Posted by & filed under Buying, For Sale or Rent.

Fannie MaeNew multi family requirements were just announced by Fannie Mae.  This is going to make it harder to purchase a 1-4 family home.  Because Fannie Mae guidelines are now stricter, everyone needs to know about it.  I consider this a strong signal.

1-4 Family Homes

Let’s begin with the fact that a 1-4 family home is residential property.  Because it’s residential property, you mortgage it the same way as a house if you live in it.  While income producing, if it’s your primary residence then no problem.  Additionally you get credit for the rent coming in.

Banks compute 75% of the monthly rent as additional qualifying income for an owner occupier.  Let’s say you’re buying a 2 family home to live in and the rental income is $1,000.  Here’s how it works out:

75% of $1,000 = $750     $500 = $100,000 mortgage   $500 divided by $750 = $150,000 mortgage

Because banks give you credit for rental income, you can spend more and get a better property.

New Multi Family Requirements

Fannie Mae just put out a bulletin that changed the world for 1-4 family buyers.  This takes effect in 2 weeks for all new residential multi family mortgage applications.  Buyers must document a history of on time mortgage or rent payments for where they live right now.  I believe it is going to be for 1 year but adjustments can still be made.  Nothing is 100% certain until it goes into effect.  What is certain is the requirement to prove you’ve been paying your mortgage or rent responsibly.

1st Time Home Buyers

New Multi Family Requirements

Rick Casatelli

I discussed this with Rick Casatelli of Weichert Financial.  Rick feels that this applies to many 1st time home buyers.  Rick explained that a good number live with family to save up for a down payment.  As a result, they don’t pay rent which means they no longer qualify to buy a multi family home.

Rick feels that Fannie Mae is reacting to what they’ve experienced.  He said it’s likely that buyers used rental income to stretch themselves too thin.  Rick guessed that an unusually high foreclosure rate made Fannie react.

Rick is conservative.  He doesn’t push people to their limit.  I agree completely; this is the right way to go.  It’s our job to get you a property that you can afford.

The Bottom Line

New Multi Family Requirements

If you want to buy a multi family home as your first purchase, things have changed.  While you might be living with your family to save, you no longer qualify to buy one.  I know this is frustrating but understand why it’s being done.

Fannie Mae is watching the market carefully.  No one wants another crash.  Trouble started, Fannie saw it and is putting a lid on it.  They are keeping the market healthy and solid.  This is positive for everyone whether you are an owner, seller or buyer.

Questions?  Text or call me at 201-741-8490.

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under For Sale or Rent, Uncategorized.

5 Sandburg Court is a glorious townhouse in the exclusive community of The Courts at Glenpointe.  Glenpointe is a small complex.  As a result  you may not know about it.  Allow me to tell you all about it.

Glenpointe

Glenpointe is an ambitious project created in the early 1980’s by Alfred Sanzari.  It incorporates 3 separate sections –

  1. The Glenpointe Hotel,
  2. Glenpointe office complex
  3. The Courts at Glenpointe  town home community

Located within the office complex is the Glenpointe Spa & Fitness Center .  I’ve always  considered this to be one of the nicest public fitness spas in Bergen County.  

This was conceived as a high end development.  It continues to be so to this day.  The Glenpointe Hotel hosts many local major 5 Sandburg Ctevents both corporate and private.  There is a really nice wine bar and Italian restaurant too.

You’ll find the Courts at Glenpointe tucked away in the back end.  It’s a very private setting as a result.  We enter through a guarded gate giving you 24/7 security.  Driving through the complex you’ll appreciate the pretty landscaping and pin neat condition.  This is a well maintained complex.  Features include a swimming pool, tennis courts and dog run.

Convenient Location

Glenpointe’s location is ideal for traveling anywhere in this region.  It’s a 5-15 minute drive to the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Routes 80 and 4.  Additionally the George Washington Bridge to Manhattan is 15 minutes by car.  Because public transportation is essential to NYC, NJ Transit has an express bus stop within walking distance.  The airport is only 30 minutes by car.

