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February 2009

Speeding in New Jersey...

REceived this email and thought I'd post it for everyone to review 

the latest NJ State Police Initiative (Radio Station 101.5 FM
confirmed this info).

Starting today, New Jersey will launch a 30-day speeding ticket
frenzy. The state estimates that 9 million dollars will be generated
in speeding tickets. One million dollars will go to pay state troopers

There will be 50 state troopers on duty at all times patrolling the 9
main intersections and highways as follows:

I-295 North and South,
I-95 Jersey Turnpike North and South
I-80 East and West
I-287 North and South
I-78 East and West
I-195 East and West
I-280 East and West
Route 130 - North and South
Garden State Parkway - North and South

5 MPH above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is
supposed to pull a car over and
write a ticket every 10 to 20 minutes.

They have issued 30 brand new unmarked Crown Victoria cruisers and are
bringing in all of their part-timers on full time. If you work in NJ,
NY, DE or CT, you will probably be on one of these highways.. So,
please be on guard and drive safely!

Starting August 15 , the price of a violation to show your driver's
license, registration or insurance card at the time you are stopped ,
increased from $44.00 to $173.00. (Keep these documents in your car) ..
And the fine for not having all three documents is $519.00!

The fine for hand-held cell phone use while driving will be going up
to $180..00.

Please forward this to people in N.J. and let them know of this latest
Police & n bsp; Initiative

Weekly Radio Talk Show is being launched by the National Assoc. of Realtors

 Beginning on February 14, satellite radio subscribers can hear Real Estate Today on America's Talk, XM Channel 158, Saturdays 5-7 p.m. EST; Talk Radio, XM Channel 165, Saturdays 1-3 p.m. EST; and Stars, Sirius-XM Channel 102, Saturdays 6-8 a.m. and Sundays 9-11 a.m. EST.

Real Estate Today will help build consumer confidence in the market and in the long-term value of real estate to help bring buyers back into the market.

Real Estate Today will air online at– visit the site anytime after the premier 

Realtor Goes to Court on behalf of Seller - Foreclosure

I came accros this article and thought the essense of it should be spread to all homeowners and sellers.

REALTOR Goes To Court And Gives Judge Thumbs UP!

Recently I went to court not because I am in trouble...but someone important to me...our real estate seller!  See they live about 6 hours away..and yes the process of foreclosure has started.  Laid off..injured car (needs repairs) and could not make the trip. So what was this seller to do?

They Asked Me To Appear in Court!

Rather than no one appearing...I told them to type a letter..and if the judge will even acknowledge me..and read the seller's letter...there might be some hope to get the offer they received the closing table...all we need is time..time to get the short sale processed..I know it's going to be hard work...I read the wonderful Missy Caulk..and have had REALTORS throughout the state asking me for help to get through to this lender.

for the full story   Realtor goes to Court - Foreclosure

The moral of the story is if you are in the process of foreclosure...DO NOT IGNORE  the documents...that means respond to the you will know your options...respond to court documents and to court appearances..and if you can't get to the court room and its a legitimate someone who can stand in for you. 

4 Reasons to have a pet Companion

If you don’t share your home with a companion animal, and especially if you live alone, you’re missing out on all the health benefits they offer - companion animals can:

  • Instill a sense of well-being
  • Promote lower blood pressure
  • Decrease the likelihood of depression in older adults
  • Promote higher self-esteem in older people than those who don't care for companion animals

