Spectacular new listing in Apple Ridge, Wall Township!

Aaahh…Labor Day Weekend at the Jersey Shore. So many claim it to be the last weekend of summer, and recognize it with an air of sadness. But that’s simply not the case: Personally, I acknowledge Halloween as the end of summer at the Jersey Shore…even if that’s not the “official” end. In fact, those few weeks that follow Labor Day are potentially the best times. It gets a bit less crowded, the weather is not too hot and not too cool (still great beach weather), the kids go back to school so routines return, and there’s a freshness in the air that is invigorating. So don’t be sad about summer coming to an end – if you live at the Jersey Shore, you still have plenty of “summer” to look forward to.

If you are down the shore this weekend, here are sampling of events you don’t want to miss:

  • Garden State Wine Festival: Saturday and Sunday from noon -5pm, Garden State Wine Growers will be hosting the Wine Festival at Allaire Village in Wall Township.
  • Spring Lake Art Walk: The Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce hosts their Labor Day celebration Art Walk down Third Avenue on Saturday (rain date on 9/1/13).
  • Monmouth Park BBQ & Craft Beer Festival: Celebrate everything barbecue at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy ribs, pulled pork, and brisket served up by some of NJ’s best barbecue joints – then cool off in their beer garden!
  • Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair: Enjoy games, rides and entertainment at NJ’s largest Fireman’s Fair – Friday and Saturday, 6pm – 11pm.

But whatever you do, don’t think of this weekend as the end of Jersey Shore fun for the year! There’s plenty to do and much to look forward to in the weeks to come, including the Feast of San Gennaro in Belmar, Red Bank’s Street Fair, the Manasquan Arts & Crafts Fair, Long Branch’s 38th annual Clearwater Festival, Make A Wish Foundation’s annual Beach Ball at Bar Anticipation, and so much more. So, come to the Jersey Shore ~ where the fun never ends!

Beach House Cigars Tobacconist on the Jersey Shore

One of my favorite pastimes is cigar smoking – so when I see a new cigar store open up, I just have to stop and check it out. Last week I was driving down Route 35 in Wall Township, and I noticed that the old Miles Ahead Sneaker store was turned into Beach House Cigars.

When I entered the store I was warmly greeted by the owner Steve, who grew up in Wall. After selling cigars and pipe tobacco in Virginia for Emerson Cigars, he has become a very experienced tobacconist. We instantly hit it off, and it was immediately evident that this guy knows cigars! After talking cigars and sports for about ten minutes he reached into his private humidor and handed me one of my favorite cigars as a gift. Now that was unexpected – and very much appreciated.

A Nearby Home

I started looking through his humidors, and I noticed that he has a great variety. He carries Rocky Patel, Drew Estate, Fuente, and Padron – just to name a few. His is the only cigar shop in Jersey that carries the RP Vita, which is a great cigar at a reasonable price. But in the off chance that you are looking for something he doesn’t carry, he will match you up with a similar cigar.

The shop itself is spotless. There is a lounge with a flat screen TV in case you want to hang out and watch the game while enjoying a fine cigar. Steve also has a wide selection of humidors, pipes, and Xicar cutters and lighters.

On Friday, August 30th, Beach House Cigars will be celebrating its Grand Opening. There will be raffles, specials, food, and entertainment. You will also get the opportunity to meet with the cigar reps. It’s going to be a great day, so make sure that if you are in the area you stop by and welcome Steve and Beach House Cigars to the neighborhood.

No matter which cigars or pipe tobacco you smoke, or whether you are a beginning or an experienced smoker, Beach House Cigars has something for everyone. This is my new spot to buy cigars on the Jersey Shore!

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Your life has changed since you bought your current home – you’ve run out of closet space, toys are everywhere, your family is tripping over one another. It’s official…the house is just too small. So, do you buy something bigger – or do you remodel the house that you are in? Here are some factors you should consider before deciding whether to move or remodel a home.

Location, Location, Location

  1. You can always upgrade a home, but what you can’t change is its location. If you like your view or you have neighbors who are irreplaceable, then remodeling may be right for you.
  2. You also need to determine whether the costs of remodeling will make your home the most expensive house in the neighborhood. See what homes in your neighborhood are selling for, or ask a realtor to give you a competitive market analysis (CMA). It’s not usually the best idea to put more into your home than you will ever be able to get back.

How involved is your remodel?

Is it better to move or remodel a home?
  1. You need to determine if you have the required space to expand your home – If you will need to add to your existing structure in order to create extra space but you don’t have the real estate for an extension, then buying a larger home is the only option.
  2. But if you have an existing space (an attic, a basement, an enclosed porch) that you could remodel, it may be a cost-effective way to achieve the additional space you crave – depending on how detailed you want to get and the upgrades you choose.
  3. Get some estimates and make sure that you can afford to make the needed renovations.

