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Patricia Romano

Your NJ Shore Real Estate Specialist

By Patricia Romano | Agent in Manahawkin, NJ
  • Neighborhoods: How to find that Perfect Fit

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Foreclosure in New Jersey, In My Neighborhood in New Jersey  |  May 31, 2013 7:29 AM  |  1,274 views  |  1 comment

    Neighborhoods: How to find that Perfect Fit

    You’ve heard it – we all have – when buying or selling a home: “Location, location, location!” But what does that really mean? For some, it is the proximity to certain features of an area or locale. For others it is a view or access to water. Some prefer areas where properties are larger, for others it means places where there is access to entertainment or work, schools or healthcare. But, in many cases, it all boils down to one word: Neighborhood.

    For some, when the word “neighborhood” is mentioned, it is a ticket to time-travel to their youth – complete with images of playing with friends in the cul-de-sac or street close to home, and mom calling kids for dinner. Sometimes it is the house, sometimes the other homes, the street, features of the landscape, proximity to the town center – however you slice it “neighborhood” is a powerful word. It speaks of cohesion, a sense of community, even of family. And it certainly can be part of how we shape our identity.

    An attractive neighborhood can drive up the value of a property. The personality of a neighborhood shows up in the homes, yards, streets, schools, parks and stores that service the area. Neighborhoods also have life cycles – some are on the rise, while others seem to struggle, some are in transition, waiting to see who moves in to tackle whatever challenges might be facing the area. Places where homeowners are willing to interact and talk with one another can take on even difficult issues like crime, vandalism and litter or fun things like holiday celebrations and garage sales.

    Neighborhoods are loosely defined; sometimes geography comes into play, or divisions created by roads or traffic flow. A neighborhood is a localized area within a larger city or town that often has its own social interactions where common values are expressed as individuals and groups of people interact. Chances are that when you find that perfect home, it is not going to be on its own – it is going to be in some neighborhood, and that neighborhood will affect your quality of life.

    When you are considering a property, especially with a family, you might want to familiarize yourself with the various neighborhoods in your target area. The best way to determine if a neighborhood will live up to its reputation is to spend time there. If you cannot explore an area in person, ask your realtor or use the internet to do research. Visit the chamber of commerce for the town, and find the local newspapers online. Talk to people who have lived in that region and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions: what do they like and/or dislike about an area, and why?

    Issues like faith, politics, or tolerance for diversity are also revealed as you experience the climate of a neighborhood. These big issues are “timeless” – they permeate the day-to-day life as you walk to and from your home, as you work on projects and even decorate in and around your home. Explore the neighborhood around holiday times if you can and notice the details. How many cars are on the street? How do the outsides of the homes and buildings appear to you? Are there kids and families, and is that important to you? Do people seem to entertain and have friends and family about? Or do the houses seem empty and people celebrate in some remote locale? New Year’s, July 4th or other times – is it an endless party, or a tranquil enclave? Answers to these questions will aid you in finding a neighborhood that is right for you.

    Taking enough time when you visit neighborhoods can be difficult, but worthwhile. If you can get to the area where you will move, try to mimic your own daily routines as you explore. If it is a work day, seek to drive the streets around the times that you might leave and return from work. Have meals in local restaurants and visit the grocery stores during the time of day that you might shop. Notice the details and sense how you feel in these places. If you will commute to work from the new neighborhood, try driving the route. Keep a record of your experiences and feelings, as they might help you to clarify a tough decision. Try having coffee and reading the local paper in a place with people your own age and see who is there. If you run, bike or play a sport, try to find out where you would do that in this new area. It is your lifestyle, and your neighborhood should fit that.

    Drive around and notice the gas stations and schools, scheduling your trips when you might be seeing parents drop off or pick up their kids. Parents of preschoolers might want to explore the local parks and take some time in them to determine the level of use and how comfortable you feel there with your children. Whenever possible, talk with people and see what they enjoy about living in the area. If you are a person of faith, you will probably want to inquire about houses of worship, and possibly attend a service. Be sure to drive the streets of your neighborhood at night. Is there adequate parking? Do you feel safe? How are the noise and light levels? Who is on the streets? You should feel comfortable with the answers to these questions.

