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December 2007

Monmouth County housing prices in 2008 Survey

Monmouth County housing prices in 2008
Please click on the above link to conduct a quick consumer survey.
What do YOU think will happen to the housing prices in 2008 & beyond. If you are in the housing market, how will this influence your home buying/selling plans for 2008?
The survey takes just a few minutes and we need your opionion by Jan.31,2008.
The results in table or graph form will be posted on my website and on

URGENT! Coat & HAr Drive for Red Bank, NJ school kids...

It has come to our attention through one of my associates that the children of the 8th grade class of Red Bank, NJ school have no coats, no gloves, no hats, no warm clothing.
The teachers have taken upon themselves to start a
hat & coat drive.
If you're reading this and you are local won't you please donate
a clothing article for these children?
You can call me Gloria 732-245-4031 
or my associate Pat Haarup  at 732-842-6608

Drop off at my office 17 West River Road, Rumson NJ
across from the Rumson Pharmacy!

Taking the Insult Out of an Insulting Offer

Taking the Insult Out of an Insulting Offer

The first step toward taking the sting out of a low offer is to assure the client that the offer is financial, not personal. Most likely the prospective buyers don’t know the sellers or the sellers’ family. They might not even know the rationale behind the number they presented. They may have relied on poor counsel, too much counsel, or an unskilled agent, in which case a well-presented counter offer is in order.

On the flip side, the sellers’ house may be overpriced, either because the sellers insisted on a high price or because the market environment changed between when the home was listed and when the offer arrived. When a home is radically overpriced then a fair offer can look insulting when it really isn’t.

When the sellers’ home is overpriced, one must get them to focus on the gap between the low offer and fair market value, not the difference between fair market value and their inflated listing price. Likely you’ll remove tens of thousands of dollars of “insult” through this calculation alone. When that doesn’t work, ask the cooperating agent to share the rationale behind the offer.

A good agent won’t write an insulting offer. I was asked many times to write ridiculously low offers. I consistently refused to represent those on the equivalent of a fishing expedition. One client chastised me, saying I was required by law to write whatever she wanted to offer.  I corrected her misinterpretation of my responsibility. Agents are required by law in most states to present all offers they write, but nothing forces agents to write garbage that is embarrassing to present and wasteful of their time, and costly to their reputations.

Getting beyond emotion

People get emotional during the closing for a number of reasons. For one thing, money is at stake. For another, both parties are anxious to get the deal done and time is ticking away. For a third, home inspections and low-price offers reveal opinions about a home’s value that can feel jarring to sellers who have viewed the home with pride and joy for a number of years.
The only antidote to an emotional uprising is a pragmatic focus on the goals the parties are trying to achieve and a renewed commitment to find common ground and get the deal done.

He was such a typical seller! His big issue was the sales price. I asked him the question I often pose to get to the core of what’s affecting a sale negotiation:  “Is the reason you want this price for the house based on your ego or do you really need the money?” There was silence on the other end of the phone.   I knew he didn’t need the $20,000 he was so emotional about.

From that point, he was able to find common ground with the buyer and get the home sold.

When you hit a buyer-seller impasse, find a way to ask: Is this about ego or income? Do they want the bragging rights that come with a high price, or do they need the money? Usually, you’ll bring your client back down to earth in a hurry. You’re asking, in essence, what are you really fighting for?

'Twas the night before Christmas (politically correct)

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck.

How to live in a world - that's politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to Elves, Vertically Challenged they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole

Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety, Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,

Were replaced with 4 pigs, and that looked darned stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh; The ruts were termed dangerous by the E. P. A.

|And people had started to ring for the cops

When they heard loud noises upon their rooftops.

Secondhand smoke from his pipe had workers all frightened.

His fur-trimmed red suit was judged `Unenlightened'.

And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows, Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the whole nation, Demanding millions of bucks for `just' compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife, Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life, Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz, Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,

Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.

Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.

Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.

Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.

Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.

No candy or sweets, they were bad for the tooth.

Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

|And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,

Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football, someone could get hurt Besides, playing sports exposes kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passé And Nintendo would rot your poor brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,

But you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision, Each group of people, every religion; Every ethnicity, every hue.

Everyone, everywhere-even you.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth.

May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on Earth.

received by email .

What's HOT for Luxury Homes in 2008!

Elevator car lifts, indoor car washes - Luxury homeowners spare no expense for their priceless automobiles.  Avid car collectors, especially in city homes where property size is limited, install elevator car lifts to expand garage capacity.  Keeping a fleet of cars clean is no small feat. In fact, for many it necessitates an on-premise indoor car wash.

Walk-in refrigerators - Professional kitchens akin to what one may find in a five-star restaurant have taken over luxury homes. With growing emphasis placed on home entertaining, walk-in refrigerators and multiple ovens, sinks and dishwashers are the norm for even the novice gourmet.

Spas, gyms and yoga and Pilates studios - The home gym has undergone a makeover and the focus now is on complete health and wellness facilities. Professional-style spas complete with steam rooms and massage rooms overtake the outdated sauna or whirlpool. Yoga and Pilates studios trump stair climbers, treadmills and rowing machines.

