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Meet Sue Adler

Sue Adler has been the #1 Keller Williams agent in NJ for the past nine years, and leads one of the top Keller Williams teams worldwide, with annual production that will top $110 million in 2013.

As an "Outlier" who grew up in the Real Estate business, Sue has proven that it's possible to start over in any market and succeed. She was formerly the...Read More »


Summit, NJ History and Facts

summit Summit, NJ History and Facts

The city of Summit is located in Union County, New Jersey. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2010, the population was 21,457. In addition, the city ranked as having the 16th-highest per capita income in the state.

Summit has several different meanings attributed to its name. It may refer to its position atop Second Watchung Mountain. It could also refer to Summit Lodge, a house that jurist James Kent moved into in 1837, which stills stands today at 50 Kent Place Boulevard. Or it may refer to a local sawmill owner who granted passage to the Morris and Essex Railroad for a route to “the summit of the Short Hills.”

Geography

In 2010, the city totaled 6.046 square miles. It’s located about 20 miles away from Manhattan.

Demographics

In 2010, there were 21,457 people, 7,708 households and 5,519 families.

The racial makeup of the city was 83.54 percent Caucasian, 4.52 percent African American, 0.14 percent Native American, 6.38 percent Asian, 0.01 percent Pacific Islander, 13.29 percent Hispanic or Latino, 2.84 percent from other races, and 2.56 percent from two or more races.

The median household income in 2010 was $109,602, and the median family income was $145,083. Males had a median income of $109,608 and females $61,368. The city’s per capita income was $70,574.

History

In the late 18th century and part of the 19th century, Summit was called “Heights over Springfield” and was considered part of New Providence.

In 1837, the railroad was known as the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad and is now the New Jersey Transit’s Morris and Essex Lines. It was built over what was then called “The Summit” hill, shortened later to Summit.

By having a railroad, it allowed Summit to outgrow neighboring New Providence, which didn’t have a train station. In 1869, Summit and New Providence separated, and the area became known as the “Township of Summit.”

Summit officially incorporated as a city in 1899.

Following World War II, as living outside New York City and commuting to work became more common, Summit experienced a great building boom. It was during this time the city took on its suburban character of tree-lined streets and its Colonial-designed homes that it is known for today.

Summit lost more than a dozen residents in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Many worked in the World Trade Center and commuted by rail to Hoboken.

Local government

The mayor is elected for a four-year term and is the city’s official spokesman and chief elected official. The mayor can appoint various officials, including the police chief and Board of Education members. As of 2012, Ellen Dickson is the Mayor of Summit.

The Common Council has the chief policy making and administrative oversight role in the city’s government. The Council approves all laws and adopts the city budget.

Federal, state and county representation

Summit is in the 7th Congressional district and is part of New Jersey’s 21st state legislative district.

Education

Students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are educated by the Summit Public Schools District. Based on 2009 and 2010 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the schools in the district are:

Pre-kindergarten through kindergarten

Jefferson Primary School (160 students)
Wilson Primary School (172)

Grades 1st through 5th

Brayton School (398 students)
Franklin School (378)
Jefferson School (211)
Lincoln-Hubbard School (333)
Washington School (323)

Middle school

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (grades 6th through 8th, 867 students)

High school

Summit High School (grades 9th through 12th, 1,056 students)

Private schools

Kent Place School (NS through 12th grade)
Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child (K through 6th grade, coed; 7th through 12th grade, all-girls)
Oratory Preparatory School (7th through 12th grade)
St. Teresa of Avila School (K through 8th grade)
Bilingual Buds Immersion School for Children (NS through 5th grade)

Real estate and housing

In October 2009, the median house price was $655,500.

Colonial-styled houses, condominiums and apartments are common in this historical city and although an affluent community, plenty of homes are available in more modest price ranges.

In 2011, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, in conjunction with church groups including St. Teresa of Avila and the Unitarian Church, constructed affordable housing on Morris Avenue.