5 Sandburg Court5 Sandburg Court

5 Sandburg Court is big, updated, modern and upscale townhouse.  Space is very impressive since there is over 2,300 square feet.  Because the style is contemporary, entertaining areas are large, open rooms framed by soaring vaulted ceilings with tremendous ambient light.  Upstairs you’ll find a truly amazing Master Suite with both double and walk in closets and unbelievable dimensions.  The Master Bath includes an oversized whirlpool tub, stall shower and sauna.

Beautifully updated, the kitchen and baths shine with high end materials and finishes.  You’ll find wood floors throughout from parquet floors on the main level to new hardwood upstairs.  To top it it off is your own private elevator.  This runs from the garage up to the 2nd floor bedrooms.

5 Sandburg Court is a terrific townhouse with great space, sophisticated design and wonderful updates.  It’s a commanding value in the market because it’s priced at $400,000.  Text or call me at 201-741-8490 to see this fabulous home.

 

Posted by & filed under Buying, For Sale or Rent.

home inspection reportHome inspection issues for buyers are huge.  You hire a home inspector to uncover problems so you don’t buy the money pit.

Why It’s Stressful

Let’s step back a minute and consider this:  Buying a home is stressful.  I work very hard at preparing my customers but it’s still an anxious as well as exciting time.  Everyone knows that purchasing “big ticket” items comes with anxiety.  It’s worse when you buy a home due to it’s cost.

Here’s something else too – the process.  There’s so many aspects to learn that you never come across in your daily life.

The key to it all is preparation.  I spent a lot of time creating the Buyers section of my website.  If you go through it, you’ll be fully educated and properly prepared.  As a result, your stress level will be cut in half or more.

Be Prepared And Win

You need to be fully prepared for your home inspection too.  I believe that you should line up a home inspector early on.  What usually happens is that when Attorney Review concludes, you’re told to get the house inspected that weekend.  You haven’t even started to look for an inspector in most cases.

Research home inspectors and find one even before you find the house.  Timing is important too.  The sales contract gives you enough time to get the inspector you want.  Don’t be pressured into the 1st inspector who’s to available.

The Home Inspection inspection issues for buyers

You may have questions about some things – bring those questions along with you.  Only ask them when the inspector is at that part of the house.  If you rattle off all your questions at once, your inspector will be focused on answers and thrown off track.

Always stay with your inspector as he goes through the house.  You learn a lot and you’ll think of even more questions.

When an inspector finds problems, don’t panic.  It took a lot of searching and work on your part to find this house.  You love it so don’t lose it because everyone you know is telling you horror stories.  Do things right.  Get contractors in to evaluate and talk to your attorney.  Cancel the sale if what the inspector finds is truly too much to deal with.

When I represent a buyer, I actually hope termites are found without damage.  Every home for hundreds (if not thousands) of miles around gets termites.  Sellers must treat for termites.  If the little beasts are found and no harm’s done, you’re ahead.

Conclusion

Home inspection issues for buyers can be handled.  Try to keep your emotions in check.  When problems are found, evaluate them thoroughly and then make a decision.  You can proceed, negotiate concessions from the seller or cancel the contract.  Discuss this with your attorney.  If you need the name of some good inspectors or more advice, text or call me at 201-741-8490

Posted by & filed under For Sale or Rent, Selling.

inspection issues for sellersThere are ways to handle home inspection issues for sellers so both sides win.  While there are times when inspection issues do create insurmountable problems, this is a rare occurrence.  Why is it, then, that so many contracts fail due to home inspection issues?

Going On The Market For Sale

We start with where it begins – when you put you home on the market for sale.  You’ve removed clutter, staged it, manicured your exterior and hired cleaners.  I bring in professionals to do photos, a video tour, a floor plan and create brochures plus a website for your house.

Most people think you’re ready to go now.  Not really because you haven’t considered your home’s condition.

