Maplewood Real Estate Market Strongest in 6 Years

The Maplewood real estate market was the strongest in 6 years, by the end of 2014. Its the story of a huge comeback – and who doesn’t like a good story about a come back?

Maplewood real estate market trends past 6 Years

In 2008 prices dropped precipitously as inventory started to expand. Maplewood was hit especially hard by the recession because a large percentage of its inventory is ideal for first time home buyers who want to leave the city. These young urban professionals were also the same generation facing enormous college debt, high unemployment rates, lower entry level salaries and major job insecurity (if they had one).

Real estate is a trickle up market. If the first time buyers aren’t out, then those who want to sell and move up to a larger home also have to stay put and so on. In 2011 Congress passed a short term stimulus bill for the real estate market titled “The First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit” which provided an increase in sales, but it went right back down after its expiration.

However, as the economy slowly recovered, unemployment decreased, and jobs became more secure the first time home buyer came back into the market and fueled the recovery organically in Maplewood. This is especially true in the last 2 years when the average sale price of a home exceeded its highest value in 2008- making it the strongest market in 6 years.

No one can unequivocally predict the future of a market like real estate since it has so many variables. Because it is a commodities market it is influenced by psychological factors as much as anything else. If buyers think prices are going up they will rush to get in now. And that’s my prediction for the spring 2015 market. Because the interest rates are still incredibly low, unemployment is the lowest it has been in years and the amount of inventory in Maplewood is incredibly low – price should continue on an upward trajectory.

Maplewood Real Estate Market Trends Past 6 YearsWhat’s your opinion? Let me know.



South Orange and Maplewood Attract Performing Artists

Why do South Orange and Maplewood attract so many performing artists who call these neighborhoods home?  Sure every suburban town has its share of famous residents, but I am talking about a significant percentage of well known, hugely talented performing artists in music, film, television and theatre. The attraction of living in South Orange and Maplewood by Broadway and off Broadway actors is so well known that the New York Times recently called it the place “where Broadway comes home to sleep.”  The New York Times actually said it– so it  must be true read it here.

As residents, we can be proud to live alongside such luminaries as:

Andre Braugher - One of the many actors living in South OrangeAndre Braugher – Star of Fox’s smash hit sit com  Brooklyn Nine Nine. He was previously the co star of  the television series “Men of a Certain Age with Ray Romano and star of “Homicide” a long time cop drama in the 1990’s.




Maplewood resident Christine EbersoleChristine Ebersole – 2 x Tony Award Winner for her leading roles in “Grey Gardens” and “42 Second Street.” She also co-starred along Rosie O’Donell in the the beloved film “Harriet the Spy.”




Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz lives in South Orange Maplewood

Norbert Leo Butz – one of only 9 actors to ever win 2 Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Last year he starred in “Big Fish” on Broadway and the year prior he starred next to Katie Homes in the Broadway show “Dead Accounts.”




These are just a few, but the list goes on to include Jazz soloist Sarah Partridge, actor James Rebhorn who played Claire Danes’ father on the super hit series Homeland (recently deceased), Grammy Award winner Lauryn Hill and so on. In fact, there are so many seasoned Broadway and off Broadway actors and writers in residence, in 2010 they got together and formed a repertory theater titled Midtown Direct Rep. It is a platform to try out new material in the form of stage readings by these experienced actors. The series takes place in The Loft at the South Orange Performing Arts Theater. The next show is this Sunday, January 25th and you can get tickets here.

So what’s the draw for such incredible talent to call South Orange and Maplewood home? Of course the towns are ideally located close to Manhattan which is a huge convenience for working Broadway actors with families. And, most importantly they offer urban suburbs where artists can enjoy the two town’s many cultural activities.

Thinking of making a move to South Orange or Maplewood email Amy Harris today or call/text her at (917) 327-0701.

South Orange Garage Sale

South OrangeGarage SaleThe 5th annual South Orange town wide garage sale will be held on Saturday, June 13th (rain date June 14th). Homeowners who want to do a bit of spring cleaning and those who have collectibles, furniture, accessories, jewelry and anything else that may have value are encouraged to participate.

To get your home on the map and other promotional materials, please email [email protected] with your address.  In addition, you will need to obtain a town permit (cost $10.00). The form is below. Just download it, complete and return to The Village Hall.

We look forward to having another big success.

Download (PDF, 79KB)


Sponsored by Amy Harris Real Estate and Jill Mendelsohn of BHM Estate Sale Services


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6 Year Market Trends for South Orange

Its been a long fight back, but the 6 year market trends for South Orange reveal that values are just about back to where they were in 2008 and the amount of inventory is significant;y less than is was at that time.

This is huge news because house values declined all the way through 2012 and have increased year over year for the past 2 years.  The highest values were in 2006 and hopefully values will continue to rise over the next several years.

