The new year brings with it new opportunities including a chance to find a new home. While many New Yorkers like to make fun of New Jersey, the state itself has a lot to offer from national parks to amazing beaches. If you’re in the market for a new home this year, moving to New Jersey might be in the cards. Not only can you get more space for the money you would spend on apartments in New York City, but you also aren’t too far away from the city life.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in New Jersey. You’re also dealing with high taxes, expensive homes, insane traffic, lots of landfills, and a lot of people (NJ is actually the most densely populated state with 9.3 million residents residing within the 7,354 square miles that make up the state). However, if you know where to look you can find some amazing places where you can experience all of the benefits with very few negatives. Below are some of the best places to live in New Jersey.
As the name suggests, this town is home to the prestigious Ivy League university of the same name. However, it boasts more than just an amazing university. The town is home to 31,000 residents including many young families and professionals. Thanks to the presence of the university, the town boasts a more urban feel and has a wide variety of restaurants, coffee shops, local retail shops, and cultural attractions. There’s also plenty of green spaces for you to enjoy during those warm summer days either at Morven Museum & Garden or Princeton Battlefield State Park.
While Princeton might be most known for the university, the emphasis on education is apparent at all levels. In fact, Princeton has some of the best public schools in the entire state. You can easily start a family in Princeton and have them attend excellent schools from kindergarten to college. Besides offering world-class education, Princeton University also has some excellent college lacrosse and basketball teams. So don the school colors (orange and black) and cheer with your neighbors.
Located less than 25 miles away from Manhattan, Chatham offers all the charm of a quiet neighborhood while still being close enough to the bustle of a large city. It’s a great location for families and professionals as the downtown offers a great selection of restaurants and local stores to shop from. It’s also commuter-friendly and you can easily get around the town without a car. Of course, if you do want to travel outside of the town you have access to well-maintained roads and public transportation thanks to the NJ Transit.
Chatham is a great place for families. It’s safe and has plenty of family-friendly recreational locations to choose from. It’s located close to the Thomas Edison National Historic Park, which preserves Thomas Edison’s lab and residence where you can check out his inventions and tour the grounds. There’s also Liberty Hall Museum and Arboretum where you and your children can explore the mansion that hosted many distinguished guests such as George Washington, William Howard Taft, and Benjamin Franklin. Chatham is also home to some amazing public schools that are rated some of the best in New Jersey.
If you’re still working in New York City, then Elizabeth might be a great option for you as it has two train stations and is close to both the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. With a population of 128,000, Elizabeth is the fourth largest city in New Jersey. While housing prices aren’t cheap, you could potentially find a decent place for around $400,000. When compared to places like Princeton or Chatham, that price tag doesn’t look so bad!
One of the greatest strengths of Elizabeth is its diversity as it is home to 37 different languages and residents from 50 different countries. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be happy to find cuisine from around the world whether you’re looking for Columbian, Indian, Japanese, or Portuguese. There’s definitely something for everyone and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. Of course, if you want to, Elizabeth is very pedestrian-friendly and thanks to the two train stations, you probably don’t need a car unless you plan on visiting other areas of New Jersey.
Thanks to its large size, it’s also relatively to find a job in Elizabeth and the city even offers incentives to business owners to bring commerce to the community. If you’re an entrepreneur, this could be a great place to start.
If you’re looking for a more small-town feel, then Ho-Ho-Kus might be the place you’re looking for. This quaint town is home to around 4,000 people and, as you would imagine, is a very tight-knit community. Despite that, the residents are welcoming so you don’t have to worry about feeling iced out by your neighbors when you move in. While many of the residents have spent their entire lives in the area, many still are transplants who wanted a quieter lifestyle with more nature.
Despite its small population, Ho-Ho-Kus offers a cute downtown lined with shops and restaurants as well as a commercial center and train station. If you’re looking for a bit more nature, you just need to travel a short distance and you’ll find yourself walking along Saddle River or Brewster Pond. The area does have an elementary and middle school, though kids will have to go outside the town for high school. Due to its attractive amenities and picturesque scenery, houses are not cheap in Ho-Ho-Kus, but if you can afford it, it’s a wonderful place to live.
If you prefer being closer to Philadelphia than New York City, then Springdale might be the perfect option. Located just over 45 miles from Philadelphia, Springdale is a neighborhood of Cherry Hill, NJ, and offers quiet suburban living with city life just under an hour away so you get to enjoy both the quiet and peaceful streets and small-town vibe without sacrificing the delights of a big city. Compared to some of the places on this list, Springdale is on the more affordable end when it comes to home prices.
With a population of under 14,000 Springdale offers a sparse suburban feel. While there is a downtown, you’ll mostly find big-box retailers and chain stores. If you want an active nightlife scene, this might not be the best option as Springdale is home mainly to families and retirees. With that said, the restaurants are quite good and there are other amenities such as local gyms, pools, and close proximity to some green areas such as Pennypacker Park and Wharton State Park. As it is a neighborhood in Cherry Hill, you also have access to top-tier public and private schools. In 2021, Springdale was ranked in the top ten of best suburbs to live in New Jersey.
Moving to NJ
Once you’re ready to make your NJ move, why not give trusted professional movers a call to help make your transition smoother? NJ Great Movers offers plenty of moving services and we can cater to your needs and budget. We also know New Jersey like the back of our hand and can get you moved into your new place with no issues. As a trusted NJ moving company, our goal is to make your move as stress and hassle-free as possible. So give us a call and we’ll get you started on the moving process.
Is living in New Jersey expensive?
It depends on where you live. Some areas are more expensive than others. With that said, New Jersey does have high taxes and home prices so you’ll want to keep that in mind when making your NJ move.
How safe is New Jersey?
Like other states, there are some areas of New Jersey that are safer than others. In general, the larger the population, the more crime there will be. Smaller suburbs and towns tend to be safer.
Will I need a car?
New Jersey offers some excellent public transportation in the form of trains, buses, and even ferries. Depending on where you live, you might not need a car at all. With that said, if you want to discover everything the Garden State has to offer, a car can provide you with more freedom and flexibility.