Transportation To NYC

New Listing: 19 Norwood Ave Upper Montclair ? Private and Walkable!

When it comes to 19 Norwood Ave, I’m not sure whether to gush first about the house itself or the location.  

This house is the perfect size for a growing family. Four bedrooms on the second floor (two connected by a sleeping porch that can serve as a playroom!) and a fifth up on the top floor that can accommodate family or guests, 2.5 baths, eat-in kitchen, central air and a beautiful, open layout that feels inviting and warm. Windows and French doors abound; gorgeous hardwood floors throughout. This house has been meticulously maintained.

The backyard is like a private park, thoughtfully designed to accommodate both play and contemplation. Private and lush with mature trees and plantings, it makes you feel as if you’re on vacation in your own home.

But 19 Norwood offers more than grace and beauty. Situated a few blocks from Upper Montclair Village, it has a Walk Score of 81. The train and bus are about 8 minutes away on foot, as is Anderson Park, the Bellevue Theater, restaurants, ice-cream shop, toy store, clothing boutiques, pharmacy, banks, exercise studios, hardware store, hair salons – the list goes on and on.  

When you visit this home, try and schedule enough time to walk the neighborhood. It’s remarkable to experience how “away from it all” this house makes you feel while you’re so close to town.

Listed at $779,000, this home is not likely to last. Give me a call – I’d be delighted to walk you through it!

Get Healthy: Run Your Errands in a Walkable Suburb

ALR_Infographic_ActiveTravel_Apr2016

I live about a mile from the drug store. A post office and a Starbucks are across the street. One block north is one of my favorite gift shops.

When I walk "uptown" to run some errands, it absolutely takes more time than if I drive. But the experience is 100 times better.

I love looking at people's gardens on my way to do my errands. I'm a sucker for pretty flowers - they remind me to pay attention to what's beautiful in the world.

I'm also bound to run into friends or acquaintances on my way there or back. We may not have time to sit and catch up over coffee, but a spontaneous 15-minute chat in front of the firehouse can be almost as soul-filling.

Plus, when I walk, my body feels better. Soaking up some sunshine, moving rather than sitting, taking in the fresh air. Turns out all the things my grandmother told me were good for me really are.

The medical community says when we're running our errands on bikes or on foot, we're healthier. When I do it, I'm happier.

With 7 train stations, myriad bus stops, 5 distinct retail centers and several more smaller clusters of shops, restaurants and services, Montclair offers plenty of opportunities to show up on foot. Wherever you live, there's always somewhere to walk.

If you want to find out more about this Walkable Suburb or even take a walk around town with me, please call! 973.809.5277

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

4 Trends That Support Walkability

If you had asked me decades ago, when I first moved to this area, whether a walkable suburb was for everyone, I think I would have said no. I think I'd have assumed that only those of us coming from New York City - the walker's mecca of the U.S. - would have understood and appreciated the benefits of living in an area that is easy to navigate on foot. But it's not just New Yorkers that are walkability lovers anymore. Here are four trends that point to America's communities becoming less reliant on cars.

1. Fewer People Have a Driver's License. From 2000-2014, the number of Americans holding a driver's license has fallen sharply from 91 to 77 percent.

2. Living Without a Car Has Become Easier. Not only have public transportation systems beenIMG_6152 upgraded and improved in the past two decades, services like Uber and Lyft have made "livery" service more simple, affordable, and reliable, allowing people to bypass car ownership altogether.

3. More People Bike to Work. From 2000 to 2014, the number of people commuting by bicycle has grown 62 percent. More and more, towns are budgeting (or securing grants) for bike safe roads and bike racks as part of "downtown" development.

4.Better Public Transportation Makes Good Business Sense. President Obama recently signed policy to give tax breaks to public transportation entities as well as for those who provide parking near public transportation.

If you're looking for a place that is pedestrian and bike friendly, allow me to introduce you our own lovely walkable suburb. Truly the best of both worlds!

