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Friday, November 30, 2018

A Home for the Holidays: The Best Closing Date Is in December


Most of us would say "Bah humbug!" to the prospect of purchasing this time of year—but for those who are willing, the gift is a Santa sack of savings.
According to an analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions, buyers who closed on December 26 saved $2,500, or 1.3 percent below full market value—by many measures, enough to finance get-togethers and gift-giving over the holidays, if not appliances or a remodeling project.


December in general is ideal for savings; in fact, including the day after Christmas, seven of ATTOM's 10 "Best Days to Buy a Home" are in the 12th month of the year. January and February are prime for savings, too, aligning with the housing market's seasonal slowdown, typically, in winter.
Ohio has the best outlook for savings by state, according to the analysis. In January, homes in the Buckeye State were found to be 8.8 percent below full market value. There are also deals to be had in Michigan and Nebraska, where homes were 7.9 percent and 7.3 percent below the market rate, respectively.
As with holiday shopping, the key is to start sooner.
"People closing on a home purchase December 26 were submitting offers around Thanksgiving and starting their home search around Halloween—likely not a common path to home purchase for most buyers, and exactly why it's the best time to buy," says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. "Buyers and investors willing to start their home search right about when stores are setting up Christmas decorations will face less competition and likely be dealing with more motivated sellers, giving them the upper hand in price negotiations."



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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update November 29th, 2018 #RealEstate #NJ

MARKET STATS:  45 units were sold in Avalon and Stone Harbor during the month of October, about even with last year, while the number of active listings fell slightly to 238.  The median sale price decreased to $1,200,000, down from a year ago, but the number of current contracts increased to 34.  For a detailed look at the market, see the latest Long & Foster Market Minute report:

View The Latest Long & Foster Market Minute Report  |  Download/Print PDF

  

Click above for the latest stats from Long & Foster’s Market Minute report.

 
AVALON COUNCILMAN RICHARD DEAN submitted a letter of resignation to the Avalon Borough Council, effective November 30th.  Dean has been a member of the Borough Council since 1987; he cited health issues as the reason for his departure.  Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi said “Dick Dean has left a legacy of public service in the Borough of Avalon for which the public will benefit for generations to come.”  Avalon Borough Council is accepting letters of interest until December 5th from Avalon residents interested in filling the remainder of Dean’s term, which expires June 30th, 2019.  Interested candidates will be interviewed by Council at a closed session on December 12th.

160 LOCAL FAMILIES HOSTED Coast Guard recruits from Cape May for the Thanksgiving holiday, thanks to Operation Fireside.  Initiated 38 years ago, Operation Fireside allows recruits time off with host families, allowing them to relax, eat a home-cooked meal, watch television, and call family members at home. 

AVALON RESCUE SQUAD purchased a new 2018 Ford E450 Horton Ambulance, replacing a 14 year old model.  The new $217,000 ambulance was funded entirely through donations, and provides the latest safety features for patients and crews. 

CONGRATULATIONS KELSEY AND DAVID!  Immediately after Mayor Pagliughi and Santa lit Avalon’s Christmas tree this past weekend, David Schweizer and his girlfriend Kelsey got engaged!  The couple is planning a December 2019 wedding.  Congratulations David and Kelsey!

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Drop in Tech Workshop for Apple Computers, iPads & iPhones, help with questions regarding your computer, iPhone, iPad, software or an app, Avalon Free Public Library, 10-11:30AM Saturday, December 1
  • Christmas Open House, Sea Isle City Historical Museum, 11AM-2PM, Saturday, December 1
  • Avalon Historical Society Holiday Party & Annual Meeting, Avalon History Center, 4-7PM, Saturday, December 1
  • Avalon Home & Land Owners Association Monthly Meeting, Avalon Senior Citizens’ Building, 10AM, Saturday, December 8
  • Holiday Stroll in Sea Isle City, town wide discounts & hospitality in the businesses and shops, Saturday, December 8
  • Pinch the ‘Grynch’ Boardwalk 5 K run & 1-mile walk, start in the Wildwood Convention Center, dress in festive holiday outfits for prize opportunities, 9AM registration, 10AM start, Saturday, December 8
  • Windows Computer & Android Smart Phone Drop In Tech Workshop, help with questions regarding your computer, phone, software or an app, Avalon Free Public Library, 11:30AM-1PM, Saturday, December 8
  • Creative Writing Seminar, tips & feedback on books, stories, etc, Avalon Free Public Library, 10AM-Noon, Saturday, December 15
  • Christmas Music Lecture & Sing Along, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-2PM, Saturday, December 15
  • Breakfast with Santa presented by Girl Scout Troops 42358 & 46436, crafts, Christmas cards for the Military, bake sale, WIBG personalities, more, Avalon Community Hall, 9AM-Noon, Sunday, December 16
  • Happy ‘Noon’ Year, celebration for the kids, 11AM-12:30PM, Avalon Free Public Library, Monday, December 31
  • Job Search Workshop with Sean Farrell presenting options for best ways to get a job online, Avalon Free Public Library, 10-11AM, Saturday, January 5
  • The First Frontier:  Yeoman-Whalers & the Origin of Cape May County, presentation by Jim Stephens of Historic Cold Spring Village discussing the 17th century whaling industry on the Delaware Bay and how it led to the creation of CMC, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-2PM, Saturday, January 5
  • Wetlands Institute Covered Dish Dinner with Guest Speaker, $7 for members, $12 for non-members, bring a dish to share, 6PM, Friday, January 25


