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Home Buying in Allentown : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying17
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Activity 17
Sun Mar 27, 2016
Reba answered:
I agree. I paid 125,000 for my home almost 8 years ago, and did over completed over 70,000 improvements to it. This site is showing the value as 128,000 which is entirely incorrect. That estimate alone is the TAX VALUE ONLY.... NOT the market value. Sorry I came here for actual info. ... more
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Sat Mar 12, 2016
Ambrose Little asked:
I like the idea of showing matching properties and setting specific searches. But I see no way to say "definitely do not show me anything that doesn't match my filter." I…
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Thu Oct 15, 2015
Gwen5 asked:
2 Nolan Rd., Allentown, NJ 08501
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Wed Jun 3, 2009
Jeffrey Halpern answered:
The following was a blog I wrote late last week.

Investors are looking for higher mortgage rates to compensate for long-term government debt. And they got it as Freddie Mac said that average rates INCREASED on a 30 year fixed. Although just by .09 %, this jump can be a a telltale sign of things to come.

Still mortgage rates are below 5% (to qualified buyers) but with the yield of the Treasury 10-year note reaching it's highest level since November, there is worry that those yields could drive mortgage rates even higher as well as the cost of borrowing for businesses. This in turn can slow the nation's emergence out of the housing crisis and recession.

However, there is a solution. Buy that home or refinance ASAP. The timing is right. But one cannot wait for the price of homes to continue to diminish but instead, take advantage of the price of money today. In the long run, the lower rates compensate for any reduction in home prices. For every 1% raise in mortgage rates, 8% of buyers are out of the market. And even with the generous Federal first-time homebuyers credit of $8,000., it will be eaten up by the mortgage increase whether instantaneously or over the first few years of the term of the mortgage.

For homesellers, look at all the offers you receive and seriously consider them. As the mortgage rates rise, the ability to sell your home for the price YOU THINK it is worth, will diminish. Remember, although you set the asking price and your expectation of selling price, the buyer determines the value of your home. As rates rise, less buyers will be out there, while more sellers will, and therefore, and quoting it in simple economic terms, value goes down. Your home is a house and consider a product. If your product does not sell, it is because of 2 reasons, merchandising and marketing, and price plays a large part of that entire equation.

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Mon Jun 1, 2009
James L Steccato answered:
Uncertainty going foward as far as to when the big increase will hit.
As far as market conditons going foward every market is different and I notice you are in Iowa.Your market area is probably completely different than NJ.
If all things were to remain the same youre looking at about another 8% - 10% decrease to the end of the year depending on the market you are looking in it can be a little better or worse.
I couldnt tell you about Iowa.
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Mon Jun 1, 2009
Jerel Washington answered:
Hi Dina:
Only a qualified Tax Accountant can answer that question. I would point you to a Mortgage Calculator with an Amortization Schedule attached to it. This will break down how much of your payment is PITI (Principal ,Interest, Taxes & Insurance) this does not cover HOA fees (Home Owners Association). If you know what year you are in you can estimate based on this breakdown, take the data to your Tax Preparer or Accountant and they will be able to give you a more accurate number.

Here is an easy to use Calculator:

Make sure you select YES where it asks the following question: Include Amortization Table In Results?

Jerel Washington, 2008 Circle of Excellence Sales Award Winner
Keller Williams Realty - Princeton
100 Canal Pointe Blvd
Cell: 609-933-9044
Office: 609-987-8889 x234
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Thu May 28, 2009
Rjm07045 answered:
It depends how the house presents itself- the decor, the landscaping, the overall design and location.
Some modular homes sell better than stick built homes and some stick built sell better than modulars.

If two houses are exactly identical, it should make no difference.

We have been building modular homes for 24 years and noone has had a problem selling their house because it was a modular.

Bob Mazzola Atrium Development Co
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Tue Feb 10, 2009
Rick Aguirre answered:
We are seeing it p[ick up here in Orlando! The Bank-owned homes are driving our market!
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Sun Feb 8, 2009
Gregory Bain answered:
Jeremy, that's just not true about having multiple inquires about your mortgage qualifications adversely affecting the applicant's credit score. A consumer may shop for a mortgage, car, or, whatever and no one is going to lower the score. And if a computer program lowers the score the underwriter will adjust it back up. It is when they shop for multiple goods like a car AND a house AND open several credit cards that the underwriters look unfavorablely upon the many "different" inquires. I have had mortgage reps tell that to clients and scare them into being "loyal" to that one and only mortgage rep. And if it were true.a client can get the credit score on their own at one of the many FREE internet services, or, in NJ from the credit service companies themselves twice a year. With that knowledge, they can verbally tell the mortgage rep the information and get a handle on the rate they qualify for and the cost to proceed with an application. ... more
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Sat Feb 7, 2009
Kelly Gordon answered:
Many questions about a home that you might want to know the answer to are included in the Sellers' Disclosure form that is recommended by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. NJ law does not require sellers to use this form, but I believe that if a seller is not willing to fill out this form (especially if such a request is made by the buyers when the seller hasn't filled it out on their own as part of the process of marketing the house) that this should raise some red flags for the buyer. If you would like me to email you a copy of this form, let me know.


