Q & A: William Landesman on Real Estate Trends in Somerset Hills, New Jersey

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Why are buyers attracted to the Somerset Hills real estate market?  

Living in the Somerset Hills area offers residents the perfect balance of suburban and country lifestyle and convenience to all that the greater New York City metropolitan area has to offer. Manhattan is only 40 miles to the east and accessible for daily commuters via the New Jersey Transit train stations in Bernardsville, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Peapack, and Gladstone. Equestrian enthusiasts are also drawn to this New Jersey hunt country; the community is anchored by the United States Equestrian Team headquarters at Hamilton Farms in Gladstone. Many of the public schools in the area are ranked top in the state in addition to a number of private school options, which are also available to residents.

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 How does the real estate in Somerset Hills compare to that in other areas of New Jersey?

Real estate in the Somerset Hills is comparable to other communities along the New Jersey Transit Mid-Town Direct train line. However, geographically, this area provides residents with much more open space and rolling hills than those towns to the north and east that are closer to New York City. Many properties enjoy significant acreage, which helps to preserve the landscape. Additionally, the communities within the Somerset Hills typically enjoy lower property taxes than those closer to Manhattan and some of the area schools are ranked top in the state.

How do the homes in this market differ in regards to design, historical significance, when they were built, and property value?

The Bernardsville Mountain colony was developed in the early 1900s by wealthy New Yorkers when the train line was extended to the area. A number of architecturally and historically significant properties dot the landscape and have been renovated and brought up to today's luxury standards. Over time, such notable residents of the area have included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Brooke Astor, Meryl Streep, John Dryden–a founder of Prudential Insurance–and Mike Tyson.

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