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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Real Estate Study: Top Amenities Renters Look For



Amenities are one of the first things renters inquire about when looking to move to a new apartment. Naturally, as the owner of a property, you’d want to provide the amenities that most folks are looking for. According to a new Apartment List study, however, most of the largest U.S. metros have either too many amenities, not enough amenities or the wrong amenities.
In the priciest cities, like New York and San Francisco, renters are often able to overlook having certain amenities in the pursuit of affordability. However, renters in Southern cities, such as San Antonio and Houston, are more demanding when it comes to amenities. This is likely a result of the hotter temperatures and renters’ desire for things like air conditioning and pools.
Below is a chart featuring the top 10 most common apartment amenities. It compares the share of properties that have each amenity to the share of renters that claim to desire that amenity.


Cat-friendliness tops the list as the most common amenity, with 52 percent of apartments allowing cats. This can be traced to the fact that it doesn’t take a large investment to allow cats in your building and any fees associated with it can be quickly recouped by charging a pet deposit. Unfortunately, only 12 percent of renters are looking for an apartment that allows cats.
On the other end of the spectrum, the most sought after amenity is in-unit laundry, desired by 53 percent of renters, according to Apartment List. Why are they only provided by just 13 percent of apartments? Cost. Purchasing machines and setting up plumbing can quickly see costs go through the roof.
What’s odd is how unlikely renters are, in major U.S. metros, to find an apartment with all the amenities they’re looking for. Not having enough amenities is fairly common, but take a look at the chart below to see which cities provide the wrong amenities and which ones provide way too many.
As a property owner, it’s in your best interest to provide the amenities that renters in your area are looking for. It’ll keep them happy and your units filled! To take a look at Apartment List’s study and for a full breakdown of their methodology, go here.




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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

All The Single Ladies: Why Are So Many Older Single Women Buying Homes?



Millennials, millennials, millennials. It's all we've heard about in the real estate market for the last several years, with a sprinkle of Baby Boomers thrown in. But here's who we should be talking about: Women. Older women, to be exact.

New data from the U.S. Census that was analyzed by economist Ralph McLaughlin "suggests single woman over 55 are the fastest-growing demographic of home buyers," said Builder Magazine. That doesn't mean they comprise the predominant buyer group; that goes to married couples, at 65 percent. But the numbers are interesting, nonetheless, especially when you consider that home purchases by single women last year measured 18 percent compared to only seven percent by their single male counterparts.

We've famously written about female homebuyers before, back in 2015. Back then, Our Living Single: Buying a House Without a Spouse article focused on this growing niche of homebuyers regardless of age, noting that "the National Association of Realtors reports that since the mid-1990s, single women have purchased homes at nearly twice the rate of single men. Last year, single female homeowners made up 18 percent of household composition in the association's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, compared to 10 percent for single men."

The new U.S. Census Current Population Survey, which covered 60,000 households, showed that "the share of home purchases by single women in 2017 - including never - married individuals, widows and divorcĂ©es — hit 22.8 percent, the highest on record," said the Washington Post.

Perhaps most surprising is who comprises the largest percentage of single female buyers according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Generational Trends Report: 72 and older.

When it comes to real estate, Gramma's got it going on.

So what's behind the trend? A number of things.

They're downsizing. Women live longer than men, statistically, so many of these home purchases could be driven by the death of a spouse and/or the desire to trade a pricey and/or too large place for something better suited for one person. The study did not take into account how many of these buyers were already homeowners with a residence to sell.

Investment potential. "Primarily, older women are choosing to invest in real estate," said CNBC.

Longer lifespans mean more confidence in longevity. A couple of generations back, it would have been unheard of for a single woman to buy a home by herself, let alone at the age of 72. The dream of so many of our grandparents was to pay off their home and be free and clear. Entering into a 15- or 30-year mortgage at an age when many are already retired is no longer a deterrent for these trailblazing women.

"They want stability. They want to have control over their monthly expenses," said CNBC. "They're going to be where their children or friends are. They're not whimsical at that age."

They're looking for a multi-generational living situation. This is a trend that's been on the rise for many years, and the numbers don't lie. According to the Census, one in five home buyers between the ages of 53 and 62 purchased a multi-generational home.


Rents are pricey...and still rising in many areas. The data shows that 23 percent "of single women cited rising rents as a ‘trigger' motivation behind a home purchase," said the Washington Post. This is far beyond the average for all buyer groups, which is 16 percent.


