Readers’ Scoop: My Neighbor The Investor

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallDear Scoop,
First of all I would like to thank you for allowing me this forum to let out my frustrations. I have been living in Lakewood for close to ten years.  I came here to learn in BMG, and as my family grew I bought a home, and settled here, and went to work. The neighborhood we moved to was far from yeshiva, and less expensive to buy in. When we moved in there were a few Jewish, and many non Jewish families. It was a respectable neighborhood though. As Jewish families started to move in there were people that bought for the future investment. Probably hoping they could sell at a premium. In the meantime they wanted to rent these homes. They didn’t want to fix them up so they couldn’t get good nice tenants. They rented out to people that are not the most desirable neighbors. We need to call police all the time because of noise every night almost. They have parties every weekend all day with loud music. There have even been gunshots on the block.  My children can’t go to sleep till ten every night when the neighbors know they have to be quiet. There are at least four separate families living in that house. We tried to be friendly, asked nicely, they look at us like we are from outer space. They park cars on their lawn, they have friends coming and going that look like your typical gang members.

The houses on our block owned by investors are starting to crumble. I asked one owner why it isn’t worth it for him to at least knock it down and build a multifamily house. He told me the Township would never allow it because the lot size is too small. He said the town believe it or not makes it difficult for investors to get rid of these homes to builders.

I would think that our committee would actually support revitalizing streets such as ours. Instead I was told they make it very difficult. Why wouldn’t they want to get these houses that are housing numerous families fixed up nice? Many of them are using our schools and hospitals. Only one tax bill has to pay for numerous families. Wouldn’t it make more sense to build apartment buildings or multi family homes that you could rent to a better element? (No, I don’t mean only for Jews. My previous neighbors were non Jews that were very nice. We were so upset when they left, but this investor gave them a lot of money for the house.) Who else would want to live in these run down homes except criminals and illegals?

I heard our politicians read the scoop. It would be nice to get some answers.

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  1. What’s the question, the lot is too small for multi family houses. I do feel your pain but if you read the scoop you would see that many ppl in Lakewood are against growth! They think that vinyl sided multy family homes is not smart growth, they think there is not enough infrastructure, roads ect… They may be right…

  2. You make no sense. If there are numerous families living in that house, it is already multi family housing. Make it leagl and tax it. Our committee is not against growth either so why in this case? I say build whatever looks decent can’t be worse than the garbage I see all over town. Better than the condos that I live in with two apartments per basement.

  3. The lot being to small is not a problem if you play your cards right you have to get a varience whbich is not very hard if you knok the right people

  4. Make those lowlife landlords sell at a lose! I wonder how they would feel if this was their backyard. I wish us people in these neghborhoods would get together!!!

  5. whats this about not allowing small lot size to build? baloney. everyone gets to build whatever they want. and if you cant does that make it muttar to destroy your neighbors’ life by putting in garbage tenants? No mercy on these predatory landlords!

  6. Township just gutted the Duplex ordinance, which is responsible for the revitalization of Ridge Ave, and to a lesser extent the Arlington/MLK area. Reason, Steve Langert doesn’t like it. Menasha and Meir voted against Mr. Langerts changes, but Langer, Singer and other guy voted for. You will be stuck with your neighbors for a long time now.

  7. What I cant understand is there’s so many places to buy investment homes other than lakewood .Everyone knows the community is growing so why buy and rent out to the lowest people on earth when there’s frum neighbors being endangered?

  8. I never heard such twisted logic! Making it legal would be rewarding people for breaking the law. We should go after all the people who disobey and disregard local ordinances and prosecute them.