Transportation

Service on the New Jersey Transit Gladstone Branch and Morristown Line is available at the Summit station. Trains go to Hoboken Terminal, and from there, a PATH subway train takes passengers to downtown Manhattan or to 33rd street at Sixth Avenue. There is direct rail service from Summit to New York’s Penn Station in midtown.

Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark / Elizabeth is about 15 minutes away via Interstate 78.

 

South Orange, NJ History and Facts

sorange South Orange, NJ History and Facts

South Orange is a suburban municipality located in Essex County, New Jersey. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2010, the population was 16,198.

Of the 566 municipalities in New Jersey, South Orange Village is one of only four with a village style of government. The other municipalities are Loch Arbour, Ridgefield Park and Ridgewood.

Geography

In 2010, South Orange totaled 2.857 square miles. The township shares a border with Maplewood, Newark, West Orange, Orange, and East Orange.

Demographics

Based on 2010 data by the United States Census Bureau, there were 16,198 people, 5,516 households and 3,756 families.

The racial makeup of the township was 60.19 percent Caucasian, 28.66 percent African American, 0.14 percent Native American, 5.16 percent Asian, 0.01 percent Pacific Islander, 6.13 percent Hispanic or Latino, 1.77 percent from other races, and 4.07 percent from two or more races.

From 2006 through 2010, the Census Bureau’s statistics indicated that the median household income was $123,373, and the median family income was $147,532. Males had a median income of $86,122 versus $71,625 for females. The township’s per capita income was $49,607.

History

In 1666, South Orange was part of a territory purchased from the Lenape Native Americans by Robert Treat. At that time, it was referred to as Chestnut Hills.

A deed from the 1800s showed a property that was located in “the Township of Newark, in the Parish of Orange, at a place called South Orange,” which marked the end of the name Chestnut Hills. Most of modern South Orange became part of Orange Township in 1806, part of Clinton Township in 1834 and part of South Orange Township in 1861.

An act was passed by the New Jersey Legislature in 1904, and The Village of South Orange was created, thus separating it from South Orange Township.

In 1981, the name was changed to South Orange Village Township to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies.The change was intended to allow South Orange to qualify for a pool of federal aid allocated to municipalities that allowed townships to receive as much as double the revenue-sharing aid per capita received by the other types of New Jersey municipalities.

The Morris and Essex Railroad opened in 1837 and ran between Newark and Morristown. In 1869, the railroad became part of the main line of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad which ran from Hoboken to Buffalo with through trains to Chicago.

In the 1920s, as the result of good transportation and a booming economy, South Orange and neighboring towns underwent a major transformation. Large houses were built on the blocks surrounding the Orange Lawn Tennis club, while in other areas, especially south of South Orange Avenue, more modest foursquare houses were built for the expanding middle class.

Local government

The township is governed under a Special Charter granted by the New Jersey Legislature by a six member board of trustees and a village president, which is equivalent to a mayor, all are unpaid positions.

Trustees are elected in nonpartisan elections in staggered four-year terms of office. Local political parties are formed on an ad-hoc basis, usually focused on key issues of local concern.

As of 2012, the Village President of South Orange is Alex Torpey.

Federal, state and county representation

South Orange is divided between the 8th and 10th Congressional districts and is part of New Jersey’s 27th state legislative district.

Education

The township shares a common school system with the South Orange-Maplewood School District and the adjacent town of Maplewood. The district has one high school, Columbia High School, located in Maplewood, two middle schools and several elementary schools in each municipality.

Private schools

Our Lady of Sorrows School is a kindergarten through eighth grade, elementary school and is operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

Higher education

Seton Hall University, which serves approximately 9,700 students, was founded in 1856 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark and is named after Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint. South Orange has a college feel with this distinguished university that is located along the east side of South Orange Avenue.