    Wandering the streets as a “tourist” in what might be your new town or neighborhood is not the same as living there, so you might want to slow yourself down and seek to experience the mundane. Try using the library, working out at the pool, community center, or gym. Go to the equivalent of places where you or family members frequent in your current home. Pop into the dry cleaners or Laundromat, corner store and pharmacy. Go to a post office or a bank, ask for help at a hardware store, locate town hall, and find the courthouse or police station. You might never need these services, but familiarizing where they are in relation to your target neighborhood will help you to understand the people living in the area and give you a sense of who they are. While you might not feel comfortable in these places now, you should be able to imagine yourself coming back again and again, and seek to find a neighborhood near to places where you feel the greatest sense of potential or possibility.

    There are those who enjoy a challenge – they purchase homes or properties in neighborhoods that are “less desirable”. While the home may be just what they were looking for, the neighborhood is not. Overcoming the obstacles of a neighborhood that is not to your taste can call a person or family to reach further and deeper than ever before. When this is the case, consider your ability to communicate with those around you, and try to understand the climate for change. Perhaps the change starts with you. This is a risk, but you know it going in. If you have done your due diligence in exploring the neighborhood in advance, then you can decide whether you will be involved in the development of the neighborhood or “wait it out” in a more passive way as the neighborhood changes about you.

    Discovering a neighborhood is “finding yourself” all over again – it is a chance to rekindle what is important to you. In fact, you might find that you have a neighborhood where you will live and another neighborhood in which you will work – and they might be close or far apart. You may have other neighborhoods where you shop or find your entertainment – but when you plan to move to an area, take the time to see beyond the minutes to work or school. Seeking out the soul of neighborhoods can ground you in a place and help you to understand where you fit in and how you can make a difference.
    when you are ready to buy or relocate- Give me a call

    Patricia "Pattie" Romano


  • 5 Steps to Investing In Rental Property

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Foreclosure in New Jersey, Investment Properties in New Jersey  |  September 28, 2012 4:56 AM  |  347 views  |  No comments

    Investing in Rental Property: Five Steps for Success

    Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property? Rental properties can be great investments, done right. In addition to realizing gains from property value appreciation, rental income can provide a monthly cash flow. Once the mortgage is paid off, much of your rental income will be profit, allowing you to work or to enjoy retirement.

    Unlike your home, this investment isn’t something that you will be personally using day-to-day, so the benefits of ownership differ. Rental property is a tangible asset you can visit, use, and personally impact the worth of your investment. With sound judgment, and by following some basic steps, you can own property and realize gains; both short and long term.

    Purchase with a Plan

    Investing in real estate differs depending on the type and location of the property you are buying. Will you want to use the property part of the year? Vacation rentals are enticing on many levels, though considering how you will use them during less desirable periods may affect your potential rental income. Purchasing a residence has different implications than a property that will be rented commercially. Some investors buy properties with multiple units so they can have rental income from one or more units while fixing up and/or living in remaining units. Properties with multiple units have more to consider and maintain than properties that will be rented by a single person or entity. Knowing the type of landlord you intend to be will provide some focus as you consider properties. It will also provide valuable knowledge for your realtor helping with your search.

    Being pre-approved for an investment loan and ensuring that your own finances are in order is not only wise, but will make it clear if you have enough capital to proceed. When taking on another mortgage, remember – you will want to have a healthy reserve fund in the event that the property produces less income than expected. Before you look at properties, sit down with a mortgage broker or lender to see how you qualify for a loan.

    Research the local rental market so you know what you can realistically expect to charge and better understand the potential cash-flow of potential rental property.

    Understand Your Investment

    It is important to understand the condition of the building and surrounding property you intend to buy. Unless you are particularly knowledgeable about construction, always make offers for purchase contingent upon professional inspections.

    Knowing the exact condition of the roof and foundation, plumbing and electrical, floors, appliances and other aspects of the property provides a much better sense of what you will need to repair, maintain, or upgrade for your tenants. In turn, this allows you to better understand the “bottom line” of your investment. After all, you are not likely to be present on a day-to-day basis to take note of any issues that arise. As the owner you have a vested interest in ensuring that the investment stays in good condition. You should have a budget for repairs and maintenance, and ensure that the purchase price enables you to make any necessary upgrades you might need to make prior to renting it to a tenant.

    Additionally, you will want to know about locale, including parking and security issues and the zoning regulations that govern the property, including any multiple occupancy limitations and any restrictions on specific business activities. Your understanding of specific property, how it might be used, and the limitations you face when renting it out make you a better investor.

