Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cost vs Value - What Remodeling Projects Bring the Highest Return

As part of the 2010-11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, REALTORS® recently rated exterior replacement projects among the most cost-effective home improvement projects, demonstrating that curb appeal remains one of the most important aspects of a home at resale time.

“This year’s Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report highlights the importance of exterior projects, which not only provide the most value, but also are among the least expensive improvements for a home,” said National Association of REALTORS® President Ron Phipps.

Nine of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects. The steel entry door replacement remained the project that returned the most money, with an estimated 102.1% of cost recouped upon resale; it is also the only project in this year’s report that is expected to return more than the cost. The midrange garage door replacement, a new addition to the report this year, is expected to recoup 83.9% of costs. Both projects are small investments that cost little more than $1,200 each, on average.  These projects can significantly improve a home’s curb appeal. “Curb appeal remains king – it’s the first thing potential buyers notice when looking for a home, and it also demonstrates pride of ownership,” said Phipps.

The 2010-11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compares construction costs with resale values for 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 80 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the 13th consecutive year that the report, which is produced by Remodeling magazine publisher Hanley Wood LLC, was completed in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine.

According to the report, replacement projects usually outperform remodel and addition projects in resale value because they are among the least expensive, and contribute to curb appeal. Various types of siding and window replacement projects were estimated to return more than 70% of costs. Upscale fiber-cement siding replacement was judged the most cost effective among siding projects, recouping 80% of costs. Among window projects, upscale vinyl window replacements were expected to recoup the most, 72.6% upon resale. A wood deck addition, with a minor kitchen remodel, was the fourth most profitable project, recouping an estimated 72.8% of costs.

The top interior projects for resale value included an attic bedroom and a basement remodel. Both add living space without extending the footprint of the house. An attic bedroom addition costs more than $51,000 and recoups an estimated 72.2% nationally upon resale; a basement remodel costs more than $64,000 and recoups an estimated 70%. Improvement projects that are expected to return the least are a midrange home office remodel, recouping an estimated 45.8%; a backup power generator, recouping 48.5%; and a sunroom addition, recouping 48.6% of costs.

Although most regions followed the national trends, the regions that consistently were estimated to return a higher percentage of remodeling costs upon resale were the Pacific region of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington; the West South Central region of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas; the East South Central region of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee; and the South Atlantic region of the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The regions where REALTORS® generally reported the lowest percentage of costs recouped were New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), and Middle Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania).

“It’s important to remember that the resale value of a particular improvement project depends on several factors,” said Phipps. “Things such as the home’s overall condition, availability and condition of surrounding properties, location and the regional economic climate contribute to an estimated resale value. That’s why it is imperative to work with a REALTOR® who can provide insight and guidance into local market conditions whether you’re buying, selling or improving a home.”

I have many years of experience in the building trades, and New Jersey real estate.  Call or email me to discuss the project you have in mind so you can decide if it makes sense to spend your money.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist
Source:  National Assn of Realtors

Home Affordability Continues in Mercer Co, NJ

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have released the December edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard. The figures show continued home affordability in the housing market, with interest rates near record lows.  The market, however, remains fragile.  Prices are unsettled in many areas (contact me to find out about your own community), but foreclosure starts and completions dropped significantly in November. 

“The Obama Administration’s broad set of programs have helped promote stability for the housing market, neighborhoods, and the nation’s homeowners, but there is much more work to be done,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. “Since taking office in 2009, the Administration’s efforts have helped millions of families stay in their homes and helped millions more refinance, but the data clearly show that the market remains extremely fragile. That’s why we’re continuing to focus on successfully implementing the programs we’ve put in place—such as additional refinancing assistance and emergency loans to help unemployed homeowners—and ensuring that help is available to homeowners as early as possible.”

Key points of the HUD report:
-Foreclosure starts and completions dropped significantly in November. As lenders review internal procedures related to foreclosure processing, many foreclosure actions have been delayed, leading to a 21% drop in foreclosure activity in November. While this is the biggest month-over-month decrease since 2005, the decline is likely to be temporary, as lenders eventually revise and resubmit foreclosure paperwork in the coming months.
-As expected with the expiration of the Home Buyer Tax Credit, new and existing home sales have remained below levels seen in the first half of 2010. However, the report shows that home prices and home equity declined moderately, as prices remain unsettled at this fragile stage of the recovery.
-More than 3.9 million mortgage aid offers were initiated between April 2009 and the end of October 2010—more than double the number of foreclosure completions during that time. These actions included over 1.4 million Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) trial modification starts, more than 600,000 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and nearly 1.8 million proprietary modifications under HOPE Now. While some homeowners may have received help from more than one program, the number of agreements offered were more than double the number of foreclosure completions for the same period (1.7 million).

If you want to find out the value of your Hamilton NJ home in today's market, call or email.  If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, don't wait - call or email me today.  You have options to foreclosure.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor

Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Time Buyers Still Driving our Real Estate Market

According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, rising mortgage rates helped push first-time homebuyers to buy properties in November, surging from 34.4% in October to 37.2% last month. 

Investors lost some of their enthusiasm for distressed properties last month, falling from 21.4% for home purchase transactions in October to 19.9% in November. During September, investor participation peaked at 22.3%, a 15-month high, according to the closely watched survey.   The large inventory of distressed properties is making investors nervous that prices will decline in 2011, Popik reported, adding that many investors see their previous business model - buy, rehab, and immediately sell - becoming increasingly difficult to execute and are now being forced to rent their properties.

"The recent surge in interest rates has made potential homebuyers nervous," explained Thomas Popik, director of the HousingPulse survey. "If rates go up much more, then a good percentage of them will no longer qualify for the properties they want. As a result, they're making bids on homes and quickly closing before their rate locks expire."