Transportation

The Morris and Essex Railroad is operated today by New Jersey Transit. Since 1996, Midtown Direct offers service directly into Penn Station in midtown Manhattan and has decreased the commute time to midtown from about 50 minutes to 30. Prior to that, passengers needed to transfer to PATH trains at Hoboken.

New Jersey Transit also operates three bus lines that run throughout South Orange.

 

Maplewood, NJ Facts and History

mplwood Maplewood, NJ Facts and History

Maplewood is a township located in Essex County, New Jersey. According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, the township population was 23,867.

History

The first European settlers arrived around 1675. The settlers acquired most of today’s Essex County from the Native Americans and followed three trails that correspond roughly to Ridgewood Road, Springfield Avenue and South Orange Avenue. These routes resulted in three separate communities that eventually merged into Maplewood and South Orange.

By 1815, there were about 30 families in the village. Although the residents in the area were mostly Presbyterian, the first house of worship was a Baptist chapel.

In 1838, when the Morris and Essex Railroad from Newark was extended to the area, a land speculator by the name of John Shedden built a railroad station in Jefferson Village and named it Maplewood.

The village was originally formed as South Orange Township in 1861, from portions of Clinton Township and what was then the Town of Orange. In 1868, the farms were divided into parcels specifically for residential housing.

The 1920s saw significant expansion in both new residents and structures, foreshadowing a complete suburb. In 1922, the name of the township was changed to Maplewood.

Geography

Based on the Bureau’s data, the township has a total area of 3.8 square miles. There is a pond in Memorial Park, the Rahway River runs through town and a municipal pool club with four man-made pools of water. This comprises the total bodies of water in the area.

Maplewood shares a border with West Orange and South Orange to the north, Newark and Irvington to the east, Union to the south, and Millburn to the west.

Demographics

According to a 2007 estimate, there were 23,868 people, 8,452 households, and 6,381 families.

The racial makeup of the township was 58.78 percent Caucasian, 32.63 percent African American, 0.13 percent Native American, 2.86 percent Asian, 5.23 percent Hispanic or Latino, 0.03 percent Pacific Islander, 1.56 percent from other races, and 4.01 percent from two or more races.

In a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household was $94,253, and the median income for a family was $111,725. The median income for males was $57,572 versus $41,899 for females. The per capita income was $36,794.

Community

Maplewood prides itself on being a diverse, family-oriented community. In a number of surveys, it consistently ranks as one of the most desirable places to live in the United States.

Maplewood has a downtown area also known as “the village” or “Maplewood Center.” It has a movie theater, a number of eateries, a small supermarket, a quaint café, two liquor stores, a toy store and a bookstore.

The township is served by a New Jersey Transit rail station which is named after it. Since the 1950s, the structure of the village remains largely unchanged.

Local government

Maplewood is governed under a Township form of government with a five-member Township Committee.

The Township Committee is elected directly by the voters in partisan elections, and members serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one to two seats coming up for election each year.

The Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor for a one-year term and another to serve as Vice Mayor. The Mayor has the responsibility as Chair for Committee meetings with voice and vote. The Mayor is considered to be the head of the municipal government.

The Township Committee is the legislative body for the municipality. It is under these powers that the Township Committee has the responsibility of passing laws that affect the Township. The Township Committee is also an executive body of the municipality.

As of 2012, the Maplewood Township Committee includes Mayor Victor DeLuca, Deputy Mayor Kathleen M. Leventhal, Marlon K. Brownlee, India R. Larrier and Gerard W. Ryan.

Federal, state and county representation

Maplewood is part of New Jersey’s 27th state legislative district and is in the 10th Congressional district. New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez.

Education

Maplewood schools are part of the South Orange-Maplewood School District, together with the neighboring community of South Orange.

Schools in the district, based on 2008–09 school enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, are six elementary schools serving grades kindergarten through 5th. These schools are:

Seth Boyden Elementary School
Clinton Elementary School
Jefferson Elementary School
Marshall Elementary School
South Mountain Elementary School
Annex and Tuscan Elementary School

Maplewood Middle School and South Orange Middle School serve students in grades 6th through 8th, and Columbia High School serves students in grades 9th through 12th.

