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

real estate is not slowing downReal estate is not slowing down because a lot has changed fundamentally.

New Jersey MLS

We’ve had low inventory for quite a while.  Every year it gets worse.  2020 is is the worst ever.  Right now as I write to you, we have 1,910 single family homes on the market for sale.  While nearly 2,000 homes for sale might seem like a lot to you, it’s not.  It’s roughly half or less for what is normal.

Let’s look at the number of homes under contract – 1,839 according to the NJMLS.  Contrast this with 1,910 for sale for a nearly 1 to 1 ratio.  There is no doubt that we have a strong seller’s market because you reach that level at 3 to 1.

Absorption rates measure how long it will take to sell all homes currently for sale.  You figure this by dividing homes for sale (1,910) by those sold over the past month (785).  This comes to 2.4 months.  Consider this – at 5 months you enter a seller’s market.

The Fed and Interest Rates

We have a crush of home buyers because of how the Fed has crashed rates into levels never seen before.  To give you a sense of perspective, look at Freddie Mac’s graph of mortgage rates.  Notice that points are shown.  This is because years ago rates were so high that buyers paid points to lower the rate (1 pt = 1/4%).

Home buyers today are well educated.  They understand the value of low rates.  The biggest cost of homeownership is your mortgage.  No one knows how much longer this will last but it beats the rise in pricing by a landslide.  For so many first time home buyers it’s the only chance they have to get away from renting.  Low rates are fueling this market.  It looks like the Fed will keep rates low through the spring too.  This means that real estate is not slowing down for quite a while.

The Move to the Suburbs  backyard

Everyone knows that you can’t social distance in a city.  As a result, Covid 19 began to push people to the suburbs.  Add in the deterioration of safety in NYC followed by civil unrest.  This has propelled people into the suburbs.

It used to be that people went into the City as young adults.  They married over time and then children came along.  The next step was a house in the burbs with a yard for the kids.  Or folks simply tired of city life and wanted a home.  Replacing them was the next crop of young adults.

This has been disrupted.  Urban flight took hold in a near panic to get out of New York City that still continues.  Because the City is no longer seen as a safe, pleasant place to live, fewer people are moving in.  According to Miller Samuel, August vacancy rates were the worst in 14 years at 5.1% (2019 was 1.9%).  Rental amounts dropped 10% too.

Lockdown Proved You Don’t Need Manhattan

The lockdown this spring also sped up what would have happened naturally over time.  Working remotely became an immediate  necessity.  Then something else happened.

Everyone realized this is better.  Both companies and workers learned that you can run your business successfully on a remote basis.  As a result how we work was fundamentally changed almost overnight.  While technology increasingly led us in this direction, it wouldn’t have done this overnight.

Companies have seen that they don’t need all that office space in Manhattan.  Suburban locations are cheaper with a nicer lifestyle.  In this world of internet connectivity, the value of a Park Avenue address has plummeted.  Workers are happier commuting less and still highly productive.  Companies reduce costs with less city space.

This puts more pressure on the suburban real estate market because companies will follow workers to the suburbs.  High NYC rents translate into affordable mortgages.  This is a huge change that happened at warp speed.

working remotelyReal Estate is not Slowing Down

The bottom line is that real estate is not slowing down in Bergen County.  Fundamental and permanent change has occurred.  Additionally because this happened so quickly, it’s disruptive on many levels.  The question is how much longer will this market last and how should you navigate these waters.

This is possibly the best time to sell a home for the next  7-8 years.  Rates simply cannot stay this low forever.  I do think they’ll be in this zone through early next year.  While they’ll start to go up, they’ll still be good through spring.  At least that’s how it looks right now.  Bear in mind that as rates rise, you will lose some buyers.

If you want to buy a house, go ahead.  Rates this low most likely will never be seen again.  Remember – the Fed is at zero.  Not even in the Great Depression did this happen.  Buy a home for the long term.  Prices will go up.  Prices will go down.  Over the long haul you’ll be ahead.  If you rent, you end up with nothing.

Take advantage of what is a very unique opportunity for both buyer and seller.  You can contact me for a free market evaluation on your home or to see what options you have as a home buyer.  Remember – it’s all about the rates ultimately.