How A Home Inspector Looks At Things

Buyers evaluate the condition of a house through their home inspection.  Most sellers live in the house fixing things when something breaks.  That’s not how a home inspector sees things.  Inspectors will fail something even if it’s working simply because it’s older.  money pit

As a result, when an owner receives a buyer’s home inspection requests (sometimes the inspection report too), it’s often a shock and personally insulting.  You are upset and angry.  The buyer is demanding because that wonderful house they were buying is reduced to a money pit.

Do you think this is a good atmosphere for negotiating to a fair place for both sides?  It’s not of course.

Avoid Inspection Issues for Sellers

This is why I always recommend a pre-listing home inspection.  You’ll catch issues that you can fix now and fix for less. Since  fixing is often less than what a buyer imagines and/or demands you save a lot by doing this.

Home Warranties also pay for themselves.  Because home inspectors fail, for example, a furnace that’s working but old, you need this.  A home warranty costs a fraction of the cost of a new furnace.  Warranties are how you win by giving your buyer protection and peace of mind.

Preparation is the key to a successful house sale.  Sellers prepare best with a pre-listing inspection and home warranty.  You prepared how the house shows with cleaning, organizing, staging etc.  Prepare how the home’s condition displays with a pre-listing inspection and a home warranty.  This is exactly how you win with home inspection issues.

If you need advice on this, the names of good home inspectors or want a home warranty brochure, just text or call me at 201-741-8490

Posted by & filed under Bergen County LIfe, Things To Do.

van saun county park playgroundVan Saun Park in Paramus NJ is one of Bergen County’s most popular County Parks.  It’s big at 146 acres and gives you a wide variety of things to do.  Because it’s a County Park there is something for everyone.  I go there often with my dog Mickey.  We take long walks through the park and it’s always a wonderful experience.  Here’s what this terrific park has to offer you:

Children, Playgrounds, Pony Rides, Carousel & A Train

Parents bring their children to the extensive playground where they climb, swing, run, slide and more.  There’s even a special section engineered for handicapped children and those in wheelchairs.

Pony rides are another attraction for children.  Bergen County has pony rides for a small fee at Van Saun Park from May through most of October.   From 10 am through 5 pm there is also a wonderful carousel complete with corny music and flashing lights.  Children love trains and Van Saun has a great miniature train that choo choo’s along not far from the carousel and zoo. 

Bergen County Zoological Park

Van Saun is the location for the Bergen County Zoo.  You can find information about the park on the Friends of the Bergen County Zoo website and on Bergen County’s website as well.  If you go to the County’s website, you’ll find the fee schedule for the train and pony rides as well.  Because of our winters, all of these are open around mid April and close by the end of October or, weather permitting, mid November.

Bergen County’s Zoological Park has a lot going on.  There are events all year long and they keep adding animals every year.  For Halloween they have their annual Zoo Boo which just closed.  These events are geared towards children for fun and education too.

Bergen County Zoological ParkFishing, Picnics, Baseball, Soccer and Fairs

You’ll find a large pond at the southern end of the park where you can fish or just stroll by.  Additionally there are baseball or softball fields, picnic tables all over, a soccer field and several times during spring and summer fairs.  The fairs occupy one of the large parking lots with all sorts of rides and food trucks.

When I walk through the park with my dog, I often see large family gatherings barbecuing food and just enjoying being together.  Some people set up volley ball nets others picnic near the children’s playground and others just stay away from it all.  There are as many options as you’d like to have a barbecue in the park.

George Washington

There’s also a bit of history in this park.  New Jersey was one of the original 13 Colonies and there were major battles all throughout Bergen County during the Revolution.  When General George Washington was retreating against the British on his way to crossing the Delaware at Fort Lee.  In fact, there’s a museum about this in Fort Lee.  Van Saun has a spring where Washington is said to have stopped and had a drink of water.  There is a beautiful, peaceful walk created here which you do not want to miss when you visit the Van Saun County Park.