Our New Jersey real estate market is still in a state of flux with constantly changing conditions.  Call or email me to discuss your options and where you can find the best home for your needs.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

US Home Sales Rise 5.6% in November

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales rose 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million in November from 4.43 million in October, but are still 27.9% below the cyclical peak of 6.49 million in November 2009, which was the initial deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, explained, ""Continuing gains in home sales are encouraging, and the positive impact of steady job creation will more than trump some negative impact from a modest rise in mortgage interest rates, which remain historically favorable."   He added that home buyers are responding to improved affordability conditions. "The relationship recently between mortgage interest rates, home prices and family income has been the most favorable on record for buying a home since we started measuring in 1970," he said. "Therefore, the market is recovering and we should trend up to a healthy, sustainable level in 2011."

Distressed homes have been a fairly stable market share, accounting for 33% of sales in November; they were 34% in October and 33% in November 2009.  Foreclosures, which accounted for two-thirds of the distressed sales share, sold at a median discount of 15% in November, while short sales were discounted 10% in comparison with traditional home sales.  The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $170,600 in November, up 0.4% from November 2009.

Another recent NAR survey shows first-time buyers purchased 32% of homes in November, the same as in October, but are below a 51% share in November 2009.  Investors accounted for 19% of transactions in November, also unchanged from October, but are up from 12% in November 2009.  All-cash sales were at 31% in November, up from 29% in October and 19% a year ago. "The elevated level of all-cash transactions continues to reflect tight credit market conditions," Yun said.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 2.7% to an annual pace of 770,000 in November but are 33.0% below the cyclical peak in November 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $242,500, which is 9.2% higher than a year ago.

Call or email me to discuss your housing needs in the new year.  Inventory is still high, but rates are rising, so start planning now to purchase that Hamilton NJ home.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Friday, December 17, 2010

Predictions for 2011 in our Hamilton NJ Real Estate Market

Freddie Mac analysts point to five features they believe will characterize the 2011 housing and mortgage markets:

1. Low mortgage rates. With Fed observers expecting the central bank to keep the federal funds rate at its current target range of 0% to 0.25% for most (or all) of 2011, relatively low mortgage rates will be a feature of the 2011 mortgage market. Thirty-year fixed-rate loans are likely to remain below 5% throughout the year, and initial rates of 5/1 hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages will likely remain below 4% in 2011.

2. Prices have hit bottom. House prices are likely to begin a gradual, but sustained recovery in the second half of 2011.

3. Housing will remain affordable. With affordability high, many first-time buyers will be attracted to the housing market in the New Year, likely translating into more home sales in 2011 than in 2010.

4. Refinances will dwindle. Many eligible borrowers have already refinanced and the federal Making Home Affordable refinance program expires June 30. While fixed-rate loans are likely to remain low, they will move up gradually, making it even less likely that refinances will be attractive to most home owners.

5. Delinquency rates will decline. Based on the last several business cycles, the share of loans that are 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure proceedings — known as the "seriously delinquent rate" — generally crests within a year of the start of the recovery in payroll employment, and this economic recovery appears to fit within that pattern. Payrolls began to rise last January, and by the spring the seriously delinquent rate had begun to fall.

For buyers and sellers faced with the real estate market of the past 2-3 years, all of these predictions are positive and reason to start thinking about a move.  #2 and #3 directly will affect our real estate market in Hamilton and Mercer County.  Contact me now to sign up for automatic notices of new listings and price changes, and to study prices in the neighborhood(s) of your choice.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Foreclosure Activity Down Nationwide in November

RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November 2010, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 262,339 U.S. properties in November, a 21% decrease from the previous month and a 14% decrease from November 2009. One in every 492 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“Foreclosure activity decreased dramatically in November, with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving a foreclosure notice for the first time since February 2009,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer at RealtyTrac. “While part of the decrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 to 10% that typically occurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversy forced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmit questionable paperwork.”

Both the 21% month-over-month decrease and 14% year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity were the highest drops recorded since RealtyTrac began publishing the U.S. Foreclosure Report in January 2005.

If you are having problems paying your mortgage, don't wait to become a foreclosure statistic.  Contact me today.  I am experienced in short sales and distressed properties and can give you options to foreclosure.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Number of Homes that have been Reduced in Price Up Substantially from Last Year

It comes as no surprise to anyone who has been watching our real estate market in Hamilton NJ and Mercer County, to read the news that the number of price-reduced homes on the market in November increased dramatically nationwide, compared to the same time last year, rising 24.1% according to ZipRealty’s Price Reduction Index (a monthly review of 26 markets).

For the second straight month, total inventory dropped with November seeing a 3.8% decrease as compared to October. The percentage of inventory that has been reduced edged up 0.1% as the number of price-reduced listings fell at a slightly slower rate of 3.7%.  This is normal for New Jersey, because of weather-related issues and builder inventory slowdown.

“Typically, November is a slower month for sales,” said John Oldham, Director of Marketing for ZipRealty. “Inventory peaked in September and has dropped over the last two months. The increase in price-reduced listings is evidence that sellers are still trying to find the right price point to get the property to sell.”  While some homeowners may wait until after the holidays to sell; those selling now are listing homes for lower prices as the median list price dropped 2.8% from October to $234,484.

Highlights of the report:
-Nearly half (48.4%) of listed homes in November included at least one price reduction, an increase of 24.1% over last year and 0.1% over October
-The median list price dropped by 2.8% from October to $234,484, and the average percentage of price reduction amount to list price rose to 7.6% in November, a 1.7% change from October
-In 17 of the 26 markets surveyed, listings have experienced an average of two price reductions

Price reductions aren't good for sellers, but they mean value for buyers.  Call or email me to find some great prices for a Hamilton NJ home to fit your needs.

Joe Giancarli, SA

Homeownership is Still a Goal - and Possible in Hamilton, NJ

The desire to own a home hasn’t been diminished by the downturn in the industry, according to a survey by Fannie Mae.  Of owners and renters surveyed, 51% say that the housing crisis has not affected their overall willingness to buy a home. About 27%  say they are more likely to buy since the crisis, presumably because of lowered prices, and 19% say they are more likely to rent.

