Pascack Valley Real Estate, Advice, Tips, Neighborhood Information, & Town News
We received final approval from corporate today and a new Keller Williams office will be opening up in the Pascack Valley. The new office will be located at 123 Tice Boulevard in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey on the first floor. The new office is only steps away from the popular Tice’s Corner Marketplace.
We had our first office meeting yesterday and it was amazing to look around the room and see how many top real estate agents were recruited to be a part of the new office. It’s like an All-Star team. We already have over 50 agents to start the new office with. We should hit the ground running and be profitable instantly.
I was also proud that the team leader, Colleen Kossoff, announced I was one of the first agents recruited back in October to be a part of the new Pascack Valley office.
The office will be under construction and I am sure it will be amazing when the work is done hopefully by July.
Looking to be a part of something special in the Pascack Valley? Want to learn more about Keller Williams’s profit sharing, high commission splits, technology, and the most important, culture? Contact me at 201-214-1349 or drop me an email at KevinHillRealEstate@gmail.com and I’ll put you in touch with our team leader who can explain all the benefits that come with being a real estate agent with Keller Williams.
2013 has gotten off to a very fast start for real estate here in the Pascack Valley, Bergen County, and even nationally. Housing inventories are way down and buyers are scooping up the available properties often within days of the house being listed.
Housing affordability, low interest rates, and optimism that America’s economy is getting better are finally getting home buyers off the fence. I keep seeing it time and time again, a well priced house gets listed on the Multiple Listing Service and its gone quickly. Especially in the lower, first time home buyer price ranges. I consider that range any home listed under $450,000 in the Pascack Valley and surrounding Bergen County.
This has happened to me many times already this year, where one of my buyer clients has either put off seeing the home until next week or even on a Monday, requested to see a home on a Saturday, and the house already has an accepted offer on the home before the end of the week. You can’t procrastinate! Some of my buyers, who have been searching for a long time, are used to taking their time, but its not like that in 2013!
I wouldn’t call it a full blown seller’s market. You still have to price your home reflecting current market values. Short sales and foreclosures seem to linger on the market for awhile unless they are really priced under market value. Many buyers don’t want to deal with the headaches of having to get the lender’s approval on their offer, which often takes months and months.
These type of distressed properties usually need updating also because someone someone behind on their mortgage isn’t likely to properly maintain their home if they could possibly lose it.
Now some sellers see this as an opportunity to try and sell their homes themselves. This is still a mistake. You need a professional to price your home properly in this ever changing real estate market, get your home marketed property for maximum exposure, and have someone on your side to negotiate.
Many of the ‘For Sale by Owner’ signs I see in the Pascack Valley have been up for months without them selling. Recently, on the street I live on in Westwood, a homeowner tried unsuccessfully to sell his home on his own for 2 months. He put it on the ‘For Sale by Owner’ sites, Zillow, and Craig’s List. Within 4 days of him finally listing his home with a real estate agent, he had an accepted offer.
So sellers, if you have been holding out on listing your home, getting it on the market NOW and buyers, if you see something you like, jump on it NOW before its gone!
If you are a married man like me with kids and a full time job, planning Valentine’s Day is one of the last things on your mind. But, unless you want to sleep on the couch, be nagged to death, and reminded for years how you forgot Valentine’s Day in 2013, you better get your act together and plan something for the ol’ ball and chain.
You don’t have to fight the crowds at the Garden State Plaza or at the Route 4 and 17 super sized jewelry stores, you can shop locally right here in the Pascack Valley! Here is your guide of where to go in the Pascack Valley of Bergen County, New Jersey.
First, go get a nice card and maybe a little stuffed animal. Go to the EmersonPharmacy & Gift Shoppe in Emerson. Its been voted best gift shoppe for 2012 in 201 Magazine’s annual Best of Bergen readers poll. Tip: Buy
a blank card, but write in your own poem of a card or plagiarize it from another Hallmark card! Your girl will never know and she’ll think you’re so sweet and creative (no, I would never do this myself)
Ok next, women love candy, even if they say they are on a diet! Fortunately, we have 2 excellent candy shops in the Pascack Valley. If you want great chocolate covered strawberries, head over to Mindy’s Munchies in River Vale. Mindy’s is so good they have been featured in the NY Times, ABC, and on New York City morning radio show, Z100′s Z Morning Zoo. They have become so popular, they are moving to a much larger space a few doors down.
Conrad’s Confectionery of Westwood makes their candy homemade from high quality ingredients. They have all kinds of creative chocolate treats. They even have one shaped like a woman’s high heeled shoe with shiny red nonpareils!
You gotta get flowers. Sure they are going to die in a week and the prices are jacked up for Valentine’s Day, but they are a must have. Every town in the Pascack Valley has a florist, except Woodcliff Lake and Emerson. Emerson had one but it went out of business and is now a paint ball shop (no, don’t go buy yourself a paintball gun, focus on your woman right now jerk!).
There are various jewelry stores to choose from in the Pascack Valley. LaViano Jewelers, Parian Jewelers, and Bellagio Jewelry are all located in Westwood’s downtown shopping district. Avo’s Elegant Jewelry in Emerson, and F Silverman Jewelers in Montvale are also options to shop at in the Pascack Valley. You ask me, “Kevin, what should I buy my wife ?”. I don’t know! I have to worry about getting something for my own wife! Just make sure its not a Cubic Zirconia with a fake gold band that will turn her finger green.
