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Friday, March 24, 2017

Home Looking Drab? Boosting Curb Appeal Is Easy And Worth It

Improving the curb appeal of your home will not only bring a smile to your face when you pull up after a long day, but it will leave you smiling all the way to the closing table. Boosting the exterior aesthetic of your home adds to your enjoyment, but also can dramatically improve the value at resale. By focusing on the three main areas of your home's exterior, you'll be proud no matter who is driving by.



Improving the driveway, garage, and walkway
In most homes, the driveway and the garage comprise a significant portion of the home's curb appeal, yet they are often overlooked by homeowners. Ensuring your driveway is in good condition and free of weeds will automatically freshen the exterior -- edging your driveway with coordinating stones or pavers can also enhance the appeal.
Also, take some time to inspect your exterior walkway. Is it in good condition? Does it enhance the other exterior features? Upgrading a walkway with pavers or flagstones is relatively inexpensive and can dramatically change the way you feel walking up to your front door.
Garage doors can also set the tone for a home's appearance. Consider touching up garage door paint or replacing your door altogether. With a wide variety of materials to choose from, a new garage door can transform your home's exterior. Doors are available in wood, steel, and fiberglass with countless choices in design and color.

Attending to your home's exterior
A home with siding and paint in good condition that blends well with the neighborhood and surrounding landscape will offer a more serene experience. Even if your paint is in good condition, consider power washing the exterior to remove dirt and grime that can diminish its appeal. Renting a power washer for the weekend is inexpensive but can reap massive rewards in how your home looks and feels.
Small changes to the entryway can have a dramatic impact on visitors. Replace broken or rusted lighting fixtures, update door hardware, and embrace symmetry at the entry point. Even the simple act of repainting your front door with a fresh shade can add tremendous appeal. Installing additional lighting along a walkway or dark areas can also enhance these exterior spaces.

Luscious landscapes
Landscaping is one of the primary ways to make a dramatic impact on how your home looks. Improvements in landscaping are thought to return about 4 to 5 times your investment when it comes to selling your home. To maximize your time and investment, first, assess what of your existing landscape can be used or improved. Trim overgrown bushes, prune trees and refresh mulch or other ground covering. Peeling back the overgrown exterior can attract some unwanted attention to your home -- consider purchasing home insurance riders to protect any belongings not covered in your policy.
Adding plant beds to feature climate appropriate plants will help you maintain your landscape with less hassle and will enhance the natural beauty of your lot. Choose annuals to add bright pops of color, either in beds or matching planters at the front of your home.
Lastly, attend to your lawn. Patch dead areas with sod or seed and ensure you are caring for your lawn using recommended methods -- mow regularly, use fertilizers and weedicides as needed, and make sure your clean up after any pets. Stubborn bare patches can be transformed into unique flower beds or improved with alternative ground cover, such as ivy, in areas where it is too shady for many types of grass.

With some simple and inexpensive fixes, you can create an exterior that you are not only proud of but that you enjoy spending time in. Not only will this improve your happiness in your home, but it will also reap benefits when you're ready to move someplace new.


Written by Mikkie Mills

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor Weekly Update March 23rd, 2017




MARKET STATS:  February 2017 sales increased over February 2016, as did median sale prices.   47 properties were under contract—double the figure from last February.  For a detailed look at the latest Long & Foster Market Minute, click here:  http://marketminute.longandfoster.com/Market-Minute/NJ/Avalon-Stone-Harbor.pdf

Sales and prices have increased versus one year ago.  Click above for the latest Market Minute report.


TUGBOATS, A BARGE, AND THE DREDGE TEXAS can be seen in and around Townsend’s Inlet as beach replenishment work has moved to Avalon’s north end beaches.  According to the latest project report over 135,000 cubic yards of sand have been pumped onto Avalon’s beaches beginning at 9th Street.  In Stone Harbor, where pumping has concluded, beach access paths are now being reconstructed.  A third component of the pumping project will add sand to Avalon’s southernmost beaches beginning at 77th Street, running toward Stone Harbor’s 83rd Street beach.

THE OCEAN DRIVE MARATHON will take place Sunday, March 27th, with runners passing through Avalon & Stone Harbor twice.  The event will begin in Sea Isle City, with runners travelling southward through Avalon and Stone Harbor.  The new out-and-back style course has runners turning around near North Wildwood Boulevard, and travelling northward through Stone Harbor and Avalon, back to Sea Isle City.

CSNPHILLY.COM—WE’RE ON IT!  The Philadelphia Eagle’s page on CSNPhilly.com is enormously popular in the Philadelphia region—and Long & Foster has banner and wrap around ads running on the page, linking visitors to www.LongandFoster.com.  It’s yet another way we provide extensive marketing exposure to our property sellers.  Check it out at http://www.csnphilly.com/philadelphia-eagles

A DOLPHIN found itself stuck on the beach in North Wildwood earlier this week, after swimming too close to shore.  When it became apparent the dolphin was unable to free itself, personnel from the US Coast Guard and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center assisted the dolphin by providing medical attention and then moving it to deeper water.