However, about 33% say they would be more likely to rent their next home than buy, up from 30%  in January. Among renters, 59% said they would continue to rent in their next move, compared to 54%  in January 2010.

66% say they believe that housing is a safe investment, as safe as an IRA or a 401(k) plan.

About 50% say they believe that owning is a good idea, even if they plan to stay in the home less than three years.

86%  identify tax benefits as a reason to buy.

Call or email me and let's talk about how you can meet your housing needs and dreams by owning a home in Hamilton NJ or Mercer County.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Anatomy of a Short Sale in Hamilton, NJ

Basically, a short sale is one in which there is more debt owing on the property than the property's value - termed "underwater" in many markets.  In countless cities across the country, short sales and distressed property or bank-owned homes account for more than 40% of all real estate sales.

Who is involved in a short sale?  First, the homeowner(s).  Second the lender (mortgage company or companies).  The sellers will have to explain their financial situation to the lender and convince them of their inability to pay the full balance owing on their home loan.  The lender will require documentation of the seller's finances. 

The lender wants a) to the paid the full amount of the loan, b) if that seems impossible, to minimize their loss.  A short sale is next-to last resort (last is foreclosure, expensive and tedious for the lender and the worst scenario for the homeowner).  Once the foreclosure process has started, it becomes more difficult to work out a possible solution with the lender, because of legal timeframes and filings which must be met.  Loan servicers are working on behalf of investors and are expected to negotiate the highest possible sales price for the property, which the lender may feel it can get through the foreclosure auction.

Another player in a short sale is the financial advisor or tax professional.  A short sale where a portion of the debt is “forgiven” is considered relief of debt, and may be treated as income for tax purposes. When debt is forgiven, the creditor (homeowner) must submit a Form 1099 to the IRS.  For more information, visit  You may want to discuss with a tax professional future tax liability and consequences of the short sale in your situation.

The 4th player in this scenario is an attorney.  You should understand the law related to release of liens, mortgage liability, and future obligations.  Some government programs currently offered to homeowners facing foreclosure do not allow the lender to pursue any deficiency balance; however, not all homeowners will qualify for these programs.

Finally, and not the least important, the 5th player is your REALTOR®.  I am experienced in short sales with both buyers and sellers in all counties of central New Jersey, from Hamilton to the Shore.  So call or email me and let's discuss your options, the value of your home, and your future needs.  Should it be necessary for you to proceed with a short sale, the lender will require the property to be listed with a licensed REALTOR®.

If you are having problems paying your mortgage, don't wait.  A Short Sale is your best alternative to foreclosure.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Plan Now to Buy that Home in Hamilton NJ Next Year

It is easy to overspend during the holiday season.  But with home prices and interest rates starting to rise, if you want to be a new homeowner in 2011 you should plan ahead, and start now. 

1.  Minimize your holiday spending.  Not many folks in this economy will expect you to overspend to give them presents this season, so be frugal and put any extra cash right into savings.  If you are serious about buying a home next year, don't run up additional credit card debt on gifts.  This includes your kids, who can probably do with less Stuff anyway.
2.  Find a high-interest savings account, probably online, and open a New Home account.  Set up an automatic deposit, in any amount, so you will have the discipline and reward that come with regular savings.  If you are starting off with some money, look ahead to 20% downpayment to get the best interest rate.  If you are cash-poor, think of 3.5% for a FHA loan.  Add 3% more for closing costs and loan fees to your savings goal.  To be able to purchase a $200,000 home in Hamilton, NJ, that means about $13,000 to cover your downpayment and fees.
3.  Now is our slow real estate time, with bad weather and short daylight hours.  Use the time to become familiar with neighborhoods, communities, and schools you will consider, home prices there, and amenities.  I was born and raised in Mercer County, so can answer your questions on real estate values in any area.  Also set up a personal search for home sale prices on my site, .
4.  Get copies of your credit reports (  from the main 3 credit bureaus, and work on clearing anything that isn't yours or improving the score. 
5.  While you are working on the numbers, get comfortable with what you can afford in a monthly house payment + taxes + insurance + reserve for repairs.  Know your buying power.  Again, email me and I can recommend lenders who - free of charge - can preapprove you for a loan.

Buying a home is a serious decision, and if you start now, you can be ready when Spring comes and you are ready to actually preview some homes.  Let me help - call or email with your home buying questions.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Thursday, December 2, 2010

US Home Prices Declined in 3rd Quarter

According to Standard & Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the U.S. National Home Price Index declined 2.0% in the third quarter of 2010, after having risen 4.7% in the second quarter.  Nationally, home prices are 1.5% below the levels last year. In September, 18 of the 20 MSAs covered by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and both monthly composites were down; and only the two composites and five MSAs showed year-over-year gains. While housing prices are still above their spring 2009 lows, the end of the tax incentives and still active foreclosures appear to be weighing down the market.

"While some of the bad numbers may reflect the end of the government's tax incentive for first time home-buyers, there are other problems weighing on the housing market," said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. "The national economy is certainly the number one issue for housing. Additionally, there is a large supply of houses on the market and further, hidden, supply due to delinquent mortgages, pending foreclosures or vacant homes. New construction is running at less than half the pace needed to meet normal demand, so a sustained recovery could be a ways off."

Every market is different and even some neighborhoods have stronger price recovery than others.  Contact me to find out about prices in your local community of Hamilton NJ or Mercer County.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Hamilton, NJ - Nottinghill - Home for Sale - Brockton Rd

28 Brockton Rd in Mercerville is a well-built 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath Cape, with a first floor recreation room ideal for an in-law suite. Features include a full finished basement with outside entrance, newer roof, vinyl siding and windows, and beautiful hardwood floors under wall-to-wall carpeting.  All appliances are included.  There is a full bath on the second floor, and half bath on the first floor with room to be converted into a full bath, and 2 bedrooms. The fenced yard is ideal for a garden or sports play, and the wood deck is ready for your summer BBQs. This Estate sale has been home to one family for many years, lovingly maintained, and needs only a little updating. This affordable home is a great opportunity for an investor or first-time buyer, and in an established neighborhood of well-maintained Cape homes with yards and mature landscaping.  Take advantage of the immediate closing available and the great rates for qualified Buyers.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA, 609-658-2612, for a private showing.

