Basking Ridge, NJ Real Estate News

By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
« Senate Approves Extended U.S. Homebuyer Tax Credit My Oil Tank is Underground "My oil tank is underground and it has insurance; why do I need to remove it?" , "I am negotiating a contract on a home with an underground tank, what do I need to know about it?", "There is a decomissioned tank in the back yard, all the permits are on file at the township office.", "Can we ask the seller to pay for the soil test?", "We haven't had any problems with our tank, we are not going to take it out of the ground." When I first started in real estate, the only thing I needed to know when selling a home with an oil tank was the number of a reputable inspection company.  We held our breath during the tank inspection and exhaled when the soil reports came back clean.  Then, during a transaction on West ...
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
« Fire Company Fund Raiser Senate Approves Extended U.S. Homebuyer Tax Credit Sent to me from Weichert Financial Services, authored by Brian Faler Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) - The U.S. Senate approved a $45 billion plan to expand a tax credit for first-time homebuyers, extend jobless benefits and provide tax refunds to money-losing companies. Lawmakers voted 98-0 for the measure, sending it to the House, where Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said in a statement it will receive a vote as early as tomorrow. The bill then would be forwarded to President Barack Obama for his signature. The plan would be the first major extension of provisions in February's economic stimulus plan. The $8,000 homebuyers' tax credit, slated to expire this month, would continue until April 30 and be expanded to...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
Paint! Fresh, crisp, "new neutral" colors...get rid of wallpaper and any opinionated paint colors and freshen the whole house up with a coat of paint...it's easy for any homeowner to do and relatively inexpensive. Invest in a few good brushes, a paint tray and roller and step ladder, some painters tape, a drop cloth and you are all set. Wall and surface preparation is the key to success for do-it-yourselfers, so make sure you have a clean smooth surface; you may want to invest in a small putty knife and spackle (along with a light grit sandpaper) to fill any holes and smooth any bumps....Today's buyer also seems to like a nice crisp white trim; it reflects the light beautifully and frames the room....Yes, the new buyers may come in and paint their own colors but if you can't get them to...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
With 178 properties in Basking Ridge on the market and another 31 properties having gone under contract during the month of October (and 32 properties actually closed out) we have moved into what industry analysts call a balanced inventory which is approximately a six month supply. Of course, in order to really fully analyze this data you would need to break it down by specifi price points and also look to see how many of these folks were first time home buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit....but looking at the big picture, we can see that we are moving into a far more balanced level of supply and demand than we have been over the last 12 - 24 months which can only be interpreted as encouraging for the housing market.
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
Being the daughter of a mechanical engineer (who was also in the military), we had lists for everything....there was a place for everything and everything had to be in it's place. I wish I could keep up with that philosophy still today, however I can share some of my Dad's ways to winterize a home....I grew up in New England and the winters were cold so he had us prepapred.   Winterizing Your Home Preparing Your Home for Winter Here are ten tips to help you prepare your home for winter: 1) Furnace Inspection •·                        Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts. •·                        Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly. •·                        Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat. •·             ...
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
I just answered a question on Trulia Voices - a potential home buyer is wondering if she should meet the seller's counter.  The property was listed for $350,000, they offered $310,000, got a counter for $335,000, responded with $317,000 and the seller has come back with $325,000.  I answered as follows:  "How far is $325,000 from the comps? Part of your decision needs to include consideration of how much YOU like the property and how long you plan to live there. I think many buyers have lost sight of the fact that their purchase is that of a HOME primarily and an investment secondarily. This change in the market is not forever, we've had down markets before and real estate tends to come back every time. Historically appreciating between 5 and 6% per year. If the purchase price isn't too...
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
  There's nothing worse than having a major appliance break, especially since most people depend heavily on their dish washer and laundry machines. Then, there is the inevitable choice that must be made: whether to repair it or just get a new one. Of course, the primary factor to consider when making a decision is the cost of the repair versus the cost of replacing the appliance, factoring in such things as tax, installation, and removal and disposal of the broken unit. According to Angie's List, a national consumer ratings company, these things should also be considered: Age/History - Older appliances may require ongoing service, which could cost more over time than simply buying something new. On the other hand, if you have not had trouble with the appliance in the past, it might be ...
