Panther Valley living experience?

Hi all,

My family and I are thinking of making a move to Panther Valley and would love some input from those that live there.

It looks like association fees are $260-370/month depending on where you are. Is that accurate?

How’s the community aspect?

Do you feel you get your moneys worth out of the association fees?

Any regrets? Any loves?

Thank you

Joseph Dredd Joseph Dredd
Oct '18

We love it here 13 years in a townhouse and 20 plus years in a single family detached home. My association fee is $61 a month. Condo's tend to be around $300 a month. We have always gotten our money's worth. Great place to raise kids and the Allamuchy School District is fantastic. Being close to Rt 80 also helps.


Watch out for the black bears and the Panther Valley Witch of the Woods.

DannyZuko DannyZuko
Oct '18

If you like peace and quiet than PV is the way to go. Great school district but not much to offer in terms of community.

It’s also very far from stores.


I've been here about 51/2 years and I love it here. I'm in a townhome - and I feel we more than get our moneys worth from the assoc. It's quiet, beautiful, and friendly.

The only thing I wish we had is a clubhouse where people can socialize and meet and greet
Yes we have wildlife - and that's one of the things we love..

4catmom 4catmom
Oct '18

10 years here - condo & a townhome...fees for both approx $300. No major complaints at all.

HLamusesme HLamusesme
Oct '18

Some Condos in PV are selling for more than a four bedroom/ 2 bath home, on half an acre, in Diamond Hill. Granted the homes, there, are over 50 years old, but having city utilities..gas,water,sewer, they have strong bones. $300 a month maintenance fee, over 10 years is $33k! That buys a lot of maintenance. Even a new kitchen, if the person is handy and can maintain their own home. Why pay $300 per month to maintain property that belongs to someone else? So....unless you need to be closer to rt. 80, check out Diamond Hill. They have school buses, taxes are comparable, no one attached to you. No one dictating rules. Seems like the younger home buyers don’t want anything but turn key and no outside work. Long term, I would avoid condos. Short term (ownership less than ten years), would probably be ok. Think of 40 years x’s $300 (don’t forget about increases in fees, over the years). That could buy another 1 bedroom condo! Crunch the numbers, according to how long you would stay. College View, in Hackettstown, is nice also. No school buses. Dual working couples, with young children, would reap more benefits and money buying a home in Diamond Hill. They sell quickly, there.

Guilty-Remnant Guilty-Remnant
Oct '18

I prefer to not do any outside work (yard, snow etc) so owning in PV has worked for me. If I had purchased a detached home I would still be paying someone to do that work. To each their own. I'm sure the OP has considered their options.

HLamusesme HLamusesme
Oct '18

Many young buyers do not have the time or energy to maintain property with the hours expected from employers today. I’ve rented a townhome in Panther Valley and loved it there. With my husband’s super demanding career, we will definitely be buying there in the future! Good luck Joseph, I think you will enjoy PV :)

Katherine Katherine
Oct '18

I’d guess by the fees you are quoting that you’re looking at townhouses and. It single homes.

One annoyance for me as a homeowner is the lack of yard waste pickup. Basically you are on your own or have to pay for a service. It becomes a pain after storms and during the fall with leaf removal.

D-ManPV D-ManPV
Oct '18

PV is great, but it all depends on if you are OK with paying HOA fees. The next place I buy, will be HOA free - I personally feel the majority of it goes into someone else's pocket, to live much better than anyone living in PV....but just my opinion.

Uptoyou
Oct '18

single homes pay a fraction of the fees....hence responsible for your own property

4catmom 4catmom
Oct '18

Re: Panther Valley living experience?

My husband and I moved to a single family home on Mockingbird in PV when our son was 6 months old. He just turned 36 years old. Without saying, we are here to stay. Our neighbors are great with little turnover through the years. My advise is that you choose a home that your family will be comfortable living in for many years and fits your lifestyle. Don't short change yourself as far as square footage thinking that you can expand later on - today's construction and material costs are really expensive and PV has very strict rules that must be adhered to. There are so many things that are great about PV and the pricing as compared to NJ counties east of PV (e.g. Morris) makes it very desirable. However, for us, it is the wildlife,natural beauty,and surrounding farmlands that makes it priceless. Wishing you the best in house hunting.