Featured Property:

Extensively updated, this rancher is ready for you!



138 30th Street, Avalon, $1,495,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184748



New Listings:
   
233 235 99th Street, Stone Harbor, $465,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185081

545 22nd Street, Avalon, $699,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185076

36 W. 19th Street, Avalon, $1,795,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185082

175 84th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185078

11601 Paradise Drive, Stone Harbor, $2,950,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185085



Properties Under Contract:

690 Avalon Blvd., Avalon Manor, $295,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 170928

505 Avalon Boulevard, Avalon Manor, $599,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 183810

237 48th Street, Avalon, $1,380,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 182645

2109 Harbor Avenue, Avalon, $1,850,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 184599

5 94th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,995,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 184377




Properties Sold:

10800 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $555,000, SOLD MLS#: 178987

2337 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $885,000, SOLD MLS#: 184143

1113 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor Manor, $975,000, SOLD MLS#: 179601

237 64th Street, Avalon, $1,849,000, SOLD MLS#: 183741

53 E. 14th, Avalon, $2,487,500, SOLD MLS#: 184323

7708 Sunset Drive, Avalon, $2,600,000, SOLD MLS#: 179287












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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Scary New Trend: Lying About Income on a Mortgage Application



Would you lie about your income to qualify for a mortgage? According to CoreLogic, lots of people are. “Mortgage fraud risk jumped more than 12 percent year over year at the end of the second quarter, said CNBC of the CoreLogic findings. “One in every 109 mortgage applications is estimated to have indications of fraud.”

With high home prices and rents, rising mortgage rates, and heavy competition for available properties, potential buyers are feeling more pressure to own a place than ever. “As a result, an increasing number of buyers are lying and cheating,” they said. CoreLogic’s six fraud indicators include: “identity, income, occupancy, property, transaction and undisclosed real estate debt,” and they noted the highest percentage of mortgage fraud risk in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Washington, D.C., and New Mexico.

The property data and analysis company found that fraud related to income reporting was up 22 percent in an attempt by borrowers to circumvent strict debt-to-income limits for mortgage lending. “Ominously, most of it is not traceable to criminals trying to bilk lenders out of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars through traditional loan swindles,” said the Washington Post. “Rather, it’s increasingly what researchers call ‘bona fide’ borrowers who don’t have the income to qualify but are determined to get a home mortgage, even if they have to mislead the lender.”

They’re accomplishing this through Internet sites that help borrowers fudge their income and even provide a confirmation service on cross-check. “A casual search will result in any number of online services that will not only generate fake pay stubs, but will also answer phone calls and ‘confirm’ income verbally, all for a fee,” said CNBC. Another scam involves borrowers who claim to have received an interest-free down payment gift from a relative and who are able to disguise these borrowed funds with a faux gift letter they found online.

The Washington Post also noted that, “Fannie Mae recently warned lenders via several alerts about a loan-fraud technique in which applicants claim to work for specific companies and provide income and employment information that appears to be bulletproof but turns out to be totally bogus. Applicants frequently claim to have been students immediately before their current employment. This makes it difficult or impossible for lenders to pull tax transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service for the year spent as a ‘student.’

