Nutley Foreclosures Go To Prepared Buyers

If you are organized and willing to put in some serious spadework, buying a Nutley foreclosure can save you thousands of dollars.  A new wave of foreclosures could be heading our way later this year. According to RealtyTrac, the leading source of foreclosure statistics, one in every 665 national housing units received a foreclosure filing in June. More foreclosures mean more opportunities; but it also means that more buyers will begin to think seriously about going after them. In other words – more competition.

If you have never looked into what is involved in snagging one of the foreclosures in Nutley, a few basics will greatly improve your chances for success:

1.Do Your Research So You Can Act Quickly.

The foreclosure market performs differently from the traditional market. Arming yourself with accurate comps and knowledge of Nutley Real Estate trends will enable you to recognize the right opportunity as soon as it arises – ideally, before other buyers catch wind of it. Working with a knowledgeable agent who keeps you informed is the quickest way to get up to speed. It will help you avoid being dragged into bidding wars with other deal-shopping buyers. Since under-bidding will cause you to miss the best opportunities, and over-bidding will defeat your whole purpose, up-to-the-moment market knowledge is essential for formulating a canny offer.

2.Weigh in With Cash.

Time is an important factor in buying a Nutley foreclosure. Your goal is the same as the seller’s: to close the sale as quickly as possible. Naturally, paying cash up front is the simplest route to a speedy closing. If you are buying as an investment, that means targeting only properties that are within your financial reach. As Ron Peltier of HomeServices of America puts it, “A cash buyer who can close in 10 days can certainly get the best deal.”  Since closing on a house via traditional mortgage can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days, it is clear which route sellers prefer.

3. Create Clean Offers.

If, like many of my clients, you can’t really afford to propose an all-cash deal, you can still create an offer that lands your foreclosure. Writing a clean offer – one with simple terms and serious cash down — can bring a favorable reaction. Let’s face it: bank officers don’t want to fuss with complicated terms or repairs. A buyer with 20% down, a confirming loan and an “as-is” offer will get a lot more consideration than a buyer with an FHA loan and a minimal deposit. Success means targeting foreclosures at a price point where you can afford to put as much down as possible…then being ready to get dirty and make any needed repairs yourself.

As with any vigorous market, participants need to play by the rules or else be stuck on the sidelines.  If you are considering buying a local foreclosure and are looking for an experienced agent to stand by your side, call me — and let’s get to work!

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    Ridgewood Homes Can Use a Summer Once-Over

    July tends to be a busy month in most Ridgewood homes. If you have kids who are out of school, it’s up to you to dream up new ways to keep them out of trouble (and away from non-stop video gaming). Even if kids are not at homes, you probably have to get twice as much done anyway – you want to be ahead at work and around the house so you can relax and enjoy your vacation. Or recover from it.

    And then there is the likelihood that in the back of your mind is the knowledge that you’ve been putting off what should be an annual maintenance once-over. All homes have areas that need looking after, and July and August are the best time to get at them.  On dry days that aren’t too blisteringly hot to work, it’s prime time to fix areas that the year’s wear and tear may be turning into future problems.

    Warm weather is perfect for conducting a timely energy audit. Any gaps or cracks around doors or windows – the likely culprits if heat leakage raised last winter’s energy bills  – can most easily be filled in warm weather. Other possible spots where heat can leak is the junction between different materials, and around fireplace dampers. If you’re a dedicated DIYer, grab some caulk or other professional-grade material and get filling. If you’re less handy, the energy audit may suggest a call to an appropriate professional. A review of the year’s energy bills will tell you whether that makes dollars and sense.

    This is the time to pay attention to the big one: the foundation. It’s prudent in all Ridgewood homes to clean visible concrete surfaces. Sidewalks and steps can be cleaned very effectively with the same pressure washer you use to clean your car. When it comes to the foundation, be sure to check for cracks, water or mold.. If mold or water is present, a trusted contractor or structural engineer will be able to recommend a solution that prevents real trouble later.