Foxgap Foxgap
Oct '18

I love living in Panther Valley! I lived first in a single family home, and now in a townhouse. Every day when I drive through the gates and down Bald Eagle Drive, I am so thankful to live in such a lush, beautiful setting. That's sounds cheesy, but it's true! Pools in the summer, lots of places to walk, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, and trees everywhere! Peace and quiet...the section I live in reminds me of a camp/park setting, with all the natural beauty. Easy access to Route 80, the shops at Panther Valley are good for pizza, pub, gift shop, convenience store, bagels, etc.

I'll say what I always say about HOA fees and rules...understand the fees and rules before you buy. If you are okay paying the fees and following the rules, good! If you aren't okay with it, don't buy in an HOA development. It works for some people, not for others.

Jersey Girl Jersey Girl
Oct '18

"Seems like the younger home buyers don’t want anything but turn key and no outside work."

good point, this is actually a national trend, this younger generation who are starting out in life are not willing to spend a lot of their free time in working on their own homes, they have a life style and schedule that would be negatively impacted by having to use their free time repairing , maintaining their own homes and so their is a documented trend toward them buying into associations like panther valley so they have more free time to devote to their hobbies, interests etc.

GreyHawk GreyHawk
Oct '18

Thanks for the info.

Guilty - where is Diamond Hill? That’s Mansfield? Or Hackettstown?

I also appreciate the info regarding the townhomes vs stand alone. I was not aware of the difference in HOA fees.

We are already homeowners elsewhere but over the last 6 years we’ve seen a nearly $2k increase in property taxes (currently around $10k) and so are looking to downsize or shift to a location that may be a smaller house and smaller tax bill.

Panther Valley seemed like a good location due to convenience to highways as well as to Sussex, hence our interest.

JosephDredd JosephDredd
Oct '18

^ When viewing taxes in Panther Valley make sure you are getting the entire picture. There is an additional tax (I’ll call it a Panther Valley tax) that is above the normal Allamuchy tax. Many listings may not have that other amount included and it is a decent chunk of change.

D-ManPV D-ManPV
Oct '18

Diamond Hill is in Mansfield. The taxes range around $6-8k per year. There’s no street lights, so nighttime has beautiful, clear views. It’s a very peaceful, beautiful development. Coming from Hackettstown, take rt. 57 West, aprox 4-5 miles, pass Tri-County firehouse, on left...slow down, make Right into Diamond Hill, Claremont Road. No sign posted, naming the development. There’s also a back entrance, coming from Hackettstown. If using a realtor, and haven’t made a choice yet, try Email: chrisedwards@chrisedwardsrealtor.com | Residence: 973-398-0964 | Text: 973-400-9540 | Office: 973-598-1008. Chris Edwards at Remax. Sometimes they are flexible with the commission so you and the seller can split the savings....or whatever. It’s great, if you have children old enough to get off the school bus alone. It’s difficult for dual working or single parents to be at the school, every day, at 2-3 pm. There are aftercare programs in both Hackettstown and Mansfield, if needed. Good luck with your search.

Guilty-Remnant Guilty-Remnant
Oct '18

RE taxes, the amount I paid the first year I lived here was as presented --- currently (still) paying a little under $8000 for a large townhome...........There were no surprises..............
Homeowners I know pay under $100 a month HOA fees - Townhomes and condos that receive full services pay varying amounts - For my 4bedroom 3 1/2 bath - about $340 a month - with minor increases most years...one year a drop and we feel we get our money's worth-- landscaping - snow plowing and shoveling, gutter cleaning, powerwashing and deck painting every few years - roofs, chimney work, etc................. as well as access to 3 pools etc.

4catmom 4catmom
Oct '18

D Man, care to provide an example? Thank you.

