Jan 13

Worlds Most Expensive Homes

Jan 13

Buying a House Uses Wyckoff Market Awareness

Buying a House Uses Wyckoff Market AwarenessHomes in Wyckoff

Anyone who is buying a house in Wyckoff — or even just checking up on the market — is likely to find that some of the rules of the game seem to have shifted. Particularly anyone expecting to be deluged by the kind of amazing deals being offered in 2008 and 2009 should see what I mean.

As the latest housing statistics continue to paint an upbeat picture, at least when it comes to bargain-priced properties, the days of multiple bids and ‘offers over asking’ are back.  If you are weighing the advantages of buying a house in Wyckoff before interest rates and prices rise in earnest, it should be useful to take a look at some strategies that work — and some that virtually never work:

  1. Blanket Low-balling – Running around writing up a bunch of low-ball offers is a surefire way to get yourself ignored, or worse, miss out on an otherwise great property. A better approach?  Work with a knowledgeable agent whose expertise in Wyckoff neighborhoods will allow you to check on the most recent comps, then write a serious offer.
  2. Dismissing Imperfect Properties – The degree of your success in buying a house in town can depend on starting out with a reality check: only very rarely is a property totally perfect for you and priced absolutely right.
  3. Highest and Best – Unfortunately, the tempting low prices listed for some Wyckoff bank-owned homes also means that it’s increasingly common to encounter the dreaded “multiple offer situation.”  If you find yourself there, be prepared to submit your highest and best offer first — you may not have another shot.

This changing market doesn’t mean we are headed into the kind of fever-induced ‘bubble’ we saw in the mid- 2000’s.  But for those seeking a deal and waiting for the bottom of the market before buying a house in town, the market does not seem to be waiting. 2013 is clearly the time to jump in!


Jan 13

How to use Pinterest to Decorate your Wyckoff Home

How to use Pinterest to Decorate your Wyckoff Home

Decorate Your Wyckoff Home

You’ve definitely heard of Pinterest, and maybe you’ve pinned some things to your boards in hopes you’ll try a new recipe or start a project one day. Maybe you are one of those crafty few that constantly finish projects you’ve pinned.

No matter what kind of Pinterest user you may be, Pinterest can be a great way to organize your ideas for your Wyckoff home décor and help motivate you to action. If you use Pinterest effectively, it can be your path to creating the home of your dreams.

Follow these tips to get you started on using Pinterest to decorate your home:

  1. Learn how to organize your boards for YOU. If you are focusing on one area of your home, create a board for that area (i.e. Kitchen Décor). Separate your rooms out by creating multiple boards so your ideas are organized and easy to find. Be realistic and authentic.
  2. Don’t exclusively use Pinterest to find ideas. The whole point of Pinterest is to search the web and pin ideas you find from the Internet. While browsing other users’ pinboards can be a fun way to discover new ideas and get inspiration, many Pinterest users end up wasting a lot of time endlessly scrolling their feed to find ideas. Look for ideas all over the Internet and pin directly from the website to save time.
  3. Use Pinterest’s “Search” feature to find what you’re looking for. If you can’t find something on the Internet to pin to one of your boards, there’s a good chance one of the millions of Pinterest users has found something similar. Use the “Search” feature to see if there are other pins that match what you are looking for. Perhaps the exact pin isn’t what you are looking for, but it may give you some inspiration or lead to another website that could help you.
  4. Prepare yourself for a lot of DIY projects. Pinterest is the Mecca of DIY. A lot of the ideas you find on there will be inexpensive DIY ideas. Prepare to get a little dirty and learn to use paint, tools, and other materials you may have not used regularly.
  5. Narrow down your options on each board. Don’t overwhelm yourself by continuous pinning and little editing. Frequently visit each pinboard and clean it up by removing anything you are not going to do, or anything that is out of your budget, is unrealistic, or doesn’t really match your taste.

Ultimately, Pinterest is only helpful if you plan to put your pins and ideas into action. Don’t make Pinterest a time waster, but rather something that motivates you and makes you more productive and creates the Wyckoff home you want.

Jan 13

Wyckoff Property Owners Finalize Remodel Plans

“What doesn’t bankrupt us makes us stronger,” writes Josh Garskof, a serial remodeler and contributing writer and/or editor for Money magazine, “This Old House,” and Martha Stewart Living. Wyckoff property owners who have attempted a remodel anytime recently are likely to find the humor – and the truth – in his wisecrack.
With the spring selling season just over the horizon, this would be about the right time for Wyckoff  homeowners who are considering bringing their property to market to finalize plans and firm up any remodeling arrangements. Whether the project is just to freshen up a bathroom or re-landscape a whole backyard, Garskof offers the following tips:
Plan to Overspend – Yes, we all hate to acknowledge it, but surprises happen with predictable regularity. If you don’t allow for that cushion, you may find yourself in a tight spot when your contractor discovers a missing drainage system under the house.
Magnet Sweep – If you’re planning exterior work, have your team do a magnet sweep of the outdoor space when they are finished. Dozens of old, rusty nails can find their way into your lawn and into the mulch – nothing you want bare feet to encounter when summer comes (and the last thing you want potential visitors or agents stepping on during Broker’s Tour!)
Permits – Be sure to secure copies of a Certificate of Occupancy or other local code clearances from your contractor before you issue the final payment. It’s one way to help ensure the work is safe, up to code – and to have the paperwork handled when a sale is being finalized.
If you are preparing for spring and plan to do some remodeling before bringing your Wyckoff property to market, I hope you will feel free to consult me before spending a single dollar. I’m here to help my clients save money where they don’t have to spend it — and make money where they can. Especially when it comes to property improvements in Wyckoff, knowing today’s homebuyers can make a real difference. Email me today!

