Why a House in New Jersey Didn’t Sell Even With a $10 Price Tag

For sale sign in front of house

How can I sell my house fast in New Jersey?” is often the first question that crosses the minds of most homeowners who plan a property listing.

Some may think of discounting the resale price below its market value, so it was quite surprising when a mansion in Montclair failed to attract buyers’ attention even after being listed for just $10 in July 2017. Despite the significantly low price, the 4,000-square-foot property didn’t spark interest among house hunters because of a particular clause in the purchase deal. High real estate taxes in the state, which can cost up to $24,000, likely contributed to the lukewarm response to the listing.

You Need to Move the Mansion

Anyone who would have bought the Montclair mansion would have to spend a considerable amount to move the property within a quarter-mile distance. This would have cost them at least $200,000 for the relocation. The local township planning board required the transfer after it awarded the land rights to a property company, which has built eight stand-alone houses on the 2.7-acre site where the historic mansion was once located at 44 Pleasant Ave.

Median home prices in the state cost $342,000, so you might think that $200,000 was already a steal. However, there would have been ancillary costs like home renovations and routine maintenance aside from the moving expenses. The 110-year-old Victorian mansion had six bedrooms and three-and-a-half-bath rooms. Care and maintenance would have cost a fortune as well due to the home’s amenities.

High Property Taxes

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House

Real estate taxes in New Jersey can account for up to 18% of an individual’s income. In Essex County, the taxes depend on a home’s assessed value. This means that even if you did pay $10 for the mansion, there’s a chance that tax authorities in your area might still use a different figure to determine the actual rate.

The total property taxes in Montclair Township cost around $9,021 in 2018 for a home bought for approximately $291,605. Based on these figures, you can just imagine how much it would cost if the assessed value of the Victorian mansion turned out to be in seven figures. Tax rates in Montclair aren’t the most expensive in Essex County.

If you bought a house in Irvington Township for around $288,000 last year, you may need to pay more than $16,000 in taxes. The cheapest tax rates are in Avalon Borough, Cape County, where homeowners will likely pay almost $1,560 for properties with an assessed value of $320,000.

The century-old mansion in New Jersey didn’t go off the market in 2017 because of the steep price of relocating it, making improvements and then spending on maintenance for a huge property. The $10 price tag was already a catch since it first went on sale for $1.35 million. The house served as a good example of why a low price doesn’t always guarantee a quick transaction. Sellers still need a competent real estate agent to market their properties to the right clients.

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