from France to NJ... west orange/Montclair/Verona/?

Asked by Romain, Outside U.S. Thu Jul 9, 2009

we're moving back to the US in the next months,

we're currently looking to buy the perfect single family home 4 beds, finish basement, (pool!), and decent privacy backyard. Safe neighborhood, decent school for our soon to be 6 year old boy,EZ Nyc Commute AND ensuring safest mid/long term home Investment Value a must.

cant decide between west orange/Montclair/Verona/ which one would be the perfect AREA for these prerequisite?

Agents expertise and Residents opinions welcomed !

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Answers

20
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Fri Jul 10, 2009
Romain,

It sounds as though you have your plan in motion, asking the right wquestions anddoing your due diligence. Good Job, I am sure that things will work out for you just fine in your home search.

Now, back to your "swift commute" statement. I am not too sure Verona and Montclair are the places, although they are close to NYC on the map.. The hoards of people that get together from beyond these towns and such create a bottleneck.. Crowded, slow commute.

One of the things I enjoyed most about moving to NJ from Brooklyn was that the commute from Bensonhurst (45 minutes to Wall street) I basically matched that by moving to East Brunswick with the bus commute which was so much more comfortable and easy. When I was doing my due diligence, I researched towns like a Verona and Montclair.. they reminded me of softer Brooklyn neighborhoods.. I wanted to be in the suburbs and have a back yard and an in ground pool, all which I found.. but not in those areas. Aside from all of that, the schools did not match up to East Brunswick punch for punch and I have two small (well they were) small children.

Continue your research... East Brunswick, North Brunswick, Edison, Old Bridge all within reach and a very different feel then the towns more north western towns you mention. East Brunswick is as far south as I would go for the commute... 35 miles from Manhattan, 35 miles out of the heart of Bensonhurst and 1 hour from Philadelphia... not too bad. Train and Bus available.

Good Luck,

John Sacktig
Broker Manager
Orange Key Realty
Office: 732-863-6969
Cell: 732-213-1409

JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
1 vote
Romain, Home Buyer, Outside U.S.
Fri Jul 10, 2009
thanks again to everyone in taking the time to reply,

Carolyn: I understand the further west you go the bigger the land and pool possibilities, but I cant commit to a house that would make my NYc daily commute too big a chunk of time away from our son :(

Tara: thank you for starting up a search however those links dont seem to work :), I'd be glad to know which movers are reliable and trustworthy yes, although thats a another thread altogether, I dont want a condo or community pool, maybe a townhouse if far away from one another, I dont want to settle for less than what I described.good area, good school, easy swift commute, 4bedrooms, finished basement, pool (ideally indoor), backyard with privacy, I will add central Air as well. it may be a long search, but I'm hoping it is possible, an Agent may have more inside info on that than me scrolling through houses on Trulia...

John: we want to move on or around November, as soon as we believe we found a couple of houses worthy to take a physical look at , we'll fly over.

Beverly: thank you for reading carefully I appreciate that link about West Orange schools, seems like a good education with a diverse alumni.

Sloan: thank you for your input

Debbie: so true, the perfect house in the eye of the 'wanna' be-holder.

Basically reading you all it seems like Montclair or Verona is a safer investment for Us, eventhough West Orange may benefit from diverse listings and sounds like a nice area as well.

the tough search starts now, I'm not interested in settling for less than adequate, I we will right now continue to scroll Trulia listings, but I will definitely consider an AGENT that can have the access, expertise, and 'nose' to know where such 'our' perfect house will be found. when that house is located, we'll fly over to see it.

just to be clear once again:
I dont want a condo or a community pool, at this time I dont want to settle for less than what I described:good area, good school, easy swift commute, 4bedrooms, finished basement, pool (ideally indoor), backyard with privacy, and central Air.

if you find it, or have an incline where to look, let me know, I will get in touch with you.

Romain.
1 vote
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Hi Romain,

When would you be in the area to see listings?
Email me for some listings!
1 vote
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Hi Romain -

I would have to say East Brunswick. Easy Commute, Blue Ribbon Schools and very nice community. The areas you have mentioned are nice, yes, But when I moved to NJ from NY and those were in the mix of places to live.. East Brunswick won! I know this area very well and what is available, Interested in some listings? Call or Email

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Office: 732-863-6969
Cell: 732-213-1409

JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
1 vote
Sharon Home…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Dear Rom,

It was our pleasure working with you this week and the previouse couple months over the internet. We are so excieted you could find a great place for you and your family, not to mention the wonderful neighbors ... :)

If anyone has an International or a relocation client looking to move to the area (Essex, Morris, Union counties in NJ) and looking for a realtor who is Internet savvy and willing to work HARD for their client we welcome any refferals.

Sincerely,

Sharon and Karen - Your Real Estate Connection!
50 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039
973 992-6363
sharonandkaren@prudentialnewjersey.com
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Sep 19, 2009
Romain -

I coudn't agree with you more! I work in the same office with Karen and Sharon, and they are terrific individuals and make a terrific team!

How nice of you to take the time to give them such a wonderful compliment!!!