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Livingston Autofest, a 4th of July Tradition in New Jersey

4th of July is Fun Time in Livingston

It’s time once again to warm up your engines in anticipation of Livingston, New Jersey’s 18th annual Autofest.  This celebration of classic and cool cars is held every year on the 4th of July on the Livingston High School parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m…  There is no charge, and the show is just one of the events to be held in the day long extravaganza.

Livingston,New Jersey has a proud tradition of celebrating our nation’s independence in a big way.  In addition to the Autofest, there is a swim party at Haines Pool.  A Tribute to Patriots Program starts at 10 a.m. around the pool.  After the national anthem is sung, there will be speeches and moving stories about our country’s veterans and their heroic deeds.  The Kiwanis Club sponsors this program.

Remember the County Fair will be going on with lots of rides and games to enjoy.  Service organizations such as the Lions Club always pitch in with programs to promote health and well being.  The American Legion will host a mid morning baseball game at Memorial Field.

Businesses Host Activities Galore

Each year, the businesses of Livingston have done their part to make the city’s 4th of July Celebration a success.  Most events are held at the fairgrounds.  In the last round, Regal Bank sponsored pony rides from noon until 3 p.m.  Colaco’s Creamery held an afternoon ice cream eating contest.  Events Plus offered miniature golf from mid morning through mid afternoon.  “This Is It” played host for all the food vendors.

Livingston is named after New Jersey’s first governor William Livingston.  It traces its history all the way back to 1699 when a group of settlers moved west here from Newark.  Within fifty years, businesses had begun building up the community, and they continue to do so today as this 4th of July Celebration once again proves.

Of course no 4th of July Festival would be complete without fireworks.  They will start around 9 p.m. and be visible all over town.  Best views will be around the fairgrounds themselves where bands will be playing all afternoon and into the evening.  The musicians are largely local and play all kinds of music including rock, country and jazz.

Autofest Features Many Machines

Several categories of cars will be on display at the Autofest part of the festivities.  There will be a wide array of antique, collector, and muscle cars.  Numerous trophies will be awarded to best in show.  Fans who attend can vote on who should win.  This event is so large it always has lots of sponsors.  Last year they included Natural Glass and the Corvette Club along with Investor’s Savings Bank.

Extra parking is available at St. Philomena’s Church.  Handicapped spaces can be found close by at the Livingston Library.  Those wishing to display their cars are asked to use the Livingston Ave. approach through Memorial Parking to reach the high school parking lot.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

 

Millburn, NJ Facts and History

millburn Millburn, NJ Facts and History

The township of Millburn is located in Essex County, New Jersey. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2010, the township’s population was 20,149.

In 1857, the municipality was created as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature.

Millburn is located near South Mountain Reservation, The Mall at Short Hills and the suburban towns of South Orange, Maplewood, Livingston, and Summit. The township is also home to the historical Paper Mill Playhouse, a 70-year-old regional theater.

In 2008, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Millburn as the 53rd best place to live in New Jersey.

Geography

The township has a total area of 9.876 square miles, of which 9.322 square miles of it is land and 0.554 square miles is water.

Millburn also includes the hamlet of Short Hills, the historic Wyoming district, South Mountain and the Millburn Center areas. Short Hills includes the areas of Knollwood, Glenwood, Brookhaven, Country Club, Merrywood, Deerfield-Crossroads, Mountaintop, White Oak Ridge, and Old Short Hills Estates.

Millburn is located approximately 15 miles away from Manhattan.

Millburn borders Livingston, Florham Park, Chatham Township, Summit, Springfield Township, Union Township, Maplewood and West Orange.

The West Branch of the Rahway River runs through the downtown area of Millburn.

2010 Census

Based on the Bureau’s data, there were 20,149 people, 6,813 households, and 5,553 families residing in Millburn.

