New Jersey Real Estate and Community News

May 7, 2020

A Strong Spring Season in New Jersey Real Estate

Monarch butterfly feeding on purple aster flower in summer floral background. Monarch butterflies in autumn blooming asters.

Although "normal" has become more objective of late, the events impacting traditional real estate practices do not mean you cannot buy a home or sell a house this spring season!

Interest rates on home loans are at historic lows, making home ownership affordable for many who otherwise would be putting their plans on hold for another year or even two!

Sellers, concerned about Open House situations and Home Tour showings need look no further than technology to meet their selling goals.

You'll discover features to support, assist and accomplish the buying or selling plans you had for 2020 on my websites! From the comfort of your current shelter, access information:

FOR BUYERS: clicking the link will connect you to information about the buying process and the most up-to-date market data; what's for sale, what's selling, price ranges in the neighborhoods you want to explore living in AND you'll have the ability to get answers quickly to specific questions you may have, set up automatic alerts for homes that meet your personal criteria and even schedule a tour of homes that interest you - all from where you are right now!

FOR SELLERS: apps and contact options allow you to arrange for the marketing and sale of your property with the least intrusion and the greatest service, all from the comfort of wherever you are most happy working from!  Almost everything we'll need to do can be accomplished via the internet, allowing you to work closely with your preferred real estate specialist at a distance, getting the job done and done well!

DISCOVER THE FINE COMMUNITIES IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY: the next best thing to being there, wander "virtually" around the towns and neighborhoods, catch the vibe of each through text, photos and video and choose the unique community that fits your lifestyle!

RESEARCH CURRENT INVENTORY: via this link, you'll see EVERYTHING currently listed for sale!

CONTACT DIRECTLY: communication is key to success in accomplishing our goals and especially in real estate, you need up to the minute and detailed information to make decisions.  You'll find several options for asking questions and getting answers from initial contact, dialoging during the buying or selling process and right through to successfully completing your real estate transactions!

While certain aspects of our lives may have been temporarily put on hold, the real estate market continues to be active and busy.  You don't need to miss out on your buying or selling opportunities with your local marketing specialist thanks to the many ways to get in touch, stay in touch and reach your desired real estate outcome!

Discover all available homes from every real estate company in one place, or the value of your current home today at https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

 

April 22, 2020

Credit in the Wake of CoronaVirus in northern NJ

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Our credit rating speaks many things about who we are, what we think and what our plans are for our future, especially if you're considering buying a home in northern NJ.  While our credit scores are always of concern to us, but especially when situations are more turbulent and uncertain, it makes extra good sense to be aware of the condition of our credit reports. 

Even if you haven’t been personally, financially impacted by the regulations put in place during this nationwide health concern, staying on top of your credit report can be helpful now and in the future.  

Focusing on credit scores, let’s take a look at how scores are calculated, some common misconceptions about scores and a few important points to consider if your ability to pay an existing mortgage or other type of loan is affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.

The C.A.R.E.S. Act, (CoronaVirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security), enacted this past March, gives consumers some credit protection, dictating specifics of reporting data submission to the credit bureaus.  Most notably is concerning those accounts that have payment accommodations in place.  There are factors to help protect consumer credit scores pertaining to the affects of shelter-in-place orders.

Retaining a good credit standing, keeping credit options in excellent shape and protecting your credit rating especially now, ensure it will be available to assist you when needed later.

  • Higher credit scores can mean lower interest rates and maybe even more favorable terms on most loan types
  • Keeping up on-time payments, even if only the minimum due is paid right now, contribute to better scoring
  • If possible, avoid carrying large credit balances month to month.  Percentage of credit being utilized has an impact on your rating

What can you do if your credit has already been negatively impacted due to this declared national disaster?  

You have the option of requesting your lenders add a code to your credit report that indicates you were impacted by conditions beyond your control.  This may help mitigate a late payment issue later.  Your FICO score won’t be affected by it, but you can make it known to help secure a line of credit, or gain more favorable terms on your mortgage loan application.

