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Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Old Mar 1st 2013, 6:32 pm
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Default Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Hi all,

We are flying out for a look see tomorrow for a week. As OH will be based 5 mins from Penn station, we are going to be looking around New Jersey. Here's our family situation:

There will be 3 of us, OH, me and DD (12) and dog. We are looking for an area that has the following:

Good schools
Commute 1 hr by train
Places to walk dog
Walkable downtown (I can't drive!)
Not rural/quiet

We are going to have a look at the following towns:

Montclair
Ridgewood
Westfield
Cranford
Summit

I would love to hear from anyone who has any experience with any of these towns (or others that meet our criteria). We are planning on renting with a budget of $2500 - $3000. Our dog is a Cavalier, so not too big and very well behaved (except around food!).

Many thanks,

Hartley
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

You have a Cav...why didn't you say? I've had Cavs for over 30 years. My last one died a year ago...she was a 13 yr old black and tan. My daughter has an 18 mth old B&T now.

All those areas are good for commuting into NYC. I live near Morristown...about 1 hr by train to Penn...most of the areas you mentioned are closer to the city. Many people commute into NYC from this area.

TBH you are going to be really stuck if you can't drive. Do you intend to get a NJ drivers license?
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

No plans to get a NJ driving licence as I would have to actually learn how to drive! I tried to learn here about 15 years ago Had 60 lessons in a manual, then 40 in an automatic. Still failed my test! I hated every single lesson. I was only learning as I was commuting from Chesham (Bucks) to Wembley. It was during this time that we decided to move back to London and I knew I would never need to get behind the wheel of a car again.

I am not planning on working, but will volunteer locally, maybe at the school my DD attends. I have done this in the UK - everything from organising the school fete, helping children improve their reading and cleaning paint brushes.

I am a yoga teacher and would ideally like to be able to get the train/bus into NYC to attend classes (there are several teachers that are highly respected in the UK and internationally).

Our Cavvie is a 5yr old Ruby. I have already obtained 3 quotes for bringing her over with us.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Originally Posted by HartleyHare View Post
No plans to get a NJ driving licence as I would have to actually learn how to drive! I tried to learn here about 15 years ago Had 60 lessons in a manual, then 40 in an automatic. Still failed my test! I hated every single lesson. I was only learning as I was commuting from Chesham (Bucks) to Wembley. It was during this time that we decided to move back to London and I knew I would never need to get behind the wheel of a car again.

I am not planning on working, but will volunteer locally, maybe at the school my DD attends. I have done this in the UK - everything from organising the school fete, helping children improve their reading and cleaning paint brushes.

I am a yoga teacher and would ideally like to be able to get the train/bus into NYC to attend classes (there are several teachers that are highly respected in the UK and internationally).

Our Cavvie is a 5yr old Ruby. I have already obtained 3 quotes for bringing her over with us.


You're pluckier than I...'cos I would not want to live here if I couldn't drive. Some of the towns you have mentioned have quite a nice little centre...but I don't know how you would get around without a car.

We used to have a Ruby...her name was Ruby. Not sure about dogs and rentals...I would check with some realtors and find out if they are generally allowed.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Ours is called Ruby too

I suppose I have got used to walking everywhere here or taking the tube. I know it will be trickier in the US without a car, but it can't be impossible. I'm not bothered about going to shopping malls and getting a weekly shop - we do that sort of thing at the weekend here. I just need a few (coffee!) shops, somewhere to walk Ruby and the ability to get the bus/train into NYC. My day is quite short as I need to be around when DD returns from school. If I can find a town with a gym within walking distance, all the better. Do people cycle around?

What is scarier though, is the fact that DD will be off for 10 weeks in the summer My brother lives in LA and I can see that we will turn up on his doorstep!
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Originally Posted by HartleyHare View Post
Ours is called Ruby too

I suppose I have got used to walking everywhere here or taking the tube. I know it will be trickier in the US without a car, but it can't be impossible. I'm not bothered about going to shopping malls and getting a weekly shop - we do that sort of thing at the weekend here. I just need a few (coffee!) shops, somewhere to walk Ruby and the ability to get the bus/train into NYC. My day is quite short as I need to be around when DD returns from school. If I can find a town with a gym within walking distance, all the better. Do people cycle around?

What is scarier though, is the fact that DD will be off for 10 weeks in the summer My brother lives in LA and I can see that we will turn up on his doorstep!


Unusual to see cyclists around where I live...apart from organised groups of the serious cyclists. They tend to cycle side by side...two or three of them abreast blocking the road. I am not surprised there are not many cyclists on the roads...have you experienced NJ drivers?
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

I should also add that we are coming over on a 2 yr contract. As such we are putting our furniture in storage in the UK and buying new in the US. We plan to buy a job lot from IKEA (we have years of experience assembling this stuff), so I expect I will be too busy for the first 3 months putting it all together to go anywhere!
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

This is the beauty of being a passenger - I am oblivious to all the near misses on the road because I'm not having to think like a driver. Usually have my head in a book, unless OH needs directions.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

I think it's easier to drive in the US compared to England... just keep an open mind! You *might* find after a while that you do in fact want to learn to drive again. And the test will be in a parking lot, not on an actual road!

Good luck with the move!
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Originally Posted by slummymummy View Post
I think it's easier to drive in the US compared to England... just keep an open mind! You *might* find after a while that you do in fact want to learn to drive again. And the test will be in a parking lot, not on an actual road!

Good luck with the move!
My very first driving lessons were with OH in an Asda (empty) car park. I still almost managed to hit a tree!
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

I grew up in Glen Rock, immediately adjacent to Ridgewood going SSW. My dad commuted into midtown Manhattan first by train, later on by bus. Nice area. Loved the town swimming pool. Expensive - none of us in my HS graduating class can afford to live there today.

Regards, JEff

EDIT: Glen Rock and Ridgewood have walkable downtowns - especially Ridgewood, which is sizeable enough to have a good variety of shopping - but if you can't drive you're not likely to be able to get downtown without taking a long hike.

Last edited by jeffreyhy; Mar 1st 2013 at 7:58 pm.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Thanks for all the replies. This trip will help to weed out areas that really won't work for us. Hopefully we can come away with three or so that will be suitable so that when we come over (hopefully mid-May) we can focus on them.

Will let you know how we are getting along during the stay.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Originally Posted by HartleyHare View Post
My very first driving lessons were with OH in an Asda (empty) car park. I still almost managed to hit a tree!
In that case you will fit in here very well.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Originally Posted by HartleyHare View Post
Thanks for all the replies. This trip will help to weed out areas that really won't work for us. Hopefully we can come away with three or so that will be suitable so that when we come over (hopefully mid-May) we can focus on them.

Will let you know how we are getting along during the stay.
I have workman in all next week and my weekends are taken too or I would offer to meet you and show you around. We are working flat out trying to get our house ready to put on the market.
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Old Mar 1st 2013, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Relocating to NJ - advice on areas

Originally Posted by HartleyHare View Post
I know it will be trickier in the US without a car, but it can't be impossible.
It pretty much is around here - hope it's better in NJ?

You need to plan carefully and make sure you are in a walkable area or you'll go bananas.
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