The racial makeup of the township was 80.17 percent Caucasian, 1.63 percent African American, 0.03 percent Native American, 15.66 percent Hispanic or Latino, 3.49 percent Asian, 0.02 percent Pacific Islander, 0.51 percent from other races, and 1.97 percent from two or more races of the population.

The median household income was $137,778 and the median family income was $139,861. The median income for males was $76,719 and for females, it was $70,313. The per capita income for the township was $36,771.

Local government

Since its incorporation in 1857, Millburn has operated under the Township form of government with a Township Committee consisting of five-members. The Committee is elected directly by voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one to two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor.

As of 2012, Township Committee members include: Mayor Sandra H. Haimoff, Deputy Mayor Robert J. Tillotson, W. Theodore Bourke, Sari Greenberg and Thomas C. McDermott.

Federal, state and county representation

Millburn is divided between the 10th and 11th Congressional districts and is part of New Jersey’s 27th state legislative district.

Education

The Millburn Township Public Schools serve students pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district, based on 2009-10 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, are five K-5 elementary schools: Deerfield Elementary School (481 students); Glenwood Elementary School (529); Hartshorn Elementary School (504); South Mountain Elementary School (PK-5; 375); and Wyoming Elementary School (341).

Millburn Middle School serves students from sixth through eighth grade (1,177) and Millburn High School from ninth through twelfth grade (1,407).

In 2008 and 2010 rankings, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Millburn High School as the best high school of the “Top Public High Schools” in New Jersey.

Far Brook School is a private, nonsectarian, co-educational day school located in the Short Hills section of Millburn. It serves students from nursery school through eighth grade, with a total enrollment of 197 students. The Pingry School’s Lower School campus (K-6) is located in Short Hills. St. Rose of Lima School is a Catholic school with 260 students from PK-3 to 8th grade and operates under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark.

Transportation

Millburn is served by two New Jersey Transit railroad stations along the Morristown Line: the Millburn station, located at the intersection of Essex Avenue and Lackawanna Place, and the Short Hills station, located near The Crescent Street between Hobart Avenue and Chatham Road. The Short Hills station is also the site of the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society museum.

New Jersey Transit also operates numerous bus lines along Millburn and Essex Avenues, including the 70 route that stops at the Millburn Railroad station on a route between Newark and Livingston.

Sesquicentennial

Millburn celebrated its 150th Birthday in June 2007. It was one of the biggest celebrations in the township’s history.

 

Short Hills, NJ History and Facts

Short Hills is located in the township of Millburn, in Essex County, New Jersey. It is a popular commuter town for those who work in New York City. This upper-class enclave features distinguished, older homes as well as newer construction.

History

Origins

The area that would become Short Hills was originally part of Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey. Its hills are thought to have played a role in the movement of the Continental Army during the Battle of Springfield.

Short Hills initially began as a planned community, when Stewart Hartshorn, who became wealthy from developing and manufacturing the self-acting shade roller, purchased 13 acres of land in Millburn Township, near the current Hobart Avenue.

Hartshorn’s goal was to develop “a harmonious community for people who appreciated nature; where natural beauty would not be destroyed by real estate developments; and where people of congenial tastes could dwell together.” He later increased his land holdings to 1,552 acres for the entire village, with each plot not owned by Hartshorn being no larger than half an acre, and left only 56 acres for himself.

He chose the name “Short Hills” because it reflected the topography of the region and also because the local Lenape Native Americans used the name. One local resident suggested that he call his village “Hartshornville” but he humbly refused.

Railroad and postal connections

Hartshorn situated his “ideal town” close enough to a railroad to allow for an easy commute to Hoboken and, from there, to New York City. Then, in 1879, he built, at his own expense, a railroad station along the original Morris and Essex Railroad line. Hartshorn also persuaded the United States Post Office to open an office in his new railroad station in 1880, and to this day, there is still a post office branch in that locale with its own zip code.

