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Posts tagged ‘Real Estate’

How do you choose a house?

What criteria are you looking for in a home?

When you are ready to start looking at homes, you and your agent will go through all of the homes offered for sale in your neighborhood in your price range. From the list, and there could be many, you’ll select the homes that meet the criteria you need and want in a home. Some things to consider are:

  •  How many bedrooms do you want?
  • How many bathrooms do you want?
  • What’s your preference in terms of outdoor space? Do you want a backyard, a garden, a lawn, a patio, a deck?
  • Do you want a garage?
  • Do you want a basement? Do you want a finished basement?
  • What room sizes are you comfortable with?
  • What floor plans or styles of homes do you like? Do you like split level homes, colonial homes, ranch homes, bi-levels, Tudors, Victorians, expanded ranch, Cape Cod or contemporary homes?
  • How much storage space is essential to you?
  • What upgrades are you looking for – gourmet kitchens, hardwood floors, granite countertops, and skylights?
  • Do you want a swimming pool?
  • Are you comfortable with a fixer-upper?

You’ll probably be able to take a list of all of the homes in your neighborhood in your price range and then narrow it down to a few that appeal to you based upon these characteristics.  Finally, your agent will schedule times for you to see each home on your list!

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On your first showing day, you may find yourself getting confused by all the possibilities. Your agent will help you by pointing out the comparisons between the homes and helping you to see the home’s best features.

It often helps to keep a record of the homes that you’ve seen, their location, list price, and features that you love and don’t love about each home.

Buying a home is a financial decision and a business decision, but it’s also a very emotional decision. It might take two or three or even more showing days to find the right home for you and  your family. If you are exceptionally clear about the criteria that you want and don’t want in a home, your agent will be able to help you find the right home more quickly.

 

Writing an Offer on a Home

Once you’ve found a home, your agent will help you write an offer.

An offer takes the form of a contract and specifies everything about the conveyance of the property. Then, your agent will present the offer to the listing agent who will present it to the owners.

How Much Should You Offer?

In writing an offer, some buyers are concerned about offering too much. They think that if their offer is accepted, that means they could have offered less and still gotten the house. Other buyers are concerned about making an offer that is too low. They’re afraid that the sellers will be insulted and will refuse to negotiate.

Our advice to you is to make an offer that reflects what the property is worth. The only way to find out what it’s worth is to compare it to other similar properties that have sold in the same neighborhood. Your Realtor will call that a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). For more information on how CMAs are written, please read this article.yellow

What Other Information is in the Offer?

In addition to how much money you’re willing to offer for the home, there are other factorsthat are included in your offer and may impact the seller. One factor is the time frame. Your seller might want to close quickly or slowly to accommodate some event so your offer might be more appealing if you’re offering a flexible closing date. The type of financing you’re securing and the amount of your down payment are also important to your seller. They may feel more secure if your down payment is large or if your loan is a certain type.

You will also be asked to provide a check as earnest money. This is money, usually $1000, that indicates that you really intend to follow through with this contract as it is written if it is accepted by the seller. Of course, if the contract fails to be accepted, you will be refunded that money. If the sale gets to closing, this money will count as part of your down payment.

Then What?

Your agent will present the offer to the sellers. Possibly, they’ll have you write a letter telling the sellers a little about yourself to make the offer more personal. Additionally, your agent may present the offer in person to negotiate on the spot, with your permission.

The seller will either accept the offer as written, make a counter offer, or simply say no. If they accept the offer as written, congratulations! You’re on your way to owning the home you’ve chosen! If they make a counter offer, then your agent will negotiate on your behalf to try to reach a meeting of the minds. If they say no, then you’re back to the drawing board.

 

How to choose a neighborhood

 

An old joke goes like this:

Q: What are the three most important factors in a home?

A: Location, location, location.

