Moving to Bergen County NJ Suburbs
So, you've made the decision to make the move out of NYC or Hoboken to the Suburbs of Bergen County NJ. Now What?
1. Reach out to an experienced Realtor® who knows the area very well. Beyond where the schools are located or the tax rate, you'll want to know about commuting options, recreational opportunities, access to major thoroughfares, local policy changes, daycares and pre-schools, and which neighborhoods are the most desirable. You also want to make sure the Realtor® can make the time to take you to see homes at your convenience.
2. Get pre-approved by a lender. Mortgage compaines are still lending and provided that you have near excellent credit and can put up a down payment of 3.5% (FHA) to 20% of the sale price, you should be able to take advantage of these historically low mortgage rates.
3. Think long-term. You might not think twice now about living on a busy street in a quaint suburban town expecially when you might be living on Washington Ave in Hoboken or 1st Ave in Manhatttan. Afterall, you've probably weathered blaring ambulance sirens and car alarms regularly so what's a little road traffic outside your bedroom window when you move to the suburbs? It might never bother you or it might after you've acclimated to the stillness of other neighborhoods. Perhaps not having a basement isn't a big deal when it is just the two of you but do you see your family expanding in a few years? Think about the extra space you may or may not need down the road.
4. Consider your commuting options. Still working in the city? Check out the NJ Transit train schedule for timetables. Some towns like Glen Rock and Ramsey have more than one train line or station which may give you more options. Work in mid-town? Don't forget to check out CoachUSA and NJ Transit bus schedules for bus routes. You may be surprised that the bus just might cut down your commuting time. There's also Vince Lombardi Park & Ride off of the Turnpike offers a park/bus package with buses running to and from the city every 10 minutes during peak times.
5. Size up the town. If you attended college, you may recall one of the first questions you asked yourself when applying was "do I want a small school or a large one?" In NW Bergen County there are towns of all sizes. Ridgewood, being the largest town in NW Bergen County, has a bustiling downtown with shops and boutiques, a movie theatre and many restaurants ranging from fine dining like Latour to casual BYOBs such as Malee and La Piazza. Saddle River offers bucolic settings and large lots (most are 2 acre) with just a small town center. Upper Saddle River doesn't have a town center at all but is centrally located to other towns offerning a lot of amentiies. There's a town perfect for you in NW Bergen County.
6. Bucket "must haves" and "like to haves". Buyer beware: there's no perfect house. Chances are you will find a house that does not meet every one of your criteria. Be prepared to bend on some of them. The trick is to identify which are your "must haves" and which features you can live without.
If you would like to learn more about Northwest Bergen County or would like to talk with someone who's made this transition, please contact me, Kristin Graves, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-825-6600 ext 222.