If you are interested in discovering how much house you may qualify to purchase, your local marketing specialist can recommend several reputable lenders to help!  Want to see what homes are currently available in the New Jersey real estate market?  Visit https://njrealestatehomesearch.com 

April 16, 2020

Low Mortgage Rates-High Expectations in New Jersey

Seeing The Possibilities

In a previous post  we shared just how huge a difference one tiny little percentage point can make in the cost of your home purchase.  Combine low mortgage rates (as of this week, those rates are 2.08% for a 15 year fixed and 3.31% for a standard 30 year fixed loan) with affordable housing costs and you have a recipe for several really wonderful things to occur:

  1. MORE starter homes come on the market, since the move-up crowd are more confident about buying the larger home they need and want. This makes the joy of home ownership available and affordable to a larger group of people.
  2. MORE people being able to afford to purchase a home is a wonderful boon for every community where home ownership defines the majority! Homeownership positively impacts the overall economic health of a community in almost every area from city parks and amenities to schools and emergency services. 
  3. MORE disposable income each month thanks to lower monthly payments - stimulates the economy, increases your savings, and opens up greater opportunities!

One downside, though this local marketing specialist certainly does not plan to dwell on negatives, is simply the impact on inventory levels. With so many great reasons to purchase, homes coming on the market are getting snatched up quicker than new listings are ready to go up for sale!  (Thinking of selling?  Let me help you make that happen!)

Discover more about your options or search all available listings TODAY: https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

April 15, 2020

Virtual Views of Northern New Jersey

New Jersey wooden sign with landscape background

Looking for not only an easy commute to put more TIME back in your life, but a great neighborhood that matches your lifestyle? Whatever amenities your searching for, you need look no further than the excellent neighborhoods of Essex County New Jersey!

You are sure to find the neighborhood that houses your "forever dream home" in one of these fine communities!

 The Path

MONTCLAIR; home to historic Wellmont Theater and featuring many gorgeously restored homes that make a walk a sight-seeing event in itself!

GLEN RIDGE; where serenity rules and the food is great, too!         

Cherry Blossom Branch  

WESTFIELD; a vibrant, active community with a something for everyone!

SUMMIT;  a delightful village green and a short train ride from the City!       

 

Amazing mountain view. Long exposure background

MAPLEWOOD;  featuring the South Mountain Reservation with over 2000 acres of natural beauty!

SOUTH ORANGE;  spectacular skyline views and magnificent homes!  

 Philadelphia Night Skyline Refection

 

RIDGEWOOD;  small town vibe offers culinary delights for those with sophisticated palates!

GLEN ROCK;  you'll fall in love with the charm and beauty of this tight-knit community!

VERONA;  Lakes?  Fishing?  Hiking?  You'll discover that and more in this lovely setting!Aerial View of West Orange New Jersey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CALDWELLS;  a community of abundant neighborly friendliness on tree-lined streets!

WEST ORANGE;  open space surrounded by hills makes this historic community special! 

 

Empire State Building to the Freedom Tower Panorama

Make your move to one of the fabulous communities of Essex County!  Search available listings and learn more by visiting: https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

 

Posted in Buying a Home
April 7, 2020

A Lighter Side to New Jersey Real Estate

Dark green interior design background with bright yellow modern armchair and cofee table with decoration on a molding classic wall, 3d render

The daffodils have made their appearance and Spring season is officially begun! Although spring is typically the housing market's busiest season, this year, specifically due to the coronavirus, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders, the typical real estate cycle is being disrupted.

Most real estate industry leaders agree that once an all-clear is given,  people will head back into the marketplace in strong numbers.

In the meantime, if you were one of those waiting for the spring season to make your move to a new home, but had to put your plans on a temporary hold, you can still take steps to prepare to move forward once things return to normal.

Appreciating that you are so ready to move into that new home you were looking forward to … nothing is stopping you from getting into that new home attitude right now in the abode in which you are currently dwelling!

