The township of West Orange—nestled amongst the ridges of the picturesque Watchung mountains in northern New Jersey–is starting to pique the interest of homebuyers. The onetime home of Thomas Edison, it has a population of 46,000 and a diverse array of communities. Whether you’re part of a small family, a young professional, or looking for a serene hometown as you approach retirement, West Orange is the perfect place to settle. One of West Orange’s flourishing communities, the Gregory neighborhood, deserves some special attention.

The Gregory community offers all the benefits of northern NJ living and tremendous value. It is situated in the southwest corner of West Orange, flanking Gregory Avenue on the east and west, with just over 5,000 residents at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. In this beautiful neighborhood, there is easy access to great schools, shopping, and the New York metro area.

Here are 4 reasons why I love the trending and affordable Gregory neighborhood of West Orange and why it could be a great place for your next home:

1. Gregory neighborhood homes are affordable

Gregory’s old world charm is reflected in its array of home styles. Strongly resembling neighborhoods in South Orange and Maplewood, Gregory features homes that appeal to every taste, from grand Victorian façades to classic Colonials. With West Orange’s median home value of $338,700, it is easy to find a home in the Gregory section at a lower price than neighboring Maplewood or South Orange. The popular shops, restaurants and vibrant communities of Maplewood and South Orange are close by, yet housing prices in West Orange are well within the reach of many homebuyers.

2. West Orange offers easy access to Midtown Direct and New York City

From the Gregory section, commuting to New York is simple. While West Orange is not directly on the Midtown Direct train line, the West Orange jitney provides free access to the Orange and South Orange train stations which are on Midtown Direct. At a fraction of the cost of living in nearby South Orange, Gregory is wonderfully convenient for professionals who spend their weekdays in the big city!

3. Gregory, West Orange offers top-rated schools

Gregory Elementary is a top-rated K-5 school offering a quality education for students and enriching activities in art, music, and sports. With an average of only 9 students per teacher, the school excels in language literacy, math and science programs from the 3rd through 5th grades, consistently exceeding New Jersey State averages for student testing.

Other great schools in the vicinity include Roosevelt Middle School and West Orange High School. The Roman Catholic Seton Hall Preparatory School, an all-boys high school, is also nearby. Living in Gregory, a student’s academic needs will be met at every phase, whether they are in kindergarten or soon to be college-bound.

4. Fun Local Activities in West Orange

Living in Gregory makes it easy to explore the many great things to do in West Orange. There is Thomas Edison National Historic Park, centered around the American innovator’s Glenmont Estate in the storied Llewellyn Park community. Visitors can explore the laboratories and artifacts of West Orange’s most famous resident. The Essex County South Mountain Reservation is a base for many popular outdoor recreational activities, including the Paddle Boating and Picnic Pavilion, and the Richard J. Codey Skating Arena is a fun indoor option. The Reservation is also the home of the Turtle Back Zoo, which features over 100 species of animals. The Zoo hosts “Walks and Talks” about bats, birds, and other creatures, the Sea Lion Sound, and a wide range of special events that cater to both adults and kids throughout the year.  If you’re more in the mood for a low-key shopping weekend, the Essex Green Shopping Center is just off of I-280 and even has an AMC dine-in movie theatre.

The Gregory neighborhood is one of the trending areas for northern NJ homebuyers. It offers a family-friendly community, easy access to New York City, highly-rated schools, great recreational activities and affordable homes.

If you’re beginning to imagine owning a home in the lovely Gregory enclave of West Orange, email victoria@victoriacarter.com or call me at (973) 220-3050. I would love to show you around!

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