NEWSDAY: Buying in Long Beach: Sand, surf and a rising housing market

This municipal lot on the corner of Shore Road and Monroe Blvd is currently up for sale for $3.5 million.
This municipal lot on the corner of Shore Road and Monroe Blvd is currently up for sale for $3.5 million.

For those who want to move to Long Beach (I highly recommend it), Newsday has a whole article on the topic. READ – Buying in Long Beach: Sand, surf and a rising housing market

“Best known for its laid-back lifestyle and its beaches, surfing and boating, and a famous boardwalk that was built in 1914 and rebuilt and reopened in 2013 after it was destroyed by superstorm Sandy, the independent and self-governing city made a true comeback after that storm.”

“Post-Sandy, everyone discovered Long Beach,” says Rubin. “We are getting a whole new crowd here. It’s very hip and diverse. It is another alternative to the Hamptons or for those downsizing who are not going to live in New York City.”

Read the full article over at Newsday, although I can’t tell if it’s behind the usual Newsday paywall.

39 Replies to “NEWSDAY: Buying in Long Beach: Sand, surf and a rising housing market”

  1. just be sure to purchase bulletproof vests for the family and you’re all set. come to think of it, it’s just like NYC, but by the beach!!!

  2. There’s a window of opportunity for sellers to get out at a good price before this place becomes the next Far Rockaway:

    The memories of Sandy are fading and interest rates are low.

    Soon, interest rates will rise, the news of future 10K/year flood “insurance” will leak out, more tax increases will hit the news and the crime brought in with the new Section 8 push will hit the papers.

    The time to sell is soon upon us. Miss this boat, and it will cost you hundreds of thousands…

  3. Gordie working his stupid magic again with another bs marketing piece in that stupid rag. When will Newsday stop being a shill and realize long beach is craphole?!?!? Republicans are our only hope. The fireman is just going to raise taxes too. We are doomed.

  4. I’m genuinely torn as to the idea of purchasing here. On one hand, the speculation is that prices will rise significantly. On the other hand, taxes, flood insurance and Section 8 housing creeping onto every block.

  5. LBEsq, I’ve been reading of your dilemma for awhile now. Let me offer this advice.

    If you like Long Beach buy here. But buy modestly. If you buy a low priced home close to the beach with lots of room for upgrading, you’ll always have value. President Streets or East End Beachside is a safe bet. Learn about flood “insurance” tax rates and choose a home that’s either “grandfathered” or well rated. Avoid condos and coops like the plague. You have little control over their mismanagement.

    Buy a place that needs work. Don’t make a palace. Make a comfortable, modest home. This way your taxes will be low and your investment relatively modest. Invest in location and you’ll have the beach and ocean to offer any buyer down the road.

    Prime areas will always retain value, and the combination of low price, prime area and low taxes will always make your place attractive and make it the last to be “diversified” with Section 8 if the Democrats force you to flee.

  6. Michael, Long Beach City taxes are the 4th highest in the nation. They were 33rd highest five years ago. At the rate we’re going, and with the huge coming increase, they will be the highest in two or three years.

    Nobody can predict the market, Gordon, eh Michael. But I’ve made millions in Long Beach and New York real estate over my lifetime. You have my opinion. If the market doesn’t get you, flood taxes will. I hope you’re right that a single family home here will be worth $1 million in five years. I think you are nuts.

    If you’d like to buy some of my property here, just give me your email address and I’ll show them to you. Like I said, like the big apartment and commercial owners here, I’m selling most if not all of what I have in Long Beach.

