The Signs Say Now is an Opportune Time to Buy a Home – Experts Explain Why

PARSIPPAY, NJ, SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 – Back in the late 1980’s the Garden State’s real estate market seemed flatter than the ball that met its match at the teeth of a happy puppy. Interest rates were double digits, the market was flooded with standing product and the economy was slowly bouncing back from one of our worst recessions. Today, none of these factors are in place. As a matter of fact, experts point to a healthy real estate market where interest rates remain low, the economy is stable and appropriately priced product is readily available – and selling.

According to David Schoner, vice president of Coldwell Banker New Homes & Condominiums, one of the nation’s largest, award winning residential brokerage firms, it is “an opportune time to buy a home.” He states, “Homebuyers today have more choices than we have seen in years, which creates excellent negotiating potential and a ten times healthier real estate market than what we have experienced in the past ten years. The days of the easy, quick sale are gone. Buyers can be selective, choosing a home that represents for them the best value based on location, aesthetic quality of the home, amenities and price.”

He continues, “Sellers are more receptive and more willing to negotiate now, especially in the resale market where a home may need improvements or updating. There are deals available and great values in the home buying market. A home, statistically speaking, is the biggest investment one will probably ever make – and now is great time to invest in a home for one’s future.”

Schoner points out economists feel the current housing market is healthier and more stable than the quick “turn around years.” He states, “Home values historically appreciate. While some years have seen greater appreciation than others, over time, a home is still the best investment and one that owners can immediately utilize through excellent home equity programs for home improvements, larger purchases and even college or higher education needs. New homes tend to appreciate faster than existing homes due to their latest design features, energy efficient construction and incorporation of the latest lifestyle needs.”

While some areas of the state have seen the market “slow down,” there are areas that continue to see strong sales. Schoner has coined these areas “marquee locations,” for he points out they are in established areas with good schools, convenient transportation and everyday needs. Many are found in northern New Jersey and along New Jersey’s Gold Coast. “Purchasers who need to be near New York, but do not want to pay the City’s higher prices, have found exceptional value and a great variety of choices here,” notes Schoner. “From new condominiums to renovated ones as those found at Carlton Towers in Passaic to renovated luxury apartments to custom townhome collections like those at Dwight Gardens in Englewood and the award winning Heights at Tenafly, we have seen steady and strong sales in this market segment.”

He continues, “Builders and the State understand the importance of urban areas. The State has created ‘Transit Villages’ where residents live and work close to commuter services. Any town with commuter rail or bus service into New York and / or major state business areas has seen home sales remain strong.”

A market segment that is actually contributing to healthy re-sales is the “older baby boomers.” According to John Maione, the creator of the award winning Maione Homes’ Clove Hill Manor in Sussex County, active adults are a driving force behind “great deals” in New Jersey. He explains, “Most of our purchasers resided in their former home for a good 30 plus years prior to buying at Clove Hill Manor. They made their money on their investment and were able to negotiate and sell their home faster and at a more reasonable price than those who need to make money on the sale of their home. Therefore, homes by sellers who are downsizing or moving into an active adult community represent one of the best deals on the market today.”

Other good investments and deals are found at vacation communities, especially those in established areas. According to the National Association of Realtors, vacation and investment home sales both set records in 2005, accounting for almost half of all residential sales. Howard Schoor, principal of The Woodstone Group, the creators of The Chapin Estate, a collection of rustic, Northwestern style estates set among 20,000 acres of untouched forest and boating reservoirs in beautiful Sullivan County, New York, feels this segment of the market continues to be strong. Schoor states, “Executive level baby boomers are taking advantage of the continued low interest rates and investment potential of a second home. Many choose a second or vacation home that is close to their primary residence. It saves owners money in travel and allows them more time enjoying their vacation retreat. The Chapin Estate, for example, is within two hours of Manhattan and even less from northern New Jersey.”

Michael Skea, region vice president of sales and marketing for K. Hovnanian Homes, one of the nation’s largest and most respected home builders, concludes, “A home is a solid financial investment under almost any circumstance, but for most of us, the financial benefits aren’t the only reason why we buy a home. We buy a home so we have our own sanctuary to enjoy with family and friends. It would be naïve to say that today’s homebuying environment doesn’t have its challenges. It does take longer to sell a home, but that provides buyers with more time to plan the purchaser of their new home. Overall, the changes in the real estate market are good. There’s nothing healthier than taking advantage of a stable economy to buy a new home.”

Skea said K. Hovnanian is offering a variety of homestyles ranging from large estate homes in Morris County to townhomes in Bergen County to condominiums with a view of New York City in Port Imperial. The company also offers active-adult homes in Passaic and many other counties.

All agree that price is the ultimate commodity. Schoner states, “If homes are priced right, they will sell. Sellers need to be flexible and willing to negotiate. It is a buyer’s market. Serious buyers need to study the values, determine which homes are priced right and make reasonable offers.”

“Homebuyers have a lot of choices on the market,” agrees Skea. “While they may have to slightly temper their expectations there’s something for everyone. With the regulatory picture in New Jersey, home prices will remain largely stable because supply can’t meet demand. In short, it really is a great time to buy a home.”

For additional information on the real estate market, please contact David Schoner, vice president of Coldwell Banker New Homes & Condominiums, at (973) 240-5460; John Maione, president of Maione Homes and the creator of Clove Hill Manor in Sussex County, at (973) 875-1651; Howard Schoor, principal of The Woodstone Group, the creators of The Chapin Estate in Sullivan County, New York at (845) 583-6500; and Douglas Fenichel, regional director of public relations for K. Hovnanian Homes, New Jersey’s largest home builder, at (732) 623-6979.

http://www.chapinestate.com

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