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As a Maplewood, New Jersey real estate expert and resident, Barbara brings extensive knowledge about Maplewood homes, its community, school system, commuter information and resources have proved invaluable to her clients buying a home in Maplewood.

Talk to newcomers and you often hear the same story: A young couple is fed up with high rents for cramped apartments in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens. Maybe they’re expecting a child. They approach the suburbs warily, unwilling to move too far from New York, where at least one of them works.

Maplewood’s Norman Rockwell image is not just an illusion. Nothing much has changed here in 30 years. Sure, there is an art gallery and a bagel shop in town, but there is also an old-fashioned luncheonette, where neighbors sit and talk. Just 18 miles from Manhattan and 3.97 square miles in area, Maplewood has a small town atmosphere and natural beauty characterized by parks, and tranquil streets. The four-block downtown area affectionately known as “The Village” is filled with small stores and quaint specialty shops. Even the downtown King’s supermarket, the smallest in the sixteen-store chain, has the feel of a country store.

Mostly residential, Maplewood’s residents live in a pleasant collection of Tudor, Victorian and Colonial style homes along with a few condominium complexes. In 2005, home/condo sale prices in Maplewood ranged from $200,000 to $1.5 million with an average sale price of $495,761.

Maplewood shares a school system with the town of South Orange. There are six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Between 2004-2005, Maplewood/South Orange spent 12,484 per pupil on education and the average class size was 19. The average combined SAT score for high school students was 1,039 and 91 percent of the graduating seniors continued on to further education.

Maplewood has six parks, many with playing fields, tennis and basketball courts. There is also a municipal pool. The nearby South Mountain Reservation in South Orange has picnic areas, trails for hiking, jogging, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Maplewood and South Orange share many cultural activities. There are community centers, which sponsor over 30 different classes and house a variety of events; concerts by New Jersey Symphony; art galleries and an annual outdoor art show. Theater groups include the Village Players, the Maplewood Strollers, as well as the Seton Hall University Drama Department, in South Orange.

The township of Maplewood is a haven for commuters traveling to almost anywhere in New Jersey and New York City. New Jersey Transit provides direct train service to New York City’s Penn Station, a trip that takes approximately one-half hour. For those traveling outside of New Jersey, Maplewood is only 20 minutes from Newark Airport by care and within minutes of Interstate 280, Interstate 78 and the Garden State Parkway. Bus service to Manhattan, Newark and Newark Airport if offered through New Jersey Transit.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Maplewood, New Jersey let a Maplewood real estate expert guide you. Contact Barbara Lawrence today to begin your home search.