Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

bergen county golfBergen County Golf

Bergen County golf is promoted by our County Government with 5 public courses and a 6th about to open.  There are special programs for youngsters through seniors plus annual tournaments too.  4 of the 5 courses are full 18 hole golf courses; one is a 9 hole.  The newest course about to open is another 18 hole course in Emerson NJ.

I wrote a blog article about this newest course last November.  The Bergen County Freeholders by unanimous vote decided to purchase the Emerson Golf Course in Emerson NJ.  It has been renamed as the Soldier Hill Golf Course and is being reconditioned now.  Hopefully it will be ready soon but they don’t have a date yet.  This brings the total of public golf courses to 6.  Emerson is an 18 hole course so we will soon have five public 18 hole courses in Bergen County.

Bergen County Public Golf Courses

The 5 current Bergen County golf courses run by the County are:  Darlington in Mahwah, Orchard Hills in Paramus, Overpeck in Teaneck , Rockleigh near Northvale in Rockleigh, and Valley Brook in River Vale.  Orchard Hills is the only 9 hole course.  Once Soldier Hill is open, there will be an 18 hole public golf course no more than a 15-20 minute drive from bergen county golf courseyour Bergen County home.

Semi Private Golf Clubs

We had several semi private golf courses in the past.  Because land value is so high here many have been sold.  The most recent is High Mountain Golf Club in Franklin Lakes.  It is now a 275 residence Toll Brothers luxury development.  Here are a few to consider –

Paramus Golf Course in Paramus

Old Tappan Golf Course  in Old Tappan

River Vale Country Club in River Vale

Driving Ranges

While Darlington does have a driving range, there are several commercial driving ranges here too.  Many are year round with heater boxes for colder months.  Driving ranges are vanishing too because land is so valuable.  Edgewater’s driving range had been in business for 19 years when it was sold for just over $30 million last July.  Here’s a list for you:

21 Golf in Palisades Park

Bogota Golf & Sports Center

Closter Golf Center

bergen county golfersGolf is clearly very popular here.  Bergen County states that roughly 10% of all residents play golf.  That’s a large number because we have 940,000 residents.  In addition to these 6 public and 3 semi public courses, there are multiple private clubs too.  As a result the game is big business both publicly, commercially and privately.  If you love golf, come to Bergen County.  It’s a perfect place to find a home and play the game of golf too.

 

Posted by & filed under Buying.

real estate attorneyWhy This is A Mistake

Hiring an attorney based on cost is a mistake.  If you needed brain surgery, would you run around looking for the cheapest brain surgeon?  You know, the guy who advertises he’ll beat everyone’s price?  I don’t think so.

So why look for the cheapest real estate attorney when you’re making the biggest purchase of your life?

Great real estate attorneys do so much more than review the sales contract.  They offer you a level of protection no one else can.

The Value of a Real Estate Attorney

Attorneys protect you.  I repeat.  Attorneys protect you.  Here are some ways they do:

  • They’re not focused on “keeping the deal together”
  • They don’t outsource their work
  • You are kept in the proper perspective
  • Attorneys have the skill and experience you need

Great real estate attorneys are focused on protecting your interests.  If they feel this can’t be done, they advise you to find another house.  This takes integrity.  It’s so much easier to keep things together and go on to the next client.

Attorneys may have legal assistants but they read every document to make sure it’s right.  Did you know some attorneys outsource work overseas to save costs?  You want an attorney who reads everything carefully.

Buying a home is emotional.  No one moves into a house they hate.  As a result it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important for you.  Attorneys keep things in perspective and alert you to issues that are critically important.

Lawyers have the legal skill to truly understand contracts, title policies, surveys and deeds.  I sure don’t.

Conclusion

Hiring an attorney based on cost is such a mistake.  You are spending hundreds of thousands on a house.  The difference is often only a few hundred dollars.  It can work both ways too.  Some excellent attorneys aren’t all that expensive.

