Working in NYC, living in suburban NJ, where to buy a house?

Asked by Justynka, West Orange, NJ Fri Aug 31, 2012

Hey. We are thinking about moving to NJ. We will be travelling to both, Manhattan and Staten Island. Since we are not familiar with Jersey, I would like to ask where to look for a one family home (4 bedrooms), budget 250-350K. We have 2 kids, one will be entering high school and another one middle school (7th grade). I'm aware that some middle schools start at 6th grade, however it would be greatly appreciated if anyone could recommend a neighborhood/town with middle school for grades 7-8. A public transportation is a big plus, propert taxes not to exceed $9,000. Thank you.

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Kriss19m, Home Buyer, West Orange, NJ
Wed Oct 24, 2012
I think the test place for you to buy a home is in West Orange. The reasons are manyfold.
1) House prices are low compared to other places.
2) School system is very good
3) You do not have to pay for Trash removal
4) The water is best and you do not have to worry about the salt eating away your plumbing.
5) Commuting to New york city by bus.

The only issue with the west orange is high taxes. But if you take into consideration all other things that I mentioned above not a bad idea to look into West Orange.
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Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Mon Sep 3, 2012

When I moved to NJ, my husband was commuting to Manhattan, and I worked in Staten Island. He took the train from Metuchen and I drove to Staten Island.

I think that the town of Metuchen would be PERFECT for you. It's a small town, with an adorable Main Street. It has a train directly to NY Penn, and is convenient to Rt 287 which takes you right to the Outerbridge Crossing into Staten Island. It's also close to Route 1, the GSP and the Turnpike, and two shopping malls. It's also about a 45 minute drive to the beautiful Jersey Shore.

Here's a link to the official Metuchen web site:

Most of the homes are within walking distance but there are lots to park and ride, and town residents get preference over non-residents. There is only 1 middle and high school. You can research the schools at:

There is a home for everyone. There are currently 53 homes on the market ranging from $209,000 to $799,000 and everything in between. Of the 53 on the market in Metuchen, there are 32 with taxes under $10,000.

There are also 19 town homes/ condos ranging from $139,900 (2 bedroom 1 bath) to $525,000 (3 bedroom 2.5 bath with 2 car garage newly built luxury town homes)

If you are interested in seeing what's available, free free to contact me at 908-675-0167 or email me at and I will be happy to discuss your needs in more detail and send you the listings.
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012
PS As an FYI

Just so you know, the distance from W. Orange to Staten Island is 29 miles - driving commute estimated at 43 minutes!
It's approximately 32 miles from Livingston

From Springfield, in Union County, the distance is cut in half - to 15 miles and an approximate 36 min drive.

Best wishes
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012
HI and hope you're enjoying this beautiful holiday weekend weather!

Since your question says it is asking about "Home buying in 07052", which is West orange, let's start there.
West Orange is an easy commute to the city, as well as to Staten Island, but that woud be by car .
For the city, you have the option of taking the bus (45 min ride) or a town jitney service which will take you to the Midtown Direct train into Manhattan's Penn Station. Many people also opt to drive to harrison and take the path train form there.

It's a little longer to drvie to Staten isalnd, but people do make the trip.
Your price range will offer you a number of choices.and it is possible to keep the property taxes in the 9000 range with some careful selecting.

Livingston will be more challenging in your price range, although not impossible - but the inventory is much more limited than in W. Orange. The good news is, the taxes are a bit lower.

Please feel free to check out the many links I have provided on my website, as there is a lot of town and school information you may find valuable.

Consider looking into Springfield and Union as those towns wll make the Staten Island commute a bit shorter than from the W. Orange area.

To address your one comment Livngston has 2 middle schools. Mt Pleasant Middle School handles all students, town-wide, in grade 6. Hertitage Middle school handles all students in grades 7 & 8. The High school covers 9- 12th grades.

Please let me know if I can be of further help!
All the best......and welcome to NJ!

Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
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Erin Sheehan, , Essex County, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012
The township of Livingston, located in Essex County is really lovely. Suburban town, highly ranked school system, and easy commute to NYC.
There is a center of town, many restaurants, and shops very close. Commuting to NYC can easily be done through any of the multiple bus stops. As for schools, the middle school consists of grades 7 to 8. The school system is also highly ranked in NJ and the high school is a Blue Ribbon school. There are some great homes available in the town within your price range - Any questions or if you would like to see what Livingston has to offer I can email you some lovely homes.
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Virginia Bla…, Agent, West Orange, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012
If transportation is key for you it would be best to choose a town that has access to NJ Transit train service. Some of the fastest commutes into NYC are in Essex County using the Midtown Direct train line. Some Union County towns also have train service but it is not direct service with no transfers. You also would be wise to be close to major highways that would take you into NYC and Staten Island or to various Park 'n Ride options. The only town I am aware of that has Middle School that starts with 7th Grade is West Orange. My wife and I are a Real Estate team that work and live in the area and we just sold a beautiful home in West Orange to New Yorkers. We would be delighted to help you find your new home. Please get in touch so we can find out what your preferences are as to style and features.


David Blacker (973) 303-1346 Cell
Virginia Blacker (973) 223-1184 Cell
ERA Carano Realtors, Inc.
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Sharon Home…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012

Union county will be a good place to be! Cranford or fenwood will provide you easy commute to NYC via train or bus and the commute to si is around 30 min. Very good schpols in both towns. Another good option will be Springfield.

There are other options in northern nj that will work. Bottom line you need to check what inventory is available in each town at your budget.

We work with many commuting couples and it
will be our pleasure to meet with you for a free and non obligatory buyers consultation to find out more specifically what you are looking for in a home.

In the meanwhile feel free to go on our website to find the most up to date listings in the area. You may set an alert to get a the new homes coming on the market at your price range.

Lots if luck and please call or txt us.

Sharon Avram and Karen Abramson
Keller Williams suburban realty
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Wayne Odenbr…, Agent, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012
There is so many great towns to pick from
Do you like a more urban setting, or are you looking for a more rural feel?

Where does the family live...want to be closer to them?
They are often a very good source of info for you.

Transportation from NNJ is good from countless locations.

Let me know if I can help
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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Sat Sep 1, 2012
You can try Staten Island or even Westchester County..We have many areas that are affordable and a short ride to the city.


Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes
Andrew Tisel…, Agent, Clifton, NJ
Sat Sep 1, 2012
I live in the Essex, Bergen, Passaic county area and my mom and brother live on SI
it is about a 40 minute commute to them
To the city is 30-40 minutes.
My 2 boys are in 8th and 9th grade
We can find the house you are looking for here.

You can also look in the MIddlesex area where they have a train to the city about 45 minutes
and then you are only 20 minutes from SI

let me know if I can help you
0 votes
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