Real Estate Market is HOT! Why are sellers waiting?

March 1st, 2014

AS A REALTOR HERE IN NEW JERSEY, I SEE THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE MARKET GETTING HOT even when its cold. Buyers are still seeking to purchase because of the great rates for mortgages now and the fact that employment is stronger for many. New home buyers are coming out as 20 and 30 somethings decide its time to move out of Mom and Dads house. More established buyers (30’s and 40’s) are moving up to accommodate growing families and some are buying summer or vacation homes or simply relocating for their careers.
Sellers are in the drivers seat now because there is not a lot of inventory to choose from. I am seeing multiple offers on homes newly listed on the multiple listing service often within a week. Sellers who are feeling that they want to get into the market should not WAIT for “the right time”. The time is now. It is better to start the process, get your property the exposure it needs to attract buyers NOW , then wait until- “the weather is better”, ” I find a place to move”, ” my children or family gets on board with the idea”. All those issues will work themselves out while you are moving toward your goal of selling and moving on to whatever new part of your life you are looking for. As a professional in the New Jersey Real Estate market, I can speak from experience that waiting cannot bring the desired results you want. It is frustrating waiting for the “unknown”. It can be detrimental as more homes come on the market creating more competition for your sale. Changing residences is a HUGE step and should be mapped out with great care. Something my team can help with and guide through.
Committing and Making the jump with help and knowledge from the” dock” is always better than finding out you missed the boat when you do finally jump.
My question to all potential sellers– What are the 3 top reasons you are waiting? If you write them down and dissect them, then discuss them with a dedicated professional in the real Estate field– I think you will find they are not reasons at all but excuses.

MID-Mortgage Interest Deduction going away in some form? Real Estate Market to suffer?

December 24th, 2012

Without added mortgage supply, a genuine housing recovery lives only in the minds of the pollyannas. –Lou Barnes, Inman News
This pretty much says it all. Outstanding mortgages now below $10 trillion for first time since 2005. Mortgages fuel the Real Estate market in ALL levels (first time buyers to jumbo millionaire mortgages).
I have had inquiries as to why I sent on to my contact list the “Call to Action” email from the National Association of Realtors urging people to let their government reps know they do not want the Mortgage tax credit to be messed with.
It is important for people to understand that the mortgage market makes the Real Estate market go like gasoline in a car.
Some say the new proposed changes would not affect many mortgage consumers (say if they have $25,000/yr or less in mortgage interest) and that we all should allow this “hit” to stabilize the overall spending for the country. But if we allow this to be changed , what next. No second home mortgage deductions? There goes the people who are looking for vacation homes–out of the market. These are MIDDLE CLASS folks as well as the higher end spenders. It is no out of the realm of possibility for an average american to emass a significant mortage interest amount if they own more than one property. The wealthier end of that may be out sooner because they may have over $25,000 in mortgage interest already. It is a slippery slope when messing with the main thing that drives a MAJOR economic force in this country-Real Estate sales. Homes sales create jobs, manufacturing surges, boost consumer confidence and put dollars back into the economy by way of homeowners spending at a rate at or near that of overall retail sales. The Real Estate market is getting stronger but is still vulnerable.
As an agent and advocate for the Real Estate consumer, I think any elimination or change in the structure of mortgage related tax deductions would be seen as a negative and therefore impact negatively on the delicate balance we have now that is pushing a recovery of the real estate market.
Earlier this month the University of Michigan released its consumer confidence survey for December. It had been on a rising trend since late summer, up to 82.7 last month and was expected to stay there or higher, and instead tanked to 74.5.
Do we really think that changing laws that affect real estate sales and closings will help this confidence number?

Each quarter the Fed releases Z-1, describing the movement and landing place of every buck in the financial system. Some new numbers are striking.

The net worth of U.S. households in the last 90 days rose by $1.7 trillion. Did anyone really feel that?

Probably not!  A small drop in the proverbial bucket  in a base of $64 trillion. Which by the way is not a shabby net worth. Over the last year the small movements have combined for genuine progress, a gain of $4.5 trillion.

The Fed estimates recovery of $1 trillion of the $7 trillion in home equity lost since 2006, a long way to go but moving. The other $3.5 trillion gained is in financial assets, most buried out of sight in pension funds, insurance company reserves, and retirement accounts, slow and quiet, but real.
Included in Z-1 are mortgage accounts. The recent release shows a pickup in post-Bubble plodding in some places, but a total stall in another. The overall figure contains both the good and the troublesome news: Aggregate U.S. residential mortgages have fallen by $88 billion in 90 days, $289 billion in the last year, and are now below $10 trillion for the first time since 2005 (from the $11.2 trillion peak in 2007).

Some of the overall decline is from overdue write-offs. Loans also disappear via sales and refis, but there is little of that in the worst stuff. The trash in private-label Mortgage Backed Securities is down to $936 billion from $2.2 trillion in 2007. Home equity loans (including seconds) from a same-year peak at $1.13 trillion have fallen to $790 billion.

