Real Estate

What’s Keeping Westfield’s Real Estate Market Hot

December 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ – For many years, Westfield has been a destination for young families moving from cities to the suburbs and, increasingly, for those who grew up here to return to and raise their own children.

A vibrant business community, a top-notch school system, ease of commutability to New York City and charming neighborhoods have drawn new homeowners to the town for decades and have kept the real estate market here booming this year, even during months that are traditionally slow.

Combined with its unique mix of amenities is Westfield’s low crime rate (one of the reasons Movoto Real Estate ranked Westfield its third-best “city” in New Jersey).

Sign Up for E-News

Though the effect of the overall economy can’t be overlooked, The Alternative Press dug deeper into why Westfield’s real estate, in particular, is so hot right now:

Thriving Local Businesses

“There are weeks that go by that I don’t leave town,” said Lorena Barbosa, broker and owner of David Realty Group, who has lived in Westfield for 10 years. “My doctors are here, my kids’ doctors are here, both supermarkets—Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop."

In addition to the businesses located thorughout the town, Westfield’s downtown gives shoppers the opportunity to visit a variety of national chains, smaller boutiques, an independent bookstore and a plethora of restaurants in a very walkable and charming setting.

 “Westfield is unique in that we have large square footage spaces in our buildings that attracted national retailers that brought a lot of investment to the downtown revitalization effort,” said Sherry Cronin, the executive director of the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC).  “Nevertheless, one-third of our retailers and restaurants have been in business in downtown Westfield for 25 years or more – a testament to the strength of our customer service.”

In addition, the DWC—the management entity of the special improvement district—works with merchants to adapt their brands in their buildings. For example, it often encourages businesses to conduct historic restorations on their buildings’ facades to further enhance the look of the SID.

Downtown Westfield has the fortune to be anchored by such stores as Lord & Taylor and, most recently, Urban Outfitters, Cronin said.

Great Schools

In the Westfield school district’s most recent survey, 86 percent of those who responded said the school system was an important factor in their decision to live here.

“Our enrollment remains one of the largest in 30 years,” said Dr. Margaret Dolan, Westfield’s superintendent of schools. “What I see more and more often are our graduates returning to Westfield to live and raise families.”

Westfield's school district has 6,200 students in pre-K through grade 12 this year. The district has 10 public schools.

At the core of the district’s success is a strong partnership among students, teachers, administrators, parents and an entire community who value education.

“A deep vein of volunteerism runs throughout the Westfield schools, as in the town itself,” Dolan said. “Our high school community service club was singled out this year in a ceremony held by the Department of Education in Trenton.”

One of the challenges for educators today is preparing students for jobs of the future. Westfield teachers help their students to become critical thinkers, and they use variety of instructional methods to keep kids engaged.

Westfield High School, with its focus on college preparatory courses, offers 170 courses, including 19 Advanced Placement classes to its students. In 2012, Westfield High School ranked 17th statewide in combined SAT scores, Dolan said.

Friendliness—Family and Otherwise

“It’s a very family-oriented community,” said Jodi Luminiello, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker and the woman behind the Facebook phenomenon 365 Things to do in Westfield.

One Sunday in October, the downtown was packed with costumed children and adults alike enjoying trick-or-treating at local businesses. Families from Westfield and surrounding towns flock to the yearly Spring Fling and FestiFall street fairs, sponsored by the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The library offers children a spacious, cheerful room for children to explore books, and Memorial pool is a friendly meeting place in the summers.

For green space, you can’t go wrong with the town’s many beautiful parks, such as Mindowaskin, which is located next to the municipal building near the downtown shopping district.

Like Dolan, Luminiello also sees a strong sense of volunteerism among all ages in Westfield, such as with Greta’s Run, a 5K run/walk held in September to raise funds for special needs programs at the Westfield Area Y in memory of a Westfield High School student. After Superstorm Sandy, the community banded together as well.

“A lot of people opened up their houses to others, to come in and get warm, charge up their phones, computers,” said Luminiello.

Easy Commuting

Workers who commute to jobs in New York City can take the train from Westfield or can opt to catch a bus. Proximity to major highways is also a plus, residents say.

In March, NJ Transit plans to test out a “one-seat” ride during off-peak hours on the Raritan Valley Line, the train line that runs through Westfield, using new dual-powered locomotives. Currently, riders who commute into New York must transfer from a diesel-powered train to an electric-powered train in Newark.

While the one-seat ride could be a big advantage for Westfield real estate—significantly raising home values if the town ever gets a direct ride during peak hours, according to the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition— it will ultimately be just “one more reason people want to come to Westfield,” said Luminiello.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Rain Doesn’t Stop 2016 Red Ribbon Drug Prevention Walk

October 24, 2016

CRANFORD, NJ - Rain did not stop the crowd who came out to walk and support the 2016 Red Ribbon Drug Prevention Walk on Saturday morning at Nomahegan Park in Cranford. 

