General Area in New Jersey>Question Details

Becca, Home Buyer in Washington, DC

The impossible dream!

Asked by Becca, Washington, DC Mon Jan 5, 2009

We are possibly relocating to the metro NYC area if we can find the right location. We are interested in a single family home with very good public schools,

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Becca, I am from the Middlesex County area and I live right outside East Brunswick. If you have a family, Middlesex County is better for you. They have the better should look into Edison, Highland Park, Metuchen, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, South Brunswick, or Piscataway. Even South Plainfield. The actual commute from East Brunswick to NYC via bus is really 40 mins (there are 2 bus transportation centers within 7 mins of each other - NJTransit & Coach service Midtown, Downtown, & Jersey City/Hoboken areas). Even coming out of of NY, bus ride is 40 mins (I take it all the time). New Brunswick train station is really 10 mins away, but with traffic (on Tuesdays & Wednesdays) can take you 20 mins (I also do this option as well...for anyone who works in NY, you need a wide range of transportation to get you to work). They have trains leaving every 10 mins into NY Penn. The Northeast Corridor line is busiest line in Northeast and has the most express & local trains going in/out of NY. Metropark station is also 20 mins drive. East Brunswick also has easy access to NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Routes 1, 9, 27, 287, etc. My advice is to look at central Jersey (either Middlesex or Mercer counties - Princeton, West Windsor area) before you look North...Hoboken & Jersey City areas are identical to living in NYC, but it's overpriced & cost of living is it's not really ideal for families..really for singles or people starting out (or couples). That part of Jersey is great, but you say you have a family, so you're better off looking at more family oriented areas.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut all claim to be "metro" NYC. You are going to want to pin point the location and look at the transportation in and out of the city. Maybe ask a co-worker where they live and how long it takes to get to work. You don't want to buy and be burnt out in a year doing the commute. Kids are resilient so why not rent a place for a year and make your move into your Dream House after you are familiar with the different areas.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Hi Becca,

There are many area's that you may want to consider. Being from Brooklyn, NY I relocated to NJ seven years ago.

When I was doing my research, May main concern was the public school sustem and commute to Manhattan. At the time I was working on Wall St and the commute was a big part of the location.

So, I researched North, West and Central New Jersey. All of my research pointed to Middlesex County..
East Brunswick.. 35 miles out of Brooklyn, 35 miles out of Manhattan.. 45 - 50 minute commute to NYC by bus.. ( after many years on the NYC subway I needed a break) and the whole bus commute thing is great.
Although it is only 45 minutes by train.

The schools are great, blue ribbon schools. You will read a lot about that here..

I have kids in the school system so I can relate to your needs regarding schools and activites in the area.
I know Middlesex County and surrounding area's inside out. (East Brunswick, North Brunswick, South Brunswick, Marlboro, Manalapan)

Call or email me at anytime, I am sure that I can find your family the right home.

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Office: 732-863-6969
Cell: 732-213-1409
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 8, 2009
Marc and John,

Can we move on from this commute-time debate? I think it's been worn out at this point.

Thank you,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009

I did thorough research and have many relatives in Spotswood who commute into the city. It is typically a 90 minute commute on a day-to-day basis.

When I am quoting commute times to clients, it's door-to-door. It takes 10-15 minutes to get to a bus. You may or may not be able to walk to the bus. Probably not. Someone will have to drive you to a bus stop. Or you may have to actually drive to a park-n-ride. Easy 10-15 minutes on average.

The bus ride is 45 minutes. Now you are in the city and have to get to your building. Another 20 minutes easy depending upon the subway or bus line. Then 10 minutes to walk to your building and arrive at your desk.

15+45+20+10=90. 90 minutes is the time you will spend commuting. Maybe 80 minutes on a lucky day. Maybe 2 hours on a bad day.

So to be accurate, you have to include the entire commute, not just the bus ride. Do you see why?

Let's go over that formula again:

Commuting time = (Time to move from the residence to the mass transit node) + (Transit time within the commuter carrier) + (Time to move from the commuter carrier to the secondary transport mode within the city) + (Walking time from the secondary transport mode to the desk).

Commuting time is NOT EQUAL to (The bus ride alone).