 

New Listing: The Perfect Commuter Home - Bloomfield, NJ

What does it take to make a perfect commuter home?

o New York bus one block away! o 21-minute commute to midtown! o High end cook's kitchen! o Central air conditioning and outdoor hot tub! o Big bright family room! o Cozy fireplace! o Basement Rec Room! o Quiet neighborhood! o Easy highway access!

kitchen fam room hot tub

10 Bolton Place was just listed for $399,000 and will not last long on the market.

With ample room for relaxation and entertaining, this sweet home is perfectly placed for you to take advantage of quick, easy access to NY Port Authority. Whether your family is growing out of an apartment into a house, or downsizing into a simpler lifestyle, you have everything to gain in this 3-bedroom gem.

If you'd like to see this or any other homes, please call or text: 973.809.5277

New Listing: 101 Darling Ave, Bloomfield, NJ

darling BR

I have a friend who, whenever she moved into a new place, always took one of the smaller bedrooms for herself (and her husband), giving the master bedroom to her young daughter. Since I've known her, she's lived in three different homes and has done this each and every time. I thought it was crazy, but she'd always explain that her daughter spends so much time in her room -- she has friends sleep over and all her toys are in there - it's more practical. "I basically just read for 10 minutes and then go to sleep in my room. What do I need a big space for?" she'd say.

While this was never a decision I would make, I could sort of see her point. However, if she lived in this home, none of that would have been necessary.

At 101 Darling Ave, two of the three bedrooms are so spacious, they're both considered "masters." In fact, the whole house is much larger than what you'd typically find in Bloomfield (2400 sq ft vs. 1600!). The kitchen and baths are renovated, it has a brand new great room, and the house is light and bright.

However, the feature that truly speaks to me is the backyard. One of the most expansive in the area, the flat property boasts a deep lot that you can look out on from the main deck or the Juliet balcony off one of the bedrooms (perhaps this is the master relegated to the grown-ups!). The backyard truly feels like a little park!

With its quick access to both Route 3 and the Garden State Parkway, and the bus to New York City at the corner, you will be well positioned for both adventure and recuperation in this extremely "darling" home! To find out more about this or other homes, please don't hesitate to call: 973.809.5277

When You Come to a Fork in the Road...

IMG_7148One of my regular morning walks includes a route up the mountain where I come to a fork at the base of a big hill. If I go to the left, I end up eventually passing a house that used to be the home of Yogi Berra.

Montclair has been abuzz today with the news of Yogi's passing. Yogi moved to Montclair around 1960, at the time to a bigger house on the other end of town. He raised his family here, putting his kids through the public schools, and was always known as an active member of the community.

Whenever I pass by that house, it still blows me away that it belonged to the renowned Yogi Berra. Not because I'm so star-struck (although I am a little bit), but because it reminds me of how special this town is. Plenty of "celebrities" moved here early in their careers, no doubt because of Montclair's beauty, but also because of its proximity to Manhattan. However, many of them stayed, presumably because here they found a lively, vibrant community - a place that seemed perfect to start a family. To call home.

I'm a born-and-raised New Yorker - no stranger to famous people in my midst. Of course, when you become successful enough to live anywhere, who wouldn't choose to live in what's often regarded "the greatest city in the world?" Well, Yogi Berra, for one. Along with the host of others who found Montclair.

If you or someone in your world has found themselves at their own fork in the road - thinking of downsizing, upsizing, heading for the suburbs or heading out of town - you can do what Yogi suggested: "Take it." Or you can call me. I can help with forks, life changes, and all matters of real estate!

My Ode to Midland Ave in Montclair

P1000940When I take clients around Montclair, at some point they always ask, "Which area is the best?" Of course, "best" is relative. If you're a commuter, living near one of Montclair's 7 train stations might be best. If you have small children, maybe it's living near one of the many parks. Or near Applegate Farms (now you know my favorite indulgence!). Some people want to live near one of the movie theaters, others prefer a New York City view.

