Hoboken, NJ Real Estate News

By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.07 percent this week, down from 5.08 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday. Rates, while above the record low of 4.78 percent hit in the spring, are still at attractive levels for people looking to buy a home or refinance. Rates should stay low for another month or two as government efforts to keep them low remain effective. But it won’t last forever. Rates will eventually trend upward, as the economy starts to turn around and concerns return about how long overseas investors can stomach massive levels of U.S. debt. To prop up the housing market and help the economy revive from the worst recession since the 1930s, the Federal Reserve is spending $1.25 trillion on mortgage-backed securities, which has drive...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
The government set expectations too high earlier this year when President Barack Obama launched an effort to help up 7 to 9 million homeowners avoid foreclosure. Now, reality is setting in. The effort, named Making Home Affordable, appears on pace to make a far smaller impact on the foreclosure crisis than officials had anticipated. Meanwhile, foreclosures remain extremely high. More than 358,000 foreclosure-related filings were recorded in August, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday. That number was up 18 percent from a year ago and flat from a month earlier. Following are a few questions and answers about the status of the foreclosure-relief plan. How many borrowers have been helped by the government programs so far? As of last month, more than 360,000 borrowers were enrolled in three-...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is encouraging companiesthat buy failed banks with troubled home loans to extend temporary help to people who have lost their jobs and can’t pay their mortgage bills. Under the FDIC’s recommendations, borrowers’ monthly payments would be reduced for at least six months. The aid would apply to borrowers who have lost their jobs or those who have faced a drop in salary. “With more Americans suffering through unemployment or cuts in their paychecks, we believe it is crucial to offer a helping hand to avoid unnecessary and costly foreclosures,” FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a statement Friday. The plan would apply to buyers of deposits and assets of failed institutions that sign loss-sharing agreements with the FDIC. The agency in recent month...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Consumers and businesses went on a big-ticket spending spree in July,sending home, car and equipment sales soaring by the largest amount in years. The sales, detailed in two recent government reports confirmed a subtle but  shift in confidence about the economy. New home sales jumped almost 10 percent from June, while orders for long-lasting goods like appliances, planes and computers rose nearly 5 percent in July, the third increase in the past four months. It remains unclear whether the growth can be sustained. Though the increases in housing sales and manufacturing last month were dramatic, they came from extraordinarily low levels and were fueled by temporary government programs like Cash for Clunkers and tax credits for home sales. Most economists now agree the recession that bega...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
A mortgage industry group wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac replaced with private companies that would be able to issue mortgage bonds formally backed by the federal government. The recently released Mortgage Bankers Association’s proposal, offers a detailed plan for how to restructure the U.S. mortgage market, which has been torn apart by the housing bust. The Obama administration doesn’t expect to announce its plans for the two companies until early next year. It has listed several options, including merging them into a federal agency, shutting them down, or have their bad mortgage assets split into a new government-backed company. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee about $5.4 trillion in mortgage debt and have needed about $96 billion in federal aid since they were seized by...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
You must start a job within a year of your move. It is not necessary that you arrange to work before heading to a new locale. Your employer cannot reimburse you for the expenses. If your employer does reimburse your expenses, you must claim the money as income on that year’s tax return. You must pass the “distance test.” Your new job or business must be 50 miles further than your old job was from your previous home. If you don’t have a previous workplace, your new job must be 50 miles from your former residence. If you move less than 50 miles, you must prove that your move was necessary for work or that a closer home is saving you time or money to get the deduction. You must also pass the “time test.” Once you relocate, you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
