Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor - Hoboken City Weekly Statstics




Did you know that when you sign up for the private view of Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Weekly statistics you get links by quadrant to all the new and  active listings for the week. They are the Hudson county Multiple Listing Service listings used by realtors which have more information than what's available on typical property search sites.

Sign up today by clicking on any of the links & submitting your email address.  An auto-email will be sent to you with a link to the private view of the statistics. Be sure to sign up for weekly updates and get the stats and the private view of the map each week.

Click here for this weeks statistics.

Use the weekly statistics to track the market.  Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms.  What have units sold for?  What are they listed for today?

Information 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




Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor - JC Downtown and Hoboken New Listing/Open House weekly map





We will be checking Craig's list, realtor sites, the MLS again later in the week so check back.

We now have listings for For Sale by Owner and Non-Internet listings in the private view of the map.  Sign up today and get the most complete, easy to use open house and new listings map covering both Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. If you get a listing on the private view that lacks a link look on the right for the For Sale By Owner and Non-Internet Listings icon.  We will be integrating this over the next week or so.


Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map

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/



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dying Banks Kept Alive by the Fed



U.S. regulators closed Chicago- based Park National Bank in October 2009 when it owed $345 million to one of the lowest-cost lenders in town: the Federal Reserve’s discount window. Park National had been a constant customer at the window for more than 18 months before it failed, records show.
That glimpse into the loan program, gleaned through the Freedom of Information Act, will be expanded this week with an unprecedented view of the secret lifelines the Fed extended to hundreds of banks. Officials plan to release documents that amount to more than 6,000 pages, according to court records. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, and News Corp.’s Fox News Network LLC requested the records under FOIA, then sued after the central bank refused to release them.

Without identifying them as of yet, Fed officials say all the discount window loans made during the worst financial crisis since the 1930s have been repaid with interest. Cases such as Park National’s show how the lending amounted to a secret public subsidy, with few questions asked.
“Solvency is the big issue,” said Arthur Wilmarth, a professor at George Washington University Law School in Washington. “Was the Fed keeping banks alive when they should have died?”
Banks were able to tap the window for loans at rates below the market after subprime mortgage defaults contributed to record losses for them and credit markets began to seize up.

Inexpensive Funding 

 

“The Fed really provided an inexpensive source of funding,” Daniel Watts, the former executive vice president at Park National in charge of all business lines, said in a telephone interview. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. estimates Park National’s closure cost its insurance fund $656 million. The FDIC typically repays discount window loans in the process of resolving a failed bank.
The Fed is expected to release this week documents related to discount window lending from August 2007 to March 2010, including the peak month of October 2008, when loans hit $111 billion.
The disclosures, the first of their kind for a lending program that dates to 1914, will provide the fullest view yet of which banks needed the most public help during the crisis. From now on, data about the program will be available only after a two-year lag, under provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law that Congress adopted last year.

Dodd-Frank also exempted past discount window lending from an audit by the Government Accountability Office that’s examining much of the central bank’s other crisis-era programs. Discount window loans are also generally beyond the scope of the Fed’s Office of Inspector General.

Prospective Audits Only


Charles Young, a spokesman for the GAO, says the Dodd-Frank Act gives the agency authority to audit the discount window’s operational integrity and controls “prospectively only.”
“It’s surprising that the Congress didn’t say they wanted the GAO to confirm that discount window borrowers were solvent,” said Wilmarth, the George Washington University law professor.
For more than two years, the Fed resisted releasing the information that’s due to come out this week. It argued that its lending records shouldn’t be subject to the open-records law known as FOIA in part because revealing which banks were tapping the discount window might attach a stigma to those banks and stir depositor runs or roil markets.

Former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, for whom the legislation is named, said the measure exempted discount window data from FOIA to prevent timely releases of information about any bank’s borrowing. Such disclosures might have “a negative market effect,” he said.

 

Two-Year Delay


“If people saw the data the next day, they come to the conclusion that the bank must be in trouble,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in an interview. Releasing it after a two-year delay “means a significant gain in public information.”

Lobbying in the Senate successfully exempted past discount window lending from audit and disclosure requirements that Dodd- Frank applied to other crisis-era Fed lending programs. The Fed released details about $3.3 trillion worth of assistance from those facilities in December.

“We had a lot of support,” said Warren Gunnels, senior policy adviser to Senator Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent who wrote some of the bill’s Fed transparency language. “But then we were getting calls, and senators were hearing from other senators that they were concerned” about including the discount window in the disclosure requirements.

Echoing Arguments


Objections that poured into Sanders’ office, as Gunnels described them, echoed arguments the Fed advanced as it fought the media lawsuits: If a bank was known to be a borrower at the discount window, that could raise suspicions about its health and cause a run, some senators told Sanders and his staff.

That’s not a concern when the borrowing bank has already failed. Eight banks closed in 2009 with outstanding discount window loans, according to a list Bloomberg obtained through a separate FOIA request. Interviews with executives who managed some of these banks provide a partial view of how the discount window worked during the crisis.