Best wishes to you...and welcome to New jersey!! You will love it here!

Good Luck.

Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Sat Sep 19, 2009
Great! Good for you.

Good Luck with your new home!
0 votes
Romain, Home Buyer, Outside U.S.
Fri Sep 18, 2009
UPDATE: hi everyone,

thank you again to everyone for their great advice and many inputs, just let you know we have found our dream home to move back , and settled on WEST CALDWELL, good commute and nice community, great school, and of course our new wonderful house!

MOST IMPORTANTLY I was able to find a GEM Pair of Real Estate Agents in the name of SHARON AVRAM and KAREN ABRAMSON, without whom NONE of this would have been possible, I cannot say enough how instrumental these two WONDER WOMEN have been, from pre selecting, pre visiting homes on their own before my arrival, dedicating their entire selves during the few days I was here for the many home visits, paperwork, etc , even bringing me sandwiches! I am sure they are MANY good agents in NJ but I mean this pair of gems are REALLY INCREDIBLE AGENTS! , we just signed today and I am so happy I had them. recommendation factor 10/10, if you need a good agent in Essex County -> give them a call you'll be very happy!!!!

here are their info:
Sharon Avram and Karen Abramson
Sales Associates
Prudential New Jersey Properties
50 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039
office 973 992-6363
Karen 917 294-0356
Sharon 201 738-3158
sharonandkaren@prudentialnewjersey.com
Abramsonaaa20@hotmail.com
http://www.prudentialnewjersey.com/sharonandkaren/

again, I have no affiliation other than being a delighted first home buyer, and from overseas of all places!

Romain
0 votes
Mercure Volt, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hi Romain,

I used to work in Manhattan and specifically moved to a town in Essex county to be near the great, quick transportation to NYC. It has gotten even better with more train service departure times. Also buses to Port Authority and even driving are additional options if needed.
I have been working with several buyers and I have seen many homes that fit your needs, for instance one in Nutley, 4 bedrooms, gorgeous pool (outdoor). I do believe West Orange and Verona (highly rated school),and the Caldwells all have great homes in your price range, with good schools, nice private backyards.

Not sure if you can tell by the news you may get in France, but in all of these towns, the really good listings are getting under contract quickly. Sometimes less than 3 weeks. If you want to contact me, I will e-mail listings I consider top choices, and can be viewed when you are here. I recently changed to a new agency based in Essex county and our brokers have a strong track record in West Orange.

Mercure Volt
Elite Realtors of New Jersey

973-509-7887
973-818-8506 cell
0 votes
Sloan Berman, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Wed Jul 22, 2009
Hi Romain-

I found a house which might work for you. Unfortunately, there is an accepted offer on it at the moment and it is in attorney review. However, while in attorney review, other buyers are still able to present offers to the seller as long as the seller agrees to listen to them. Additionally, transactions fall through frequently in this market for one reason or another and I can keep my eye on this property for you if you'd like me to.

This house is in West Orange. It's got 4 bedrooms, central air, a finished basement and an indoor pool! Truthfully, I can't believe it exists at this price point but, apparently, it does. The asking price is $550K but it is probably negotiable.

Please call or email me if you would like more information.

-Sloan

Sloan Berman
Coldwell Banker, Schweppe Office
973-509-3970 office
862-368-4963 cell
sloan.berman@cbmoves.com
0 votes
Carolyn Fent…, , 07825
Fri Jul 10, 2009
I've got plenty of homes to show you in my area that fit all your requirements but the commute. I can appreciate your wanting as limited a commute as possible. Check out the nj transit site. Let me know if you'd like to venture west:)
Web Reference:  http://www.njtransit.com
0 votes
Sloan Berman, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Fri Jul 10, 2009
Romain-

An indoor pool in these towns in your price range is going to be near impossible. You didn't mean an inground pool, did you?

-Sloan

Sloan Berman
Coldwell Banker, Schweppe Office
973-509-3970 office
862-368-4963 cell
sloan.berman@cbmoves.com
0 votes
Romain, Home Buyer, Outside U.S.
Fri Jul 10, 2009
thank you John and Debbie for your input,

what I'm not willing to downplay the house requirements .... the location as long as it fits the bill of our needs (good school, safe investment, Ez swift commute to Nyc), is completely up to your opinions and expertise, as I never lived in NJ before (lived in Manhattan for 10years but that's another life another setting).

For example I had never considered Est Brunswick not because I dismissed it but because I didn't know anything about it, John opened my eyes about that area and some houses do seem to get close to what we're looking for, schools seem good and all, but I did check the bus schedules and it still seem far away...
So Debbie: YES I'll confirm I am indeed completely open about the are since I don't know NJ very well (other than driving thru a looong time ago), ....

=> the location as long as it fits the bill of our needs (good school, safe investment, Ez swift commute to Nyc) is up in the air, the house is not we still need 4bedrooms, finished basement, pool (ideally indoor), backyard with privacy, and central Air. at 500k : surely this must exist Somewhere in NJ :)
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Hi Romain - what an big move! Bienvenue a NJ !

