There are 260 real estate listings for Montclair on the website, including a new listing at $24,900. But buying a house this way is anything but straightforward. Bloomfield Public Library is having a seminar on it Tuesday night. Read more about it, and what some local realtors say, on Real Estate.

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22 replies on “The Foreclosure Market”

  1. 260 listings in foreclosure?
    There goes your property value folks. You know, the increased property values that Mayor Fried likes to defend every frivolous spend on for its maintainability.
    MontclaiREO…that has a nice ring to it.

  2. According to American Fact Finder, there are about 9000 owner-occupied housing units in Montclair.
    So while 260 is a large number, it’s only about 3% of the homes.
    Understand, I feel for anyone facing foreclosure, but this ain’t Florida or Arizona. According to CNNMoney, NJ’s rate is almost 11%.
    With that, I think our property values are safe. Because according to our President, the worst is over….

  3. Only about a dozen on their list are actually in foreclosure. Most of the others are in various degrees of preforeclosure.

  4. If anyone thinks there is no relationship between property values and high taxes, there is a small article about West Orange in the Real Estate section of the NY Times today. The taxes have pretty much killed the market there. We’re not far behind.

  5. It’s a matter of public safety and quality of life. Send in another grand. What’s new.

  6. Almost every town in Essex county have soaring high property taxes. Check out South Orange, Maplewood, Livingston, Millburn and the aforementioned West Orange.
    Bloomfield is high, too.

  7. Foreclosures are a far more massive problem in places like Florida and Nevada. You can buy a brand new builder’s house in Ft.Meyers for 50 cents on the dollar. Montclair is doing far better.

  8. Howard – I believe the answer to your question is 2 – just us and Maplewood.
    566 municipalities, only 29 asked for cap waivers. Why can’t we do what 537 other towns in NJ are capable of doing?
    And the current cap isn’t even a true 4% cap. There are all sorts of loopholes for benefit and salary increases and loss of state aid. We took advantage of all of those loopholes and still needed a cap waiver. Pathetic.

  9. the other town that went over cap in Essex County is actually Irvington.
    Montclair and Irvington — two towns with much in common.

  10. The Property Tax/Foreclosure math is jarring–and always denied by Mayor Fried (high taxes are good) and his band of spendthrifts. Every rise in property taxes incrementally increases the number of tax sale certificates Montclair must sell (this is when Montclair’s liberals take peoples homes to give raises to municipal employees, build unneeded schools and fund a 1/2 million dollar Planning Department for a completely built out community (like planners have anything to do with people having the courage to start a business in a Bloomfield Avenue storefront). (Everyone needs to rejoice in the retirement of Kadus. Let’s hope all the double-secret rules used by the planning office are ended.)
    But for the math: $15,000 in property taxes services a $300,000.00 dollar mortgage. Every $1,000.00 increase in property taxes decrease your property value by $20,000.00. Mayor Fried and our Town Council may not like the math but facts are facts.

  11. This math assumes that all other variables remain the same, and there are a lot of other variables. But it’s a sobering calculation nonetheless. I wish Fried & Co. would take it to heart. Their trouble, by the way, is not with these particular numbers, but with the whole concept of numbers in the first place.

  12. It is my opinion that commentators like yourself need to learn more about our budget situation before you assume you have the “correct” perspective on this issue. This year is not “business as usual” and our 14+ layoffs are not a continuation of past policies.

  13. Layoffs hurt and the people laid off are the ones least able to deal with it. If everyone at Montclair’s trough would have given up enough, there would have been no layoffs. But that wasn’t the case. Think of the municipal employees that retired in their 50s and ran with their bag of loot.
    On the revenue side, when proeperty taxes are raised, more tax sale certificates are sold and more homes fall into foreclosure.
    Our teachers, police and firefighters are clearly willing to force taxes ever higher to pay their compensation packages.
    New Jersey is heading for a major confrontation with all its government employees on all levels of government. We cannot keep the promises our (criminal) politicians made to government employees (promises made to buy votes).
    This will end badly.

