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

You Won't See A Market Like This AgainYou won’t see a market like this again.  You can bet on it because real estate is based today on extraordinary circumstances.  I believe it’s not going to last long either.

What’s so unusual?  The answer is nearly everything.  To say that the real estate market is anything but bizarre is missing the point.  You don’t want to make mistakes now or be left in the dust when it changes.

What’s A Normal Housing Market?

Is there really a so-called normal housing market?  We’ve actually had this often.  It’s called a balanced market.  This is where the number of homes for sale and number of buyers are balanced.  Mortgage rates are not too high too.

To be specific, it takes 5-6 months to sell a house from start to finish and rates are well below double digits.  This assumes 2-3 months to secure a buyer and another 2-3 months to complete the sale.  You might be surprised to learn that we’ve had strong balanced markets with mortgage rates at 13.5%

Bergen County Real Estate Today

There is nothing normal about Bergen County real estate today.  You know that the inventory of homes is low.  Do you know that it’s 1/3 of what it was last year?  How about mortgage rates?  You’ve heard that they’re very low.  Did you know they’ve never been this low before ever?

The last time I saw a multiple offer throw away every contingency market was in the 2004-2006 bubble.  Before that it was in the 1985-1987 bubble.  This is not a crazy bubble.  Bubbles are speculative.  This is based on the law of supply and demand + flight from urban areas due to Covid 19 + safety concerns in NYC.

Low rates arrive when we’re in a recession or other negative economy.  They drop to stimulate the economy and move real estate forward.  This is because housing is a major driving force in the US economy.  Home prices drop too at such moments.  Well not now.  We have price appreciation + low rates today.

Buying a house today, even with higher prices, will cost you less because rates are so low.  Imagine that?  No one could have before this market.  How about going under contract in 15 days and closed out in another 30-45?  That’s not your normal 5-6 months.

What Should A Buyer or Seller Do?

Thinking about selling your house?  Get it listed in the MLS immediately.  You won’t see a market like this again.  Bergen County real estate was impacted directly by Covid 19.  Consider how today’s market will change in the near future.

Herd immunity is supposed to come by June’s end.  We see the economy opening up more and more.  Traffic has increased, mall parking lots are filled again and people are starting to go out.  Confidence is returning.  Homeowners are likewise becoming more confident about moving as a result.  You’ll see more houses coming on the market before you know it.  I give this 6-8 weeks.  Still think you should wait?

You want to buy a house.  This market is strongly in favor of the seller.  Don’t expect that to change.  It will be tempered a bit with more homes for sale as we move further into the year.  Multiple offers and bidding wars will still happen.  Appreciation is projected for 2022 as well as this year.  What should worry you are mortgage rates.

While nothing is happening now, it surely will in the future.  Let’s say we have a recession in 3-4 years and prices come down 15-20% while rates are at 6-7%.  Guess what?  That reduced price house is going to cost you more at 6-7%.  It’s better to buy sooner than later.  Higher rates equal a much greater expense.  Why wait years for the next recession cycle anyway?

Final Thoughts

I realize that this sounds very self serving.  Believe me, I get it.  You don’t have to ask me to help.  It would be nice if you did but this isn’t the point.  I’m giving you my best advice based on data and over 34 years of full time experience.

This market is like no other.  Fueled in large part by circumstances we hope won’t repeat, it’s extraordinary in many ways.  As a result, it’s important to think strategically.

Sell your house now.  There’s been no better time.  Buy a house now and save more on what your mortgage costs than in any future reversal.  Here’s something else – you can’t afford as much house with higher rates in that future too.

Need more help?  Have questions?  Contact me today.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Bergen County LIfe.

Golf in Bergen CountyGolf in Bergen County

Golf in Bergen County is a very big deal.  While there are several private golf clubs, let’s talk about our terrific public golf courses.

Bergen County has a robust parks department.  We have everything from camping grounds to winter downhill skiing.  Included in our County Parks System are 6 excellent public golf courses.  Bergen County golf encompasses all age groups, has a series of annual tournaments and a strong young golfer program too.  Golf is among the most popular activities of the Bergen County Parks System.

