Ahab, Home Buyer in 08750

Is sea bright nj a ghetto beach town? I've noticed an odd range of prices there leading me to believe it might be a little down and out. Thanks

Asked by Ahab, 08750 Fri Feb 26, 2010

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13
Seabrighter, , Sea Bright, NJ
Sat Feb 27, 2010
Sea Bright, NJ is a relatively small beach community with nine private beach clubs, several municipal beaches (some mostly only accessible to locals because of lack of parking, numerous restaurants as well as bars, marinas and shops. Its beaches are the farthest North on the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, so it is the quickest destination for people coming down from New York or northern Jersey.

Prices vary based on location, lot size and style of home. Obviously a 5,000 square foot 5 bedroom 5 bath home on Ocean Avenue with dead-on views of the ocean and/or river and private beach access will cost you a lot more than a 1920s bungalow with no parking.

A few residential streets (mostly in the business district) are prone to tidal flooding off the river, so if you aren't familiar with the area make sure you get a LOCAL real estate agent who knows Sea Bright well and will level with you about problem properties. (No I'm NOT an agent, but I do own a property there). Houses on flood-prone streets sell at a discount, for obvious reasons. I would strongly caution against buying a flood property.

The town is great, the locals friendly, the streets are safe and you are convenient biking distance to Sandy Hook, Pier Village in Long Branch and any number of other destinations. If you like boating, you're just a few minutes to open ocean from the local marinas. For people coming in from New York, high speed ferry service is available to Highlands, just about 4 miles away. Train and bus service is also nearby.

From my experience there, many of the single family homes are inhabited year-round. A few homes are available for vacation rentals. Condos seem to be split pretty evenly between owners and renters.

I hope this information helps. Good luck with your search!
2 votes
Seabrighter, , Sea Bright, NJ
Sat Feb 27, 2010
With all due respect, Jeff, it is heartbreaking to own a flood property. You fix it up, love the spot, then have the lower floor of your house destroyed with sewer and river water pouring into it whenever the tides are bit above the normal. In certain locations in Sea Bright, this can happen multiple times per year. The houses become inhabitable until they are cleaned, repaired and inspected. Also, many of these floods come up very suddenly in the middle of the night. You wake up to sirens at 2am and have to move your family and car to higher ground. That isn't a relaxing vacation spot! The trouble of doing that is not something that your flood insurance will compensate you for...

Also, I have a couple of friends who haven't moved their cars quickly enough and have had them ruined with flood waters. Insurance doesn't cover that entire expense either.

Flood properties have terrible resale value and expose you to tremendous liability if you unload it on an unsuspecting buyer. A house is a big investment, so you don't really want a "white elephant" that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Most people who own in a shore community know that if a really big tropical storm or hurricane makes a direct hit that they may get some storm damage either from wind or water. But owning a property that floods several times per year is a whole different situation.
1 vote
Seabrighter, , Sea Bright, NJ
Sat Mar 12, 2011
Hi, Beachbum. Good luck in your search for a property. To be fair, I never suggested that people should regularly expect water in their living room if they live in Sea Bright. That suggests the whole area is a place to avoid, which certainly is not true. Most of the borough stays dry. Problem properties are few and are mostly concentrated in a few block area behind the business district. There are plenty of properties that are not subject to frequent flooding. We have owned our property for several years and haven't had any water problems, even in last year's brutal series of Nor'easters which were probably what caused the damage that spawned the flood claim you discovered.

I hope that the borough government is right and that the new pumping system resolves the problem for the downtown residents. We haven't had any weather that has really tested the system yet, so I would take what your real estate agent said with a grain of salt. Also, if the house had flood problems as recently as 2010, I would definitely ask for more information from the sellers. If they dodge the question, you can figure the problem was BAD.

Have fun! I hope you enjoy all the charms that Sea Bright has to offer. It is such a happy place to spend time exploring.

All the best,
Seabrighter
0 votes
Beachbum, Home Buyer, Bloomfield, NJ
Sat Mar 12, 2011
I identify with Seabrighters comments. I have a contract for purchase of a house in the business district closer to the river. Don't know if I agree with the "discount" statement. The houses I have looked at are @ $400K. But I can tell you that during the inspection there was some evidence of flooding. Piping systems in the crawl space show severe deterioration due to exposure to salt water. Sheet Rock Damage and mold in a storage room. I was contacted the current insurer and indeed found a flood claim over $40,000.00 as recent as March 2010. Not sure what was repaired/replaced, but I am working on it. My realtor advised that the town had recently installed a new pumping system along the river and the problem should not be as severe in the future. -We will see.- In any case for those that like U Tubevideos check out seabright 2010 Floods. I totally agree with Seabrighter- No Ghetto here, but you better like water, even in you living room. Good Luck !
0 votes
Lou Ann Mops…, Agent, Spring Lake Heights, NJ
Fri Mar 4, 2011
Sea Bright is a cute and tiny beach town. It has quite a few condos(studio size and larger) and then beautiful large beach homes. That accounts for the wide range in prices.
0 votes
Elizabeth Vi…, Agent, Ocean Grove, NJ
Thu Jan 13, 2011
SeaBright is a wonderful, small beach town with a mixture of beach cottages up to ocean front properties.
0 votes
Megan Schell…, Agent, Sea Girt, NJ
Wed Jun 16, 2010
No it is not a ghetto beach town. However, there are some area that are prone to flooding with strong storms. Please do not confuse Sea Bright with Sea Girt. Sea Girt is a beauitful beach town further South that does not flood.
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Mar 6, 2010
Hi Ahab,

I live in the immediate area and I am a real estate broker. Before beach renourishment, flooding in Sea Bright was a common problem with any storm. We used to see the NYC news stations set camp in the municipal parking lot at Sea Bright....they don't do that anymore.

