Keyport dealership among the first Ford dealers in the nation to sell new F-150

A Monmouth County dealership is among the first Ford dealers in the country to sell a 2016 F-150 truck.

Joe Jarock Jr., an auto body shop employee and street rod enthusiast, purchased a new 2016 F-150 XLT from Tom’s Ford in Keyport. An employee of Al’s Auto Body in South Amboy for nearly four decades, Jarock has driven Fords his whole life. As someone who says he simply “likes driving trucks,” Jarock is a big fan of the new F-150, which replaced his 1999 F-250. Jarock and his wife use the new truck as a daily driver, enjoying the vehicle’s innovative features, particularly the remote start option.

With a range of high-end features, the new F-150 is making waves in the automotive world for its high-strength aluminum alloy body, which shaves 700 pounds off the total weight of truck and makes the truck more fuel efficient. The EPA-estimated ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined are 5 percent to 29 percent better than previous F-150 models, due in part to the aluminum body.

Serving customers from Sayreville, Matawan, South Amboy, Red Bank, Middletown and beyond, Tom’s Ford has been in business since 1962. With a large inventory of both new and pre-owned vehicles, Tom’s Ford also provides topquality regular automotive maintenance and commercial and diesel repairs.

Tom’s Ford is located at 200 Route 35 in Keyport. For more information, call 732-264-1600.

Indian Business Association hosts Christmas Spectacular at India Square

The Indian Business Association (IBA), Oak Tree Road, Iselin, held a Christmas Spectacular at India Square, located near the Oak Tree Road Shopping District. The program, which culminated in the lighting of the IBA Christmas tree, featured live music performances and dance groups.

“We blended classic Christmas carols with Indian music to create a unique program that the people really enjoyed,” explained IBA Executive Vice President Viru Patel. “The audience really loved Rudolph and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” he stated.

Santa Claus made a special appearance and distributed more than 1,500 gifts to children, who also enjoyed train rides and other activities. The free event, open to the public, drew families from across New Jersey.

“We are developing Oak Tree Road into the Indian community’s Times Square. Today, we brought that dream closer to reality with our own version of Rockefeller Center,” said Dhiren Amin, president of the IBA. The 23- foot Christmas tree adorned with lights and ornaments will be on display through January.

“The Township of Woodbridge really worked with us in organizing the event,” said IBA Chairman Chandrakant Patel. The Iselin Fire Department had a fire truck on site and gave tours to visitors. The Christmas tree was lit by Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, and other members of the Woodbridge Council were present as well.

“Our goal for this event was to create a bridge between the Indian community and the larger community. We had many new faces visit Oak Tree Road for the first time. That’s good for the community and it’s good for the businesses on Oak Tree Road,” said Mahesh Shah. “I was so happy to see the look on the faces of children as they met Santa,” he added.

“We are also grateful that Santa stopped by India Square,” Amin added.

Patrick Ewing selling New Jersey home for more than $6.9 million

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New Jersey and Rockland County, N.Y. announces that Michele Kolsky-Assatly, an award-winning affiliated sales associate, has been selected to market and sell a private manor owned by retired Hall of Fame basketball player and NBA coach Patrick Ewing. The luxurious property is situated on 1.8 acres in Cresskill.

Located in exclusive Tamcrest Estates, the magnificent all-brick manor home is being offered at $6,998,000. Among the features are a residence offering seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms, outdoor recreation areas including a basketball court, swimming pool with spa and luxury amenities.

Classic and contemporary best describe the manor, which combines traditional design with contemporary architectural details. The home features an open floor plan with hardwood flooring throughout, a grand foyer, and two-story great room with double-sided fireplace, and floor-toceiling windows. Other amenities include a library, sitting room and private deck overlooking professionally landscaped grounds.

The spacious kitchen features custom marble counter-tops, high-end stainless steel appliances, a dining area, sunroom and butler pantry.

The second floor, which can be reached by elevator, offers a private sitting area and balcony overlooking the great room. The master bedroom suite features a gas fireplace, ample closets and private deck. The luxury master bath offers a steam shower, soaking tub, and his and hers vanities. In addition, there are four sizable bedrooms all with their own private bath. Numerous entertainment facilities include a sizable bar and movie theatre.

