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November 2008




“My daughter is insisting I move in with her,” complains Martha.  “She just wants to control my life and take away my freedom,” she continues.


Jenny, Martha’s daughter worries that her mother keeps falling, and fears one day she will break her hip or hit her head.


“I’ll take my sister to court before I will let her get control of mom and my inheritance,” exclaims Jim about Jenny’s desire to move her mother in with her.


It is amazing how quickly formerly cordial relationships between family members will sour when the family has to deal with care of elderly parents or inheritance at their death.  Sometimes the consequence of dealing with the final years of elderly parents can break families apart and create long-lasting animosity.…" read the entire article by going to the link below


Please go to the following URL for the entire article and previous articles: Either click on the link or copy and paste the following into your browser:

When will sellers realize that showing their house in this market...

Yesterday I had a nice young couple come down from Brooklyn to look at houses. We arranged to see 8 different houses of their choice. I made my appointments on Friday either through the Realtor or through the owner.

I love showing houses to buyers this time of year because they are very serious about purchasing. Usually they want to be in by the first quarter of the year.

To continue, I had no problems with 6 of the sellers/agents for appointments this one in particular asked me if I can have my buyers come by on Sunday during their open house, I told her that was not possible because they drove all the way from Brooklyn specifically to see this and other houses. She hemmed and hawed told me she had children and they needed to take their nap, it was a most excruciating conversation trying to pin her to a time. I told her she could be the first house, the middle house, the last house, the children could nap and we would be very quiet and look in. We finally arrived at a time and when we got there the house was nice. I knew this was the house my buyers will fall in love with.

Sure enough my buyers fell in love with it. The point of my ramblings is that if she did NOT let me see this house she would have lost potentially interested buyers.

IT takes only 1 showing(first time) and 1 buyer to sell a house. Is it inconvenient? YES absolutely. You want to sell the house then don't make it difficult to show, no matter where the buyer is from local or long distance.

Everyone has schedules however when the buyers set time to look at houses in this market at this time of year they are NOT FOOLING around!

Current Real estate market advice to Sellers and Buyers to use now...

AS market experts, economists weigh in on their opinion of bail out or other plans, I hope it chosen with common sense. Any person knows that prices do not go up forever and that the interest rates do not continue to go down to zero. The real estate market is not like a bouncing ball although it sure seems like it in the past couple of years. It goes in cycles and there is always movement up and down not peaks and valleys. Real estate is probably the best long term investment a person can make. Presently NOW is a good time to make your investments.

As Warren Buffet states “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful” certainly also applies to real estate. I have some advice for both sellers and potential buyers…

Sellers: We have been on the downward cycle since fall of 2005, yet many sellers have chosen not to listen to their realtors, whom they have hired to market their property as experts in the area, and still want to price their homes at 2004 prices. This is just NOT going to happen NOW, it did not happen last week or month nor will it happen next week or next month. Wake up smell the coffee! If your agent has not been telling you this firmly and politely and has just acquiesced to you and your numbers etc. get another agent who wants to MAKET YOUR HOME and NOT THEIR NAME and wants to have the transaction CLOSE. By the same token if you have a strong agent who has been in constant communication and you know in your heart of hearts that the agent has been marketing your property to its fullest, now is NOT the time to jump ship to another agency. Sit down and talk with your agent and perhaps include the broker so you can brainstorm. Both the agents and their companies spend a lot of money marketing your property and jumping ship to another agency is definitely not going to work especially if the house is not priced correctly to the current market it will not be right with the other agency either. IF the house does not show well now it will not show well with the other agency either. Same thing with showing, NOW is NOT the time to be difficult in arranging showing of your property with buyers. They are scarce and much more competition to look at. Make sure you can get the buyers IN to SEE your property WITHOUT OBSTACLES. Such things as try back tomorrow, pick up the key at the office, 24 hour notice etc. just push your buyer and their agent away from Your property to a competitors property that is much more “buyer friendly”. Are showings inconvenient? Your darn tootin they are. Are you interested in Selling your house? Then that is just a by product to get the house SOLD and your tough and strong agent should be telling you that!

Buyers: Opportunity is knocking! Hello can you hear it? Low interest, lowering prices! Don’t try to calculate when the bottom will drop – it could be now, tomorrow, next week or in 6 months from now. Whenever the bottom drops it will be useless knowledge when the interest rates have gone up. The Fed will not lower the interest rates forever. What goes down must eventually go up. In fact during past recessions the interest rates went sky high. Now is the time to make good deals, like other investors. Just remember the WHOLE not the piece- real estate is along term investment, and when it works as a short term investment- that’s a beautiful thing. Remember do NOT buy above your means, don’t borrow on tomorrow’s pay raise. There is much more to choose from today than in previous years and there ARE lenders that are lending money NOW. Not all banks have lost their heads about lending money to qualified buyers. When you find the house that speaks to you sit down brainstorm a strategy with your agent and make an offer. Do not worry about whether this is the right thing to do or not, again this is a long term investment and chances are it is the right thing for you. I have had buyers who were worried that they were going to miss out on that one special house, special price etc and have waited too long and lost the house that spoke to them in the first place. Remember there will ALWAYS be other houses that come on the market, that may be better, be priced better etc. but will the time be RIGHT FOR YOU?

In short whether you are a buyer or seller, be smart, use common sense and a strong and tough agent who will negotiate on your behalf, now is not the time for the timid and meek, and it is definitely not the time for inexperience or less than a full time commitment from your real estate professional.

Capital Gains

I was just talking with a colleague of mine as well as a customer recently regarding selling property and capital gains.