Here's a link from the Army Corps of Engineers that lists several articles about beach renourishment.
http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=nan.usace.army.mil&am…

Sea Bright is a narrow town running from Sandy Hook to Monmouth Beach. There are one bedroom condos under just under 200K, and magnificent custom homes of 5000 sq ft ++. There are some bungalow cottages, and all types of properties coexist in this eclectic town nicely. There are several options for restaurants, drinks or carry out. Dogs are allowed on the beach after Labor Day through Memorial Day, so you will find me there frequently with my Jack Russell.

Many of the shore bungalows were torn down during the boom construction and real estate years. That's where so many of the newer higher end larger homes came from. There is still some renovation and construction work in town, but - so substantially less than in previous years.

Sea Bright is a fun, eclectic town with something for everyone. During the summers there is much activity, as there are several beach clubs, and the legendary Donovan's plants palm tees on the beach and has live music on the beach. Angelica's and Elements (restaurants) are nestled along a commercial strip with other stores. Beachgoers pass by in the summer and you will find plenty of activity in the winter as well.

Traffic gets heavy on Ocean Avenue on peak summer holidays and weekends. Many homes are occupied year round as permanent homes Some are second homes. It isn't a community of a high volume of weekly summer rentals. There are more visitors in Sea Bright in the summer, particularly weekends. The beaches are terrific. You are within a 5 minute or less walk of both the Shrewsbury River and the Atlantic Ocean, Some of the homes have views of both.

Other favorite summer and year round places are McCloones, Mad Hatter and Icabobs.

A fun community if you enjoy water related activities or simply being near the water.
0 votes
Seabrighter, , Sea Bright, NJ
Sat Feb 27, 2010
Oops. Bad typing... I mean UNinhabitable till they are cleaned up. I have a home in Sea Bright and also carry flood insurance... but are not in one of the problem spots.

Jeff, you are totally right. Living close to the water is a wonderful experience. I would highly recommend a lot of shore properties or river properties in Sea Bright and many other places. The feeling you get watching the water from your back yard is something that is hard to explain. If you are a boater, it is true paradise.

I would also say that living IN the water is not. You have to get enough information about the particular property to know whether it is a real and imminent risk, or something that is likely to happen once in 30 or 40 years. It is a big difference in my book. SeaBrighterLS
0 votes
Valentina Ga…, Agent, sea girt, NJ
Sat Feb 27, 2010
As Seabrighteris so diligently noted these are not merely flood zones these can become serious problems.
Sorry if I did not make that clear. FYI I live in a flood zone on the Manasquan River in Brielle and have not had any issues.
0 votes
Jeff K, Home Buyer, Bristol, PA
Sat Feb 27, 2010
Now that I can respect as an appropriate answer, providing a thoughtful and detailed response on the Cons of living in a flood zone. The Pros of course is that lots of people really like living on or near the water, and that will always be the case.

My home is on the water, and my backyard is the Delaware river. And my view is fantastic and I have riparian rights. Sure I'm "in a flood zone" but it's only FEMA flood zone X, and I know very well what I was getting into.

Any specific home will have it's pros and cons. But I do take issue with broad sweeping statements like, "you should stay away from" as they aren't appropriate and may even violate Steering. Only an individual consumer can truly judge if they are willing to take on the challenge, risk and rewards of living very close or on the water.

With respect and regards,

Jeff
0 votes
Jeff K, Home Buyer, Bristol, PA
Sat Feb 27, 2010
Hi Valentina,

Frankly, I'm surprised that an Agent would directly say "you need to stay away from X". Flood zones are a potential concern, sure. But, that's why people buy flood insurance which is perhaps only $1500-2000 a year. So, it's appropriate to lay out the risks or pros/cons but do you really want to be actually say things like "you need to stay away from"?

Jeff
0 votes
Valentina Ga…, Agent, sea girt, NJ
Sat Feb 27, 2010
As Seabrighteris noted there are some serious flood zone that you need to stay away from so check the tax records. The lots are small and the houses on large lots by the ocean sell in the millions. I am looking for clients right now who want a 3-4 bedroom home, newer condition, close to ocean for under $800k and we are not having any luck. Many larger lots have been sold off subdivided or are now condos so you are not getting much land.

But the beauty of Sea Bright is the narrow island gives you easy access to the ocean or the river, the beach clubs are really fun and affordable, the easy access to Manhattan, and the many great restaurants and bars. It is a fun family place and yet lots to do for single people. It is not ghetto at all. It is diversified as far economic status so you can have an affordable condo or a grand beach house.

Also Long Branch's Pier Village has attracted so many people to the area with the resort town feel and great restaurants and shops. Long Branch is just minutes away from Sea Bright so that adds to the beauty of that location for many people.

I am a realtor and can help you if you are looking to buy in any of the shore areas. Visit my website
http://www.beautifulshorehomes.com

Best regards,
Val Gabela
0 votes
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