Nottinghill - Hamilton Twp - In-law suite - Basement - Yard







Single Family Home

Main Features

4 Bedrooms
1 Bathroom
1 Partial Bathroom
Interior: 1500 sqft
Lot: 5,500 sqft


28 Brockton Rd
Hamilton, NJ 08619

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Joseph Joe Giancarli

Joseph Joe Giancarli

RE/MAX Tri-County
(609) 587-9300 (Office)

Listed by: RE/MAX Tri County

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Housing Affordability Remains Strong for 7th Consecutive Quarter

Housing affordability remained near its highest level nationwide for the seventh consecutive quarter, as interest rates dipped below 5% for the first time since the series was first compiled nearly two decades ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

The HOI indicated that 72.1% of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. The index for the third quarter almost equaled the record-high 72.5% set during the first quarter of 2009 and marked the seventh consecutive quarter that the index rose above 70%. Until 2009, the HOI rarely topped 65% and never reached 70%.

“With interest rates remaining at historically low levels, and house prices starting to stabilize, homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for almost 20 years,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones.

To find housing you can afford, in Mercer County, Hamilton, and surrounding counties and townships, search the MLS on my web site or just call or email me.  Let's get started finding you a home while interest rates remain low.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Home Resales Drop in October but Improvement Forecast

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 2.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October, down from 4.53 million in September.  Sales were 25.9% below the 5.98 million-unit level in October 2009, when the first-time buyer tax credit was available.  Year-to-date, there were 4.149 million existing-home sales, down 2.9% from 4.272 million at this time in 2009.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the recent sales pattern can be expected to continue. "The housing market is experiencing an uneven recovery, and a temporary foreclosure stoppage in some states is likely to have held back a number of completed sales. Still, sales activity is clearly off the bottom and is attempting to settle into normal sustainable levels," he said. "Based on current and improving job market conditions, and from attractive affordability conditions, sales should steadily improve to healthier levels of above 5 million by spring of next year."

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $170,500 in October, down 0.9% from October 2009. Distressed homes accounted for 34% of sales in October, compared with 35% in September and 30% in October 2009.

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 3.4% to 3.86 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 10.6-month supply in September.

NAR President Ron Phipps echoed Yun's assessment, stating "We'll likely see some impact from the foreclosure moratorium in the months ahead, but overly tight credit is making it difficult for some creditworthy borrowers to qualify for a mortgage.  We are continuing to deal with a notable share of appraisals coming in below a price negotiated between a buyer and seller."  He continued, "A return to common sense loan underwriting standards would go a long way toward achieving responsible, sustainable homeownership."

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast declined 1.3% to an annual pace of 750,000 in October and are 27.2% below the surge in October 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $240,200, which was 1.9% higher than a year ago.

For detailed analysis of sales and activity in your community, call or email me.  I'm familiar with all of our Mercer County neighborhoods, and can advise you on local housing trends and prices.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Princeton Chase - Princeton Junction - Zeloof Dr - Huge Price Reduction - Highly Upgraded Home

6 Zeloof Drive in Princeton Chase is a gorgeous Vernon model by respected builders Toll Brothers, and has been completely remodeled from top to bottom. Enjoy the landscaped back yard of 0.77 acres in all seasons, which has been completed with EP Henry pavers, a spacious patio and BBQ area, breakfast area leading to the home through French doors, and a fenced, private in-ground pool. The gourmet kitchen features granite counters, upgraded cabinetry, and top-of-the line appliances, including a Wolf gas stove and microwave, Bosch dishwasher, and Jenn-Air refrigerator. The entire home has been beautifully painted in warm colors. Hardwood floors have been installed throughout the first floor, except in the kitchen, where there is custom tile. The baths have new vanities, commodes and tile. Even the basement has been upgraded, and finished into recreation rooms with pool table, TV/entertainment center, and an air hockey table. More than $250,000 in upgrades make this 4 bedroom/2.5 bath home, with 2800 SF of interior living space, a model show place.

Princeton Chase offers the amenities of tennis court, basketball court, playground, open space, and beautiful landscaping with mature trees. The only access is Deerfield Drive, and there are no through streets. There is a homeowners’ association to protect the common areas, and the location is very close to the popular Mercer County Park. The West Windsor/Plainsboro School district is among the best in the State of New Jersey. Approximately halfway between New York City and Philadelphia, with easy access to each city, Princeton Chase is about 20 minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike and 5 minutes from Route 1. It is also just minutes from the Princeton Junction Train Station, served by both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. Express trains to New York take 50 minutes.

Princeton Chase, in Princeton Junction, is a very prestigious address in West Windsor, Mercer County, NJ.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA, 609-658-2612, for a private showing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Outlook for Housing Prices in 2011, Hamilton NJ and more

When will New Jersey home prices start rising?  Well, in some areas of the country, like Hawaii, this has already begun.  Pundits expect rates to be more than a percentage point higher by the end of next year, which will put pressure on buyers who are on the edge of qualifying.  We'd all like a crystal ball to predict prices, but here is what Pat Mertz Esswein of Kiplinger wrote in Yahoo Real Estate.

"The lowest mortgage interest rates in almost 60 years, plus affordable homes in cities where buyers had been priced out for years, should be turning the housing market around. But the market also labors under some heavy burdens: a glut of foreclosures that are dragging down home prices, high unemployment and tight credit. Sales fell off a cliff after the home-buyer tax credit expired. And "foreclosure-gate" -- legal squabbling about the process used to repossess many homes -- postponed the sale of many foreclosed properties and struck yet another body blow to confidence in the housing market.  Although this recovery may seem unendurably long, David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv Case-Shiller, says that five to seven years is historically a "pretty standard time frame" for prices to stabilize after a large correction.

