Why Experts Urge Their “5-Year Rule”

Even some veteran renters are looking at today’s housing market and wondering whether it’s time to start an Eastern Monmouth County home search. With prices and mortgage rates as low as they are while rents continue to move higher, the numbers point to home ownership as an ever more obvious choice.

new jersey real estateBut that’s just the quick, back-of the envelope budget equation: monthly rent vs. mortgage payment less tax savings. If this Summer finds you at the start of your own Jersey Shore home search, many financial advisors recommend that you also consider another rule of thumb – you should plan to stay in your new home for at least five years.

Transaction costs are only one consideration that makes this a good idea. Here are some of the others why it’s prudent to think about the 5-year planning horizon as you conduct your home search:

Financial Safety
Homeowners need to have at least some extra liquidity: funds set aside as an emergency resource in the event of unforeseen loss of income. Affording a home and its maintenance costs should never jeopardize the financial health of your household.  Liz Weston of MSN.com recently asked several experts for their calculations regarding home repairs. Their answer? Plan to spend at least an additional 1% of a homes’ value on maintenance each year.

Resale Value 
The significant overhang in distressed homes will likely continue to exert at least some pressure on home values for the near future. If you need to sell your home two or three years down the road, you may come up short when all the moving, transaction, and other expenses are considered. It may be at least that long before the familiar growth in residential real estate value resumes.

Sanity 
Studies have shown that moving is one of the top stresses in life (up there with death, divorce and illness). A well-planned move is a little less dire, but it is true that a happy homeowner is a settled homeowner.  When you’re starting your home search, consider the changes coming to your family in the coming years: New baby?  Child to college?  If you know a move is eminent in the near future, consider finding a home with long-term rental value.  Buy a home that can grow with you and you’ll find yourself much more financially secure…and sane!

The current low prices and 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates aren’t likely to last forever, and that old adage remains true: buy low, sell high.  If you’re looking for a reason to start your home search in Eastern Monmouth County now, call Patrick Parker Realty for a serious look at this July’s market.

Patrick Parker Realty
732.455.5252
info@patrickparkerrealty.com
www.patrickparkerrealty.com

Posted in Bradley Beach Information, bradley beach real estate, Bradley Beach rentals, Buyers, Financing, home price, home sales, inventory, jersey shore real estate, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Real Estate Trends, Real Estate Market Trends, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Rental Market, Sellers | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How House Sales Fall into Two Categories

Every homeowner can have all sorts of reasons for selling their house. Those in the boomer generation can be in one of the traditional phases of retirement (planning, transitioning, initiating) or perhaps in one of the newly-popular phases (postponing, rejecting).

home for saleFor them and everyone else, the decision about whether to sell the house falls into one of two categories: those triggered by economic pressures — or all the other reasons. In all cases, being in control of the timing of your house sale will put you in control of the process. That pays off.

Even if the money factor doesn’t rule, it’s vital to first do some hard-nosed dollars-and-cents calculations before putting your house on the market. Find out what a realistic listing price range will be. I or another experienced real estate professional can be a major asset in establishing this: you can count on a complimentary consultation that will offer comparable current values for East Monmouth County and Jersey Shore area house sales.

Then consider current rental rates for a house like yours. Sometimes you will be surprised to find that the most beneficial course would be to rent your house for an interim period, especially in light of some evidence that a market rise is just beginning. When you are penciling out these factors, be sure to include realistic maintenance expenses and, if you are moving out of the area, property management fees. I can help here, too.

If financial pressure is the key motivating factor, make sure you have weighed the alternatives before sealing the decision to sell your house. If you haven’t done so already, find out if refinancing is an option. The first answer isn’t necessarily the final one: check with other financial sources as well as your current mortgage holder. Mortgage rates are lower than ever, and if unmanageable mortgage payments are at issue, this could be the most direct route to reducing that outflow and giving you time to sell on your own timetable.

Being methodical and patient when deciding about any house sale can make a big difference in the bottom line. Patrick Parker Realty is here to provide current Monmouth County information and guidance that will help make that possible.

Contact Us today for a FREE Consultation and Competitive Market Analysis.