South Orange Real Estate Market past 6 years

The other metric which is a great predictor of future home values in South Orange is inventory. The longer homes stay on the market, the more inventory increases, which in turn drives down sale prices. The trends through 2014 reveal that inventory is actually lower than it was in 2008, and just about even with levels in 2006 (when the market was at its highest point in the last 8 years).


housing inventory trends for South Orange for past 6 years

Summary of South Orange Trends and Predictions

With inventory the lowest it has been since 2006 and values still not back to where they were in 2006, prices should continue to rise over the next year or more (not a guarantee) . However, one caveat is that sellers need to continue to price their homes conservatively or they will have the potential to sit on the market, increase inventory and drive down sale prices. So far, by pricing houses conservatively buyer demand has driven the prices up organically. This is ideal.

Good Year for South Orange Real Estate

The December results are in and  we have the data from January – November 2014 and it was a good year for South Orange real estate. November inventory was way down and home sale prices rose considerably over November 2013. View the video market report below:

Why South Orange Real Estate Values Are Strong

Key Contributors

  • Commuter Friendly – With commute time a key factor in making a decision for a home purchase, especially now that dual income households are the majority, proximity to work is a huge factor in determining where a buyer will end up. South Orange has a distinct advantage of being one of the first stops on the Midtown Direct train line.
  • Urban Suburbs More in Demand – Many first time home buyers enjoy living in city environments, but they just can’t get the space they need. With new South Orange buyers coming primarily from Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Hoboken they want to maintain their urban lifestyle, yet live in a more spacious home. South Orange is the perfect antidote to this trend with its cultural offerings, downtown village center and diverse population.
  • Increase in New Home Buyers – The increase in new/first time home buyers translates to current residents having the opportunity to sell and move up or scale down. This creased increased market activity and ultimately increases in home values.

Thinking of making a move. No one know the South Orange (and Maplewood) markets better than Amy. Enlist her expertise and concierge service to get started today.

Help Me Buy a House Now!

Answer 8 quick questions and hit submit and we will contact you with a plan for getting started with your home search that will maximize your time and get you the best possible house at the lowest possible price.
  • First and Last Name
  • Will either buyer need to commute to New York City?
  • Which type of home most interests you? You can choose as many as you want.
  • Choose the home styles you are most interested in. Choose as many as you like.
  • Remember that in most cases you will need to have 10-20% of the purchase price in cash to put down towards the cost of the house.
  • Please let us know about any special needs you may have that will directly impact where you need to live etc.

191 Crestwood Drive South Orange, NJ 07079 Sold

I was recently invited to a neighborhood “Sip & Shop” party at 191 Crestwood Drive South Orange, NJ 07079 which had been recently sold. I think the unusual high turnout for this type of event was due to the fact that neighbors were  just as curious to see what the new owners had done with this dated home as they were to shop for the holidays.

It was hard not to be bowled over upon entering Nureed’s open, bright and expansive home. She, like most of our new residents moved from Brooklyn so she and her family are putting their new space to great use.

Because of her professional design experience with some of the most luxurious brands in the world, she has the necessary vision to see beyond dull, dated interiors and visualize the possibilities. It’s funny because in my experience, most buyers say they want a traditional colonial style home, but they are always more attracted to homes with an open floor plan. And nothing is better than a ranch to accommodate an open floor plan.

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121 Western Drive, Short Hills, NJ 07078 New Construction Dream Home

There is no doubt that the new construction home just built at 121 Western Drive Short Hills, NJ 07078 is a “dream home.” It may not be my version or your version of a dream home, but surely you can appreciate the sheer size, finishes and luxurious amenities that abound in this grand mansion.

121 Western Drive Short Hills, NJ 07078

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830 Mountain Road South Orange, NJ 07079 – Home for Sale – Best Buy on the Market

830 Mountain Drive South Orange NJ 07079

There is no doubt that 830 Mountain Drive in South Orange is currently a best buy. Why does it get my vote? Several key factors. The home is in the highly sought after Newstead section of South Orange on Mountain Drive- a premiere street. The house sits on roughly .33 of an acre- a very generous amount of land in this neighborhood.

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Holiday Style in New Jersey

Holiday Style in New Jersey

What’s your holiday style New Jersey? For me, simplicity can be the best way to go when you are trying to standout during the holidays. While I can fully appreciate the delight of a million lights artfully draped on a home during the holidays, I personally strive for less numbers of accessories with each having a major impact. And that’s exactly how I feel about this preserved boxwood wreath featured above. What a simple idea that can make a statement all its own placed on a mantle or grouped with other holiday accessories.

I love the square shape because it feels like a very modern take on a very traditional holiday decorative accessory. I found it on –  an amazing resource for the design conscious homeowner. The site brings together design professionals, consumers and more than 3,000,000 curated items to shop. Need a good kitchen contractor in South Orange, NJ- browse by area. Need inspiration, paint color ideas, or feedback from the community on your challenges? It’s all on one place.

It is a  much needed and long over -due resource in today’s world. You can create look books by saving their impeccable collection of almost 5,000,000 photos organized by rooms and decor style of choice (traditional, contemporary etc.). I hope you find it as inspiring as I do. Enjpy.