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-   -   Potential move to New Jersey (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/potential-move-new-jersey-729195/)

andy_n_lou Aug 19th 2011 9:32 am

Potential move to New Jersey
 
Hello forum members!

My wife and I are currently considering a move to New Jersey with our one year old daughter as we both have the opportunity to relocate with our current jobs. Before making this huge decision and life change we have a lot of questions which we are hoping this forum may be able to advise us on.

My job will be based in Harborside, Jersey City and my wife's job will be based in Secaucus. I think based on what we have been told we would both drive to our offices but would be open to getting the train if this would make practical sense.

Our first question would be around housing and suitable areas to live. We would like to live in a suburban area within a reasonable commute (1 hour maximum average) of our offices. We would be looking to rent a house (3bd+, 2bth) up to a maximum budget of around $4000 per month. We will need full time childcare for our daughter so would want an area that provided some options in this regard. We don't need to be thinking about schools just yet but would take schooling into some consideration when choosing the area. Can forum members suggest some areas that meet the above criteria that we could investigate further?

With regards to property rental is there any secret to finding available properties? I have done some standard Google searches and looked at what appear to be the larger rental websites but the results are fairly limited. Should I be going directly to the realtors in the area or some other avenue for finding available properties? Also, when looking at the price of rental properties does this include property tax or do we need to pay that on top of the monthly rental rate?

With regards to fulltime childcare is it possible to get some general advice. Is it common to use fulltime childcare? What is the approximate weekly rate? Is it easy to get a place or are there typically wait lists?

With regards to income is it possible to get some advice on how to calculate net income and any other advice we should be aware of? Are there any good tax calculators that you can direct us to to calculate this?

I realise this is a lot of questions and appreciate any advice that forum members are able to provide. Thanks!

Andy

Bob Aug 19th 2011 7:56 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
Welcome to BE and good luck!

Have a look down a few threads, one of your locations is already mentioned in a thread from today/yesterday.

Actually, it should cover quite a lot of your questions...and as for finding a place, get a realtor and one of your companies to cover the expense.

Childcare, no idea, but in Boston, 2-3 half days a week run you $1500 a month, way, way out in the burbs that figure can cover full time 5 days a week. Wait lists depends on how good the place is and how busy the area is, some places dont' have any, some others can have a 2 year wait list.

The tax questions, have a browse of the wiki, plenty of info there, and in previous threads on NJ/NY covering those cost of living considerations.

Jerseygirl Aug 19th 2011 8:06 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
There is a current thread about Secaucus here...were you can read my comments. I certainly wouldn't chose to live in Jersey City...although there have been many improvements to the city in recent years. Lots of yuppie condos and new office blocks.

As I posted in the other thread I strongly recommend a reccie of the area before you decide on a rental.

JAJ Aug 20th 2011 3:15 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
If it's intended to be a permanent move,

also think about green card, how long it will take to get one, and what happens if you get fired before green card is granted (you'll have to move home at short notice, probably).

dewr41 Aug 20th 2011 6:51 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
I currently live in Somerville, NJ and whilst it is on a direct train line to that area, probably too far for you. However, I do a lot of travelling all over the state so know it quite well!

I wouldn't want to live in Jersey City, although it's improvements have been mentioned. Personally, I would look to live just west of the Garden State Parkway. There are some really nice towns; Summit and Caldwell spring to mind, that are on direct public transport lines to your locations. These towns are very family friendly with good schools, etc. A lot of people commute using public transport as the high population density close to NYC causes a lot of traffic congestion.

Google Maps and Wikipedia is your friend here. Also look at NJ Transit for public transport links.

As for cost of living, I can't comment much as we only rent but it is one of the most expensive places to live in the country.

Any questions, please feel free to PM me.

andy_n_lou Aug 22nd 2011 2:39 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I have had a look through the forum posts and also at some of the great information available on city-data.

From what I can determine the areas that would best suit us are Westfield, Summit, Millburn, Caldwell, etc but I am unsure about the commuting times. If I were to use Westfield as an example, can anyone provide some advice on what the average commute time (driving primarily, or by bus/train) would like like to Exchange Place Jersey City, and also to Park Plaza Drive Secaucus?

Another area that has come up in my search is Rutherford/East Rutherford which would seem to offer a much shorter commute, particularly to Secaucus. Does anyone have any advice on this area or the surrounding towns? Are they family friendly, community feel, downtown area, etc?

Thanks again to everyone for their feedback.

Elvira Aug 22nd 2011 4:12 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 

Originally Posted by andy_n_lou (Post 9568763)
Hello forum members!

My wife and I are currently considering a move to New Jersey with our one year old daughter as we both have the opportunity to relocate with our current jobs. Before making this huge decision and life change we have a lot of questions which we are hoping this forum may be able to advise us on.
Andy

Just wondering why you'd want to move from lovely Kingston Upon Thames to the concrete desert of New Jersey?

Was it Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert who said they named it the Garden State and then promptly started pouring concrete all over it (or words to that effect...) :eek:

andy_n_lou Aug 22nd 2011 4:24 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 

Originally Posted by Elvira (Post 9575063)
Just wondering why you'd want to move from lovely Kingston Upon Thames to the concrete desert of New Jersey?