You need a nice romantic restaurant to take your chick to on Valentine’s Day. Now, some of these places may require reservations, so don’t be a total slacker and wait until the morning of Valentine’s Day to call up. 3 good options are the Park Steakhouse in Park Ridge, Esty Street in Park Ridge, and The Melting Pot in Westwood. I went to Park Steakhouse last year and a couple a table over from us got engaged at the table, so you know its a romantic spot! If you got engaged at a hockey game on the big screen, then you really need this article for romantic tips.
If you don’t get embarrassed picking out sexy women’s lingerie in person, Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake has a Victoria’s Secret. My friend Sam once shopped at this store for his girlfriend and accidentally knocked over one of the scantily clad mannequins to further the awkwardness of a male shopping for frilly thongs.
I don’t expect my fellow men to remember all this, so below is the list of places to go, addresses, phone #’s, and web sites. You can thank me later. Actually, you should send me some expensive gifts because I probably saved you from losing half your assets in a messy divorce.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Esty Street-86 Spring Valley Road Park Ridge, NJ 07656 (201) 307-1515
The Melting Pot-250 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ 07675 201-664-8877
The Park Steakhouse -151 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, NJ, 07656 201-930-1300
Conrad’s Confectionery-107 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, NJ (201) 497-6280
Avo’s Elegant Jewelry-179 Kinderkamack Road Emerson, NJ 07630
Bellagio Jewelry-14 Westwood Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675
F Silverman Jewelers-24 Chestnut Ridge Road Montvale, NJ 07645
LaViano Jewelers-175 Westwood Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675
Parian Jewelers-99 Westwood Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675
Hillsdale Florist-132 Broadway Hillsdale, NJ 07642
(201) 358-1500 Email: email@example.com (their web site is not working!)
Infinity Flowers-280 Pascack Road, Washington Township 07676 201-666-0808 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Montvale Florist-6 Railroad Avenue, Montvale 07645 201-690-6721 Email: email@example.com
Park Ridge Florist-145 Kinderkamack Road Park Ridge, NJ 07656
River Vale Flower Shop-669 Westwood Avenue River Vale, NJ 07675
Tyrells Flowers-45 Westwood Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675
Victoria’s Secret-441 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff Lake 07677 201-391-7752
Search for homes in the Pascack Valley!
As an active, full time real estate agent in the Pascack Valley of Bergen County, New Jersey, I observe that a majority of my fellow REALTORS® are professional, do good by their clients, and most importantly, get their home sellers’ houses sold. Unfortunately, I also encounter some agents who are incompetent, lazy, just don’t care, or a combination of all those negative traits. If you feel like your listing agent is the latter, FIRE YOUR REALTOR® NOW!
© 2005, WWE All Rights Reserved.
So what are some warning signs that you need to can your real estate agent immediately?
Lack of Communication-You signed the paperwork, the agent put the sign on your front lawn, and now you never hear from them. A good real estate agent will communicate with you at least on a weekly basis. He/she should be giving you feedback from showings, informing you how many internet hits your listing is receiving, sending new sold comparables/active listings in your neighborhood, and just checking in with you to see if you have any concerns. Sometimes, I am calling listing agents to show one of my buyer clients a home, and the listing agent doesn’t call me back!
Your Home Listing is Lackluster-Did the agent put 15+ pictures in your listing? Studies show the more pictures a listing has, the more likely a potential buyer will click on the listing. Are the pictures reasonably well done? I recently saw a new listing come on the New Jersey MLS that had 15 pictures, but ALL 15 were blurry! There is no excuse for that! Is there a suitable, accurate description of your home? One sentence of some vague details about your home is just not acceptable. Are you handling all the showings? Some sellers may want to be contacted directly, but realistically, your agent should be the go between to handle all the calls and setup the showings.
Your Home is Not Being Marketed Properly-Internet marketing is vital to getting your home shown and sold. What web sites is your house listed on? Again, how are the pictures? Are all your homes features being expressed in the advertising? Is video being utilized in the marketing? Although not as effective as internet advertising, is your listing agent marketing your home through old school methods also like print advertising, open houses, and just listed postcards?
The Listing Agent Has No Justification for the List Price-The listing agent is doing you a great disservice overpricing your home. I had a listing last year in Westwood. It was previously listed with another broker. The seller explained to me how the agent came up with the list price. She took what they paid for the house (back in 2005) and added in the cost of the upgrades they made and boom, there is the list price! That isn’t the way to price a home. That home ended up being overpriced by almost $100,000! The list price should be based on homes similar in age, condition, style, and location. The agent should perform a Current Market Analysis (CMA) using recent sold homes (less than 6 months old if possible), under contracts, and active listings from your neighborhood. Sometimes using expired listings is useful, as they can show a home possibly being overpriced and the reason why it didn’t sell. Also,remember, the actively listed homes are your competition.
The Listing Agent Isn’t Adapting to Current Market Conditions-Pricing a home isn’t an exact science. Some homes are so unusual, there really aren’t any comparables. So its up to your agent to keep abreast of the market and speak to you about adjusting your list price. Think of your list price more as the initial price. If a comparable home recently sold across the street for $50,000 under what your home is listed at, its probably time to reduce your price. If you aren’t getting many showings or any offers, its time to adjust your list price. Your agent needs to be proactive and not let your house linger and while you have to fork over your monthly mortgage, property taxes, and home insurance.
