A Success Story: Keller Williams Realty

August 31st, 2016

A Success Story: Keller Williams Realty

I am often asked to join competing real estate offices in my market.  I find this flattering and I tend to take meetings with some of the area’s top brokers and offices to understand their business model, what they are offering and how they or their company might support the vision of the business I intend to build.  Seldom do they see the vision is possible yet I cite example after example of agents who have built amazing business across the country and how they’ve done it.

Most respond by saying “If that was really possible I’d have stayed in sales,” or “Why would someone stay with a company and they could leave and build their own?”

My response is simple.

I say “It’s okay if you don’t believe what I’m telling you, why not see for yourself. You can believe your own eyes and your own ears.  Listen to their story, review for yourself the business models and how other Realtors/Business Owners are implementing them to do what you’re doing for someone else.”

If you’re interested in a career in real estate, changing companies or just want to know more about Keller Williams Realty and the philosophy behind who we are, take a minute to watch this short video. I’d love to speak with you.  Here is the Story of Keller Williams Realty. By all accounts this is a success story and it continues to be one I am proud of.  Watch and enjoy then call me at 609.933.9044 and let’s have coffee!

Bedens Brook Estate – Featured in the NY-Times

August 27th, 2016

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2016/08/21/realestate/on-the-market-in-the-new-york-region/s/21OTM-REG-slide-5G4H.html

A Story of Amazing Short Sale Transformation in Lawrenceville

August 26th, 2016

A Story of Amazing Short Sale Transformation in Lawrenceville

See below for before and after photos.  If you want to see other great homes in Lawrence Township simply scroll down a little.  Remember you can always #BuyWithJerel & #SellWithJerel just call me at 609.933.9044.

Original Front

Now this is a story 12 YEARS IN THE MAKING! I know this one personally because it was my listing for almost 7 years!  Let me start by saying how much I love this house and I love what the current owners have done in the renovation! It was my honor to work with the previous owners who were investors who got caught in the turn of the market.  They elected to rent the home to cut losses and at the time that was the best advice I could give them.  It rented successfully 4 times in a row usually with less than 2 weeks of vacancy.  There was a love-hate relationship with this property for several years from renting it and managing it and its various projects. When it was time to sell there was hurdle after hurdle but the rentals came fast and furious.  Chow Diversified has taken this property and turned it into a home!  My goal…  Help these new Investors FIND THE RIGHT BUYER!  Is it You? 609.933.9044  Read below about the short sale that didn’t happen and the success of this Flip!

New Front

I’m not complaining but I am excited to share this with you.  Here are a few before and after shots and the abbreviated version of my story with 10 Tall Timbers Drive, Princeton NJ (Lawrence, TWP).

Old Fireplace

I listed this amazing home, 10 Tall Timbers Drive years ago. It was an investor’s nightmare as the market turned in 2006/7 leaving the investors upside down. Several attempts to sell the home with 4 previous realtors netted them in the negative.

New Fireplace

08/26/2016: Current Listing $CLICK FOR INFO

I placed the first renter in the property early 2006 then took the listing over in 2007 and was successful renting it 3 additional times over the years. Finally, when the market settled down the seller decided it was time to move it off the books. So in 2010 after diligent marketing efforts, I was successful in getting 16 offers very quickly.  Highest and Best and the winner emerged. This occurred 3 separate times as the fist buyer walked after 4 months, the second round of buyers 11 offers, and the 3rd and final round 14 offers! With one clear winner, I thought we were a done deal but…  That’s when the problems started!

Two separate bank loans meant we needed both banks to approve the Short Sale.  Bank #1 – was awesome to work with and within a reasonable time-frame, they approved the short-sale however, the 2nd bank was another story. Let’s shorten this story into bullets

  • 2 years & 7 months of delays
  • bank #1 had to get their attorney involved
  • bank #2 refused to answer my calls
  • 78 phone calls
  • 211 emails
  • 9 letters
  • 4 separate negotiators
  • 10 short-sale packet faxes
  • 7 short-sale packet uploads
  • 2 separate buyer agents
    • one brought the deal, left his company and they assigned a 2nd
    • 2nd agent tried to take over the deal (delaying much of the issues)
  • irate hard to work with Buyers Agent through the last 16 months
  • 4 short sale negotiators for the seller
  • Owners extra expenses to maintain per the township – astronomical
  • Short Sale Approval at 2 years 10 months and…
  • Buyer Walks Away

Seller Hired an independent  Short Sale Negotiator (Negotiator #1  – who eventually got her real estate license).

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New Bathroom – Great Work

One of the original buyers (in the 16) came in with a great cash offer and they closed in about 13 months – Why so long…  The process had to start over again from the beginning!

