Making Your Real Estate Dreams Come True

Archive for May, 2012

Dear TZ – What does Amortization mean?


Dear TZ,

My brother in law said I can save a ton of money if I amortize my loan on my house. What does that mean, and does it work?


Borrower BertFile:USCurrency Federal Reserve.jpg

Dear Bert,

Very simply put amoritization is the process that the principal amount of your mortgage decreases over the life of your mortgage.  So each payment that your make, a portion is applied towards the interest on the loand and a portion is appliec to reducing your principal.

So by paying more than the set amount or paying twice a month, you can apply the excess amount to your prinicpal reducing the amount of time it will take to pay of your mortgage. And yes, it does work to decrease the LENGTH of your loan.

An ammortization table shows how your principal is paid off over time.  Your mortgage provider or REALTOR(R) should be able to give you an ammortization table or ammortization calculator to see how your mortgage is ammortizing.

You should definitely talk to your mortgage rep and even your accountant before making any changes as to how you are paying off your mortgage.

Best of luck!

– Wayne and Jean

Dear TZ – Can I buy a home without a lot of money to put down?


Money GraphDear TZ,

After reading all of your advice, we’ve decided it’s time to buy a home. We don’t have a lot saved, but we earn enough to qualify for a mortgage. Can we still buy a home? How much money do we need to put as a down payment?


– Doug and Dina Downpayment

Dear Doug and Dina,

You’d be surprised at how little you actually need to put down.  In fact if either of you are or have been in the military, you might even qualify for a $0 money down loan.  Most FHA products require at least 3.5% down.

In addition to this you will want to have money for closing costs (could be up to $10,000 or more in rare cases), like your attorney, home inspector, survey, title insurance, tank search, etc..  In this part of NJ closing costs usually run less than $5000.  Although some loans will include closing costs as an option.

You could also negotiate for a sellers concession.  This would be an addendum to your puFile:Mortgage-green-bay.jpgrchase contract that states the seller will pay a certain dollar amount at the closing.  These funds can then be used to at your discretion to cover closing costs.

Of course if you have more than 3.5% you can put more money down.  If you can afford to put down 20% or more you will avoid paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) which is removed when you have 20% equity in your home.  An appraisal may be required at that time to determine that you have the equity in your home.

Regardless of what you do, you’ll want to discuss this with your REALTOR(R) as well as your Mortgage Representative.  You may also want to consult with your accountant as well.

Best o luck!

– Wayne and Jean

Happy Memorial Day, Cranford!

The Cranford Recreation and Parks Department will sponsor the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday. Marchers will line up beginning at the Community Center at 220 Walnut Avenue at 8:30 am and step off is at 9am. At Remembrance Day10am, after the parade, there will be a Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Park on Springfield Avenue between Riverside Drive and Central Avenue.

Peter Fekete is this year’s Grand Marshal. Fekete is a Vietnam veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division and has been a Cranford resident with his wife Irene for over thirty years. Two of Fekete’s sons are currently serving in the Army in Afghanistan.

In the event of inclement weather, services only will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Bates Hall, on Springfield Avenue at 10am.

Happy Memorial Day, Clark!


Remembrance Day

Clark will host a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, stepping off at 9:30 am.
Following the parade will be services at the Arthur L. Johnson High School.

This year’s parade will dedicated to the memory of Clark native Sergeant James W. Harvey II who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 20, 2011.

Rahway’s Memorial Day Events

Rahway’s Memorial Day Parade will be held on Sunday, May 27th, stepping off at 1:30 pm in front of City Hall at Main Street and E. Milton Avenue. It will pass down Irving Street to Main Street and end at City Hall.Military Grave At Memorial

Rahway’s Department of Parks and Recreation will host the  The 12th Annual Mayor’s Trophy 5K Run including a 100 yards Pee Wee Run for the little folk on  Monday, May 28th. The top three male and female runners will earn prize money. The run will take place at the Rahway City Hall Complex at 3 City Hall Plaza.

For times, please visit the Rahway website.

11 Union County High Schools Make Newsweek’s Top 1000 List!

Annually, Newsweek Magazine scours the data from the nation’s high schools and culls the top 1000 schools, based on the critera of which schools are most effective in producing college-ready graduates. The six components against which they judge the high schools are:

  1. graduation rateFile:Graduation Girl.jpg
  2.  college matriculation rate
  3.  Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccaleureate (IB) tests taken per student
  4. average SAT and ACT test scores
  5. average AP and IB scores
  6.  AP courses offered

This year, 11 Union County high schools ranked in the top 1000 in the Nation. Here they are:

#102 – Union County Magnet in Scotch Plains

#143 – Academy for Information Technologyin Scotch Plains

#167 – Academy for Allied Health Services in Scotch Plains

#224 – New Providence High School in New Providence

#251 – Summit High School in Summit

#279 – Cranford High School in Cranford

#352 – Westfield High School in Westfield

#498 – Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights

#585 – Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield

#769 – Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in Scotch Plains

#820 – Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark

To read the entire article and see how other schools in New Jersey and in the Nation compare, click here.

Scotch Plains Memorial Day Events

The Borough of Fanwood is hosting a special concert, “A Tribute to Fallen Heroes,” at the north side of the railroad station this Saturday evening at 7:30pm. The Westfield Community Band will provide an evening of patriotic entertainment and the concert is free thanks to donations of local civic groups, businesses, and individuals. Please bring your own lawn chairs or blankets!

At 8:00 am on Monday morning, Memorial Day observances will begin at American Legion Post 209 at Park Avenue and Sunset Place. At 9:00 am, there will be a ceremony at the Fanwood Memorial Library at Tillotson Road and North Avenue. At 10:00 am, there will be a ceremony at the Veterans Monument at Park Avenue and Front Street, featuring the SPFHS Chamber Choir performing the National Anthem and God Bless America.Headstone With Flowers

The Scotch Plains Memorial Day Parade will start at 10:45am at the Municipal Building in Scotch Plains, proceed along Park Avenue to Martine Avenue to Fanwood and end at LaGrande Park.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Vietnam Veterans of America Color Guards will lead the parade with the Grand Marshal Robert LaCosta, a Vietnam Veteran.

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