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

home buyers should demand moreHome buyers should demand more.  Why do buyers accept so little?  I see buyers accepting less than they should so often.

Absent Agents

I5 groups came to my open house Sunday on my new listing.  When I asked if they were working with an agent, 12 said yes.  However 9  didn’t know “their agent’s” name.  They had to fumble through their phones to find it.

Some said the agent told them to call when they found a house.  Others said the agent didn’t work on Sunday.  Additionally some buyers told the agent to wait until they got back to them with the home they wanted.

Let me ask you this:  Do you really have a relationship with someone whose name you can’t remember?  Do you think that person even remembers you until you call to wake them up?

Why would you buy a house, the most important purchase of your life, from someone you really don’t know?  How much do you think they care about you?  Frankly why would they care about someone they’re not working hard for?

Look, I get it.  It’s the age of disconnect.  Two things are at work:  You’ve been taught that#the internet gets you everything you need.  Plus no one wants to be tied to a Realtor but this is a huge mistake.  You have invited incompetence into the biggest purchase of your life.  No excellent Realtor behaves like this.  Why would you tolerate this?  Home buyers should demand more.

An A Student Model

Remember high school?  How many A students were there in your class?  Not a lot.  It’s like that in life.  A students stand out.  They’re not smarter or better.  They work harder to be the best

Don’t you want an A student Realtor?  Why do you think less than the best is good enough for you?  Home buyers should demand more.  You need a top professional for the most important purchase of your life.

The Definition of a Great Real Estate Agent

Great agents are available when you need them.  They’re not out playing golf on Sunday because they’re out with you.  You’ll get a degree of service that removes stress and makes the process fun.  top agent

Additionally they take the time to teach you about houses, mortgages, the market and the process.  Great agents are with you every step of the way.  They answer your needs to the best degree possible and anticipate them.

Top Realtors listen and take a consultative approach.  They have the strength to advise you against a purchase when it’s right to do so.  I’ve done that and it’s always been the right decision for my buyers.

There’s no disappearing act.  Top professionals work just as hard after you’re in contract.  They let you know what’s happening next and why.  Here’s something else too – they’re accessible.  This is not a 9-5 job.

Most of all, great agents care.  They truly want you to be happy with your home purchase.

Home Buyers Should Demand More

So why don’t you demand more for the most important purchase of your life?  I believe there are 2 reasons:  You don’t expect to get it and you think you don’t need it.

The Pareto Rule applied to real estate is 80% of sales are done by 20% of the agents.  While you bump up against the majority, it becomes what you expect.  Excellence is not average.

Then there’s the internet.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told “I do my own reserach online.”  Really?  There are so many things I provide that you’ll never access on the web.

It’s All About Character

It’s all about character.  A great real estate agent has your best interests at heart and works tirelessly to achieve it.  Take advantage of a top professional’s knowledge, experience and guidance.  Don’t shortchange yourself by devaluing what a top agent brings you.  Demand more.  You desrve and need it.

 

 

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

38 E Broad 38 E Broad St in Bergenfield is no longer coming soon!  I just listed it in the New Jersey MLS.  It will be open this Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.  You will really be impressed by this wonderful home.

Let’s start with the fact that this is a true Farmhouse Colonial.  Farmhouse Colonial homes are very popular because of their charm.  From the wrap around porch to a classic side hall floor plan, these homes have ideal 1st floors for entertaining.  High ceilings, lots of windows and expansive rooms give you plenty of light and great space.  As a result, you have a very comfortable home that is ready to party.

Custom Designed Kitchen

Additionally this house has had an expansion over the years to create 38 E Broad St tremendous kitchen space and a powder room.  The current owner took this a step further and installed a magnificent kitchen.  He had it custom designed for serious cooking so you have a terrific Chef’s Kitchen.

Storage is everywhere you could fit it.  I can’t imagine running out of cabinet space.  Gorgeous high end materials were used from the beautiful wood cabinetry to a tile mosaic.  Counter tops are, of course, granite and stainless steel appliances finish it off.  This is the kind of kitchen I see in multi million dollar homes.