"The home-price plunge has left 23% of mortgage borrowers (out of 53.5 million) underwater -- that is, they owe more on their mortgage than the market value of their home. Unless they can ante up the difference -- an average of $75,000, according to CoreLogic, which analyzes mortgage data -- they can't sell and they can't move. Their choices? Stick it out, ask the lender for permission to sell for less than they owe (a short sale), or default.

"Now, short sales and foreclosures are the driving force behind continued price declines. Throughout 2010, they accounted for about one-third of home sales, with an average price discount of 26%, according to RealtyTrac. Everyone agrees that more such sales are on the way, but estimates vary.

"The worst-case scenario for home prices? Slow economic growth and high unemployment drive up the foreclosure numbers, which push down home prices. Consumers refrain from spending, further dampening economic growth and job creation. Demand for homes decreases because would-be buyers either don't have a job or don't have confidence that they'll still have one in months to come. Confident buyers hold off because they expect further price declines.

"Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi thinks the job market will begin to turn around by mid to late 2011. And the Federal Reserve will ensure that mortgages stay dirt-cheap at least until employment picks up again.  Zandi says that the best reason for a bit of optimism is this: With few exceptions, the market is fairly valued based on the relationship of home prices to income and apartment rents. Some markets have actually become undervalued, which will attract more buyers and investors.

"Fiserv expects the housing market to finally hit bottom in mid 2011, with another 7% decline in the U.S. median home price for the year ending June 30, 2011. The firm's forecasting model says that prices are 90% of the way back to being in line with household incomes. Stiff says that the housing market is now "bouncing along the bottom," with buyers and sellers creating price volatility as they try to match bid and ask prices. The firm predicts that in many cities, prices will begin to tick upward again in 2012."

Every community has its own variation on the price and affordability themes.  I've been in real estate here in Hamilton and Mercer County NJ for more than 20 years.  Call or email me and let's discuss your options.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

How a Mercer County NJ Home Buyer Find the Best Deal

Today's Hamilton NJ home market demands that buyers look at many homes and do investigative research into community values before they ever get serious about making an offer.  There is a large amount of inventory, not all homes have been well taken care of, and buyers want to make sure they can afford the home and are getting the most for their money.

A lot has changed in the last few years.  While it is natural to feel a fabulous deal is just waiting in the next house a buyer will look at, a distressed property may not be the best buy and that low-priced home may not fit your needs.  Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you look for a home.

1.  Know your local market.  An informed, experienced Realtor is more of an asset here than you can imagine.  There is no way you can spend the hours online sifting through sales in neighborhoods to get a good handle on the shifting prices and downward pressure of short sales and foreclosures.  Each local market has its own character, and buyers must adjust their expectations accordingly.  I'm familiar with all the communities in our six-county area of central New Jersey.  And buyers don't pay for a Realtor's service.  So don't pass up free professional expertise.

2.  Listen to your heart.  Preview homes with an open mind and heart.  Don't look just at price.

3.  Decide before you look at homes if you are willing to put the work and money into a distressed property.  While many short sales are still in good shape, many are not, and foreclosures almost always require time and money to repair, even condos.  These types of properties also can take months to close while rates possibly rise and your patience wears thin.

4.  Be ready to negotiate.  Sellers don’t want a viable buyer to walk away. If a negotiation is initiated, it often ends up in a place that makes the buyers happy, because in this market sellers have to do most of the compromising.

5.  Listen to professional advice.  Talk to friends and family about a potential purchase, but weigh most heavily the advice which comes from your local real estate professionals, lender, agent, inspector or appraiser.  These opinions will be grounded in detailed knowledge of the current market in the community of your choice.

6.  Consider the glass half full, not half empty.  Be positive about the market.  Real estate has always been a long-term investment strategy.  Think of the good side, the historically low rates, the improved home affordability, and the large selection of houses.

Let's talk about your options.  Now is a great time to buy a home in Mercer County.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Buyer Videos from HUD

To help consumers navigate the home buying process, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have created three how-to videos to help prospective homeowners find a home they can afford, shop for a mortgage they can sustain, and what to expect when they go to closing.  This information provides a beginning, from which the prospective buyer can feel comfortable contacting a Realtor to start looking at homes.

Each video focuses on a critical part of the homebuying process including shopping for your home, shopping for your loan, and closing the deal.  David H. Stevens, HUD’s assistant secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner said, “The process for buying a home can appear complicated and overwhelming for many consumers. These videos will help answer the fundamental questions most people have—from shopping for their home to signing on the dotted line.”  HUD’s videos are easily accessible from both HUD and NAR’s websites as well as from HUD’s YouTube channel.

Stevens added, “These videos go a long way in identifying key aspects of the homebuying process that a consumer should be aware of. Our goal is to help make the process more transparent through educating consumers who in turn can make informed choices about their home purchase. We partnered with NAR because a real estate agent is often the primary point of contact for home buyers, and we believe real estate agents are in a great position to provide these videos to their clients as they move through key areas in the homebuying process.”  Visit for more information.

You probably will have questions after you watch one or all of the videos.  Just call or email me and let's talk about the process of buying a Hamilton NJ home.

Joe Giancarli, SA

Home Prices in Many Areas Held in 3rd Quarter

According to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), half of metropolitan areas tracked in the third quarter continued to show modest home price increases from a year ago, despite a sharp decline in home sales after the deadline for the home buyer tax credit.  In the third quarter, 77 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas1 (MSAs) had higher median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the third quarter of 2009, including 11 with double-digit increases; two were unchanged and 76 metros showed price declines. In the third quarter of 2009 only 30 MSAs experienced annual price gains.

