The New Jersey Down Payment Assistance Program

Recently Shannon sat down with her favorite mortgage expert, Jon Lamkin, with Guaranteed Rate. He is the cream of the crop in the mortgage industry. Jon and Shannon talked about the exciting new New Jersey Mortgage program, the New Jersey Down Payment Assistance Program. Additional funding from Hurricane Sandy left New Jersey with some extra monies. The state has allocated the $3 million dollars left to be used to assist first-time homebuyers with up to $16,000 towards their down payment and/or closing costs. The program is designed for 6 counties in New Jersey. Essex, Union, and Passaic counties are the areas that Shannon and Jon service that qualify for the program. The program is specifically for first-time homebuyers, and there are income restrictions. Families earning $131,000 or less would qualify for the program. A minimum 620 credit score is also required which is feasible as it is not an incredibly high score. Conventional, FHA, and VA mortgages are all allowed with this program. It can be used for the purchase of a single family home, multi family home, or condos.

Milleniums have really started to take advantage of this program. The program is great for people who have possibly been paying $3,000 or more a month in rent who just haven’t been able to save enough for a down payment. Even if someone does have enough to cover the down payment, sometimes they can forget about the closing costs which can be an additional 2.5 – 3%.

As an example, to purchase a $350,000 house, 20% down would be $70,000. That might not be realistic. So, suppose someone only has $35,000 to put down. That’s 10% down. But then maybe they don’t have money for closing costs. You can then take that $16,000 and put it towards some of the down payment or closing costs. Now, they have $51,000 vs. the original $35,000.

Next Shannon and Jon talked about purchasing a home with even less down, perhaps through an FHA loan. With an FHA loan, you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down. So, for example, if you purchase a $300,000 home, you only need $10,500 for the down payment. Perhaps the closing costs are another $10,000. That’s a total of a little of $20,500 needed. With this program, someone could purchase a home with $4,500 of their own savings and use the $16,000 to make up the rest of the costs. The pros of an FHA loan are: Interest rates are typically lower; The loan is not credit-sensitive. Cons of the FHA loan include: You do need to pay the upfront Mortgage Protection premium, with is 1.75% being added into the loan which gets financed over 30 years.

If someone uses the $16,000 New Jersey Down Payment Assistance Program, that money does not need to be paid back with interest. The $16,000 acts as a lien on the property; However, if the homeowners own their home for at least 5 years, the $16,000 loan is forgiven. Jon mentioned some people buy their first home and live it in for 3 or 4 years and then decide to move again. He said if they rent out the home, but still own it, that $16,000 would still be forgiven after 5 years. Shannon talked about the benefits of real estate investments. She said if you can get into your first property with a very small amount of money down, and then start saving money for the down payment of your second home, then, when it’s time to move out, keep that first property as rental income, even if it’s just a break-even, and let someone else pay down your mortgage for 15, 18 or 20 years, that rental income could now potentially fund a college education. With an FHA loan, however, you do have to notify the lender if you move out.

They ended their conversation with a discussion regarding current rates. Rates right now are approx. 3.75% on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Jon says it is only a matter of time before long-term interest rates are going to go up. With rates being as low as they are now, and home owner affordability being high, there are a lot of buyers out there right now.

If you are thinking of buying a home, be sure to contact the Shannon Aronson team. We’d be happy to arrange a showing for you. Curious about the area? Contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach us by phone at 973.637.0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. For more great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Is Home Flipping For You?

home flipping

Have you ever considered flipping a house? From 2015 to 2016, home flips rose 3.1 percent. The average profits from flipping a house were $62,624, according to data from ATTOM Data Solutions. The states with the greatest number of flips were Florida and Tennessee. Below find some pros of cons of home flipping. Click here to see this article in its entirety.