  7. @Michael – PUFF, PUFF, PASS!! Smoking some good S*^T……
    Taxes are killing home prices in Long Beach and the Tsunami in changes to flood insurance are going to further bury the common homeowner in Long Beach. In addition, the services in Long Beach are going in the OPPOSITE direction of taxes. Streets have more potholes than ever and are typically FILTHY! Park Avenue keeps getting emptier and emptier. More and more homes, stores, and buildings are ALL for sale. The city school system has signed the taxpayers to a $90,000,000+ bond for not one but TWO unnecessary stadiums and the ONLY way to repay that debt is to RAISE taxes; YEAR, AFTER YEAR, AFTER YEAR! The Newsday “article” reports that the median household income is $84,882, but most teachers in Long Beach Public schools make over $100,000/ year…. The superintendent has not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 assistant superintendents (please verify that information, someone correct me if I am wrong), in a small, very small district… Remember each individual school has its own dedicated principal AND assistant principal.
    I purchased a home in Long Beach last year and my taxes are approaching $19,000/ year before flood insurance. My friend bought a larger home in Lido Beach, with an ocean view, and pays closer to $12,000/ year. With no potholes on his street.
    AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST – the current leadership, in their infinite wisdom, have decided – that the single largest parcel of land ready, for a massive 522 unit over-sized development, which could have single-handedly helped out every City of Long Beach taxpayer that weathered Sandy and the proverbial storm of taxes and flood insurance, should get an approximately $120,000,000 corporate welfare check…. Shows everyone what to expect going forward…..
    Michael – after reading my own post, I beg you please – PUFF! PUFF! PASS!! I think Sandra B. might want some of that too…. We are ALL screwed….

  8. Ok just a bit of a reality/fact check on some of this.

    First if you have a new or elevated home that is FEMA Compliant your flood insurance is under $500 dollars a year.

    The largest portion of our taxes goes to the schools system which has nothing to do with how many paid fireman we have or how well maintained the streets are or what the police chiefs salary is. If you disagree with the school taxes don’t support the budget that people overwhelmingly vote on and support each and every year. We tax ourselves on that one and only have ourselves to blame. Make the school do more with less rather than just giving them more money every year. They have no inventive to trim costs when the budget keeps getting approved. I agree the 90 Million in stadiums was ridiculous but people voted for it. That’s the democratic process.

    The city of LB’s portion of the tax bill for most of is probably under $2000 a year. The rest of the tax bill comes from the county and again that part of the bill has nothing to do with how many paid fireman we have or how well maintained the streets are or what the police chiefs salary is.

    As far as where house prices are going, I think the average sales price is still artificially low as people are still selling storm damaged homes and vacant lots for lot less than what a livable house sells for. Also the sales price of homes that still require elevation are artificially low because the price of flood insurance on them is so high.

    If you look on for sold properties they range from 2.2 Million 625 Washinton Blvd. sold 12/30/2014 to 75 Nebraska that sold for $170K with a property description of “A hot mess, Thank You Sandy.”

    What I would describe as the future of Long Beach home sales the raised FEMA Compliant house (once outside of N. Park area) seems to be about $500K for a one story over garage like $485K for 81 NH St. and $495K for 82 MI almost $600K for two stories above a garage 76 NH St., $575K and 102 MI for $582 with many similar houses selling in the $600-$700K range. So that I believe is where the market is really headed.

    Finally “Love this City” please elaborate on your $19K tax bill; is it waterview/waterfront, Brand new construction, Oversize lot, mega amenities Etc? That is well above what most people are paying and perhaps you need to grieve your taxes. Especially since that 2.2 Mill home listed above has taxes of $29K what is the value of the home you say you are being so overtaxed on?

  9. Yet you aren’t moving. No administration dem or republican will EVER cut the taxes. So move to Texas or Florida and live with the low taxes in an area more your speed.

  10. I Love This City – why would I move? Just because I am able to pay my taxes – doesn’t mean I cannot complain about paying them.. I feel bad for the people who cannot. I am in full agreement both political parties SUCK! I am not complaining about either political party – I am complaining about out of control government; taking more and giving us less. I would complain a lot less if after paying such high property and school taxes the public school system was actually well-run and producing well educated students and our streets were well-maintained….