But it’s not really a joke. Where you choose to live will have as much, or more, of an impact on your quality of life as the home you choose. westdown

What characteristics do you want in your neighborhood? Some things to consider are:

  •  How do you feel about your commute? Do you want to live 5 minutes from work or are you ok with living 30 or 60 minutes from work? Are you willing to drive on highways and take bridges or tunnels to get there, or will you be willing to take mass transit? Select neighborhoods that allow you to have the commute you prefer.
  • How important are the quality and proximity of schools to you? If you have, or will have children, then you want to do some research into the schools in the neighborhoods before you commit to a house. How close do you want to be to the schools – is walking distance necessary, or will you drop your children off at school or will they take a school bus?
  • Do you want community parks, green space, lakes, playgrounds, or other recreation available near by? If so, then make sure that the neighborhoods you choose have those amenities.
  • Is it important to you that shopping be within walking distance or within a short car ride? Are you comfortable driving 20-30 minutes for groceries?
  • The type of restaurants in a neighborhood might be an important factor for you. If you like to dine out, then you’ll want to choose a neighborhood that provides the types of restaurants that you enjoy.
  • For many home buyers, the proximity of a House of Worship to their home is an important factor.

This is the most important advice we can give you – Spend some time in each of the neighborhoods you’re considering. Get to know the neighborhood and the people in it – eat in the restaurants, shop in the stores, visit the library. Go to the post office and the convenience store. Do these people seem like people you want to live near? What’s the “feel” of the neighborhood?

Spacious Split Level in Rahway

161 Cornell Avenue

Rahway, NJ

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This spacious 4 bedroom, 2 bath split level home features a beautifully landscaped private yard, an open floor plan, and plenty of storage.

Newer windows, HWH, roof, furnace, Central AC

2 zone heating and cooling

Offered for $299,000

To schedule your private showing, please contact Team Zuhl at 908-917-4189!

Union County mid-year Real Estate Market – How fast are homes selling?

When you decide to sell your home, how long will your home be on the market?

It’s a good question, and the answer largely depends on location. For the first half of 2014, the average Union County home was on the market for

UCDOM1sthalf2014

The homes in Linden, Union, Rahway, and Garwood took much longer than the average Union County home to sell. Homes in Cranford, Mountainside, Westfield, and Clark were the fastest sellers in Union County for the first half of the year.

How does this compare to last year?

The real estate market in 2012 and 2013 was very different from this year because buyers and sellers were beginning to recover from a recession. In 2014, the economy has stabilized somewhat and the housing market has adjusted.

UCDOM1sthalf2014with2013

Some towns, like Cranford and Springfield, saw homes selling a full month quicker this year than last year. Clark , Kenilworth , Linden, and Westfield also sold more quickly this year. Scotch Plains and Rahway saw very slight gains in speed.

Other towns, like Garwood, saw homes selling nearly a full month slower this year as compared to last year. Homes in Union didn’t see a noticeable change in Days on Market from 2013 to 2014.

How does this affect you?

If your town has slower selling homes, you need to make sure your home is in the best market condition possible and you need to price it competitively to attract buyers.

Which towns changed the most?

changeDOM1sthalf2014with2013

 

Cranford and Springfield homes decreased their selling times the most, and Garwood’s selling time increased the most when the first halves of 2013 and 2014 are compared. How does this affect prices? 

 

When you’re ready to buy or sell a Union County home, please contact us for more information! 

 

 

 

 

Union County Mid-Year Real Estate Market

The first half of 2014 is over and it’s a good time to analyze the real estate market and see how it’s changed from last year to this year.

The average Union County single family home sold for $392,644 during the first half of 2014. Some towns were significantly higher and some were significantly lower.
avgsaleprice1sthalf2014

It’s typical that Linden, Rahway, and Union are among the lowest in the county as they were in 2012 and 2013. Likewise, Westfield, Mountainside, and Scotch Plains have had the highest real estate values in Union County in previous years.

 

When we compare each town to the last half of 2013 and the first half of 2013, we see a different picture emerging.

 

avgsaleprice1sthalf2014andearlier

 

Now we can look at each individual town and see that some towns are actually seeing an increase in value over the past 18 months – most notably Rahway, Springfield, Clark , Cranford, and Mountainside – and some towns are seeing a decrease in value over the past 18 months – Kenilworth, Westfield, Union, Garwood, Scotch Plains, Linden, and Fanwood.

What does this mean to you? If you live in a town where the prices are increasing, you’re in a good position if you want to sell your home. Buyers are willing to pay more this year than they were last year for your home. If you live in a town where the prices are decreasing, you’ll need to make sure that your home is in top showing condition and that it’s priced competitively to attract buyers.

