What You Need to Know About Mortgage Rate Locks

What You Need to Know About Mortgage Rate Locks

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    Things To Be Thankful For: Nutley Kitchens!

    Things I am thankful for this year: health, of course — for friends, family, myself — and for the many things we all take for granted until something as devastating as Hurricane Sandy comes along to remind us of our good fortune.

    And especially on Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for…my kitchen!  Kitchens have become the center of activity in today’s home, whether during a casual weeknight family meal or a grand Thanksgiving feast for twelve. More and more of our local real estate listings reflect just that: focused interest on the kitchen.  Here are some relevant details that can draw interest to real estate listings in Nutley:

    Floorplan – Is the kitchen open?  Walled-off?   Great yard view?  Photos should be selected to highlight attractive layouts for effective real estate listings.

    Appliances – New?  Desired brand names? It’s amazing how prominent those concerns have become as interest in kitchens has been reflected in the real estate listings.

    Finish – Have safety touches been added to the kitchen?  Childproofed kitchen is a two-word real estate listings highlight worth featuring in any family-friendly neighborhood. One of the easiest updates is the addition of new hardware — which can also make it harder for little hands to pull open cabinets while the adults are busy baking the world’s best pumpkin pie!

    All kidding aside, I am thankful for all that we have here in town. This Thanksgiving, Sandy has reminded us of all those who will be spending this holiday without a familiar place to come home to.  If you would like to help Hurricane Sandy’s victims, a Red Cross page has been created to make donating easy: http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy

    Here’s to a safe and happy Nutley Thanksgiving!

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      Remembering Nutley Homes’ Long-Term Value

      When you search through the latest listings of Nutley homes, you first find those that fit your top-line needs. Then you winnow down that list. Some of the candidates will seem more appealing than others; and some will seem to be over- or underpriced.

      Before making a final judgment on which homes bear a closer look, the most successful homebuyers also factor in qualities that may not be at the top of their own personal priorities list, yet which make a difference to the majority of homebuyers. In other words, they keep in mind the most important qualities that add value in market terms – that add investment value to homes that are principally your personal residential choice. Some of the more important ones:

        • Location has a huge impact on a property’s long-term price. Are amenities close by? Close enough to walk. Are homes in the immediate area well maintained? Is the property on a desirable block, or located next to a busy road?
        • Taxes impact the overall cost of long-term cost – and when homes are listed, those figures are significantly displayed. Also important is whether there are any pending issues you should be aware of — like a sewer bond or other pending taxes.
        • Condition will become a major factor in years to come — forward thinking will pay off in terms of overall value. A 20-yr-old water heater, for example, is going to cost sooner rather than later.  Homes with excellent roof and foundation condition can add exceptional long-term value.
        • Nutley homes with potential are homes with unrealized value. With smaller properties, it’s worthwhile to consider how doable it would be to add rooms or expand its square footage.  Even if you don’t end up adding square footage, if homes are small for the neighborhood, a future buyer might.

      This November’s historically low mortgage rates make it a terrific time to give me a call. Together, we’ll find the Nutley homes that are good fits for your family – as well as great long-term values.

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        Saying Goodbye to Your Nutley House

        When we first approach a new Nutley real estate transition — selling a home, buying one, or doing both at the same time – we naturally concentrate on the most challenging aspects first. That could be selling into a competitive market, or finding the right new home in the right area.

        That’s why most people don’t give much thought to some of the accompanying matters until moving day arrives. Once the US mail change of address done, there is one purely emotional: saying goodbye to the old house. Yes, your old house is “just” an object – a thing …but let’s admit it: homes are very special things.

        As any parent will tell you, children grow fast — and the speed at which those little people we love so much grow up is astonishing. They are gone in a moment, and even though we love our teens every bit as much, we will always miss the tiny ones they used to be. Add in the less-than-rational attachment we feel for the places in which memories occur, and it’s understandable why the moment we move from the old house can be more affecting than we expect.

        People have cooked up some resourceful strategies to make this part of moving day less stressful. A few of them:

        Celebrate the Memories

        Why not throw a farewell party? Friends, neighbors and family have been part of an era – one associated with the house. Instead of just having a housewarming party at the new place, consider sending out invitations to a special get-together to laugh and remember all the good times everyone shares.

        Preserve the History

        As you are packing for the move, put aside some of the mementos, snapshots, and bits and pieces that have collected in drawers throughout the years. If you take the extra moments to gather them in one box, once you are settled in at the new house you can organize them all in a scrapbook. Chances are you will be surprised at how pleasantly memory-jogging (and meaningful) those ‘throwaway’ scraps become in the future.

        Make a Portrait

        A portrait of your home is a unique way to keep it with you — no matter where your real estate progress leads. Why not have it immortalized in a portrait created by one of our talented Nutley artists? Years from now, it will be a conversation starter that keeps tales from the old place vibrant and alive.

        Serving as your Nutleyl real estate resource entails more than listing, searching, marketing and negotiating – although those are important, too! I hope you will think of me when you are looking for an agent who will help you through all the stages of your next Nutley real estate endeavor.