Patrick Parker Realty
732.455.5252
info@patrickparkerrealty.com
www.patrickparkerrealty.com

Posted in Bradley Beach Information, bradley beach real estate, Bradley Beach rentals, Buyers, CMA, Competitive Market Analysis, home price, home sales, jersey shore real estate, Jersey Shore Rentals, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Real Estate Trends, pricing, pricing your home to sell, Real Estate Market Trends, real estate market update, Real Estate Trends, Rental Market, Sellers | Leave a comment

Housing Turnaround Picks Up Steam

The housing industry recovery has been underway for a while now, but for the most part, the upward movement has been moving at a snail’s pace. Experts are in broad agreement that the trend is there — but the turnaround rate has been tepid. For those of us watching from our Monmouth-area homes, it’s been a pretty unexciting rebound.

Homes-Sales-on-the-RiseSo last week’s good national news on existing home sales was especially welcome, because the report indicated that the 5.9% increase was more than three times greater than economists expected. According to the National Association of Realtors in Washington, the index of pending home resales climbed 5.9% to 101.1.  This matches the two-year high reached in March.

“This improvement adds to the recent flow of good news on the housing sector, reinforcing our view that this beleaguered sector is finally on the mend” was what Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities in New York, wrote to his firm’s clients. Bloomberg News’ 39-economist survey had called for a 1.5% gain in May. Tripling that — and more — was wholly unexpected, especially in light of recent reports of weakening consumer sentiment.

Continued low mortgage rates, first-time buyer affordability, and a general sentiment that we have reached the bottom in home sales continue to contribute to the home sales rebound. Additional good news came specifically for developers and builders: a Commerce Department report showed in June that new home sales climbed to 7.6%.  New dwellings accounted for almost 7% of the market last year, compared to a high of 15% during the market peak.

So what does such national home sales data mean to home sales here in our area?  Real estate is nothing if not local.  These trends are representative of a compositive of local communities just like the New Jersey Shore area.

If you are considering selling your home and want the latest local information on prices and market activity, contact Patrick Parker Realty to discuss those trends and how they are affecting our own area home sales.

Patrick Parker Realty
732.455.5252
info@patrickparkerrealty.com
www.patrickparkerrealty.com

Posted in Bradley Beach Information, bradley beach real estate, Buyers, CMA, Competitive Market Analysis, Financing, home price, home sales, inventory, jersey shore real estate, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Real Estate Trends, pricing, Real Estate Market Trends, real estate market update, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Sellers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pools Make Jersey Shore-area Home Listings Shine

jersey shore listingsAt last! To the joy of every child (and most adults) you know, your Monmouth County home has a swimming pool! Whether you just bought the property or have recently installed a pool yourself, this is a feature that’s not only a pleasure to look at, but also a true centerpiece — a magnet for socializing and relaxing throughout the hot summer months.

Also true: that pool carries a few drawbacks, as well. You should consider both when it comes to writing an offer and selling a home with a pool

Pro 1: Boost Your Property’s Value
In today’s super-competitive housing market, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. Whether you add your property to the local home listings next week or plan to do so in the future, a pool will boost its overall value. My summer buyers’ ears always perk up when I mention the next home listing we will visit has a pool.

Pro 2: You (and Future Buyers) Will Enjoy Your Pool
sell your jersey homeWe’ve all had the blissful summer afternoon experience – floating around, colorful beverage of choice in hand.  The truth is, you will enjoy your pool: friends will come over, you’ll host great BBQs, and you’ll look forward to unwinding after difficult workdays. It’s hard to put a price on any of that.  Buyers influenced by the summer heat will have the same vision of entertaining and relaxing with friends and family. And the extra attention drawn by local home listings that mention a pool is unquestionable.

Pro 3: The Best Time to Buy a Pool is Soon Here
The best time to buy a pool is nearly always end Summer/Fall. There is a myth that pools are cheaper in the off-season and this is rarely true. The truth is, like any other product, the price is always going up and waiting will cost you. The myth is based upon the general policy of material suppliers and workmen to pass their price increases along in the spring, when there will be less buyer resistance to the increase. So, while it may not be cheaper to buy in the off-season it will cost you more to delay your purchase.

Con: Not all buyers want a pool
While some may avoid them because of small children, dogs, and generalized safety concerns, others may shy away from extra maintenance issues, both real and imagined. Monthly pool service, higher water bills, higher electricity and gas bills, potential for repair of pool mechanical equipment, pool re-surfacing (which can hit the $10k neighborhood!), pool leaks, replacing diving boards, pool covers…if they have had a pool before, or are merely responding to second-hand tales, the unknowns can seem daunting.  The brave do-it-yourselfers who choose to monitor a pool on their own will be taking on the task of checking chlorine levels, watching algae, measuring chemicals and above all else keeping that pool blue!