Ordinarily, the discount rate is set at a penalty, or above market rates, to prevent overuse of government credit. It was 1 percentage point higher than the federal funds rate -- that is, the overnight lending rate for banks -- for most of 2007. When default rates on subprime mortgages began to increase that year, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and the Board of Governors in Washington reduced the discount rate.

They cut its spread over the federal funds rate by half on August 17, 2007. Loan terms were extended to 30 days from overnight.

Borrowings Rose


As the cost of Fed credit fell, discount window borrowings rose to $1.1 billion by Sept. 19, 2007, from just $4 million on Aug. 15, 2007, before Fed officials cut the rate. By the first week of December, they totaled $2.1 billion.

“By increasing the liquidity of the banking system, discount window lending helped prevent an even broader banking crisis and thereby reduced the resolution costs to the” FDIC, William Nelson, deputy director in the Fed Board’s Division of Monetary Affairs said in an e-mailed statement.

After the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos. in March 2008, the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington continued to slash the spread. On March 16, 2008, Fed governors cut it to a quarter- point over the federal funds rate and extended the term of the loans to 90 days.

Below Market Rates


By December 2008, the discount rate stood at just 0.5 percent, below the market rates paid by many banks for funds. The average 3-month consumer deposit rate that banks were paying at that time was 1.44 percent, according to Bankrate.com. The cost of borrowing dollars for three months in London, or the 3- month Libor rate, averaged 1.48 percent in the last two weeks of the year.

The discount rate amounted to a public subsidy -- and as such, the loans need to be disclosed, said Robert A. Eisenbeis, a former Atlanta Fed research director who is now chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors Inc., an investment management firm based in Sarasota, Florida.

“When it comes to openness and transparency, it is incumbent for the Fed or any agency for that matter that is providing subsidies with taxpayer monies to be accountable for their actions,” he said.
The discount window “was so much cheaper than the consumer deposits at the time,” said Watts, the former Park National executive who is now president of Forest Park National Bank & Trust Co. in Forest Park, Illinois.

 

Borrowing $1 Billion


As it was borrowing at the window, Park National’s total assets rose from $4.6 billion in June 2008 to $4.9 billion in December. The bank’s discount window borrowings rose to $1 billion by the end of 2008, Watts said, noting government filings. That was about 23 percent of total liabilities.
“Park was not using the advances to originate new deals,” said Watts. The discount window provided “substantial liquidity” for the bank and allowed Park National to acquire assets of sister banks that were shrinking to increase capital ratios, he said.

Bank regulators recognized that Park National had “serious troubles” as of July 2009, according to testimony that Jennifer Kelly of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave the House Financial Services Subcommittee in January, 2010. “Absent a dramatic -- and unforeseen -- reversal of its trends and current condition, it was evident that grounds would soon exist for” closing the bank, Kelly, the OCC’s senior deputy controller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision, told the panel.

‘Easy to Administer’


Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago spokesman Douglas Tillett declined to comment on Park National.
First Bank of Idaho in Ketchum established its discount window borrowing program with the San Francisco Fed in May 2008, according to Peter Minford, the former chief financial officer. He said the program “was very easy to administer.”

“Basically, once the line was established, no questions were asked when draws were requested,” said Minford, now president of Data Informatics LLC, a Ketchum, Idaho-based firm that provides accounting software to community banks.

The central bank’s procedures for primary credit borrowers, the Fed’s term for healthy banks that can borrow at the lowest discount rate, meant that the Idaho lender didn’t even have to physically deliver the collateral to the San Francisco Fed to get credit. San Francisco Fed officials accepted certified statements by management that the loans existed, Minford said.

‘Unstable Funding Structure’


Regulators closed First Bank of Idaho on April 24, 2009, with an outstanding discount window credit of $72 million, records show. A follow-up report by the U.S. Treasury’s Inspector General criticized the bank’s “unstable funding structure” that produced a reliance on federal borrowings.

“The Fed kept the tap running and that kept the bank running. That is the whole issue,” said Mark Williams, an executive in residence at Boston University School of Management and a former Fed bank examiner. “What is the Fed’s role here -- to protect risky banks or taxpayers and the overall economy?”

The FDIC estimates that First Bank of Idaho’s failure cost the deposit insurance fund $176 million. The San Francisco Fed hasn’t experienced a loss from its discount window lending, said spokeswoman Carol Eckert.

“Our discount window lending to institutions in declining or in poor financial condition is temporary, heavily administered and well-secured,” Eckert said. “Our overarching principle is that discount window lending be in the public interest.”

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

www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com
www.jerseycityrealestatemonitor.com
www.donnaantonucci.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor - Downtown Jersey City Weekly statistics



Downtown Jersey City Weekly statistics from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.


Hoboken's Weekly Statistics will continue to be posted on Thursday mornings.  Downtown JC stats will be posted on Fridays.   In addition to posting them, the latest version will be available through the Weekly Statistics Icon on the right vertical nav bar. 


