The spring market for real estate in Bergen County arrived in February. We’ve noticed an increase in the number of buyer inquiries and in the number of people coming out on weekends to look at homes on Sunday afternoons which is pretty much what we expect every year.
Below is a quick study of how the market is doing as of February 17th based on New Jersey MLS data. Over the years, I’ve found that it’s important to see the relationship between the number of homes for sale (A for Active Listings) and under contract (UC). In a strong seller’s market, this ratio is at 2 to 1. How long a home is on the market is also important and I’ve put this in the same order for you (A/UC). I feel that this is a result of over pricing. It’s pretty tough in any market to get an offer on an over priced home; it just doesn’t make sense to a buyer.
For a more in depth look at the real estate market go to my market trends report which I’ll be updating monthly at http://bergencountyhomes.com/market.htm
A/UC Ratio Days on the Market
Alpine 43/1 43 to 1 257/298
Closter 74/10 7.4 to 1 136/224
Cresskill 69:7 10 to 1 132/128
Dumont 44/12 3.7 to 1 117/81
Englewood 123/16 7.7 to 1 155/110
Englewood Cliffs 45/1 45 to 1 132/221
Harrington Park 18/3 6 to 1 92/51
Haworth 35/1 35 to 1 122/83
Paramus 114/25 4.5 to 1 146/103
Ridgewood 98/14 7 to 1 94/105
River Edge 34/11 3 to 1 73/95
Tenafly 93/19 5 to 1 118/150
Bergen County is next to New York City in the northeast corner of New Jersey. I can give you an idea of how close we are to New York City by showing you these pictures:
George Washington Bridge NJ side
This picture to the right shows you the NJ side and the picture to the left shows you what you see looking at Manhattan from New Jersey.
George Washington Bridge View from NJ
No matter which side of the Hudson River you’re viewing, the distance across the George Washington Bridge between Bergen County and NYC is just under one mile at 4,760 feet (one mile equals 5,280 feet).
Mahwah is located at the northwest corner of Bergen County on the New York State border. Even here Manhattan isn’t far/ It’s only 21 miles and a 30 minute drive away.
Such close proximity to Manhattan makes us an excellent commute to NYC and the Big Apple a major presence in our lives.
A large number of Bergen County residents work there. Many of us go there on weekends to take advantage of it’s museums and other cultural activities such as Broadway plays, Lincoln Center concerts and art fairs. This is a primary reason why Bergen County homes are so valuable to buyers. Where else can you get the best of suburban living 15 minutes from one of the world’s major cities that is both an international cultural and financial center?
As a result Bergen County homes are highly sought after. Being a river away from a major world capitol is a uniquely positive aspect of living here. In fact, many people visiting Manhattan stay in less expensive Bergen County hotels taking public transportation back and forth to the City.
Bergen County has the best of suburban living and easy access to all that New York City has to offer. Next to New York City is where we’re at and that is a very good thing indeed.
Last summer I did something I thought I’d never ever do – I went to my high school reunion.
It’s the oddest thing but during the past few years, we’ve all been finding each other again. This is most definitely a very weird reaction to reaching the latter part of your middle age of life. Not that all of us have separated from each other. Among the advantages of living in Bergen County is that we’re next door to one of the greatest cities in the world – New York City. There’s a lot here to make you stay when you have Manhattan in your back yard.
However the world is also a big place with plenty of opportunities and places to see. Many of us moved far away. I keep in touch with some of my closest friends. I recently connected with others. Its been great but it’s also got me thinking about what it was like to grow up in Bergen County and what’s changed and remained the same since then. I guess it’s natural to go to a high school reunion when you begin such introspection.
Life in Bergen County is a combination of many things. There’s the commuting morning, relaxed day and busier late afternoons and early evenings. Saturdays are bustling and because we have “blue laws” from many years ago that do not allow most shopping on Sundays, Sundays are quiet. That part of Bergen County is the same as when I was growing up.
What’s changed here is the number of homes and families we have – the increase in both has been tremendous. Real estate has been a big growth industry here with almost all available land that could be developed gobbled up by builders. Today it’s common to see an older home knocked down so a new one can be built. This is because there are no large tracts of undeveloped land left. Along with this development came a lot of diversity. There are so many different cultures here that are well represented. When I was growing up this was not so much the case. However, this greater diversity has maintained the vitality and economic health of our area.
What remains the same is our small town suburban lifestyle. People still come here to buy a home and raise their family. There are just more of us with a greater variety of backgrounds. I can still go to my local downtown shopping district and bump into people I know. There are still stores here that we call “institutions” because they’ve been here for generations. We still have Saturday football games, baseball in the spring but now we also have added soccer in the fall.