Pro: Home flipping can earn you a large sum of money in a short period of time.
Con: If your flip flops, you can lose money. Unexpected expenses can come from home repairs you weren’t expecting or having to pay taxes. If the flip takes longer than anticipated, you may incur higher costs from paying the mortgage and other home-related expenses longer than you had planned to.

Pro: Home flipping can be a great learning experience, teaching you things from finance to construction.
Con: Flipping a home can be very stressful. Know there will be bumps along the way and risk involved.

If you would like more information, please be sure to contact me. You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To search homes for sale, click here. For more great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Home Buying Expenses

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Purchasing a home is an exciting time! If you are planning to buy a home, we’d love to help! When determining how much of a down payment you can afford, don’t overlook these home buying expenses that sometimes are forgotten. Visit the HGTV.com website to view the article in its entirety.

  1. Appraisal Fee:  This fee is paid as part of the loan approval process.  The fee typically runs anywhere between $200 and $1,000.
  2. Home Inspection:  Your lender will provide you with a good faith estimate of how much the inspection will cost (usually between $300-$800 for your average home), but you may not know the actual dollar amount you need to bring to closing until a day or two before.  If the home needs to be inspected for mold, termites, or if a structural engineer needs to look at the home, the cost could go up.
  3. Homeowner’s Association Fees:  Some subdivisions charge an annual or monthly fee the upkeep of common areas.  Plan for these costs accordingly in your budget.
  4. Repairs, Upgrades and Renovations:  Don’t forget to budget for anything that needs to be done to your home to make it move-in ready.
  5. Fees for rental vans and boxes.
  6. Termination Fees:  Check things such as your internet and cell phone contracts to see if any fees will be charged when you cancel your current services.
  7. Appliances: If you are purchasing a new construction home, they usually don’t include appliances such as refrigerators, washers or dryers.  If you are purchasing a home that is not new, sometimes you can negotiate with the sellers to leave their appliances behind.  If so, you may still need to purchase some appliances, especially if you are trying to keep a uniform look (ie:  all appliances in the kitchen stainless steel, etc.)
  8. Household Items:  If you are moving to a larger space, don’t forget the day-to-day items you may need more of, such as trash cans and lamps.  If purchasing new construction, you may also need to buy things such as towel bars and bathroom mirrors.
  9. Lawn Care Equipment:  If you haven’t had to take care of a yard, don’t forget that in your new home you  may be responsible for mowing, raking, etc.  Plan in your budget for the purchase lawn tools if that is the case.

As I said, if you are planning to buy a home, we’d love to help you find the perfect one!  Contact us to set up a showing.  You can reach us by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com.  To search homes for sale, or for great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Springfield, NJ Real Estate Trends

Positive Housing Market

Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Trends – Listing vs. Sold Prices

If you are planning to buy a home in Springfield, NJ or if selling a home in Springfield, NJ is in your future, I thought it might be helpful to take a minute to talk about the current Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Trends.  Before we do that, let me explain what the difference is between a “listing price” and a “sold price”. The price that a seller is asking for their home is referred to as the “listing price”. The dollar amount the buyers are willing to pay for the home is the sold price. When we start to compare the listing and sold prices, it gives us a good idea of where the real estate market is heading. The median listing and sold property prices are calculated based on the market activity each month. In looking at the chart that follows, we can see that the median listing prices in Springfield, NJ dipped between January and February of 2017 but saw a sharp increase in May of 2017. They have decreased a bit in June of 2017. The median sold prices reached a low in November-December of 2016 and have been rising since, with a 12-month high in May of this year. The gap between the median listing and median sold prices started closing in the Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market in February 2017.

Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Pricing Trends

Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Pricing Trends

New Providence, NJ Real Estate Market Trends – Market Inventory Trends

Looking further into recent Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Trends, let’s look at the number of active listings and how long they were on the market. The number of active listings in Springfield, NJ increased by 19.5% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 41, which is significantly shorter than the national average.

Springfield, NJ Market Inventory Trends

Springfield, NJ Market Inventory Trends

Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Trends – Learn More!

