New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

Understanding Investment Properties: What You Should Know

Unlike a second home, where a homeowner lives for a portion of the year, an investment property is property that the homeowner uses to generate income, and in most cases, is not occupied by the homeowner at any time. Trying to figure out if your next home falls under second home or investment home status? Ask yourself: are you using it to make a profit? If the answer is yes, it’s an investment property.

A few examples of investment property include:

  • A condo at the beach that you rent out to vacationers
  • A house that you rent to long-term tenants
  • A home you purchased to “flip” (buy and resell in a short period of time)

Financing

If you need to finance your investment home,...

How to Update Your Kitchen on a Small Budget

Kitchens are one of the most well-used and dynamic spaces in a house. Whether you have a small condo kitchen or a home with a spacious eat-in, it’s likely to have been the heart of your house, and potential buyers will be picturing it that way for their own needs too.

This is why it’s a great place to focus on if you want to do some basic upgrades to prep your home before selling. The kitchen can really make or break a purchase decision. With that in mind, here’s what to focus on if you have a small renovation or upgrade budget:

Cabinet Doors
Unless your cabinets are in terrible shape through and through, it’s often enough to just swap out or enhance the doors themselves. A quick coat of paint can hide wear or give your kitchen an entirely new mood. Even replacing...

What to Expect at Closing

Long after first seeing the home of your dreams and deciding to buy it, and just before getting the keys to it, comes the closing process.

It sounds ominous, but it’s a simple enough process where several professionals help walk you through the steps to complete the home buying transaction. It will likely include your real estate agent, title and mortgage company officials, and possibly the seller and your attorney, if you have one.

Here are some things to expect at the closing table:

A walkthrough of the home
Before the closing, your real estate agent and possibly the sellers and their agent, will walk through the property to ensure the condition is as it should be and as specified in the contract.

This can include making sure the windows...

Credit Union vs. Bank: Know the Difference

Interest rates remain low, though that’s no reason to stow your money under your mattress.

Hiding your money at home won’t earn you any interest, and that’s one of the benefits—no matter how small—that banks and credit unions can offer customers. But banks and credit unions have different benefits and drawbacks, and knowing how each works can make it easier to decide where to put your cash.

Here are some differences between credit unions and banks:

Profit vs. no profit: The first thing to note when comparing banks to credit unions is that banks are in business to make money and credit unions are not for profit. This can allow credit unions to offer better interest rates, which we’ll get to shortly.

Credit unions are...

Title Insurance and Why You Need It

Title insurance can be one of those things that someone says you need when you buy a home, but you don’t understand why.

Without it, you could be left with a nagging question in the back of your mind: “Does the seller really own the property?” If the answer is no, it could be bad if you don’t have title insurance.

Some people or companies other than the title owner may have rights to the property. For example, the property owner may have sold mineral, air or utility rights to someone else. Or a bank with a mortgage on the property may own an interest in it. The government can also have a lien on the property for unpaid taxes.

What does title insurance do, exactly? Basically, it covers events related to the title that have already happened. It doesn’t...

Realtor.com® 2019 National Housing Forecast

Tougher Road Ahead for Home Buyers and Sellers in 2019

The 2019 housing market will see modest inventory gains, but with mortgage rates expected to hit 5.5 percent by the end of the year, monthly mortgage payments will rise 8 percent putting home ownership more out of reach especially for younger Gen-Z, Millennial, and other first-time home buyers. Upscale homes in high-growth markets, however, will provide more opportunities for buyers.

Forecast Highlights

  • Home price growth will continue to slow, with a forecasted increase of 2.2 percent
  • Inventory increases will remain moderate with less than a 7 percent increase
  • High-priced markets...

Home Laundry: To Vent or Not to Vent

I once believed it was a forgone conclusion that when adding certain laundry appliances to a home, it would mean installing exhaust ducting and cutting a hole to the outside for venting.

However, a recent report from Michele Weaver at Design Basics, LLC highlighted a growing trend in ventless dryers that can be easily located and relocated within a home because vent piping, exhaust holes and venting to the outside are not needed.

The mechanics of a home dryer can cause energy and safety problems if lint becomes trapped in the vent. This demands more energy use and frequent cleaning. Weaver believes one of the major trends consumers will be seeing in these key appliances will be the further refinement of ductless technology.

She says vent hoses snaking through a home’s framing have become a leading cause of the 2,900 (average)...

Real Estate Q&A: What Happens If I Die Before My Partner and Our Mortgage Is in My Name?

Q: I own my home with my life partner with “right of survivorship” and understand that if one of us were to pass, the other would solely own the home. However, the mortgage loan is just in my name. What happens if I die before him?

A: There are many different types of mortgage loans, and each has its own rules and intricacies.

The most popular mortgage, by far, is the federally insured institutional amortized loan. This is the typical loan that most people get when buying or refinancing their home, where they make monthly payments for years until it is paid off. In a situation like yours, your credit was used to base the loan decision on, and that made you solely responsible for repaying the debt; however, it required your co-owner to sign the mortgage, which is the document...

4 Signs You’re Not Ready to Be a Homeowner—and What to Do About It

Buying a home is a major life milestone, right up there with snagging a dream job or finding true love. Your heart might be set on becoming a homeowner, but red flags might indicate you’re not yet ready to make the leap.

For many, particularly millennials, homeownership represents much more than a financial investment. In a recent Homes.com survey on millennial attitudes toward home-buying, 74 percent of millennials equate homeownership with stability. Although it will likely take them longer to meet their goal, 68 percent of millennial respondents said they’re likely to buy a home at some point in the future, the survey found.

Whether it’s too much debt, a lack of savings or a roving lifestyle, there are several reasons why potential homeowners might want to delay a home purchase. Here are four of them—and advice on how to...

Market Trends: Burlington County, October 2018

Foreclosure sales were down 27% on a year over year basis and were 16% of all October sales. Non-foreclosure sales were down 7.5% from last October. The median sold price was down 1.6% from last October. For the eighth straight month, New Bank Owned listings were down from the previous year and were 30% lower than last October.

Inventory decreased by 145 listings during October, and is 17% below last year's inventory. The Months Supply of Inventory declined to 3.9 months, down from 4.9 months a year ago. The total number of new listings was equal to last October, despite new Bank Owned listings...