Last Friday an early morning fire destroyed two homes where Seagull Drive meets Pelican Drive.  Avalon fire fighters battled the blaze with help from Stone Harbor, Rio Grande, Marmora, Green Creek, Goshen, Cape May Court House, Ocean View, and Seaville fire companies.  The fire was brought under control at around 9am but crews remained on scene for several hours wetting down hot spots.  An occupant and her infant son escaped from the Seagull Drive home; the Pelican Drive home was unoccupied.  No one was injured.


UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Ocean Drive Marathon 10 mile course through Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City, more, visit http://www.odmarathon.org for details, 9AMSunday, March 26
  • Cape May-Lewes Ferry Wine Dinner featuring wines of Hawk Haven Vineyard, Cape May Ferry Terminal, www.CapeMayLewesFerry.com for info, 5:30-8:30PMFriday, March 31
  • Wetlands Institute Covered Dish Supper, topic will be Pond Creek Restoration presented by David M. Golden, Assistant Director at NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, bring a dish to serve 8 to share, 6PMFriday, March 31
  • Kyle Brown Forever Our Superhero 5K Run & Family Fun Walk, Cape May County Zoo, 8AMSaturday, April 1
  • Avalon’s Spring Dune Grass Planting, Volunteers Needed, 609-967-3066 or 609-967-5924 for info & registration, Avalon Community Hall, 8:30 AMSaturday, April 1
  • IPad Workshop, register at 609-967-7155, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-NoonSaturday, April 1
  • Landscape Lecture presented by Landscape Artist Scott Taylor, Avalon History Center, 1-2PMSaturday, April 1
  • Cape May-Lewis Ferry Beer Dinner featuring beers of Ludlam Island Brewery, Cape May Terminal, reservations at 1-800-643-37795:30PMFriday, April 7
  • Avalon Home & Land Owners Association Community Connections Event, Avalon Community Hall, 9:30AM start, Saturday, April 8
  • Easter EggstravaganZoo, Easter egg hunt at 10AM, photos with the Easter bunny, displays, crafts, live animals, Cape May County Zoo, 10AM-2PMSaturday, April 8
  • Easter Egg Hunt, Stone Harbor Fire Company on 96th Street, 1-2PMSaturday, April 8
  • Big Band Dance featuring the Fred Hall Band, Avalon Community Hall, 7PMSaturday, April 8
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Al Harrison Dixieland Band, proceeds donated to the Food Bank of Southern Jersey, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, 2-4PM, Sunday, April 9
  • Wetlands Institute Turtle Festival, pancake breakfast, activities & fun for all the family, 609-368-1211 for reservations & tickets, 9AM start, Saturday, April 15
  • Avalon’s Easter Egg Hunt, 8th-12th Street recreation fields, 10AMSaturday, April 15
  • Creative Writing Seminar, register at 609-967-7155, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-NoonSaturday, April 15
  • Atlantic City Jazz Band Performance, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-2PMSaturday, April 15
  • Night Walk at the Zoo, call 609-463-4135 for info, Cape May County Zoo, 6-30-8:30PM, Friday, April 21
  • Stone Harbor Job Fair, Coffee Talk at 299-97th Street in Stone Harbor, 10AM-2PMSaturday, April 22


Featured Property:

Beachblock with a pool and great rental history—for a fantastic price!



7929 Dune Drive Unit 102, Avalon, $279,990, ACTIVE MLS#: 170802


New Listings:

460 Avalon Blvd., Avalon Manor, $219,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175222

3319 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $372,500, ACTIVE MLS#: 175172

235 99th Street, Stone Harbor, $597,777, ACTIVE MLS#: 175164

2422 Fourth Ave., Avalon, $999,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175200

301 39th Street, Avalon, $1,549,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175239

303 39th Street, Avalon, $1,599,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175240

395 93rd Street, Stone Harbor, $1,650,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175231

11910 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $2,195,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175255

594 22nd Street, Avalon, $2,250,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175248

238 75th Street, Avalon, $2,895,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175201

234 118th Street, Stone Harbor, $3,100,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175217

7 Heron Drive, Avalon, $3,195,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175195

231 121st Street, Stone Harbor, $3,395,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175173
  

Properties Sold:

779 Stone harbor Blvd., Stone Harbor Manor, $195,000, SOLD MLS#: 170876

66 E. 20th Street Street, Avalon, $625,000, SOLD MLS#: 172910

309 76th Street, Avalon, $1,325,000, SOLD MLS#: 173394

10 E. 16th Street, Avalon, $1,925,000, SOLD MLS#: 174416

4498 Fourth Avenue, Avalon, $2,000,000, SOLD MLS#: 172821

431 24th Street, Avalon, $2,450,000, SOLD MLS#: 170094


7354 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $3,275,000, SOLD MLS#: 171646







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

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Ideal Time to List a Home for Sale

Numerous factors impact the sale of a home—including timing.