Ask me for the names of some excellent attorneys and I’ll send you a list.  Call them up and talk to them.  You need to find someone you feel comfortable with.  You should also communicate well over the phone because most everything is done on the phone.  Then hire that real estate attorney and relax.  Your attorney has your back.

Posted by & filed under Buying.

shopping for mortgage ratesShopping for Mortgage Rates

I have written so many articles on why this is wrong.  Shopping for mortgage rates is exactly not the place to look.  This is marketing at it’s best because ad agencies have you convinced this is what to do.  While they have you focused on mortgage rates you miss the most important reasons to choose a bank and banker.

Did you know that there are dozens of 30 year mortgages?  That recently promoted paperless mortgages work for less than 5% of all home buyers?  That shopping online can lower your FICO score while a banker fully pre-approving you might not?  Do you know the difference between advertised, posted prices and quoted prices?  How about the difference between being a customer and being a client?  That a mortgage broker is not always a bank?  Why does it matter if a “bank” is a FDIC member?  OR if it has LLC at the end of it’s name?

Because advertising points you in the wrong direction, it’s so easy to make a mistake unknowingly.  The truth is :

  1. Rates today don’t matter for buying tomorrow
  2. Mortgage rates fluctuate minute by minute oftenshopping for mortgage rates
  3. There are major differences among financial resources
  4. This field is way too complicated to be left to an algorithm

It’s all wrong, wrong, wrong.  Who gets hurt?  You.  Who wins?  The mortgage bank.  Read my article on why mortgage rate shopping is a mistake.  This will protect you from all the hype so you do get the best mortgage loan for your needs.

Check Your Credit Report

It’s not always true that checking your credit report will lower your credit score.  It depends on how and why it’s pulled.  Since everyone is entitled to 1 free credit report every year, check yours today for mistakes.  Go to the FTC website to do this.  Credit scores are lowered by what’s called a hard pull but not by a soft pull.  Although Credit Karma only gives you a FICO score, they have a great article explaining this.

Because mistakes on credit reports do happen, take advantage of your free annual credit report.  If there is something wrong, you can fix it now before it hurts you later.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Homeowner Tips, Selling.

curb appealWhy This Is Important

It is so important to improve your home’s curb appeal when selling your house.  The moment your home comes into view it must sparkle in a home buyer’s eye.  I wrote an article recently on the importance of front doors.  In it I explain what happens when your front door has no zip.  Because curb appeal is so important, I’m following that article up with one today on curb appeal in general.

Start by Taking A Look

Pretend you are a home buyer.  Take a good, hard look at the front of your house.  Is there anything about it that’s inviting, welcoming?  Does it have sizzle?  Or does it look like other similar homes?  The point is that your home should stand out.  It should be a house that people notice and admire when they walk by.

Begin With A Cleanup

Begin with a general cleanup of the grounds around your entire house.  Make sure your walk and front steps are free of branches, leaves, etc.  Look at your gutters and improve your home's curb appealdownspouts.  Do they need to be power washed?  How about your front windows?

Here’s a tip – have your front windows cleaned professionally inside and out.  They’ll sparkle in the sun and let more light inside.

Touchups

Take a look at the window framing, roof fascia, front railings, garage door framing and the door itself.  If it’s weathered, has peeling paint et

 

c. give it a fresh coat of paint.  Doing so also sends the message that you maintain your home.

Flower Beds and Edging

Edge the grass along the walks for a crisp look.  Add mulch to your flower beds.  Plant colorful flowers like petunias, begonias, impatiens.  How about a colorful flower pot by the front door or flowers on each front step to one side?

Lighting, Mail Boxes and Numbers

curb appealIt might be time to paint that mailbox or shine it up with something like Never Dull.  Clean your front lights and make sure the light bulbs work.  Consider your home’s street number.  What does it look like?  Is it on the house?  It should be.

Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal To Win

Doing all of this gives you a crisp, clean look that adds value to your home.  Colorful plantings and sparkling windows adds the sizzle you need to get more buyers in the door.  As a result, your home sells quicker and for more.