Wine cellars and tasting rooms - Grand wine cellars often found in Rosedale, Forest Hill or Westmount residences are the norm for today's connoisseur. Individual cellars for red and white wines, as well as specialized tasting rooms equipped with various sinks and buckets for wine sampling are becoming all the rage.

Media rooms - Media rooms that rival the local public theater are as prevalent in luxury homes as the family room.  These windowless rooms typically boast a theater-size screen, surround sound and rows of plush seats to accommodate large groups.

Wrapping and sewing rooms - Specialized rooms to accommodate particular hobbies or tasks, which are completely outfitted help to keep homeowners organized, are very popular. Dedicated rooms for gift wrapping boast everything from ribbons to paper varieties to bags and bows, while sewing rooms have every type of thread, button and zipper imaginable with tables and machines tailored to the homeowner's needs.

Structured wiring and security - A wireless home is a thing of today.  Many luxury residences feature security capabilities (e.g. door locking), entertainment options and light settings that can be accessed remotely throughout a home in various rooms.  Some properties are even equipped to remotely control security features in far away cottages or second homes.  Another innovative perk for those with deep pockets are security systems that allow property owners to view their home while at work, at the cottage or on holiday.

Home elevators - As homes are increasing in size, and are being built higher to accommodate several floors, home elevators are becoming an accessory of convenience as well as necessity.

Heated driveways, walkways and garages - Manual snow removal is a thing of the past for those in exclusive neighborhoods that favor heated driveways, walkways and even garages.  Built on top of heating coils, snow melts as soon as it touches these warm surfaces.

Waterfront Dining in Sea Bright

Ross's Dockside
1400 Ocean Avenue
Sea Bright NJ 07760

The owner of this restaurant used to be the former chef to I believe was the Fromagerie. He now owns Brennans Deli in Oakhurst and now Ross's Dockside.

We've eaten plenty of times at this place and it has not disappointed us both in food and the scenic sunsets, whether summer, fall, winter or spring the sunsets are spectacular.

On certain weekends there is even music where you can somewhat dance to.

When you come down to the Jersey Shore make this one of your watering holes while visiting.

Great French Restaurant

Before going to see Wintuk, we planned to see the Tree at the Rock and then go to dinner. Not going into New York often we stumbled upon this great restaurant.

Rene Pujol
321 West51st Street
NY NY 10019

The most interesting part about this restaurant other than the food was fantastic. I highly recommend the rack of lamb and if they have the carrot ginger soup as appetizer do not pass it up. I am not a soup eater however this was very tasty and I can't forget their saucisson en croute, it brought me back to my days in Paris at tea time with my grandmother.

Any way this is a cooperative restaurant. Every worker int he restaurant is an owner, from the dishwasher to the chef they have an equal stake in the business. What a great idea this way everyone is responsible for a job done well or NOT.

I give this a 5 thumbs up!

Wintuk Cirque De Soleil Madison Square Garden

This week we just saw Wintuk. We saw "Eau" and were in awe of this company's talent , so when we heard about the limited engagement for Wintuk we just had to go. Absolutely NO Disappointment.

You gotta go see it!Wintuk_2

I personally preferred this to "Eau". I liked the story theme behind it; where a boy living in an urban community wanted to see snow and how his travels and encounters with different people along the way to finding snow.

Each encounter along his travels highlighted one of the performer's specialties. At the beginning of the show they was mayhem with everybody running around, skate boarders, roller skating,   a thief with the cycling police chasing him then the story began with the little boy wanting to see snow. They had these fantastic dog puppets manned by 2 people, they had electronic marionette lampposts with working eyes and mouths. It was fantastic you just did not realize time went by so quickly and before you knew it there was a 15 minute intermission.

As always the line to the ladies room was horrendous, and everyone getting in line complained including myself, however we were all pleasantly surprised at how quickly the line diminished because they had people basically directing traffic in the bathroom! What a novel idea! From the time I went on line to getting out it was only 10 minutes that's a record at such a big event!

The reason I prefer Wintuk to "Eau" is because you can concentrate on the talents of one act versus looking at 4 or 5 different acts simultaneously and missing out on most of the talent as in "Eau".

My most favorite act was the Raggedy Ann doll stuffed in a trunk. To this day I am in AWE of this persons ability and it still makes me wonder as it did that night is it a person or is it a doll. I just can't begin to describe the flexibility of this individual you really thought you were looking at a live doll that did not want to go into the trunk.

The ending was great also as we all experienced snow! :)

In closing all I can say if you get a chance to get tickets to to the show GO GOGOGOGOGOGOGO! you won't regret it.

What Buyers are looking for in 2008

What’s In for Buyers in 2008

- Home buyers.. With swelling inventories, they are looking for newly updated kitchens and baths, pristine conditions, and a perception of value.

- Destination bathrooms. The master bath has evolved into the home getaway with multiple task areas. Freestanding or “throne” bathtubs (bath thrones) in the center of a soaking room, multiple flat screens TV’s and wireless Internet so you don’t miss anything as you move from bathing to grooming to lounging. Outfitted with serving bars featuring wine coolers, espresso machines, and grazing snacks. Also, a need for in-home hair salons.

