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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home


The brownstone literally across the street is now paying just shy of $35k (one of the Dixon properties converted into a single family).

Posted on: 1/11 12:33
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Re: One solitary voting booth at Cordero School polling station
#2
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Home away from home


There were at least 200 people in line at Ferris around 8. I've never been behind more than a handful of people before (either here or at Grace Church). I didn't see how many booths there were, but there have always been two in the past from what I recall.

Posted on: 2016/11/8 9:03
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Re: Realtor Playing Games with Full Price Offers? Help!
#3
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Home away from home


Quote:
His reply: "I have heard about it, but I am assuming it will not happen... they can't let it happen. If it happens, I will not be able to afford the mortgage and the taxes."


I can't bring myself to feel sorry for people who are so willfully ignorant. It's public information with a specific timeline for completion. And even before the decision came out, it was clear what direction the decision was headed.

People are definitely going to be impacted. For what it's worth, Hoboken seemed to weather their 47% tax increase in 2008 just fine.

In related news, I noticed that the Australians' properties have begun to start paying more of their fair share as assessments increased after property renovations were finished.

Posted on: 2016/7/6 19:34
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Re: Realtor Playing Games with Full Price Offers? Help!
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home


I have to agree...I've heard of many bidding wars.

With that in mind, a "sight unseen (of course, with a must-see contingency)" offer is very unappealing to a seller. Honestly, it would be unappealing in a regular market.

Posted on: 2016/7/3 20:35
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Re: infant daycare options in downtown JC?
#5
Home away from home
Home away from home


We are very happy with Genesis Education Center

Diverse, spacious, and low staff turnover--I was thrilled to see many familiar faces from when our friends' kids were there 5+ years ago.

Posted on: 2016/3/17 18:46
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Re: McNair Academic High School - racial quota
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home


You can see the racial/ethnic breakdown on the NCES website:

NCES 2013-14 CCD for McNair

You can dig into the breakdown by gender and race/ethnicity by grade level by downloading the CCD public school universe file at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/pubschuniv.asp.

Posted on: 2015/12/26 22:38
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Re: New No Parking signs - Beware - 4th and Coles
#7
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Home away from home


How far away are they? I think the law is 25 feet?

Posted on: 2015/12/3 8:41
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Re: regarding commercial property as a neighbor
#8
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Home away from home


Quote:
I own a property situated right between McDonalds and Ferris High school. Every school day I live through an act of ecoterrorism. On average I throw 50 gal worth of their garbage twice a week(corner property 150' sidewalk). Sometimes I wonder if I should apply for a federal grant to cover the cost of the garbage bags.


I don't doubt that's true, but are we just listing examples of where lots of trash is produced? I can think of a lot of examples that also aren't relevant to living next to a bodega.

Posted on: 2015/10/30 7:00
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Re: regarding commercial property as a neighbor
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home


In general, I find this post to be ridiculous.

"for reasons of cleanliness"....based on what? I've never seen a speck of trash in front of the bodega next to me...and there isn't even a trash can within several blocks. If they fail to maintain the sidewalks around their store, then you can complain.

"more traffic"....I'm sorry, is this the new Whole Foods or Trader Joes that everyone's been dying to have in Jersey City? People are not going to drive to your block to shop there. If you mean foot traffic, all I can say is really? You live in a city.

"unsightliness"...not sure if this is redundant to cleanliness or more about seeing 'stuff' in a window front that was empty up until now. Again, all I can say is really? You live in a city. You are disappointed that you didn't do your homework, but it is unreasonable for you to think that a property with that zoning can't open a store.

"devaluation of property." Debatable but unlikely.

Signage, however, is something that you should look into as there might be rules on the size, location, etc.

Honestly, your best bet is to get to know the owner, reach out to them with any concerns before taking it to city officials, and trying to work with them to be good neighborhood citizens.

Posted on: 2015/10/28 9:26
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Re: Australians investors buying up Jersey City housing
#10
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Home away from home


Quote:
The amazing thing about this place is it is currently assessed
at 185900 and is paying only $13819.81 in taxes. A similar (actually a little smaller) brownstone in Hoboken is paying $26700.


yep, if a regular person did the kind of gut remodels that they are doing, taxes would go through the roof. They are clearly paying off the right folks, as it doesn't seem like the properties they have renovated experience increases.

Posted on: 2015/5/21 11:41
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Re: Australians investors buying up Jersey City housing
#11
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Home away from home


Quote:
They are not going to get anywhere close to that, the ones who can afford 10k a month will not rent in that area/building despite how nice the interior looks.