  A large tax hit wiped out Toll Brothers Inc. profits for the third fiscal quarter,but the luxury builder saw housing markets improve in many parts of the country. Toll saw its first annual increase in new home contracts since 2005. Its cancellation rate was the lowest in three years. The current quarter is off to a great start with 26 percent more buyers putting down deposits than a year ago. It’s still tough out there, but “things sure feel better than they did six months ago,” Robert Toll, chairman and CEO, told analysts. “We believe declining cancellations and more solid demand indicate that the housing market is stabilizing.” While home sales continue to be effected by job losses and tighter mortgage lending standards, recent housing data and reports from major homebuilders like T...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Weekly statistics 8/23/09- 8/30/09 6 condos went into contract.17 condos closed last week. As of today, there are a total of 169 Hoboken properties pending to close.   Here are last weeks deals... PENDING CONTRACTS Studio & 1 bedroom1 accepted offer   68 days on market. CONDO-COOP - Pending ADDRESS Area  Sq Feet Baths      Beds DOM   LP SP 924 JEFFERSON ST Hoboken     800   1 1    68 $389,900   Total Listings         Avg Avg Avg 1         68 $389,900   2 bedrooms 4 condos received accepted offers       Average days on market was 91   CONDO-COOP - Pending ADDRESS Area   Sq Feet Baths Beds DOM    LP SP 807 WASHINGTON ST Hoboken     885   1    2 18 $399,900   121 WILLOW AVE Hoboken     709    1    2 129 $445,000   72 GARDEN ST Hoboken     1250    2    2 155 $519,000   81-87 JACKSON ST Hob...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Rates for 30-year home loans edged up last week, but remain close to record lows reached over the spring. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.14 percent, up from 5.12 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday. Rates, while above the record low of 4.78 percent hit in the spring, are still at attractive levels for people looking to buy a home or refinance. To revive the economy, the Federal Reserve has spent more than $600 billion out of a promised $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, which has driven down rates on home loans. It has also left a key interest rate near zero. Now that the economy is on the mend, Fed policymakers must decide how and when to withdraw that support. Some analysts think it could take four or five years for the F...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
It is estimated that almost 6 million Americans are behind on their mortgage payments or in foreclosure, many more are using savings and retirement accounts to avoid joining those ranks. For the fortunate ones, there is a loan modification in their future. When borrowers fall behind on their payments, lenders will sometimes modify the terms of the loan to make it more affordable. They might lower the interest rate, eliminating part of the principal or some other financial juggling to avoid foreclosure. The process often involves a lot of paperwork and lengthy delays. There are a few Web sites that offer to walk borrowers through the loan modification application process online, including the freeHomeownerToolbox.com. The site delivers a submission-ready document that, along with suppor...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
National Association of Home Builders is making the effort to extend the tax credit through Nov. 30, 2010. They’re also requesting for Congress to make the credit available to all buyers of principal residences, not just first-time home buyers. According to NAHB, extending the tax credit program would spur an additional 383,000 home sales, including 80,000 new homes, and create nearly 350,000 jobs over the next year. Every time a house is sold or built, it pumps thousands of dollars into the economy on purchases of everything from appraisals and title insurance to home improvement supplies. A tax credit has helped the housing market recover before, and it’s starting to help again. There’s no down side to extending the tax credit another year and expanding it to all home buyers. What is...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
In the aftermath of the housing collapse, the mortgage broker industry is a target for reform. Regulators and legislators at the state and federal levels are busy implementing a variety of laws and regulations designed to protect consumers and prevent another housing crisis in the future. Here’s an overview of recently enacted state and federal legislation and regulation of mortgage brokers: Brokers Must Act in the Interest of Consumers: About a dozen states have passed regulations requiring that brokers act in the best interest of consumers. If you are going to be a licensed, insured, bonded mortgage broker you are legally required to represent the interests of the borrower. Without rules like this, brokers are basically third-party agents that are getting paid to help borrowers but a...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Would you, under any circumstances, default on your home mortgage, even if you could afford to make the monthly payments? According to new research from theUniversity of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. A study found that 26 percent of the record numbers of home mortgage defaults across the country are “strategic” — that is, calculated economic decisions to bail out of loans by owners who actually have the money to make the payments but can’t handle the negative equity they’re carrying caused by local property value declines. Co-authors Paola Sapienza, Luigi Zingales and Luigi Guiso used interviews with members of 2,000 American households in December and March to explore the moral and social dynamics of strategic defaults. ...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
