It is so nice that summer has returned, jackets and long sleeve shirts hang idle in the closet, and sandals have replaced shoes and socks.
It’s easy to flash back to the carefree days of our youth. Fun times of riding bikes, playing kickball or jumping rope, or fishing for sunnies at the pond. And who didn’t catch fireflies and keep them in a jar for a while before setting them free once more.
Of course, life’s realities have enveloped us as we grow older. We’re too dignified to do any of that stuff anymore, but we gladly relive it through our memories.
Fortunately, we can still make plenty more memories this summer here at the shore. Whether it’s laying at the beach, playing golf, or enjoying a good restaurant with family or friends, we can still create fond memories that will last a lifetime!
REAL ESTATE MARKET
The 2017 real estate market continues to be blistering hot, providing evidence that conditions are the best since the boom years ending in 2006.
The local MLS showed 721 sales during the first quarter of 2017. That got everyone’s attention. Now the second quarter piled it on with 953 more sales. No wonder it has become a seller’s market again after a decade of buyer’s having the advantage.
We’re seeing multiple offers on properties, bidding wars, and properties going under contract in a few short weeks. Whoever could have seen this coming?
No doubt, the Cape May County Park & Zoo is the most popular free family venue in the area. It affords the opportunity to stroll through the grounds glimpsing animals that you would only see otherwise on TV. Whether it’s the snakes, giraffes, tortoises, peacocks, or a myriad of other animals, the zoo has something for everyone.
The park also offers a large playground area, picnic shelters, and fishing in the pond. No wonder the zoo attracts throngs of families on summer days.
But the zoo is the victim of its own success. Parking has become in short supply. The lots quickly fill up, relegating overflow parking to take up every grassy area towards Route 9. Recently, we even saw dozens of cars parked across the street on the soccer/softball fields. That was a first.
A study showed that the park needs 1241 more parking spaces, plus more bus parking area for those popular school trips that often involve a caravan of up to 20 busses.
The study also suggested adding a kiosk at the second entrance, the lesser known back lot off Court House-South Dennis Drive. Backups at the main Route 9 entrance, where donations are collected at the kiosk, often back waiting cars all the way back to Route 9.
No doubt some action will be taken to add the new parking areas. That will return the grassy areas to pedestrians, make it quicker getting into the park/zoo, and lessen the strain on employees to micromanage parking. And we can get back to more quickly getting in to see those adorable, playful otters.
WILDWOOD BEACH PARKING
The city of Wildwood has opened beach parking, a new concept in the tourist driven community. The new parking area is limited to four-wheel drive vehicles, but nowadays that’s just about every SUV and plenty of pickup trucks.
The designated beach is at Baker Avenue. There will be an attendant on duty. The cost is $10 for the entire day and $20 for special event parking.
The benefits of beach parking are twofold. The city makes extra revenue, thereby hopefully holding down property taxes. Brigantine, in their 10th year of beach parking, netted an extra $600,000.
The perk that probably matters most to you is the big picture. You get the full beach experience by parking on the sand. The ocean is closer, meaning much less distance to drag chairs, umbrellas, and the kids toys.
Officials recently broke ground on the new Byrne Plaza, an open space area at Pacific and Oak avenues in Wildwood.
The one-acre Byrne Plaza will feature an amphitheater, walkways and a large grassy area. The Byrne Fund, the brainchild of local deceased insurance innovator Jack Byrne, has contributed $775,000 for the project. The county’s Open Space fund purchased the property for $825,000 after it sat on the real estate market for a decade while drawing no interest from buyers.
The lot had sat vacant since the 1970s, when an ill-advised urban renewal project tore down the buildings to make way for new buildings that never materialized. Now, after 40 years, a new park will rise from the ashes and hopefully be open by Labor Day.
NOW’S THE TIME
It is a good time to get into the Cape May County real estate market. For sellers; price it right and you’ll be going to the bank before you know it. For buyers; that family legacy you’ve always dreamed about is out there waiting for you to pull the trigger.
I love to talk about real estate and our island. I am always glad to share my insights, observations, and visions.
I am still involved in real estate 365 days a year. It’s my passion. I will gladly handle listing your property, give you a free market analysis, or show you a wide variety of properties that may suit your needs.
Stop by our office at 5602 New Jersey Avenue and chat. Or give me a call at 609-780-7131. I answer my phone 8am to 9pm EVERYDAY and you always get a real, live person. That’s service!