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buckeye35

South Orange, NJ

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So the wife and I have been looking for a house for over a year, looking to get out of NYC, but still be able to commute in. We've looked in Nyack, NY but also Maplewood and South Orange, NJ among other places. I think we just found something we like in South Orange, walking distance to the train, and we're taking a 2nd look tomorrow morning. It's near Seton Hall, but I don't know anyone in the town to bounce anything off of. It seems like a great town, but I was hoping there might be some Footballguys on the board with some inside info or advice on the area. We have a 17-month-old and are looking for more space and everything else. Think Otis with less money. Anything would be appreciated.

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So the wife and I have been looking for a house for over a year, looking to get out of NYC, but still be able to commute in. We've looked in Nyack, NY but also Maplewood and South Orange, NJ among other places. I think we just found something we like in South Orange, walking distance to the train, and we're taking a 2nd look tomorrow morning. It's near Seton Hall, but I don't know anyone in the town to bounce anything off of. It seems like a great town, but I was hoping there might be some Footballguys on the board with some inside info or advice on the area. We have a 17-month-old and are looking for more space and everything else. Think Otis with less money. Anything would be appreciated.

i grew up in Montclair which is a few towns over. South Orange seems like a nice town based on the few times i have been there.

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I work in Roseland, NJ. I often drive thru West Orange to get gas. Doesnt look that clean to me. Not sure how much things change when you go south a bit

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Very nice town, high taxes, drive over the tracks and it turns into Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Irvington/Orange/E.Orange kinda are a Northeastern barrier of South Orange that are pretty crappy.

If you are gonna stay in Essex taxes will generally be higher.

Cranford/Westfield are nice as well with trains to NY (that is Union County)

The NE Corridor Line goes thru Metuchen, Edison, New Brunswick, some nice towns as well, those are Middlesex County.

(New Brunswick isn't nice, really but Rutgers is there and so is the train to NY)

We had looked in S. Orange but in our price range 300k, houses were too small and/or taxes were in the 7-11k range.

I don't know your range, but let me know if you need any info, we had looked probably in similar areas you will be looking

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Agreed, from what little I know of it, seemed decent enough. We have friends who have a nice house in a nice nabe there.

Few years ago I had a friend had a serious accident that resulted in spinal trauma. At one point he was in a facility rehabbing in South Orange - where exactly, couldn't tell ya...though gun to my I would guess it was the south side of town. Anyway, seemed like a not as nice part of town.

Maplewood - dreamy. Dickens village setup in the park during the holidays, but seriously, the whole town plays the part the rest of the year. North and northwest of the train station has great housing stock - most of it beautiful center hall colonials and tudors built 1900-1930. Cousin lives there, we go out every year for Thanksgiving. Every year, on the way back, we always look at each other and say "Well, IF we ever left the city..."

GL GB

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I grew up there but haven't lived there in over 20 years

Nice town (technically village) the schools are above average, decent parks and rec stuff available

The "downtown" area has some nice restaurants and shops

And you can be in the city in no time via train

I think they still use gas lamps on the side streets so it's really dark at night (don't recall if they are still in use)

Taxes are probably high but I think that goes for every place in Northern Jersey

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My brother just moved there this past summer. He's got a 6 year old and a 3 year old. The 6 year old is in kindergarten in public school, which he hasn't loved but he thinks it might just be their teacher because other people seem to like it. He likes his house and neighborhood, but my folks had their car broken into once when visiting.

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South Orange no, West Orange yes.

I don't know where the town boundary lines are, but this (and another post upthread) confirms my limited experience - south of the tracks, nope, toward Maplewood to the west, yep.

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South Orange no, West Orange yes.

I don't know where the town boundary lines are, but this (and another post upthread) confirms my limited experience - south of the tracks, nope, toward Maplewood to the west, yep.
Maplewood is just south of SO, which is still good, the eastern part of Maplewood attaches to Irvington, so IMO it has that same "problem" if you will.You can be in a decent section of Maplewood, make 2 rights, and BAM CRACKHOUSEI would live in those towns, but it would REALLY depend on what street.I don't know what it is about each of those towns, but I always got the feel that as nice as the homes/areas are, that it seemed people just went to town and walked around. Just didn't seem like a place you would see people walking around the side and back streets much.I could be wrong, but was just a feel.