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
10/24/2009 - 10/30/2009 The following 3 properties went under contract this past week in Basking Ridge (another quiet week here in town): 237 Alexandria Way, Spring Ridge condo, $262,90076 Huntington Road, Single Family home in The Hills, $725,00096 W Oak Street, Single Family home, $439,000 There are an additional 6 properties that are working through attorney review which means they have accepted offers and lawyers are working through the contract details.  One thing that I have noticed recently is that properites are staying in attorney review longer; I have seen listings go from attorney review to under contract and then close in a matter of days after sitting in attorney review for a long time.  22 Colonial Drive and 19 Morrison Street are STILL in attorney review!!  And, 96 W Oak ...
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
Last night I posted with a question mark - because I just wasn't sure if the news about the tax credit was official.  Around 4:00 this afternoon, we received information from the NJ Association of Realtors (NCJAR) that clarified the buzz we've been hearing.  That message follows:  "Within the past 72 hours, some misinformation regarding the extension and expansion of the first-time home buyer tax credit has been disseminated through various media outlets. As of today, no formal bill regarding an amended tax credit program has been passed. On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, Senate leaders reached a tentative agreement to extend and expand the federal first-time home buyers' tax credit originally set to expire November 30. While the method for passage remains uncertain, the deal would extend...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
Found this great link I thought I woud share as far as fun things to do in and around New Jersey, from hayrides, to haunted house to corn mazes....Have fun and Happy and (safe) Trick or Treating!!! http://www.funnj.com/holidays/halloween/halloween.htm
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
As one of the most highly regarded communities in New Jersey, Basking Ridge provides many opportunities for everyone.  I enjoy living here and I am honored to be able to confidently market the homes in this community!  The following 10 reasons for living here come from the top of my head, but I doubt that anyone would find fault with the ones I have chosen! In early November, Ridge High will be honored as one of only 314 public schools in the nation to earn recognition as a 2009 Blue Ribbon School!  It is one of only 40 public high schools in the nation to receive the award, and the only comprehensive high school in New Jersey.  Click here to read the announcement sent home by the district. Being located on the Gladstone Line branch of the Morris-Essex Line makes Basking Ridge an easy N...
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By Jennifer Blanchard, No Obligation, Just Information
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties)
10/17/2009 - 10/23/2009 The following 3 properties went under contract this past week in Basking Ridge (a quiet week here in town): 367 Potomac Drive, Spring Ridge condo listed for $252,500129 Village Dr., Lord Stirling Village Townhouse, listed for $383,00015 Brentwood Court, Single Family Home, listed for $1,249,000 There are an additional 5 properties that are working through attorney review which means they have accepted offers and lawyers are working through the contract details.  One thing that I have noticed recently is that properites are staying in attorney review longer; I have seen listings go from attorney review to under contract and then close in a matter of days after sitting in attorney review for a long time.  22 Colonial Drive and 19 Morrison Street are good examples; ...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
NEW YORK (AP) - Home prices rose for the third straight month in August, data Tuesday showed, a key sign for a broad and sustained housing recovery. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities climbed 1 percent from July to a seasonally adjusted reading of 144.5. While prices are down 11.4 percent from August a year ago, the annual declines have slowed since February. The latest index shows a widespread turnaround with prices rising month-over-month in 15 metro areas since June. "If the increases are consistent across the markets, this is key," said Wharton School real estate professor Susan Wachter before the index was released. "Then we're seeing the formation of a bottom." However, Wachter along with other industry experts still worry that rising unemployme...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
All about blogging.If you are twenty-something or younger, you probably don't need to be reading this. You've probably been happily blogging away for what seems like years, all your friends blog, you read their blogs, and they yours. But for those of us over forty (or, oh my gosh...more!), or with families to care for and busy jobs to do, or perhaps our attention has just been someplace else for the last few years, we may not have even heard the term, or if we had, it sounded like "flogging" and not wanting to go there, we just ignored it. But blogging is growing and for very good reasons, much like email took off ten years ago. But what really is BLOGGING - the act of producing a blog. What's a blog? That's a little bit harder to answer, but bear with me. The term blog is short for web...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
Please subscribe to my blog and you will automatically be sent updates on our local and national real estate market via the privacy of your e-mail www.thetoombsteamblog.com (GO TO: Subscribe to this BLOG by e-mail) to register....
