Making Your Real Estate Dreams Come True

Archive for January, 2014

New Homeowners – Have you gotten this Deed Scam in the mail?

Warning – New Homeowners! Beware of this potential scam!

Once a home sells, the sale information becomes public record and is printed as a public notice in one or more newspapers, as well as being listed online.  This is where the scammers get their information.

Some recent home purchasers have been victims of a new Deed Scam Here’s how the scam works, so you’ll know what to look out for.

A homeowner gets an official looking document telling them why they need a “certified” copy of their deed and how to get one.  Usually the homeowner will be asked to send anywhere from $60 to $100 to a company and their deed will be mailed to them within 21 days.  The document looks similar to the one pictured here.Image

The truth is that homeowners will receive one official copy of their deed soon after closing. If you need a second copy, you can get it by contacting the county clerk and requesting a copy.  In most cases there will be a very small fee from the county.  For example in Union County, the fee is $8 for the first page and $2 for each additional page – usually less than $20 total.

So beware those official looking documents that you get in the mail.  If you receive an offer for an official deed and if you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, call your real estate agent!

 

In the next few days we’ll let you know about potential mortgage scams that are aimed at new homeowners.

Cold Weather Outdoor Stadium and Polar Vortex to boot – Here Comes the Super Bowl!

This year is the first time that the Super Bowl will be held in a cold weather outdoor stadium and it’s going to be here in NJ at the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford.

Got tickets? Dress warmly. We’ve been experiencing a pretty cold “polar vortex” these past few days and it’s not going away. Nearly a foot of snow sits on my front yard as I type this and there’s more coming down. With a ton of activities planned in NY and NJ for the Super Bowl, what’s the weather going to be like?

The forecast high is a balmy 36 degrees with a “wintry mix” on top of it.

So what about you? Putting on the thermal underwear and tailgating, or watching on the big screen next to your fireplace?

 

 

 

Chinese New Year Celebrations!

Traditionally called “Chinese New Year,” we think of today as the Lunar New Year – the first New Moon of the year. 

January 31st begins the Chinese Year of the Horse. In Chinese mythology, people born during the year o the Horse are idealistic, enthusiastic, independent, dynamic, honorable, and impulsive. They sound like great people to me 🙂

 

Looking for a way to celebrate the Chinese New Year? Here are some ways you can bring the holiday home:

  • Visit one of the fantastic Chinese restaurants in Union County. One of our favorites is Mizu Sushi in Cranford.
  • Make some traditional holiday crafts with the kids – try this lantern or this dragon.
  • Learn origami.
  • Go out and stargaze! After all, with a New Moon, there will be no moon to dim the stars.

 

 

Want to go out and celebrate? Here are some events this week:

  • The Brooklyn Children’s Museum at 145 Broadway Avenue in Brooklyn is celebrating the New Year all weekend. Children can learn about the holiday and make crafts. There will be a puppet show and children can write their three wishes for the world on three red pieces of red paper and feed them to a giant Chinese dragon.
  • Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park from 1-4pm tomorrow (Sunday, January 26th) is hosting  a variety of Chinese New Year activities including a lion dance, folk dancing, and holiday crafts.
  • Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand and Forsyth Streets in Chinatown is hosting a 600,000 firecracker display from 11am to 4pm on Friday, January 31st. There will be dragon, unicorn, and lion dancers as well as traditional holiday food and performances.
  • The Queens Zoo on 11th Street in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is hosting a Lunar New Year Celebration on February 1st and 2nd from 11 am to 4pm. There will be an interactive dance workshop and dragon mask and lantern crafts as well as a Dragon Mask Parade.
  • Manahattan Lunar New Year Parade will take place on Sunday, February 2nd at 1pm starting from Mott and Hester Streets in Chinatown and continuing south on Mott to Chatham Square and then east on East Broadway to Forsyth stree. 

 

 

Buying a Home in Westfield

The town of Westfield in Union County is home to more than 30,000 people and is well-loved for its downtown shops and easy access to NYC. Students in Westfield attend the Westfield Public School system.

 

There are 51 homes offered for sale in Westfield this weekend, ranging in price from $179,000 to $2,250,000. There were 24 homes sold in December, just slightly lower than the 31 homes sold in an average month.

 

 

 

 

The average sale price of a home in Westfield in December was $802,213, still well above the average for 2013 of $762,802. Homes continue to be a great value, and Westfield remains the Union County town with the highest home value.

 

 

 

The average home in Westfield sold after 61 days in December, just slightly longer than the 2013 average of 59 days. Westfield is the Union County town with the fastest selling homes.

 

 

 

 

To find out how much your home in Westfield is worth, please click here. To search for a home in Westfield, please click here.

For more information on Westfield Real Estate:

For Sale – Home with Fireplace!

After a long day shoveling, battling icy roads, and shivering, today is a great day to curl up by the fireplace. Here are some beautiful homes with fireplaces for sale.

The Benefits of a Fireplace

Aside from ambience and coziness, fireplaces provide warmth, effectively reducing your heating bill. Fireplaces can be combined with a blower to help transfer heat from the fireplace to the room. Using a fireback of cast iron or stainless steel behind the fire can help reflect more heat into the room also.

Types of Fireplaces

Fireplaces may be made of brick or stone or may be manufactured with sheet metal. They can be fueled by wood, natural gas, biomass, or propane. 

