Archive for the 'Ken Krasner' Category

Two Questions

  1. Is it safe?
  2. How strong is the market ?

1. Is it Safe? New virus cases in NJ dropped significantly from 4,229 on April 4, to 462 on June 4 and the governor is opening up more of the economy every week.

Numbers aside, your safety is priority number one, so I have procedures to follow during showings to help keep both buyer and seller safe. I also have virtual tools to provide more info, so only the more serious buyers actually show up. For details, please check out the bottom of the previous post.

2. How strong is the market? Stay-at-home orders are gradually being lifted in our area and homebuyers are coming back into the market. After many put their plans on hold due to the pandemic, the action is shifting into a higher gear later this year – Summer is the new Spring.

For Buyers?

“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…” – Joel Kan, Economist at Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Google Trends scores search terms online, and searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th, to 92 points last week. As I mentioned in the previous blogpost, more potential homebuyers who were stuck indoors began looking for homes online.

The most current unemployment numbers have improved and there are now historically low mortgage rates. “For the fourth consecutive week, the 30 year mortgage has been below 3.3 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic… With mortgage rates at such low levels and states gradually beginning to reopen, there’s more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer – Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac.

For Sellers?

Finding a home to buy, can still be a challenge, as earlier this spring, sellers removed listings from the market. Though more people are finally listing their homes for sale this month compared to last, current inventory is still well below last year’s level.

New listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers hesitated to bring homes to market. Total listings dropped 20% year on year, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower (YOY), asking prices moved up 1.5% YOY.” – Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from This past week, I’ve noticed more listings appearing, so inventory may finally begin to broaden.

If you’re thinking of selling your house this year, now may actually be your best opportunity. With so few homes on the market for buyers to purchase, early summer may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. I can help you list safely and effectively, keeping your family’s needs top of mind.

Please reach out to me soon to make sure you can get your house in on the action.

Colorful Maps at Pop Up Shop this Thursday – Sunday, Dec 15-18

Hand Drawn Maps at the Pop N Shop at 55 South Orange Av from Thurs, December 15 – Sun, December 18, from 12-8pm.

Below is a small sampling of what’s available for sale.

link to more details

Native Am Tribes_17x14_rev


Indian Placenames_14x17


KKrasner Map updated Fnl copy

Unwind in an Updated Beauty in West Orange


DSCN437645 Sheridan Av.,  West Orange, NJ

Public Open House – Sunday, May 29, 1-4pm

4 Beds and 2 Baths


Unwind in an updated, immaculate beauty, perfectly located near NYC transportation, S. Mtn Reservation & Recreation Ctr. Hardwood (oak) floors, big backyard & beautifully updated Kitchen. Kitchen includes white maple soft close cabinets, granite counters, subway tile backsplash, pantry, tons of natural light & french doors to back deck. Beautiful stone patio, backyard tree swings, cherry tree, forsythia, azalea & more mature landscaping grace the grounds. DR & LR are perfect for entertaining & first floor office can double as a bedroom. Great basement family room with bar, finished laundry area, full bath & bedroom. There are many new windows and plenty of basement and attic storage. Lots of love went into this very well maintained, charming home. MUCH LARGER THAN IT APPEARS!

link for full listing –


128 Prospect Pl., South Orange, NJ


Chic & Charming 4 bed, 2 bath Victorian on a great block has an easy walk or shuttle to MPLWD & SO trains, schools & shops. Front PORCH, Back Deck, Huge FAMILY ROOM & Recently renovated, modern KITCHEN & BATHS are some of the amenities in this beauty. Classic details that show the home’s CHARACTER include numerous BAY WINDOWS, a FIREPLACE, Hardwood Floors, Built-in shelves, Maple Kit Cabs, Dining room w/ built-in China cabinets. Master bedroom w/bulit-ins, Custom radiator covers. Great layout for entertaining. Active Neighborhood society. BRICK garage. Finished third floor has bedroom & lots of storage/cedar closet. Wired for FIOS.

click link below for more info

Listed at 30 New England Rd., Maplewood


Tudor/Colonial with 3 Bedrooms, 2 and a half baths listed for $549,000

Character, Charm & Comfort!  Beautiful and unique hardwood floors. Great area, fireplace, large rooms, patio, big yard, masterbath, many fine details and more!  see the listing link below for more details

Spring Activity

Real Estate activity has been more robust this spring than in the recent past.  Here’s what I’ve sold recently or is under contract and due to close in June or July.
Just Sold
169 Scotland Rd., South Orange – buyer
117 Second St., South Orange – my listing
37 Edgar St., Summit – buyer
74 Essex St., Glen Ridge – buyer
34 Riggs., South Orange – buyer
25 Hickory, Maplewood – my listing
Under Contract/Attorney Review
46 Park Pl., South Orange – buyer
552 Hillside Terr., West Orange – my listing
350 High St., Orange – buyer
332 Ogden St., Orange – my listing

Area Sales for the full year 2010

Here are the sales numbers for the year  2010 in Suburban Essex and Northern Union counties.   Buyers are returning as the number of sales (sold listings) increased over 2009 figures for the following towns: South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Montclair and Summit.  The towns closest to the train lines are feeling the recovery before the others (figures from Garden State MLS).

