Commuting To NYC

Queens to West Orange - We're 2 minutes from the New York bus!

We moved to this house about 10 months ago from Queens. I grew up in New Jersey but my husband was born and raised in Queens so this move was a big leap of faith for him. We had been renting, started looking to buy, and quickly discovered that the $450,000 we were considering spending on a 1-bedroom in Queens could get us a house in New Jersey.

We started looking in Maplewood and South Orange because they were on a train line, but Lina showed us some homes in West Orange in the same price range that were bigger and had more updates. Our house is 2 minutes from the New York bus – it’s super easy and in some ways more reliable than the train!

I love being in West Orange. Getting around is simple. The schools are great. There are plenty of parks and activities – including the zoo! – and we are constantly taking our two young children with us on hikes in South Mountain or Eagle Rock Reservations, or out to visit farms in New Jersey.

I love the proximity to Livingston and Montclair – two places we often go out to dinner or to shop. I love our neighborhood, which happens to be full of people like us – young families who moved from the city for more space. But mostly, I love walking into a house with a new kitchen and a finished basement. I’m excited to come home every day.

My friends come to visit from the city and they are shocked at the amount of space we have. I tell them, “You can have this too!”

 - Mary Kate, West Orange

New To The Market: 71 Beach Street, Bloomfield

Have you heard of the "Historic District," in Bloomfield?!  It's tucked away yet close to everything.  Classic colonials and Victorians, wide lots with mature trees and gardens abound on streets with names like Beach, Elm, Oak and Spruce.  This part of town feels more like Glen Ridge or Montclair than the rest of Bloomfield.

71 Beach St is my newest listing in this friendly neighborhood.  As soon as you pull up to the front of this charming property,  you feel like you're miles away from the downtown hustle and bustle, (but really you're just steps from shops, restaurants and NYC transportation).  Oversized bay windows and a well maintained garden in the front welcome you in to an easy flowing center hall colonial.  The living room boasts built-in bookcases, a colonial style mantle surrounding a wood burning fireplace.  Off of the living room is a French door leading to a private screened in porch with a paver stone patio and a lovely private yard with more lush greenery.

Walk out of this home and you're a few steps away from the Bloomfield Public Library, High School and College.  Bloomfield and Glen Ridge train stations are also a quick stroll away and with a 29 minute train ride, you'll be in midtown Manhattan before you even have a chance to doze off. 

Charm and convenience in one turn of a key.  This one is going to go fast! 

Come to the Open House Sunday, October 29th, or we can set up a private viewing by appointment.  Call me - I'd love to take you around!

NEW To The Market: 127 Stratford Drive, Nutley

I'm proud to present to the market this perennially popular "Buckingham" style townhouse in the desirable Cambridge Heights community in Nutley.  127 Stratford Drive has it all.


Walk right up to the front door (no steps) and into the main level of this stylishly updated move in ready home.  The first floor has a welcoming living area and open Dining Room / Kitchen space with sliders going out to a cozy outdoor patio with gas line for bbq grill.  Upstairs you'll find a master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, en suite bathroom and spacious walk in closet.  In addition, two more bedrooms (or one that can be used for a den/office) one more full bathroom and laundry room complete the layout.

Community amenities include clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, playground, jogging path and fitness center.  Steps to Clifton Commons shopping center and NYC transportation.

Come to one of the Open Houses Saturday October 7th & Sunday October 8th or we can set up a private showing by appointment.

NEW To The Market: 4 Old Salem Road, West Orange

Everything about 4 Old Salem Road is so inviting. From the pristine wood floors and elegant palette to the renovated kitchen with all new appliances. What I love about this home is how it feels built to welcome guests. Cozy fireplace. Light streaming through French doors. Wet bar in the finished basement – the type of family room that can truly grow with a family. This house has great “flow” -- everything feeling easy and just as it should be – and when you “flow” out to the backyard, it feels as if you’ve entered a whole new living space. This is truly one of the loveliest back patios I’ve ever seen, expansive and intimate all at once.

The neighborhood – St. Cloud – has its own perks: the 45-minute bus to Manhattan stops two blocks away, and the free West Orange jitney brings you to the train station from the corner.

