Yesterday was a beautiful day so I decided it was time to take the backyard furniture out of the garage and get ready for the warm weather. As we enter the 8th week of isolating from friends and life as we knew it, we remain grateful for the space that we have here. Not just enough space so that we don’t always have to be in the same room and can easily get away from each other, but also the space to get some fresh air and exercise.
Throughout this time Fran has taken a daily walk. Even on a rainy day, she would wait for a break and go out when it wasn’t raining. Having the ability to get out and move for an hour, see trees, other people, and life outside our home has kept her sane during this difficult time.
I have set up an exercise studio in our basement. With the help of Zoom and some dedicated instructors, I have been able to take classes from home 6 days a week. Some days, Fran joins me. I don’t know where I would be without my exercise classes in general and during this time I can’t imagine being without them.
We lived in an NYC apartment for many, many years before moving here when our son was 2 ½. As Native New Yorkersleaving NYC was not an easy decision, and yet we knew the time was right. The transition was much, much easier than I expected it to be and I have never regretted it.
If you know that the time is right for you, give us a call or send us an email today! We are here to help, and with mortgage rates being low, the timing might be even better than you think.
VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cards Against Humanity, Garden Club, Virtual Art Gallery
by Mary Ellen Dawkins
Yesterday we caught a bit of ESPN’s The Ocho programming… to my husband’s chagrin we missed the Golden Tee (arcade golf) championship but we did catch the Dodge Juggle at 6 pm. The Ocho is a spoof originating from the movie Dodgeball and yesterday ESPN dedicated 11 hours of its programming to coverage of stone skipping, cherry pit spitting, and playing dodge ball while each team must protect its juggler. Hopefully ESPN will schedule another day of programming soon because it was entertaining.
If you are a fan of Cards Against Humanity, you need to try the virtual version of the game. playingcards.io has a version but we found allbad.cards a much easier platform to figure out. We all logged into Zoom first (I have subscribed so we don’t get cut off after 40 minutes) and then the game organizer sends the allbad cards link to the players. It was mostly hilarious, frequently inappropriate and always silly… we had a lot of belly laughs. Don’t forget the cocktails!
SOPAC currently has two great virtual exhibitions. The first is Inspired Minds– a juried collection of art by high school students. View the gallery here. Per the SOPAC website, “INSPIRED MINDS is a celebration of young artists in the region. The program provides an opportunity for Essex County high school students to undergo a full professional gallery experience; from application through exhibition, and possible sale of their art.” You can also find links to past years’ exhibitions. This year SOPAC is also presenting InspiringMinds Art Educators Exhibition, which focuses on presenting the artwork of art educators.
On Tuesday from 12-12:45 pm, the Newark Museum is presenting Ask An Astronomer: “Explore the fascinating planets that orbit stars in our galactic neighborhood: exoplanets. Join us to find out if the Earth has a twin, then ask our Museum astronomers about the exciting mysteries and science of space.” You can the event either by watching Facebook Live or via Zoom (https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AmqDYvKrQsKaVNYwHEO1Zg)
Local Plant Sale– the Maplewood Garden Club usually offers three days of plant sale at the Maplewood Pool parking lot… this year there will be a sale however it will be smaller in scale and offered on line. Check out the website on Thursday May 7 when the online sale goes live. The club members have been asking people for patience and understanding due to the smaller scale of this year’s sale.
THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN NORTHERN JERSEY
by Fran Lichtman
With each passing week we are seeing more and more buyers return to the market. In mid March we were feeling like all listings should be taken off the market until further notice. Over the past couple of weeks however, showings have increased across all price points. You can see below from the statistics that over the past 2 weeks there have been a very respectable amount of homes that have gone under contract.
Inventory is down dramatically so this is a set up for the return of multiple offers with immediate effect.
The buyers who were already involved in their home search before our stay-at-home orders are the ones that are leading the charge with the restart of the market. We are also seeing a new crop of buyers who have realized that being stuck in their apartments with no safe access to the outdoors was not fun and maybe it is time to seriously consider “the burbs”.
Many are starting their search by viewing online videos and virtual tours in order to narrow down their choices and then they make appointments with their Realtors to see only those homes that really seemed to fit their needs.
We are requiring safe practices in order to conduct in person showings. Masks and gloves are essential while properties are either vacant or the sellers have departed and social distancing is seriously in force.
Please let us know how we can safely help you with the sale of your home or the purchase of a new one.
LOCAL MARKET STATISTICS – These stats are for single family homes that do not have offers at this moment:
| Active NOW (as of 4/19/20)||Under Contract since 4/15/20|
|South Orange||25 (29)||7|
|West Orange||63 (73)||18|