Here are a few creative ways from your local marketing specialist to help put yourself in the frame of mind for your BIG MOVE:

  • Take a fresh look at your kitchen arrangement.  Beyond putting things where the existing shelves and cupboards dictate, think about how you operate in your kitchen.  Now, rearrange with cheerful abandon to suit your own style!  Are baking dishes your go-to? Move them closest to the prep area or oven for easy access. 

Certain utensils that see daily use can become decoration on the counter next to the stove, and other instruments that don’t see a lot of use should be relegated to the tops shelves or to the back of the cupboards. 

  • Experimenting with the placement of furniture will arm you with great arrangement ideas so couches aren’t dragged here and there and everywhere when moving into the new space.  And don’t just stop at rearranging existing pieces! 

Repurpose pieces from other rooms and  even mix and match varying styles. Go ahead and experiment! You might just hit on a whole new style that better fits your lifestyle, and one of those experimental arrangements could lead to a whole new look and feel when you finally move each piece into your new home!

Be sure to take pictures, so when moving day finally arrives, you can recreate your best fresh new style in your new home quickly and easily! 

Start your “dream searching” here and learn more about the neighborhoods you are interested in exploring by visiting https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com 

 

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
March 31, 2020

DO YOU KNOW YOUR MONTCLAIR NEIGHBORS?

Routes with red pins on a city map. Concept on the  adventure, discovery, navigation, communication, logistics, geography, transport and travel topics.

Did you know that 74% of people never actually speak to the souls who live in the houses all around them?  What a shame, because the people living in the neighborhood are a great resource to those who are looking to move to a specific neighborhood or who have just moved to a neighborhood.

Enter - NextDoor!  The online community platform that connects you to the people actually living in the neighborhood.  Although your local marketing specialist can be a font of useful information, the hyper-local private social network known as NextDoor is unique.  

Through these verified residents of your neighborhood you can discover:

  • Who does a great job walking the dogs
  • Who is a great babysitter
  • Where to find the best shopping deals
  • Best time and place for the local Farmers Market

...and SO MUCH MORE!  Who does the house on the corner use for lawn care that keeps their yard so pristine?  Who offers great handyman service?

Unlike so many of the larger social sites, because NextDoor verifies residency you can be sure you're talking to real neighbors and not bots.  This offers a level of security that may be lacking on larger public social platforms.

Where better to find out about local events and activities?  Stay informed about neighborhood alerts or concerns? Best of all, neighbors invite other neighbors to join, so everyone has a voice on the platform.

NextDoor is a great way for neighbors to stay connected and up to date on neighborhood happenings, like which houses have gone up for sale or where the Open Houses are this week! 

If you want to check on the listed or sold price of a property or discover the market value of properties in a specific neighborhood in northern New Jersey, visit https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com/

 

March 18, 2020

Making Sure it Sells in New Jersey

Le concept de la confiance dans son partenaire, avec un spectacle de cirque en duo montrant deux trapézistes qui font un numéro de voltige.

Confidence in the sale of your New Jersey home is entirely possible. I can say that with confidence, even if you have had your house up for sale previously and the listing expired!  Why?  3 simple steps, and if you take these 3 simple steps with the guidance of your local marketing specialist your property will sell.

STEP ONE:  Wisdom and knowledge never fail.  Applying a wise decision combined with knowledge of the current marketplace will bring you the results you desire! Pricing your home realistically in consideration of market conditions is the first and most important step to a successful home sale.

Price too high, and today's buyers, who have access to multitudes of information, will know and the response will be to ignore your house.  There are houses that meet their criteria, offered for sale by reasonable sellers.  Every house has a buyer for it.  Priced right, every house will sell.

If you don't mind sitting on the market and helping every other house around you sell, then pricing high may be right for you.  Otherwise, if you actually want to be that house that sells in a reasonable length of time, price according to the market based on what your home offers a potential buyer.