Written by Jaymi Naciri



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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What Do New Home Buyers Want? The Surprising Results



When it comes to new home design, are current floorplans and features meeting or anticipating buyers' needs? A recent survey of future homebuyers - those who intend to purchase within 10 years - from Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia builder Ashton Woods produced some interesting responses that could influence how new home builders approach home design and how buyers respond to them.

While we can review the survey results with a liberal grain of salt, knowing that different buyer segments in different areas may have varying wants and needs - and also knowing that what people say they want prior to buying, and what they end up choosing when factors including budget and practicality are woven in at the time of purchase - the Ashton Woods survey is still useful in examining what may be shifting buyer preferences.

Here are some of the, perhaps surprising, results of the survey.

Buyers are over white kitchens. Or, at least, they don't top their must-have list. "All-white kitchens are now second choice," said the Washington Post. "The survey found an overwhelming majority of buyers prefer natural wood cabinets for their kitchen, pushing white cabinets to second place followed by distressed wood cabinets."

Buyers would trade bedroom space for more living space. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed had this preference!

Bye bye, bonus rooms. Buyers still want bonus space, but they want it to match their lifestyle pursuits, and they're willing to pay for it. Think hobby rooms personalized for yoga, crafting, or wine tasting. "76 percent of the homeowners surveyed said they would spend extra to incorporate a hobby room in their next house," said the Washington Post.

Home offices remain a priority across all age groups. Almost 70 percent of those surveyed want a designated space, not just wireless capabilities that allow them to work on the couch or at the kitchen table.


Additionally, "Personalization is a priority. When choosing a builder, 75 percent of those surveyed said they are more likely to select a builder that offers design options, and 67 percent said they are willing to pay more for those options," said Professional Builder.


Written by Jaymi Naciri




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

Monday, August 27, 2018

Making Your Flip a Smart Home: 3 Key Upgrades


By Eric Murrell
Flipping an older home may be one of the best financial decisions an entrepreneur can make. Take a little bit of vision, combine it with a lot of sweat equity, and you have everything you need to turn a once-forgotten property into a modern home with massive potential for profit.
Any flipper will tell you that it's the upgrades that can make all the difference. Trading linoleum for tile can make an outdated bathroom chic again. Painting cabinets and adding a backsplash can make a run-down kitchen feel like a chef's dream. Even investing thousands of dollars to replace outdated appliances can be a worthwhile investment, making a house with old bones able to compete with the new-construction property just down the road.
What you might not know is that adding the right smart home technology to your next flip can make a massive difference in the perception of modern homebuyers. The best part is that these upgrades are both inexpensive and easy to pull off, giving you a great new way to upgrade your properties and fatten your wallet at the same time. Here are three upgrades to consider:
Smart Thermostats Make a Big Difference
You might not think that a thermostat would be a big deal in the mind of a potential buyer, but the thermostat on the wall actually says a lot about the property. Whereas an outdated thermostat can be an eyesore and a reminder of a home's old age, investing in a smart thermostat can give you a leg up in marketing your property in several compelling ways.
A smart thermostat tells potential buyers that the HVAC system is up to modern standards and has been evaluated as part of a renovation. They can also provide a wealth of energy-saving features that can save buyers money on electric bills. Plus, the fact that homeowners can easily manage and control the system on their smartphone is an attractive feature. Environmentally-conscious buyers will be impressed by the smart thermostat as it helps with the efficiency of the HVAC, and tech-savvy families will be drawn to the features of a smarter home environment.
Possibly the most important reason to add smart thermostats to your flip is the perception of seeing a high-tech appliance prominently displayed on the wall. It lets potential buyers know that this older home has learned some new tricks, and that their potential new living space isn't limited to technology from decades past.
Smart Lighting Changes the Feel of a Space
Another key upgrade to consider is perhaps one of the easiest ones to make: the installation of a few smart bulbs or a smart lighting system. Lighting can completely change the feel of a room, and today's smart lighting systems offer a nearly limitless array of colors, dimness settings and light fixtures. Whether you use it to add dimmable lighting to a family room or fun colorful accents to a kid-friendly space, smart lighting is one of the best tools at your disposal for creatively staging your next flip.
Better still, most smart lighting systems offer programmable light settings that will allow you to change lighting scenes on the fly, have light constantly shifting during a showing or even have lights automatically turn on at night for the perfect dash of curb appeal. It's a bright idea that makes a big impact.
Security Systems Provide a Sense of Safety
Modern homebuyers are concerned about security, so adding a smart security system to your property is another great upgrade that will cater directly to your buyers' needs.
Many security systems of the past required yearly contracts and extensive wiring, so some homeowners and flippers have overlooked this investment, thinking it would require intrusive installation and a high financial commitment. Thankfully, today's WiFi smart cameras and battery-powered security products are both surprisingly affordable and extremely easy to install.
Add a camera or two around your flip and set up a few motion sensors in key areas around the property, and you can demonstrate cool features to potential buyers. Show them the ease with which you can see who is at your front door or how you can be alerted on your phone when motion is detected by the bedroom window.
It doesn't take much to convert an older home into a cutting-edge home of the future. Smart upgrades like thermostats, lighting systems and security cameras may seem like a small investment, but they can make a massive impact on the decision-making of potential buyers. The best part is, they can all easily work together via a smart home hub, which may be set up by your local internet company. When you're planning the budget for your next flip, make sure to leave room for a few simple smart home upgrades.