This is just scratching the service but these are basic things your listing agent should be doing and if not, FIRE THEM and hire a real estate agent who will do everything they can to sell your home in a timely manner and for the most money possible.
©NBC Studios Inc.
Click here on methods to make your home more marketable.
It is time to look back at the real estate market in 2012 and see how it compared to 2011 in Bergen County as a whole and the Pascack Valley region. Total sales were up nicely in 2012 in Bergen County. This supports the national trend of reduced housing inventory. Every price range was up except for the $1.5+ million priced homes.
Average home price was down very slightly in the typical first time home buyer price range ($400k & under). This could be a result of distressed properties, which are still part of the market in Bergen County. Average price was also down in the higher end homes, but the middle price ranges were basically stable from 2011 to 2012.
Median homes prices were basically flat across the board in all pricing categories.
The Pascack Valley region, made up of Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood, and Woodcliff Lake, saw a significant increase in single family home sales in 2012. Up an astounding 31% from 2011. The average sold price was down 3% across the Pascack Valley region. Median home price (not reflected in the table) was down 6% across the region.
There are definite signs of a real estate recovery throughout Bergen County. Reduced inventory, near record low mortgage interest rates, strong home sale increases, and stabilizing home prices bode well for real estate in 2013.
Want statistics on individual towns in Bergen County? Contact Kevin Hill, REALTOR®-Sales Associate with Keller Williams Realty-Village Square for more details.
Want to search for homes currently available for sale in the Pascack Valley and surrounding Bergen County? Go here:
If you listen to most real estate agents, no matter what the market conditions are, they always say its a good time to buy a home. Even in 2007, right when the housing bubble was about to burst, they were still crowing it was a good time to buy. One company head and founder even had predicted we hit the market bottom in 2008! Often the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has their economist spin that everything is great in real estate or will admit its down only when its obvious to everyone else with half a brain.
As a former appraiser, I was in the trenches when the market was booming and knew it was unsustainable. It was ridiculous to see homes appreciate tens of thousands of dollars in a few months time without even improvements being made to the home. I remember going back to properties 2-3 times to reappraise their condo or home because the owner was cashing out their equity on a refinance. Appraisers were under pressure to bring in the increased values or risk not receiving work from that lender. The price of homes was quickly outpacing increases in income.
Now that I am on the sales side, I am seeing buyers faced with less homes to choose from, multiple bids on correctly priced homes, and a decrease on the days on the market.
No area was invincible to the real estate downturn. Some areas were hit much harder like Arizona, Florida, and Nevada. New Jersey was plagued with a high inventory of distressed properties due to the Robo Signing controversy and the courts freezing all foreclosures.
Now with significant increases in the number of sales and reduced housing inventory in 2012, there are finally solid signs of a real estate market recovery in Bergen County, New Jersey and nationally. Its not just agents, real estate company presidents, and NAR who are predicting an improving real estate market in 2013.
J.P. Morgan Chase is predicting a 3.4 to a 9.7% increase in home prices in 2013. Standard & Poor’s, which rates private-issue mortgage bonds said it expects a 5% increase.
In Zillow’s December Home Price Expectations Survey, which is based on responses from 105 economist and industry experts, they predicted a 3.1% increase in home prices.
The Wall Street Journal says home prices are on track to have their first yearly gain since 2006.
CNN Money reports that new home sales recently recorded their strongest pace in more than 2 years.
Foreclosures hit a 5 year low nationally and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 8 years. Couple this will near record low mortgage interest rates and there are numerous signs of a turnaround in real estate in 2013.
Now don’t get too giddy. It still can be tough for buyers to qualify for a mortgage, not have a property be undervalued by the appraiser, we still have a plentiful supply of short sales & foreclosures to weed through, and the economy isn’t exactly booming presently.
I say its definitely okay to have some guarded optimism for the real estate market in 2013 and beyond. Yes, I am going to say the hack real estate agent line that “it’s a good time to buy a home!”
Bibi’z restaurant is having a special New Year’s Eve, 4 Course Prix Fixe menu. for $65. There will be a DJ and dancing from 9:30pm to 1am. There will be a complimentary midnight toast and party favors. At the bar, there will be a $20 cover charge (very affordable for New Year’s!) and a 2 drink minimum. House DJ and dancing. Call for a reservation.
200 Tice Blvd, Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
The Hilton is having a 4-Course Dinner in Saffron Restaurant.
After dinner party in Nickleby’s Lounge which features a broad selection of cocktails, wine and beer. Be surrounded by the sights and sounds of
New Year’s Eve in Times Square on our 7 wide screen HDTV’s.
FOR PACKAGE RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL 201-391-3600
or book online at woodcliff.hilton.com (booking code P9)
FOR DINNER RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL 201-505-4468
or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
84 Broadway, Hillsdale,NJ 07642
They are offering a Complimentary Late Night Buffet after midnight.
SPECIAL LATE NIGHT VIP PACKAGE
Bring 6 or more people and receive a
FREE VIP PACKAGE
Complimentary bottle of Champagne
Table as a “Home Base” for your group all night!
Party Favors & Noisemakers!
Here is a listed of recommended bars in the Pascack Valley to help celebrate New Year’s 2013.
Davey’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Montvale
Burke’s on Old Hook in Westwood
PJ Finnegan’s in Westwood
Recommended restaurants in the Pascack Valley for New Year’s (might require reservations!)
The Park Steakhouse in Park Ridge
Blue Moon Mexican Cafe in Woodcliff Lake
The Porter House in Montvale
Fire & Oak in Montvale
Melting Pot in Westwood
Happy New Year!