This is also a win for home buyers because they get a house that has the great curb appeal of a well maintained exterior.  Put yourself ahead of the competition.  Improve your home’s curb appeal.

If you need help with this just contact me at your convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying, Selling.

multi family investingMulti Family Investing

Multi family investing has always been popular.  Experienced investors buy multi family homes of 10-15 units or more.  They are always actively looking for such buildings.  This was not the case until recently for 2 family homes and rarely for 3-4 family homes.  However the market changed over the last few years.  Today two family homes for sale are in very high demand along with commercial multi family investing.  Let’s take a look at this.

When The Market Changed

I don’t want to leave the wrong impression. Two family homes have always sold because they’re viewed as a good idea by residential investors.  It’s just that today the market is much stronger.

According to the New Jersey MLS, the change occurred after 2015.  Bergen County 2-4 family sales went from 649 in 2015 to 809 in 2016.  That’s a whopping 25% increase.  The time it took to sell these properties reduced by 12% too.  As a result, prices went up.  Median New Jersey MLSprices rose by 9% and average prices by 6%.   The 2016 average sales price was $442.010 and the average median price was $415,00

Since then the number of sales has stabilized.  2017 had only 5 more closings while prices rose (6% average and 5% median)  So far this year the number of 1st quarter sales is flat.  It’s too early to make sense of sold figures.  Under contract numbers show a 9% decline due to a lack of inventory.  We know this because marketing time decreased by 9%.  When demand is up sales happen quicker.

What’s Happening

There is no way to measure this.  Why multi family investing has taken off in the residential market is not something you can quantify.  However here is what I see: Buyers want investments that bring them value.

Many are looking long term and taking a big picture look.  They don’t have a lot of money but the cash they do have isn’t doing much.  Most people don’t have large portfolios at private investment banks earning them 8-9%.  Where can they get a decent return?  Two family homes offer them an opportunity for future appreciation, quicker equity growth and over time positive cash flow.

rental agreementHere is another reason –  rents have gone up a lot.  A few years ago I’d tell you that the average 1 bedroom apartment in an older two family would rent for $1,000 plus utilities or $1,150 with utilities and a garage spot.  Today it’s $1,200 and $1,350.  That’s around a 20% increase in a few years.

Multi family investing gives residential buyers something else too – a lower monthly cost.  This is important because it allows them to save.

Let’s take a typical $300,000 house with 5% down.  The mortgage is $1,500.  A 2 family for $350,000 is $1,750 for the mortgage.  With a tenant paying $1,200 that becomes $550 per month.  Taxes aren’t much more nor is homeowner insurance.  Even if heat isn’t separated, you can still bet on saving at least $500 per month.  I’m not counting maintenance because every property has maintenance costs.

Here’s how monthly costs work out for both properties:  The two family has $1,000 taxes, $200 insurance, $1,750 mortgage less $1,200 rental income for a $1,750 net cost.  Contrast that with the single family house:  $1,500 for mortgage, $835 for taxes, $100 for insurance for a net cost of $2,435.  Living in your own two family works well as your first home purchase.

This link will show you how to start by investing in a two family home.  It’s a highly competitive market but if you capture one, you’ll be so very glad you did.  I’ve helped a lot of people buy a two family home.  If you’d like to begin just call or text me at 201-741-8490 to set up a private consultation on this.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying.

using up your savingsUsing Up Your Savings

Using up your savings to buy anything is never a good idea.  Buying a car, a flat screen TV or a house should never empty your savings account.  Let’s see why this happens so often and how to avoid it.

How Much Do You Need To Buy A House

Don’t you just hate it when people answer with “It depends.”  What does that mean?  Why don’t they just give you an answer?  Because it really does depend on your personal circumstances.  There are, however, some absolutes.