    Summer is also a good time to take a look at your home’s deck or patios.  Standing water rots wood. The solution can be as simple as slipping planter “feet” beneath outdoor flower pots. As long as water is able to flow around or under stationary objects, the underlying wood will benefit.

    These are only a few examples of what you can make part of your summer home maintenance checklist.  Call me anytime with home and maintenance-related questions, if you need a recommendation for a reliable local contractor or service provider, or if you want to check on the status of the Ridgewood homes market in your neighborhood.

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        Nutley Residential Real Estate Part of Global Picture

        For quite a while, Nutley residential real estate holders – that is, homeowners – haven’t had to work very hard to come up with a description for the U.S. real estate market. ‘Lousy’ certainly came to mind. ‘Bleak’ was a strong contender. ‘Cautiously optimistic,’ at best a distant third.

        So this month’s Wall Street Journal report came as a quiet reminder that, for serious-minded investors who view our situation from a less-involved perspective, our residential real estate outlook is neither lousy nor bleak. In fact, the combination of lower residential prices and the international currency environment has created a ‘property-buying binge’ by Asians, Canadians, Europeans and Latin Americans – more than 60% of whom pay in cash.

        “There’s this international view that America is on sale,” according to one property manager. He should know; he’s an executive whose Chicago-based company buys foreclosed homes and manages them for investors. A year ago, all of his investors were domestic. Now, one in five is foreign.

        Whereas before, most foreign residential real estate investors were interested in ‘trophy’ properties to enhance their personal prestige, the new onslaught is coming from buyers who see that they can earn high returns by buying here, renting, then reselling in the future when the market rebounds. It seems that in many countries, a residential real estate downturn is expected, but has yet to occur. In their estimation, ours is already history.

        It looks like “a gift,” according to one developer, who judges that an oceanfront condominium in Rio de Janeiro sells a level 50% higher than an equivalent property in Miami. International or domestic, investment money is always drawn to bargains — but when bargain basement prices are combined with the perceived safety represented by U.S. residential real estate, the lure is apparently irresistible.

        “FOREIGNERS SNAP UP PROPERTIES IN THE U.S.” was Nick Timiraos’ headline, with a caption that read, “To many Americans, plowing money into real estate has never looked like such a risky venture. But to many foreigners, U.S. housing has never looked like a smarter investment.”

        Thanks, Nick, for giving us some outside perspective; I guess we can adopt the ‘cautiously optimistic’ view with a lot more confidence. If you have been waiting on the sidelines to make your own Nutley residential real estate investment, I hope you will give me a call when you decide that now is the time. I’m standing by to help you find the property you’re looking for!

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            Simple But Effective: Nutley Front Yard Marketing

            When it comes to Nutley property search resources, one tool house hunters rely on without hesitation is so simple they probably don’t even think about it. Although online sites and search engines are incredibly valuable, some stall users until they give up their email address. Classified ads may be tried and true, but often require searchers to make a phone inquiry to learn the address in question. But there is a low-demand, high-yield, unequivocal property search aid without any of those drawbacks: the good ol’ frontyard ‘For Sale’ sign.
            It may seem like an awfully old-fashioned marketing method, but that sign remains one of the most effective tools we recommend to attract buyers. With the prices of single-family homes on the rise in half of the largest US cities, many who have been on the sidelines waiting for the market to turn around are revisiting the idea of selling. For them, what about putting out that ‘For Sale’ sign?
            One advantage is obvious: signs alert the most interested potential buyers – those already on a property search in Nutley. Your agent’s posted cell phone number (or a number that plays a recorded message) will certainly draw inquiries from interested buyers. Although its reach is a tiny fraction of the Internet’s, not everyone begins a property search online. To reach potential homebuyers who have targeted your neighborhood, the humble sign can be your #1 marketing tool.
            Today’s Nutley property searchers have cell phones, most of which have apps which recognize a digital feature some of today’s yard signs display: a QR code. When a QR design appears on a For Sale sign, users just use their phone to scan the code and instantly gain access to the agent’s web page with full information about the property. Not so old fashioned, after all…
            Drawbacks
            The main disadvantage is location location location: only people who already live in the neighborhood or pass by the property will see it. The quality of those reached is high, but their numbers don’t compare with what online listings can yield. Too, some homeowners are nervous about the idea of seeming to invite unwanted visitors – although the addition of a “call for appointment” tag usually resolves that issue. For those who are shy about announcing to the neighborhood that they are ready to move, it’s good to remember that the goal of marketing a home is to attract as much attention as possible: hiding the ‘product’ is counter-productive.
            There are many ways to advertise a house for sale. Many homebuyers’ property search begins with an agent; some with an online session…but for others, that simple yard sign can be what prods them into thinking about the home that could be theirs. For anyone planning to market their own Nutley home, the surest first move is to hire a professional: an agent with a proven multimedia marketing plan. And you can bet that a good old-fashioned (or nowadays, new-fashioned) yard sign will be part of it!