What came out of this discussion is if you have capital gains adn are worried about the tax implication then try to get is SOLD NOW! The rumor mill has it that when president elect Obama gets in the tax will be raised.

Just thought I'd mention this so it may help someone.

If you are interested in selling or buying please remember me for Monmouth and Ocean County in NJ


Another email I feel compelled to put up on the blog to help protect you.

Credit Card Scam " href="" target=_blank rel=nofollow> says  this is true.
To verify  see this  site:
This one is  pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one  piece they want.

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number;  they already have it.. This information is worth reading. By understanding  how the VISA & Master Card Telephon e Credit Card Scam works, you'll be  better prepared to protect yourself.

One of our employees was called  on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'Master Card'.  The scam works like this: Caller: 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the  Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card  has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify.  This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you  purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company  based in Arizona ?'

When you say  'No', the call er continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your  account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from  $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards.  Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your  address), is that correct?'

You say 'yes'. The caller continues - 'I  will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you  should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800 -VISA)  and ask for Security.'

You will need to refer to this Control Number.  The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it  again?'

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam  works.
The caller then  says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'. He'll ask you  to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. There are 7 numbers; the  first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers  that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you  sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The  caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller  the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the  card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you  have any other questions?' After you say No, the caller then thanks you and  states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do, and hangs  up.

You  actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card  number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20  minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security  Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase  of $497.99 was charged to our card.

Long story - short - we made a  real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new  number.
What the scammers  want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card Don't give it to  them. Instead, tell them you'll call V ISA or Master card directly for  verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will  never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information  since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN  Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get  your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then  it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud  report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a  call from a 'Jason Richardson of Master Card' with a word-for-word repeat of  the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a  police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking  several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know  that this scam is happening.

Please pass this on  to all your family, friends and neighbors. By informing each other, we  protect each other.


Neighbors Helping  Neighbors

Food Drive


As the economy worsens, visits to food pantries have increased, and food donations have dwindled. Our shelves are bare.

 Please Donate Food During the Holiday Season



Frozen Turkeys

Canned or Fresh Hams


Ready-to-eat Canned Meals

Canned Sweet Potatoes or Yams

Canned Vegetables

Canned Fruits

Stuffing and Gravy

Cranberry Sauce (Jellied)


Peanut Butter & Jelly

Instant Potatoes


Macaroni & Cheese

Canned Juices & Sip-size Juices

Canned and Dry Soup

HOPE for Homeowners

HOPE for Homeowners

The HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) program was created by Congress to help those at risk of default and foreclosure refinance into more affordable, sustainable loans. H4H is an additional mortgage option designed to keep borrowers in their homes.

The program is effective from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2011.

As many as 400,000 homeowners could avoid foreclosure through this program over the next three years. If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, HOPE for Homeowners may be able to help you, by refinancing your loan into a new 30-year fixed rate loan with lower payments. Continue reading about HOPE for Homeowners

Updated list of lenders who are participating in the HOPE for Homeowners Program


New limits range from $271,050 to $625,500

November 10, 2008 - Secretary Steve Preston today announced the new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loan limits for single-family homes as prescribed by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Beginning January 1, 2009, FHA will insure single-family home mortgages up to $271,050 in low cost areas and up to a maximum of  $625,500 in high cost areas. The February 2008 Stimulus Package temporarily raised the FHA maximum to $729,750 through December 31, 2008. The new $625,500 maximum, however, represents a significant increase over the $362,790 limit that was in effect prior to the Stimulus Package. Continue reading about new FHA limits

Urgent Housing News You Must Know

1. Freddy Mac & Fanny Mae - News for Nov 11, 2008:

New rules for troubled homeowners take effective on Dec 15, 2008

To qualify, borrowers would have to be at least three months behind on their
home loans, and would need to owe 90 percent or more than the home is currently
worth. Investors who do not occupy their homes would be excluded, as would
borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy.

Borrowers would get help in several ways: The interest rate would be reduced so
that borrowers would not pay more than 38 percent of their income on housing
expenses. Another option is for loans to be extended from 30 years to 40 years,
and for some of the principal amount to be deferred interest-free.

2. CitiGroup Plan Announced On Nov 10, 2008

Citigroup said late Monday it is halting foreclosures for borrowers who live in
their own homes, have decent incomes and stand a good chance of making lowered mortgage payments.

3. It is my opinion that the goverment at the very least, will certainly act in an aggressive
way to rescue the housing industry and the economy.

4. Massive Recovery Expected
My opinion and that of Jeffrey Ottreau,appraiser, that we will start a sales recovery not price recovery in mid of 2009.
The recovery will not mean an increase in prices.
We will still have a large inventory which will prevent price increases. OUr current absorption rate for Monmouth County is 10 months. Once we reach an absorption rate of 5 motnhs or less that is when potentially prices can increase.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

I got this in an email and couldn't help myself I had add this to the blog. I guess I am one of these people who survived and still living.
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! 

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. 

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. 

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. 

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. 
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. 

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. 

We drank water from t he garden hose and NOT from a bottle. 

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and 
NO ONE actually died from this. 

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, 


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. 

No one was able to reach us all day.And we were O.K. 

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes After running into the bushes a few times, we le arned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms....... 

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! 

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. 

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke ou t very many eyes. 

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! 

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. 
        Imagine that!! 

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! 

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an ex plosion of innovation and new ideas. 

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! 

If YOU are one of them CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to
grow up as kids, before the lawyer s and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good . 

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were. 

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!