Princeton, NJ Real Estate News

By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
The focus of my blog is usually on adults looking for Princeton homes for sale, and how to buy and sell real estate in our area. My son recently showed me that we could learn a lot by stepping away from the familiar and looking at the real estate from a different perspective.This time it was in Biloxi Mississippi, where he went with a religious youth group to help in the rebuilding effort. Of course, being like any other mommy who missed her son, I wrote a post about it and promised to report the results. Today the kids who went on the trip spoke about it during the services in our synagogue. Their job in Biloxi was to paint the Salvation Army volunteer headquarters. The facility is used to provide housing and meals for the volunteers that come from all over the country. The kids report...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
What is a good place to eat on a Friday night in the Princeton area?  Princeton real estate is not just about good homes to live in, it is also about good places to eat. Those who live in the Princeton area quickly learn that Friday is the big night out and you would have to wait in many restaurants for 30-40 minutes before you are seated. But there are a few exceptions.Today I was going to skip one day of writing on my blog thinking that I can take a break once in a while. What made me change my mind is hot food on a Friday night.My kids make fun of me and say that if I became this country’s President I would outlaw cold food in restaurants.There are several places we know we can get in on Friday night without a wait and have a good meal. Tonight we went to Joe’s Crab Shack on US Route...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Many prospective home sellers and buyers are already thinking ahead to the spring season. They are thinking of how to find the right real estate agent to help them sell or buy their home? What is the information they need to make the right decision?Understanding if a professional is the right one for the job has never been an easy task. Having spend many years in corporate management and consulting I interviewed hundreds of job candidates, I taught how to conduct effective interviews and helped many colleagues and friends prepare their resumes and interview techniques. I was also hired by companies to conduct searches for their management. The advice that is usually given to candidates is to emphasize their strong points and play down the weaker ones. The job of the interviewer is to ge...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Are you a home seller in the Princeton area? With the Thanksgiving holidays over and your home on the market you may wonder if this year you should decorate for holidays.You probably heard the advice of “keeping things neutral” and avoiding excessive display of religious items in your home, as it can turn prospective buyers off.  I generally agree with this advice except for this one time of the year.I think you should decorate for the holidays. I would still caution against “excessive” decorating. I would not suggest displaying big nativity scenes or huge menorahs in the front yard, but anything done tastefully – go ahead, have fun and do it. Here are my reasons for seemingly contradicting myself. First reason is the most important – a home decorated for the holidays looks more appeali...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Home buyers and sellers in Princeton, Hopewell, Skillman Montgomery Township, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, Ewing and West Windsor – when you read this, I am sure, you will know who you are.  To all of my absolutely best clients, I owe my 21 reasons to thank you.To my home sellers’ clients – I am thankful.Thank you for the opportunity you gave me to sell your home. You were surprised when I asked for two meetings, you were unsure why I didn’t have my listing presentation the first time we met and I asked questions and listened. You told me at our second meeting that my presentation was unlike anyone else. You talked to many agents and you chose what was best for you. Thank you.Thank you for allowing me to price your home to sell. You separated the emotional and make the decisions ba...
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By Lisa Ryan, Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
(Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty)
  Take a break from your Princeton and Montgomery home search and spend some time enjoying one of Princeton's loveliest holiday events.Drumthwacket, the spectacular home of the governor of New Jersey will be decked out in it's finest, with gorgeous seasonal decorations, for it's annual holiday open house.The theme for 2007 is Christmas in the Highlands.  The home is decorated by NJ Garden Club members.  Garden Club members participating this year include Bayberry of Brielle, Community of Hunterdon, New Vernon, Mt. Laurel, Bridgewater, Essex Fells, Spring Lake, Trowel Club of New Brunswick, New Providence, Tenafly and Westfield.The Official Garden Club of New Jersey will judge each room and decide which room wins first prize, and will consider the visitors vote for People's Choice in the...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Could there be surprises in Princeton real estate? That question came to mind as I am trying to surprise my husband for his birthday tomorrow. The only real estate I am thinking of right now is Ritz Carlton in New York.  That’s where I booked a room as a gift for his birthday. My husband works so hard all year – he deserves the special treat for his special day. I gave him the birthday card, where I added, “Please remember this number” and I wrote down the reservation number. This way he knows      something is up, but doesn’t know what and when. I can see he is excited with anticipation. He was casually asking me what are our plans for the weekend. With a deadpan face, I said: “What ever you want, honey”.My plan is to send him an e-mail on his Blackberry, asking him to pack certain thi...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Home buyers and sellers in Princeton, Montgomery, West Windsor, Hopewell, Lawrenceville New Jersey and elsewhere in the country can now get the real answers and story on what’s going on in the real estate market and in their community. They can find these answers in the blogs. How is the information in a blog different from what gets delivered by the news media or by the various web-sites dedicated to real estate?One way to think of the blogs is as a way to get into the head of those who write them and see what they see.  Did you notice that many web sites look very similar and  not just in the looks, but also in content? It is not the case with blogs.Each blog is different, because each writer is different. The stories I tell in my blog are based on what I do and see every day. You   c...