The national median existing single-family price was little changed at $177,900 in the third quarter, down 0.2% from $178,200 in the third quarter of 2009.  Distressed homes, typically sold at discount, accounted for 34% of third quarter sales, up from 30% a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said relatively flat home prices have been the hallmark of the 2010 housing market. "Even with swings in home sales, prices this year have been changing very little from year-ago readings. Areas with some larger swings in home price reflect the degree of distressed sales in those markets," he said.

NAR President Ron Phipps explained, "Given the relationship between mortgage interest rates, home prices and median family income, the buying power in today's market is matching the highest levels we've seen dating all the way back to 1970. 

Yun added that there are additional indicators for home price stabilization. "A recent surge in commodity prices, along with the fact that the cost of constructing a new home exceeds the value of existing homes in many markets, bode well for continuing home price stabilization," he said.

Regionally, the median existing single-family home price in the Northeast rose 2.5 percent to $253,400 in the third quarter from a year earlier. Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 27.3 percent in the third quarter to a pace of 693,000 and are 24.4 percent below the third quarter of 2009. Year-to-date sales in the Northeast totaled 638,000, essentially unchanged from 637,000 at this time last year.

It is still a buyer's market with a wide variety of choices and motivated sellers.  Call or email me now to set up a personalized MLS search for homes, and to discuss how we can find a home to fit your needs in Hamilton or surrounding New Jersey communities.

Joe Giancarli, SA

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How to Know if You got a Good Deal on your Hamilton NJ Home

This is a tough real estate market, here in Mercer County NJ and nationwide.  Both buyers and sellers - and their Realtors - deal with a lot of uncertainty throughout the process, from lenders, title companies, appraisers, and themselves.  Everyone wants to finish the transaction feeling it was fair to all parties, and without regret.  How best to accomplish this?  Here are some ideas.

1.  Make a wish list of needs and wants and prioritize them.  If you know you got most of the amenities you wanted in a home, at a price you can afford, then you will feel more like you "got a good deal."  If you are a "bottom feeder" - offer low ball prices hoping to find a desparate seller - then you aren't looking for amenities so much as a low price.  With this type of purchase, you know you will have to put in some money and/or work before you resell.  So understand what kind of "deal" will satisfy you.

2.  Do you homework so you will understand the market and sales prices of comparable homes.  A Realtor is your best source of real estate information.  If he or she gives you a competitive market analysis that shows your purchase price is reasonable for other neighborhood sales, then you have another benchmark for feeling you "got a good deal."

3.  Consider the whole market, the season, and affordability.  The winter months are generally slower for sales, so sellers might be more committed to negotiation.  If your low offer is accepted, factor in the costs of repairs.  If the house is in an area of many foreclosures and short sales, then your new home might take longer to appreciate than in other communities.

4.  Good deals come in more than one shape or color.  If the seller offers to pay closing costs, or helps you buy down the rate so your mortgage is less, or will pay for repairs - any or all of these add to the quality of the "deal" you will get in your new home.

The bottom line is to get an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor working for you, one who knows the area and the prices.  As a buyer, this expertise is free - why pass up free professional services?  He or she can help you finish escrow feeling you got a "good deal."

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hamilton, NJ - Cape Cod Home for Sale - Affordable - Basement - Yard

Great starter home ready to move in. Very clean and well maintained. All brick exterior, partially-finished basement, newer furnace, and fenced yard. Eat-in kitchen with gas cooking, stove, oven, washer, and dryer included.  Priced to sell for under $150,000.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA, for a private showing.  609-658-2612.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Home Sales Prices Drop while Number of Sales Rise

Standard & Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices was released. It is a leading measure of U.S. home prices that showed a deceleration in the annual growth rates in 17 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites in August compared to what was reported for July 2010.  Home prices decreased in 15 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites in August from their July levels.

"A disappointing report. Home prices broadly declined in August. Seventeen of the 20 cities and both Composites saw a weakening in year-over-year figures, as compared to July, indicating that the housing market continues to bounce along the recent lows," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. "Over the last four months both the 10- and 20-City Composites show slowing growth, after sustaining consistent gains since their April 2009 troughs.  The month-over-month growth rates tell the same story. Fifteen of the 20 MSAs and the two Composites saw a decline in the month of August as compared to July levels. The 10- and 20-City Composites fell 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Indeed, the housing market appears to have stabilized at new lows. At this time, it does not seem that any of the markets are hanging on to the temporary momentum caused by the homebuyers' tax credits."

Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington DC have all posted at least four consecutive months of positive increases in home prices.

The good news is that existing-home sales rose again dramatically in September, as reported by the National Assn of Realtors (NAR).  Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 10.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August.  The number still remains 19.1% below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009, when first-time buyers were ramping up in advance of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market is in the early stages of recovery. "A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions," he said.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $171,700 in September, which is 2.4% below a year ago. Distressed homes accounted for 35% of sales in September compared with 34% in August, and 29% in September 2009.

"Vacant homes and homes where mortgages have not been paid for an extended number of months need to be cleared from the market as quickly as possible, with a new set of buyers helping the recovery along a healthy path," Yun said. "Inventory remains elevated and continues to favor buyers over sellers. A normal seasonal decline in inventory is expected through the upcoming months."

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 10.1 percent to an annual pace of 760,000 in September but are 20.8 percent below September 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $239,200, which is 1.4 percent below a year ago.

I'm experienced and knowledgeable in short sales and distressed properties, with both buyers and sellers in Mercer County.  Contact me before you get too far behind in your payments or if you are ready to look at homes.  Remember, if you are Military, you can still use the tax credit this year.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Housing Recovery Predicted

In its new housing outlook report, The Concord Group, a real estate strategy firm based in Newport Beach, Calif., predicted that national home sales will recover by the fourth quarter of 2010, with some well positioned markets improving by late 2011 or early 2012.

"The Concord Group estimates sales for the next year will continue at current sluggish levels (400,000 units), with a recovery rate of approximately 640,000 units annually in the following year’s first half until the market returns to normalized absorption rates by the fourth quarter of 2012," the report says.

