Home Buying in Clifton>Question Details

J K, Home Buyer in Clifton, NJ

My husband and I are first time home buyers. We currently rent our apartment in Clifton, NJ. We are

Asked by J K, Clifton, NJ Tue Mar 25, 2008

at townhouses in the area as well as other counties like Bergen - basically easy commute to the city. We want to live in this area and have seen several townhomes @ Cambridge Crossings. Do you think those town homes are over priced? We have seen 3 townhomes with 2 beds 2 ½ baths all ranging from 435-450K. With the 10,000 in taxes it can add up. I am interested in finding out if you think these houses are listed way over their price. Should we just look into other towns and pass this community up.


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Hello Marc,

Thanks for the tip, but nothing I said can be taken as though I was trying to predict the market. My advice given is always based on what I would do if I were buying. I believe this is why people ask us questions on this site, so that we can tell them honest answers that help THEM and not sell them on going into bad situations. And right now, I would err on the side of caution rather than get myself into a situation that totally destroys my life and livelihood. I guess going through Hurricane Katrina and loosing everything in a blink of an eye has caused me to look at things in terms of "reality", as you say.

It would be rude for me to attempt to point all that I know and understand to support my positions because the issue is not as simple as looking at JUST housing in local areas. This is a national issue that deals with the actual circulation of currency, which is like the blood circulating in the body. If it cannot flow, organs will start to fail. Our economy is ONE. Its not local as they tell us. Its ONE. Politics is local, but economics is National. And the Housing Market is just an organ in the body of our economy. In fact, it is a big organ that requires a lot of circulation and that circulation (easy credit) is drying up and fast. And if the only way the FED can keep it circulating is to cut interest rates, which makes a weak dollar next to worthless, we will constantly pay more in other areas, which will dry up the circulation also. In any case, its drying up because we have no real economic base. Consumerism is our economy and thats, at the moment, based on that circulation (easy credit).

I'm sorry if my honest views may ruffle feathers but I'm here to tell the truth. And I didn't make any of those numbers up, if they are lies they are lies told by those that keep the records. My advice is to look at the economy as a whole and think about tomorrow. If you feel you are immune to whats going on in our country, then, by all means, do business as usual. But if you are feeling the crunch already, and you depend on credit, then you might want to do something different while you can. Thats my take.

And this is not advice to home buyers exclusively. This is for everyone here because we all know that something is not quite right at the moment. And I'm no enemy of Realtors, agents or brokers. You guys can make money and help people at the same time, you just may not make as much money per deal.

I would like to apologize for the slight deviation from the topic, but I felt compelled to clear up Marc's take on what I posted. So, you guys keep voting me down, but the people are voting me up.

khazeem Asadullah

email: info@serapisdebtservices.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
J.K., this is a dangerous question to ask when most of the people answering have a vested interest in you buying an overpriced home. Knowing what I know about the true cost of a home per sq ft., and the fact that N.J. is not immune to the issues of the housing market or the elements that caused it's fall such as over priced housing units, rising gas prices, and increased food cost, I would have to say that those units are overprices. Look, I found this in an article on NJ.com last month that reflected the number in janurary:

"Meanwhile, New Jersey ranked 18th in the nation, with 5,113 properties in default or having been re possessed. That's 57 percent more than the previous month (December 2007), but 15 percent less than January 2007." Actually, since the problems with housing started, the numbers are really over 13,000 homes have already been repossessed, 7,921 are scheduled for auction or have been auctioned, and 136,835 are in pre-foreclosure right now! You know how those of "local concern" down play any news that hurts their bottom line.

However, this tells me three things. 1) Things are getting bad in N.J., 2) It is only beginning, and 3) being 18th out of 50 for something negative is not good at all . This may be interpreted as good news somehow (I don't know how), or it could be explained away by saying that those numbers are from the "sub-prime" sector or "section of town". But the truth is that almost every home in America is overpriced due to over speculation in the investment marketplace of real estate mortgage paper. Right now Essex has 18, 800 pre-foreclosuers; nearly 2,500 forelcosures; and 919 properties scheduled for auction. Sussex is a little better with only 3,493 pre-foreclosures; 350 foreclosed; and 277 scheduled for auction. Bergen has 7,456 pre-foreclosures, 479 foreclosures, and 361 scheduled for auction. I could go on and on but you should get the picture by now.

