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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update October 19th, 2017



MARKET STATS: 48 properties sold in September, an increase over August, and 35 properties are currently under contract, up significantly from a year ago.  For a detailed look at the latest market stats, see the Long & Foster Market Minute report:  http://marketminute.longandfoster.com/Market-Minute/NJ/Avalon-Stone-Harbor.pdf



Click above link for the latest Long & Foster Market Minute report.


 
EZ PASS IS COMING to Ocean Drive bridges in Cape May County.  The $500,000 upgrade was authorized in February, but installation work was delayed until after Labor Day.  Even when the installation is complete, bridge tenders will still be needed to open the bridges for boat traffic. 

FRIDAY NIGHT SPORTS begins this Friday at Avalon Community Hall.  Kids ages 5 through 15 are invited to try some dodgeball, wiffleball, flag football, or kickball.  Ages 5-10 will play each Friday from 6-7:30pm and ages 11-15 will play from 7:30-9pm, through November 17th.  For more info contact the Avalon Recreation Department at 609-967-3066 or email cmcdonnell@avalonboro.org.

FALL FOLIAGE TRIPS!  Cape May Seashore Lines will run two more Fall Foliage trips this weekend, between Tuckahoe and Richland.  Ride the rails through South Jersey’s pinelands as the greens of summer give way to the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall!  Tickets are $17 for adults and $10 for children.  Click here for more info and tickets:  http://www.capemayseashorelines.org/cmsl.php



Got milk?  Avalon, Peermont, and Stone Harbor did, thanks to J.O. Garrison!



MARK YOUR CALENDARS: THANKSGIVING WEEKEND is a great one here on the Island.  Festive Friday and Snowfest Saturday return to Avalon, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” returns to Stone Harbor.   The weekend is filled with  activities for families, music, shopping, and a huge parade Saturday evening.  If you’re able to be here, plan on it!

2018 SUMMER RENTALS:  Make your plans now!  It’s never too early to begin your search…call or email me with your specifications.  Property Owners: time to get those 2018 rates in!

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Clean Ocean Action Fall Beach Sweep, Volunteers Needed, meet at the Stone Harbor Beach Patrol Headquarters at 95th Street & the beach, 9AM-12:30PM, Saturday, October 21
  • Representative from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine will speak on Marine Mammals & Sea Turtles of NJ including those that swim in our waters and the dangers they face, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-11AM, Saturday, October 21
  • Creative Writing Workshop, tips & feedback on poetry, memoirs, short stories, articles & books, register at 609-967-7155, Avalon Public Library, 10AM-Noon, Saturday October 21
  • Avalon Dune Grass Planting, Volunteers Needed, Avalon Community Hall, lunch for volunteers at 11AM, planting to follow, Saturday, October 21 (Rain Date is Sunday, October 22)
  • Author David Dean will speak about his book, The Thirteenth Child, set in Southern NJ during the Halloween season, Avalon Free Public Library, 2-3PM, Saturday, October 21
  • Miss Avalon Pageant, Avalon Elementary School, 6PM, Saturday, October 21
  • AAZK Adults Only Night Walk at the Cape May County Zoo, after hours tour of the zoo, for reservations & tickets visithttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/adults-only-night-walk-at-the-zoo-tickets-38053100849?aff=ehomecard  up to two weeks prior to the event, 6:30-8:30PM, Saturday, October 21
  • Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey, statewide festival challenge to visit 11 lighthouses including Hereford Inlet Lighthouse & Cape May Lighthouse, visit www.lhchallengenj.org for info, Saturday, October 21 & Sunday, October 22
  • Windows & Android Devices, open forum workshop for help with general questions, Avalon Free Public Library, 10-11:30AM, Saturday, October 28
  • Stone Harbor’s Harvest Festival, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating in the shops, more, 96th Street Shopping District, 11AM-5PM, Saturday, October 28
  • Avalon’s Trunk or Treat Event, 30th Street Parking Lot, 5-7PM, Saturday, October 28
  • Trick or Treating in Avalon & Stone Harbor, Property Owners who will be providing treats can add their addresses to the Trick or Treating Route for Kids by calling 609-368-1210 by Friday, October 27th, an identifying Trick or Treat pumpkin will be delivered to your door, 5-8PM, Tuesday, October 31
  • Big Band Dance featuring Tony DeLuca and the Paisans, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, November 4
  • American Legion Post #331 Veterans’ Day Ceremony, Veterans’ Plaza, 11AM, Saturday, November 11
  • Stone Harbor American Legion Veterans’ Day Ceremony, 11617 Second Avenue, Noon, Saturday, November 11
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Atlantic City Jazz Band, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, proceeds benefit Food Bank of Southern Jersey, 2-4PM, Sunday, November 12
  • Cooler By A Mile, Greater By A Million, David LaPuma, Director of NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory discusses how twice a year millions of birds migrate over NJ to & from breeding & wintering grounds across the Western Hemisphere, Avalon Public Library, 11AM-Noon, Saturday, November 18

Featured Property:

An extraordinary location in Avalon’s high dunes, overlooking the ocean…enjoy this three story home or construct a brand new 11,000 square foot home!



