Areas a good/decent school district & a central downtown location

3 Replies


I am looking to invest in a multi-family home (potentially house-hacking) in NJ (primarily central and northern). I've been living in NJ for three years yet still not familiar with many areas. Where are areas with a good/decent school district and a nice central downtown/gathering area? I've visited Westfield and Summit- looking at options similar yet don't need to be that high-end. 

Thank you for your help!

@Young Koepke Nice meeting you on here. House hacking is a great strategy to start building long term wealth. Westfield, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Cranford are good areas for schools and nice town area with great food. I would be more than happy to assist you. Shoot me a message. 

Westfield and Summit are both VERY nice towns. Montclair offers more of an urban feel compared to those two towns and may have a couple more multi-family options. If you are willing to take a step down from Montclair, I would suggest Bloomfield. They have an up and coming downtown area. Clifton is also a possibility for what you are looking for. Tough to find multi-families in suburban towns like Summit/Westfield

Agents can't tell you what school systems are good or bad, but we can point you to resources that will help. I prefer Niche to Great Schools and they have good info for what you want. From a parent's perspective, I can tell you as a dad to a 19 and 17 year old, that I think elementary school ratings are overvalued. If your kid(s) goes to school with their friends, it's all going to be good under 5th grade for the most part. It's after that where it starts to matter more.

To house hack with kids is tougher and a 2-family in Montclair will run you about 700k right now, maybe 600k if it needs work. @Rick Borgo is correct that Summit and Westfield are light on multis, as is Chatham, but Montclair and Bloomfield have a ton.