Keeping Current Matters

National Association of Realtors

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Move Where the Fun Is Happening

Young adults celebrating life and friendship on a rooftop in Barcelona, Spain. candid shot of eight young friends having fun on a rooftop party
Many of us move for work, family or school—but how about moving for fun? According to WalletHub, the average American spends nearly $3,000 on entertainment each year. With that in mind, WalletHub recently released a report on 2018's Most Fun Cities in America.
While the No. 1 city may not surprise you (helloooo, Vegas!), some of the other list-toppers may. For instance, New York doesn't come in until the third slot, and Orlando beat out Miami, likely due to its several theme parks.
New Orleans, on the other hand, is mid-list in the ninth slot, whereas Los Angeles doesn't enter until spot 13!
To snag their findings, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 65 key metrics, looking at movie theaters, breweries, fitness clubs and more.
In doing so, the study found that New York has the most restaurants (per square root of population), and the most playgrounds (per square root of population). New York also has the most bars (per square root of population), 71.5 times more than in West Valley City, Utah—the city with the fewest.
Bars aside, San Francisco has the most dance clubs (per square root of population), 86.2 times more than in Plano, Texas—the city with the fewest.
Below is a list of the top 20 most fun cities in the country:
1. Las Vegas, Nev.
2. Orlando, Fla.
3. New York, N.Y.
4. Atlanta, Ga.
5. Miami, Fla.
6. Chicago, Ill.
7. Portland, Ore.
8. San Francisco, Calif.
9. New Orleans, La.
10. San Diego, Calif.
11. Denver, Colo.
12. Honolulu, Hawaii
13. Los Angeles, Calif.
14. Austin, Texas
15. Washington, D.C.
16. Seattle, Wash.
17. Philadelphia, Pa.
18. Houston, Texas
19. St. Louis, Mo.
20. Tampa, Fla.

To view WalletHub's methodology and full findings, click here.

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

Friday, September 28, 2018

Great Spaces: Bright Lights and Luxury in Northern New Jersey

new jersey
With amenities comparable to a high-rise and finishes fresh from a magazine, the condominiums at 380 NWK in Downtown Jersey City distill the essence of luxury—where boutique meets upscale, and comfort and convenience mingle in one sleek set-up.
new jersey
Beginning at $649,000, each of 380 NWK's 45 homes is outfitted with stylish touches, including an all-white kitchen, cavernous ceilings and smart technology. There are one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom options ranging from 933 to 1,417 square feet. The building comes complete with a gym, kid's playroom and rooftop space, and each condo is flush with oak, porcelain and stainless steel.
new jersey
The building's defining feature? Enviable Manhattan skyline views.
new jersey
"380 NWK is truly a lifestyle experience," says Scott Weingarten, principal of The Weingarten Group, developer of the project.
new jersey
Buyers, schedule a showing soon: The building is more than 50 percent sold!
Listed by: Irina Barnaby and Daniel Pelosi, Weichert, Realtors®
Listed for: $649,000 and up
Photos by: Sean Madden

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

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update September 27th 2018 #RealEstate #NJ

NEED AN UPDATE ON AVALON WEATHER?  You can check current weather conditions in Avalon in an instant, thanks to a new weather station installed 65 feet above ground on the radio tower adjacent to Avalon’s public safety building.  In addition to providing real-time wind speed, direction, temperature and humidity, historical data will be maintained as well.  You can access the weather station via a link on Avalon’s website, or by clicking here:

An egret quietly searches beneath a dock at low tide…and finds a crab to enjoy for dinner!

RECYCLE COACH APP:  The Borough of Stone Harbor is participating in a new app designed to provide information on recycling and proper waste disposal.  The mobile app allows users to set reminders for collections, or search a database for detailed disposal instructions specific to the area.  The Recycle Coach app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

BEACH SWEEPS will be held in dozens of locations along the New Jersey coastline in October.  Avalon will conduct a beach sweep on October 20th (volunteers should meet at Community Hall at 30th Street at 8am.)  Stone Harbor will conduct a beach sweep the same day, scheduled for 9am at the 95th Street beach.  Beach Sweeps are planned for Cape May, North Wildwood, and Sea Isle City as well.  Visit for more details or to register for a Beach Sweep.

