Information reliable, not guaranteed. Not responsible for errors/omissions.
These properties were sold by various members of the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service from January 1, 2015 to January 31, 2015.
Information reliable, not guaranteed. Not responsible for errors/omissions.
When buyers are on the hunt for a new home, they're usually very focused on one thing: the house. Buyers can lose objectivity if they fall in love with one, and the thought process becomes akin to one of those romantic photos with fuzzy edges—the only thing in focus is the house.
What those fuzzy edges obscure, however, is just as important as what's in focus. So, be sure to identify the impractical features of a home you love—not only for your own comfort and enjoyment, but for the home's future value as well.
"Location, location, location" isn't just a silly real estate mantra—it's a warning. Pay heed to the neighborhood and surroundings if you want to avoid losing money when you sell the home.
1. School District
Not everyone can afford the higher cost of homes in a quality school district, but we can avoid purchasing a home in a district that will make it difficult to sell in the future. Even homebuyers without children should look into the area's schools before signing on the dotted line.
For homebuyers with children, good schools are at the top of the list, according to Realtor.com, and many are willing to go over budget to purchase such a home.
Experts agree that homes are worth more in good school districts. What they can't seem to agree on, however, is how much more. One study claims that the added value is $16,000 on average. Another study, from the Brookings Institute, says homes in quality school districts may fetch up to $205,000 more than those in a low-scoring district. Finally, another expert says to simply slap a 23 percent premium onto a home in a good school district.
Whatever the amount, savvy buyers know that an area's schools will have an impact on a home's future value.
2. Vacant Land
Being surrounded by open space is lovely, isn't it? The peace, tranquil views and that feeling of seclusion one derives from living in such a location is worth paying more for—or is it?
Nearby government set-asides of open space are in demand for homebuyers. Privately owned vacant parcels, however, should raise red flags.
Even current zoning of parcels isn't set in stone, as neighbors in a Minneapolis suburb learned last year.Most homeowners in a 25-year old subdivision there purchased their homes because the area was surrounded by open space. What they failed to realize, however, was that the surrounding parcels were zoned for commercial development. In fact, many of the newer homeowners were shocked when they learned of the city's plans to approve the construction of a 24-hour superstore right across the street. Their lovely, wooded neighborhood would now be expected to handle three times the vehicular traffic, round-the-clock hustle and bustle, and late-night deliveries to the back of the store, which happens to face the neighborhood.
Before you decide to purchase any home that has vacant parcels of land nearby, it would be wise to check the neighboring property's zoning.
3. Neighboring Homes
It's easy to become smitten with the cutest house on the block, but if that house is the only cute one in the neighborhood, you may want to consider your purchase more carefully.
Foreclosed homes, certain commercial concerns (funeral homes and power plants, for example), messy, neglected yards, and a sex offender in the area can all drag down the value of nearby property, according to the Appraisal Institute. That reduction may be as much as 15 percent.
Experts with the Appraisal Institute suggest taking a leisurely tour of the neighborhood. Something as simple as shoddy landscaping or peeling paint on a building can knock 5 to 10 percent off the value of nearby homes, the Appraisal Institute's president, Joe Magdziarz, told MSN Money.
Folks in the real estate industry are quite diligent when it comes to recommending various inspections and tests of structural elements to buyers. Many agents, however, may neglect to counsel their clients on the financial aspects of the purchase.
Your home is also an investment and requires due diligence to ensure that it's a viable one. Do your homework, beyond admiring the snazzy kitchen and dreamy master bedroom, and you'll sleep well knowing you made an informed investment.
Are you ready to start looking for your new home? Call me. Start searching homes for sale here:
Is 2015 the year that you will buy your new home? This is an excellent article about the intangibles that home ownership offers. Call me (551-427-6343) for a free consultation about buying your first home or move-up, and together we’ll create a plan to make it happen!
This article was posted by The KCM Crew on December 23, 2014:
Last week, we reported on the financial reasons that the New York Times felt that homeownership was important. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.
There’s No Place Like HomeThe top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.
1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good educationFrom the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.
2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safeIt is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.
3. It allows you to have more space for your familyWhether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.
4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updatesLooking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:
5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my familyEither way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?
Bottom LineWhether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, the holiday season is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.
Courtesy of the KCM Blog.
Home buyers enter the process with one of two mindsets. There are those who know what kind of house they want – the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type of kitchen and maybe whether or not they want a yard. Then there are those who know where they want to live, such as a specific school district or neighborhood, but haven’t completed a wish list of home features.
Seldom does a buyer tell his/her real estate agent that she wants a “three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a gourmet kitchen, a fireplace and a pool in the backyard, located on J Street in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood.”
While it’s important for your real estate agent to know what features you want in a home, “location, location, location” is just as important, important, important.
Even if you know exactly what you want in a house and perhaps have one picked out, it’s important to scope out the neighborhood before committing fully to buying.
Don’t Believe What You Hear
Especially when you are new to an area, it’s easy to believe what residents tell you about the various neighborhoods. Remember, however, that everyone has different opinions and personal tastes. When someone says, “This school is not as good as that school,” keep in mind that everyone has differing needs, wants and preferences. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.
While it's sometimes helpful to get others' views, there is nothing quite like first-hand information. If schools are important to you, do the research yourself instead of relying on what others say. GreatSchools.org lists schools’ test scores and features reviews from parents.
Crime statistics can also be found online. You can also call the police department for more information on crime statistics. FYI, Mahwah was recently named the safest town in New Jersey.
Google maps are great for figuring out routes from the new house to your job, to a particular school, or to the nearest shopping center and they give you the mileage and a rough estimate of the time it will take to get there. You can also use Google maps’ earth view to see what’s around the neighborhood – are there railroad tracks running behind the property? Is there a huge water tank nearby? Is the property too close to a highway for your liking? What’s that large industrial-looking building one block over?