Families, friends and even a few dogs walked in support of drug prevention and New Jersey’s first public recovery high school. The Raymond Lesniak Recovery High School and Prevention Links are working to expand their ...

Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad Thanks Donors

October 25, 2016

The Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad is sending out their last Fund Drive letter for the year.  The Rescue Squad has raised approximately 70 percent of their operational budget so far and hopes this holiday mailer will provide the remaining funds necessary to properly support the squad's operations. 

Westfield residents and businesses have been very generous over the year ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, October 26, 3:30 PM


Demo Class 8th Grader Math Algebra I


Wed, October 26, 6:00 PM

Union County College, Cranford

Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) -- ...


Wed, October 26, 6:30 PM

Youth and Family Counseling Service, Westfield

Women of Worth

Health & Wellness

Two Bikes Reported Stolen at Westfield High School, Leafblower Stolen from Norgate Road & More

October 19, 2016

October 12, 2016 9:35 p.m.

Officer Bagan and Detective Bruno arrested Alexis Purnell, age 28, of Philadelphia, PA, for possession of a controlled dangerous substance under 50 grams, possession of anti-shoplifting device and hindering apprehension pursuant to an investigation in the 600 block of W. North Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters where she was processed and released with a ...

Families Invited to Participate in Fall Festival at Watchung Reservation Nov. 5

October 26, 2016

All  families in the area are invited to attend “Watchung Day,” an interactive family festival taking place on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Watchung Reservation. Activities offered include: BB, archery, outdoor cooking, STEM fun, crafts, sports, field games, nature activities and more.

Watchung Day will take place in the Scout Camping Area of Watchung ...

Dog Last Seen in Westfield

UPDATE: Brownie was found safe at Echo Lake.

ORIGINAL POST: Lost dog, last seen on Tuttle Parkway in Westfield. Her name is Brownie and she isn't wearing any tags or a collar. Please call Elise Smiljanic if seen at 201-280-2385.

‘Mama’s Boy’ Explores the Life of Lee Harvey Oswald

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Despite the Warren Commission, an Oliver Stone movie and various speculations, in the long run it seems that Lee Harvey Oswald acted on his own in assassinating President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. But Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby before his motives could be explored.

Rob Urbinati’s play, now at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, delves into the ...

Pass me a Flagel with Cream Cheese, Please

“Ummm, this is good,” said my husband with a mouthful of food. “What is it?”

I looked up from the kitchen sink where I was doing dishes.  “It’s a cronut.”

“A what?”

“A cronut.  It’s part croissant part doughnut.”

He looked at me like I had two heads.

“I was actually going to get some duffins, ...

In Your Community

Community Discussion on "Being Mortal"

Together, Kent Place School and Overlook Medical Center invite the community to a free film screening of the PBS Frontline film, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” on Tuesday, October 25 from 7:00 to 9:00pm.  The screening will be followed by a discussion with Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, a professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public ...

Westfield Area YMCA to Host Dance Party for 5th Graders

The Westfield Area YMCA is pleased to announce that dance parties for 5th graders have begun! The next dance party will have a Sports theme and is being held for all 5th graders within our community on Friday, November 4th at the Bauer Branch, 422 East Broad Street in Westfield from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm. 

Wear some gear from your favorite pro, college or local ...

Westfield Senior Named National Hispanic Scholar

Natalia Zeller MacLean, a Westfield High School senior, has been named a National Hispanic Scholar by the College Board, based on her PSAT test scores last year.  About 5,000 (the top 2 percent) of the roughly 250,000 Hispanic students who take the test receive the award.  

Natalia, who is of Bolivian heritage and bilingual, is also among the Westfield High School students named ...

Renovations for Adding Home Value

Everybody wants the most money possible for their home when it comes time to sell, and buyers in today’s market want an updated, move-in ready home. In order to get what you want, or need, out of your home, you may have to do some updates before moving. But how do you know which renovations to tackle and which ones might be better left for the next owners? Let’s take a look at some of ...

Child Support – How New Jersey Courts Calculate and Modify Support Obligations

In New Jersey, child-support is defined as a financial payment from one parent to the other to provide for the needs of their child or children.   Child support is the right of every child and neither spouse can waive this responsibility.  All parents regardless of their marital status have an obligation to support their children until they are deemed emancipated.

In most ...

The Mask You Live In Screening

On Oct. 27, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss and the First United Methodist Church of Westfield present a screening and discussion of the documentary “The Mask You Live In.”

“The Mask You Live In” is a documentary that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow ...

Devils Launch Community Recognition Initiative “Newark’s Cornerstones” on City’s 350th Anniversary

October 26, 2016

NEWARK, NJ – It’s not often that hockey fans are treated with a special appearance from a retired superstar at the arena. So when former New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was in town this past weekend for the official unveiling of “The Salute,” a 900-pound bronze statue that immortalized the future NHL Hall of Famer’s career, it was a special ...