New Jersey Real Estate and Community News

Dec. 16, 2020

3 Homeowner Myths in Essex, Morris and Union County NJ You Need to Kick to the Curb

 

As a new homeowner in Essex, Morris or Union County, NJ, you may find yourself in the same position as a new parent - advice coming from everyone, solicited or not!

It can be overwhelming, not to mention confusing when that advice conflicts with this advice and everyone has their own way of doing things....and thinks YOU should do it that way, too!

You may also find yourself experiencing doubt and guilt if you don't "do" all the chores all the well-meaning advice givers have added to your chore list with their well-meaning advice!  It can even feel like the house owns you rather than the other way around.

But it doesn't have to; and you don't need to feel burdened by your new home.  Sure, there are maintenance chores that absolutely should be done regularly to keep your new home in tip top condition and not only preserve but even increase its value over time.

However, you can KICK THESE THREE THINGS right to the curb, right now, and not feel guilty at all!  Instead, grab a glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy your home more because now you'll have a little more free time!  Especially when you take your local marketing specialists advice:

 

#1, LAWN LIFE: you don't want to let the grass get waist high, but you also don't want to kill your lawn, which is exactly what will happen if you mow too often or cut the blades too short!  Let it grow....a little bit!  About 2 1/2 - 3 inches is the best blade length that allows your grass to do its job - soak up some sun to thrive and make your home shine with curb appeal.

The second lawn chore you can kick to the curb is fastidious leave raking.  Wait til most leaves have made their graceful way onto the lawn and rake them up.  Then leave the leaves that gently cover the grass come late fall.  They act as a natural mulch for your lawn, feeding it through the winter and even protecting it when the snow covers every blade.

 

#2, PLUMBING PROBLEMS: unless you have a relative in the plumbing business you feel a need to support, DON'T POUR DRAIN CLEANERS DOWN YOUR PIPES!  They tend to corrode your pipes, and cause even more problems down the road.  Instead, invest in a drain snake for clog clearing or call that relative to snake the lines when there's a clog.  It'll actually clear the lines much better and you'll be glad you did.

 

#3, NEIGHBOR NUISANCE: you like your neighbors, your neighbors like you.  You even get together for backyard barbeques and the occasional dinner out.  What happens when that big limb from their tree falls onto your garage roof?  Or worse!  When your limb chooses their outbuilding to sabotage?

DON'T REACH FOR YOUR WALLET! Instead, reach for the phone in EITHER of those scenario's and call your homeowners insurance carrier immediately.  Le tthe professionals do what you are paying them to do and the friendship with the neighbors may be saved as a result.

Now that the heavy load of maintenance when you own your home has been lightened, are you ready to take the plunge?  Discover your new home to welcome in the New Year by visiting: https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com/search/advanced_search/

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 11, 2020

Location-Commute Time-Amenities affect real estate choice in New Jersey

Depending on where you were employed, shopping for a house in northern New Jersey usually involved calculating how difficult your commute to work would be. Whether it was measuring the distance to public transportation, the nearest highway, or timing the total drive, home buyers had to consider their daily routine before making an offer.

Then the COVID pandemic changed everything. People began working from home. With more of us working from home, commute times have become less of a factor in home buying decisions and that is changing how and where homes are being purchased.

Once, most of us wanted homes no more than an hour from our place of business. With work-from-home changes, people are looking at buying homes 100-500 miles from the brick and mortar building where they once occupied desk space.  This has also changed the amenities people are seeking access to weekly during what were once working or commute hours!

Another big change the real estate market is experiencing is the cycle of sales.  Winter typically has seen a major slowing in the market.  This year, like almost everything else, is different.  Defying all seasonal trends, as we head into the winter months, the market has not only remained active but it's growing!

All evidence points to continued strong buyer demand, which the inventory is having trouble keeping up with.  Favorable mortgage rates are certainly a portion of what's driving the market, but it isn't the only factor.  Rates have been low for well over a year, yet sales are up more than 60% over 2019 as the pandemic year of 2020 comes to a close.

For potential home sellers, the usual stance of "wait until spring" to put a home on the market does not apply. Buyers are looking, in high numbers, right now and closings are happening FAST.

Take a look at the market here:https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com/search/advanced_search/

Then give your local marketing specialist a call to find your home buyer before the New Year!

