Mobile Access is Key… Mobile Blogging means more current content

July 25th, 2017

Writing content on the go. My new website now accepts my blogging from my phone. This means up to the minute updates while I’m away so my website users get information first! How valuable is this for you?

Getting Older and Stiffer? Try this!

July 21st, 2017

“You’re Getting Old and Stiff”, this from my 23 year old son a few weeks ago in a conversation. It ticked me off, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I had one thing to do, a little research and put together an action plan to do something about it.

He was right but that’s besides the point. I had to accept that at nearly 50 years old, my body is just not responding or recovering like it once did, say in my 20’s or even my 30’s. I’m also sitting on 3 injuries which aggravate when I work out so that doesn’t help either.  It made me think, what is the solution? I’ve done a ton of research recently so here it is:

  1. 21 Day Body Cleanse
  2. Follow a supplement and vitamin regimen
  3. 90% Raw/Vegan/Vegetable Diet for 90 Days, (90% Veg Diet After)
  4. 5 Miles a Day. What does that look like? Walk/jog 2.5M in the AM and 2.5M walk/jog in the PM until I can do it all in one session. Two week entervals adding 1/2 Miles in the morning session and reducing in the afternoon/pm session.
  5. 3 Days of Yoga Alternate with 3 Days of Stretching in addition to the morning warm up for 30 Minutes before the Miles.

When I am done for the 90 Days I will have lost roughly 30-40 lbs and will start a Speed and Agility program. Check out https://eagle-athletic.myshopify.com/collections/speed-and-agility

I have to say that I’m looking forward to the Transformation but more importantly I’m looking forward to the strength and agility so I can move around easier again. Follow along with me and see how I improve and what my gains are. Join me on facebook and share your results!

Follow along at https://www.facebook.com/MyPersonalFitnessJourney/?ref=ts&fref=ts

New Staging Partner rcShelter, LLC

July 9th, 2017
Don't leaving your first impression to chance. Call rcShelter and get the offer the first time!

Click Image to Learn More about rcShelter and Renee!

Jerel Washington Fine Homes and Estates is proud to announce our NEW partnership with Renee Cologne from RC Shelter. From California to Connecticut and Washington to Florida, Realtors across the country know one simple rule of thumb when it comes to selling a home… Photography gets the buyer in the door, home staging creates the story told in the photos.  Home Staging is and integral part of the selling process in competitive markets.  Not only does it help increase the desirability of a home in the eyes of the Buyer by 8-15 times causing purchase decision. It will most likely net the Seller the most amount of money!

Simply put… Staged Homes SELL FOR MORE MONEY AND IN LESS TIME! Isn’t that what all home sellers want?  We are excited for this new partnership…

Jerel Washington & Renee Cologne, RC Shelter

Visit Renee online at the following locations:

WEBSITE: http://www.rcshelter.com/
HOUZZ – https://www.houzz.com/pro/rcologne1/rc-shelter-llc
LINKEDIN – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rcshelter/

Looking for the Right Rental? Starting at $1,500 Per Month

June 17th, 2017

Find your perfect Rental for as little as $1,500 per month. That’s right. We have a list of Excellent Condition, Move in Ready Rentals from $1,500 per month and up.  Take the guess work out of looking for rentals, Take the Stress out of looking for rental and let my team find you the right property!  As of 06/16/2016

1 – Cranbury
4 – East Windsor
17 – Ewing
1 – Freehold
26 – Hamilton
3 – Hightstown
15 – Hopewell
20 – Lawrence / Lawrenceville
1 – Millstone
1 – Monroe
1 – New Brunswick
3 – North Brunswick
1 – Pennington
6 – Plainsboro
40 – Princeton
14 – Robbinsville
10 – South Brunswick
4 – Trenton
33 – West Windsor

List Subject to Change Daily.

INVESTORS: Buy Real Estate for as Little as $10,000

June 17th, 2017

Are you a Seasoned Investor? No? How about a Novice Investor?…  No?

If you’re a beginner or just someone who has interest in investing in Real Estate the key is working with a Mentor or a Guide who has all the resources, the experience and knowledge to get you through the process and access to the best sources to find you the deals you need to make a profit.

Look no further than Jerel Washington Fine Homes and Estates in partnership with Keller Williams Realty W. Monmouth.  Contact me today 609.933.9044!

Investment Properties range in value from Less than $10k to more than $500k. Depending on your experience, budget and timing we will find you properties the profit is all yours.  Let’s Talk and put together a Plan of Action!

How Much Value does this designer bathroom add? Call me and let's figure it out together! You'll be amazed!

Designer Bathroom: Upgrades Add Value and or Sale-ability

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.”