Post-Sandy Real Estate – Let the (Bidding) Wars Begin
In the last week, there have been two bidding wars on units in my Hoboken, NJ building, with offers well above asking price. Another sale has closed.
Considering that more than half of Hoboken was under water three months ago, what is going on?
I spoke to a few realtors and learned the following:
- There is very little inventory available in Hoboken.
- My building was repaired superfast.
- We have tons of money in our reserve fund and paid cash for building repairs while we fight to get the maximum from flood insurance.
- Many properties currently on the market either have very low reserve funds (think $2,000) or else have not been repaired since condo associations are waiting to hear back from flood insurance.
What are buyers thinking? I caught up with S., who closed this week on a three-bedroom luxury condo in southwest Hoboken. I did not ask how much she paid, but 3BR units in her new building typically list around $1 million.
I asked this pregnant mom of a five year old what motivated her to buy a unit in a building that flooded during Hurricane Sandy and has not yet been fully repaired. Her answer? She really likes the area. The location, mass transit and walkability trumped all the homes she saw in the suburbs. Also, she would have to spend much more for a suburban home in her preferred towns. Her new condo was not damaged by the hurricane, although the first floor common areas flooded – she does not think storms of the magnitude of Sandy are likely to happen frequently.
Her family rented a two-bedroom apartment one block from their new home, and they basically looked for a larger version of that apartment since they liked living in their old building. She likes the heated indoor garage, nice amenities such as a child playroom and the many families in the area.
S. and her family are planning to stay in Hoboken for another five years, but with a large unit of their own, anything is possible. Her daughter attends private school in Jersey City and is thriving.
Meet the Metro Moms and the businesses they can’t live without on Saturday, March 9th in Hoboken. Get your free Expo ticket here.