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 18, 2020

2 End-of-Year Real Estate Tips for nothern NJ Sellers

Homes in New Jersey’s most desirable, easy commute communities are still very affordable for first time home buyers.  In part due to excellent employment opportunities, including an influx of work-from-home options, and the continuing low mortgage interest rates. The strong economy has also meant strong equity gains for current northern NJ homeowners looking to sell a property.

 

Demand remaining at all time highs for new homes is good news for the whole housing market at every price point.

 

As large numbers of first time buyers seek out those more affordable starter homes, it opens up new possibilities in the mid-priced to luxury markets as well.

 

While most of the attention is focused on the sale price of a home, a buyers potential monthly mortgage payments and any necessary renovations or maintenance projects, your local marketing specialist recommends December as a great time to take a moment to look ahead at two other area’s in the cost of homeownership:

 

TAXES:  It’s a good idea to plan for a monthly payment if you can, but if you pay these separate from your mortgage, December is when property tax assessments come out.  For specific questions, you’ll want to consult a tax specialist, but if your assessment increased, a Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) might be helpful in bringing that number down.

 

On a positive savings note, this is a great time to note any TAX DEDUCTION  you are eligible to take for mortgage interest paid over the previous year.

 

INSURANCE: No one loves thinking about insurance; until they need it!  An end-of-year check up on your homeowners insurance is a good idea.  

  • Make sure you aren’t overpaying, by comparing rates with other company offerings and also checking that you aren’t double-insured between homeowners and auto policies
  • Make sure you have enough coverage based on the current value of your home rather than the value when you first took out your policy

 

As 2020 winds down, we’ve all had more distractions than usual to divert our attention from these small, but significant concerns. 

 

To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 13, 2020

BEING THANKFUL in northern NJ

On a Thursday in November each year, we have the pleasure of releasing ourselves to the idea of THANKFULNESS!

They say speaking out loud the things you are grateful for strengthens your heartbeat, lowers your stress levels and puts a smile on your face – which has its own positive effect on your body and soul.

I’m grateful for my health, my family and the great FUN I get to have when I go to work everyday!

Can I name a fourth?  (You can too)

I am truly thankful for every person who put their trust in me to help them sell or purchase real estate this past year.  

If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t get to do what I love best.

AS YOUR LOCAL MARKETING SPECIALIST, MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL OF MY CLIENTS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE THIS THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

Posted in Community News
Nov. 13, 2020

Staying HOT in the Essex County NJ cold weather real estate market

Spring and summer may get the most attention, but Fall into Winter are great seasons to sell a house in Essex County, NJ!  In fact, Fall is a really popular time for real estate.  Buyers love the cooler temperatures as they get in and out of cars, walk through house after house and can usually take more time to tour the home thanks to kids being in school.

Your local marketing specialist has marketing plans for each season, but here are three specific tips for Autumn:

Keeping Up With The...Leaves - Falling temperatures mean that the leaves will be falling too. Rake the yard often to keep leaf pile-ups to a minimum.  Now of course it's fine to have some leaves in the yard - tis the season after all. But you don't want them hiding flower beds or covering walkways, creating a slick safety hazard as potential buyers come and go!

Fall Into The Season - Log on to Pinterest and you will be bombarded with fall decorating DIYs and tips. It isn't just Autumn, its holiday season, offering so many decorating opportunities to give your buyer the warm fuzzies about your house. Make your home feel festive and help the buyers picture themselves enjoying the holidays there!

Bake Bake Baby! - We all know that when the weather starts to cool off we start to crave warm delicious baked goods. Comfort food for cool weather! So if you have the time baking something for buyers is a great move, not just so that they have something to snack on but also the smells! Nothing feels more homey than walking into a warm home filled with the smell of fresh baked cookies on a cool day. (We know that not everyone has the time for that so if all else fails grab your favorite sugar cookie candle and give it a light for showings!)

To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 13, 2020

Home in Montclair and Glen Ridge NJ

Some of the best parts of Autumn aren't the parts you can see; it's the parts you can only smell.  But you can't smell them and you most certainly cannot enjoy them - unless you sit.  You'll miss them if you aren't sitting.

You can swing while you sit.

You can hold still while you sit.

You can sway while you sit.

You can sit on a swing.

You can sit on a forgotten summer lawn chair.

You can sit on the back porch.

You can sit on the front porch.

You can sit on a bench.

You can sit on a log or even a tree stump.

It is the same with a house you thinking about buying.  

