Posts Tagged 'government'

Will government shutdown affect real estate?


As you probably know, the U.S. government officially shut down a few days ago. This post is not a comment on the political aspects of the shutdown, but on the practical effects for the real estate industry. As a buyer or seller, you may be wondering how this impacts your ability to obtain and close mortgage financing. A short-term shutdown should have limited effects.

1) The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will be able to endorse single-family loans during the shutdown; however, only a limited number of FHA staff will be available to underwrite and approve new loans so the process may take longer.

2) There will be no significant effect to Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

3) The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will continue to operate, which means lenders will be able to continue originating VA-guaranteed loans.

4) The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) will cease all but essential functions and no new loans or guarantees through Rural Development will be made.

5) Lenders may not be able to continue to verify social security numbers through the Social Security Administration.

6) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not process any forms, including tax return transcripts. Without tax transcripts, loan processing may be delayed, depending on individual housing agency requirements and aggregator guidelines.

7) Mapping issues or amendments through FEMA will be impacted.


Three New members of the South Orange Board of Trustees

board of trustees

Sheena Collum, Steven Schnall and Walter Clarke have won election to the South Orange Board of Trustees replacing outgoing members, Michael Goldberg, Nancy Gould and Janine Bauer.  Their campaign stressed ‘the positive’ and hopefully will bring an infusion of energy, enthusiasm and efficiency to the town.

Schnall’s area of expertise is business and he plans to increase municipal efficiency, minimize spending and control taxes.

Clarke has a great record with the town in areas of environmental and energy policy.  He brought electric vehicle chargers to town, helped bring about the Rahway River cleanup and was instrumental in the certification of South Orange in the Sustainable Jersey program.

Collum has made her mark in public safety, community emergency response and public information.

For more info and for tallies:

State of the Village

An interesting upgrade in communication took place last night.  South Orange Village President, Alex Torpey delivered the State of the Village live in an address to the public instead of in an internal town meeting.  It was good to hear where the mayor hopes to take the town.  The mayor touched on IT, property taxes, redevelopment, ‘bureau pathology,’ green issues, budget and other issues.

One new wrinkle is that there will now be ‘single-stream’ recycling.  Glass, aluminum,  paper and newspaper will all be combined in a single toter for pickup starting in July.


For more info check out the video posted on Patch –

New South Orange Village Administrator






Barry Lewis Jr. has been chosen as the new Village administrator and will begin work on Jan. 30, overseeing the finances of South Orange.  He was the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees after a long search.

Previously an administrator in Mine Hill, Spring Lake and Mountain Lakes,  Lewis will replace interim Administrator Reagan Burkholder, who was appointed Sept. 15 after then-Administrator John Gross accepted a similar position in West Orange. John Gross will continue to serve as the village’s chief financial officer.

23 year old man elected village president of South Orange

Congratulations to 23 year old Alex Torpey who was elected Village President!  Below find a link to an interview with him conducted by Rosanna Scotto of Good Day NY.  You’ll have to sit thru a short ad first.  Also below is a link to his website.  His agenda seems to stress making government more transparent, new technology, safety and Seton Hall.   As a homeowner, my pet issue would be attracting more businesses which may help ease the property tax burden.

also find a link to his website which outlines his agenda

Springfield Avenue business district improvements

springfield ave.

South Orange and Maplewood need to attract retail and office businesses to hopefully take a bit of the property tax burden of homeowners. Maplewood Township Committee voted to extend parking limits in the Springfield Ave. business district from 1 hour to 2 hours between 8 am and 6 pm.  They also voted to introduce more money that would pay for new bump-outs, curbs, pavements, trees, grates, streetlights, benches and trash receptacles in the area of the Springfield Avenue streetscape improvement project Princeton Street to Tuscan Road).   Daibes Enterprises is interested in developing ground floor retail in the area.  For more details –

Parents Protest Education Budget Cuts

columbia high school south orange maplewood

At the Board of Education Building on 525 Academy Street in Maplewood, special education parents have organized a protest to take place on Wednesday, 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

The protest is scheduled before the Board of school Estimate public hearing at 7 p.m.  The “call to action” is for the community to oppose the decision by the Board of Education and the administration to outsource 76 of the district’s special education paraprofessionals beginning July 1.  NJ Governor Christie’s budget cuts have cost the district 80.9 percent of its state aid. The school district has responded by outsourcing the special education paraprofessionals .  Approval by the Board of School Estimate is the next step in adoption of the district’s proposed $108.6 million budget.