An Amazing Yard

In addition to an unequalled kitchen in this price range, you have an 38 E Broad Stamazing backyard.  Imagine beautiful plantings, patios to relax in, plenty of grass for play and your own inground pool!  The pool is also heated at no cost because it’s thermal heated.  That’s right – it costs nothing to heat.  Add to this a beautiful koi pond and a good sized shed for your lawn mower and garden tools.

The seller has not only flowering shrubs but a rose garden too.  This is Heated Pool such a beautiful, serene yard but it’s also built for fun.  They’ve had so many pool parties here.  It’s just not for the summer months too.  You can extend the season with the heated pool and fire pit in the covered open patio.

Behind the pool is plenty of yard space too.  This is ideal for all sorts of play for youngsters to adults.  This is a truly spectacular yard that gives you everything from relaxing after to work to major barbecues.  You really can invite the whole gang over.  There’s more than enough room.

38 E Broad St Details

38 E Broad Street has a finished basement, 3 bedrooms upstairs and a walkup storage attic.  This is, in all ways, a complete home.  The basement has a rec room which you’ll enjoy when the weather turns cold.  There’s another room perfect for guests or as a home office which connects to a full bath.

Heat is gas fueled and there are wall AC units to cool you plus a whole house fan.  Taxes are a reasonable $10,728 and lot size is 59 x 249.  The garage is a full sized 2 car;.  Yes, you can fit your F150 or SUV inside.

If you want more information, let me know or just come on over this Sunday from 1 to 5 at the open house.  This is one house that in any market won’t last long.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Coming Soon in BergenfieldI have a listing coming soon in Bergenfield.  My expectation is that the marketing will be ready by Thursday.  As a result, you’ll see it in the New Jersey MLS that afternoon.  But first, let’s look at Bergenfield as a location.

Commuting to New York Advantage

This is a single family house on a quiet street that’s also a short walk to NJ Transit express bus service to New York City.  As a result, getting to New York by bus is a breeze.  While we’re all used to remote work this will change.  You might find that you’re not commuting to NYC as often as in the past.  However you’ll still need a comfortable commute to work.

The NJ Transit bus schedule for the 177X Turnpike express bus shows about 53 minutes during rush hour to NYC.  Coming home the last Turnpike express bus leaves NYC just after 8:30 pm at night.  Please keep in mind that schedules are going to change as we open up more and more.  There were tremendous cutbacks due to Covid 19; as more people return to work in NYC more routes will return as well.

Bergenfield Public Schools

The Bergenfield Public School District is an award winning school system.  It’s a big reason why people buy a home here.  I wrote a blog article about 10 years ago about how Dr Kuchar had turned this district around.  This school system has only built upon what Dr Kuchar did.  Today home buyers come to Bergenfield because of the strength of it’s school district.

The #1 question I get from home buyers is “What’s the commute?” and the #2 question I get is “How are the schools?”  Even if there are no children, schools support the value of your home.  As a result, how a school district rates is important to everyone who wants to buy a house.  Bergenfield schools support the value of your Bergenfield home.

Coming Soon Listing

The photographer, floor plan and 3D Matterport Tour are being done tomorrow afternoon.  I should have the pictures by Thursday morning.  Once they arrive, I’ll be able to enter the house into MLS systems.

This is a 3 bedroom farmhouse colonial on a wonderfully deep 249 foot lot.  This lot is so deep that it has a large in ground pool with plenty of yard behind it.  Gorgeous plantings adorn this yard and there’s also a koi pond.  You’ll love the patio with a tent-like covered and uncovered section.

Regarding the pool, it’s large and heated.  While heating a pool is quite costly, that’s not the case here.  This is because the water is heated by thermal panels so it costs nothing.  Because it’s heated, you have a much longer season for fun.  Imagine the pool parties you’ll have here!

The main level is spacious with an amazing chef’s kitchen.  Downstairs there’s a finished rec room, guest or home home office room plus a full bath.  It’s easy to see why this coming soon home will sell quickly.  Pricing is going to be in the mid 500 range.

