What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties?

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties?

Some sound financial advice…

We recently shared that over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.7% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for 2018, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

 


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Strong jobs report all but guarantees December interest rate hike

Strong jobs report all but guarantees December interest rate hike

Looks like good news and bad news at the same time…

Reposted from Housingwire.com

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported employment increased in line with experts expectations and above the average 2017 pace.

This increase is just above what experts were expecting. The ADP and Moody’s Analytics National Employment Report forecasted job would growth will slow in November to an increase of 190,000 new jobs.

And Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth said payroll employment will show a 200,000 increase.

One expert pointed out that while job growth was solid, wage growth remained muted, but said the increase all but guarantees the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

“The slightly bigger than expected 228,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in November all but guarantees another 25bp interest rate hike by the Fed next week, particularly with the unemployment rate unchanged at an unusually low 4.1%,” Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth said. “Nevertheless, despite the strength of employment and the unusually low level of unemployment, wage growth remains muted.”

The National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions’ chief economist also agreed wage growth was a negative side to November’s report.

“This was a solid report, albeit one that failed once again to show ever-elusive wage growth,” NAFCU Chief Economist Curt Long said. “But the addition of 230,000 jobs combined with steady unemployment will not give the Fed any pause as officials prepare to raise rates later this month.”

While jobs continue to increase, the National Association of Realtors pointed out construction jobs are still slow-coming.

“The construction employment is still slow in coming,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Even the though the latest month’s job growth rate in the construction sector of 2.7% is twice as fast as the overall growth rate, total construction jobs are still well below the pre-recession levels by roughly 20%.”

“Without more skilled construction workers and more hiring in the sector, the housing shortage will continue well into 2018,” Yun said.

But another expert saw the growth in the construction sector as a positive, saying it posted healthy monthly gains.

“In addition, residential construction payrolls have posted healthy back-to-back monthly gains, hinting that residential investment will likely add to growth this quarter for the first time in three quarters,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. “Overall, today’s report supports our view that domestic demand has regained momentum late in the year, setting up the economy for a more upbeat 2018 than we previously anticipated.”

And Fannie Mae wasn’t the only one to claim Friday’s report is good for the construction and residential housing market.

“There is a good amount to be encouraged by in today’s report as it relates to the housing market,” realtor.com senior economist Joseph Kirchner said. “We continued to see growth in construction, which was up 24,000, 4,000 of which are in residential construction.”

“This bodes well for the residential housing, which is starved for more homes, especially in high demand areas where employers are hiring,” Kirchner said. “Residential construction employment is also up since last year by 19,000 or 2.5%.”

 


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The #1 Reason to List Your House Today! in Hunterdon and Somerset County

The #1 Reason to List Your House Today! in Hunterdon and Somerset County

Some sound advice:

Many people believe that selling their house during “the spring buyers’ market” is the best thing to do. Their reasoning is that there will be more buyers than there are during the winter months and, therefore, their house will sell quicker and for a higher price.

Historically, this made sense. However, today’s real estate market is not following the rules of the past.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) measures buyer “foot traffic” each month. It receives data on the number of properties shown to a prospective purchaser by a Realtor® (based on the number of lockboxes used). The data reveals the number of buyers out actively looking for a home, not just window shopping on the internet. NAR explains:

“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

According to the latest Foot Traffic Report, buyer traffic is greater now than it was during this year’s spring market and there are more buyers out now than at any other time in the last five years (March of 2012).

The chart below shows that buyer activity over the last three months (blue bars) was greater than it was during this past spring market (green bars).

The #1 Reason to List Your House Today! | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you are waiting for next spring to list your home because you think that’s when the buyers will be out in force, perhaps you should reconsider. Buyers are out right now!

 


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USAA members and their families can receive a substantial reduction on their next real estate transaction.


 

Time to Trade Up? – 5 Expensive First Time Seller Mistakes in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties

Time to Trade Up? – 5 Expensive First Time Seller Mistakes in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties

If you are “moving on up” to a new house, and preparing to sell your first home, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make the process easier, less stressful and more profitable! Learn how to avoid these common mistakes that first-time sellers often make.

#1 Setting The Wrong Price

Many first-time sellers think, “I’ll start with a high price, and if it doesn’t sell, I can always come down.” However, if you set your initial price too high, it will stay on market longer, which can actually result in a lower final selling price.

On the other hand, if you start with a price that’s too low, you are leaving money on the table.

Hiring a knowledgeable real estate professional is the first step to determining the best price for your house, since they have experience in pricing homes and access to resources for making an accurate analysis of comparable properties. They also know how to factor in the relative condition of your home, your neighborhood, and current market demand, which will help you make more informed pricing decisions.

#2 Getting Emotionally Involved

Separating your house from your concept of “home” can be difficult, especially with a first sale. Remember, the structure you are selling is a thing, not your identity. Once you decide to sell, try to disengage emotionally. Doing so will help you handle negotiations much more successfully.