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              Three Features That Aren’t Selling Homes Today in Nutley

              here is no such thing as a ‘universal trend’ when it comes to residential real estate: a quick look through the current Nutley listings will confirm that. At the highest end, the most luxurious features will always attract some home buyers, just as in the great majority of listings, practical value prevails. But some shifts in priorities do seem to be underway, perhaps because of today’s altered selling environment.  Some features that used to help sell listings in Nutley are no longer being emphasized – a sure sign that buyers aren’t asking for them.
              For anyone preparing a property for sale, the listings hold clues that can prevent wasting time and effort. Some formerly popular elements fading in today’s market:
              1. Square footage and grandeur
              There was a time (and recently) when people looked for the largest home they could financially support, with high-fashion accessories and embellishments that marked its expense and grandeur. The reality is people can no longer afford those luxuries, or, even if they can, are electing to shy away from some of the more showy features. Market analysts assert the home listings currently moving on and off the market with ease promote small, comfortable homes. Especially those with a high level of energy efficiency.
              2. Formal Living Room
              When “big” was in, so were grand formal rooms.  More of today’s buyers, however, tend to seek multi-purpose rooms with an open layout and seamless flow.  They don’t want a sunroom, a formal entrance, a formal dining or formal living room: they want a kitchen that is functional, built to last, easy to clean, and one that opens onto the rest of the living space.  I have to confess that, even when formal living rooms were in vogue, I usually could see the question in the back of most prospects’ minds, who ever uses that ‘formal’  living room, anyway?.
              3. Whirlpool Tub
              Once considered the gold standard in master bathroom remodels, the jetted tub has gone the way of the other more formal features as buyers shift to a more environmentally-friendly mindset.  I can’t tell you how many homes with Jacuzzi tubs I have listed where the owner tells me, “I never use it – I don’t even know if it works!”  If you are considering a bathroom remodel, you might better opt for a larger shower — currently a popular option with the baby-boomer crowd mindful of easy bathing access.
              The takeaway?  More of today’s homebuyers are passing up the grander features (especially energy-hoggers); instead gravitating to the listings that emphasize practicality and modern functionality. If you are preparing your own home for sale, do give me a call. I’ll be happy to offer my input on the most direct course to today’s homebuyer.

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                10 Things For Sale Buy Owners Can Do To Sell Their Homes Now

                I came up with a list of 10 things that For Sale Buy Owners Can Do To Help Sell Their Home without a Real Estate Agent here they are:

                1) Post an ad on Craigslist.com

                2) Post an ad on Backpage.com

                3) Post your home on Facebook & all your Social Media Accounts

                4) Lawn Sign with a Website address

                5) Post an ad on Kijiji.com (owned by ebay)

                6) Get a Free website from GOOGLE sites (use home address)

                7) Send letters to 20 surrounding neighbors w/ photos and price

                8) Do not post on FSBO sites, your competing with others

                9) Make a sell sheet with photos and features and price to hand out quickly, keep them with you at all times in the car etc.