The buyer, an investor/flipper invested in this home and addressed every issue. Great materials and awesome finish work throughout. I hope I can find the buyer for this amazing house.  Come on out and take a look.  Call me for your private showing!  This transformation is nothing short of Awesome Amazing!

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You’ve got to come see this amazing home – Call Jerel for a Private Showing-609.933.9044

If you want to see other great homes in the Lawrence Township area simply scroll down a little.  Remember you can always #BuyWithJerel & #SellWithJerel with just text or phone call to me at 609.933.9044.

Click here to view property grid.

The Truth About Home Owner Associations

August 25th, 2016

What You Need to Know About Buying and Selling with Home Owner Associations

Selling a Condo or Townhouse?
When selling a condo or townhouse at a competitive price is only one of many factors. Your perspective buyers must:

  1. Secure a mortgage
  2. An Appraisal acceptable to the Lender
  3. The development must be solvent and not in default of the Association Bi-Laws and the Master Building Plans in order for a buyer to purchase your property.
  4. It’s important to evaluate the likelihood that any Buyer will actually qualify and receive a mortgage prior to moving forward with an offer.
  5. False Offers are UNQUALIFIED BUYERS who will marketing time wasted on candidates that have not been properly pre-approved for a mortgage. For example; did the mortgage representative review the perspective Buyer’s documented assets, debts, credit score, etc…….or did he just take the Buyer’s word for this critical information!?
  6. Lack of research can lead to valuable time lost on the market, not to mention disappointment.

Jerel doesn’t leave this to chance!

He verify’s this information & more prior to presenting an offer to our client. He is an expert at properly evaluating the mortgage pre-approval that will accompany an offer.

Did you know that your property also has to qualify for the Sale?

This can be tricky to determine ahead of time however, we specialize in the details so you are not caught off-guard when you choose to work with us!

Buying a Condo or Townhouse?
It is important to know your total monthly expenses and to make sure your real estate purchase will fit into your budget. You must feel comfortable before entering into a Purchase Agreement of a condo or townhouse. This means a consultation with a qualified financial planner & mortgage representative prior to writing an offer is crucial. Consultations are free with our partners and they will give you a wealth of knowledge and options based on your personal or family goals. You don’t want to spend money on an attorney, inspections, title or any other aspect of purchasing a condo or townhouse until you know for a fact you are qualified to purchase it. You also want to make sure the condo or townhouse is qualified to be sold. Why? These fees are non-refundable if your mortgage is not approved you are out of that investment.

Tricky Mortgages with Condo’s and Townhouses
The key to ALL successful real estate transactions is an experienced Realtor, Broker Associate like Jerel Washington & his team of mortgage representatives, Appraisers, Inspectors, Title Reps, Escrow officers, & Insurance professionals. These people will discuss your financials, real estate goals, credit worthiness, employment history, the status of any FHA approved or failed development and let you know what types of mortgages you will qualify for. Your mortgage rep will also offer various monthly payment scenarios so you can make the best financial decision. Mortgage requirements are more stringent than ever in this economy and it’s very helpful to have someone to help you navigate through this process.

What is Capital Contribution Fees, HOA Fees and are there any additional Fee to be aware of?
Each condo community has Capital Contribution Fees which is a one time fee to join the homeowner’s association. Fees vary from community to community but average between $500 – $750. Typically the equivalent of 1 – 2 months Home Owner’s Association fee is also due at the time of closing. These fees need to be calculated into your closing costs when purchasing a condo.

The HUGE Mistakes Renters and Buyers Make That Could Cost Them Big

August 25th, 2016

The HUGE Mistakes Renters and Buyers Make That Could Cost Them Big – by Cathie Ericson

Kyle Alfriend, a real estate agent in Dublin, OH, was with his contractor at a vacant home he had for sale, changing the locks after someone had broken in.

Imagine his surprise when a couple walked in, thinking they were meeting someone who was going to rent it to them. Turns out the trespasser had taken photos and posted an ad seeking renters on Craigslist.

The couple had brought along two months’ rent, plus their security deposit – a total of $5,700 in cash. Had Alfriend not intercepted them, they would likely have met with the fraudulent advertiser and lost their money.

“Renters and buyers can never be too vigilant in today’s marketplace where REO fraud can be prevalent,” notes Kimberly Ellison, manager of mortgage fraud investigation for Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Fraud Program.

Here are some current scams Fannie Mae has been seeing:

No Legal Title

The Scam – People trying to rent or sell a home to which they have no legal title. Often it’s a foreclosed property where someone gained possession through squatting and then tries to profit by renting out the place, says Shaolaine Loving, an attorney in Las Vegas.

