In addition to Morris county, there are towns in Union county (Union and Summit) that have town homes and condos to consider. Taxes in these towns tend to be lower than West Orange.
If I can be of further assistance, kindly let me know. I really enjoy working with 1st time home buyers.
I know exactly the communities where you have been looking (The Highlands, Eagle Ridge, Crystal Woods, etc) . They offer really great townhomes.........at great prices. Many of them were selling in the 500's at the height of the market.
Unfortunately, those are the taxes that we deal with in those complexes.
You can go into Morris County - which is further west from West Orange, so the commute will be a bit longer.
How long of a commute can you tolerate?
Do you want to travel via bus? train? drive to Harrison and take the Path??
I have some ideas in mind .............feel free to email me, and I will be happy to send you some current listings....and give you an overview of what they offer.
Prudential NJ Properties