Banks require that you prepay your homeowner insurance 1 year in advance and escrow 3 month’s of mortgage payments.  Let’s say your mortgage payment is $2,500 and insurance is $1,200.  This totals $8,700.  Title search and insurance is around $2,000 on a $350,000 house.  Add $750 for a survey and $1,500 for legal expenses.   Down payments can be 3.5% with a FHA mortgage or $12,250 on that house.  There are also bank fees and inspection costs.  You are soon close to $30,000.

I bet a lot of you were never told this when you got “pre-approved”.  It’s not your fault.  Marketing gurus teach you to look in the wrong direction.  Read about Mr Happy Banker and you’ll understand why. 

Can you see why so many people have nothing left in savings after buying a house?  Because no one tells them what it really costs.  Mr using up your savingsHappy Banker doesn’t.  Websites don’t.  My experience is that if they give you any estimate of costs, it’s less than reality.  When you really find out how much it costs to buy a house, you use up every penny you have.  You might even have to ask a family member for help.

The only solution is to sit down with an ethical banker from an excellent bank.  It’s the only way to protect yourself.

Money Management and Starbucks

One day my niece Alyssa calls me up.  Aunt Barbara, I need help!  I’m in trouble!  This is a great kid who’s a senior in high school so I’m thinking it can’t be too bad.  What’s the problem?  My father is going to KILL me!  Why Alyssa?  Because I used up too much gas driving around and I don’t have enough money to buy more.  Ok, where are you?  Starbucks.  How nice.  Are you with your friends?  Yes, we come here all the time.  What are you having?  A sandwich and a caramel macchiato.  Hmmm….I have a solution for you.  Really Aunt Barbara?  Yes, it’s only 25 feet away.  It’s called McDonalds.  You can get a cup of coffee there for $1. Get the point?

Money management makes you a saver.  Of course I helped out my niece but only 1 time. She did learn.  IF she went to McDonald’s for coffee rather than paying around $7 for a mocha whatever, she’d have $6 in her wallet.  Multiply that by 3.  That’s $18.  Multiply that by 45 weeks (figuring most not all weeks) for $810 in savings.  Now multiply that by 5 years for $4,050.  This gives you an extra $4,100 to put down on a house.

saving for a down paymentSaving for a house or anything else requires some financial discipline. 

The ONLY way this really happens is with a written goal, a written plan.  It’s all those small things that add up to a lot.  Here’s something else.

Cook.  No kidding.  Cook.  Buying takeout is expensive.  When you’re home on a weekend, say Sunday night, do some cooking and then freeze it.  Make a ton of meat sauce. Use freezer bags to freeze  dinner sized portions.  You don’t need to be a gourmet cook.  Buy nice bottled sauce, brown ground meat that you add some spices to, throw it together and you’re done.  All you have to do one night is boil pasta while you defrost the sauce.  Add in a salad and it’s a great meal.  30 minutes for less than $5.  Order that in and it’s $25-30 for 2 of you.  Cooking 2 meals each week and not ordering in will save you $40 per week.  $40 x 52 weeks = $2,080 per year x 5 years = $10,400.

By not eating out 2 nights each week, eliminating expensive high calorie coffee 3 times most weeks you get $15,000 in 5 years.  It’s easy.  Put what you would have spent in a savings account every week.  This is what money management is all about.  Using up your savings for expensive coffee and ordering food is ridiculous.  It’s not hard with a written goal and plan.

The Danger of Using Up Your Savings

Things happen in life.  The furnace breaks one winter.  You might be out of work for a while.  Unexpected medical bills happen.  You owe more taxes than you thought.  Life has it’s unhappy surprises. Without at least 3 months of expenses in a savings account, you’re in trouble.  There is no cushion.

What do you do?  Some people put it on the credit card.  Big mistake because now you’re in debt.  Some people use their retirement financial planningfunds.  HUGE mistake.  Hardly anyone puts it back.  Others use their line of credit on their house.  This is yet another mistake.  By the way, I don’t care what you read or who tells you to do this, never ever borrow on your retirement funds to buy a house.