Was it Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert who said they named it the Garden State and then promptly started pouring concrete all over it (or words to that effect...) :eek:

Hi Elvira,

There is a fairly simple answer to this - for the experience. Kingston Upon Thames will always be there and we will always be able to return. We dont plan to sell our house in Kingston so we will still have ties to UK and the area. Besides, I am sure I have seen some trees when I have visited NJ :-)

Elvira Aug 22nd 2011 4:31 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 

Originally Posted by andy_n_lou (Post 9575089)
Hi Elvira,

There is a fairly simple answer to this - for the experience. Kingston Upon Thames will always be there and we will always be able to return. We dont plan to sell our house in Kingston so we will still have ties to UK and the area. Besides, I am sure I have seen some trees when I have visited NJ :-)

That's the right answer! :)

ukintexas Aug 22nd 2011 4:47 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 

Originally Posted by Elvira (Post 9575106)
That's the right answer! :)

Seconded!

dewr41 Aug 23rd 2011 10:21 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 

Originally Posted by andy_n_lou (Post 9575089)
Besides, I am sure I have seen some trees when I have visited NJ :-)

Well it's not called the Garden State for nothing!

As for your commute times, Google Maps says about 30 mins from Westfield but you can probably double that during rush hour as you will be travelling with many thousands of others. I don't know much about Rutherford, I'm sure it has it's good and bad neighbourhoods though and house prices are very high. All I know it for is the Meadowlands Stadium where the NY Giants and NY Jets play, ironic it being in NJ huh?! If you were looking for that kind of location look at towns like Clifton, Montclair, Bloomfield and Nutley. They are nice, still expensive, but driveable to Jersey City and on good public transport routes.

meghna Aug 26th 2011 1:25 am

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
Hello,

We live in Secaucus in the Harmon Cove Tower and I must say we like it a lot. It is a gated community of condos and town houses. It is a nice town with a good library. Rutherford is the next town and our kids go to daycare there, Rainbow Academy. There is one in Secaucus as well, Harmony which always has a WL. It would be 5 mins away from your wife's office. The rentals for a 2 bed/2 bath varies from $1800-$2100. For a 3 bed it is $2300-$2500. Rutherford is a nice family town and you will see more greenery : ) more houses available for rent but not many condos. Secaucus also has a very good train station.

Daycare costs varies by age. For our 2 yr old full time is $1300. I think it is definately cheaper than what I use to pay in London.

Jersey city is 20-25 mns drive from Secaucus, and is very conjested. You may like the riverside condos though, lot of young families we are in touch with are living there.

We did explore Westfield, Summit etc however we found the commute too much. They are nice towns but then you will get to spend 1 hr or more less with your child.

Good luck with your move. You were wise you didnt sell your house, whilst we made the mistake as we have to move back with nothing to go back to. We will surely miss our stay here.

Cazmania Sep 20th 2011 11:33 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
Hi there

My husband and I are expats living in Martinsville NJ. The commute from here to Jersey City is about 40 min (driving). I am not sure about trains although will say that NJ is really a driving state.

In terms of your housing budget, you would def find something suitable out this way, with loads of space. You could search Bridgewater, NJ which does have a train station (its very close to Somerville).

To give you an idea on childcare, we are currently looking into enrolling our son in part time nursery and for 2 half days a week it is going to cost us $122 per month. I cannot say how much a full day would cost. I am just looking at the monthly payments for a full day (which is from 9:15 to 3:15) and that costs about £600. There are Early Bird and Stay and Play schemes for children that need to be dropped off earlier and collected later. I am not sure what they would charge for this.

I can honestly say that we are very happy here in our neck of the woods and have really enjoyed our first REAL summer!

Hope I was helpful in some way.

PS we moved out here from Surbiton

Jerseygirl Sep 20th 2011 11:44 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 

Originally Posted by Cazmania (Post 9633233)
Hi there

My husband and I are expats living in Martinsville NJ. The commute from here to Jersey City is about 40 min (driving). I am not sure about trains although will say that NJ is really a driving state.

In terms of your housing budget, you would def find something suitable out this way, with loads of space. You could search Bridgewater, NJ which does have a train station (its very close to Somerville).

To give you an idea on childcare, we are currently looking into enrolling our son in part time nursery and for 2 half days a week it is going to cost us $122 per month. I cannot say how much a full day would cost. I am just looking at the monthly payments for a full day (which is from 9:15 to 3:15) and that costs about £600. There are Early Bird and Stay and Play schemes for children that need to be dropped off earlier and collected later. I am not sure what they would charge for this.

I can honestly say that we are very happy here in our neck of the woods and have really enjoyed our first REAL summer!

Hope I was helpful in some way.

PS we moved out here from Surbiton

Hello and welcome to BE.

My daughter went to school in Martinsville...The Pingry School.

Cazmania Sep 20th 2011 11:45 pm

Re: Potential move to New Jersey
 
Hi there

Which one is that? I have literally started looking this week. My son is 2 and we are looking to enroll him in Jan (for the social aspect of it all).

How long have you been an expat here for?


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