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Homes for sale in Alpine, NJ

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Although it’s located only a short distance from New York City, the Borough of Alpine, NJ has the quaint feel of a small town. Since it offers the best of both worlds, checking out one of the homes for sale in Alpine New Jersey appeals to people of all walks of life.

Two of the biggest draws to Alpine is its extremely low crime rate and the excellent elementary schools. Alpine Public Elementary School has been rated nine out of 10 because of its teacher quality, parental involvement and principal leadership. In all, there are only 144 students in grades K-8, and its student-faculty ratio is one of the lowest in the state.

The borough has a strong municipal government system, with an elected mayor and city council members. Residents also have access to fire and police protection within the city limits. The Alpine Municipal Court is in charge of hearing traffic cases and violations of municipal ordinances.

When it comes to outdoor recreation, many residents in the area visit State Line Lookout, which sits atop the highest point in the Palisades Cliffs. This park provides sweeping views of Hudson Bay and Long Island Sound and is ideal for hiking, rock climbing and viewing wildlife.

Some of the homes for sale in Alpine, New Jersey are stately mansions that have also been featured in Forbes magazine. This publication has also listed Alpine as one of the "most expensive zip codes in America" because of its expansive residences, which average around $1.5 million. These homes range in size from 5,000 to 17,000 square feet, and contain amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and spas.

When it's time to look at homes for sale in Alpine, New Jersey, call Tami Rappaport. Tami is the only Realtor to reach platinum level nine years in a row. Her achievements are a credit to her knowledge of the market and the fact that she listens to her customers in order to fully meet their housing needs.

Homes for sale in Englewood, NJ

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Englewood, NJ a vibrant and livable city of 29,000 residents, is only a short 10 minute drive north of New York City – yet it has its own thriving arts and culture scene, locally-owned boutiques and shops and fashionable eateries in a popular downtown area.  Englewood is located in the heart of Bergen County and is surrounded by parks and recreational facilities, and is home to the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center. Many of the people living in the surrounding communities come to Englewood for its vibrant night life and Farmer’s Markets.

For those looking to buy homes for sale in Englewood, NJ, they should look no further than the real estate experts at Tami Rapaport. Tami’s team offers unparalleled service and knowledge of the area with plenty of open houses and opportunities for the public to learn about Englewood real estate.  Those looking for a home can simply click on her listings page and search for the home of their dreams.

Whether you’re looking for a simple single-family home or a luxury home with a view, Tami’s listing page offers home buyers a thorough profile of homes for sale in Englewood, NJ. You can customize your search by choosing the city or town, number of bathrooms, bedrooms, and price. You can also search by how long the home has been on the market, the year the home was built, architectural style (like Colonial, Georgian, Dutch) and exposures and views. If that wasn’t enough, there are searchable options for particular styles of home like ranch-style and condo and many different options of waterfront property (like bay & lagoon-front, dock, and Lakefront).  Sign up for daily e-mails from Tami’s team to give you a leg up on the latest listings and homes for sale in Englewood, NJ.

Talk to Tami’s team today about homes for sale in Englewood, NJ and finding the best home that fits your family’s lifestyle needs. Englewood’s real estate market is full of beautiful properties for families, retirees and empty-nesters looking to move out of the city.

Attending an Open House in the Tenafly, New Jersey Area

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

While technology is getting better every day, you can only spend so much time online searching for homes before taking the plunge and touring them in person. A website is not going to tell you about barking dogs in the neighborhood, or a flight path over the house of your dreams. Attending an open house in the Tenafly, New Jersey area is the perfect way for a homeowner or first-time buyer to get the true feel of a home, neighborhood, and surrounding community. Tami Rapaport’s team of real estate experts host many open houses throughout the Tenafly area and are ready to answer your questions about homes and home buying.

Why Attend an Open House?

Sure, it’s easy to look at homes via the internet but attending an open house will give you the opportunity to interact with an experienced real estate agent and ask important questions like: What are the schools like in the area? What improvements have been made to the home? Is there water damage? You will also be able to “kick the tires” and check for wear and tear and inspect the foundation before you commit.

Potential home buyers can also learn about other properties listed by the real estate agent and inquire about taking a tour. Other benefits include helping a buyer narrow down their list of selections and decide which qualities they like best. Granite counters might sound nice on paper, but they might not reasonable for your cooking style. Attending an open house is also a fun way to check out homes with no pressure to commit.