Kelly Gordon, Broker-Associate
Sales Manager
Weichert, Realtors
22 Henry Street
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
office: 908-766-7500
cell: 908-963-3129

There's still time to register for our next "Real Estate Market Update" Seminar on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 6:30pm. Email me now to reserve a seat!
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Wed Dec 17, 2008
Francesca Patrizio answered:
I make it a practice to accompany a home inspector throughout the home ESPECIALLY if the homebuyer is NOT PRESENT. Often times, myself and my buyer have noticed items pre-home inspection that they would like an expert opinion on and it is my job to ensure that these potential issues (or non-issues) are addressed. After all, if I'm not the one accompanying the home inspector, then 9 times out of 10, the buyer will be right by their side.

Also, I have great respect for the expertise of home inspectors and a thirst for knowledge. This practice has enabled me to gain a plethora of knowledge which I utilize while showing future homes.

Finally, my goal as a Realtor is to build cohesive relationships with attorneys, home inspectors, loan officers and the like. If a home inspector is intimidated by my input and is unable to work with me, then I'll refer my clients to home inspectors that have mutual respect (and I have taken a couple off my preferred home inspector list!).

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
Realmart Realty - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell Your Home
Ranked #20 out of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth/Ocean County MLS in 2008
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Sat Dec 6, 2008
Kenneth Verbeyst answered:
Hi Dina, I would have to disagree that all agents use the standard NJAR form. I have seen contracts that include clauses dictating title companys, as well as many other clauses that benefit the agencies involved more than the buyer or seller. (placing signs after the sale or permission to advertise the details of the sale etc.)
Every situation is different and when the market is hot buyers wanted to get out of review asap so a higher offer wouldnt come in and bounce theirs. That market is gone but still your deal is yours alone. Your agent and attorney should be able to advise you of both the strength of your contract as well as any weaknesses. Some contracts will limit, say inspection items or place dollar limitations. I would always like to see an appraisal clause similar to what most relocation companies require (property must appraise at or above sale price) Beyond that, speak openly with both your agent and attorney of your concerns and be sure to have them addressed in the contract.
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Thu Dec 4, 2008
Diane Glander answered:
I don't know if they go to Allentown, but Eastern Home Inspection is fabulous. You will get a report right onsite and yes, they do go onto the roof. Ask for Bob Godwin to do your inspection. You can reach them at 800-333-2783 ... more
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Wed Dec 3, 2008
William Leigh Holt answered:
Hi Diana, yet again: Financing anything costs you interest. In the case of a mortgage, the cost of interest is spread over the length of the mortgage. If you do not need to borrow money, closings costs are a good place to start NOT borrowing. They are usually substantial and will cost you money over a long period of time.

If you do not have closing costs but qualify for a mortgage, you may be forced to borrow them and the best place to do that is in the mortgage. Mortgage interest rates are much lower than almost any other consumer loan.

A great source for closing costs, aside from financing them or getting a gift from a relative, is to get the seller to pay for them. In this market in particular and in any market, if the seller is anxious enough to move the property and you are qualified for the loan but lack the "ready" (ready money) as the Brits say, the seller(s), who are on the receiving end of the cash flow may find it in their best interest to help you out. It gets their house sold!

A good Realtor should be able to help you with the negotiations on this, as any other issues you might have.
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Wed Dec 3, 2008
Steve Kappre answered:
Dina - this is a fairly complex question, one in which many things would have to be assumed. The shortest, blanket answer is to always stay as liquid as possible with your money, without going crazy in finance charges (higher rates and PMI that is too expensive). Credit scores change PMI DRASTICALLY in today's market. I've noticed you've had a lot of questions ... if you don't have a great working relationship with a lender, give me a call. ... more
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Wed Dec 3, 2008
Francesca Patrizio answered:
Shoulda, woulda coulda . . . if I had a $1 for every time I heard this from SELLERS when the market was hot, I'd be comfortably retired right now.

Knowing when to buy real estate is akin to picking a stock from the financial markets . . . it's pure speculation. However, based on knowledge gained from various resources (and it's all speculation) now is a good time to buy (vs. the "right time"). Ask yourself, can anyone ever predict the "right time?" Your personal circumstances also play a major role in determining a good time to buy.

On another note, "short sales" appear to have an element of security to protect from future market declines.

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
Realmart Realty - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell Your Home
Ranked #20 out of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth/Ocean County MLS in 2008
... more
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Sat Jan 5, 2008
J R answered:
If you have an agent, ask them. If you don't, head down to town hall and ask them.
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