The ideal time to list a home for sale this year is between May 1-15, according to a recent analysis by Zillow. Homes listed within the two-week window sell for 1 percent more than the average home for sale, and also nine days sooner.

The window varies, however. In Baltimore, Md., homes listed at the market's ideal time—April 1-15—sell 21.5 days sooner, the fastest of the top 25 metro areas; homes in San Francisco, Calif., listed at its ideal time, May 16-31, sell only 5.5 days sooner.

Home sellers in Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., gain the highest average premiums by percentage when listing at their market's ideal time, at 2 percent in Portland and Sacramento and 2.5 percent in Seattle. Sellers in the New York-Northern New Jersey metro area, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Phoenix, Ariz., gain the lowest, at 0.7 percent in New York and Northern New Jersey and Miami-Fort Lauderdale and 0.8 percent in Phoenix. The premium, naturally, is relative to the market. A 1.3 percent premium in San Francisco equates to $10,200, while the same premium equates to $2,500 in Chicago, Ill., and $1,800 in St. Louis, Mo.

The analysis also identified ideal days of the week for listing a home based on Zillow data. Homes new to Zillow on Saturdays are viewed 20 percent more in their first week on-market than those new to Zillow earlier in the week.

"With 3 percent fewer homes on the market than last year, 2017 is shaping up to be another competitive buying season," says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. "Many homebuyers who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home—and will be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal."

Ideal times and premiums for the top 20 metros:



For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.


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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update March 16th, 2017



THE DREDGE TEXAS was towed to Cape May last week for routine repairs, according to the latest beach replenishment project update.  The Stone Harbor portion of the project is complete with 394,000 cubic yards of sand having been placed on the beach.  When the Texas returns, work will begin in Avalon, where 940,000 cubic yards of sand are expected to be pumped onto the beaches from 9th Street to 30th Street.  The Army Corps of Engineers is considering an additional proposal that would have another 340,000 cubic yards of sand pumped onto beaches from 77th Street in Avalon to 105th Street in Stone Harbor.

FOR AN AMAZING AERIAL VIEW of Avalon’s beaches prior to the replenishment project, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEwnIInpUg4&feature=youtu.be  Be sure to look for your favorite beach!


Click the above link for an aerial video of Avalon’s beaches prior to the replenishment project.


WHILE THE I-95 CORRIDOR and points north & west saw lots of snow this week, we had only rain and wind here on the Island.  The strongest northeast winds lasted only a short time, resulting in tides that were slightly higher than normal.  By mid-day Tuesday winds had shifted to the northwest and subsided.

SUMMER JOB FAIR:  Stone Harbor will hold a summer job fair at Coffee Talk on 97th Street.  Stop by on Saturday, April 22nd, from 10am to 2pm. 

THE MISS AVALON opens her fishing season in just a few weeks, on April 8th!  One more sign that spring is near!

COAST GUARD CUTTER TOURS will be offered at the Coast Guard Community Festival May 6-7, in Cape May.  One of the two new 154-foot Fast Response Cutters stationed in Cape May will be open for public tours on Saturday, May 6.   For more details visit: http://coastguardcommunity.org/festival-2/#festival

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Creative Writing Workshop, call 609-967-7155 to register, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-Noon, Saturday, March 18
  • Irish Dance Performance by the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance in celebration of St. Patty’s Day, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-1:45PM, Saturday, March 18
  • Ocean Drive Marathon & Ocean Drive 10Miler Course, through Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City, more, visit http://www.odmarathon.org for details, 9AM, Sunday, March 26
  • Cape May-Lewes Ferry Wine Dinner featuring wines of Hawk Haven Vineyard, Cape May Ferry Terminal, www.CapeMayLewesFerry.com for info, 5:30-8:30PM, Friday, March 31
  • Wetlands Institute Covered Dish Supper, topic will be Pond Creek Restoration presented by David M. Golden, Assistant Director at NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, bring a dish to serve 8 to share, 6PM, Friday, March 31
  • Kyle Brown Forever Our Superhero 5K Run & Family Fun Walk, Cape May County Zoo, 8AM, Saturday, April 1
  • Avalon’s Spring Dune Grass Planting, Volunteers Needed, 609-967-3066 or 609-967-5924 for info & registration, Avalon Community Hall, 8:30 AM, Saturday, April 1
  • IPad Workshop, call 609-967-7155 for info, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-Noon, Saturday, April 1
  • Landscape Lecture presented by Landscape Artist Scott Taylor, Avalon History Center, 1-2PM, Saturday, April 1
  • Cape May-Lewis Ferry Beer Dinner featuring beers of Ludlam Island Brewery, Cape May Terminal, reservations at 1-800-643-3779, 5:30PM, Friday, April 7
  • Avalon Home & Land Owners Association Community Connections Event, Avalon Community Hall, 9:30AM start, Saturday, April 8
  • Big Band Dance featuring the Fred Hall Band, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, April 8
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Al Harrison Dixieland Band, proceeds donated to the Food Bank of Southern Jersey, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, 2-4PM, Sunday, April 9
  • Wetlands Institute Turtle Festival, pancake breakfast, activities & fun for all the family, 609-368-1211 for reservations & tickets, 9AM start, Saturday, April 15
  • Creative Writing Seminar, register at 609-967-7155, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-Noon, Saturday, April 15
  • Atlantic City Jazz Band Performance, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-2PM, Saturday, April 15