- Pet showers. The kitchen sink is NOT for the dog bath. An emerging trend are dedicated dog showers. Be it in a mud or utility room, garage corner or basement, dog lovers want a place to clean their favored pooch after a visit to the beach or neighborhood park . Common dog showers feature a 3′ x 3′ shower base, surrounded by ceramic tile 4′ up the wall. Pet showers are all about the convenience for Fido to step in, and eliminate the owner’s need to lift.

- Home elevators. The boomers want their vertical palaces with elegant min-elevators. No more unsightly and very 1970s chair-on-the-rail-system for these financially flush, forward-thinking home buyers.

- Outdoor living spaces that look interior. Massive, soaring “statement” fireplaces of cut stone, heated (think bathroom floors) flooring and walkways, entertaining sized custom kitchens, and indoor-looking artwork, fabrics, and finishes, but ones that can stand up to the elements.

- Monitoring and controlling with hand-held devices. Forgot to turn off the coffee maker, close/open the blinds, and turn the heat down or the air conditioning up? The latest in technology that utilize hand-held devices to open or close the blinds, turn on or off lights, or let Fido out the electronic pet door, around the corner or across the country.

- Floating Homes. Not just in


. If your hood has calm protected waters, you’ll soon have floating homes, those that look like conventional, soil-situated structures. From




, floating homes are at the top of must-have lists for those looking for a primary home to be lifestyle oriented. Plus, watching sunsets are a more enjoyable and greener alternative to lawn mowing.

- Concealed appliances. Buyers bypass matching cabinet panels that are used to disguise the ubiquitous refrigerator and dishwasher. Hinged and pocket doors are the latest way to integrate visually those boxy necessities and make the kitchen more non-traditional and less functional looking.

- Energy Option homes. Solar panels, windmills and inverters are here to stay, in a big way. With brown-outs and power line-damaging storms on the increase, buyers in 2008 will ask for hybrid home-energy options.

What’s Out

- Unrealistic home sellers. These relics of another time and market missed the cocktail party chat and water cooler angst by the transitional sellers of 2007. Cautions included: pricing their home right, consider home-sale contingencies, and offer closing cost givebacks. Hear-no-evil-sellers were overlooked by buyers who pined for reality minded ones. Because if sellers were flexible with buyers needs, buyers bought.

- Living rooms. The great room has replaced the living room in American residential culture. Informal lifestyles with eating, cooking and living spaces combined so family members and visiting friends can congregate together through various activities has conquered the forced museum. In viewing homes with buyers I see the ex-museum used as work-out spaces, home offices, craft or hobby places, and I’ve seen more than once, the coveted living room with nothing more than a pool table as its solitary focus.

- Empty for sale homes. Buyers thought people “lived” in houses, but after seeing one-quarter of the homes they viewed empty, they wondered. Even though staging was the buzzword, getting that right was prickly in 2007. Those leftover silk flowers, the left behind mis-matched furniture, and the one-off design-show decorating scheme were buyer no-no’s. Neutral palettes, personal objects, thoughtful furniture rental, and something in the refrigerator says to buyers, maybe a person lives here.

- McMansions. Size doesn’t matter if it’s not well finished. A large voluminous home whose best attribute is the square-footage, is waning. Home buyers are looking for quality, not quantity in 2008. After all, who has the money to replace the faux-hardwood floors, builder grade carpet and fiberglass bathtubs?

- Obese ceiling heights. It’s cheaper to go up than out. That’s been the thinking anyway as of late in residential design. Buyers have finally said enough, they prefer ceilings between nine and eleven feet. Anything more, especially in a smallish (under 10′ x 12′) room is waste. If you can’t add a loft in a soaring room, “down size me” height-wise, buyers say.

- Pioneering locations. Buyers have moved away from take-a-chance-hoods. Pioneering or off the beaten path areas were once the hot bed of potential appreciation. However, buyers in 2008 have returned to the tried-and-true address, keeping resale desirability firmly in mind when making a purchase.

- Balconies as a marketing gimmick. Functional outdoor space, not the anorexic appendage hanging off the building, is what buyers crave in outdoor space for 2008. Real balconies have room for a grill and a comfortable table and chairs. People love the outdoors and want to use it, but not only as a solo experience.

What’s on the Way Out

- Mosaic tile. Once deemed the ultimate in tile, now considered a very personal design commitment to the previous owner. The cost and waste to remove intricate mosaic is over-whelming to buyers, especially if it is has been recently installed. Even the most expensive but not agreeable tile could kill an otherwise acceptable property.

- Retro-1970s chic. Trend-obsolescence by buyers in 2007 was rampant. Loving the retro-seventies was easy, but a more main stream kitchens and baths makes a sensible decision. As one Gen X buyer said to me; “I love the dark espresso colored shag carpeting, but, I know my decorating needs will change, I want an interior that will transcend trends.” I replied, “You’re looking for a ‘transcendent look” and her response: “exactly.”

A Different Christmas Poem

recieved via email:
As the Mom of a soldier, past~my Marine & current my police officer, this is something for all of us to read and remember:
A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright ,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."