Home Buying in 08822>Question Details

Kathleen, Both Buyer and Seller in 08822

We think we found an amazing deal but the unknown on this never inhabited new build from 2006 is holding us

Asked by Kathleen, 08822 Sun Jan 25, 2009

back. Situated on a rural road, backing a distant golf course, with many similarly priced homes to homes valued 2-300k higher(and multi mil farms as well) this 3800sf home was initially overpriced market wise by the banks. the owner paid an exhorbitant dime for the property in 2005 which led to the high ticket price in 2007
. Final touches need to be done but we've had it looked over/will bring in an inspector but it's solid quality. HOWEVER how much will gas propane cost vs the natural gas, heating&cooling etc... we're use to a cost efficient&compact 2000 sf ranch home. Due to the amenities, location, materials used, the home's true value is worth about $150-200k more then what we feel we can get it for so we'll be ahead of the game but bottomline is, this is a big step. The selling realtor gave only very rough &incomplete utility estimates this based on an uninhabited home(not one intended for a family of 5). We have have tax info but how can we better determine utilities?

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I would call a reputable heating and air conditioning company ie Supreme 732 469-2124 they have done new construction and service for years. I have worked with contractors for years and they used this company in all price ranges, Then call a local propane company and get their prices and fuel costs ie Ferrel Gas in Three Bridges etc. We as realtors are not experts in these fields and are really advised not to give opinions it is out of our realtor field, Heating and hvac companies have formulas as to sq ft usuage and how much air flow is required and how much fuel it will cost per unit etc. That would be your best bet
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Kathleen,

Sorry that hear that "it wasn't your contact", but when it's meant to be it...it will be. The inventory in the county has been growing slightly over the last 2 months (1075 homes versus a low of 922), so the choices are growing slightly. This bodes well for you finding the next "amazing deal". My suggestion to you considering everything you mentioned about interest rates, taxes and conservatism, would be to move forward and have your home listed if you need to close on your current home in order to close on your next. This decision takes advantage of the rates and taxes (if you were referring to your current home) for the purchaser of your current home and starts you down the path which can address ones conservative mindset. It also makes you a stronger buyer when you discover that deal versus making an offer and not having your home even listed. The strongest position of course is a buyer who does not need to sell (not too many fit that discription) followed closely by a buyer who has their home under contract. These strengths for you as a buyer can equate to negotiating strengths when you do make that offer. There are amazing deals relative to those of 6 months ago as sellers gain a better appreciation for the market. The current market environment is a strong buyers market and as the Spring activity starts there are more buyers hence the strength diminishes slightly. I hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to call upon me. Although my office is in PA I focus the overwhelming % my activity in Hunterdon/Somerset. I wish you well and be confident...when it's meant to be it will be.

Wayne Smith
Weidel Realtors
908-797-8027
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2009
Thanks Patty. That house has since gone under contract&being evaluated by the banks involved-ofcourse it's not our contract! My other half is a slow mover particularly with all the concerns of the day weighing in. this house was propane vs the natural gas we're use to, the costs i anticipated would be much higher based on input & sheer size of that home vs our ranch. I've been working with Sharon Ortepio CB on/off and now on again since last spring-viewing homes in about 2hours. Our house is prep'd, on zillow make me move and ready to list if we find a home that entices my other half enough to move forward. (I know this is the backwards approach). Reduction in taxes in town has been a help, as is the great interest rates, as is the condition of our comps vs our current home, but for the ultra conservative in my household I still have a lot of convincing to do. Again, thanks for your input.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2009
Hi Kathleen;

I have been selling new homes in the Flemington area for almost 20 years. I know the ins-and-outs of construction and almost every local builder. If it was built in 2006, and it's not completed nor ever been lived in... there may be more reasons than just price why this home has not sold.

Also in terms of the homes "true value" - how has that been determined? A Buyers Representative can provide you with the local comparables, pricing trends and negotiate on your behalf. The bank, the builder or the listing agent are not the ones that determine it's "value".

As for utilities, if it's well and septic.. they are free :-) except for maintenance now and then. As for Natural Gas vs. Propane. They are the same product, only one is piped and one is trucked - thus because of the transport cost propane is higher. It will be determined by the construction materials used (insulation, type of windows, efficacy of the furnace, how many units, how many zones) and the BIG factor is what temperature you set your thermostats at and if you are home all day or at work and only there at night? There are variables.

If you need additional help contact me through my website: http://www.NewHomesInHunterdon.com

Patricia "Patty" Mortara | Hunterdon Real Estate Group
RE/MAX Results Realty | Flemington, New Jersey
Office: 908.237.0055 ext 20 | Direct: 908.448.1699
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2009
Kathleen,

The prior answers are all very valid and can provide you with a projection. My wife and I life in Hunterdon County and have propane for both heating, hot water and cooking. The useage varies family life style to family life style. We have found that the best deals on propane are: IF you enter into a contract prior versus payment on a per delivery basis AND if you actually own the propane tank versus having it owned by the supplier. By owning it you are not locked into a specific supplier and can do more shopping around. So I strongly recomend that, as part of the sale, you somehow try and work into it the purchase of the tank if you plan on staying there for any length of time. If you have any questions on this reach out to me and I'll try and guide you along the best I can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 31, 2009
Kathleen, my inground unheated pool used to cost me about $100/ mo (just to run filter/pump) When I had it heated, this added about another $1000/ year. (In addition to the solar blanket I used to try to keep costs down) what I am saying is that the pool and jacuzzi could really add to the bill. If you have a tankless water heater I understand these are about as efficient as you can get. Make sure you have the programmable thermostats etc. The audit I had done was well worth the few hundred I spent and though I will not be able to take advantage of the rebates (I will do much of the work myself) I kick myself for not doing it when I first bought. You can also get insulated drapes etc, solar panels... Maybe NJ will reinstitute some of the incentives thay had making the solar affordable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 25, 2009
so far the input has been helpful. i am working with an agent who is very knowledgeable with the building aspect, what materials were used down to support beams, which way the house faces etc. stemming from her many years as a realtor+her previously held job. a good point she made to me is that this home does not have excess wasted space, meaning the ceiling heights in most main living areas are not cathedral so we would not be heating&cooling unnecessary space above our heads. she suggested i try to find out utilities from anyone we knew nearby. a relative owns a 4200 sf home around the corner. built in the 80's, it's a different lay out, has an inground heated pool, jacuzzi & a family of 7 eating up the utilities. her # was exhoribitant & absolutely not workable for us(which is one of the reasons we're so gun shy) but it's not a good comp based on the differences. I do like the idea of having an energy audit done&will be in touch with the utility companies. again, thanks for the feedback.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 25, 2009
Your expenses in living there will depend a great deal upon your habits ie will you be turning back heat when not home etc. check to see the efficiency of appliances as this may give you a basis. If the home is an energy star home or has a leeds rating this may tell you about the efficiency. Are the walls 2x4 or 2x6, what is the insulation values etc? You may want to have an energy audit done as part of your inspection process if it of that much concern to you.

Kenneth "Ken" Verbeyst CRS GRI ABR SRES GREEN
Broker Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 25, 2009
Hi Kathleen, if you are working with an agent and there are comparable homes of similar size and utlity arrangements, your agent could reach out to agents that were involved with those sale to see if they have information to share. Another suggestion is to talk to the utility companies themselves and ask the question based on square footage. Perhaps there are correlations that can be drawn from usage you know for your current home. Always good to try to enter any transaction with your eyes wide open so that a savings on the one hand does not translate into a considerable increase in expense on the other.

Good luck and best -
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 25, 2009
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