“I am honored to represent this spectacular, custom home,” said Kolsky-Assatly, who is affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Fort Lee. “This is truly a premier residence that offers the discerning buyer immense privacy only minutes away from New York City.” With more than $1 billion in sales during her storied career, Kolsky-Assatly is one of the leading Coldwell Banker residential real estate brokers internationally. She has been ranked as the No. 1 real estate agent in New Jersey, achieving the honor for 18 years, and has been the No. 1 agent in Bergen County for 21 years. She has earned every meritorious award offered by Coldwell Banker including the prestigious International President’s Premier, the highest honor presented to the top one percent of the company’s more than 82,000 sales professionals worldwide.

She has established one of the most effective teams in the real estate industry, which includes her son Michael Kolsky. Their commitment to their clients is renowned and their expertise is highly sought after. Together, they serve all of Bergen County specializing in luxury hirises, town homes, land and estates, and representing custom builders, developers, celebrities and designers.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New Jersey and Rockland County, N.Y., a leading residential real estate brokerage company, operates 55 offices with more than 3,100 affiliated sales associates serving all communities from Rockland County, N.Y. to Monmouth County. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New Jersey and Rockland County, N.Y. is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company. Visit https://www.ColdwellBankerHomes.com/t ri-states for more information.

WHY WAIT?

If potential buyers are waiting for a better deal before deciding to purchase a home, they should take careful stock of current conditions. The facts are that mortgage interest rates are hovering near historic lows and home prices are generally lower than where they were almost a decade ago. In addition, home values have risen for more than five years, which translates into increasing equity for homeowners who purchased homes during that period. Rents are also higher than mortgage payments in many areas. On top of all that, unemployment is finally down to prerecession levels. With all this in mind, buyers have every reason to take advantage of market conditions and buy the homes of their dreams.

Should you be considering the purchase of real estate, this may be the perfect time for you to do so. Low interest rates, a wide variety of financing options and a large inventory of properties for sale make it an ideal time to buy. You will benefit from my real estate knowledge and expertise. Contact me today to arrange an initial meeting. My office is conveniently located at 1199 Amboy Ave., Edison. I look forward to meeting you.

HINT: If you are thinking about buying a home, crunch the numbers. Conservatively speaking, you should spend no more than 28% of your income on your mortgage payment, taxes, and hazard insurance.

Shrewsbury Volkswagen partners with CHOP for holiday toy and gift drive

Shrewsbury Volkswagen, the region’s largest Volkswagen dealer, is continuing its longstanding partnership with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) by hosting a toy and gift drive to benefit the hospital.

Now through Dec. 20, area residents and businesses are invited to drop off new, unwrapped toys and gifts at Shrewsbury Volkswagen in Tinton Falls. The items will be wrapped and distributed to children at the hospital throughout the holiday season. The toy and gift drive benefits children of all ages — from infant to 17 years of age — and includes toys, games, crafts, books, clothes and all other age-appropriate donations.

While this is the first year that Shrewsbury VW is hosting the gift drive, the dealership has been a long-time supporter of CHOP. Since 2014, Shrewsbury VW has made a donation to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for every vehicle that the dealership sells. This tradition of giving will continue in 2016, and the dealership is excited to add a new level of sharing with this year’s toy and gift drive.

Shrewsbury VW’s association with CHOP is a very personal endeavor for the dealership. In 2013, General Sales Manager Gino Dellomo’s then 2-year-old daughter, Luciana, spent nearly a year at CHOP with an illness. While Luciana has recovered, the care and support that the family received left an indelible impression on both the Dellomo family and the dealership.

“The doctors, nurses and support staff at CHOP helped save my daughter’s life. I knew I wanted to do something to help other people facing the same fears, tears and sleepless nights that my family went through,” Dellomo said. “So we started making a donation to CHOP for every single vehicle the dealership sells, and this year, we’ve added the toy and gift drive to our efforts. We really want to put some big smiles on little kids’ faces.”

Individuals and businesses interested in donating unwrapped toys or gifts can do so by visiting Shrewsbury Volkswagen between now and Dec. 20. The dealership is located at 702 Shrewsbury Ave. in Tinton Falls. For more information, contact Shrewsbury VW at 732-201-5957, or visit the website at www.shrewsburyvw.com.