5609 Dune Drive, Avalon, $8,495,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175051



New Listings:

7900 Dune Drive, Avalon, $425,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178749

8306 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $875,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178772

218 118th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,950,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178785

315 58th Street, Avalon, $3,595,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178737

75 W. 37th Street, Avalon, $4,895,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178794
  

Properties Sold:

7800 Dune Drive, Avalon, $267,500, SOLD MLS#: 178632

284 67th Street, Avalon, $835,000, SOLD MLS#: 177818

1116 Stone Harbor Blvd., #308, Stone Harbor Manor, $835,000, SOLD MLS#: 174816

269 25th Street, Avalon, $850,000, SOLD MLS#: 175708

619 22nd Street, Avalon, $950,000, SOLD MLS#: 174312

376 94th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,351,000, SOLD MLS#: 177626

10522 Golden Gate Rd., Stone Harbor, $2,180,250, SOLD MLS#: 170930








Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Monday, October 16, 2017

6 Surprising Benefits Of Buying Or Selling Your Home In The Fall

Seeing fewer for-sale signs now that summer is over? That can be great news for buyers who are looking to score a new home and buyers who want to get rid of their place and buy a new one. If you think you missed the boat on making your move this year, we're here to tell you why buying and selling in the fall can work for you.

Less competition
Yes, there may be fewer homes on the market, but there are also fewer buyers out there competing for the same home you want. That gives buyers an important edge. "Families on a mission to move into a new home before school starts are out of the picture," said Forbes. "Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale - and in some cases, there's just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer."
The benefit to sellers is that those buyers who are out there tend to be more serious, which means your REALTOR® can key in on the real buyers without having to sift through the riffraff.



AgentJet.com

Tax breaks
If you're a buyer who closes escrow before December 31, and you may get a nice write off on your taxes. "Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year's worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December," David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert told Realtor.com. "Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year."
There are also potential tax breaks for home sellers. "You can include all sorts of selling expenses in the cost basis of your house," said The Balance. "Increasing your adjusted cost basis decreases your capital gain because this is what's subtracted from the sales price to determine how much of a gain - or loss in some cases - you've realized. If you have less of a gain, you're more likely to fall within the exclusion limit, and if you're gain isn't excluded, you'll pay taxes on less." And that's just the beginning. Closing costs and home improvements may also be write offs for sellers. Check out the full list here.

Home for the holidays
Buy or sell early in the fall and you could be nicely situated in your new home in time for the holidays and before winter weather hits. Moving during a calmer time of year also means you may have better access to movers and other necessary resources than during the busier spring and summer seasons.

The right price
Did you list in the spring or summer with an exorbitant number that you thought you'd have no trouble getting because it was a hot market? That's pretty common these days. Whether you've had a revelation about the price you should be asking or have made updates to your home to justify a higher price, you're probably in better shape to get your (realistic) asking price in the fall. If you're a seller and you establish a smart pricing strategy, you could find your home standing out in the crowd and selling while others sit on the market under a blanket of snow.
Buyers also may have a better time getting a home that's within their budget because when there is less competition for homes, there is less chance of bidding wars and over-asking-price sales.

Fall may be safer for buyers and sellers
Here's something you may not have thought of. "Did you know that burglars have peak seasons? They do, Sarah Brown, a home safety expert for SafeWise.com, told Forbes. "July and August are prime months for burglaries to take place. Waiting until the fall [to buy] gives you an advantage when learning about a home and the neighborhood. You'll be settled in your home and can take precautions—like setting up that new alarm system—before the next burglary season rolls around.
For sellers, less competition for your home can be a good thing if it means your home is safer from theft.

Great deals on stuff to fix up your home

Coordinate the timing right, and those items you need to fix up your home for sale in the fall or update and upgrade after a purchase might be priced to your advantage. Check Consumer Reports for a full list of the best times of year to buy everything, and keep in mind holiday and Black Friday sales. You could score some great deals at this time of year.


Written by Jaymi Naciri



Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Taking A Tax Loss On Your Principal Residence


Question. When my wife died several years ago, I sold the large house we were living in and bought a smaller house.. That purchase was at the top of the local real estate market. I have just purchased a retirement home and would like to sell my current property. However, after real estate commissions and sales expenses, I am facing a sizable loss -- and my accountant tells me this loss is not tax deductible. Can you suggest any solutions so that I do not lose my long-term investment?




Answer. Your accountant is correct. Current tax law permits a tax loss deduction for investment property but not for a principal residence. Although it appears that some day in the foreseeable future Congress will provide similar tax relief for the American Homeowner, at present no such laws are on the books. In fact, the current Congress appears intent on reducing homeowner rights and benefits.