New Listings:

290 79th Street, Avalon, $550,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175074

695 21st Street, Avalon, $579,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175026

236 23rd Street, Avalon, $729,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175071

326 88th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,449,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175047

137 98th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,579,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175052

330 87th Street #2, Stone Harbor, $1,629,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175031

423 104th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,795,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175087

1269 First Avenue, Avalon, $2,195,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175038

314 42nd Street, Avalon, $2,395,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175137

7 106th Street, Stone Harbor, $4,495,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175057

75 W 37th Street, Avalon, $4,795,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175075
  

Properties Sold:

301 80th Street, Avalon, $565,000, SOLD MLS#: 172746

225 81st Street, Stone Harbor, $625,000, SOLD MLS#: 166318

2168 Fifth Avenue, Avalon, $740,000, SOLD MLS#: 171162

1116 Stone Harbor Blvd #201, Stone Harbor Manor, $749,000, SOLD MLS#: 170591

386 39th Street, Avalon, $865,000, SOLD MLS#: 173823

151 36th Street, Avalon, $1,510,000, SOLD MLS#: 174264

201 89th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,625,000, SOLD MLS#: 170027

7558 Dune Drive, Avalon, $2,650,000, SOLD MLS#: 174394

100 107th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,660,000, SOLD MLS#: 171197



Would you like my Stone Harbor Avalon newsletter delivered weekly? Stay up to date with Avalon and Stone Harbor market trends! Local events, luxury sale listings, and keep up to date on what has recently Sold! 





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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

7 Tips for a Better Spring Garden

It’s never a bad idea to plan for that spring garden. Whether you like to plant edibles, like veggies, or gorgeous florals, planning ahead of time for that garden can equate to a better growing period, and a heartier bounty.

OPEI encourages homeowners, gardeners and commercial facility managers to keep these smart landscaping tips in mind when planting this spring:




- Plant a living landscape that breathes. It creates the oxygen we need and sequesters carbon.

- Follow the "right plant, right place" rule. Put in living trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants that are right for your climate zone. Once established, Mother Nature will weather climate changes.

- Remember wildlife in your planting choices. Add flowering plants to support pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies. Our yards, parks, schoolyards and other green spaces connect and form wildlife corridors.

- Plant for your lifestyle. If you have kids and pets, remember our yards are safe spaces for families, kids and pets.

- Put in a mix of adaptive and native plants that can handle people traffic as well as provide food and habitat for wildlife.

- Don't overwater. Plants and trees will grow stronger and work harder, creating deeper, vertical roots, if they need to seek water.

- Let plants go dormant in drought conditions. They will "green back up" when the rains come.

Source: www.OPEI.org.


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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

7 Crucial Facts about FHA Loans

By Marcie Geffner

(TNS)—Less-rigorous lending standards and lower down payment requirements make FHA loans popular with mortgage borrowers.

An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Borrowers with FHA loans pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Because of that insurance, lenders can—and do—offer FHA loans at attractive interest rates and with less stringent and more flexible qualification requirements. The FHA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


Here are seven facts that borrowers should know about FHA loans.

Less-Than-Perfect Credit Is OK
Minimum credit scores for FHA loans depend on the type of loan the borrower needs. To get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent, the borrower needs a credit score of 580 or higher.

Those with credit scores between 500 and 579 must make down payments of at least 10 percent.

People with credit scores under 500 generally are ineligible for FHA loans. The FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls "nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit" if they meet requirements. Ask your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist if you qualify.

Minimum Down Payment Is 3.5 Percent
For most borrowers, the FHA requires a down payment of just 3.5 percent of the purchase price of the home. In late 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced minimum down payments to 3 percent from 10 percent, but such loans have limited availability.

FHA borrowers can use their own savings to make the down payment. But other allowed sources of cash include a gift from a family member or a grant from a state or local government down payment assistance program.

Closing Costs May Be Covered
The FHA allows home sellers, builders and lenders to pay some of the borrower's closing costs, such as an appraisal, credit report or title expenses. For example, a builder might offer to pay closing costs as an incentive for the borrower to buy a new home.

Lenders typically charge a higher interest rate on the loan if they agree to pay closing costs. Borrowers can compare loan estimates from competing lenders to figure out which option makes the most sense.

