Maplewood, NJ

What We Love About Maplewood

  • Midtown Direct train to NYC
  • Very walkable/bikeable
  • Large parks
  • Great shopping
  • Highly regarded schools
  • Golf, tennis, basketball, baseball
  • Reasonable home prices
  • Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods 5 minutes away

Maplewood is located in Essex County, New Jersey

Maplewood is part of The Gateway Region of NJ and is only a short car ride from New York City at just 30 minutes.

The Gateway Region is home to major stadiums for soccer, football and hockey. Some of the most expensive and luxurious real estate in New Jersey can be found here along the Hudson River having incredible views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. The Gateway Region also houses major transportation routes via water, air, road and rail, as well as being home to several major industries that play a vital role in the state's economy. Transportation hubs include Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Newark International Airport, The New Jersey Turnpike, Route I-80 (which runs all the way to San Francisco) and also major local, regional and national freight and passenger train lines. Many jobs are available here in healthcare, hospitality, transportation, warehousing, government, finance, insurance, wholesale trade, retail, technology and science, petrochemical and other manufacturing. These and other industries keep the economy strong in The Gateway Region. Being the closest NJ region to New York City means The Gateway Region includes a lot of the more densely populated towns, such as Jersey City, Patterson, Hoboken and Newark and, of course, the shortest commute times.

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Quick Facts

Maplewood is located in Essex County, New Jersey – Gateway Region

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Quick facts about Maplewood:

COMMUTE TIME (Hour:Minutes) ⓘ

These times are based on info from New Jersey Transit and Google Maps. Shortest times are given. Use our map above to calculate more accurate commute times to any address.

0:30+

Car ride to NYC.

0:38+

Train service to NYC.

0:42+

Bus service to NYC.

SIZE ⓘ

People per square mile gives you an idea of how much breathing room a town has. NYC has around 27,000 while a well equipped walkable town might have around 5,000. Smaller towns with more single family homes and large yards usually have under 1,000. Click on more info below to see where we get our data. 

25,380

Population estimate, July 1, 2019

3.88

Square miles

6,156

People per square mile

HOUSING ⓘ

Median cost to rent or own is basically the average cost of renting or owning per month in any given town. It’s not exact. Median values include the most expensive dwellings and the cheapest dwellings all averaged together, but with some weight added to higher concentrations in the data set. Just gives you some basic basis of comparison between towns. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

$1,569

Median gross rent, 2014-2018

$3,212

Median selected monthly owner costs – with a mortgage, 2014-2018

$508,300

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2014-2018

PROPERTY TAX ⓘ

Approximate tax on $100K of home value. Ex: If you pay $500K for a house, multiply the number in the left column by 5 to get an idea of what you will have to pay each year in property taxes.

$3,322

Property taxes per $100,000 in home value.

Compare tax rates in Maplewood area.

EDUCATION ⓘ

Gives you the ability to quickly see how much of a town has graduated from high school or higher ed. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

95.6%

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2014-2018

62.7%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2014-2018

INCOME ⓘ

Gives you an idea of how much people make in this town compared to other towns you look at. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

$132,143

Median household income (in 2018 dollars), 2014-2018

AGE DISTRIBUTION ⓘ

Gives you an idea of how old your neighbors might be. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.

29.2%

Persons under 18 years

11.4%

Persons 65 years and over

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE STATS & INFO ON RACE, INCOME AND HOUSING

See more stats on race, income and housing
(Hint: Sort by using the “All Topics” pull down menu)

See more stats on property taxes in NJ (green is lower, red is higher)

Does it flood? (FEMA flood maps)

Schools

Maplewood has smartly regionalized its school district with neighboring So. Orange and the resulting system is large and well regarded, but there is an ongoing debate among residents. 

See the school write up in the full story below

Walking and Biking Score

NOTE: All scores over 50 are actually good! Scores under 50 reflect less sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes etc. Some neighborhoods could still be above average even if the town gets a low score. 

See walking and biking scores

Political Climate in New Jersey

As for most of New Jersey fewer than half of registered voters actually vote and most of the elections are decided by a fairly tight margin. Historically New Jersey has elected more Republicans to office; however, in recent elections conservatives are being edged out somewhat, in part because there are fewer registered Republicans than Democrats in most of the state. About 80% of the counties have more registered Democrats than Republicans, but elections are still tight. In general Republicans are better at getting out the vote on election night than Democrats. 

Essex County Voting Results by Town

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School Scores – click on schools please

Walking and Biking Score – any score over 50 is good​

The Full Story of Maplewood, NJ

What is it like living in Maplewood, NJ?

Bustling downtown Maplewood (also known as The Village) is charming and friendly, with mid-twentieth century buildings housing upscale and midscale restaurants, independent shops and art galleries, plus a cafe, a bookstore, and a movie theater. (Another shopping area with some larger stores—part of a thriving Business Improvement District—spreads along Springfield Avenue.) Car traffic moves slowly through town, encouraging relaxed strolling. The direct NJ Transit train to NY Penn Station stops right in town, making Maplewood perfect for professionals and families who want easy access to NYC for work or play. The town runs a jitney to the train station during rush hours. Maplewood is known for its racial diversity and vibrant LGBTQ+ community (reflected in its rainbow-painted crosswalks near Maplewood Town Hall and its yearly Pride Festival in Memorial Park). Many residents have moved here from NYC/Brooklyn, earning it the nickname Brooklyn West. There’s a feeling here of being part of a close-knit community, leading to many annual block parties in spring & fall. The parks, rolling hills, and older houses provide an inviting setting for the many residents who work full- or part-time from home, and for the many theater-industry folks who commute to Broadway in the evenings.