PORTUGUESE MAN O’WAR SIGHTINGS:  From time to time ocean currents and winds conspire to bring the Portuguese Man O’War to local beaches.  They were spotted last week on Stone Harbor beaches after winds from Florence pushed offshore water in our direction.  The Man O’War looks like a jellyfish but has a distinct sail-like flap on top, and long tentacles underneath.  They should be avoided whether in the water or washed up on the beach, as contact can result in a painful sting.

PLAN AHEAD: AVALON’S SEAFOOD FESTIVAL takes place on Columbus Day Weekend.  On both Saturday & Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, you’ll find local seafood vendors along with beer & wine, kids activities, music, face painting, and more.  It all takes place at 30th Street & the beach in Avalon.  Mark your calendar!

  • Mystery Book Club, Avalon Free Public Library, register at 609-967-7155, 6:30-7:30PM, Thursday, September 27
  • Mayor’s Cup Bocce Tournament, 39th Street Park in Avalon, 10AM-Noon, Saturday, September 29
  • Avalon Performing Arts Council concert featuring Jerry Blavat, The Geator with the Heater, Avalon Community Hall, doors open at 6:30PM, show starts at 7:30PM, Saturday, September 29
  • Avalon Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival, artisans, vendors, music, food, chowder contest, more, 30th Street parking lot & Avalon Community Hall, 10AM-5PM, Saturday & Sunday, October 6 & 7
  • Kids Decorate Their Own Pumpkin, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM, Saturday, October 6
  • The Early Development of Anglesea & the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, lecture at the Avalon History Center, 1PM, Saturday, October 6
  • Stone Harbor Garden Club Fashion Show, visit for info, Yacht Club of Stone Harbor, 11:30AM, Sunday, October 7
  • Windows Computer & Android Smartphone Drop-In Open Forum, questions regarding your computer, phone, software or an app, Avalon Free Public Library, 11:30AM-1PM, Saturday, October 13
  • Big Band Dance featuring the Fred Hall Band, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, October 13
  • Avalon Dune Grass Planting & Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep, Avalon Community Hall, 8:30AM, Saturday, October 20 (Rain Date is Sunday, October 21)
  • Stone Harbor Fall Beach Sweep, volunteers meet at the Stone Harbor Beach Patrol Parking Lot on 95th Street, 9AM-12:30PM, Saturday, October 20
  • Ghostly Tales & Music, Avalon Public Library, 3:30-4:30PM, Saturday, October 20
  • Stone Harbor’s Kids’ Harvest Festival, trick or treating in the shops, hayrides, pumpkin decorating & more throughout the 96th Street Shopping District, 11AM-4PM, Saturday, October 27
  • Avalon’s Trunk or Treat, Avalon’s 30th Street Parking Lot & Community Hall, 5-7PM, Saturday, October 27
  • Trick or Treat Night, 5-8PM, Avalon & Stone Harbor, Wednesday, October 31
  • Big Band Dance featuring Tony DeLuca, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, November 10
  • American Legion Post #331 Veterans’ Day Ceremony, Veterans Plaza in Avalon, 11AM, Sunday, November 11
  • Stone Harbor’s American Legion Veterans’ Day Ceremony, 11617-2nd Avenue, Noon, Sunday, November 11

Featured Property:

This three-story masterpiece sits on a 120x110 oceanfront lot in Avalon’s South End!

176 61st Street, Avalon, $9,499,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177248

New Listings:

7888 Dune Drive, Avalon, $389,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184068

8001 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, $485,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184148

700 First Avenue, Unit 406, Avalon, $599,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184107

366 40th Street, Avalon, $799,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184038

220 85th Street, Stone Harbor, $829,995, ACTIVE MLS#: 184116

2337 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $895,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184143

405 96th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,349,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184124

280 27th Street, Avalon, $1,450,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184024

125 Meadowview Lane, Avalon Manor, $1,499,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184130

284 7th Street, Avalon, $1,749,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184106

4521 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $2,149,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184149

35 W. 16th Street, Avalon, $2,895,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184160

254 6th Street, Avalon, $3,199,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184087