                10) Host an Open House when Real Estate agents have their Open Houses.

                and if all else fails, Just call me I would be Happy to help you Market your home.

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                  Nutley Open Houses Still Sell Homes!

                  In the Age of the Internet (that’s what we’re in the middle of, I’m pretty sure) it is widely held that everything you want to buy is merely a mouse click or two away. It’s sort of like“Alice’s Restaurant”: ‘you can get anything that you want’ – only better, because you don’t even have to ‘walk right in.’

                  If that were true, selling your Nutley house would be as simple as turning everything over to your listing agent, watching its picture go up on the Web, and WHOOSH!, it’s sold! Pack up and move!

                  Of course that’s seldom the way homes get sold, and for at least one good and logical reason:

                  Nobody wants to live inside a computer.

                  When prospective homebuyers get serious, they leave the computer to pay a visit to the real, 3-dimensional Nutley — and the homes for sale here. They want to see what our neighborhoods looks like in real life, rather than through a photographer’s lens. What it feels like to walk through the front door. What the sounds of the neighborhood are like when you stand in the back yard. How the air smells, how the sunlight plays on the walls of what might become the kids’ bedroom, etc.

                  And here is the point: once they’re serious enough to get up and away from that computer screen, they might just drive by one of my Open House signs. In fact, if it’s a weekend morning, they might be driving around the neighborhood actively looking for an Open House sign — because stopping in at an open house is the least complicated way for anyone to compare a property they have already seen (have made an appointment to see later) with a new possibility.

                  That is why I tell my clients that an old-fashioned Nutley open house is worth the trouble to prepare, and worth my giving up that Saturday or Sunday to host. When asked (by the N.A.R.), close to half the people who have bought a home say they used open houses as information sources for their home search; and a reliable 15% say the house they bought first came to their attention through an open house or sign.

                  Whenever you are looking to buy or sell a Nutley home, don’t hesitate to make full use of the Internet and all the convenience and efficiency it brings to the process…but also be ready to make use of the old stand-by: the open house. Give me a call any time: together we’ll make full use of both!

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                    Nutley Homebuyers Look for Space

                    Those of us who focus professionally on our Nutley real estate trends can vouch for it: outdoor living sells! And depending on what life phase their family is in, homebuyers’ choices tend to follow similar lines.

                    The 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey confirms again how important those backyard grills and dining areas are when it comes to what most people have at the top of their minds when they think about buying homes.

                    When potential homebuyers come to me, some of the features highest on their “must have” list virtually always have something to do with outdoor space.   Young families buying homes, for example, are usually pleased to find a grassy area off the kitchen where their toddlers can toddle.  High-profile clients often seek out impressive spaces with great foot-traffic flow for indoor/outdoor entertaining.  Empty-nesters buying homes often come to me seeking the opposite — less yard with easy- or no-maintenance landscaping.   The point is, no matter what the age or demographic of the buyer, in today’s market, outdoor space sells.

                    So — what is hot for those buying homes in 2012? The survey I cited earlier is one conducted every year by the American Society of Landscape Architects. This year they came up with some clear winners. According to the survey, top popularity goes to BBQ grill space (97.4%), followed by low-maintenance landscapes (96.6 percent), fireplaces/fire pits (95.8 percent), and dining areas (95.7 percent).

                    Not so obvious winners were decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers, and pergolas. Not as popular as they once were? turf lawns at 50.9%, gazebos at 49.1%, and hammocks at 27.4%.  Go figure!

                    If you are considering an outdoor remodel before selling your own home, be sure to design with Nutley buyers in mind. Contact me any time for a stop-in — I’ll be happy to go over the features most clients look for when buying homes today.

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