Feb 14

If You Were Selling Your Home in Wyckoff, Would You Have the Home That Buyers Want?

Selling your home in Wyckoff NJ

Knowing what appeals to today’s home buyers, and considering those trends when you remodel, can pay off years from now when you sell your home.

Two new surveys about what home buyers in Wyckoff NJ want have me feeling pretty smug about my own home choices. Maybe you’ll feel the same.

Privacy from neighbors remains at the top of the most-wanted list (important to 86% of buyers), according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® “2013 Community Preference Survey.” Privacy is no doubt the best feature of my mid-century ranch home, since I can only see one neighbor’s house and it’s a couple hundred feet down my driveway.

It may not be practical to move your neighbors farther away (although I’m sure many people wish they had that superpower), but you can increase your home’s privacy (and therefore its resale value) by planting a living privacy screen of trees and shrubs or by physically screening off your patio.

Related: Trees Contribute to Property Value, Energy Savings, and More

3 More Takeaways for the Next Time You Remodel

1. More and more generations are living together. Another NAR survey, the “2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” found 14% of buyers purchased a home suited to a multigenerational household due to children over the age of 18 moving back into the house, cost savings, and the health and caretaking of aging parents.

I did that back when my parents were still alive, and it worked out great for everyone. I didn’t have time to let my infant daughter nap on my shoulder all afternoon, but my mom did. She couldn’t drive to church meetings at night, but I could take her. And neither of us liked cleaning the gutters, but my husband didn’t mind that chore.

Even if you’d rather live in a cardboard box than with your mother, you might want to consider the multigenerational living trend when you’re remodeling. For instance, opting for a full bath when finishing the basement could offer more convenience for you now and boost your home’s resale value by making it more appealing to a multigenerational family.

2.  On average, homeowners in Wyckoff live in their home for nine years. That’s up from six years in 2007. Since you’ll be in your home for a long time, it makes sense to remodel to suit your taste but also with long-lasting marketability in mind. After all, you don’t want to have to redo stuff. For instance, you can go for trend-defying kitchen features, like white overtones and Shaker-style cabinets, which work with a variety of styles.

I feel compelled to caution against going so far out of the norm for your neighborhood that it’ll turn off potential buyers even nine years from now. (It never hurts to get your REALTOR®’s opinion on your remodeling plans.)

Related: Home Upgrades with the Lowest ROI

3.  Homebuyers love energy efficiency. Heating and cooling costs were “somewhat” or “very important” to a whopping 85% of buyers. If your home could use an energy-efficiency upgrade, go with projects that have a solid return on investment, like sealing your air leaks and adding attic insulation. You’ll save money on your utility bills now and when you’re ready to sell in Wyckoff, your home will appeal to buyers looking for efficiency.

Feb 14

6 Tips for Buying a Home in a Short Sale in Bergen County NJ

6 Tips for Buying a Home in a Short Sale in Bergen County NJ

By preparing for a real estate short sale in Bergen County NJ, you can emerge with a great home at a favorable price.


1. Get help from a short sale expert

A real estate agent experienced in short sales in Bergen County NJ can identify which homes are being offered as short sales, help you determine a purchase price, and advise you on what to include in your offer to make the lender view it favorably. Ask agents how many buyers they’ve represented in short sales and, of those, how many successfully closed the transaction.

2. Build a team

Ask agents to recommend real estate attorneys knowledgeable in short sales and title experts in Bergen County NJ. A title officer can do a title search to identify all the liens attached to a property you’re interested in. Because each lienholder must consent to a short sale, a property with multiple liens, like first and second mortgages, mechanic’s and condominium liens, or homeowners association liens, will be harder to purchase.

A title search may cost $250 to $300 up front, but it can help weed out less desirable properties requiring multiple approvals.

3. Know the home’s fair market value

By agreeing to a short sale in Bergen County NJ, lenders are consenting to lose money on the loan they made to the sellers to purchase the home. Their goal is to keep those losses as low as possible. If your offer is dramatically less than the home’s fair market value, it may be rejected. Your agent can help you identify the price that’s good for you. The lender will determine whether approval is in its best interest.

4. Expect delays

There are two stages to a short sale. First, the sellers must consent to your purchase offer. Then they must submit it to their lender, along with documentation to convince the lender to agree to the sale.

The lender approval process can take weeks or months, even longer if the lender counteroffers. Expect bigger delays if several lienholders are involved; each can make a counteroffer or reject your offer.

