Posted on

Reader says the sky is not falling in Ridgewood

Ridgewood Village Council

file photo by Boyd Loving

This just in: the sky is falling!!!!!

Ridgewood schools are still ranked highly, and even are ranked above Tenafly by several organizations. Niche.com also rates the entire Ridgewood public school district as 7th best in the state (Tenafly is 15).

As far as the real estate market goes, I am certainly no realtor, but I can tell you that homes around $1M in the Upper Ridgewood area (near Willard School) are still going in bidding wars and for above asking price. I have several friends who recently purchased in the area and some who are currently looking for a larger house within Ridgewood, and these are the stories I hear. In some cases I have heard that 20% down isn’t even enough for houses $1M+.

Some countervailing thoughts:
1. Wall St/Finance mostly drives the top of the market. That end is definitely soft and will remain that way. One might argue that the huge bonuses created a market segment that is inherently unsustainable. The 4k-5k sq ft homes are definitely going to be hard to sell. If you are around the $1MM mark there remains a robust market
2. A home should not be viewed as a real estate investment. Historically, residential real estate keeps pace with inflation over time (decades). In the short term there are of course peaks and valleys. I have been in Ridgewood for almost 40 years, so I have seen dramatic increases and long flat periods. that’s real estate.
3. School system is in decline? Based on these arbitrary metrics from magazines trying to sell copy? I don’t see it.
4. Taxes in Ridgewood have always been high. This is not a new development.
5. I am an early baby boomer. I am still here. When and if I leave Ridgewood it will have nothing to do with the real estate market or the school system–it will be a lifestyle decision.
6. Apart from the unpleasant crew (Aronsohn et al) that recently tried to disrupt the fabric and culture of this village, this has been a very nice place to live and raise kids for many years. It will continue to be. Take the long view–don’t plan your life around the ups and downs of the real estate cycle.