Author: Gary

The Next Leg Down

Some wisdom from a commenter at New Jersey Real Estate Report Here’s the bullet version of my “next leg down” scenario: 1. This Fall, all the sellers who have pulled the “For Sale” sign out of the ground- hoping for a Spring rebound- won’t. Time’s up. 2. Why is time up? Take your pick: life circumstance, impending foreclosure, the realization things aren’t getting better anytime soon. 3. As REO/foreclosed homes increasingly work their way into the marketplace, those homes become the new comps. Unavoidable. 4. When you look at RE busts in past years, the first phase is marked by a standoff between buyers and sellers: prices decline only slightly, as sales volume dries up and inventory rises. When it becomes apparent to all involved that these trends are in place, the second phase occurs: a rush to the exits by sellers. This is when the bulk of the downward move in prices occurs. I believe we’ve reached that point. Buyer sentiment is entrenched, and the subprime meltdown (and incipient credit crunch) should be the catalyst that triggers seller panic. Seems about right to...

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A Cute Little Cape

The Stats: MLS# 1974001 Asking: $499K 6 room cape 3 Beds – 1 Bath Taxes: $7600 Prior sale – 11/2004: $310K (from Zillow) This house popped up on MLSLI just this past week and it immediately caught my eye. As you can see from the picture, it’s a sweet, little cape with tremendous curb appeal. The middle gable sets off the two, side, gabled dormers, giving the place a kind of gingerbread house look.The landscaping is well done and the yard looks pleasant. Most importantly, it’s right in the village, about two tenths of a mile from the train. On the other hand, it’s only got one bathroom. That’s a major negative for us. Quite frankly, one of the reasons we’d like a house is to get at least another half bath. It’s being listed at $499K after being bought for $310K less than three years ago. Now it’s possible that there were some major renovations made in the intervening three years to justify a 60% price jump, but I’d have to see that for myself. The open house listing indicated that not only would there be an open house this Friday, likely targeted more at other local real estate agents than prospective buyers, but that there would also be open houses on both Saturday and Sunday as well. Three open houses in three days. It’s an open house...

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A Nice Flip, But Too Much Dough

My new bride and I went to some open houses this past weekend. We saw one house that I’ve had my eye on for some time. It’s a flip. The agent said that straight out as soon as we walked in, but it was fairly obvious. The house was pretty much empty and all the appliances were brand new. According to Zillow, the flipper bought the house for $412,500 on 9/25/2006. It went on the market less than a month later. A friend of mine with access to MLS told me that it initially listed for $575K(!). It’s now at $530K. The renovations seem well done and fit with the style of the house. The flipper made some good choices, including knocking down the wall between two of the tiny bedrooms and making a proper master. The house in the “Presidential” section of Babylon Village, a more upscale neighborhood and somewhere we’d really like to live. Quite frankly, my wife loves this house. On the other hand, it’s still a pretty small house. I’m looking for small, since it’s just me, the wife and our cat, but smaller should mean cheaper. The living room is minuscule and it has big, old fashioned radiators that take up a ton of space. I can’t imagine where you’d even fit a couch. The lot is very small and, because of the...

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Our First Open House

We went to an open house today. Our first one. We saw this place. Goes to show you that you can’t tell everything from the internet listing. It’s a cute little house but tiny tiny. The master bedroom is roughly the size of the second bedroom in the apartment we’re renting now and the two other bedrooms are about the size of decent walk-in closets. The kitchen was recently redone and it’s the house’s best feature, I think. But the living room is laid out oddly and the floor of the enclosed porch slopes downward pretty noticeably. Worst of all the basement is about 5′ 9″ from the floor to the bottom of the joists, making it useless for anything except storage for me and my Amazon bride . The washer and dryer are down there, meaning we’d have to stoop down to do the laundry. My wife made some comment about the house and the real estate guy joked, “OK, I’ll take $100,000 off”. I just looked at him and said, “That would be about right for this house”. I don’t think he found that funny. Just as an aside, Zillow.Com says that the house was bought for $425K back in 2/14/2005. I’m not sure why the owners think they’ll get 75K more than what they paid at the top of the market in 2005. Too bad,...

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November 2017
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