You can call me now for more details or to schedule a showing at 201-741-8490.  If not, watch for it in the NJMLS on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Buying.

how 1st time buyers lose a houseHow 1st time buyers lose a house is a topic that can fill volumes. I see these mistakes so often.  Buying a house is challenging enough these days with so few homes available.

The inventory has picked up a bit; 1,425 homes are for sale in the NJMLS today in Bergen County.  While this is better than the 1,070 in January, it’s still not the 3,200 I’d expect at this time of year.

How 1st time buyers lose a house is a topic I want to discuss so you avoid the same mistakes.  On top of low inventory, you don’t need this.  Here it is in a short form and more detailed below:

  • Mortgage – Not using a full time professional banker who is fully accessible
  • Realtor – Not using a full time professional agent who knows what they’re doing
  • Home Buyer – Not understanding the market and being prepared
  • Credit – Making financial moves like leasing a car or moving money that kills your mortgage

Mortgage

This happened 2 weeks ago.  Mary wanted to buy a house and had an online pre-approval for $250,000.  She was looking for a small 1 bedroom condo with a reasonable commute to NYC.  There was a nice condo in Hackensack that had just come on the market with a short walk to the New Jersey Transit train.

Because I’ve had so many negative experiences with online pre-approvals, I wanted to verify things.

Her so called banker didn’t return calls; it took 2 days to catch him.  He under estimated taxes, monthly maintenance and insurance costs.  I guess if you’re in Kansas it’s easy to forget that things here are a lot more expensive.

Let’s not forget that you can’t reach him after 5 during the week or on weekends.  So what do you do if you need an updated pre-approval to make an offer by the Sunday night deadline?  Nothing.  You can’t make an offer.

He’s not a banker.  He’s an order taker who doesn’t work directly with loan processing.  Oops!  Another problem.  This almost guarantees that the process won’t be smooth or efficient.

Here’s something else too:  Mary’s bank was not a bank because it’s a mortgage holding company.  Would this impress a seller as much as Weichert Financial, Wells Fargo or JP Morgan Chase?

BUT they quoted her a great rate.  Guess what?  That does not matter.  Read my article on why rates today don’t matter.

Realtor

I ask everyone the same question:  Would you allow a part time surgeon operate on your brain?  I don’t think so.

Full time professional real estate agents are vastly different from the cocktail party stories you hear.  We are truly interested in your welfare and continually keep working to be expert in so many arenas.  I get it.  You think we’re just door openers because you’ve met a lot of less than professional Realtors.

Don’t make that mistake.  Find a full time professional agent.  You’ll be glad you did.  If you read what I wrote on the professionals you need, you’ll see what to expect.  Here’s an example of how a buyer lost out 1 week ago:

You’re sitting down with the homeowner going over the offers.  One comes in with a pre-approval for more than their offer amount.  Additionally the contract wasn’t filled in correctly and the math is wrong.  That agent during the showing didn’t adhere to the showing instructions either.  Do you think that buyer had a chance?

Home Buyer

Be prepared.  This scouting motto is true in life because being prepared is the difference so often between wining and losing.  Go to the Buyer’s section of my website and read it thoroughly.  I wrote it to help you get properly prepared.

You have to take responsibility for getting ready and knowlegeable in all aspects of home buying.  Please don’t think that everything you read on the web is correct.  For example, articles you find are written on a broad scale.  Real estate is hyper local from the materials in a house to market conditions.

Hire a great full time professional Realtor and let that person teach you.  On the other hand, do your own reasearch too of course.  Just don’t minimize the knowlege and guidance of a great Realtor.

I insist on going through paperwork before we find the house.  Why?  Because it removes at least half of your stress.  So why not take advantage of someone like me?  I spend the extra time it takes to make sure you know everything.  It’s so much easier for you and puts you in control.

Credit

Did you know that a car lease is a loan?  Not everyone knows this.  As a result, if you lease a car while you’re applying for a mortgage, this can kill your mortgage.  Why?  Because it adds to your debt.  At the very least your mortgage had to be re-configured.  You might now qualify at a higher interest rate.