Buy a home right.  Don’t use up your savings but do have at least 3 month’s worth of expenses in the bank.  Don’t put yourself in a perilous position.  Be financially careful so you’re not worried every month.  Use the services of a great banker.  Need one?  I know several.  Take good care of yourself.

 

Posted by & filed under Buying, Uncategorized.

home buyer mistakes

Introduction

First time home buyer mistakes can be deadly.  While home buyers today do a lot of research on the web, they are still vulnerable.  Because of this, I’ve written a series of 10 articles.  One for each issue.  Today we begin with the #1 – Getting pre qualified.

A List of First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

First time home buyer mistakes to avoid are the following:

  1. Getting pre qualified
  2. Using up your savings
  3. Mortgage shopping by rates
  4. Not checking your credit report
  5. Hiring an attorney based on cost
  6. Not researching the neighborhood
  7. Not checking daily rush hour traffic
  8. Choosing a home inspector last minute
  9. Thinking all real estate agents are the same
  10. Buying the Money Pit because you’re too emotional

Let’s look at these first time home buyer mistakes in depth now starting with #1.

first time home buyer mistakesGetting Pre Qualified

You can define anything any way you want. Mortgage companies take advantage of this.  I call this a Mr Happy Banker experience.

Mr Happy Banker does not ask for all the documents that Mr Professional Banker does.  He’s easy and  does what you want.  You’ve found the right banker.  He gives you a pre-approval right away without the hassle.

There is one problem – you don’t have a pre-approval.  Mr. Happy Banker really gave you a totally meaningless pre-qualification.  He just calls it a pre-approval because that’s how he defines the word.

A true pre-approval is a preliminarily underwritten loan approval.  You have to sign an application for the loan, gather up your last 2 years of tax statements, bank/financial statements for the past few months, pay stubs, employment verification, etc.  This is a royal pain in the neck.  It takes time and effort.  It’s also not immediate.  Getting a true pre-approval can take 24-48 hours.

Mr Happy Banker does things differently.  He doesn’t ask for much if anything at all.  He rockets over a pre-approval sometimes in 15 minutes.  This is so much easier!  Nothing is verified as it is with Mr Professional Banker.  As a result pre-qualifications are not more than a good educated guess.  BUT Mr Happy Banker calls this a pre-approval.

So why is this a problem for you?  Because you don’t know what you can afford or the true costs.  You will make an offer on a house without knowing what it will really cost you.

I do not honor offers on my listings with meaningless pre-qualifications.  No good listing agent will.  How can you get the house you want if a listing agent tells the owner they can’t verify your financial ability?  Avoid this first time home buyer mistake by avoiding Mr. Happy Banker.  This section of my website tells you exactly what to do.

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bergen county real estateBergen County Real Estate – 1st Quarter 2018

We are through the 1st quarter of the year so it’s time to look at how Bergen County real estate is doing.  We are doing very well indeed.  Looking at Bergen County as a whole, there should be no surprise to see sales are down.  This is due to a lack of homes for sale and not demand.  This has been a constant theme; I see no reason why things will change this year.

Closings are down 6% while demand continues to grow.  You can see this in the fewer days on market – 75.4 this year from 83 last year.  Prices did go up by 2%.  Median prices are down by 4% which makes sense because 1st time home buyers are coming into the market at a very strong pace.  This is a major reason why price appreciation is projected to continue.  These folks fuel the real estate market.

Consider Under Contract performance too.  This is the most current view because 1st quarter closed sales really come from then end of last year.  So what does this tell us?  We see again the impact of low inventory because we’re down 2% while prices are up 4%.  This proves that demand is strong but we just don’t have enough houses to sell.

Why We Are Important

Bergen County real estate is watched closely because it’s important on several levels.  We are New Jersey’s most populous county with bergen county real estate948,706 residents according to the US Census Bureau.  This is 10.5% of the entire population of New Jersey.  As a result, our size alone makes us important. Location is important too because we are next to Manhattan – only 1 mile across the Hudson River.  While being close to NYC is significant, our economy is very diverse and not all of us commute there for work.

