Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Independance Day Map!

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map
 It's light this week but if you are around.....enjoy the streets to yourself!

Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Be sure to check later in the week as we continue to add listings as they are advertised.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/
www.donnaantonucci.com


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Senate Again Rejected Bill Containing Flood Insurance Program Restart


The U.S. Senate,June 17th, again voted down a legislative package on jobless benefits, Medicare payments to doctors and business tax breaks that also contains reauthorization of the nation's flood insurance program.

Despite reducing the overall cost of the package, Democrats were unable to muster the 60-vote supermajority needed in the face of solid opposition by Republicans. The vote was 56 to 40.

The bill would add an estimated $55 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years compared to about $80 billion for a version voted down earlier this week. It seeks to extend unemployment insurance and tax breaks for businesses while jettisoning a 20 percent pay cut in payments to doctors treating Medicare patients. It would raise taxes on investment managers and raise the tax for the oil spill liability fund.

Senate Republicans have opposed adding to the deficit. Democrats have argued that the government spending is needed to bolster the economy.

The bill has already passed the House.

The National Flood Insurance Program has been unable to issue new or renewal policies since it was shut down May 31, although it is still paying claims. It is the fourth time in the past year that the program has been interrupted due to the failure of Congress to reauthorize it for an extended period.

Insurance carriers and agents have been urging Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization.

The Independent Insurance Agents; Brokers of America sent a letter to the leadership of the Congress warning that "lapses in this program cause confusion and leave many homeowners and small businesses unprotected during a delicate economic period and a dangerous time of the year."

June 1 was the first day of the 2010 hurricane season which weather forecasters have predicted could be very active.


Buyers will have to buy private flood insurance until the National Flood Insurance Program is extended by Congress.

In addition to this extension issue, flood coverage minimums are going up.  With the recent disasters in Louisiana and Tennessee, the amount of needed coverage has gone up.  If you are in a flood zone, I recommend you consult with your insurance broker now on how much you need today.  If you are not planning on selling or re-financing, you won't have to increase it but I strongly recommend you do it voluntarily as soon as Congress passes the bill (likely September as they are getting ready for the Summer recess).  Flood Insurance from the Federal Government is one of those insurances that is a great deal for what you are getting.  The reason why private companies don't underwrite flood insurance (except at exorbitant rates) is because it's not profitable.

Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential  Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com


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Rates at Unbelievable Lows

Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential  Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com


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New Home Sales slip 32.7% in May (nationwide)




New home sales plummeted to a record low in May, the first month following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. This snapped a two-month streak of gains.  The west hit harder than the Northeast. 

New home sales declined 32.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 last month, down from an downwardly revised 446,000 in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Sales year-over-year fell 18.3%.

This is the slowest sales pace since the Commerce Department began tracking data in 1963. The prior record was set in September 1981, when new homes sold at an annual rate of 338,000.
"We expected a slowdown, but the extent of this decline was a surprise," said Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo. The figure was even worse than her relatively pessimistic forecast of an annual rate of 380,000 in May.

A consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected May sales to slide to an annual rate of 430,000.

"Clearly, the lack of a tax credit had a lot to do with it, and it's going to be a bit of a bumpy road ahead as we get a few more months of payback," Khan said.

Home sales had surged in March and April as homebuyers scrambled to sign contracts ahead of the April 30 deadline for the tax credit. First-time homebuyers qualified for a tax credit up to $8,000, while repeat buyers could get as much as a $6,500 break.

Homebuyers have until June 30 to close deals, but the Senate may vote to push that deadline back to Sept. 30.

Khan expects home sales to remain depressed through the third quarter as home construction continues to contract and lending standards remain tight. But, she said, sales should pick up slightly in the fourth quarter.

Although, she added, we are still years away from a normal level of new home sales -- an annual rate between 800,000 and 900,000.

"A full housing recovery is contingent on employment," Khan said. "When we see the unemployment rate abate, and some growth in salaries and incomes, we'll get some sustainable momentum in the housing market."

A real estate industry report released earlier this week showed that existing home sales, based closed sales rather than signed contracts, slipped slightly last month but remained elevated.

