New Jersey laws are very protective of residential tenants. In fact, there is a whole series of laws regarding just security deposits, including that the amount cannot be in excess of 1 1/2 months’ rent. Ask us for more tips for tenants!
There is so much to know before you jump into the commercial world. What is the criteria for a national tenant to take a site? What is a triple net lease? What is a CAP rate? What are all of these loan documents? A strong commercial real estate attorney will guide you through the process once you are under contract, but you will have lots of questions way before then. We are here to help! Call, text or email with any questions.
Buyer are often unaware of the extent or costs they will have to pay at closing. To avoid any surprises, please contact us today for a closing cost estimate!
Simply sending over an entire inspection report and saying “fix everything” is not only a little lazy, but it’s counter-productive. Asking for too much will overwhelm the seller and they will be more inclined to say no to everything. You don’t have the right, legally, to ask for certain things anyway, like cosmetic updates or replacement of functioning but old equipment, so why include those? Pick out the 5-10 things most important to you that you are actually entitled to ask for per your contract, and have your lawyer put together a concise letter with your requests. You’ll be much more likely to get a cooperative seller that way!
A lot of the time buyers don’t consult with a mortgage professional before they submit an offer. Contracts require you to note the type of loan, your deposit amount, and the amount of the loan. You should collect all pertinent info prior to making an offer to submit to your mortgage broker or lender beforehand, or immediately after you make your offer so you know what type and amount of loan you will qualify for. We work with great mortgage professionals! Let us know if you need a good referral!
Buyers want to see houses clean, organized, and well-maintained. Simple things that show you are making an effort, like the plants or fruit really make a difference. People figure if you take the time to do those things, you also take the time to maintain your home. Seems too simple, but it works! Light colored bedspreads with matching pillows can really spruce up a room and you can get a full set for under $150 online or at Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Amazon, etc. Bathrooms have to be clean. Don’t let an old shower curtain tank a showing. Matching bath mats, curtain and hand towels give that same impression that you take care of your home. Again, inexpensive and simple changes can really up your potential for selling and for a favorable price.
Personal items should be out of the reach of a nosy potential buyer. Even less sensitive personal items, like your toothbrush, tampons, bars of soap… all should be off the counter. We want things to look clean and tidy so the buyer can picture themselves living there, and also want to protect our privacy when we have people walking through our homes.
No pictures at all and your listing will get few clicks, but even the ones with no interior pictures often get looked over. Especially in the age of the internet and mobile access, instant gratification is of the utmost importance. People don’t want to waste time with showings without at least having an idea of the interior condition of the house. I’ve seen so many listings lately with no interiors, and even as an agent, I find myself overlooking them. So important for buyers to get decent inside previews! Always include a few interior pictures, even if you have tenant in, offer to have a cleaning service come in for them. or ask them politely to straighten up for photos. Professional photos are worth the extra money, too.
If you can afford the couple bucks a month, renting a storage unit is well worth it. Clean out closets, garages and basements so the clutter doesn’t lead buyers to think you don’t have enough storage and have to stuff things in wherever you can find space. Leave a few bicycles in the garage along with some tools to show that you have room for those items, but clean out old magazines, toys your kids haven’t played with in ages, off-season clothing, and anything else you can bear to part with for a few weeks while we get your property sold.
Imagine you get sued for a slip and fall in your apartment, or your dog bites a neighbor. The cost for that person’s medical care and litigation expenses could be huge. With small deductibles, an average renter’s policy could cover one hundred thousand dollars of exposure or more.
Or what if your apartment building or house has a fire or a break-in? Could you afford to replace all of your clothes, TVs, iPads, laptops, all of your furniture, jewelry, appliances, etc. With renter’s insurance you can!
We’re happy to set you up with an insurance broker to determine the best protection for you, at the best cost.
While staging and cleaning up your interior is important, it may be equally as important to clean up outside. Touch up chipping paint on porches and front doors, hang modern house numbers, power-wash the siding, spend a few dollars on colorful flowers, and trim back overgrown bushes and tree limbs. You can also make a big impact by staging your front porch with some outdoor furniture if the space allows. Make sure your pride in ownership translates into your yard, as well as inside. First impressions can easily make or break a showing!
