Ocean County, NJ Real Estate News

By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
As I came up with the idea for this post, and started to put it together I realize it sounds like I am anti Association...That is not true, but there are things to be aware of when purchasing a home the is in an association.Beyond some of the obvious items that include rules you must abide by, assigned parking, and use of your property there are some less obvious things that you need to consider when buying. Hidden Fees: While not actually hidden, they are more of an "unknown" you need to ask about. Most associations have fees to join. The most common one is a Capital Contribution which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. While this can be painful when you buy, as an owner they will help to keep the association healthy in the future. In addition, if you are buying a ...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
 First off... I have spent almost 35yrs in this crazy business in a predominantly zero point market place in NJ.  In English: We don't pay points here (not often at least)If you have not been paying attention we have had a pretty solid 2% increase in rate since the end of 2021, and even more if you go back a year or so.  It is rare that rates move that quickly, we hit 5 much faster than we thought we would and it is looking like 6 will come this year as well.When interest rates make fast moves like that we experience "Price Compression" where interest rates stack on top of each other. While this does happen often and it can become cheap to buy the next eighth, it usually is short lived.  In today's market you can often grab at least 1/2% improvement in rate for 1 point for a conventiona...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
There is a widely popular TV Commercial that has a Cow telling you how to boost your credit scores... in my experience it has not helped my clients.To be fair, I have not seen a before and after with this service, but I have seen numerous clients that have used it and they never have great scores, just a confusing report with "self reported" items adding monthly payments that need to be sorted out from the "real stuff" With so many automated systems running behind the scenes this is a recipe for trouble since a computer is not smart and only sees more debt. While this service may help someone with ZERO credit history generate a score to satisfy a landlord, it will not help (much) to fix bad, and it is unlikely to help for mortgage purposes."Thin credit" is one of the items mentioned in ...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
Be forewarned, this may come across as a little bit of a rant... Have you ever heard: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?  I am always shocked when people do not understand that concept.I am writing this based on a hand full of recent experiences with clients. 1) I will start start with a past client that just called me yesterday to see if he could refinance.  He started his refi journey with "his bank" who told him he could get a 2.0% interest rate last year on a 30yr VA. That never materialized at all and he moved on to "branch of the service" FCU who said they could do a rate in the High 2's and he couldn't get them to call him back after applying, could not get his loan to closing.. and I asked When did you apply... he answered: "September".  I tried not to laugh out l...
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By Tony Busanich, 1-4 FAMILY HOME LOAN SPECIALIST
(TD Bank)
Can You Afford This House in Toms River NJ?The very first question that you should ask yourself when investing in real estate is: “Can I afford this House?” Though the concept is straightforward, there are a lot of factors that are going to affect your choice. It is best to stay prepared and get some background research done so that you have a head start on what range of houses you should be looking into. Aside from rough calculations and estimations, online calculators are also a great tool in finding how much of a house you can afford.Basic Points to ConsiderThe first thing that you will need to look out for when buying a home is getting qualified for a mortgage loan. Getting a mortgage loan approved depends upon several factors, including: Your monthly income Your credit score The do...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
4 What?How about 30yr fixed rates flirting with 4's NOW...   I have been saying rates will be going up but everyone has become so accustomed to low rates it will be a shock when it is quoted or shows up on commitments and loan paperwork.We are already starting to see 4s for some scenario's where Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) for credit scores, LTV, etc are bumping rates into the 4s.Very qualified bigger down payment borrowers are seeing high 3's right now and the 4s will be there soon.  Last time rates were this high was July 2019, and people forget that in 2018 we flirted with 5% for about a year. With inflation at levels we have not seen in decades we are LONG over due for higher rates. the Consumer price index is expected to come in at 7% year over year - and the FED sees heal...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
This is pretty important news, We are just a few months away from new Certificate of Occupancy requirements for any Toms River Re-sale.I took a quick look at the requirements and they appear to be significant, and possibly the most difficult CO inspection in our area (probably similar to Island Heights if not more difficult)  It is Chapter 253 “continued Use and Occupancy of Residential Dwellings”It states:No residential dwelling in the Township may be sold, re-sold, or transferred without the seller thereof obtaining a Municipal Certificate of Continued Use and Occupancy (“MCCUO”) from the Division of Code Enforcement.The “Biggies” I see: No open or unresolved building, zoning, permits code enforcement etc… Furnace certification provided by a licensed HVAC contractor Well Cert Fireplac...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