  14. Let’s stop putting the blame on the mayor. Last year he created the Independent Network to Evaluate Property Taxes (INEPT) consisting of himself, Councilors Wells and Lewis, the negotiators for the unions representing the town employees and his brother-in-law. After many rigorous minutes of discussion, it was determined that there was no way we could survive without an 11% increase in the municipal share of the taxes.
    When asked about the town’s plans to buy a senior center and a parking lot for the police as well as build a skate park, the group’s response was that it wouldn’t have an immediate disastrous effect on the taxes because they were going to float short term interest only loans to cover those expenses.

  15. Your post reminds me of a conversation that I had, well more like a lecture that I got from the founder of what was once a ubiquitous real estate agency here in MTC. This was around 2000, and comparatively few houses were on the market. We had made some noise about moving, and our realtor was putting the full court press on us to list our house. So, I was summoned into the presence of the great Jay Schweppe. He proceeded to tell me the following howlers: I should list my house because this was the top of the market. There was no correlation between tax levels and property values. There was no correlation between interest rates and property values. No kidding. He told me that I should heed his words because he was very knowledgeable and lectured other realtors on these points. I was utterly dumbfounded. I had worked for many years advising investors on the performance of real estate related assets and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I realized that these are the talking points that local realtors use to get new homebuyers over any misgivings about how taxes and carrying costs impact them. They get lied to. It seems to work fairly often.

  16. If everyone at Montclair’s trough would have given up enough, there would have been no layoffs.
    The town does not have to apologize for laying people off. It is not an employment agency, for crying out loud. The layoffs made this are business as usual insofar as they are far less than what current conditions call for.

  17. “The layoffs made this are business as usual insofar as they are far less than what current conditions call for.”
    I couldn’t agree more. If you look who the town let go, you would feel this way even more so. Ummm what’s a revenue?

  18. Everyone should read the article. The fact that houses are not selling at all in West Orange is directly attributed to the taxes. Here’s the gist: “In the same West Orange neighborhood, Adam and Ruth Kraemer own a four-bedroom house they bought six years ago, newly built, for $699,000. It is worth perhaps $500,000 now, Mr. Kraemer said. They paid $25,972 in taxes this year. Taking into account the newly adopted town budget, they expect to pay $27,300 next year.
    In April, Mr. Kraemer ran for a spot on the school board and spoke at the Town Hall ‚Äútax-revolt‚Äù event. He came out against any tax increase, despite Gov. Christopher J. Christie‚Äôs slashes in state aid to public schools, and despite the fact that he is a parent of triplets who attend the West Orange public schools.”
    “West Orange taxpayers carry too heavy a burden,” he said, adding that two houses on his block are up for sale, and his next-door neighbor, a recently widowed mother, is struggling to pay taxes on a home equivalent to his.
    And then there are the the Mayor’s comments which mirror those of our own including the need to fund the schools, “we have the best students in the state here, and also some of the most challenged”. And he called a comparison with Livingston’s taxes unfair because it is a more affluent community….
    It’s all too familiar.

  19. I don’t know if it’s due to foreclosures, but just from driving around town I have never seen so many for sale signs. i think I counted six on one stretch of Mountain Ave.
    I originally assumed that the owners were just tired of the taxes.

  20. That sounds familiar! Around the same time (~1999-2000) I had a realtor tell me a similar story – that “you can afford to go up higher on your purchase price in Cedar Grove because the taxes are lower”. Ummmm… OK. So, I borrow MORE than I can honestly afford, because the escrow portion is lower than what it would be in Montclair.
    Factually this may have been true, but aside from the just liking Montclair better, the truth is Cedar Grove’s property taxes were going to increase no matter what nonsense that Realtor tried to promise me, and then poof! can’t afford the house.
    I can see where people who aren’t as miserly as I am could have gotten snowed into ill-advised home purchases. And looking back, maybe that Realtor was only trying to increase her commission, based on a higher priced home. ~>:|

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