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

Saturday, August 25, 2018

For Sale! Top Tips for First-Time Home Sellers


By Hannah Whittenly
Selling a home can be very lucrative, but you need to make sure you don't make any major mistakes. Many first-time sellers hit roadblocks that end up costing them time and money. Here are a few simple tips that will help you sell your home quickly and at the right price:

Focus on Minor Upgrades

Unless you have endless funds to spend on major renovation projects, you should stick to minor upgrades. A handful of inexpensive updates could potentially increase the value of your property by thousands. Some of the projects that you might want to consider include painting the walls, replacing old faucets and installing new light fixtures. You will also need to spend some time decluttering your home before any potential buyers come inside.

Don't Neglect Your Home's Curb Appeal

Some buyers might not even ask to see your home if it looks dingy or outdated from the street. Luckily, improving the curb appeal of a home doesn't have to be an expensive or time-consuming process. In addition to mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes, you should also pick up any clutter in your front yard. Painting your front door is another simple way to improve the appearance of your home and make it more appealing to buyers.

Be Ready to Make Sacrifices

You will probably need to make at least a few sacrifices if you want the offers to start coming in. A buyer might ask for small favors like leaving a few of the appliances behind; carefully consider these. Making a few small concessions could result in an immediate bid. You might also have to sacrifice your nights and weekends so that buyers who work during the day can see your home.

Work With a REALTOR®

Working with an experienced REALTOR® is possibly the best step that you can take to make this process a little bit easier. A real estate agent can help you stage your home and connect you directly to motivated buyers. These professionals almost always work on commission, and that means you won't have to worry about any unmanageable upfront costs.
Before you put your home on the market, you also need to come up with a fair asking price. Overpricing your home could drive away interested parties and make this process much more stressful than it needs to be.




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

Friday, August 24, 2018

5 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Vacation Home


By the Experts at Hippo
You've just returned from a trip to the beach. You ask yourself: Why should I continue to pay rental fees when I could own a vacation home and rent it out? Unless you're fairly wealthy, you'll need to make sure you can commit to buying a seasonal home before you start shopping around. Here are five indications that you're ready to take the plunge:

1. You can afford one

Can you afford to own a vacation home? If the answer to that question is yes, that's probably the most obvious sign that buying a seasonal home is something you should consider. You never want to buy a home that will leave you drowning in debt.
Remember, the purchase price is only part of the cost of owning a vacation home. You'll have to pay utility bills, maintenance fees and insurance premiums. And depending on where your home is located, you could also be responsible for paying homeowners association fees.
To decide whether you have enough money in the bank for a vacation home, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you have emergency savings (at least three to six months' worth of take-home pay)?
  • Can you make a 20 percent down payment?
  • If you have kids, have you already put aside enough money for a college fund?
  • Can you still put away enough money for retirement?
  • Have you paid off your existing home?
  • Have you calculated the potential return on your investment?
  • Does it fit in with your long-term investment strategy and financial goals?
Everyone's situation is different. If you can answer yes to most of these questions, there's a good chance that there's room in your budget for a vacation home.

2. You've done your research

If you've done your homework, that's another good sign that you're prepared to purchase a vacation home. When you're visiting an area that might become the location of your future home, there's nothing wrong with enjoying yourself; however, doing your research and taking the time to understand what the surrounding area has to offer is important. You'll also want to make sure you visit during different parts of the year. That way, you can get a feel for what it's like to live there during different seasons.
Think about the short- and long-term implications of buying a seasonal home, especially if you plan to spend plenty of time there. When you retire, for example, the amenities included in a vacation home may take a backseat. Having access to a hospital and activities that improve your overall health and well-being may be critical.