Best of all, this home sits on one of the most desirable blocks in the neighborhood, a short drive to New Jersey’s most elegant shopping mall and a short walk to one of the most impressive features of Essex County – the newly reconstructed South Mountain Recreation Complex, which includes skating at South Mountain Arena, mini golf, the Turtleback Zoo, a gorgeous waterfront promenade, boating, restaurants, and then miles of hiking in South Mountain Reservation.


Oh, did I mention the screened-in garden porch, central AC and attached garage? This house has it all going on.

Come to the Open House Sunday, September 3rd, or we can set up a private viewing by appointment. Call me! I’d love to take you around!

New To Market: 152 Forest Hill Rd. West Orange

This 4-bedroom renovated English colonial has so much going on inside. Majestic stone fireplace in the living room. New kitchen and formal dining room. Cozy den and a completely finished basement. Plus, a master bedroom suite with fireplace and dressing room. I happen to adore the third-floor retreat – a paneled enclave with a view of New York City.

There’s a lot to love about living in West Orange. This home is very close to two of my favorite hiking destinations: Eagle Rock Reservation and South Mountain Reservation. When I hit the ridge of Eagle Rock, I look out onto the Manhattan skyline and marvel at how lucky we are here to be so close to New York City and still be able to spend hours hiking trails that are literally a few minutes drive from our house.

This home has the added bonus of having quick access to Route 280 and is steps away from the commuter jitney. It’s also an easy drive to the nearly new South Mountain Recreation Complex (zoo, ice-skating, mini-golf, paddle boats, zip line, and reservoir walkway), an expansive Whole Foods Market and the inimitable Short Hills Mall.

If you’d like to see this or other homes in the area, please call or text! I love showing people around!  (973) 809-5277

 

 

New Listing: 182 Alexander Ave. Upper Montclair

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Sometimes Things Go Sideways

One thing I love about this area is how individual the homes are. Even within broad categories like Colonial or Tudor, there are so many variations. And even within all that individuality resides an extremely small subcategory.

I'm talking now about the Sideways House.

Sideways Houses are homes that have been built so the front entrance faces the side yard, rather than the street. This orientation gives the home a decidedly Country House feel, as it overlooks only landscaping. From the inside, Sideways Houses tend to feel very private and secluded, even though they might be smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood.

And that's exactly the case for this wonderful 5-bedroom 2-full/2-half bath home in beautiful Upper Montclair. Wonderful because it looks out on a big, open yard, wonderful because it offers a coveted wrap-around porch, and wonderful because the renovated kitchen has an unusually "artsy" vibe, featuring a large custom banquette for lazy Sunday brunches with family and friends.

Other features include: oversized rooms, central air conditioning, newly renovated, ensuite master bathroom,

This home is a 3-minute walk to the New York City bus; the train station about a 10-minute walk. It's also located at the Northern end of town, with quick and easy access to the highway.

Because they're so few and far between, Sideways Houses don't come on the market very often.

Priced at $799,000, this special house will not last. If you're looking for a wonderful family home in a remarkable community, please call me and let me show you the magic of Sideways Living.  973.809.5277 

Montclair Fireworks and Footpaths

I love fireworks.fireworks

My mother grew up in Copenhagen near the Tivoli Gardens where there are fireworks every Saturday night. It was a source of great joy to her and I think she "infected" me because, come July 4th Weekend, there's nothing I'd rather do than sit back and watch the sky explode.

When I first moved here, the town fireworks display took place at the high school football stadium. My young family could easily walk there - it was about a mile away if you drove on the streets but the walk was made easier by some of the "shortcuts" between my house and the field.

When my kids were young, we referred to these shortcuts as "secret pathways," but with their own street markers, they are anything but. These little paved footways were created so that people walking to the bus or train didn't have to go all the way around a long block to reach the bus line. They allow you to "cut through," as if you were going through someone's backyard to take a more direct route to the bus line. There are about half a dozen of these little corridors throughout Montclair, and if you live in the middle of one of the longer avenues, they can cut your walking time in half.

We used to call them secret pathways because we often discovered them accidentally, while on a walk. This has been one of my great joys - discovering the quiet amenities of a town that upholds a commitment to walkability.

