Jersey boy Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, went back to his roots, sort of, when he bought a house on the Navesink River in Red Bank, N.J. With a sale price of $3.8 million, was the deal a steal or a ripoff?
Realtor Emily ("Peggy") Kaeli of the Gloria Nilson office in Rumson said that the selling price was in line with prices of comparable properties and that the $3.8 million price has now become the "comp" for similar homes.
According to RedBankGreen.com, Monmouth County records show that the house was appraised at $2.6 million, with an annual tax bill of almost $42,000. (Many properties show an appraised price that's considerably below current market value.)
"It's an exquisite property in a beautiful location, with a wide expanse of river," says Kaeli of the cedar-shake-sided house sitting on 1.3 acres, with 166 feet of river frontage. "I had a client who was interested in the home -- but he didn't move quickly enough."
The house was actually sold to a family trust, through which Stewart and his wife, Tracey, also bought a Tribeca loft for $5.8 million in 2005.
The Stewart family has not yet moved into the house; reports indicate that some renovations are currently in progress. There has been no word about whether or not the family will make Red Bank their primary home, and Comedy Central says that Stewart is not doing any press right now.
Though Stewart is the first big celebrity to buy in Red Bank, neighboring (and much ritzier) Rumson is home to The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, who also has a "country" home in horsey Colts Neck. On the other (fancier) side of the river, in the Navesink section of Middletown, is Jon Bon Jovi's French-style chateau.
However, it should be said that Stewart will have the better view on his side of the river: He can look across the Navesink and see a panorama of stately mansions and lush landscaping. (Just like the people who live on the Jersey side of the Hudson get to enjoy Manhattan's gorgeous skyline.)
While Red Bank may not be chichi rich, it has occasionally been described as New Jersey's hippest town. (Stop laughing, it's not nice.) If you don't believe that, check out the official (copyrighted) phone number -- 888-HIP-TOWN.
Unlike its richer, quieter neighbors, Red Bank has art galleries, an abundance of restaurants, upscale shops (even a Tiffany & Co. store), and a movie house that often shows indie films.
Understandably, Red Bank residents are excited about the borough's new star power. According to RedBankGreen.com, former Red Bank Mayor Mike Arnone, who lives two doors away, has said that he goes to bed too early to catch "The Daily Show," but likes Stewart from what he knows of him from interviews. The former mayor was quoted as saying: "I find him to be an extremely interesting guy, and very comedic. I admire the guy's quickness."
Another Red Bank resident expressed the hope that Stewart would not attract groupies to the street. But maybe some real-estate groupies would be OK?
See homes for sale in Red Bank, N.J. at AOL Real Estate.