The Complications of Moving to a Larger Home

Is it better to move or remodel a home?
  1. If you are like most people, you will need to sell your current home in order to purchase your next home. Will you be able to sell your home at a price that will allow you the necessary funds to buy a larger house? Do you have enough equity in your home?
  2. Mortgage rates are still very low – this could allow you to potentially get a larger mortgage than you are paying now, yet have monthly payments that are not significantly different than what you are currently paying. However, it’s still not so easy to obtain a mortgage. You will want to be sure that your credit is good.
  3. Remember that a larger home doesn’t just mean a larger purchase price – it also typically means higher taxes, higher electric bills, higher heating bills, and more maintenance. Make sure that you can afford all of these extra costs.

So, if you are serious about getting more space, talk to a realtor, bring in a contractor, and crunch all the numbers. Then sit down as a family and make your decision together as to what is the best option for you.

When you live at the Jersey Shore, one thing you look forward to every summer is the constant stream of friends and family visiting from North Jersey. Last night the Jersey Shore Specialist’s cousins were in town – and there’s nothing better than laughs with them over a great bowl of pasta! We decided on Lorenzo’s Restaurant at 401 Main Street in Allenhurst.

We arrived at the restaurant and we were seated right away at a nice table for six. We decided as a group to order apps for the table to share – we started off with the Butcher Block Antipasto, which is a plate of imported Italian cheeses and meats with olives and artichoke hearts. Next up was a plate of mussels in a red sauce, which was fantastic! We also had some tender and delicious fried calamari, but we didn’t stop there – the eggplant rollatini was also delectable! All of the apps were great and plentiful.

 lorenzo's restaurant allenhurst jersey shore

Believe it or not, we still had room for our main courses! Between the six of us, we pretty much covered the menu as we all had a different dish. Here are some of the highlights: I had one of their nightly specials – veal, chicken, and shrimp francese with a side of pasta. This was a fantastic meal, and it was perfect because I couldn’t decide what I wanted and this covered all the bases. There were four other pasta dishes at the table: spaghetti puttanesca, shrimp scampi over linguini, fettuccine primavera with shrimp, and cappellini pomodoro. We also had an order of chicken scarpiello, which is a house specialty (and for good reason – it was scrumptious)! Everyone loved their dinners.

A listing nearby

I usually don’t have room for dessert, and tonight was no different – but I could not resist a cannoli! I did not regret this decision – it was fresh and delicious. The rest of table had coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and a cheesecake to share.

What a wonderful dining experience! The service was great, the atmosphere was perfect for our little group, and of course the food was excellent. This is a BYOB establishment, and I do recommend it if you are ever in the area.

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 21317151 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

Self described food connoisseurs, the Jersey Shore Specialist and I set out to find a new Italian restaurant to dazzle our taste buds. Instantly we headed over to Bella Sogno in Bradley Beach located on the corner of 600 Main Street and Brinley Avenue, next to DelPonte’s Bakery. With a name that translates to “beautiful dream”, we couldn’t resist.

The restaurant is welcoming from the moment you enter the vicinity with a covered porch that leads to an intimate perfectly lit dining room. Extremely attentive staff greeted us with our menus along with complimentary bread and a mouth watering bean and garlic dip. The ideal way to kick off the dining experience.

Flipping through the menu didn’t disappoint, as it was full of luscious dishes all cooked fresh to order including appetizers such as Clams Oreganata, Mussels Ala Possillipo, Lobster Ravioli and Mozzarella Salad. Our meal kicked off with the signature Bella Sogna Salad, which consisted of greens with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, and caramelized onions with a blueberry vinaigrette. For the main course, I diverted from my traditional favorites and tried one of their grilled specialties. The Grilled Pork Chop, two beautiful pork chops served with broccoli rabe and roasted potatoes, was cooked to perfection. Every bite confirmed this dish was the right choice. The Jersey Shore Specialist went with her beloved Zuppa Di Mar. This piping hot dish of linguine tossed with shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari was delicious! Our dining experience ended with a fabulous espresso. Although the array of homemade desserts were very hard to resist, after we cleaned our plates there was little room for anything else!

Bella Sogno is open Tuesday through Sunday with dinner service starting at 4:00. The restaurant doesn’t serve cocktails but you can bring your own. Be sure to try their $15.00 three course special Tuesday through Thursday and on Sundays from 4:00 to 6:30. If you are looking for a delicious Italian meal in the Bradley Beach area you must go to Bella Sogna. Delicious food, wonderful atmosphere and great pricing make Bella Sogna the perfect trifecta.