The bad news: Without added mortgage supply, a genuine housing recovery lives only in the minds of the Pollyannas. The nation’s sole supply of new mortgages, Fannie-Freddie-FHA-VA, has been the same since 2009, about $5.8 trillion. All other sources, the “private” dreamland of government-haters, are just as inert as they have been since 2007.
When these mortgage aggregates begin to rise, then we’ll know that housing really is healing, and the economy with it.

To voice your opinion on this issue:

Happy Holidays! Rehab Housing for Homeless Veterans

November 26th, 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderfully warm and yummy Thanksgiving? Now here we go right into Christmas…No time for pause to catch a breath. Its disgusting. People were foregoing family dinners to stand in line at stores ON Thanksgiving to get those so-called bargains. Bargains, which I am told and I have experienced for myself, are just as easy to obtain and sometimes BETTER from your kitchen table–online! It shouldn’t be allowed! Its bad enough commercialization has totally ripped Christmas to shreds for most of us. Now they don’t even want us to enjoy Thanksgiving!! Retailers should be ashamed at their greed. Most people will buy presents for their loved ones whether its Thanksgiving or Christmas eve. To be pressured into going on one particular day and time and fighting and yelling to get what you want in an angry crowd is just WRONG. I would love to see rebellion! Just don’t do it! I know the stores have to make money and they are all scared that consumers will put their wallets away because the economy is still shaky, but I do not think ruining a traditional holiday like Thanksgiving is the answer. There may be hope yet…

I was never overly excited about the “big box ” stores and their public relations blitz about how they give back to the community, but I will say I am reserving judgement for Home Depot. Their charity for veterans, the Home Depot Foundation is doing wonderful things to -date for our veterans. Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco-based veteran service agency, is one of many community-based organizations nationwide to receive a grant from The Home Depot Foundation to repair and rehab properties serving veterans and their families.

And there was a recent story on a Parlin, NJ couple in the news that outlined the work that Home Depot’s organization is doing to help those who have served our country and are now in need or have little or nothing by way of housing.

The Home Depot Foundation is committed to ensuring that every U.S. military veteran has a safe place to call home. In April 2011, the Foundation pledged a three-year, $30 million initiative to address veterans’ critical housing needs.

The link is to check them out.

Their are other local organizations that are committed to helping and using grant money to get veterans safe, warm homes to live in.  Just another example is the link below:

This is a great thing to support. Consider instead of buying a bunch of presents for your family and friends this year…just buy one thing and then donate in their name to a charity like the ones above. Or to the Red Cross for Sandy relief, since those folks are still VERY MUCH in NEED. It will  be a present that will bring a smile to EVERYONE’s face!! And you didn’t have to punch someone out or crawl around on the floor or miss your mom’s turkey dinner to get it! Just sayin…


Housing after a Hurricane

November 14th, 2012

This is my first blog on this (or any other subject) so bear with me, please. First of all, I have to say kudos to all my fellow real estate agents who have worked tirelessly here in central NJ to get food, supplies, housing ,generators, and other donations to all those who are in need. There are over 25,000 families at last count that are displaced right now. That doesn’t include the people that have already been placed in rentals or temporary housing since the storm. We are all working to get people into homes as soon as possible. SO the call is out! If anyone has rental property or vacant property that is for sale, please reach out to us (your neighborhood realtor) or my team directly at 732-688-3272 or 908-208-2699 to let us know if you have any available housing (short or long term). Alittle goes along way in this situation.
Those of us who were fortunate and came through with little or no damage or loss should come from a “place of gratitude” and lend a hand to others. It will come back to you ten -fold someday. For those in need; Below are some contact numbers that maybe of help:
*FEMA Disaster recovery number:800-621-3362
*Churchill Corp. Housing (short term) 866-255-0593
*Avalon Apartments 866-864-5075  (Freehold 732-625-2700), Also in Aberdeen.
JCPL emerg. 888-544-4877
JCPL cust svc 800-662-3115
NJ Nat Gas 800-221-0051


In addition the following directive came from the Govorners office regarding Property Tax payments:

On November 9, 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed Executive Order 113 to extend the deadline for fourth quarter property tax payments  in calendar-year (those whose budgets expire on December 31st) and state fiscal year municipalities (those whose budgets expire on June 30th) from November 1st to November 16, 2012. In addition, Executive Order 113 also permits these municipalities to extend this grace period, by adoption of a resolution, to December 31, 2012. The Governor signed this executive order to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy obtain an extension on their property taxes due by the beginning of November. In addition, under current state law, if a property was destroyed during an event such as Hurricane Sandy, the assessed value of that property could be lowered, which could have an effect on 2013 property tax bills, which are based on a property’s value as of October 1st. However, if the property was destroyed after this time, the assessment can be reduced to reflect the new value of the property. The landowner where the property was located must notify the assessor prior to January 10, 2013, who must then base the assessed value of the property according to its condition as of January 1st.