An open house is a great way to meet and interact with real estate agents if you haven’t already chosen one. You can develop a rapport, ask questions, learn more about their experience and share with them the kind of home you’re looking to buy.

How to Find an Open House

There are many ways to find listings when you plan on attending an open house in the Tenafly, NJ area. You can do a random Google search, check listings on Craig’s List or go to the website of a trusted real estate agent like Tami Rapaport. Tami’s Open House web page has up-to-date listings of open houses not only in Tenafly but the rest of Bergen County, New Jersey. You can search by neighborhood and date to get information homes before you head out the door.

While they may seem impersonal to the inexperienced home buyer, attending an open house is a great way to tour a home without feeling rushed, compare notes on other homes, and get information from qualified real estate agents.

Talk with Tami Rapaport’s well-qualified team about attending an open house and how they can help you find the home of your dreams.

Top 3 Reasons for an FHA Loan

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

When most people begin to look into buying a new home, the most common type of loan they think of is the venerable 30 year, fixed rate mortgage loan. However the Federal Housing Administration mortgage loan or FHA loan has become much more popular due the economic slow-down. Even with its varied benefits, many people still do not know much about this type of federally insured loan.

What is an FHA loan?

The Federal Housing Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD. To promote homeownership, especially for first-time buyers, an FHA loan is a federally insured mortgage with less restrictions. This allows more people to qualify to purchase a new home. Lenders are protected from loss if a borrower defaults, due to the FHA covering the loss through mortgage insurance paid for by the borrower. This protection allows lenders offering FHA loans better options than standard mortgages. Here are the top 3 reasons for an FHA loan when looking for a new home.

#1 Fewer Requirements

The whole purpose of the FHA loan is to promote homeownership. If there is one thing economists can agree upon it is that homeownership is important to a healthy economy. With the housing bubble crash of 2007, thousands of homeowners across the nation either lost their home or had their home’s value plummet. Sales of new homes also dropped and the home construction industry went into a slump.

While FHA requirements for a loan were low prior to the financial crisis, the need for FHA loans is higher than ever. Credit is the biggest factor. Economists have been taking banks to task throughout 2012 for being stingy when issuing credit which kept many potential home buyers from getting the loan they needed. The lowered need for a good credit score to obtain an FHA loan means a lot of people whose credit suffered during the economic downturn can get a new home and start working on repairing their credit.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) which is a specialized FHA loan designed for homeowners whose homes are worth less than the mortgage they are paying on. A refinanced FHA loan through the HARP program allows the homeowner to have lower monthly payments which helps prevent them from defaulting on their loan.

#2 Lower Down Payment

Trying to come up with the 20-25% cash down-payment has been a deal breaker in many potential home sales. With an FHA loan, however, the down-payment can be as low as 3.5% of the sale price. This allows first time home buyers who have not had the time to accumulate the cash needed to still buy a home.

#3 Other Costs Covered

There is more to a home purchase than the sales price. There are also closing costs, appraisals and potential title expenses. The FHA allows some of these costs – such as a builder covering the closing cost - to be paid by other parties as inducements to purchase a home.

East Hill Custom Colonial built in 2004 with quality craftsmanship and exquisite architectural design. Listing price is $1,290,000. Call Tami Rapaport for more info at 201-227-2045

Tenafly's east hill- exceptional contemporary colonial with open floor plan

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Check out the unique architectural layout of this Tribeca loft style home in suburban Tenafly.

Contact Tami Rapaport 201-227-2045

Looking for a beautiful home on 100x221 flat property on a cul-de-sac?

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

      

This may be the home for you! Desirable Country Club section of Tenafly. Newly renovated kitchen and baths, beautiful deep property. Call Robin Baker 201-913-3868 or 201-227-2045

Tenafly Real Estate: How to Prepare to Purchase a Home

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

You’ve made your determination and set yourself a goal: You are going to buy a house in the Tenafly real estate area. Great! Now what do you need to do to prepare and make it happen? This post will explore some of the answers to this question.

Just a few years ago many homes were listed and sold within a few days. Loans were easy to obtain even if your paperwork and credit scores were imperfect. Obviously, things are different today. Here’s the good news: Mortgage rates are historically low, certain tax incentives are available, and in many places, prices are still relatively low in economically turbulent times.