    Evaluate Your Options

    As you look at properties, consider your options – you have many. From location and style of building to type of rental and the number of units, each decision you consider will open new doors. Is this a long or a short-term investment? If the property is one that you think you will hold for a while, do you have a sense of what the future holds and how the neighborhood is changing? Buying properties in good locations is one of the best ways to ensure the steady flow of rental income.

    And remember: properties don’t always have to stay the same. Consider things you could conceivably do to the property that might affect your income or investment. For example, can you add on to the home easily? Can you build a garage or change parking? Is it possible to convert a garage to an extra room? Are there regulations regarding subdividing or renovating the home? Can you add a bathroom?

    Some communities limit the number of rental properties, while others have height or size limitations when building. If something you desire is not an option, know that going in. Even if you are not planning to change the property in any way in the beginning, understanding what you can and cannot do is a good idea.

    Get Insurance and Assurance

    Legal documents, including rental agreements between you and your tenants, and service agreements between you and concerned parties are essential. And don’t forget more mundane issues that can arise when renting out a property: If a community has fees for water, sewer, community clubs or other amenities, clarify responsibilities -- will these be the responsibility of the owner or renter? Getting the right information out of the gate and spelling it out for your tenants will aid you in the end. These agreements will give you peace of mind and provide legal recourse should you need it.

    A real estate lawyer is an invaluable asset when you purchase a rental property. Not only can a real estate lawyer look over your purchase and rental agreements, they can advise you in other aspects of your investment, including interpreting local regulations. Your realtor will undoubtedly be another great asset, as they are full of more general information regarding local issues and market trends and can likely provide referrals to local property management services should you be interested. The more resources you have on your side, the more assurance you will have that your investment will run smoothly.

    Proper insurance includes insurance on the structure itself as well as liability insurance, in case someone is injured while on the premises. In some locations additional flood, earthquake, and storm related coverage is a further way to protect your investment. Since you are responsible for the mortgage, you will want to have the right types of insurance with sufficient coverage to protect your investment.

    Remember: You’re In Business

    Buying a rental property is essentially going into business. When the monthly income from tenants exceeds the amount you pay in mortgage, maintenance, taxes and other fees, you realize a positive cash flow in the short-term. Additionally, if all goes well, you will also realize a profit when selling the property. Doing your research as you look at properties and make your choices enables you to be as prepared as you can be for the ups and downs that you will face in managing your business. In fact, what you learn can make you much more successful in the end.

    Like all businesses where significant money will be changing hands, an accountant who is versed in real estate investing and tax implications will be valuable. You will be collecting rents and incurring expenses for repairs and services. Tax issues become more complex, and a professional will aid you in maximizing your returns on your purchase. Service providers like this can pay for themselves in the money that they save you. Once you know the bottom line with regard to your investment, you will be better equipped to determine a budget for projects related to the property.

    Whether this is your first rental property, or you are a seasoned veteran of this sort of investment, your realtor is among your business contacts. Having a straightforward relationship where you present your needs and expectations up front enables you to get the help you need in making that critical step of executing the purchase. Additionally, realtors often have a wealth of knowledge and resources that they are willing share from handymen to potential tenants.

    Success in business is not accomplished alone – developing a team of professionals from purchase through ultimate sale of the property is one key to achieving your goals. Follow these steps as you go into your new venture and you will start strong. The rest is up to you!

    so when you are ready to begin that process, Give me a call

    Patricia Romano
    RE/MAX At Barnegat Bay-
    31 North Main Street
    Manahawkin NJ 08050
    or visit my website www.soldbypattie.com

    No Pressures or Obligations - Just the inside Information

  • To List or Not to List

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Foreclosure in New Jersey  |  September 10, 2012 6:42 PM  |  249 views  |  1 comment
    Saying “Good-bye” to a job or “So Long” to a friend can be difficult, but selling a house that you may have lived in for twenty-five years can be just as emotional. If your goal is to move on and create a life somewhere else, then you may need some helpful tips on how to detach yourself and still make a great sale.

    After working in real estate industry for almost 30 years, with 13 years in the State Of New Jersey I know a thing or two about how to make a good sale. With my helpful hints, you can be on the fast track to selling your home.

