New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

Who Pays Closing Costs When a House in Foreclosure Is Purchased?

If you are looking for a new home and have limited funds, a foreclosed property might be a bargain. Foreclosed homes are often sold below market price. If you find one in good condition, you may be able to get a lot more house than you would otherwise be able to afford, but you need to consider all potential expenses.

Don’t Forget About Closing Costs
Closing costs are fees to process a mortgage, perform a title search and satisfy other requirements to transfer ownership of a property. They typically total about 2 to 5 percent of the sale price, depending on the location and the companies involved in each aspect of the process, and are usually paid by the buyer.

When purchasing a house, people sometimes don’t think...

Existing-Home Sales Stumble 2.2 Percent

The amount of existing for-sale homes in September totaled 1.83 million—barely a budge from the month prior, and a 2.7 percent decline from the previous year.

“We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, says. “Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.”

Currently, inventory is at a 4.1-month supply. In September, the average listing was on the market for 32 days. Forty-nine percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.

Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price in September was $272,100, a 5.9 percent increase year-over-year....

Will Your Next Home Insurance Adjustor be a Drone?

While many home insurers pride themselves on their quick response times, companies are often looking for better ways to serve their customers. Drones are now entering the industry as a new way to improve the claim inspection process.

The innovative technology allows these gadgets to fly above a home that has recently had its roof torn apart by high winds, for example, and take photos and videos that can be sent to a claims adjustor’s phone or tablet, making the claims process faster and more efficient.

A drone can be safer than having an inspector climb onto a roof with a ladder, especially for multiple-story buildings or a steep roof that can take more time and requires specialized equipment. Photos can be taken in a few minutes with a drone, cutting the claims process from almost two weeks (depending...

4 Ways to Up the Resale Value of Your Home

When it comes time to sell, all homeowners want to get as much money as possible for their house. In addition to working with a real estate agent to increase your chances of getting top dollar, you can make some changes to your property to make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Here are four of the best value-raising tactics for selling your home:

Ordinary Updates
There are plenty of simple updates you can do to your home before selling it that can help raise its value. These kinds of updates include replacing rotting wood, repairing roof leaks, getting rid of mold and spreading a fresh coat of paint. Buyers tend to look over the home they’re thinking about buying carefully, which is why it’s important to check every...

Hurricanes Take a Toll on Homes: How Homeowners Can Protect Their Biggest Investment

It’s hurricane season, and for millions of Americans and others, that means getting ready to not only protect themselves and their families, but also the single biggest investment of their lives—their homes.

Catastrophic property losses and damages due to hurricanes are becoming more commonplace. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017 alone, Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey led to a combined $75,000,000 in estimated insured losses. Hurricane Dorian, which hit the Bahamas as a monstrous Category 5 over Labor Day Weekend, devastated the island, skirting Florida and flooding the Carolinas with rain. So far, 56 people are reported...

Dispelling the Myth of the 20 Percent Down Payment

Since hitting a low point of 63 percent in 2016, the homeownership rate has rebounded, largely driven by millennial households purchasing their first homes. Many surveys, like one by Bank of the West, indicate that millennials are no different from previous generations—they view homeownership as a main tenet of the American Dream.

Yet, millennial homeownership rates continue to lag those of their predecessors. In 2015, the millennial homeownership share was lower than that of the two previous generations when they were the same age,...

5 Big Myths About Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Until it happens, most homeowners think of disasters as something that won’t happen to them. Disasters can be as minor as a tree branch falling and breaking a few windows, or as concentrated as a pinhole roof leak slowly dripping water into a residence—causing mold or other ripple effects. Sadly, too many people who experience disaster on a large or small scale may find the trauma continues when it’s time to file an insurance claim.

Paul K. Improta of Underwriters, Inc. offers the following myths involving typical homeowners coverage that could minimize re-traumatizing already shaken homeowners when it’s time to file a claim.

Myth 1: Wear and Tear Is Covered

Fact: Coverage typically includes damage from fire, weather...

2020 Housing Market: What the Experts Think


Everyone felt it at the start of the year—conditions leveling, the market yin and yanging. About half of Power Brokers sensed it, too—that the current cycle’s ending, and a different dynamic’s emerging.

Now, with two months left in 2019, the consensus is similar…but certain factors remain unclear.

“The housing market is in the midst of a normalization period, one that is characterized by slowing price growth, moderate sales and new supply that is slow to market,” according to Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist and executive of Research and Insights at CoreLogic, a data provider....

4 Signs That Pests Are Damaging Your Home

If you’ve noticed unusual signs of damage around your property, pests may be to blame. Rodents, insects and other types of pests can wreak havoc on properties and cause unforeseen damage that ends up resulting in costly repairs.

Here are four signs to look for to determine whether pests are damaging your home:

Unstable Floors
The sudden feeling that the floors in your home are unstable could be a sign of a pest problem. This may be especially true if you have hardwood floors that are damaged because of termites. You might notice the boards curling on your floor as damage persists. Flaking and crumbling may also become noticeable as your floors continue to deteriorate from the damage. Crushed-looking wood at structurally significant points can be another obvious...

Expert Insights: What Is Seller Financing?

Also known as a purchase money mortgage, it is when the seller agrees to “lend” money to the buyer to purchase and close on the seller’s home. Usually sellers do this when money is tight, interest rates are high or when a buyer has difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan or meeting the purchase price.

Seller financing differs from a traditional loan because the seller does not actually give the buyer cash to complete the purchase, as does the lender. Instead, it involves issuing a credit against the purchase price of the home. The buyer executes a promissory note or trust deed in the seller’s favor.

The seller may take back a second note or finance the entire purchase if he owns the home free and clear. The buyer makes a sizable down payment and agrees to pay the seller directly...