STEP TWO: Do what it will take to bring a buyer inside to tour and see for themselves the wonderful features and special charm of your house.  If they never leave the car, no matter how pretty the inside is, they'll probably never see it.  Photo's are an absolute MUST, but so is curb appeal! Make them feel welcome and at home before the tour and they'll tour with a positive sense of things.  Find ideas how to increase your curb appeal right HERE!

STEP THREE:  Hollywood used to spin a phrase "no publicity is bad publicity".  No marketing though, is just plain BAD!  Choose an agent who understands the impact of great marketing.  Quality photos, inspiring descriptions and easy to find online are just the beginning of a great marketing plan.  

Want to know more about how to sell your northern New Jersey home?  Or maybe you would like to search current listings?  Visit https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com/ for information NOW!

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 6, 2020

Welcome to the NJ Homeowners Maintenance CLUB!

Friendship and vacation. Happy young people standing on the yacht deck and enjoying the view, sailing the sea.

New NJ homeowner or long-time member, welcome to the world of homeownership!  If you've been here awhile, you may or may not already know; but if you are new to the club, you may not be aware at all....so let's dive right in!

Owning your own home is an exciting, confidence building, steadying experience that comes with a many benefits - such as built-in wealth building through equity - and also a few responsibilities.  One of those is the maintenance of your property to build the most equity you possibly can!

Spring with its sense of renewal and refreshing is a great time to tackle upkeep on your new - or current home.  

INSIDE THE WALLS:

Beyond the idea of "spring cleaning" here are several ways to help extend the life of your appliances and fixtures, and maybe fend off repair bills for quite some time.  Maintenance is almost always less expensive than repairs or replacements!

Starting in the kitchen:

  • Pull out the fridge and vacuum those coils!  Dust build up not only causes less efficient functioning, it can lead to break downs!
  • Check the dishwasher connections for anything loose that can lead to leaks; and while you're in there, clean out any debris build up in the filter.  Clean your spray arms, then run a light cycle after adding a cup on white vinegar to the bottom of the machine to deodorize the interior and drain hoses
  • Cut off power to the garbage disposal to be safe, then check for any debris.  Turn back on and add sevice cubes and a cut up lemon to clean dispel odors
  • A white vinegar bath is also great for cleaning and deodorizing the stove filter.  While you're tackling that task, don't forget about setting the oven to clean.  No self-clean option?  That's ok!  Baking soda and water paste will make short work of it.  For grease, white vinegar does an excellent job
  • White vinegar to the rescue again for deep cleaning the microwave!  This time, put 2 cups of white vinegar in a microwave safe bowl and set to HIGH for five minutes. Let sit 3 minutes and wipe away stubborn food stains

Moving on to the Laundry room:

  • Check hoses for wear and tear; replace as needed to avoid costly - AND MESSY - water damage
  • Clean behind/under the lint trap for loose debris
  • Clean out lint build up in the dryer vent to the outside; this is the #1 fire hazard in most homes!

...and around the rest of the house:

  • once you turn the furnace off for the year, change out the air filter for a fresh start next winter
  • speaking of fresh - let all the fresh air in this spring to rejuvenate yourself and the clear out all the stale air from a house closed against winters chill - but keep out flying pests! Give those screens a rinse and repair or replace any torn screening
  • this is a good time to give the basement a once over for any dampness that may need attention, and make sure no critters claimed the attic as their new home over the winter months!
  • The AC will be coming on soon, so be sure to check the drain pan and empty as needed if it has one; clean or replace any filters and clear away debris from outside units

A couple of times throughout the year, give your house a good once over.  It really can help you avoid costly repairs or constant replacements.  It can also mean higher equity gains if the time to sell is this year.  Your local marketing specialist is the best place to start to discover just how much equity that might be.

(This list is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a complete list of home maintenance)

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

 

March 3, 2020

Should I Offer a Home Warranty?


amanecer sobre el mar en calma

Some home sellers in Essex County New Jersey choose to include a little "peace of mind" that benefits themselves and their buyer in the form of a Home Warranty.  Especially for the first time home buyer, a low cost insurance policy that usually covers the first year they're in the house can be a major deciding factor.