Lender Must Be FHA-Approved
Because the FHA is not a lender, but rather an insurer, borrowers need to get their loan through an FHA-approved lender (as opposed to directly from the FHA). Not all FHA-approved lenders offer the same interest rate and costs—even on the same FHA loan. Costs, services and underwriting standards will vary among lenders or mortgage brokers, so it's important for borrowers to shop around.

Two-Part Mortgage Insurance
Two mortgage insurance premiums are required on all FHA loans. The upfront premium is 1.75 percent of the loan amount—$1,750 for a $100,000 loan. This upfront premium is paid when the borrower gets the loan. It can be financed as part of the loan amount. The second is called the annual premium, although it is paid monthly. It varies based on the length of the loan, the loan amount and the initial loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. The following premiums are for loans of $625,500 or less.

Annual premiums for FHA loans:

  • 30-year loan, down payment (or equity) of less than 5 percent: 0.85 percent
  • 30-year loan, down payment (or equity) of 5 percent or more: 0.80 percent
  • 15-year loan, down payment (or equity) of less than 10 percent: 0.70 percent
  • 15-year loan, down payment (or equity) of 10 percent or more: 0.45 percent 

You Can Borrow Cash for Repairs
The FHA has a special loan product for borrowers who need extra cash to make repairs to their homes. The chief advantage of this type of loan, called a 203(k), is that the loan amount is not based on the current appraised value of the home, but on the projected value after the repairs are completed.

A so-called "streamlined" 203(k) allows the borrower to finance up to $35,000 for nonstructural repairs, such as painting and replacing cabinets or fixtures.

Financial Hardship Relief Allowed
Of course, FHA insurance isn't supposed to be an easy out for borrowers who are unhappy about their mortgage payments.

But loan servicers can offer some relief to borrowers who have an FHA-insured loan, have suffered a serious financial hardship or are struggling to make their payments. That relief might be in the form of a temporary period of forbearance, a loan modification that would lower the interest rate or extend the payback period or a deferral of part of the loan balance at no interest.

©2017 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC


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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update March 9th, 2017


ABOUT 20,000 CUBIC YARDS OF SAND are being added to Stone Harbor’s beaches each day.  At the most recent beach fill progress meeting last week, officials said about 160,000 cubic yards of sand still needed to be pumped.  On or about March 15th (barring weather or mechanical delays) the dredge Texas will move from Hereford Inlet to Townsend’s Inlet and begin pumping sand in Avalon.  Some pipes and equipment are already mobilized in Avalon, including a large pipe crossing the jetty onto the beach at 8th Street.


A large dredge pipe crosses Avalon’s 8th Street jetty, awaiting the start of Avalon’s portion of the beach replenishment project.

 
YES, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!  Purchase your 2017 Avalon, Stone Harbor, or Sea Isle City beach tags via the Viply app.  Download the app from the App Store or Google Play, then purchase your tags.  Tags may be picked up in town by opening the app and scanning a code.  In Avalon, pick up tags at the beach tag office at 30th Street & Dune Drive after April 1st.  In Stone Harbor, pick up tags at Borough Hall.  In Sea Isle City, pick up tags at the Sea Isle Welcome Center or Borough Hall.

SPRING FORWARD on your clocks this weekend, as we enter Daylight Savings Time again.  Gaining an extra minute of sunshine each day is great, but gaining an extra hour at the end of the day is a real treat!  (The semi-annual changing of the clocks is also a great time to check your smoke detector batteries, too!)

THE STONE HARBOR SHIVER takes place Saturday, March 11th, on 96th Street in Stone Harbor.  Festivities begin Friday evening with a pre-party open to the public at the Stone Harbor Yacht Club, followed by Keg-n-Eggs Saturday morning at Fred’s Tavern at 9:30am.  At noon Shiver participants will parade down 96th Street toward the Women’s Civic Club at the beach.  The event will be emceed by Press of Atlantic City Meteorologist Dan Skeldon.  In case you’re wondering, the current forecast calls for a daytime high of 34 degrees, combined with a chilly northwest breeze.  Don’t worry, the ocean water temperature is a comfy 42 degrees!  To register for the event visit http://www.active.com/stone-harbor-nj/water-sports/swimming/stone-harbor-shiver-polar-plunge-2017

