Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stabilization Seems to Be Here Sooner than We Think

According to market experts we have seen the worst in 2008-2009 and now see stabilization begin to occur. 2010 seems to be the year of the resale. Builders, such as toll brothers have been saying they will start construction on new projects during 2010 not until 2011 will they start to unload, so if you have been waiting for new construction now is your chance to pick up the remaining pieces.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Few Things Buyers Should Know

1) Stop holding yourself to knowing everything about the real estate market!
- Buyers need to understand that you can not know it all. This market changes everyday, what we recommend is to know enough to make the proper decision.

2) Fear drives the buyer to a decision or no decision
- lets put this in perspective. as a potential buyer of property you must have done something worthwhile to get to this point, is fear driving you away from pulling the trigger? Don't let it. You have saved countless months for this point to come and the worst is to let your emotions dictate how you see this process. Lose the fear or lose the condo

3) It comes down to the price you are looking for
- many people start looking way out their price range look for a month get frustrated, and depending upon how the agent assisted them they fall off the face of earth, why? you started looking for a reason, and your just going to give up?

the bottom line is that weather we are in Hoboken or Jersey city, the same rules apply no matter how you buy real estate, work with someone who knows he market and trust them depending upon the vibe you get from him because it is extremely important to be comfortable when working with an agent in assisting you buying a condo.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Flipping Properties Require Margin and Fixed Expenses

The number one equation to take into account on this project is the margin. What is your cost to get into the house and the average sales price of a house in the selected neighborhood on a remodeled home? Obviously, you want this margin to be as high as possible. The challenge in today's market in hudson county especially in Hoboken and Jersey City, when looking at it nationally, is that many of the diamonds in the rough are located in areas where prices are still declining, so the investor must be sure to purchase the house, gut out the old, insert the new, and get out of the house before the declining price catches up with him and his profit.

Successful flipping is all about your margin. I would love to give you a set equation with fixed expenses, but every house is different. The challenge of a profit margin is that it can be quickly removed in a declining market or the negotiation process in a buyers market.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Prices Rising in Hoboken

Prices have stabilized in the last few months in Hoboken, NJ. We have seen an uptick in prices for the month of October. Mostly the homes consist of renovated condos or need to be renovated multi families especially in the uptown section from garden to clinton.

The value to risk ratio is in investors and first time home buyers favor. Supply and demand hasn't changed here and the land isn't growing, we are still one square mile. The point being if there is a time to buy its now, appreciation rates might start within one year from now. No one has a crystal ball, but we do have eyes and can see a trend coming.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Extending the Credit

Late last week a bipartisan plan emerged in the Senate that would continue the $8,000credit for first time purchasers beyond November 30, but would create a new, smaller credit of $6,500 for people who've owned and lived in their houses for five consecutive years and now want to buy another as their principal residence.

That would still be enough, sponsors of the plan believe, to encourage people now on the sidelines to get into the market for new and existing homes in early 2010 -- and thereby help stimulate the economy and create jobs.

The Senate plan would also raise household incomes limits for the credit to $125,000 for single buyers and $250,000 for married couples - far more generous than the current $75,000 and $150,000 maximums.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is the Hoboken Real Estate Market Just Right?

You probably remember the line about porridge from Goldilocks: It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold, it was ... just right. Last week's new housing starts in Hoboken were reported by the media as further evidence of the deep hole the home building industry is in: Starts were up by barely half a percent nationwide, and permits for future construction were down.

But is that "cold," or maybe something else? If you dig below the anemic sounding half a percent gain, you discover something very different: New starts by builders on single family homes were actually up by nearly four percent for the month nationwide.

Now a 4 percent gain, combined with lower permits, are hardly dramatic enough to say new home building is heating up. Then again, they're definitely not stone cold.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Montrachet is Now Open and We are conducting an OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEKEND from 1-4!

The Montrachet soars above the rest, providing incomparable luxury at affordable prices. The elegant fa├žade bespeaks the grandeur of the antebellum American South, displaying wonderful enhancements and details, such as a portico entry and inviting ‘porches’ accessed by Pella’ patio doors Each 2 bedroom condo features designer kitchens with custom maple cabinetry, granite counters, GE stainless steel appliances, and pendant lighting over the breakfast bar, large open living/dining rooms, Master Suite with tumbled marble bath, stone counters, undermount vitreous china sinks, or countertop vessels, whirlpool tub with marble surround for understated elegance, porcelain floored guest bath with ceramic and glass-tiled walls, glass enclosed shower with body spray system, soaring ceilings and oversized windows, birch, walnut and cherry inlaid wood flooring, designer lighting package, central air, and laundry room. The inviting lobby and elevator lead the on-site gym, reading lounge, storage, bicycle storage, and gated access parking. A truly unique residence, the Montrachet creates a marvelous recipe of historical atmosphere and state-of-the-art modernity…An exceptional combination to please the senses and the budget

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The New Market

Despite what we know about the market and what could possibly happen, we have data that backs a recover that we have not seen before. is it possible that we have learned from our mistakes in the past and used this downturn to our advantage?