The risk is high all around

Borrowers may think of padding their income as a harmless white lie that has little downside if they’re able to meet their goal of buying a home, however mortgage fraud carries with it some serious risks. “What are the possible consequences? Getting turned down for the mortgage is the least of them,” said Credit.com. “If your falsehood is discovered after you get the loan, your lender could boost your interest rate or even demand immediate repayment in full. Tax-related falsehoods could get you in trouble with the IRS. In addition, penalties for mortgage fraud—which is what lying on a mortgage application is—range as high as 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. You likely won’t face a penalty like that for a small exaggeration or omission, but you could still end up with a fine and a conviction.”

And then there’s the risk to the housing industry if this current fraud trend is at all responsible for causing another crash; CoreLogic found a “far higher risk for fraud in loans coming from wholesale lenders or brokers—which don't fund the loans but instead gather a borrower's information and shop it to lenders,” said CNBC. “That implies brokers are also committing fraud. This was common during the last housing boom, when mortgage fraud helped bring about one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history.”


Written by Jaymi Naciri






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

Monday, November 26, 2018

Real Estate Guide: How to Choose an Investment Property


By Shirley Lowe
If you're purchasing a property with the sole aim of renting it out or selling it for a higher price, it can make for an excellent investment—but buying an investment property does have its pitfalls. For instance, if you fail to follow the No. 1 rule of real estate—location, location, location—you can suffer significant losses. Diversifying your investment portfolio can also be much more difficult for newcomers due to the high prices on property.
Don't fall victim to ignorance. Here's a brief guide to get you on course to choosing the investment property that's right for you:

Choosing a Type of Property to Invest In

While location is one of the key elements to buying a property, the type of real estate you're investing in is also crucial. Below are your main choices when it comes to that:
Single-Family Homes
Buying a condominium or a house to rent out to a family is the first thing many people think of when it comes to investing in real estate. They're often more affordable than your other options, and you can sometimes do all the work it needs yourself in order to rent it out.
One of the main drawbacks, however, is that this type of property is typically very difficult to sell in a bad economy, especially if it's not in a great area. Also, you're losing money every month if you fail to find a tenant.
Vacation Property
If you buy a vacation house that's situated on a beach or in the mountains, you can rent it while you're not there. This gives you a smaller income in comparison to renting a house long-term. If the area is good, however, you can end up with a significant addition to your budget.
Again, the problem comes down to finding tenants, as, in all likelihood, your vacation property will only be useful for about half of the year.
Multifamily Property
Owning a duplex that you partially rent out is a type of cohabitation that can be very profitable and comfortable at the same time. You don't have to share the living space with anyone, but you get rent from your neighbors.
On the downside, your maintenance bills will often be high. Getting good tenants is also a big issue, as you're still technically living with them.
Business Property
Although investing in a retail or an industrial building can require a bigger sum from you upfront, it can naturally result in more gains. You may need to start saving today to afford it in the future, but if done properly and if the economy is good, you can find tenants that'll sign longer leases than a family would.
The problem, again, is with the tenants. For a retail building, you may have to do quite a lot of renovation work in order for a tenant to move in. Also, if one business fails and another decides to move in, you may have to change the design completely.
Land as an Investment
This is by far one of the most difficult real estate assets to get profit from. It requires knowledge of the zoning laws in your area, as you'll likely need to rezone it to make a profit; however, if you make the right bid, this can be a good long-term asset. One of the most popular ways of making a profit from land is selling it to a developer or using it as a parking lot.

How to Choose the Perfect Real Estate for Investment

Now that you know your options on the property market, let's take a look at what else you should consider when choosing what to buy.
The Area You Buy in Should Be Growing
If the area is receding economically, residents could soon flee, as well. It won't happen immediately, but you could have less and less prospective tenants over time. Take the time to research the area and see whether it's developing or not. If the economy is good, there are multiple employers and the city is working on infrastructure, it may just be a great buy.
Know the Area Better Than Your Own
You probably know the area that you live in quite well; you know how many schools are there, how long it takes to walk to the nearest shops, how the demographics have changed, etc. However, this isn't enough information to invest wisely.
Learn this information about the area you're buying property in, and more. You need to learn as much about the area as humanly possible. If you miss a crucial factor, like the probable bankruptcy of a major employer, you may be leading yourself into a financial loss.
Predict the Future
None of us can see into the future; the best option we have is to try to predict it. Look at development plans, go to a government website and see what their long-term vision of the infrastructure is and know all the projects being developed in the area. This will help you predict what kind of neighborhood it's going to be.
Don't Make It Your Last Chance
You've probably heard of a family that invested their last pennies in real estate, were able to hold it while living modestly and cashed in when it sold. What you don't hear about are the thousands of families that attempt to do that each year and fail. Don’t be one of them. Invest wisely.
You can't just buy a random home and expect it to bring you profit. You'll have to learn a lot to make a good investment. Consider talking to real estate experts in your area, even if you feel like you know enough. The price you pay for consultation is nothing in comparison to the profits you'll reap afterward.









