New Jersey Real Estate and 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
Oct. 14, 2020

Avoid the web of bidding wars in Montclair real estate

If you've spent time seeking a new home in Montclair the current real estate market it isn't unusual to have lost a home you were interested in to another buyer.  They may have offered better terms than you were comfortable offering.  They may have simply offered more money.

The minimal supply of homes for sale has certainly left more buyers finding themselves competing for less houses!  Your local marketing specialist is the best source for gaining an advantage in this marketplace. 

In seeking your new home, you definitely shouldn't let yourself be spooked into losing your head and end up paying more than a house is worth.  However, to make certain you avoid emotional reactions to an already stressful circumstance, you may want to consider adding this special caveat to any offer to purchase you are considering making.

This special caveat would be an escalation clause. An escalation clause may very well head off a bidding war that leaves you in an awkward position, and just may land you the home of your dreams without you having to walk through a nightmare to get there!

Here's how this would work in your favor when you add it to an offer to purchase.

By including an escalation clause as part of the original offer you make, you clearly signal to the seller that you intend to close on this transaction without wasting their time on endless back and forth while dealing in advance with any competing offers they may receive at the same time your offer is presented. 

In practical terms, it would look like this:

  • You offer X amount to purchase the home along with all other normal terms and conditions
  • The specific escalation clause should state clearly that you will beat any legitimate competing offer by X amount up to the maximum you have determined beforehand based on market values and conditions including the actual appraised value
  • Include language outlining proof necessary to determine a legitimate competing offer

Although an escalation clause should make your offer far more attractive to the seller, there is no guarantee of a sale until a fully executed Purchase and Sale agreement is completed at closing. Ready to bid on and win the home of your dreams?  

Visit https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com/search/advanced_search/ to view available homes NOW!

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 28, 2020

THE NEIGHBORS MONTCLAIR HOUSE IS FOR SALE!

When one home in any neighborhood of Montclair sells, the curious cat in all of us can’t help but wonder - “what did it sell for?”  It isn’t at all about being nosy and it is your business to know, because each sold home affects the value of your home.  Even if you aren’t selling and don’t plan to sell in the near future, home prices affect more than value at sale time.  Home prices affect the property taxes you pay.  Being aware is being prepared.  

If you are curious what your property would be worth should you choose to sell, determining the value takes many facets into consideration.  Ultimately, a home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to sell for.  Pricing right based on accurate market data is just one of the ways your local marketing specialist serves your real estate needs.

Getting to those numbers, the main factors to weigh will include:

  • Square footage, which should include living space and unfinished areas such as the basement, attic and attached garage
  • Condition of the home is a main concern, especially the roof, siding and foundation
  • Landscaping and outdoor areas such as a deck, patio and any outbuildings
  • Functionality of the layout and size of interior rooms and closets
  • Renovations and upgrades to appliances, flooring, hardware, heating and cooling systems

Location - urban, suburban, with or without views; where the home is located will impact the value a buyer attributes to the property

Current market conditions and recent sales of similar properties will be taken into account as well.  

Details specific to your real estate marketplace are part of the essential conversation with your local marketing specialist.

Desirable features buyers are specifically seeking in the current marketplace will play a part in setting a market value that isn’t too high or too low.  Some buyers will be eager to make the home their very own, by doing some work themselves, like choosing paint colors or installing new flooring.  Others want a move-in experience where they don’t make any changes at all.

Thanks to easy internet access, most buyers will check those elements that are of paramount importance to them in advance of touring your home.  Some of these items will typically include:

  • Public transportation availability
  • Commute times they can expect
  • Crime statistics 
  • Shopping and entertainment facilities within walking distance or easy access
  • Amenities such as gyms, childcare or other desired activities

Schools are one of the most popular reasons a property buyer chooses a certain geographic area to conduct their home search.

Overestimating your properties value could see your home sitting on the market longer than necessary just as underestimating could leave equity earnings on the table at closing. 

Get preliminary data on available homes in the market now, and an idea of values in the area by visiting:  https://www.njrealestatehomesearch.com/search/advanced_search/






Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 22, 2020

Autumn TO DO List Priorities for NJ Homeowners

You wouldn't drive your car day after day for an entire year without ever checking, and changing, the oil, would you? We all understand the value of maintenance for our automobiles, and how that increases our gas mileage and preserves not just the life, but the proper functioning of our car.