for more on this story


H.R. 1  (Isakson-Lieberman Amendment) 
Amount of Credit  Lesser of 10 percent of cost of home or $7500  Same as current law  Lesser of 10 percent of cost of home or $15,000, but only for purchases beginning the date the President signs bill. 
Eligible Property  Any single family residence (including condos, co-ops, townhouses) that will be used as a principal residence  Same as current law  Same as current law 
Refundable  Yes. Reduces (or can eliminate) income tax liability for the year of purchase. Any unused amount of tax credit refunded to purchaser.  Same as current law  No. The credit can reduce tax liability to zero, but if purchaser’s tax liability is less than the amount of the credit, the unused portion is not refunded to purchaser. 
Income Limit  Yes. Full amount of credit available for individuals with adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 ($150,000 on a joint return). Phases out above those caps ($95,000 and $170,000, respectively).  Same as current law  None. 
First-time Homebuyer Only  Yes. Purchaser (and purchaser’s spouse) may not have owned a principal residence in 3 years previous to purchase  Same as current law  No. All purchasers, not just first-time homebuyers, are eligible for credit. 
Recapture/Repayment  Yes. Portion (6.67% of credit) to be repaid each year for 15 years, starting with 2010 tax filing. If home sold before 15 years, then remainder of repayment amount recaptured on sale.  Yes and No. Repayment will apply to 2008 purchases.  Yes and No. For 2009 purchases, the credit will not be repayable UNLESS the home is sold within two years of purchase. Repayment will continue to apply to all 2008 purchases and 2009 purchases before date of enactment. 
For 2009 purchases, the credit will not be repayable UNLESS the home is sold within three years of purchase. 
Effective Date Purchases on or after April 9, 2008. Repayment to begin for 2010 tax year (return filed in 2011.) Repayment elimination applies only to 2009 purchases $15,000 amount and repayment feature effective as of date of enactment (date of President’s signature).
Termination 1-Jul-09 1-Jul-09 1-Sep-09
Interaction with Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Can be used against AMT, so credit will not throw individual into AMT. Same as current law Same as current law
Allocation Election  No provision No provision A purchaser can make an election to take the credit over 2 years. If the purchaser makes this election, the amount claimed must be the same in both years.
(Utilizing the credit over 2 years rather than only in the year of purchase)
Prepared February 5, 2009 
Subject to Change 

BREAKING NEWS Home Buyers Tax Credit Bill

A bill just passed the senate H.R.1 that will be a great way for buyers to BUY NOW!

Here are some of the things that this bill will do:


  • Provide a direct tax credit to any one who purchases any home!

  • Amount of the tax credit would equal 10% of the purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less

  • Purchses must be made within one year of this legislation being enacted

  • This tax credit would not to be repaid  unlike the current tax credit

  • Taxpayers would be able to claim the credit on their 2008 income tax return

  • This will only apply to the purchase of a principal residence

  • The Credit would be recaptured if the home sold within two years of purchase

  • This would sunset the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment


Check with your preferred mortgage specialist to find out what information they have on this exciting possibility.


Will Keep you posted

GREAT NEWS Senate OKs $15,000 Bonus for Home Buyers

 Housing could get a big boost from the latest addition to the mammoth stimulus bill working its way through Congress.

Senate legislators unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday that would allow a tax credit for home buyers of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 tax break but only for first-time homebuyers.

"It is time to fix housing first," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-G.

Isakson's office said the proposal would cost the government an estimated $19 billion. In all, the stimulus is now topping an estimated $920 billion.

In an op-ed that appears in Thursday’s Washington Post, President Barack Obama painted a dire picture if Congress fails to move quickly to pass the stimulus bill.

"This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse," Obama wrote in the op-ed titled, "The Action Americans Need."

Source: The Associated Press, David Espo (02/05/09)

Staging is not just INSIDE it is OUTSIDE too for Curb Appeal and other websites have photographs of your house for sale, and those photographs are a BIG FACTOR in whether buyers choose to visit your lisitng offline.

Curb Appeal today means WEB APPEAL!

  • How do I make my lisitng/ house for sale  more photogenicc?

    Start by taking a picture of it form the front. Look at it and critique it.

    What are the best features?

  • What is it lacking?

  • Are the bushes overgrown and you can't see the windows? trim the bushes down so you can see the window and more light can get in.

  • Can you see the trash can from the front?

  • Add window boxes for more color and interest they should be the full length of the window and NOT under the shutters

  • Is the light bulb on the outside light working? What does the fixture look like old and rusty? Replace it

  • Is there a tree with no leaves just branches? get it cut!