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By Lisa Ryan, Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
(Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty)
                                                           Bainbridge House, Princeton Historical Society                                                                                  158 Nassau Street, Princeton NJ 08542 The Historical Society of Princeton is presenting the 2007 House Tour on Saturday, November 3, from 10:00 AM to 4:00PM.This year the tour will feature 5 Princeton homes, including an English Tudor which was once the home to a U.S. President.  Another home scheduled to be on tour is the home of poet and playwright T.S. Elliot, located in the Mercer Hill historic district.Prices for advanced registration for this event are $25 each for members and $30 each for non-members of the Historical Society.  Tickets are $30 for both members and non-members if purchased on the ...
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By Lisa Ryan, Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
(Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty)
 Selected events for Princeton NJ Friday, October 19, 2007Classical MusicPrinceton University Orchestra, Princeton University Concerts. Richardson Auditorium 609-258-5000 8 p.m. Beethoven Third Piano Concerto in C Minor, two excerpts from Wagner's 'The Ring of the Niebelung,' and Britten's 'A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. $18. Jazz & BluesBig Band Dance, Princeton High School Studio Band. 151 Moore Street 609-806-4280 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dance presented by the award-winning band. Refreshments available. Open to the public. All ages are welcome. $10. Taylor Eigsti Trio, McCarter Theater At Berlind. 91 University Place 609-258-2787 7:30 p.m. Grammy nominee returns with his trio and Julian Lage on guitar. $44. ArtGallery Talk, Princeton University Art Museum. Princeton 609-258-3788 ...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Do you need a miracle to buy or sell your home in Princeton?  Can your agent perform miracles? Sellers and buyers in today’s softer market    need  to look for agents that can do that. What kind of miracles, you may ask. How about – resurrection of the dead? No, not dead people - dead contracts. Let me explain. With many homes in the Princeton area staying on the market longer, the sellers are not sure of the best marketing tactics and are facing pressure to lower the price and the uncertainty of the market future. This makes the home selling process even more stressful then usual.Home buyers seemed to be as unsure as the sellers and are looking at other pressures: tightening credit, prices that are still high and the sellers seeming unwillingness to compromise. These pressures make the...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Those of us who live in Princeton can't be totally impartial -we think Princeton is the best place to be for many reasons. If you are considering a move, you want an unbiased view, so you can decide if Princeton would be the right home for you and why. What are the housing prices, quality of life, how safe is it to live here, who would be your neighbors, must be just a few questions you are asking. One way to look for the answers is to see how Princeton fares as compared to the 100 best places to live, which the Money magazine publishes each year.* The most striking points of this comparison is that: If you are looking for a very safe place to live, Princeton fits the bill– our crime rate is 89% lower then the average of the 100 best.If you are looking for diversity-you will be at home ...
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By Lisa Ryan, Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
(Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty)
 On Saturday, September 29, while taking a short break from selling real estate in Princeton and Montgomery NJ, I stopped by the Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison and spent a little time wandering through the Antique Car Show.  Featured in this local Princeton event were about 20 cars from the 1920s through the 1970s.  I'm not a car buff so I can't tell much about all the cars that were there, but I particularly enjoyed the orange microbus for either the 60's or the 70's , decorated inside and out with Princeton University memorabilia.                  Below, my absolute favorite, a shiny black T-Bird with a red leather interior.  Gorgeous!!               Next event at the Princeton Shopping:October 27Fall Harvest Festival                                                       ...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
For Sellers in Princeton, as well as across the country, the chill in the housing market raises questions as to what new marketing strategies should be employed in this market. According to National Association of Realtors sales of existing homes declined 4.3% in August – the slowest number in 5 years. There is a 10 months supply of homes for sale at the present rate of sales; two years ago this number was 5 months. The forecasts from the economists do not sound promising until 2009.The homebuilders have historically been attuned to markets and aggressive in coming up with new strategies. They pioneered the concept of Staging – something many existing home sellers have adopted much later.                                                                                                    ...