    Just like in your personal life, a first impression is key. No one wants to walk up to a house with a yard filled of weeds as they traverse through what appears to be a mini jungle. Take pride in your home's appearance and make sure that your landscape is freshly trimmed and maintained. Remove any outside clutter and if touch-ups are in order, spend the extra cash to bring in the clientele.

    While you may have gotten used to the lime green bathroom walls or scratched wood floors, potential buyers will not be as forgiving. Give the impression that your house is comfortable yet resembles something you might see in a showroom. Light a candle and vacuum, because if your house reeks of cigarette smoke or pets people will not want to stick around. Buyers do not want to see a house that has been lived in or worn out, rather they want to see a home that they can live in. Update and clean!

    In order to detach yourself from your home, remove any personal items you may have lying around. Pack up your pictures and put away the clutter. Remember this is not going to be your home anymore, so make it as inviting for buyers as possible. Give them the chance to move around freely and see themselves potentially moving in. Make sure to put away any appliances and fixtures you plan on taking with you as it is better not to give the impression that they come with the house.

    I want you to know, that even though selling a house can be an extensive process it does not have to be expensive. Focus on the major issues in the house like broken fixtures, electrical and plumbing issues. Everything else can be touched up for a minor cost. Buyers want to see that everything is working properly first and foremost.

    Selling a house is a team effort. The buyer and seller are first priority, Do not stress yourself over what to do and what not to do. Call me today if you want to help yourself put your mind at ease and get the most for your time and money.

    Weekly I receive calls from homeowners who need to make tough decisions about listing their home for sale. In today’s market this may mean selling below the amount of their mortgage. If the market value of the home is less than the mortgage on the home, another choice may be leasing their home.

    For some, leasing their home instead of selling is not a good option but may be the better of the choices they have. I’ve had sellers who tried the leasing route. They come with many stories. Renters who move in and do not pay rent. Renters move out leaving the home trashed. This is certainly not an indictment of the rental market but only a word of caution.

    These homeowners may have been best served by hiring a leasing management company. Of course, you can get an great tenant who takes excellent care of your home. Taking your time and doing the necessary checks before the tenant moves in can save you heartache and dollars i n the future.

    The problem facing many sellers is that they cannot charge a high enough monthly lease to cover their mortgage payment. Each month they face a deficiency. The question I ask is, ”If you sold your home, and had to bring a certain amount of money to the closing table, how much would that be?” Compare the cash needed to close with the cash needed to supplement your monthly payment. At the least which will have cost you the most?

    If the seller cannot afford to supplement the monthly mortgage, is not in a position to lease their home or does not have the cash to bring to closing, the seller may be at a point of considering a short sale.

    This will be possible only if the seller meets certain criteria. Contacting an agent with expertise in short sales might be your best course of action. Look for an agent with a past history of selling short sale with a commitment to handling distressed properties, Discuss your options with this agent and develop a plan of action.

    If none of the above circumstances apply to you and you are ready to make a move, then as a seller you are in the best position you have been in for the past four years. Inventory is down and demand is increasing. Buyers are aware that the day of the deal may quickly become history.
    So if you are ready- Call me to discuss all your options- No Pressures Or obligations- Just the Facts

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate

    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    eve: 609-978-5985

  • Understand Today's Marketplace

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Foreclosure in New Jersey, Investment Properties in New Jersey  |  April 14, 2012 4:31 AM  |  448 views  |  1 comment

    This post is intended to help you understand the types of sales in today's marketplace. Whether you are a first time home buyer, or it is just one of many times you've purchased real estate, today's market is simply not the same as yesterday's. Read on to understand what you might find once you start your great house hunt.....

    Traditional Sales

    If the prices are right, these are the best transactions! This is when "Joe the Plummer" is selling his home, and there is no third party involved on the seller side of the transaction. The contract is more “normal” in nature, allowing reasonable negotiations between the parties. Each party genuinely hopes for the sale to be completed and therefore works together to meet deadlines and ensure everything is resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. Each party is likely only conducting one or two real estate transactions at a time, which are usually the largest financial considerations in that particular moment in time ~ therefore, each party gives this transaction his priority attention, and the process goes more smoothly as a result.


    • Generally, private homeowners can not compete with the aggressive pricing strategies of a bank/seller.
    • Properties are often in better condition, requiring less fix up. Owners may also complete some repairs.
    • Private owners generally do not consider a cash offer more valuable than common financing terms.