Which towns were the biggest winners and the biggest losers?

percentchange1sthalf2014

 

 

Kenilworth was the town whose properties showed the largest decrease in value from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014 with a 10.5% decrease in home values. Westfield was close behind with a 7.6% decrease in home values and Union homes lost 5.5%.

Rahway homes had the biggest gain in home values with 2014 showing an average sale price of 14.3% higher than 2013. Springfield was also a big winner with a 14.2% jump. Clark saw a 12.2% increase and Cranford home prices increased by 8.4%.

When you’re ready to buy or sell a Union County home, please contact us for more information! 

 

 

Union Real Estate Market Report – June 2014

When you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Union, a necessary first step is to research the real estate market conditions. Here’s what you need to know this month.

Inventory: There are currently 347 homes offered for sale in Union. They range in price from $65,000 to $1,840,00.  This is an exceptionally low inventory and the laws of supply and demand would indicate that prices will go up as an increased number of buyers are eager to be settled before the end of the summer.

unionINVENTORY614

Prices: The average sale price in Union in June was $256,649, just slightly above the 12 month average of $250,512. Prices have been relatively stagnant for the past year, although there is a downward trend when we compare past years.

2014 average YTD =$239,392

2013 average = $256,665

2012 average = $245527

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To see this month’s infographic, please click here.

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If you’re considering selling your Union home, call us today for a free comparative market analysis of your home.

For more information on selling a Union home:

For more information on Union Real Estate:

Springfield Real Estate Market Report – June 2014

When you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Springfield, a necessary first step is to understand the local market conditions. Here’s what you need to know this month:

Inventory: There are currently 115 homes offered for sale in Springfield. They range in price from $119,000 to $1,235,000.  This is the highest inventory held in Springfield in about 2 years after a very low inventory winter. The summer market should clear out some of those homes.

springfieldINV614

Prices:  The average sale price in Springfield in June was $347,879 and the average sale price over the past 12 months was $375,612. With inventory up, prices often drop.

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What does this mean to you?

Homeowners who are considering selling their home must be sure that it is in perfect showing condition. Be sure to consult a Real Estate professional for a Comparative Market Analysis that will help you to price your home competitively.

Please click here for this month’s infographic.

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If you have a home in Springfield that you’d like to sell, contact us for a free comparative market analysis! If you’re thinking of buying a home in Springfield, click here to search available homes.

For more information on selling your home:

For more information on Springfield, NJ:

Scotch Plains Real Estate Market Report – June 2014

A necessary first step to take before you buy or sell a Scotch Plains home is to learn about local real estate market trends. Here’s what you need to know this month.

Inventory: There are currently 172 homes offered for sale in Scotch Plains, ranging in price from $230,000 to $3,295,000 – something for every budget! Please click here to search listings and then contact us when you’re ready to schedule your showings!

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Prices:  The mean sale price in Scotch Plains in June was $442,500, only slightly below the 12 month average of $445,807.

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With prices holding steady, homeowners who are considering selling their home must be sure that it is in perfect showing condition. Be sure to consult a Real Estate professional for a Comparative Market Analysis that will help you to price your home competitively.

For this month’s infographic, please click here:

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Team Zuhl is here to help you every step of the way. Please call or email us when you’re ready to get your home on the market! Good luck!

For more information on selling a home:

For more information on Scotch Plains Real Estate:

Rahway Real Estate Market Report – June 2014

Before you buy or sell a home in Rahway, an important first step is to learn about the real estate market conditions. Here’s what you need to know this month.

Inventory: There are currently 216 homes offered for sale in Rahway.  They range in price from $29,000 to $539,000. Please click here to search the inventory and contact us when you’re ready to schedule a showing!

rahwayINV614

Prices:  The average sale price in Rahway in June was $212,508, slightly higher than the 12 month average of $209,523.

rahwayPRIC614

What does this mean to you?

If you are a homeowner in Rahway and if you are considering selling your home, be sure that it is in perfect showing condition. Be sure to consult a Real Estate professional for a Comparative Market Analysis that will help you to price your home competitively.

To view this month’s infographic, please click here.

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For more information on selling a home:

For more information on the Real Estate in Rahway and Linden:

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