1. Wall Township is ideally located on the Jersey Shore

Wall Township, comprised of approximately 32 square miles of Southern Monmouth County, is a wonderful community in which to live. Wall’s location – bordered by the Manasquan River on the South and Shark River on the North – makes it very attractive. There are homes on the river if you want a water view or a place to dock your boat. It’s only a short distance to beautiful beaches, and the Edgar Felix Bike Path takes you right through Manasquan or to Allaire State Park.

There is also easy access to the Garden State Parkway, Route 18, Highways 71, 35, 34, and Highway 138 connecting to Interstate 195. Additionally, mass transit such as buses, trains, and ferries make Wall Township very commuter-friendly. Corporate jets from Allaire Airport fly over tree-edged open spaces dotted with businesses, industries, clusters of homes, stable lands, and tilled farms.

Wall’s proximity to beaches, rivers, Allaire State Park, and farmland make the township an ideal place for outdoor activities. Horsebackriding, boating, surfing, fishing, golf, camping, running, biking, swimming, tennis, basketball, soccer…and the list goes on.

2. A Home Type for Everyone

Whatever your lifestyle preferences are, Wall Township has a home for you. Aside from the wonderful educational choices in the Township, Wall offers a mix of single-family homes, multi-family homes, condos, townhouses, and adult communities. So, it is understandable why so many people want to live here.

3.The Facts

If you know you want to live in Wall – or already live in the Township and are considering downsizing or moving to something larger – I would suggest making the move sooner rather than later. In case having a home that suits your needs in an ideal location with lots to do and a great school system doesn’t convince you, let me quickly review some current Wall Township numbers and trends that make Wall even more appealing:

Home sales are increasing - The number of closed properties has been steadily rising month over month in 2013.

The number of closed properties has been steadily rising month over month in 2013

Homes are selling faster - The average days on the market (DOM) of total inventory has been on a downward trend.

The average days on the market (DOM) of total inventory has been on a downward trend.

The amount of available inventory keeps decreasing - There has been a steady reduction in Months inventory.

The amount of available inventory keeps decreasing

Homes are getting more expensive – Median sale prices are rising.

Median sale prices are rising.

In conclusion, the median price of homes in Wall township is rising, and there has been a steady reduction in inventory (in July, the number of properties under contract exceeded the new properties coming on the market). Properties are spending less time on the market before attracting a buyer, which is also evidenced by the increase in the number of properties sold month over month. If the trends continue, you will most likely be competing with many others for less available property choices – therefore the longer you wait, the more limited your choices will be and the more you will have to pay. Add all of this to the rise in mortgage rates, and it’s as plain as the eye can see: contact me now, so that I can help you find your perfect home in Wall Township!

Check out these two Wall Township open houses this Sunday!

open house 1216 narrumson   open house 1607 dumont

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed – Copyright: 2013 by the Monmouth County Association of REALTORS®
Provided by Barbara Scaffidi of Coldwell Banker Res. Brokerage

Rooney's Oceanfront Restaurant Bar Long Branch

This past week the “Jersey Shore Specialist” and I decided we were in the mood for seafood. Living at the Jersey Shore, we have a lot of great options – but we decided that on such a gorgeous day, Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant in Long Branch was the perfect spot. Because it sits along the promenade, Rooney’s has some of the best views on the Jersey shore. The inside dining room has tiers so all tables have a great view of the ocean, and the oversized bar also faces the coast. If the weather co-operates as on a day like today, you can sit outside, feel the breeze, and soak up ambience of this perfect venue… while you enjoy a great meal. You can also enjoy some fresh air at their outside oceanfront bar with appetizers and cocktails.

At Rooney’s, you have many different options on the menu to choose from. They offer a fresh raw bar where you can buy seafood by the piece. Another one of Rooney’s unique options is their prix fixe menu, which includes a salad or appetizer and a great main course. The prices range from $20 to $40 depending on your selection – this is available until 6:00pm. Of course, they also offer a traditional menu with many diverse items. Rooney’s has everything from seafood, fresh fish, and steak to the house specialty: lobster mac and cheese.

barbara scaffidi, jersey shore specialist

The weather was awesome, so we decided to sit on the outside patio. When we were seated, we certainly enjoyed a great view of the ocean – but we were ready to eat! We began by splitting one of my favorite items on the menu – the baked crab dip. Fresh, hot crab dip served with freshly toasted bread is a perfect way to start my meal! Next up was soup: I had a delicious cup of Lobster Bisque. This creamy soup was perfectly flavored and had generous chunks of fresh lobster in it. The “Jersey Shore Specialist” enjoyed an equally delicious cup of the Manhattan Clam Chowder.

Rooney's Oceanfront Restaurant Bar Long Branch Outside

For the main course, I was torn on what to get. I was in the mood for seafood and that would usually make the decision easier…but not at Rooney’s. Besides the traditional lobster and crab legs, they have lobster mac and cheese, seafood gumbo, seafood pot pie, and crab cakes. I decided to go with a 1 1/2 pound steamed lobster. With their menu, you can’t lose – but when I saw one come out of the kitchen to the table next to me, that made up my mind. What a great meal! The lobster was cooked to perfection and cracked in a way that the meat was easy to get at.