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154 Charlotte PlI have an amazing property coming on the market this week in Englewood Cliffs.  While there are many beautiful homes in Englewood Cliffs, there is nothing even remotely comparable to 154 Charlotte Pl.  154 Charlotte Place

This elegantly sophisticated residence is also a warm and inviting home.  Built by the present owner in 2011 to exacting standards, every room is uniquely beautiful.  It’s a combination of exquisite custom touches, superior materials and fine craftsmanship,  As a result, you have a true masterpiece of style and comfort.

First Floor Design

We enter through a grand foyer with a sweeping open staircase that frames your view with it’s beauty.  This is truly a work of art with  mahogany stairs and designer iron work.  This beautiful staircase transports you through all levels gracefully.  Because this is fully open, the view whether up or down is stunning.

Formal Living RoomThe blending of arched, straight and curved lines is fabulous.  This interplay of styles is throughout the home.  As a result, there is an artful aesthetic to this house.  Nowhere is it more evident than the entrance to the formal living room.

The living room is framed by an archway which sets the tone for it’s formality.  Detailing is linear and it all works wonderfully.

Ceramic floors give everything a crisp, clean look.  Additionally this allows for the luxurious comfort of radiant heat in winter and cool floors in summer.

The Formal Dining Room defines opulence with a gorgeous chandelier Formal Dining Roomsuspended from the hand painted inverted ceiling.  Shapes and colors complement each other perfectly.  It’s all set upon a backdrop of small paned window walls for a decidedly charming effect.

Located off the foyer is the home office.  Featuring a coffered ceiling, custom built ins and 2 walls of windows, this is as comfortable as it is practical.

Kitchen and Family Room

Kitchen and family room are at the back of this level.  This is where you’ll spend most of your time in this comfortable setting.  Each opens to the other for a perfect, relaxing flow.

Wolf OvenThe kitchen is truly spectacular with it’s high end high style character.  Equipment runs from a Sub Zero Refrigerator to Wolf Oven.  Granite has a beautiful custom cut.  Medallions accents decorate the tile floor.  Grainview cabinetry, a warming drawer, crumb vacuum, center island with breakfast bar and more.  This large room is itself a showplace.

The Family Room is anchored by the marble gas fireplace insert into beautiful custom built in cabinetry.  Light pours in through a wall of windows where you’ll also find French Doors to the patio.

There’s another set of French Doors in the kitchen dining area.  This is a perfect set up for summer barbecue parties.  Outside you’ll find a paver patio, outdoor kitchen and waterfall to soothe your cares away.

154 Charlotte Pl

This is merely an introduction to this magnificent home.  While large, the home has tremendous warmth.  It is over 5,500 square feet plus a fully finished basement.  It is a 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath 16 room house that has every amenity you want.  Everything is done with exquisite style and the best of materials.  There is so much more to tell you and to show you.  Located for a quick drive to Manhattan in prestigious Englewood Cliffs, call today for your private viewing.

 

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21 Canterbury LaneI just listed 21 Canterbury Lane in New Milford at $449,000.  This 2 bedroom and 2.5 bath townhouse is located right off River Road in the Canterbury Village complex.  Let me tell you about it.

What appeals to me about this complex is the fact that it’s older  construction.  Because it was developed in the mid 1980’s, it’s a whole lot quieter inside than some newer places.

 

The Value of Quieter Construction

I received a phone call about 2 years ago from a client.  His parents bought a new retirement condominium apartment recently out of the area.  They are not happy with this purchase because of noise.

They hear their neighbors, they hear water in plumbing pipes doing down the wall,  He describes this as “paper thin walls”.  I suggested that they contact the management association to see if some insulation can be blown in.  21 Canterbury

Canterbury Village was constructed in the mid 1980’s.  Construction was done differently then.  As a result, it’s quieter than some new complexes.  It really depends on which complex you’re talking about because they’re all different.  I’ve never had a noise complaint about Canterbury Lane units.