Guilty, thanks for the info. I’ll check it out. That’s by the game farm?

JosephDredd JosephDredd
Oct '18

Yup! That’s Hazen Rd, where the game farm is. That’s the back entrance. I don’t think there’s a street sign. It’s a sharp left off Rockport rd. Careful. Hard to see oncoming traffic.
If condo is still in your future, avoid Oakhill. There’s two “Oakhills”. The ones to avoid are off rt. 46, in Independence. They were built in the 80s, moldy, railings and cement work in need of repairs, one pool. My cousin bought one there. For $340 a month, he got usage of a pool. This condo was much smaller than 4catmom’s, in PV. Parking is difficult (if you use your garage as a storage unit, like I do) , and the plowing is never done right. I used to hear stories about people digging their cars out, to get to work. He was so relieved to sell it, without going into the hole. He will never buy a condo, again. The Oakhill, off Bilby Rd, are nicer and newer. If I were buying a condo, PV would be my choice. Keep in mind, Hackettstown doesn’t always mean Hackettstown. Several townships use the name.

Guilty-Remnant Guilty-Remnant
Oct '18

JosephDredd: sent you an email.

Guilty-Remnant Guilty-Remnant
Oct '18

Guilty-Remnant you are mistaken. There are not two separate oak hill communities in Independence. I believe the community off rt 46 in Independence you are referring to is The Hills of Independence, not Oak Hill.

gm mom gm mom
Oct '18

Oh... I thought that one was “Oakhill of Independence”. I don’t want to give out wrong info. Thanks for the correction, gm.

Guilty-Remnant Guilty-Remnant
Oct '18

We pay $208 a month for a combined HOA fee as we are in the new section of the Meadows in PV. We live in a townhouse that is 3 years old. I will say that taxes are out of the roof - very expensive but we love living here.


Luca - I believe I was told that some things included in maintenance in older sections are owner responsibility in the meadows - roofs, siding? hence the lower fees.....Is this correct?

4catmom 4catmom
Oct '18

Yes it is.

Stymie Stymie
Oct '18

I love it and the Panther Valley Mall has many convient places right in your front yard.

Momof6 Momof6
Oct '18

Wife and I bought a house in Panther Valley after getting married little over 2 years ago. We both are 30 and before this lived in Essex County our entire lives. Depending on where you are from and age it has its postives and negatives.

Panther Valley is definitely more of a middle aged/family household vibe. Not going to find any night life or anything like that in the area. We have learned to trade in our Montclair/Hoboken nights for Morristown and hikes in the state parks. We were never the bar hopping type anyways, but it is definitely a change either way. Distance to shopping/restaurants isn’t bad at all as some might make it out to be. Most things are 15 minutes away (Target, Shoprite, Home Depot, Rockaway Mall etc)

PV itself, for the most part, a great place to own. Moving from a more city environment, to this, was something we wanted and you definitely get that more laid back country atmosphere. No regrets, in fact my in-laws liked it so much, they too just purchased a home in PV.

My only small knock on the actual community, is that some things are showing age (i.e front gate office, signs, pools etc) definitely could use some love and care to bring it into 2019. Small criticism though for all the greats that come out of it. Wife is expecting our first child and we cant wait to raise our child here.

NetsFan88 NetsFan88
Oct '18

Hi 4cat - the roof & exterior are included in the maintenance for my unit as I double-checked the bylaws. Not sure about older units.


My fiance and I originally had looked into The Meadows section of panther valley but were lucky enough to find a house in Country Oaks which is just off 46 near Budd Lake. Beautiful single family homes for nearly the same price. Also, our "HOA" is ~200 a year to cover public areas and maintenance. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help each other out.


All townhouses and condos work the same. In the beginning the monthly fee is on the low side to benefit the builder to sell quicker. Over time unexpected expenses and/or expenses greater than estimated trickle in and raise the monthly fee.