You do, however, have a few options.

First, to the extent you can make projections, try to analyze the future marketability of your house. Will the house come back up in value, or will it continue to deteriorate? If you keep the house for a longer period of time, will you have to make a number of costly repairs and thus be throwing good money after bad? In other words, does it make sense to "take your loss and run?"

Second, if you decide it makes sense not to sell now, rent the house out for a year or two. Abandon the house as your principal residence; pay taxes where your retirement home is located, get a new driver's license and new voter registration card at a different address. Let your friends and relatives know that you no longer call that property your "home."

A year or two from now, depending on your financial and personal needs, you can then sell the property. Since it will then be investment real estate, you may be able to deduct some of your tax loss on your income tax return (although you should confirm the amount with your accountant).

If you do not need the money -- or the tax loss -- and if the rental income from the house is worthwhile, you can continue to rent out the house.

Third, once you have converted the property to that of an investment (rather than your principal residence), you might want to consider swapping the house under the "like-kind" (Starker) exchange. Such an exchange would permit you to obtain alternative real estate, without currently having to pay tax on any profit. Obviously, however, if you have no gain, there is no need to consider a Starker exchange. The rules for such an exchange are complex, and have been discussed in earlier columns.

Finally, if you have children, why not consider keeping the real estate until your death. Under current tax law, (which may change in the current Congress) your children will inherit the property at what is known as the "stepped-up" basis. Oversimplified, this means that the children's tax basis is the value of the property at the date of your death -- and not your tax basis. Your tax advisors should be asked to analyze all of these various options.

Your question also raised a very important issue facing many older homeowners-- and one that is often overlooked or forgotten. Many homeowners purchased their first home many years ago at low prices. Over the years -- especially in the l970s and l980s -- real estate appreciated rapidly. Many homeowners moved from one house to another, and took advantage of the roll-over. Now, when they want to sell their last house -- or purchase down in price as you are considering -- the tax issues become very important.

Let us look at the following example. Assume that in 1970, you and your wife purchased your first house for $30,000. Over the years, you added $20,000 in improvements, and thus the basis for tax purposes (purchase price plus improvements) for you and your wife was $25,000 each. In 1987, you sold the house for $200,000, thus generating what you probably believed was a paper profit of $150,000.

However, since your wife died before you sold the first house, your basis is increased by virtue of the "stepped up" basis. At the time of your wife's death, the property was worth $200,000. Under the tax laws, you inherited your wife's basis as of the date of her death; in our example, her basis was $100,000. Thus, for tax purposes, the basis of your first house when you sold it was $125,000 ($25,000 plus $100,000).

Your house was sold for $200,000, and thus your profit was $75,000. But since you purchased your current house within two years from the time the first house was sold, you qualified for the roll-over, and this profit was used to reduce the basis of the Alexandria house. Accordingly, although you paid $300,000 for the new property, in reality its basis is $225,000.

If you sell the house now for $220,000, even after paying real estate commissions and other expenses, your paper loss will not be as great as you think.

However, this is tax talk; you are looking at an actual loss of $80,000, since you purchased the house at $300,000 and now can only sell it for $220,000. There are a lot of people who purchased real estate at the peak of the market, -- and despite significant increases in value -- many homeowners are still unfortunately under water.


And the rollover has long been replaced by the up-to-$250,000/$500,000 exclusion of gain.


Written by Benny L. Kass


Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

Financial Don'ts When Getting Ready To Buy A Home

If you're in the process of buying a home, you've probably already met with a lender who advised you on what to do and what not to do during the escrow process. But if you're just getting ready to buy or plan on doing so in the near future, following a few financial tips can mean the difference between qualifying...and not, and also getting a decent rate. These are a few universal "don'ts" that will help you stay on track, even before you get a lender involved.



Don't take out more credit

If you're thinking you're going to buy a house in a matter of a few months, forget that new laptop on the Best Buy card, forget that new car, and forget that Old Navy card. Sure, it's only a $30 pair of pants. But, taking out more credit can harm your debt-to-income ratios, which can make you look like a credit risk. And that's not worth it, no matter how cute the pants are.

Don't pay off all your current credit cards

Your lender will tell you specifically what you should pay down and what you should leave alone, but banks tend to like responsible credit management. In some cases, that may mean carrying a small balance on one or more cards.

Don't charge up all your cards to the limit

"Responsible credit management" does not mean running every available card up to the limit and/or only making minimum monthly payments. Banks will not look kindly on this when you go to get approved for a loan.