Dogs Love Van Saun Too

Bring your dog to Van Saun Park but only on a leash.  I take my dog, Mickey, all the time and he has so much fun sniffing all Pony Rideover and meeting children who give him tons of attention.  There’s also a dog run in Van Saun where your pup can play with other dogs.  There is a big and small dog section so no matter the size, this dog park works for you.

Go to Van Saun County Park this weekend.  Because it’s location is near the center of Bergen County, it’s really convenient.  You can enter off of Forest Ave or Continental Ave.  Either way, just come and enjoy this wonderful park.

If you’d like more information about Van Saun or any one of our terrific parks, text or call me at 201-741-8490.

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying, For Sale or Rent.

I just listed this 1 bedroom Mediterranean North coop for sale today.  If you don’t know about coops, go to my article about this type of residence.  Let’s start with an introduction to Mediterranean North.

Mediterranean Tower North

Med North is what most of call it but it’s really Mediterranean Tower North.  There’s actually 3 towers:  Med North, Med South and Med West.  All were coop hi rise buildings until Med South (next to Med North) became a condominium a few years ago.  Because Mediterranean North is so close to the George Washington Bridge, it’s very convenient to the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Complex.  As a result, there’s actually a jitney bus service just for people who work there.  Med North Coop

This is a large hi rise building with all the luxury amenities you’d expect from 24/7 concierge services and door men to a play yard for children.  It is a self managed building with a fully staffed office just off of the lobby entrance.  The lobby, hallways and elevators were recently upgraded so this building has a decidedly elegant ambiance.

Because owners thought it was unfair to bundle all services together, several years ago some of the amenities became a la carte so to speak.  As a result, only those members who want to use the outdoor swimming pool facilities pay a nominal fee.  The same goes for the health club.  Everyone has to include a basic cable charge of $68 in their monthly maintenance; you can add on additional cable options at your own expense.

Med North has always been a prestigious address.  While it is a large building with 483 apartments, it is also an intimate community where people find new lifelong friends.  Check out their website for more details.

Mediterranean North Coop23 D at 2100 Linwood Ave

My listing has just been completely painted, professionally cleaned and all wall to wall carpet replaced.  It’s a top floor apartment on the 23rd floor facing west with truly amazing views of the mountains.  Facing west has a great advantage – sunlight.  Tons of sunlight pour into this coop unit nearly all day.

There is one large, open space for a living room/dining room area.  This opens to the enclosed terrace which you’ll enjoy from spring through fall.

Because storage is always an issue with apartments, Med North was designed with a solution.  Closets are large and many.  They are so big that I can’t imagine you’ll need more.

The kitchen is square shaped which gives you more room than the typical apartment aisle kitchen.  The feeling is open, bright and spacious.  Location is so convenient too.  While you’re near the floor laundry room and elevator, the apartment is very quiet.

Parking  Mediterranean North Co-op

Parking is always a concern for hi rise building shoppers.  While parking spaces don’t stay with a unit when it’s sold, there are spaces available at a monthly fee of $60 for outside or $75 for indoor.  You can also have overnight guest parking for $10 per night.  Just make arrangements with the management office in advance.

Price and Maintenance Costs

23 D is on the market for $139,000.  Maintenance is $1,064.28  This includes the basic cable cost of $68 monthly, gas, water (cold and hot), taxes and the underlying mortgage.  Basically everything except electric.

Med North Fort LeeTo see this fresh and bright Mediterranean North coop for sale just call me at 201-741-8490.  I don’t expect it to be on the market for long before it finds a buyer.  Med North is very popular and this is a nice unit that’s an affordable entry to Fort Lee NJ.

Posted by & filed under For Sale or Rent.

38 Coriander Way

 

38 Coriander Way in Englewood is a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment that I just listed for rent at $1,725 per month.  Let me tell you about this Englewood rental.

Coriander Way

Coriander Way is a condominium development that was built in 1988.  It’s a small community; there are only 60 units.  Since it was built in the late 1980’s the exterior style is contemporary.  Contemporary architecture was very popular back then.  Built with a modern flair, the floor plan is open.  Added value comes from the fact that all units have their own washer and dryer.  Pricing is moderate when you compare Coriander Way to other developments at that time.  As a result, this is a popular complex with both buyers and tenants.

