Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Orange County Realtors, Drew and Linda Hartanov, have a great post on their Blog... 4 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make and How To Avoid Them.

Take a look and then contact me, 732-548-5555 #314 with any questions you might have about how these mistakes relate to the New Jersey housing market.

You can receive a Market Valuation of your home by visiting:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

5 Powerful Buying Strategies

A post on Hampton Roads Real Estate Blog by Realtor and friend, Dave Macklin in Virginia Beach, Virginia gives 5 Powerful Buying Strategies for today’s buyers. These strategies include:

1. Don't Get "Pre-Qualified!" Get "Pre-Approved"

2. Sell First, Then Buy

3. Play the Game of Nines

4. Don't Be Pushed Into Any House

5. Stop Calling Ads!

Read this important post and put yourself in the best possible position to buy a home. Then contact me, or visit my website, so I can represent your best interests when buying your New Jersey home. I will take care of you just like family.

Friday, May 19, 2006

10 Financing Tips For Newlyweds

After the wedding bells stop ringing and the bills for the dress, flowers, photographer and honeymoon arrive, many newlyweds find their physical and emotional compatibility may be trumped by their financial incompatibility.

Money is a major sticking point in many new marriages and the number one cause of divorce and marital fighting. However, it doesn't need to be. Sam Goller and Deborah Shouse, co-authors of the new book "Yes, You Can . . . Achieve Financial Harmony," help newlyweds align their monetary values and beliefs to create a thriving marriage.

"Communicating about money is one of the top challenges for even the most open and articulate couples," Shouse explains. "Before you can build a financial foundation that supports your wants and dreams, it's necessary to understand what goals are important to you and your partner and why they are important."

Open communication is just the beginning. In their book, Goller and Shouse offer the following 10 tips to help couples achieve financial wedded bliss:

1. Come clean before tying the knot. - Avoid a fight about money after the honeymoon by talking about your individual financial situations before the wedding bells ring.

2. Spend time talking about money memories. - Most of us underestimate the impact our upbringing and traditional roles have on our current financial decisions. Sharing the past can relieve tension in the future.

3. Know when to pursue a money conversation and when to stop. - People who are tired, hungry, cranky or involved in cooking dinner aren't in a good frame of mind for holding meaningful money conversations. Talk about money issues at a time when you're both rested and mentally available.

4. Figure out what counts. - Prior to formulating a financial plan, talk about your priorities and what really matters to each of you when it comes to money.

5. Find your missing dollars. - Before you can spend your money in a way that gives you the greatest pleasure and helps you meet your goals, you have to understand your spending habits. Consider keeping a spending journal to find out where your money really goes.

6. Eliminate credit card debt. - The average American has more than $8,000 of credit card debt. Newlyweds can't afford to fall deeper into debt than they already are. Make paying off credit card debt a top priority.

7. Create an emergency fund. - What if a financial emergency strikes? Three steps to get you started on an emergency fund are:
* Determine how much you need.
* Figure out how to consistently save.
* Find a safe place to put your savings.

8. Find a system that works for you. - Maybe it's sitting down together each month to pay the bills as a team. Or maybe one of you is better at handling expenses than the other and prefers to do it alone. Find a system that works with your needs.

9. Don't stop talking. - To enjoy continued financial success as a couple, it is necessary to continue your money conversations on a regular basis. Many experts recommend sitting down with your spouse monthly to make sure you're still on track.

10. Personal growth. - Spending doesn't always have to be money. One of marriage's greatest rewards is spending time together. Learning and expanding your horizons as a couple or with friends can offer greater returns than any purchase.

"Achieving financial success doesn't have to be stressful, but it requires determination," Goller says. "Newlyweds have a huge advantage when it comes to investing for the future - time. By taking the time now to build a solid financial foundation, attaining financial independence is a real possibility."

The book "Yes, You Can . . . Achieve Financial Harmony" is available by calling (800) 234-3445 or online at (ARA)
Thinking of buying or selling real a home? Visit my website. You can view all real estate listings here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Creative Alternative

I thought you might like a reminder that Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 14. Instead of sending her a card, or making a phone call, mom would appreciate spending time with you.

Why not take a day trip to the Jersey Shore? Walk on the beach, fly a kite with the kids, look for shells. Then enjoy a nice dinner before heading home.

Click here to help you decide where to go and what restaurants are serving Mother's Day dinner.
Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Visit my website for the current value of your home and to view all local listings.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

7 Reasons To Own Your Own Home

1. Tax Breaks – The interest you pay on your mortgage, property taxes and some of your closing costs are all tax deductible.

2. Gains – Between 1998 and 2002, national home prices have increased an average of 5.4% annually. While no one can guarantee appreciation rates, the National Association of Realtors found a typical homeowner has approximately $50,000 of unrealized gain in their home.

3. Equity – Rent money is money that is thrown away while mortgage payments build equity. In 2003, the average renter was worth $5,000. the average homeowner was worth $175,000.

4. Savings – building equity in your home is a ready made savings plan. When you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 as gain without paying federal income tax.

5. Predictability – Unlike rent, your mortgage payments don’t increase. Your housing costs may actually decline as you own your home longer. Keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs may rise, however.

6. Freedom – The home is yours. You may decorate and make improvements as you wish, as well as, benefit from the improvements you make.

7. Stability – Being members of a community allows you to participate in community activities, establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

If you are considering buying your first New Jersey home, contact me. I will be assist you in determining if renting or buying is the right decision for you.