Here is the link to the Downtown Jersey City statistics:


Downtown JC Stats


The statistics contain links to the listings that compiled the price per square foot so you can see exactly what amenity and finish level are included.  They contain live links to all Active, Under Contract and Sold listings.

Each week the new listings for the week will be in separate links by neighborhood so you can quickly see what came on the market in a given week.  

The Downtown Jersey City Statistics are broken down  at the neighborhood level:
  • Newport/Pavonia
  • Hamilton Square
  • Harsmis Cove
  • Powerhouse District
  • Van Vorst Park
  • Liberty Harbor
  • Harborside
  • Paulus Hook
  • Western Edge



The first rule in real estate is location, location, location.  By breaking down the downtown areas into neighborhoods, you get a much finer understanding of the price per square in the specific area where you are looking .

If you use price per square foot as a measure, it really tells you which areas are more sought after than others.  The more desirable - convenient to public transportation, restaurants and shops, etc. - the higher the price per square foot.  Likewise, if you are willing to go to an up and coming area v an established neighborhood, you can get more space for your money. 




Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832

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




Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hoboken City Weekly Statstics form Hoboken Real Estate Monitor




Did you know that when you sign up for the private view of Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Weekly statistics you get links by quadrant to all the new and  active listings for the week. They are the Hudson county Multiple Listing Service listings used by realtors which have more information than what's available on typical property search sites.

Sign up today by clicking on any of the links & submitting your email address.  An auto-email will be sent to you with a link to the private view of the statistics. Be sure to sign up for weekly updates and get the stats and the private view of the map each week.

Click here for this weeks statistics.

Use the weekly statistics to track the market.  Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms.  What have units sold for?  What are they listed for today?

Information 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



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

JC Downtown and Hoboken New Listing/Open House weekly map From Hoboken Real Estate Monitor





We will be checking Craig's list, realtor sites, the MLS again later in the week but don't expect any open houses this week.

We now have listings for For Sale by Owner and Non-Internet listings in the private view of the map.  Sign up today and get the most complete, easy to use open house and new listings map covering both Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. If you get a listing on the private view that lacks a link look on the right for the For Sale By Owner and Non-Internet Listings icon.  We will be integrating this over the next week or so.


Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map

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/



Last Call for Tax Appeals....... Paperwork must be Received by the County by April 1st






April 1st Filing Deadline to Appeal Your Property Taxes . . .

Last Call Everyone.  If you need an appointment, book today.


Want to appeal your taxes on your own and all you need are the right comparables sales?  The deadline for filing is April 1st ie the paperwork has to be received by the county by April 1st. 
 


The  number one reason why a tax appeal fails is because the applicant does  not have comparable sales that demonstrate the current value of the  subject.  It's not enough to find a unit that is the same size in the  same town that is at a lower price point.  In a walking town, like  Hoboken, proximity is extremely important as is condition, building  style and amenity.  The comps are at the core of proving your home is  over assessed and therefore warrants a reduction. 


To win a tax appeal you have to prove your home is not worth what it was the last time it was assessed.  Every time a home is sold, the assessed value is readjusted based on the sale price.  The assessed value is a function of the market value.

One of the most common errors in making a tax appeal is using the wrong comparable sales.  The comp has to be dated within a specific time period, has to be similar in features both in terms of the building and the unit, space and of course, location, location, location.  In a walking town like Hoboken, blocks matter. It takes about an hour to pull the comps and make defendable adjustments for differences.  It's important that you understand these judgments so that you can make your case to the assessor.

Unless you go to the County Recorder's office and look up closings manually, most public closing databases are 6 months old and even if you had easy access, other than the lot size or square footage the tax record in not going to have any photos or description.  How can you tell it's the correct comp?  How can you prove it to the Tax Assessor?

The comps have to be dated after October 1 for the April 1st deadline to file in a given year.  This year it could be quite a challenge.  As you may recall from my "2010 Year in Review" article, volume was way down in Q3 and Q4.  If your home is somewhat unique in size and amenity, it will make it even tougher to find good comps.  You have to widen the scope of the search and make adjustments for differences.  Real Estate is incredibly localized and real estate agents generally know the market better than appraisers.  On average, it takes about an hour to find the right comps, evaluate and provide a rationale for differences and and assign values to those differences.

I am not an attorney and do not offer legal advice but what I can do is provide access to the tax appeal forms, the government provided instructions and access to comparable sales so that you can apply for the appeal yourself.  I did it myself last year and saved over $1,100. 

Attorneys typically charge 1/3 of your savings which can be substantial depending on the size of your home and the decrease in value.  Attorneys can represent you at the appeal but often times still ask you to find your own comparable sales.  Appraisers charge $350 - $450 and may go with you to the appeal not as your representative but as an expert on property valuation.

Last year, I represented myself and won an approximate $1,100 reduction of my property taxes and my place is small -  585 square feet on Washington and 10th in Hoboken!  If I hired an attorney that would have cost me $363 and potentially another $350 - 450 for the appraiser.  I would have been left with only about $290 in savings - frankly not worth the time to bother.

