4 New Jersey Neighborhoods Perfect for First Time Homeowners

Posted on Jan 14, 2021


The city of Camden is home to the world-renowned Adventure Aquarium, Cooper University Hospital, and Rutgers University, a prestigious institution considered to be a “public Ivy.” It also has a burgeoning cultural scene, with players like i418 Cafe and the Camden Arts Yard beer garden. 

The suburbs of Camden are popular neighborhoods thanks to a combination of affordable housing and quick commutes to major metro areas. For first time homeowners — especially those new to the area — which suburban neighborhoods are best? Here’s what you need to know.

Neighborhood Guide: Collingswood NJ

Collingswood is an in-demand neighborhood thanks to its proximity to Center City Philadelphia — it’s only 20 minutes away by car or metro, yet gives residents access to far more affordable housing than what they might find just across the state line in PA. 

Over the past several years Collingswood has built up a reputation as a cool neighborhood for 20 and 30-somethings who are looking to settle down without giving up access to chic cafes and trendy eateries. Residents describe it as having a “village feel” and during the spring, summer, and autumn months, you can swing by the Collingswood Farmers Market for affordable local produce (as well as live music and other events!).

Although single family homes are common here, there’s a fair number of condos available as well, which can be appealing to first time home buyers looking for an easy transition from apartment living. 

Worth noting: while Collingswood is a dry town — meaning you’ll need to journey to an adjacent town to buy your alcohol — this has led to a proliferation of hip BYOB restaurants. Enjoy great food along with your favorite $9 bottle of Merlot.

What our local Realtor has to say:

"Restaurant scene is top-rated in South Jersey (Hearthside, The Kitchen Consigliere, Zeppoli). Close proximity to the PATCO makes getting in and out of Philly a breeze. You'll find older style homes from the early 900s (Colonial, Craftsman, Cottage) here with plenty of character," says Erika Arruda.

  • Average home price today: $284,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $221,000
  • Median age: 40 years
  • Walkability score: 83

Check Out:

CollingswoodHome.jpg?mtime=20210114160041#asset:37624

This Collingswood home sold for $285,000 through Houwzer

Neighborhood Guide: Haddonfield NJ

Similar to Collingswood, Haddonfield draws in NJ and PA residents alike thanks to its proximity to Philadelphia and easy access to high-speed PATCO trains connecting this suburb to Philadelphia and other nearby New Jersey cities. The city’s shopping district features numerous local boutiques, cafes and more, and residents are drawn to the area’s mix of urban conveniences and small town ambiance.

The majority of the homes for sale in this area are single family homes, and features like wrap-around porches and beautifully landscaped yards are easy to find. 

What our local Realtors have to say:

"Haddonfield is one of the most desirable locations to live in South Jersey for its small-town feel. The town strives to keep the historical feel intact and Kings Highway is your stereotypical charming 'main street' that is always filled with people walking between mom-and-pop shops and BYOB restaurants," says Ruben Concepcion.

"Downtown Shops (over 200 shops almost entirely owned by small businesses) and walkability make Haddonfield a great choice for young families moving from the city. Similar to Collingswood, many older style homes from the early 1900s  (Colonial, Victorian, Craftsman) . New builds are also available for those looking for new construction," notes Erika Arruda.

  • Average home price today: $532,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $447,000
  • Median age: 43
  • Walkability score: 85 

Check out:

haddonfieldhomeNJ.jpg?mtime=20210114165147#asset:37625This Haddonfield home sold for $415,000 through Houwzer

Neighborhood Guide: Cherry Hill NJ

Cherry Hill is one of New Jersey’s most popular townships (in fact, Niche recently rated it one of the best places to live in the entire state) with a reputation as a family-friendly place to live with plenty of desirable amenities in the form of restaurants, entertainment, and more. It’s home to the Cherry Hill Mall — one of America’s first enclosed shopping malls that remains popular to this day. 

While this neighborhood isn’t quite as walkable as Haddonfield or Collingswood, residents tend to appreciate the space and welcoming atmosphere. This is one of Camden’s more affordable suburbs, with plenty of beautiful, single-family homes available at competitive price points — while being an easy commute distance from Philadelphia, Trenton and more. 

The township has launched several initiatives aimed at young families, such as Restaurant Week, recreation classes and Welcome to Cherry Hill Night, making this both a welcome and relatively affordable neighborhood for young couples looking for a starter home.

What our local Realtor has to say:

"Cherry Hill is perhaps the most well-known area in the area, even to outsiders that are not completely familiar with South Jersey. The township itself is so big that it is home to two high schools (Cherry Hill East and Cherry Hill West). All of the major roadways seem to find their way through Cherry Hill so getting around is simple. The number of food options is endless and you can get your holiday shopping done at the iconic Cherry Hill Mall," says Ruben Concepcion

  • Average home price today: $332,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $224,000
  • Median age: 39.6 years
  • Walkability score: 65

Check Out:

CherryhillHome.jpg?mtime=20210114155709#asset:37623This Cherry Hill home sold for $365,000 through Houwzer

Neighborhood Guide: Haddon Heights NJ

Haddon Heights is a popular New Jersey suburb for Philadelphia commuters — a 20 minute car ride or a 40 minute bus ride can take you straight into Center City. This historical borough is one of quiet calm, with plenty of tree-lined streets and a bustling main street. Residents often describe the area as “family friendly,” and neighbors frequently form close bonds. This is a historic “dry” town, meaning most restaurants won’t be selling alcohol — so residents needn’t worry about rowdy late night partiers.

What our local Realtor has to say:

"Haddon Heights itself is intriguing if you enjoy the charm of a quiet, historic town. You won't find too many businesses in the township itself but Haddon Heights is so small that you will quickly find yourself in a neighboring town such as Audubon and Haddonfield within minutes," says Ruben Concepcion.

  • Average home price today: $327,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $255,000
  • Median age: 43.2 years
  • Walkability score: 75

Check Out:

HaddonHeightsNJhomes-1.jpg?mtime=20210114165502#asset:37626This Haddon Heights home sold for $407,000 through Houwzer

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