I believe so and heres why:

As I have said in previous posts, real estate has not come down since 1945. Buyers, instead of fearing the market they lean right into it hoping to make a killing once the market bounces. I believe this may be cause of a new kind of american investor or home buyer willing to take on risk in turn for big gains in the future.

The only problem hovering over the horizon is the dollar. The dollar is dropping and dropping fast. Real Estate is measured in dollar value. Hence if the dollar drops then purchasing power of the investor drops as well causing overall market values to disintegrate.

As I always tell my clients, no one has a crystal ball, however we can give our best guess if we do enough research and work hard at understanding how our economy works.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Refusing To Give In

This market has made or broken realtors dreams of being a success. As a professional who still is number one in my Hoboken office, its essential to see what is happening in the trenches in terms of the real estate market. Housing prices have been up despite market sentiment. Data from August 27th to September 27 states housing prices have risen 3.7% up .5% from previous July to August data.

With the government proposing to extend the $8,000 tax credit, buyers are jumping at the chance to buy while prices are still stabilizing and in an upward trend. Bottom line figures prove the bottom has come and gone and now more than ever should be the time for you to jump on buying the home of your dreams.

For more information please call 201-410-3020

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Every Agent is Not Created Equal

We hear of horror stories working with the wrong agent. Most of us use an agent from a friend that has used him or her in the past. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt. Bottomline is most agents do mean well however now is the time that working with an agent who has experience really helps you go the distance.

First time home buyers have taken control of this market, they call a broker, they go out and never seem to feel as comfortable enough to make an offer on a property. If an agent isnt taken the time to explain to you the market and the way a transaction should work, then your agent is not a good agent, plain and simple, thus you should move on to someone who knows. there should be three things you should watch for when selecting an agent to work with.

1) Does he/she have a good grasp on the market?

2) Has he/she explained to you the process?

3) Do you trust him or her?

if you answered yes to all these questions, your working with the right agent.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fixing Our Hard Wired Mind

Its important to understand that buying low and selling high is what most primary resident buyers and investors do. However sifting through this market working with buyers and sellers on a daily basis, its amazing how almost 60% of people feel like the market isnt good so im not going to buy. WHAT?! The fact of the matter is most people just cannot help themselves but wait until we get into a bull market to buy a home.

Buyers need to understand, real estate is not stocks, gold, bonds or any other asset that fluxuates on a daily basis and is effected in a way when the economy is bad real estate is bad.

Keep in mind, real estate HAS NOT GONE DOWN FOR 60 YEARS! Despite recession and wars fought over the years. What does this mean? The fact is if a home is undervalued back to 1996-2000 levels, buy.

The facts are facts:
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mortgage Rates Close to Yearly Lows

In the beginning of 2009, we saw a steep drop in sales and mortgage rates. Since then with spring and summer that rolled around afterwords, we had a surge of prices and rates. As of 9/21/09, the 30 year fixed rate with 10% down is at 5%!

What does this mean to you (buyer). Rates this low most likely wont happen again if we start to pick up. Since we have a divergence in the prices of homes sold in the hudson county area related to the mortgage rates, now should give you plenty of reason to buy (if the $8K tax credit isnt good enough already)

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Market Conditions

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7.

This is a good sign and one that just may be the most optimistic we have seen in recent months. Since we are still at a stand still with investory levels at highs and demand low, we hope as realtors we can see a significant movement in the time to come. Hoboken and Jersey city statistics have reflections this increase in the existing home sale sector

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Banks and Their Short Sales

Short sales have been flooding the real estate market since the end of 2007. Now, more than ever in certain areas, there is an influx of unattended properties being foreclosed on.

In 2008, banks were accepting 50k to 60k less than the asking price, now its 5 to 10k off the asking if your lucky, why?

1) Banks want to hold until things get better
-the basic premise of this is even though they are taking a hit, they figure we will take the losses once things turn around and in there own way they believe that banks (the ones that got us into this mess) can get us out by selling nothing less than the appraised value.

