Snowy Memories

As I walked through the 50th Street dune path today on my lunch break, I had a flash back to childhood snow days.

Although substantial snow fall was rare, we made the best of it with sandy dune sledding!

Some local families would go sledding along the side of the Parkway ramps, but our little neighborhood gang would bring makeshift plastic sleds to the “hills” of the high dunes.

Realistically, only the first 2 or 3 runs were worthwhile.  After that, it was sand sledding!



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Frozen Shore Houses

Repeating this post-

The extreme cold temperatures are freezing pipes in occupied homes and businesses (including our office!).


A “check list” time of year – preparing your shore house for colder temperatures and the WIND!

Drain the outside shower and non-frost proof faucets (FYI- most water faucets on upper decks are NOT frost proof).

Disconnect hoses from all outdoor faucets (even the frost proof type-  water in hose will freeze and cause damage to faucet).

Close crawl space vents (air flow is essential in the summer months to keep the crawl space dry- but  cold air will freeze pipes even if the house is heated).

Set the heat between 55 and 60 degrees.  Open cabinet doors under all sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.

Turn off the ice maker in the freezer.  This water line from the sink to the freezer is susceptible to freezing and water will continue to run if the ice maker is set to “on”.

Lock all windows- especially casement style with a crank (the wind will rattle the window, allowing it to open and possibly blow out).

Secure storm doors, outside shower doors, and trash cans.

Store or secure outdoor furniture and the grill.

Ideally, hire a local property watch service to regularly inspect the property during the winter months.  The inspector can turn up the heat during especially cold periods, and trouble shoot potential problems.

And then…think spring :)

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Happy New Year!

Wishing you a peaceful, and joyful 2018…


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The REAL Seashore Santa

This entry was originally posted Christmas 2008. I think it deserves an annual repeat.

Santa- the life size painted, cut out version- has been an important part of Christmas for as long as I can remember.

Santa2017Santa began his life of service in the early 1960’s at my parents’ first house in Avalon.  He was surrounded by big, multi-colored bulbs on the newly planted shrubs.  Inside that modest Golden Home rancher, 4 little girls hung their stockings on a cardboard fireplace with a plug in red bulb that magically turned the metal wheel to create “fire” .

In the 1970’s, Santa moved with our family 5 blocks south in Avalon to a larger, 2 story home with a real wood fireplace.  The colorful exterior lights were eventually replaced with more subtle white bulbs, but the spot light literally remained on Santa.

In the off season, Santa hung proudly on the garage wall- watching us all come and go.  Those little girls grew up and moved out, bringing back grandchildren for days on the beach.  In the 1980’s, my young sons were fascinated by Santa, and maybe a bit intimidated based on our attempts to use him for improved behavior!

When my parents downsized to a townhouse in the early 1990’s, my father asked if I wanted Santa for our home.  Of course, I was thrilled- and Santa didn’t complain as he was forced to leave Avalon and move “off shore”.

Santa loyally followed us on each move- knowing that he would be given a prominent position (with a flood light) at Christmas.   Several years ago, he gratefully moved back to the island to become a Stone Harbor resident!

Now approaching 50 years old, Santa is showing some signs of wear (aren’t we all).  I

thought about asking an artist to do a “touch up”, but it just doesn’t seem right.   It’s good to remember that so much time has passed- it helps us to celebrate the journey.


Merry Christmas!

P.S. for 2017-  I updated Santa’s photo this year.  He’s now in his mid- 50′s, fading a bit from a healthy share of salt air and sun light ;)

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Merry Merry!


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Island to Island

We had the opportunity to meet and talk with a temporary neighbor on our block.  We saw the car, and house lights (rare this time of year!)- and guessed they were winter tenants- maybe while building a house?

It turns out they are full time residents of St. John, USVI. They were traveling just before the hurricanes, and then unable to get back home immediately after.

The husband is a charter boat captain, and the wife is a full time real estate agent for a Sotheby’s office on St. John.  Obviously their lives and livelihoods were turned upside down.

Thankfully, their home survived the 200+ mile per hour winds (I can’t even imagine), and they are planning to move back by January -in time for high season.  They shared stories of the resilience and recovery from their island neighbors- very inspiring.

I thought it was unusual that they took refuge on our island- but the wife grew up in Cape May Court House and they have family and friends nearby. We discovered several “small world” connections.

An evening of perspective to be grateful for our simple life – especially meaningful at Christmas.

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Snowy Sunrise

This never gets old…


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Tax Assessments

houseI’m hearing from several property owners regarding the letter from the Borough of Avalon with an updated tax assessment.

Stone Harbor property owners should expect a similar notification this winter.

Both municipalities are required to maintain property assessments within a reasonable percentage of fair market value.

Periodic reassessments allow the tax assessor to review all property data (recent sales) and make adjustments.

All assessments are broken down in 2 parts: the value of the land and the value of the improvement (structure).  The land value is consistent on a particular block (unless the lot size is different).

The boom of new construction is also big boost to our rateables.  The 2018 tax rate is expected to be lower based on these new figures- a benefit for all of us.

If you have any questions regarding the market value of your Avalon or Stone Harbor home, I am happy to help.  609-967-7950

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Stone Harbor Retreat for $299,000

The ideal year-round getaway close to the beach and downtown Stone Harbor!

162 96th Street, Unit 3, Stone Harbor NJ

For interior and exterior pictures, click HERE



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Market Stats, Avalon and Stone Harbor

UnderContractSignA total of 33 properties SOLD during the month of November.  The overall median selling price was $895,000.

Break down by category:

16 condo/townhouse units- ranging from $320,000 for a 1 bedroom unit at the Merrimack on 80th Street in Avalon; to $1,995,000 for a new 5 bedroom (with a pool) side by side style unit on the bay at 24th Street.  The median selling price of all condo/townhouse style units:  $640,000.

10 single family homes- ranging from $875,000 for a completely renovated cottage in the 300 block of 20th Street; to $3,250,000 for a 2nd from the beach home built in 2000 located on 113th Street, Stone Harbor.  The median selling price of all single family homes- $1,800,000.

4 multi-family sales- ranging from $700,000 for an older 2 unit property on 110th and Third Avenue, Stone Harbor on an under sized lot; to $1,100,000 for a more traditional duplex on 34th Street sold for land value to a builder (the lot is zoned for 2 units. Structure torn down and new side by side units to be built).  The median selling price for all multi-family properties- $905,000.

2 vacant lots- a 50′ X 130′ bay lot on 7th Street sold for $1,830,000; and a 60′ X 110′ corner lot on the beach side of 33rd and First Avenue sold for $2,000,000.

1 commercial sale- a store front on 21st and Dune Drive sold for $390,000.

There are an additional 54 properties under contract, with settlements scheduled for the near future.  The overall median list price of those sale pending - $1,722,450 (the final selling price is posted after settlement).

If you have any questions regarding market values in Avalon or Stone Harbor NJ, I’m here to help!

Thank you for your interest.  609-967-7950

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