38 coriander wayEnd Unit Advantages

38 Coriander Way is a first floor end unit.  End units have the advantage of an outside wall which gives you 2 advantages.  Windows add light on that outside wall and more privacy because there is no neighbor on that side.  End units are sometimes slightly wider than interior units too.  As a result, being an end unit makes an apartment more desirable.

38 Coriander Features

This rental apartment has several great features.  It has great space with an open space floor plan.  You walk into a foyer and then turn to a large space that makes up the living room, formal dining room and kitchen.  Even though you can see each area as a separate space, there are no walls.  Additionally both kitchen and bathroom are updated nicely.  The kitchen has an island with a breakfast bar too.  38 Coriander Way

Floors are hardwood except for the 2 bedrooms which are carpeted.  Ceiling height is great too.  Another great feature is the stackable washer and dryer.  This is the only rental in the area that has it’s own laundry facilities.  Imagine not having to go to a laundromat or an outside laundry room!

Coriander Way is an all electric development and this apartment comes with 1 outdoor parking space.

Landlord Requirements

The landlord asks that a proposed tenant come to her with at least a 700 FICO score, a completed tenant application and a NTN report.  Occupancy date is November 15th.

If you have any questions or would like to see this apartment, call or text me at 201-741-8490.

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying, For Sale or Rent.

96 Knickerbocker Rd

 

96 Knickerbocker Road in Englewood is on the market for sale at $439,000.  Sunday there is an open house from 1 to 4 pm and showings are easy at other times because the house is vacant.

96 Knickerbocker Road

This is a 1913 side hall colonial that has been beautifully renovated by a local architect.  It’s truly a labor of love.  Because so many of these homes are knocked down for new construction, there are fewer available every year.  The seller restores turn of the century and Victorian Era homes to preserve them.

As a result, this is not your typical fix Aand flip house.  Come inside and take a look at the quality of the work that’s been done.  The kitchen alone displays the superior materials and craftsmanship.  You’ll find real wood cabinets – not veneers over pressed wood.  96 Knickerbocker Road

New Features

Improvements include 2 new bathrooms, a new kitchen, new windows, a new furnace, a new clothes washer and more.  This is a very charming home with the added plus of central air conditioning.

Artist Studio or Home Office

The attic is finished with an open space room and a separate finished room.  This would be ideal for an artist studio or as a home office.  There are other possible uses too of course.  As a result, you have 3 levels of living space.

Location is great too.

Fabulous Location Benefits

It’s a 15 minute walk to NYC bus commuting.  You have a choice of 2 New Jersey Transit express bus commutes.  The 178 on West Palisade Avenue takes you across the George Washington Bridge.  The 166 takes you to the 41st Street Port Authority 96 Knickerbocker RoadTerminal.

Google says it’s a 13 minute walk to local shopping at Nathaniel Place.  You’ll find a Shoprite supermarket, Shoprite Liquors, Vittorio’s Pizza Restaurant, Capital One Bank and more.  Also right there is the Bergen New Jersey Performing Arts Center where there’s live theater, concerts, etc.  Go 1 more block and you’re in the heart of Englewood’s very trendy business district.

You will love the old world charm and modern conveniences of 96 Knickerbocker Road.  You’ll also love it’s convenient location.  Beautifully redone, this very special home has so much to offer.

Also – please note that since Englewood has not re-assessed the house yet for the improvements, we don’t have the correct property taxes.  We are guessing somewhere around or under $10,000.

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying, For Sale or Rent.

511 Knickerbocker Road

I just listed 511 Knickerbocker Road in Tenafly for sale at $999,900.  This is a beautiful home sitting on a gorgeous half acre property with over 4,100 square feet of living space.  While this house underwent a major expansion and renovation, it lost none of it’s early 20th century charm and character.  The result is a uniquely special ambiance.  You have both colonial charm and modern features.

