If you are thinking about buying real estate in New Jersey, in addition to finding the right home to fit your needs, it is almost just as important to choose the town/county as wisely. Each town seems to have distinguishing characteristics and personalities. Some towns were developed more than 100 years ago and offer older homes with buccolic town centers. Alternativel,y other towns were largely developed in mid century (i.e. 1950’s) and their town’s housing inventory is more contemporary.
In addition to analyzing a town’s amenities, it is also good to research the county’s offerings as well. Each county has its own budget, politicians, and vision plan – so they can vary.
If you don’t compare all of the amenities by county – one thing is for sure- don’t overlook comparing the parks system in the counties you might be interested in living in. The parks system is a huge benefit for it’s residents. The better the parks system, the more amenities you will have at your finger tips. If this is news to you, I can say you may end up using the parks more than you realize.
Most counties offer tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, baseball fields, pools and the like. But the conditions and numbers of them vary greatly. Essex County has the Turtle Back Zoo – great for families with children and animal lovers. The zoo was extensively renovated and is a great example of County taxes at work.
Another amenity many counties offer is public golf courses. For a small fee, residents obtain their annual pass and which reduces the rate to play and gives them the ability to make reservations ahead of time (by phone or online). With the increased popularity of the sport/game many of the towns have considerably upgraded their courses. The Francis Byrne in West Orange, Essex County is beautiful and quite challenging. Their other courses are not nearly as well kept.
Morris County has pristine courses and offers non-resident passes. These passes make the cost to play very reasonable. The Pinch Brook Golf course (used to be a private club before it was donated to the county) is an executive style course in the Morris County Parks System. You would swear you were playing in a fine private club because it is so exceedingly well maintained.
Overall, the more rural the county, the more spacious the golf course. Whether you are just beginning or experienced, there are great programs in place for every level of play. For women, it is a great idea to join the WGANJ (the Women’s Golf Association of New Jersey). They run leagues in almost every county and will help you to get started, or play more competitively. You can learn more about it by going to http://www.wganj.com/.
My league ends next week – and I couldn’t be sadder. That’s why we decided to play the 9th hole barefoot last night. See you on the green!