  11. @MeinLB – No Water view, Not Waterfront. Yes 100×100 No pool – House is falling apart and needs to be gutted. Over-assessed at about $950,000 but purchased it for around $700,000. Have to bring it up to FEMA compliance because we plan on staying there for the foreseeable future. Have started the grievance process but by the time that is done they will reassess me on the finished house… No win situation.
    Yes, the future is FEMA compliant homes but it is very expensive to raise a home.
    The House on Washington is a great waterfront property but the man who sold it owned it for about 35 years (next time I see him I will find out if it was even closer to 40 years) so the new owners might get a big surprise when they are reassessed. Their new house also needs to be updated. But it is probably the nicest house and property on the bay – about 150 feet of bulkhead and a private dock and a great pool.
    The issue that I see is that in 2005 the Washington home was paying about $13,000 in taxes and now you are saying it is paying $28,000. The tax increases cannot continue at this rate unless regular people are going to be forced to move.

    Yes, the people who vote yes to the school budget are to blame.
    Yes, that is democracy…
    Why are you singling out the North Park area, after all it is part of Long Beach….

  12. You my friend are the exception! Must be some palace you have – generally speaking taxes in LB are super cheap well under $10k on the average home! If you choose to live like a king don’t complain about taxes. Bet you complain about the payment on your Lexus being too high also.

  13. “grandfathering” is one its way to oblivion, all flood policies will transition to market rates over the next several years. Either you have a home raised above the BFE, have no mortgage and thus no flood insurance, or you are going to pay a huge flood premium.

  14. People toss this “just raise your house to avoid the flood insurance increase” out like it was easy – in fact most houses in LB cannot be raised, so unless they are demolished and rebuilt to code, you are either going to pay the flood insurance or pay off your mortgage and drop the policy.

  15. Sam’s right. A traditional East End home on a 40 x 100 pays about $10,000 in taxes of which $4400 is to the City of Long Beach. Four years ago, the total tax was $7100. This is unsustainable to pay $850 monthly in taxes.

    These houses cannot be raised. The Federal tax for “flood insurance” is now about $1200 on these homes if grandfathered. It will go up to at least $5500 over the next seven years. I doubt it will stop there.

    So who is going to by this 1920 Reynolds house on a 40 x 100 if carrying costs are $1500 monthly before a dime is spent on mortgage or utilities?

    Those who can raise their houses are faced with more bills: Huge reassessments to reflect their new “values,” water charges for new fire sprinkler mains and huge homeowners’ insurance increases for the fire sprinkler flooding liability. You’re looking at doubling your annual costs when you raise a house.

    So how about some help from the government that’s killing us? No, not $4,000,000 boardwalk bathrooms or street fairs. We need a break in the rampant city spending. We need someone like our local government to stand up to FEMA and their confiscatory flood tax.

    But don’t hold your breath. The party of Billy Crystal gets their votes from nursing home inmates, Section 8 “clients”, City workers and School District employees.

  16. A $500K house in Rockaway pays total real estate taxes of $822. They can pay taxes for eleven years with what we pay for one year.

    The City of New York also fought FEMA to lower most of Rockaway’s flood plain 4 feet lower than ours, so many don’t pay a flood tax.

    There were also 21 murders in Rockaway this year, but who’s counting.

  17. LBEsq. Westholme area is the best bet. Most homes don’t need to be raised; it’s centrally located between the West End and center City. Prices are reasonable and they are older, sturdy homes !

  18. One would assume you either work for the city and get paid by All of us complaining taxpayers, or you are a renter and have no real “skin in the game.” You have no argument except, it is not so bad or stop complaining. No one is complaining about the high cost of a Lexus Lease (I don’t drive a Lexus…) but WE are ALL complaining about paying for a brand new Lexus and getting a piece of crap rusty chevy. Our taxes are luxury level and the services and school system is crap… We, I am putting the others in with me, would gladly pay our absurdly high taxes if we were getting services commensurate with our payments….
    “Taxes in LB are super cheap well under $10k on the average home!” I saw a listing this morning on zillow for a 1,000 sq ft home, 3 bedroom 2 bath on a 3900 sq ft lot with taxes of $6,000 and growing….. that is not super cheap…

  19. @hipsters – why are you afraid of young people and new food coming to Long Beach?