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
Staging a home for sale is all about making it inviting to the largest number of potential buyers. If a home is vacant, a stager will haul in furniture and décor so buyers can imagine themselves living there. If it's occupied, the stager will declutter, neutralize and decorate for the masses. Staging won't make a home sell for more than it's worth. But it can set your home apart and boost the selling price to the top of the range for comparable homes. It can also cut the time on the market. Because nearly 90% of home buyers start their search on the Internet, staging is a good way to make sure online photos pop. Home sellers spend an average of $1,800 to stage a home, but costs can range from a couple of hundred dollars to $5,000 or more. Here are six ways to stage your home for less th...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
RECENT CLOSING ACTIVITY BERNARDSVILLE ADDRESS                   LIST PRICE                SALES PRICE           DATE__ 27 Sycamore Hill       $665,000                     $600,000         9/02/2009 64 Mt. Harmony        $669,000                     $630,000         9/03/2009 145 Mt. Airy Rd.        $675,000                     $670,000          9/02/2009 3 Dogwood Ct.         $925,000                     $880,000           9/24/2009 31 Stirling Rd.           $995,000                     $970,000          9/02/2009 141 Peachcroft        $1,295,000                  $1,160,000         9/28/2009   ....For more up-to-date- information, please subscribe to my blog at  www.thetoombsteamblog.com
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
One of the most obvious areas where a homeowner can go "green" is in the use of energy in the home. The biggest energy hogs are heating, air conditioning, electrical appliances, lighting, and water usage. Here are some practical tips for saving energy and money at the same time. 1. Do an "energy audit" - A good place to start is with an informal energy "audit" to reveal where you are using the most energy and where you are wasting it. The average US home uses 31% of its energy consumption on heating, 12% on cooling, 12% on water heating, and 29% on appliances, lighting, and electronics such as TVs and computers. So these are obvious places you can cut back. 2. Insulate, insulate, insulate - If 43% of the energy used in our homes goes for heating and cooling this is the place to start. I...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
Should you stick to your listing price? It depends. That's one of the problems in real estate.  There is rarely a "cut and dry" answer to any question.  Answers are more like, "if this...then that...but..." However, we'll just talk about prices, rather than condition, location, and all those "other" variables.  There are enough variables just dealing with price. So, during the first weeks the house was listed, was there plenty of agent and buyer activity, but no offers?  If so, there is probably no need to immediately drop your price unless you have some special motivation to sell quickly. If no one is coming around, though...this may indicate a problem with your price.  The first thing you need to consider is whether there is a reason to think you are overpriced. Some homeowners do mis...
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By Penny Toombs, ABR,AHS,e-Pro
(Coldwell Banker)
ADDRESS                   LIST PRICE                SALES PRICE            CLOSED DATE__ 49 Smitfield Ct.         $236,000                      $231,500                 10/16/2009 37 Woodward Ln       $304,900                    $300,000                    10/13/2009 36 Hill Top                 $450,000                     $440.000                 10/14/2009 51 E. Oak St.             $465,000                     $457,500                  10/20/2009 25 Dryden Rd.            $574,500                     $550,000                  10/16/2009 130 Culberson         $1,100,000                   $912,000                    10/22/2009 71 Autumn Dr.          $1,135,000                   $1,129,325                 10/16/2009 30 Royal Oak Dr.      $1,999,000                   $1,875,000            ...
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