Please call me if you’ve got any questions about these figures or would like a complimentary CMA (comparative market analysis) done for your home.

Ben Folds, Ray Davies, Tony Bennett at the Wellmont, Giants of Jazz at the Baird, and SOPAC performances

We have some topnotch artists in the area in the next few weeks:

Ben Folds, Ray Davies and Tony Bennet will all be appearing at the Wellmont in Montclair.  Check link to website for dates.

And of course ‘Giants of Jazz’ in South Orange’s Baird Center this year features Ron Carter, Paquito D’Rivera, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Cyrus Chestnut and many others

SOPAC has McCoy Tyner, The Nutcracker, Norbert Leo Butz and Melissa Manchester among others.

Lower your heating bill

Wabbit season, Duck season, HEATING SEASON!

Free, Low Cost and Significant Investments in Lowering your Heating Bills


Free Steps to Reduce your Heating Bill

1) Save 3% on your heating bill for every one degree lower you set the thermostat

2) Close the fireplace damper

3) Lower the temperature of the water in your water heater to 115-120 degrees

4) Keep heating vents clear.  If they’re blocked by carpeting and furniture you get less circulation of warm air

5) Open curtains on the south side in the day to let in sun, close them at night to keep in the heat

Low Cost Steps to Reduce your Heating Bill

1) ‘Envelope’ Leaks – The gaps around windows and other areas taken together in the average American house equal a 9 square foot hole in the wall.  Plugging them can save you 10% of your heating bill.   Find the leaks with an incense stick held to the areas you believe to be drafty and watch for the smoke, Or if it’s really cold outside, just run your hands by the suspected areas and you will feel the cold air. Prone areas: Window and door frames. air ducts, chimney flashing, recessed lighting, sill plates,and electric outlets.  To fix these leaks buy door sweeps, caulk, caulk gun, or tacky rope and go to work.  Apply weather stripping for the outlet gaskets.

2) If the insulation in the attic is not up to the top of the joists, add more…  Make sure your attic’s vent stays open to prevent condensation/moisture.

3) Ducts: Make sure the heating ducts are well connected and you’re not losing heat before it even gets to the vents…  Use metal back tape instead of duct tape.  Make sure the ducts are insulated if they travel thru unheated areas.  Swaddle the water heater if it’s in an unheated area.

4) Winterize Windows – After you’ve caulked the frames, if you can’t afford double hung or storm windows, put clear plastic film on those windows for an effective extra layer of insulation.

5) Install a low-flow shower head for less than $20.  You will use 25% less hot water saving on both water and heating bills

6) A programmable thermostat costs $50-$100.  Program it lower when you’re not home and higher when you are.

7) In your furnace replace easy things like the air filter.

Investments to reduce your heating bill will pay off

1) Oil fired boilers should be cleaned and tuned annually and gas systems every two years for approximately $100-$125. Gas fired need attention too.

2) Replace appliances, heating units, light fixtures and bulbs with hi efficiency replacements. If your furnace is over 20 yrs old replace it with Energy Star (federal government program promoting energy efficiency).  Homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to exisiting homes qualify for a 10% tax credit up to $500.  A credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes, compared with a deduction which only decreases taxable income.

3) A decent vinyl window might cost $100-$150 and a double paned window with a good ‘e or r’ rating can cost $50-100 more.  This will add up when you have 15  windows, but replacing the twenty year old windows may be the move that cuts into your heating bill most substantially. Windows also usually qualify for a credit or deduction.

4) Other Improvements that can qualify for deductions/credits include adding insulation, door and skylights

5) Tax credits and other financial incentives also exist for changing to solar water heating and photovoltaic equipment. Solar for pools and hot tubs do not  qualify.

Gaslight gadgets go green, save money and CO2 for S.O.

Gaslight savings

South Orange has an ambitious plan to install devices with solar-sensors to switch a dozen or so of our iconic gaslights off during the day and on at night.  This plan will save the town money and CO2 emissions, as there is no reason for the lights to be on during the day.   After much hard work by Trustee, Howard Levison and the town’s Energy Committee, the plan is beginning to come to fruition, as the first one has been installed on Montague.  If the dozen prototypes work smoothly for a year, they would then be installed on all the town’s gaslights, saving us $150,000 per year in energy payments to PSE & G.  The cost to install one on every gaslight in town would be 1.5 million dollars.  After ten years, it’s all savings!

See patch article for more details –