If you’re one of the millions who tune into MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” you probably picture the state’s coastline communities as a thick cluster of tourist towns like Seaside Heights, crammed with debauched guidos and guidettes packing summer crash pads and looking for love, or the one-night equivalent.
But what you don’t see is the other side of New Jersey, where expensive estates fill some of the country’s most affluent areas. Ask longtime real estate agents about the real Jersey Shore and they’ll tell you (after a chuckle or a sigh) that for every boardwalk tourist trap, there’s a ritzy enclave of multimillion-dollar homes just down the beach.
“Seaside Heights has always been a very different scene than we experience around here,” Richard Wight, the owner of Ward Wight Sotheby’s International Realty, which focuses on the northern end of The Shore. “And that type of vacation is nothing like what we have down here.”
With the help of Realtor.com, Sotheby’s International Realty, Trulia.com and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, we compiled a list of 15 high-end homes for sale in New Jersey’s tonier beach towns. All of these properties are priced at $1 million to $15 million.
In Pictures: Homes Of The ‘Real’ Jersey Shore
“Spring Lake, Brielle, Manasquan all offer white beaches and a small town community feel with no crime, low taxes and beautiful seashore homes that everyone wants whether part-time resident or seasonal resident,” says Robert White, a life-long New Jersey resident who works out of Coldwell Banker’s office in Spring Lake Township. “The southern tip – Cape May and Atlantic Counties – have really blossomed as well. You’ve had a lot of knock-down and rebuild.”
Like other real estate markets in the U.S., prices in New Jersey’s shore communities plunged in 2008. But this summer premium home buyers are back, snapping up properties in affluent areas as they look to buy on the dip.
First-time home buyers are responsible for the activity in the Jersey Shore markets at the $400,000 price point and lower, but the $500,000 to $700,000 market continues to struggle to find buyers. The summer’s hottest market: super-luxury vacation homes. “In the $1 million and up market the numbers are through the roof,” says White. “An average home in any one of these markets is under contract in as little as 30 days if it’s priced correctly.”
A $5 million Spring Lake estate listed with Keith Kernan of Ward Wright Sotheby’s International Realty just went into contract yesterday (after Kernan slashed $650,000). Despite the price cut, he insists high-end home prices for the Spring Lake area, north of Seaside Heights, have risen as much as 3% to 4% in 2011. Spring Lake is one of the Jersey Shore’s most affluent towns with a median list price for properties of $1.17 million, according to Zillow.com. Situated on little more than two miles of shoreline, it tallied 69 home sales in the past year, most for more than $1 million.
At $2.35 million, 2107 4th Ave. in Spring Lake is typical of what you’ll find there. Five blocks from the ocean, it boasts a wraparound front porch, a fitness room, a home theater, a custom playground, and a built-in barbecue – it even has a putting green. Shopping and restaurants are a quick walk away, as they are in most Jersey shore towns.
Nearby Monmouth County is well stocked with similar houses. There’s a $3.1 million four-story on Shore Drive in Brielle; a $2.2 million pink-hued home in Belmar that recently raised its asking price; and a $2.3 million Bradley Beach manse with rooftop deck atop three floors accessible by elevator.
In Pictures: Homes Of The ‘Real’ Jersey Shore
In the past ten years Cape May, NJ– an island off the coast of Delaware – has pulled in more and more well-heeled Manhattanites, thanks to the area’s fanciful Victorian “gingerbread” houses. Cape May’s year-round population of about 3,600 residents swells to as many as 50,000 in the summer months. We included two Cape May homes on our list, including a $3.3 million, 13-bedroom, 13-bath Victorian stunner.
Even Ocean County, home to Seaside Heights and the cast of “Jersey Shore,” has little in common with what you see on TV. In Point Pleasant there’s an $8 million riverfront estate, including an 8,500-square foot main house, two boat lifts, and a six-car plus garage. Three other Ocean City homes make our list, including a $10.3 million compound on Bay Road that touts a 7,500-square foot main residence, a 3,600 square foot guest house and an elevator.
One thing shore properties do not have: Space. The typical lot size in Spring Lake is 50 to 150 feet of water frontage and a 150 feet inland from that frontage; in fellow Monmouth County town, Ocean Grove, lots are even smaller – typically 30 feet by 30 feet. So while the house may be great, you better like the neighbors.
Morgan Brennan, blogs.forbes.com “Read Full Story”
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