Hybrid and electric used car bargains

By Jim Gorzelany CTW Features

Used vehicle sales are soaring these days, and so are their prices. Edmunds.com in Santa Monica, Calif., reports that average used car prices have soared to a record high rate of around $19,000.

But there’s one segment of the used car business that’s actually headed in the opposite direction as far as pricing is concerned.

Electric vehicles and gas/electric powered hybrids are being battered in the pre-owned market by an unfortunate combination of market forces. According to the recent Electric Vehicle Retention Report Card compiled by NADA guides in Costa Mesa, Calif., trade-in values of some two-year-old electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are dropping like rocks, with some returning just around 20 percent of their original retail prices after three years.

The best deals are among full electric cars, including the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and the tiny smart fortwo electric drive, which are selling for as little as $10,000 for a 2013 version with around 22,000 miles on the odometer. When they were new, most of these cars carried sticker prices as high as $40,000. According to Kelley Blue Book, a used 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car that gets the equivalent of 112 mpg sells for around $8,000 in the Chicago area. Motorists having modest daily commutes and/or using them for around-town use could find any of these pre-owned electric cars to be real money savers.

As is typically the case, the law of supply and demand largely determines values in the used-car market. With gasoline prices still at least a buck a gallon less than they were a year ago, consumer demand for the most fuel-frugal rides on the road has softened considerably. As it is, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle values tend to plummet more quickly than normal due to a federal tax credit granted to new-model buyers that runs from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the model.

And then there’s consumers’ ongoing hesitation toward electrified vehicles in general. “Used EV demand continues to be hampered by range and technology concerns,” according to NADA guide’s report. “Many three-year-old EVs are now nearing or already to the point where they are no longer covered by their respective manufacturer’s basic warranty due to age or mileage accrual, [which is] a potential concern since an extra layer of risk is being added into the mix when used EV buyers are shopping for vehicles.”

Still, hybrid and EV batteries are usually guaranteed for eight years/100,000 miles, which means a three-year-old used model will still have five years of coverage remaining for this key component. Replacement costs for such power cells can run anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 or more, though prices are expected to drop in the future.

What’s more, with automakers having pushed leasing aggressively in recent years with big discounts and incentives, there’s a slew of two-and three-year old low-mileage models returning to the market. According to the Wall Street Journal, 85 percent of Nissan Leafs were leased last year and the vehicle’s residual values are winding up being thousands of dollars less than originally estimated.

Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing the wildly popular Tesla Model S full electric luxury car selling at cut-rate prices. NADA guides says the Tesla holds tenaciously onto 71 percent of its original cost after two years and is still worth nearly 53 percent of it’s original sticker price after three years.

“The Model S (is) purchased by affluent consumers [and] demand has been predicated on owning a vehicle with cachet and exclusivity,” says NADA’s report. “By comparison, demand for more inexpensive models — such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf — is driven by more pragmatic factors.”

© CTW Features

New models now open daily at two in-demand 55+ communities from K. Hovnanian

It’s been a busy fall for New Jersey’s largest homebuilder, K. Hovnanian Homes. The renowned builder has opened model homes at several new communities this fall, including two of the Garden State’s most popular new active-adult neighborhoods: K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monroe in Middlesex County’s Monroe Township; and K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monmouth Woods in Monmouth County’s Howell Township.

Both communities had tremendous turnouts at their Model Grand Opening events this fall, and the new models are now open for touring every day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monroe, located off Prospect Plains Road in Monroe Township, offers a collection of single-family homes, along with a desirable low-maintenance lifestyle and a variety of resort-like amenities. One of the community’s distinguishing features is its selection of new home designs — the first time any of these floorplans have been offered at a community in New Jersey. The floorplans are more current and offer the open-concept design that is so popular among buyers today, as guests can see when they walk through the Killarney II Loft and Ibiza model homes. Pricing for the homes, which is subject to change, begins in the low-$400s.

Another distinguishing feature of K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monroe is the community’s lack of restrictions on adult (19++) children living at home with their parents. This “family-friendly” policy is unique among active-adult communities in the area. K. Hovnanian’s policy is reflective of today’s “boomerang generation,” with more and more adult children returning home to live with parents after briefly living on their own, either temporarily or for an indefinite period of time.

