On the Banks of the ol’ Raritan

In honor of my beloved Scarlet Knights football team starting the week at #21 in the USA Today college football poll, I thought I’d once again bring out a vintage listing card from “the vault” and showcase another cool property that Coldwell Banker Real Estate’s Previews program handled back in 1936!

 On the Banks of the ol Raritan

First collegiate football game, 1869

When the 50,000 fans come to High Point Solutions/Rutgers Stadium this weekend to watch the RU-UConn game, they will drive onto Busch Campus in Piscataway, NJ.  Back in the day, however, Rutgers used to play at the site of the first college football game in 1869 (Rutgers beat Princeton!) on the College Ave. campus, across the Raritan River in New Brunswick.  That changed in 1938 when Rutgers Stadium was built…but there was no Busch Campus then.  Instead, there was a 65 acre parcel of land called “Overlook” that fronted the Rutgers golf course and the stadium site.

Today, that parcel represents the academic buildings and dorms and student center at Busch Campus.  As an undergrad, I took all my Physics, Biology, Organic and Math classes at Busch and even saw the Ramones and R.E.M. live, outside on the lawn at Springfest.  And of course, I led my fraternity onto the field to tear the goal posts down at the final Rutgers-Princeton game in 1980 after a convincing Scarlet Knights win!

That listing card is seen below (click to enlarge):

busch 11 1024x453 On the Banks of the ol Raritan


busch 2 1024x450 On the Banks of the ol Raritan

The 1936 listing price: $40,000.  Interestingly, that’s slightly below the in-state tuition cost today for four years at Rutgers!

More to come from the vault…


top photo: courtesy of scarletknights.com

header image courtesy of Flickr user lisatozzi

Grand Rapids Michigan is the Comeback Kid

Sunset in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Don’t we all love an underdog?  From Rocky to the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team to Butler in recent editions of March Madness. But in real estate, allow this to be the third installment of our love affair with the “comeback kid” –  Grand Rapids, Michigan.

You may remember back to January 2011 when Newsweek declared that Grand Rapids a “dying” city.  Ouch.  That was harsh.  And remember how we rallied around the great YouTube video that showed that the town would not take such a debunking lightly?   From that point on, I was hooked on Grand Rapids!

So imagine my delight to see that my favorite Michigan city saw its median home price according to the National Association of Realtors increase by 19% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same time a year ago.  Grand Rapids was second in the nation behind Cape Coral/Fort Meyers in Florida that had a 28.1% increase!

To be fair, the Grand Rapids median price is still slightly under $100K but I call that a bargain.  In Grand Rapids, you get the Gerald R. Ford, Presidential Museum, minor league hockey and baseball, art, culture and less than an hour to the Lake Michigan beaches!

And we can’t forget one of the best YouTube video of all time!


Image provided by Michigan Municipal League (MML)