With proper planning and a little smarts you can find your piece of the American dream. Here are some practical tips to get into a good position to buy a home.

Avoid borrowing! Lending policies have tightened and because a home is usually one’s largest lifetime purchase, it represents significant risk to the bank. You want to look as safe as you can in the eyes of the bank. What’s the best way to do this? Have as little debt as possible and keep your credit profile stable. In a word, don’t go borrowing before buying a home.

Even if you receive an “incredible” credit card offer offering 0% balance transfer, don’t do it – at least not right now. For one thing, when you read the fine print, these offers usually turn out to be less attractive than they look. Along the same lines, don’t buy expensive items like an automobile or a major piece of technology before you buy a house, even if you are offered a 0% loan for a year. Beyond the fact that many consumers end up losing money in these situations, the key point is that you don’t want the appearance of risk.

Keep things stable. Keep your money in your current bank or credit union and most importantly, don’t change your job if you don’t have to. Your job can paint a portrait of stability, but if lenders see a lot of changes it can send the opposite message. Obviously, if you have an opportunity to earn a much higher wage or to follow your true calling, do it, but avoid unnecessary changes.

Budgeting

Now let’s look at some practical financial steps to take. First, make a realistic estimate of what your monthly outgo will be when you buy a house at the price point you anticipate. This includes the mortgage itself, but also taxes and insurance. Beyond this, you should count on the unexpected to happen, so add funds for repairs, maintenance and upgrades. Think roof repairs, plumbing, windows, flooring, etc. Something always comes up – Murphy’s law is in effect here – so plan for it.

Now, let’s look at your actual budget. If you are currently rent, calculate the difference between your monthly rent and your future home payments. Knowing the numbers isn’t really enough. We recommend that you take the “overage” – the difference between current and future expenses – and invest it in a high-interest savings account. Consider these funds to be your future down payment, bearing in mind that many buyers have to put down up to 20% today, far higher than a few years ago.

The discipline of careful budgeting will pay off in all sorts of ways. For example it’s not uncommon for real estate agents to want to show you homes both in and slightly above your stated budget. You may end up spending more than you anticipate now. This is not necessarily bad – in the end you’ll want to know where the best “value” spot is within your budget range. You may need a few more dollars than you anticipate today, so careful, disciplined budgeting is a must.

Check with several lenders to find out where you stand and what you can afford. You can begin by obtaining no-obligation quotes on the Internet. Then apply and get pre-approved. This will greatly strengthen your position as a buyer.

Work hard to make sure that both buyers’ credit profiles (if it’s a couple) are in good shape, and do the work to improve your credit.  

Sell or give away unneeded items (i.e., junk). Since unexpected expenses will crop up, you’ll be glad to have extra cash on hand. Plus, if you offload your junk, you’ll have less stuff to move when the time comes. Be honest with yourself, will you really use all the junk you currently have stored? Go ahead and unload outdated gadgets, furniture you never use, old college textbooks, clothes you no longer wear, etc. Remember that organizations like the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul or Goodwill may offer haul-away services for some items. More important, considering the current economy, others may need these items more than you do (and you can get a tax deduction for donations to boot).

Consider buying a condo. These are often a good choice for first-time buyers and can help keep expenses low since you won’t need to worry about things like exterior paint or landscaping.

After dealing with all of these items, if you still feel it’s not a good time to buy, there’s nothing wrong with renting. Buying a home is a huge step, both emotionally and financially, so pursue it only when the time is really right for you.

Home Prices Coming Down to Earth in Bergen County, Could Signal Turnaround

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

According to a study seen in the Bergen Record – found here on NorthJersey.com – home prices in Bergen County became more affordable than has been the case in many years. The study shows that home prices have declined and are typically south of $400,000. And, with mortgage rates less than 4 percent, the market has reached the point where a majority of buyers can purchase a home in the average price range.

The Record story highlights a young couple, Joshua and Hilary Baris, who purchased their Tenafly home for $660,000, far less than the asking price of $800,000. There are two inferences to draw from these kinds of stories. First, an increasing number of buyers in the middle-income bracket can afford real estate in Bergen County. According to David Blitzer, an economist at Standard and Poors, “There was a point a few years ago where you had to be pretty rich to afford a house in this area. Now, you don’t have to be so rich.”