Once you apply the correct formula, you are now able to provide the potential buyer with the TCT (True Commuting Time).

TCT is what buyers from out of the area want to know. Do you see why?

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009

What you did that was incorrect was to state a 45 minute commute to NY City from East Brunswick. That is a grossly misleading number. When someone leaves their door in East Brunswick at 7:30AM, they simply will not arrive at their office in Manhattan before 9AM. No way. No how.

A buyer needs to know that. You don't want to be pushing your hometown to the extent that the truth gets lost. That does not help anyone.

We are all proud of our areas, but we should not be pushing any one area over another simply because we live there.

Relo clients do not care how we feel about out hometown. They care about finding the right place to live for their family. And they need factual data, not hype or misleading estimates.

East Brunswick and Morris County are VERY TOUGH COMMUTES to Manhattan. 90 minutes or even more on some mornings.

If a client tells me they want an hour commute to New York, they had better be darn close to the good old Hudson River as their starting point.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Since you've heard from almost every other part of NJ, allow me to tell you about Ocean County! Not only do you have beaches, but easy Parkway access, and about an hour ride to Philly and about 90 minutes to NYC. It's a great place to live, with terrific schools!

If you'd like information on the different areas of New Jersey, please contact me at or 609-384-6121

Good luck, New Jersey is a great place to live and each area is very different, so you have a tough decision in front of you!

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009

Careful. True commuting time to NYC from East Brunswick is about 90 minutes. It is important to provide accurate data. A bus cannot make it to Manhattan in 45 minutes, even if it's suspended by a helicopter. True commuting time includes the time it takes to get to the bus station, the bus ride, including average delays, which happen ALL the time, and the trip from off the bus to the office.

The only truly "short commute" from New Jersey to Manhattan is from Hoboken, and even there it can easily approach 1 hour portal to portal.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Hi Becca,

It's a very possible dream. If northern New Jersey is a possible destination I'd love to help. A good place to begin searching is on the MLS search engine on my website. Any home you save as a favorite will automatically generate a full listing sheet that will be e-mailed to you. You do not have to register and you will not be called. A great non-threatening way to start researching areas and values. Just click on the "MLS Search" button on my website.

Happy New Year and good luck!

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Agent of the Year 2008
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Good Afternoon Becca

The next area not mentioned by everyone else is the Middlesex County Area also known as Exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike.

This part of Central Jersey will offer you home values priced better than the Northern or Shore Counties of NJ.

Our school systems in the Brunswicks ( East, North & South) are all outstanding and if you or your family will commute to NYC for work, we offer 45 minute express trains in peak hours to give you an easy ride.

From here you get get to the Jersey Shore in 35 minutes and enjoy our beaches or go 10 minutes south to vast areas of farmland and parks.

Reach out to me if you would like an introduction to Central Jersey..

Happy New Year and Happy house Hunting....

Roy Minieri
Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS
732 297 5000 x 190
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Hi Becca,

The towns of Glen Ridge, Montclair, Verona, Cedar Grove - all about 30 - 40 min outside of NYC. Excellent schools, close to everything, etc. Easy access to NYC via train or bus. If you want to contact me, I'd be happy to talk to you further about your needs, and send you some listings so you can see what types of houses and price ranges are available....this is a great place to live!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
I service the towns along the Route 78 corridor and the Morris/Essex NJ train lines. Some of the top schools in the state, low crime rates, and a wide range of homes prics make this a desireable area. You are looking at an hour commute (give or take 15 minutes) by train and as little as 40 minutes by car(depending on traffic) to the city. Please contact me so I can send you more detailed information on what the area could offer you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Hi Becca,
Congrats! on your relo. NJ is a very large state! Can you be more specific as to how far outside the city you are willing to live/commute. Your price range and the size of the home you need would also help, along with your desire for new construction or a resale.
I live and work at the Jersey Shore, about an hour from NYC. The lifestyle cannot be beat and the schools in most towns are excellent. I'd love to discuss it with you. Just answer your own question with additional info so other agents can chime in, too!
By the way, you can go to my website to search all the Monmouth/Ocean county listings and get an idea of what market values are in the Shore areas. Good luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
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