Covid Restrictions

Covid 19 has had an impact but it didn’t stop golf.  The season has just opened on all 6 courses.  You’ll find that courses are closing earlier than in pre-Covid times and golf carts are not in use.  There are a few less days each week too for golf.  Be that as it may, there’s still plenty of golf to enjoy for everyone.  Golf in Bergen County

Because golf is restricted to 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, the popular late afternoon and early evening play times are gone right now.  This is scheduled to change as we get further into the season.  Additionally there are staggered closings currently.  Darlington, Orchard Hills and Soldier Hill are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Overpeck, Rockleigh and Valley Brook are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  As a result there is less availability at the moment but, again, this will change.

Covid protocols are firmly in place of course with masks required, sanitizing, temperature taking etc.  Everything is being done to protect golfers and staff alike in the most professional manner possible.

Here are our 6 Bergen County golf courses:

Darlington Golf Course

Darlington is a 72 par 18 hole golf course with a driving range and restaurant.  Location is 277 Campgaw Road in Mahwah NJ.

Orchard Hills Golf Course

Orchard Hills is the only 9 hole golf course in the Bergen County system.  It is a par 35 course but you can wind your way back for a full 18 with a 70 par.  Location is on the grounds of Bergen County Community College at 404 Paramus Road in Paramus.

Overpeck Golf Course

Overpeck is nearly 6,600 feet long.  This is an 18 hole par 72 course.  Because it’s big and relatively flat, wind is most definitely an issue here.  Location is 273 East Cedar Lane in Teaneck.

Rockleigh Golf Course

Rockleigh is Bergen County’s only 27 hole course.  It plays as 2 separate golf courses at the same time.  Because a short 9 hole course was added after the original 18, this became a 27 hole challenging experience.  As a result, championship tournaments are held at Rockleigh.  Additionally there’s a restaurant here too.

Soldier Hill Golf Course

Soldier Hill entered Bergen County golf only a few years ago when the County purchased the 18 hold par 71 Emerson Golf Club.  It took 1 year to renovate both the course and facilities.  Because it has a both a driving range and restaurant, this is one of the fully complete courses.  Location is 99 Palisade Ave in Emerson.

Valley Brook Golf Course

 Valley Brook isn’t long.  This 18 hole course is only a par 70.  While not long, it’s tough with no room for mistakes.  A fun challenge, it also has both driving range and restaurant.  Location is 15 Rivervale Road in River Vale.

Because changes are being made on an almost daily basis, go to the County website on this before doing anything else.  I truly expect close to the full program to open up before you know it.

 

 

 

 

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

15 Charles Place15 Charles Place is Decidedly Unique

15 Charles Place is offered for sale at $1,450,000.  It’s truly special in so many respects.  Let me tell you about it.

This is only the 2nd time this home has been for sale.  The original owner sold it to the sellers.  Because the original owner’s dad was a builder, this was a special project for his son and daughter-in-law.  As a result, the construction quality is better than the average home.

Additionally, this is a truly unique home.  While almost all homes built in the early 2000’s followed the same floor plan, this one did not.  It is a simply magnificent combination of a classic colonial and today’s open floor plan.  The result is a spectacular floor plan. 

Entertaining Areas Inside & Out

Step inside into a foyer hallway that leads you to a 2-story living room.  Rimmed by architectural windows, light pours down upon you and sparkles off the gleaming hardwood floors.  Opening into the kitchen and breakfast area, this now becomes a wonderful open floor plan.

There’s also a very generous Formal Dining Room for regal dinner parties, Thanksgiving turkeys or a children’s birthday cake.  Let’s not forget, however, the brilliant expansion done by the present owner.

15 Charles PlaceOne step down from the living room is a large Family Room.  This special space is warmed by radiant heat in winters and opens into the barbecue entertainment center in summers.

An incredible door system brought in from Germany completely unfolds this room to literally bring outdoors inside.  Outside becomes an extension of inside for an amazing effect.

 

Can you imagine the fun you’ll have here?  Built for entertaining in every way, in every season this home is as much a showpiece as it is your private residence.

Home Office

Let’s not forget the home office.  Located off the foyer, you have the privacy you need for corporate client calls.  This bright room also accesses the front porch.  It’s ideal for those moments when you need to just need to sit outside for a moment.  Closter NJ homes

Finished Basement, Wet Bar & Home Office

Downstairs you’ll find a terrific setup for relaxing with friends.  You’ll find an expansive recreation room with a beautiful wet bar and island.  A full wall screen by Screen Innovations is ready for you to enjoy movie nights at home.  Get any projector setup you like and enjoy!