But central to it all, is Midland Avenue. In fact, there's a plaque on Midland denoting the exact center of town. As spring turns quietly into summer, it always feels like Midland comes to life.

At the end of June, a truly magical tradition takes place. After receiving their diplomas, all the new high school graduates board a small fleet of school buses and are driven throughout the town. They begin their trek on Midland and little crowds of well-wishers gather on the sidewalks, banging pots and pans with old metal spoons to celebrate them. It's noisy and jubilant and a perfect way to lead into another one of my very favorite Montclair traditions - the July Fourth Parade. On that day, everyone in town flocks to Midland, lawn chairs flanking the block. There are vintage cars and marching bands, baton twirlers and Boy Scouts. The highlight, for me, is the bagpipes. Vendors sell balloons and pretzels, and if you're not sitting (or marching) you're wandering on the sidewalk, running into friends and neighbors as if you're at the world's biggest block party. It's hard to imagine another community with as much soul and revelry.

I can't really say where the "best" part of Montclair is. Only that there's nowhere I'd rather be.

A Great Value in Glen Ridge: 8 Hathaway Place

8 Hathaway PlaceGood news for prospective buyers looking for homes in Glen Ridge: I have a new listing for a great house at a great price. 8 Hathaway Place is a very pretty four-bedroom Colonial in the north end of town. This home has all the charming architectural details one would expect from a home built in 1920, but it also has modern conveniences such as central air-conditioning, an open floor plan  and a finished rec room in the basement. Hathaway Place is a not a through street so this house offers a low-traffic location. It is available for $499,000.

8 Hathaway Place is also ideally located for commuters: it is walking distance to both bus and train service to New York City. The town of Glen Ridge boasts an excellent school district; New Jersey Monthly last year ranked its high school 12th overall out of 328 public high schools surveyed.  The town is also known for its charming gas lamps on every street corner. So if a lovely home at a reasonable price in a charming town with great schools appeals to you, don't hesitate to get in touch with me. I'd love to show it to you or join me at our open house Sunday 10/13 from 2 to 4pm.

Sign Language

street3 I recently saw a street sign that perfectly sums up Montclair. This sign is on the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and North Willow Street and is part of the new "way-finding" project that the town has recently implemented. It has arrows directing which way to go in order to get to various destinations in town, but what makes the sign so cool is that instead of using miles, it measures distance by "minute walk." For example, the post office is a five minute walk from the corner, while the Bay Street train station is a 12 minute walk. Glenfield Park is a whopping 13 minute walk, and Lackawanna Plaza is literally three minutes away.

To me, this sign is evidence of why the Montclair real estate market is rebounding better than many other markets. Like many suburbs, Montclair has parks, shopping and rail service to New York. But here, unlike in many suburbs, you don't always need a car to access them. Obviously, I'm not saying that no one ever drives here. But as a Montclair Realtor, I can say that all signs point to a different kind of suburb -- one concerned with issues of walkabilty, affordability and the environment.

 

Is Montclair the New Beachfront Property?

300px-Upper_Montclair_Station_-_July_2010As a New Jersey Realtor, I am a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Last week I read a news release on the NAR website that confirmed what I've been seeing over the past several years: homes near public transportation tend to command a higher price than others.

According to a study done by NAR and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), homes located near public transportation with high frequency service performed 42% better during the last recession than those further away. The difference in value was so striking that APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy declared, "When homes are located near public transportation, it is the equivalent of creating housing as desirable as beach front property."

The study looked at housing prices in metropolitan Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, and the Twin Cities. Although New York was not included, I would certainly add it to the list.  Montclair homes located along the DeCamp bus route or near one of 6 New Jersey Transit train stations lost remarkably little of their value during the recent economic downturn demonstarting that while prime Montclair real estate may be pricey in the short term, it is a smart investment (not to mention a terrific place to live) in the long term.