After we finished our meals, we decided to sit at the outdoor bar as the sun went down: it’s the only way to properly complete the dining experience at Rooney’s. If you are in the area and in the mood for fresh seafood, or even just a drink and appetizer in the most perfect of settings, Rooney’s is a must! Actually, make sure you get there this summer – you’ll be glad you did!

Prices have fallen hard and are inching their way back up. Mortgage rates fell to an unbelievable low and are going back up at a faster rate than expected. If you are thinking about buying in the next year, sooner is definitely proving better than later! Waiting may mean that you will have to spend more to buy a lesser home than if you act faster.

Does it make sense for you to buy a house right now?

The first thing you have to do is to decide if buying a house right now works with your life. Buying a home has its benefits, but it is also a huge financial undertaking. It would be wise to make sure you feel comfortable that your job is steady, and you don’t have high amount of “other” debt. Otherwise, what should be an exciting venture could quickly turn into a stress you don’t need. Once you’ve decided that buying property now is right for you, the rest is a no brainer.

Mortgage rates are going up, not down.

mortgage rates on the rise

Mortgage rates are on the rise. While they are still very low, they are rising more quickly than anticipated. Why is that important? Well, because the mortgage that you can afford today may prove to be unaffordable as the rates go up. On a 30-year fixed mortgage, rates have jumped more than a full point – from 3.35% to 4.39% – in just the last 90 days. This happened much faster than the experts had predicted. Therefore, waiting to purchase a home may mean that the house you can afford today may be out of reach next year.

Home prices are rising.

As with mortgage interest rates, it appears that home prices have bottomed out and are now on a slow rise as well. With a reduction in inventory and more people looking to purchase, home sale prices have been inching up. If this trend should continue, the amount you will have to pay for the house of your dreams will most likely cost you more in 6 months then it will cost you to purchase now – that is, if it is even available 6 months from now. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, “home prices showed increases of 2.5% and 2.4% for the 10- and 20-City Composites in May versus April.” Zillow cites home prices increased 2% in Monmouth County and 1.9% in Ocean County from May to June.

So, what are you waiting for? All indications are that now is the time to buy property at the Jersey Shore! Mortgage rates and home prices are still low- but they are rising. If you are planning on buying in the next year, waiting will most likely not only cost you money – but may limit your choices as well. Your perfect home at the Jersey Shore awaits you!

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a big fan of chain restaurants. It’s those smaller “neighborhood” restaurants, with an ethnic bend, that make me salivate. Fortunately for me, I am lucky to live in an area that has many great options to choose from when it comes to finding a restaurant on the Jersey Shore.

applebee's neighborhood restaurant on the jersey shore

That being said, I had a date with my 10-year-old daughter the other night and I told her that we could go to the restaurant of her choice. Suffice it to say that not only did she not choose Lubrano’s in Manasquan or Avenue in Long Branch, but she went with one of the bigger chains: Applebee’s. I haven’t been there in a while (and she has me wrapped around her finger), so I decided to give it a shot.

When we got there, we asked to be seated in the bar area so we could watch the Yankees on one of the many large screen TVs that line the room. What a great sports bar! They also recently added a pool table if you want to shoot a little pool while waiting for your appetizers to arrive. We got to our table and took a look at the menu. Typical chain restaurant fare: sandwiches, burgers, salads, steaks, and a couple of sizzling plate dishes that Applebee’s created. We decided on an appetizer order of nachos with cheese melted on top and everything else on the side. If you have ever split nachos with my 10-year-old, you will know that this is the only way she will eat them. Out came a huge plate of chips smothered in cheese with sour cream, chili, lettuce, and tomatoes on the side. A great way to start our night together!

Then we were off to the main meal. My daughter ordered her favorite Applebee’s dish, mild boneless chicken. I was tempted to go with a burger or a steak, but ultimately decided on a rack of ribs. I was very pleasantly surprised – they were great! A full rack of perfectly-cooked and flavorful baby back ribs, accompanied by fries and cole slaw. This is a meal that I would definitely recommend to friends.

After we finished our main course it was time for dessert – but unfortunately, we didn’t leave room! Next time, I will definitely sample one of their awesome looking deserts – perhaps the Triple Chocolate Meltdown, the Apple Chimicheesecake, or even their Chocolate Mousse Dessert Shooter. Is your mouth watering yet?

Overall, I had a great experience at Applebee’s on Route 35 in Wall. The food was great, service was on the spot, and I love the sports bar atmosphere. I will be back.

Listing information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2018.