  • Does the door blend in with the house? Paint it with a contrast color. and if not then place some flower pots with colorful flowers to give it pop.

Anything that you have procrastinated about now is the time to get it DONE! before the buyers start looking and calculating 3 times what the actual cost to fix it would be.



4 Rehab Must Dos for Today's Market

  • Kitchen Island ideally one with lots of storage
  • Sealed shower multiple shower heads and outside vent to prevent mold build up
  • Stainless Steel Appliances essential today at almost every price point
  • Universal Bath Design

Two rooms that consistently make the biggest impression upon buyers are the kitchen and bathroom!  Even in today's economic uncertainty buyers and homeowners are willing to spend on upgrades to these two essential rooms.

Homeowners may give up the granite countertop to get an island or vice versa as long as they get that certain look that creates a high polished look that they've seen on TV or the magazine.

The growing importance of the kitchen as a living space, has added the desire for quality.

In markets good and bad a cheerfull kitchen will get buyers past a multitude of issues, which is why white kitchens are still the color of choice. Beach houses are often done in fresh white shaker style cabinets and white soapstone or marble countertops. On the other side inland horse country homeowners tend to choose more rustic, soft glazed, creamy whites, cherry and recycled copper accents.

Lighting - natural and manmade - is HUGE in kitchens and even more essential in bathrooms. Ideally in bathrooms lighting should come from both above and the side to prevent shadows.

Easy lighting upgrade is to add dimmers to all lighitng so that
you can adjust the light to the job and the mood.

Storage Galore is the name of the game.
No matter how big the kitchen or bath there is always a need for storage. A walk in pantry in the kitchen is an upgrade that buyers drool over.

 Kitchen islands are also turning into storage centers as they grow in size and shapes. Built=in wine racks, undercounter refrigerator drawers and appliance storage all add to the island's versatility.

In the bathrooms it is all about decluttering with builtins which a good experienced realtor will tell you increases buyer appeal. Electrical outlets hidden in the cabinets keep unsightly electric items out of sight.

If you thought refrigerator drawers were only for the kitchen, think again. Refrigerated drawers in the bathroom are great for cosmetics, medicines and even orange juice for the quick pick me up in the morning. Warming dawers as well are popular to keep your towels anice and toasty.

Just as kitchens have grown in size to accomadate different living, so too are bathrooms expanding their role. Some include exercise quipment, reading nooks, ventless fireplace and multiple tv's.

Easy storage upgrade add roll out shelves in kitchen cabinets and drawers in bath vanities for easy access and organization.

Five Retrofits Buyers Love

  • Tile Backsplash
  • Add undercounter lighting
  • Paint the upper cabinets in a different color for a custom look
  • Add doors with glass panels to some cabinets
  • Change the hardware for a fresh new look

Five Kitchen and Bath Features BuyersWant Most

  • Shower Stall in Master Bath
  • Eat -in Kitchen 
  • HIgh End Appliances
  • Granite Countertops
  • Kitchen Island

Custom is King or the impression of custom

Islands in particular are getting the feel of custom like fine furniture with columns, toe boards, moldings. Different surfaces and finishes on counters or wall cabinets are affordable ways to create a custom feel.

Panels that blend the refrigerator and dishwashers into the cabinetry are another way to create a sense of quality.

Remember design choices in baths and kitchens depend on personal taste and how long the homeowners intend to stay in the home. Those who plan to sell in five years or less, should focus on personalized touches using paint, backsplashes and accessories. IF you are contemplating redoing the kitchen remember a bigger kitchen is better so this may be the time to knock a wall down.






Real Estate IS LOCAL

The key to success this year is remembering that all real estate is local.

Grants To Help States Stabilize Housing Areas

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 provided $3.92 billion in supplemental Community Development Block Grant Funds to help states mitigate the harmful effects of foreclosures -- declining home values, increased crime, significant loss of investment -- in very hard-hit communities

For more information on how these neighborhood stabilization grants may affect your area, browse online to

Be sure to check with your state and local governments to find out about any local programs set up to help homeowners, buyers and sellers.