Additionally, there’s a 2nd office (currently used as guest quarters for grandchildren), full bath and storage rooms.

Going upstairs to the private level, we have 3 spacious bedrooms, a full bath and the Master Suite.  In addition to a very large bedroom, you have a sitting room appendage.  Perfect for anything you want from reading a book to working out on your Peloton.

deckOutdoor Deck & Putting Green

There are so many special features in 15 Charles Place.  Perhaps the most special is the outdoor deck.  This is a wonderful space where you can genuinely get away from it all.  During warmer months when the leaves are in, it feels as if you’re in a world of your own.

If you go to the outdoor deck’s edge and look down, you’ll find a fun surprise.  Your own putting green and sand trap!  No need to go to miniature golf – it’s in your backyard!

This is an elegant residence that effortlessly accommodates a busy 15 Charles Place family’s needs.  As versatile as it is beautiful, this is a home that will impress your guests as it soothes your cares.

Because this fine home is shown by appointment, call me at 201-741-8490 to schedule yours.

 

 

 

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

Cresskill townhouse141 Broadway is a Cresskill townhouse for sale at $545,000. It’s newly listed and ready for a new owner.  Because it’s currently rented at $3,500 per month, this is also a good investment as well.

This is the only opportunity to buy a Cresskill townhouse in Rio Vista Commons.  As a result, this property will find a buyer quickly.  I would not wait to see it.

Let’s take a look at what this townhome has to offer:

141 Broadway

This is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with an attached 1 car garage.  It’s floor plan is exactly what you’d expect.  The living and dining rooms, eat in kitchen and half bath are on the 1st floor while bedrooms are upstairs.

There are some nice luxury features too – Master Bath, Central Air and your own washer and dryer.  Additionally there are beautiful hardwood floors throughout.  You have 1,884 sq. ft. of space so there’s plenty of room.

Condition is excellent.  Upgrades include a recently renovated kitchen and Master Bath.  Out back through sliding glass doors is a concrete deck too.

Rio Vista Commons  Rio Vista townhouse

Rio Vista Commons is a townhouse development that was built in 1984.  This builder group had just completed Rio Vista on the East Hill of Cresskill and Alpine.  Rio Vista was the 1st new luxury home development in that area.  It paved the way for other such developments as Tammy Brook Hills and Tamcrest Estates.

Built as a decidedly upscale community, this is a small community of 44 units according to the New Jersey MLS tax records.  Over the years I’ve seen this as well maintained in both the grounds and building exteriors.  It has always been a popular destination too.  That’s because these townhouses are well designed and convenient.  They’re close to everything – schools, NYC bus commuting and schools.

Cresskill NJ

Cresskill is undeniably one of the most sought after locations in eastern Bergen County.  While only a 15 minute drive to the George Washington Bridge, this is a true suburban small town.  It also has a wide demographic from among the most expensive luxury residences here to modest starter homes.  The town spirit is strong and it’s not at all unusual to find children as adults coming back to raise their own family.

What I can tell you growing up with friends in town is that this is one terrific place.  The school district is strong, the downtown business district has what you need and the popular town pool is where you’ll meet lifelong friends.

If you want to know more about Cresskill, just go to my website page on the town.

141 Broadway is a truly move in condition Cresskill townhouse that won’t disappoint.  Just listed, we expect it to be gone soon so call me today to see it at 201-741-8490.

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

bidding warsLet’s face it.  Bidding wars are no fun.  Multiple offers on the same house mean nearly everyone loses.  This is why bidding wars require a strategic approach.

Because the inventory is so extremely low, expect to face competition.  It doesn’t matter what the house is like, where it’s located or the price range.  Competition runs throughout the marketplace.  As a result, you need to do everything you can to beat the competition.

This is why I tell my customers that bidding wars require a strategic approach.  Let’s look at a few strategies to help you.

What’s a seller worried about most?

Homeowners are most concerned about the price they’ll get.  As a result, win them over by eliminating their fear.