64 W. 30th Street, Avalon, $3,249,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184075

26 E. 9th Street Street, Avalon, $3,250,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184140

344 104th Street, Stone Harbor, $3,499,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184128

530 7th Street, Avalon, $3,500,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184108

7 Heron Drive, Avalon, $3,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184127

306 62nd Street and 6220 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $4,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184132

Properties Under Contract:

45 Seabreeze Lane, Avalon Manor, $425,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 181183

8218 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $609,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183327

243 22nd Street, Avalon, $682,500, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 184113

214 27th Street, East Side, Avalon, $859,900, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183969

7428 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,250,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 184150

49 Seabreeze Lane, Avalon Manor, $1,475,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 181184

6188 Dune Drive, Avalon, $3,395,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 182585

Properties Sold:

378 83rd Street, Boatslip, Stone Harbor, $20,000, SOLD MLS#: 183360

473 Avalon Boulevard, Avalon Manor, $247,000, SOLD MLS#: 181165

280 27th Street East Unit, Avalon, $775,000, SOLD MLS#: 176560

234 32nd Street, Avalon, $800,000, SOLD MLS#: 182398

247 87th Street, Stone Harbor, $857,000, SOLD MLS#: 182071

263 34th Street, Avalon, $975,000, SOLD MLS#: 180308

464 20th Street, Avalon, $1,200,000, SOLD MLS#: 182768

929 Dune Dr., Avalon, $1,325,000, SOLD MLS#: 183145

33 W. 27th Street, Avalon, $1,560,000, SOLD MLS#: 183544

2219 Avalon Avenue, Avalon, $2,025,000, SOLD MLS#: 181880

166 69th Street, Avalon, $3,600,000, SOLD MLS#: 178233

92 E. 12th Street, Avalon, $3,950,000, SOLD MLS#: 182001

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What Kinds Of Mortgages Are Available?

Once you have signed a contract for the purchase of your new home (or condominium or cooperative apartment), and assuming you do not have all of the cash in your bank account, you will need to obtain a mortgage loan.

There are many different loans on the market - and many different loan programs from which to choose. You should contact at least three different lenders, and ask them to give you a list of the loans which they can offer you. Take careful notes, and remember one important thing: do not give any lender any money until you are absolutely certain this is the lender - and this is the loan - you want to obtain.

The three basic loan programs are as follows:

1. Conventional: this type of loan in generally available from a bank, a mortgage broker, or a credit union. Within the category of conventional loans, there are various options available, such as a fixed 30 year loan, or an adjustable rate loan (called an ARM).

ARMs adjust on a periodic basis, although in most cases they will run for a period of thirty (30) years. Generally speaking, the shorter the term of the adjustment (such as a one year ARM) the lower the initial interest rate will be. However, when the adjustment period comes around, the interest rate for the next adjustment will either go up or down, depending on the economy at the time of the adjustment. When interest rates are falling, an ARM seems like a good deal. However, when interest rates are rising (as they are now doing), the consumer who obtains a one-year ARM is almost guaranteed to see the interest rate hike as high as 2 percentage points at the end of the first year.

This is not a complex issue, and all lenders have (or should have) a written explanation of the way their particular ARM works. Read it carefully and seek assistance from your financial and legal advisors if you have any questions.

2. VA Loans: This type of loan is generally available from mortgage brokers, It is called a VA loan, since only military veterans can obtain such loans. They are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. There are certain conditions which you must meet if you want a VA loan, and you should make sure that your potential lender provides you with all the details, up front.

3. FHA loans: This loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA will guarantee the lender against a default by the borrower, but the borrower will have to pay an insurance premium for this coverage. Once again, there are conditions which must be met before such loans can be obtained, and you should discuss all these terms with the potential lender.

It is not possible in a short article to fully discuss all the various mortgage loans on the market. Furthermore, creative lenders are always coming up with new programs in an effort to be competitive. However, not all these loans are in your best interest.

You should shop around, and don't accept the first loan that is offered. While the real estate agent and often the seller may give you loan information - and the name of potential lenders - only you can make the final decision as to what is best for you. After all, remember that the life of the loan may be as long as 30 years — and that's a long time to be stuck with an uncomfortable loan.