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

Friday, November 23, 2018

Becoming a Home Maintenance Pro: Tips for New Homeowners


By Dixie Somers
Congratulations on your new home! You survived the paperwork. You got all of your belongings moved in and everything unpacked. You even got a lawnmower, some power tools and a massive tool chest—now what?
Many new homeowners don’t even think about home maintenance until something breaks, but that’s not the best way to take care of your new home. Here are three tips to help you protect your investment and keep your property in good shape for years to come:
Create and Follow a Home Maintenance Schedule
A good place to start is by following a home maintenance schedule. Just as your car needs to have an oil change and get its components checked and maintained regularly, your home and yard will need some regular maintenance as well.
If you bought new appliances, make sure you send in your warranties and keep all your owner’s manuals that came with them. If you bought an older home, the previous owners may have left those documents in a kitchen drawer for you to reference. Some of these appliances will have recommendations for repairs and maintenance.
You’ll need to mow your lawn, trim your bushes and perhaps even top your trees from time to time. For pest control, you'll need to spray or have ground treatment performed a few times per year too. Don’t be afraid to do some research and speak with professionals about maintenance specific to your location.
Have All of Your Home Systems Checked Regularly
It’s important to get your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems checked annually to keep them in good shape. Some of these tasks can be done yourself. For instance, you might need to clean your air filters, remove debris from the vents and flush out your water heater.
Many home repair companies will offer a free inspection at various times of the year or have a maintenance program, so be on the lookout for those. Calling up some local companies and asking if they offer free inspections or have any special pricing is also a good option.
Some companies specialize in just one system, such as plumbing, while others are able to work on everything. Knowing what they work on and what their reputation is in that specific area before talking with them will only help you in your search. For example, if you live in an area that's known for being warm most of the year and your home’s plumbing needs some work, finding a company that offers air conditioning, as well as plumbing services, could be helpful.
However, if you already have a plumbing service in mind, you might just want to go with the best air conditioning services regardless of whether or not they offer services in other areas. Check customer reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, Facebook and the BBB when searching for a new company. Always go with one that is experienced, licensed, bonded and insured.
Follow a Cleaning Schedule
Home maintenance often focuses on repair work, but keeping your home clean can be just as important and can add a lot more enjoyment to the experience of home ownership.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to housecleaning, but it’s a good idea to perform some cleaning tasks at least once per week, such as mopping the floors, vacuuming, spraying down the shower and faucets and dusting the shelves.
Deep cleaning every month or so is also a good idea. This means actually moving furniture around, pulling out the washer and dryer to clean behind them and clearing out the garage. You might think that some of those tasks are unnecessary at those short intervals, but another advantage of moving things around is that it also gives you a chance to inspect for pest problems, water damage and similar problems that can quickly escalate into expensive repairs.
Being a homeowner is very rewarding on many levels, but home ownership comes with a great deal of responsibility. But as long as you put in some effort on a regular basis, you should have no problem keeping your home in good repair.






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

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

7 Senior Technologies Your Parents Need for Their Home


By Rachel Cooper
As our aging population is growing, senior technology is evolving to make day-to-day life easier. Here are seven innovative products that help the families of seniors feel safe and can improve their loved ones' quality of life:

Medical alert systems

The most popular technology for seniors is a wearable call button that dispatches emergency help when needed. These devices are equipped with a range of options, including automatic fall detection, in-home health monitors, fitness trackers, movement sensors, and more.
When choosing a system, evaluate the specific needs and abilities the senior in your life has. Consider a base unit located in their home and a mobile system that incorporates GPS technology to call for help when they're away from home.
Before making a long-term commitment to a specific service, ask if a free trial period is available so you can see what works best for you and your family.

Wearable health monitors

Wearable gadgets such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and specialized sensors are available to measure heart rates, track asthma, monitor blood pressure, and so much more.
These devices are increasingly integrated with wireless mobile devices and cloud-based data storage, making them a powerful health monitoring tool.