Price and inventory: The government report showed that the median price of new homes sold in May was $200,900, down less than 1% from April but a 9.6% drop from May 2009.
An estimated 213,000 new homes were for sale at the end of May, the lowest inventory level in more than 40 years.


Still, at the current sales pace, the government expects it will take 8.5 months to sell through that inventory, up from 5.8 months in April. Six months of inventory is considered normal market conditions.

Sales by region: Sales fell the most in the West, where they decreased by more than 50%; the Northwest saw sales declined by about a third. Sales in the South and Midwest declined by about 25%.

Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential  Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com


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The Foreclosure Backlog dips a bit in May


The home-foreclosure crisis will be with us for years, but here’s a small sign of progress: The number of home loans in the foreclosure process may have peaked, according to Barclays Capital in New York.

In the firm’s latest Securitized Products Weekly, analyst Robert Tayon estimates that the number of homes in foreclosure was down 2.6% in April from March’s level, to 1.95 million. The number of newly delinquent loans is finally declining, and loan servicers are managing to complete more foreclosures.

The foreclosure process often takes a year or two. That’s partly because of time-consuming efforts to avert foreclosures wherever possible, mandated by federal and state governments. It’s also partly because loan servicers, typically bureaucratic and understaffed, have been slow to work through their backlogs of distressed loans. But eventually these situations get resolved.

Though the number of homes in the foreclosure process has fallen a bit, the number of foreclosed homes owned by lenders and mortgage investors continues to grow, Barclays says. In April, it estimates, the total number of these REO (or “real estate owned”) homes was 526,000, up from 522,000 in March. Barclays believes the REO supply will peak in August 2011 at 545,000 before starting to gradually diminish. That means foreclosed homes will continue to weigh on house prices for at least the next couple of years in areas with heavy concentrations of distressed loans.

Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential  Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com

How to win at an auction

Below are 12 tips to help you come out a winner at auctions, six for large public auctions and six for those "courthouse steps" auctions.
Regional public auction steals

1. Timing.
2. First dibs.
3. Dress (and act) the part.
4. Research multiple homes.
5. The pro knows.
6. Market research.

Stealing a deal at regional public auctions
1. Timing: When several bidders are jockeying for a property, wait until the bids start to die down before making yours. There's no sense fueling the fire.

2. First dibs: The first few properties offered often sell for less because most bidders are trying to get a feel for pricing patterns before jumping into the fray.

3. Dress (and act) the part: Some buyers like to dress like a banker and arrive early to position themselves near the auctioneer. That's so other bidders will assume they're representing the lender and possibly shrink back from a bidding war.

4. Research multiple homes: Don't miss those open houses; they typically run from one to three days. "Do your homework on a lot of properties," Friedman says. "Try to come to auction in love with 10 properties instead of just one." Bring detailed information and photos of each house you're interested in to avoid confusion.

5. The pro knows: Bring a veteran rehab contractor with you to the open houses to estimate repair costs. That will keep you from overlooking hard-to-spot damage and flaws and give you a more accurate picture of what you're buying. Pay special attention to plumbing and mechanical systems.

6. Market research: Find out the recent -- in these troubled times, no more than the past three months -- selling prices on neighboring homes. Realtors will often try to win your business by providing these "comps" that show what comparable homes in the neighborhood are selling for. To be realistic, the comp prices should factor in all auction-bought and short-sale homes in addition to standard MLS sales.

"These take a more sophisticated effort (than the larger auctions)," says O'Toole, founder and chief executive of ForeclosureRadar.com, a foreclosure service for real estate professionals. "They are a different animal. Five guys standing around a courthouse with a million dollars in checks in their pockets. That can be bizarre and a little intimidating."

The "notice of trustee sale," sometimes called a "sheriff's sale," will be published in a newspaper of record once weekly for at least three weeks prior to the sales date. However, you need to do your homework and then some before attending, O'Toole says.