OUR FRIEND & COLLEAGUE, DAVE READ, is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor.  Dave is doing well but we’re holding a Beef & Beer to help give Dave and his wife, Wanda, a boost.  If you are able to join us March 31st at The Avalon Links from 7pm to 11pm, please do!  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Stone Harbor Shiver Event, registration at 9:30AM at Fred’s Tavern, parade at 11:45AM leading to the plunge at the 96th Street beach, Saturday, March 11
  • Avalon Home & Land Owners Association 2017 Budget Presentation by Council members Chuck Covington & Dr. Nancy Hudanich, Avalon Senior Center, 10AMSaturday, March 11
  • Sea Isle City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration, 3:30PMSaturday, March 11
  • Big Band Dance featuring Craig Satchell’s Jazz & Swing Ensemble, Avalon Community Hall, 7PMSaturday, March 11
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society presents the Midiri Brothers Jazz Band, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street in Cape May, 2-4PMSunday, March 12
  • Stone Harbor Bulk Pick-up, items curbside up to 72 hours prior to pick up, Monday, March 13
  • Creative Writing Workshop, call 609-967-7155 for info, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-NoonSaturday, March 18
  • Irish Dance Performance by the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance in celebration of St. Patty’s Day, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-1:45PMSaturday, March 18
  • Ocean Drive Marathon & Ocean Drive 10Miler Course, through Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City, more, visit http://www.odmarathon.org for details, 9AMSunday, March 26
  • Cape May-Lewes Ferry Wine Dinner featuring wines of Hawk Haven Vineyard, Cape May Ferry Terminal, www.CapeMayLewesFerry.com for info, 5:30-8:30PMFriday, March 31
  • Wetlands Institute Covered Dish Supper, topic will be Pond Creek Restoration presented by David M. Golden, Assistant Director at NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, bring a dish to serve 8 to share, 6PMFriday, March 31
  • Kyle Brown Forever Our Superhero 5K Run & Family Fun Walk, Cape May County Zoo, 8AMSaturday, April 1
  • Avalon’s Spring Dune Grass Planting, Volunteers Needed, 609-967-3066 or 609-967-5924 for info & registration, Avalon Community Hall, 8:30 AMSaturday, April 1
  • IPad Workshop, call 609-967-7155 for info, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-NoonSaturday, April 1
  • Landscape Lecture presented by Landscape Artist Scott Taylor, Avalon History Center, 1-2PMSaturday, April 1
  • Cape May-Lewis Ferry Beer Dinner featuring beers of Ludlam Island Brewery, Cape May Terminal, reservations at 1-800-643-37795:30PMFriday, April 7
  • Avalon Home & Land Owners Association Community Connections Event, Avalon Community Hall, 9:30AM start, Saturday, April 8
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Presents the Al Harrison Dixieland Band, proceeds donated to the Food Bank of Southern Jersey, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street, Cape May, 2-4PM, Sunday, April 9


Featured Property:
Beachblock with a rental history and views!



25 E 23rd Street, Avalon, $1,950,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 173894


New Listings:

351 96th Street #406, Stone Harbor, $719,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174900

11007 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $995,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174959

11007 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $995,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174960

1594 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,275,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174918

10626 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $1,299,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174993

663 W Sunrise Drive, Avalon, $1,899,500, ACTIVE MLS#: 175004

8800 Sunset Drive, Stone Harbor, $1,995,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174945

282 87th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,395,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174896

10607 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $2,495,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174951

214 50th Street, Avalon, $2,950,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 174997
  

Properties Sold:

161 10th Street, Avalon, $1,000,000, SOLD MLS#: 171532

33 Marine Way, Avalon, $1,150,000, SOLD MLS#: 172489

139 12th Street, Avalon, $1,200,000, SOLD MLS#: 173115

3088 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,462,500, SOLD MLS#: 174323

298 90th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,275,000, SOLD MLS#: 168066

189 63rd Street, Avalon, $3,550,000, SOLD MLS#: 172469



Would you like my Stone Harbor Avalon newsletter delivered weekly? Stay up to date with Avalon and Stone Harbor market trends! Local events, luxury sale listings, and keep up to date on what has recently Sold! 




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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

3 Steps To Saving For Your Dream Home

According to Harvard University's "State of the Nation's Housing" report, while more people than ever before want to own their own home, fewer feel financially ready to do so yet. Reasons range from high rents to student loan debt.

Millennials, in particular, are waiting longer to get married, start families and purchase their first home. But this is not necessarily bad news for the housing market. In fact, it could mean that the millennial generation has something to teach us all about saving consistently towards a big life goal such as owning your own home!
In this article, learn three important steps to take when you start saving for your dream home.

Step 1: Pay down your debt to clean up your credit.
Your credit score is a tricky business when it comes to saving for your first home. You have no history of carrying a mortgage, so you can't make any real impact there. What you can do is to clean up your overall credit report so your general credit score is as healthy as possible before you apply for your mortgage loan.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), a surprising number of Americans think they have "above average" (60 percent) to "very good" (41 percent) credit, although a full 48 percent have not seen their credit score in the past three years or ever.
So clearly, this is where you need to start. The best way to differentiate yourself from your competition (other people who are trying to convince a direct lender to give them a mortgage loan) is to pay down your debt, clear up any disputes on your credit report and, in so doing, boost your credit score so you can qualify for the best mortgage at the lowest interest rates.