I thought the same thing about one of the other brownstones that they turned into a single family (from three family). $7/month and it rented out in about a week. They won't have any problem renting out that place.

I am concerned that their taxes are not increasing after completing the renovations. Why haven't their renovations triggered reassessments?

Posted on: 2015/4/14 21:16
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Re: Assessed Value of homes help?
#12
Home away from home
Home away from home


I had the opportunity to tour one of the brownstones the Australians remodeled last year. I have to say that it looked pretty incredible. Literally a complete gut remodel. Not a speck of paint was the same as when I'd been in the building before.

Which is why I can't understand why the taxes on the brownstone are the exact same as before?!?! On the one hand, I think they have helped improve the value of homes on the block. On the other hand, they are getting away with murder (ok, tax evasion, but you know what I mean).

Posted on: 2015/3/4 0:04
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Re: Applying for charity care for Jersey City Medical Center emergency bill
#13
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Home away from home


Check out this resource:

http://www.lsnjlaw.org/Publications/Pages/Manuals/CharityCare.pdf

And it looks like you might have already found this, but just in case:

http://www.state.nj.us/health/charitycare/

In terms of your questions.... The medical record is separate from billing. Your medical record is the thing that shows every point of contact, various notes, procedure orders, procedure outcomes, etc. The itemized bill should be a translation of that record into billing codes related to each of those procedures, medications, etc.

There's an office in JCMC that handles the medical record requests. Not sure exactly where, but I definitely got an envelope of copies from an office located physically in the building (that could have changed over time). I assume you would get the itemized bill from the billing office.

The only person who I remember her name is Millie, who was at the desk in the JCMC charity care office (there was a small office located in JCMC...not sure if still there...but she reviewed the general process with me, gave me forms, and then directed me to the Garfield Ave office). I remember her bc she also worked at the H&R Block on Newark Ave. Not sure if she's still around though.

In general, my advise is just to be nice, friendly, pleasant, etc. and express that you are willing to work with them. They are just doing their jobs, so no sense in taking out any frustration on them.

Question... When you say 'accidents' what do you mean? If either visit was the result of a car or work related accident, you should be going through auto insurance or worker's comp (I think).

Posted on: 2015/3/2 12:47
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Re: Applying for charity care for Jersey City Medical Center emergency bill
#14
Home away from home
Home away from home


It's been many years (2007-2008 between the stay and resolving the bill--16 months altogether), but I had a very positive experience with them.

I was in JCMC with grad student health insurance for 9 days ($65K, not including the doctors who bill separately). That particular year, I was the sole source of income between my husband and myself ($18K/year grad stipend). My part of the bill was $12k after insurance. LOLOLOLOL

I had to gather up my banking account statements as of the date of admittance as well as paystubs. I also read as much as I could about NJ charity care. And apparently knew more than the folks in that office.

My husband happened to have gotten one paycheck for $1K the week I went into the hospital (mid April)--literally the first money he had earned since early July the year before. They first were like "ok, multiply that by 52 and we estimate that he makes $52K a year." Fortunately, I'd read the law (not sure if it's changed) and knew they had to look at three methods to estimate income and take the lowest (which still overestimated for us, but was much, much closer).

First, I recommend getting a copy of your medical record. Mine was full of complete bullshit, which I assume had to do with them trying to justify a nine day stay (e.g., the admitting letter says that I was basically bleeding from every orifice...whaaa?!?!).

Second, I recommend getting an itemized copy of the bill. Not the "you owe $X" but the line by line charges.

Third, I recommend comparing your medical record against the itemized bill. I found thousands of dollars of charges for procedures that had not been ordered or done. I brought these to the attention of both my insurer and the billing office. Insurance went ahead and paid their part of the whole bill (#OOPS# them for making it harder for me to dispute!). Billing office saw my annotated copy of the medical record ("exhibit A", etc) and were like "hmmm....your copy of the medical record doesn't look like ours." To which I said, "If you changed my medical record in response to me bringing the errors to your attention you have violated so many laws..." "Yeah, we're going to go with what you have." The billing office ended up subtracting the cost of the procedures from my bill (i.e., not reimbursing the insurance company...I don't care, bc #OOPS# them!). I was sent a handwritten note (not dated or signed) that said my new balance was $5K and to see the charity care office. No joke. Seriously bizarre.