The second inference from the data in the study is that we may have reached a point where home values have started to become stable.

The housing market benefits from stability in a couple of ways (at least). One, it brings potential buyers, those who have been waiting for prices to decline even farther, off the sidelines. Second, stability helps sellers set prices in line with true market levels, which in turn benefits buyers, allowing transactions to occur more rapidly. In a word, buyers and sellers can reach agreement more quickly in a stable market.

According the Record’s study, the median home price in Bergen County in 2007 was $465,000 while in 2011 it was $392,000. Median income also dropped during this same time period (from $89,550 to $87,400) but fortunately, the drop in median housing prices represents a far greater percentage of change.

Interestingly, according to the study, in 2007 the percentage of household income required to pay for housing was 40.7% but by 2011 this percentage had dropped to 37.8%. In dollar terms (on a monthly basis) this difference is typically $700 per month! Any time that one’s housing dollar buys more house or if takes a smaller percentage of income to afford a home, it’s good news.

Two trends have intersected to bring about increased home affordability: decreased prices and low mortgage rates. Since 2006, home prices have dropped by 15 to 30 percent in many places while mortgage rates have hit all-time lows. But the housing market is dynamic, and since more households are in position to purchase a home, it’s likely that prices will not continue to drop. Fiserv, a company that studies the housing market, anticipates a 1% decrease in homes prices during 2012 while they expect 2013 to see flat prices. A similar view is presented by East Brunswick appraiser Jeffrey Otteau, who sees New Jersey home prices to increase slightly during the remainder of 2012.

Buyers and sellers alike should bear in mind that, while home prices may be stabilizing and mortgage rates are at historic lows, this situation will probably not hold in the long term. For now, the Federal Reserve has indicated that it expects to maintain interest rates at “exceptionally low levels” through late 2014 (the Fed doesn’t set mortgage rates, but home loans tend usually follow Treasury securities). But at some point, count on mortgage rates to rise.

What’s the takeway? For buyers, now may be an excellent time to buy a home if you can afford it. For sellers, now is probably a good time to sell at a reasonable price before interest rates rise and effectively shrink the buyer pool.

Why Hire a Real Estate Agent?

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Based on information available on the Internet and in magazines, selling or buying a home without hiring a real estate agent may seem like an affordable and an easier solution to some. But for most people, having an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent in their corner is wiser financially – and certainly far less stressful – than placing a For Sale by Owner sign in their lawns or wading through outdated listings on the Internet.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent when you buy or sell a home:

Exposure

Placing a sign on your front lawn and a posting on Craigslist will only get you so much exposure. By hiring a real estate agent, your home listing will gain far more exposure to a larger group of buyers. If you are a buyer, you will have access to thousands of updated listings within your budget. Your agent can give you advice on prices and market trends that matter to your bottom line, while providing insider information on neighborhoods.

A Professional Working for YOU

With any real estate transaction, there can be bumps and roadblocks along the way. Getting the best possible resolution to issues can be tricky if you’re going it alone, sometimes because of emotions or due to lack of experience. An experienced real estate agent remains objective and can help you negotiate the best possible deal. If you are a seller, an agent understands that there will be different phases in the process, with offers and counteroffers, and it’s all to be expected. Plus, a good agent has the resources to help attract potential buyers.

Expert Advice

Finding a top-notch home inspector or loan officer isn’t easy when you are new to an area or new to the home-buying experience. An expert real estate agent develops professional relationships with contractors and other vendors and gives you the best advice when it comes time to choose. Obviously, doing your homework is important before you chose any vendor but your agent can provide you with names and recommendations.

Taking the Mystery out of Closing

There are many details that can be missed before or after closing on a home. There will be a blizzard of paperwork during a closing. A trustworthy agent will ensure sure you have all the facts and are legally prepared prior to closing to help you sign with confidence.

Strong Relationships

Your agent wants you to be happy and satisfied with your home buying or selling experience and will work hard to develop a good relationship with you. Hiring Tami Rapaport is the perfect step before buying or selling a house in Bergen County; her team of experts will keep you updated with e-mail alerts on the latest listings and market trends. By hiring a real estate agent, you will come out ahead and with less stress than those who try to do it themselves.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

Contact Information

Photo of Tami Rapaport Real Estate
Tami Rapaport
Tami Rapaport
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly NJ 07670
201-227-2045