2) Local vs. National
- you will be lucky to get a local but a national can take months and I mean months, thus it wont be worth if you have to move at a certain time. Try to find one that is local, they have less inventory and it will be more personable to the agent who listed the property.

3) Deal with the Bank Directly
- its as simple as that, you have the authority to ask the seller for permission to speak with the bank directly, in the hopes for getting things moving forward in a timely manner.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Steps to Purchasing Your First Home Successfully

I have been getting many calls regarding first time home purchases. It seems like there is a lack of understanding because everyone, instead of taking the time to research what to do and what they need, thinks buying a home in this market is easy. This point of view cannot be further from the truth. Thus, I made up the best list I could think of, of what first time buyers/investors need to do before talking to an experienced professional:

1) Getting a "Preapproval" letter
- this is huge and probably the biggest step in the process because it proves to us, the realtor, that you have the money for a mortgage thus the bank trust to give you x number of dollars for a mortgage etc...

2) Time frame of the move
- if you are looking to move within 6 months to a year or have NO time frame, what does that tell realtors? It tells us that you cant be serious enough if you have a time frame longer than 3 months. Look, we know this is the biggest decision of your life, financially speaking however if you have the funds, think this is the time in the market to buy, always waiting for the perfect opportunity why are you waiting.

3) Have you been looking for a while?
- if you just started chances are you wont by for a while, you have to get used to the area, used to professionals you want to work with, and used to what you want, without this experience by yourself it is hard for you to say ok this is what I want, now im ready to pull the trigger.

- so look for a while on your own, once you feel that your "ready" and say i want to move as soon as possible and have a preapproval, then you are officially a "buyer" and congrats :)

Knowledge is Power

Hope this helps, any questions regarding the buying process, contact me directly at (201) 533-3070

Realtor Mumbo Jumbo

Recently I was searching for a website to give my clients a dictionary in regards to real estate "mumbo jumbo". this site is a pretty good source that shows you the terms and phrases used by real estate professionals.

Given market conditions, there are ALOT of first time home buyers that need guidance so this site should definitely help you out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Featured in Brokers Weekly

As of Wednesday, July 22, Brokers Weekly put out an article about the ardan house, one of the best craftmenship jobs I have seen in a while. This 12 Unit complex had everything you can think of under the sun in terms of layouts, materials and perfection. Raffi Arslanian is the builder who Griselle and I work with to get his properties sold. Raffi was named a "visionary" in union city urban development by coldwell banker.

There is one more left, so I suggest any one of my clients reading this article should schedule an appointment very soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Toll Brothers Project

On June 8th, the toll brothers corporation was said to receive a court decision in there favor for building a new luxury building where an old rail station stood for 80years.

It is going to be a three tower 925 unit building, plus they have agreed to build a performing arts center on the ground level preserving some of the sights old but rich in character buildings.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Market Analysis for First 6 Months of this year

Buyers are still cautious with the current economic enviroment. The problem is 6 months from now can be a completely different market. Its quite amazing, no matter how many times you tell people to buy low, sell high, buy when people are fearful and sell when people are greedy, no one seems to care, I think a large part due to laziness.

Opportunity is here, if you have been dreaming of owning property, if you can afford and are in the market to buy, BUY! The median sales price dropped 10% from the beginning of the year to $535K in Hoboken. Jersey City new median price for May is $257K. What this is suggesting is that a "depression" is virtually not going to happen, it stills makes me wonder why people are still getting cold feet and/or not pulling the trigger when they have all the financials.

I came up with a few reasons why maybe buyers are not pulling the trigger:

1) Laziness, plain and simple, look if you do not want to the research on the financials to make yourself feel secure then its your fault why your not pulling the trigger

2) If you are working with a good realtor, then TRUST them! If a realtor is bending over backwards for you and hes smart about the market knows what hes doing then ask him questions until you feel comfortable.

3) They talk to there friends or people at work! this is the WORST! plain and simple.

Overall reasons for this happening can span on or for a number of different issues. But the reasons stated above seem to be the most apparent.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

4 Months and Counting

If you waited in 2008 and seriously looking in 2009 this might just be your big break. Realtors are busier than ever and I have seen bidding wars spur up. The bottom line is buyers know the opportunity is here but please don't wait long. As a wise man once said, "having no plan is a fool, having a plan with no action is a worse off fool."

Under the new stimulus plan, the incentives to buy are of the essence. The $8,000 tax credit ends on December 1st therefore with closings typically running 60-90 days September is the month where you should have your offers in and getting them accepted.