While our pets are our family, not everyone is as in love with our furry friends. Make sure to vacuum up any pet hair, put away food bowls, litter boxes, beds and scratching posts. Chew toys should be off the floor, and pet odors should be neutralized with a LIGHTLY scented spray or try opening the windows for an hour before a showing or open house to eliminate odors you may be used to and not realize exist. Taking your dog for a walk during a showing or having your cat visit grandma during an open house might be a good idea, too. While it’s hard to imagine anyone not loving these faces, potential buyers who don’t have pets often find it difficult to imagine the house as their own when there is pet evidence all over.
Loans typically take 4-6 weeks from the date of application to closing. Make sure your contracts provide sufficient time for your lender to close so you don't have to negotiate extensions later. Additionally, a closing date 20 days from now doesn't make sense with a 30 day mortgage contingency. Make sure dates in your contract work together so amendments are not necessary after the contract is signed.
Tax appeals are filed by April 1 every year for the previous tax year. Your assessment should be dependent on your market value, so if you purchased your property in or before October, and your calculation shows that you are over-assessed, it’s a great time to file an appeal.
Your tax assessment may seem low, because New Jersey tax assessors use what is called an
“equalization rate” to set the assessment number. The rate is a percentage that when applied to your assessment equals what the town or city believes your market value is.
So for example, your assessment may be $100,000, but if your equalization ratio is only 50%, that would mean the town actually believes your property is worth $200,000. If you just purchased for $150,000, you are over assessed and have a great case for an appeal.
We work with great tax appeal attorneys and we’re happy to have them provide you with a free analysis of your eligibility for a tax appeal.
A Section 1031 Exchange allows investors to avoid paying capital gains tax on the income from the sale of an investment property provided they follow the strict guidelines required to complete the transaction. From hundreds of millions of dollars in retail properties to the small single family home you have been renting out, you may be eligible for significant savings. Please let our team know if you would like more information!
Typically, a Seller will pay transfer tax for a real estate sale in New Jersey.
If your purchase price is $350,000 or less, your tax is calculated as follows:
$2.00/$500 of consideration not in excess of $150,000;
$3.35/$500 of consideration in excess of $150,000 but not in excess of $200,000;
$3.90/$500 of consideration in excess of $200,000 but not in excess of $350,000.
If your purchase price is over $350,000, your tax is calculated as follows:
$2.90/$500 of consideration not in excess of $150,000;
$4.25/$500 of consideration in excess of $150,000 but not in excess of $200,000;
$4.80/$500 of consideration in excess of $200,000 but not in excess of $550,000;
$5.30/$500 of consideration in excess of $550,000 but not in excess of $850,000;
$5.80/$500 of consideration in excess of $850,000 but not in excess of $1,000,000;
$6.05/$500 of consideration in excess of $1,000,000.
There is an additional “Mansion Tax” payable by the Buyer if the purchase price exceeds $1,000,000 in the amount of 1%.
Typically, an inspection contingency only allows you to request repairs of anything that you couldn’t see when you visited the house. Negotiate any cosmetic concerns into your purchase price before you enter into contract, don’t wait for inspections! Is paint chipping off all of the walls? Is the carpet stained? These are issues you have to factor into your purchase price offer, don’t wait to negotiate!
Also, consider whether you want certain things to be included in a sale and be specific in the realtor’s form contract…things like area rugs, chandeliers, sound systems, blinds and curtains, pool equipment, patio furniture, or appliances. It’s much harder once you have entered attorney review to negotiate these items.
A title binder is a report provided by a title company that will tell you if your seller has full legal ownership of the property so there is no question that when you get your deed, you become the legal owner. The binder will also contain any mortgages or liens that need to be paid off at closing, like a contractor’s lien for unpaid work done at the property. You don’t want to inherit those costs! The binder will tell you if there are any unpaid taxes, or litigation that could affect your ownership of the property, as well. Finally, any easements will show up in the binder. Easements tell you if anyone else has rights to use your property, or likewise, if you have the right to use a neighboring property, for example, a shared driveway. We work with great title companies that will provide you with a binder to review with your attorney so you are protected from any surprises later!