Wire Fraud continues to plague consumers. It is important to pay VERY close attention before blindly sending funds. As a company we have noticed many attempts to outright steal our clients money and recently observed it to happen at a greater frequency.I have always told my clients to verify with their settlement agent any wire instructions. I even hesitate to use that word in an email as it seems to be the trigger for the bad guys to go after buyers.On our side here is what we say: (your can replace Homebridge with "your lender") That a Homebridge Associate will NEVER request a wire from you or change the destination of a wire. That a Homebridge associate will NEVER ask you for bank account and routing numbers for the purposes of initiating a wire or on behalf of a settlement agent Tha...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
  Happy Groundhog Day! Calendar reminder: If you have any clients currently looking or in process, 2/1 is the magic day that lenders will require the new 1099s or W2s for their files. The IRS requires 1099s and W2s be sent out the end of January so as of 2/1 it will be a requirement for any loan that has not closed yet. Tax returns will not be a requirement until April, or until clients file, (whichever comes first.)                               Interest rates: One of the Fed’s favorite numbers for inflation is personal consumption, PCE. The latest figure has inflation at the highest level in 40yrs. This number leads many to think we will see a large 0.5% increase in Fed funds at the next meeting to show how serious they are about controlling inflation. This on its own could help to se...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
You may be aware that you need your 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement when filing taxes, especially if you want to take advantage of possible home tax deductions. The 1098 statement details all interest paid on a mortgage for a given year. Your 1098 statement should be made available to you by your mortgage servicer, generally by the end of January of the filing year. If you are not signed up for paperless, the statement from your servicer is mailed no later than January 31.Check out some common questions regarding the 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement:Why does my 1098 show that no taxes were disbursed?Your 1098 may show that no taxes were disbursed for one of the following reasons: the taxes were paid at closing, the taxes were not paid from the escrow account in the year the 1098 is rep...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
 Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI):   Every time I run a quote for PMI I’m surprised how inexpensive it has become.  PMI companies are more competitive than ever, and most have gone to risk based premiums VS a standard rate sheet/factor card in the past.   First off, every MI company looks at things differently, because of this  I will run quotes from 6 different MI companies to be sure my borrowers get the lowest payment. The "sweet spot" for PMI is a 760 + credit score, but there is more to it than just score.  Ratios, number of borrowers etc all factor in to the rates.  In the past it was just the down payment that was the deciding factor As a comparison: I ran numbers for a $350,000 purchase for buyers this morning: It was couple, both with VERY high Credit scores and only 5% down pa...
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By Tony Busanich, 1-4 FAMILY HOME LOAN SPECIALIST
(TD Bank)
Is there an alternative to FHA loan with 3.5% down-payment in Toms River, New Jersey?Is there a better option for a low-down payment then an FHA loan? The answer maybe yes! First-time homebuyers as well as repeat buyers longed-for a home mortgage with a low-down payment of 3.5%. At this time FHA loan remains the best choice not for long. Lenders are moving to CRA Community Reinvestment Act loans. This option may be better for some homebuyers and people looking to refinance a traditional FHA loan. One Out of every five buyers, chooses a FHA loan, with more options being availability this may shortly change. FHA loan are popular because it requires just 3.5 % down payment. Moreover, FHA mortgage rates are lower as compared with others. It also has flexible underwriting standards. This is ...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
Happy New year from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.In Early 2021 FHFA tossed in new Loan Level Price adjustments (add ons) that we had never seen before for both Vacation homes and for Investment property. Last September they dropped the add-ons and they are back again for 2022, just on a slightly different scale.The Biggest moves will be for a Vacation/Second Home with an additional 1.125-4.125 points being added for loans up to the conforming limit of $647,200The add on will depend on Down payment, With 10% or 15% down it will be at the max 4.125 points, and will drop to 3.375points with 20% down Effectively with the way the buy up/down for rates is it will be near impossible to do a zero point loan for a vacation home. for a 20% down $647,200 loan it will cost an additional $21,8...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
 Happy New Year! Housing prices continue to climb:  CoreLogic Home Price Index was up 1.3% in November and 18% year over year, the highest reading in the 45yr history of the index. While the pace of appreciation in 2022 is not expected to stay at these levels most forecasts show prices will continue to climb. CoreLogic only forecasts a 2.5% gain in 2022 but this time last year they forecast 2.5% as well. For 2022: Goldman forecast 16% gains, Zillow 14%, Fannie 7.5%.  I do believe that the higher two are not that realistic and we are more likely to see a more realistic number like Fannie’s.  Put into perspective, someone buying a $400,000 home today with 8% appreciation will see a $32,000 gain in equity this year. I do believe we will see at least 5% this year before we settle back down ...