The fireworks have moved from the high school stadium to the stadium at Montclair State University - too far for us to walk, although there are always non-car options. That show always takes place on July 4th. There's another show each year at Brookdale Park - this year it's on Friday, July 1st. I, of course, go to both, because I can't get enough fireworks. If you're like that too, here's a list of all the surrounding fireworks shows this weekend.

And if you want a tour of Secret Pathways, or to talk about any of the other ways Montclair rules as a walkable suburb, please call me. It would be my pleasure to walk you through them! 973.809.5277

 

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4 Trends That Support Walkability

If you had asked me decades ago, when I first moved to this area, whether a walkable suburb was for everyone, I think I would have said no. I think I'd have assumed that only those of us coming from New York City - the walker's mecca of the U.S. - would have understood and appreciated the benefits of living in an area that is easy to navigate on foot. But it's not just New Yorkers that are walkability lovers anymore. Here are four trends that point to America's communities becoming less reliant on cars.

1. Fewer People Have a Driver's License. From 2000-2014, the number of Americans holding a driver's license has fallen sharply from 91 to 77 percent.

2. Living Without a Car Has Become Easier. Not only have public transportation systems beenIMG_6152 upgraded and improved in the past two decades, services like Uber and Lyft have made "livery" service more simple, affordable, and reliable, allowing people to bypass car ownership altogether.

3. More People Bike to Work. From 2000 to 2014, the number of people commuting by bicycle has grown 62 percent. More and more, towns are budgeting (or securing grants) for bike safe roads and bike racks as part of "downtown" development.

4.Better Public Transportation Makes Good Business Sense. President Obama recently signed policy to give tax breaks to public transportation entities as well as for those who provide parking near public transportation.

If you're looking for a place that is pedestrian and bike friendly, allow me to introduce you our own lovely walkable suburb. Truly the best of both worlds!

 

New Listing: The Perfect Commuter Home - Bloomfield, NJ

What does it take to make a perfect commuter home?

o New York bus one block away! o 21-minute commute to midtown! o High end cook's kitchen! o Central air conditioning and outdoor hot tub! o Big bright family room! o Cozy fireplace! o Basement Rec Room! o Quiet neighborhood! o Easy highway access!

kitchen fam room hot tub

10 Bolton Place was just listed for $399,000 and will not last long on the market.

With ample room for relaxation and entertaining, this sweet home is perfectly placed for you to take advantage of quick, easy access to NY Port Authority. Whether your family is growing out of an apartment into a house, or downsizing into a simpler lifestyle, you have everything to gain in this 3-bedroom gem.

If you'd like to see this or any other homes, please call or text: 973.809.5277

My "Walkable" New Year's Resolutions

New-Year-Greeting-PicturesI've gone through years of outlandish resolutions (lose 25 pounds by February, finish all the half-read books on my nightstand, eat kale at every meal), and I've greeted the New Year with no resolutions at all. But this year, I've thought about how I can take better advantage of this amazing community I live in -- and also how I can give back. Many of my resolutions this year are "walkable" in nature, and they feel absolutely right. It's a list that captures the things that are really important to me -- the perfect recipe for a Happy New Year!

o  If I'm buying only one bag of groceries, I will ride my bike to Acme     rather than take the car.

o  If it's not raining (or snowing!) I will walk to the train station for my trips into New York City.

o  Rather than drive to the YMCA for my usual 45 minutes on the treadmill, I will walk the 3-mile loop from Edgemont Park, up through Yogi Berra Way, across Highland and down through Anderson Park.

o  If it's above 20 degrees, my daughter will walk home from the high school rather than me picking her up. (However,   if she's annoying me, it will only have to be above 15 degrees!)

o  I will grow half the veggies my family consumes between the months of July and October.

o  Every month, I will give away or sell at least one un- or underused item from my garage attic or basement. (My favorite way to do this is on the Montclair Swap Meet Facebook page.)

o  Each month, I will make a donation of either time, food or supplies to the Montclair Animal Shelter.

If one of your resolutions is to move yourself or your family up, out or over and a walkable suburb seems like it might fit with what's important to you, too, please don't hesitate to call me. I'd love to show you all this area has to offer! 973.809.5277