As we continue to examine recent Springfield, NJ Real Estate Market Trends, other important statistics to note for Single Family Homes and Condos in Springfield, NJ are as follows:  The median listing price is:  $573,530.  The Median Days on Market is:  41  The number of Active Listings are:  60.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you want to see any of the homes for sale in Springfield, NJ, please be sure to contact me. I would love to set up a showing for you. To learn more about Springfield, NJ, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends

Montclair NJ -Sign

Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends – Listing vs. Sold Prices

If you are planning to buy a home in Montclair, NJ or if selling a home in Montclair, NJ is in your future, then you might be interested to find out more regarding current Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends.  First, it may be helpful if you have a clear understanding of the difference between a “listing price” and a “sold price”.  A listing price is the dollar amount a seller is asking for their home. How much a buyer is willing to pay is the sold price. Looking at the listing price vs the sold price gives us a good idea of where the real estate market is heading. The median listing and sold property prices are calculated based on the market activity each month. When we look at the chart below, we see the median list price peaked in June and February 2016. The median list price hit a peak again this month. The median listing price was at its lowest in Montclair NJ between December 2016 and January 2017. The median sold price spiked in mid-August and then began to decline. It has been on a steady increase between September 2016 and now.

Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends

Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends – Market Inventory Trends

As we further explore recent Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends, we see the number of active listings in Montclair, NJ increased 8% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 39, which is significantly shorter than the national average.

Springfield, NJ Market Inventory Trends

Springfield, NJ Market Inventory Trends

Montclair, NJ Real Estate Market Trends – Learn More!

Other important statistics to note when we look at single family homes and condos in Montclair, NJ are: The median listing price is:  $817,980, the Median Days on Market is: 30, and the number of active listings are: 109.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions, or would like a copy of our FREE town snapshots, please contact me. You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. If you are interested in seeing any of the homes for sale in Montclair, NJ, please contact me. I’d be happy to arrange a showing for you. To learn more about Montclair, NJ, and other surrounding communities, please visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

New Listing in West Orange NJ

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Check out the Shannon Aronson Team’s new listing in West Orange NJ. 241 Crescenzi Drive is a lovely townhome in the desirable Villas at Eagle Ridge. This amazing townhome allows you to enjoy all the benefits of townhome living with the comforts of a single family home.

MLS Number: 3379626
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2.5

The Main Floor Offers Just What You Need!

Step inside 241 Crescenzi Drive, the Shannon Aronson Team’s new listing in West Orange NJ, and you are greeted by an open floor plan and versatile decor, setting the stage for entertaining on a grand scale. Make your way to the fabulous bright and efficient kitchen offering plenty of gorgeous granite counter space and a plethora of cabinet storage. The nearby breakfast area redefines casual dining. The living room boasts a gas fireplace which is the perfect spot to cozy up with your favorite book. You will absolutely love the formal dining room with sliders leading to your private deck with gorgeous NYC views!

There is Plenty More Featured Upstairs

As you ascend the stairway at the Shannon Aronson Team’s new listing in West Orange NJ, 241 Crescenzi Drive, you will surely be impressed by the finished loft which offers you a great space to make your home office. The loft opens to two spacious bedrooms, one of which is the master bedroom boasting an ample walk-in closet and full spa-like bath. An additional full bath completes the upper level.

Just When You Thought it Couldn’t Get Any Better!

The walkout lower level found at the Shannon Aronson Team’s new listing in West Orange NJ boasts a rec room, third bedroom, and plenty of storage space.

Please be sure to contact me if you would like more information regarding 241 Crescenzi Drive! Click here to search additional homes for sale. Don’t forget to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com for more great real estate information.

Considering a Move to the Suburbs?

Puzzled Confused Lost Signpost Showing Puzzling Problem

Are you considering a move to the suburbs? Buyers come in all shapes and sizes, but their concerns are universal. What is my buying power in the suburbs? What are the schools like? How could I commute to the city? If you were unable to join us for our Decoding the Suburbs presentation, please check out the information below.