Fees are also low in the beginning because the common areas are just at the beginning of their lives..................as time goes on things need maintaining, repairing, and replacing

4catmom 4catmom
Oct '18

Rates are going up nest year

Itiswhatitis
Oct '18

No 4catmom. In theory they should be collecting for everything that is covered, roof, siding, etc. 50 years on siding and 25 years on the roofing from day one. There is a construction inflation index that can be projected forward. It is in the builder's interest to keep the fees low as it part of the monthly cost to make the units seem a little more affordable than they truly are...


IJay - I sat on the boards of two communities - one while the developer was still in control so I have some idea of how it works. Yes the builder likes to show as low fees as possible - however they were quite realistic for the budgets when they were set. And yes an association needs to begin to develop reserve funds but what is needed grows exponentially as the community "matures".

As an aside- I spent 9 years on each board - made sure to educate myself on the rules and regs for community associations - got information from the state dept of community affairs - took my fiduciary responsibility very seriously- and vowed that I would not do it again - as many homeowners think you are the enemy - and most only show interest when it's about money -- Board members are the few who are willing to do the work...............

4catmom 4catmom
Oct '18

Perfectly stated.
( from one walking in those shoes)

Stymie Stymie
Oct '18

You are not the enemy. Unexpected costs arise and when they exceed the reserving then you get into unhappy territory to raise the monthly assessment and/or levy a special assessment. Other issues involve common association responsibility and unit responsibility. And it is not always black and white as to repair one you often have to repair the other.

Best way to tell how good a builder is? Check out other communities built after they are 20+ years old. Personally, I wish they stopped being cheap and removed the concrete wall barrier between townhome units. This started in the 1980s and only down South do they still offer this.


Put tile roofs on the condo's. One time larger expense, roof that lasts for hundreds of years if done right. In Europe, to replace a tile, you lift the one above it out, drop a new one in. Done. Less than a minute.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Oct '18

Does anyone rent in Panther Valley ? Is there a main rental office to call to see what is available or just use Zillow ? thanks

just coach just coach
Nov '18

No rental office - Rentals are done privately by the individuals. I don't believe there are many.

4catmom 4catmom
Nov '18

I see two rentals:

https://www.weichert.com/NJ/Warren/Allamuchy_Twp/for-rent/


I rent in PV. You can find listed rentals on gsmls.com...filter for rentals instead of purchase. There aren't many. There are also some listed by owner, but those you have to find on local boards (like this one) and classifieds.

Jersey Girl Jersey Girl
Nov '18

Check with the Remax down in the PV mall.

HLamusesme HLamusesme
Nov '18

Be careful if you are a ham radio operator.

Reggie Voter Reggie Voter
Nov '18

I live right on Bald Eagle in a single family home and we pay $45 a month in HOA fees. My only complaint is the heavy traffic since we are on the main road. It is loud and people drive WAY too fast, rudely tailgating and honking in the 30mph zone. I would advise you to check out some of the side roads if the traffic is a concern.

Jessticals Jessticals
Dec '18

Hi All,
Who's the BEST cell phone carrier to have in Panther Valley?

Lola Willis Lola Willis
2 weeks ago

I had Verizon and now have t mobile the service is equal both give me two bars


My family loves it, nice pools, quiet, the mall is awesome many convenient businesses, a great deli, The Vanilla Market is awesome and the gym is amazing! The school systems are great to.


I had T-Mobile and I couldn't get reception in parts of my home and switched to Verizon.

My problem living here is that you can't walk to stores and such. To me that's become a drawback. Our place was quiet when we moved in, but through so many neighbor changes, it's become a challenge with noise. I wish people would let you live there a few days before deciding to move in. LOL

Love the pools. Love having PV Mall. Hate the gas station at the corner, though. I love seeing the deer in the area. They make me smile. Schools are good. I do like the country like feel of the area.

DogDayAfternoon
2 weeks ago

Panther Valley is a great place to live and raise a family. There are occasional issues to manage through but on the whole it is a good life.


I have Verizon here in PV, but I keep my landline connected as service is spotty.

JrzyGirl88 JrzyGirl88
2 weeks ago

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