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What About Real Estate?
By Rori Kanter
As director of the Teaneck Housing Center. I am often asked what's happening in the real estate market'!
Brokers report that as the economy has recovered, activity in the Teaneck housing market has improved, and much more quickly than in other Bergen towns. Mal Gilchrist, Gilchrist Real Estate Company, finds that this very active market attracts clients from the luxury apartments in Fort Lee, West New York, and New York City, most of them first home buyers. These purchases arc in all prices, from the $70's to over $100 thousand."
"Now that interest rate have dropped and money market funds have lost assets to banks. there is money out there to be borrowed for conventional mortgages. Every drop of 1/2 percent in mortgages enables 800,000 U.S. families to qualify for mortgages based on income." says Macy Seigler, of Macy Seigler & Co. This brings many new buyers into the market for new homes.
As usual, the Teaneck market reflects not only the first home buyer, but a1so the resident looking to stay in town and needing a larger home. Joel Riotto, Riotto Associates, believes "if' 10 additional colonials at about $200,000 came on the market this month, they would he sold in 30 days to residents." He goes on to affirm that active public relations program, publications, advertising, and Housing Center services supported by the township and the Freeholders arc directly related to this strong market. States Riotto, "Hardly any towns out there provide information and brochures. When people make comparisons. Teaneck is the choice."
Macy Seigler, a local broker-owner for over 31 years, says the public relations program of the Teaneck Housing Center is "extremely valuable and important to his clients." He goes on to relate that it is normal for a prospect to take the realtor's words as a salesman's talk, but that the "accurate picture or the community, it's services, public schools, and the tools of brochures, maps and newsletters are very impressive, particularly to buyers from out of state who do not know.
Who actually buys a home in Teaneck in 1983? Marilyn Lamber, Country Club Real Estate, spills over with enthusiasm whenever asked this question. Her clients range from Broadway stars to musicians to investment counselors to professionals. She find that "really intelligent, enthusiastic, caring people who have a great deal to offer to town," usually buy here. "I get so excited whenever I talk about the lovely young people buying homes here," she notes. "They are attracted by the proximity to the city and impressed by the architecture and beautiful streets." She calls the Teaneck Housing Center 'a tremendous tool; I use the services of its staff and volunteers a lot" because they provide answers and information that even long-time residents usually don't know, and the "escorted school tours and a real plus. I can so easily sell our excellent school."
Herb Gavel, broker-owner of Century 21 Able, a local office for a nationwide firm specializing in relocations, views Teaneck as a "cosmopolitan area" and says buyers are enthusiastic about Cedar Lane, "a little bit of New York here in suburbia." His clients, one-third of whom are being promoted and transferred (from all over the United States) come to the metropolitan area with a "little apprehension about living near a big city." Teaneck is often their first view of suburbia and "when we show them Teaneck, apprehensions dissolve. They see a town as lovely or lovelier than the one they came from. They find a comfortable commute, not hours and hours on a bus or train, and find that they can live in the shadow of the Empire State Building."
Fred Richards, Handlesman Realty Company, is himself a transplant from a small town in Illinois. He finds that he is still surprised after years here that Teaneck is only three miles from New York City. He thinks of the town as a "city of trees and it people as diverse as the many beautiful trees." He is not the only realtor who mentions the beauty of Teaneck. Irene Massursky, of Irene Massursky Realty, speaks of gracious older homes; mixed with newer modern homes, and a community so complete that "the homes are really secondary to the community itself." Living in Teaneck for 30 years and selling real estate here for 22 years, gives her an experienced overview. "There is every type of home here for every type of need. We deal with people who will also look in Ridgewood, Montclair and Scarsdale. This community is special, it competes successfully.
Potential buyers often ask the Teaneck Housing Center about home appreciation. Joseph Krupkinski, Teaneck tax assessor, estimates that the homes in town appreciate at 10 percents a year. The county average in 1981-82 for residential property appreciation is documented by the County Tax Supervisor's office at 4.47 percent for the year. However, Fred Richards believes that Teaneck homes appreciate at 15 to 20 percent per year, and he sees many houses in the northeast section of Teaneck appreciate at a faster rate. Buying in the Northeast section is active, however "the market is limited due to built-in prejudice." All local brokers agree that Teaneck appreciation is comparable to similar communities and much higher than many others.
The Teaneck Housing Center and the local real estate community have an unusual partnership. It is a cooperative arrangement between non-profit and profit, both marketing this culturally rich, diverse town and working together to provide information about quality schools, good government and community services.
As director of the Housing Center, I am proud of the many supportive programs which our office offers the real estate professional without cost: continuing education seminars, mini-tours, counseling, personal assistance for prospective homebuyers, and sales meetings with staff. This year, for the first time, a group of several local brokers, coordinated by Sandy Shomer and Marilyn Lamber, is participating in Discover Teaneck by under-writing buses for the house tour. We welcome their generous gesture.
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel.: (201) 837-4171, Fax: (201) 837-0410