The company's housing demand model incorporates published employment forecasts, structural household growth, turnover, and obsolescence.  "Development of quality new housing in core employment centers is expected to be an opportunity," the company says in a statement. "Meeting the needs of baby boomers, highlighted by their transition to urban areas, should remain a focus."

In many areas of Mercer County, prices are already rising and sales have certainly increased.  Call or email me for some ideas on getting a good buy.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor

Source: The Concord Group

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Housing Survey Shows Caution and some Optimism

Fannie Mae’s latest national housing survey finds that most Americans believe the housing market has reached the bottom, but they are more cautious about owning a home. Respondents to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey believe that home prices will hold steady (47%) or increase (31%) over the next year, and that rental prices will stay the same (46%) or go up (39%). Across the general population, the average expected rise in rental prices is four times that of home prices (3.6% versus 0.9%).

70% of Americans think it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64% in a similar survey conducted in January 2010. But 33%—up from 30%—of all respondents said they would be more likely to rent their next home if they were to move.

Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist, Fannie Mae, said, “These findings indicate a return to a more balanced and realistic approach toward housing. While this will likely weigh on the housing recovery in the near-term, it should, over time, help to build a stronger and healthier market focused on sustainable homeownership.  Although most Americans believe that home prices have bottomed, they are adopting a much more cautious approach toward buying.  Homeowners and renters alike continue to be wary of taking on risk, and they are less confident in the long-term outlook for housing.”

A majority of Americans (67%) continue to believe that housing is a safe investment; however, that number is down 16 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2003—the largest drop by far among all investment types tracked since then.  More than 70% of all respondents believe it will be harder for the next generation to buy a home, up three points from the beginning of the year.

This week, mortgage rates have hit another all-time low.  You owe it to yourself and your family to at least look at what you can buy in this market.  Call or email me to sign you up for some community searches so you can study the Mercer County homes available for sale.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Friday, October 8, 2010

RE/MAX New Jersey Launches Smarter Agent Search

RE/MAX of New Jersey has announced the launch of over 27,000 Smarter Agent real estate search applications across every mobile platform. The result is that each of its 3,000 agents and brokers can give an application to any of their customers – no matter what phone they have – uniquely branded with the agent’s name, the company reports.

RE/MAX of New Jersey sells approximately 20% of all homes in New Jersey through 180 offices and 3,000 agents.  It is one of the first real estate companies in New Jersey to offer access to all listings provided by the state’s nine MLSs to virtually every cell phone user.
RE/MAX of New Jersey is also one of the first companies in the nation that is providing all of its offices and agents with their own personalized mobile apps for a myriad of mobile phone types from Blackberry, Android, Palm, and iPhone as well as providing their agents with hard-to-get apps for feature phones across all major carriers that make up over 50% of phones used by homebuyers. A mobile browser app is also included.
The RE/MAX Mobile app offers various search options including GPS, when available, to see the price and photos of any home for sale in the Multiple Listing Service. Users can also search by address, city or zip code to see property details including price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, maps, pictures and more. The “Refine Search” feature lets users select a price range, property type and the number of beds and baths to help them find just what they’re looking for.
Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Just text JOEG to 87778

Joe Giancarli Offers New Mobile Service

You can now find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions.

Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices.

If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map.

(data rates may apply)

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chesterfield, NJ - Burlington County - Chesterfield Green - Fenton Lane - SOLD

43 Fenton Lane
a pristine, spacious home in Chesterfield Green. Features include a bright foyer, 9’ ceilings, hardwood oak flooring, living room, formal dining room, family room with fireplace, open to the kitchen and patio.  The gourmet kitchen has 42" honey maple cabinetry, built-in oven and gas stove, pantry, and a corner breakfast room. Up the oak staircase to the 2nd floor are three spacious bedrooms with wall to wall neutral carpeting. The master suite features a walk-in-closet and bath with soaking tub. There’s a full basement ready to finish off.  The back yard of the home is pleasant for outdoor living, from enjoying the professionally landscaped yard, to relaxing on the EP Henry paver patio, and entertaining with the 27" Lynx Grill.  The ¼ acre lot offers room for a garden or play set, plus the 2-car garage, and sprinkler system.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA, Real Estate Advisor, for a private showing.  609-658-2612.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

East Windsor NJ - Yorkshire Estates - SOLD - Woodfield Drive

Over $100,000 in Upgrades – this home is all you could ask for. Well designed & spacious; your full- front porch invites you into a soaring 2 story foyer. You’ll find 1st floor Hardwood Floors, a Kitchen for the chef(s) w/42” Cherry Cabinets, Corian & Granite Countertops, & an exceptional, “must see,” porcelain tiled floor. How does it get better – Crown Molding, Chair Rails, & a formal Dining Room to serve your culinary creations. There is an office for working or surfing the Internet, & a Family Room, w/a warming Wood-Burning Fireplace – you’re ready for the chilly nights ahead. Take the front, or “back” stairs to your 2nd floor. The Master Suite has a large walk-in closet w/closet organizers, & is complimented by an 11x11 Master Bath! Four additional bedrooms. A Finished Basement offers recreation, & the adjoining Large Workshop is a handy-person’s dream! Take the 1st floor’s Custom Anderson Sliders to your spacious 700 sq. ft. Stamped Concrete.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA for a private showing, 609-658-2612.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More News Now Available to the Visually Impaired through NJ Newspapers

As reported by, "The New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center's Audiovision radio reading service of select NJ newspapers is now available on television to subscribers of Cablevision, Comcast and Verizon Fios. Audiovision provides access to newspapers for people with print disabilities including blindness; low vision; a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book; or a learning disability with a physical basis. The companies are now broadcasting Audiovision on the Spanish secondary audio language (SAP) channel of New Jersey Network (NJN). Access instructions are available at

"Newspapers broadcast include the Home News Tribune, Asbury Park Press, Bergen Record, Camden Courier Post, Newark Star Ledger, Trenton Times, the South Jersey edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Programming includes local news, grocery ads, editorials, obituaries, cooking, health, disability news, senior citizen issues and more, read by volunteers at the Talking Book & Braille Center's Mercer County studios.