That’s Maplewood in a nutshell!

Click to read more

Maplewood offers newer homes and apartments as well as older colonials and Victorian houses, often close together on small lots, ripe for remodeling for investment or rental income. A significant percentage of its mostly single-family 3- to 4-bedroom homes were built pre-WWII. Prices reflect high demand but are not completely out of reach.

About a half hour into NYC by car, and only 15 minutes to Newark International Airport, Maplewood is also close to major highways like Rte. 78 or the Garden State Parkway, on which an hour or two drive will take you to beaches along the Jersey Shore or to southern and western New Jersey recreation and cultural attractions.

 

Schools

Maplewood has wisely combined its school district with neighboring South Orange, and the resulting regional system is large and well regarded. There are four public elementary schools in Maplewood, all running through grade 5 and one including pre-K. Maplewood Middle School (grades 6-8) has 750 students, and Columbia High School has about 2,000 students.  As of 2014, the high school offered 21 AP courses and an average SAT for the 2012-13 year was 522 in reading, and 540 for math, both slightly above NJ averages. Students are generally high performing, based on test scores and number of students bound for college. In 2019 there was an ongoing dispute among residents over a busing plan within the district to more fully racially integrate the schools. The area also has a number of private schools. Maplewood is home to two libraries.

 

Parks & Recreation

South Mountain Reservation—a 2,047-acre County park that includes parts of Maplewood—has expanded over the years to include a zoo, an ice-skating arena, minigolf and regular golf, a reservoir with a walking path around it and paddle boats for rent, a dog park, and natural areas with waterfalls, 20 miles of trails for walking and hiking, and 27 miles of carriage roads. Because it sits on a ridge 500 feet above sea level, the reservation offers spectacular views of the NYC skyline.  

Directly adjacent to downtown and bisected by a very picturesque stretch of the Rahway River, Memorial Park has 25 acres of parkland, with ballfields, picnic tables, tennis courts, and a playground. Maplewood also has several smaller neighborhood parks with playgrounds and tennis courts.

 

Arts and Culture

Midtown Direct Rep (or MDR, named for the NJ Transit service to NY Penn Station) is a professional ensemble theater company of more than 100 working Broadway actors and theater professionals who live in South Orange and Maplewood. It mounts performances in the heart of Maplewood at the Woodland (near the Village on Woodland Rd.). Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts on Durand Rd. is another venue for performances and kids’ classes. South Orange Performing Arts Center, in adjacent South Orange, hosts performances by well-known musicians, speakers, and theater companies. Maplewoodstock, an annual 2-day music festival, takes place every July in Memorial Park.

 

Housing Stock

Homes are older (60% pre-WWII), with many of that era’s squarish-style center-hall or side-hall colonials, which tend to be smaller than modern colonials. Another 27% of houses were added between 1940 and 1969, and only about 5% were built since 2000.  Despite this, the overall appreciation rate has been quite high, reflecting the town’s commuter location; in the period from 2000 through 2019 the overall rate was nearly 120% or a yearly average of 4%. The Springfield Avenue section is an area of town well stocked with some nicely updated older colonials and some waiting to be remodeled—potentially good investments for modernization leading to likely appreciation. 

Three- and 4-bedroom homes comprise about 60% of all homes in Maplewood—most of these being single family; only 10% have more than 4 bedrooms. Many of the 1- and 2-bedroom homes (almost 30% of total) are condos and apartments.

 

The Commute

About 20 miles west of lower Manhattan, Maplewood is only 30 minutes by car to NYC when traffic is light. NJ Transit Direct to NY Penn Station (Morris & Essex line) takes as little as 32 minutes. One-way tickets are currently $7.75 and adult monthly passes are $227. The town operates a rush-hour jitney bus to/from the train station.

NJ Transit bus service direct to Port Authority NYC is a 50-minute ride (it can be as short as about 42 minutes, $4-$9 one way).  Because of a lack of sufficient train service due in part to an engineer shortage, NJ Transit also runs two morning express buses from Maplewood to Port Authority at 7:15 am and 7:45 am (riders can use their rail tickets or passes).

Neighborhoods

The streets around Maplewood Village have some of Maplewood’s largest, most majestic homes. Golf Island, right across the street from Maplewood Village, is a lovely self-contained area of a few square blocks, bordered by the Maplewood Country Club golf course on two sides, the railroad tracks, and Maplewood Middle School.The hilly streets between Ridgewood Road and Wyoming Avenue include the stately and historic Roosevelt Park and Washington Park areas with large, beautiful homes. Kendal Valley centers around the lovely, family oriented Kendal Avenue (running from Jefferson Avenue to Audley Street), and it includes a couple of small local playgrounds with tennis courts. College Hill (with streets all named for colleges) is just north of the increasingly vibrant commercial Springfield Avenue, east of Prospect Street and south of Tuscan Road. It has 3- to 4-bedroom houses on smaller lots and is within walking distance of Tuscan Elementary School. The Tuscan (east of Valley Street) and Jefferson (between Ridgewood Road and Maplewood Avenue) neighborhoods are named after their local elementary schools. The Hilton neighborhood, south of Springfield Avenue, is Maplewood’s most affordable area. Other neighborhoods are Maplecrest (around Maplecrest Park, just north of Springfield Avenue) and Midland Park (east of Prospect Street and south of Parker Avenue).