Financial alert technology

Unfortunately, with advances in technology, financial exploitation has become a major concern for seniors and their families; however, technology can also be used to set up alerts to protect you from fraud, scams and identity theft.
Sign up with your bank to receive automatic alerts for withdrawals from your account. Credit card companies utilize this technology to alert you any time a charge is made to your account. Also, use apps such as EverSafe to monitor financial activity within multiple accounts.

Online rent payment

Today, many property management companies offer online payment options, and the ability to set up automatic payments by electronic transfer, credit card or cash.
Monthly rent can also be paid through websites like rentpayment.com, cozy.co, payyourrent.com and others. Families can set up online payments for utilities and other recurring bills to make sure that their loved ones pay their bills on time.

Smart home technology

Smart home technology, or home automation, provides conveniences such as LED lighting, auto stove shut-off systems, smart thermostats, home security systems, smart outlets, smart smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, and more.
These features are great for the families of seniors, as they can be controlled remotely by an app on a smartphone or any other networked device.

Digital assistants

Amazon's Echo and Google's Home are voice-activated WiFi devices that can be helpful to seniors who are living independently. They can turn on lights or adjust the thermostat, as well as take dictation to help you create reminders that can be set to prompt you to take medication.
Place a few digital assistants around your home and enjoy easy access to information that may be cumbersome to look up on a computer. Note that digital assistants can dial landline and mobile phone numbers, but are not reliable to call 911.

GrandPad

This customized tablet is a device designed specifically for seniors who have little technical expertise in order to make it easy for them to connect with family and friends. No dialing or typing is required.
The GrandPad has a touch screen, large fonts and buttons, and a handy stylus for navigation. There are no wires, and the charging cradle is simple to use. A monthly subscription provides the convenience of unlimited 4G LTE data, ad-free unlimited streaming music and mobile access for caregivers and family.




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

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update November 21st, 2018 #RealEstate #NJ

KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON this weekend in Avalon & Stone Harbor!  Thanksgiving leads right to Christmas here on the Island!  See below for details on holiday activities to help plan your weekend of fun!



While you’re here for Thanksgiving squeeze in a walk on the beach—you’ll be glad you did!

 
FESTIVAL OF TREES begins Wednesday at 5pm, at the Whitebrier.  Bid on your favorite Christmas tree or wreath, fully decorated and ready to take home!  The bidding resumes Friday at 12 noon.  Details are here: https://avalonboro.net/festival-of-the-trees-begins-november-21st-in-avalon/

FESTIVE FRIDAY in Avalon:  Throughout the business district you’ll find music, refreshments, face painting, a bounce house, kids’ karaoke, and lots more.  Mayor Martin Pagliughi and Santa will light the Christmas tree at 21st & Dune Drive at 5pm, and Santa will stay for pictures afterward.   A full list of the day’s activities is here:  https://avalonboro.net/festive-friday-snowfest-saturday-entertainment-and-information-nov-23-24th/

SNOW FEST SATURDAY brings more fun to Avalon!  Check out the Polar Bear Bungee Trampoline, Toboggan Slide, Pipeline Snowboard Rides, and Frosty’s Ferris Wheel Bounce House, along with many more activities plus music all day!  More info is here:  https://avalonboro.net/festive-friday-snowfest-saturday-entertainment-and-information-nov-23-24th/

AN ISLAND HOLIDAY in Stone Harbor (Friday & Saturday): From breakfast with Frosty and holiday movies to the Downtown Holiday Dash and caroling under the 96th Street Clock, Stone Harbor is transformed into a winter wonderland for this annual celebration.  Santa will even be at the firehouse Friday for pictures (at 5pm).  Check the full schedule here:  http://stoneharbornj.org/stone-harbor-island-holiday-events-november-23rd-24th-2018/

THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE caps off the weekend with fire trucks from all over, decorated floats, and music, along with an appearance from the guest of honor, Santa.  At 6:30pm the parade will proceed north along Third Avenue and turn onto 96th Street toward the beach.  If you’ve never seen it before you won’t believe it!



Catch the Christmas Parade Saturday evening in Stone Harbor!