There is a buzz about a second stimulus plan that is being set in place for the creation of jobs.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why Havent You Offered Anything For That House!

the bottom line is most buyers are aware of the stimulus package for first time home buyers. Money is "cheap' now to borrow, in fact the lending rates have never been so low! First time home buyers are also temped with a generous tax credit of 8,000. But buyers must keep in mind that in order to benefit from this tax credit, their purchase must close by the end of November.

Most transactions average approx, 60 days to close. It is important to remember that you need to be under contract by the beginning of September or earlier to factor in a sefety net of time - in case YOUR home purchase needs more than 60 days. Inspection issues can add some time.

Properties involving the sellers bank (short sales) can take much longer to close, depending on the circumstances. So remember, it is not too soon to look for your first home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

#14 in Top 50 of Coldwell Banker

Out of all New Jersey and Rockland County, NY, I hit number 14 overall for the end of 2008. Not bad for a tough and exhausting year. Im proud of myself and my accomplishments and wanted to share the amazing news with everyone who reads my blog. Thank you for your continued support.

Also the Hoboken office in the volume of sales generated has reached #1 for entire hudson county, im proud of not just myself but everyone who keeps on making coldwell banker #1 on the charts! :) $93,000,000! GO CB!

(201) 533-3070

$8,000 Tax Credit is to YOUR advantage

The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” which was signed into law last week by President Obama provides an $8000 tax credit for first-time Passaic County home buyers.

Important Facts To Know:

-It is a tax credit to home buyers, not a loan as in last year's program;

-It is only for first time home buyers, defined as someone who has not had an ownership interest in a principle residence in the 3 year period prior to the date of the 2009 purchase;

-The buyer must remain in the home for a minimum of 3 years;

-It is applicable to purchases between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009; and

-Full credit is available to those with adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less ($150,000 for married filing jointly). The credit is phased out entirely for those with adjusted gross income over $95,000 ($170,000 for married filing jointly).

If you bought a home last year under the old $7,500 tax credit rules, those rules still apply to your 2008 home purchase.

Friday, April 24, 2009

W Marks the Spot

The internationally and locally famous descended on the W hoboken hotel last night for its grand opening bash. This brings alot of much needed attention to hoboken, which im very excited about.

The hotel is owned and operated by Starwood, and sits on the block Hoboken-based Applied Development sub leases from the port authority of ny and nj. the port authority actually leases the land from the city of hoboken.

One of our agents, Laura Knecht, has a listings there. Love that girl.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Housing project looking for new director

The Hoboken housing authority board of commissinoers voted thursday to begin a search for a new executive director, after years of rumors that they would like to move the agency's politically connected deputy director to the top spot.

The HHA - which oversees Hobokens 1,353 units of subsidized public housing on the west side of town is currently run by interim robert divincent, adding more validity to the town

Politicians need to be accountable and it seems like they have done a good job here in Hoboken.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This is when you know things have changed...

Pretty unbelievable to see two enormous homes in Weehawken going for $3.75 million, when only 3 years ago they went for $4.1 million each!

But again I disagree with the buying now considering home appreciation rates are negative. These were two multi level brownstones with crazy views of Manhattan skyline. 3700 square feet, i mean come on !!! :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

One of my properties has FULL PAGE SPREAD in newspaper :)

This was published on Saturday. One of my listings the ardan house was featured on a full page ad. People love the area and not only that price. The craftsmanship is out of this world as alot of my clients say. The property was done by a well known developer who sought out the opportunity to bring a little of hoboken sheikness to and up and coming area. The combination was great they raved!

Over 50% of the units have been sold! 4 more units are left. pricing ranges from $389,000 to $470,000.

The ardan house is exactly what union city needs.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Here are the facts

Real Estate Market Facts

Despite the national trends and statistics you might have heard, the old adage that all real estate is local has never been truer. Market facts in New Jersey, combined with national incentives, make now a good time to get active in New Jersey’s real estate market. Here's why:

- First-time buyers can get up to an $8,000 tax credit.

- Seven-year real estate appreciation in the Garden State at 80% is double the national average.

-Mortgage rates are near historic lows, (last mortgage I did for a client we locked in 4.7%!) giving buyers a better chance to secure low payments for years to come.

-Housing affordability, determined by home prices, income data and other factors, is high in New Jersey.

-Increased Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limits means more money is available, expanding your purchasing power.

Buyer incentives help sellers. The more buyers able to enter the market, the larger your potential pool of purchasers will be. Plus, sellers can utilize those buyer benefits if they decide to trade up.