The choice is yours and I'm sure if you decide to buy there will be plenty of Realtors willing to assist you in your purchase. And If your financial situation is really strong enough to overcome all of the economic issues, and you are not concerned with depreciation or loss of equity, then you should buy what you like. But you may check into some of those distressed properties, you may get a great deal on one of them.

I hope I was able to help you.

Khazeem Asadullah

email: info@serapisedebtservices.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Why buy a townhouse at that price with high taxes? In this market, you can buy a single family home with a nice yard and room to grow. I would recommend you keep looking. Don't settle in this market!! Its a great time to buy!

I have a listing in South Orange, in walking distance to the train and only a 1 mile to Seton Hall university.
4 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage, full basment! This neighborhood is really nice.
Web Reference: http://www.SheSellsNj.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Hello JK

Have you considered Northern Monmouth County Just over the bridge where you can find beautiful community townhomes with top notch schools and the commute is just as easy.
A community such as The Woods at Holmdel Or The Orchards offer taxes in the $6500 range and are 5-10 minutes to the train station.
Or you can go a bit further south into Port Monmouth Middletown and afford new constuction at DUNES @ SHOAL HARBOUR with views of NYC & SandyHook Bay.The Ferry is around Corner and only min.to train This community offers a Private Clubhouse w/gym;outdoor pool & beach access

The fact he you are a fist time homebuyer will also afford you the $7500 tax credit if you purchase before July 30, 2009. If your interested if getting additional information on Monmouth County Townhomes please touch base.

Warmest Regards,
Dawn Marie White
Broker-Sales Manager
Crossroads Realty Inc
732-528-6800 x204
732-581-9414 Cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
For a first time home buyer those prices tend to be a bit much especially with $10k in taxes, might be a bit of payment shock for a mortgage payment. Then again you might be filthy rich =). Anyway there are numerous areas in bergen and passaic county with smaller developments with less amenities and lower taxes and maintenance. If interested i serve the NNJ area, Paramus, River Edge, Saddle Brook, Oradell etc areas. Let me know your criteria and ill email you a search.
Web Reference: http://www.OurNJhouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
There is a nice development in Nutley, off of Route 3, I would check that out. And if you need a good buyer's attorney feel free to give me a call.

*Please note that this is general information only, and not to be construed as legal advice, if you would like a consultation please feel free to call and make an appointment"
Law Offices of Chang & Scolavino, LLC
Paterson and Freehold, New Jersey
"Criminal, Real Estate, Litigation and Immigration Law"
"Somos abogados hispanos y entendemos sus problemas"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
Hi J K,

I believe there was some side tracked discussions on your question and topic. An indication that there are people in this business who are truelly out there to help others.

However, the answer to your question is simple, Yes and Yes. Yes they are slightly overpriced and Yes, you should look into other towns. You should always look into other towns. Effective professionals will work with clients who can motivate a home buyers by thinking outside the box and by providing an objective view to their home search journey.

I've sold homes to clients that were looking in one town, but bought in another only because they didn't realize the potential other towns provided. There's lots of inventory out there. The home buying process can be even more confusing now becuase there are more options for you and deciding on the right home for your right now can be scary.

If you want to consider what price to offer on a home, just ask your agent or any agent to run a list of recently sold homes in an area. This info should be free for you. That will give you some of the information you need to place the right asking price on a home. Remember, it's about market price, not what a homeowner thinks his home is worth. Then, there's your comfort level on the mortgage expense and the other expenses you will incur while owning the home.

Good luck!

Carmelo Torres
A Home For Sale Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
Hi J!
Properties that are sitting on the market for length of time (over 2 months) are over-priced.
Well priced properties are moving.
If you meet with a local agent (such as myself) I will do a market analysis for you on the property you are interested in and help you make an intelligent offer and present the offer to the seller with your best interests first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008

We live in Bloomfield, the next town over from Clifton and our office is in The Caldwells. The Cambridge Crossings are a little "pricey". There are Townhomes in other communities that are less expensive and also an "easy" commute to the City. If you want our help, just let us know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008

I have to say that I agree with your last comment, except the part about my registration fee. In fact, your last comment is more in line with the things I've been saying all alone. We must "pull up the bootstraps" and that's why I would not go into debt by buying an overpriced home right now. Thanks for helping me clarify my position.

