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.
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)
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.