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By Charlene Capici, Broker Manager
(Garabedian Realty Group)
Barnegat Light New Construction. Under Contract at Pilings! 2500 sq ft 5 Bedrooms. 4.5 Baths.$2249000. Other Opportunities Available. Contact Managing Broker Charlene Capici, Garabedian Realty Today! 609-312-6625
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By Charlene Capici, Broker Manager
(Garabedian Realty Group)
Steps From The Beach, a Rare Barnegat Light Opportunity, One Off the Beach on a 50 x 125 Lot! This is a One-of-a-kind Duplex with Updated 3 BR and 2 1/2 BTHs Units! These Units Amaze With High-End Appliances, Kitchens with Granite Countertops, Each Unit Equipped with Their Own Washer/ Dryer, Outdoor Shower and Storage Area! The First Unit Has 3 BR and 2 Full BTHs on the Ground Level with the Living Room, Kitchen, and 1/2 BTH on the Second Level, and a Huge Bedroom Loft on the Third Floor. The Second Unit Has 3 BR, 2 Full BTHs on the First Floor, and the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and 1/2 BTH on the Second Floor. This Unique Property Also Has a Main Deck and Rooftop Deck for Endless Views, and Large Backyard.   Contact Managing Broker Charlene Capici 609-312-6625 Garabedian Realt...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
 Big News from FHFA, 11/30/21:The Base conforming limit is now $647,200, up $98,950 from last year's $548,250For High Cost areas (which is a big portion of NJ) we will have a limit of $970,800.The above is for single family homes, 2-4 family homes have even higher limits. Fun facts- The 18.05% year over year increase in housing prices nationally has been so wide spread that this increase will be effective in all but 4 counties nationally. When I started in the business the limit was $153,100 In 1980 and 1981 the CLL was less than this years increase From 2006-2016 the CLL was stagnant at $417,000 In 1990 the CLL dropped $150.00 The first and only drop.  here is the chart for your viewing pleasure: Call me for all your residential lending needs! Robert Rauf Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
Today's Buyer Beware Segment will address Credit Scores(and mistakes I see clients make. )This particular one is a real life "just happened today" scenario. I have clients that have been shopping since the summer and have not been able to find the home that fits their needs just yet. One just hit the market today that seems to be a good fit for them and they wanted to update their file and run numbers before they looked at the house...  Since August they have sold and closed on the old home and have been renting, so it was time to update their credit.  Their score dropped from 706 to 685 mostly because of a new account and playing with balances on credit cards.  In October they took advantage of a 0% interest rate for a motorcycle for one of their sons and bounced some money back and fo...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
 I seem to have inadvertently stumbled across a new blog series "Buyer Beware"  based on recent A-HA moments with my clients and myself. I personally sold and purchased  recently with a 7 month period of being homeless in between.  So I have more empathy with my buyers than most, and have a few blogs about the experience over the past year or so.For today's installment we have smoke detectors. In most towns in NJ townships handle "smoke certs" "Fire inspections" etc.  Where the town will inspect a resale to be sure there are working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher.  During "COVID Fun" many towns switched over to just cashing a check and not doing an inspection and allowed for a seller's affidavit stating there were functioning smoke detectors.Fast forward to my experience/reason...
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By Robert Rauf
(HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ))
 I always have a post closing conversation with my borrowers about what to expect after closing and a big piece of that is being cautious about mail you receive after closing.Your Deed and your Mortgage are public records that are recorded in the courthouse.  You can tell when the deed and mortgage are recorded by the amount of junk mail and possibly phone calls you will receive.  While the majority of the "junk" you will receive will be honest business people that are reaching out to sell you something, you need to be cautious about the bad guys that are effectively trying to steal from you.In my area a common one is a place that sends a letter requesting $80 for the official copy of your deed.  DON'T do it!  they will send you a copy, but you will get a copy from your settlement agent...
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