November 09, 2015
Few decisions in life are as consequential as where you lay your roots. More and more homebuyers are choosing to lay theirs in South Jersey, and it’s easy to see why. The area’s plentiful job opportunities; its close proximity to the cultural gems of Philadelphia, New York City and even Washington, D.C.; and communities with a strong commitment to education make it a great place for families young and old.
It’s no surprise that South Jersey has grown at such a rapid clip over the years, with new amenities popping up nearly every month! Before you dive in and begin house hunting, consider these three communities that top the list of best places to raise a family:
First settled at the turn of the 18th century, historic Haddonfield continues to rank among the most desirable locales in the state today. Excellent public schools are the main draw for many newcomers to this town of 10,790 — Haddonfield Memorial High School, the town’s sole high school, received a National Blue Ribbon Schools Award, the nation’s highest accolade, during the 2004-05 school year — but plenty elect to stay put long after the kids have graduated.
At the center of Haddonfield is Kings Highway, a charming downtown shopping area replete with tony boutiques, delicious restaurants and funky art galleries, making it a popular haunt for residents young and old. Visitors to Haddonfield always notice the sturdy sycamore trees and the dense foliage that canopies most of the borough’s streets and handsome homes, and the town boasts several parks, like Crows Woods and Hopkins Pond. This mix of nature, shopping and sterling education makes Haddonfield one of the best places to raise a family.
And even with so much to offer, Haddonfield is not out of reach to new families: The average home sales price for the most recent quarter was $390,000.
For those enamored by Colonial charm but seeking a bit more room to roam, Moorestown marries history, architectural beauty and wide-open spaces. Just more than 20,000 residents call this expanse of nearly 15 square miles in Burlington County “home,” and many were drawn there by the town’s sterling academic reputation: Moorestown’s lone high school was awarded a National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for the 1999-2000 school year. Moorestown Friends, a K-12 Quaker school, is also located there.
Moorestown’s Main Street bisects the town and offers quaint shopping and restaurants along a quiet stretch at its center, while true shopaholics can get their fix at the Moorestown Mall, which features several gourmet restaurants, a movie theater and outposts of some of the nation’s top retailers, across town. And a short trip along Moorestown’s winding, bucolic roads takes you on a scenic voyage through sweeping tracts of farmland, grazing livestock and horses and acres of parks and nature preserves. It’s tough to remember you’re just 30 minutes from downtown Philadelphia!
Moorestown offers a bevy of different housing options for buyers looking to raise their families there — from majestic country estates to cozy, modern townhomes — and the median home sales price for last quarter was just shy of $500,000.
If a newer home with a big yard for the kids to play in tops your list, check out Voorhees. Home to just a few thousand residents in 1980, this Camden County township has blossomed into a buzzing suburb of 29,000 that’s filled with cultural and entertainment options. These options include the Flyers Skate Zone, a training facility for the NHL team, and the Voorhees Town Center, a hybrid retail, residential and civic complex that includes a shopping mall and the largest branch of the Camden County library system.
All this growth means plenty of new-construction homes for sale, many featuring modern comforts like central air, top-of-the-line kitchens and swimming pools, and the average price per square foot is $126, meaning your dollar stretches a little further in Voorhees than in older communities.
The average home sale price last quarter was just under $260,000. But great value doesn’t mean buyers need to sacrifice in other areas: Graduates of Voorhees’ excellent public school system surpass the national average SAT score, while more than 91 percent go on to college.
South Jersey is positively brimming with great attractions, excellent schools and friendly towns that make the perfect setting in which to raise your family. And if you are thinking of taking that next step, be sure to visit these communities with a real estate professional who knows them inside and out.