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Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Old Mar 6th 2006, 10:03 am
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Default Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

I am thinking of taking up an offer to work in NYC, from London. I have a family with 3 very small children and was thinking of renting a house in Connecticut or New Jersey and commuting into Manhattan.

Clearly I will speak to lawyers, real estate agenst and relocaters, but any advice from people who have done the same would be very welcome. I know nothing about Elementary Schools, Cost of renting, cost of living, commuting times, family communities and safety etc. What sort of expat package should I insist upon? What is the quality of life like?
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 12:57 pm
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Post Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Originally Posted by William Shaw
I am thinking of taking up an offer to work in NYC, from London. I have a family with 3 very small children and was thinking of renting a house in Connecticut or New Jersey and commuting into Manhattan.

Clearly I will speak to lawyers, real estate agenst and relocaters, but any advice from people who have done the same would be very welcome. I know nothing about Elementary Schools, Cost of renting, cost of living, commuting times, family communities and safety etc. What sort of expat package should I insist upon? What is the quality of life like?
There are quite a few threads already on this forum about moving to New York or New Jersey....if you go to the 'search' facility at the top of the page you should get quite a few links.

My husband works in Times Square and after doing extensive research we chose to live in New Jersey; his expat colleagues who had gone to live in CT all regretted it. The main reason is that they often have to travel domestically or internationally and it is a nightmare to get to JFK or Newark.

I began my research by checking the train routes and location of towns in proximity to NYC, airports, major road links and above all, good public school system.

We live in a very nice, safe town just 15-20 minutes from Newark airport (served by BA and Virgin, Continental to/from the UK) with the top public school district in NJ - no petty or major crimes with the exception of shoplifting at the mall from people living in Staten Island, New York, Newark etc. and a 40-50 minute commute by train directly into Midtown (Penn Station NYC at 34th St & 7th to 8th Avenues - it's underneath Madison Square Garden and has a number of subway lines) and commuter trains to Hoboken with PATH subway trains or ferries to lower Manhatten (Wall St financial district, WTC etc.). We are located just off Interstate 78 which is really convenient for going East-West (to Pennsylvania) and the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike I-95 (North-South) from Maine to Florida. It's a quick drive to the ski-fields in the Poconos, PA or to Upstate NY (Catskills).

My husband gets some sort of discount tax voucher for using public transport into NYC - see if your employer participates in the scheme.

We decided to focus on the family oriented towns of Maplewood and Millburn-Short Hills in Essex county and going further west with a longer commute - Chatham and Madison in Morris county and Summit in Union county.....all of these listed are good 'middle class' towns. Montclair on the Boonton line is good but doesn't have the Midtown Direct at the weekends which is a pity, and Westfield has a spotty service into NYC. We live in Short Hills in the township of Millburn and there are a lot of expats including Brits in the local area.

Package? Impossible to say - it depends on your job and seniority....but nothing like the perks you get in Asia (in the US it is rare for expats to get a company car, country club membership, international or boarding or local private school fees paid).

You should push for a rent allowance, annual home leave airfares (if lucky you may get economy plus or biz class...we just get economy) and get it written into the contract that in the event of a death of a close relative in the UK they will pay for airfares for the funeral - our company prefers it just to be for adults only but if no-one can care for the children then their fares should be covered also.

Of course the biggie is medical cover - we get the same as local staff so there is a monthly deduction from spouses salary and co-pay for each visit to the doctor or hospital.

Some links for NJ:

http://www.panynj.com (JFK & Newark airports, PATH trains and ferries to NYC from NJ)

http://www.njtransit.com (look for Midtown Direct trains - we are on the Morris & Essex line).

http://www.millburn.org (township schools)

http://www.delfornorealestate.com/shorthills.html

http://www.maplewoodonline.com

http://www.burgdorff.com

http://www.weichert.com

http://www.prudentialnj.com

http://www.coldwellbanker.com

PS. I'm in an expat group for wives and an Aussie family are about to take up a rented house in Maplewood for $3000 per month (4 bedrooms) - it is listed on Maplewood online on the above link. Our rent allowance is a lot less but my husband negotiated it to be part of his salary instead.

Last edited by Englishmum; Mar 6th 2006 at 1:02 pm.
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Many thanks Englishmum!
The first really useful information that we have had.


Originally Posted by Englishmum
There are quite a few threads already on this forum about moving to New York or New Jersey....if you go to the 'search' facility at the top of the page you should get quite a few links.

My husband works in Times Square and after doing extensive research we chose to live in New Jersey; his expat colleagues who had gone to live in CT all regretted it. The main reason is that they often have to travel domestically or internationally and it is a nightmare to get to JFK or Newark.

I began my research by checking the train routes and location of towns in proximity to NYC, airports, major road links and above all, good public school system.