Written by Benny L. Kass

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Perks of Buying a Home in the Fall

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on September 16, 2015. Housecall continues to share this piece due to ongoing requests and reader interest.
As we close out a summer marked by rising home prices and limited supply, we’re conditioned to expect the inevitable end-of-season slowdown. But the change of season doesn’t mean activity drops off completely – in fact, fall’s arrival presents opportunities for homebuyers, in part due to a “back-to-school mentality,” according to a survey by ERA Real Estate.
If you’re a prospective homebuyer, tap into that renewed sense of motivation – and consider the following perks – while hunting for a home this fall.
You can enjoy year-end tax breaks. Buying before the year’s out allows fall homebuyers to take advantage of tax breaks such as the mortgage interest and property tax deductions. “There are certain deductions that can be claimed by homeowners only,” explains Founder John Gregory. “If you have taken out a homeowner’s loan, consider these deductions as Uncle Sam’s gift to you.” To learn more about the tax benefits available to homeowners, click here.
You can sidestep the multiple-bid minefield. Bidding wars dominated low inventory markets this summer, but competition tends to wane as activity slows in the fall. With fewer folks searching for homes, fall homebuyers can spend less time chasing supply and more time finding – and getting – the perfect home.
You may have more bargaining power. Aside from less competition, fall homebuyers may have the opportunity to purchase their home of choice at a reduced price, especially when negotiating with sellers who had hoped to unload their homes over the summer.
You’ll be home for the holidays – literally. As ERA reports in their survey, fall homebuying activity is also fueled by emotional motivation. “As vacations wind down after Labor Day and people become more focused, the desire to be in a new home for the holidays is a historically strong driver of fall home sales,” says ERA President and CEO Charlie Young.

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

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Smart Home Tech to Install Before the Next Storm

By Eric Brandt
What's worse than being hit by severe weather? Being ill-prepared for it. And, truth be told, most of us are frighteningly underprepared. According to a recent Esurance report, only 25 percent of Americans proactively prepare for damaging weather events. Given the record-breaking natural disasters in 2017, bracing for storms may be more critical this year than ever.
Luckily, there's smart technology available that could make getting ready for Mother Nature much easier. From preparation to recovery, here are a few ways smart home tech can help make natural disasters less disastrous:
Look Into Smart Irrigation
Smart irrigation systems are designed to optimize watering schedules using hyperlocal data. This helps plant life stay healthy and not become combustible brush. Plus, smart sprinklers do more than make your lawn look good; they can be a key defense in keeping your home safe—especially if you live in wildfire country.
Smart sprinklers have been known to stop advancing wildfires. In 2015, one homeowner activated his system remotely. Using video cameras, he was able to employ his sprinklers strategically and keep oncoming flames at bay.
Smarten Up Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps can be effective at stopping floods; however, in order to properly safeguard your home, they have to be in working order. Many homeowners find out too late that their sump pumps are kaput or inadequate—because, honestly, who has time to check theirs regularly?
Fortunately, some smart outlets can do that for you. Smart outlets plug into your sump pump directly, sync up with a Wi-Fi hub and keep an unwavering eye on your sump pump's condition, day and night. If it detects any issues, it'll send a push notification to your smartphone. This means you'll know if your sump pump is up to snuff before the next big storm hits.
Install Leak Detectors
Damage resulting from burst pipes is a common homeowners insurance claim. The most common cause of burst pipes? Freezing temperatures.
Once a pipe starts to leak, thousands of dollars in damages can accrue in minutes. Smart leak detectors help identify telltale signs of leakage—either excessive moisture levels in the home or freezing temperatures in your pipes. This allows you to act before the problem escalates and some devices can even automatically shut off your water when a leak is detected.
Smarten Up Your Smoke Alarms
The smoke from an overcooked panini and a legitimate stove fire often provoke the same ear-piercing sounds from your traditional smoke alarm. But a smart smoke alarm can distinguish between burnt toast and a chimney fire, and will alert to each with different sounds.
Smart smoke systems can tell you which room is smoky, in addition to alerting you to carbon monoxide levels and air quality issues. What's more, you can get alerts on your smartphone, allowing you to turn off the alarm—or call the fire department—remotely, depending on the severity of the situation.
Get Tornado Alerts
Whether you live in Tornado Alley or not, many of us are all too familiar with just how destructive—not to mention volatile—tornadoes can be, which is exactly why they necessitate as much forewarning as possible.
New in-home tornado detectors are designed to discern tornado-forming weather patterns half an hour in advance. These come with alarms and lights and provide real-time tornado location updates right to your smartphone, giving you enough time to prepare or evacuate.
Have a Recovery Plan in Place
Smart home systems can mitigate the disastrous effects of extreme weather, but having home or rental insurance is absolutely critical in picking up where you left off. Homeowners coverage not only helps pay for damages to your home and belongings; it may also help with temporary living accommodations in the interim.
Speaking of smart technology, it's a good idea to create a digital record of any upgrades you've made to the home, as well as an inventory of your personal belongings before you actually need them. This can help ensure your coverage is up to par and make the claims process that much faster.
When it comes to the unpredictability of nature, preparation is always your best defense. The right technology in combination with the right homeowners insurance can help you both prepare for and recover from whatever comes your way.