3. You know what's happening in the market

If you can keep up with what's going on in the housing market, buying a vacation home might make sense. If you analyze changes in sales prices, you'll be able to time your home purchase carefully, and you'll be able to make the most appropriate decision based on seasonal demand, which drives home prices.
In 2016, new, single-family home sales reached their highest level in a decade, although there was a decline in home-buying activity among vacation homebuyers, according to a survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). A rising demand for housing and a shrinking supply of options has pushed up prices, making it more difficult for many people to purchase a vacation home. In 2016, the median vacation-home sales price was $200,000, up from $192,000 the previous year.

4. You have a plan

Buying a seasonal home could be worth considering if you know how you're going to use it. Maybe you view the home as an investment property that can serve as an additional source of income. Maybe you've decided that you're going to find guests online through a website like Airbnb or Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO).
Keep in mind that if you intend to rent out a vacation home, you'll need to think about advertising and logistics. You'll need photos of your rental property and a detailed description of its amenities. You'll also need a rental agreement and a plan for how you're going to accept payments. Will you use a service like Venmo or PayPal, or ask guests to mail you a check?
You'll probably need to hire someone to clean your home and check for signs of damage and theft before new guests arrive. Hiring a property management company might make your life easier, but agencies often charge between 25 and 50 percent of your rental income.

5. You're prepared to pay taxes

Rental income must be included on both state and federal tax returns. If you are renting out your vacation home or even a portion of your vacation home (e.g., a bedroom), you might be considered an innkeeper. That means you might be expected to collect the same lodging taxes that hotels collect and make payments to your county, city and/or state. In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for example, among tourists who pay for lodging, a 12 percent tax is due.
For many people, the decision to purchase a vacation home is serious. If you decide to take that leap of faith and you already have homeowners insurance, make sure you find out whether your current policy will cover a second home. Also, if you intend to rent out the property, consider purchasing rent loss insurance. It covers the loss of rental income following natural disasters and catastrophic incidents.
Hippo is an InsureTech company that's reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners, building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today's consumers. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the U.S. and will be available to more than 60 percent of the nation's homeowners by the end of 2018.




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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update August 23, 2018 #RealEstate #NJ

MARKET STATS:  27 properties sold during July 2018, the same as the year before, while the number of active listings decreased slightly.  July’s median sold price was $1,165,000, up over last year.  For a detailed look at market stats, see the latest Long & Foster Market Minute report: http://marketminute.longandfoster.com/Market-Minute/NJ/Avalon-Stone-Harbor.pdf


Check the newest Market Minute report for the latest market stats.


BACKPACK DRIVE:  Thanks to all who contributed school supplies for the Back to School Backpack Drive.  Long & Foster staff gathered earlier this week to assemble and deliver donated school supplies.  New backpacks—full of supplies—will be donated to students at the Glenwood Avenue School in Wildwood for the start of the school year.  The Cape May County Association of Realtors sponsored the Drive; thanks to L&F Administrator Gina Reynolds for overseeing the efforts of our office!



Long & Foster staff gathered to assemble supplies for the Back to School Backpack Drive.

 
TOWNSEND’S INLET BRIDGE UPDATE:  The Townsend’s Inlet Bridge will close September 17th for replacement of seven spans on the Avalon side of the bridge.  About 245 feet of the 1,373-foot long bridge will be replaced, according to a Cape May County Herald article.  The $8.6 million project is related to damage discovered during an inspection last spring, when the bridge underwent emergency repairs in the few months prior to the 2018 summer season.  After closing in September the bridge is not rescheduled to reopen until Memorial Day Weekend 2019—meaning those traveling from Avalon to Sea Isle City and vice versa will have to take “the long way around” via the Garden State Parkway for the next several months.

RISING RATES LEAD TO LESS BUYING POWER:  Interest rates remain low by historical standards, but are widely expected to rise in the coming months.  Higher financing costs can have a significant impact on buying power.  Consider the example provided by Michael Mento of Prosperity Mortgage:  at 4.5%, a monthly payment of $2,533.44 supports a mortgage of $500,000, but at 5.5% at $2,526.68 payment (almost the same) supports a mortgage amount of only $445,000.  The important message for buyers: locate and purchase your desired property now, and lock in low financing costs for the duration of your ownership.  There’s also an important consideration for sellers: take advantage of market conditions and price your property to sell now, rather than wait until higher interest rates impact what buyers are able to afford!

