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:
As reported in the Star-Ledger and published on NJ.com:
New Jersey’s safest community touches the state’s border with New York.
That’s according to a ranking published by security organization SafeWise, which has determined Mahwah is the Garden State’s safest place.
Mahwah, a township of about 26,000 in northern Bergen County, edged Sparta in Sussex County for top honors.
SafeWise determined its rankings by combining 2011 FBI crime data with other factors such as unique safety initiatives and security programs, the company said in a release.
A municipality must have a population of at least 15,000 to qualify for the list.
SafeWise said it was impressed with the Mahwah police’s Stay Connected app in which citizens can report zoning violations, service requests and other concerns. Mahwah police didn’t report any murders, rapes, robberies or arson in 2011.
Two other Bergen communities also made SafeWise’s top 10: No. 6 Dumont and No. 8 Bergenfield.
Sparta got high marks for its low poverty rate (1.5 percent). Sparta cops reported fewer than 20 burglaries in 2011.
“From relaxed rural countrysides to fast-paced city living, the 50 safest communities in New Jersey share one critical, crime stopping characteristic: community cohesiveness” SafeWise security analyst Alexia Chianis said.
Here is SafeWise’s Top 50:
Making the decision to sell your home begins a journey of a thousand steps. From hiring a real estate agent to getting the home ready for the market, there is a lot to do.
Luckily, homeowners have a tool belt full of items that make the job easier. The most powerful tool of them all is decorating – better known as staging. Done right, staging your home will help it sell faster and for more money.
Before you hire a decorator, or decide to do it yourself, you’ll need an appropriate backdrop – a clean, uncluttered space. Otherwise, staging the home is like putting lipstick on a pig.
There are several reasons homeowners should clear their homes of the clutter accumulated from daily living. First, clutter makes people anxious.
The results of a nine-year long UCLA study show that there is “real psychological stress associated with clutter.”
The last thing you want a potential buyer to feel is stress or anxiety when touring your home.
Since most clutter in a home is a collection of personal items, depersonalizing the home goes hand-in-hand with clearing clutter. Sure, all those personal items are what makes your house a home, but too many of them may hinder its sale.
Buyers need to be able to imagine what it would be like living in your home, surrounded by their belongings. Your stuff detracts from their ability to do that. Besides, you will have to move all that stuff once your home sells, so you might as well do it sooner rather than later.
Depersonalizing: What’s Involved?
Depersonalizing is the act of removing most items of a personal nature. Family photographs, souvenirs, collections, DVD and CD collections and framed diplomas, degrees and awards are a few examples of items to pack up and store.
Since you’ll need boxes for the move, buying them now saves work later on. Buy several boxes for each room in the house, and don’t forget newspaper or other packing material to protect breakables.
The best way to go about depersonalizing the home is to do it one room at a time.
Living Room and Family Room
Since this is where families spend most of their time, these rooms will most likely take the longest. Items to remove include:
Now we move from the most challenging room to the easiest room to depersonalize – the kitchen. The biggest clutter catcher in this room is the refrigerator. Remove the magnets, sticky note reminders, kids’ artwork and personal photographs. In fact, remove everything from the front, sides and top of the refrigerator. Unless it’s decorative, pack it all up.
Many families use the kitchen counter as a mail drop. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but mail is highly personal and needs to be put away, out of sight.
Since bedrooms are the most personal of all the spaces in a home, they can be challenging to depersonalize. Remove family photos, of course, but you may need to go beyond that. Imagine a posh hotel room and remove anything from the bedrooms that you wouldn’t find in one.
Bathrooms tend to become cluttered with personal products. While it isn’t necessary to pack these items up, it is crucial that they be put out of sight in cupboards and drawers.
Don’t forget the shower stall or bathtub. Buyers will pull back the shower curtain. Would you want to be greeted by pumice stones, shampoo bottles or kids’ water toys? Again, think of a posh hotel bathroom and try to imitate that look.
The home office is typically one of the most cluttered rooms in the home and also a hot selling feature, so it’s important to create a vignette that appeals to the target market for the home.
Attack the walls first, taking down awards, diplomas and degrees, and photos.
Clear the desk of mail, work papers and professional journals and magazines.
As you work on depersonalizing each room in the home, don’t just throw the items in the boxes. Wrap and pack for the move and then take the boxes to a storage facility.
Don’t forget to organize what’s left in the room – it puts you one step closer to staging the home.
Should You Hire a Stager?
Everyone’s situation is different. Some homes don’t need staging. Of those that will benefit from staging, the extent of what needs to be done will vary from one home to another.
As part of my listing service, I offer a consultation with a stager, at no charge to the homeowner. During the initial consultation, the stager will offer suggestions. If the homeowner feels that they need more help in getting the house ready for sale, they can then hire the stager at an hourly rate.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s never too early to call in a real estate agent to talk about the entire home-selling process, including staging. Give yourself plenty of time to get your home ready, to maximize your sale.
Call me if you want to talk about getting ready to sell. 551-427-6343.
Homeowners …. if you’re thinking of selling this year, here are some good reasons to do it now, instead of waiting until spring:
The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.
Source: The KCM Blog
The SuperBowl comes to MetLife Stadium on February 2 and some North Jersey some homeowners are looking to make a few dollars by renting out their homes/apartments for the week. According to www.vrbo.com, the North Caldwell, NJ home pictured here is being offered for rent for a mere $119,500 during Super Bowl week!
Several websites have been posting Super Bowl Rentals, among them: craigslist, vrbo.com, super-bowl-rentalz.com, and eventhomes.com.
New York Giants’ rookie Cooper Taylor is offering his 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment, which is less than a mile from the stadium, for $9,000 for the week. According to ESPN, Taylor told the New York Post that he and Susan Carlson, his girlfriend and a real-estate broker, wanted to escape the stress of the event.
“We thought it would be the best time to get out of the city and go on vacation because that week will be a madhouse,” Taylor told the Post. “I am definitely disappointed that we are not playing in it. It would make it a lot more fun.”
If you’re thinking of buying a new home this year, I strongly recommend you do it sooner rather than later. Here is another article predicting interest rates will increase this year:
Predictions for 2014: Interest Rates Will Increase Significantly | Keeping Current Matters.
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.