To experience the very best parts of the house you are contemplating making your own isn't just about the parts you can see; it's the parts you can only "feel" when you sit among them.

To truly appreciate the house you are considering calling "HOME" at any time, but especially during the season of Fall - you must sit and you must breathe in the smell of the season through the lens of the home.  

You must sit to hear what the home has to say to you, as well as the surroundings of the home.  You must sit to hear how the neighborhood calls to you.  You must sit to truly absorb all there is about this new place you want to stash your stuff in and cook your meals in and live all the best parts of your life in and be comforted in the sorrowful times of your life by and call this house your own home.

Because at the end of each day, when you are ready to return to the place you call home, you will have a deep desire to sit in the yard of the place you call home, and know that it welcomes you into its peace and its secrets and its rhythms.

Only then, when a house speaks quietly and privately to you, will you truly know that you are HOME.

To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 11, 2020

Buying and Selling a Home in New Jersey

In light of the changes and events that have disrupted 2020 and which directly affect the real estate market, a question being heard most often by myself and other real estate agents is, "Is this even a good time to buy or sell a house?"  

With your local marketing specialist  to walk you through the process, this may actually be the BEST time.

Those who are closely monitoring real estate agree - current low mortgage interest rates and a strengthening jobs market is a winning combination leading to high numbers of buyers in the marketplace, raising the level of demand for homes for sale. 

In the real estate industry, the temptation to "try it on your own" presents itself as a reasonable alternative to hiring an agent.  Thanks to the ease of online searches you may decide there's no reason you couldn’t check out neighborhood details and sale prices and even craft your own offer to buy. 

As a seller the idea of commission savings might cause you to discount the intricacies of working through the ever-changing and possibly confusing legalities of zoning, building codes, required legal disclosures, list versus sale price data and terms of a sale.  

The negotiations of these items can deeply affect emotional and financial health for years to come.  All the more reason not to walk that path without the expertise of a professional!  

With all the online data available, it's easy to forget that interpreting that available information is where market expertise and experience proves most necessary.  Additionally, you need to take into consideration laws and regulations that affect your legal responsibilities to the buyer of your home or to the seller you're buying from concerning those disclosures, inspections, contract inclusions and exclusions. These are the details that take the specific educated skill set of a licensed, professional agent.

By working with a licensed real estate agent, you receive the legal covering of their fiduciary responsibility to you the client, to do what is in your best interests and that offers safeguards you might not otherwise enjoy.  There is a certain confidence when you know someone experienced and accountable has oversight of your real estate transaction. 

When you factor in the emotions that come into play for most of us when buying or selling a home, a dispassionate third party handling negotiations is a plus that just makes good sense.  It is likely safe to assume that having a professional to assist and deal with the intricacies of not just the paperwork, finances, inspection coordination but all of the other aspects of selling or purchasing a home is in your own best interest.  

 

Home sales are actually up overall, with homes selling for as much as 3.8% over list price in many cases.  Expectations for the remainder of 2020 and through 2021 are high, as the market activity currently shows no signs of slowing.  

 

Start your search right here, right now, then contact me when you are ready! To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit http://njrealestatehomesearch.com

 

 

Nov. 9, 2020

SALUTE TO VETERANS

(THIS POST IS REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR)

Poor was always an honorable word around our beaten down rental shack; as in poor BUT hard working, poor BUT honest.  We never really even knew we were poor since there was always food on the table and laughter to be heard at each meal.  Mom worked hard, taking care of their children while her husband, our father, was absent from us; taking care of nameless, faceless others mom told us were our “fellow Americans”. 

This November 11th those fellow Americans (you and I) will be honoring those many veterans of war near and in far off places.  These are the brave our National Anthem should call to mind each time we hear it, brave and ordinary fellow Americans like my dad who answered the call to meet the challenges of war so all us fellow Americans could continue to pursue our personal hopes and dreams.

Returning home, like many soldiers with family concerns, my dad’s thoughts were all about getting on with the business of living his life and providing for his family. We were still poor, but he was determined we would own our very own little piece of the America he had fought so hard to preserve.

You can hardly begin to imagine how delighted we all were the day he and mom drove up the drive of our rented shack with big smiles on both their faces.

“Climb on in” they beckoned us kids, “we’ve got a great surprise to show you!”

I think every one of us, even my big brother, had tears rolling freely down our faces as mom and dad introduced us to our new home.  Not a rented shack, not a rental at all, but the most beautiful farm house I ever could have imagined, sitting pretty on its own few acres.