21 Canterbury Lane

Let’s talk about space.  Space is important.  So is a functional floor plan.  You’ll find both here.  Walking up a few steps you enter into a foyer.  Then it’s up a few steps more to the main floor.  Living and dining rooms are good sized.  Here is a luxury feature – the living room is sunken.  The dining room overlooks it because it’s open between both rooms.  While you have an open aspect, each room is separate.  As a result, you get the best of both worlds.  Additionally the living room has a fireplace and sliding glass door to the deck.

New Milford homesKitchen is great too and has room for a breakfast table and chairs.  Custom designed with wood cabinets and granite you will enjoy the terrific storage.  There’s also a guest Powder Room on this level.

Upstairs will impress you.  The Master Bedroom is very spacious with 3 double closets and a renovated full bath.  This is beautifully done plus there’s a skylight which adds abundant light.

There is a downstairs too.  You’ll find is a home office space, a storage room and access to the 2 car garage.  The garage is big.  You can line it with a storage system if you wish.  No squeezing out of your cars in this garage.

Great Changes

The owner made some wonderful changes.  He put in hardwood floors throughout.  Upstairs was completely carpeted before.  Also added was beautiful detailing and crown moldings on the 1st floor and the basement home office space was unfinished originally.

21 Canterbury Ln is a treat to behold.  It so has the feeling of a single family home even though it’s a townhouse.  You will be able to host large parties here or just unwind in the quiet.  Imagine the fun you’ll have!  Considerably superior in design, workmanship and luxury features than what you’ll find elsewhere, it offers much.  You can downsize here in style or start home ownership without the hassle of exterior maintenance.

Come on over to 21 Canterbury Lane in New Milford NJ this Sunday, Oct 4th, from 1 to 4 pm.  You’ll be glad you did!

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419 Golf Course Drive419 Golf Course Drive in Leonia is on the market at $959,000.  While there are others in this price range, none have the value you’ll find here.

Floor Plan

Constructed in 1984 at the top of  prestigious Vreeland Hills in Leonia, this expansive home was very well designed.  There are actually 4 levels of living space and it all works.  I like to think of this as a combination of the Sugar Maple and Front to Back split level homes.  

You come inside by way of a beautiful Foyer.  Going straight back is the Family Room.  You have another choice here too because you can opt to go up the stairs.  This leads you into the large Living Room, Formal Dining Room and Eat in Kitchen.

You will love how the floor plan works here:  There is only open space between the kitchen and lower level Family Room.  As a result, you have a beautifully dramatic effect.  Add in the 5th bedroom (currently a large home office) and full bath on this level too.  This is such a wonderfully designed home! 419 Golf Course Dr

Another level up is the private sleeping areas.  Because the Master Suite is on the other side of the hallway, you have the utmost in privacy.  Included in the Master Suite is a makeup counter, walk in closed and private bath.  There are 3 more good sized bedrooms and a full bath.  Because of how they are designed, these 3 good sized rooms are positioned for privacy as well.

You reach the 2 car garage through a hallway in between the Family Room and Foyer.  It seems that every inch of this house is intelligently designed.  While hallways are normally nothing special, this one is.  There’s a laundry closet and several storage closets.

Let’s go downstairs to the basement.  Because you have accommodating ceiling height, this room has welcomed serious exercise equipment.  No need to go to a gym because this is indeed the ideal spot!

419 Golf Course Drive419 Golf Course Drive Basic Facts

Here are basic facts on this home:

  • 5 Bedrooms & 3 Baths
  • Generac Home Generator
  • Multi Zone Gas Heat & Central Air
  • 100 x 100 Lot & $18,607.68 Taxes
  • Heated In Ground Pool w/Paver Patio
  • Professionally Landscaped w/Lawn Sprinklers
  • 2 Car Attached Garage w/Custom Gladiator Storage System

Leonia Open House This Sunday

This beautiful home has been a very special part of this family’s life.  Because children grow up, move out and lead their own lives, there comes a time to downsize.  That time is now and, as a result, it’s also time for parents to move on.

This Sunday come to 419 Golf Course Drive.  You’ll see a home that will not disappoint you because the value is so very obvious.  It has everything you need and everything you want.  You have all this plus one of Bergen County’s best – the wonderful community of Leonia, NJ.  I look forward to meeting you this Sunday between 1 and 4!

