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Richard A. Keri

Sales Associate

My Blog

Richard Talks Real Estate: PERMANENT ATTACHMENT

7/17/2018

When doubts arise over what stays with the buyer and what goes with the seller, the general rule is that fixtures that are permanently attached to the wall, floor or ceiling with nails, screws, glue or cement generally go with the house to the buyer. To avoid any questions about such matters, sellers should clearly indentify those elements of real property that are included with the sale of the house, as well as those elements that the seller intends to take. If a seller has every intention of taking a chandelier or kitchen appliance with him or her, that intention should be clearly stated to the buyer. Otherwise, misunderstandings over refrigerators & chandeliers can unnecessarily lead to broker deals.

If you are fond of a fixture and plan on taking it, we suggest removing it and if necessary, replace it. If a buyer never sees it, the buyer won’t want it. For more information, please call 732-297-1100, ext 114, or visit me in Kendall Park at 3430 Route 27. As a RE/MAX Diamond, REALTORS(r) Sales Associate, my finely tuned marketing program will ensure your home gets the best representation.

Hint: One of the most common fixtures to pose a degree of ambiguity to home buyers are loudspeakers that are mounted to walls

MILLENNIALS’ AMERICAN DREAM

6/11/2018

About two-thirds of “millennials” (those born between 1982-2004) believe that purchasing a home is part of the American Dream. Yet, many millennials have deferred their dreams due to a variety of factors. Many have very little in the way of savings, largely because many are strapped with student loan debt. The good news is that many qualify for first-time home buyers’ grants and programs that make homeownership possible. For instance, those who have a credit score of 580 or higher could be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 % of the purchase price. For more information about these and other possibilities, millennials and other first-time home buyers should consult an agent.

Buyers with credit scores under 500 generally are ineligible for FHA loans. However, there may be some wiggle room there. Under certain circumstances, the FHA does make allowances for applicants with “nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit” if other criteria are met. For more information, please call my office at 732-297-1100 ext 114. As a RE/MAX Diamond, REALTORS(r) sales associate, I can provide you with the resources you need to make the home selling process simpler. My office is located at 3430 Route 27 in Kendall Park

HINT: First-time home buyers could be eligible for home financing education programs with the “HomePath Ready Buyer” program through Fannie Mae.

Richard Talks Real Estate: GO BIG AND GO HOME

5/26/2018

Buyers in need of large home loans will find that lenders are increasingly more willing to offer “jumbo loans”, which are loans that exceed $417,000. In areas with high home prices, the conforming limit may be as high as $625,000. In others, the limit may be anywhere between these two numbers. From a historical perspective, the interest rate on jumbo loans has usually been higher than the rate on mortgages that fall within Fannie and Freddie limits. However, borrowers will now find little difference in the interest rate of a jumbo loan and a conventional mortgage. On the other hand, the requirements for qualifying for a jumbo loan are strict. Borrowers are encouraged to shop around.

Buyng you first home is an intimidating process for many people and understanding mortgage requirements come with an expensive learning curve. Learning how to qualify for a mortgage can help you avoid many of the mistakes made by first-time homebuyers. If you’re thinking of buying your first home, please call my office at 732-297-1100 ext 114. As a RE/MAX Diamond REALTORS(r) sales associate, I can provide you with the resources you need to make the home selling process simpler. My office is located at 3430 Route 27 in Kendall Park

HINT:  While jumbo loans may have once been perceived to be mostly suitable for wealthy individuals, they are now seen as appropriate loans for middle-income families and even first-time homebuyers.

Home Inspections: What To Expect

5/15/2018
Home Inspections: What to Expect

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. HGTV recommends that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

  1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
  3. References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
  4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided.
  5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.

Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.

WHO REPRESENTS WHOM??