One of the biggest concerns a home buyer encounters is that, right after they've made what may be the largest financial commitment of their lives, if there are older systems, things will begin to break down; things they can't afford to repair or replace.

Peace of mind for the seller includes the small price of a Home Warranty which provides peace of mind for the buyer.  Warranties provide a safety net, specifically for those types of things that often come up in Home Inspections that can send a buyer running for cover or insisting on costly replacement by a seller before closing a transaction.

A home inspectors guesstimate of remaining life of the furnace won't cause quite so much fear of total system failure right after close in a buyers mind when there's a Warranty in place that will handle the issue should it arise.

The minimal service fees required by most Home Warranty policies are practically nothing when compared to out of pocket costs of repair or even replacement of appliances or built-in fixtures.

Home Warranty providers offer a wide range of coverages with different levels of cost based on the extent of coverage desired.  Like most insurance options, the coverage is renewable annually.  

Either seller or buyer can purchase a Warranty although traditionally, sellers usually buy a policy to benefit a buyer at the time of a sale. Especially if the systems in the home being offered for sale are older, a Home Warranty may be an excellent bonus to make available as part of the sale.

Just think how peaceful your entire real estate transaction might be, when both buyer and seller can relax, knowing a Warranty is in place should unexpected repairs be needed! What type of warranty should you consider for your home sale? Your local marketing specialist can answer that, and any other real estate questions you may have, for that "peace of mind" added value when you are ready to sell a home.

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

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2020

The Best Neighborhoods in Montclair, New Jersey

Montclair New Jersey Neighborhoods and Communities

Montclair, New Jersey is a township located in Essex County and is the home of approximately 37,600 residents. First formed in 1868, the township was officially incorporated in 1894. 

Montclair is a unique and thriving town with an abundance of amenities, art and cultural events and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Annual events, beautiful parks and a charming downtown core have many considering a move to Montclair. 

1. Church Street

Church Street Montclair New Jersey

Church Street is considered to be part of Montclair town center.  The neighborhood of Church Street has been named a “Great Place in New Jersey” by the American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter.  Residents of Church Street describe the area of having a great vibe.    

The streets buzz with excitement as there is live music and other events.  Those strolling the streets enjoy the wide sidewalks and comfortable benches.   It is the perfect place to catch up on your window shopping. Church Street has an S curved route that pedestrians can follow and marvel at the wide range of architectural styles that decorate the streets.

Church street has become a popular destination for friends and family to gather in the local restaurants, many of which have outdoor seating and patios. Some of the popular restaurants are Raymonds, a popular bistro-style eatery, Terra at the Isabel Rose Cafe that serves a varities of fair trade and organic teas, organic foods and farm products and Amanti Vino, which serves delicious wine made by hands on winemakers.  

Quote from a local resident: “Church Street offers so many great dining and restaurant options. Whether going out for an intimate meal or enjoying a drink with friends, there is something special about sitting out on the patios and enjoying Montclair”. 

View all homes for sale in Church Street, Montclair >>>

2. Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow Montclair New Jersey

Frog Hollow rests between Bloomfield Avenue and Montclair High School. It includes Williams Street, Day Street and Talbot Street.  The neighborhood has been called a “charming historic nabe”.  

This history of the town has been preserved with a museum.  The area was predominantly African American families who settled in the 1800s.  These were the families that founded the community.  

One side of the street was marsh lands and planks were put down for people to walk on. Bullfrogs would holler and the original name was Frog Holler and eventually turned into Frog Hollow.  

Residents of this community describe Frog Hollow as a close knit community where they view each other as family.  It is not uncommon for parents to allow their children to play without worry as they know the other parents will be looking out for them.  

People began to take notice of Frog Hollow when inexpensive houses were being put on the market. Frog Hollows real estate market is more affordable than the average house in Montclair.  Some of the houses were considered an alternative to condo living.   

