Are you looking for a family-friendly town with highly rated schools and a sense of community? In this episode of Monmouth Redefined, I’m going to take you on a tour of Manalapan, New Jersey. We’ll explore the city and hear from residents so you know exactly what it’s like to live here.
Why The Locals Love Manalapan
If you’re unfamiliar with Manalapan, it’s located in Monmouth County in the central section of New Jersey. It’s only about 60 minutes or so to New York City—depending on traffic—and 20 to 30 minutes to many of the beautiful beaches. If you love Atlantic City as I do, you can get there in only 60 to 75 minutes.
Residents have plenty of good things to say about living in this area. We first heard from Lilah, a 9-year-old fourth-grader, on why she loves living in Manalapan. She likes to take walks and see all of the friendly neighbors—including plenty of dogs she can pet.
Additionally, Lilah says she and her family can easily take the bus to New York and see her favorite Broadway shows, like Wicked and The Blue Man Group. She also likes all of the color-changing leaves; she can go to the park and create drawings there while watching the leaves fall. Lilah says that any kids need to know they would love living in Manalapan.
Lisa is another local that grew up in Manalapan, moved away, and decided to move back once she had a family. She knew it was a great family-friendly town to live in with so much to offer. From Manalapan’s community parks to shopping close by, it’s a great location with plenty to see and do.
Additionally, Lisa’s kids have made many friends in town—many right in their development. Their neighborhood allows them to easily walk their puppy around, enjoying the sense of community. Lisa and her family really love living here.
Ethan is another young local that loves living in Manalapan. In the summers, he gets to go to the beaches and Great Adventure. He also feels safe walking to Wendy’s because he lives so close to it
The Manalapan Recreation Center
One of the city’s best features is the Manalapan Recreation Center, located in the heart of Manalapan. The high school football games are played here along with many recreational sports such as baseball, basketball, and soccer. The wide-open space allows many of the residents to enjoy nature, running, and walking on the paved trails throughout the year.
The Manalapan Recreation Center has several special events throughout the year. The biggest one is Manalapan Fun Day, a festival that includes rides for the kids, activities, food trucks, concerts, and fireworks.
As we continue our tour, it’s important to understand a few things about Manalapan. First, we don’t have a downtown area. To get to a downtown area, you’re going to have to visit Freehold borough, though there’s not a lot of commercial businesses. Most of them are located up and down Route 9.
Second, Manalapan can be broken down into three sections: Northern Manalapan, Southern Manalapan, and Englishtown. Englishtown is a subsection within Manalapan that shares the same zip code and school system. As we head to Southern Manalapan, I’ll take you through the historic area of Englishtown.
Many of the homes in Englishtown were built in the early 1900s, though you’ll find a handful of newer developments. Home prices here are going to be much lower than in both Northern and Southern Manalapan. Even for an older house, expect to pay around $350,000 to $400,000 for a four-bedroom home. If it’s a newer home, your price for a four-bedroom home in Englishtown is going to run you at least $550,000 or so.
One of the biggest attractions in Englishtown is the Englishtown Flea Market. This popular landmark has been here for over 90 years and has been voted one of the best flea markets in New Jersey. They have both indoor and outdoor shopping, including food stands, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and numerous different vendors selling almost everything you can think of.
Next on our tour is Southern Manalapan. This area borders Freehold and Millstone Townships and is located right off of Route 33. Many residents love living here in Southern Manalapan because you tend to get more for your money—including a larger home and property—than you do in Northern Manalapan.
The homes in Southern Manalapan are quite spacious and located on large lots. However, be aware that most of the developments here don’t offer public utilities, and homes are all on septic and well. If you’re looking to buy a property in Southern Manalapan, it’s going to cost you at least $800,000 up to just about $2 million. This all depends on the square footage, lot size, updates, and amenities that the home offers.
Battleground Country Club
If you prefer more of a community-type feel and a home that offers public utilities, there are a few Association developments that you will find in Southern Manalapan. The Battleground Country Club is just one example. This neighborhood offers all types of living, including single-family homes, townhomes, and an active adult section for those aged 55 plus.
Residents like living in Battleground because of all the amenities that it offers. It’s located on a golf course, and homeowners have access to a pool, fitness center, and a beautiful clubhouse that offers a restaurant that caters to weddings and private parties. I had my client appreciation party here a few years back, and it was amazing. The venue is gorgeous, and they have a newly renovated outdoor pavilion. The food is also outstanding.
A three-bedroom townhouse in this development is going to cost you around $550,000. The adult community homes run about $600,000 to $650,000, and the price of a single-family home is going to be about $800,00 to $900,000. Living in Southern Manalapan, you’re also closer to the turnpike and the area tends to be less congested than northern Manalapan.
Client Appreciation Party
At my client appreciation party, we heard from a lot of my past clients that now live in Monmouth County. One client, for example, moved from Freehold, New Jersey to Marlboro, New Jersey with my help. Another client stumbled upon me on the internet, and according to them, it was the best thing ever.