Jan 13

Home Values in Wyckoff New Jersey

What is your home worth l in Wyckoff New Jersey?
Click to pull up the most recent current market data

Jan 13

Homes For Sale in Wyckoff NJ, Wyckoff Real Estate

Homes & Real Estate in Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes & Ridgewood NJ.

Some of the Townhome Complexes I work in: Cambridge Crossings in Clifton, Cambridge Heights in Nutley, Riverwalk in Clifton and Essex Park in Belleville


Jan 13

Homes in Wyckoff NJ – Coldwell Banker, Matthew DeFede

Homes in Wyckoff NJ – Coldwell Banker

Jan 13

Wyckoff First-Time Buyers Need Advance Planning

First Time Home Buyer in Wyckoff NJIt can happen when you least expect it: an opportunity unexpectedly opens up – and you suddenly realize that the time to become a homeowner is here! It may happen when the landlord of the Wyckoff home you’ve been renting suddenly decides it’s time to sell. Or, during a search for a rental, you happen upon a new Wyckoff listing that’s such a bargain you’d be crazy not to snap it up!

For area first-time buyers, unexpected opportunities like these may be the first time they seriously entertain home ownership. If that’s the case, they may well be disappointed.

The fact is, the time for first-time buyers to start planning is well in advance.

Job One is to take very seriously the sometimes arbitrary-seeming Rules of the Road for credit scoring.  Money Magazine recently reported the average FICO credit score for denied conventional loan applicants was 729…a pretty darn good score for anything else. The score on approved loans was 762 — after an average 21% down payment!

Successful first-time buyers have kept their options open by lining up their ducks well in advance — completing at least two mandatory steps. For anyone who hasn’t done so, right now would be the appropriate time to start!

    1. Get your accounts in order. If it comes time to pull the trigger, every bank will look closely at every bank account you have. They look for “seasoned” funds, meaning cash that has been on hand for at least three months (sometimes six), untouched.   First time homebuyers will have established the total amount needed for a down payment — or have a clear trail of the origin of the assets they will sell to get it.
    2. Check your debt.  Banks are looking for a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 33%.  If you got a little too festive with your credit cards during last month’s holiday season, start paying down those balances.

Buying a first home is an exciting decision that can be as fun as it is stressful.  Having prepared in advance will accentuate the fun part , just as having the right agent by your side will, too.  If and when the opportunity to become one of our Wyckoff first-time buyers presents itself  — or even if you have any questions about how to prepare — give me a call!

Jan 13

$25 Million Luxury Property Sale Turns Heads in Wyckoff

Luxury home

You could have easily missed it here in Wyckoff — an attention-grabbing event that happened just before New Years Day. One of those San Francisco Bay Area luxury properties (priced at $25 million) made headlines when it was reported to have successfully gone under contract through a little-known process…an online auction.

Come again? Luxury Homes in Wyckoff

In an increasingly digital age that instantaneously reaches buyers and sellers across the globe, online auction tools to sell luxury properties are beginning to gain credibility.

But is an auction really a new must-have tool?  Or just another gimmicky fad?

The attraction of using an online auction to sell luxury properties is the shortcut the auction companies (they usually work in tandem with a listing agent) claim to provide. It’s promoted as an alternative to what they characterize as the ponderously slow traditional channel with its hallmark of heavy negotiations.  Also claimed is how the ‘glitz and glam’ surrounding a major auction is said to create marketing buzz around luxury properties.

The concept hasn’t yet taken off in a major way — probably because just about everyone has the same thought: what if a low bidder wins and my home sells for less than it would have fetched on the traditional market?   There is also the possibility that a home may not sell at all.  One online auction agency reports that only 55% of auctioned properties are ever ultimately sold.  That means three months wasted while marketing an auction. Then, there’s this: the Belvedere-area home referenced above allegedly actually cost some $35 million to build, and was originally listed in the $45 million neighborhood. So you have to ask: was that auction truly a success?

It is my business is to know the Wyckoff real estate market inside and out.  Selling luxury properties in Wyckoff presents a unique set of challenges.  Each property is unique; each requires a different marketing plan for top success.  If you are considering selling a luxury property this year, contact me to build out a unique marketing plan for your property in 2013.


Jan 13

World’s Most Expensive Homes: Casa Casuarina