 
STOCKING STUFFERS from Avalon & Stone Harbor are always welcome!  Get a jump on your holiday shopping—consider holiday beach tags, a box of fudge, or a gift certificate to a local shop or restaurant.  Want to make a big splash with your family this year?  How about your very own shore home?  Check out our “shopping list” below.  Your family will thank you—all year long!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  From my family to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Avalon’s Festival of Trees, The Whitebrier at 260-20th Street, silent auction bidding on your favorite decorated wreathes & trees, 5PM on Wednesday, November 21 & Noon on Friday, November 23
  • Brendan Borek High Tides Memorial Fund Annual Turkey Trot sponsored by Cape May Fitness Center, 3860 Bayshore Road, North Cape May, Trot begins at 9AM, Thursday, November 22
  • Avalon’s Turkey Trot 5K Run, Community Hall, 10AM, Friday, November 23
  • Story & Craft Time with Mrs. Claus, Avalon Free Public Library, 10-10:45AM, Friday, November 23
  • Avalon’s Festive Friday, downtown Avalon, over 40 activities for the entire family, 11AM-6PM, Friday, November 23
  • Stone Harbor’s Island Holiday, Merchant’s Hospitality Friday Night, Small Business Saturday, scavenger hunt & family activities, Friday & Saturday, November 23 & 24
  • Photos with Santa, Stone Harbor Fire Company, 5-7PM, Friday, November 23
  • Holiday Gift Guide Presentation, suggestions for best tech ideas to hottest toys, Avalon Free Public Library, 10-11AM, Saturday, November 24
  • Avalon’s Snowfest Saturday, downtown Avalon, holiday carnival with family fun, photos with Santa, rides & entertainment 11AM-4PM, Saturday, November 24
  • Stone Harbor’s Annual Christmas Parade, music, entertainment, floats, fire trucks, the arrival of Santa, downtown shopping district, 6:30PM, Saturday, November 24
  • Avalon Historical Society Holiday Party & Annual Meeting, Avalon History Center, 4-7PM, Saturday, December 1
  • Avalon Home & Land Owners Association Monthly Meeting, Avalon Senior Citizens’ Building, 10AM, Saturday, December 8
  • Stone Harbor’s Caroling & Tree Lighting, caroling throughout town on a trolley & then lighting of the Christmas tree in front of Boro Hall, 4:45—6:30PM, Tuesday, December 11
  • Happy ‘Noon’ Year, celebration for the kids, 11AM-12:30PM, Avalon Free Public Library, Monday, December 31
  • Job Searching Workshop with Sean Farrell presenting options for best ways to get a job online, Avalon Free Public Library, 10-11AM, Saturday, January 5
  • The First Frontier:  Yeoman-Whalers & the Origin of Cape May County, presentation by Jim Stephens of Historic Cold Spring Village discussing the 17th century whaling industry on the Delaware Bay and how it led to the creation of CMC, Avalon Free Public Library, 1-2PM, Saturday, January 5


New Listings

8300 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, $509,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184990

1777 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $595,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184954

694 21st Street, North Street, Avalon, $629,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184991

395 22nd Street, Avalon, $1,049,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 184984

527 22nd Street, Avalon, $1,249,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185043

311 77th Street, Avalon, $2,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 185037


Properties Under Contract:

246 45th Street, Avalon, $1,425,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 184415

272 90th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,195,000, UNDER CONTRACT MLS#: 184704



Properties Sold:

284 79th Street, Avalon, $662,500, SOLD MLS#: 184220

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

4138 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $975,000, SOLD MLS#: 183007

310 79th Street, Avalon, $1,049,000, SOLD MLS#: 182937

2934 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,100,000, SOLD MLS#: 170340

201 100th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,125,000, SOLD MLS#: 182186

125 Meadowview Lane, Avalon Manor, $1,425,000, SOLD MLS#: 184130

295 67th Street, Avalon, $1,600,000, SOLD MLS#: 183733

222 104th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,795,000, SOLD MLS#: 183865

2766 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,800,000, SOLD MLS#: 182388