We heard from another one of my clients who decided to have an interview with me. In her words, she met me, loved me, and hired me right on the spot. “There is nobody who will work harder for you,” she says, “and there is nobody who is more honest.” One client had interviewed with a couple of realtors in the past, and they just didn’t seem like they had their best interests at heart. When I met them, we both just gelled together and had a great relationship.
Another one of my clients found me through one of their good friends. They knew right off the bat that they wanted to work with me. Still another client commented, “She’s the busiest realtor I’ve ever met. So obviously she’s doing a good job.” One client told me that after meeting with me, they got a very good vibe from me and felt I was very knowledgeable about the area. Another told me that I was always very accessible and, whenever they had a question, I would always answer his call or call right back.
More Client Comments
We heard from many of my past clients at my client appreciation party at Battleground Country Club, and I want to share even more. One client said, “She’s honest, responsible, responsive, and professional.” Another explained how I helped them sell their house within the first day of being on market, and they appreciated my patience as they looked for their forever home.
One client remarked that, even though I seem so “big” with so many clients, it doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to what each client wants. They felt I was really accessible; another client agreed, commenting that I was on the phone with them and their lender whether it was in the middle of the afternoon or 11:00 at night.
“If you are looking for somebody who is going to be there for you 24/7, it’s Melissa,” one of my kind clients commented. Another was happy that I made sure they were closing on the day that they needed to close. One client said that I helped set them up with a great team, from the home inspection and the mortgage company to the attorney. Overall, they love how caring I am, that I know my clients well, and have good instincts.
I’m proud to have hosted this wonder client appreciation party in Southern Manalapan, and I appreciate all the clients I’ve worked with over the years.
Anne Ellen Christmas Tree Farm
Before we leave Southern Manalapan on our tour, we have to stop at one of the most popular attractions in the area: the Anne Ellen Christmas Tree Farm. Many residents enjoy going here with their families, especially during the holidays.
It’s been over 80 years ago since the first tree was planted on the farm. Since then, it has grown into a popular holiday venue for many. My family and I have been going here for many years, as they offer over 50,000 trees. You can choose from pre-cut trees or cut down your own.
During the holiday season, they have a village with thousands of lights, photo opportunities with Santa, and a shop filled with ornaments, wreaths, and almost every holiday item you can think of. They also offer hayrides and stands with hot chocolate and delicious treats. It’s a wonderful family experience and definitely worth visiting.
Now that you know a little bit about Southern Manalapan, let’s make our way over to Northern Manalapan. If you’re wondering how long it takes to get from Southern to Northern Manalapan, it can take a good 15 to 20 minutes depending upon traffic.
Route 9 runs through northern Manalapan; as you drive, you’ll see that there are all types of businesses located here. From convenience stores, restaurants, and nail salons to pizzerias and much more, this area has plenty to offer. If you are traveling up north, Route 9 is the road you will take to get to the Garden State Parkway. Just be aware that, at times, this road can get congested with traffic.
Plenty Of Shopping
Right off Route 9 in Southern Manalapan is plenty of shopping. The area gets very busy, especially as you have the Wegmans Food Market where residents love to shop. This upscale food store offers a variety of items that you won’t find elsewhere.
In the shopping center, you’ll also find Homesense, HomeGoods, and Target. The EpiCentre opened in 2002 and, before its opening, was known as the Manalapan Mall. The original mall opened in 1971 with Steinbach as its most popular store. It was surrounded by 25 other stores and was scheduled to expand and grow to 100 stores. However, financial issues hit, and the mall was demolished in 1998.
Thankfully, the EpiCentre has revived the shopping here in town. It’s a great place to come and get everything you need in one area.
Manalapan Green And Manalapan Preserve
Right across the street from the shopping epicenter is Manalapan Green, a median-priced development with plenty to offer. People like living here for several reasons. First, it’s located right off Route 9 and very close to the shopping center. It’s also very close to the New York City Park and Ride, which is the bus that takes you to New York City.
A home in the Manalapan Green development is going to cost you around $500,000 to $650,000, depending on the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and baths, and updates that the home offers. Another development located here in Northern Manalapan is the Manalapan Preserve. The homes resemble some of those in Southern Manalapan, those this development does have public utilities.
The Manalapan Reserve is a prestigious development built by Toll Brothers, one of the most respected builders in the area. The homes in the Preserve range from about 4,000 to over 6,000 square feet. They offer two to three-car garages, two-story foyers, and 9-ft ceilings throughout. There are only 40 homes within the development, so it’s not easy to get into the neighborhood. When a home does go up for sale, it typically sells very quickly. You can expect to pay in the low $1 million range up to $1.5 million.
Make Manalapan, NJ Home
I hope this gave you a good idea of everything that Manalapan, New Jersey has to offer. If you have any additional questions or want further information about the real estate market, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and ask. I’ll be happy to connect with you and provide you with whatever you need.
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