Don't be afraid to represent yourself.  The instructions are self evident.  It's a simple 1 page form.  I will be happy to go over the form with you and show you where you can find pertinent data elements on your tax record to complete it.  See below for the form and instructions.



I charge $100 for comparable sales.  


I accept cash or Paypal only.  Please call 201-240-6832 or email me at donnaantonucci@gmail.com today, to make an appointment. 



The deadline for submitting your tax appeal form to the County Clerk is April 1st, 2011 and the comparable sales must be dated after October 1, 2010.  

Here is the form and the instructions:
Tax Appeal Form                                                            

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832

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









Monday, March 21, 2011

Get your Backyard Ready for Spring before the Buds Start Coming Up




1. Learn how to play in the cold, the rain and even the snow.
The onslaught of gardening catalogs arriving in the mail can be a welcome reprieve from dreary winter conditions, offering hope for the impending gardening seasons. But along with the promise of spring comes the inevitable amount of garden planting and maintenance chores. In just a few short weeks, growing season on your urban garden could be underway, speeding up the pace in your already busy life.



Rake out your beds before the buds come up so you don't risk damaging them.  You can also see which area of your garden you might want to fill in with more plants and you are ready to get your auto timer and watering equipment in place before it heats up.  


Spring beds are delicate and when it gets warm you they will need water.  My peonies are in an area of my garden where if they don't start to bloom before the trees fill in with leaves, they won't bloom at all.  I have to make sure they get enough water soon enough so the blooms open before it gets too shady.  
Go to your favorite garden center even when the weather isn’t perfect. There will be fewer people and shorter lines, and the staff will have more time to answer questions. Check out plants as they arrive for spring planting, and place flowering plants in different arrangements to figure out what you like. Making regular visits to get your gardening supplies and check out the latest gardening products will help you prepare for the upcoming season and save you some money.

2. Buy your gardening items early.

Now is the ideal time to look for great deals in local garden centers and home improvement stores. The product orders for 2011 are already coming in, and any leftovers have to move. Look for end-of-season clearance sales. The best deals will be on potting mix and fertilizers.

3. Talk to neighborhood gardeners.

This is one of the best ways to make your gardening season a little easier. Find out how other gardeners have used plant combinations. If they use something you like, make a note of it and consider how it would work in your garden. Don’t worry about feeling like you are copying someone else’s design idea. Gardeners are some of the most generous people, always willing to share. Everyone has time-saving tips they use to make gardening more enjoyable.

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/


Friday, March 18, 2011

Downtown Jersey City Weekly statistics from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor



Downtown Jersey City Weekly statistics from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.


Hoboken's Weekly Statistics will continue to be posted on Thursday mornings.  Downtown JC stats will be posted on Fridays.   In addition to posting them, the latest version will be available through the Weekly Statistics Icon on the right vertical nav bar. 


Here is the link to the Downtown Jersey City statistics:


Downtown JC Stats


The statistics contain links to the listings that compiled the price per square foot so you can see exactly what amenity and finish level are included.  They contain live links to all Active, Under Contract and Sold listings.

Each week the new listings for the week will be in separate links by neighborhood so you can quickly see what came on the market in a given week.  

The Downtown Jersey City Statistics are broken down  at the neighborhood level:
  • Newport/Pavonia
  • Hamilton Square
  • Harsmis Cove
  • Powerhouse District
  • Van Vorst Park
  • Liberty Harbor
  • Harborside
  • Paulus Hook
  • Western Edge


The first rule in real estate is location, location, location.  By breaking down the downtown areas into neighborhoods, you get a much finer understanding of the price per square in the specific area where you are looking .

If you use price per square foot as a measure, it really tells you which areas are more sought after than others.  The more desirable - convenient to public transportation, restaurants and shops, etc. - the higher the price per square foot.  Likewise, if you are willing to go to an up and coming area v an established neighborhood, you can get more space for your money. 



Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832

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



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekly Statstics for Hoboken City




Did you know that when you sign up for the private view of Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Weekly statistics you get links by quadrant to all the new and  active listings for the week. They are the Hudson county Multiple Listing Service listings used by realtors which have more information than what's available on typical property search sites.

Sign up today by clicking on any of the links & submitting your email address.  An auto-email will be sent to you with a link to the private view of the statistics. Be sure to sign up for weekly updates and get the stats and the private view of the map each week.

Click here for this weeks statistics.

Use the weekly statistics to track the market.  Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms.  What have units sold for?  What are they listed for today?

Information 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



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Listing/Open House weekly map For JC Downtown and Hoboken





We will be checking Craig's list, realtor sites, the MLS again later in the week but don't expect any open houses this week.

We now have listings for For Sale by Owner and Non-Internet listings in the private view of the map.  Sign up today and get the most complete, easy to use open house and new listings map covering both Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. If you get a listing on the private view that lacks a link look on the right for the For Sale By Owner and Non-Internet Listings icon.  We will be integrating this over the next week or so.


Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map

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/



Monday, March 14, 2011

Condo Liens Go Ahead of the Mortgage - Sometimes




In these economic times, Condo owners need to not only take care of their own finances but need to remember they are in an Association where they need their neighbors to pay their home owner's association (HOA) fees on time as well.

If a condo owner doesn't pay his HOA fees, the Association still has to pay its monthly bills and for necessary capital projects.  If someone is not paying, the rest of the Association has to pick up the slack until that unit owner has been brought current.  If a unit owner is more than just a slow payer but goes into default, the Association may have to hire a lawyer to properly notice and file a condo lien against the unit to collect unpaid dues. 

In NJ, Condo Associations can file a lien against an individual condo owner for HOA fees that would go before the bank for up to 6 months in dues.  Under NJSA 46:8B-21(b). The definition is in the paragraph following sub-paragraph (6). Special assessments, fines, collection costs and other charges are not included in the 6 month priority. So, if you have fines for let's say not taking an air conditioner out during the winter months or for putting furniture out on the curb, when the owner should have had those items carted, the Association cannot put a lien in place before the mortgage for these type of fines. 

Many of the banks, mostly the major banks, are woefully behind in their foreclosure proceedings.  As a result many unit owners in default are accruing well beyond 6 months of regular HOA fees.  The banks benefit from this loophole that allow them to delay transferring these properties into their REO departments because

A) they would have to write down the loss and in the private sector (perhaps also the public) delay bad news as long as possible so that earnings this year, the stock price this year remains as high as possible and therefore one's bonus and job is better off.  

B)  They know that until the market turns around, they would become accountable for these and other costs.  Yes, many of the banks have been delaying the foreclosure process to avoid accountability of being on the hook for maintenance fees and maintenance in general - in the burbs there are huge issues with stagnant water from pools, uncut grass and even unattended leaks and other maintenance issues that the banks don't want to address. 

I came across a unit that is 7 months in arrears as of the writing of this article.  An offer has just been accepted and the bank is saying it will take them another 6 months to conduct the closing for no other reason but they are overwhelmed with volume.  This means that Association is going to get stuck with at least 7 months of unpaid and un-recoverable regular HOA fees. 

On top of the unpaid regular HOA fees, this state statute also limits that amount we can collect in fines.  The unit in question, did not comply with a resolution to update the unit's windows.  The building has a universal, un-sub-metered heating system.  As such, the Association pays for the heat.

By having obsolete windows, the unit is costing more than its fair share of heating expenses.  To encourage unit owners to replace their windows by the window resolution deadline, the Association imposed a $1,000 fine for missing the deadline after which a $150/month in extra charge for any month between Oct and March where the unit owner was not in compliance with the window resolution.  This is to offset the ongoing extra heating costs.

Also, by having obsolete windows it makes it difficult to keep a comfortable temperature for all.  If one unit out of 16 served has obsolete windows, the building has to jack up the heat to ensure that it meets the 70 degree minimum (Hoboken has an Ordinance that requires we maintain 70 degrees not the state requirement of 67 degrees - another thing that has to change since that when in in the 80's - the decade of excess and cheap fuel costs).  To keep 70 degrees in the non compliant unit, the others have differed by 12 - 15 degrees ie 82 to 85 degrees.  Not only uncomfortable, these others sometimes leave their windows open in the middle of the winter to make it tolerable costing the Association even more. 

In other states, HOA and fees are considered a mechanics lien and go before even the property taxes.  The rationale is that maintenance maintains the property value, therefore the assessed value and hence the ability to collect the most in tax.  The same rationale applies to why a condo lien for HOA dues and fines should be allowed to go ahead of the mortgage.

Why are we limiting this to 6 months?  How can we continue to limit it while the banks drag their feet to their benefit?  I think this is an example of how a special interest group - banks - unduly influenced our law makers to put a law on the books that served the interest alone even though it doesn't make sense for the whole. Condo owners everywhere, write your state legislators and have the law changed!
To put condo lien in place to get at least the 6 months of regular HOA fees, you have to file a condo lien BEFORE the bank files it's first foreclosure filing with the bank.  As such, you need to watch receivables closely.   Whether the Board President, Board Member or just an owner in the building, at your next Board member ask the property manager to bring an "aged trial balance" by unit of who is paid up and who isn't.  If a unit owner is behind by 30 days, send a proper notice letting them know the Association will file a lien at the 60 day mark.

The unit owner has to be properly noticed with at least 30 days to true up his/her balance.  Make sure you have the appropriate language in  your letter.  File the lien immediately as you hit day 30 after the notice was sent.

If the Association has lots of monies owed, you can file foreclosure documents yourself and then you can charge those behind the condo lien for "reasonable costs".  It's expensive to go through foreclosure proceedings so it may not be worth it, but if you did begin the foreclosure proceedings, the bank may take notice and pay what is owed, perhaps all of the dues and fines for fear of getting less out of the sale than if they managed the foreclosure proceedings.