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

Friday, September 21, 2018

5 Issues You May Face When Inheriting a House

By Alex Lehr
The recent death of legendary singer Aretha Franklin initially posed a quandary for her four surviving sons. Because she didn’t leave a will, her $80 million fortune—including Franklin’s numerous real estate holdings—likely will take longer to divide, and the process could become very complicated.
Although Franklin’s sons appointed her niece to execute the estate, the situation brings to mind how family feuds and other problems can potentially result when inheritance portions aren’t clearly defined, or when an executor may be in over their head. Many newfound executors can face uncertainty and feel stress when inheriting a property after the death of a loved one.
Inheriting a property can come as a shock and may feel like an insurmountable obstacle. In the wake of a family tragedy or death, being the executor of an estate can be especially challenging. And the biggest asset in an estate—and the most difficult to resolve—is usually a house.
Here's a list of important decisions an executor may face when a house is part of an inheritance:
Keep, rent or sell? Competing interests among siblings can make the right decision difficult. Caught in the middle, the executor has to ask the heirs to keep their emotions under control and put the rational facts on the table. Selling is often the best decision if medical bills, tax issues or other reasons require cashing out. And it produces a specific amount that can be divided equally.
Can you manage a property investment? When considering keeping the property in the family, the executor needs to be objective about the beneficiaries’ dependability. Would you choose the other beneficiaries to be your partners in any long-term investment? Could they get divorced, go bankrupt or bring other entanglements? And if you decide to rent the property, there are issues to consider such as the local market for rentals and your ability to maintain the property.
Establishing value of the property. If one heir or beneficiary wants to buy the house, the estate must determine the market value and get a fair price for the heirs and beneficiaries. One way is to get two appraisals, and to look at estimates from a real estate website such as Zillow. Alternatively, the executor can put the property on the market with the expressed provision that one of the heirs has the right of first refusal to match the highest offer.
Repair and renovate? The executor must make sure the house is maintained in good condition, necessary repairs are carried out, and that it’s kept insured. An executor can be personally liable for failure to maintain a property that results in losses for the heirs. But how much work is worthwhile before putting a home on the market? That’s a big question that depends on the property and circumstances.
Furnished or unfurnished? It’s not unusual for an inherited home to be filled with a 30-year accumulation of stuff. In most cases, when the property goes on the market, thinning out the furnishings will help it show better. Nine out of 10 buyers first see the home in online photos.
Being an executor is a high-responsibility, time-consuming, and often thankless job that people often take on while grieving. It’s up to the executor to assess not only the physical assets of an estate, but also the people and emotions involved.

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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update September 20, 2018 #RealEstate

MARKET STATS:  45 new sale contracts were written during the month of August as the number of active listings declined slightly.  The median sold price was $1,355,000 last month.  For a detailed look at the latest market stats see the newest Long & Foster Market Minute report:

R.U.S.T. IN WILMINGTON, NC:  Cape May County sent members of its Regional Urban Search Team (RUST) to Wilmington, North Carolina as part of a task force to assist local authorities.  The team is trained in high-water rescues, and has assisted with evacuations in Wilmington.  They are expected to remain in the area for a couple of weeks.

