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NJ Real Estate Values during the Recession of '08

April 6th, 2010 6:57 AM

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Posted by Jon Rosa on April 6th, 2010 6:57 AMLeave a Comment

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July 8th, 2009 11:51 AM

An interesting article on why short sales require so much time from the banks perspective:

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July 1st, 2009 5:23 PM

I have been doing an increasing amount of FHA appraisals for brokers trying to keep some control of the appraisal ordering process. In an effort to increase help borrowers understand the process  I wanted to post this, From FHA: "Required repairs are limited to those repairs necessary to preserve the continued marketability of the property and to protect the health and safety of the occupants."

When you do FHA appraising you constantly have the 3 S's in your mind:

1. Safety - Any safety issues need to be fixed.

2. Security - I like to refer to this one as "saleability".  It basically refers to protecting the FHA insured mortgage by keeping the property in marketable condition.

3. Soundness - Are there any structural problems?  Floor joists rotted, or a leaking roof?

Having the appraiser do a FHA appraisal does not constitute a home inspection and it is always recommended you hire a qualified home inspector.


Here are 12 of the many things your FHA appraiser will look for:

  1. ALL the utilities need to be ON at the time of inspection
  2. Missing floor covering, fixtures, outlet covers, and/or exterior siding
  3. Rotted wood or evidence of infestation
  4. Chipping or peeling paint - if built prior to 1978, possible lead paint issues
  5. Windows not opening or closing - need 2 means of egress from bedrooms
  6. Roof with less than 2 years of economic life or with missing or damaged shingles
  7. Garage must have drywall on any wall adjacent to living areas
  8. Crawl space should be at least 18 inches, with no standing water, or debris in the crawl space
  9. Attic must have insulation and access if there is an attic
  10. HVAC, plumbing, and electrical must function properly
  11. Electric garage door must have a reverse stop
  12. Wells must be located 50' from septic tank, and 100' from absorption field.

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January 18th, 2009 8:08 PM
The New Year seems to be a continuation of last year with more refinances as well as a slight increase in the amount of sales. I was contacted by a local Real Estate Broker who inquired about  pre-listing appraisals. Generally, these are used by people selling there there homes privately, but in this market he was wondering  about using them on some of the  high end properties that have been languishing on the market for 1 or in some cases  2 years. He believes if the owners see the current, appraised value they might be either more willing to cut there price or take the home entirely off the market.  He told me he has 3 times the normal amount of listings at this time of year send he hoped I might help him start cutting his inventory. In a challenging market its best to keep all your options open and I believe more brokers in our area will start seeking outside help to alter Sellers expectations.

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January 8th, 2009 7:08 PM
Wow... Talk about night and day in the appraisal industry. After rate cuts by the FED in  November and December, a flood of refinances came through the office, which made this the busiest month of last year.  Banks, after being given billions of dollars  in the government bailout, finally seemed to be loosening there grip on credit and the public was able to benefit. While I have not seen any signs of prices stabilizing, or an increase in purchases, at least we are starting to see the effects of the government's actions helping  typical homeowners. Though it's too early to see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is a chance we're at least on the right road.

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December 2nd, 2008 12:00 PM
Todays adventure started  early this morning in front of my Computer. After a quick "bottom feeding" search of the least expensive properties on the Bergen County MLS I found an interesting house, recently  listed, in Hillsdale.  I should have known it was too good to be true. The good: a 6 room, 3 bedroom ranch with 2 baths listed for $189,000 r $189,000.  The bad:  no garage,basement or interior. !  That is very tempting  price for the area and it looked like a real  money make for the right person.      After talking with the investors I've been consulting for, I tried contacting  the Realtor.  In the mean time I knew it might be time of the essence so I headed to the house.  As I pulled up to the house I received a call from the broker, and as I was about to ask for more details,  was told it was already under contract. Because of  the difficulty in getting signed contracts  from overworked short sale departments at the bank, it was still listed as active on the MLS.  It appears that investors are getting back into the market and there is money to be made by those  acting quickly enough.  Now is a prime time for people to start investigating new real estate investments and if you would like to get involved please contact me.

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November 26th, 2008 8:40 AM
Oakland appears to be bucking the trend. Today I saw an older, expanded cape with 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths. After careful research and running the numbers 3 different ways, Oakland has increased median sales prices by 2% in the last year. Whether this is a hold over of demand from the previous year, or some other hidden trend wasn't immediately apparent. How long this will last in the current economic climate remains to be seen. 

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November 26th, 2008 8:39 AM
Inspected a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse in Allamuchy,NJ. Located over 60 miles from Manhattan, prices in this area (Warren County)are outside the direct influence of NYC housing values.  What I found:16 similar units currently on the market and 15 sold last year, median values fell from $255,000  in 2007 to $234,000, in'08, a decline of 8%. What is most interesting, is even this far from NYC  prices have not fallen lower. Also, inventory appears to be normal  with only 1 year of supply at this time.  It seems the demand for "affordable" housing alternatives is still strong even if prices are tending down.

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November 8th, 2008 11:19 PM
Well, today I inspected a house for a potential tax appeal. It was large and updated  in the East Hill section of Cresskill After scrutinizing the home, and discussing it with the owner, it appeared we had a chance at a reduction of the assessment, based on current market conditions.  First step was checking the property record card of the Subject, as well as  some Comparables I had preliminarily chosen, at the Cresskill Assessors Office. I quickly  noticed nearly a 1,000 sq ft difference from the record card to what I had just measured. This  gave at least one reason to lower the current valuation by the Town.  Next, a few quick analyses  found that properties of this type,(5 bedroom,3.5 baths, Colonials) had decreased in value only 4% from 2007. Also noted only 4 similar homes had sold in the prior 12 months and there were now 7 currently listed for sale, which had ballooned the  absorbtion rate to almost 2 years.  Average days on market (DOM) had only slightly  increased from 124 days in '07  to 140 days in  '08.  It appears that "luxury" homes have declined, but not by as much as many touted, and the full effect of the increase in inventory may not have fully worked its way through the market.   The results of the appeal will not be known until after the new year and I will keep you updated as this unfolds. If you believe you assessment is too high, now is the time to start your appeal.       

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