Perfect is in the eye of the beholder!

You have selected 3 very nice towns. There are a number of other options you might want to consider, as well. A lot will depend on what your personal preferences are, what style of home you prefer and what is the "feel' of the town you are looking for. There are variations even within the same town.

Rather than ramble on here and give you a list of numerous other towns, which may only confuse you, please feel free to reach out to me, and I will be happy to discuss your needs, and make suggestions that will work for you.
I cover all the towns you mention, and I have lived and worked in this area my whole life. I work with transferees often, and try to make sure they are matched up with the town that is best suited to their needs.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes.......
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
Debbie.Rose@PrudentialNewJersey.com
0 votes
Carolyn Fent…, , 07825
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Within this price range you could consider a condo or a townhome that has a pool. How about Morris County? You would have your pick of some beautiful homes with property, pools w/ great schools. I have clients out here in Warren County where I am that commute to NYC - the further you go out route 80 (or the longer your commute to NYC) the more land and options you'll have. The train from Dover or Denville is the most common (they have one in Mt Arlington too). Most of my listings are out west in farm country. You might consider Livingston, Essex Fells, Roseland - you could find something in Passaic County too. Best of luck in your search! Check out the school report cards online, look at the satalite photos to give you an idea of the typography, you can also call the schools and speak to the people there - if you have time or ability to come over schedule interviews with the principles. You might want to start interviewing pediatricians and ask the staff their opinions. The internet is fabulous lot's of ways to explore - I'm tracking my teenage son in Italy through the tours gps site presently! Let me know if you'd like my assistance:)
0 votes
Sloan Berman, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Hi Romain-

I cover all those towns and I would have to say that Montclair or Verona would be your best bet. Montclair is on the train line so it is a community which always holds its value but, due to that and the fact that it is a lovely area with beautful older homes, it's homes are generally more expensive than Verona's. Montclair is 12 miles west of NYC, has direct train and bus service into the city and is about a 20 minute drive in without traffic. Both Montclair and Verona are safe communities with good schools. Both have lovely community pools if you can't find a house with a pool or enough space to install one.

Please call or email me if you would like to discuss your needs further and receive listings of homes which might suit your criteria.

Regards-

-Sloan

Sloan Berman
Coldwell Banker, Schweppe location
8973-509-3970 office
862-368-4963 cell
sloan.berman@cbmoves.com
0 votes
Tara Sheng, , 07046
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Dear Romain,

Ok, now considering your price range, here are some options:
1) There are townhouses in West Orange with pools...would you consider a townhouse? Here's a link to one: http://newmls.gsmls.com/mlsreports/mainListingReport.do?meth…
2) There are beautiful homes without pools and you could either build your own or join the community pool. Here are some listings: http://newmls.gsmls.com/mlsreports/mainListingReport.do?meth…
3) Have you considered Morris County? These have pools: http://newmls.gsmls.com/mlsreports/mainListingReport.do?meth… These do not, but some are lake communities with lake priviledges and there also are community pools: http://newmls.gsmls.com/mlsreports/mainListingReport.do?meth…

Let me know your thoughts!
Best wishes,
Tara

Tara Hofmeister-Sheng
Weichert, Realtors
Rt. 46 @ Cherry Hill Road
Mountain Lakes, New Jersey 07046
Office: 973.334.0944
Mobile: 862.242.0688
Tsheng@weichert.com
TaraDreamHomes.com
Web Reference:  http://TaraDreamHomes.com
0 votes
Tara Sheng, , 07046
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Dear Romain,

I recently moved back to the US after living abroad for years as well...I know what an undertaking it can be! I'm happy to recommend an excellent moving company, if you have pets, a fabulous pet relocation company (brought my 2 LARGE cats back with me), and any other services you may need.

In terms of finding your dream home, I took the liberty of researching some homes that meet your criteria. http://newmls.gsmls.com/mlsreports/mainListingReport.do?meth… After you look them over, please give me feedback in as much detail as possible in terms of what you like & dislike etc. so that I can continue working to find the most suitable home for you.

And as for your excellent questions about location, you will find details on all of these towns, commutability, schools, etc. from the "Location, Location, Location" tab on my website TaraDreamHomes.com

I look forward to your feedback and feel free to contact me with any further questions/concerns you might have.

Best wishes,
Tara

Tara Hofmeister-Sheng
Weichert, Realtors
Rt. 46 @ Cherry Hill Road
Mountain Lakes, New Jersey 07046
Office: 973.334.0944
Mobile: 862.242.0688
Tsheng@weichert.com
TaraDreamHomes.com
Web Reference:  http://TaraDreamHomes.com
0 votes
Carolyn Fent…, , 07825
Thu Jul 9, 2009
I'm looking in that area for a family member that lives in West Orange as a buyers agent and my favorite is Verona out of the three you mentioned. I like the school's and neighborhood around the park.
0 votes
Romain, Home Buyer, Outside U.S.
Thu Jul 9, 2009
forgot to fill in the price range: 475-525k range :)
0 votes
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