The Fix – Avoid REO fraud by searching online for the name of the property owner and other information related to the property’s history, and be particularly vigilant if the property has recently gone through foreclosure.

Short Sale

The Scam – People trying to sell a short sale home they have obtained fraudulently. In this twist, individuals will ask the owner to deed the property over to them, claiming they have a buyer. In this title/deed fraud scheme, the criminals will keep the money the “buyer” gave them. And, if you’re the seller who was deceived, they also have the title to your house, and you still have responsibility on the loan, says Cory Turner, manager of Fannie Mae’s Single-Family Business Anti-Fraud Team. “The house is in limbo with multiple parties facing financial loss.”

The Fix – Buyer beware: If someone guarantees you foreclosure assistance, be cautious. “Only a servicer has the discretion to grant a loan modification,” Turner says. And as a homeowner, you should never sign over paperwork before reviewing thoroughly. In addition, use your resources (aka, servicer, real estate professional, attorney, lender) to understand any and all questions that you might have.

Hacking

The Scam – Stealing transaction funds by hacking into emails. A criminal will hack into or spoof the emails of various parties to a real estate transaction, such as the buyer, seller, agent, and/or escrow officer. Then, at some point before the close of escrow, the criminal will send the buyer an email supposedly from one of the other parties and include instructions for wiring funds, such as a deposit or closing costs. “Of course, the wiring instructions lead to the criminal’s bank account, rather than to the escrow company,” says Sam Kraemer, general counsel at the John Aaroe Group, a Los Angeles real estate brokerage.

The Fix – Never send any personal information, including Social Security or bank account numbers, electronically, without encryption and always examine the full email address for evidence of spoofing. Kraemer advises clients to hand deliver or call with the information instead. “Before wiring any money, call to confirm the instructions,” he says, adding that most trustworthy escrow companies only send wiring information through encrypted emails.

6 Red Flags

Although those are some common REO fraud scams, the list can be endless. That’s why savvy renters and buyers should watch out for these six red flags to minimize their chances of being defrauded.

  1. The deal is too good to be true. You know the rest of this adage: “And it probably is.” Turner says to watch out for online postings that have rents that are obviously below market rate.
  2. The seller is not familiar with the neighborhood. “They should be able to answer questions about shopping or schools,” says Becky Walzak, president and CEO of rjbWalzak Consulting, in Deerfield Beach, FL, who holds workshops on REO fraud in the housing and lending market.
  3. Something about the house seems off. Walzak suggests you be wary of new locks or a property that is in obvious need of repair or is missing appliances or features you would expect.
  4. Something about the seller seems off. “Watch out for overly accommodating landlords willing to forego their own due diligence,” says Than Merrill, CEO of FortuneBuilders and CT Homes LLC and a real estate investor. Other signs may be owners who want to settle quickly or who can’t meet in person because they are out of the country. “If you can’t meet face to face, see the apartment in person, or sign a lease before your first payment, continue your search,” Merrill advises.
  5. The paperwork is already done. Watch out if sellers have their own title policy they offer to the buyer or already have an appraisal done, cautions Walzak.
  6. The seller requests an immediate wire transfer of funds. “There’s never a good reason to wire money to pay a security deposit, application fee, first month’s rent, or vacation rental fee without knowing who it’s going to,” Merrill says.

Due Diligence Pays Off

“Scam artists are typically after one of two things: your money or your identity, so don’t make yourself an easy target,” Merrill says.

The best way to avoid these scams? Do your due diligence. Have a Professional By Your Side!

Turner advises knocking on neighbors’ doors to ask about the property. They might tell you it’s not a rental house or that the bank just foreclosed. They might describe the owner, and you’ll realize it’s not who you’ve been dealing with.

Even a simple online search can yield the name of the property owner and other historical property-transfer information.

“You can find a lot of information on a county’s assessment and taxation website,” says Turner. “The resources are out there, but people aren’t utilizing them. They see a good deal and want to jump on it, but it’s worth it to perform due diligence for the biggest purchase of your life.”

Wanna Make a Low Ball Offer?

August 23rd, 2016

The temptation to low ball a house is just that, a huge temptation in today’s market. While any buyer wants to get a “great deal” on a house they can ruin it by trying to get to good of a deal. Sellers who get mad are really hard to make a good deal with. So here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

THE COMPETITION

These are the other people out there looking too. Just because the house has been sitting for a while does not mean the seller is going to roll over and “give” it to you. Be smart, ask for advice from your agent. They can show you what is going on in the area and give a good idea of what may work.