Be careful with old debts

You may think that in order to qualify for a mortgage or get the best possible rate you have to pull your credit and go back through every single entry to identify and take care of anything negative. You're right about the first part. Pulling your credit so you know what you're working with is critical, and financial experts recommend doing it annually, regardless of what you're planning (or not planning) to buy. But be careful with old debts. It doesn't hurt to ask a lender what should and should not be taken care of. But, in general, you'll want to:
Pay in full instead of making settlement arrangements - It's not uncommon for debt collection companies to send out settlement offers that allow you to settle debts for less than the total amount. While this can sound tempting, it likely won't yield the results you're looking for. Yes, it'll stop the harassing phone calls and persistent letters. But if your goal is to get the debt to disappear from your credit report, you'll be disappointed.
"When you settle your debt, the activity usually shows up on your credit report as ‘debt settled' or ‘partial payment' or ‘paid in settlement.' You can talk to the settlement company about the specific language they use, but the bottom line is: this is a red flag on your report," said clearpoint. "FICO doesn't reveal how much your score will drop, exactly, and your report doesn't indicate how much of the original debt was forgiven; it simply shows you settled. Either way, it still points to the fact that you may be a credit risk."
Stick to newer debts - Older debts that are getting close to falling off your report should be the last thing you pay. "You also want to consider the statute of limitations on your debt," they said. "Most past debts remain on your credit report for seven years, so if you're close to the time frame when the debt falls off, settling it may not make much of a difference. There's an ethical argument to be made here, but practically, you might just be settling a debt that was about to disappear anyway."

Be careful with debt consolidation

If you have a lot of outstanding debt, are in over your head with credit cards and store cards, and can only manage the minimum monthly payment on all your existing loans, you're likely going to have a hard time qualifying for a mortgage. You may be tempted to lump your debt together into one payment through a credit consolidation company, but beware the consequences. There may be startup fees, interest rates on the consolidation loan could skyrocket after an initial teaser rate expires, and, in some cases, an improvement in credit is years away.

Don't get lax with your payments

Your lender will reinforce this, but it bears repeating that even after you've been prequalified, you need to keep your payments current on your car, your Visa, etc. Your lender will do a recheck before closing just to make sure nothing has changed in your credit report, and if you have new issues, it could impact your loan.

Don't move money around

"We know a story of one homebuyer who almost lost his home because he had stated on his application that the down payment was coming from a mutual fund account. Then, two days before closing, he decided to sell a baseball card collection instead," said HSH.com. "The loan had to be underwritten all over, his ownership of the collection, its value and its sale had to be verified, the closing was delayed and the fees increased."

Don't change jobs before you buy your home

This is a big no-no don't if you're in the process of buying a home or are about to. Among all the other financial information your lender will be collecting in consideration of your loan, they will also be asking about your employment history. You're obviously less likely to be approved if you're unemployed (unless you're independently wealthy, and, in that case, Congratulations!). A recent job change may also be problematic if the bank is feeling jumpy about your job security.



Written by Jaymi Naciri





Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update October 12th, 2017



THE WETLANDS INSTITUTE has received a grant from the Leff Family Foundation in support of its Coastal Sustainability and Wetland Health Program.  The grant will allow Institute scientists to continue monitoring impacts to area marshes, and help guide decision making related to coastal sustainability, beneficial reuse of dredge materials, and wetland restoration.

HAVE OLD AVALON PHOTOS?  The Avalon History Center invites you to their “scanning party” on Saturday, October 14th, from 1pm to 3pm.  Bring up to ten Avalon photos, and the History Center will scan them for you, and with your permission, will retain a digital copy.  Browse the exhibits and enjoy refreshments while you wait!  (If you have more than ten photos, let the History Center know so that arrangements can be made to scan your collection at another time.)  What a great way to preserve Avalon’s history!

THE COASTAL RESEARCH CENTER from Richard Stockton College of NJ will be surveying the back bays of Stone Harbor twice per year in order to monitor the need for maintenance dredging, as well as bulkhead heights to help the borough research and plan for future flood mitigation efforts.


Blue skies and a steady breeze make for great sailing in the back bay!


DOCUMENT SHREDDING will be offered by the Cape May County Association of Realtors this Saturday.  Stop by the CMCAR building at 1546 Route 9 in Swainton from 11am to 12 noon with your boxes or bags of documents.  Paper only please—plastic bags and binder clips cannot be shredded (staples and paperclips are fine).

THE MARINE MAMMAL STRANDING CENTER will present a talk on marine mammals and sea turtles present in local waters, including the dangers they face in their everyday lives.  The talk will be hosted by the Avalon Free Public Library on Saturday, October 21st at 10am.  Learn about these fascinating creatures and how the Marine Mammal Stranding Center helps them!

