Monday, August 16, 2004

New Jersey Plays Fast and Loose with Your Land

This is a comment I posted at Betsy's Page blog about her post on being a resident of New Jersey. She was referring to an article that details the poor management of New Jersey.

I grew up in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. For those unfamiliar with this area of the state, and its unofficial mascot, The Jersey Devil, the Pine Barrens are generally the mainland area near all of the famous South Jersey shore spots. My parents bought a four-acre property when I was five years old. I heard my father tout the property as an investment--a boon in his old age when he could divide it and fund his retirement. It was when I was about ten that a law was passed governing the amount of frontage a property could have--it was slightly more than half the frontage of his investment. That was it: no more additional income from 'his' land. My best friend's father purchased 20 acres when she was little. They held onto to it for 20 years and finally built their retirement home. They sold it three years later to escape the property and income taxes of New Jersey and fled to Delaware. During the sale, they realized very little return on the investment--the lone house they had built on that 20 acre parcel was the full extent of the development allowed by the time they sold--another retirement ruined. New Jersey--the land of broken dreams and little equity.

Kim--no longer a 'Jersey Girl'

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