Do this by effectively using an escalation clause.  Because so few agents understand it, the escalation clause is sometimes perceived as a problem while it’s a solution.  However, you can turn that around by presenting it correctly.

Escalation clauses say I’m offering XYZ for your home but if someone comes in higher, I’ll give you up to ABC more.  Let’s take a $500,000 offer.  If higher offers come in, you’re willing to go up to $550,000 in $10,000 increments as necessary. bidding war

Some folks wonder if this is too much at each step.  It isn’t because you can’t afford weak moves in this market.  The idea is to knock off the competition.

The key to this is how it’s presented.  Sellers need to understand this for what it is:  It’s an offer from a buyer who is making a special effort.  You are so committed to this home that you’re willing to go an extra mile to get it.

Additionally you are not caught up in a moment’s bidding emotion.  There are buyers who win a bidding war but later realize they really don’t want the house at that price.  You’ve considered things carefully and are sincerely making your offer.  As a result, you represent stability.

escalation clauseFinancing can set you apart from the pack

There are offers that come in as cash.  Others eliminate the mortgage contingency.  Additionally you’ll also find that some people are willing to pay the difference if the appraisal is low.

Are you, like most home buyers, using a mortgage to buy a house?  If so, how do you compete with a cash offer?  Or someone who eliminates the mortgage contingency?  Use multiple pre-approvals from excellent high profile banks.

I can tell you that what I normally see is only 1 pre-approval with an offer on my listings.  Cash offers come in with proof of funds on only the deposit or down payment.  Do better so you stand out.

Get 2 and, even better, 3 pre-approvals.  Use well known banks.  How do you think a seller would respond to a pre-approval from Weichert Financial Services and Wells Fargo?  Let’s go even further.  Why not include a bank statement showing you have the full deposit on hand?  Now how do you think you’ll appear to a seller?

When I represent a buyer, I also add in something specifically for the listing agent.  The seller’s agent is allowed to call the banker directly during the transaction to check on things.  This is a very strong move because only a financially secure buyer  would do this.

Terms

Another strategic approach involves making the transaction easier for the seller.  Tell them you’ll handle the fire code certificate inspection, get a cleaning service for their move out, grant them a use and occupancy so they can move out the day after the closing instead of being rushed plus grant them flexibility in a closing date.

Here’s something else.  Rather than eliminating the home inspection, tell them that you won’t argue for the 1st $3,000 of issues found.  All of this may come with some cost but always less than going up $5,000.  Because you are offering them a problem free way out of their house, you also appear as a sincere buyer.

Bidding Wars

Bidding wars don’t have to be about price only.  Think and act strategically to rise above all the others.  You’ll be glad you did because while this doesn’t work all the time, it does work.  Anything you can do to enhance your position as a home buyer is important to your success.

Contact me if you have questions or would like to talk about your options in this market.

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

Real Estate ContractWhat is Attorney Review about?  While I’m not an attorney, I’ll explain it from a real estate agent’s viewpoint.  Only an attorney can fully explain the legalities on this.

Because so many home buyers and sellers don’t understand this at all, I thought an agent review would help you.  Again, only an attorney can properly advise and explain this.

Buying A Home in New Jersey

Buying a home in New Jersey involves a sales contract.  That’s not always the case elsewhere.  Some parts of the US use a completely different process.  Here we use a contract of sale and how it’s done depends on whether a real estate agent is involved.

New Jersey requires that for all real estate agents use the statewide NJ Realtors standard form contract.  If there are no real estate agents involved, then the attorneys create the real estate contract.

What Is A Residential Property?

The New Jersey statewide contract is limited to residential property.  Here is what makes up residential property:

  • Single Family Home
  • 1-4 Family House
  • Vacant Land Zoned For Residences

Anything else is considered commercial property.  Only attorneys can write sales contracts for commercial property.  There is another category: co-op units.  This is because co-ops are not real estate.  You are buying shares of an association.  Attorneys here too write the contract.

Real Estate Agents Are Not Attorneys  Attorney Review

While agents must use the statewide contract, we are not attorneys.  Sounds confusing doesn’t it?  I’m not an attorney and yet I’m selling a house using a contract.  This is where Attorney Review comes in.

Attorney Review allows the buyer and seller to send the contract they’ve just signed to their attorney.  Attorneys cancel it next so they can  adjust it.