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Avalon Senior Center Presentation featuring Dr. John Ruskey, topic is Cape Regional Medical Center’s New Initiatives, 10AMSaturday, October 14
  • “Scan Party” at the Avalon History Center, bring your old Avalon photos & they’ll send you home with digital copies & with your permission they will keep a digital copy at the History Center for addition to the town’s permanent record, 1-3PMSaturday, October 14
  • Big Band Dance featuring the Fred Hall Band, Avalon Community Hall, 7PMSaturday, October 14
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Al Harrison Dixieland Band, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Southern Jersey, 2-4PMSunday, October 15
  • Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night, Windrift Hotel, 4:30-7:30PMSunday, October 15
  • Representative from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine will speak on Marine Mammals & Sea Turtles of NJ including those that swim in our waters and the dangers they face, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-11AM, Saturday, October 21
  • Avalon Dune Grass Planting, Volunteers Needed, Avalon Community Hall, lunch for volunteers at 11AM, planting to follow, Saturday, October 21 (Rain Date is Sunday, October 22)
  • Author David Dean will speak about his book, The Thirteenth Child, set in Southern NJ during the Halloween season, Avalon Free Public Library, 2-3PMSaturday, October 21
  • Miss Avalon Pageant, Avalon Elementary School, 6PMSaturday, October 21
  • AAZK Adults Only Night Walk at the Cape May County Zoo, after hours tour of the zoo, for reservations & tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adults-only-night-walk-at-the-zoo-tickets-38053100849?aff=es2  up to two weeks prior to the event, 6:30-8:30PMSaturday, October 21
  • Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey, statewide festival challenge to visit 11 lighthouses including Hereford Inlet Lighthouse & Cape May Lighthouse, visit www.lhchallengenj.org for info, Saturday, October 21 & Sunday, October 22
  • Stone Harbor’s Harvest Festival, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating in the shops, more, 96th Street Shopping District, 11AM-5PMSaturday, October 28
  • Avalon’s Trunk or Treat Event, 30th Street Parking Lot, 5-7PMSaturday, October 28
  • Trick or Treating in Avalon & Stone Harbor, Property Owners who will be providing treats can add their addresses to the Trick or Treating Route for Kids by calling 609-368-1210 by Friday, October 27th, an identifying Trick or Treat pumpkin will be delivered to your door, 5-8PMTuesday, October 31
  • Big Band Dance featuring Tony DeLuca and the Paisans, Avalon Community Hall, 7PMSaturday, November 4
  • American Legion Post #331 Veterans’ Day Ceremony, Veterans’ Plaza, 11AMSaturday, November 11
  • Stone Harbor American Legion Veterans’ Day Ceremony, 11617 Second AvenueNoonSaturday, November 11
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Atlantic City Jazz Band, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, proceeds benefit Food Bank of Southern Jersey, 2-4PMSunday, November 12

  
Featured Property:
This exceptional oceanfront home offers fabulous ocean views!



95 E. 11th Street, Avalon, $5,600,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174716


New Listings:

351 96th Street, #406, Stone Harbor, $679,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178662

46 Seabreeze Lane, Avalon Manor, $799,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178674

48 Seabreeze Lane, Avalon Manor, $849,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178706

2015 Harbor Avenue, Avalon, $899,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178645

324 92nd Street, Stone Harbor, $2,300,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178663

127 94th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,875,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178675

5878 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $6,875,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178681


Properties Sold:

432 Avalon Boulevard, Avalon Manor, $355,000, SOLD MLS#: 176796

8403 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, $850,000, SOLD MLS#: 170576

225 29th Street, Avalon, $965,000, SOLD MLS#: 175982

262 56th Street, Avalon, $1,150,000, SOLD MLS#: 171404

275 85th St., Stone Harbor, $1,152,500, SOLD MLS#: 176299

1019 First Avenue, Avalon, $1,645,000, SOLD MLS#: 168295

74 E. 13th Street, Avalon, $2,750,000, SOLD MLS#: 177091

10109 Sunrise Drive, Stone Harbor, $4,000,000, SOLD MLS#: 176423






Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update October 5th, 2017



AVALON’S SEAFOOD FESTIVAL, a fall favorite, returns this weekend!  Enjoy a variety of seafood, local beer and wines, a chowder contest, crafts, art, music, photography, and live-streamed college and NFL games.  The festival takes place Saturday & Sunday, October 7th & 8th, 10am to 5pm, at 30th Street & the beach in Avalon.


A fisherman tries his luck in back bay waters on a beautiful fall afternoon. Stone Harbor Boulevard is in the background.



MONARCH BUTTERFLIES are making their passage southward through Cape May County, and have been spotted in large numbers resting on trees, shrubs, and dunes. Monarchs will likely be seen in the area for another week or so, as they make their way to their winter destination in Mexico.

OCTOBER 1ST marks the date when many “No Turn on Red” restrictions are lifted at various intersections on the Island, along with the removal of parking meters, and some traffic lights are switched into “blinker mode.”  The slower pace of the off season brings a variety of benefits for those driving & parking on the Island!

NEW YELLOW PLASTIC GAS MAINS will be installed along Ocean Drive from 62nd Street to 27th Street, with additional installations to occur along numerous side streets in that area.  Work will begin on or about October 9th, and is to be completed by April 2018.  Lane closures will occur, but property owners will have access to their properties at all times. 