Considering a Move to the Suburbs? What is my Buying Power?

If you are considering buying in the Millburn Short Hills area, $1M spent on a house will, on average, allow you to purchase a 4 bedroom house with between 2.5 and 4.5 baths. You can expect taxes to be between $14,000-$18,000 annually. If Summit NJ is the town that has piqued your interest, $1M spent in Summit, on average, will allow you to purchase a home with 4-5 bedrooms and between 2.5 and 4.5 baths. Taxes are approximately $16,000-$18,000/year. If you decide to move to the Chathams, spending $1M on a home there will give you the purchasing power to buy a home with approximately 4 bedrooms and between 2 and 3 baths. Average annual taxes in the Chathams are approximately $11,000-$15,000. To learn more about your purchasing power for other suburban towns, please be sure to contact us!

Considering a Move to the Suburbs? What are the Schools Like?

School rankings are a cause of angst and confusion for many people. If one source ranks a particular school fairly high, while another ranks it lower, which source should you believe? In short, the answer is all of them. You should see where a particular school or district ranks between one source and the next, and then check it against the previous ranking. Was there a dramatic drop in ranking? Are all of the rankings within a few numbers of each other? These are the things you want to take into consideration. Now, the long answer goes into knowing the criteria that goes into the formula that produces the school or school district’s rank. Often the factors that go into the ranking include standardized test scores, graduation rates, extracurricular offerings, student-to-teacher ratios, and class size. Great places to get school ranking information include: Niche.com, GreatSchools.org, NJMonthly.com, and the Board of Education websites. On a sidenote, often school information that is reported in Zillow is incorrect. Zillow does a radius search, and sometimes a school is listed for a property for which that property is not zoned. Reach out to us if you would like more information regarding local school districts!

Considering a Move to the Suburbs? How Could I Commute to the City?

For your commute into the city, consider the Midtown Direct Train Line. The Midtown Direct Train Line offers you direct access to NY Penn Station. Suburban towns on this train line are at a premium demand and are highly sought after. Other commuting options to consider are commuting by bus or jitney service. Commuting by bus may offer you more affordability and flexibility. Some towns offer jitney service to area train stations. More information regarding commuting can be found at NJTransit.com and DeCamp.com.

If you were unable to join us for our Decoding the Suburbs presentation, and if you still have questions, please be sure to contact us for a FREE copy of our presentation and to schedule a phone consultation. You can reach us by phone at 973.637.0004 or via email Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To search properties for sale, click here. If you see a property that interests you, please contact me to set up a private showing! For additional real estate information, or to learn more about any suburban towns, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

4/9/17 Open House in Short Hills NJ

Please join The Shannon Aronson Team for a 4/9/17 open house in Short Hills NJ from 2-4 pm. 75 Hemlock Road is a wonderful 6 bedroom colonial situated on 1.6 acres on a private road in Short Hills NJ. From the finished basement to the stunning upgraded kitchen to the amazing outdoor area, this home has everything you want and more!

MLS Number: 3369323
Bedrooms: 6
Baths: 5.1

This Kitchen is Sure to Delight Even the Most Discerning Chef!

When you join us for the 4/9/17 open house in Short Hills NJ, be sure to make your way to the kitchen featured at 75 Hemlock Road. The spectacular Viking Stove cooks like a dream. Sip your favorite wine after you grab the bottle from your very own wine refrigerator. Your guests will love gathering around the large center island or in the formal dining room. A spacious living room, family room, powder room, full bath, laundry/mud room, as well as a bedroom/office, complete the main level.

The Upstairs Offers Just as Much!

Make your way up the stairs at the 4/9/17 open house in Short Hills NJ, and you will find the perfect place to relax after a long day. The sumptuous master bath provides you with your own private sanctuary. Four additional bedrooms, each with full jack-and-jill baths, complete the upper level.