While this “con” is certainly a consideration, it does prove less relevant in the Jersey Shore area.  Local buyers are lovers of the warm weather, summer, outdoors and relaxation that comes with living near the water.  This can be an advantage when listing a Shore-area home enhanced by a pool.

Nevertheless, the truth is that pros and cons accompany all local home listings. Every household is unique –the balance between challenges and rewards is what makes it so. If you’re having that “colorful-beverage-in-hand” vision and relish the idea of making it a reality, I’m always happy to show you the home listings that best fit your specifications.  You can even ask me what to do if the water turns green!

Patrick Parker Realty
732.455.5252
info@patrickparkerrealty.com
www.patrickparkerrealty.com

Posted in Bradley Beach Information, bradley beach real estate, Buyers, buying a pool, Home Enhancement, home enhancement, home price, home sales, jersey shore real estate, New Jersey Real Estate, pools, preparing your home for sale, Sellers | Leave a comment

Pools Make Jersey Shore-area Home Listings Shine

jersey shore listingsAt last! To the joy of every child (and most adults) you know, your Monmouth County home has a swimming pool! Whether you just bought the property or have recently installed a pool yourself, this is a feature that’s not only a pleasure to look at, but also a true centerpiece — a magnet for socializing and relaxing throughout the hot summer months. 

Also true: that pool carries a few drawbacks, as well. You should consider both when it comes to writing an offer and selling a home with a pool

Pro 1: Boost Your Property’s Value
In today’s super-competitive housing market, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. Whether you add your property to the local home listings next week or plan to do so in the future, a pool will boost its overall value. My summer buyers’ ears always perk up when I mention the next home listing we will visit has a pool. 

sell your jersey homePro 2: You (and Future Buyers) Will Enjoy Your Pool
We’ve all had the blissful summer afternoon experience – floating around, colorful beverage of choice in hand.  The truth is, you will enjoy your pool: friends will come over, you’ll host great BBQs, and you’ll look forward to unwinding after difficult workdays. It’s hard to put a price on any of that.  Buyers influenced by the summer heat will have the same vision of entertaining and relaxing with friends and family. And the extra attention drawn by local home listings that mention a pool is unquestionable. 

Pro 3: The Best Time to Buy a Pool is Soon Here
The best time to buy a pool is nearly always end Summer/Fall. There is a myth that pools are cheaper in the off-season and this is rarely true. The truth is, like any other product, the price is always going up and waiting will cost you. The myth is based upon the general policy of material suppliers and workmen to pass their price increases along in the spring, when there will be less buyer resistance to the increase. So, while it may not be cheaper to buy in the off-season it will cost you more to delay your purchase.

Con: Not all buyers want a pool
While some may avoid them because of small children, dogs, and generalized safety concerns, others may shy away from extra maintenance issues, both real and imagined. Monthly pool service, higher water bills, higher electricity and gas bills, potential for repair of pool mechanical equipment, pool re-surfacing (which can hit the $10k neighborhood!), pool leaks, replacing diving boards, pool covers…if they have had a pool before, or are merely responding to second-hand tales, the unknowns can seem daunting.  The brave do-it-yourselfers who choose to monitor a pool on their own will be taking on the task of checking chlorine levels, watching algae, measuring chemicals and above all else keeping that pool blue! 

While this “con” is certainly a consideration, it does prove less relevant in the Jersey Shore area.  Local buyers are lovers of the warm weather, summer, outdoors and relaxation that comes with living near the water.  This can be an advantage when listing a Shore-area home enhanced by a pool.

Nevertheless, the truth is that pros and cons accompany all local home listings. Every household is unique –the balance between challenges and rewards is what makes it so. If you’re having that “colorful-beverage-in-hand” vision and relish the idea of making it a reality, I’m always happy to show you the home listings that best fit your specifications.  You can even ask me what to do if the water turns green!

Posted in bradley beach real estate | Leave a comment

Cooling Your Home Energy Costs This Summer

new_jersey_real_estate_thermometerThis past Memorial Day Weekend marked the first truly HOT days of the season here on the Shore.  And many of us automatically fire up the air conditioner. While that may seem like the only way to keep our property from broiling, later — when we open up the next electric bill – we’re reminded once more that it isn’t necessarily the most efficient.

