Author Archives: ann

Villa Maria by the Sea, Stone Harbor

Last night, the Stone Harbor Zoning Board approved the application of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the replacement of their retreat house.

Copies of architect’s plans and renderings are posted on the Borough of Stone Harbor web site:  Zoning Application Villa Maria

Sister James Dolores, along with her professional legal and engineering team, presented a comprehensive plan that has the support of neighbors and the community.


The current land area is 9 acres, and is privately owned by the IHM order.  This is not a tax exempt property- the sisters pay property taxes to the Borough of Stone Harbor.

4 acres will remain under the ownership of the order to be utilized for their new retreat house and accessory buildings.  Because they are dramatically scaling down the structure, the lot coverage will be just 1.5% of the total land area.

The new buildings will meet flood elevation codes, be ADA compliant, and functional year round with central heat and air conditioning (amenities currently lacking in the existing building).

There are 2 “paper streets” on the parcel:  First Avenue, which will be vacated by the IHM order to allow for proper underground drainage equipment; and 112th Street, which will become a through street to the beach (with an access path over the dune).

Along the south side of 112th Street and on the corner of 111th and Second Avenue, a total of 13 single family lots will become available for sale.  All lots are in compliance with the Res-A zoning for the neighborhood.

The sale of the 13 lots will provide funds for construction of the retreat house, as well as create an endowment to maintain the property into the future.

Yes, I will be sad to see the demolition of this beautiful landmark…yet the plan makes sense.  The sisters will remain in Stone Harbor with well deserved modern comforts.

I will always be grateful for my long history with the building and relationships with the kind sisters.




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Early morning views…

The stunning homes along the high dunes shine at sunrise!  Even the seagulls turn to look 😎


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2020 Project

In addition to the journal started last March, I have been documenting the last 9 months with pictures (mostly for my Twitter posts).

It was easy to upload the photos to Shutterfly from my phone, and then add brief descriptions to create a book.

The other photo albums saved on my Shutterfly account feature vacations and grandchildren…yet our 2020 experience is historically important, too.

Although the pandemic is far from over, the project provides hope for 2021.





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Navigating the winter months

We are fortunate to have plenty of open space for daily outdoor walks (with a mask in a jacket pocket just in case).  And I will wait for a quiet weekday to “shop local” for a few Christmas gifts.

For meals, outdoor dining decisions are based on seating exposure (out of the wind and in the sun!) or available heaters.  Indoor dining does not feel like a safe option at this point.

In my office,  I have windows that open out to Dune Drive, and a small fan.  The fresh air coming in is getting colder, so I also have a portable heater.  Will find the right balance and dress appropriately!

In the meantime, Santa is prepared 😷



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November at the Beach

Beautiful fall weather this weekend!


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Bay Front Living!

New on the sale market today!

Wonderful bay location with the bonus of easy access to the beach.

For more details and pictures:  MLS Fact Sheet     Questions?  or 609-967-7950


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The “in between” house?

Single family homes at the shore typically fit into one of three categories:

1) Tear down- based on the condition, age, or size. Of course we have all watched substantial homes being torn down to make way for new structures!

2) New (or newer)- recently completed; and depending on the quality of construction, custom homes less than 10 years old.

3) The in between home- the most challenging to sell as a summer/vacation home.

Even if the home has been well maintained (new roof or siding for example) the floor plan and amenities are important factors to interest a potential buyer.

Some issues such as ceiling height or an obsolete layout require more than just a cosmetic fix.  And managing a renovation project from a distance can be overwhelming.

The current low interest rates provide options for a buyer to justify a higher purchase price for a “new” home.

With an in between home, the land value is the base, and continues to appreciate.  So as a real estate agent, I try to answer two questions:  What is the value (to a buyer) of the structure?   And at what price point does to make more sense for a buyer to purchase a tear down (at land value) and build?

If the layout is functional, updates will help retain the value.  Our HGTV era buyers love new kitchens and baths, as well as uniform flooring such as wood or a high end laminate product.

It can be hard to look at your summer house objectively- especially if it suits your family just fine.  So, consider any upgrades a savvy business decision for your important investment!


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Election Day 2020



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8 Months…

Scrolling through my posts on Twitter from last March:

March 11th, 2020

We live in a town where “social distancing and isolation” are the definition of our winter! Yet I’m still feeling anxious. Grateful for the opportunity to regularly breathe in salt air and walk the beach…

Logical and otherwise calm professionals in the local business community also expressing concerns. It’s the main topic of discussion during our work day. We share our worries regarding family members, and the future economy of our seasonal town.

My posts on March 11th were based on conversations as I went about a normal business day.  Ironically, it was the last time I walked inside the local bank and title company office.

How it started…how it’s going (including pandemic hair color!)


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Expectations for Summer 2021

Rental bookings for 2021 are slightly ahead compared to this same time last year.

A few observations based on my local experience, as well as discussions with nearby shore town real estate agents:

1) We have lost some rental inventory due to owners opting to keep their properties available for family use.  This may be a temporary situation based on current limitations for other travel.

2) More tenants are looking for multiple weeks.  They know that a beach vacation can be a safe break, and a happy experience to plan.

3) Even our long time regular repeats are signing leases and sending in checks early.  They want to be certain their reservations are secured!

4) Homes with pools continue to be popular- ideal for social distancing.

5) There are many requests for pet friendly rentals.  Two of our pet friendly rentals sold this fall, and are no longer an option.  Tenants are willing to pay a surcharge and provide references if an owner will consider their dog (often it’s on a case by case basis).

6) Our rental inventory is constantly changing.  Search our web site and contact me to discuss!  Tim Kerr Sotheby’s web site

Thank you for your interest!




Posted in Avalon, New Jersey- News, Life at the Shore, Seashore Real Estate, Stone Harbor, New Jersey- News | Leave a comment
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