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NJ Wind Power

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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

 

160 Highfield Lane & ON3

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I’m very excited about my newest exclusive & extraordinary listing.  160 Highfield Lane is a beautifully renovated side hall colonial with a killer kitchen, marvelous master suite and is bursting with so many fine details.  Get a look at some of the beautiful images in the home’s stylish link directly below.

160highfieldlane.com

Nutley is becoming a hot destination as nearby Montclair and Glen Ridge prices have exploded in the last few years.  Highfield Lane is part of the old Satterthwaite estate with gorgeous, wide, tree-lined streets that look like they could be in Montclair or Glen Ridge.  Nutley has a fun, small-town vibe with a walkable, centralized business district and it’s located close to transportation and entertainment  (New York is a super easy commute)  The town is poised for more growth as the old Hoffman-LaRoche industrial campus is being renovated for both high profile and smaller businesses that are bringing jobs.

One of which is Modern Meadow, a biotech company that produces “animal-free leather” from living cells. Check this link for more info about what new businesses are coming here  ON3 – Nutley’s new scene

Contact me at 201 600 8141 if you’d like to get a look

You can also use this link which is more real estate oriented 160highfield

 

2019 Real Estate Projections

Where is the real estate market going in 2019?

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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

Market conditions – Affordability & Inventory

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The spring housing market has been similar to 2017, inventory is tight and housing prices are strong. Hesitancy over new tax laws and the deductibility of prepaid property taxes has caused some sellers to ‘wait-and-see’, limiting supply, and causing New Jersey home buyers to wonder whether there is any relief in sight.
Trends to know for 2018:
1. Recent tax changes are keeping some home sellers on the sidelines.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have far-reaching effects for the New Jersey real estate market. In 2018, homeowners will have their state and local tax (SALT) deductions capped at $10,000. A work-around has been approved by Gov Murphy but how the feds react to it is still to be determined.
2. When the new tax bill was announced, many New Jersey residents prepaid their first and second quarter 2018 property taxes in the hopes they could deduct those payments on their 2017 tax returns. As it turns out, the treatment of these payments may differ for Federal and State returns.
New Jersey home prices continue to rise – Reduced inventory is underpinning home prices in NJ. Early indications for the 2018 spring market show strong demand for homes, due in part to wage growth and a strong job market. Both have contributed to a very competitive housing market, and home prices continue to rise. The Home Buying Institute anticipates home prices could increase by 3-5% this year in the United States, and northern New Jersey is seeing strong markets particularly along the Midtown Direct train line in towns such as South Orange and Maplewood.
3.  Although mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2018, they remain historically low. Current 30-year fixed mortgage rates are hovering at about 4.5%, and many forecasters predict they will end the year higher. Low interest rates are keeping home buyers (especially families) active. Many want housing contracts in place before the start of the school year in the fall so children can take advantage of highly-rated school districts along the Midtown Direct.
4. Millennials are moving to the suburbs from New York City
Although New York City rents are softening, Millennials are still migrating to the suburbs where there’s more square footage for the price. While overall rent levels may be starting to drift down, according to StreetEasy; New York City rents are still increasing twice as fast as wages. Compounded by the fact that many Millennials are starting families, city dwellers are leaving New York City in search of nice neighborhoods, more space, and excellent schools. And with plenty of options to facilitate the daily commute into New York, New Jersey has become a go-to place to live. In addition to Maplewood & South Orange, towns such as Montclair, Summit, Chatham, and Westfield are just a few more that are top of the Millennial list due to their walkable & fun downtowns, entertainment, shopping, and trending restaurant scenes.
Are you considering a move to northern New Jersey? I would love to assist you.
With 9 years of experience buying and selling homes, I can help you take advantage of current housing trends and find the home of your dreams. Contact me at 201 600 8141 or ken@kenkrasnerhomes.com

Link to Forbes article and more details

 

Preparing in advance for a buyer’s inspection

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Most home buyers are paying an inspector to find issues in the house they are buying and expect to at least have the seller respond positively to the important items on their inspection list.  Of course, how much the seller offers to address depends on a number of issues beyond the actual ‘imperfections’ that the inspection has uncovered.

While a seller often gets a much bigger return on investment by improving kitchens and bathrooms, it is advisable to keep up with routine maintenance to address minor problems before they escalate into major inspection issues.
Here are some of the most common issues.
1) Furnace, Hot Water Heater.
2) Masonry around front steps and walkways
3) Recaulk around exterior doors and windows
4) Fireplace and chimney cleaned and checked by a pro
5) Make sure gutters and leaders are working & depositing water far away from the foundation of the home.
6) Address any leaking pipes
7) Knob & Tube electric needs to be addressed
8) And the most important, remove buried oil tank from the ground

Home

At the top of the hill in Maplewood sits a really beautiful home I just listed with lots of conveniences, fine details, a view and a history.  Check out the link below for more details.

Front View

http://7981collinwoodrds.thebestlisting.com/

 

 

A tale of two parklets

 

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Millburn will receive a Complete Streets Excellence award at Rutgers on October 24 for the changes made in Downtown Millburn,   The $8.2 million Complete Streets program was developed with traffic calming & improvements that include road-diets, curb bump-outs, bicycle parking, widened sidewalks and corners, high-visibility crosswalks, pedestrian lighting, signage and more.