Step 2: Separate and automate your savings.
Saving money is never going to be the easiest goal you attempt. In fact, according to The Atlantic, one of the chief reasons that nearly half of all Americans have little or no emergency savings to fall back on is taking on too much mortgage debt.
So here is a clear area where you should proceed with caution. First, save. Then, buy a home. The best approach to make saving as painless as possible for you is to automate your savings. You can do this by setting up direct deposit on your paycheck and then regular auto-drafts into a savings account reserved just for dream home savings. This way, you never even touch those funds and feel tempted to spend them instead.

Step 3: Downsize to upsize.
Finally, one effective change many adults today are making to save more towards their dream home is to downsize while they save. This can mean anything from moving to a smaller apartment to getting rid of your cable television subscription. Also, you must continually remind yourself why you have downsized in order for this step to work well.
But the key to making downsizing work to serve your greater goals is to make sure you deposit every cent of what you save into your dream home fund. Referring back to Step 2 here, the easiest way to do this is to calculate for yourself exactly what you are saving by paying less rent, giving up cable, etc., and then setting up a monthly auto draft in that amount to deposit directly into your dream home savings account.


By following these three steps, you can make tangible financial progress in saving to buy your dream home. If you can save 20 percent towards a downpayment, you can avoid paying expensive Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and you may even qualify for a lower interest rate. Scrimping and saving is never fun or easy, but it will be worth it when your realtor hands you that brand-new set of house keys!


Written by Damien Justus




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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

4 Ways Your Location Can Boost Or Bust Your Home Value

A few years back, "the Starbucks effect" became a legitimate term to explain the higher real estate values associated with living close to the coffee house. But being within easy striking distance of a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte isn't the only thing that can help boost your home value. Then again, not every location can help build equity. Chose wrong, and you could see your value drop - even if the house is great.



1. Being close to schools

The good: Families seek out neighborhoods with good schools for obvious reasons. Living close to a quality elementary school is especially desirable for parents who envision walking with their young children in the morning.
From a value standpoint, a location close to well-performing schools can be a smart decision for buyers regardless of their family status. "Living near a high-scoring school can increase your home's value by over $200,000, according to the Brookings Institution," said AOL.

The not so good: But, being too close to a school - no matter how good it might be - may be a deterrent for some buyers, which could end up hurting your bottom line. If you're in the path of the school pickup and drop-off, which creates considerable traffic, or directly across the street from a playground, which means there is noise throughout the day, you could have trouble when it comes time to sell. A location that is close enough to be easily accessible but out of range of the daily inconveniences is often the best option.

2. Being close to area conveniences

The good: "The Starbucks effect" is tangible: Data has shown that, "Between 1997 and 2013, homes closer to the coffee shop increased in value by 96%, compared to 65% for all U.S. homes," said CNN Money.
Now Starbucks has company, with a new report that shows that proximity to a high-end grocery store - namely Trader Joe's or Whole Foods - can also raise home values considerably.
"Between 1997 and 2014, homes near the two grocery chains were consistently worth more than the median U.S. home," said Business Insider. "By the end of 2014, homes within a mile of either store were worth more than twice as much as the median home in the rest of the country. The analysis found that 2 years after a new Trader Joe's opened, home values within one mile went up by 10 percentage points more than homes in the rest of the city.

The not so good: But, that doesn't mean all area amenities boost home value. Adult entertainment spots, industrial businesses, a nearby airport that puts the home in the path of flights, and small businesses like tattoo parlors, check cashing, cash advance, or pawn shops that can be indicators of a lower-income or high-crime area can drive people away.

3. Being convenient to freeways

The good: A location close to major thoroughfares can be a selling point since it helps homeowners cut down on the dreaded daily commute. Many suburbs require an additional 10 to 20 minutes in the car after exiting the highway. Promoting the convenience of a home closer in can help it stand apart.
The not so good: Having a car fly off the freeway onto your roof is not ideal. Neither is having to endure the daily noise, congestion, and pollution of living right next to the freeway. If it bothers you, it's going to bother buyers when you sell. Being close - but not TOO close - is key.

4. Quiet location

The good: A home that's in a peaceful area surrounded by nature may be a benefit to buyers seeking a serene setting. A house that backs up to nature or is close to hiking trails can sell for more than a house in the same neighborhood that's only surrounded by other houses.

The not so good There is such a thing as too quiet...


Written by Jaymi Naciri

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

Monday, March 6, 2017

To Buy Or Not To Buy: Is Now The Time?

The US Census Bureau recently revealed that the US homeownership rate declined to 62.9%, the lowest level reported in 51 years of Census tracking.

This statistic does not signal impending doom. Since 2006, there has been a decline from peak ownership rates which is attributed in part to responsible lending practices and shifting demographic patterns. What is significant about this statistic is that it can give those intent on homeownership the false impression that they are fighting a losing battle.

If you're on the non-homeowner side of this statistic, does this spell opportunity for you? With the economy and employment gaining strength, and predicted home-buying demographic shifts, homeownership may start an upward swing. If you don't own your own home, you know there are reasons why not. One may ask, "How sure are you that those reasons are still valid or insurmountable?"