 

 

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New Leonia NJ ListingComing soon is a new Leonia NJ listing.  It will go on the market once I have the marketing in place.  This will take a little time.  Most likely this home will be in the MLS system in just a few days.

Because all my listings get the very best, it takes an extra while to get ready.  Fusion Photography, a 3 D Matterport Tour and a Floor Plan are scheduled for this week.  Once this is all in, then the house goes on the market for sale.

To give you an idea of how it works, click here now to see what I’m talking about.  The example used is a home in Fair Lawn that I listed and sold recently.

Being on the cutting edge of marketing is essential because it’s so important to both buyer and seller.  Buyers should have full transparency and sellers need to be marketed as best as possible.  It’s a win/win for both.

My New Leonia NJ Listing

Details I can share with you now are the following:

  • $959,000 Asking Price
  • Sugar Maple Split Level
  • 5 Bedrooms & 3 Full Baths
  • 2 Car Attached Garage
  • 3 Levels of Living Space
  • Gorgeous Grounds
  • Paver Patio & Inground Pool

This is a beautiful and elegant home in outstanding condition.  There are so many updates that have been done over the years that I’m going to post a detail sheet on the house too.

Leonia NJ  Leonia NJ

If you don’t know about Leonia New Jersey you are in for a treat.  This is a wonderful community with a long history.  Settled in 1668, General George Washington led his troops down Fort Lee Road through town.  It was part of the Underground Railroad and officially became a town in 1894.  Population is around 9,000 and size is 1.63 square miles.  As a result it’s small in numbers and size.   While Leonia may be small, it has a mighty roar!

Residents come from many professions.  Nearly half are college or graduate degree recipients.  There are more than the average number of college professors and other professionals.

Leonia has always had a large number of people in the arts.  Included is everything from Broadway to TV.  As a matter of fact,  The Players Guild of Leonia has been providing terrific live theater since it’s founding in 1919.  I’ve enjoyed many of their productions over the years.

Schools are great too.  SAT scores averages are high at 591 for reading and 601 in math.  Leonia schools are renown and a big reason why people live here.  Additionally the high school has Leonia Academies where superior students can get an immersive education in everything from Culinary Arts to STEM.

Additionally Leonia is a fabulous commute.  Turnpike Express Buses get you into NYC in less than an hour typically.

Follow this blog because I’ll give you all the information on this Leonia home as soon as I can!

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74 Lilac Street74 Lilac Street in Bergenfield, NJ just went on the market for sale at $439,000 and will be open this Sunday, September 20th from 1 to 4 pm.  This pristine Cape Cod home has a lot size of 90 x 90 and property taxes of $10,506.

Special Outside Features

Here are some of the special features in this home.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate and love all of them!

Let’s start with the outside:

  • Vinyl Exterior
  • 2 Car Garage
  • Paver Patio & Walks
  • Beautiful Landscaped Grounds
  • Underground Lawn Sprinklers

Special Interior Features  74 Lilac St

  • Living Room Marble Fireplace
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Eat In Kitchen
  • 5 Burner Viking Stove
  • Stove Hood Vented Outside
  • 4 Bedrooms + Nursery Room
  • Basement Summer Kitchen
  • Oak Hardwood Floors – 1st & 2nd Floors

Additional Pluses

  • Gas Heat
  • Central Air      Bergenfield
  • 2 Car Garage
  • Vinyl Exterior
  • Paver Patio & Walk
  • Underground Sprinklers

74 Lilac Street is located on a dead end street which gives you the wonderful suburban ambiance of peace and quiet.  You’re also a short walk to NYC commuting buses and Dunkin Donuts.  Nearby is shopping from Walgreens to supermarkets to a terrific car wash.

Bergenfield is a town with a rich history of diversity.  Once a center of Irish culture in Bergen County it has grown to encompass a wide variety of cultures.  I like to say that this is an all American town – we have everyone from everywhere.  This makes Bergenfield a wonderful welcoming community.

The school system consistently wins awards and was recognized by Governor Chris Christie.  He highlighted Bergenfield Schools as high performing without raising taxes.  He spent a day hewre and had a video done on the District.

