People love living in Basking Ridge

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When Meghan Fedor opened her mailbox recently, she found a brown paper bag with a length of green ribbon enclosed, along with a note explaining that a local high school girl was undergoing treatment for lymphoma and that the ribbons could serve as a show of support. Within days, some 150 homes in Ms. Fedor’s Basking Ridge neighborhood had ribbons waving from mailboxes and lamp posts. It’s this kind of neighborly act, said Ms. Fedor, who commutes to a job at the Environmental Protection Agency three days a week, that has had her marveling since she moved here almost two years ago.

“At the store,” she said, “people would let you go first. On the road, drivers were letting me in instead of cutting me off. And people at the municipal building would actually return my calls. It blew my mind.”

Between sledding in the park and swimming in the municipal pool, she and her husband, Matt, and their three children say they have already made many more friends than they had in Fanwood, where they lived before moving here. In July 2011, their four-bedroom colonial cost $700,000.

Scott and Katie Strobridge have had a similar experience in their six years in Basking Ridge. About 18 months ago, with two children and a third on the way, they traded up from their two-bedroom town house, never even considering any other towns, said Mr. Strobridge, a lawyer for Chubb Insurance. “We knew we had met a group of people we really liked,” he added. “We were in a good school district. It was clear we were going to stay.”

Attractions include the highly rated school system, the wide range of housing, lower taxes and a reasonable commute to New York. What some may be surprised to find is a town of 28,350 residents that blends a rural setting with an urban vibe. The former comes from deep history and vast open space, both of which residents work hard to preserve. The latter is credited to the eclectic population, and to the many recreational, business and cultural possibilities.

The community, which is actually part of Bernards Township, is home to Verizon’s enormous corporate headquarters; the Lyons V.A. Medical Center and adjoining golf course; an arts center in an 18th-century farmhouse; and even a nudist colony. “Everything peacefully coexists,” said Mayor Carolyn Gaziano. “The town grew up slowly,” she added, “so people are just content that whatever came before is O.K. We want to grow, but we’re very protective of our history and open space; those are very important to our residents.”

The 24.5-square-mile Bernards Township is divided into four sections, the smallest one near the downtown is Basking Ridge. The name is used to describe the whole town, celebrity porn however, in part because the United States Postal Service has accorded most residents a Basking Ridge mailing address.

Basking Ridge’s houses remain on the market 2.5 months, on average, said John Turpin of Turpin Realtors. Marie Gilmore, 84, is one who has benefited, having made $615,000 — $5,000 below asking price — on the sale of the three-bedroom colonial that she and her family had lived in since 1962. “I had a hard time deciding at first,” she said, “but my feeling is, you just have to move on and let others move in.”

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