    Short Sales

    In these sales, the Seller must negotiate with their lender(s) for approval before selling. They may be asking for full or partial debt forgiveness or a note payable for any deficit. Banks agreement to these sales are dependent on the ability of the family to repay the debt, and the circumstances that have changed since the loan was originally approved. This process can take several months, and sometimes does not result in a closing.


    • How many lenders are involved?
    • What is the hardship/ability of the owners to repay?
    • Will they be asking for debt forgiveness or a note payable?
    • Who is negotiating with the bank and what is their experience level?
    • Which bank is it; what is their process and has it been started?

    Contract considerations:

    • Longer contract periods with floating deadlines, all based on the approval timeline of the bank.
    • Banks generally will not agree to a below market sale – this is determined based on an independent appraisal they conduct.
    • While owners may consider doing some repairs, generally contracts are “AS IS”.
    • Inspections are usually OK, but buyer can not ask for any repairs; their only choice is to terminate the contract.
    • Cash offers are considered favorably, but not to the extent they are with bank owned properties.

    Bank Owned (Post Foreclosure) Properties:

    These tend to be some of the best deals available in today’s market.

    Contract considerations:

    • Banks are pricing aggressively, and when they do, often there are multiple competing offers for properties. You may consider submitting an escalation addendum in these cases, although some banks will not consider escalation addendums during negotiations and simply come back and ask for “best and final”, or accept an alternative offer.
    • Cash is king! Banks realize the struggles and risks involved in some buyers obtaining financing. In addition, they are aware of property condition guidelines from FHA or other types of loans, which might REQUIRE repairs prior to closing… and they want to avoid this.
    • By targeting homes which might not qualify for government financing, and making cash offers, you may be able to buy at a more reduced rate.
    • If you are using a government loan to purchase, be prepared to have offers on REOs rejected.
    • Often properties are in “fixer upper” condition, and properties are sold strictly AS IS.
    • Inspections are usually OK, but buyer’s only recourse is contract termination.
    • Banks require that you agree to the terms in their addenda, with NO CHANGES.
    • Some banks require certified funds as deposit and/or specify who will hold the deposit.

    Banks are like the military – it’s “hurry up and wait”. The timeline looks something like this:

    Offer Submission

    • 3-10 days later, Offer “Acceptance” (verbal or email)
    • 1-2 days later, Counter Offer sent w/bank addendum
    • Within 1 day – resubmit offer w/ acceptance of bank terms
    • 3-10 days later, Ratified Contract.

    Closing is as specified in the counter offer, which is generally a fixed date. Challenges here become getting utilities turned on to complete the home inspection; completing title searches; & obtaining HOA docs within the time frame permitted by the contract.

    Banks will close AFTER you, and you will not get possession until they’ve signed off on everything. This can cause delays, I have seen more than 1 take over 2 weeks. I suggest attempting to negotiate a penalty to the banks should this occur.

    Buying Post Foreclosures/REOs


    Public Auctions/Courthouse Steps: These are the foreclosure auctions. The vast majority of these are purchased by the bank who owns the mortgage/lien, which is generally more than the current market value. There are some opportunities here, but they are more limited than many expect. There are also more challenges in these transactions. Generally, no contingencies are allowed. Should your financing fall apart, you will be considered in default and not able to recover your deposit.

    Private Auctions/Ballrooms or at property: These are often done by banks (or other parties) and most commonly are done with a RESERVE. Again, there are sporadic opportunities here. Terms are very similar to those by any Bank Owned Homes. Be sure to understand the purchase agreement, as there may or may not be allowances for contingencies.

    These are the primary types of sales we are seeing today... depending on your specific circumstances, you can decide which of these types of sales are ones that you would like to consider for purchase; and now you have at least some idea what you might encounter.

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate

    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    Direct cell-609-312-9043
    eve: 609-978-5985 -
  • So It's A Good Deal ???

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Foreclosure in New Jersey  |  April 9, 2012 6:27 PM  |  434 views  |  No comments

     But Is It A Good Deal For YOU?

    You have been looking and hunting for that "deal" in this buyer's market -- and you think you've found it -- but have you? Understanding what constitutes a Good Deal may be more personal than you think. The thrill of the search and looking at real estate can put your head in a spin and your heart may become attached to a certain home. However, when you get to the point of putting in an offer, step back and make sure you have a clear mind about the property -- not just the price.