MAKE IT INTERESTING

How do you do that? Buyers who remember that you get more by being thoughtful and nice may be surprised how softening up a seller can work. People like to business with someone they like. Have your agent present a letter to the seller with your offer. Tell the seller that you like their home and what you like about it, and that you imagine that they have enjoyed it as much as you hope to in the future. It looks like just the place for us (your family your pets etc.)

Click here to view featured property scroller.
GIVE A LITTLE… GET MORE!

Give a little and you can get a lot. If you ask for “seller concessions” like a deep discount, then double dipping it while also asking for the seller to pay your closing costs and extras, you will probably not get very far. The cut in the seller’s price may be too deep. If you force them into a corner, they may not be willing to take the loss. In fact, it is the rare seller that is not just plain insulted and very angry. Typically they will counter back at full price if they will counter at all.

BE SMART WITH WHAT YOU NEED TO GET THE HOUSE

Try to figure out what you really want and what you really need to buy your next home. Most people today need help with closing costs. What this is are your mortgage costs and prepaid’s. Prepaids are property tax escrows and also hazard insurance.

Your mortgage may have discount points and origination fees. Many times the seller is okay with paying for this, it hurts but they will do that.

HAVE A HEALTHY CASH FLOW?

Or, if you have a healthy cash flow and you are looking for a discount, then a 3 to 5% discount may be in line in the current market. A lot depends on the house, how long it has been on the market and what kind of condition it is in.

I have observed several buyers lose out on a good buy by getting a little greedy. Usually, buyers get frustrated when this happens. So asking for a huge discount AND closing costs may poison the deal on the home of your dreams.

 

Click here to view property grid.

Cool Buyer Resources Near Princeton, NJ

August 23rd, 2016

General

Checklist for Buying a House
One of the most important things you can do is to make yourself a checklist as you search for, find, and buy a home. http://www.ourfamilyplace.com/homebuyer/checklist.html

Report, Credit Score & FICO Score
Fair Isaac Corporation is organization that developed the Credit Reporting system we have today. Take advantage of their tools to get control and manage your Credit history and credit score. You’ve nothing to loose and everything to gain. The best scores get the lowest interest rates. Having the best possible score you can have will save you thousands and thousands of dollars. Don’t wait any longer. Get control today! http://www.myfico.com

U.S. Census Bureau Web Site
The Census Bureau Web Site provides on-line access to data, publications, products, and programs.
http://www.census.gov/

Local Directory Mercer County
Mercer County has much to offer. We are rich in history, having been the scene for two revolutions: Major battles in the Revolutionary War took place in Trenton and in Princeton, and county government operates from the very building that served as a hub of the Industrial Revolution. Today, waves of newcomers are adding new ideas to the chorus of energy that makes Mercer County a center for education, arts and entertainment, technology, and entrepreneurship. Whether you visit one of our historic sites, take in a play or musical performance, or shop in one of our many retail centers, you will agree that Mercer County has it all — Open Space-more than 8,400 acres of county land for recreational use. County facilities are here for boating, biking, ice skating, horseback riding, or just taking a stroll in the woods. Services for seniors. Mercer County is home to several outstanding municipal senior centers, and Mercer County works in partnership with our 13 towns to provide high-quality medical care, nutrition, and recreation opportunities for the elderly. http://www.mercercounty.org/

Middlesex County
As the midway point between New York and Philadelphia, Middlesex County has long been a commercial and industrial center, with older communities to the north and newer housing to the south. In the last generation, the county’s major urban center, New Brunswick, has undergone extensive renewal and now boasts a first-class downtown area with top-rated restaurants and state-of-the-art theaters. Rutgers University and Johnson & Johnson have both played a major roll in the redevelopment of this area, with Johnson & Johnson establishing its world headquarters here. Major hospitals include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and St. Peter’s Medical Center, as well as several other medical facilities scattered throughout the area. With Rutgers as a major regional resource, education has become a high priority in most communities, and several towns boast schools that are rated among the top in the nation.  http://co.middlesex.nj.us/

Somerset County
With several major corporate headquarters scattered along the Interstates 287 and 78, and Route 22 corridors, and with beautiful communities nestled among wooded hillsides and valleys, Somerset County has become one of the most desirable areas in New Jersey. It was ranked one of the most affluent counties in the nation in the 1990 census. The county features good commuting to New York City by train, bus and car, excellent schools, and a broad range of housing options from multi-family to luxurious estates. Communities range from urban to rural, though most are truly suburban. Several universities in the area serve the residents, including Raritan Valley Community College. Many students in this county also commute to Rutgers or Princeton Universities, which are in neighboring counties. http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/