As usual, foreclosure is messy.  Consult an attorney.  I have a great one that I use with my Association.  Give me a call if you would like a reference or have a question.....

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/


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com's Weekly marketplace JC Downtown Stats



Downtown Jersey City Weekly statistics from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.


Hoboken's Weekly Statistics will continue to be posted on Thursday mornings.  Downtown JC stats will be posted on Fridays.   In addition to posting them, the latest version will be available through the Weekly Statistics Icon on the right vertical nav bar. 


Here is the link to the Downtown Jersey City statistics:


Downtown JC Stats


The statistics contain links to the listings that compiled the price per square foot so you can see exactly what amenity and finish level are included.  They contain live links to all Active, Under Contract and Sold listings.

Each week the new listings for the week will be in separate links by neighborhood so you can quickly see what came on the market in a given week.  

The Downtown Jersey City Statistics are broken down  at the neighborhood level:
  • Newport/Pavonia
  • Hamilton Square
  • Harsmis Cove
  • Powerhouse District
  • Van Vorst Park
  • Liberty Harbor
  • Harborside
  • Paulus Hook
  • Western Edge


The first rule in real estate is location, location, location.  By breaking down the downtown areas into neighborhoods, you get a much finer understanding of the price per square in the specific area where you are looking .

If you use price per square foot as a measure, it really tells you which areas are more sought after than others.  The more desirable - convenient to public transportation, restaurants and shops, etc. - the higher the price per square foot.  Likewise, if you are willing to go to an up and coming area v an established neighborhood, you can get more space for your money. 



Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832

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



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weekly Summary of Hoboken Statistics......




Did you know that when you sign up for the private view of Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Weekly statistics you get links by quadrant to all the new and  active listings for the week. They are the Hudson county Multiple Listing Service listings used by realtors which have more information than what's available on typical property search sites.

Sign up today by clicking on any of the links & submitting your email address.  An auto-email will be sent to you with a link to the private view of the statistics. Be sure to sign up for weekly updates and get the stats and the private view of the map each week.

Click here for this weeks statistics.

Use the weekly statistics to track the market.  Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms.  What have units sold for?  What are they listed for today?

Information 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



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com's New Listing/Open House weekly map For JC Downtown and Hoboken





We will be checking Craig's list, realtor sites, the MLS again later in the week but don't expect any open houses this week.

We now have listings for For Sale by Owner and Non-Internet listings in the private view of the map.  Sign up today and get the most complete, easy to use open house and new listings map covering both Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. If you get a listing on the private view that lacks a link look on the right for the For Sale By Owner and Non-Internet Listings icon.  We will be integrating this over the next week or so.


Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map

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/



Monday, March 7, 2011

Whalen: The Next Bank Crisis . . . . . . .


Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Banking issues are clearly resurfacing in recent months as the sovereign debt crisis flares up again and the mortgage fiasco in the U.S. comes to light.  In addition, there is a very serious risk that a housing double dip will exacerbate all of these problems.  Several reports in recent weeks support my theory that housing prices are indeed set to decline further in 2011. There are additional risks, however, and Christopher Whalen believes that many of these issues are in fact being exacerbated by the Federal Reserve itself.  In a recent presentation he highlighted why he believes the next US banking crisis is right around the corner and why the Fed is in large part to thank:
  • Many on Wall Street believe that net interest margin or NIM among U.S. banks is at record levels. They are right, but not in the way that many investors and analysts expect.
  • Unfortunately, measured in dollars, gross interest revenue of the banking industry has been cut by a third over the past three years due to the Fed’s zero interest rate policy. Banks, savers are literally dying from lack of yield on assets due to QE/ZIRP.
net interest income
  • In the post WWII period, Fed interest rate cuts resulted in significant reduction in average mortgage borrowing costs for households — until 2008, when mortgage rates implied by the bond market fell significantly but households were not able to refinance.
  • Fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a mortgage origination cartel led by the big four banks (BAC, WFC, JPM, C), are now 4-5 points on new origination loans vs less than 1 point during housing boom. Huge subsidy for largest zombie banks effectively blocks refinancing by millions of households.
  • These fees, which can add up to 7 to 10% of the face value of the loan, raise mortgage rates to borrowers by hundreds of basis points. Banks and the housing GSEs, however, saw significant benefits in declines in funding costs thanks to low fed funds rates.
Opportunities:
  • For banks and investors, one of the biggest opportunities for gain is to invest in the stronger regional banks that are acquiring troubled or failed institutions. Resolution results in losses, but also creates value for investors andsociety.
  • Acquiring failed banks from the FDIC is extremely attractive for existing banks, which tend to get preference from regulators in failed bank sales. Attractive pricing lack of legacy liabilities key positives for investment thesis.
  • Another way for investors to exploit the bank restructuring process is to purchase troubled assets. So far, Fed QE and ZIRP are enabling banks to resist selling bad assets.
  • In addition, the FDIC, NCUA and other agencies are issuing RMBS and CMBS securities with government guarantees that offer attractive yields compared with Treasury debt.
Conclusions
  • The U.S. banking industry entering a new period of crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and loan repurchase expenses. We are less than ¼ of the way through foreclosures. The issue is recognizing existing losses — not if a loss occurred.
  • Failure by the Bush/Obama to restructure the largest banks during 2008-2009 period only means that this process is going to occur over next three to five years–whether we like it or not. Lower growth, employment are the cost of this lack of courage and vision.
  • The largest U.S. banks remain insovlent and must continue to shrink until they are either restructured or the subsidies flowing from the Fed, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac cover hidden losses.  The latter course condemns Americans to years of economic malaise and further job losses.