We remain, however, one of the premiere NYC metro locations.  Our schools have a well deserved reputation for excellence,our population is highly diverse and we are one of the most affluent counties in the United States.  Because of our size, proximity to Manhattan and everything we offer, Bergen County is an important location in the US as well as in New Jersey.

The Bottom Line

The Bergen County real estate market enters 2018 positively.  Demand is strong while inventory is low.  First time buyers are out in force because homeownership matters greatly and people have confidence in the future.  While interest rates have risen they are still low at around 4.5% for most buyers.

If you are selling your home 2018 is another great year.  There are things you need to get the best price.  You’ll find this and other help on my website.  Just click here

If you are buying a home this is a challenging but not impossible market.  To do the best for yourself you need the right guidance and strategy.  It’s essential to be fully prepared.  Go to my buyer advice  for the help and guidance you need.

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How to get a great mortgage rate.The Best Place to Start

How to get a great mortgage rate involves several different aspects of your life.  While all of them are important some are more so than others.  The best place to start is to find a great banker.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love the internet but nothing replaces a great mortgage professional.

A great banker will do more than quote you a rate and give you a monthly payment figure.  He or she will have you come in to their office so you can sit down in privacy and go over your needs, your plans, your finances.  You will learn the mortgage process, what you need to do and which mortgage product is best for you.

Debt to Income

Your debt to income ratio is a huge piece of the mortgage puzzle.  This is a critical factor in qualifying for a mortgage and it should be.  No one should get a mortgage loan they can’t afford.  Your debt to income ratio determines this.  It determines your mortgage rate too.  As a result, you want your debt amount to be as low as possible.

Let’s look at how much you owe on credit cards.  That’s debt.  Here’s where you need the help of a great banker who can advise you on what to do.  Believe it or not, paying off a credit card is not necessarily the best idea.

Student loans are a common source of debt.  So are car leases as well as car loans.  The bottom line is to remove as much debt as you can strategically.  You establish the best strategy with your banker.  Lowering your debt to income ratio is how to get a great mortgage rate.

Savings

You need a certain amount of cash to pay for a down payment, your home inspections and your closing costs.  You should also have at least 3 months (6 is preferable) How to get a great mortgage rate.worth of your monthly expenses in a savings account.  I know it’s impossible to figure your closing expenses precisely initially.  However, you can get an extremely accurate picture from your banker.

Let’s be honest.  Saving money isn’t easy.  Most of us barely make it through the month.  You would really be surprised at how well you’ll do if you have a written plan.  I don’t know what goes on in the human brain.  But, write down a plan and it usually happens. So create a savings plan for yourself today.

Spending

Don’t buy or lease anything.  No kidding at all on this.  Getting ready for a mortgage is no time to go shopping.  This directly impacts your debt to income ratio and possibly how much money you have in a bank account.  You want to build up your cash reserves as much as possible so put off getting a new car, buying a washing machine etc.

Like a savings plan, putting off spending is often a happy revelation for people.  Beyond just saving what you would have spent, you enhance your financial profile.  Whenever you lease a car, get a credit card to save 10% that day etc. your credit is pulled.  This is a credit inquiry and every credit inquiry lowers your credit score.  Too many credit inquiries in a short period of time – even within 12 months – raises a red flag to banks.

Check Your Credit Report

how to get a great mortgage rateYour credit report is something you need to check to protect yourself.  Mistakes are made.  The FTC found in 2015 that 25% of all credit reports had errors.  If you do a Google search you’ll find numerous articles saying 1 out of 5 credit reports have errors and there are many with serious errors.

It takes time to dispute a mistake and get it rectified.  Months of time are required to fix things and see your FICO score go up.  So check your credit report way before you seek a mortgage.