Attorney Review Pluses & Minuses

Attorney Review is, in my view, the most important part of the contract.  Why?  Because this is how your attorney makes sure the contract is right for you.  However it can be a double edged sword too.

While the attorneys are finalizing the changes they want, there is no sales contract on the house.  This is because what I call “the mechanics of the Law”.  You can’t change a signed contract.  As a result, it must be canceled to incorporate changes.  This is how another buyer can send in a stronger contract and knock you out.  The bottom line is that buyers should do everything they can, in this market, to expedite Attorney Review.  Additionally it means that the door is not closed to a better offer for homeowners.

I hope this helps you to understand Attorney Review.  Be sure to go over this with your attorney because I’m only giving you a real estate agent’s take on this.  Do you need a good real estate attorney?  I know several.  Contact me if you do.  

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under For Sale or Rent.

2 bedroom rentalI just listed a 2 bedroom rental in Bogota tonight at $1,950 per month.  It’s not your typical 2 bedroom apartment because it has a finished basement.  Location is 132 Queen Anne Road.

The floor plan is great too.  You’ll find a typical 4 room 2 bedroom apartment on the 1st floor.  Downstairs is a rec room, extra room, bath and washer/dryer hookups.  As a result you have a lot of living space.  While the majority of leases are written for 2 bedroom rental apartments, very few have a finished basement.

Located in a top/bottom 2 family house, there is 1 other apartment in the building above you.  Parking is easy too.  There are 2 tandem outdoor spaces for each tenant on the driveway.  132 Queen Anne Road

NYC Commute

Bergen County is a highly prized location because of it’s proximity to Manhattan, suburban lifestyle and strong public school   systems.  Since we’re so close to Manhattan, a good number of us work in New York.

Commuting to New York City is easy to because of Turnpike Express Buses.  New Jersey Transit’s 168T bus will get you to Manhattan in less than 1 hour.  If you go to their website it shows it as a 45 minute trip.   The bus stop going to work is only 1 block away too.

A Few Details

In addition to having a lot of space, this apartment has some other good features.  The baths are updated and the main level has oak hardwood floors.  Heating is gas fueled hot air with central air conditioning too.

bogota njBogota NJ

Bogota is a small town with a big spirit.  It’s not unusual to find generations of a family living here.  This is because children who grow up here, come back to live here.

The population is only 8,335 and most of the people here are homeowners.  Looking at New Jersey MLS figures, we can easily see that Bogota is among the more affordable areas.  The average sales price of a Bogota home was $408,086 in 2020 while it was $684,316 for Bergen County as a whole.

If you’d like a nice 2 bedroom apartment that offers you more space than the average, call or text me at 201-741-8490.

 

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

Canterbury VillageCanterbury Village in New Milford NJ is a townhouse development built in the mid 1980’s.  It’s build date is 1986 according to the New Jersey MLS.  Construction was better, in my view, back then than what you often see today.

There are times when newer isn’t better.  This is one of them.

 

Canterbury Village Is Quieter

Sound is a common complaint I hear about new or newer condo and rental buildings.  It seems that recent construction isn’t as quiet as what you get in a Canterbury townhouse.  Sellers tell me things like “the walls are paper thin”.

Homeowners at Canterbury Village always make a point of telling me how quiet it is.  They say things like “I never hear my neighbor.” Because it is so quiet, I always emphasize this when I show a listing there.

Luxury Features  Canterbury Lane New Milford NJ

While these are mid range townhouses, you do get some very nice luxury features.  Often such features take you well into the upper 500’s.  Canterbury Village is a smart purchase because you get all this at a moderate townhouse level.

What is more luxurious than a Master Bedroom with a Private Bath?  The Master Bath is good sized with a dramatic soaring ceiling rising to a skylight.  Space and storage are more than you’d expect as well.  Master Bedrooms are big rooms with 3 large double closets typically.

Most units (except for the few smallest floor plans) have a full sized 2 car attached garage.  These are so big that you have room for a good deal of storage.  You won’t find that annoying post in the middle either.  Garages are wide open space and accommodate modern SUV’s too.

Living rooms have fireplaces.  While they were originally wood burning, some owners have converted to gas fueled.  Add in a full width terrace you access directly from the living room.