“WALTER” JOINS THE CAPE MAY COUNTY ZOO!  Walter is a 6-month-old male Bactrian camel with two humps, and joins his “cousin” Marty, a Dromedary camel which has one hump.  Welcome, Walter! The zoo is open daily and admission is free—donations are appreciated, however. 

SPOOKY LIGHTHOUSE TOUR - Shipwrecks, Shoals, and Souls:  Set sail as a foot passenger on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry October 13th through 15th for a nautical tour with a spooky twist.  Passengers will ride across the Delaware Bay to Lewes, then board the Cape Water Taxi for a tour of Lewes Harbor and the 130 year old East End Lighthouse.   Members of the Lewes Historical Society in period dress will tell tales of shipwrecks from the perspective of captains, passengers, and survivors.  For more information or tickets, click here:  https://www.cmlf.com/event/cape-water-taxi-spooky-lighthouse-tour/171

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Cape May Lighthouse Full Moon Climb, for info call 609-884-5404, 8PM-10PM, Thursday, October 5
  • Slither & Snore Sleepover at the Cape May County Zoo, nocturnal tour of the zoo, campfire, s’mores, crafts, continental breakfast, call 609-465-5271 for info, Friday, October 6 at 6PM until Saturday, October 7 at 9AM
  • Avalon Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival, local food vendors, chowder contest, beer, wine, music, crafts, more, 30th Street Parking Lot, 10AM-5PM, Saturday & Sunday, October 7 & 8
  • AAZK Night Walk at the Cape May County Zoo, after hours tour of the zoo, for reservations & tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/night-walk-at-the-zoo-tickets-38052864141?aff=es2  up to two weeks prior to the event, Saturday, October 7
  • Stone Harbor Garden Club Fashion Show, Yacht Club of Stone Harbor, for info email kmdallaham@comcast.net, Sunday, October 8
  • Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Admiral Thad W. Allen (US Coast Guard, Retired), topic is Always Ready: Stories of American Leadership & Unity During Crisis, order tickets online at www.capemaymac.org, Cape May Convention Hall, 4PM, Sunday, October 8
  • Stone Harbor Bulk Pick-up, items to curb up to 72 hours prior to pick up on Tuesday, October 10
  • Scan Party at the Avalon History Center, bring your old Avalon photos & they’ll send you home with digital copies & with your permission they will keep a digital copy at the History Center for addition to the town’s permanent record, 1-3PM, Saturday, October 14
  • Big Band Dance featuring the Fred Hall Band, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, October 14
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Al Harrison Dixieland Band, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Southern Jersey, 2-4PM, Sunday, October 15
  • Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night, Windrift Hotel, 4:30-7:30PM, Sunday, October 15
  • Avalon Dune Grass Planting, Volunteers Needed, Avalon Community Hall, 8:30AM, Saturday, October 21 (Rain Date is Sunday, October 22)
  • Miss Avalon Pageant, Avalon Elementary School, 6PM, Saturday, October 21
  • AAZK Adults Only Night Walk at the Cape May County Zoo, after hours tour of the zoo, for reservations & tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adults-only-night-walk-at-the-zoo-tickets-38053100849?aff=es2   up to two weeks prior to the event, 6:30-8:30PM, Saturday, October 21
  • Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey, statewide festival challenge to visit 11 lighthouses including Hereford Inlet Lighthouse & Cape May Lighthouse, visitwww.lhchallengenj.org for info, Saturday, October 21 & Sunday, October 22
  • Stone Harbor’s Harvest Festival, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating in the shops, more, 96th Street Shopping District, 11AM-5PM, Saturday, October 28
  • Avalon’s Trunk or Treat Event, 30th Street Parking Lot, 5-7PM, Saturday, October 28
  • Big Band Dance featuring Tony DeLuca and the Paisans, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, November 4


Featured Property:



This four bedroom Avalon townhouse is located in the beachblock!


14 E. 27th Street, Avalon, $949,900, ACTIVE MLS#: 175458


New Listings:

1114 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor Manor, $650,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178566

9600 First Avenue, Stone Harbor, $825,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178488

304 78th Street, CB - West Unit, Avalon, $839,900, ACTIVE MLS#: 178450

201 100th Street, Stone Harbor, $879,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178560

301 79th Street, Avalon, $925,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178568

388 39th Street, Avalon, $955,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178550

6043 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,000,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178530

268 22nd Street, Avalon, $1,299,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178556

4268 Dune Drive, Avalon, $1,325,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178525

912 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,350,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178555

1218 First Avenue, Avalon, $1,550,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178591

10605 First Avenue, Stone Harbor, $1,899,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178564

158 30th Street, Avalon, $2,095,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178558

144 105th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,299,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178514

100 107th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,799,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178529