First Time Home Buyers Are Leading The Way It’s likely that more first-time homebuyers will aim to make a purchase soon, as they try to meet the $8,000 homebuyer tax-credit deadline in November. If you are a seller and you would like to attract first-time homebuyers, you may want to consider the following: Reduce your price. You don’t have to lower your price by a lot to get the attention of buyers. That discount may even be able to get you a higher selling price should the discounted price attract enough buyers and a bidding war could begin. Make your home move-in ready. Often, first-time buyers want a home that’s move-in ready, since they might not have the means to make decorating changes or to pay for repairs. Consider making minor repairs and upgrades to your and you won’t scare of...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Here are the final sales figures for July 2009 compiled using the Hudson County Multiple Listing Service. Overall, Hoboken condominiums showed a decline when compared with the same period last year.  There were declines in total units sold, total contracts signed, average selling price, median selling price and total sales dollar volume. I’m certainly not surprised by these figures as we’re still facing challenges from the local supply / demand dynamics, a more challenging lending environment, national / world economic uncertainties as well as local uncertainties just to name a few! The good news is that the overwhelming number of sales are traditional and new construction, not distressed properties.  We haven’t seen a significant short sale or foreclosure market in Hoboken.  In fact a...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Desperate homeowners across the country are finding that getting a short sale approved can take six months or longer, and in many cases, these deals collapse due to a variety of complications. Knowing how to approach a short sale will increase your chance of success. A short sale occurs when a mortgage holder agrees to accept less than the balance due on a home because of a financial hardship. Many homeowners owe more than their home’s value and are facing foreclosure, so they’re racing against the clock to get a short sale approved. Following is a list of important details to remember if you would like to purchase a short sale property: Short Sale Tips For Buyers Be patient and flexible with the settlement date, short sales can take from 45 to 60 days or more. Have an alternate plan i...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. gave investors new optimism about the housing market recovery, stating it posted the first annual increase in signed contracts for new homes in four years. Toll said that new home contracts rose 3 percent from the third fiscal quarter last year, and the number was up 44 percent from the second fiscal quarter this year. Demand was so robust the company has been able to scale back the incentives it offered to get buyers in the door. “The mood has changed,” said Robert Toll, chairman and CEO, of the Horsham, Pa.-based company. “Our traffic still stinks … but those people coming in are more serious.” Only 9 percent of buyers backed out — the lowest cancellation rate in three years. The trend impressed investors, who drove the builder’s stock up more th...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
According to Treasury Department estimates, less than 10 percent of delinquent borrowers eligible for the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention program have received help so far. Of the 2.7 million borrowers who have missed at least two mortgage payments, only 235,247 have received loan modifications since the $75 billion program was launched in March. The Obama administration is hoping to more than double the current loan modification tallies by November of 2009.  To be eligible, you have to be 60 days past due in foreclosure or bankruptcy that started before 2009 Under the program, J.P. Morgan Chase has modified 20 percent, or 79,304, of its borrowers who have missed at least two payments. Saxon Mortgage Services, which is owned by Morgan Stanley, has modified 25 percent of i...
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By Amos Elroy
(Exit on the Hudson Realty)
There is still much confusion about the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, so I decided to pitch in and help clarify the issue.   The name would suggest only people who nevere owned a home would be eligible. Well, not quite. From the IRS standpoint anyone who has not owned a principal residence property (home) in the last 3 years is considered a first time home-buyer. If you are buying a home jointly, with someone other than a married spouse, it is enough that one of the individuals has not owned a principal residence property in the last 3 years, in which case the tax credit is entirely attributed to that person. If on the other-hand you are buying jointly with your husband/wife, you are eligble for the tax credit only if neither owned a principal residence property. In the case you do q...
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By Edward Perez
(Sothbey's International Realty)
The Federal Housing Administration was created during the Great Depression, to make home financing available to many Americans. The FHA insures certain loans made by private lending institutions. The FHA program is “government-backed financing”. By having government insurance backing a loan, private lenders are more willing to offer mortgages to borrowers they normally wouldn’t qualify. The lender is assured they will get their money back on the loan, even if the homeowner defaults and stops making payments. In the past, the FHA program was focused on helping buyers in the purchase of a home. Now the program is being opened up to homeowners who want to refinance. The goal of this new program is to help struggling homeowners who have adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) convert to fixed rat...
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