Looking to buy or sell a home in 2013 in the Pascack Valley area? Then contact Kevin Hill, Pascack Valley expert and REALTOR®-Sales Associate with Keller Williams Realty-Village Square! New office coming soon to the Pascack Valley!
Some home buyers in Bergen County, New Jersey are on the fence. Will the real estate market go down more? Is it a good time to buy a home? Should I keep waiting to buy a home?
Well there are continued signs of a real estate recovery nationally and more locally here in Bergen County, New Jersey. In comparing 2011 to 2012, there are some key statistics from the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service proving the real estate markets in Bergen County is improving.
1. There are less homes on the market in 2012 vs 2011. Simple law of supply and demand, as inventory goes down, demand goes up.
2. Absorption rate for all residential housing types is down significantly. In case you don’t know what absorption rate is it shows the rate at which the inventory of homes for sale are being sold. A declining figure indicates people the inventory is decreasing as more homes are being sold than are coming onto the market. A rising absorption rate implies that there are more homes coming onto the market than there are buyers willing to buy at the market prices.
The absorption rate lets you know how well the market is absorbing the current inventory of listings.
3. Number of sold homes for the year is up.
4. Days on the market has decreased
5. Median home prices for all residential categories is up.
For a more detailed look at the statistics provided by the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service for November 2012, get instant access to the 33 page report.
For those with patience and willingness to possibly do some renovations, there are still short sales and foreclosures available. Often these homes are priced under market value and buyers can get a great deal on a home.
I know real estate agents almost always say ‘its a great time to buy a home’, but coupled with the housing recovery statistics, near record low interest rates, and housing affordability, it really is a great time to buy a home!
Contact Kevin Hill, REALTOR®-Sales Associate with Keller Williams Realty.
Westwood’s ‘Home for the Holidays‘ celebration might be the largest in the Pascack Valley area of Bergen County, but the other towns in the Pascack Valley also feature winter holiday events. Here is the rundown of all the upcoming events in Emerson, Hillsdale, Park Ridge, Washington Township, and Woodcliff Lake:
Wednesday, December 5th-Holiday Tree Lighting
“Tis the Season for a Holiday Lighting”
at Veteran’s Park. Hot Cider, coffee and donuts will be provided and a visit from a very special guest!
(Rain date Thursday December 6, 2012)
Friday, December 7th-River Vale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The Christmas Tree Lighting will take place in front of Town Hall at 6:30pm, with a party to follow at the Holdrum School Old Gym. All are invited to enjoy the lighting of the tree and holiday music provided by the Woodside School Chorus, take pictures with Santa (bring your cameras) and enjoy hot chocolate and treats.
The Township and Valley Chabad will host a Chanukah Menorah Lighting in front of the Community Center located at 628 River Vale Road. Reception to follow inside the Community Center. All are invited to enjoy hot latkes, doughnuts, chocolate Chanukah gelt and dreidels. Please note that we have changed locations from past years.
Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (rain or shine)
Corner of Woodcliff and Werimus (pool entrance)
Santa will arrive by 7:15 p.m. to light the Christmas Tree
The Westervelt-Lydecker House will serve hot chocolate and cookies.
Bring your camera. All children will have a chance to speak with Santa!
Menorah Lighting by Rabbi Dov Drizin of Valley Chabad
December 12, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
Corner of Woodcliff and Werimus (pool entrance)
Saturday, December 8th-Join friends and neighbors at the Annual Tree Lighting in Depot Square at 5pm. Music, hot chocolate, popcorn, Frosty & his Elves, Children may bring a natural ornament for the tree. Also, please bring non-perishable items for the Pascack Food Center.
The Annual Tree & Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 9th at 5pm in front of town hall. The festivities will then move across the street where we ask people to gather on Finnerty Place near the Library. Expect visits from special guests, live entertainment, refreshments, free giveaways and a special visit from Santa Claus and the WTFD. Please remember to bring a new unwrapped toy for the Annual PBA #206 Toy Drive. A Drop Off Box will be available at the ceremony.
Saturday, December 15th from 12pm-2:30pm. Come get your picture taken with Santa and visit his petting zoo at the Emerson Firehouse!
Thinking of moving to the Pascack Valley area of Bergen County, New Jersey?
Westwood, NJ truly is a great place to buy a home and live. Westwood offers many events for its residents throughout the year. The highlight in Westwood for the holiday season, is the annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ event. The ‘Home for the Holidays’ is celebrating its 21st anniversary.
The event kicks off this Saturday, December 1st, with a story time by Mrs. Claus at 5pm at the Westwood Public Library for children 5 and under.
At 6pm, the festivities in Westwood will feature a parade down Westwood Avenue with floats, marching bands, and a visit from Santa. There will be plenty of fresh popped popcorn, hot chocolate, and hot cider for all the attendees.
There will be a tree lighting after the parade in Westwood’s Veterans’ Park. Santa will meet individually with all the children and have a surprise for each child!
The Westwood Community Band will be performed in the Bandstand during Santa’s visit.
There will be free trackless train rides around the park sponsored by Westwood’s famous Iron Horse Restaurant. The Iron Horse is home to the best burgers in the area (get one stuffed with cheese!).
There is an open house from 7:30-9pm by the merchants on Westwood’s renowned walkable downtown on Westwood Avenue. There will be music, clowns, stilt walkers, vendors,refreshments, and more!