At K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monroe, homeowners will enjoy a variety of recreational and social opportunities to provide a true “resort-at-home” lifestyle. The community will feature an impressive clubhouse featuring approximately 5,500 square feet of amenities including an outdoor pool, a kiddie pool, bocce courts, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, and a gazebo. Homeowners will also be able to participate in a number of clubs and social activities. Homeowners will also enjoy easy access to major roadways such as the NJ Turnpike, Routes 1, 18, 33 and 130, as well as a nearby Park-and-Ride and an NJ Transit station at Princeton Junction.

Located just off of Route 9 in Howell Township, K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monmouth Woods also offers a variety of attractive single-family homes for adults 55++, along with a low-maintenance lifestyle and a wealth of resort-like amenities. Buyers have an impressive choice of 12 different floorplans, including four loft-style and eight ranch-style single-family homes. Homes will feature up to 3,664 square feet of living space, with two or three bedrooms, with pricing from $379,990 (subject to change). The selection of home designs will include some brand-new floorplans previously unavailable at any of K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons communities in New Jersey.

K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monmouth Woods will feature a 6,900-squarefoot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, a kiddie pool for the grandchildren, a putting green, tennis courts, pickle ball, bocce ball courts and more. Homeowners will also be able to participate in a number of clubs, social activities and events. The new community will offer easy access to Routes 9, 33 and I-195, as well as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Homeowners will also enjoy the convenience of a nearby NJ Transit Park and Ride Howell bus terminal, with direct service into New York City.

Demand for both of these new communities has been high, according to the builder. Plan to visit K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monroe and/or K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Monmouth Woods soon this fall, to tour the brand-new model homes and learn more about current opportunities at these exciting new active-adult neighborhoods. The model homes are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For directions to the Monroe community or for more information, call 800-873- 0902; or visit www.khov.com/Monroe. For the Howell community, call 888-422-9488; or visit khov.com/MonmouthWoods. All homes within the communities are subject to an age restriction whereby the homes are restricted to use and occupancy by at least one person of age 55 years or over, and with no resident being under the age of 19.

BUSINESS BRIEFS

An official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place this weekend at Bounce Back Fitness, 457-459 Main Street, Metuchen.

Bounce Back Fitness is a private personal training studio specializing in training people with physical challenges or injuries. Trainers offer one-on-one personal training, small group training and sport specific training.

Owner Phillip Clermont will be joined at 9 a.m. Dec. 12 by representatives of the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce and the Borough Council.

Stop and start

Q&A with Sharon Peters

Q:

I read or heard there’s a mid-size American car (the U.S. part is important to us) — not a hybrid — that has an automatic cut-off/cuton function for when you’re at stoplights. I haven’t been able to learn what car that is. Can you help?

A:

The 2014 Chevy Malibu got a lot of attention for being the first mainstream midsize sold in the U.S. with what’s termed “stopstart technology” as a standard feature. Fact is, this feature is increasingly available, sometimes standard and sometimes for extra cash. Here’s how it works: The engine shuts off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop (as when you’re stopped at a stoplight or in a traffic jam). The car turns back on in a fraction of a second once the pressure on the brake pedal is released. It’s regarded as a fuel-saver (though, of course, that depends on the kind of driving you do — how many stoplights you regularly hit; how much stop-and-go traffic you encounter). Chevrolet reported that its firstyear Malibu provided a 14 percent gain in city fuel economy. Most manufacturers say the savings is 5 percent to 10 percent or so. It’s available from many carmakers, including some models of Chevrolets, Chryslers, Fords, Hondas and BMWs. It’s safe to say it will be offered on an even greater proportion of the 2016 crop of vehicles that’ll be at dealerships soon. Ford, for one, said last year its stop-start technology would be on about half of its models by 2017. Some who have purchased vehicles with the feature have loved it; others have said it has taken much getting used to (especially when parking). Worse, some hapless buyers have reported that they wound up with this feature without realizing it (poor sales people?) and believed the car was acting up or breaking down within minutes of driving away from the lot. So, note to all soon-to-be buyers: ask whether this is on the car you’re buying, on the chance that your salesperson might not think to mention it. (The function can be switched off — at least in the vehicles that have offered so far — but you’ve got to be aware of its existence to know it’s possible to make it disappear.) © CTW Features What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.