Posts Tagged 'glen ridge'

So Now What?

April 2020

Prior to the spread of Coronavirus, the NJ real estate market was still in good shape.  But let’s be real, things have changed. The good news is that agents/brokers, attorneys and lenders are still making sure their current transactions get to the closing table. However, the bad news is that the number of buyers and sellers interested in jumping in now has fallen off very significantly.

So now what?  It mostly depends on how quickly those who lost their jobs and income because of the pandemic can recover.

OVER SIX MILLION Americans filed for unemployment last week, an enormous number that is only going to grow.  According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “Housing, like most other industries, suffered from the coronavirus crisis, but once this predicament is behind us and the habit of social distancing is respected, I’m encouraged there will be continued home transactions, with more virtual tours, electronic signatures, and external home appraisals. Many of the home sales likely to be missed during the first part of 2020 may be pushed into late summer and autumn parts of the year.” 

Gov. Murphy is calling Real Estate an essential business and is now allowing the basic unit of real estate, ‘in person appointments’, or one single showing of a home link to Murphy executive order.  Open houses are still currently off the table. Murphy worked with more than 40 financial institutions, including Citi & Chase to NOT initiate foreclosure or eviction proceedings for at least 60 days.  HUD announced this month that the FHA has been authorized to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.

I’m working with several buyers and sellers who would understandably rather wait, and despite a significant number of people deciding to ‘hold off’, there are still people needing to buy or sell, but they’re nervous.   So is everyone else involved in real estate transactions.  So as mentioned above, agents, attorneys, lenders and title companies are all working hard to get the closings/settlements that were already underway completed (including yours truly in the pic above doing just that).

Technology steps into the breach.  Expect more virtual showings, videos, and zoom chats to replace or precede anything previously conducted in-person. Expect digital documents to eliminate even more paper and signature pens.  Expect attorneys to limit the number of people at the closing table to comply with new federal and the World Health Organization guidelines.

Sellers – Agents are, for now taking less listings, and are trying to reassure sellers that they will only bring through qualified buyers, instructing them not to touch anything, escorting them the entire time they are in the home and then disinfecting door handles. Check your home value here. Buyers – Those that left assets in a bear market, may wind up with less cash for down payments. Interest rates are now at rock-bottom lows, but that won’t prevent sales from slowing and prices from coming down, as the economy flips from a strong seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

As interest rates fall, the demand for refinancing seems to be skyrocketing, but is volatile. In March, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were hovering around 3.25 percent to 3.5 percent. Then, they were at 4 percent, as investors flocked to 10-year Treasuries, and the Fed announced it would buy mortgage-backed securities. Demand for bonds won’t help mortgage interest rates or housing affordability. If you’re looking to REFI, I have contact info for excellent area lenders, so reach out.

An expanding demand is city dwellers looking to flock to the suburbs to rent for more space and an easier time social distancing as Covid spikes and urban crowding becomes too difficult for many to handle.

Stay safe and help flatten the curve.

2019 Real Estate Projections

Where is the real estate market going in 2019?

newengland

Here are a few points I’ve boiled down and expanded upon (sourced from Realtor.com) that are likely to influence and illustrate the 2019 real estate market’s performance.

To see how this will affect you personally use the quick & complimentary home value estimator here – FIND YOUR HOME’S VALUE

  1. Home price growth will slow – perhaps down to 2%.  Many homes are still selling for a strong price, but receiving 8 or more offers as some did from 2014-2017 is becoming a much rarer occurrence.  For more info on local sales click this link – HOUSING MARKET TRENDS   for more specific HOUSING MARKET TRENDS
  2. Inventory will most likely remain moderate with only small increases, except for high-priced homes which will have significant inventory increases.  LOCAL INVENTORY INFO
  3. Millennials getting mortgages will slightly outpace GenerationX’ers and far outpace Boomers getting mortgages.
  4. The new tax law will be good for renters (keeping more income) and a mixed bag, but mostly negative for homeowners who may keep more income but will lose the SALT deductions.  The law no longer allows taxpayers the ability to deduct state and local taxes (SALT), so we’re being taxed twice on the same income. Those deductions on property taxes, along with a deduction on mortgage interest, used to provide a strong incentive for homeownership.  Maybe the new house representative class recently elected will stick up for the suburban voters who put them there and try to pass legislation to reverse or lessen the impact of the new laws, but I’m not holding my breath.
  5. Most experts are predicting that mortgage rates will most likely hit 5.5 percent by the end of the year. Some buyers will be motivated to purchase before the rates get too high and some may begin sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next dip. HOWEVER, after a recent meeting between China and the US about trade and tariffs, interest rates actually dropped. So ‘most experts’ may change their tune if the tariffs/trade wars keep putting a scare into the market.  For more about Mortgage-related questions – link instantly to expert MORTGAGE RATE, FINANCE INFO & PRE-APPROVALS  
  6. Most experts don’t see an obvious buyer’s market for awhile, because of moderate inventory and prices holding steady. Buyers will have to adapt their strategies to deal with higher rates and lower inventory.  Since higher end homes will have more inventory and more stagnant prices, there are more opportunities for buyers in the higher price ranges than in the entry level price ranges which have more buyer competition and less inventory.
  7. Despite remaining nominally a seller’s market, increasing competition from increased inventory will most likely bring down expectations for bidding wars, multiple offers  and getting whatever price a seller thinks he can get.. Sellers who price competitively should still be able to come away with a good amount of equity if they didn’t buy at the 2006 peak.
  8. The total number of home sales declined in 2018 compared to 2017 and is expected to decline further in 2019

link to full Realtor.com projections & article

Van Romaine, Drums, Happiness

 

van2

Among New Jersey’s legendary drummers, there’s Bernard Purdie, Mighty Max Weinberg, Tico Torres and a few others, but one of the state’s current top talents has got to be Van Romaine. He’s been on a roll since making a name for himself with Blood, Sweat and Tears back in 1989.  He currently plays for Enrique Iglesias, Nena (99luftballoons), Steve Morse Band and many other acts.  Van has also played shows or recorded with acts like Joan Osborne, Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Bernie Worrell, Naughty by Nature and Billy Joel (subbing once for Liberty) among others.

