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My husband is interviewing in Princeton. They seem to be moving fast, so I'd like to get an idea of what it's like there in case he gets an offer - they seem to really like him.<br><br>
So what's the area like? From what I've found, it's a whole lot more expensive than Ohio, where we have a 4 bed/2.5 bath house on 3 acres that would probably go for $250,000 right now. I think we'd want to be reasonably close to Princeton University for his sake. I love the idea of being able to walk everywhere, but I think I'd need some kind of a yard to stay sane!<br><br>
I've heard many of the schools are excellent, but I love Montessori - I was about to go back to school to get my masters and become a Montessori teacher. Our son is 3 and he was going to go to a Montessori preschool in the fall. My husband was staying home with him while I worked full-time, but it looks like now the roles may be reversing...<br><br>
I'm a pretty casual mama - I'm no fashionista and we're not rich, so I'm worried I will not fit in there. I see houses going for $600,000 and it makes my stomach churn - that's a nearly a mansion here!<br><br>
Anyway, thanks for any details, from the weather to whatnot. I've lived here 20 years and have family here, so the idea of moving, especially to someplace totally unknown to me, has be quite anxious!
 

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I am in NJ, in Middlesex county about 30 minutes away. Princeton is very nice and very pricey. If you look outside of Princeton itself you'll find more reasonable priced homes although probably still more expensive than Ohio.<br><br>
Princeton does offer many nice restaurants, grocery stores and activities. The public schools are rated well and the area is very pretty.<br><br>
Hopefully someone that lives closer and is more familiar with the area will chime in. We go occasionally for lunch or to the record store (my husband).
 

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I teach in Princeton and love the town and its surroundings, but, as far as real estate, you're looking closer to the million mark for a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath with a lot of land. 600K or a bit more can get you a smaller home. The property taxes are pretty steep, as well...usually over 10K for a home on the more modest side (and depending on the area, as well...there are different areas of Princeton with very different neighborhoods)<br><br>
We live in West Trenton right now and are moving to Pennington. I really like Pennington and Hopewell; they are just outside of Princeton.<br><br>
There is a Montessori school in Princeton (Princeton Montessori) as well as a few other Montessoris in the surrounding area. Princeton Montessori has tuitions close to 30K a year, so be aware of that.<br><br>
As for the town, Princeton is great! It has a lot to offer and a great community - stores, restaurants, farms just outside of Princeton with great produce, shopping malls not far down Rt.1.<br><br>
If you can afford it, go for it. Feel free to PM me!
 

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I work in Princeton, though I can't imagine ever being able to afford living there. As has been said, there are several surrounding towns that are very nice and much more affordable.<br><br>
I have to say that I <i>love</i> Princeton. My personal experience has been that, although the area has a lot of money, the people are generally not snobbish or judgmental. It's a university town, so you have a lot of educated liberals running around. You have access to all kinds of culture, yet you are so close to beautiful parks, natural preserves, and other forms of open space. There are a ton of free or cheap things to do with little ones, too.<br><br>
I work for the Waldorf school there, so forgive me for the plug! It is one of the best work environments I've ever encountered, and the early childhood program is worth checking out, even if you love Montessori. Of course, there is a wonderful Montessori school in town too.<br><br>
I feel like Princeton offers so many options for people who don't want to live near a city but still want culture and community. I used to work in Manhattan and have lived all over NJ, and this is by far the most open- and like-minded area I've found. Good luck!
 

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P.S.<br><br>
I'm inferring from your post that your husband may be working for the university--if that's the case, you may be entitled to a stipend for preschool, which would make Montessori (or wherever you choose) even more feasible.
 

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Along with QuirkyMama's post about a possible stipend for preschool...there may also be faculty housing available through the University, if he is working there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, good to know! Thanks very much ladies. He would be working for the university, and I hadn't thought about a preschool stipend or faculty housing!
 