You could skip the homeowners annual maintenance TO DO list - but why not take 30 minutes to an hour now to save time, money and major possible headache later?

The fall into winter TO DO list may be the most important and greatest preventative of major repair problems - AND COSTS - down the road!  

For all the loyal clients past, present and future of your local marketing specialist, as we head into October:

THE AUTUMN MAINTENANCE TO DO PRIORITIES 

 + Replace that air intake and furnace filters (extra bonus savings - you can reuse existing filters; just clean them carefully!) You get both cleaner air in the home and more efficient operation of the HVAC

 + Clean your duct work for even greater interior air and system efficiency!

 + Check all HVAC system components for proper functioning.  Many Heating and Cooling companies offer annual service that includes all of these check points and more for a nominal fee.  

 + Inspect all weather seals on doors and windows.  

+  Install caulk or weather stripping if any leaks are discovered.

 + Repair or replace window and door screens as needed before storing for the winter.

 + Install storms windows and doors.

Spring rains and early fall storms may have caused soil erosion.

 + Carefully walk the perimeter of the house and any outbuildings, watching for cracks or shifting of the foundations.

 + If necessary, replace any soil loss at the foundation, being sure to spread away from the building at an angle so water drains away from the foundation.

 + Check gutters and downspouts; clear away debris build-up. Check downspouts using your garden hose; clear any debris hindering the clear flow of water away from your roof line.

Clear silicone or specialized gutter sealant will be useful for any leaks you may encounter.  If you haven't already, now would be a great time to attach extenders to downspouts to direct water flow away from your foundation.  

 + While you're up on the ladder, give your soffits a good once over.  Reseat wind-loosened panels.

 + Check basement windows and/or vents.  Repair any damage or replace to prevent small animals from making their winter home in your home!

 + For a lush lawn next year, ferilize and reseed bare spots.  Use those lovely fall leaves as cover so birds don't make off with your new grass blades!

 + Trim and Prune those trees and shrubs, and cut back your perennials for optimum growth in next years garden. 

We're almost done!  What a satisfying afternoons work that will pay you back in dividends for years of enjoyment in your home!  A couple more spot checks and your home is ready to protect and shelter you all through the winter!

 + Insulation is a favorite for burrowing buddies to make away with to line their own nests for the winter!  Check yours to make sure it's intact and up to the task of keeping your tootsies warm all winter!  Are the water pipes covered with pipe insulation?  This is the best time to prevent burst pipes and unintended swimming pools in the basement!

 + Last on our list - if you have a chimney, this is the time to clean, before that first blaze of the season!  Don't forget to check your flue, too!

Now you and your home are ready to tackle whatever winter throws your way! Although this list isn't exhaustive, maintenance is necessary not only to keep up the appearance of your home, but to preserve value, build equity and enjoy the benefits and savings that come with efficient operation of all fixtures and appliances.

 

Search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, by visiting https://njrealestatehomesearch.com

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 7, 2020

Single, Double or a Big Family House in northern New Jersey!

Meat with potatoes and asparagus

Cooking for one takes as much effort and planning as cooking for a large number of people.  Some have actually claimed it's easier to cook for four or more than plan meals for just one or two people.  

Dining for two or for ten presents its own challenges, and house hunting offers many of the same concerns.  A single or couple will be seeking to meet very different needs than a family.  Families come in all sizes, too.  From parents and children, to multi-generational configurations, not every home will suit every need.

The number of rooms, in particular the number of baths and bedrooms, will be of importance.  Just as important will be the location of those rooms and how they fit into the daily living habits of the inhabitants of the home.

As you consider the needs and wants for your next home, keep in mind the layout as well as the number of the desired bedrooms, baths and living spaces.  Will anyone be working from home?  Will the children be schooling from home or homeschooling and how will those needs be addressed?  If multiple generations will occupy the spaces, is there need of more private living area?

A few layout items to keep in mind; if you have youngsters at home, an open floor plan that allows easy sight lines from work areas such as the kitchen or home office into the play areas including the back yard may be preferable. Speaking of young children, the configuration of the outdoor space should be given consideration.  It may be problematic to deal with a steeply sloped lot or lack of outdoor play area.

If seniors will be living in the home, stairs may present challenges.  Are there options for single floor livability that include bedroom, bath and living area?

Finding just the right property to fit all the needs of your family, whether a family of one or more, takes planning, just like cooking a great meal! Your local marketing specialist is familiar with the marketplace, and an excellent starting point to begin the process.

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