JUST LISTED!-Nutley (Spring Garden Section) Call: 973-846-0065



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    The Best Way to Avoid Rent-to-Own Scams

    It may sound too good to be true, but it can be authentic: also known as a ‘Lease Option,’ the Rent-to-Own scenario is one that can help tenants clear major hurdles on their way to home ownership. It can postpone the need to satisfy newly tightened mortgage lending requirements, and eliminate the immediate need for a large down payment. For many who are temporarily in the process of climbing out of credit or cash flow problems, it sounds like a ray of light…

    And if you are thinking it also sounds like a free lunch (or a clearance sale on the Brooklyn Bridge), you’re right to be skeptical. It’s always best to familiarize yourself with all possible outcomes for any major transaction — and a Nutley rent-to-own offer definitely qualifies as one of those!

    Among the key points Nutley  rent-to-own candidates should watch for are online ads that sound too good to be true. They often are.  If an offer says that your credit and income aren’t important, be wary. It could be one of those rent-to-own offers that turn out to be intentionally fraudulent. The supposed owner may not really own the house. A scammer could get the prospective buyer to put up money for what seems like a quite reasonable down payment, but, since he/she is not actually the owner, the money is lost. Working with a reputable agent is one of the best ways you can be sure what you sign is a legitimate contract.

    It is also good to be aware of the seller’s credibility. The seller may offer the renter the option to buy the home, but that will only be possible if the seller is in a position to do so. Should the tenant make payments, but the seller does not, a home could tumble into default or foreclosure before the tenant reaches the purchase point. It could wipe out funds already contributed.

    According to MSN Real Estate, before you get started in the rent-to-own process it is important that “you understand the possible pitfalls”. Without a clear and binding contract, the owner may never intend to sell the renter the property, and simply string the tenant along.  There could be issues about repairs.  If the water heater breaks, for instance — who pays for it?  What about property taxes?  What if there is a lien against the house?  Or mold shows up on an inspection?

    Rent-to-own scenarios can be a real solution for potential buyers who need to buy time, but the abundance of possible pitfalls require thorough consideration.  If you are interested in a Nutley rent-to-own house, be sure to consult with a real estate professional and an attorney.  I am here to help my clients put together great deals; call me if you are looking to buy a home and want to explore the latest Nutley options.

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      NJ No Money Down, USAD Loans Still Available

      The Best 100% Mortgage in New Jersey


      A New Jersey USDA Guaranteed Rural Development Home Mortgage Loan is a flexible no down payment government insured program that is growing in popularity for rural areas of Missouri. It’s designed to promote home ownership for residents with low to moderate incomes and who have limited savings for a down payment. The USDA loan will actually lend up to 103.5% of the home’s appraised value and even allow the buyer to include closing costs in the actual loan (appraisal permitting). A common misconception about the USDA loan program is that it’s for farmers, but you’ll find many suburban areas qualify for this program.


      Benefits of a USDA Home Loan:


      • 103.5% Financing
      • No Down Payment
      • No Mortgage Insurance
      • Great Low Interest Rates
      • Loan Amounts up to $417,000
      • No Cash Reserve Requirements
      • 6% Seller Contribution Limitations
      • 100% Gifted Closing Costs allowed
      • 30 year low fixed rate loan
      • No Prepayment Penalty
      • Primary Residents only (no rentals/investments)
      • Possible to roll closing costs into the loan
      • Non-borrowing spouse must now disclose his/her debt even if not on the loan


      To qualify for this loan program, there are two notable requirements that differentiate this program from an FHA or VA loan program.


      1. Location:


      The home must be located in a New Jersey designated rural area


      West Milford NJ  is eligible for USDA Rural Development. But there are other in NJ that have some areas that are not eligible or are completely ineligible. Click the link above and check the home you are interest in to see if your next new home is eligible for a zero down payment mortgage.


      2. Income Limits:


      Must meet New Jersey USDA adjusted annual household income limits- a maximum 115% of the median income for your area. Meaning your total combined household income cannot be more than this amount.


      Qualifying Income: It’s important to note that USDA uses two types of income for qualifying. Household income is the combined adjusted gross income of all people living in the home, regardless if they are applying for or will be on the mortgage. This amount cannot be higher then the county limits listed above. The other income used is the Repayment income. This is income from the actual loan applicants and determines the DTI (debt-to-income) ratio.


      Maximum Loan Amount: USDA has not set a maximum loan amount but $417,000 seems to be the consensus by most lenders. Your max loan amount will be determined by your DTI (Debt to Income) ratio. USDA has set 29/41% as the max DTI, but often allow up to 47% with a GUS automated approval and a FICO score over 660.

      Call Me Today For More Information 973-846-0065


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        Nutley Real Estate and Homes For Sale (Great for First Time Home Buyer)

        Check out this totally renovated 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Cape in Nutley, In-law suite with separate entrance and more a Must See!



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          Move from New York City to Nutley!

          Thinking about moving from NYC to (Nutley) New Jersey and why its a GREAT IDEA!

          Nutley Map– Home Prices in Nutley are at an all time low

          – Mortgage Rates are as low as they have been in years

          – Nutleys proximity to NYC (Commuters)

          – Great Town with a fantastic school system

          – Nutleys Park system rivals any other towns in Northern NJ

          – Low Crime Rate

          – Quality of Life & Services

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            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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                Listing Language Can Trigger a Quick Sale

                Your Nutley home is in perfect shape – all set to go on the market. You’ve enlisted an experienced real estate agent with a solid track record. Now all that’s left is…what?

                What’s that next step?

                In fact, the next step can be all-important: creating a Nutleyl listing that does more than just describe the number of beds and baths. It has to stand out among all the competing listings that will be seen alongside it. That local listing is the keystone of the marketing campaign that will ultimately fetch a new owner: its job is to get buyers and agents to take a closer look. To get that job done, it has to be special!