Below is a bit of Q&A with Van and farther below is a link to his website, performances and a recent Modern Drummer interview.

1) how and when did you decide you were a drummer?
My father was a huge music and big band fan.  I watched the marching band practice on my street in Glen Ridge, NJ which had a lot to do with it. At age 6 Drums and music chose me which is the way I still see it.
2) do you ever get homesick on the road and if so what’s the best remedy?
Depends on how long, where, and the conditions of the tour I’m on. When I started touring in my early 20’s I only got home sick when it was for a long period of time. Now I get home sick instantly because I miss my kids who are 11 and 16, but it helps me to spend time doing things I don’t get to do much at home like sports, exercise and some sight seeing when I have the time. In the end the music is the real pay off for me so if I’m playing a lot with less down time that also helps. 
3) what’s your favorite country/city to visit?
Melbourne, Amsterdam, Capetown, London, Malta and Berlin are in my top ten.
4) who is your favorite musician/band?
 I’m a huge fan of so many – Miles Davis would top that list though.
5)  were either of your parents or siblings musicians and if so did they influence you?
neither professionally but both of them are and were incredibly musical. 
6) if you had a dinner party and could invite anyone (living) who would it be.
Obama, Neil Young, “Keef” Richards, Sting, Peter Gabriel
7) name a place you still haven’t visited that you’d like to
Brazil and China
8) if you couldn’t be a musician what would you have become?
a lawyer
9) where did you grow up?
I haven’t yet…..but was born and raised in Glen Ridge, NJ

link to modern drummer interview

link to Van’s website

99 Luftballoons live

other youtube performances

 

van

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essex County Property Tax Comparisons

ESSEX COUNTY TAX CHART
Below is a chart of the average tax load paid by several county towns and the percentage of that tax that goes to the municipality’s school system.

The percentage of the state budget spent on education has grown from about 33 percent to about 38 percent during Gov. Chris Christie’s term.

The Governor’s property tax cap may have helped reduce the annual increase in New Jersey’s property taxes, but unfortunately taxes are still rising faster than the rate of inflation.

The link at bottom shows more Essex county towns and gives a bit more background.

essexxcotax

link to more info on NJ tax burdens

Bhakti Barn opens second Yoga Studio in Glen Ridge, NJ

bhakti

Have you heard? Betsy Davis and Christine Gatti are rocking the yoga world.  Their successful yoga center in Millburn, NJ has hatched a new space in Glen Ridge, NJ on Herman St. Stop in at Baby Bhakti Barn to tune in and tune up your mind, body and spirit. Owner, Betsy Davis, a superb yoga teacher, provides a safe, nurturing environment for students of all levels to experience and explore yoga. Opening day Sunday, Aug 16.

http://www.bhaktibarn.com/

Leaf Removal schedules in a few Essex & Union county towns

DSCN3224

You may have already raked or blown your leaves, but mysteriously they just keep piling up anyway.

The green and less expensive thing to do is actually to use a mower to shred them and leave them on the lawn  as fertilizer.  You don’t need to mow in your garden, just leave them there as extra insulation for the  plant roots that need a bit of protection from the snow.

But if you just want them gone, here is a list and links to more detail about leaf removal schedules in a few Essex & Union Co. towns.

South Orange

all streets by December 6,  unfortunately the town map is so tiny, it’s hard to tell which streets are prior to the sixth

Spring Market Heats Up

Please look at what’s going on in New Jersey’s bedroom communities 🙂   Homes going under contract in the month of March for South Orange have doubled from 2011 to 2013.  The vast majority of the other towns listed below have also shown significant gains.

underc13

More confidence in the economy, low prices and low interest rates have finally pushed buyers back into the market.  A lack of inventory is making for bidding wars on the best homes and shorter selling times for other homes.  Its April and if you’re thinking of selling, now’s a great time to do so.

My 2012 sales

Here are pictures of the Essex and Union County homes I guided to closing in 2012.  There were also rentals and referrals which were not included in the gallery below.

hickoryExt1 copy     1677springfieldav     meadowbrookpl

secondst    2918560_0     2928983_1-1

2919242_0-1    2886057_0    2934414_0

2947969_0    2889203_0

July Real Estate Market Conditions

The local real estate market continues the turnaround begun early in the year.  Here is the July update on Real Estate Absorption rates in the area.  The absorption rate number is how many months it would take for the current inventory of listings to sell given the current monthly rate of homes going under contract.

As buying has been brisk this spring and early summer, inventory has remained stable.  Its possible the rates will drop even further as less new listings hit the market in the fall and the remaining inventory continues to be sold.

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
 

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