    Price Is Not Everything

    While the price of the home may be attractive, it isn't cheating to ask why it is so low. Is the home in need of repair? Are there permits required to make those repairs? How extensive are they? Can you live in the dwelling while those repairs happen? Are you capable of doing the repairs yourself, or will you hire someone to accomplish the tasks? Do you have the constitution to deal with the repairs -- are you able to make decisions, do the research, hire the right people, and have the tools/time you need?

    While price may be a driving factor, in real estate it is often location. Did you find a good price but in a location that you are compromising? If so, this is one factor you cannot change. Think hard if you are compromising on this one. Commuting a long distance takes time and gas, which can be figured as dollars, making that low price not so low.

    Look at features of the home, landscape, location or neighborhood that make it uniquely suited for you, or that affect the price. Understand these before you buy. Even if you never plan to have children attend the local schools, you still might want to know about the schools in your area – it is part of the entire profile of the property you are buying. Look at hospitals, bus routes and other aspects of civil services in the area, too. Some people want to be close to everything, some prefer to be off the main flow – but most importantly: does the profile of this property feel right for you?

    When The Price Is Not The Price

    A large home with poor insulation, an aging furnace or heating/cooling system, older windows, roof in need of repair or other "big ticket" needs can quickly affect your budget after you buy. Have an expert evaluate features like pools and hot tubs, as these attractive perks might not be in good repair or cost more than you expect to operate and maintain. And remember: pools need to have adequate fencing and safety features. If you need to add them, it could be expensive.

    Smaller homes might require that you rent office or storage space off site -- also affecting your budget. And don't forget property taxes, homeowner's or condo fees -- these are annual expenses that must be considered. Don't forget to look at driveways and sidewalks, if you are responsible for these. Often overlooked, replacing or repairing sidewalks that present liability issues might be a pricey fix.

    Issues around location can also lead to hidden costs. Longer commutes, poor or inadequate parking, security systems for homes and cars, or costs to keep the home at the level of the neighborhood can add to your expenses. If you plan to work from home, or have clients into your home office, be certain that your business is welcome in the neighborhood. Some cities or communities have strict regulations about running a business from your home. If you cannot use your property in the way you want or need to, then it might not be good for you.

    Know Thyself: The Key To Knowing A "Good Deal"

    Understand how you deal with stress. If you can't handle the stress of a remodel or complicated/lengthy transactions, getting a house that is in foreclosure or requires extensive work might not be such a good deal. Permits require understanding codes or hiring contractors who do -- but ultimately the homeowner is responsible if there is a permitting issue. Moving itself is stressful, so consider when your "good deal" brings any extra stresses with it. Some people thrive on getting a good deal and doing home projects, so they have extra energy to deal with such things. Know if this is you.

    Personal Style -- You always dreamed of a cozy urban oasis, but you are about to settle for a suburban family home. Are you really ready for lawn-care 101? Have you compromised your personal style for a price tag? Allow yourself to really feel good about who you are and what you want. Compromising your personal style is probably not something that you can put a price on.

    Health issues -- You have seasonal affective disorder, and light makes all the difference. Who needs a southern exposure and big windows -- that's what those fancy light fixtures are for, right? Determine if making the house suitable for your needs will require extensive remodeling or big work-arounds. If you are compromising on issues that affect your health, do so carefully. If mobility is an issue, doorways and bathrooms could need to accommodate wheelchairs... and what about stairs? Homes in wet areas can have mold issues, which can be expensive to deal with. Be realistic and conservative with any home issues that could affect your health.

    Work -- Are you or someone living in the home planning to commute to a job? Is the building/property/neighborhood suitable to working from home? Location is one aspect of this question, but proper light, heat, sound-proofing or other issues may make work related issues a bigger deal than you first imagine. Consider the availability of communications like phone, internet, and other essentials if you plan to work from the property. If clients come to your home office, will you need a separate entrance or more parking? Again, understand the local regulations for running a business from your home in any situation where you are considering doing so.

    Know The House And How It Fits YOU

    Does the house have what you want? If you are compromising on things like storage, closets might be built, or furniture could remedy some of that -- but building a garage, or adding an attic or basement might not be possible or practical. Look at the house with a critical eye, seeing how it matches with what you are really wanting to buy. The fewer compromises you make, the happier you will be long-term.

