America never goes out of style.
Median home price: $218,000
Increase in number of properties sold (2011 to 2012): 52.8 percent
Decrease in average days on market (2011 to 2012): 36.1 percent
Haddon Heights is a town that time forgot. Or maybe not forgot, but ignored, mostly. A town that time looks on fondly and thinks, “Hey, not a bad job there. Maybe I should just leave that alone and not mess it up.” The town is a throwback—an old-style place with tree-shaded streets and single-family homes, a place where John’s Friendly Market is open 365 days a year.
It’s the town that Steven Spielberg grew up in (one of them, anyway) and probably still lives in his brain as the archetype of perfectly preserved Americana. At one time, the entire town was part of a resort area for Philadelphians looking to get out of the city. When year-round houses started going up, it became a commuter suburb, touted in advertising materials dating back to 1904 as “a short commute to Philadelphia”—which is exactly what residents (and real estate agents) still say today. It has good schools and a couple restaurants, kids on the streets riding their bikes, and neighbors who still know each other’s names. The place is booming now, realtors say, basically because it’s recovering from the 2008 crash faster than a lot of other towns (probably thanks to its many charms), with prices on the rise and an impressively brisk pace of sales. Also of note? The median income per household these days is $88,954, which is up pretty drastically from $58,424 just over a decade ago.
Haddon Heights: A Classic, Family-Friendly Philly Commuter ‘Burb
- Haddon Heights is a big hit with … Families, families, families.
- The food scene … is small, but not nonexistent. There’s a steakhouse, some Italian, a couple of cafes. Enough to get you by in a pinch, but not so many options that you’re tempted to overlook the great food city right over the bridge.
- Shopping … is found mostly along Station Avenue, where jewelry stores, dress shops and other small retail operations live.
- Nightlife … is best sought on the other side of the Ben Franklin.
- Schools … The Haddon Heights school district ranks in the top 20 percent of Jersey’s schools. “I can’t say enough nice things about our school experience,” raves 16-year resident Maureen Garrity. “Teachers have been amazing, the principal couldn’t have been nicer, and the parents are really involved.”
- The most prevalent crime here is … small theft, vandalism.
- Residents’ pet peeves … Exactly the reasons Haddon Heights makes our list: the rising home prices and influx of newcomers.
- Neighborhood gossip … The restaurants in town are all BYOB, but recently three of the best places began working in conjunction with area wineries, allowing them to sell bottles of those producers’ wines on the premises without violating the BYO rules. Small step for man …
Data derived from HomExpert Market Report, a product of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors, Research Division.