Ask any real estate or financial professional, and they won't hesitate to tell you that home ownership is, rarely if ever, achieved by those who make no effort or take no action in that direction.

Any "short cuts" lie in understanding exactly what effort and action are required for the most direct path to ownership success. That's what real estate professionals are trained to know all about. They understand how to relay that information to willing buyers and sellers.


  • Interview real estate professionals until you find one with the right mix of experience and determination to assist you with your ownership goals.


  • Listen and take notes or record when this professional explains your options and how to achieve your ownership goals. If you ask questions, you will also receive details about various ownership options, including cooperatives, condominiums, and other alternatives available in your area and price range. More questions and you'll discover how the purchasing process works.


  • Consider the full range of neighborhoods and communities within your area. Prices tend to go down the further out you go from city center. With good public transit, moving to the suburbs may not require as many sacrifices as you might think.


If you'd like to own your own home, this may be the right time for action.

There are a number of ways to increase your purchasing power and bring real estate ownership within reach. The important thing is not to give up on making an effort before you have explored opportunities available to you in this real estate market:


  • Interest rates have not risen as dramatically as they are predicted to do in the future. Waiting until rates rise will limit the size of mortgage you qualify for. Mortgage brokers can explain how much you'll qualify for and how you may be able to improve that level of financing. When you purchase, aim for the longest term you qualify for without seriously compromising purchasing power. That way you'll have years at a rate you can afford while the mortgage debt is declining.


  • Debts can reduce the size of mortgage you qualify for, but financial professional advisers can suggest do-able debt-reduction strategies to improve borrowing power.The first step may be reducing the accumulation of new debt by ending discretionary spending like impulse shopping, eating out, and holiday travel.


  • The real estate you purchase may become a "financial partner" in achieving ownership. For instance, buying a one or two-unit rental income property may raise your qualifying income by some or all of the rent the rental unit or units would bring in. This financial leverage may also be possible in a non-rental property if you can prove you have boarders who will move in with you, pay rent, and share expenses.


  • Uncertainty abounds, but the economy continues to build momentum and job prospects continue to improve. Untapped income opportunities may exist. When was the last time you explored new employment and education opportunities with your current employer or within your community? Having a job that is "just enough" to keep you going can create inertia that defeats your belief that there's more out there for you if you persist.


As you research ownership ideas and opportunities, stay skeptical. Ask for details and persist until you understand exactly what you and others involved will be responsible for. Beware of anyone promising overnight success or cheaper-than-believable housing. Stick with professionals who have verifiable credentials and proven expertise.

Since the downturn, you've had years to consider homeownership. Is it time for action before rising interest rates and increasing demographic demand move real estate ownership further out of reach?


Written by PJ Wade

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ask the Expert: How Can I Creatively Stay in Touch with Past Clients?

Today's Ask the Expert column features John Bunker, marketing director of RealEstateCalendars.com.

Q: How can I creatively—and effectively—stay in touch with past clients and prospects?

A: I once read in a USPS report that consumers are fired upon with approximately 3,000 advertising messages day-in and day-out, underscoring the importance of being creative when it comes to standing out from the competition.



As time marches on, keeping in touch with past clients and prospects that can be turned into clients in the future is more important than ever—but with so many communication avenues to choose from, how can you determine what's most effective?

For starters, direct mail is one of the best ways to keep in touch with clients and prospects, as it's one of the most cost-effective marketing mediums out there. In fact, on average, every dollar spent on direct mail advertising brings in multiple dollars in sales. Taking this one step further, postcards have been shown to have a higher read rate than other mail media, including catalogs, flyers and magazines—but it doesn't end there. The benefits of postcard marketing are numerous. Not only does the recipient have nothing to open, but the message is also seen right away. With no envelope to get in the way, the message leaps right out at the recipient, and it can't be ignored.

It's also important to do repeat mailings, as the more potential customers see your name, the more likely they'll be to call you when they're ready to make a move. By sending postcards that make an impression, you'll be well on your way to getting the attention of those in your sphere. Whether it's Just Sold or Just Listed postcards with your photo, office information, phone numbers, logo, etc., past clients and prospects will come to think of you as their go-to real estate professional.

Another important type of postcard that can't be overlooked is one that lists important phone numbers that can come in handy throughout the year. Providing past clients and prospects a handy resource with numbers for medical personnel and town offices is a simple way to keep you and your services top of mind.

In addition to staying in touch via mail, it's also a good idea to take advantage of the various social media platforms you have access to. For example, Facebook is a great place to post tips sellers can use when preparing their home for sale, while Instagram can be used to provide a snapshot into your work.

Sports are another great area that can be used to get your name and number in front of a lot of people. Take advantage of the upcoming sports season by dropping off baseball schedules with your business card attached at local sports bars/grills and supermarkets. And last, but not least, for those of you in warmer states, get an early start with seed packets.

For the latest trends and specials, visit our Facebook page: Facebook.com/RealEstateCalendars

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