29
Apr 13

Wyckoff Housing Market Recovery Tempts Sellers

The Wyckoff housing market’s recovery is still establishing itself. It’s not exactly in its infancy, but I would say it has a way to go before we can call it ‘mature.’ The majority of predictions for the rest of 2013 remain widely positive, and the young housing recovery is being strongly supported by continuing low mortgage rates.

This might easily lull prospective home sellers into assuming they will automatically have a simple selling process, but housing upturn or not, it’s no time to go to sleep. In short, it’s still a good idea for Wyckoff sellers to take as much care as ever before — especially when it comes to choosing a real estate professional to represent their property.

ASK. Don’t be afraid to ask every candidate for evidence that they have ample experience in selling area housing similar to yours. Experience will shape the marketing and all the other decisions that will be brought to bear on your behalf. Your home’s sale is no time to depend on trial and error!

WATCH. From the moment you meet any candidate for your representative, look for the kind of confidence that will resonate with potential buyers. Housing choices are extremely important to every prospect. They are bound to feel more comfortable when the representation of their next home is in the hands of an obviously capable pro. If an agent doesn’t display those skills when you interview him or her, how likely are they to do so later on?

CHECK. If all else looks good, do check into the candidate’s community ties. A real estate professional who has solid connections within the Wyckoff community will provide instant exposure where it does the most good. And a lively website is more evidence that you’re headed toward a solid choice.

Don’t fear to be inquisitive when locating the local Realtor to sell your home; the questions you ask will serve a double purpose: telling him or her that you are a focused client. Looking for a place to start?  Let me interview first —  I’ll demonstrate how I can make your listing shine this spring!


04
Mar 13

Local Home Values & the ‘Surprise Remodel’

Local Home Values & the ‘Surprise Remodel’

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Sometimes home values can undergo abrupt changes. One way that can happen is through the ‘Surprise Remodel’ phenomenon. That’s when you wake up one morning to find that your Wyckoff house grew larger…overnight!

If you are one of the many local residents whose children have left for school, the Surprise Remodel is what happened the moment you realized that that you were, in fact, suddenly in possession of an extra room.

Sometimes it takes a few months, but as soon as you conclude that the sentimental value of leaving the high school memorabilia in place is outweighed by the value of transforming the room into more useful space, you have a number of ways to proceed:

Workout Area

Transforming the former kid room into an exercise area is one foolproof way local home values can be increased.  Remove carpeting and add flooring as needed; place a floor-to-wall mirror to one side; then add any exercise equipment you choose (garage sales can be excellent sources).

Office Space

Have you always wanted a dedicated home office? Now is the ideal time. Paint the room a rich neutral color, add the desk (freeing up space it used to occupy elsewhere), and then add bookshelves and a guest chair or sofa. Voila!

Guest Room

In the likely event the kids will be back now and then, a subtler changeover to a universal guest room is a good answer. Memorabilia removal will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal, and home values always improve when fancier bedding and pillows are added to any room.

Wyckoff home values may not seem important until you decide to put your own on the market, but I have often heard clients say they wish they had spruced up the place while they were still living there. Any Surprise Remodel moment is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

Later, when the time comes to list, don’t forget to call me!


14
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!