Floor Plan

There are actually 4 levels of living space because there is a separate level for a relaxed, private family room plus a finished attic.  Traditional meets modern here.  The first level has a fabulous entry foyer that opens to the staircase going up to your right and living room to your left. Moving further through this level you have the formal dining room and then comes modernity.  The modern high end kitchen has a large dining area and expansive Family Room.  This is one open space and it works brilliantly with the traditional charm beginning.  511 Knickerbocker Road

One flight up on it’s own level is the private family room which is huge by any standard.  Another flight up you have the Master Suite and 3 more bedrooms.  The finished attic has it’s own bath with a skylight.

Down below are not 1 but 2 separate unfinished basement areas.  There is the smaller original – ideal for storage – and the new with a very high ceiling and prepped for finishing.

Features

The house has high end materials throughout and gleaming hardwood floors.  Windows (except for a few ornamental) have been changed to modern double pane.  This makes the house very quiet.  There are charming porches in the front and rear of the house just for relaxing.  The Master Suite is stunning.  It is oversized, the private bath has both a stall shower and whirlpool tub and closets so big that you can use one as a home office.  In addition there is a private outdoor balcony overlooking the yard.

There are 2 fireplaces as well; one in the living room and one in the main level family room.

A Forever Home

511 Knickerbocker Road511 Knickerbocker Road is a forever home.  It is so big (5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths) that you’ll never need to upgrade.  The house is a statement of success and elegance.  The yard seems to go on forever.  Imagine the wonderful events you’ll have here over the years from winter dinner parties to children’s birthdays to backyard weddings.  There is in this home a grace and style blended seamlessly with modern features that’s rarely if ever found.

All this and the prestige of a Tenafly address!  Call me today at 201-741-8490 for your own private viewing of this important Tenafly residence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying.

Coming SoonComing soon in Fort Lee and Englewood are 2 new listings that are quite different.

Englewood Home

Englewood homes are mostly gracious period colonials.  These are beautiful, charming houses with high ceilings, wood detailing and large windows allowing abundant light inside.  Styles include Victorian, Greek Revival, Farm House, Queen Anne, Georgian, Italianate, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival.  Englewood has a very special ambiance because of these gorgeous classic homes.

Coming soon on the market for sale is an early 20th century colonial.  Built in 1918 it has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.  The current owner has redone the entire house and added central air.  This is a 3 bedroom 2 bath home with a finished 3rd level.    Here’s the floor plan for you –

  • 1st floor has a living room, dining room, eat in kitchen and full bath
  • 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms and a bath
  • 3rd floor has a finished room and storage

I’m expecting to put it on the market somewhere around the mid 400’s.

Fort Lee

Fort Lee is known for it’s many high rise luxury buildings.  Because Fort Lee is literally connected to the George Washington Bridge, values there are high because demand is very strong.  There are more co-op buildings in Fort Lee than anywhere else in Bergen County and more condo buildings too.  People joke about this by calling Fort Lee Manhattan West.

Three high rise buildings were built in the mid 1960’s through the early 1970’s by the same group .  They are called Mediterranean North, Mediterranean South and Mediterranean West.  We call them Med North, Med South and Med West.  These are luxury high rises with concierge services, outdoor pools, exercise rooms and other amenities.

Coming soon is a Med North 1 bedroom co-op unit with an amazing high floor western view.  While a NYC skyline view is prized in Fort Lee, NYC views from Med North aren’t always terrific.  This is because Med North is on top of the George Washington Bridge and several blocks from the eastern edge of town.  As a result, the bridge itself blocks the view.  So do other high rise buildings between Med North and NYC.  Lights from the GW Bridge at night make it impossible to see past them too.  As a result, western views from a top floor are also popular.

This 1 bedroom unit is being painted and getting professionally cleaned.  New carpet has been ordered too.  The projected asking price is $129,900.

So this is what’s coming soon in Englewood and Fort Lee.  If you’re interested in either property or would like more information, just text or call me at 201-741-8490.