    Upkeep and Maintenance: Notice elements of the home or property that require work to maintain. Pay attention to things like decks, countertops, bathtub surrounds, floors, fencing, landscaping and other areas where there might be work to do seasonally. Are you prepared to do that yourself, or will you hire this work out? Does the climate affect materials in such a way that decks or fences will need to be stained or replaced more frequently? Can you keep up with all the grout involved in that fancy tile work? If a property requires more work, attention, or money for upkeep than you can afford, perhaps the good deal is just not a good fit for you.

    Community: Remember, when you buy a property you are buying into a community. What is the climate of the neighborhood? Are there issues to cause you personal concern? Evaluate the people who live in the area. Are there a lot of rentals, or do people own their own homes? How are the schools and local stores? Do you feel comfortable walking the streets, driving around, parking your car? What are the social opportunities and would you partake in them? Are you a person of faith or do you have strong political leanings? Buying into a neighborhood can call all of these questions into the forefront. Getting to know the tenor of the community and neighborhood can aid you in determining if there are issues to consider, especially if you are home a lot. Driving or walking around the neighborhood at different times of day and on the weekends might give you a better idea of the people in the area. A perfect home can be an island in a stormy sea if you don’t feel good in the area.

    Going For It

    Your hard work in considering all the above is just part of the due diligence when buying a home. Answering honestly will pay off in all sorts of ways. You will go in to your new home with open eyes and hopefully a good deal -- just make sure it is good deal for YOU.

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate

    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050


    Direct cell-609-312-9043
    eve: 609-978-5985
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  • Try Taking A Page Out of EBay in Home Shopping

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in New Jersey, Home Buying in New Jersey, Foreclosure in New Jersey  |  November 8, 2010 4:10 AM  |  735 views  |  No comments

    With so much  confusion and misconceptions of industry terms such as "Buyer's Market" has lead some potential home buyers into a false sense of certainty, That their way below market offer might get them a home.

     What is now coming to light is that houses they can afford are in high demand with buyers in the same price bracket. 

    The lower the bracket, the higher  the demand. 

    A Buyers Market meant there is sufficient inventory of homes when compared to available buyers. 

     Not the popular belief a seller "will take anything" because the "market is so bad. " is not true!

    in today's real estate market There are few properties without debt attached to them.   Low offers too often discount that reality. 

    Offering someone less than they owe is not likely to produce a meeting of the minds. 

     Properties in short sale or foreclosure doesn't mean make an offer of pennies on the dollar. Not in this market 

    A sure fire way NOT to get the house you really want is to go in so low,that the offer is rejected and present the opportunity for someone else to look good by presenting a better offer.

    with mortgage money now becoming more readily available, there are more people ready to take action. People who make the best deals, are the ones who don't procrastinate. 

    Try Taking a page out of eBay. If you want it, aggressively go after it. If you don't some one else may BUY IT NOW.

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    /MAX At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    Direct cell-609-312-9043
    eve: 609-978-5985 - till midnight

  • Don't let the bank TAKE YOUR HOME

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in New Jersey  |  November 28, 2008 7:50 AM  |  920 views  |  3 comments

    Don't let the bank take your asset! That's the first piece of advice I can give you! The next is to let you know that there are options available to you that you should explore.

    First, talk to your lender. Although you may have to talk to many different departments to get any answers, persistance will usually payoff. In some cases the lender will agree to a Forebearance or some kind of workout deal to bring you current. Contrary to popular belief, they really don't want your property. 

    You always have the option to sell your home to preserve your equity. While many think about this and decide they don't want to sell, sitting idle while the interest and penalty fees mount on your home is not a good idea.   Try refinancing if you want to preserve the home you have. However, many times a homeowner won't qualify for this option when they haven' t been making payments.

    Have no equity? The next option is to sell your home but take a short sale with the bank. In this event, usually the lender requires a homeowner to agree to walk away from the property without receiving any proceeds from the sale.  This can preserve your credit so it doesn't show an actual foreclosure and get you out of the debt that is due. Unfortunately, you won't have any proceeds to move on to where you need to go.  Talk to an attorney before signing off on a short sale so you understand the pros and cons of doing this.

    Then there is the bankruptcy method. An attorney acquaintance of mine usually suggests this as your last option.   

    It always boggles my mind why homeowners ignore a foreclosure and ultimately don't do anything until the last moment before a sheriff sale.  By then, it can be too late.  If you've worked so hard to get where you are, do something about it. Protect what you have worked hard for!

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