NO MORE COIN TOSSING on the Garden State Parkway!  Coin collection machines at the Parkway mainline toll barriers will be removed, meaning those wanting to use coins or cash must travel through a toll lane staffed by an attendant.  The aging coin machines are difficult to maintain with parts becoming scarce.  Coin collection machines will remain at Parkway entrances and exits, and parts from the decommissioned mainline machines will be used to keep those operating.

IT’S 14.8 MILES AROUND!  With the Townsend’s Inlet Bridge now closed until next May, travelling from 7th Street in Avalon to 93rd Street in Sea Isle City is now a 14.8 mile trip.  The bridge closed early Monday morning as heavy equipment moved in to begin the 8-month, $8.6 million project to replace seven of the bridge’s 27 spans.  No vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians will be allowed on the bridge during the project.  Crossing the bridge from Avalon to Sea Isle City would normally take just a few minutes.  Google Maps now calculates “the long way around” at 27 minutes!

CAN’T MAKE IT to Stone Harbor for a Council meeting during the off season?  Watch online!  Visit to watch whether you’re back at home or across the country!

  • Tea Time at the Avalon History Center, tea & sharing memories of Old Avalon, 215-39th Street, 11AM, Thursday, September 20
  • Wildwood Boardwalk Classic Car Display, visit for info, Thursday-Saturday, September 20-22
  • Irish Fall Festival, music, dancing, food, vendors, more, Olde NJ Avenue in N. Wildwood, Thursday-Sunday, September 20-23
  • Salt March Safari, film presentation, ‘Secrets of the Salt Marsh’ & Guided Walk through the wetlands on an elevated walkway, 11AM-Noon & 2-3PM, The Wetlands Institute, Friday, September 21
  • Wetlands Institute Fall Migration Festival, 9:30AM-4:30PM, Saturday, September 22
  • Creative Writing, tips & feedback on poetry, memoirs, short stories, articles & books, registration required at 609-967-7155, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-Noon, Saturday, September 22
  • Stone Harbor’s Savor September Wine, Beer & Food Festival, local wineries & breweries, food, artisans, live music, more, 96th Street Shopping District, Noon-8PM, Saturday, September 22
  • Cape May Light House Full Moon Climb, 8-10PM, Monday, September 24
  • Mayor’s Cup Bocce Tournament, 39th Street Park in Avalon, Saturday, September 29
  • Avalon Performing Arts Council concert featuring Jerry Blavat, The Geator with the Heater, Avalon Community Hall, doors open at 6:30PM, show starts at 7:30PM, Saturday, September 29
  • Kids Decorate Their Own Pumpkin, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM, Saturday, October 6
  • Avalon Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival, artisans, vendors, music, food, chowder contest, more, 30th Street parking lot & Avalon Community Hall, 10AM-5PM, Saturday & Sunday, October 6 & 7
  • Stone Harbor Garden Club Fashion Show, Yacht Club of Stone Harbor, 11:30AM, Sunday, October 7
  • Big Band Dance featuring the Fred Hall Band, Avalon Community Hall, 7PM, Saturday, October 13
  • Avalon Dune Grass Planting & Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep, 8:30AM, Avalon Community Hall, Saturday, October 20 (Rain Date is Sunday, October 21)
  • Stone Harbor’s Kids’ Harvest Festival, trick or treating in the shops, hayrides, pumpkin decorating & more throughout the 96th Street Shopping District, 11AM-4PM, Saturday, October 27
  • Avalon’s Trunk or Treat, Avalon’s 30th Street Parking Lot & Community Hall, 5-7PM, Saturday, October 27
  • Trick or Treat Night, 5-8PM, Avalon & Stone Harbor, Wednesday, October 31

Featured Property:

Residential AND commercial units are yours—along with two boat slips and bay views—at this Bayfront property!

