By virtue of their purchasing experience, homeowners have necessarily become familiar with the basics of real estate. A Millville homeowner may not consider her- or himself an expert in the matter, but history does allow them all to share a degree of confidence in real estate markets and the factors that are important when it’s time to make a buy or sell decision.

Real estate is real estate, after all — whether it’s here in Millville or anywhere else, right? Not exactly. Commercial real estate is a horse of a different feather!

If you are thinking about buying commercially for the first time, understanding not only that there are differences from the residential market, but how those influence the other buyers and sellers (they make up the ‘market,’ after all) will be good preparation when the time arrives to put together a solid offer.

From a purely ease-of process perspective, buying a piece of commercial real estate in Millville is substantially more involved than buying a typical residential property. Though not always so, there are more opportunities for extra complications: lien and title issues, rules about hazardous materials, and zoning considerations are just some.

The language used in real estate documents for commercial properties can be complicated and obscure, so of course it’s especially useful to coordinate with an experienced Millville commercial real estate agent.

Due to lending costs, a commercial property that is the same size as a residential one will usually be more expensive. You can still buy residential homes in the 3.5% range via an FHA loan, but banks are often (rightfully!) stringent about lending on commercial real estate purchases. Expect stricter qualifications and more money down. That’s due to the risk of doing business: the potential to make money with a commercial property is greater than with a residential property — but the risks associated with owning it are also higher. Needless to say, it’s valuable to keep those risks in mind when evaluating any commercial real estate purchase.

If you are business-minded and thinking about the advantages of owning instead of leasing, give me a call! I’ll be standing by to discuss some standout opportunities in this spring’s market!

Believe it or not, it takes home-seekers an average of 12 weeks to find a home. To shorten that time, there is nothing more useful than the Internet’s Multiple Listing Service. When you are working with a buyer’s agent, the lion’s share of the work will be done for you — but when you participate in the online search, too, it makes a dynamite combination!

Starting out with a clear idea of the features you think of as "must-have’s" will save the most time and effort. This doesn’t mean every feature you would ever consider a plus; these should be the items that you must have. Your deal-breakers.

Use these to pare down the MLS listings you examine more thoroughly. Chances are you’re going to find many homes that match your broader requirements, so narrowing the field will let you channel your time toward the best potential candidates.

MLS listings are available either by city or by region. If you’re open to examining a wider area, you’ll find a greater number of properties within your price range that list your key features. If you can’t find regional MLS listings near Millville of interest, your agent will help expand your search. Sometimes this broadening of horizons uncovers the ideal property.

The Millville MLS listings are updated on a regular basis, so staying on top of the market involves revisiting the listings every few days. In case that sounds overly labor-intensive, your agent can sign you up to receive auto-alerts via email whenever a new qualified MLS listing comes online. It’s also a fact that not all real estate firms keep every one of their MLS listings absolutely current, so calling your agent as soon as you see something you like will keep you ahead of the crowd.

The MLS listings in Millville offer a one-stop destination for identifying numerous candidate properties — as well as the ability to efficiently filter the results you find. If you’re in the market for a new home, using the Millville MLS listings will be a welcome aid. Call me today to help organize a comprehensive search effort!

In Millville's competitive housing market, shrewdly targeting which (if any) renovations to make prior to listing your home can sharply affect not only its DOM (days on market), but the price it ultimately brings. After making any obviously needed repairs any that would be standout deficiencies left untended you must still decide, what else?

Of the welter of possibilities you could choose before your property appears in the Millville listings, recent studies show some renovations have the greatest impact on selling prices.

An inviting outside entertainment area is a significant plus for many prospects, so the addition of a wooden deck heads the list. A deck is relatively quick and easy to install, so when Remodeling Magazine reports a 77% return at sale, being able to add "entertainment deck" seems an economical way to add appeal to any Millville listing. If you already have a deck, you might consider expanding or improving it.

Since the kitchen is the heart of a home, even a modest improvement like freshening up cabinets or upgrading an appliance or two can make a dramatic impact on saleability. If your home is already priced at the high end of the market, simply adding granite countertops is an investment that's not likely to add significantly to the bottom line...whereas the return on minor kitchen improvements is measured in the neighborhood of 75%.

For an older home, changing out questionable windows with new, environmentally advanced ones can create a listing feature that's adds appeal to utility cost-conscious home buyers. Window replacement is a quick fix; and if you already have newer windows, an upgrade to siding can add one fewer thing potential buyers find to worry about...and one more reason to choose your offering.

Such easy fixes are ways to increase the instant appeal of your Millville listing without severely denting your pocketbook. Being conscious of the way your listing compares with others in town will put you ahead of the pack. Another way: call me for more ideas to make your Millville home an irresistible buy!

At 2014’s year end, it’s as good a time as ever to look back over the real estate investment landscape to see if any new trends or directions may have become apparent. It does look as if one development in the country as a whole may cause ripples that could affect Millville real estate investment hunters in the coming year.

This is a development with roots that go back to the 2008 upending of the housing market. That triggered a glut of foreclosures, so that banks, already up to their vaults in turmoil, found themselves holding uncomfortably large numbers of repossessions. Bright-eyed executives at private equity firms and hedge funds were quick to spot this as a new opportunity: they could scoop up the repossessions for a song, rent them out, and then just wait to sell until the economy improved.

By 2013 The New York Times was reporting that the Blackstone Group now owned some 26,000 rental homes—with Colony Capital picking up more than 10,000 single-family residences. Warren Buffet had endorsed the idea; J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley had set up new real estate investment funds earmarked for the purchase of houses. Vague concerns about absentee investor landlords were waved away—this was like some kind of newfangled Institutional Investor Gold Rush, and as any ‘49er could have told you, in a gold rush, there isn’t time to worry about the details!

The main real estate investment targets centered on certain markets: Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and Phoenix saw the most activity. In some regions, 2012 and 2013 saw bidding wars for repossessions and lower-priced housing, until by July of 2015, The Times could report that in some areas "prices of the least expensive homes have more than doubled" in two years. As Forbes reported in 2013, "Wall Street has been bullish on real estate."

Sellers (mostly banks) were happy. The institutional investors were happy. However, ordinary people looking out for the same kind of real estate investments found themselves competing with institutions. They were largely beaten out or priced out of the market.

By the end of 2013, though, those earlier "details" that had been ignored were beginning to rankle. Individuals whose real estate investments were hands-on propositions may not have had the same kind of problems, but a company like Colony American Capital had to report that it had found renters for only 51% of its properties. Many private equity firms and hedge funds began to report losses. As the CEO of Carrington Holding wrote, "We just don’t see the returns there that are adequate to incentivize us to continue to invest." (Translation: Good-bye.)

With institutional investors bidding adieu to the areas they’d previously targeted, any repercussions felt Millville's real estate investment landscape can only be to return to a more familiar market scenario—one where individual investors have the last word. If 2015 will see you in the hunt for suitable real estate investments in Millville, that should come as good news…as well as a good reason to give me a call!