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By Jaimie OnullNeil, Mercer County NJ Real Estate
(Re/Max Tri County)
Mercer Municipal Spotlight: Princeton Borough  Form of Government: Princeton Borough operates under the Borough form of government, the largest single form of municipal government in use in New Jersey. Under this form, the Mayor is elected directly by the voters for a four-year term. The Mayor is the head of Borough government and serves on a part-time basis. The Mayor nominates appointees to boards and commissions of the Borough, subject to the ratification of Council, and presides over meetings of the Borough Council. The Mayor may vote on actions being considered by the Council only to break a tied vote. The Mayor shall see that the laws of the state and ordinances of the Borough are faithfully executed.The Borough Council is the legislative body of Borough government. The Council is...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
 What are the trends and the most sought of amenities the buyers are looking for now? Clients always ask me this question, especially when they think of remodeling. You may be surprised by the answers.Did you ever hear of a Snoring Room? Here is a quick look at the IN things for the home of today. Snoring RoomsYes – you heard it right –snoring room is the new IN amenity in home building and remodeling. The purpose of the room is to counteract marital discord associated with being banished to the living room couch. The snoring room is about 12 ft X 12ft and is adjacent to the master bedroom – so no banishment required. It is well insulated and has a comfortable double bed. Of course, it can be used for other similar purposes.  Rejuvenation Rooms                                           ...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
      This is a true story and the lessons are important for Buyers and Sellers. It all started when the Buyer agreed to a condition in the contract, regretted it later and tried to get out of the contract. As the back and forth went on between the parties the good will and excitement were replaced with negativity and mistrust.   Through it all the agents on both sides were performing miracles trying to keep the clients focused on the end goal. After many delays the deal was moving to closing. However there was one more thing the buyer wanted. The home inspector suggested that a HVAC expert examine the furnace. The buyers insisted that they hire this inspector since they did not trust the Seller. The Seller agreed on the condition that only the agents be present at this inspection becau...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
Princeton – Cool Place To Eat. I love to eat out and Princeton area offers plenty of choices. I was pleasantly surprised to find another interesting place – General’s Quarters at the Trenton Mercer airport. They call themselves “Ewing’s best kept secret”, and I have to agree -I really stumbled upon it in the airport by chance.                                                                                                             I was quite surprised to find the restaurant with a large dinning room, and another party room, overlooking the runway. The tables have enough space between, so it does not feel crowded like in other places, where you can overhear the person talking at the next table. We had a very pleasant dinner, while watching the planes take off. The service was nice and...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
If you ever want to find a perfect outfit for any occasion, without going to Bergdorf Goodman in New York, ladies, you have to come to Princeton- and visit Hedy Shepard – a boutique store owned by Rachel and Lynn Rabinowitz – a daughter and mother team.  You will be treated like royalty – just tell Rachel and Lynn, what you want and in a minute, you will be trying on gorgeous things. A word of warning – once you try them on, it’s hard to resist a big spree.                                                                                                                                                                                                           How is that related to real estate? It’s not, really. The only connection is my view that the community is the sum of its parts, and ...
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By Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ
(Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty)
To provide relevant information to my readers I need to understand what issues are on their minds. Princeton real estate blog has  two audiences: people who are interested in Princeton Real Estate and my AR colleagues who want to stay on top of their game through this forum. As a real estate professional it is relatively easy for us to come up with content interesting to others in the profession.  But what does the public in general want to learn from us? Marketers use Focus groups to get a handle on the consumer wants. I asked one person in my Focus group: What would you like to know about Princeton Real Estate?” His answers made me wander and pause. This is what he said.He would not be looking for an agent through a blog. He would be asking for referrals from his friends. He would be ...
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