A lot of your preliminary neighborhood research can be done online, but it’s not a substitute for actually checking out the neighborhood in person.
If you commute to work, you should take “a test drive.” Whether that’s driving, taking the train or bus, it’s a good idea to actually make the commute during normal commute hours to see if it fits your lifestyle. You don’t want to settle into a home only to find out that the commute is a nightmare — far worse than you had expected.
Drive through the neighborhood at different times during the day and evening, on both weekdays and weekends, looking for anything that may be considered an annoyance. Is the street much busier during the weekday rush hour than you had anticipated when you first saw it on a quiet Sunday afternoon?
You may also want to drive around to see how far it is to stores, schools, parks, gyms, houses of worship, and other places that are important in your life.
If you don’t drive, walk the neighborhood. Locate the nearest public transportation stop and see for yourself what the walk is like to the store and other local conveniences.
Check Municipal Records, Local News
Check the neighborhood and surrounding area for anything that may impact the home’s value. Look for things like a high number of foreclosures nearby, new developments in the works, and upcoming zoning changes. You can also find out a lot about what’s going on in a town or neighborhood by reading a local newspaper or checking out the local Patch.com.
Find a Local Agent You Can Trust
Especially if you’re moving to an area that is new to you, it’s important to find a local agent who is familiar with the area(s) you’re considering. You want to make sure you find a trusted real estate professional who knows the neighborhoods, the schools, the shops, the restaurants, distances to highways, etc. – all the factors that are important to you when considering where to live.
If you’re considering a move to Mahwah, give me a call. I have lived in North Jersey my whole life and in Mahwah for the past 20 years. I can answer your questions and help you with the inside info you need to find the perfect home.
I recently read an excellent piece about five important things you should do if you're getting ready to buy a home:
1. Get you finances in order
2. Practice good credit behavior
3. Shop around for the best loan
4. Enter the market early
5. Find a real estate agent now.
Read the full article at www.NorthJerseyAbode.com.
If you're thinking about buying a home this year, give me a call and let's talk about how you can prepare for it. Start your search here:
Happy New Year! I hope your 2014 is filled with peace, happiness and good health.
What will happen in the real estate market this year? Many pundits are predicting slightly better sales in 2014 than in 2013. But the KCM Blog‘s headline today took a different view:
Housing Predictions for 2014: Sales Will Surge
Among the reasons cited are (1) the number of first time home buyers are expected to rise, and (2) many move-up buyers, who have been trapped in their homes because of negative equity, will finally be able to make that move because of rising property values.
Just listed! Gorgeous 4 bedroom, 3 bath Colonial style home in immaculate condition. Located on a beautiful street in a great town!This home has everything! Gorgeous rooms with 6.5-inch decorative base molding, dentil crown molding, hardwood floors, solid doors with corbells and arched doorways. Magnificent eat-in kitchen with custom cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. The family room features a gas fireplace and gorgeous windows overlooking the lush, level back yard.
Call for an exclusive showing appointment! 551-427-6343
See more photos and get more information at:
2 HETZEL DR, MAHWAH, NJ 07430 – Listing #: 1341897.
Listing courtesy of Ana M. Moniz, Keller Williams Village Square Realty, Ridgewood, NJ.
****View all Mahwah 4+BR Homes for Sale.****
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a new house! How much can you afford?
Here’s something to think about:
Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.
Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected — for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.
Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent.
That’s how much you can borrow. Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.
Many buyers and sellers think that with the holidays and winter approaching, they should wait until spring to make a move. Au contraire!
There are good reasons, if you are thinking of buying or selling, to do it NOW rather than waiting for spring. Here are some of them, recently published in the KCM Blog:
5 Reasons to Buy A Home Now Instead of Spring
by The KCM Crew on November 25, 2013 in For Buyers
Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five major reasons purchasers should consider buying:
Supply Is Shrinking With inventory declining in many regions, finding a home of your dreams may become more difficult going forward. There are buyers in more and more markets surprised that there is no longer a large assortment of houses to choose from. The best homes in the best locations sell first. Don’t miss the opportunity to get that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ buy.
Price Increases Are on the Horizon Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. First home buyers will probably pay more both in price and interest rate if they wait until the spring. Even if you are a move-up buyer, it will wind-up costing you more in net dollars as the home you will buy will appreciate at approximately the same rate as the house you are in now.
Owning a Home Helps Create Family Wealth Whether you are rent or you own the home you are leaving in, you are paying a mortgage. Either you are paying your mortgage or your landlord’s. The Fed, in a recent study, revealed that the net worth of the average homeowner is 30 times greater than that of a renter.
Interest Rates Are Projected to Rise The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Macand Fannie Mae have all projected that the 30-year mortgage interest rate will be over 5% by the end of 2014. That is an increase of almost one full point over current rates.
Buy Low, Sell High We would all agree that, when investing, we want to buy at the lowest price possible and hope to sell at the highest price. Housing can create family wealth as long as we follow this simple principle. Today, real estate is selling ‘low’ compared to where it will be next year. It’s time to buy.
5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring
by The KCM Crew on November 19, 2013 in For Sellers
Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.
Only Serious Buyers Are Out At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere 'lookers'. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.
There Is Far Less Competition Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don't wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.
The Process Will Be Quicker One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.
There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.
It's Time to Move On with Your Life Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
If you're thinking about buying or selling, DO IT! Call me! Happy Thanksgiving!
If you're thinking about buying, here's an interesting article about what happens if you wait..... with home prices and interest rates both rising, delaying your purchase can make a big difference in your monthly payment.
BUYING A HOUSE... THE COST IF YOU WAITED
Mahwah Real Estate Blog