Archive for the 'NJ' Category

NJ Wind Power

njwind

You want clean energy NJ?  Here it comes.  So now the question is are you really ready for clean power in NJ or are you feeling a NIMBY attitude coming on?  People in Atlantic City, Margate, Ventnor, Longport and Brigantine may initially be worried about seeing wind turbines from their homes.

Hopefully building the wind turbines 15 miles out to sea is a good enough distance.  That far out officials believe you won’t see it most of the time from the shore because of the ocean haze.  The other reason for the distance is that there are also far fewer birds who could be hurt or hurt the equipment.

So the state’s first award for offshore wind to the Danish energy company Ørsted and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) for a proposed 1,100-megawatt Ocean Wind project was granted by the NJ Board of Public Utilities.  This is all part of a push by Governor Murphy to raise the proportion of energy in NJ derived from cleaner sources.

So the plans for this $1.6 billion wind-energy farm is the largest of its kind in the U.S.  Let’s do this!

 

link to Wind Power article

link to deeper Wind Power dive

 

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2019 Real Estate Projections

Where is the real estate market going in 2019?

newengland

Here are a few points I’ve boiled down and expanded upon (sourced from Realtor.com) that are likely to influence and illustrate the 2019 real estate market’s performance.

To see how this will affect you personally use the quick & complimentary home value estimator here – FIND YOUR HOME’S VALUE

  1. Home price growth will slow – perhaps down to 2%.  Many homes are still selling for a strong price, but receiving 8 or more offers as some did from 2014-2017 is becoming a much rarer occurrence.  For more info on local sales click this link – HOUSING MARKET TRENDS   for more specific HOUSING MARKET TRENDS
  2. Inventory will most likely remain moderate with only small increases, except for high-priced homes which will have significant inventory increases.  LOCAL INVENTORY INFO
  3. Millennials getting mortgages will slightly outpace GenerationX’ers and far outpace Boomers getting mortgages.
  4. The new tax law will be good for renters (keeping more income) and a mixed bag, but mostly negative for homeowners who may keep more income but will lose the SALT deductions.  The law no longer allows taxpayers the ability to deduct state and local taxes (SALT), so we’re being taxed twice on the same income. Those deductions on property taxes, along with a deduction on mortgage interest, used to provide a strong incentive for homeownership.  Maybe the new house representative class recently elected will stick up for the suburban voters who put them there and try to pass legislation to reverse or lessen the impact of the new laws, but I’m not holding my breath.
  5. Most experts are predicting that mortgage rates will most likely hit 5.5 percent by the end of the year. Some buyers will be motivated to purchase before the rates get too high and some may begin sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next dip. HOWEVER, after a recent meeting between China and the US about trade and tariffs, interest rates actually dropped. So ‘most experts’ may change their tune if the tariffs/trade wars keep putting a scare into the market.  For more about Mortgage-related questions – link instantly to expert MORTGAGE RATE, FINANCE INFO & PRE-APPROVALS  
  6. Most experts don’t see an obvious buyer’s market for awhile, because of moderate inventory and prices holding steady. Buyers will have to adapt their strategies to deal with higher rates and lower inventory.  Since higher end homes will have more inventory and more stagnant prices, there are more opportunities for buyers in the higher price ranges than in the entry level price ranges which have more buyer competition and less inventory.
  7. Despite remaining nominally a seller’s market, increasing competition from increased inventory will most likely bring down expectations for bidding wars, multiple offers  and getting whatever price a seller thinks he can get.. Sellers who price competitively should still be able to come away with a good amount of equity if they didn’t buy at the 2006 peak.
  8. The total number of home sales declined in 2018 compared to 2017 and is expected to decline further in 2019

link to full Realtor.com projections & article

Eats – NJ Monthly Top 25 Restaurants

njmonthly
NJ Monthly publishes a top twenty-five restaurants in the state and ten are within a 30 minute drive of SOMA.
Here are the top food destinations.  I’ve been to four of them, I’ve got some eating to do.
Maplewood (Lorena’s)
Maplewood (Verjus)
Montclair (Fascino)
Montclair (Laurel & Sage)
Millburn (Common Lot)
Westfield (Chez Catherine)
Hoboken (Cucharamama’s)
Jersey City (Maritime Parc)
Chatham (Serenade)
Morristown (Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen)

Cherry Blossoms in Branch Brook Park

branch-brook-cherry-blossoms-1 Get yourself over to Belleville’s Branch Brook Park to catch the Cherry Blossoms before they’re gone!! http://www.essexcountyparks.org/parks/branch-brook-park/calendar/2015-essex-county-cherry-blossom-festival

Rahway River flooding update

 

DSCN1486Looks like a possible win-win situation in the ‘Dam Saga’. There are a number of smaller steps being taken to remediate flooding of the Rahway River in Millburn, Springfield, Cranford and further downstream.  The ‘Dam’ was defeated and now the The Mayors Council Rahway River Watershed Flood Control is endorsing ‘Rain Gardens’ in addition to other solutions.

There is state money to help with the solution as a result of our NJ Senators Booker & Menendez.

1) There will be more ‘storage’ upstream in the Orange Reservoir to lessen peak storm waters flowing to affected areas.

2) Channel widening and deepening downstream

3) Correcting bridge obstructions

4) Constructing Rain Gardens which divert runoff from buildings from going to the river and instead direct the water to a growing number of public gardens in several towns

For more info and a list of the ‘rain gardens’ see the link below.

http://www.nj.com/suburbannews/index.ssf/2015/03/mayors_council_rahway_river_wa_7.html

Reel Talk – South Orange Special Cinema Series

 

reel-talk-nj-logo-2SOPAC in South Orange will be hosting ‘REEL TALK’ in March, April and May.  Reel Talk will be screening interesting films prior to their commercial release dates.

It’s a subscription screening series of eight original and provocative feature films and a Q&A discussion with a distinguished guest(s) (critic and/or professor and/or talent from the film). Stephen Whitty, the Star Ledger film critic and Chair of the New York Film Critics Circle will be involved. The films are a mix of independent, foreign-language, non-fiction, and mainstream, and all will hopefully be on your radar when ultimately released in theaters.

See links for details!

http://ruffin3179.wix.com/reeltalknj

http://tapinto.net/towns/south-orange-slash-maplewood/articles/part-3-tap-continues-reel-talk-interview-with-wh

Property Taxes and the Marylawn property in South Orange

marylawnThe town of South Orange plans to put the Marylawn property on the tax rolls.

Marylawn of the Oranges Academy, 445 Scotland Road, closed in 2013 after operating as a private Catholic school for girls. The property is owned by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and includes the school building and the Graves mansion, built in 1900.

The property is no longer being used for a religious school, so the trustees believe it should lose its tax-exempt status.  The property owners, the Sisters of Charity may be more motivated to sell the property once it is subject to property taxes.

Seton Hall University made an offer in March on the property but the proposal was withdrawn for a number of reasons.  After discovering that the property would not be purchased for use by another tax-exempt party, village officials put collecting property taxes on the table.

On one hand, the sisters are seeking a non-conforming use such as a developer who could build fairly large multi-unit building(s).  On the other, the Montrose Historical Society is hoping a developer will update and ‘save’ the historical property.  The town is in the middle and is hoping for a developer who could fit 5 to 7 single family buildings on the property that would be a conforming use (not require re-zoning).  For more details see the alternative press link.  For more background see my previous post from 2013.

http://thealternativepress.com/towns/south-orange-slash-maplewood/articles/south-orange-plans-to-add-marylawn-property-to-ta

https://kenkrasnerhomes.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/marylawn-saga-to-be-continued/


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