5/8/2018

In some real estate transactions, one salesperson in a real estate brokerage will represent a seller while another agent in the same brokerage will represent the buyer. Neither salesperson may be considered a “dual agent”. In these cases of “designated agency,” at the outset of the relationship the brokerage must disclose its limited relationship with the buyer or seller. The buyer would receive a disclosure form indicatiing that he or she is solely represented by one salesperson and his or her supervising broker. At some point, another agent with the brokerage may come to represent the seller, who would need to provide his or her written consent. This disclosure and consent ensures that there will

be no conflict of interest.

You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Agents take the hassle out of your property showings and visits. If you’re a buyer of new homes, your agent will keep the builder at bay. If you’re a seller, your agent will filter those phone calls that lead nowhere and try to induce serious buyers to write an offer immediately. As a RE/MAX Diamond, REALTORS(r) sales associate, my finely tuned marketing program will ensure your home gets the best possible representation. For more information, please call 732-297-1100 Ext 114, or visit me in Kendall Park at 3430 Route 27.

HINT: Dual agents work for both the buyer and the seller, combining both roles into one.

Richard Talks Real Estate: SERIOUSLY?

4/20/2018

One important service that real estate agents and brokers provide for sellers is qualifying prospec¬tive buyers to weed out the “lookie loos”. The fact is that, aside from serious buyers, there are “window shoppers” and others who, despite good intentions, are not financially viable. For numerous reasons, many so-called buyers may just be “look¬ing” to see “what’s out there” with¬out the slightest intention of buy¬ing. Others may only have a vague idea of what they want or can af-ford.Then, there is the target buyer, who essentially wants what the sell¬er has to offer and is willing to pay for it. It is the real estate agent’s job to make the match between quali¬fied buyers and sellers.

Receiving an offer on your home can be exciting, but unless your po¬tential buyer has the resources to qualify for a mortgage, you may not really have a sale. Your real estate professional will try to determine a buyer’s financial status before you sign the contract. For more information, please call my office at 732-297-1100, ext. 114 As a RE/ MAX Diamond REALTORS® sales associate, I can provide you with the resources you need to make the home selling process simpler. My office is located at 3430 Route 27 in Kendall Park.

HINT: Because a lender who pre-approves a buyer runs their actual credit and verifies their income and assets, agents and sellers view a pre-approval as a sign of a seri¬ous buyer.

Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth

4/18/2018

 

Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home this January. If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 5.0% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $12,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by over $48,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

 

Richard Talks Real Estate: SHELVING DISCUSSION

4/2/2018

Prior to placing their homes on the market, sellers should take a critical look at the storage space in their homes with an eye toward attracting buyers who place a good deal of stock in the quantity & quality of closets (and other storage areas) in homes on their short lists. Buyers are far more likely to be drawn to closets with space that has been organized and maximized than those outfitted with simple hanging rails. Built-in shelving is most attractive to buyers as well, as are garage spaces that have been similarly organized to hold tools, toys & tires. Sellers should bear in mind that improvements made their homes’ functional spaces can be as valuable as cosmetic fixes.

In the real estate industry, a room isn’t really a bedroom unless it contains a closet. If you’re looking at a four-bedroom home and one of the bedrooms lacks a closet, you are really looking at a 3-bedroom home. As a RE/MAX Diamond REALTORS (r) sales associate, my finely tuned marketing program will ensure your home gets the best possible representation. For more information, please call 732-297-1100, ext 114 or visit me in the Kendall Park office at 3430 Rte 27.

HINT: Because potential buyers are turned off by garages that are so filled with junk that vehicles no longer fit inside them, sellers should get rid of clutter & install shelves that hold tools, paint & recreational items.

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You A Lot Of Money!

4/2/2018

 

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money!

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.

Realtor.com recently reported that:

Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option… as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”

What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?

1. In a previous blog we highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:

  • Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
  • Homeownership provides tax savings.
  • Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
  • Buying a home is cheaper than renting.
  • No other investment lets you live inside of it.

2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

3. Just a few months ago, we explained that a family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2018 could build more than $44,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment– along with a profit margin!!

7 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Home To Retire In

3/15/2018

 

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $14,000 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, contact a local real estate professional who can evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

 

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