The Knights of Columbus will be collecting new, unwrapped toys or gift cards that will be distributed to the Pascack Valley’s Social Services Agencies. You can bring your gifts to the Westwood Gallery on the corner of Westwood Avenue and Broadway.
Thinking of buying a house in Westwood? Go to the Westwood Home Search to see the available homes.
Need to sell your home before moving to Westwood? Find out what your home is worth!
Due to many small towns in Bergen County, New Jersey, many towns do not have enough children to have their own high school. Therefore, many high schools are regional, and draw their students from several different towns. Here is a guide to all the regional high schools and what towns send their students to. This is especially useful for people looking to buy a home in Bergen County and are looking for quality schools.
Westwood Regional High School-Washington Township & Westwood
Pascack Valley High School-Hillsdale & River Vale
Pascack Hills High School-Montvale & Woodcliff Lake
Northern Valley at Old Tappan High School-Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan and Rockleigh
Northern Valley at Demarest High School-Closter, Demarest, and Haworth
River Dell High School-Oradell & River Edge
Tenafly High School-Alpine & Tenafly
Northern Highlands Regional High School-Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Saddle River (students have choice between Northern Highlands or Ramsey High School), & Upper Saddle River
Ramapo High School-Franklin Lakes, Oakland, & Wyckoff (students from these 3 towns can also choose to go to Indian Hills High School in the 8th grade)
Indian Hills High School-Franklin Lakes, Oakland, & Wyckoff (students from these 3 towns can also choose to go to Indian Hills High School in the 8th grade)
Ridgefield Park High School-Little Ferry & Ridgefield Park
Henry p. Becton High School-Carlstadt & East Rutherford
Hackensack High School-Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park, & South Hackensack
Wood-Ridge High School-Moonachie & Wood-Ridge
For more sources on New Jersey’s schools and rankings, please click here.
To search for homes throughout Bergen County, go here.
Pascack Valley and the rest of New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy now has a new problem. A gasoline shortage caused by a lack of power at the gas stations and distributors. The Bergen Record is reporting that 75% of gas stations in North Jersey are not operational either because of no power or are out of gas.
Twitter has become a great resource to find out what stations have gas and their wait times. Use the hashtag #NJGas to see what other users are saying about the area’s open stations.
Warning: There may be maximums on how much gas you are allowed to pump and/or cash only limits. Also, I will do my best to have this list updated, but gas stations can run out of gas waiting on shipments. Be prepared to wait! Possibly hours!
Here is a list of gas stations in the area that have been reported to be open and have gasoline in the Pascack Valley:
Montvale-Mobil-Garden State Parkway rest stop, mile marker 171
Exxon-30 South Kinderkamack Road
Park Ridge-Gulf-161 Kinderkamack Road
Washington Township-Lukoil-290 Pascack Road
Westwood-Express-47 Irvington Street (across from Trader Joe’s).
Did I miss any? Please leave a comment with another gas station or email Kevin Hill at KevinHillRealEstate@gmail.com.
The Pascack Valley of Bergen County, NJ was hit with its 2nd hurricane in the past 2 years. Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction across the Pascack Valley, but it could have been much worse.
Unlike 2011′s Hurricane Irene, the Pascack Valley did not suffer from any flooding issues. The Pascack Brook did not breach its banks, however there were widespread power outages, road closings, down power lines & trees throughout Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, Washington Township, Westwood, and Woodcliff Lake.
One house in particular I observed in Westwood sustained damaged to both of their cars and house from a large, falling tree (picture below).
There were wind gusts as high as 75 miles per hour in the Pascack Valley. The heavy rains never really came though, with it mostly drizzling throughout the hurricane. Temperatures were in the 50′s and 60′s.
There at first appeared to be lightning present, however the green glows throughout the night were more likely transformers that exploded throughout the Pascack Valley.
The morning after, many residents were walking their dogs or outside assessing the damage and picking up debris from the trees. With many other stores out of power, Dunkin’ Donuts in Emerson and 7-Eleven in Montvale were packed with storm victims looking for their morning cup of coffee.
Several insanely dedicated joggers were spotted out for a run and someone was even seen fishing in the Pascack Brook County Park Pond.
Please see below for a library of post Hurricane Sandy pictures from throughout the Pascack Valley.
Have any interesting pictures from the Pascack Valley of Hurricane Sandy? Post them on the Pascack Valley Real Estate page on Facebook!
I just wanted to announce that I made a big career move and have recently joined Keller William Realty-Village Square in Ridgewood. Keller Williams will be opening up a Pascack Valley market center in the very near future, and I have the honor of being among the first real estate agents there.
Keller Williams is a progressive thinking real estate company, which provides great tools, training, and technology to its agents. Even greater than all these attributes, is the culture around the office is one of support and positivity. So you are probably thinking “Great Kevin, but what does this mean for me as the client?” It means I can be more efficient, even more knowledgeable (I always willing to learn more everyday), have office support to make your transaction go smoother, increased exposure on seller listings, and provide a higher level of service.
My cell phone number is still the same (201-214-1349) and email address (KevinHillRealEstate@Gmail.com). Also, I am on all the major social networking sites and you can find me by clicking the icons in the upper right of my home page. Thanks!
Fall and Halloween are great times of the year to live in the Pascack Valley area of Bergen County. There is so much to do with the kids. Hayrides, haunted houses, pumpkin picking, food, kids’ costumes parades, and more are all offered for the Pascack Valley residents. Here is an overview of the 2012 events being offered.
