many are rated blue ribbon. If you want to commute to New York City in less than 40 minutes then an important consideration is where you actually work in Manhattan. There are express buses which can bring you into the Port Authority on 42nd street as well as express trains which can bring you into Penn Station. Being physically located closer to NYC does not necessarily mean your commute will be less . A number of the towns farther west have express trains and buses which can travel into Manhattan in less than an hour. So it is helpful to know where you work in NYC. Millburn NJ Real Estate including Short Hills New Jersey Real Estate is probably the best overall choice for home buyers in the $1,000,000 price range, if searching Essex County Homes, but if looking in Bergen county then Ridgewood, Demarest and Glen Rock is also a great overall choice. Price range is also a major factor when shopping for a New Jersey Home.
For example Alpine starts at $1,500,000 in Bergen County and Livingston NJ homes for sale start at $450,000. If you are spending over $2,000,000 then I would recommend searching Short Hills nj Homes for Sale. Let's get in touch my website focuses on all of the 4 major train lines from Northern New Jersey into New York City.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 17, 2013
It doesn't matter that this was listed in 2008. I am now searching for a new home and am considering New Jersey (a state that I am not that familiar with) and I have found this posting helpful. Just because the initial person might not be searching for a home any longer, doesn't mean that someone else didn't find this post useful. I found your comment a bit rude. This is the internet after all and millions of people could now find this situation similar to their own needs. Unless you had something to add to the initial post then I don't understand what the purpose of your comment was.
Flag Fri Apr 25, 2014
do you realize this question was asked back in 2008??
Flag Sun Feb 17, 2013
Looking for new home need to know about paramus and new Milford school commute to NYC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
Check the site city-data.com. All the answers of home owners are highly subjective.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 27, 2009
Hmmm, I live in Cliffside Park just south of the Fort Lee border. The elementary schools are great but I don't know how good the high school is (I'm under the impression that Fort Lee's is better but my child is only in 1st grade and we're not planning on staying here for more than 3 yrs- we want to move to a warmer climate- so I haven't done extensive research on it). Personally, I wouldn't go any farther south along the Hudson than I am right now because there *is* a dip in school quality when you hit Hudson county. That area's population is growing but a lot of the new development seems more geared to young couples than to families. I expect the schools there to improve as the tax base goes up but right now you'll find better schools in Bergen than in Hudson.

On a good day, it takes me about 35-40 minutes to reach the Port Authority on 42nd St & 8th Ave in NYC. On a bad day it's anyone's guess. There are express bus lines up and down this whole area, and trains if you go farther inland. (check the train map and the bus & train schedules on http://www.njtransit.com/)
Don't let anyone fool you into thinking you're going to have a really short commute from Apline, Demarest, etc. Those are lovely towns, with gorgeous homes, beautiful parkland, etc but they're farther up on the commuting routes so it's going to take longer than 40 minutes. If you want to live up there, get yourself used to doing some work during the commute or get up a lot earlier and sleep on the bus. There are always tradeoffs - you'll live in a beautiful place but you'll spend more time commuting. For what it's worth, I *love* that part of Bergen county. The easy access to the Palisades Park system is a definite plus, the area isn't as densely populated as the towns that follow it to the south (Ft. Lee, Cliffside Park, Edgewater), and it just feels like a relaxing place to live.

Best of luck with the house hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2008
Hi...I live and work in Demarest. I am a Realtor for 20 years. I put all 3 of my children thru the school system. As far as real estate value it has not stopped increasing in the over 30 years I live here. People don't leave they upgrade their homes within the community. My husband is a builder and has built many homes in the area. My advise professionally and personally...Buy A Home In Demarest! Thru ME!
There are many great towns in Bergen County with super commutes. Feel free to call and chat anytime. Good Luck,
Niki Hayden
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
I live and work in the Union county for the past eight years, and go to NYC very often, some times by train and some times by bus.
I find the Union county area, Union township, Cranford, Kenilworth, Westfield and Roselle Park to have great schools excellent quality of live, reasonable property taxes, and a good value for the homes with price range for all income levels, and yet easy commute to the city, about 30 minutes rush hour or not, there are abundance of bus lines and train schedule to fit just about anybody’s need
Web Reference: http://www.fidelitynj.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 13, 2008
I am a Bergen County realtor and have raised my family in Teaneck for the past 25 years. Bergen County has many good school systems; in general, almost all of them will be very good for your family. In my opinion, the ones which are in towns closest to NYC for commuting are Tenafly, Teaneck, River Edge, Oradell, Cresskill, Demarest, Haworth, etc. There are many others a little further out -- depends on what your destination is in NYC. If it's midtown, then I stand by my list. If it's lower Manhatten and you are getting there by PATH train from the NJ Transit lines, then you open yourself up to Fair Lawn, Ridgewood, Wyckhoff, Allandale, Ramsey, Hillsdale, Emerson, etc. Some of the towns are smaller and more homogeneous, some are more multicultural and have a wider socio-economic range. For my family, the Teaneck schools were very good to my children, who are now grown, and were the first in the nation in the 1960's to voluntarily integrate. Depending on your price range and wish list for a type of community, a realtor can narrow down your choices with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 13, 2008
I live in Demarest, my daughter attended public school from kindergarten and graduated from Northern Valley High School, Demarest. She recently graduated from Northwester University (on merit scholarship) - plus the commute is easy. My husband works in Wall St and goes downtown everyday. Great town!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2008
I do understand that Englewood cliffs has a great school system and low taxes however they do not have their own High School so depending on the Age of your Children this should be taken into consideration.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2008
Wow, I did not expect to hear the responses I have received. By looking at the map, I thought it would be Englewood Cliffs, Demarest, Glen Rock, Harrington Park, Oradell, Tenafly.

I work in midtown near Hearld Sq and I really would like to limit the commute to be below 40 minutes and I'm interested in elementary & middle schools and areas where they have newer houses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Hi NJ,

I'm sure you are going to get some other input, with all the Realtors selling their schools. But are you really strict on that 40 minutes? If you are leaving during the morning rush and you actually want to arrive in midtown or downtown in 40 minutes FLAT, you are really going to be drawing a close line to the Hudson River, and you are going to eliminate from contention most of the great schools I just listed.

So if I'm representing you, I need to know where in Manhattan you work and how you are going to get there. Then I need to know how much time you REALLY want to spend on the road. Then we draw the line. Then I find and rate the available schools. Then we find the house. Figure out the right price. Make the offer. Deal with the home inspection issues. Close the deal.

But, you could live in Edgewater, with the Hudson River licking at your toes, and it would take you 30
minutes to get to 30th St. during the morning rush.

So I would really clarify your commuting time goals before you get the glowing reports from all the proud parents who really spend 60-90 minutes a day making that 45 minute commute.

Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Millburn/Short Hills and Summit offer great school systems with NY train stops as well as easy access to Route 78. More trains are available out of Summit because it is a where the Morris/Essex and Peapack Gladstone lines meet. Resale value is very strong even in a buyers market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Bergen County in General is known for a Good School sytem, in some towns it depends on in Which section you live, Many towns are Blue Ribbon schools and they compete with the next town and then the following year the next town is the best, known to all are towns of Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Midland Park, Demarest,Hayworth, Harrington Park, Allendale Upper Saddle River, Franklin Lakes, etc. wow there are so many and all of them Within close distance to NYC. There are reports available for these schools on NJMLS, fell free to contact me at mia@villonrealty.com for more info
Web Reference: http://www.villonrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Millburn/Short Hills and Mountain Lakes are among the best school districts hands down. Also extremely good are Summit, Westfield, Livingston, and Ridgewood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer