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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Linden, NJ

Written by Leigh Cooper

Nestled along the Arthur Kill River in northeastern New Jersey, the city of Linden offers a small-town vibe just minutes from Newark and New York City. With its historic downtown and easy commuter access, Linden is an appealing choice for those seeking convenient suburban living near major metro hubs. 

Before packing your bags, keep these 8 important things in mind to see if Linden is the right fit for you. From amenities to cost of living and local culture, we cover details that will provide insights into life in this budding New Jersey community.

1. A cost of living index of 129.5

In comparison to the statewide cost of living in New Jersey, Linden is slightly pricier, which is typical for communities with such proximity to NYC. The cost of living index stands at 129.5, with a median home price of $490,450.

Linden’s overall cost of living is higher than the state average, especially in terms of transportation and utilities. Due to its dense suburban setting, residents in Linden typically spend about 15% more on transportation compared to the state average. Utility costs are approximately 6% higher in Linden than the statewide average. 

However, expenses for food, groceries, and healthcare are similar to the rest of the state. Despite the slightly higher cost of living, Linden’s location just minutes from Staten Island and a 30-minute train ride from Manhattan adds to its appeal.

2. Work in industries like logistics, manufacturing, education, finance, and healthcare

The Tremley Point region on Linden’s eastern side near the waterfront serves as a major hub for shipping, transportation, and logistics. Major employers in the area include Linden Warehouse and Distribution Company, Camin Cargo Control, and Berk’s Warehousing and Trucking. These companies provide thousands of local jobs and are integral to the economy.

Turtle & Hughes, a local engineering firm in Linden, specializes in the production of electrical and power distribution materials, employing over 600 individuals.  The education sector also drives the Union County economy, with ample jobs through public schools and local colleges. 

Financial services have a strong presence as well, with companies like Fiserv and Hewlett-Packard Financial Services based in the area. Looking ahead, healthcare is also poised for major growth in Linden. Between logistics, manufacturing, education, finance, and healthcare, Linden offers a diverse economic landscape.

3. Explore outdoor spots like Wilson Memorial Park or Hawk Rise Sanctuary

Linden offers an abundance of green spaces and recreational outlets across its 10 wards, with over 35 public parks for residents to enjoy. Beyond basketball courts and playgrounds, Linden’s parks offer a diverse roster of activities. Cast a fishing line at Woodrow Wilson Memorial Park in the sunny months, then return to glide across the ice once winter descends. Swing a racket on the tennis courts at Memorial Park on Wood Ave, then flex those muscles on outdoor gym equipment. 

Nature lovers can flock to Hawk Rise Sanctuary, a serene 1.5-mile hiking trail overseen by the New Jersey Audubon Society. Keep your eyes peeled for all species of birds that find sanctuary in this wooded oasis. Linden provides a little something for everyone through its bounty of parks. 

4. Humidity can be high during the summer months

Linden enjoys four seasons, each with its own charm. Snow blankets the town in winter, with around 25 inches annually, but daytime highs during winter still reach 40°F and nights cool to the 20s. 

Visiting between June and September guarantees pleasant weather, aside from late July when mugginess can feel oppressive. The rains come often, with around 4 inches each month from May to September. Combined with summer highs in the 80s, humidity hovering above 50% makes late July sweltering.

5. Traffic is a problem

Traveling the 21-mile stretch from Linden to New York’s Penn Station can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially during peak traffic hours in New Jersey. The drive, which typically takes more than an hour due to congestion, is largely impacted by the traffic flow from the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan. Even outside of rush hour, the journey can span 45 minutes. As a result, many commuters opt for the train from Linden, which offers a more efficient 35 to 40-minute ride to Penn Station.

The commuting landscape in Linden reveals that approximately 83% of commuters rely on personal vehicles, with 71% driving solo and 12% carpooling. Around 10% of commuters use mass transit, such as trains or buses. On average, the one-way commute for Linden residents clocks in at approximately 29 minutes.

6. Union County College is five miles away

Linden boasts a robust educational landscape with Linden Public Schools overseeing 10 elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The city’s division into 10 wards aligns each elementary school with its corresponding ward. For instance, students residing in Ward 4 attend School Four, while those in Ward 2 go to School Two, and so forth.

Middle school students in Grades 6–8 have the option of attending either McManus Middle School or Soehl Middle School, providing diverse educational opportunities within the city. High school students in Grades 9–12 continue their academic journey at Linden High School.

For families seeking private education, St. John the Apostle Catholic School stands out as the largest Pre-K through eighth-grade institution in Linden, boasting an enrollment of approximately 400 students. Additionally, Sinai Christian Academy offers a private Pre-K through 12 education with over 100 students enrolled, catering to the Protestant community.

When it comes to higher education, Union County College serves as the nearest community college, conveniently located just five miles away in Cranford, New Jersey. For those pursuing a four-year degree, Kean University is a short six-mile drive from Linden, offering a diverse range of academic programs.

In Linden, you’ll find a variety of dining options to satisfy your culinary cravings. Kitchen 27 serves up classic American fare throughout the day, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to patrons. For those seeking an elevated dining experience, Abigail’s Restaurant is the go-to spot, specializing in fine dining and classic European cuisine that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

If you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or brunch, Blossoms Brunch Bar has you covered with its daily offerings of delicious morning delights. For a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, look no further than Pho Minh’s, where you can indulge in flavorful dishes that transport you to the streets of Vietnam.

Craving something more casual? Head over to Linwood Inn Taphouse, where you can enjoy piping hot pizzas and grilled favorites paired perfectly with a selection of beers on tap. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Linden’s dining scene has something for everyone to enjoy.

8. Linden has a slightly high property crime rate

Linden boasts a favorable safety record, with lower rates of violent crime compared to the national average. The city’s violent crime rate stands at 15.7, notably below the US average of 22.7. 

However, the incidence of property crime in Linden is slightly elevated, with a rate of 38 compared to the national average of 35.4.

In Summary

Linden, New Jersey, offers a blend of small-town charm and urban convenience, making it an attractive place to live. While the cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, particularly in transportation and utilities, the city’s proximity to major urban centers like New York City and Newark provides residents with ample job opportunities and cultural experiences. The diverse dining scene, abundant green spaces, and strong community spirit further enhance Linden’s appeal.

However, Linden does have other drawbacks, including high humidity in the summer months and traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. The city’s property crime rate is also slightly higher than the national average, although its violent crime rate is significantly lower. It’s important to consider these factors before making the move.

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