                When I sit down to work up an effective listing, I try to pay attention to what creative writers from other forms of advertising advise: first discover what is unique, appealing, attention-getting, then present it with language that captures readers’ imaginations. Formulas are out, since following a set group of mechanical rules can only produce a dull, repetitious result. Even so, there are some useful tips that can help spark an effective listing:

                * Keep the context in mind. The job of any Nutley listing is to communicate many essential details in a limited amount of space – but there will be photographic information there, too. Highlight features that can’t be told through either its photos or specifications. For example, if a house offers a spectacular view of the sunset from its veranda, the listing should highlight it. Grandeur can be told nowhere else.

                * Listing language should be upbeat and tailored to sell, while at the same time,  filled with accurate and useful information. It’s a balancing act, and going overboard in either direction can be off-putting. Specific details help bring in readers and build believability (high quality brand names like Sub-Zero or Wolf are good examples). Details build credibility that bolsters less concrete descriptions. I leave out unsupportable claims altogether. It can be tempting to fall in love with flowery language that sails off into its own reality — but accurate information builds trust for the lead-up to a sale.

                * Setting the right tone is another important factor. It’s another balancing act.  Listings should be upbeat without exaggeration…accommodating without sounding desperate. The right tone can help bring in prospects, just as the wrong one will drive them off or raise suspicions that something is wrong.

                A successful Nutley agent has demonstrated the know how and experience to bring these and other elements together to produce powerful, effective home listings.  If you are considering selling your own home in our area, I hope you will give me a call so we can create a dynamic marketing plan to sell your property!

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                  What Nutley Short Sales Involve

                  Following some legislative changes, successfully navigating a Nutley short sale has become a little easier, but is still a transaction that takes care and vigilance. A short sale — the arrangement between seller and mortgage lender that allows the seller to sell the property for less than what is owed – can be quite involved.  It requires negotiation directly with the lender, and contractual arrangements that can carry over into the future. If you are considering short selling your house, or simply want to know more about what it would entail, these are a few pointers to bear in mind:

                  Seek Financial Advice

                  A short sale is not always the best solution.One alternative, for instance, may simply include opening a discussion with the lender to see if a revised payment plan would allow you to continue residence.  On the other hand, if the financial situation precludes less stringent measures, a short sale may save you from declaring bankruptcy by causing in the remainder of the debt to be forgiven. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act can relieve a short seller from some or all of the taxes otherwise due from the gain realized through such forgiveness – but that’s not certain (and another reason to consult a financial expert). Even with a short sale, you may still end up owing the lender quite a bit of money.  Speaking with a financial advisor and understanding your potential financial liability is absolutely key before committing to a short sale.

                  Choose an Experienced Short Sale Agent

                  Every bank is different, and so is every short sale transaction.  Hiring an experienced agent to list your home – one who has successfully closed previous short sales — will help arm you with the guidance you and the buyer will need to successfully complete the sale.  Don’t hesitate to ask any potential agent how many sales he or she has actually guided to completion.

                  Be Patient –But Proactive!

                  Once the lender has approved a short sale, marketing can begin.  However, you must be prepared to wait. Every decision that you and your buyer make has to be approved by the lender. This takes time – as much as 4-6 months or more. It can be maddening, but it’s not uncommon to lose several offers along the way.  Whatever you do, do not stop paying your taxes or HOA fees if applicable.  Keep in mind that short sales are all about cash: if you have waited 6 months to get approval from your bank, and your buyer finds out at the last minute that you owe hundreds (or thousands) to other entities tied to the property, that buyer may balk – putting you back to Square One!

                  If you are thinking about the applicability of a short sale for your Nutley home, contact me to discuss a winning strategy. I have the experience to help – and I’ll be happy to put that experience to work for you.

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                    Nutley Property Searchers Have High-Tech Expectations

                    We all know that many Nutley property searchers are looking for homes with more modern, high tech-compatible features. But something that is also interesting is evidence that the trend has broadened to include retirees who are in a downsizing, property-searching frame of mind.

                    From wireless availability to health monitoring systems, technology is one of the key hot buttons in the senior housing industry. “Many people are trading older houses for new [properties] that offer energy efficiency, great rooms, open floor plans,” according to Jane O’Connor, a specialist who studies trends in the 55-plus population. 

                    Although earlier studies found that most baby boomers preferred to stay in their current home as long as possible, those times are a-changin’. That attitude may have been typical for most of the last 50 or 60 years, but perhaps due to skyrocketing energy prices over the past few years, willingness to downsize and move is growing among retirement aged advocates.

                    As the publisher of Mature Living Choices magazine, O’Connor suggests other contributing reasons. “Boomers…were the first generation to question authority.  They changed everything they touched, from the creation of suburbs to mini-mansions.” Today’s retirees are also strong entrants into the virtual communities that the social networking explosion has created. They are using e-book readers, tablets, and other digital technology — including online services like Skype and other video chat enablers. A decade ago, members of the senior sector were generally considered to be interested in (but in need of instruction regarding) the latest electronic communication devices. No longer. Especially given how particularly useful the new gizmos are for keeping in touch with children and relatives in other states, more tech-savvy seniors consider strong cable and internet access absolute necessities.

                    It seems like just yesterday when it was principally the 20-somethings who were wired. The senior population today can be nearly as high-tech as their offspring, and – when the time arrives to begin a Nutley property search at the start of retirement – they expect to continue. It’s no wonder that assisted living facilities, retirement communities and nursing homes are also being required to have all the amenities of today’s connected world.

                    Whether you are one of the retiree generation setting out on your own property search, or a homeowner preparing to sell into this changing market, I’m here to assist in your plans. Give me a call anytime!

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