Fourth, go see them in person. The charity care office folks were very pleasant, but it pays to be educated about your rights, the law, etc. You will have to show them your income and assets. I also got letters from both of our graduate schools confirming our full time attendance, any employment, etc. My situation was fairly unusual (e.g., that pesky paycheck my husband got). They didn't really know what to do so eventually said "we're just going to make your husband unemployed and then you'll qualify for full coverage." I was literally prepared to write a check from the student loan I'd just received and thought we'd end up owing $3K. They just ended up erasing the whole thing.

Of course, someone forgot to hit the enter button or something. So I got a collections notice many months later (after receiving no other communication). I just went back in and showed the manager (who'd approved the whole thing) her signed card thingy that showed the final outcome of my case. She took care of it, and it's been totally clear ever since.

tl; dr: The hospital billing and charity care office are staffed with generally nice folks who commit fraud left and right. Know your rights. Know the law. Advocate for yourself. When all else fails, work out a payment plan to avoid having your visit destroy your credit. Also, be prepared to get separate bills for the nursing staff and doctors.

Posted on: 2015/3/1 20:56
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Re: No parking due to moving issues
#15
Home away from home
Home away from home


And depending on which side of the street 'their' spot was, they might have needed it to go up by Thursday to realistically be visible to drivers in a timely manner. i.e., many people might not be expecting to have to move their car until the following week once it's parked on Thursday after street cleaning.

Posted on: 2015/2/24 14:15
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Re: No parking due to moving issues
#16
Home away from home
Home away from home


I agree. That's not enough notice. Completely inconsiderate. I don't see why OP is surprised that there were cars in 'their' desired space. Sweets was right to feel like a jerk.

Posted on: 2015/2/23 21:24
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Re: NJ W2 Tax Question
#17
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Home away from home


Mine does NOT include NJ W2 (and hasn't for the eight years that I've worked there). Can't recall what my previous NY-based job did.

I know my NJ state wages end up being way higher than NY or federal, because NJ does not treat 403b contributions as pre-tax.

Posted on: 2015/1/30 16:40
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Re: How do I get out of jury duty if I served 3 months ago?
#18
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Home away from home


This happened to me. I called them up and they said "no yiu didnt recently serve." I said yes i absolutely did. They finally looked me up and found that i had mutiple accounts. Their data systems are so awful they can't or don't even run basic de-duping of address records coming in from DMV vs other sources. My two records resulted from one showing '2nd St' and the other having street spelled out. Ridiculous...and explains why it felt like I was getting called all the time. But i will say that the person who picked up the phone was super helpful once she realized i was telling the truth.

Posted on: 2014/12/30 14:15
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Re: Concrete/ sidewalk contractor
#19
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Home away from home



Posted on: 2014/11/24 17:43
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Re: Adding a floor to a condo building Downtown
#20
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Home away from home


I really don't see how it could be more affordable to make the kind of change that you are talking about compared to buying a larger, already built place.

Seems like you minimally encounter:
Increased taxes
Increased maintenance/condo fees
Permit fees
Architect/engineer fees
Lawyers
Contractor/cost of building

But all this speculation is for nothing. Your first stop is the condo board. If they say no, that's it. I agree with others that there's no positive benefit for the other units in the building--only inconvenience and risk (which could potentially be alleviated by throwing a lot of money at them, so maybe add that to the above list?).

Posted on: 2014/11/13 16:55
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Re: Adding a floor to a condo building Downtown
#21
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:
It will increase the property taxes to the building thus raising the amount of money each other owner needs to pay through overall common charges.


That's not how it works. You can look up properties on the tax website and see how individual units cover the taxes as opposed to the condo association. Maybe you are thinking of co-ops?

Posted on: 2014/11/13 14:46
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Re: 3Br constructed in my condo without a C O
#22
Home away from home
Home away from home


Pure speculation on my part, but....kind of an extreme change to make without doing your homework first.

Are you trying to rent it out? Sell it? Live in it?

It sounds like you didn't get permits and that your new bedroom might be illegal.

Did your condo association approve the change? If not, you might have violated bylaws (both in terms of adding a bedroom and electrical work).

Did you have a licensed electrician do the work? The fact that you would so easily suggest taking the electric out leads me to suspect that you didn't...which is scary (and the reason that the city and your condo association would be rightfully concerned as it could be a fire hazard).

I'm also thinking that adding a bedroom would potentially impact your tax status (i.e., your taxes should increase--possibly considerably--as three bedrooms are more valuable).

