How Accurate Was Fair Haven’s 2014 Property Tax Re-Assessment?

Welcome to Fair Haven

All of the property in Fair Haven was reassessed for 2014. The purpose of a property tax reassessment is to ensure that the tax burden is spread fairly within a municipality. When properties are reassessed (or revalued), it’s an attempt to set the assessed value as close as possible to the property’s fair market value on October 1st of the previous year.

“Fair market value” is the price that an informed and willing buyer is willing to pay an informed and willing seller. The prices of homes that are sold under duress or given as gifts to family members are not considered fair market value sales.

When a municipality conducts a property tax reassessment, many home owners are concerned that they’ll have to pay higher property taxes. Although some home owners do end up paying higher taxes, others end up paying lower taxes. The intent of a reassessment is that all property owners are paying fair taxes.

I keep an extensive database to monitor the sales of every home in Fair Haven. In an ideal world, each home’s selling price would be very close to that home’s assessed value. I thought it would be interesting to look at all of the 2014 year-to-date sales and compare the actual selling prices to both the 2013 and the 2014 assessed values. When I did this I had to exclude new construction, because the information available to me for almost all of those homes included only the assessed value of the land, and not for the improvements.

61 Fair Haven homes (that were not new construction) sold between January 1st and now. When I looked at the ratio of Selling Price to Assessed Value for each home, I excluded one sale as an outlier because the percentage was so different from all the others. For the other 60 sales, this is what I found:

Average Selling Price vs. 2013 Assessed Value: 140%

Average Selling Price vs. 2014 Assessed Value: 110%

We can draw two conclusions from these results. First, Fair Haven’s average 2013 assessed value was much too low, and didn’t come close to matching current fair market value. Second, Fair Haven’s average 2014 assessed values was very close to fair market value. Now before you tell me that a 10% difference isn’t close enough, let me remind you that the 2014 assessments were based on fair market value as of October 1, 2013. Let me also remind you that as of the end of July, the median price of a Fair Haven home had increased 12%.

It looks like our tax assessors did a great job when they did the 2014 reassessment!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

 

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven Realestate, Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Newsweek Ranks Rumson-Fair Haven High School #80 in the Country

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Two weeks ago New Jersey Monthly ranked Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School as the 10th best public high school in the state. Now Newsweek magazine has come out with their list of the top 700 high schools in the nation, and they rank R-FH as #80 in the country. Their list included public, private and charter high schools.

Newsweek’s rankings are based on graduation and college acceptance rates, the number of Advanced Placement/college-level courses and exams, SAT or ACT scores, and the percentage of students with free or reduced-rate lunches. Rumson-Fair Haven’s graduation rate was 99.6%, 98.7% of graduates went on to college, the average SAT score was 1,778 and 0.7 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-rate lunches.

It’s no secret that families move to Rumson and Fair Haven for the quality of their schools, including the elementary and middle schools. Housing demand is one of the 4 key, objective indicators of the local real estate market, and high demand is driven by multiple factors, including the quality of the school system. State-wide and national recognition will just draw more attention to our towns, and get more people to consider them as desirable places to live.

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

Posted in Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged | Leave a comment

Finishing Touches

DTRE Rumson Finishing Touches

In a previous post http://rumsonfairhavenhome.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/rumson-renovation/ I told you about the work in progress renovating the exterior of the historic Diane Turton, Realtors office in Rumson. Built in 1895, it was showing signs of its age and needed a thorough spruce-up that required lots of scraping and patching followed by careful painting of the detailed trim work.

The project is nearing completion, and if you’ve driven on River Road you’ve seen how great the long side of the building looks. The old beige color is gone, replaced by pure white, trimmed in the blue and green colors that we use in the Diane Turton logo.