California is leading the nation in foreclosures.  It was one of the first places the mortgage crisis hit.  It is also one of places more hard hit by foreclosure.  The good news for individual buyers, though, is that if trustee auctions in California portend future price trends, those "stealing" opportunities may become even more abundant. In February 2009, 80 percent of the California properties sold at trustee auctions were discounted an average of 36.3 percent, while 40 percent were discounted by 50 percent or more, according to data from ForeclosureRadar.

Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hoboken - Community Development Update

Below is Director of Community Development, Brandy Forbes, update to the Mayor on some ongoing development projects here in town.

The update includes what's going on with the following:

ARC Tunnel - new trans Hudson train tunnel
The Park at 1600 Park and Hudson Cove
Maxwell Park - Waterfront Park also known as Block E
Maxwell Park - South Lawn also known as Block A
Master Plan Re-Examination
Southwest Redevelopment
Western Edge Redevelopment
PILOT Review progress

It's great to know where the town is going and what they are interested in development when buying or selling real estate.  When it comes to Municipal or state projects, I say it's done when it's done.  So much can happen between the time an idea is hatched to the moment of execution.  Obviously on some things are more certain than others.  The town has already received the grant for the SW pump.  We bought the pump and we broke ground on digging the hole to install the pump.  It's also not a complicated installation and is expected to be in and operational by the end of the year.  I put a 90% probability on that one.

Funds were collected in a special fund for open space that can only be used to develop more open space.  Funds have been left to rot on the vine before or even misappropriated.  In these economic times, I would not count on it as the state has pulled back funds before even after they were granted.  Anyone remember Florio?  He took back financial aid money after the semester started.  I am dating myself, but I was one of those kids who had to come up with what seemed like a lot of money in about 2 weeks otherwise, I would have de-registered from all of classes.  The grant money needed to complete the park (matching money) could evaporate at any time.  Until the land is purchased, it's still something that we all need to keep pushing for.  The restaurant that will be at the foot of that Park is coming along and I can see it done by the end of the Summer.  Wouldn't it be great to have that atmosphere in the SW?


There is also an update on a number of Hoboken's PILOT agreements (Payment in Lieu of Taxes).  PILOTs are a form of tax abatement given to low & moderate income programs and developers in theory to promote development.  The city is reviewing these to make sure PILOT payments have been collected appropriately.

Enjoy the update.  If you have any questions about what this can mean in your search call or email me.
     Comm Dev Update 6-16-10                                                            

Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com

House Between the Park and Willow Bridges between 15th and 16th

Ever wonder about that house that is just north of what will be the new new park on 1600 Park?  The interior looks amazing.  Is the developer going for a long shot?  What is it like to live between those two bridges.  Ever wonder what he did with the inside?  Here are some pics and the story that appeared in the Hoboken Reporter's Palisade magazine.

Folks watching this house go up between the Park Avenue and Willow Avenue Bridge in a pie shaped lot with an industrial landscape for a backyard, it inspired questions like what is this thing, and what could this guy be thinking?

Well, the local developer who envisioned it as a home for himself says it's a "prime location for a single guy---immediate access to the city by bus, tunnel, or ferry."  A car buff, he has ground-floor cars, and a motorcycle.

It's a light and airy four-story structure fashioned from brick, steel, and cinderblocks with blond wood floors and windows on three sides of the triangle.  The second floor features a kitchen, living room and dining room, in a loft-like design.  The house has a master suite with walk-in closet and private bath, two guest rooms, five bathrooms, (four marble and one granite), an exercise area, laundry room, and five flat-screen TVs strategically placed throughout the house.  There are two gas fireplaces, a huge one in the living room and a smaller one in the master suite.  Each guest bedroom has its own bathroom.  You can take the elevator, but the stairs are beautiful with oak treads and handrails of polished steel and cables like a suspension bridge.

The floors are radiant heat and zone heating and air conditioning regulate the temperature throughout the building.  The owner confesses that he never uses the kitchen.  Nevertheless, it's fully loaded with two separate dishwashers, a wine cooler, and the most modern appliances, just like a "nice suburban house,:" he says.


"I add color with art", says the owner, who collects art from all over the world. He describes the space as "minimal modern eclectic". 

Teh dining room table is a beautiful piece of rugged wood handcrafted by furniture maker who  works out of the Neumann Leather building.in Hobken.

