Forget East Hampton’s 11937 and Beverly Hills’ 90210–the most prestigious zip code in America is officially 07620. It belongs to Alpine, New Jersey, an enclave of around 2,400 that counts some of business and pop culture’s best known names among its residents.The borough, less than nine miles from Manhattan, recently topped Forbes’ list of the most expensive zip codes in America.
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Most people value Alpine for its privacy. Unlike other expensive zip codes where high taxes pay for a bevvy of municipal services, Alpine has a relatively low tax rate, thanks in part to the fact that it doesn’t have a high school or mail delivery.
In fact, it has barely any commerce at all–the only restaurant is Kiku, a hibachi house on the outskirts of town.
The median home price in Alpine is $4.55 million, while the most expensive home on the market, the historic stone mansion on the Frick estate, is listed at an eye-popping $53 million.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the borough’s housing market is booming, however. There are currently 54 homes with Alpine addresses on the market, according to Trulia (just five cost less than $1 million). “For Sale” signs hang all over town, most with the phone number of the local Sotheby’s Realty office. And last year, prices were down 23% year-over-year, according to Forbes.
Want to know what it’s really like inside America’s wealthiest zip code?
Alpine is just a 20-minute drive from Midtown Manhattan, making it a convenient haven for commuters. Was this Ferrari also headed to 07620?
Once you cross the bridge into New Jersey, Alpine is just a quick trip north on the Palisades Parkway.
On the way, you'll pass Trillion Dollar Mile in Englewood Cliffs (home of America's 75th wealthiest zip code). It's home to the headquarters of Ferrari North America, CNBC and Unilever.
We made it! For a town of just 2,400 this place is relatively big, covering more than six square miles. Around half of the town's land is preserved for park space.
Alpine is home to Montammy, a private golf and country club that's frequented by locals and Manhattanites.
There's a ton of construction underway, which is impressive considering how many existing homes are currently on the market.
Rio Vista is home to Devil's Tower, a relic from the former estate of a sugar baron. rumour has it the tower is haunted.
The northern part of town, called Timberline Estates, is home to Armstrong tower, the birthplace of modern FM radio. It may be historic, but it's a huge eyesore for nearby residents.
And this modern white house reportedly belongs to rapper Lil' Kim. Too bad she's got that monstrous tower in her sight-line.
This is Closter Dock Road, Alpine's main drag. It's home to two of the town's most massive megamansions. You can see them to the north and south.
This is as close as we could get to the Frick Mansion, which is currently on sale for $53 million and is the most expensive property on the NJ housing market.
The town's single public school is a short drive away. It serves students in grades K through 8, who then transfer to nearby Tenafly High School or one of the local private schools.
Some looked like they had been around for a while, but most of the biggest ones appeared to be built in the last decade.
We did see a handful of smaller homes, mostly near the commercial and municipal buildings. But they were few and far between.
For the most part, the houses were truly enormous. This White House look-alike is on the market for $14.5 million.
Here's Borough Hall, also home to the town's small police fleet and the post office. There's no mail delivery service--residents prefer to use P.O. boxes.
One thing that struck us as we drove Alpine's streets was how empty they were. On a sunny Sunday we barely passed any cars, let alone pedestrians.
Most properties have thick iron gates and are surrounded by trees or hedges. The message to visitors is clear--keep out.
We didn't see many Halloween decorations, but presumably some children live within the gates of this estate.
Practically every home has a swimming pool and tennis court, and four-car garages are standard. This home had a golf green.
Alpine's a pretty place, but there's not much to do there, unless you belong to the golf club or have a few million dollars to spend on a house.
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