Here are the facts of the real estate market today. Lets go people, get your property on :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tips on refinancing your mortgage

If you are thinking of refinancing your mortgage, remember to shop around, compare loan terms and negotiate with lenders. Refinancing allows you to switch to a different mortgage with terms that you think are more beneficial. If your credit score has improved, you may be able to get a loan at a lower rate. Or you may want to refinance for a longer term to lower your monthly payments. (suggestion from a seasoned real estate professional like myself, at least 3 or 4 opinions are necessary).

Be prepared however to pay closing or settlement costs to refinance. Lenders are required by federal law to provide a "good faith estimate" of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application.

A refinancing calculator that I use for my clients is located at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Turning your armoire into a cedar closet

If you live in a small apartment or condo, chances are you have little or no closet space. An armoire is a delightful addition to a bedroom because it provides a sense of character as well as much-needed storage space for your expensive clothes. It can also be a beautiful piece of furniture that can last for decades.

Small spaces in towns such as hoboken and jersey city. Its important to get the most out of your armoire as you possibly can.

You can turn an armoire into a cedar closet by lining the inside with cedar planks or panels that are available in most homes centers, lowes, home depot etc... Aromatic Eastern Redcedar closet liners, which are made from juniper trees, will freshen your clothes with a great cedar scent (if your into that :)) There is an added benefit: The cedar naturally protects your clothes from moth larvae that eat wool and from silverfish that like to eat cotton and rayon.

Cedar is nature's pest repellant. After a year or two, the cedar scent will go away.. But you can bring it right back by lightly sanding the closet liners. Takes a few minutes is all

Have a question about real estate call me!

Francesco Mazzaferro

Monday, March 30, 2009

Here's a way to spice up your condo

When it comes to real estate, your condo's color as a matter of fact has alot to do with the emotional connection people have to a home. That is one reason why, when homeowners experience personal change, they often think of painting and remodeling the house.

When your selling your home you should not have bright pink in your lounge room and/or orange in your sun room. When selling your condo or home, get it sold quickly and efficiently by appealing to soon to be buyers by painting or redecorating in a neutral way.

Buyers must have an independent feeling towards a home that they go into, dont be silly, in this market its your duty as a seller to listen to a real estate agent that gives you this advice :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You can cut your property taxes by 47% in hoboken?

Apparently here in hoboken and jersey city one developer had a sign saying they could cut your Hoboken property taxes by 47%. Actually offended hobokens mayor Dave Roberts. If its the truth why get so offended? typical politics. The sign actually referenced Hobokens state takeover and subsequent massive tax hike. The overall property tax rate for hoboken property owners increased 47 percent for the fiscal year that ends june 30.

They claimed to be nice guys although legally not binded to take it down.

So if you live in Hoboken you CAN cut your property taxes down. so DO IT!

Where can we go from here?

According to Cnn analysts "The National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million million units, up 5.1% from a rate of 4.49 million in January. February sales were down nearly 5% from year ago levels"

All in all I think people are more educated about opportunity and willing to take risks. This being the case condo and co-op sales have increased by 4.5% in hudson county. If you buy now at these ridiculous levels you will make out in the end.

The point is very simple, will we continue to go down throughout the year? I think so and so do the top economists, however real estate in the right areas will boom like nobodies business and the reason is simple, people that leave the city and go into Urban/Suburbs like in towns such as Hoboken, Jersey City have the attraction of lower rent, mortgages and taxes.

Wouldnt you rather look at the beautiful New York City landscape from a far anyway?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hoboken finally seeing the light...

We saw Hoboken the city where my real estate business with coldwell banker resides is one of the best up and coming places in the state let alone the entire northeast

unfortunately the city felt alot of pain in 2008 due to uncollected taxes. however now with a new finance minister in place, homes in hoboken are getting properly assessed. And now the city can afford to pave your sidewalk making hoboken pretty again.

With the new finance minister Nick Trasente we should see Hoboken finally turn around and collect taxes properly and on time.

New IRS program will go over well with common folk...

Recently the government has been putting together an online tax service to make it easier and with less mistakes done on tax returns.

Its always good to quickly get your hands on your tax refund - and in today's economy its doubly important for many Americans.

The E-File program totaled nearly 90 million tax returns in 2008. Almost 58 percent of all returns were filed electronically. Last year, there was a surge in e-file from home computers.

What does this mean? basically this is the best way to complete your taxes for the year

Looking to move?
contact me at (201)533-3070