A TWO-ALARM FIRE occurred at the Water Lily Restaurant in Stone Harbor in the early morning hours this past Sunday.  In addition to stopping the fire, paramedics treated a second floor occupant for smoke inhalation.  No other injuries were reported.

JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS remain in the prime summer season!  Hopefully you set aside plenty of time for summer fun and relaxation!  Didn’t get enough?  Don’t worry—our “Second Summer” is coming!  Post-Labor Day the Island sees great weather, warm ocean temperatures, and everything is still open—with smaller crowds to boot!  If you didn’t get enough beach time in July & August, plan a September getaway!

THE AVALON/STONE HARBOR UPDATE will return the week of September 3rd.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Children’s Mini Event: Fish Tales & Ocean Oddballs, Avalon Elementary School, 11AM-Noon, Thursday, August 23
  • Thursdays on Dune Event, Veterans Plaza, family friendly activities at 5:30PM, concert featuring Robert Eric (Billy Joel Tribute) at 7PM, Thursday, August 23
  • Movie Night at the Stone Harbor Library featuring Peter Rabbit, 5:30-7:30PM, Thursday, August 23
  • Historic Cold Spring Village Seafarers’ Weekend, Saturday & Sunday, August 25 & 26
  • Stone Harbor’s Sidewalk Sale, Downtown Shopping District, 9AM-7PM, Saturday, August 25
  • Sons of the American Legion Squad #331 Annual BBQ, eat-in or take out available, call 609-408-7429 for tickets, 5-8PM, Saturday, August 25
  • Stone Harbor’s Farmer’s Market, 95th Street Water Tower Plaza, 8AM-12:30PM, Sunday, August 26
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at Egret Espy Trail at 114th Street & Second Avenue Entrance, 10AM, Sunday, August 26
  • Full Moon Climb at the Cape May Light House, 8-10PM, Sunday, August 26
  • Monday Funday, activities for Kids, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM, Monday, August 27
  • Stone Harbor Family Night, fun for all, Stone Harbor Fire House, 7PM, Monday, August 27
  • Tuesdays at the Tower, concert featuring Never Break the Chain (songs of Fleetwood Mac) at 95th Street Water Tower Plaza, 7-8:30PM, Tuesday, August 28
  • Avalon’s Beach Movie featuring Cars 3, 30th Street & the Beach, dusk, Tuesday, August 28
  • LEGO Club, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM, Wednesday, August 29
  • Historic Cold Spring Village Hands on History Event, Saturday & Sunday, September 1 & 2
  • Stone Harbor’s Farmer’s Market, 95th Street Water Tower Plaza, 8AM-12:30PM, Sunday, September 2
  • Creative Writing Seminar, tips & feedback on poetry, memoirs, short stories & articles, Avalon Free Public Library, register at 609-967-7155, Thursday, September 6
  • Avalon Chamber of Commerce’s End-of-Summer Shop Hop, deals throughout Avalon’s shopping district, Friday-Sunday, September 7-9
  • Birding with Pat Sullivan, talk based on her book, ‘Birding in Cape May’, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-2PM, Saturday, September 8
  • Big Band Dance featuring Tony DeLuca, Avalon Community Hall, Saturday, September 15
  • Cape May Traditional Jazz Society Concert featuring the Ben Mauger Vintage Jazz Band, VFW Post #386, 419 Congress Street in Cape May, 2-4PM, Sunday, September 16


Featured Property:

This beautiful oceanfront home sits on a 63x110 lot in Stone Harbor’s south end!


100 115th Street, Stone Harbor, $7,500,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 182987


New Listings:

9508 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $549,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183472

4028 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $599,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183516

6128 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,085,900, ACTIVE MLS#: 183569

221 17th Street, Avalon, $1,320,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183487

33 W 27th Street, Avalon, $1,595,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183544

156 20th Street, Avalon, $2,195,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183548

744 21st Street, Avalon, $2,549,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183467

141 95th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,949,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183534

6 97th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,975,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183563

1 108th Street, Stone Harbor, $6,795,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183535


Properties Under Contract:

31 Stone Court, Stone Harbor, $725,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183347

54 E. 27th Street - Unit 1, Avalon, $725,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183030

700 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $749,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183393