1859 First Avenue, Avalon, $1,950,000, SOLD MLS#: 183707

7668 Sunset Drive, Avalon, $6,150,000, SOLD MLS#: 178331











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

Monday, November 19, 2018

Housing Affordability: What You’d Get Around the Globe

Affordability looks different depending on the location. The average U.S. salary, for example, gets you 670 square feet, while the average buyer in Britain can only afford around 215 square feet, about 68 percent less. A new report by Homes.com researches the cost-per-square foot of homes in all OECD countries—the Organisation for Economic Co-operation, which is a group dedicated to the economic and social well-being of people around the world—and also takes into account the median annual household income in each one with a multiplier of three times to measure affordability.
How far can your money go? For the best bang for your buck, head to Turkey. There, locals can afford 742 square feet with a median household income of $17,067. If you're not looking to make such a big jump, however, don't worry, because the U.S. is not far behind. Here, with a median income of $44,049, you'll be able to get a 669.4-square-foot home. Third on the list? With average earnings, Mexico gets you 462.5 square feet. Meanwhile, you'd get 414.7 square feet and 350 square feet in Russia and Slovakia, respectively.
Of course, there are some areas you'll really want to analyze. South Korea, for example, has the least affordable market for the average earner—a median household income of $21,723 only gets you a home of about 84.4 square feet. Switzerland is also pricey. There, the average earner only gets 119.2 square feet with $36,378, and, in Israel, $24,063 only gets you a slightly higher 129.9 square feet.

Want to find out what your annual income would get you in the property markets of all 36 OECD countries? Check out the interactive chart here.
For more information, visit Homes.com





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

How to Keep Your Property Safe Over the Holidays


By Brentnie Daggett
The holiday season is all about spending time with loved ones, and for many, this means traveling. There are certain precautions you should take whenever you leave your home for an extended period of time, but the holidays specifically tend to lead to an increase in home break-ins and stolen packages. Beyond theft and vandalism, vacant properties are also vulnerable to household catastrophes like frozen pipes or leaky sinks.
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your property while you enjoy your vacation without worry:
Enlist the help of your neighbors.
Ask around to see if a neighbor or friend is staying in town for the holidays, and find someone who would be willing to keep tabs on things for you. If they're willing, have them do things like bring in your mail or park a car in your driveway to make it look like someone is home. If you'll be gone for an extended period of time, you may even want to ask if they could mow the lawn or shovel any walkways to deter thieves. If nothing else, have your neighbor or friend simply drive by your property each day to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary and that there's nothing that needs immediate attention. Make sure whoever is helping you out has a copy of your itinerary and emergency contact information in case something comes up.
Be cautious on social media.
The holidays provide countless opportunities to share updates, photos and stories with your social media followers. Unfortunately, your friends and family aren't the only ones with Facebook and Instagram profiles. Several studies have shown that somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of burglars are using social media to find potential targets. Location tags and photos of your expensive new gifts can catch the wrong person's eye. Save the sharing for after you return home from your trip.
Invest in a timer for your lights.
Leaving a few lights on while you're away to make it look like someone is home is usually a good idea, but if you leave the lights on throughout your entire vacation, your electric bill will be an unwelcome surprise when you return. Purchase an automatic timer that'll turn the lights in your home on and off according to a programmed schedule. Unplug any other appliances that won't be in use while you're gone to further save on the electric bill—think computers, televisions, coffee makers and toasters. Be sure to inspect any holiday lights or wiring, and consider unplugging them before you leave town. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the most popular month for electrical fires. Keep an eye out for frayed cords, cracked bulbs or faulty wiring to prevent any accidental fires.
Protect your pipes.
If you live in a cold climate, you need to prevent your pipes from freezing while you're away. Frozen pipes can crack and burst, which will translate to a lot of water pouring into your home in a short amount of time. Make sure your pipes are properly insulated, and leave the heat on low to prevent pipes from freezing. If you've recruited a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on things, have them turn on the faucet every couple of days—if only a few drops of water come out, your pipes may be frozen. Also, be sure to show them where the main water shutoff is located in case of a burst pipe. It never hurts to take a quick look at your other major appliances, such as washing machines or water heaters, to confirm everything is working correctly before you leave.
Keep your insurance up-to-date.
Whether you're a homeowner or a landlord, insurance exists to protect you from those worst-case scenarios. If something does go wrong while you're away, insurance can help you repair or replace the damages. Landlords: Your renters still may not understand the benefits of renters insurance, including the replacement of stolen items or even their car. Many landlords and property management companies even require renters insurance in their lease terms. With the holidays approaching and many renters traveling home to family, it's a great time of year to remind them of the importance of renters insurance if they don't already have it. Homeowners: Be sure your insurance is up-to-date before you take off on any vacations to make sure your home and your belongings are protected.
The holidays are a time to celebrate and relax with loved ones, so don't spend the season worrying about your home. With some simple precautions in place, your property will be set up for safety, and you can spend your holiday season focusing on what really matters.




