Where would I go? I still want to be near my children, and mine is the only home large enough for the entire family. I’m going to lose all of my friends. What will I do with all of my furniture, pictures and memories? How will I do all my cooking if I have a small kitchen? How will I have room for my grandchildren if they want to visit?
There is so much to consider when planning the next stage. Too much for just one week, but let’s give it a go. The concern of leaving family and friends has been the primary concern for many people I have spoken with recently, so today’s article is focused on trying to find solutions to keep them in the neighborhood. Many people who chose to move to another area like the Jersey Shore, Florida or Israel still want to retain a presence in the Teaneck area to be near family. I’ve asked several local real estate agents for thoughts on options in the area.
Karen Seliger of V&N Realty Group recently discussed a number of local options. She described “condo and co-op opportunities in Fort Lee that provide a more complete experience by offering in-house gyms, pools, restaurants and more. You can still be a car ride away from your children,” she explained, “yet live the community-type life. No lawn mowing, no fixing the AC, no climbing on the roof to clean the gutters. You simply use your phone and everything gets fixed. Prices vary depending on ownership (co-op versus condo) and level of amenities, but a budget of as little as $350,000 comfortably puts you in a two-bedroom unit a stone’s throw from the shul.”
Debra Botwinick, broker/sales associate at V&N Realty Group, sold a duplex apartment to clients in Fort Lee. They had the following to say about the downsizing experience and the community”
“Moving to Fort Lee is the best move we ever made. We love the shul … the rabbi … and especially all the friends we have made. It is by far the warmest shul we have ever joined. Because there are four separate Shabbos elevator buildings so close to the shul, we are able to socialize every Shabbos effortlessly. Our apartment is so spacious that we feel as if we live in a house minus all the stress. Having a pool, a gym and a library in the building has been a definite plus. The hardest part of downsizing was getting rid of so much stuff, but once we did, we appreciated a wonderful sense of freedom and accomplishment.”
While there are limited buying opportunities for purchasers outside Fort Lee, there are many rental facilities in the area that meet the needs of boomers looking for a new home. Seliger mentioned “rental buildings like 1-500, which offers one- and two-bedroom apartments. Two-bedroom units range from approximately $3,500 to $4,000 per month. Teaneck Square is another option, which is in the Queen Anne area and within walking distance to the West Englewood dining establishments and grocery shopping at Glatt Express. Rental prices are slightly less generally. Teaneck Square also has three-bedroom options subject to availability.”
I find Avalon to be an interesting option. There are three-bedroom options for those who need more space. The building has an outdoor pool, which is unique in the area. There even is a kosher barbecue pit. Terms are flexible, with adjustments made based on how long you want to stay. If you wait long enough there tends to be availability as many people use the building as a temporary solution while they explore where they really want to go. This way you can sell your home and then take the time to decide your next step. This is helpful because no matter how much due diligence you do before you sell, if you don’t really know how much you’re going to net from the sale you may not be able to make an educated decision on where you end up.
The “Nest” is another rental option; it is walking distance to Keter Torah and with basic amenities. Two bedrooms are also around $3,500.
Seliger mentioned that “a possible option in the future could be one of the many new buildings appearing in Hackensack. It’s too early to say for sure, but there is a Chabad in the general area and with so many new buildings, there is likely an opportunity for a frum presence in the area as the construction completes.”
Romy Ouziel of Wein Agency Realtors mentioned options in Englewood. “When it comes to downsizing there are many great options in Englewood. I recently sold a unit in Cross Creek Pointe, which is one of my favorite complexes. I find them to be an exceptional value, offering low monthly HOA fees and great amenities, which include a pool, tennis courts, beautifully manicured grounds and ample parking for residents and their guests. The units are spacious and bright and each has its own laundry. For those looking for an easy commute it’s located just a few minutes from the GWB and there’s a bus stop at the entrance to the complex. The two bedrooms range from $350 to 550k and they rent from $2,600 to 3,600.”
Another option addresses several concerns: staying near your children and friends and having enough space to accommodate the entire family. I was fortunate that the home behind my children who live in Teaneck was for sale and I bought it. I’m not certain of my long-term plans for this house, but for now I’ll rent it out. Perhaps down the road I might choose to live right behind my grandchildren. I’m looking forward to taking down the fence between the two houses, putting up a zip line from one to the other and having my granddaughter send me freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in a basket attached to the line. Also, if we move into the home, with the two homes so close, we can house the entire family for holidays.
But even if you can’t find a house adjacent to the children, perhaps you could buy one nearby, which would be almost as good. If this idea interests you, do what real estate agents do. Knock on the doors of the homes nearby and let them know you want to move near your children. You never know when someone is looking to sell. Or if you are shy, ask an agent to do it for you.
There are certainly more options, and I will try to cover more of these in future articles. Local real estate agents know what is available and can help evaluate your needs in relation to the many options. We have such different interests and needs now, and that impacts what type of housing fits. The main thing I am learning is there is a tremendous feeling of freedom as we enter this next stage. I look forward to your input as we explore this together.
David Siegel is a vice president of mortgage lending with Guaranteed Rate Affinity (GRA), a leading national retail mortgage lender. GRA is licensed in all U.S. states except Hawaii and works with many investors, which allows it to provide competitive pricing and a broad channel of unique options to handle the often very specific needs of the community. David has over 15 years of experience at both major banks and mortgage bankers and understands the guidelines of different lenders to help direct his customers to the best loan type for their needs. No one lender is the best option for everyone. David will help you find the right choice for you. He is located at 16 Arcadian Avenue 3rd Floor, Unit C-6, Paramus, NJ, 07652. Contact him via email [email protected] phone 201-725-9527. NMLS 277243 Guaranteed Rate Affinity NMLS 1598647 Equal Housing Lender.
For licensing, go to nmlsconsumeraccess.org, 16 Arcadian Avenue 3rd Floor, Unit C-6, Paramus, NJ 07652. Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.
By David Siegel