A terrace off the living room faces west and one off the master suite faces the river.  The owner says he "spent extra on windows for sound proofing" because he was so close to bridge traffic, but in the end he found that "get more traffic on Washington Street.  Here they go over the bridge, and they're gone."




Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com
www.donnaantonucci.com

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Map Re-engineering

All the listings are up.... There are couple of minor bugs but nothing major.  Enjoy and let me know what you think of the new functionality.

Donna

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Map - New Beta Test Troubleshooting


Hello all,

As you can see we are having a few issues with the beta version of the new map.  It's not working consistently across browsers.  Please bear with us while we troubleshoot.


I have compiled at additional 55 open houses for the map.  If anyone needs to make plans, I can send you a spreadsheet.  Please send me an email and I will be glad to email it.  donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map
Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New and Improved Open House and New Listings Map

Check it out... new and improved functionality.  You can now print out a PDF of all the open houses you want to go see.  Do a sort based on what you are looking for in terms of price and which day you plan to tour open houses.  The system will create a PDF of that sort so you will have a handy guide for your day of house hunting.

Right now the PDF is up for the introduction.  Shortly, however, it will only be available to those who subscribe to the private view of the map.

What do you think of the new icons?  Send me an email and let me know what you like and what you would like me to add.  I love hearing from readers.  donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Be sure to check later in the week as we continue to add listings as they are advertised.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/



Sunday, June 20, 2010

What's Involved in Getting a Mortgage


Many of my readers have asked me about the mortgage process and what they can expect.  As part of my banking career, I spent 6 years in Chase's Mortgage Division Among other roles I worked as a loan officer and underwriter in Chase's Wealth and Affluent Segment closing over $750MM in mortgage loans or about $1B in real estate transactions.  Oddly, I am not licensed as a mortgage broker because when you work for a big company, you don't need a license.  As opposed to most brokers, I was not in sales but did the actual financial statement analysis, bureau, appraisal, etc review to determine if an applicant could qualify.  I think it makes me a good resource as a counterpoint to your mortgage provider.  I can cut through the jargon and give you answers from someone who is indifferent on which product you take or whether or not you pay discount or origination points (one you can write off as interest which they can't take into income immediately.  The other is a basically a fee ie not interest that they get to book immediately.  Ask me if you want to know more.)

I was able to get a Good Faith Estimate and HUD1 from a very good broker here in town - Marc Kleinman of Bank of America.  I have his contact info and bio below.  This is an actual Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and HUD1 from a transaction here in Hoboken (with all personal data removed of course).  It shows the actual fees on what you can expect for a $620K mortgage transaction ($775K purchase price).

The GFE gives you the estimate of charges that you can expect while the HUD1 is the actual settlement document that has the exact charges.  The HUD1 is one of your closing documents.

At a high level the mortgage process is as follows:

1.  Pre-Approval - Get pre-approved so that you know what can afford in terms of both a purchase price and monthly mortgage payment.  This will be helpful when bidding as if there is more than one bid, the seller will want to know that you actually have the means to purchase the property.  Getting a mortgage is a typical contingency of the sale and the owner doesn't want to accept an offer from someone who ultimately can't go through with the deal.

Pre-qualifying is different from pre-approval in that pre-qualifying is when you give a loan officer or input information online to a calculator where it accepts your word from your income, debt, assets, etc. as is.

A pre-approval means that they have at least pull your credit bureau so they will know exactly what your debt burden is and your credit score.  Some institutions will also ask for a pay stub and a W-2 to verify your income before giving a pre-approval letter so that both your debt and income are documented.

With these two pieces, the bank can calculate your "Debt to Income" (D/I) ratio.  It's a measure of how much debt you can handle.  Your FICO (Fair Isaacs Company - company that invented the algorithm) score from your bureau tells the bank who well you have paid on existing debts as an indicator of how well you will pay on the new mortgage.  We all know the higher the score the lower the rate.  Since the mortgage meltdown, generally, scores over 700 are considered "A" credit.  Qualifying Debt to Income ratios have also come down as a result of the crisis.  It used to be 33% Housing debt to income and 38% overall debt to income ratio were the standard.  These ratios are often referred to as front end and back end D/I ratios.  The credit bureau fee was $35.

