Get out. Make friends. Meet people in NJ.
UPDATE: Areas suggested by Verizon Wireless HR (please rank based on my wants/desires)
Hoboken (is a bit of a ride but we do have people that commute from that area if you’re looking for something close to NYC)
Where are you coming from?
College Park, MD (15 north of downtown Washington, DC)
Why are you moving?
Beginning a MBA LDP with Verizon Wireless
Where will you be working?
Basking Ridge, NJ
Will you buy or rent?
What is your budget?
Under $2000/month including Parking
What kind of place are you looking for?
At least 1 bed & 1 bath. 720 sqft or more. Washer & Dryer in Unit.
Will anyone (spouse, children, pets) be moving with you?
I have two small cats.
Briefly describe the kind of neighborhood you'd like to live in:
I am 29 and single. I live outside Washington, DC right now and don't take advantage of all the city has to offer because I am not close to metro and its a PITA to get in and out of the city since I don't live there.
Thus, (though the commute to Basking Ridge might suck), I have been looking around Hoboken, Jersey City, Bayonne in order to have access to more nightlife, young single professionals, etc.
I don't know anyone in the area and want to be close to the action (softball leagues, volleyball leagues, flag football, bars, entertainment, etc.)
I have read Morristown might be a good place, what are your thoughts?
If I can have EASY (ie, walking) distance to a train/metro system to get me from XYZ to Hoboken/Jersey City/Manhattan that might work out well.
I have read that taking public transportation to Basking Ridge would not be a great option since I have a car (car would be much faster).
List three things that are important to you in order of importance:
1) Good location to meet new people, make new friends, and be able to have fun in my early 30s.
2) Commute convenience (I'll live with 40min or so if its moving traffic)
3) Walk-in closet/storage/ (essentially space, bang for buck)
Thanks! I will definitely keep everyone updated. I have never lived "in the city" and during this relocation I am putting tremendous value in the ability to walk to my social life. I want to be more involved with the community and have a more active life than i do now (living outside the city).
As for the W/D in unit... it's more of a convenience thing. I'm fine with taking everything to a place that will wash and fold for me :P (they exist right? I've been doing my own laundry my whole life, hehe)
Parking.... Yea, I've been parking in a garage or right out front of my APT since I can remember. Parking is important to me.
Basically it boils down to this:
1) Hoboken and JC seem to not make much sense because my commute will not be ideal (and I can always go out there on the weekends)
2) I want to live in a happening town with young professionals in their mid-20s to early-30s
3) I do not NEED a W/D in unit (but it would be nice)
4) I'd like parking near my apt (in my apt community if possible)
5) I pay $1350 for a 720 sqft apt now with Parking included. Add in all utilities and I'm out about $1500 a month. I would like to not go over $2000 for rent/parking/utilities (worst case scenario)
OH and to everyone who has been contributing to this thread... FIRST ROUND ON ME :)
I just moved to Somerset. It's about 20 minutes or so from basking ridge and right next to New Brunswick (where Rutgers University is). It's nice. New Brunswick offers a lot of night life. Plus it's close to shopping at Bridgewater.
Check out "Franklin Greens" apartments- http://www.segalandsegal.com/franklin/. There's on-site laundry facilities, lots of parking (you can get garage parking for an extra $50 a month)
Morristown is good too, but as stated, there are some shady parts. I don't see Parsippany as a really good rental area. Hoboken is a hike and can be even more of a hike with traffic- the city and the areas around it are packed around rush hour. Plus, rent there is pretty high and parking is terrible.
Downtown Morristown is typically considered the area around the green. It's really the heart of morristown. On a map, there's a square where South Street, 202, and a few other roads all meet. Most of the bars are along south street and morris street.
As for the shady areas, North along Speedwell(202) has a few areas that get a little sketchy at night and I feel like the north west part of morristown is an area I'd avoid living(around the cemetary on the other side of the train tracks).
"the green" is a little patch of land in the middle of town...go to google maps and put in "morristown nj" and youll see it right there on the map! if you do the 'street view' keep in mind that the area around the square looks different now...there were luxury apartments and condos put up there...and near the train where my apartment is, it is pre-build...so it doesnt look as nice as it does now... :) ...since youre going to be visiting...id just drive towards the green and walk around to get a feel for the town (youll also be able to tell which areas arent as desirable by doing this)...it is not a large city...its a small city...so its not like living in dc, per se...