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South Orange is surrounded by a few towns/cities plus south mountain reservation

Maplewood

Irvington

Newark (vailsburg section)

East Orange

Orange

West Orange

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went to Seton Hall and lived off campus in South Orange for a couple years......nothing really stood out for me and Im sure a lot has changed since then. Some of the areas got real bad, real quick but that never really bothered me.

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Thanks for everything so far. Taking it all in...

Well I hope you ignored most of what I posted; looking at a map, my perception and reality intersect on a purely coincidental basis.Now that I think about it, my spinal rehab friend was at the VA Facility - north part of town, not south, and nowhere near Seton Hall (where you are looking).I thought Maplewood was west of there, but its mostly south, a bit southwest. If you find the Maplewood train station, everything West-Northwest of it is a sweet part of town. I've gone on some long after dinner walks there, maybe not all the way to South Orange, but close to it. Awfully nice area. Sounds like you are looking just east of the southern portion of South Orange, probably east of the NJ Transit station?

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Yeah, I think that's about the right part of town. It's not far from the Maplewood border. We have a friend moving to Maplewood, but if we were to get this house, our kids would be in the same school. Maplewood and South Orange are sister towns -- they also share the same high school. Maplewood definitely seems nice, but most of what I've seen in my price range is not great and needs work. This one in S.O. doesn't need much and it's huge. I guess I'm not clear on how safe the town is and stuff like that. This one is spitting distance from Seton Hall, but like I said, walkable to the "downtown" area, which after living in NYC for 17+ years, is appealing.

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Yeah, I think that's about the right part of town. It's not far from the Maplewood border. We have a friend moving to Maplewood, but if we were to get this house, our kids would be in the same school. Maplewood and South Orange are sister towns -- they also share the same high school. Maplewood definitely seems nice, but most of what I've seen in my price range is not great and needs work. This one in S.O. doesn't need much and it's huge. I guess I'm not clear on how safe the town is and stuff like that. This one is spitting distance from Seton Hall, but like I said, walkable to the "downtown" area, which after living in NYC for 17+ years, is appealing.

What street, if you don't mind me askin?

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I graduated from Seton Hall. I dormed both on campus and off campus in the one little apartment building that the school operates as a dorm. It is in walking distance of the train station. The part of the town is alright. I personally would never move to South Orange. It's too cramped just like basically every other town in northern New Jersey. There is some crime in South Orange. Newark and Irvington being neighboring cities is an issue.

Somebody else mentioned Cranford. I grew up there. That is a very nice town with low crime levels. You might want to look into moving there. Clark, which neighbors Cranford, is also nice.

I now live down the shore and will not come back north unless I must for work.

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I've spent a lot of time there (my in-laws live there, and my wife grew up there).

Agree with what has been said above--very nice town, with wide socio-economic ranges. Many areas are really nice and quite expensive, some areas are pretty sketchy (especially the nearby town of East Orange... yikes). Apparently the pathmark near the high school used to be a major carjacking spot, not sure if that is anecdotal. My in laws do not live in the rich area and I have never felt remotely unsafe, but they do scrupulously lock their doors. The public school system is pretty good.

The nearby Costco has awesome sausage & pepper sandwiches.

It's quite ethnically diverse for a suburban area--the schools are 55% african american and 38% caucasian.

The local public high school gave the world Alfred Kinsey, Lauryn Hill, Elizabeth Shue, Paul Auster and Ultimate Frisbee. So there's that.

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If you're concerned about safety, one thing you could probably do is walk into the local police station and just mention that you're thinking about buying a house in X location and wonder if they have any thoughts about how safe the neighborhood is. They would know and I assume they'd be willing to tell you (maybe that's the naive midwesterner in me).

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Wooden golf tees come from Maplewood Golf Club - introduced 1921.

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I lived in Springfield NJ. I believe I was in the northern part of Springfield, because the closest train stop was Millburn, NJ or the Short Hills stop, both on the Morris & Essex line.

I used to take the train out of Millburn and ride to Penn Station. Millburn is awesome, and Maplewood looked pretty similar to Millburn (I only saw it thru the train window though). I don't know anything about S. Orange, but I can vouge that Millburn and Maplewood look like very nice areas.

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Honestly all I remember about the area is driving through (through, under, around...) on the GSP

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Grew up in North Jersey (town Tony Soprano lived) and now live in PA. Have you looked at Morristown? I have a friend who commutes very easily by train to the City.