This step is where you, the borrower, are approved.  Sometimes there is an app fee and sometimes not.  In this loan they paid $715 "Origination Fee" which is a basically an app fee based on the size of the loan, ie a percentage of the loan.  Again, if it was a discount point, it would be on the HUD1 as pre-paid interest and would be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor). 

2.  The next step is finding the home - making an offer and Attorney Review.  When you put in a bid on a home the realtor will help you complete a purchase sale agreement.  All Realtors have access to a state approved form that we can complete.  This document contains your offer amount and any contingencies such as the ability to get a mortgage and getting a satisfactory inspection.  Once the bid is accepted by the seller by signing and returning the purchase sale agreement, the contract goes into Attorney Review.

 
Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832

Friday, June 18, 2010

Updated Weekly Map - June 18th

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .



Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/
http://www.donnaantonucci.com/

Corner Car Locations

A week ago, Mayor Zimmer announced the introduction of Corner Cars - a car sharing program.  Here is a map and a list of locations where the cars will be located.  Can you get rid of your car and all the hassle and expense of owning it?



 
Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Christie wants N.J. affordable housing bill approved by end of June


A Christie administration cabinet member Thursday urged the Democratic-controlled Legislature to approve legislation that would change the way affordable housing is provided before it recesses for the summer, an action presently set for June 28.
Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa made the first public comment that Gov. Chris Christie wants to see the bipartisan legislation (S-1) sent to his desk before the Legislature adjourns.

"We are uniquely poised to address this conflicted issue, but time is precious," Grifa told the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee at a hearing in Trenton. "Further delay is unnecessary and puts real reform at risk."
The committee did not take a vote on the bill, which means a second hearing would be necessary before it could be sent to the full Assembly for a vote.

Assemblyman Gerald B. Green (D-Union) said he will consult with lower house Democratic leaders on the next step.

Currently, the only date remaining for Assembly committee meetings is June 24. The Assembly has scheduled voting sessions for Monday and June 28.

Virtually every affordable housing organization in New Jersey opposes the legislation in its present form, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.

"The governor's goals are simple," Grifa said. "First, end COAH (the state Council on Affordable Housing) and the madness of the arbitrary quota system that paid dividends to lawyers and planners, cost towns thousands of dollars, and stymied sensible growth. Second, empower municipalities to make their own decisions about land use and housing on a local level. Third, create clear guidelines for affordable housing that encourage achievable results."

The legislation would abolish COAH and change how affordable housing is built by taking control from policy makers in Trenton and giving it to municipal officials. Municipalities would have an obligation to set aside some of their new development for low and moderate-income housing, and towns that have complied with the existing regulations would be protected from builders' remedy lawsuits.


Information provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
203 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ  07030
201-240-6832
donna@donnaantonucci.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Open House, New Listings Map from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor, June 16. 2010

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Be sure to check later in the week as we continue to add listings as they are advertised.


Provided by Donna Antonucci

Prudential Castle Point Realty

201-240-6832

donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/



What can a Basement Tell You About a Building?

As a realtor, I get to go see many buildings, how people decorate, how they live.  One thing that I think has been really interesting is what a basement often says about the building (yes, when you are in real estate these odd things interest you).  I have found anecdotaly, there seems to be a correlation between what the basement looks like and the financial standing of the Condo Association.

Here is a basement where clearly unwanted belongings were left to die.  Some of them, like the table look rather "kitchy" but left unwanted in the basement it takes up space, creates a hazard and makes it difficult to see issues with the plumbing and other fixtures in the basement.

Often, residents leave items like this in the basement because they do not want to incur the expense or inconvenience of having them carted or selling the item.  Clutter like this doesn't happen overnight.  The Board should really have had it cleaned up but often times, especially in smaller condos, there really isn't anyone at the helm.

