Cheryl Huber a popular Ocean City, N.J. real estate agent

 

Cheryl
Huber a popular Ocean City, N.J., real estate agent

Cheryl Huber drives the top-of-the line BMW 750
(“the big one,” she says) that you’d expect from the empress of Ocean City
real estate. She carries the Versace Couture bag. Her cellphone is on the
ring-always setting that comes with the territory.

Her blond bob went on hiatus following chemo for
ovarian cancer. (The surgery put her out of commission for all of six days.)
But under a thick crop of survivor’s frizz, she’s still the same Hurricane
Cheryl that she’s always been, a force of nature in Jersey
shore real estate for 27 years now, with $15 million in sales this year.
“So far,” she noted.

Huber’s clients at Prudential Fox & Roach range
from O.C.’s most celebrated shorebirds – most recently Gay and Nan Talese – to
the scrapers-by who have been saving their pennies for a fixer-up shack on the
wrong side of the West Avenue thoroughfare.

“This weekend, I was out showing properties
under $200,000,” Huber said early this month. “I just listed one for
$1.2 million.”

Given the free-fall in real-estate values since the
beach bubble of 2005, could this finally be the summer for Philadelphia‘s non-zillionaires to
re-entertain their daydreams of owning a little place down the Shore?

Bottom line: Unless you’ve got millions, don’t
bother fantasizing about oceanfront property. But if you’re willing to settle
for the deed to a motel room, you can get into the Ocean City
real-estate market for under $100,000.

If you’re dreaming the typical Ocean City
shore-house dream, maybe a little cottage with a canvas awning out front or a
sunny floor-through condo a couple of blocks from the beach, you’re dreaming in
$400,000-plus land (down from $600,000-plus before the bubble popped).

Some of what’s now on the market at common OC price
points:

UNDER $250,000: You can pick from several former
hotels and motels that went condo during the bubble years, including the
Hampton-Inn-ish Biscayne Suites near the boardwalk (roughly $200,000 a unit)
and the Crossings Condo-Tel, a throwback motel near a power station (as low as
$65,000). Both have pools.

$400,000 to $600,000: Alas, even post-bubble, this
is the price range for the quintessential O.C. shore house: a floor-through
condo on a popular street like Asbury
Avenue
that’s a block or two from the beach (the
better to attract renters when you’re not there).

On the bright side: “Those properties were
maybe 25 percent to 30 percent higher back in 2005,” Huber said.

PRICE IS NO OBJECT, BABY: Properties with a wall of
windows overlooking the ocean start about $1.5 million for an oceanfront
floor-through condo. It’s a view you could definitely get used to if you had
the cashola to burn.

The priciest oceanfront home in Ocean City
is listed at $4.9 million. To go with the view, you get a single-family manse
with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, an attached 2-car garage, walk-in closets, a
fireplace and central air.

Actually, you probably won’t get it. But it’s nice
to dream.

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