    But don’t worry, “hipsters “will never come to Long Beach because they don’t want to pay the high fees of the Long Island Railroad that long Islanders are stuck with. besides most young people that live in the city, I’ve never heard of Long Beach, and They also think Long Island is a backwards Third World country.

  20. I only single out North Park as the prices for all the real estate in that small geographic area are lower than the rest of Long Beach for a multitude of reasons not small among them it is a high crime area, its adjacent to the sewage treatment plant and its odor, the housing stock is mostly multi unit homes and in general (just my opinion) many of the homes are not well kept. These same factors are why rents are lower there as well when compared to the rest of long beach. Please don’t take this as an indictment of the residents who reside there, it is more a factor of location and that the owners/landlords of those rental properties do not do much to keep them up and that reflects on the whole neighborhood and the real estate market for sales and rentals in the area.

  21. @SAM: No it isn’t cheap, I have been down that road already but figure $100-$150K or so now to raise and pay almost noting for flood insurance or pay $10K a year in insurance for decades. Which is cheaper in the long run? Plus you would benefit from the peace of mind knowing you are safe from flooding and cost to raise would be reflected in price at time of sales as would the low could of insurance.

  22. @Anne – Unfortunately FEMA and the flood maps are not concerned with if “they are older, sturdy homes!” they usually only look at the BFE and if the house is built above or below that specific plot of lands BFE…..

  23. The highest NYC resident tax rate is 3.1%. So the family with a home assessed at $500K in Rockaway with an adjusted gross income of $100K pays a combined NYC income and property tax of $3,822.

    That same family in Long Beach would pay a property tax of $13,844.

    Apples to apples.

  24. Cash buyers are the only people who will be able to own those homes years from now – you carry no flood insurance, if there is a big storm like Sandy you just take whatever disaster relief $$$s you can get and fix what you have and move on. That’s the future for houses like that, because they can’t be raised. That’s why, as you noted above, people who own those homes now and understand what is coming – are selling out before the inbound buyers figure out what is going on. You can be sure the real estate brokers aren’t explaining it to them – LOL!

  25. Taxes in Long Beach are out of control. Here are the top property taxes in the nation:

    County: Median taxes (2014)

    Westchester, N.Y.: $13,842
    Rockland, N.Y.: $10,550
    Bergen, N.J.: $9,546
    Essex, N.J.: $9,288
    Nassau, N.Y.: $9,091

    I can’t seem to find a median property tax from 2014, though I used the Long Beach tax roll to try to calculate and it comes out to over $19,000. I hope that I am miscalculating somehow…

  26. Taxes would be offset (shared) by istar. In fact, this was part of its positive casefor the zoning variance. Are our City Council members for or against the tax relief request? 2 of them (Eramo and Torres) are running for reelection. What is their position? Mr. Eramo had a big fundraiser last Friday night. Was he asked that question? Did he answer it?

  27. @SAM; you can be sure the underwriters at the banks are telling them when they need to provide an insurance binder before closing. So no one is laughing all the way to the bank at time of sale. That’s why the great disparity in home prices between FEMA compliant and non FEMA compliant. The cost of insurance is reflected in the sale price. having dealt with several lifting companies and my own lift project pretty much any house can be lifted now whether or not it makes financial sense is another question especially if they were already repaired. Some people made bad decisions after the storm about repairing or rebuilding through ignorance, emotion, bad advice, greed, Etc. and that decision has consequences that is reflected in the potential or actual sale price of there home whether it is their fault or not and I do feel for them and not to minimize their pain but whats done is done.

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