Owners often want to blame the property manager but really the Board runs the building.  Typically when an Association is first established, they hire a property manager who is given direction via the contract between the Association and the Property Manager.  A good contract will outline what the property manager is responsible for doing, e.g., collecting, depositing and accounting for monthly maintenance fees, seeing that the building is cleaned weekly, taking care of emergency repairs to common areas, etc.  A property manager cannot just decide by itself to spend Association resources unless it's set up in advance.  A board member needs to notice something like this, meet with the board and set policy authorizing the property manager to discard abandoned items, only allow specific items for basement storage or what ever policy the Board sees fit for common area usage.

Here is a sign from a well managed condo that stipulates just what can be left in the basement.  Look how neat it is otherwise.



How does this relate to finances?  A cluttered, messy basement is a visible sign that the Association/Board is not engaged in managing the building.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/



Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mayor Zimmer Kicks-off of Major Traffic Study for Southwest Hoboken. Is this the pre-cursor to putting in the SW Park?

Traffic and congestion in Southwest Hoboken have been growing and unaddressed problems for many years, but now something is being done about it. A Sub-Regional Transportation Study was commissioned by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) to provide recommendations for resolving long-standing traffic concerns. Funding for this major study – over $200,000 - was acquired through the efforts of Mayor Dawn Zimmer while she was a 4th Ward councilwoman, in collaboration with Jersey City and Hudson County.
“I’m glad that we are making real progress towards resolving the traffic and congestion issues in Southwest Hoboken,” said Mayor Zimmer. “I urge the community to come out and be a part of this process.”


On Wednesday, June 23 between 4 and 8pm at the Multi-Service Center, Hoboken will be hosting a very important “Open House” public meeting to solicit community input regarding congestion and transportation issues in Southwest Hoboken. The community — residents and business owners alike — are encouraged to attend any time between 4 pm and 8 pm to share their ideas and concerns regarding traffic, congestion, pedestrian safety, and transit access in this critical corner of the city.

Event details:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 4pm-8pm
Hoboken Multi-Service Center
124 Grand Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-2510


Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

http://www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com/
http://www.hobokenrealestatevalue.com/



Hoboken to Introduce "Corner Cars" - Meeting on Wednesday

The City of Hoboken, New Jersey and Connect by Hertz will launch “Corner Cars” — the country’s first true city-wide car-sharing program on June 16th. With the roll-out of this program, more than 90 percent of Hoboken residents will live within a 5 minute walk of a car-sharing vehicle location.
“We’re proud to partner with Hertz to offer our residents the first true city-wide car-sharing program in the country,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This creative program will save residents thousands of dollars compared to owning a car and eliminate the stress and hassle of looking for parking in our city.”

The first phase of this program is anticipated to remove more than 750 vehicles from Hoboken’s crowded streets.

City Council President Peter Cunningham convincingly argued that the effect on our parking situation will be the same as building a new 750 car garage, except it won’t cost taxpayers a dime.
“Instead of taking on millions of dollars in taxpayer debt for structured parking, residents who switch to car-sharing will save thousands of dollars,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. “It’s the 21st Century solution to contemporary urban parking woes.”

The following day, Thursday, June 17th, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will host a community forum to discuss transportation and parking issues with residents. The forum will run from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Multi-Service Center, 124 Grand Street.

What: The formal kick-off of “Corner Cars,” Hoboken’s new city-wide car-sharing service powered by Connect by Hertz. Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will take a vehicle for the inaugural drive.

Where: The intersection of 2nd St. and Harrison St. – the location of one of 21 car-sharing locations.

When: Wednesday, June 16th at 4:30 pm

Who: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, City Council Members, Hertz representatives, other local elected officials, and community residents.
The “Corner Cars” program operated by Connect by Hertz is Hoboken’s city-wide car-sharing service which allows residents to rent a vehicle by the hour, day or week. Rates start at $5 per hour and include gas, roadside assistance, navigation system, and insurance.
More than 90 percent of the Hoboken population will be within a 5 minute walk of at least one car-sharing location. Locations were selected through public input and by City Council members representing individual wards.

Residents with questions about the Corner Cars program can email cornercars@hobokennj.org or call the Department of Transportation and Parking at 201-653-1919.


Corner Car Locations

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

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