Because lot sizes are small – typically 50 x 100 – homes are more affordable.  As a result, this is a great destination for 1st time home buyers.  One of the popular Bergen County locations, I’ve devoted a section on my website to the town.

Stop by on Sunday from 1 to 4.  Don’t wait to see it because we expect it to be gone in a flash.

 

 

 

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

stop renting and start investingStop renting and start investing is more than a cliche.  It’s smart money management especially if you have a low budget.  Why?  Because you’ll be paying yourself instead of someone else.

What Do Tenants Want

Since this will be a long term investment, it’s important to choose with a tenant in mind.  It should rent quickly because you don’t want months of vacancy in between tenants.  Additionally, easy to maintain is a must.  This is, after all, your first investment so begin with something manageable.

Here’s what tenants tell me they want in a small condo apartment:

  1. A good commute to NYC.
  2. Close to shopping – even better if it’s walkable
  3. Usable space is important with nice bedroom size
  4. Available laundry facilities
  5. Good storage if possible
  6. Move in updated condition
  7. Parking is a plus

This all boils down to convenience.  Everyone works hard so free time is limited.  As a result convenience is tops on a tenant’s list typically.

Englewood Estates at 63 W Hudson Ave  63 W Hudson Ave

Let’s start with a 1 bedroom condominium apartment in Englewood NJ.  I’m using Englewood Estates as an example at 63 W Hudson Ave.  It should come to around $190,000 for an updated 1 bedroom condo apartment there.

63 W Hudson Ave is typical of small garden apartment complexes.  It was converted from rentals to condominiums.  As a result heat and water are included in the monthly maintenance.  Additionally coin operated laundry rooms exist in building basements.  While there is a waiting list for parking, spots are available on W Hudson Ave.

Englewood Estates is a short walk to NYC express bus commuting.  You’ll pass by a bagel store, luncheonette and dry cleaner along the way.  Coming home Walgreens and other stores will be open.  Check off items 1, 2, 4 and 7.

Englewood as a location is terrific.  This is a highly diverse, vibrant city with a lot to offer.  It’s one of the most popular Bergen County locations.  You’ll find all sorts of stores, restaurants and even a live theater downtown.

Stop Renting and Start Investing

Because it’s realistic, we’ll use 3.25% for the mortgage rate.  This comes to $435 per $100,000.  Maintenance should be $283 per month, taxes at $2,800 or $233.34 per month and $650 for insurance ($54.16 monthly) Let’s total it up:

  • $283 + 233.34 +$54.16 = $570.50
  • $190,000 mortgage = $826.50
  • PMI = $61 per month (mortgage insurance for less than 20% down)
  • $1,458 monthly mortgage

stop renting and start investingHow much are you paying in rent?  I’ll bet its more than this.  So what’s the catch?  You buy less space than you can rent and closing costs.

Saving Up = Winning

After 30 years of renting you have nothing.  Owning gives you $190,000 free and clear.  Stop renting and start saving is the right idea for you.

Smart real estate investing creates wealth and financial security.  This 1 bedroom condo gives you so many future options.  You can sell it at a profit in the future, use it for additional income or trade up to a 2-4 family.

 

Here’s my educated guess on what it will come to:

  • $6,65o down payment (3.5% – the minimum for most)
  • $1,500 Attorney Fee
  • $500 Home Inspection
  • $2,200 Title Search and Insurance
  • $2,000 Banking Fees
  • $650 Homeowner Insurance
  • Total $13,500

I based this on a renovated 1 bedroom condo at 63 W Hudson Ave.  These units have been renting for $1,550 per month.  Live in it for several years while rental prices rise moderately.  As you’re doing this, save for a down payment on a house.

Stop renting and start investing.  For young, first time home buyers who are on a low budget, its possible and it’s oh so smart.  Over the course of 30 years, you’ll be so glad you did.

 

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

Looking at Bergen County through August tells us two things about the real estate market here.  Most importantly the market has fully recovered.  Also while it seemed at times over heated, we’re moving forward conventionally.

