I can answer your general question about finding a "full time" Realtor. I will leave the local sales part to someone in your area.
You can call the agency, or agencies, who do a lot of business in your area. You can determine this by viewing property on Trulia, or on your choice of sites, and seeing who shows up most. Call either an agent who advertises on these sites or call their agency and ask for the "Designated Broker". This DB will be able to connect you to a Realtor who works your location.
You may want a listing agent who specializes or, better yet, a Buyer Agent who also lists property. Once you list your property the job will be to find a qualified buyer and either should do the job for you.
Consider, of course, that you have a listing agreement with an agent now and will need to wait for that to lapse before moving on.... more
To best answer this question, you need to explore all options thoroughly - once you have all the answers, then you can make the best decision for yourself. There are many things to be considered.
First of all, I would suggest that you get the survey on your home and talk to the Bergenfield Building Department. You really can't begin until you know how much of an expansion you'll be allowed to make.
Second, you need to know how much equity you have in your home and what budget is affordable - you do this by a conservative comparative market analysis and consulting with a licensed mortgage banker. If you base your equity estimate on the bottom of your price range, it will be much better for you.
By now you should know if you can build enough space to get what you want and you should have a budget. The next item is to talk to some excellent (not good, not average, I mean excellent) builders. Prepare yourself in advance by having a clear notion of what you want to build. Have several come to see you and get a ball park figure from them. Add 10% to that figure for the rising cost of materials - we might be in a recession but building materials are always going up.
Once you have all of this information, you're ready to start looking at what you can buy based on your equity and what you can afford.
Now take a look at your neighborhood - where your home is located. Look at the values to see if you'll be over improving for the location - that is always a huge financial mistake. Look at your neighborhood in comparison with where your budget allows you to purchase - does it make sense to move? What issues will arise from moving to a different location? Do you have children in school? Will it have an impact on commuting to work? Is it an area you've always dreamed about? These are questions only you can answer. There are other questions to be considered which have to do with the market values between where you are and where you're thinking of going - is there any differences, is one holding its values better than the other etc.
Once you look at everything, then you'll know which direction makes the best sense for you. But, there is one last question - do you want to go through construction? Again, that's only something you can answer.
I know that this is a very involved process but it's the only way to truly determine what's best for you and your family. To be perfectly frank, I usually advise my clients to build less than they intended - things have a way of growing significantly beyond one's original ideas. You'll need a good architect too - if you wish, I'll be glad to recommend some excellent professionals.
Hopefully this will help you make the best decision you can for yourself. Very often expanding makes the most sense but sometimes it doesn't. Only by spending the tme to completely investigate your options will you be able to do what's best for yourself.... more