From Saturday, September 22nd to Sunday, October 21st, you can go pumpkin picking at Demarest Farms in Hillsdale. Take a hayride to the orchards and pick your own pumpkins. On the weekend, its $5 per person for admission that includes the hayride and $8 for each pumpkin picked. On the weekdays, its $10 a person which includes a hayride and a pumpkin of your choice.
Demarest Farms is located at 244 Wiermus Road in Hillsdale.
St. John’s Academy located in 460 Hillsdale Avenue in Hillsdale, will their annual Fall Fest on October 13th from 10:30am to 3:30pm. Entry is free and suitable for all ages. It will feature music, crafts, flea market, food, inflatable rides, 27 foot Blue Crush Slide, Extreme Obstacle Course, rock climbing, baseball speed throw, and more! Enter through Orchard Street or use commuter lot across the street.
Hillsdale will have their annual Ragamuffin Parade on Friday, October 26th from 6-8pm at the Hillsdale Borough Parking Lot & George White School (rain or shine).
Please meet at 6pm and the parade will commence at 6:15. The parade route will go from Central Avenue to Cross Street to Magnolia Avenue to East Liberty Avenue to Trinity Place and arrive at George White School.
Refreshments and treats will be available for all. At 7pm, there will be a magician show.
Depiero’s Farm located at 300 West Grand Avenue in Montvale has fun fall activities like hayrides, pumpkin picking, face painting, a petting zoo, and more! They even feature a Haunted House Zombie Apocalypse that will begin on October 5th and tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Be prepared to get scared!
Park Ridge will have their Ragamuffin Parade on Saturday, October 20th located at Depot Square and Park Avenue. It starts at 3pm and ends at the Pavilion with cider & donuts. Prizes for costumes…& more.
River Vale will have their annual Ragamuffin Parade on Saturday, October 27th. It begins at 9:15am. Line up for the parade in front of the 7-Eleven on the corner of Westwood Avenue and Rivervale Road. Children are invited to parade in costume to the Roberge School gym and there will be a magic show starting at 9:30am. Refreshments will be served.
Westwood will be having their annual Halloween Ragamuffin Parade on Saturday, October 27th at 10am for children in grades pre-K through 3rd. The parade will start on the Broadway side of the train station and will proceed up Westwood Avenue to Center Avenue ending at the Community Center where they will have special entertainment and refreshments.
Westwood is also going to have a Jack-o-Lantern Blaze at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Drop-off your Jack-o-Latern between 4-7pm. They will be lit up from 7-9pm to create a spectacular display of art. You can pick them back up between 9-10pm. For more info, contact the Westwood Chamber of Commerce at 201-‐916-‐8700 or
Woodcliff Lake is going to hold their Annual Costume Contest on Friday, October 17th at 7pm at Lockwood Field (next to the pool). Events include train ride, 4 in 1 Halloween Bounce House, cider, popcorn, and donuts. The judging of the contest will begin promptly at 7:15pm.
Does the Pascack Valley sound like an awesome place to live? Click on the link below to search for real estate in the Pascack Valley area!
Pascack Valley Real Estate Search
For health nuts or people looking to get back in shape, Westwood, New Jersey, ‘The Hub of the Pascack Valley’ is an outstanding destination. Westwood offers various gyms, health spas, self-defense facilities, activities, and outdoor parks to get a great workout in.
Westwood has many different gyms catering to whatever type of workout environment you are looking for.
Westwood Health and Fitness has been a staple of Westwood for over 30 years. It has been named by (201) Magazine in 2012 in their ‘Best of Bergen’ issue. It offers weight room, basketball, raquetball, group exercise & spinning classes, smoothie bar, and personal training.
New York Sports Club (NYSC) offers group classes, pilates, sauna, steamroom, free weights, machines, and cardio equipment.
Crossfit Ignite is a different kind of workout facility. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises. Definitely an intense workout and good for those bored with a typical gym workout.
American Woman Fitness Center is a woman’s only gym featuring group clases, pilates, cardio machines, free weights, machines, sauna, whirlpool, swimming pool, and personal training.
Hot Yoga has been named several times as the ‘Best Yoga Studio’ in (201) Magazine’s ‘Best in Bergen’ annual issue. Hot yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s.Bikram’s classes run exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%, and is the most popular form of hot yoga.
Unique Training Group located at 41 Bergenline Avenue in Westwood offers the latest and most innovative training techniques available today. They utilize TRX (a suspension trainer that utilizes leverage and bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises), Battle Ropes, Kettle Bells, and circuit training taught by instructions who property teach form and motivate throughout the workout. They offer a free demostration and consultation. You can call them to setup an appointment at 201-783 – 7694.
Westwood offers great parks to workout in.
Westvale/Pascack Brook County Park were both recently renovated and offer a great place to walk, run, bike, play tennis, and play various other sports. A paver walkway was contructed that now connects the 2 parks, giving you a serene, scenic place for your workout.
Jake Voorhis Park offers full court basketball, walking path, and outdoor workout station.
Westwood Middle School offers a gravel track for getting some laps in or sprinting. There are bleachers there too if you want to run up and down the steps.
Westwood Regional Jr/Sr High School is technically located in Washington Township but offers a beautiful, cushioned track, turf field, and new bleachers to run up and down. It was recently renovated and came out awesome!