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          Nutley Short Sales Can Head Off Foreclosures

          According to statistics from RealtyTrac, the outfit that keeps the stats nationally, the rate of foreclosure activity is tailing off. Their mid-October report shows how a precipitous drop in September helped bring the foreclosure number to the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. In other words, for Nutley homeowners who watched their nominal equity dive while foreclosures stacked up: the worst is over (possibly, it has been over for a while).

          One way stressed property owners can avoid foreclosure is to enter a short sale. Bargain hunters are still on the lookout for likely Nutley short sale prospects. Even though the overall price curve is now on the rise, mortgage interest rates remain so low that the investment potential beckons.

          By now we all understand that what a short sale is: some distressed sellers turn to this procedure as a way to avoid foreclosure. Of course, if it were a simple process, everyone in that situation would turn to it, so the actual paperwork is somewhat involved. After a buyer has committed to a purchase at a price below the amount still owed on the mortgage, the would-be short seller will encounter what is known as the short sale information packet.  This packet – which is required before a lender will approve or deny a short sale – can make or break the chances of short sale success.  A short sale information packet usually consists of familiar types of documentation: a listing agreement, offer letter, bank statements and tax returns, proof of income, and an estimated HUD-1 closing statement (among others). The requirements vary by lender.

          What does not vary is the requirement for a “hardship letter” – probably the most important element. This is a letter describing the circumstances that led the borrower into the current situation, as well as the attempts already made to find an alternate solution. It also details the reason no other solution exists outside of a short sale. This document is usually signed and dated, with the loan number noted.

          It is important to remember that every bit of information submitted on the short sale information packet has to be true and accurate, so it is vital that each document be thoroughly understood before signing. For anyone considering selling a Nutley home — whether traditional or short sale – I hope you will feel free to contact me anytime to go over your current options.   Consultations can always be confidential  — and I’m always happy to help.

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            Hurricane Sandy Donation Page

            COLLECTION DONATIONS FOR NJ FAMILIES AFFECTED BY THE STORM.
            I just wanted to set up this donation page to collect as much as I could and donate to the families that are most affected by this storm.
            I know allot of people are going to be hurt by this and I am doing anything I can to help.

            THANK YOU FOR HELPING! Please Share This Post.

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              Nutley NJ- Preparing for a Hurricane in New Jersey

              Before a Hurricane

              To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

              • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
              • Know your surroundings.
              • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
              • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
              • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
              • Make plans to secure your property:
              • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
              • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
              • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
              • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
              • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
              • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
              • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
              • Install a generator for emergencies.
              • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
              • Consider building a safe room.

               

              During a Hurricane

              If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

              • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
              • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
              • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
              • Turn off propane tanks
              • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
              • Moor your boat if time permits.
              • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
              • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

              You should evacuate under the following conditions:

              If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.

              • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
              • If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
              • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

              Read more about evacuating yourself and your family. If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

              • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
              • Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
              • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
              • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
              • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
              • Avoid elevators.

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                How to buy a Short Sale in NJ

                Call Matthew DeFede at 973-846-0065

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                  Whats Going On With Nutley Homes These Days?

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                    Nutley Listings Tell Much – But Not All!

                    The other day I was with a client — together we were going over some of our Nutley listings. She had emailed me a few possibilities that had caught her eye, and from that I had earmarked some others that shared features with her original picks.

                    We take it for granted at this point, but digitized listings have to be the greatest of all the advances technology has brought to real estate. For both prospective area homebuyers and sellers, the ease and efficiency that has resulted puts past practices back there with horses and buggies.

                    There are some unintended side effects, too (isn’t it always so?)

                    The way the search features work, future home owners find themselves thinking objectively much sooner than they used to. In order to narrow down any search, prospects have to decide which features are important right off the bat. Is it price? Neighborhood?

                    Those first tentative choices provide a preliminary direction for how the house hunting will proceed. Nevertheless, it’s only a direction, not a roadmap. The truth is that listings — no matter how precise and well written — can’t tell the whole story. They describe details about the features that are important, but not necessarily decisive.

                    That is because there are real, three-dimensional elements that even the most eloquently-penned local listings can’t convey. Ultimately, we will do it the old fashioned way – visiting properties to widen or narrow the field. And there never fails to be a surprise or two once we set out on those tours.

                    Some decisive elements fall outside of what listings reveal. In terms of location, for instance, exactly where within a town or neighborhood a property lies makes a big difference. What about views, the neighbors, traffic, access to … well, everything!

                    Another element is what you might call ‘description vs. reality.’ Many times a picture just can’t do justice to the real thing: photos in listings can undersell homes…or oversell them.  What potential buyers really want to know often cannot be pinned down in words or photos. Is the property well utilized? How about the way the sunlight plays through the trees in the backyard — or how that maple tree so perfectly shades the front porch? Listings alone cannot tell you whether the closets are spacious enough for your family.

                    Ultimately, buyers employ the whole of their judgment – the sum of their personal experiences and preferences — when it comes to buying a home.  Whether you call it instinct or something else, the truth is that listings that look perfect onscreen are only broad approximations of what someone experiences in real life. Extensive descriptions of the neighborhood can’t approach one afternoon spent walking its streets.

                    That is the kind of detail that might just steal a potential buyer’s heart. If you are considering buying a home soon, I would love to help you explore the options – through the Nutley listings, and then in real life!

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