New Jersey MLS Sales

Bergen County Through AugustUsing the New Jersey MLS Comparative Report, I can compare one year to another.  Because sales figures are not enough, I also look at under contract figures.  Using both gives you a great view of what’s happening and how things are trending.

Here is a chart of Bergen County homes sold through August in 2019 and 2020.  Keep in mind that most sales originate 60-75 days before.

The top line is 2020.  It’s easy to see that this is a stronger market than in 2019.  Watch it take off as you get into February but then pull back due to the Covid 19 lockdown. By the time you get into May, however, recovery is fully underway and it continues to gain steam through August.

New Jersey MLS Under Contract 

Because homes going under contract is more current information than sales, the picture sharpens.  You can clearly see how severely things changed in March and April.  Equally dramatic was the recovery that started in May and continued until it plateaued and pulled back at summer’s end.

While many people worried about being in a bubble, market dynamics tell a different story.  We have been following a conventional plateau and slowdown as we move into the early fall.

2019 followed a more stable pattern than we’ve experienced this year.  Because we rebounded so ferociously, it’s good that things have pulled back a bit.  The market is gathering itself; it always finds balance.

Bergen County Through August

2020 was on track to be a fabulous year.  Then Covid 19 shut down real estate along with the rest of the economy.  Because real estate is so essential to our economy, its truly wonderful that we have been able to accommodate to our new world and thrive.

Take a look at these figures through August:

  • Both the average and median sales price rose 9%
  • The number of sales declined by 7%
  • Dollar volume rose 1% in 2020
  • Days on the market was nearly identical at 59-60 days
  • 5% more homes went under contract in 2020
  • The under contract average price rose by 10%

It’s no wonder there was a tiny difference in dollar volume with both median and average sales prices rising at the same 9%.  What this means is that the mix of price ranges sold is about the same.  Nothing dramatic going on here.  Additionally price rises with fewer sales = stronger demand.

As for days on the market, I bet you’ll see that lengthening because of all the refi’s.  Homeowners are taking advantage of incredibly low rates and, as a result, banks are overwhelmed.  Thus longer processing times.  Market strength is shown in more homes going under contract at higher pricing.

What’s put so much pressure on pricing has been the near panic to get out of urban locations as well as spring buyers being forced into the summer.  I went into this in detail in my article 1 week ago.  

While some people are questioning if this has become a bubble, it’s not.  The inventory shortage is real and long lasting.  Read my June article.  It explains the market fundamentals on this.  

The Bottom Line

2020 in spite of a crushing halt in early spring will end up being a great year for residential sales.  This is excellent news for sellers.  Buyers will still face inventory shortages but the good news is that rates will remain at all time lows.  It also looks like we’ve seen the bulk of appreciation already.  I expect it to hold and perhaps rise another 1%.

Whether buying or selling, your best opportunity will be September through October.  Looking to next year, rates should remain low and it should mimic the last half of 2020.  Sustained strength at a solid pace – nothing dramatic.

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

for sale by ownerBuying a for sale by owner can seem like a good idea.  There are, however, greater risks associated with this.  Let me tell you a story about what just happened.

For Sale By Owner Homes

11% of all sales are by owner.  This is what the National Association of Realtors has for 2019.  I can’t say for sure but when I began my career it was much higher, closer to 20%.  What I can tell you is that the number of homes being sold by owner is going down every year.

Why would 89% of all homes for sale use a Realtor?  If there is no need, then there is no answer.  89% had the need – they wanted to sell their home.  89% found the answer in a Realtor.  So what’s with the other 11%?

My Top 5 Reasons Homeowners FSBO

  1. To save the commission
  2. They think their house is worth more than agents have told them
  3. The belief that they can do it better themselves
  4. Bad opinion of Realtors
  5. Independent personality

My Top 5 Reasons Buyers Go to FSBOs

  • To save money because there’s no commission
  • Can negotiate better directly with the owner
  • Think they know it all from the web so no need for an agent
  • Bad opinion of Realtors

Doesn’t this sound reasonable?  Save money while avoiding awful real estate agents.

The truth is that there are problems in all fields.  Think about it.  How many kids in your class were A students?  The Pareto Principle is where we got the 80/20 concept and he wasn’t wrong.  Great agents are your best advocates but you may have to kiss a few frogs before you find gold.