Buffer zones

Hartshorn deliberately preserved strips of land along the railroad right-of-way from any development west of Old Short Hills road. They separated Hobart Avenue to the north and Chatham Road to the south, from the railway line. The railroad station is the only structure that has ever stood directly adjacent to that area.

He also established the Short Hills Park directly across Hobart Avenue from the station, which stands to this day. Hartshorn’s estate donated the park to Millburn Township in 1944, with the stipulation that it always remain open to the public.

Later events

Stewart Hartshorn died in 1937, at the age of 97. His daughter Cora wrote her own history of Short Hills and helped to develop the Arboretum that bears her name.

In conjunction with the American Bicentennial celebrations in 1975, the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society was established.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center opened in Short Hills in 2001.

In 2002, residents planted a memorial tree on the grounds of the railroad station to honor their neighbors who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Present day

The opening of the Kearny Connection, which provided the first direct rail service to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, has greatly enhanced the real estate in the area. Short Hills also has a business district along Chatham Road close to the railroad station, which includes a post office branch, a pharmacy and several small specialty shops.

Short Hills is home to many senior executives and controlling stockholders of some of the biggest corporations in America. The family median income exceeds $200,000.

Short Hills has a multitude of elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grade. Most are part of the Millburn Township Public Schools: Deerfield, Glenwood, Hartshorn, Wyoming and South Mountain. Also, though the Pingry School has a lower school campus in Millburn, for kindergarten through fifth grade, its middle and upper school campus is located in Martinsville and is considered to be part of that district.

Students move on to complete their education at Millburn Middle School, sixth through eighth grade, and Millburn High School, ninth through twelfth grade, amongst others.

Though Short Hills has its own post office branch and railroad station, it does not have an independent government. Since its inception, it remains today part of the Township of Millburn.

 

Tips on Saving for a Home

shutterstock 66636532 Tips on Saving for a Home

With the market cost of homes being the most affordable they’ve been in years, it’s become the most convenient time for many people to attempt to purchase a home.  This includes first time buyers and current homeowners whom want to get their dream home at a steal of a price.  However, the mere aspect of a home being reasonably priced shouldn’t constitute someone on the market to run out and buy one, especially in this economy.  But by implementing a surefire plan to make sure that you not only effectively budget your finances, you can effectively save money to be put towards the goal of owning your dream home.

Be Financially Stable.  This might sound silly to say, but it’s part of the reason so many houses are available at such incredible prices.  People failed to be financially stable when putting in offers in houses they were unprepared to purchase.  You should have at least 10% to 20% percent of the down payment already saved.  Failing to do this means you are not fiscally stable enough to enter into the currently unstable market.  The most important part of buying a house should be demonstrating that you have the ability to budget and save, and if you’re not yet at that point, you should put yourself on that path.

Change Your Spending Habits To Saving Ones.  Live within your means.  You should aim to save at least 10% of your monthly paycheck, if not up to 30% of it.  In the current economy many people are spending everything they make in a month to keep up with their lifestyle.  If you want to take the leap to purchase a home, you will need to put an end to erroneous spending and implement a a budget that will allow for you to incur the financial stability to place your down payment on your future home.

Stick With Your Budget Plan.  The new technological device that calls your name like a Siren might sound exciting, but not at the expense.  Everything in your life comes with a price tag, so you want to effectively stick with all things on sale.  This goes for opting out of fancy vacations for staycations in your city, cooking your own food and tapering down on the expense of going out.  Capitalize on controlling your instinct to buy, buy, buy, instead to save.  Once you see the amount of money you’ll start to save this behavior will become second nature.

In order to purchase a home in an unstable climate like the one currently effecting the globe, you’ll want to make a responsible purchase, putting down a substantial down payment.  This can only happen if you effectively budget your finances, cut down erroneous spending and plan ahead.  One can not stress enough that stable finances start with exceptional tactical planning.  And with an effective plan set into place your dreams of owning the perfect home in the near future can be obtained without the stress of wondering how you will make your future house payment.

