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Old 10-26-2015, 01:44 AM
 
12 posts, read 16,585 times
Reputation: 10

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hi all,
thank you all for your help!
I have a new job in atlantic county (English Creek office definitely 2 days per week or more, and 2 days likely at City campus regional medical center (AC), though the mainland (Galloway) may require some work (depending on if my medical specialty has facilities there in the future).

I am single, 50, female, small dog and would like to find a place to live where I can feel I fit in. I realize that the county is fairly spread out and mostly suburban, and this can be isolating for someone without kids. I am thinking a sort of artsy, active place with a mix of people of different walks would be nice. I have not visited, but I have this idea that Cape May would be a great place (victorian homes, front porches to enjoy, and walkable cafes, etc, resort and year round.............but it is too far)
I know there are some non beach town options like Hamonton and smithville, egg harbor township, galloway...........but they seem very family oriented and I feel I will not really have anywhere to go...you can only dine alone so much before you are a freak. Though I love children and families when you are not a part of that, it is a prison...I think more so maybe than an off season beach town. (thoughts?) I saw at my interview some patio type homes in gallaway, I think...so that could be ok...not 55 plus. That would solve the acceptable housing issue, but not really be a life.

I am waiting to start work, and have an off season rental in Brigantine (60 day notice to end lease, and must end before May 15.) I do not love the rental because it is kind of run down and there are foreclosures and depressed economic problems that I was not away of in the immediate block. I am sure it is safe, but worries me some.

Ideally, I would stay put for now and figure out where to think about buying. BUT, the timing does not work because by the time I test the job, and consider where I would want to PURCHASE (and I want to get it right and not be rushed)....it will be time to move out and I will not find a rental in the peak summer season, nor be ready to buy and have time to close anyway.

I looked at a yearly rental to pick up a lease in Jan, it is in Longport/Margate. It is small and modest for the area, but could work. I would move my things out of storage, so it would be a bit of an investment. I could consider renting more long term, since the rent is 1700 and buying could just be more, though the unit is smallish. I really do not want to keep moving. This could be a test to see if I would want to buy in a beach town.

so here are some questions
1. what are the advantages/disadvantages of Margate/Longport compared with Brigantine, and maybe beach towns further south, OC, Avalon (is that too far)....in terms of commute issues (summer traffic problems (lights on atlantic ave ok? to get to AC), bridges), in terms of lifestyle options of each community....year round issues and seasonal...good and bad (eg, great beach, bad beach, good off season, bad offseason)
2. thoughts about economic health of the town, property values...what the stability or growth looks like...given the impact of the casino industry and the post sandy challenges. Am I wrong, or is Brigantine taking a real estate hit. Would this be a good opportunity, or is this a sign to look elsewhere

That is it for now, thanks so so much

Sharon
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:56 PM
 
414 posts, read 262,633 times
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My husband and I bought a weekend home in Briganine 2.5 years ago and the value has already dropped by nearly 10%. Brigantine seems to be shrinking in year-round residents due to the downsizing of the gaming industry. Atlantic County is apparently now leading the way in foreclosures due to the hemorrhaging of jobs, so anywhere you look in the county you will find a great deal. As a property owner in Brigantine I would like to see someone like you invest in the community, but you might want to look at Northfield / Longport - that area might be along the lines of what you are seeking.

On the plus side of Brig, I don't find it too family-oriented. The town sends high school students to Atlantic City high school so that scares a lot of parents off and keeps the taxes somewhat reasonable. The other side of my duplex is for sale and is very nice with a big backyard. I can assure you the people attached to the other side are pleasant and quiet DINKs The current resident is a horrible neighbor and I can't wait for him to leave!
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:43 PM
 
12 posts, read 16,585 times
Reputation: 10
ouch, sorry, I feel your pain. I am selling my townhouse in westchester ny, for a big loss. what is the address or complex?
do you think brigantine is taking a bigger hit than Margate...if so why?

I really do not see a town for me on the mainland. The beach communities I think may be the best place. Though quiet off season and crowded during the summer...I think it will be better than being isolated in a family town.

Thank you, I really appreciate it.

Also, what about OC?

I will keep fingers crossed your property value comes up. It seems to me there are some poor decisions in the local government that are hurting property values. I know no one wants taxes to go up, but a small increase could potentially help in the long run and cost less than the decline in property values...
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:11 PM
 
414 posts, read 262,633 times
Reputation: 748
I don't know much about the surrounding towns. Margate does seem to be quite nice - they also send students to AC High so that would deter year-round families. Maybe spend a weekend afternoon to check out the vibe downtown - especially this time of year since it will be quiet. Margate is probably less sleepy than Brigantine during the off season, but likely still quiet this time of year. I know next to nothing about OC other than it is a dry town.

Brigantine makes a small fortune selling 4x4 permits for the beach - they sell something like 2000 a year at $150 a pop, so I suppose that helps the tax base. My place is in the duplexes on the south end in the Manitoba / Ontario vicinity. There are some scruffier looking homes in the neighborhood and some that are well maintained. Most of the homes on my block are owner-occupied (about 2/3rds year-round residents, 1/3 of us are second homeowners) and there weren't any foreclosures I'm aware of on my immediate block, but there definitely are some in the neighborhood. The south end wasn't really impacted by Sandy as it is the highest elevation point on the island and because of that our flood insurance is cheap (a few hundred a year). The north end near the golf course took the brunt of it which is another reason there are some very cheap homes on the market as some homes are still not inhabitable. Our realtor steered us away from the north end due to the flood risk and the green head fly problem on the side even though we would have been able to get a single family home up that way.

As for the beaches, it depends on what you like. Brigantine has the 4x4 beach which can be crazy and loud on a nice weekend, but it is a concentrated area and you can walk 100 feet further and find solitude. There's 8+ miles of beach in Brigantine, so there's something for everyone. There is probably less solitude available on the Margate or OC beaches, but they are nice and clean - not too crazy as lots of families go to those beaches (especially OC).

Good luck with the search! You timed your arrival well as you will likely be able to get a great price on a home now, although the big question is whether prices will continue to drop in Atlantic county or if the worst is over (I'm hoping for the latter). Given the difficulties with the economy in the area, my guess is the beach towns will be less likely to be hurt as there will always be vacationers. Just as many people in-land lost jobs, but there's no attraction in towns like Egg Harbor Township. Atlantic County will be a huge change from Westchester - the winters are a bit tough though. Use your vacation time to get away in the winter as there won't be any need to go elsewhere in the summer!
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