There can be longer-range benefits to battling the heat using a more energy-conscious strategy. If you later decide to put your property on the market, I find it is now common for prospective buyers to ask to see a year or two of utility bills – and you don’t want those to cool your prospects’ enthusiasm!

Here are a few ways Monmouth and Ocean County property owners are keeping cool while conserving summer energy use:

1. Seal Off Your Windows
Adding sealant to your windows is an inexpensive yet often overlooked way to keep cool air inside. Although we usually think of sealing heat inside to save on winter heating bills, the loss of cool air can be just as much of an energy drain during the other half of the year.

2. Make the Most of Ceiling Fans
Take advantage of the enormous difference ceiling fans can make. While central air conditioning refrigerates and circulates air throughout the whole house, ceiling fans can be effective in individual areas – while drawing a fraction of an A/C’s electricity. The comfort factor added by stirring even warm air is instantly noticeable. When used in conjunction with room or central air conditioning, ceiling fans can provide comfort at temperatures set several degrees higher.

3. Program Your Thermostats
Programmable thermostats give you all-day control and major energy savings during those parts of the day and week when nobody’s at home. Many newer properties already feature programmable thermostats, but you can have one installed for a fraction of the price you inevitably pay for those lapses of attention older systems allow. All thermostats shut down the A/C when your home reaches the desired temperature, but programmables let you make smart changes in what and when (and can also be big heat-savers during winter months).

Learn how to program your thermostat.

Taking these few steps can help save hundreds – even thousands – of dollars over the lifetime of your property. Now that the hot weather is here, feel free to contact us if you need a local vendor referral or for any other property-related questions we’ll be happy to help answer.

Patrick Parker Realty
732.455.5252
info@patrickparkerrealty.com
www.patrickparkerrealty.com

Posted in Bradley Beach Information, bradley beach real estate, Energy Savings, Green, Green Your Home, Healthy Living, Jersey Shore Rentals, New Jersey Real Estate, preparing your home for sale, Real Estate News, Rental Market | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Home Sales Market on the Rise

new-jersey-home-sales-upAccording to the National Association of Realtors®, first quarter statistics again point to better home sales figures. This time it was the prices of single family homes that rose in half of the major cities in the United States. Because of the wide differences between regional and state conditions, these figures are never in 100% lockstep, but Eastern Monmouth homeowners should be encouraged by the report’s breadth: prices rose in more than twice as many cities as fell.

Of course, rising prices are always good news for homeowners who want to sell their homes; but beyond that, the effect of movement in that direction is welcome throughout the economy. Consumer confidence is strongly influenced when home sales pricesstabilize (just as it is rocked when prices fall).

There are a multiple reasons for the upswing in prices for home sales:

Employment Rates  Improve Although unemployment rates are still relatively high, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reported that the overall rate fell to 8.1 percent in April. Even for those who are currently employed, the knowledge that more jobs are out there is encouraging. When the specter of prolonged joblessness recedes, financial confidence rises and home sales can be expected to follow.

Low Mortgage Rates  Mortgage rates are still at historical lows — and the effect on affordability is dramatic. Currently the national 30-year fixed rate is at 3.97% according BankRate.com. As I have discussed before, although lenders have raised the requirements to quality for a loan, such low interest rates make a mortgage more affordable for eligible homebuyers.

Fewer Homes Available  Despite the inventory of foreclosed properties, fewer homes were available for sale this year than during the same period in 2011. Nearly always, home sales register higher prices when the housing market tightens – and that did seem to be happening in a growing number of metropolitan areas.

Higher prices for single family homes is a strong indicator of an improving economy: one that bodes well for everyone in the housing market.  You can get a quick start by using our quick home estimator tool, but statistics do vary by neighborhood, so if you are considering selling your Jersey Shore area home this summer and want up-to-date, personalized information, contact Patrick Parker Realty for a market update.

Patrick Parker Realty
644 Main Street
Bradley Beach, NJ 07720
732.455.5252
info@patrickparkerrealty.com
www.patrickparkerrealty.com

Posted in Bradley Beach Information, bradley beach real estate, Buyers, CMA, Competitive Market Analysis, home price, home sales, inventory, jersey shore real estate, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Real Estate Trends, pricing, pricing your home to sell, Real Estate Market Trends, real estate market update, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Sellers | Tagged | Leave a comment