4555 Dune Drive, Avalon, $10,000,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 178582
  

Properties Sold:

9501 Sunset Drive, Stone Harbor, $560,000, SOLD MLS#: 175455

328 81st Street, Unit #7, Stone Harbor, $600,000, SOLD MLS#: 177313

700 Ocean Drive, B1, Avalon, $730,000, SOLD MLS#: 174505

10824 Sunset Drive, Stone Harbor, $799,000, SOLD MLS#: 176214

281 29th Street, Avalon, $799,000, SOLD MLS#: 175988

43 Marine Way, Avalon, $825,000, SOLD MLS#: 176019

391 95th Street, Stone Harbor, $890,000, SOLD MLS#: 175580

225 99th Street, Stone Harbor, $995,000, SOLD MLS#: 177483

1558 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,125,000, SOLD MLS#: 176193

251 109th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,309,000, SOLD MLS#: 169146

149 105th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,450,000, SOLD MLS#: 174254

6680 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,580,000, SOLD MLS#: 174082

26 W. 27th Street, Avalon, $1,585,000, SOLD MLS#: 173287

2768 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,650,000, SOLD MLS#: 165505

23 West 12th Street, Avalon, $1,675,000, SOLD MLS#: 177158

4248 Dune Drive, Avalon, $1,745,000, SOLD MLS#: 176841

45 W. 16th Street, Avalon, $2,695,000, SOLD MLS#: 174569

94 E. 15th Street, Avalon, $5,300,000, SOLD MLS#: 177618






Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Monday, October 2, 2017

4 Questions You Should Ask Your Real Estate Agent About the Market



When shopping for a home, we’re understandably preoccupied with the physical features of our future abode. How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Is there a first-floor master suite? Enough space in the yard for a pool?

While those details are of course paramount, there is some other critical information you should know about any home you’re considering buying: local market statistics. The house you buy is not only the place where you will raise your family and live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted; it’s most likely one of the biggest—if not the biggest—investments you will make in your lifetime.

Make sure you’re making a wise investment by asking your real estate agent the following questions:
  1. What’s the average time on market, and how has it changed in recent years?Knowing how quickly homes in your market sell is a great indicator of how much you will be able to profit off the sale of your home in years to come. Also be sure to ask how the days on market is expected to trend in the coming year.
  2. What’s the average sales price in your market? This is important to know in order to gauge whether you’re getting a sweet deal or potentially overpaying and hurting your chances to at least recoup your money when you sell. Find out if the average sales price has gone up or down in the last year or so and in which direction it will head over the coming year.
  3. What’s the current inventory of homes for sale in your market? Inventory is an easy way to determine whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market. Both have their advantages. If inventory is high and you’re in a buyer’s market, you can negotiate a better deal. If inventory is low and you’re in a seller’s market, expect to pay above listing price. However, if market stats show that you will be in a seller’s market for years to come, you can make a nice profit should you choose to sell.
  4. What’s the rate of building and construction in your market? New homes, apartment buildings and businesses are all excellent indicators that you’re buying in a thriving and expanding market, which bodes well for your investment. Conversely, if businesses are closing or moving out of town, and if new-home construction is stagnant, your market may be experiencing a decline.

Bear in mind, while market stats are extremely important, if you’ve found a great home in an area you love, and plan on staying put for many years, it’s most likely a wise choice. Real estate is still the safest and smartest long-term investment.

If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.





Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Saturday, September 30, 2017

4 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Buy a Luxury House


By Kara Masterson
Every individual has their own particular set of factors that can motivate them to buy a luxury home. At any given point in time, there will always be people in need of a luxurious home regardless of the economic conditions and other market variables.
The demand for luxurious houses among young people is driven by the increasing disposable income and the rising of living standards. As a successful young person, you want more than just four walls and a parking spot for a home. You need a luxury home that will raise your social status, security, and comfort at the same time. This article discusses four reasons why this is the right time for a young adult to buy a luxury house.

Interest rates are low

Current house interest rates are below four percent, a perfect time to acquire a luxury home. The cheaper rates make it affordable for you to purchase a luxury house that will give value for your money. Purchasing a home while interest rates are low means you will save money in your house budget.

House prices are down

House prices are low in recent times thanks to the high inflation rates. This makes now a better time to buy a luxury house. Once you buy your house, the appreciation will start working in your favor, gaining you money. With the recovering world economy, house prices are expected to increase. Acquiring a home at this time saves you the extra money you will add if you decide in purchasing at a later stage.

Affordable Insurance

Availability of cheaper mortgage insurance premiums makes it a better idea to buy a luxury house now. You should purchase a house now when the mortgage odds are favoring you instead of waiting until later when house prices and interest rates may rise. Working with a specialized real estate agent or someone similar can help you get the best possible deal on a luxury home.

