Blog :: 02-2018

From Montclair to East Orange: Ready For A Change

 

Their nest was empty, but these downsizing buyers did not want to go small. 

“My husband and I weren’t the typical ‘downsizers.’ We weren’t looking for ‘smaller’ as much as for ‘different.’ And we weren’t in a big hurry to move, which gave us the opportunity to become curious about what other our options might be.

We wanted to stay in the general area, a home with a similar amount of space and an easy commute to the city. We wanted an interesting community where people seemed invested in where they lived. Really, most of the things that brought us to Montclair in the first place.  

But that was 20 years ago, when we also wanted a progressive school system for our young children. Now we needed to pay college tuition.  

I started looking at listings all over North Jersey. I became intrigued by a house in East Orange and called Lina to get her opinion. She said it was already under contract, but another house in the neighborhood was coming on the market the following week.

Long story short: right away, we felt that house could be “the one.” Then Lina provided us all the information we needed to make our decision. 

Lina knows about houses – especially architecturally. This one had great bones and an open layout. She helped us understand what and how we may need to renovate.

She knows about neighborhoods. This house was right next to Bloomfield’s Watsessing Park. We had lived adjacent to Brookdale Park – also an Olmsted designed space – when we were in Montclair, so Lina gave us the rundown on this park. I joined the conservancy not long after we moved! Also, as a true champion of the walkable lifestyle, Lina also sold us on the nearby train and bus, but also the walkable shopping and restaurants

She knows about communities. A good realtor has the kind of inside information you simply cannot get from just reading listings. Our new community is ethnically diverse, with residents of all ages. The people are extremely welcoming, and very proud of their neighborhood. Because Lina is a great listener, she knew we would respond to all those things.

Our new home is not far from Montclair – maybe a 15 minute drive. Early on, I considered that a major selling point of the new house -- the ability to keep my entire Montclair life intact. But now, most of my Montclair travels are to see friends. I do everything else here, in our new home!"

— Nancy, from East Orange

Here's Why Montclair's New Hotels Are Good News for Home-Buyers

I often tell my clients that Montclair has everything they need — top-rated restaurants, an indie movie theater, a concert venue, parks and hiking trails, public pools and tennis courts, public gardens, an art museum, a jazz clubtea shops, coffee shops, ice cream shops and just plain shopping galore

But there’s one thing we haven’t had: a hotel.

As of next month, that will change. Montclair resident and celebrity make-up artist Bobbi Brown has converted a turn-of-the-century inn into a the town’s first boutique hotel. In fact, the forthcoming George Inn was featured in January’s Vogue magazine, along with some of my favorite local haunts – namely my go-to for sushi: Dai Kichi

On its heels will be a more traditional hotel right in the heart of downtown Montclair. The still-under-construction MC will be a luxury Marriot hotel that is also slated to open sometime this year. Both will provide guests the walkable experience of Montclair that we who live here so love. 

I couldn’t be more excited about these much needed additions, especially for home-buyers. When you know there are wonderful accommodations for your guests right in the neighborhood, you have more options in your home search. You can purchase something smaller, foregoing that extra bedroom. Or you can go ahead and commit the sun-room to a home office without alienating the in-laws.

If you’re coming from far off to give Montclair a look, The George will provide you lavish quarters while you’re here. Once it opens in March, we really will have everything we need.