Help me understand the world of commuters to NYC living in New Jersey. Which towns would be best for me 'N' my fam? How do people do it?
We're looking into moving to the suburbs of NJ. I commute to Penn Station and My Wife commutes to the Upper West Side. We could rent a house if that's possible, but ideally we'd find a house we could afford to buy. We're leaning toward Bergen county (Fair Lawn?) because it seems relatively close to the city, but maybe I'm missing something?
Here's what we're looking for in order of priority: a single family home, not an apartment. Lack of crime. Less than 1 hour commutes for us both. Relative affordability (less than 500k, or around 2k/month with taxes). The place that satisfies all of those may not exist.
Here's what's not
that important to us: Cool quirky downtown areas with lots of restaurants or whatever. Lack of diversity (we're totally OK with seeing lots of non-white people everywhere, which I shouldn't even have to say but like 99% of the commenters on a site like CityData seem to disagree). THE BEST schools. Good or OK schools are very important (6+ on the Great Schools rating
, which is apparently something) but it's not vital that there are TOTALLY THE BEST ONES. Huge backyards or massive distance from highways (as long as there are actual, like sidewalks and parks and things close by). Train access rather than express bus or some other mode (ferry? driving somehow?).
Please to recommend your favorite towns or neighborhoods you know or live in that fits these criteria!
Plus please if you would let me know what you like about suburban NJ, what you do not like maybe also, and what tricks you know about how to commute way into the city every day but not lose too much quality fam time with kids.
Thank you very much. Go Nets!