Of course there’s that must have – central air conditioning.

Plus Factors

This is not a big complex with only 70 units.  There is but 1 road that ends in a cul de sac.  Monthly maintenance includes exterior grounds and snow removal.  Snow removal is not just street and driveways; walks and steps too.  Since there is no pool, maintenance is moderate.  My recent listing there had it at $300 per month.  Garbage pickup is by the town.

Canterbury VillageNew Milford is a great location.  It’s a really nice suburban town with a good school district and convenient to New York City.  Across from the entrance is a Post Office.  Next to that is a small strip mall with a convenience store.  A few minutes north is a larger strip mall with a CVS, the New Milford Deli and Roman Pizza restaurant.  Go up some more and you’ll pass a Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and at the north end is a new super ShopRite.

If you’re into wine, Total Wine is 6 minutes away.  Do you like ice cream?  Brain Freeze has people coming from all over.

From what I can tell, this is a very well managed complex.  Every time I’ve called the management company, Arthur Edwards, I’ve had a consistently excellent, professional experience.

21 Canterbury Lane

My listing at 21 Canterbury Ln just sold for $420,000.  My website for this townhouse has a 3D Matterport Tour.  You’ll be able to walk through the townhouse so you can see what the floor plan really looks like.  The pictures I have here are from my listing at 21 Canterbury Lane.

This floor plan has a separate foyer entrance and a sunken living room.  Although we had several offers, this took a while to close because of the buyer’s schedule.  It worked out well for both sides and that’s what’s important.

Would you like to buy a Canterbury Ln townhouse?  Nothing is for sale today but I do know of someone who is thinking of moving later this year.  They might move this summer too.  It’s a beautiful townhome with a new kitchen and new baths.  Call or text me at 201-741-8490.

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

It might seem early for a Bergen County NJ homes report since we’re only 60 days into 2021.  However the market has revealed itself already in several ways.  Let’s take a look at the following:

1.  New Listings

2.  Under Contract

3.  Fall Through Rate

4.  Absorption Rates

 

New Listings

Bergen County NJ homes are not in good supply.  I thought 2020 was a problem because the inventory of homes for sale was down by 34%.  2021 is much worse.

There is a devastating difference between both years.  2020 had 1,738 new listings through the end of February.  2021 had 1,208.  That’s a 44% decrease.

Under Contract

To be Under Contract in Bergen County means that you have a firm, binding contract.  This usually takes 1-2 weeks.  A seller signs an offer.  It’s sent to the attorneys who review and adjust it.  The final version is approved and signed creating a firm, binding contract.  under contract home

It is logical to assume that with more homes coming on the market in 2020, you’d have more Under Contract.  Figures tell a different story.  2021 actually has 10 more at 1,232 to 2020’s 1,222.

This doesn’t make sense.  How can you have virtually the same number of UC homes with 44% less inventory?  Because you have soaring demand.  Great for those who have a house for sale and very tough for buyers.

Fall Through Rate

Fall throughs happen when a contract is cancelled during Attorney Review.  This is very important for you to understand.

You can’t change a signed contract.  As a result, attorneys cancel the contract they’ve just received so they can create a final version.  Nothing holds anyone to the contract they just signed.  Why?  Because it no longer exists.

Sellers are free to accept a better offer if it comes in.  Buyers can cancel because they’ve had second thoughts.

There are 13% more fall throughs this year (408 to 361).  While we have no records of why fall throughs happen, experience and logic tell us a lot.

This is a much more competitive year for buyers.  Consequently they are more aggressive sending offers during Attorney Review periods.  Sellers are more independent with backup offers on the table.

Bergen County NJ HomesFurthermore both agents and buyers are at fault.  Buyers don’t listen.  A good number of fall throughs are due to financing.  I have written extensively on why shopping for rates doesn’t work.  Still buyers insist this is the way to go.  There’s also horrible agents who point buyers to terrible so called banks.

Absorption Rates

An absorption rate measures the activity rate of a real estate market.  It shows how long it will take to sell all the homes for sale.  You find this by dividing the homes for sale by those sold over the past 30 days.