9725 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $1,950,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 182590

New Listings:

380 39th Street, Avalon, $1,349,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184001

1248 Avalon Avenue, Avalon, $1,589,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184020

36 W. 26th Street, Avalon, $1,595,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183979

2118 First Avenue, Avalon, $1,649,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183996

129 19th Street, Avalon, $2,699,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183952

54 W. 34th Street, Avalon, $2,995,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184012

174 86th Street, Stone Harbor, $3,999,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184005

312 42nd Street, Avalon, $4,295,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 183983

Properties Under Contract:

700 First Ave., Avalon, $595,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 181480

328 81st Street, Stone Harbor, $599,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 180222

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

351 96th Street, #408, Stone Harbor, $629,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 182506

665 21st Street, Avalon, $699,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183160

8506 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $799,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 182600

4138 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $999,999, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183007

10 W. 21st Street - East & West, Avalon, $1,989,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183924

2407 Harbor Avenue, Avalon, $2,199,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183181

7708 Sunset Drive, Avalon, $2,700,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 179287

308 92nd Street, Stone Harbor, $3,749,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183849

74 E. 25th Street, Avalon, $3,875,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 180845

Properties Sold:

543 22nd Street, Avalon, $610,000, SOLD MLS#: 181356

31 Stone Court, Stone Harbor, $705,000, SOLD MLS#: 183347

2335 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $755,000, SOLD MLS#: 180506

394 93rd Street, Stone Harbor, $999,000, SOLD MLS#: 183161

470 20th Street, Avalon, $1,138,750, SOLD MLS#: 183998

65 W. 11th Street, Avalon, $1,450,000, SOLD MLS#: 182091

136 34th Street, Avalon, $1,695,000, SOLD MLS#: 183276

3548 Dune Drive, Avalon, $1,995,000, SOLD MLS#: 182361

234 14th Street, Avalon, $2,150,000, SOLD MLS#: 182876

763 Sunrise Drive, Avalon, $2,200,000, SOLD MLS#: 182256

545 24th Street, Avalon, $2,300,000, SOLD MLS#: 182362

225 88th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,400,000, SOLD MLS#: 182859

744 21st Street, Avalon, $2,500,000, SOLD MLS#: 183467

238 64th Street, Avalon, $2,600,000, SOLD MLS#: 179790

115 116th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,775,000, SOLD MLS#: 182472

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

There are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. "How much will my home sell for?"  "How much should I list my home for?"  "Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?"  "What if the real estate agent overprices my home?"  Last but not least, "Is this a good time to be selling a home?" is also a very common question that real estate agents are asked.
As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a "spring market rush" every year. There is no doubt that the "spring market" is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.
Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:
Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.
Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.
Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren't out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.
The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.
The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn't have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.
Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be "sold" on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.
Mortgage Rates Are Low
If you've read about real estate in the past year, it's likely you've read that the mortgage rates are very low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes.  If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you're waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace!  Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.
Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.
By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

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

Saturday, September 15, 2018

How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do

By Hannah Whittenly
The dream of purchasing a beach house is potentially one that you've had since you were a teenager or young adult. However, setting aside the money for this venture is an entirely different project. Instead of continuing to watch your dream shrink, consider some strategies for making a beach house a reality.

Look for Less Desirable Locations

In your view, any house on the beach is likely in a desirable location, but that really depends upon what the buyer is looking for. One thing that you should consider is how the school district can have a significant effect on the price of a house. If you are looking for a summer home or you may not have children, the quality of the school district may not affect you at all. As a result, you can buy in a community that has a school district of a lower quality, which will likely mean a lower price.

Research Seasonal Communities

When you're looking to purchase a house, you might think you need to buy a place that is yours to visit throughout the year. However, that isn't necessarily the case. You may be able to find a home in a community that is only open to residents for a set number of months per year. During the colder seasons, it may close down. Due to the fact that you're unable to inhabit the house year-round, you may have a greater chance of procuring a lower price.

Rent the House

beach house is a desirable location for many people, which provides you with the opportunity to rent it to them. You could rent your house out on AirBnB, for example. Some people decide to rent their houses out for the majority of the year and spend a short amount of vacation time there themselves, and others choose to just rent the house during peak seasons. You can decide what works for you.

Buy Smaller Houses

In most cases, people looking to buy beach houses are not planning to live there during the entire year. As a result, you probably don't need a prodigious beach house. Even when you want to make the beach house your full-time residence, ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to get a house on the beach. When you don't intend to have children, one or two bedrooms in a house might be just right.
Thinking about buying a beach house might feel overwhelming to you because of the perceived costs. However, you can actually make this wish a reality.

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