5. Firm up your financing

Lenders will weigh your ability to close the transaction. If you’re preapproved for a mortgage, have a large downpayment, and can close at any time, they’ll consider your offer stronger than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.

6. Avoid contingencies

If you must sell your current home in Bergen County before you can close on the short-sale property, or you need to close by a firm deadline, your offer may present too many moving parts for a lender to approve it.

Also, consider ordering an inspection so you’re fully informed about the home. Keep in mind that lenders are unlikely to approve an offer seeking repairs or credits for such work. You’ll probably have to purchase the home “as is,” which means in its present condition.

So when looking for a Short Sale in Bergen County NJ Call Matthew DeFede

Feb 14

Real Estate Prices vs. Super Bowl Appearances, Does It Effect Bergen County Home Prices?

Real Estate Prices vs. Super Bowl Appearances, Does It Effect Bergen County Home Prices?

Fact: Seven of the 10 NFL teams that have gone to the Super Bowl the most (five times or more) are from cities with HIGH median home prices, when compared to the average median home price of cities with NFL teams.

Fact: Nine of the 13 NFL teams that have gone to the Super Bowl the least (one time or less) are from cities with LOW median home prices, when compared to the average median home price of cities with NFL teams.

These two facts beg the following question: Is there somehow a correlation between the number of times a professional football team has gone to the Super Bowl and the real estate prices found in Bergen County NJ? Keep reading to find out!

2014 Super Bowl

Super Bowl and Real Estate Facts

Here are more facts that indicate a correlation between Super Bowl appearances and real estate prices in NJ:

  • The 10 teams that have been to the Super Bowl the MOST come from cities with an average median home price of $339,800. These cities have home prices that are an impressive 40 percent higher than the average median home price of cities with NFL teams, $243,341.
  • The 13 teams that have been to the Super Bowl the LEAST come from cities with an average median home price of $231,985. These cities have home prices that are 5 percent lower than the average median home price of cities with NFL teams.

See for yourself how the Super Bowl appearances of NFL teams stack up against the real estate prices in their respective cities:


COWBOYS, DALLAS 8 $135,600
BRONCOS, DENVER 6 $244,600
49ERS, SAN FRANCISCO 6 $751,600
GIANTS, NEW YORK 5 $517,900
DOLPHINS, MIAMI 5 $261,400
BILLS, BUFFALO 4 $66,200
RAMS, ST. LOUIS 3 $121,300
BEARS, CHICAGO 2 $261,600
JETS, NEW YORK 1 $517,900
LIONS, DETROIT 0 $67,000
TEXANS, HOUSTON 0 $128,000

Comparison to the 2013-2014 NFL Playoffs

If there really is a correlation between real estate prices  in Bergen County and Super Bowl appearances, there is no better proof of it than the matchups in the conference championship games coming up this weekend. Interestingly, all four of the teams playing in the semi-finals of the 2013-2014 NFL season come from cities with comparatively high real estate prices. Three of these teams, the 49ers, the Patroits, and the Broncos, can be found in the above infographic. Housing prices in their home cities range from $244,600 (Denver) to the exorbitantly high $751,600 (San Francisco). The only team not found in the above infographic, the Seahawks, also come from a city with famously high real estate prices.

Regardless of who wins in the upcoming conference championship games, two teams from cities with comparatively expensive housing are guaranteed to play in the Super Bowl!

Is There Actually a Correlation Between the Super Bowl and Real Estate?

Despite the validity of the facts listed throughout this article, we can conclude that there is no correlation between Super Bowl appearances and real estate prices. As you can see in the below graph, there is nothing to indicate that there is a linear relationship between the two.

Graph mapping Super Bowl appearances and the median house price of the cities with NFL teamsAs most knowledgeable football fans probably noticed, three of the NFL’s most successful teams – the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys – are notably absent from the above graphic. They were omitted because of their home cities’ relatively low real estate prices. The highest median home price between these three cities, $135,600 in Dallas, is still around $80,000 below the national median home price!

Football fans in Seattle and New York, cities with astronomical real estate prices, should also be quick to point out that the correlation doesn’t exist. If high real estate prices really did guarantee Super Bowl appearances, teams like the Seahawks and the Jets would have excellent chances of going to The Big Game each season!

Oh well, the Market Leader blog staff had fun thinking that we were on to something there. We hope you enjoyed reading this graphic and post as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

This infographic was originally published on the RealEstate.com blog, which is operated by the Market Leader blog staff. You can find the original post here.