Today there are 1,026 for sale and 496 sold for a 2.07 month absorption rate.  To put this into perspective, the market turns positive at 5 months.  Let’s look at a few specific towns:

  • Bergenfield 1.9
  • Englewood 2.5
  • Fair Lawn 0.4
  • Paramus 0.9
  • Ridgewood 1.6
  • Teaneck 1.7
  • Tenafly 1.5

Bergen County NJ Homes

Looking at new listings, under contracts, fall throughs and absorption rates has given us a good picture of the market.  There is no reason to expect anything different.  As a matter of fact, rates went up and nothing’s changed.

Because projections are for appreciation rates to slow next year, this may be the best time to sell your home.  Additionally buyers are right to come out in droves.  Rates have risen and will do so again in 2021.  Mortgages are no different than any other loan.  Your loan rate determines how much your home will really cost you.

I hope you enjoyed this article.  If you are thinking about buying or selling, please call me at 201-741-8490.  You know I’ll do my very best.

 

All data is from the New Jersey MLS

 

 

 

 

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

top 3 home buying mistakesThe top 3 home buying mistakes I see home buyers make are:

1.  Choosing The Wrong Agent

2.  Using The Wrong Banker

3.  Hiring The Wrong Attorney

Choosing The Wrong Agent

Communication is key.  Are you and your agent on the same page?  Are you a team?  Is your agent advising you like a consultant rather than trying to “sell you” on a house?

Does your agent know the area like an expert tour guide?  Does she know the neighborhood you want?  Schools?  Commuting?

How about the market?  Anyone can sign up for online listing alerts.  While being sent listings is easy, it doesn’t educate you about market trends.  Your agent should keep you fully informed about market dynamics.

How about attentiveness?  Do you have to call because your agent doesn’t?  Are you getting continual guidance and updates?  Is your agent spending the extra time required to tell you what’s happening and what to expect next?

If you and your agent are not a good match, move on to someone who is.

Using The Wrong Bank

Before you do anything else, you need to get your financing in place.  Getting a mortgage from the wrong banker is a nightmare.  From closing late to being denied a loan last minute, I’ve seen it all.

Avoid the banker who gives you a pre-approval with next to no documents.  It’s oh so easy.  He tells you things like “Go find a home buying mistakes house and then come back to me.”  Sometimes you fill out a form online and magically you’re pre-approved a short while later.  This is worthless – it’s a prequalification masquerading as a loan preapproval.

Find a banker who, like your agent, is a good fit.  Someone who takes the time to teach you about the mortgage process.  Additionally he asks about you, what you want, your goals, your needs. I also believe that experience counts.  A senior mortgage banker has a wealth of knowledge that can’t be replaced with an algorithm.  The banker should also have direct access to the loan processor.  This is extremely important.

Go to a direct lender.  While it’s the toughest place to qualify for a mortgage, I believe it’s the safest and best approach.  Don’t shop for rates because this is the worst way to proceed.

Hiring The Wrong Attorney

Once again you need someone you can mesh with.  This means establishing rapport over the phone since, whether Covid or not, communication is over the phone.  It’s doesn’t work if you and your attorney can’t understand each other.

Never ever choose an attorney by what they charge.  Would you go to a discount brain surgeon?  Real estate attorneys do more than read a contract.  Their advice is priceless.  So much is involved – contract, home inspection issues, title work, deed, survey, etc.  You want someone who will truly read every document.

Make sure your attorney does a large volume of local residential real estate.  Town ordinances matter.  A good local real estate attorney knows these things.

Home Inspector

home buyer mistakesWhy would you risk having a thorough home inspection to save $1-200 while you’re spending hundreds of thousands on a house?  People do every day.  They hire someone cheap who does a lousy job.  Problems are found after they move in.  Ouch!

Find a good inspector by recommendations from your agent and folks you know who’ve recently purchased a home .  Ask for referrals from the inspector that are no more than 3 months old.  Then call them.

Make sure the inspector belongs to ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors).  What tools does the inspector use?  Some use drones for roofs.  Does he have a tool that measures dampness in a wall?  Does he do a lot of inspections where your house is located?  Is he familiar with local environmental issues and housing styles?

The Top 3 Home Buying Mistakes

You can avoid the top 3 home buying mistakes if you know what to look for.  A lot of it comes down to a few simple concepts.  For recommendations or questions, text/call me at 201-741-8490.