New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the latest storms to devastate thousands of American homes, homeowners may find themselves wondering whether to consider flood insurance.

For those in areas perceived as vulnerable, it’s no decision since it’s required as a condition of their home loan. For others, it raises the same questions as other types of insurance; namely, when does the premium outweigh the actual risk? A $650 annual premium, the amount the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) cites as average, seems like a lot to pay if you never use the coverage.

Since flood damage is not covered under the average homeowner policy, Nerdwallet, a consumer advisor website, tells USA Today what factors to consider in deciding whether to purchase flood insurance:

Even a minimum...

Home Market Trends: Mercer County, December 2017

Sales were up 13.9% compared to last December while the median sold price was up 4.1% from last December. There were 59 foreclosure sales in Mercer this month, up 26% from December 2016. Foreclosure sales were 17% of all sales in December down from 21% in November.

Inventory decreased by 12.8% this month, and is 14.1% lower than a year ago. The Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 3.6 months compared to 4.6 months in December 2016.

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Home Market Trends: Gloucester County, December 2017

Sales were up 4.2% compared to December 2016 and are up 15.5% year-to-date. Prices were down 2.8% compared to last December. Foreclosure sales were 28% of December's sales, up from 20% in December 2016.

Gloucester had a 4.1% decrease in the number of homes for sale during December and is slightly above the 2016 level compared to an 12% shortfall throughout the region. The Months Supply of Inventory is at 5.4 months, down from 6.2 months a year ago.

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Home Market Trends: Camden County, December 2017

In December, Camden County home sales were up 6.4% compared to December 2016 but the median sold price was down 0.8%. Foreclosure sales, after moderating somewhat in November, were up 17% from last December and constituted 27% of all sales.

The number of homes available for sale in Camden County decreased by 8.6% in December and is now 15.5% lower than a year ago. The Months Supply of Inventory has dropped from 6.0 months a year ago to 4.3 months due to the increase in sales over the past year and much lower inventory.

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Home Market Trends: Burlington County, December 2017

Foreclosure sales continue at a high rate and were at 109 this month, 19% of all December sales. Non-foreclosure sales were up 6.3% from last December and foreclosures were up 31%. The median sold price was up 8.2% from last December. New Bank Owned listings in December were 141 new listings, down from 148 last month, and up from 125 last December.

Inventory decreased by 271 listings during December, and is 9.8% below last year's inventory. The Months Supply of Inventory dropped to 4.1 months8, and is down from 5.3 months a year ago. The number of new listings was unchanged from...

Existing-Home Sales: A Dim End to a Bright Year

Existing-home sales in December dimmed, but, for the year, were at a record not seen in 11 years, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports.

Existing-home sales in December totaled 5.57 million, a 3.6 percent decrease from November, but a 1.1 percent increase from one year prior. Inventory decreased 11.4 percent to 1.48 million, 10.3 percent lower than one year prior.

“Existing sales concluded the year on a softer note, but they were guided higher these last 12 months by a multi-year streak of exceptional job growth, which ignited buyer demand,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “At the same time, market conditions were far from perfect. New listings struggled...

How to Find Your Perfect Neighborhood

If you’re shopping for a new place, you may find the perfect home—but remember, you also need to consider the neighborhood to make sure the community and location are right for you.

For those with children, the neighborhood’s school district may be at the top of your priority list. Check out the public-school ratings, or if you plan on sending your kids to private school, look at the pricing and make sure it’s something you can afford.

It’s also a good idea to look at nearby parks and community centers to check out what type of recreational activities are available for children. Most kids are going to want to play a sport or be involved in an extracurricular activity, so make sure that your potential community offers them.

Are you someone who can’t survive without...

Why Home Inspections Are a Must

Buying a house is one of the best decisions you may ever make, and it’s always a thrill to go through the process. But there are ups and downs on the road to homeownership and sometimes things can get a bit overwhelming. The house you want to buy might seem like the perfect home, but upon further inspection, hiding underneath that dream home could be potentially serious defects that can make your future investment a costly one.

That’s why you should hire a home inspector for every sale. You probably know the general idea behind an inspector’s job—taking a thorough look at the house and finding out if anything is wrong with it—but it’s much more detailed than you think.

A home inspector will do a complete physical inspection of the entire structure and systems of your prospective home. While you...

Expert Insights: Can I Deduct Improvements Made to My Home?

Yes, but only after you have sold it because improvements add to the basis of your home. Your gain is defined as your home’s selling price, minus deductible closing costs, minus your basis. The basis is the original purchase price of the home, plus improvements, less any depreciation.

The IRS defines improvements as those items that “add to the value of your home, prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses”—such as putting in new plumbing or wiring or adding another bathroom.

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5 Must-Dos Before a Home Inspection

Seal the deal with these must-dos for home inspection. It’s as easy as 1-2-3…4-5! Keep in mind that to do a thorough inspection, the inspector must be able to access the attic, crawlspaces, and garage.

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