700 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $799,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183489

2601 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $929,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 181141

246 19th Street, Avalon, $979,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 182903

394 93rd Street, Stone Harbor, $1,199,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183161

240 98th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,630,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 179992

15 Seabass Lane, Avalon Manor, $1,795,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 180782

8614 Second Ave., Stone Harbor, $1,999,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 176852

35 E. 24th Street, Avalon, $2,095,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183524

205 68th Street, Avalon, $2,149,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 182671

7429 Sunset Drive, Avalon, $2,795,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 180484

277 88th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,945,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 179433

166 69th Street, Avalon, $3,850,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 178233



Properties Sold:

3023 Dune Drive, Avalon, $644,000, SOLD MLS#: 182773

1688 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $875,000, SOLD MLS#: 182586

1218 First Avenue, Avalon, $1,300,000, SOLD MLS#: 178591

301 39th Street, Avalon, $1,370,000, SOLD MLS#: 181406

4749 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,475,000, SOLD MLS#: 183511

9803 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $1,650,000, SOLD MLS#: 182698

507 42nd Street, Avalon, $3,300,000, SOLD MLS#: 180113











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

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Luxury Housing Market Update! LuxInsight Cape May County, New Jersey - July 2018 #RealEstate #NJ




Cape May County, New Jersey - July 2018

The real estate market is always changing, and if you’re buying or selling a home—especially a luxury property—it’s critical to understand the current market conditions. More than simply seeing what’s happening to real estate as a whole in your local area, you need insights on what’s taking place in the highend market, specifically with uncommon and unique homes like yours or those for which you’re shopping. That’s why Long & Foster publishes our exclusive LuxInsight report—giving consumers like you invaluable information on the luxury market performance in your local area.

Published monthly, LuxInsight provides you with A broad overview of real estate trends in the high-end real estate market. From median sale prices and active inventory to the current housing Demand and available active listings, LuxInsight gives you access to essential statistics you need to know.

Beyond this valuable market information, Long & Foster’s team of luxury sales associates is available to guide you through the real estate process. We believe luxury real estate is all about the individual, and when you work with us, you'll receive an experience tailored to your unique needs. You'll enjoy exceptional service and expertise, provided by agents who specialize in marketing and selling the most stunning luxury homes. You'll gain our exclusive connections around the world and get a luxury home experience with proven results.

Visit link below to read the latest LuxInsight - Luxury Housing Market Update!

http://longandfostermarketinfo.com/Reports/LuxInsight/Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.pdf




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

Monday, August 20, 2018

6 Costs Homeowners Overlook and How to Pay for Them


By the Experts at Hippo
For many people, a house is the biggest investment they'll ever make. And whether you're a first-time homeowner or you're buying your third property, you're bound to end up covering some unexpected expenses. Here are six costs homeowners tend to overlook and how to pay for them:

1. Property taxes

Be prepared to pay property taxes and keep in mind that they rarely decrease. Homeowners often pay them every month along with their mortgage payments. If your loan is backed by the Federal Housing Administration, you're required to have an escrow or impound account.
If you don't have to make property tax payments through an escrow account, they may be due at the end of the year. In some counties, you might pay them in installments.

2. Homeowners association fees

Whenever you move into a new home or condominium, you become part of a community. In many cases, there are fees associated with the maintenance and general upkeep of shared common areas. The money collected might cover snow removal, landscaping or repairs to a meeting room.
Monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees for standard single-family homes tend to cost between $200-$300, but rates can vary depending on several factors, including how recently a housing community was built and the kinds of amenities that are available. That's why it's best to know how much fees cost upfront. In West Hollywood, Calif., for example, residents in Sierra Towers condos get access to a 24-hour concierge service and valet parking, but spend around $4,000 per month on HOA fees.

3. Insurance premiums

If you own a home, another cost you should include in your budget is insurance. The average annual homeowners insurance premium costs $1,120, according to recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, but the amount you pay may be higher or lower based on where you live and the kind of policy you choose.
Homeowners insurance typically covers personal possessions, liability for injuries that take place on your property, the structure of your house and additional costs associated with living elsewhere if your home is severely damaged. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you might need a supplemental policy like flood insurance.