Now, as for my registration fee...... No information is free, and neither is any good services. Trump sells information. Kiyosaki sells information. Why can't I? It wasn't free for me to learn it. Do you work for free? And my $199 is a not less than they will pay if they don't know the information I sell, and a lot less than your commission on one of these $400k NJ deals. Shoot, I'm cheap when compared to you!! And I stand by my information as credible and valuable.

And If you've really understood anything about this "boom and bust" thing that you called business as usual, you would know that its really just a tool for the un-even distribution of wealth. Bear Sterns collapsed but those behind it got filthy rich. Enron collapsed while those behind it got filthy rich. Everyone else lost their shirts in the process.

Hey, I'm not your enemy, Marc. I just gave the advice I believe in, and you may have done the same. I respect that even if I disagree with it. In fact, I actually work with quite a few brokers, agents, etc., all the while we seem to be at odds at times. Thats life.

J.K, I say again, I think all the homes are overpriced right now. They increased at an unnatural rate and this market MUST correct itself. And if the correction has not began in your area as of yet, then I would be cautious because I think its comming. I can be wrong. But would you rather me be wrong and you're safe, or me be right and you loose? As Marc pointed out, its "inevitable" that such correction takes place. And this is all that I'm saying.

I'm done with this one. Good luck J.K.

Khazeem Asadullah

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008

If you study economic history, you will see that boom and bust are business as usual. When things turn South, a lot of "end-of-the-world" propaganda begins to proliferate, often with a hidden agenda to take advantage of people in trouble. However, busts, like forest fires, serve a purpose and are ultimately good for the country and economy as a whole.

The fact is we are now in a recession. So, there is nothing to do except pull up the old bootstraps and get busy working our way out of it. The answer is not negativity, hand-wringing, or doom and gloom survivalism. And certainly not selling "the answer" for $199.99.

One thing that's great about America is we're mostly a country of optimists. Things have always gotten better eventually. And so they will this time. The current credit crunch is nothing more than a "reality check" that was inevitable. It will ultimately be a good thing by forcing everyone to behave a little more responsibly. Lenders, Borrowers, Realtors, Appraisers, Buyers, and Sellers.

Have a little faith there Kazeem. The world is not ending.
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Hi Khazeem,

Nobody knows the future. Not Realtors, not the media, not the "sky-is-falling" predatory prognosticators, not me, and not you.

What we do have is hard data on recent sales that indicate that the list prices in Cambridge are 5-10% over what they are actually selling for. Which is to say, fairly normal.

In times of uncertainty, it is best to stay within the realm of reality, and avoid the realm of hyperbole.
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Have yo uconsidered Garret Heights? Really get a lot for the money.
Web Reference: http://www.bparkes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Also, there are some nice units in the low 400's in Riverwalk in Clifton. Have you considered that complex?

Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
Hi JK,

Not way over.

Here is some data:

15 Carrington Pl sold on 12/14/2007 for $425,000. It was 2BR 2.5 Baths, taxes 9,587, and was an Essex end unit.

93 George Russell Way sold for $425,000 on 1/2/2008. It was a 2,273 sqft Woodcliff model end unit, 2BR, 2.5 Baths, taxes 9,000.

33 Barrister St sold for $427,000 on 12/14/2007, a Yorkshire end unit, 1,730 sqft, 2BR, 2 Baths.

8 Devonshire Dr, a 2BR, 2.5 Bath Sussex interior unit, sold for $435,000 on 1/25/2008.

So all things considered, the units you see for $435,000-$450,000 do not appear to be overlisted.

If you need a good buyers agent, check out my profile and consider interviewing me, I'd be happy to help!

Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
JK, I would highly suggest that if you have not already, find yourself a buyers agent that is going to protect your best interest especially when it comes to negotiating. I am not from that state so I can't tell you if they are priced well or not. This is where a buyers agent can really help you out tremendously.

Also why not look at a few different areas and see what you prefer the most? It does not hurt to get an idea of different areas. It will probably give you more peace of mind especially being a first time home buyer. That way you can be confident you are making the best decision for you and your husband.

I hope this information helps! Best Wishes!
Web Reference: http://www.gomelinda.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
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