Mortgage Loan

AMIC – 100’s of Mortgage Programs – CLICK HERE
Alternative Mortgage Company… working with people who are looking to achieve their goals. What are your unique needs? http://www.amic.net

MortgageQuotes.com
An independent source of mortgage information on the Internet. http://www.mortgagequotes.com/

National Listings

CyberHomes MLS Listings
Homes for sale with a difference. Why? Because the web sites on this list are from the same MLS organizations that maintain the complete professional list of homes for sale in each metropolitan market. http://www.cyberhomes.com/

Relocation

MonsterMoving.com
Manage the moving and relocation process with mortgage quotes and calculators, address change, utility transfer, city profiling, self storage locator, moving van line and moving truck rental quotes.
http://www.monstermoving.com/

Relocation Central
A comprehensive, nationwide resource for the latest relocation/moving information organized by city and categories of interest from apartments to zoos.  http://www.relocationcentral.com/

Salary.com
Free salary information, salary and benefits advice, career and job search help. Hundreds of salary surveys, compensation reports, and useful links.  http://www.salary.com/

School Links

American School Directory
Find vital school information on all 108,000 K-12 schools in America.  http://www.asd.com/

GradSchools.com
A good source of graduate school programs information. Find thousands of graduate programs by curriculum or by school.http://www.gradschools.com/

Princeton Theological Seminary
The establishment of The Theological Seminary at Princeton by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1812 marked a turning point in American theological education. General education was also the context for professional studies in divinity, medicine, and the law. In the first quarter of the nineteenth century, professional training became disengaged from the college curriculum, medical and law schools were established, and seventeen divinity schools and seminaries came into existence.  http://www.ptsem.edu/

Princeton University
The University provides its students with academic, extracurricular and other resources — in a residential community committed to diversity in its student body, faculty and staff — that help them achieve at the highest scholarly levels and prepare them for positions of leadership and lives of service in many fields of human endeavor. http://www.princeton.edu/main/

Princeton University – Schools
This link has 44 links to the different Princeton University Graduate Schools.
http://schools.gradschools.com/graduate-schools/Princeton-University.html

I Don’t Have Enough Hours in the Day!!!

August 15th, 2016

I Don’t Have Enough Time or Enough Hours in the Day!!!

Have you ever felt this way?  I know I have and many people who have big goals in life often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the Day!  If you think this way I challenge you to think differently.  You see… Everyone has the same number of hours in a day – 24 to be precise. Since this statement IS TRUE, then it must be the decisions we make and tasks we do or don’t do which are causing us to feel incomplete or projects to be incomplete.  I’ve learned through Gary Keller and Jay Papasan that One Thing is all that is needed to change your life.  You cannot manage time, time moves consistently but you can manage your schedule and block your time.  You need to develop habits around this, not discipline and once you’ve done this, things will naturally fall into place. Once I got these concepts I began putting into practice what I learned and within the first week I began seeing changes. That is why I am sharing this video with you. So if you’ve ever said I Don’t Have Enough Hours in the Day, this video is for you, enjoy!

Plainsboro Rental Homes

July 28th, 2016

Plainsboro Rental Homes

Are you looking for the best Plainsboro Rental Homes? I have a list of a few great rental properties in Plainsboro, NJ for you to choose from? Top Schools, Great Location, Family oriented, Great for Singles too! Easy Commute to NYC. Look no further for West Windsor-Plainsboro Schools. Here is a list of Plainsboro rental homes!

If you’d like a list sent to you when a property becomes available, just let me know. 609.933.9044

Click here to view property grid.

New Listing: 66 Phillip E. Frank Way, Cliffwood, NJ

July 28th, 2016

New Listing: 66 Phillip E. Frank Way, Cliffwood, NJ

Who doesn’t want to live in a beautiful, New Construction 1 year New 3 Bedroom, 2 Full, 2 Half Bathrooms, Indoor Laundry, Garage, Family Room, Deck, Upgrades in the Kitchen and Builder Upgrades throughout.  What an opportunity and only $350,000!  Come see for yourself! This New Listing is absolutely beautiful. You’ll feel right at home!

Schedule your Appointment today or visit during our Weekend Open House Schedule!
SUNDAY 7/30/2016 2-4PM
SATURDAY 7/31/2016 2-4PM

OR… Call 609.933.9044 for your private showing! Click Here for the Full Listing

Phillip E. Frank Way

Just a few Minutes Away – Cliffwood Beach , NJ  – New Ryan Homes

Entrance

Family Room3

dFoyer2

Front View

Kitchen

 

Kitchen4

Living Room2

Living Room3

Master Bedroom

Rear View