According to town officials, positive changes have resulted. Speeds have decreased in the reconfigured areas of Millburn Avenue (average motorist now travels at 29 mph). Compared to the three years preceding construction, the Main Street intersections of both Millburn Ave. & Essex St. have experienced a 23% decrease in motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents.

A new app called mPay2Park makes paying for parking simpler allowing for mobile payments with no transaction fees. Zone C along Millburn Avenue now offers free 15 minute parking at the pay stations for those that just want to run a quick errand.  However, some residents have expressed concern about traffic during peak hours.

The parklet in downtown South Orange is also getting recognition. SO Environmental Commission receiving ANJEC award.  The scope and the budget of the project was a fraction of Millburn’s

Its the work of the S.O. Environmental Commission, Neil Chambers of Chambers Design, South Orange Village Center Alliance’s Bob Zuckerman, Matt Glass, Steve Pedigo, town trustee Walter Clarke, Village President Sheena Collum, South Orange Parking Authority, Essex County and donations from Tito’s Burritos, Yoni Kreger, Eventage and others.

According to Sheena, “A parklet is an emerging trend in public space design that encourages towns and cities to rethink auto-oriented concrete spaces into public, passerby-friendly ‘hotspots.’ So yeah, we gave up a couple parking spots temporarily from carbon producing automobiles (we’re promoting more sustainability in this town, remember? #ParisAgreement) and instead, created a new mini destination for all our residents, businesses and guests to use. This is called ‘tactical urbanism’ – and is very popular in the planning field.”

 

Kari Capone, SOMA’s knitwear designer

 

SOMA’s knitwear designer is Kari Capone and she’s been knitting clothing for SOMA and beyond since 2007. To see her creations, visit her at Etsy (below), at the Bizarre Bazaar, or find her in action knitting while walking down Maplewood Ave or at the Able Baker.

Kari is not just about wool and needles; she recently set up a great event.  She will be hosting a dance/birthday party/Under the Sea-themed charity event to raise money for Parkinson’s disease at Maplewood’s The Woodland on Sunday, November 12, from 2-5 pm.  Here are a few questions and answers with Kari…

1 You are a prolific creator, were you always interested in knitting and sewing?
I learned to knit when I was about 21 years old from my great-aunt Mary. But I’ve always been crafty! Starting at age 6, I learned to crochet & needlepoint. I also loved to latch hook & made rugs for my two younger brothers. I was a rabid cross-stitcher (it used to be a thing) until knitting took over as my passion.

2 You’re staging an ‘ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA’ dance party and benefit for Parkinson’s at the woodland in Maplewood.   what’s the most important thing to you about it?  Not everyone knows this, but the Enchantment Under the Sea dance is also my 40th birthday party celebration. My dad died from Parkinson’s two years ago. He was only 66 years old. He and I LOVED the Back to the Future movies. One of his favorite lines was, “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” My goal is to raise $4000 for the foundation – it seems like a nice round number for my 40th birthday. 🙂

3 Who is the most famous person that you’ve knitted for?  I haven’t knit anything for someone famous (yet) but one fun fact… I knitted about 125 pussy hats in the year 2017!  I met Vanna White this year at a crafting conference and would love to teach her to knit. She’s more of a crocheter.

4 What’s the strangest thing you’ve knitted, sewn or created?  The strangest thing I’ve ever knitted would have to be a full-length body suit, for an interpretive dance costume. A close second was an extra-large, Pepto-Bismol pink, double-breasted sweater coat with white fuzzy trim.

5 What drew you to live in SOMA?   My ex-husband & I moved to South Orange and bought our first house here in 2005. We loved raising Andrew on a dead-end street; he could play with the other kids and we could walk him downtown to see the “choo-choos.”  Now, we all live in Maplewood. Andrew’s dad and I live only a mile away from each other, and we’ve had such great experience in the schools (Marshall, Seth Boyden, MMS, & now CHS).

6 Who’s your favorite musician/band/singer?  It’s difficult to choose my favorite musician. My favorite singer is Ella Fitzgerald. I also love Gillian Welch.

7 If you could have three people at a dinner party who would they be?  If I could have three people at a dinner party, I’d invite Marie Forleo (marietv.com), Tim Ferriss (timferriss.com), and Kanye West. That would be an epic party.

8 What’s your favorite place in the world? I love many places, but I must say the Able Baker is one of my happiest places.