again, w/the w/d thing...you can drop off clothes at a wash and fold (yes, they have them) or most apartments do have on-site laundry facilities where you share w/ds with your neighbors (generally pay per use, but some houses that are broken up into apartments may not charge for use)...also, almost ALL apartments have parking in the complex, some may charge for parking though...the older buildings many times have heat, hot water, and cooking gas included in the rent...that is where youll save money on utilities, the new apartments generally do NOT include any utilities in the rent...you can probably rent an apartment in an older building w/all expenses landing you under $1500/mo...also, keep in mind, when i say 'older building' that doesnt mean something falling apart...most of the complexes are kept up very well and many have been renovated inside (just minus the w/d...lol)... :)
bridgewater, somerset, and parsippany are fine...but they wont have that night life thing youre looking for...hoboken is going to be a long commute, plus its expensive and parking is a nightmare (though i know people who live there and love it)...as adam suggested, new brunswick is also a good alternative...i didnt realize it was that close to basking ridge...not sure why i didnt think about it...maybe because i always get myself lost when i go there... ;)
So future friends... :)
I just spent the weekend in the Basking Ridge/Morristown area looking for places. I'm having doubts about my offer of employment because 40% or so of my income will be going towards rent and utilities.
Simply getting a decent 1 bedroom apartment will run $1700 at best then tack on all the utilities, pet fees, parking, etc and your way over $2000.
Hopefully they will consider a cost of living adjustment :)
My exuberant excitement about this opportunity has been muted by the fact that my net gain is near zero (verging on negative) compared with my current situation.
Keeping my head up and remaining optimistic :)
My apartment complex - Franklin Manor - offers W/D in many of the units for about $1300/month, depending on whatever specials they have going on and the various economic demands in town. It's about 3/4 of a mile from the Morristown NJ Transit station and 1 1/2 miles to Convent Station where you can park for free all weekend. Definitely a bit further for commuting into NYC but it rarely stops me.
I love living there - free parking and they allow both cats and dogs.
Let me know if you want more info.
Like many other people in Morristown, I live in a subdivided house -while most units inside the house themselves don't have a W/D in the unit, they are in the basement of the house - with 3-4 units in any one house, you can deal. I hawked for 3 days hard on Craigslist and got mine for $1600 with all utils included - it does get cold and depending on the altitude it can get windswept, so utils is definitely important.
Geographic borders - not north of Clinton on Speedwell, out to Jardine/Olyphant off of Lafayette, most anywhere to the east/south/west of the green.
I'm a bit insane and will often drive into the city - driving into Hoboken is a nightmare for parking, but New York isn't hard if you learn the timing and aren't trying to drive to MAdison Square Garden or Times Square. The trains do suck and don't do direct to Hoboken on the weekend.
It's not easy, and Jersey is expensive nobody will argue. The apartment complexes in general are rough to brutal, but there are places like this out there http://newjersey.craigslist.org/apa/2384449519.html which may be crappy or pretty good, need to hunt on your own. Having the willingness to put some work in to paint/repair your place will help. Another option is get a short-term roommate and look for a few months until you find the perfect place, the most vacancies on bang for the buck places is during the summer. Still if you want under $1300-1500 you'll need a roommate.
Morristown does get small for nightlife, but for this area of NJ it's by far the best - driving into NYC from here at night is often a 45-minute drive or a 72 minute train ride with a last run at 1:30.
New Brunswick is another decent opportunity, it's not as much of a college town as it used to be, some decent "adult" nightlife off of George St, and from there it's not as far to the shore or NYC.
I've been reading through everyone's posts and find them interesting - I'm learning a lot as well!
I too am surprised that more people haven't suggested New Brunswick. Maybe I'm biased because I went to college there and live closeby, but it's a great town (doesn't get the rep it deserves) and probably not a bad driving commute to Basking Ridge either. Plus, the New Brunswick train station is right in the middle of town. I would also think it's more affordable than Morristown or other "north Jersey" towns where price go up up up..
It may be a college town, but you can find some good life - great bars/microbreweries, convenience stores abound, ethnic restaurants, festivals, a famous comedy club, and a great art museum. There may not be as much to do as in Morristown or Hoboken, but at least the parking situation is decent - lots of street parking (free after 7pm and on weekends) and affordable garages.
A hint: if you take the time to learn the Rutgers campus bus system (not as complicated as people will make it out to be), you can hop on any of their buses most any time of day/night to get around town. Some run as late as 3am, they're free, and you don't need ID to ride. You can drink and still get home without your car!
The downside - sadly, many neighborhoods in N.B. are shady, but that's something you'll see in any city and just have to stay away. If you take a walk around George street and the whole College Avenue/Easton Avenue area, you'll find a lot of lovely historic buildings and all the bars and lounges you'll ever need. Unlike Montclair, they're open past 10pm. :P
Like Steve mentioned above, you won't be far from the shore towns, and you won't be far from the Princeton area (very beautiful with its own nightlife) or from NYC either...only about a 40 min commute to any of those places. You're smack in the middle of Jersey so everything is within reach!
Hope that helps...good luck!
If anyone knows anyone looking for a roommate that wants to live in Morristown, please let me know.