4. Repair and maintenance costs

Repairing or replacing a roof, furnace or air conditioner can be expensive, and at some point, you might have to address plumbing issues or trade in some old appliances.
The cost of home maintenance is another thing you'll have to factor into the cost of homeownership. You'll need money to keep your yard, gutters, carpet and everything in between in tip-top shape.
Financial experts generally recommend setting aside 1 percent of your home's value to cover the cost of unexpected repairs and maintenance. If you're trying to save money, you're better off doing some of the work yourself. Just make sure you have enough funds for the materials you need to get the job done.

5. Costs associated with selling a home

Having a home that's well-maintained not only lets you enjoy your house while you're living there, but also prevents you from being saddled with additional costs when you're ready to sell it.
Replacing your roof or furnace might be something you want to put off, but failing to make necessary repairs or meet demands made by potential homebuyers could hurt your market value or cost you a sale.

6. Pest control costs

Pests are a real concern for many homeowners. Over time, all sorts of critters—like termites, ants, spiders and rodents—might invade your home. Depending on how serious the problem is, you might need to fumigate your house.
If you're interested in buying a home, make sure you hire an inspector to check for bugs and termites that could cause structural damage. While lenders don't always require homebuyers to pay for pest inspections, it's important to have one done. You don't want to close on a house only to find out later that there's an issue. Termite inspections generally cost between $75-$150, according to Angie's List.

Build a rainy day fund!

It's always better to be prepared for a storm than to be caught in a downpour without an umbrella. Despite the high costs, owning your own home can be a rewarding experience.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping enough money in your savings account to cover unforeseen costs. Make sure you account for all of the hidden expenses and fees associated with buying a home and budget accordingly.




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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

For Sale! Top Tips for First-Time Home Sellers


By Hannah Whittenly
Selling a home can be very lucrative, but you need to make sure you don't make any major mistakes. Many first-time sellers hit roadblocks that end up costing them time and money. Here are a few simple tips that will help you sell your home quickly and at the right price:

Focus on Minor Upgrades

Unless you have endless funds to spend on major renovation projects, you should stick to minor upgrades. A handful of inexpensive updates could potentially increase the value of your property by thousands. Some of the projects that you might want to consider include painting the walls, replacing old faucets and installing new light fixtures. You will also need to spend some time decluttering your home before any potential buyers come inside.

Don't Neglect Your Home's Curb Appeal

Some buyers might not even ask to see your home if it looks dingy or outdated from the street. Luckily, improving the curb appeal of a home doesn't have to be an expensive or time-consuming process. In addition to mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes, you should also pick up any clutter in your front yard. Painting your front door is another simple way to improve the appearance of your home and make it more appealing to buyers.

Be Ready to Make Sacrifices

You will probably need to make at least a few sacrifices if you want the offers to start coming in. A buyer might ask for small favors like leaving a few of the appliances behind; carefully consider these. Making a few small concessions could result in an immediate bid. You might also have to sacrifice your nights and weekends so that buyers who work during the day can see your home.

Work With a REALTOR®

Working with an experienced REALTOR® is possibly the best step that you can take to make this process a little bit easier. A real estate agent can help you stage your home and connect you directly to motivated buyers. These professionals almost always work on commission, and that means you won't have to worry about any unmanageable upfront costs.
Before you put your home on the market, you also need to come up with a fair asking price. Overpricing your home could drive away interested parties and make this process much more stressful than it needs to be.




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

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Home Maintenance: 5 Quick Exterior Fixes


By Rachael Baihn
It can be easy for the exterior of your home to look a bit worn after just a few years. Maintenance tasks that need to be taken care of get put off due to time constraints, and the fact that you don't necessarily see them every day. If you find yourself in this situation, consider these five outdoor fixes that'll have your home in tip-top shape in no time:
Clean Your Gutters
Depending on where you live, your gutters may need a lot of help. Take a few minutes to do a quick overview of the condition of your gutters—cleaning them out is a great first step to making them more efficient in getting excess water away from your home. You should also make sure that all of the connections are in good condition and that downspouts are secure. Finish up by spraying them down with a quick power wash to restore them to their original color.
Dress Up Your Door
Your front door should look just like that—a front door. Be sure guests don't have to guess where your front door is by dressing it up and turning it into a welcoming entryway. Consider repainting it with a fresh coat of paint or hanging a seasonal wreath. You could also add some touches like a welcome mat, or planting flowers in a pot underneath the doorbell. Dressing up your front door is an easy way to add appeal to your home.
Add Some Mulch
Is your yard looking tired? One of the best ways to instantly provide a fresh look to the exterior of your home is to add new mulch to flower beds and around trees. Mulch can provide a polished look to your yard, as well as offer plants moist insulation to keep them hydrated. An added benefit is that mulching also helps to deter weeds from popping up.
Spruce Up Your Mailbox
You may not think that people notice your mailbox, but it can be one of the first things that a guest sees when they drive up to your home. Spruce up your mailbox by giving it a fresh coat of paint or personalizing it with your last name. Other options include adding some flowers around the bottom of the stand, as well as making sure that it is secured in the ground and isn't leaning to one side.
Install Window Boxes
Adding a few window boxes underneath the windows in the front of your home is a great way to instantly add interest and natural beauty to your home's exterior. Choose from a wide variety of window box styles and colors that'll compliment your home. Plant flowers that'll add pop like daisies, marigolds, or even wave petunias that'll cascade over the side of the box.
Fixing up the exterior of your home doesn't have to become a week-long project. There are many different things that you can do quickly that'll add beauty to the outside of your home. Consider making all of these quick fixes in order to spruce up the exterior of your home this summer!