"Audiovision went live with archived audio files for its listeners, the second radio reading service Internet streaming site in the nation at Equipment has been provided through grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, as well as through federal funds from the Americans with Disabilities Act."

For more information on Audiovision call 1-800-792-8322 or visit

I think this is a wonderful opportunity for local professionals, including Realtors, to provide local, free content to be included in the papers which will accept community input.  It's an exciting concept to me to be able to reach out and provide more information to these buyers and sellers about our Mercer County NJ real estate.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Does New Jersey Have a Shadow Inventory of Homes

A recent article in the RealEstateChannel provided some sobering statistics for the near future of real estate prices across the country.  While no New Jersey metropolitan area made the top 25 list, the logic will certainly apply to real estate markets coast to coast, if only through the trickle down effects of the problems in those major cities.

Here are some highlights from the article, and a link to read the entire post, Shadow Inventory, an Avalanche That's Coming Soon?, by Keith Jurow.

  • "Shadow Inventory Defined
    Rather than joining the dispute about what the term actually means, I will simply define it in this way: The "Shadow Inventory" is comprised of all those distressed residential properties (other than MLS listings) which we know will almost certainly be coming onto the market in the not-to-distant future.
  • MLS Foreclosures - Only the Tip of the IcebergThe starting point in discussing the shadow inventory has to be homes actually on MLS listings around the country. With the plunge in home sales starting in July, the number of listings has risen substantially since the spring.  The percentage of total listings that are bank-owned properties has declined over the last year, while the percentage which are short-sale listings has risen tremendously during the same period.
    With regard to shadow inventory, the key question is how many foreclosed and repossessed properties are now either in the inventory of banks or held on behalf of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) investors whose loans they service.  Estimates start at about 500,000 and go up from there.   Whatever the number is, it seems clear that the vast majority of these properties are not currently on the market.
  • Defaulted Properties Heading for the Resale MarketIn addition to repossessed properties held off the market, the shadow inventory includes all the homes which have been placed into default - the first stage of foreclosure proceedings. According to Lender Processing Services' July Mortgage Monitor report, there are now 2.02 million properties in default. This number has not declined in the past year in spite of more than one million trial mortgage modifications.  While many of these defaulted properties throughout the nation will escape foreclosure by means of a short sale, the rest will move on to foreclosure proceedings and eventual trustee sale to a third party or repossession by the lender.
  • Delinquent Homeowners - The Number Just Keeps GrowingYou could argue that the shadow inventory is the total of repossessed homes not yet on the market and defaulted homes that will move into foreclosure. However, there is also the matter of homes which are seriously delinquent in mortgage payments. A delinquency of 90+ days now means almost certain foreclosure or short sale.  (Here the author discusses the cure rate and why many homeowners who fall behind cannot then return to on-time payments.)
  • Concentration of the Shadow Inventory in 25 Major MetrosIt is very important to understand that this enormous shadow inventory of distressed properties that will eventually be thrown onto the resale market is heavily concentrated in a limited number of metros. According to data provided by Lender Processing Services, 52% of the nationwide 90 day delinquencies and 58% of the defaults are concentrated in 25 major metros.
  • SummationAn incredible 14% of the nearly 54 million first liens in the country are now either delinquent or in default.  To come up with a total for the shadow inventory, let's first add the total number of loans in default to those delinquent 90 days or more since we know that these loans are headed for foreclosure or a short sale. That comes to 4.5 million properties. Based on the cure rate for loans delinquent at least 60 days, we will add 95% of those 60-day delinquencies. That is an additional 723,000 residences. For the same reason, we will add 70% of those delinquent for at least 30 days - 1.25 million properties.
    And, of course, let's not forget the REOs that have not yet been placed on MLS listings by the bank servicers. We'll be conservative and estimate them at 500,000.
    Adding all of these together, we come up with a total of roughly 6.97 million residences which are almost certainly going to be thrown onto the resale market as distressed properties at some point in the not-too-distant future."
These are astounding statistics and cannot be applied wholesale to every community.  But many homeowners will be affected and more will have to use the short sale process.

If you are having problems meeting your mortgage payments, call or email me now.  Don't wait for foreclosure or even the threat of a foreclosure.  You have options.

I am experienced in short sales representing both buyers and sellers.  Let me help.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor

How to Make Sure Your Hamilton NJ Home Passes the Buyer Inspection

You've finally found a buyer and are under contract.  Now it's time for that all-important buyer inspection and you sure don't want any problems to surface that might stop the sale.  How can you prepare your property to pass that home inspection?  In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for. And knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.

My latest New Jersey Real Estate newsletter offers 11 tips on what you need to know for your property to pass.  Click the link for the full report.  While homebuyers are as individual as the homes they plan on purchasing, one thing they share is a desire to ensure that the home they will call their own is as good beneath the surface as it appears to be. Will the roof end up leaking? Is the wiring safe? What about the plumbing? These, and others, are the questions that the buyers looking at your home will seek professional help to answer.

According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection. Here are the 11 most common of these.  If not identified and fixed, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair.

1.  Defective Plumbing
2.  Damp or Wet Basement
3.  Inadequate Wiring & Electrical Service
4.  Poor Heating & Cooling Systems
5.  Roofing Problems
6.  Damp Attic Spaces
7.  Rotting Wood
8.  Masonry Work
9.  Unsafe or Over-fused Electrical Circuit
10.Inadequate Security Features
11.Structural or Foundation Problems

This is a serious list and could cost you not only the sale but a lot of money to repair.  Call or email me and let's do a pre-inspction of your Hamilton NJ home so you won't be surprised.  I have a lot of experience in the New Jersey building trades, and can help you spot potential problems.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor