Business

Housing Comeback – New Jersey’s Gold Coast & The New Dream Home

Apartment buildings and condominiums in Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, and Edgewater are seen from Manhattan (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

Apartment buildings and condominiums in Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, and Edgewater are seen from Manhattan (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - All this week, we’ve been looking at the comeback of the housing market and its new trends.

Today, Ginny Kosola reports on the comeback on New Jersey’s Gold Coast – the waterfront facing New York.

“There’s a stereotype that there’s Manhattan and soon as you go over the river, you’re somewhere in the Midwest,” George Vallone, president of the Hoboken Brownstone Company, told Kosola.

He said international investors have been buying apartments in Manhattan and driving up prices, but that’s not happening along the Gold Coast.

“They just have a stigma that Manhattan is New York City and they don’t recognize Brooklyn or Hoboken and Jersey City,” Vallone said.

That means the prices are much more affordable across the river from Manhattan, Vallone said.

In the deepest days of the housing crisis, Vallone’s company switched from building condominiums to building rentals. But they’re back to planning condos and have sold some recently.

“The young generation and the baby boomers now that are moving into their retirement years, they want to be able to walk to the grocery store, walk to a corner bar, corner restaurant, take the train into Manhattan and see a show,” he said.

New Jersey planners have been encouraging residential growth in urban and transit-connected areas for years, Kosola reported.

If condominium or rental living isn’t for you, you might be seeking a house out in the suburbs. But as Kosola reports, the idea of a dream home has changed.

“[Homebuyers are] way more budget-conscious about where their dollars are going,” said Jay Grant, President of Grant Homes in Mendham, New Jersey.

He said luxury homes are just as luxurious, but not quite as big anymore.

“A larger home was going to be sized of 5,000 to 8,000 [square] feet. The target has moved down now by probably 25 percent. So, now the target is a 3,000 to 5,000 [square foot] well-designed home,” he said. “We haven’t designed a home with a 30-by-30 great room in years, and I don’t expect to design another one in the forseeable future.”

He also said there are no more jacuzzis.

“The elegant shower with the rain head has totally replaced the jacuzzis,” he said.

Grant said even luxury homebuyers are more cautious now.

“There’s the cost of construction. There’s the cost of maintenance. And then there’s the cost of supporting the town, meaning the property taxes,” he said.

Grant sad that if you’re building a home, make sure you have plans and know upfront what everything costs. You’ll pay for the detailed estimate, but it’s worth it.

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