Summit NJ is among my favorite towns. I graduated from Summit’s Kent Place School, and my office now is within walking distance of this wonderful girl’s prep school. Happily I have not gone far except for a short post-college detour in NYC.
And the popularity of Summit – which enjoys more express trains to Penn Station than any other Midtown Direct town – shows up in the Summit NJ Real Estate trends. This upscale suburban town enjoys one of the strongest real estate markets in New Jersey. Check out our monthly Summit NJ Home Sales report, which lists every home sold, by list price, sale price, and other key info.
But at the end of the day the purchase of a home – and the selection of the right community – is more than an investment. It is your life. So let me share my personal list of reasons I find Summit so appealing.
- Downtown Summit & Convenience: Over the last 20 years I have marveled as Summit’s downtown evolved. Today there are first class restaurants, boutique shops like John Hyatt and Plumquin, national franchises like Jacadi or J.Mclaughlin and sidewalk cafes like Pizza Vita. What a contrast from my early Kent Place days. Last week I enjoyed a dinner at the superb Roots Steakhouse, followed by a movie, and then a post-show frozen yogurt at Red Mango. Summit was buzzing. No doubt Summit offers all the conveniences of a larger urban area, but amidst the tranquility of a town of just 21,500. And with Midtown Direct Train service into Manhattan, the commute is just 35 minutes (15 minutes to Newark Airport). And finally, don’t tell my husband, but my commute is five minutes away…the Short Hills Mall – home to The Apple Store, Neiman Marcus, Vineyard Vines and Hermes.
- Summit NJ’s Farmer’s Market:
Summit’s Downtown areas hosts a Farmer’s Market on Sundays from the Spring to Fall. As a foodie, I love fresh local produce and products. This is a ritual for me. One can wander among the stalls, and marvel at the cornucopia of fresh vegetables, including the best Jersey tomatoes and corn, just caught seafood and home baked pies. The scallops from Shore Catch, Barnegat Bay, NJ are as sweet as candy – I buy them weekly. I often run into Summit neighbors and friends as we stock up for the week. Dogs are welcome, so its a great place to show off your cute furry family members.
- Summit NJ’s Superb Schools: Summit boasts one of the finest public school systems in New Jersey, with some surveys placing it within the top ten. Supplementing the public school system is a network of outstanding private preparatory schools not far away, including the local Kent Place, Oak Knoll, and Oratory and not far Newark Academy, Delbarton and Pingry. I graduated from Kent Place and my partner, Howard Bunn, from Pingry. Nearly 100% of their graduates continue to college, with many matriculating at Princeton, Yale, Duke and other top universities. (Fun fact: Charlie Gibson’s wife, Arlene Gibson, served as Kent Places’ headmistress for many years before being named the head at Spence in NYC). And after school activities are endless, ranging from the competitive swimming program ‘Summit Seals’ at the YMCA to ballet and lacrosse. The Visual Arts Center of NJ is an amazing resource for art classes. While I’m now an empty nester, when my children were younger my second “job” was afternoon chauffeur. The good news: you don’t have to go to far for excellent programs.
- Recreation: Summit’s public recreational facilities include a beautiful Par 3 municipal golf course, soccer, football and baseball fields, paddle and tennis courts and even an aquatic center. The list of Summit provided activities for people of all ages is exhaustive. My husband and I enjoy teeing it
up at nearby private golf clubs, Baltusrol and Canoe Brook, two of the finest golf links in the US. And did I mention ice hockey? The Beacon Hill Club offers an ice hockey program second to none. So good that I have known people who commute from NYC to Beacon Hill Club for this reason alone. And across the street from Beacon Hill is the Reeves-Reed Arboretum, a spectacular formal gardens on the National Register of Historic Places. Keller Williams of Summit held its Holiday Party last year in the Arboretum’s old stone house, truly a memorable charming and festive setting. Did I mention hot yoga, spinning…as you see, I could go on.
- Summit NJ’s Charming Neighborhoods & Residences: Of course Summit’s enormous charm comes from its neighborhoods and homes. Summit is one of the most affluent towns in suburban New Jersey, and enjoys quiet, leafy, and wide streets. Homes include some of the grandest, rambling Victorians – to Colonial, and Arts & Crafts style residences along Summit’s prestigious Northside neighborhood. But there are also smaller, but abundantly charming homes near Soldiers Memorial Park and elsewhere. And for those who can’t quit Summit when its time to retire and downscale – there are a limited number of upscale apartments close to downtown attracting seniors on Euclid Avenue and Summit Place. My Mother-in-law, Dorthy Moxley, loves her Euclid Avenue three bedroom, and we love having her close.
No doubt Summit NJ is aptly named….there is no more appealing place to live.