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Good advice in here, I'm from the area also, there are a lot of nice towns in the area, if you lay out exactly what you are looking for I'm sure we can find towns in the area that suit your needs. My biggest problem with West/South Orange, and most of Essex county is the ridiculous taxes. You might be paying twice as much as comparable homes in Union and Morris county. There was a recent article about homes in West Orange worth 500k and having 20k tax bills.

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South Orange no, West Orange yes.

This is correct. Stay away from East and South Orange. West Orange is your nice, standard suburb community.

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what about orange county NY. Has a train line to the city in harriman and tuxedo. suffern is another great option if you were looking in rockland like nyack

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South Orange no, West Orange yes.

This is correct. Stay away from East and South Orange. West Orange is your nice, standard suburb community.
Yes and No IMO there are parts of S Orange I would MUCH rather be in than certain parts of W Orange.But generally speaking, WO is the nicest of the Oranges.

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I live in Washington Heights right now, so I'm not all that bothered by the surrounding areas. A lot of Maplewood is bordered by bad areas as well, but most would agree that it's a nice place to live. I also grew up in a college town, so that doesn't bother me either. We've done a few second looks at houses over the last year or so and it always turned up stuff that made us walk away. After a second look today, it only got better.

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what about orange county NY. Has a train line to the city in harriman and tuxedo. suffern is another great option if you were looking in rockland like nyack

:goodposting:

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South Orange no, West Orange yes.

This is correct. Stay away from East and South Orange. West Orange is your nice, standard suburb community.
Yes and No IMO there are parts of S Orange I would MUCH rather be in than certain parts of W Orange.But generally speaking, WO is the nicest of the Oranges.
No doubt, but what comes with WO being the nicest of the Oranges is the relative price tag.

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If it is near Seton Hall, it is near a pretty turrible part of the Oranges. If you are further out, closer to Short Hills, it might be better but you still will have runover crime, ect.

I'd go a dif direction.

As a midwestern transplant, I've lived in 4 different counties since moving out here. Anything remotely close to Newark is fn rough. No way of slicing it any less skinny.

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I appreciate all of the feedback. I looked a little in the Orange County, NY area, but wasn't crazy about the commuting options. Nyack isn't great in that regard either, but the drive down the Palisades isn't bad and there's rarely traffic. I don't need to head into the city until 1:00/2:00 p.m. most days. South Orange has more of a Manhattan borough feel to it to me, which I like. This house is on the good side of Seton Hall, where there are lots of nice streets and nice homes. I agree that the other side is shady, which I believe is Irvington. Turns out my wife has some college friends in the town who have been there for some years, have a 4-year-old and love it. They live right by the train, which is about a half mile from this place, but the same general area of the town. We were ready to make an offer and now someone else is of course interested. It's only been on the market for a little over 2 weeks, but the seller has asked for both parties to submit bids by 1:00 p.m. Thursday -- no negotiation, winner takes all. So now I have to figure out what the number is. Fun stuff.

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oh what the hell... :blackdot:

GL with the offer, buckeye.

fwiw- I've never been to any of the oranges, but I know four different people in Maplewood.... pretty much as BobbyLayne describes for me. Plus it seems to be gay friendly (my old boss and his husband live there very happily), and that's usually a good thing in terms of what the town has to offer (restaurants, stores, etc).

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Heard good things about maplewood and maplewood crest. Montclaire is nice too. Sure you don't want to join us on LI???

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The wife is friends with a gay couple in Maplewood. Both areas are diverse, which we also like. This dude is on the other side of the tracks in Maplewood and has been broken into, but doesn't want to live anywhere else. I would say this place is in a better area in S. Orange than where he lives in Maplewood.

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Heard good things about maplewood and maplewood crest. Montclaire is nice too. Sure you don't want to join us on LI???

I'm not sure, but in reading that thread, I don't know if I'm in that ballpark! We thought about Brooklyn too, but everything in our price range is a piece of crap. If all else fails, I figured we could just rent out your place. ;)

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Heard good things about maplewood and maplewood crest. Montclaire is nice too. Sure you don't want to join us on LI???

I'm not sure, but in reading that thread, I don't know if I'm in that ballpark! We thought about Brooklyn too, but everything in our price range is a piece of crap. If all else fails, I figured we could just rent out your place. ;)
Staten Island isnt that bad. Commuting may suck though.

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The wife is friends with a gay couple in Maplewood. Both areas are diverse, which we also like. This dude is on the other side of the tracks in Maplewood and has been broken into, but doesn't want to live anywhere else. I would say this place is in a better area in S. Orange than where he lives in Maplewood.

Obviously...

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