  9. We need to establish a revitalization program. Similar to the one that was proposed a few years ago in the NJ senate. A bill that Bob Singer voted against. It would have given towns the ability to give tax abatements and low interest loans to builders and restorers of homes in urban areas. The only reason he may have voted no was because the investors were happily collecting high rents on homes that they were not required to maintain. They were happy, and in turn, Bob was happy. We now realize what the toll these specualtors, in the downtown, and all throughout Lakewood, have taken on our well being, and quality of life. We need some new solutions. We need to promote banks that will give low interest loans to builders willing to replace dilapidated houses in certain needy neighborhoods, with responsibly built housing. To make a blanket change in zoning to not allow multi family housing on smaller lots, with no regard to the needs of certain neighborhoods, is not going to solve Lakewood’s housing problems. There should be tax abatemenst given to developers that are able to build apartment buildings in areas that have become slums. Buildings should be built with children in mind, with substantial room to play, and ample parking. Tax abatements, and low interest loans would give builders an incentive to build more responsibly . The losses in tax revenue would surely be recouped in the near future, as property values would rise in the revitalized areas.

    Many of the problems we are currently having with the slums of Lakewood could have been solved if we would have housing inspections done every year on rentals. I have renatal propertiesin other cities, and I know what a hassle yearly inspections can be. But I also know that they keep neighborhoods from falling into disrepair. In the long run everyone including the landlords win. In Lakewood where there is a disproportionate percentage of rented homes than the other nearby towns, it is necessary to establish inspections to keep our town safe, clean, and pleasant. Together with a revitalization program there would be an incentive for the investors and builders to build responsible new housing, or even save a few old historic homes.


  11. Why do we always seem to blame the Landlord, without any accountability to the Tenants? There are many reposonsible landlords including myself, who abide by the township laws and rules of inspection. But continuosly are given tickets for teneants parking on their lawns.

    The long term solution is to give landlords tax abatement and promote banks that will give low interest loans to builders willing to replace dilapidated houses.

    Many of the landlords have purchased their properties during the height of the real estate market and cannot afford to foreclose on their properties and just walk away.

    We need to work together to find a viable solution instead of attacking each other.

  12. Block busting is what seems to be the usual way of doing business by these slumlords. They have done this and continue to do so in my development. When on set of tenants leave, we always have to worry as to what is coming tomorrow.

  13. Exactly 1 year ago, about 30 yungerleit paid a visit to 1 of these investors. Very adamantly we explained to him how his tenant was terrorizing us. It worked wonders with him letting us know that they will be gone. True to his word they were. if enough ppl are serious abt exposing these investors, the investor (yes it can be a rav or yungerman)will usually cave. Chestnut, hearthstone and raintree can try this method for free. It only takes about 15-20 minutes of your time and can help ensure a more peaceful summer. Hatzlocha rabba. If you need hadrach or help call any of the poiskim in town.

  14. So you are saying a landlord of trash with a din rodeph is interested in a viable solution. How many times do us people inthe neighborhood have to call the landlords (and cops). Sell the house at a lose or it will eventually be in foreclosure!

  15. I am of course, strongly against the investors in this town renting out to lowlifes. In our neighborhood we have also fought it tooth and nail includilng some harassing of landlords who didn’t listen to us. SOmetimes it worked and other times it didn’t.
    However I do not want to see multifamily homes built on those lots either. ONe of the advantages of residential areas is the fact that the homes are one family homes. Multi family homes, no matter how beautiful, would also have a negative impact on the nature of the neighborhood.
    To the landlord who wants to know why we don’t attack the tenants:
    When you took in lowlifes, you set yourself up to problems such as parking on the lawns and late night partying! You knew what happens with such tenants and it is your responsibility to keep them in line!

  16. #9—the housing situation is horrible everywhere. because housing is supported by taxpayers, it should be ILLEGAL, i say ILLEGAL to rent to illegals and proof should be mandated……our homeless vets, mentally and physically ill should always be up firrst no matter what…..people say write your mayor, congressman—it will end up in the trash…something grand has to happen, a peaceful riot of sorts–sometimes being loud and cruel is the only way people will pay attention……hey lakewood, ocean and mouth county–good luck and GOD BLESS…

  17. Ridge ave since they let them build uncontrolled it became like manhatton two cars can’t fit thru it takes sometimes ten minutes just to drive on ridge in which before the let the investers build a bunch of dublex on one small little lot it would take two minutes what they should of done is take five feet from the land and make it wider but when you have investers shmear the right people they build and make everyone suffer look what’s going on on county line road it used to take five minutes to get from exit 98 till county line and rt 9 now it takes twenty minutes and the county would make it two lanes like they did in jackson except some builders paid off some people to let them build till county line road so that the county can’t buiild two Lanes it will be to close to the brand new house we are talking about five feet that’s it that’s why n oone should answer the census since the buiders will use it to make more traffic jams which now the state doesn’t let them we can’t let the builders make everyone else suffer anymore

