April 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Buying a House? What Street Is It On?

I made many trips back and forth from Montreal while we were searching for a new home. We knew, at that time, that it was more affordable to live in the Beth Aaron area or the Bergenfield area than the West Englewood, Rinat or Bnai Yeshurun neighborhoods. New Milford at the time was slowly coming into the picture. It became discouraging and time was of the essence. Finally we found a home that suited our needs. Enough bedrooms for our Rochester grandchildren to visit with their families as often as they desired, which was a priority, and several other needs that we had, which we believed we had found in our home on New Bridge Road.

Our house, despite the speedway which we had not anticipated, fulfilled most of our wishes and we decided to forego other concerns that we had. At that time we did not consider who our neighbors would be. As we were close with all of our neighbors in Montreal we assumed that relationships would develop over time with our new neighbors.

Both of our next door neighbors on either side were kind and friendly and as many may remember our neighbor Anita who passed away at the age of 97 told her children that she no longer needed to speak with her priest (she normally went to church daily) because now she had her own very private rabbi! Her son stayed in touch with us and following the sale of her house there have been several families renting it for short periods of time. One of those neighbors was of South American origin and we reached out to them and they knew that they could count on us and frequently would help us with things we had no expertise with such as mechanical issues with our car. They too eventually moved and happily we now have directly next door to us a lovely neighbor with her cute daughters.

I am sorry to say that since I lost my beloved Mordechai very few of my nearby neighbors have reached out to me. Whereas my non Jewish neighbors would always look out for me, some of the people who I would have expected most to at least call me occasionally have never done so. What really baffles me about that is the chinuch that one could teach their children about caring for someone who is alone, whether or not she needs anything, has been totally overlooked. I suppose, like many other things that parents leave to the schools to teach children, this is another matter that is overlooked at home.

This subject has been brewing in my mind for a very long time. Now in the summertime where I see so many people walking along streets and spending time speaking with each other, especially on Shabbat, I realize the necessity of checking out which street you are moving to. It could be easy to blame it on the busyness of my street, but in today’s day and age where one’s cell phone is literally attached to the palm of one’s hand for at least 18 hours a day, that cannot be considered a valid excuse.

I envy those of you who have neighbors to spend time with and speak with and have the knowledge that you could depend upon them no matter what. I unfortunately find myself in a lonely spot without any confidence about those surrounding me.

My suggestion to all is that when you are house hunting and you find the ideal home with exactly the right number of bedrooms, bathrooms, exemplary kitchen etc etc, be sure to first see who your neighbors are on your street. Are there people that you can relate to and children that your children can play with and those who you would feel confident to turn to in case of an emergency? Yes, it is hard to determine these factors prior to moving into a home, but there is such a thing as investigating further and in this community it is very easy to do.

Do not sign on the dotted line until you feel confident that you will be comfortable living in a place where there is a sense of camaraderie. It really makes a difference.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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