What is Your New Jersey Mid-Town Direct Home Worth?

Figuring out home values when the market is in flux is truly a job for experts. We have seen the national real estate market begin to rebound, and expect New Jersey home values to soon start to reflect movement as well. Most local homeowners are in the habit of keeping an eye on area home values. But especially for anyone considering buying or selling this summer, estimating their home’s value is one of the first items on the agenda.

To get you started, there are a couple of different methods to help establish a ballpark estimate of what your home may currently be worth.

One of the quickest and easiest tool is the calculator on Bank of America’s website.  This free online calculator uses accumulated public record data joined with other factors to produce an estimate of home values. All you need to do is enter your address and wait for the magic.

I do have to put in a word of caution, though. Like any computer program, it’s fast and precise –but also maddeningly capable of disregarding what we humans think of as ‘common sense.’ So, while it is fun and interesting to get this kind of readout, it’s at best a ballpark estimate (and at worst, downright misleading!).

There are many other sites boasting similar tools — variations of the same idea and pulling from slightly different data sets — but the approach they use to calculate home values stays the pretty much the same. You only need to enter your address and there you go: instant estimate.

While these calculators are great at aggregating data, nothing replaces human input.  Real estate is, after all, the very definition of a local occurrence, so if you’re looking for more than an estimate, it’s time to call the pros in.

When an experienced agent (someone like yours truly) creates their professional estimate, it not only takes into account the trends for properties closest to yours, but also incorporates real life features — such as the curb appeal your home and garden offers right now. The better kept your property is at any given time, the greater its estimated value should be. An agent can also suggest the small changes that work best to enhance a property’s value.

If you have been considering selling a home and are curious about today’s Northern New Jersey home values, call me anytime for a complimentary (and 100% human) consultation!

Madison, NJ History and Facts

Madison is a borough located in Morris County, New Jersey. In 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau, the population was 15,845.

Geography

Madison totals 4.218 square miles and is approximately 25 miles away from downtown Manhattan.

Demographics

In 2000, Madison consisted of 16,530 people, 5,520 households and 3,786 families. The racial makeup of the population was 89.69 percent Caucasian, 3 percent African American, 0.13 percent Native American, 3.77 percent Asian, 0.23 percent Pacific Islander, 5.9 percent Latino, 1.55 percent from other races and 1.63 percent from two or more races.

The median household income was $82,847, and the median income for a family was $101,798. The median income for males was $62,303 versus $42,097 for females. The town’s per capita income was $38,416.

History

In 1739, Morris County was divided into three townships. The area of the village north of Kings Road was governed by Hanover Township, and the area to the south was governed by Morris Township. A meeting house for the Presbyterian Church located in South Hanover, which the city was called at that time, was developed in 1747, and the Presbyterian Cemetery still exists between Kings Road and Madison Avenue.

Following the American Revolution, the governing style within the former colonies began to change. It was during this time that the state of New Jersey formed its government.

In 1806, during the reorganization of Morris County, Chatham Township was formed as the governmental entity and included three pre-revolutionary villages, Chatham, Florham Park and Madison, which are current municipalities today.

In 1834, the name of the village was changed to Madison. Then, in 1889, in order to develop a local water supply system for its growing population, the village seceded from Chatham Township and adopted a borough form of government.

The rail system

After the civil war, Madison’s growth began to accelerate, and a railroad was built to provide more rapid transportation for farm produce grown in Madison. The rail service also helped to create a flourishing rose growing industry, which is why Madison is also known as The Rose City. The railroad also connected commerce in the area to markets in Manhattan.

The Morris and Essex Lines became one of the country’s first commuter railroads, attracting affluent families from Manhattan, many of whom already owned large parcels of land in the area for farming, hunting, and recreation.