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/





Friday, March 4, 2011

New Rent Control Ordinance Passed at Wednesday's City Council Meeting..... Know what your obligations are as a Landlord, Know what Time Limitations Exist for Tenants in Making a Claim



Just to finish the story.... The Rent Control Ordinance passed on Wednesday on its second reading so it's now codified in Hoboken's local code.  If you are a Landlord, please make sure you comply.   Tenants know the new limitations of the code.  

The big change???  Landlords will have to supply a disclosure to Tenants stating what the legal rent is.  The disclosure to be provided by the Rent Control Board.

Tenants have a limitation of 2 years from the date of the disclosure to make a claim of overpayment.

Landlords can use past leases and statements as proof of vacancies to substantiate vacancy decontrol increases.

Here it is for you to read for yourselves.

Other related articles on Rent Control and Leasing:

Things to Consider When Writing a Lease

Understand Hoboken's Rent Control Ordinance before Buying an Investment Property

Also related....

Here is the Consumer Information Stmt that talks about the different type of agency law.  It's important to contract with an agent under a buyer's agency agreement so that the agent is required to help you with due diligence including informing you about rent control and other considerations when buying property.  As a buyer, if you haven't signed that agreement, you haven't hired an agent and the underlying assumption is you are doing your own due diligence and/or you hired another resource such as attorney to help you with that. 


Information 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




Rent Control Ordinance - Rvsd 3_10                                                                                                   


Information 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




Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Weekly JC Statistics . . . . . . .



Downtown Jersey City Weekly statistics from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.


Hoboken's Weekly Statistics will continue to be posted on Thursday mornings.  Downtown JC stats will be posted on Fridays.   In addition to posting them, the latest version will be available through the Weekly Statistics Icon on the right vertical nav bar. 


Here is the link to the Downtown Jersey City statistics:


Downtown JC Stats


The statistics contain links to the listings that compiled the price per square foot so you can see exactly what amenity and finish level are included.  They contain live links to all Active, Under Contract and Sold listings.

Each week the new listings for the week will be in separate links by neighborhood so you can quickly see what came on the market in a given week.  

The Downtown Jersey City Statistics are broken down  at the neighborhood level:
  • Newport/Pavonia
  • Hamilton Square
  • Harsmis Cove
  • Powerhouse District
  • Van Vorst Park
  • Liberty Harbor
  • Harborside
  • Paulus Hook
  • Western Edge


The first rule in real estate is location, location, location.  By breaking down the downtown areas into neighborhoods, you get a much finer understanding of the price per square in the specific area where you are looking .

If you use price per square foot as a measure, it really tells you which areas are more sought after than others.  The more desirable - convenient to public transportation, restaurants and shops, etc. - the higher the price per square foot.  Likewise, if you are willing to go to an up and coming area v an established neighborhood, you can get more space for your money. 



Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832

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



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weekly Price Per Square Foot by Bedroom Stats from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor




Did you know that when you sign up for the private view of Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Weekly statistics you get links by quadrant to all the new and  active listings for the week. They are the Hudson county Multiple Listing Service listings used by realtors which have more information than what's available on typical property search sites.

Sign up today by clicking on any of the links & submitting your email address.  An auto-email will be sent to you with a link to the private view of the statistics. Be sure to sign up for weekly updates and get the stats and the private view of the map each week.

Click here for this weeks statistics.

Use the weekly statistics to track the market.  Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms.  What have units sold for?  What are they listed for today?

Information 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







Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekly New Listing & Open House map for Hoboken and JC Downtowm from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com..... Happy Hoboken St. Patty's Day Weekend....


We will be checking Craig's list, realtor sites, the MLS again later in the week but don't expect any open houses this week.

We now have listings for For Sale by Owner and Non-Internet listings in the private view of the map.  Sign up today and get the most complete, easy to use open house and new listings map covering both Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. If you get a listing on the private view that lacks a link look on the right for the For Sale By Owner and Non-Internet Listings icon.  We will be integrating this over the next week or so.


Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map

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/







Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When you are Selling Your Home, You have to Remember the Ultimate Customer is the Buyer... How to present your home for sale.

Lime Living Room - It's bold but not for all
 
When you are selling your home you have to remember that the ultimate customer is the buyer.  You as the seller are presenting the 'product' and you have to keep that in mind throughout the process.  Here are somethings that you should keep in mind when selling your home.


