Northern New Jersey is a region rich in history, culture, and diverse communities. Towns like Maplewood, South Orange, Montclair, West Orange, and Millburn offer unique and charming places to call home. If you're considering house shopping in these areas, you're in for a treat! However, choosing the right home involves more than just location. In this blog post, we'll explore special features to keep an eye out for when house shopping in these Northern NJ towns, including some unexpected surprises.
One of the defining features of these towns is their architectural character. Look for homes with distinctive styles such as Colonial, Victorian, Tudor, or Mid-Century Modern. These unique designs can add charm and personality to your new home, making it stand out in the neighborhood.
Proximity to Commuter Options
Many residents in these towns commute to New York City or other nearby employment hubs. Consider homes that are within walking distance to train stations or bus stops -- easy access to public transportation can significantly enhance your daily commute.
School District Quality
If you have children or plan to in the future, the quality of the local school district is paramount. Research the schools in the area, including public and private options. Sites such as niche.com and greatschools.org are a great start. And be sure to check out the town’s school district site.
Yard Space and Outdoor Amenities
Outdoor living is essential, especially in these picturesque towns. Look for homes with spacious yards or gardens where you can relax and entertain. Features like patios, decks, or even a swimming pool can be highly desirable, depending on your preferences.
Landscaping That Wows
The landscaping of a home can make a significant difference in its overall appeal. Consider homes with beautifully landscaped yards featuring:
Mature Trees: Majestic trees can provide shade, character, and a sense of history to a property.
Well-Maintained Gardens: Lush flower beds, ornamental shrubs, and well-tended gardens can add color and beauty.
Hardscaping Elements: Patios, pathways, and stone features can enhance outdoor living spaces.
Water Features: A tranquil pond, fountain, or waterfall can create a soothing ambiance.
Outdoor Lighting: Thoughtfully placed outdoor lighting can extend the use of outdoor spaces into the evening.
Consider properties near community amenities such as parks, walking trails, and recreational facilities. Living close to these amenities can enhance your quality of life and provide opportunities for outdoor activities.
Walkability and Downtown Proximity
These towns often have vibrant downtown areas filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. A home within walking distance of these downtown areas can offer convenience and the opportunity to enjoy the local scene without the need for a car.
With a growing emphasis on sustainability, look for homes with energy-efficient features. This not only reduces your environmental footprint but can also lead to cost savings on utilities in the long run.
Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are often the most frequently used areas in a home. Houses with updated and modern kitchen and bathroom fixtures can save you the hassle and expense of remodeling.
In addition to the expected features, keep an eye out for unexpected but pleasing surprises in homes. These could include:
Secret Gardens: Some homes may have hidden or secluded gardens that provide a serene escape.
Home Theaters: A fully equipped home theater can make movie nights unforgettable.
Wine Cellars: If you're a wine enthusiast, a well-maintained wine cellar can be a delightful find.
Sunrooms or Greenhouses: These spaces allow for year-round gardening or relaxation in a sunny atmosphere.
Original Artwork or Custom Murals: Some homes may feature unique artistic touches that add personality.
Smart Home Features: Unexpected technological features, such as integrated smart home systems, can enhance convenience and security.
House shopping in Maplewood, South Orange, Montclair, West Orange, and Millburn offers an exciting array of options, from historic charm to modern amenities. As you embark on your journey to find the perfect home, keep these special features in mind. Ultimately, the right house will not only meet your functional needs but also align with your lifestyle and personal preferences. Be open to unexpected but pleasing surprises that can truly make a house feel like home. Happy house hunting in Northern New Jersey!
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