The rail lines also contributed to the development of “Millionaire’s Row,” which stretched from downtown Madison to downtown Morristown. One of the first grand houses built on “Millionaire’s Row” was the Ross Estate. Talented horticulturalists were attracted to the area for employment at these wealthy estates.

Currently, New Jersey Transit’s Madison station provides commuter service on the Morristown Line, with trains heading to Hoboken Terminal and to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan via the Kearny Connection.

Government

Hartley Dodge Memorial, donated by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, houses Madison’s local government. The city is governed under the borough form of New Jersey municipal government. It consists of a mayor and a borough council, comprised of six members.

Public schools

The Madison Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The schools in the district, based on 2009 and 2010 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, consist of: Central Avenue School, Kings Road School, Torey J. Sabatini School, Madison Junior School and Madison High School.

Also students from Harding Township, New Jersey attend the district’s high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Harding Township School District.

Private schools

Saint Vincent Martyr School (SVMS) is a Catholic parochial school and serves students from PK-3 through eighth grade. It is operated under the auspices of the Saint Vincent Parish and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.

Higher education

In 1856, Seton Hall College was established in Madison. In the late 1800s, the campus was relocated from Madison to its current location in South Orange, New Jersey. Drew University was founded in 1867 and the campus is still in its original location. A portion of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham is located in Madison on the former Vanderbilt estate.

Business

Madison’s downtown is supported by the Madison Downtown Development Commission and a downtown manager. There are many historical buildings within this community. The Madison Civic Commercial Historic District, which includes many parts of downtown, borough hall and the train station, is listed in the State Register of Historic Places.

 

History of New Jersey Townships, a Unique Form of Government

shutterstock 100093793 History of New Jersey Townships, a Unique Form of Government

Townships In New Jersey Unlike Those in Other States

Many states have townships, but they are halfway points between city and county levels of government.  The responsibilities they assume will be somewhere between these types of administration.  In New Jersey though, there will be no city form of government beneath the township.  It serves as the municipality within a county.  It holds the same rank as a city or a town.

New Jersey municipalities fall into five different categories, townships being one of them.  To make matters more confusing, calling a place a township does not necessarily mean that it falls within the township classification.  A township in New Jersey will be run by a 3 to 5 member committee generally selected through election by the local populace.  This committee selects who among them will serve as mayor and preside over meetings.  They may also serve as heads of the various departments of their government.

A History Refined Through the Years

Townships in New Jersey are organized under the precepts of The Township Act of 1798.  The organizing principle was taken from New England style town meetings where direct democracy prevailed.  Votes were accorded to all white adult males who met minimal standards of residency and worth.  Decisions on government were made in head counts at meetings.  In the interim, an elected committee of five would decide on pressing matters.

In 1899, the act was amended abolishing the town meeting format.  Decision making passed to the committee.  In 1917, a Home Rule Act established five forms of municipal government: village, town, borough, city, and township.  Each was granted equal status under the law.

In 1989, the Township Act was renewed to clarify the various amendments that had been added to it over the years.  It formalized how committee members are elected and how they select a mayor.  A federal law passed in 1972 strengthened townships by allowing assistance to be granted directly to them bypassing state control.

Townships Common throughout the State

Townships comprise 27% of the municipalities in the State of New Jersey.  They are responsible for providing much of the services needed to keep a community running. Townships provide police and fire protection, oversee the local schools, collect the trash, manage utilities, and maintain roads and sewers.

Townships can often be traced back to the earliest geographical surveys done in a region.  A specific allotment of land was determined to be a suitable area for forming a local community.  Boundaries were settled on that conformed to a geographic feature such as a ridge line, river, or existing roadway.  These are sometimes designated as survey townships.

New Jersey Townships more often fall under the category of civil townships.  In other states, they are most often found in rural areas.  While New Jersey does have rural regions, it is the most densely populated state.  Townships can be found here in heavily developed areas.  Many of them serve as suburban adjuncts to New York City and Philadelphia.  Significant portions of the population commute to work in these cities.

 

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