1.  De-Clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter  - You want prospective buyers to see the space.  Clutter makes the unit feel smaller than it is and can prevent them from getting in and out of rooms, close to the windows to see the view or seeing detail such as the moldings or the beauty of the floors.  Clutter can also be distracting.  When clients are going out on a Saturday looking at 4 or 5 units at a clip, you don't want the only thing they remember about your unit was your collection of CDs in the living room or that stack a books that you have on the floor.  Remove basically everything from the kitchen counters except for maybe one decor piece like a decorative tea pot or platter.  You want them to see how much counter space you have.  You are moving anyway.  Pack up as much of your stuff as you can and put it in storage if you have to. 


2.  Open the blinds and leave the lights on - Second to location, light is the next most important factor to most people when looking for a home.  Open the blinds, leave lights on to show just how much light your unit can get.  When I open the door to your unit and all the lights are off, that's the first impression. 

3.  Leave your home for showings - The other day I took some clients out where the Tenants insisted on being present for the showing.  My clients were incredibly uncomfortable in the unit and did not verbalize what they liked or more importantly their objections.  When clients voice objections, it gives me a chance to give them some perspective or some information to understand what the utility of a feature is.  My clients were concerned with making the current residents uncomfortable and as a result they could not get out of there soon enough.  They usually had questions about the unit, but on this one didn't ask anything.  After we finished for the day, they could barely remember the unit.  Having the owners in the unit is even worse.  In the back of their minds, they realize that if they want your unit, they would be negotiating with you which makes them even more tight lipped.  You want them talking about your home, having their questions answered so it gets on the short list. 


4.  De-personalize - Too many personal photos on the fridge or portraits are distracting and prevent the prospects from visualizing themselves in the unit.  Again, you don't want the only thing they remember about your unit are your pictures from your trip to Aruba.  It prevents them from envisioning the unit as their own.




5.  Make your Decor more Neutral - Did you spice up your living room with a bold color like purple or coral?  That's distracting.  You might want to paint that wall a more neutral color.  Again, you don't want the only thing they remember about your place is that odd piece of decor instead of how beautiful the kitchen counter tops are.


6.  Stage your place to give it that "showroom" quality - You always want to arrange your furniture in a way that creates flow, maximizes the appearance of size of the space and creates pleasing views of each room.  A good real estate agent should be able to help you stage your place.  Please don't take it personally.  It's all about presenting 'the product' in the most favorable light to prospects.

7.  Do not restrict showing times - I know it's very difficult to be out of your home during evenings and weekends.  You might have children who need to get their homework done.  You've worked all week and would like to be in your own home.  However, realize that clients will all more than likely not come back to see your unit especially if it's at a price point where there are many choices.  That is, if they have Wednesday night or a Saturday to look and they can see 5 units, they will replace yours with the next one on the list and they may never get back to yours.  Again, as the seller, you are the one offering the product for sale and you want to accommodate the buyer as much as possible.


8.  Clean your home - I almost forgot to mention this one because you'd think that most would get this without having to say it but unfortunately no.  Clean up the tile in the bathroom.  Nothing will turn someone off more than mold in the bathroom.  Dry the sinks, put out fresh towels.  If you have Tenants in your unit, you may want to send in a cleaning service once a week during the listing period.  Tenants may cooperate but they don't really care how much your get for your unit and they may not do anything in terms of cleaning on your behalf to help sell your home.  There is also a difference between how clean people keep their home vs the level of cleanliness you want when showing your unit.  Use cleaners that leave a pleasant smell - not overwhelming but pleasant.

This unit was occupied by a Tenant.  What do you think the prospects thought of this?

9.  Consider small repairs - Is there something minor that has to be repaired like a running toilet or some rust on one of the base heaters? A small but noticeable needed repair again can be distracting and it can put someone off and your unit off the short list for something very minor.  If the toilet is running, it might make them ask, "what else is wrong"?  You don't have to gut your place but make smart choices about minor repairs to get them out of the minds of prospective buyers.

This crack was from normal settling and is a relatively simple repair.  Have it done so prospects don't get hung up on it.



10.  Price - Keep in mind that housing is a market and the market will move.  Ultimately, all of the aspects of your unit are wrapped up in the price - location, light, size, layout, condition, finish level, etc.  Buyers have ready access to so much information today and no one will pay more for your unit than what the market will bear, especially if it's a condo.  Condo's are rather ubiquitous.  There are many comparison points and it's fairly easy to price your unit.  Yes, a brownstone is different and pricing is slightly more ethereal.  Continue to work with your agent on monitoring the price of your unit.  The market moves slowly but it does move.  From the listing presentation to getting the unit up on all channels with de-cluttering, staging, professional photos, creating flyers and other marketing communications, it could be 2 weeks.  After your agent has been able to do a broker's open house, a public open house and gone through a couple of good weekends (good weather, non holiday), you want to sit with your agent to discuss feedback and pricing.  Do this periodically throughout your listing and be open about changing the price.  Again, it is a market and prices do move. 


Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832

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