Baristanet Real Estate Guide: Maplewood

Today we launch our first real estate guide, both for the benefit of city dwellers thinking about a move to the suburbs, but residents of Baristaville thinking about possibly changing towns. We start with Maplewood.

Known for its tree-lined streets, lovely old homes, socially progressive attitude (lots of Occupy Wall-Street supporters here) and proximity to NYC, Maplewood packs a lot of personality into its four square miles. Young professionals, recent immigrants, creative types and gay families alike appreciate the town’s welcoming, small-town vibe –- not for nothing is its nickname “Mapleberry.” Two main shopping districts –- the charming walkable downtown packed with chic stores and restaurants, and the bustling strip of Springfield Avenue -– buzz with stroller-pushing moms and local workers. In summer, locals flock to the town pool, and to the ultra-popular, ultra-groovy Maplewoodstock, a free outdoor concert that has become a tradition. Columbia High School, which also serves adjacent South Orange, is recognized for its stellar arts and music programs as well as a state champion fencing team — and is the birthplace of Ultimate Frisbee. Housing prices are a bargain compared to some nearby towns but come with a high property tax bill.

On the market
“Value is what is selling homes in Maplewood over Montclair,” says Robert Northfield, real estate broker/sales person for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Maplewood office. He says buyers can find a “Montclair” house for a little less in Maplewood. Buyers are attracted to the community’s variety of housing stock and styles, small town feel, tree-lined streets, diversity, the Village, good schools, beautiful parks and the “fantastic commute to New York City” — one half hour by train.

According to Northfield, who was named one of the top 250 individual agents in the U.S. for 2010 sales transaction volume by RealTrends, Inc. and The Wall Street Journal, most of the sales are between $450,000-$600,000 with a “fair share in the lower and higher prices.” There is not a lot of supply of homes for sales on the higher end.

Tuscan School

Home prices range from $79,900 (condo) to $1,699,900 (condo), with an average listing price of $577,250. About 141 homes were on the market in late fall.

Average taxes on a $500,000 home are $18,000 ($18,029.64)

Vital Statistics
23,867 people (2010 Census data)
Demographics: 51.0% white, 35.3% black, 3.0% Asian, 6.7% Latino.
Income: The median income for a household was $107,130 (based on 2000-2009 U.S. Census data, plus inflation), and the median income for a family was $120,300.
Voted in 2008 Election: Obama 81.90%, McCain 16.58%
NJ Monthly High School Ranking: 75 (2010) 89 (2008)
Schools: Seth Boyden, Tuscan, Clinton and Jefferson Primary Schools, Maplewood Middle School, Columbia High School.

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  1. I was raised in Maplewood from 1 year until 2008 when my parents had expired and I inheirited the 3 bedroom all brick English Tudor, with finished basement, 2 car garage, huge livining room with real working fireplace and an archway seperating the very formal dining room from the Living room. Also a first floor den 12×14 ! A screened in porch with slate flooring amd an archway made of brcks, and a formal entrance foyer made of blue-slate. A 5 car driveway and a huge all fenced-in rear yard. a 15 minute walk to NYC train, and a new roof less than 2 years “old”.

    It sold in 2 weeks. It sold for $150,000. It was a bargin then. Today? A fixer upper is $ 350,000. Taxes ?? Don’t ask. The K-6 shools are very good. The Maplewood Jr. High School is to be avaoid at any cost. In one word it is horrid !!
    The High school is excellent !! The Mplwd Center is a gift. A charm.
    Springfield Ave sports a new Wallgreens. I personally have never been in a more beautiful commercial store. The parks a ubber clean and safe. I believe they close at dark. They sport tennis courts, playgrounds for the little ones and there ALOT of parks. I can count 4, maybe more.

    That’s my 1st hand take. I still go back to Maplewood Center for the stores, the movie theatre, the restaurtants and other stores the my wife likes. Seemingly all races and religions get along in harmoney.

  2. Sandy, having lived in Maplewood for 13 years (and now in S. Orange for four), I have to disagree with you about the middle schools. There are two: Maplewood Middle and South Orange Middle – and neither is “horrid”, I can assure you. Actually, they are both great schools with caring staff and involved parents.

    Other than that, I second everything you’ve said about Maplewood!

    Carolyn Maynard-Parisi

  3. No, it was a “tpo” and there was no way to correct it, on this site.
    I sold my house in 1988 !! (Not 2008. Sorry.)
    Regarding the Maplewood Middle School on Baker St. …. We all have
    different experiences. Mine was terrible.

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