Your Own Entertainment Mecca!

As you make your way down to the finished basement during the 4/9/17 open house in Short Hills NJ, you will begin to ask yourself if you’ll ever need to leave your new home. The finished basement at 75 Hemlock Road provides you with plenty of space to entertain. The summer is almost here! Soon you will be enjoying the heated in-ground pool. Stressed? Relax in the fabulous hot tub!

If You Cannot Make the 4/9/17 Open House in Short Hills, NJ . . .

No worries. Just contact me to set up a private showing at 75 Hemlock Road. You can reach me by phone at 973.637.0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To learn more about Short Hills NJ and other surrounding communities, please visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

New Listing in Millburn NJ

The Shannon Aronson Team is excited to announce our new listing in Millburn NJ. 28 Parsonage Hill Road is nestled on nearly one acre in the prime location of Short Hills NJ. The public is welcome to attend the Broker’s Open House on Thursday, 3/23, from 11 am-1 pm.

MLS Number: 3372448
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 5.2

Charming Colonial with Old World Charm

The curb appeal is the first thing you’ll notice as you pull into the circular driveway at 28 Parsonage Hill Road, the Shannon Aronson Team’s new listing in Millburn NJ. Your guests will be impressed as they step into the foyer featuring a formal sitting area. Cozy up by the fireplace in the living room as you enjoy a cup of warm cocoa. Once the weather warms up, step out into the screened porch, marrying the scenic outdoors with the beautiful indoors.

The Kitchen is a Chef’s Dream

Fresh white cabinetry, granite counters, and a bountiful center island allow for easy meal prep. Entertaining has never been easier.  The adjacent formal dining room as well as the breakfast room allow you to host formal or informal get-togethers.

Wait! There’s More!

Ascend the stairway at 28 Parsonage Hill Road and find a large master suite with sitting room, the perfect place to have your morning coffee. Two additional bedrooms and 3 full baths complete the second floor. The finished 3rd floor features another bedroom and full bath. Not to be missed is the fabulous finished basement featuring a rec room, full bath, half bath, laundry area, and storage.

To learn more about 28 Parsonage Hill Road, or to set up a private showing, please contact me! You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To see additional homes for sale in Millburn NJ, click here. For more great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

South Orange NJ Real Estate Trends

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South Orange NJ Real Estate Trends – Listing vs. Sold Prices

If a move to or from South Orange NJ is in your future, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the current South Orange NJ real estate trends. Prior to looking at the specifics, it’s beneficial to have an understanding of the difference between a “listing price” and a “sold price”. The dollar amount a seller is asking for their home is called a “listing price”. On the other hand, the dollar amount a buyer is willing to pay for a home is referred to as a “sold price”. As we look at the chart below, we see the median listing price was fairly steady from March through mid-June 2016, then started to decline from July through September. It then raised slightly through December 2016 and hit a 12-month low in mid-January 2017. The median sold price, on the other hand, was at its lowest in March 2016 and has been rising steadily between August and February 2017, when it reached a 12-month peak.

South Orange NJ Real Estate Trends – Market Inventory Trends

As we further explore the South Orange Real Estate Trends, we see the number of active listings that were on the market in South Orange NJ and the number of days they’ve been listed. The number of active listings in South Orange NJ increased .4% from the previous month. The median number of days active properties have been listed is 57.

South Orange NJ Real Estate Trends – Learn More!

As we conclude our look into the most recent South Orange NJ Real Estate Trends, other trends to consider are: $498,330 is the median listing price, 57 is the median days on market, and the number of active listings is 45.

If I can arrange a showing for you at any of the wonderful homes for sale in South Orange NJ, please contact me. You can reach me by phone at 973.637.0004 or by email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. Want to learn more about South Orange NJ and other surrounding communities? If so, please be sure to contact me for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. For more great real estate information, including helpful insider tips, please visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.