Step 1 might be checking your bylaws to see if you were even allowed to make the change in the first place?

Posted on: 2014/11/4 13:37
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Re: my tax abatement went up 30%, confused about assessed value
#23
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Home away from home


Is it also possible that they are phasing you up toward your future tax state (if, as someone mentions, your abatement is ending soon)? I understand from older threads that they do that so it's felt gradually instead of the taxes suddenly skyrocketing. They 'forgot' to do that for Port Liberte and there was a lot of churn around that a year or so ago.

Posted on: 2014/10/8 15:57
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Re: Assessed Value of homes help?
#24
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Home away from home


Quote:
please excuse my ignorance, but this makes me wonder, if I buy a house that has been gut renovated in the past year, does this mean that the taxes I'll pay next year will be significantly higher than whatever they were before the gut reno?


That should absolutely be the expectation. But, like in the OP's experience, reality is that it can take years to catch up.

Posted on: 2014/10/6 14:29
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Re: Assessed Value of homes help?
#25
Home away from home
Home away from home


Sounds like the former owner didn't do the kitchen legally (i.e., with permit), and it's finally catching up. In other words, your taxes should have been higher for the past 5-years as a result of the remodeling (not to mention as a result of the reval). But $140K improvement based solely on a kitchen seems excessive and might be worth researching how to appeal.

Along these lines....does anyone know if the Australians are getting hit with increased assessments after their gut remodels? They've done some impressive upgrades on a number of homes. How long does it take for the upgrades to be incorporated into their assessments? Seeing some of these places they've upgraded still paying a fraction of the taxes they should is frustrating.

Posted on: 2014/10/6 11:14
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Re: Looking for parking near Dixon Mills
#26
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Home away from home


There are occasionally spaces for rent at Dixon Mills, but you have to be a resident to rent the space. If you are a resident, check out building link.

Posted on: 2014/9/14 21:14
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Re: East Village Apartments Sit Empty Because Rent Is Too High, Report Says
#27
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Home away from home


My bad. I assumed you guys were talking about 240 2nd. Which was converted into a 6 bedroom 5.5 bath and rented out immediately for $7k a month. If that's the comparison, then I guess *only* getting 5 bedrooms for the same price seems like a bad deal. LOL

Also, pretty sure the bars one the garden units have been on most downtown properties for many decades. I lived in Harsimus Cove for 12.5 years and never heard about a single break in near me. The window bars often accommodate AC units for the garden unit.

Posted on: 2014/9/13 12:52
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Re: East Village Apartments Sit Empty Because Rent Is Too High, Report Says
#28
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Home away from home


240 st. Was bought by the Australians, completely gutted/remodeled, and rented out in under two weeks of being posted. So clearly there was a market for it, even though I questioned the sanity of turning a 3 family into a 1 family and the corresponding $7k rent.

Posted on: 2014/9/13 12:40
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Re: Buying an apt with tenant in place
#29
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Home away from home


Pretty sure the landlord's rights to occupancy don't outweigh the tenant's rights. I've heard horror stories along these lines.

If you want to understand tenant's rights and whether or not the tenant has to move at the end of a lease, review this:

NJ Tenant's Rights Manual

Posted on: 2014/8/27 12:11
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Re: Buying an apt with tenant in place
#30
Home away from home
Home away from home


I would ask the seller to take care of it. When we bought, a part of the contract was that the building was vacant at closing. The burden was on the seller to get the renters out (they all happened to be on month-to-month leases, and it was pretty uneventful).

If the seller is motivated, s/he will buy out the tenant or what have you to end the lease early. Otherwise, you'd be taking the tenant on, and it's possible that you wouldn't be able to move in for some time. Renters have a lot of rights in NJ, and it may not be as easy as assuming that they will simply vacate when the lease is up. If they have a great deal and it's a competitive rental market, they won't have any incentive to make your life easier so you can move in.

An example...someone bought our neighbors building, and he wanted to remodel the apartments and jack up the rents. The renters were on month-to-month but liked their space as is, and it was super cheap and they wanted a long term lease similar to what they were currently paying. They could have strung the new landlord on for many, many months. So the renters proposed a buy out. I think it was in the neighborhood of $2k (plus their security deposit) to move out asap. It worked out great for both parties. Not sure if all three apartments worked out that deal or just the ones that we knew. But potentially, the new landlord had to pony up $6K to clear the place out.

Posted on: 2014/8/27 11:31
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