This morning I noticed the painters working on the front of the building, which is the last side that has to be done. The project should be completed within the next week!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

Posted in Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Among “Top 10″

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

New Jersey Monthly has published a list of the “Top 100” public high schools in the state, and they rank Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in the “Top 10”. In fact, RFH was ranked at #10 in the state, and one of 3 public high schools in Monmouth County that made it into the “Top 20”. The other two were Marlboro High School, ranked #9, and Holmdel High School, ranked #12.

The rankings are based on the latest data (the 2012-2013 school year) reported to the New Jersey Department of Education, and include such factors as the student/teacher ratio, the percentage of students scoring 1,550 or better on the annual SAT tests, results of the HSPA and AP or IB tests, and the percentage of students enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college within 16 months after high school graduation.

The NJ Department of Education says the percentage of students scoring 1,550 or higher on the SAT is “associated with a high likelihood of college success”, and is a new indicator reported by the state this year.

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional has had a long history of excellence and is one of the reasons people buy homes in Rumson or Fair Haven. The elementary and secondary schools in our towns are also excellent, as evidenced by the consistently high ASK scores achieved by their students in the standardized Language, Math and Science tests.

If you’re interested in moving to Rumson or Fair Haven, use one of the online real estate search engines (I can provide you with an excellent password-protected real estate search engine that doesn’t have any annoying pop-ups). However, if you find a home that you like, remember my advice: DON’T CALL THE LISTING AGENT (even if it’s me). The listing agent works for the Seller, and has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the highest price. You want to work with a REALTOR® who’ll work only for you, and who will have a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the lowest price.

 

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

Posted in Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sunset on the Navesink

Sunset on the Navesink River - Fair Haven, NJ

Sunset on the Navesink River – Fair Haven, NJ

Living near the water is Therapeutic. Walk down to the river any time of the day, and you’ll see sailboats and seagulls, and you’ll hear the water lapping at the shore or at the dock. If it’s windy and the sailor hasn’t secured the lines properly, you’ll hear the clanging as the metal hits the mast- it’s a gentle, comforting sound to landlubbers, but it can drive a sailor crazy.

This evening we went down to the Navesink and watched the sunset. The colors in the sky and the reflections on the water were wonderful. The only think that could have made it better would have been aboard one of the sailboats, gently swaying at the mooring. Sigh- I miss our boat!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

Posted in Fair Haven Homes Sold, Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged | Leave a comment

Swans and Cygnets

Swans

We took a short drive to Oceanport this afternoon and came upon these swans and their cygnets at the end of a street on the Shrewsbury River. It’s great to live in an area where you’re close to the water!

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Oceanport Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Organic

Organic

Have you ever bought a product that was labeled “Organic” and wondered whether it really was organic? This book is the story of a University of Oregon professor who bought a can of “organic” black beans labeled as grown in Bolivia and a bag of organic walnuts labeled as grown in Kazakhstan, and his attempt to discover whether they were in fact “organic”.

It’s an interesting study into the various agencies that certify products as being organic, and the governmental organizations that set standards for what is considered organic. You get an idea of what he finds just by looking at the chapter titles, such as “Traitor Joes”, “We Don’t Know Beans About Our Beans”, etc.

Reading the book reinforced what I suspected: some countries are much more stringent than others in enforcing regulations aimed at ensuring that “organic” products are grown without pesticides and herbicides. Likewise for the quality of the efforts of the various certifying agencies and their transparency (or lack of it). I’m going to be far more suspicious of “organic” products grown outside of the United States.

The most interesting idea in the book was one that I thought should be given greater emphasis. Currently organic farmers have to pay a certifying agency in order to use a symbol such as the “USDA Organic” logo. So in addition to the higher costs and lower yields from not using pesticides and herbicides, there’s a potential conflict of interest when you have to pay the folks who inspect you. If, as many of us believe, organic products are healthier for you than so-called “conventional” ones, why not have non-organic farmers pay a small tax which would be used to fund the organic certification process? Better yet, require “conventional” products to bear a small skull and crossbones label to remind consumers how the products were grown?

Len

Posted in Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment