Why Did the Cullens Buy a Home in West Orange?

New home buyers researched and watched many towns, and chose West Orange to purchase their first place to call home.

The new Fannie Mae National Housing Survey found that although getting a mortgage is tougher and prices have declined in recent years, Americans across the board continue to desire and to strive for homeownership.

Tony and Emily Cullen are moving into their new West Orange home right now and look forward to being a part of the neighborhood. “We came from an area that is almost rural and while the space is nice you can feel isolated,” said brand new West Orange homeowner Emily Cullen. “West Orange has space with all their parks and neighborhoods for my children to play in.” West Orange is also in a central location between her teaching job in Montclair and Tony's job/studies at Rutgers Newark.

According to the Fannie Mae survey, the top 4 reasons for choosing to purchase a home today are these non-financial factors:

  1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education;
  2. You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe;
  3. It allows you to have more space for your family;
  4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovation and updates.


New West Orange homeowners Emily and Tony began researching the interest rates and decided with this being a buyer's market, they should take the plunge and hopefully down the road be even more proud of their decision. 

The Fannie Mae survey found that even with the housing crisis' strong hit on home values and homeownership rates nationwide, the majority of Americans still dream of becoming homeowners. Nearly two-thirds of current renters plan to buy a home in the future.

Emily and Tony rented for years and wondered if they were making the right choice. “We liked the flexibility of renting, but wanted to get some return for all the money we sank into a home," Emily noted. "When the market tanked a few years ago, we were patting ourselves on the back saying, ‘Thank goodness we didn't buy!’  Then we started hearing people we know and trust saying now was the time to buy. We agreed with the fact people who are waiting for the official rock bottom of the market will see it in their rear view mirror.” 

I always talk about how West Orange is a town many gravitate towards as a place to call home. How Bob and I love selling West Orange because we live here, enjoy it here and genuinely like owning a home here. When I say things like this, I always get a few responses about how I’m just saying that because I’m a REALTOR or how bad the taxes are, or whatever.

While we would love for the taxes to be less, every homeowner we talk to regardless if they live in West Orange, Glen Ridge, Montclair, Maplewood or South Orange, say the same thing about their taxes, too; so we have come to learn West Orange taxes aren’t an anomaly. For all the blemishes some may see, they have to take a step back and remember people have lost a lot of value on their home regardless of where they live, and many people do love living here and are actively choosing to live here.

While some still feel it’s the worst time to be in the real estate market, many feel it’s a great day to purchase. For home sellers, they know they may not get the price they could have gotten a few years ago; but they will also be able to get the new home of their dreams for a lot less than they ever imagined. As a first-time home buyer, like Emily and Tony, they are getting in on the ground floor and their equity will build over the next decade. Homeownership is a long-term investment.

West Orange is a welcoming town. Many neighbors have already introduced themselves to Emily and Tony. “I have been delighted with my new neighbors,” noted Emily. “I'm already enjoying the interactions with people, their kids and even their dogs! The only con I have right now is that there are too many new restaurants to try and stay within my budget.”  

Nearly two-thirds of current renters in the Fannie Mae survey say that they will buy in the future. Many will be choosing West Orange, New Jersey.

Until those renters become West Orange homeowners, join us in welcoming Emily and Tony to town, and tell others why you enjoy living here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jason July 07, 2012 at 01:37 PM
and the failing education system, may just drive the Cullen out
Jason July 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
This article was written by realtor, you cannot trust the merit. Please provide the data. I must say that it was well written.
Ken July 07, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Why don't YOU provide the data? Show me real data that demonstrates the schools are failing. Protip: they're not.
Beverly Meaux July 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM
With all the sources of data that abounds, I like to speak from personal experience because as a REALTOR, I cannot sway you or tell you what data to consider and to use in evaluating a town. I can say this buyer is a teacher in a nearby town with children, and still choose West Orange. Our children, just finished 6 and 8 grade, and are both in the West Orange school system and constantly excel. To make sure I don't just say they make the honor roll and principal list all the time and someone could say, 'well the bar is low compared to other towns'; I can speak up and say, not so fast, our 8th grader (okay 9th now) tested and was accepted into the John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth 3 week program http://cty.jhu.edu/summer/index.html this summer...all with a West Orange public school system education. I am proud of her and the school system that got her there. That's my data.
Jim July 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I find the obsession with data points mildly fascinating. I think it's a cover. Some folks are skeered plain and simple. Can't say I blame em. The schools can only work with what they get. From an early age it is clear which kids come from homes where they are challenged and being raised with some standards and other places where that is clearly NOT the case. West Orange is fine. If not somewhat divided. But physical location is great! Many of the people that live here are terrific! Deal with it.


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