Rent prices are increasing

Research in the housing market indicates that rent prices for a luxury house will continue to rise at a minimum of three percent per year. The ever-rising renting costs make it a perfect time for you to purchase a house of your own. If you are living in a rented house, you may end up paying a higher amount in rent expenses yearly than what you would have been paying as the monthly mortgage for your luxury home.
Deciding on the right time to buy a house is as important as planning the right moment to plant a tree. The quicker you plant the tree, the bigger it grows. In the housing market, the faster you become a luxury home owner, the sooner you will enjoy the benefits as a young adult.




Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fall Maintenance for Your Rental Properties


By Brentnie Daggett, Rentec Direct
Do you own a rental property or several rental properties? Routine maintenance will ensure that your properties are protected from the harsh fall and winter elements, and most can be done without detracting too much from your time or pocketbook. This post will help ensure the process goes as smooth as possible, and that expensive items like your furnace last much longer, which means an increased bottom line for you.

Begin with a Tenant Check-In

It’s important to consistently check-in with tenants, and ensure that they are maintaining the rental unit to lease standards. Seasonal maintenance remains the perfect time to inspect the unit for issues that should be addressed. Ask tenants if they have questions or concerns, and remind them of tenant duties such as changing the HVAC filter or the smoke detector batteries. Checking in also remains the best way to establish open communication. Good communication remains the foundation of a healthy tenant-landlord relationship. Not to mention, when a tenant feels that there is a direct line of communication, they are much more likely to report on a minor but time-sensitive issue before it becomes an expensive repair.

Complete Indoor Maintenance

Windows and Doors: Apply weather stripping or caulk to any needed areas along windows and doors. This will prevent against overtaxing your heating system on those blustery fall days, and will keep your tenant’s utility bills down ensuring more tenant satisfaction with the unit.
Fireplace: If your unit has a fireplace, ensure that the chimney is swept and free of debris. A blocked chimney is an easily avoidable a fire hazard and a smoke inhalation risk. If you don’t already have one, take the time to install an animal-proof chimney cap to prevent further blockage from nesting critters.
Smoke and CO Alarms: Regardless of whether you require your tenants to change the batteries, it is crucial to check that they have indeed kept up with the task, and moreover, did not remove them altogether. Ensure your tenant’s safety—and your legal protection—by ensuring that the alarms are in working order.
Attic: Check your attic’s insulation. Poor insulation can lead to expensive roof repairs. Inspect for signs of small animals that can sneak in looking for a warm place to nest; they can destroy crucial insulation that prevents against ice damming on your roof.

Complete Exterior Maintenance

Gutters: Fall leaves can lead to clogged gutters. Clogged gutters can create ice dams in freezing weather, this can cause the gutters to break entirely. Trim trees or install gutter guards where necessary to ensure that your gutters will appropriately channel water away from the property and prevent water damage to the foundation or structure.
Animal Proofing: Attics and basements are very enticing to rodents and small animals who seek shelter from the cold weather. The Humane Society has recommendations to prevent nesting in your property: ensure animals are not inside the home already (you don’t want to seal them in) and then caulk small holes and staple hardware cloth over larger holes. To stand up against stronger animals, opt for 16 gauge 1x1 steel mesh.
Stairwells, Walkways and Patios: Verify that all supports, stairs, and handrails are secure. Make sure that the handrails can support a person who is slipping due to rain or sleet.
Irrigation Systems: Fall weather means that sprinkler systems can often be reset, since seasonal rains will keep the foliage appropriately hydrated. Follow your manufacturer's instructions to winterize your sprinkler and irrigation systems. This will protect the functionality of the system and ensure your property looks its best.
AC Units: Depending on where your rental unit is located, be prepared to wrap the outside box units in order to protect it from rust or weather damage.
Trees and Shrubs: Now is an excellent time to trim any branches or vegetation that touches the exterior of the building, as they can lead to damage over time. Protect your investment and ensure that all foliage is maintained before the wet season gets in way.

Hire a Professional

For some costly items on your list, it will pay to have a professional inspect them. Big ticket items like your HVAC system and your roof should be inspected yearly to ensure that any slight damage is dealt with proactively, before a serious issue occurs.
HVAC: Have it serviced, inspected and cleaned. Proper maintenance will extend the life of the furnace, so be sure to remind your tenants to change the filters. To be certain the task is done, consider supplying some extra filters yourself. This makes the task simple for tenants, and is a minor expense for you compared to an expensive system replacement.
Roof: Extreme temperatures, and general exposure to the elements can wreak havoc on your property’s roof. Have a licensed, certified roofing professional inspect the condition of your roof. Simple repairs like loose or damaged shingles can lead to water exposure that can lead to deterioration of insulation, wood and drywall, or make electrical or plumbing systems vulnerable. It’s much simpler to deal with a proactive repair now, than an emergent leak come winter.
Seasonal maintenance may be a chore, but proactive maintenance will ensure that your rental property remains in good shape and your investment is protected for the coming years.



Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com