9 What would you like to see more of in SOMA?   I used to own a cafe on Springfield Ave. I have a real heart for the neighborhood; I’ve lived there for ten years now. I’d love to see Julie Doran’s and Vic Deluca’s work on Springfield Avenue continue. I’m especially looking forward to the day when the vacant lot near my building is a public park, or a tea house, or an artist’s cooperative, or…

A brief Q&A with Sam Finlay

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Finlay & Gage, SOMA’s’ new ‘string shop’ will celebrate their grand opening on Sept. 16 (from 11 til 5) at 1677 Springfield Ave., #19 in Maplewood.  It will be such a convenience and pleasure to have a music center in town for string players from professional to beginner.  The shop will rent, sell and repair stringed instruments. Sam Finlay, the manager lives in South Orange and here is a bit of Q&A with the renaissance man himself!
1  were you always interested in music? what instrument(s) do you play?  I started on viola in Junior high, took up string bass in high school & studied it in college, too.  While in school & for a while after, I played bass professionally.
2  what gave you the idea to open the Finlay & Gage stringed instrument store locally?  When I moved here, I was inspired by the level of artistry in the people I met here. When I saw the quality of instruments that the kids had access to and the fact that adults couldn’t get a decent repair without driving a distance, it seemed like I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t offer them something better.
At first, I thought I would just bring instruments from NY, where we have a large store. And then my good friend Matt Smollon, cofounder of SOMa film fest, showed me a location in Maplewood & it seemed like too perfect an opportunity to pass up.


3  what drew you to live in south orange?   My wife, daughter & I came here for backyards, sense of community, & school system. I grew up in the city and was looking for something a little different for my kid. I didn’t want to give up the city altogether, so this seemed like the perfect place.
4  who’s your favorite musician/band/singer? Beethoven, Charles Mingus, The Clash, George Jones, Clutch, Tom Waits, Frank Sinatra, NAS and the Wu Tang Clan

5  if you could have three people at a dinner party who would they be?As a musical instrument nerd, many of these folks might not be familiar to every reader. I’d like to hear what it was like to invent the Violin from Andreas Amati, what it was like to run a busy store in a city like Milan from the young maker Carlo Antonio Testore. Finally, the French inventor-instrument maker-broker Vouillaume seems like he would have been a hoot. I’d like to finish a bottle of wine with him.

6  what does success for Finlay & Gage look like?  I’d like the store to be successful, but more, I’d like for it to work to support a thriving musical community here.

7  what’s the most recent concert/show you’ve attended? I went to see South Orange royalty Mandy Gonzalez in beginning of the summer & she blew my mind. Soon after, I saw Clutch and Primus in Asbury park and they were incredible.

8  what’s your favorite place in the world?  That’s tough, but I would have to say my house. I love to be here with my family. Every time I get home I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
 
9  what would you like to see more of in SOMA?  I’d like to see more bike lanes, rehearsal spaces & schools in SOMA.
We all like to ride our bikes & bike lanes would make this area a lot less dependent on cars.  Rehearsal spaces for musicians make for excellent art communities – just look at Williamsburg in the early days. And as popular as this area I gets, it would be a shame if we forgot to build enough schools for all the kids who are bound to come with the families moving here.

Cat Fisher’s Theater in the Park in SOMA

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Theater in the Park will be on August 12 in Founder’s Park on Valley St., in South Orange.  This fun event will have short plays on the main stage as well as all-day long events and vendors throughout the park.  Stay tuned for more details.  In the meantime here is a short Q & A with Cat Fisher, who is bringing it to life.

1  what gave you the idea to do the Founder’s Park theater event? I wanted to help bring attention to the park by hosting an event that was different from any other event in town, I have a very good friend who works closely with InterACT and so, with the help of Meara Franowicz, Theater in The Park was born.  It will be an all-day event with short plays happening on the main stage as well as interactive workshops for all ages – some going on during the whole event and some during scheduled times.  The schedule will be announced mid July.
2  were you always interested in theater? what character did you play in a school production? Other then playing the lead in Stone Soup in 2nd grade I have spent most of my time behind the scenes doing costuming for productions in high school and college.  My involvement with Theater in The Park is more administrative – I am leaving the creative to the more creative people.
3  what drew you to south orange? My (now) husband Andrew Kit; he was living here when we met and introduced me to the town.  He has a real passion for the community and helping to make it a great place to live.  I was a bit of a transient, moving around a lot with my previous job which lead me to Montclair, NJ.  From there I met Andrew and fell in love with him and this town.
4  If you could have three people at a dinner party who would they be? That depends if they have to be currently living. if not Ray Bradbury, Bill Murray and Tina Fey, If they have to be alive then replace Ray Bradbury with Tom Robbins.
5  what is the most recent Broadway show you have seen?  It was the limited run of Oh Hello! staring John Mulaney and Nick Kroll.
6  have you attended any shows at the Papermill, Burgdorff and/or Luna stage since coming here? if so, what production?
I have seen The Little Mermaid at the Paper Mill and I have been to a few events at the Burgdorff (mostly fundraisers.) I have actually never been to Luna Stage but will check it out now!  InterACT performs at the Baird; they just finished Sister Act and Once Upon a Mattress and will be announcing next year’s shows at their annual fundraiser as well as the Theater in the Park.
7  who’s your favorite band/singer? This is always a hard question, there are so many to choose from and I have always avoided narrowing it down to just one.  For the sake of keeping it easy I will say Jenny Lewis because I find her so fascinating and her music always puts me in a good mood, and that would include her old band Rilo Kiley.
8  what’s your favorite place in the world?  This is a really hard question but I have to say my parents house – it is the house I grew up in and it will always feel great to go home. They live in Royal Oak MI a Suburb outside Detroit.

 

 


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