2010 Sep 29th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap Up – Hoboken Condo Sales & Activity for the Week of September 29th

Hoboken Condos Sales & Activity – Week of September 29th

I noticed something interesting in the closed sales this week. One of the properties that just closed, 61 Madison, was listed at 2252 square feet, in accordance with the tax records. It is a triplex with an indoor garage and an adjoining indoor storage space (i.e., a room with no windows although this owner had an indoor pool in the room). The almost identical unit with the exact same footprint and floor plan, at 506 Observer, sold in February this year is in the tax records and on the MLS at 2054 square feet. 506 Observer was listed at $849k and sold for $830k or $404 a square foot. 61 Madison was listed at $1.2 million and just sold for $990k or $440 a square foot using the 2252 number. They are identical floor plans so why would they have significantly different square footage in the tax records? Could it be because the people at City Hall who enter this information made a mistake or were inconsistent and included the “storage” room in 61 Madison’s 2252 number but did not include it for 506 Observer? If you take the 200 square foot storage room out of the 61 Madison property it would bring the price paid per square foot up to $482 or almost 20% more than that which the buyers of 506 Observer paid. Did someone drop the ball here? I have no idea.

The lesson for buyers out there is be very careful to double and triple check facts. This is not the first time I’ve seen discrepancies in square footage in the tax records. If an owner has an understated square footage they may be paying less than their fair share of maintenance. If the square footage is overstated, they may be able to sell their property for a higher price than they would otherwise. So the seller may not be motivated to fix an error. Who is responsible when something like this occurs? The buyer? The buyer’s attorney who had the chance to perform due diligence? The listing agent? The seller? City Hall? It seems like when situations like this arise, it could be unfair for a buyer to rely on information that may not be accurate or when a buyer makes a purchase decision based on incomplete information. Bottom line – caveat emptor, or buyer beware!

Disclaimer: The data relating to real estate transactions on this web site comes in part from the Hudson County MLS. While some of these listings are, in fact, our listings they are not ALL our listings nor do we hold them out as such. Century 21 Listings are identified with “C21” after the address. Other listings are from the MLS and are identified with “MLS” after the address. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Studio & 1 Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

10 new listings

182 active

1 Dabo

5 Sold

13 price reductions

Two Bedroom Hoboken Condos:

32 new listings

261 active listings.

191 under $600k

75 over

6 Dabos

6 sold

20 price reductions

Three Bedroom and Larger Hoboken Condos:

3 new listing

53 active listings.

3 Dabo

2 sold

2 price reductions

Hoboken Condo Open Houses

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Thanks for reading and, as always, we welcome your comments!

  1. Craig

    I find it curious that two units in two different buildings would be identical. What are the odds of that? Or is it one attached building, seeing as how the two addresses are around the same corner? The 2 decks of 506 Observer total 375 sq, ft., the storage room is 169, and the garage 448. None of these spaces match up to the 198 sq. ft. difference in advertised square footage of the two units, so I don’t think the exclusion of one of them explains the discrepancy. But I have another possible explanation.

    There are different methods of measuring square footage that can result in varying numbers. The advertised square footage of my condo was 1301 and that matched the tax records and the architectural plans of the master deed. However the bank appraiser measured a little over 100 sq, ft. less than those numbers. How can this be? I think the bank appraiser didn’t include closets and utility spaces (for the furnace, hot water heater, laundry). I think these spaces should be included because even though they are not typically occupied, they are heated habitable space inside the unit (unlike a garage or balcony which should be excluded). I thus suspect that 506 Observer is short 198 sq. ft. compared to the identical 61 Madison because its interior clothing and utility closets were likely excluded from its measurement.

  2. bill

    Craig – if they were built by the same builder its entirely possible.

    They dont call them “cookie cutter” apartments for no reason.

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