We live in a very nice, safe town just 15-20 minutes from Newark airport (served by BA and Virgin, Continental to/from the UK) with the top public school district in NJ - no petty or major crimes with the exception of shoplifting at the mall from people living in Staten Island, New York, Newark etc. and a 40-50 minute commute by train directly into Midtown (Penn Station NYC at 34th St & 7th to 8th Avenues - it's underneath Madison Square Garden and has a number of subway lines) and commuter trains to Hoboken with PATH subway trains or ferries to lower Manhatten (Wall St financial district, WTC etc.). We are located just off Interstate 78 which is really convenient for going East-West (to Pennsylvania) and the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike I-95 (North-South) from Maine to Florida. It's a quick drive to the ski-fields in the Poconos, PA or to Upstate NY (Catskills).

My husband gets some sort of discount tax voucher for using public transport into NYC - see if your employer participates in the scheme.

We decided to focus on the family oriented towns of Maplewood and Millburn-Short Hills in Essex county and going further west with a longer commute - Chatham and Madison in Morris county and Summit in Union county.....all of these listed are good 'middle class' towns. Montclair on the Boonton line is good but doesn't have the Midtown Direct at the weekends which is a pity, and Westfield has a spotty service into NYC. We live in Short Hills in the township of Millburn and there are a lot of expats including Brits in the local area.

Package? Impossible to say - it depends on your job and seniority....but nothing like the perks you get in Asia (in the US it is rare for expats to get a company car, country club membership, international or boarding or local private school fees paid).

You should push for a rent allowance, annual home leave airfares (if lucky you may get economy plus or biz class...we just get economy) and get it written into the contract that in the event of a death of a close relative in the UK they will pay for airfares for the funeral - our company prefers it just to be for adults only but if no-one can care for the children then their fares should be covered also.

Of course the biggie is medical cover - we get the same as local staff so there is a monthly deduction from spouses salary and co-pay for each visit to the doctor or hospital.

Some links for NJ:

http://www.panyjn.com (JFK & Newark airports, PATH trains)

http://www.njtransit.com (look for Midtown Direct trains - we are on the Morris & Essex line).

http://www.millburn.org (township schools)

http://www.delfornorealestate.com/shorthills.html

http://www.maplewoodonline.com

http://www.burgdorff.com

http://www.weichert.com

http://www.prudentialnj.com

http://www.coldwellbanker.com
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Have to go out but send me a PM if you need more info.

I've now corrected the link for the Port Authority as I'd mistyped it.
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

I live and work in CT...commuter belt is essentially southern Fairfield county and is either ridiculously pricy - the Gold Coast (New Canaan, Greenwich, Redding, Wilton, Westport etc) or just very pricy (Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield). From what I understand, the school systems in the former are superb, and the latter poor. I live in northern Fairfield county and imho have a better balance of the two, but I wouldn't want to commute into NYC as my town (Newtown) doesn't have a station. Generally really like it here - gets under your skin after a while. It's genuinely New England, so can be very picturesque.
Used to live in NJ (Bridgewater)...generally prefer to live in CT, but have kind of "gone native", so I may not be a good judge :-)
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

You may also want to consider Madison, Chatham, Florham Park, Morristown areas they are on the same train service to Penn Stn as Englishmum discribed. The journey takes 60mins. These areas are very close to I287, I80 and I24/I78. The drive to Newark airport takes 20/30 mins.

If you are considering private schools pm me.
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl
You may also want to consider Madison, Chatham, Florham Park, Morristown areas they are on the same train service to Penn Stn as Englishmum discribed. The journey takes 60mins. These areas are very close to I287, I80 and I24/I78. The drive to Newark airport takes 20/30 mins.

If you are considering private schools pm me.
Also Metuchen, Edison, Highland Park have pretty good schools (apparently) and are on, or near, the North East corridor line on NJ transit. This train line has direct trains to Newark airport which is handy - it is also 20 minutes or so by car straight up the turnpike.

http://www.mainstreethp.org/ http://www.hpboro.com

A google search should bring up similar sites for Edison and Metuchen.
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Originally Posted by dinosaur
I live and work in CT...commuter belt is essentially southern Fairfield county and is either ridiculously pricy - the Gold Coast (New Canaan, Greenwich, Redding, Wilton, Westport etc) or just very pricy (Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield). From what I understand, the school systems in the former are superb, and the latter poor. I live in northern Fairfield county and imho have a better balance of the two, but I wouldn't want to commute into NYC as my town (Newtown) doesn't have a station. Generally really like it here - gets under your skin after a while. It's genuinely New England, so can be very picturesque.
Used to live in NJ (Bridgewater)...generally prefer to live in CT, but have kind of "gone native", so I may not be a good judge :-)
Totally agree with Dinosaur unless you are extremely well off stay away from CT... I'm in Stamford schools are useless there is no balance between how much you earn and how much the greedy seller wants to sell there hideous wood shed for.. haha.
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Old Mar 6th 2006, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Don't forget to ask for the same annual leave that you have now, otherwise you'll be stuck with 1 or 2 weeks annually.
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Old Mar 7th 2006, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Thanks to everyone for your comments, a big help.
Any more advice is very welcome
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Old Mar 7th 2006, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Advice on Moving to Connecticut/New Jersey

Originally Posted by William Shaw
Thanks to everyone for your comments, a big help.
Any more advice is very welcome
I really think you are better off coming and checking out NJ and CT otherwise you may make a move you will later regret.
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