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Archive for December, 2012

John Lennon and Real Estate


I remember the shock at hearing the John Lennon was dead. File:Lennon apartment.jpg

John’s legacy of music is legendary. His investment in real estate is less well known. But today I ran across this really fascinating article about the homes that John Lennon shared with Yoko Ono. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading about their real estate investments as much as I did.


More about the Beatles:

What do Bill Gates and The Beatles have in common?

Here Comes the Sun – How many Beatles songs can you find in this post?

What’s a Credit Score?

Credit scores measure the risk of defaulting on a loan. When you apply for a mortgage, the mortgage company will measure how likely you are to default based on established criteria and then make a decision if they think you’re worth the risk. Here are the 7 factors that affect your score:File:Credit-cards.jpg

  1. Loan repayment behavior –  Have you paid back loans on time, or have you made late payments or missed payments.
  2. Credit score inquiries or requests for credit – When you check your credit, counter-intuitively, your credit score goes down. Applying for a loan also reduces your credit score. Save those inquiries and loan applications for when you need it.
  3. Delinquency – If you’ve defaulted on a loan, your credit score will drop.
  4. Length of established credit – If you’ve never had a credit card or a loan before, you is less likely to have a high credit score. Having a credit card, and paying the balance every month, boosts your credit score a little bit each year.
  5. Composition of credit – Revolving debt, such as with credit cards, affects your credit score differently than a loan that you pay back in installments. A variety of types of cards will benefit your credit score.
  6. Quantity of credit already available – The more you can borrow, the higher your credit score.
  7. Amount of outstanding loans – If you already have debt, you’re less likely to qualify for more debt.

The most widely used credit score in the United States is the FICO score. FICO is named for the Fair Isaac Corporation.

The FICO score is calculated according to the following categories:

  •  Payment history                35%
  • Amounts owed                   30%File:Credit-score-chart.svg
  • Length of credit history       15%
  • New credit                         10%
  • Types of credit in use          10%

FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

For more information on mortgages and credit:

What’s it cost?

Dear TZ – What are these mortgage acronyms?

Closing Costs Down!

Short Sale No More!

Mortgage Rates Still Dropping!

3 Choices when you Refinance Your Mortgage

Will the World End on December 21st?


The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Will the world end, too?

Should we even bother doing our Holiday shopping and baking?

On Saturday, December 8th, the Amateur Astronomers, Inc., will dedicate an entire evening’s workshops to discussing this topic. The talks start at 8 pm with “The End of the World – But Don’t Lose Any Sleep On It.” At 9:00, Chabot Space and Science Center will present “Tales of the Maya Skies.” A third talk, “Tales of the Maya,” will begin at 9:40.

The talks will be held at Sperry Observatory on the Cranford campus of Union County College. Observing through the 10″ and 24″ telescopes at Sperry will be available all night.

Al Witzgall, long time member of Amateur Astronomers, Inc., will give a talk on this subject on Saturday, December 21st, at 8pm. Join us at Sperry Observatory, which is located on the Cranford campus of Union County College, to hear Al’s take on whether the Mayans were foretelling doom so many years ago.

For more information, email info@asterism.org or go to the webpage at www.asterism.org.

Rahway home for sale

2258 Elizabeth Ave, Rahway, NJ 07065

2258 Elizabeth Avenue in Rahway is a well maintained and charming

3 bedroom colonial set on a wide and deep lot.

It offers lots of closets and storage space and a partially finished basement.

This home has lots of parking and a fenced yard.

2258 Elizabeth Ave, Rahway, NJ 07065   2258 Elizabeth Ave, Rahway, NJ 07065

Now with the price reduced to $209,900, you could be in your new home by the New Year!

Call Team Zuhl at 908-917-4189 to check out this home!

Click here for a virtual tour!

Dear TZ – How do I know where my property ends?

Dear TZ,

Is the fence the boundary between my property and my neighbor’s?

– Border Billy

Dear Billy,

File:Apsley house on an 1869 Ordnance Survey Map.JPG

Most people don’t bother to learn where their boundaries are until they want to build a structure like a shed or fence. If you think a neighbor is encroaching on your land, please act quickly. If you allow them to put a fence or structure, or even a garden, or your property, you may in fact be losing the rights to that property in the future.

The first place to go to find out your boundaries is to check the deed to your home. It will contain a description of your property, including its measurements. You can then measure from the landmarks, such as your house, to the property lines.

The county recorder’s office and the assessor’s office in your area can provide maps that will show your property line.

If you need a more exact determination, you will need to hire a licensed land surveyor. They can place official markers on your boundary lines.

Good luck!

– Team Zuhl

Where are the Red Light Cameras in Union County?

Where are Union County’s red light cameras? Two sources we were able to find are this list and this interactive map.

Traffic Light

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that nearly ¼ of all traffic accidents in the US are caused by drivers running red lights, killing roughly 800 people costing roughly $7 billio­n dollars in property damage, medical bills, lost productivity and insurance hikes.  As a result, many local towns are installing red light cameras which are automated devices to collect evidence the authorities need to prosecute drivers who run lights. The red light camera system measures the speed of the vehicle using loops in the pavement and then uses that speed to determine if the vehicle will be able to stop before the intersection. The camera takes two photographs – one of the vehicle just before entering the intersection with the light showing red and a second photo, taken one or two seconds later, showing the vehicle in the intersection. The photographs are date and time stamped and include data such as the speed of the vehicle and the amount of time that passed between the light turning red and the vehicle entering the intersection. If a camera catches a driver running a red light, the police will mail them a ticket, along with a photograph of you running the light. Worldwide, red light cameras have been in use since the 1960s and in the US since 1990.

New Jersey suspended its red-light camera program over questions about the accuracy of the devices. Under national standards, yellow lights are expected to stay lit one second for every 10 mph — or 3.5 seconds in the case of an intersection where the speed limit is 35 mph. In NJ, the speed must be determined by the speed at which 85% of the road’s traffic move rather than the actual speed limit – this is the strictest timing provision in the country. Cameras that have been tested to be accurate are still in use, and cameras that have not tested accurate are not in use, according to the State Department of Transportation. The Courier Post reports that the State DOT identifies 63 of the 85 red light cameras in NJ have not been tested to ensure that the yellow lights were timed correctly.

Towns where at least some of the existing red-light cameras will be temporarily suspended are: Newark, Linden, Wayne, Palisades Park, Union Township, Springfield, Roselle Park, Rahway, Englewood Cliffs, Pohatcong, Piscataway, Edison, East Windsor, Lawrence, Cherry Hill, Stratford, Monroe, Brick, Glassboro, Jersey City, and Woodbridge. The 22 cameras that are in compliance include 12 in Jersey City (all but the one at the intersection of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue), three in Woodbridge (all but the one at Route 1 and Avenel Street), four in Gloucester and one each in East Brunswick, New Brunswick and Deptford.

The Courier Post reported this week that rear end crashes have increased by 20% since the cameras have been used. The suspicion is that drivers who are nervous about being caught on camera may be stopping at intersections too quickly.




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