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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

3 Tips for Getting Started with Your Smart Home


By Shirley Lowe
Single homeownership is not a good investment, according to Forbes. Even though there are a number of benefits, like a quick increase in wealth, there are also risks. But if you're purchasing a property with the sole aim of renting it out or selling it for a higher price, it can make for an excellent investment.
It's a comparatively safe investment as there's less risk of fraud than in the stock market. Using debt to buy real estate for profit is also easier and more reliable than getting involved in stocks.
Nonetheless, buying an investment property does have its pitfalls. For instance, if you fail to follow the No. 1 rule of real estate—location, location, location—you can suffer significant losses. Diversifying your investment portfolio can also be much more difficult for newcomers due to the high prices on property.
Don’t fall victim to ignorance. Here's a brief guide to get you on course to choosing the investment property that's right for you:

Choosing a Type of Property to Invest In

While the location is one of the key elements to buying a property, the type of real estate you’re investing in is also crucial. Below are your main choices when it comes to that.
Single-Family Homes
Buying a condominium or a house to rent out to a family is the first thing many people think of when it comes to investing in real estate. They're often more affordable than your other options, and you can sometimes do all the work it needs yourself in order to rent it out.
Median apartment rent prices differ greatly around the country. For instance, that figure is over $3,000 in New York City and less than $2,000 in Phoenix, Ariz.
One of the main drawbacks, however, is that this type of property is typically very difficult to sell in a bad economy, especially if it's not in a great area. Also, you’re losing money every month if you fail to find a tenant.
Vacation Property
If you buy a vacation house that's situated on a beach or in the mountains, you can rent it while you’re not there. This gives you a smaller income in comparison to renting a house long-term. If the area is good, however, you can end up with a significant addition to your budget.
Again, the problem comes down to finding tenants, as, in all likelihood, your vacation property will only be useful for about half of the year.
Multi-Family Property
Owning a duplex that you partially rent out is a type of cohabitation that can be very profitable and comfortable at the same time. You don’t have to share the living space with anyone, but you get rent from your neighbors.
On the downside, your maintenance bills will often be high. Getting good tenants is also a big issue, as you're still technically living with them.
Business Property
Although investing in a retail or an industrial building can require a bigger sum from you upfront, it can naturally result in more gains. You may need to start saving today to afford it in the future, but if done properly and if the economy is good, you can find tenants that'll sign longer leases than a family would.
The problem, again, is with the tenants. For a retail building, you may have to do quite a lot of renovation work in order for a tenant to move in. Also, if one business fails and another decides to move in, you may have to change the design completely.
Land as an Investment
This is by far one of the most difficult real estate assets to get profit from. It requires knowledge of the zoning laws in your area, as you'll likely need to rezone it to make a profit. However, if you make the right bid, this can be a good long-term asset. One of the most popular ways of making a profit from land is selling it to a developer or using it as a parking lot.

How to Choose the Perfect Real Estate for Investment

Now that you know your options on the property market, let’s take a look at what else you should consider when choosing what to buy.
The Area You Buy in Should Be Growing
If the area is receding economically, residents will soon flee as well. It won’t happen immediately, but you'll have less and less prospective tenants over time. Take the time to research the area and see whether it's developing or not. If the economy is good, there are multiple employers and the city is working on infrastructure, it may just be a great buy.
Know the Area Better Than Your Own
You probably know the area that you live in quite well: you know how many schools are there, how long it takes to walk to the nearest shops, how the demographics have changed, etc. However, this isn't enough information to invest wisely.
Learn this information about the area you're buying property in, and more. You need to learn as much about the area as humanly possible. If you miss a crucial factor, like the probable bankruptcy of a major employer, you may be leading yourself into a financial loss.
Predict the Future
None of us can see into the future—the best option we have is to try to predict it. Look at development plans, go to a government website and see what their long-term vision of the infrastructure is and know all the projects being developed in the area. This will help you predict what kind of neighborhood it's going to be.
Don’t Make It Your Last Chance
You've probably heard of a family that invested their last pennies in real estate, were able to hold it while living modestly and cashed in when it sold. What you don't hear about are the thousands of families that attempt to do that each year and fail. Don’t be one of them. Invest wisely.
You can’t just buy a random home and expect it to bring you profit. You’ll have to learn a lot to make a good investment. Consider talking to real estate experts in your area, even if you feel like you know enough. The price you pay for consultation is nothing in comparison to the profits you'll reap afterward.



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