Quote from a local resident: “We love everything about Frog Hollow! Neighbors quickly became friends and our children feel safe knowing that they have a whole community looking out for them!” 

View all homes for sale in Frog Hollow, Montclair >>>

3. Upper Montclair

Upper Montclair, Montclair New Jersey

Upper Montclair is considered a census designated place.  It is the largest neighborhood in Montclair with a population of 11,565.

A large amount of the district schools are located in Upper Montclair.  This area is served by the Montclair Public Schools. There are a handful of private schools that also serve this area. This neighborhood is also home to Montclair State University

Upper Montclair is a convenient location to those that spend a fair deal amount of time traveling.  The area is well connected to the rest of New Jersey and New York.  The area is on a bus route and the New Jersey Transits Montclair - Boonton Line. 

The neighborhood is a popular location and has attracted national and local merchants to the area.  The shops have been described to have a tudor style, and there a number of outlet malls that will meet all your shopping needs.  

Those who love the outdoors will take great delight over the many parks and nature reserves in Upper Montclair.  Anderson Park, Yantacaw Brook Park, the Bonsal Nature Reserve,  Mountainside Park, the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, Mills Reservation and Brookdale Park are all found within Upper Montclair.  This neighborhood is also home to one of the largest pools in Montclair at Mountainside Public Pool.

View all homes for sale in Upper Montclair, Montclair >>>

4. PaNaMa

PaNaMa Montclair New Jersey

PaNaMa receives its name from the combination of the streets Patton, Nassau and Macopin Streets.  This neighborhood is in the northern part of Montclair.  This is a small neighborhood but is affordable and convenient to New York and Upper Montclair. 

The neighbors have built a strong network and a tight community.  There are many local gatherings which include Friday night Pizza Parties and neighborhood block parties.  This area is an ideal place to raise a family.  

This is mainly a residential area where the houses consist of bungalows and smaller Colonials. A 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom bungalow will be in the $400,000 range.   

Quote from a local resident: “We are so happy we chose PaNaMa as our neighborhood! Beyond the obvious convenience to New York, the strong, tight-knit atmosphere and local events are a highlight of the area”. 

View all homes for sale in PaNaMa, Montclair >>>

5.Yantacaw

Yantacaw Montclair New Jersey

This neighborhood includes Windermere Road, Yantacaw Brook Road, Club Road, Heller Drive, Woodmont Road, and Capron Lane. 

In the neighborhood of Yantacaw, one will find a variety of mid-century ranches and split level homes.  The average price for a home in this neighborhood is $700,000.  Many of the houses were built in the 1950s.  There are a number of housing for rent in Yantacaw.

This area is desirable for families as the schools in the area are highly rated.  The schools in the area are: Northeast School, Bradford School and Mt Hebron Middle School.  Yantacaw Brook Park is also in the neighborhood.  The park is 11.5 acres of land.  There is a stream that runs through the park with a small bridge.  The park is a wonderful way to spend the day enjoying nature or taking a stroll on the yantacaw Brook park path.

View all homes for sale in Yantacaw, Montclair >>>

6. Marlboro Park

Malboro Park Montclair New Jersey

This neighborhood is an historic district of Montclair.  The area includes Christopher Court, Fairfield Street, Waterbury Road, the north ends of Montclair Avenue and Christopher Street, Watchung Avenue and Groves Street.

Marlboro Park Historic District developed between 1898-1925.  It provided affordable housing to those moving to the neighborhood.  The buildings in this neighborhood were built at the turn of the century. The neighbor has evolved since that time.  Many of the houses are over 1 million dollars. 

The appeal to this area was the proximity to the railroad line.  Marlboro Park is still popular due to its central location and close to Watchung Plaza and Shopping.  

View all homes for sale in Malboro Park, Montclair >>>

Regardless of where you chose to call home in Montclair, one will have easy access to all the great things the town has to offer. Quiet and safe streets with unique real estate options fill the town of Montclair and the strong community atmosphere is one of the many reasons residents have come to love the area. 

 

Posted in Community News