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I used to live in Middlesex county and we spent a lot of time in Princeton. It is such a nice town, but, yes, the real estate prices are insane (or at least they were when we were looking at houses there, briefly, about 4 years ago). Keep in mind that the Princeton campus is on the Northeast Corridor train line, so if your dh doesn't want a long car commute, he could still commute by train, and you could live in a town on the train line. When we were looking at houses, it seemed like Cranbury and West Windsor were nice, close to Princeton, and more affordable.
 

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I'd say try to get campus housing if you can to start, and then if you want to buy a home, you can spend time getting to know the area and find what you like.<br><br>
West Windsor & Cranbury may be more affordable than Princeton, but they are still pricey, esp. w/property taxes. I'd suggest Lawrenceville or Hamilton as more affordable towns.<br><br>
It really is a great area. Here are some favorites:<br>
Delaware & Raritan canal path<br>
Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and <a href="http://wholeearthcenter.com/" target="_blank">Whole Earth Center</a><br><a href="http://groundsforsculpture.org/" target="_blank">Grounds for Sculpture</a><br>
New Hope, PA & Lambertville, NJ<br>
Plenty of pick-your-own farms within 45 minutes, including a few organic farms & CSAs<br>
"Art All Night" in Trenton<br>
Just an hour to NYC, Philly, and the beach!<br><br>
fyi, this site has lots of local kid info:<br><a href="http://www.princetonkids.com/" target="_blank">http://www.princetonkids.com/</a>
 

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rutgers grad here-lived in new brunswick & south brunswick for years & worked in pennington.<br><br>
the princeton train might involve a 2nd train from the main station to the university station??? i think it used to be that way-but it ran frequent & took just a few mins. just an fyi.<br><br>
avoiding driving the rt 1 corridor around the area would be a wonderful thing if possible. back roads are the<br><br>
pennington & hopewell are soooo nice but also expensive i think. lawrenceville is nice, as is cranbury.<br><br>
ill come back & share more later...nursing dd2 & dd1 is peeing on the floor!!!
 

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My husband and I just moved to Princeton. He's kind of working for the university. I cannot comment on the schools, we are expecting our first. As far as housing goes, you need to look outside of Princeton proper. Every little town and hamlet is incorporated in NJ, so a "town" may be 5 "towns" over, but only 10 miles away. We found our townhouse through a real estate agent (though we are renting).
 

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Princeton is definitely pricey, but even within the borough or the township you can find more affordable houses if you're willing to buy smaller/older. The public schools are really great, too, if for some reason you can't afford Waldorf or Montessori for when your kids hit school age. I'd love to send my three kids to Waldorf, but -- I have three of them! I could never afford it, sadly. But we really love our neighborhood elementary school, Littlebrook, and it's just a great place to live. Lots of organic farms, farmer's markets, CSAs, cultural stuff to do (not that I've done much of that yet with the three kids and all, but someday....), great LLL groups, a babywearing group (that I run if you're interested), good libraries with great kids' programs, and more.<br><br>
The taxes are ridiculously high though especially for the services (or lack thereof). It really bums me out that there are no public indoor pools or rec centers for example, and I can't believe we pay $12K+ in property taxes and still have to pay a private garbage hauler!
 

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You could also think about living in PA. While the houses aren't a whole lot cheaper, the taxes are much lower. Washington's Crossing, Yardley and Morrisville are right on the NJ border. Many, many people live in PA and commute into NJ. I did it for 4 years and it's not a bad commute. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I lived in Plainsboro which is right next to Princeton. Great town to raise a family too and much more culturally diverse than Princeton. amazing community garden, and less expensive but still very very close to Princeton. sorry- I can't help on the Montessori question- there may be one in Plainsboro or one of the other nearby towns so check there.<br><br>
of course, I second the faculty housing option if you can get it.
 

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I'm in Lawrenceville and we love it. We rent a house here. Our daughter is in a Montessori program (at least for the time being) and we are still discovering places to go, things to do.<br><br>
The area is lovely though and can certainly be more affordable as compared to Princeton. Which we really love too.
 
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