You can see now that how to get a great mortgage rate involves many things.  It should also how to get a great mortgage rateinvolve the help of a great mortgage banker.  Finding such a person to help and guide you is essential.  When you’re ready to start shopping for a house, you’ll identify the type of loan that’s best for you with your banker.  Getting prepared early on makes sure you’re in the best possible position.

Enrico “Rick” Casatelli is a great banker.  He’s my mortgage advisor at the office and I consider his help invaluable.  Give Rick a call at 201-569-7888, Extension 8802, at the office or email him at ECasatelli@weichertfinancial.com

Posted by & filed under Buying.

west orange townhousesWhy This Is Important For You

West Orange townhouses are a bargain compared to Bergen County prices.  While I am a Bergen County real estate agent, I made it a point to know about other  locations too. As a result, I can get you a much better purchase because I can show you more options.  West Orange townhouses are about half what they would cost in Bergen County.  When I have buyers who don’t need the Bergen County location, I bring them there.

Here’s another example:  Lincoln Park NJ.  In Lincoln Park you will find the Hovnanian Society Hill townhouses just like you will in Mahwah.  Because Lincoln Park is further from Manhattan, they are less expensive.  They also have more amenities such as a 9 hole golf course.  If you don’t need to be in Bergen County this could be much better for you.

The Villas at Crown View

Crown View is a gated community staffed by a guard 24/7.  There is an outdoor pool, tennis courts, playground, exercise room west orange townhousesand jogging/walking paths along a lake.  These are stand alone townhouses.  That’s right – not connected to another.  As a result, it’s like buying your own house.  Crown View is also pet friendly.  You can have as many cats or dogs or whatever as you wish.

There are several townhouse styles with the smallest being at 1,884 sq ft and the largest at 2,307 sq ft for the 1st and 2nd floors.  They all have very large 2 car attached garages and are 3 bedrooms with 2.5 baths.  The floor plans are like a colonial home.  You’ll find a living room, dining room, kitchen, powder room and family room on the 1st floor.  The 2nd floor has a Master Suite with 2 walk in closets and large full bath.  There are also 2 other bedrooms, a laundry closet and an open loft area.

These units have have nice basements that can be finished with decent ceiling heights.  If you finish the basement your living space comes to nearly 3,000 sq ft for the smaller units.

Some of the larger units have deep yards that back onto the lake side of the street.  Those can sell for just over $500,000.  Many recent sales for the average sized units have been in the low to mid 400’s.

west orange townhousesMaintenance fees are moderate at $410 per month.  This includes all the amenities, snow removal (including your front steps and walk) and exterior lawn/plantings.  Property taxes, however, are higher than what you’ll find in Bergen County.  I’d say that property taxes will cost you about $275 more per month than a similar sized townhouse in Bergen County.  However the sales price will be roughly half.

Let’s figure this on a mortgage.  If a similar Bergen County townhouse will cost at least $750-800,000 that’s about $1,500 more per month.  This is why it’s such a deal.  You save at least $1,225 per month or $240,000 in mortgage dollars.

Convenient Location

Crown View is literally across the street from Eagle Rock Nature Preserve.  It’s a 5 minute drive to shopping malls where you’ll find everything you need from a CVS to Whole Foods.  West Orange has free jitney service to a short train commute to Penn Station.  There is also an express commuting bus to NYC that stops by the front gate.  Newark Liberty Airport is 25 minutes away by car.  Want to shop till you drop?  The upscale Short Hills Mall is 20 minutes away.  The Lincoln Tunnel to NYC is 35 minutes away.

West Orange Townhouses

I love Bergen County but sometimes it’s important and better for my clients to show them opportunities elsewhere.  Cwest orange townhouseslick this link to take a look at my listing at 1091 Smith Manor Road.  This Crown View townhouse has a fireplace in the Master Bedroom and a built in wet bar in the family room.  It wasn’t updated but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s very pretty.

There are other gated townhouse communities nearby.  Consider them.  The value is terrific and the location is ideal.  West Orange townhouses are a great deal for many consumers.  If you’d like to see some of these townhomes, just get in touch with me.