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

Friday, August 17, 2018

Don’t Leave Fire Safety to Chance: Steps to Protect Your Property


By Brentnie Daggett
Earlier this month, several Fourth of July celebrations were marred by accidental fires. In a town near my home, 10 acres within a densely populated area were set ablaze by illegal fireworks, forcing the evacuation of several apartment buildings. While fireworks may not be an issue year-round, it's important for property owners to take note of fire safety procedures as we're in the thick of the hot weather and wildfire season.
Keeping your tenants and your property safe is perhaps the most important task a property manager or landlord has on their plate, and fire safety should be at the top of the list. Thankfully, you can keep your renters safe and protect your investment this summer with these safety tips:
Create a "Defensible Space"
Brush, overgrowth and debris will all act as kindling in the event of an already dangerous fire. This is particularly true if any of the vegetation around your property is browning or dead.
Create what wildfire prevention experts call a "defensible space" to ensure your property has the most protection possible during the dry season. Ready for Wildfire diagrams show how you can protect your property using the zoning system:
Zone 1
Within 30 feet of any structure, remove all dead vegetation, dry leaves or pine needles from your property's yard or the building's roof and gutters. Keep branches and trees from posing a risk to your property by removing any branches that hang over your roof, and regularly have your trees trimmed to keep all branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
Remember dry or dead plants pose the greatest risk to your property, but don't overlook the risk of flammable living vegetation. Remove vegetation and debris that could catch fire from around and under decks, and be sure to prune or even remove flammable foliage, like shrubs, that are near windows. Finally, create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
Note: In some counties this 30 feet clearance may be larger. (For instance, San Diego County, Calif., requires 50 feet of clearance from buildings and property structures.) Check your local laws to ensure that you're following your defensible space or weed abatement ordinances for your property.
Zone 2
Within 100 feet of buildings and other structures, cut or mow the grass down to four inches or shorter. Be sure to remove fallen leaves, needles, bark, cones and small branches so they're equal to or less than a depth of three inches. On trees, remove all branches at least six feet from the ground. Be sure to allow extra vertical space between shrubs and trees or the foliage creates a "ladder" for the fire to move from the ground to the brush to the treetops.
Additionally, check your local fire department's advisements for the horizontal spacing of bushes and trees within this zone. Large vegetation spaced too closely can allow the fire to hop easily across your property and to your building.
Smoke Alarms
Fire safety is about more than just maintaining your property. While seasonal wildfires are a potential danger to many buildings, indoor fires are a risk any time of the year. Smoke detectors and fire alarms are required in dwellings, and it's important for property managers and landlords to ensure that they're working properly.
Remember, even if you require tenants to maintain the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarm systems, you should make it a habit to double check that they're working properly every time you inspect your property or perform routine maintenance. Check with your local laws to ensure that you have an appropriate number of smoke alarms throughout your property.
Fire Escape Route
Pre-planning can save lives in the event of a fire. With the prevalence of synthetic materials and polyblends in household furniture and products, fires can spread more rapidly and at a higher heat than in the past. Shaving minutes off of an exit from a building can mean the difference between life and death. This is particularly true if you manage a multifamily property or apartment building. These plans should be reviewed with your tenants, as well as clearly posted in each unit. You may also want to include emergency numbers and contact information on this sheet.
With summer in full swing, there's no better time to double check that your fire safety precautions and emergency plans are fully in place. You never know when a fire safety precaution could be the only thing standing between your property and disaster!




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