Moving funds from one account to another.  Getting down payment help from mom and dad in cash.  Applying for a credit card so you get 10% off.  Buying that refrigerator with your VISA card for your new home.  All of this and more can cancel your mortgage or raise your rate.

The solution is do nothing until after you close.  IF you want to do anything, call your banker first and talk it over.  Your banker will tell you whether or not it works.

By the way, be careful too.  There’s a reason doing the above will hurt you.  Banks know what comfortable limits are.

I hope this article on how 1st time buyers lose a house has helped you.  If you have questions or want me to write about something, you can always let me know.

 

 

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

Title InsuranceWhat you need to know about title insurance is a lot.  What is title insurance anyway?  To put it in one word, it’s safety.  I believe that title insurance is one of the most misunderstood aspects of home buying.

Let me ask you this. How many of you hear about title insurance while you’re looking for a home?  I doubt you do.  Because agents are not really taught about it, they don’t explain how important it is to buyers.

Going online, do you see headlines on any of the major websites about title insurance?  The answer is you don’t.  You’ll see ads for mortgages, home inspectors, termite companies etc.  You won’t see anything about title insurance.

Why Title Insurance Takes A Backseat

When you’re shopping for a home what do you look at?  First and foremost it’s homes, right?  Of course it is.  You pour over pictures of houses, condos, 2-4 families or coops.

Next you start to look at the towns, your commute to work and if you have children or planning to, schools. This makes sense doesn’t it?

As a result, the actual process of buying a home isn’t your focus right now.  Title insurance, appraisals etc really aren’t a concern.  However what you need to know about title insurance is very important.

What Is Title Insurance For Anyway

Title insurance protects you against defects in your title which create a financial loss along with legal expenses required to defend your ownership rights.

When a house is purchased, that sale becomes a public record.  Any recorded liens on the house, like a mortgage, become  part of the home’s public record too.  Your title company does a search through all the public records for any claims against the house.  Once your new home’s title is deemed insurable, a title policy is authorized.

Sometimes mistakes happen or there are hidden claims not part of the public record.  Here’s a hidden claim example that happened a few years ago in Oradell:

A seller never disclosed to anyone that he had 3 private loans as liens against his house on top of his mortgage.  At the closing, 3 men showed up demanding checks from the proceeds.  This seller had planned to fly overseas from the closing.  Because there wasn’t enough money to pay off everything, screaming started followed by a fist fight.  The police had to be called in.  What a mess.  Fortunately for the buyer, the closing had not yet begun.  One of the lawyers I work with told me about this.

Because liens are on the house and not the owner, they stay attached to the house.  As a result, if liens are not cleared out when you buy your home, you just bought those liens too.  Title insurance protects you from all sorts of defects.

Lenders Policy & Owner’s Policy

Most people don’t know that the title insurance they see on a closing document isn’t for them.  It’s not for you.  While it’s protection, to be sure, you really need an owner’s policy in addition to a lender’s policy.

A lenders policy provides no insurance at all to you.  It insures that the lender has a legitimate and enforceable lien for the mortgage on your home.  Owner’s policies insure you for loss and legal expenses if defects are found in your title.

Here is where it’s more than worth the small extra you pay for a great real estate attorney:  Excellent attorneys don’t shove transactions through.  They make sure of all the details.  They carefully read the title search reports and have you get an owner’s policy.  I see a lot of closing documents that don’t have an owner’s policy listed.

Title Insurance Costs

First you need to get a title search.  That’s a few hundred dollars typically – often no more than $500.  New Jersey has a unique approach to what title insurance actually costs:  New Jersey tells the title companies what they can charge.  It’s based on the sales price of the house.  Because this system is NJ State dictated, it doesn’t matter which title company you use.  The cost for the insurance is the same.

Weichert Title is a big company focused on our customers.  Because we are, we’ll do the title search right away for you.  If there are problems that come up, it’s usually early enought to fix them and close on time.  Should you not buy the house, as a Weichert customer, you won’t be charged for the search.

I hope this answers your questions.  If not or you need the name of a great attorney, give me a call at 201-741-8490.

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!

15 Charles Place

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.