So when I met my classmates last summer at my high school reunion, we shard a lot of memories, opened up that high school yearbook and laughed at those young people inside those pages. We were amazed to find that although much had changed, much still remained the same. For over the years people have come and always will come to live in Bergen County for the lifestyle and American values that it represents and maintains.
The Revolutionary War era 1740 Bogert house still stands today and has quite a history.
Demarest NJ was a beautiful area of farms and mills in the 1700’s. It was also the setting for one of the American Revolution’s major campaigns: Washington’s Retreat from New York. Washington’s army crossed the Hudson going through Bergen County where they camped in Fort Lee. They eventually ended up in his famous Delaware Crossing into Pennsylvania.
Mattias Bogert was one of those farmers. He built a house alongside what is today called Old County Road. Mattias worked very hard. As a result, he had a prosperous business. Just to his north was the Demarest family. They had a farm and grist mill. Six or seven farmers settled here by the late 1700’s. Most were patriots. As a result they helped supply the Continental Army in Fort Lee with flour, produce etc. The story is that one of their sons took off on horseback to warn General Washington that the Tory’s were coming down Closter Dock in pursuit of him.
This was the time of Washington’s famous retreat having been badly beaten by the British in New York. On May 9, 1779 the Tory’s unleashed a brutal attack on these farmers because they knew they were patriots. The British burned their homes, destroyed their crops, killed people and took many prisoners. Matthias Bogert, his family, his home and his farm were not spared. They suffered along with all the other patriots in the area. Everyone returned after the war to rebuild their homes and farms.
The Bogert House is a registered National Landmark and preserved forever with a conservation easement. Magnificently kept, the main part of the house is wonderfully elegant. This beautiful Dutch Colonial estate home is constructed with the material of the day that all better properties shared – sandstone and wood. The large front porch is an absolute delight and looks out upon most of the nearly 3 acres of property. The 2 car garage was once a full sized barn with stables. One stable still exists inside. None of it’s original charm and appointments is missing. Bergen County was a large part of the American Revolutionary War as one of the 13 Original States. This wonderful 1740 Bogert House is part of that heritage for all of us.
Ok – here are some quick facts about Bergen County:
902,561 people – 234 Square Miles – Avg Family w/Children Income is $113,680 – 3,854 People Per Sq Mile
58.7% of us are married & 32.6% of us have children (no wonder we have so many parks & playgrounds)
90.1% of us have high school degrees and 42.9% of us have college degrees
Jobs – 24.1 % Professional, 20% Service, 19% Management, 16.6% Administrative Support & 6.6% & Laborer
Parks – 15 County Parks totalling 7,968 Acres, 3 State Parks, Hundreds of Municipal Parks, 5 County Golf Courses, 5 Dog Runs, 3 Camp Sites, 1 Downhill Skiing, 1 Swimming Lake, 2 Horseback Riding Facilities
When you look at all of these facts, a picture begins to emerge of what Bergen County is like. This is one of the most affluent areas in the US (ranked the 18th most affluent US county) and also one of the most densely populated with nearly 1 million people. We are highly educated and have a diverse and balanced employment profile. Despite the large numbers of people living here, open space is important and there is a thriving parks system. Because we are highly educated schools, we appreciate our local schools and parent involvement is high. As a result, Bergen County is renown for its high scoring school districts and our county run school system is outstanding with its varied disciplined Academy System. When you put all of this together with a location that is on top of Manhattan (we’re on the other side of the Hudson River from NYC), it is no wonder that Bergen County is one of the most sought after locations in the New York metropolitan area and that Bergen County real estate has always done better in holding it’s value.
Greetings All and welcome to one of the most interesting and fun places to live in the New York City metropolitan area. Bergen County NJ is at the north east corner of NJ next to the George Washington Bridge which means we’re on top of Manhattan. Our homes are prized for our proximity to NYC our very strong school districts and our suburban lifestyle. Even though Bergen County is one of the most desnsely populated areas in the US, we’re still filled with parks, nature preserves and all sorts of wooded spaces. In fact, most of Bergen County is quite residential.
Bergen County is also very diverse – we have 70 different locations here and each has it’s own unique personality. We go from small hamlets to a typical suburban town to a small city. In fact, we have 5 cities here although they very often resemble big small towns – Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Hackensack and Teaneck.
Diversity extends through racial ethnicities and religions. We are indeed a melting pot of wide ranges. This is one of our strengths and advantages. No matter who your or where you come from, everyone is welcome. Our diversity brings a dynamic element to life here and you will love all the varied cuisines our restaurants offer.
Not only are we the most populous county in New Jersey, we’re also one of the most affluent. We have 925,000+ people here living in 246.671 square miles. There are 3 major highway systems and several more local highways. Known as the shopping capitol of NJ with more malls than anywhere else, there is nothing you can’t find.
Introducing people to Bergen County is always fun – hopefully this blog will help you appreciate all we have to offer.