  18. There really isn’t much you can do . Many people bought these sort of homes because of the really cheap prices without thinking ahead . Ya gotta think ahead to the future when you buy . Even if they were to knock down this home there’s no parking and you’ll be searching for spaces like Boro Park . Either buy the house in question or move. I would move if I were you, no amount of money is worth my kids crying when they hear gunshots at night . We all have to remember this is a free country and you really can’t stop people from renting their investments to whomever is willing to buy it Many of these homes are underwater and they can barely recoup what they paid for it .

  19. To annonomus,
    All of the problems you have described are exactly the reason why we need to reevaluate our zoning and planning boards. Both of them, along with the master plan committee are seeded with the “right” members in order to promote certain peoples agendas. Many people would like to see some qualified individuals on those committees with resumes that show at least a rudimentary understanding of traffic, safety, and architectural propriety. A committee that understands the needs of the community, but can make demands of builders to make sure that what is built, does not cause more problems than the housing it replaced. An overall ban on certain lot sizes is an easy fix, but will hurt many builders that are willing to work with the township to build responsibly.

  20. Wow. I think the author has bigger problems than his neighbors. You should try learning to write in standard English…it may help you! It is truly scary when someone would post something like this in a public forum.

  21. Hmmm Baruch are maybe you one of those defensive slum lords?The man own his home, pays his taxes, and has justified safety concerns for his family. He is entitled to peace in his home and safety within his property borders< and you seem only concerned with his grammer. Pitiful!

  22. So now we feel bad for the guy who bought a one family house-
    He filled it with trash and now blames the township for that. The issue of builders has no forum here. This is a landlord who bought a house to flip it. Yes buy it for 200K and sell it for more than 300K. He is unfortunate that the market collapsed. Mind I mention this house flipper has caused many of us to have a mortgage that is another 100K – How I would love to post the names of these people!

  23. Laguna Name them! Expose them for what they are! These people are tearing down this town. Exposing them may bring this invasion of the undesirable element this town has attracted for too long to a halt. Obviouously when some were confronted by a group of men about a year back it did no good. They are still up to their old games. Stop coddling these slumlords and make them clean up thier acts. How would they feel having gunshots in their backyard?

  24. Help me find a forum to embaress these people. Perhaps their shul members. How about the schools using their monopoly to actually help regular people by threatening these landlords with “no acceptance” aren’t these the people we don’t want in our schools

  25. If people weren’t making bidding wars on every little ranch or bilevel house for sale driving up prices 20k a month a few years ago. People like us yungerleit woudnt have felt the panic to “buy something quick” not to be priced out of the market. So everyone is to blame.

  26. HH you are part of thr problem. How many millions of dollars did u make building overcrowded townhouses in this town? now that you cashed out, all you have to say is Mea culpa? Shame on you. As a homeowner in a neighborhood with only One family residences, I applaud Steven Langert for Standing up to the builders and limiting what kind of duplexes cabn be built. i dont want someone building a duplex next to me and ruin my neighborhood just because they made a bad investment.

  27. Do you even know the first thing about Hershel? He never made millions in townhouses. He fixed over the most disgusting part of downtown. And he is trying to make it nicer. You think you will asassinate his character just like that. People are not that dumb. As for steve langert. He couldn’t give a hoot about preserving lakewood. He wants to help the big builders and make the little builders suffer. Its the big guys that hurt this town not the few guys building up the bad neighborhoods. He voted for the smart growth plan. To add thousands of homes to an already congested area. If you think he cares you are a fool.we love shopping in Hershel’s toy store. Its one of the only nice things left in lakewood. You guys knocked everything else down. What has steve done? Fired good people? Did he get rid of his salary? You obviously didn’t read what he writes. So shame on you. The senior community is ready to vote for him if he runs. Its time for a big change.

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