Brookside Park located at Brookside Avenue and Lake Street is a good spot to get some full court basketball in and really burn some calories.
Pascack Valley Swim Club just celebrated their 50th anniversay in Westwood. Great place to do some laps in the pool during the summer or play some volleyball & basketball in the pool!
Westwood Town Recreation offers various programs for adults to get in shape. They offer recreational volleyball, power volleyball for the advanced player, open gym basketball, tennis lessons, and boot camp classes at Westvale Park.
The NJ Training Grounds offers training in Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Muy Thai Boxing. They offer classes, weight training, machines, and kettlebells. Get in shape and also learn to kick some butt!
DP Martial Arts Academy offers one of the largest training centers in Bergen County, NJ teaching traditional Taekwondo (“Tae Kwon Do” the Korean style of Karate) for children and our unique mix of traditional and fitness karate for adults. They also provide Mixed Martial Arts training.
Ready to get in shape now? Did I miss your favorite place to workout? Well post a comment and let me know!
New Jersey Monthly Magazine puts out a list ranking all of New Jersey’s public high schools in a bi-annual issue. Lets see how Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, Washington Township, Westwood, and Woodcliff Lake of the Pascack Valley performed in the rankings in their respected school districts.
The highest ranking school in the Pascack Valley, Park Ridge, moved up 4 spots from the 2010 rankings to #14 in the entire state.
Pascack Hills, is part of the Pascack Valley Regional School District and
is comprised of students from the towns of Montvale and Woodcliff Lake. Pascack Hills High School dropped 11 slots in the rankings, but is still rated as one of the top 20 in the state of New Jersey at #18.
Westwood Regional High School has a big improvement over their 2010 rankings. Westwood Regional is comprised of students from Westwood and neighboring Washington Township. Westwood regional soared 34 slots from 2010 up to #58 in the state. Great job Westwood!
Pascack Valley High School, took a bit of a tumble in the rankings. It is part of the Pascack Valley Regional School District and is comprised of students from Hillsdale and River Vale. It dropped 50 lots from #23 to #73 in the state.
Emerson High School also took a significant drop from #34 in 2010 to #77 in the latest rankings.
Overall, the Pascack Valley area did outstanding in the rankings, with all the area high schools ranking in the 23% of all public high schools in the state.
Great schools is another good reason to move to the Pascack Valley area of Bergen County.
To see the complete list of schools, please go to:
If you are looking for more resources for school information, please check out the New Jersey School Report Card put out by the state of New Jersey.
Its almost back to school time! No kid enjoying their summer wants to hear that phrase, but September is right around the corner. Here is a list of all the towns across the Pascack Valley’s first day of school for 2012:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Emerson Schools (including high school)
Woodcliff Lake Schools
Park Ridge Schools (including high school)
Pascack Hills High School
Pascack Valley High School
Thursday, September 6, 2012
River Vale Schools
Washington Township Schools
Westwood Regional High School
In real estate, the spring market is the busiest time of the year. However, don’t think you missed out on buying or selling your home and need to wait until next spring to put your home on the market. Selling in the fall has its advantages.
Less Competition for Sellers
There are less homes on the market, so there is less inventory for buyers to choose from. Serious buyers, who have an urgency to buy ASAP, have less choices out there and increases the odds of your home selling (well if its priced well, shows well, is accessible, and marketed well, but that’s a whole other blog article).
Less Competition for Buyers
Believe it or not, well priced homes, were getting multiple offers on them in the Pascack Valley area of Bergen County in this perceived down market. I often had buyers who put off seeing a home until next week, get disappointed when that house listing received an accepted offer in the meantime and they missed out.
More Serious Buyers
This is especially the case around the holidays. People looking November-January are really motivated to buy. They aren’t people out for a warm, spring day drive and decide to check out some open houses for decorating tips.
For those into statistics, in the Pascack Valley in 2011, there were 415 single home sales. 120 of those sold occurred from September 1st through December 31st. That’s 29% for those keeping track at home.
My advice if you are looking to sell, take the next few weeks to get your home ready, contact a great real estate agent, and get your home listed this fall! If looking to buy, get your finances in order, get pre-approved, and work with a great buyer’s agent to find your dream home!
This is an interesting infograph from Diggsy.com. I think the hours spent on a listing are probably even higher on most listings.
Copyright 2012 Diggsy.com
So as a real estate agent in the Pascack Valley, the one question I always receive is ‘how is the real estate market doing?’. So in my experience and in talking to other REALTORS®-in my office and from around Bergen County, the market is doing better. The buyers are definitely out there and homes, if priced correctly, aren’t staying on the market long. Of course, many homes are sitting on the market for months and there are foreclosures and short sales still coming on the market. Lets look at some statistics to further show how the market is doing. In case you aren’t familiar with the Pascack Valley area in Bergen County, New Jersey, its comprised of 8 towns. Those towns are Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood, and Woodcliff Lake.
As of the date this article was written, in the Pascack Valley, there are currently 338 active, single family homes available for purchase. 152 home listings are currently under contract, and there have been 176 single family home sales in 2012. The average days on the market is approximately 92 days.
Comparing 2011 vs 2012 in the Pascack Valley, single family home sales are up. The number of sold listings is up 17% from the time period of Jan through May. Despite a lot of the doom and gloom you hear on the news, the average sold price is actually up 2% from 2011. Now thats not a huge increase, but it shows some stabilization in home prices and even a modest appreciation. Average home prices in Bergen County as a whole were flat from 2011 to 2012, but again it displays stabilization.
