Four Union County towns made the list of the 50 safest towns to live in New Jersey, according to NJ.com.
Ranking at #33 was Scotch Plains, #34 was Cranford, #36 was Westfield, and #44 was Summit.
The criteria for determining the safety of a town were the 2011 FBI crime data in conjunctoin with local safety initiatives and security programs.
122 two-family homes are currently offered for sale in Union County. Prices range from $150,000 to $750,000. You can search through the homes by clicking here and then contact us for an appointment to tour the ones you like.
Where are the two family homes?
Nearly every town in Union County has at least one two-family home for sale. Westfield has a beautiful duplex offered for $749,900. There is a 5 bedroom, 6 bath two-family home in Linden offered for $599,000. Cranford has a beautiful home on nearly a quarter of an acre for only $$539,000 and Clark has a six bedroom home for $494,500.
Investors will be pleased to see that there are 5 great two-family homes for $150,000 – in Linden, Rahway, Plainfield and Union.
Why buy a Two Family Home?
Buyers of two family homes are often investors – they seek to live in one unit and rent the other unit. With rental prices in Union County so high, they often see a return on investment quickly.
Buyers of two family homes may also buy the two family home for their family. They may seek to live in one unit and have their adult children or elderly parents live in the other unit, saving housing costs and providing a lifestyle that suits some people.
When you put your home on the market in Union, you should be ready to move quickly. Nearly all of Union County saw a marked decrease in the average Days on Market of a sold home in 2013 as compared to 2012, and the average home that sold in Union County in 2013 sold in fewer than 75 days as compared to an average of 88 days in 2012. Certainly, location within Union County had some effect on this as well, so here is the breakdown by town:
Westfield, the fastest selling town in 2012, continues to sell faster than 2012 but not as quickly as Garwood, Mountainside, Fanwood, and Cranford. Rahway, the slowest selling town in 2012, is now faster selling than Union and Linden.
When we combine these two graphs, we see how each town’s Days On Market changed from 2012 to 2013.
Twons like Mountainside, Fanwood, Clark, Scotch Plains, and Rahway saw dramatic improvements in selling times whereas other towns like Westfield, Garwood, and Kenilworth only saw small improvements. Interesting to note that only Linden saw an actual increase in selling time from 2012 to 2013. We recently published the 2013 End of the Year Real Estate Market Report for Union County in which we compared the average sale prices of homes in Union County towns from 2012 with sale prices in 2013.
Looked at another way, below we have each town represented by a bar indicating the increase or decrease in selling time.
How does this affect you? Call Team Zuhl for a free Comparative Market Analysis and find out what your home is worth today!
How’s your school doing?
Among other factors, home values are directly linked to schools. Great schools bring up the prices of homes, and bad schools bring down the prices.
If you haven’t seen the news, this year’s School Ratings by Inside New Jersey has been published. Inside New Jersey is not the only school rating system but it is the first to publish their results this year.
Inside New Jersey used 4 years of data to evaluate schools. The criteria they used were the HSPA (High School Proficiency Assessment) and SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) results. Each school was given a letter grade – A, B, C or D. They didn’t score schools the way you would predict – in other words, a score of “A” isn’t the best. A score of A means, according to Inside New Jersey, “above average score, below average growth,” whereas a B means “above average score, above average growth.” A C means “below average score, below average growth” and a D means “below average score, above average growth.”
Here are the scores:
|Union Cty. Magnet Hs
|Academy For Information Technology
|Westfield High School
|Summit Senior H.S.
|New Providence H.S.
|Governor Livingston H.S.
|Scotch Plains-Fanwood H.S
|Cranford Senior H.S.
|Union Cty. Vo-Tech Hs
|Arthur L. Johnson
|Roselle Park High School
|David Brearley Hs
|Union Sr High
|Abraham Clark H.S.
When these scores are correlated to home values, the average value of a home in an A school district is $519,660. The average value of a home in a B district is $482,271. The average home in a C school district is valued at $280,825 and the average home in a D school district is valued at $361,800.
For more information on schools in Union County, click here. For more information on home values, click here.
Summer is half over.
While you’re enjoying the sun and sand and warm nights, don’t forget that students have summer reading to do. Here’s a roundup of all the summer reading for Union County students:
Real Estate Professionals judge the strength of a real estate market based upon the Months of Supply in the area. This number tells you how many months it would take for all the current homes for sale on the market to sell, based upon the rate of sales in the past.
A Months of Supply of 5 months is considered average – buyers and sellers are about equal in the area and homes are being bought at about the same rate that they are being put on the market.
A Months of Supply of less than 5 months is what real estate professionals often call a “seller’s market.” This means that there are more buyers than sellers in the area and homes are selling quicker than they are being put on the market. Typically, this increases prices.
A Months of Supply of greater than 5 months is what real estate professionals call a “buyer’s market.” This means that there are more sellers than buyers in the area and homes are sitting unsold for a while. Typically, this decreases prices.
How is your town doing? Here’s the latest data:
What does all this mean to you as a buyer or a seller?
The only town where there is a true seller’s market is Fanwood. There are more buyers looking to buy homes in Fanwood than there are homes for sale. Buyers are experiencing competition.
Mountainside is nearly a normal market with only slightly more sellers than buyers.
Garwood and Westfield had seller’s markets earlier in the year, but increased inventory without a corresponding increase in buyers has resulted in a buyer’s market.
The other towns in Union County are all experiencing strong buyer’s market. Homes there are priced low and sellers are experiencing competition.
For more information on how this affects you, contact us for a complimentary consultation.