That house and what it meant to our family made such an impact on me that I grew up with a burning desire to see to it that lots of other fellow Americans had the chance to experience what my sisters and brothers and I did, that day our parents brought us for the first time to what would be our very own home at last!

Since 1944 VA loans have helped families like ours, giving them the opportunity to make home ownership an affordable option for those who serve in the U.S. Military.  Requiring no down payment, a VA loan also allows both active and non-active duty personnel to qualify for larger loan amounts than they might otherwise with conventional loans.  

The benefit package has changed some over the years, experiencing an expansion that increased the benefits in 1978.  Then it expanded further in 1992, with an amendment allowing those in the Reserves and the National Guard eligibility too.

As your local marketing specialist, I stand ready and willing to serve the real estate needs of our heroes this Veterans Day, the American Veteran.

THANK A VET THIS NOVEMBER 11th

AMERICAN VETERANS WE SALUTE YOU 

AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

Posted in Community News
Oct. 21, 2020

Selling Your Luxury Home in Montclair, NJ

When it’s time to sell your luxury home in Montclair or Glen Ridge, what are those buyers looking for?  And what type of marketing should be pursued?  How should a showing be handled?

These are the questions sellers of high end properties should query potential agents about, because there are key elements that differentiate the sales experience at each price point tier.

Your local marketing specialist has the expertise in the luxury home market to facilitate your desired outcome in the sale of your high end home.

FIRST; understand that typical selling seasons only minimally effect a luxury home sale, unlike the starter home market, often driven by other life trends. So anytime is a good time to put your home on the market.

SECOND; while conventional mortgage concerns directly impact most buyers, the luxury home buyer is not as restricted by those same concerns.

THIRD; seasonal trends and especially holiday seasons traditionally drive markets to a large degree.  High end home sellers and their buyers are mostly free of those traditional constraints, as there are more options available and time to work out details to come to mutually acceptable purchase agreements.

WHAT TO EXPECT; Most often, a luxury home offer to purchase comes without contingencies, such as needing to sell an existing home to close a sale. 

Showings will likely be scheduled and conducted with emphasis on your concerns and safety factored in for all parties.

Luxury home buyers tend to have greater focus on details such as location, views, amenities, commute circumstances and the features and finishes of the home as well as the surrounding landscaping.

Luxury means different things in each marketplace. Defining what it means for buyers in our marketplace with the help of your local marketing specialist assures you make the most of the process. 

 

Visit: https://njrealestatehomesearch.com to find out what your home may sell for and to see what’s available in the real estate market NOW!

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 15, 2020

55 Plus in Montclair, Cedar Grove, Bloomfield, Verona

 

Over 50 or age 55 plus and considering a change from your Montclair, Cedar Grove, Bloomfield or Verona home? Essex County offers a variety of lifestyle choices for singles, families and seniors.  And this is especially true, when you are of an age moving from the parent to grandparent stage, where change is inevitable.  

Your needs and the needs of your family change, but that connection to community is still a vital one.  Where you live and how you live makes a difference to your happiness level at every stage of life’s incredible journey.  

When your career is closer to planning the retirement than choosing the growth path; when savings is more about living expenses being covered than the next fancy vacation; who can you turn to for real estate advice?

Bearing the proud badge of the National Association of Realtors designation SRES, your local marketing specialist has the expertise to assist real estate consumers with a “senior” designation. The Seniors Real Estate Specialist training focuses on the real estate challenges for those in the 50 plus category, because the needs and concerns are different than our single, young couples and young families wants and needs in a home.

Downsizing sounds so simple; just purchase a smaller house!  However, there is really so much more to it than that, not to mention the very different financial considerations as well.  

The specific needs to consider both now and later must all be well thought out in advance to avoid making one move now and then possibly another a short time later.  The no pressure approach to purchasing taught to earn the SRES embraces those considerations.  

The counsel of the marketing specialist must include alternatives to a typical real estate buying or selling experience.  The type of homes being chosen from will need to meet certain needs now yet easily adapt to aging in place.  

Your SRES certified marketing specialist will assist you in locating and securing exactly the right home for now and later, in beautiful New Jersey!

Visit: https://njrealestatehomesearch.com to find out what your home may sell for and to see what’s available in the real estate market NOW!

Posted in Real Estate News