Sellers go FSBO because they want more for their home and think they can get it.  Be honest, don’t you feel you know better?  I understand it’s disappointing but over pricing never works.  Don’t murder an agent because you’ve been told the truth.

There’s also the point about marketing.  It’s impossible for any seller to market a home like I do.  Safety is another consideration.  On any given day would you allow a stranger to come inside just because they want to look at your house?  So why is it OK because you are selling?  Can you properly vet someone for safety, their ability to pay, their readiness to buy?  Are you really going to take your house off the market for someone you can’t fully check out?

Because the focus is on saving money for both buyer and seller, there are so many important things missed.

A For Sale By Owner Disaster

My friend’s son and daughter in law live far from here.  They wanted to move and were focused on costs.  As a result, they did it all on their own.  They researched what their house is worth through the web.  Their attorney and home inspector were found online too.  The house sold right away and they moved into their new home.

What’s wrong with this picture?  They under priced their home because prices are rising.  The sales online originated months ago at a price that’s a steal today.  Their home inspector missed major faults and their attorney didn’t check the contract he told them to sign.

They moved into their new home and the wife began to feel sick.  She went to doctors who eventually found that she had mold spores in her lungs.  Mold abatement professionals told them the problem was huge because it’s in the walls.  Their $400,000 purchase needs $160,000 in repairs.

Excellent attorneys and inspectors are not cheap.  It’s usually only a few hundred dollars more but very well worth it in how you are protected.  The contract they signed gave up their rights to sue anyone.  Their cheap attorney didn’t notice that clause.  So how much did they really save?

If you need the names of attorneys and inspectors I feel are excellent, click here now to let me know.

 

 

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

this market is not slowing downThis market is not slowing down.  While we had a surge of buyers in June and July, this real estate market is strong for fundamental reasons.  Want to know why?  Take a moment to read the article I wrote on this  So where does that leave you?  Let’s start at the beginning

The 2020 Spring Market

Remember the lock down?  Real estate closed along with the rest of the economy.  As a result there was no spring market in March, April and May.

June was different.  Real estate opened up and pent up demand came charging in.  Added to this was Covid 19.  Because it’s impossible to social distance in cities, people began fleeing to the suburbs.

Add in riots plus abrupt negative changes to NYC quality of life.  It created a near panic to get out.  This is why June and July had a surge of buyers.  Spring came in summer.

This Market Is Great To Buy or Trade Up

mortgage rate

This market is not slowing down because of fundamentals (read my article please) and rates.  Mortgage rates are at a level never before seen.  There are people who had no hope of buying a home who can buy today.

Trading up is cheap too.  It’s actually easier to trade up to a bigger house even with higher pricing.  7 years ago you bought at over 5%.  Today you can take the profit from your present home and trade up for a payment that so much less than you’d expect. It’s so affordable to trade up now.

Numbers and Statistics Don’t Lie

Let’s take a look at New Jersey through July 2020 compared to 1 year ago –

  • Down 1.2% in the number of sales
  • Down 42.2% in the number of homes for sale
  • Up 7.7% in the median price of a home

Look at these numbers from the New Jersey Realtor State Association.  How can you be down 1.2% in sales while inventory crashed by 42.2%?  Because what’s on the market is selling.

Is this a bubble?  I’ve been a full time Realtor for 33 years.  Bubbles, in my experience, go up at 1-1.5% per month.  That’s not this.

The problem is inventory – the severe lack of homes.  It’s tough but not impossible for buyers.  (Check out my article on how to develop a winning strategy.)  Homeowners have a uniquely special opportunity right now to sell their homes.

To Sum Up

  • The lock down only delayed the spring market
  • Consumer demand for housing is fundamentally strong
  •  We had a surge of buyers due to Covid 19 who want out of the city
  • Even more buyers want out due to NYC riots, negative quality of life
  • Low rates create opportunity for buyers & sellers
  • Both 1st time & trade up buyers are active as a result

I hope you can see why this market is not slowing down.  If you have more questions or want a consultation, call me at 201-741-8490.  We can do it from the comfort of your home using Zoom.