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 and 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. The four-square mile township is a vision of sidewalks, parks and tranquil streets lined with tall trees and Colonial and Tudor homes. Its four-block downtown, affectionately known as "the village," is filled with quaint, family owned shops. Even the downtown Kings - the smallest of the sixteen store chain is more like a country store than a supermarket.
This small town atmosphere is what attracts people to Maplewood, along with the town's natural beauty and amenities. Maplewood abuts the South Mountain Reservation - a 2,020-acre recreational preserve that includes picnic grounds and hiking trails. The town also has six parks and an award-winning outdoor pool.
Another attraction, especially for first-time home buyers, is affordability. Many couples are drawn to the socioeconomic mix of the community's 23,000 residents, which some say, gives it a down to earth feel.
The scenery in Maplewood attracts people to this 4-square mile township, but a strong sense of community keeps tradition strong and neighbors close. A collection of Tudors, Victorians, and Colonials predominate most of the single family housing. Beautiful established landscaping is a common thread throughout.
A home in Maplewood may sell for $150,000 to over $700,000 and there are larger homes on larger properties available for $350,000 and up. Also available in more modest, but very appealing neighborhoods are homes ranging from $125,000 and up.
Maplewood is 18 miles from Manhattan and many residents commute daily by train (about 30 minutes at rush hour).
The Township shares a quality school system with South Orange. There are six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school with a reputation for academic excellence. Columbia High School offers advanced placement, college prep and vocational courses as well as classes in film making and journalism. Columbia offers 25 clubs from astronomy to chess and 23 varsity sports.
Maplewood is governed by a Township committee, made up of 5 men and women and a mayor.
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