I personally love the older homes in Sleepy Hollow. Their historic beauty is priceless.
Some of the homes are also quite large, and I can easily understand that families may downsize to smaller homes.
In the so-called experienced buyers market (or seller's market), trade up buyers would often BUY first and SELL later becaues psychologically they are stimulated by their realtors and friends or media that if they sell first, they may end up not able to buy a move up house soon enough.
However, in the so-called first time buyer market (or buyers market), realtors and normal people become more honest and calm, not trying to pomp up the real estate, and flipping ...etc. so the same move up buyers often would list the homes for sale before buying their next home. So, you see more signs in this market.
For example, if there are 500 move up buyers in a given town trying to buy bigger home first before sell current one, then, then market will have a period of time with 500 more homes with SOLD sign, where if the 500 move up buyers decide to sell first before buying bigger home, then the market will have 500 more FOR SALE signs. As you can see, one family still buy and own one home.
If you are familiar with stock market, in the experience buyers market, most realtors and buyers became PUMPERS that try to tell everyone to buy to pump up the real estate price and stimulate the market. At the first time buyers market, they all of a sudden became BASHERS to bash down every listing came to their hand.
So, there is nothing to be afraid of as long as you are NOT flipper. What you should do is ask your realtor to see all the houses in Sleep Hallow area and pick the ones that you like the most and making each and every one an offer, and you shall eventually get the best deal.
Say, you eventually love 3 homes, do NOT just make offer to one house, make each an offer, and start negotiating, and you may eventually find one that would give you the best deal because, may be they found a great deal on the bigger home they are going to move up.
One reason you forgot to mention that people listed their house is because of panic, and that's psychology reason. This is very easy to overcome.
After you bought your dream home and move in, then you will visit all your neighbors with for sale signs, and find out why they are listing. Then you will tell them to off listing, in exchange, you shall introduce them buyers from NYC directly to buy their house. And when you hold Open Houses for all your friends in NYC to your huge great home in Sleep Hallow, you also invite all these neighbors.
Do you know what would happen? You may find 80% of the neighbors will change mind and NEVER wanted to sell their house again, and permanently off market, and you will find your home value coming back up!!! And, then some of your friends, after seening your house at your party and neighborhood, they may buy some of your other neighborhood houses, further knock down the For Sale signs.
If you are a bit more aggressive, you will keep two numbers in your cell phone, one is the Plainfield Public Work Dept number, and another one is Health Dept. Whenever you see trashes in Plainfield, you will call Health Dept to send inspector to enforce, and thousands of trashes will be gone!! and cracked parking lot or dirty area the store owners or property owners will receive tickets, and they will renovate it.
For potholes, you call Public Work to patch, by law, they have to do it within 48 hours. Do not cruise the whole town, just along those streets or area you happen to drive by and see.
For all these years, we did this for Piscataway, and can you believe that eventually, Piscataway streets are so clean, trashes all gone, and many stores renovated with repaved parking, and township even bought machines to repave many road each year. This year, Piscataway even picked up as #23 of Top 100 Best Places to Live in America http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2008/snapshot by CNN Money Magazine.
This year my second son going to run for the President of Piscataway High School Environmental Club, and he has been taken over the job of calling Health Dept and Public Works for past years, and he has been leading the club of dozens members to plant flowers, making ponds, ...etc for the high school, library, ....etc.
After you move to Sleep Hallow, you may also contact us to send the whole team to pick up trashes, to clean the area for you or simply to criuse all over the town and call Public Workds and Health dept to improve the town.
Again, if you still hesitate on Plainfield, you are welcome to visit our are at Mountain Ave Piscataway http://mountainaveatpiscataway.blogspot.com/
I can't give you exact reasons why there are so many for sale signs out in Sleepy Hollow. The listings we can access on the MLS rarely mention why people sell. I can give you some hard statistics though.
For Plainfield as a whole, the MLS currently reports 461 Active/Under Contract (426/35) single family listings and 204 multifamily listings (191 Active/13 Under Contract). Last year's sales volume for single family properties was 166, down significantly from 310 sales the year prior to that. Last year's sales volume for multifamily properties was 31 sales versus 71 the year before that. Median price levels have remained relatively stable for single family homes from $287,000 two years ago to $275,000 over the last year. Multifamily median price levels have plunged, however, from $371,000 two years ago to $285,000 over the last year. Marketing times are increasing as is evidenced by the median days on the market (DOM). Single family median DOM was 74 days over the last year and is now 81 DOM for the active/under contract listings. Multifamily median DOM was 60 days over the last year and is now 117 DOM for the active/under contract listings.
These numbers just represent a snapshot of what's happening in the Plainfield market area. Obviously though what becomes clear that there's an increase in single family inventory that would at last year's sales levels take more than two and a half years to move. This is higher than typical for the larger market area. The picture for the multifamily market is just as dramatic, except there sales values have taken a serious beating as well, whereas single family home pricing levels have remained relatively stable.
The reasons behind all this? Most likely we're seeing the effects of the subprime housing bubble being played out here at the local level. Sales volume seems to concentrate at the lower level of the available house pricing range in Plainfield and the more expensive homes rarely enter the market at the moment. Multifamily housing appears to be most affected, as financing for these has become increasingly difficult to obtain.
Hope this helps, but it's always nice to see the numbers match what you're seeing out there in the "real world". Good luck.
Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser/RE Sales Associate
Vollenberg Appraisers/ERA Statewide Realty