The chimney may be made of brick or stone and the flue may be tile lined, metal lined, or unlined. Flues may also have a chase cover, a cap to keep small animals out of the chimney, and a spark arrestor to prevent sparks from coming out of the chimney and potentially landing on your roof. 

Safety Issues with Fireplaces

The biggest concern of many homeowners with fireplaces is the risk of Chimney Fires. Proper cleaning and maintenance can prevent chimney fires. Oxygen sensors and carbon monoxide sensors are essential for the conscientious homeowner.

 

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Union County, there are 309 homes offered for sale with fireplaces. List prices range from $99,000 up to $2.25M. 

 

Is YOUR Union County town one of the 50 safest towns in NJ?

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.

 

Big range of homes for sale in Union

Union, NJ, is home to nearly 57,000 people. It occupies northern Union County in the area that was called Connecticut Farms in the 18th Century. 

There are six primary (PreK-4) schools: Battle Hill SchoolHannah Caldwell SchoolConnecticut Farms Elementary SchoolFranklin SchoolLivingston SchoolWashington SchoolCentral Five-Jefferson School serves grade 5, and Burnet Middle School and Kawameeh Middle School serve grades 6 though 8. Union High School serves 2400 students in grades 9-12.

With 246 single family homes for sale in Union, there’s something for everyone. Prices range from to $84,900 $1,250,000 with property sizes from condos to 40 acre luxury properties. Inventory has dropped since the peak of spring, 2012, and has stayed relatively low for all of 2013. 

 

 

 

With lower inventory, prices tend to increase and that’s exactly what we’re seeing. The average sale price of a home in Union in December was $270,806, well above the average 2013 sale price of $257,398 and even higher than the average 2012 sale price of $234,427.

 

 

Sales are still sluggish compared to the rest of Union County. The average Union County home sold in 76 days in 2013, but the average home in Union Township sold after 109 days. While this is still an improvement over the 2012 average of 116 days, December 2013 was sluggish at 141 days.

 

For more information on selling a Union home:

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

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For more information on Union Real Estate:

What are you doing for this year’s Day of Service?

Where can you volunteer for Monday’s Day of Service? Here are some suggestions:

Sort It Out – Springfield, NJ,  West Caldwell, Morristown, and Chatham, NJ – Sort and distribute coats to various locations for the needy.

Glasses Galore – Short Hills, NJ – Donate your used eye glasses for distribution to the needy.

Volunteer Fair – South Orange, NJ – Donations of food, school supplies, toiletries and used eye glasses, knit hats for cancer patients, create books for students with diabilities.

Brighten Walls – Orange, NJ – Help paint the YMCA.

A Home Cookied Meal – East Orange, NJ – Help prepare a meal at Sierra House.

Sensory Kit – Livingston, NJ – Help create a sensory kit for children with Cerebral Palsy.

Senior Socialization – Menlo Park, NJ – Visit the residents at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home.

A Home Cooked Meal – Morristown, NJ – Prepare a meal, create a fleece blanket, or brighten the exterior of the New Jersey AIDS Service.

 

Whatever you do, make your Day of Service one worth bragging about!

The Real Estate Market Report for Springfield, NJ

The Township of Springfield, NJ, is home to nearly 16,000 people and is the home of Baltrusol Golf Club. It is also the location of the Battle of Springfield which was the last battle of the Revolutionary War.

 

Housing Inventory in Springfield : There are 47 single family homes offered for sale in Springfield, ranging in price from $124,900 to $1,195,000. There were 13 homes sold in Springfield in December which is about average for the year. The inventory is much lower than typical – the average inventory in Springfield is 93 homes offered for sale at any given time in 2013. 

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 Home Prices in Springfield: The average sale price in Springfield in December was $379,562 and the average sale price in 2013 was $354,464. Overall, prices in Springfield are stronger now than they’ve been for several years. Springfield home values sit roughly at the middle of the pack for home values in Union County.

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How quickly do homes sell in Springfield? The average Union County home sold after 76  days in 2013 and after 89 days in Springfield. Homes that sold in December were sold after 108 days, higher than the township has seen since last winter.

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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!

For more information on Springfield, NJ:

Homes are selling quickly in Scotch Plains!

About 23,000 people live in the beautiful Union County town of Scotch Plains. Many of those people take advantage of the 45 minute easy commute via New Jersey Transit to Manhattan. Public school children in Scotch Plains are served by the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Regional School District and attend Howard B. Brunner Elementary School, J. Ackerman Coles SchoolEvergreen SchoolWilliam J. McGinn SchoolSchool OnePark Middle SchoolTerrill Middle School, and Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. The Union County Vocational Technical Schools are in Scotch Plains as is Union Catholic Regional High School.

 

Inventory: There are 63 homes offered for sale in Scotch Plains, ranging in price from $199,999 to $799,000. Inventory is a little low – on average, 138 homes are on sale at any given time in Scotch Plains. Twenty two homes were sold in December. 

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Pricing: The average sale price of a home in Scotch Plains in December was $449,445, slightly lower than the 2013 average of $491,445 and lower than the average of $517,814 in December of 2012. Scotch Plains remains one of the highest market values of Union County.

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How long does it take to sell a home: Scotch Plains homes sell faster than most Union County homes – in December, the average Scotch Plains sold home had been on the market for 53 days and the average for 2013 was 63 days. The county average was 76 days in 2013.

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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:

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