It’s a good time to buy, as it appears that the Pascack Valley region has already reached its bottom and is showing signs of recovery. Also, interest rates remain at or near record lows. As of the date of this article, averaging 3.78% for the area.
Lets break down the 176 sales so far this year into price ranges.
So the lower price ranges are making up a large majority of the current sales, which makes sense because the majority of home buyers out there now are first time home buyers. You may also see buyers moving up from their condo or starter home to purchase a more expensive home.
Note: All statistics are provided by the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service and are considered reliable, but not guaranteed.
The renovations and just about done at Westvale Park and Pascack Brook County Park in Westwood, NJ. Even though Westvale was officially re-opened this past fall, it still has some remaining finishing touches to be completed.
Here are 2 videos of the parks made after my last update on the parks about 8 months ago.
Overview if improvements at Westvale Park:
Improvements at Pascack Brook County Park:
They removed in the old, beat up basketball court and replaced it with a parking lot. Would have liked to have see a new basketball court installed.
Check out the picture gallery to see all the improvements yourself.
One one of the great things about living in the Pascack Valley of Bergen County is that its a great area to raise a family. The Pascack Valley has excellent schools and the towns provide fun activities for the children. The towns of Hillsdale, Park Ridge, River Vale, and Westwood are hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunts. Here are the details so you plan a fun time without venturing too far from our beautiful Pascack Valley area.
The Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, March 31st at Beechwood Park at 10am sharp. In the case of rain, the event will be moved indoors at George White School. There will be golden eggs with special prizes. The Easter Bunny will be making an appearance if parents want pictures.
Park Ridge will be having their Easter Egg Hunt on
Saturday, March 31st at 10:30am. Park Ridge has already rescheduled their Easter Egg Hunt for Sunday, April 1st at 2pm due to the rainy forecast for Saturday. It will take place at Davies Field (Memorial Field behind the Boro Hall). Kids, bring your own bag or basket for collecting all your goodies. Parents bring your camera so your child can take pictures with Peter Cottontail. This is for Park Ridge children up until the 6th grade.
River Vale will have their Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch at the River Vale Country Club on Saturday, April 7th at 9:30am. In the event of rain, the Easter Egg Hunt will take place indoors at the River Vale Country Club. There is no charge for the Easter Egg Hunt.
Children Ages 3 and under will start at 9:45am
Children Ages 4-6 will start at 10am
Chldren 7 and over will start at 10:15am
Remember to bring your cameras to have photos taken with the Easter Bunny. There will be candy for all participants and prizes in some lucky eggs.
Brunch will be located in the Cherry Brook Restaurant at the River Vale Country Club. Brunch will begin at 10:30am, cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Reservations are required due to limited seating, please call 201-391-2300 Ext 122 to reserve.
Westwood’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be Saturday, April 7th at 10:30am at Veteran’s Park. The event is open to all children from pre-school to 3rd grade.
The Easter Bunny and his friends will be available for pictures, so parents, please remember to bring your camera.
Please bring a bag or basket to collect your goodies with.
Rain Date: Saturday, April 14th at 10:30am.
The Pascack Valley continually provides great events for its residents and is a great environment to raise a family. Want to live in the Pascack Valley of Bergen County, New Jersey? To search for homes and condos click here!
You don’t have to go far to enjoy yourself this St. Patrick’s Day in the Pascack Valley of Bergen County. The Pascack Valley offers shopping, restaurants, and nightlife to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2012. Don’t know where to go? Well here are some suggestions.
What better place to go for St. Patty’s Day than a store named ‘Irish Eyes Imports‘? They offer clothes, flags, decorations, Irish food and candies, Irish music, and more! They are having a free raffle for prizes on St. Patrick’s Day. They are located at 162 Westwood Avenue in Westwood. 201-445-8585 www.celticpride.com
Food & Drink
Has been named Best Neighborhood Bar by 201 Magazine, Best Irish Pub
Davey’s Irish Pub-Montvale
Has been recognized in the past with various awards like Best Sports Bar. On St. Patty’s Day, they will have a ‘Irish Fare Menu’ with Irish staples such as shephard’s pie and corned beef and cabbage.
Davey’s Irish Pub is located at 5 Park St. (Corner of Kinderkamack Rd. & Grand Ave.), Montvale, NJ 07645 201-391-9356 www.daveyspub.com
Doghouse Saloon-Washington Township
They will have live music with the Members Only Band.Tons Of Food & Drink Specials including Jello Shots, Green Beer,
giveaways, Green Drink Menu,Corned Beef & Cabbage,
50/50,Basket Raffles, $2 Shot Menu & So Much More
PLUS: GREEN BEER PONG ! The Doghouse Saloon is located 270 Pascack Road in Washington Township 201-722-1820 http://doghouse-saloon.com/
The Porterhouse will have Irish music, dancers, bag pipers, and more! Traditional Irish Fare Menu served all day. They will also have drink specials and giveaways. The Porterhouse is located at 125 Kinderkamack Road in Montvale. 201-307-6300 www.porterhouseusa.com
Unfortunately, we don’t have any St. Patrick Day Parades in the Pascack Valley, but you can take a quick drive to nearby Pearl River, New York, for their annual parade. Its the 2nd largest (next to NYC’s) St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York State. It takes place on Sunday, March 18th at 2:30pm. 28 Railroad Avenue, Pearl River, NY.
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