Consider selling your current home as a means to achieve your next goals… because it is! Instead of becoming emotional about the sale, why not focus on your next location? Your new place will become “home” because you and your family, your things, and your memories will now live in that new location.

In terms of emotions, it’s also important to realize that offers will probably come in below your asking price. Try not to react negatively, even to a low-ball offer. It’s not offensive; it’s a starting point.

Likewise, don’t lose a sale over something small. For example, if a buyer admires a custom ceiling fan that you planned to keep, recognize that it can be replaced, whereas a buyer at the same offer price may not be replaceable.

#3 Failing to Accommodate Others

Attempt to facilitate the schedules of potential buyers and your real estate agent as much as possible. Making it difficult to see your home can generate a bad impression of the house itself and will reduce the number of potential buyers interested in your home.

Yes, sometimes it’s going to be inconvenient for you, especially if you have children and/or pets (neither of which should be present during showings). But this is a temporary problem that could make the difference in thousands of additional dollars in your sales price. With more people interested, your home is more likely to sell faster, without price reductions, or even potentially resulting in a bidding war between multiple buyers. It’s worth the extra effort.

#4 Deciding Not to Stage

Staging should be done both inside and outside your home. This goes beyond simple curb appeal. Many potential buyers will do their first “home shopping” online, so having LOTS of attractive interior and exterior photos will help your home move from the “just browsing” category to one buyers want to see in person.

Consider repairs a part of staging. Pay for a pre-listing inspection to identify those areas that will need to be addressed before putting your home on the market. Making these repairs in advance will prevent discouraging potential buyers over small negatives.

Finally, try to avoid moving into your new house before selling your old one. Vacant houses usually command lower selling prices.

#5 Overlooking Important Details

With all the time and effort focused on preparing your house for sale, it’s easy to overlook important financial and legal details. For example, before bringing potential buyers onto your property, check with your insurance agent to be sure you are properly insured.

In most cases, it’s a bad idea to sign a contract with a buyer who isn’t already approved for financing (unless they’re paying cash and don’t need a mortgage to buy your home). Doing this could create extended delays, costing you both time and money.

Be sure you know all fees, expenses and closing costs before signing a sales contract. On closing day, it’s too late to negotiate for discounts, credits or the waiving of fees.

Check with your tax advisor to be sure you are selling when long-term capital gains tax breaks might apply and plan accordingly. Selling at the right time of the year can also be important in terms of attracting more buyers, with the spring/summer seasons generally preferable to winter months.

 


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N.J. college plans expansion with new west Jersey campus in Flemington

N.J. college plans expansion with new west Jersey campus in Flemington

The education desert known as Hunterdon County is no more, as Georgian Court University announced plans to open an academic building in Flemington as early as January 2019 as part of a planned redevelopment project.

Georgian Court University President Joseph Marbach and developer Jack Cust, Jr. announced their joint efforts to bring higher education to the only county in New Jersey lacking it during a press conference Tuesday held along with Flemington Mayor Phil Greiner and Freeholder John Lanza.

“It’s our pleasure to help come and serve the needs of Hunterdon County,” Marbach said Tuesday morning. “Our mission is to serve the underserved; usually this is economically underserved, but Hunterdon and Flemington offer us a great opportunity to serve those who are geographically underserved.”

The Lakewood-based Catholic university signed a letter of intent to occupy up to 30,000-square feet of Courthouse Square. The plan includes an academic building, Dean of Admissions Justin Roy said.

Cust expects to break ground on the redevelopment project as soon as it is approved and said he’s confident the two phase project will be ready for students in early 2019.

A key vote on the project, that includes several blocks in downtown Flemington and the historic Union Hotel, is expected to happen at the Flemington Borough Council’s next meeting on Dec. 11.

The focus of Flemington’s satellite campus will be to serve transfer students and non-traditional adult students, and offer more market-driven programs, including data and health specializations, Marbach said. This will include traditional classes, but also hybrid classes with an online component.

The university is in discussions with Hunterdon Medical Center to service needs of the health sciences community, looking to offer courses including population health, as well as expanding nursing education through Raritan Valley Community College.

Council postpones vote on Flemington redevelopment plan

The council cited resident concerns, misinformation and the newly elected council members

The university is also exploring a dual admission program with two-year school Raritan Valley, Roy said, allowing students to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Flemington in timely fashion at a discounted rate.

“Part of our mission is to provide affordable and accessible education to the residents of central and southern New Jersey,” Marbach noted. “We believe this location offers us a great opportunity to expand the Georgian Court footprint.”

The university has recently opened Hazlet and Cumberland satellite campuses. It also offers dual admission programs with various community colleges, including Middlesex, Brookdale and Mercer community colleges.

 Reposted from NJ Advanced Media

 


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