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Archived Posts from "'Cornering the Market'"

Will It Flood Again?

[Continuing the reader contributed series "Cornering the Market," written by Brian Murray]

Flooding and Hoboken Condos

Hurricane Irene may have been a “dud,” but her affects are still being felt by Hoboken Condo owners.

If you have walked down the streets that typically flood have you seen piles of debris on the sidewalk. And by debris I mean water damaged flooring, cabinets, and furniture. My guess is that the insurance companies have finally settled, the contractors are through the emergency backlog and the real work of getting people’s homes back in order is beginning.

The good news: Hoboken won’t allow you to build below the flood line anymore. No more garden apartments that turn into ponds. New construction requires an elevation certificate. Wow what a concept. Can’t believe they just thought of this! I might put one in my time capsule so future Hobokenites can look back and say “Can you believe that they actually built homes in a place that was guaranteed to flood? and they needed a paper from the town to tell them it was OK to build from a height that doesn’t flood?… Hey, look what I found. What is this black thing with the words Blackberry written on it?”

The bad news: It will happen again. For clarity. It will happen again. If you live in a garden level apartment and just got flooded, think cement furniture. There are certain realities for buyers and sellers. For buyers, know that the day will come and take precautions. For sellers, make the home as water friendly as possible. It will get in. I’ve seen it come up from the ground (think a bubblin’ crude ala Jed Clampett) and even through the walls on an adjoining building. Water is Michael Jordan. You can’t stop it. You can only hope to contain it.

“You’re gonna clean up alright. Everything. Or you’re gonna end up with the seat of your britches on fire.”

– Jed Clampett

How’s The Market?

The week of October 24th inventory is hovering just north of 300 condos for sale. That’s a little north of six months supply. Interestingly, the two bedroom market supply is down to under five months. Given that a neutral market is considered six months supply. You may see an uptick in prices of certain segments. Get the 411 on the market at www.hobokenhomefinder.com/market-report

More Brian Murray

Visit Brian Murray at hobokenhomefinder.com for weekly market updates, the latest stats, and open house directories.

And don’t forget to bookmark or subscribe to the Cornering the Market category here on Hoboken411 for the next update.

Hoboken NJ

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Are parking spots worth it in Hoboken?

[Continuing the reader contributed series "Cornering the Market," written by Brian Murray]

What is a Parking Spot Worth?

It’s summertime! Fireworks, trips to the shore, vacations, ice creams and no hats, and no overcoats. These are a few of my favorite things. There’s one other thing that I like about summer… parking in Hoboken.

The new city meter regulations aside, I just love Hoboken in the summer time. It’s like living in the burbs. Get in your car. Drive to the store. Drive home. Park in front of your building (or at least the same block). Summertime and the parking is easy…

Now if summer lasted all year, besides having a whole bunch of retirees clutter the streets and early bird specials, parking wouldn’t mean a thing.

But what is a parking spot worth the rest of the year?

Click for more about supply & demand, corner cars, rentals and Real Estate Rumors…

Hoboken NJ

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Low interest rates – time for action?

[Continuing the reader contributed series "Cornering the Market," written by Brian Murray]

Can You Afford Not to Buy Or Sell Today?

OK fellow Hobokenites, here it is in black and white. The spring market has a week left and the government is begging you to prop up the economy through the sale and purchase of housing. How? Unwittingly through the interest rates. Practically 50 year lows. That’s FIVE ZERO. I wonder what you could have bought a brownstone for back in 1961? Add on top the 4.5% interest rate and you could make money with a squatter!

The facts: Buyers live in the payment – Sellers live in the price

For buyers, a 1% increase in interest rates takes your purchasing power down about 10%. So you can listen to the pundits talk about a double dip housing recession or you can look at Toll Brothers cranking up 156 condos at 1450 Washington (http://www.hobokenhomefinder.com/1450-washington-at-hudson-tea.aspx) Here is a simple question for you..and don’t cheat….What is more likely to happen in the next 12 to 24 months… A) Prices in Hoboken will plunge another 10% on top of the 20% drop we’ve seen from the peak or B) Interest rates will rise a point or more from historical lows amid serious inflationary pressures? …to the buyer it’s the same monthly payment. Choice A is a gamble that I am not willing to make. Choice B. Let’s just say I am a big proponent of rate lock.

The Truth For Sellers:

So you are thinking of selling your Hoboken condo but missed the spring market. Maybe your worried that all the good buyers are off sunning themselves until Labor Day. A question for you? What happens when those interest rates tick up? Two very important things. 1. On the fence buyers will rush in not to miss their chance and you won’t be on the market. oops. 2. Those $500k buyers with diminished purchasing power are now $450k buyers. Does a seller really think the buyer is going to blame themselves and settle for one less bath? More likely will they negotiate harder with the seller and put downward pressure on prices. Probably not the whole 10% but even halfway costs the seller my commission.

Still Confused? Watch the video….

More Brian Murray

Visit Brian Murray at hobokenhomefinder.com for weekly market updates, the latest stats, and open house directories.

And don’t forget to bookmark or subscribe to the Cornering the Market category here on Hoboken411 for the next update!

Hoboken NJ

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Hoboken Real Estate Bidding Wars are Back

[Continuing the reader contributed series "Cornering the Market," written by Brian Murray]

Going, Going, Gone!

Hey Hoboken Real Estate, news flash: The bidding war is back! Thought the halcyon days of bidding wars were over? Well, they’re back.

Low inventory levels have pushed buyers past the “it’s a buyer’s market” mentality. The caveat being the property has to be priced right and be decent. No renovations needed, no walkups, good building with a good reputation. This is good news for sellers and better news for buyers.

The bidding war: A buyer’s best friend.

This is not a misprint.

Bidding wars actually help buyers more than sellers. Sellers want to get the highest price in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle. Those are three often competing agendas. A buyer wants the lowest price or stated another way a buyer doesn’t want to over pay.

The one buyer-one seller scenario puts both buyer and seller at risk. A seller with a fair priced property will negotiate with a buyer and usually give some discount off of the asking price. (3-5% in the average on Hoboken Condos) So Mr. Buyer and Mr. Seller agree on $480k for the home offered at $500k. Then Buyer number two comes along during attorney review swoops in and takes it away from buyer number one for $505k. ( I have clients that I coach on this all of the time.) Buyer one is out and never gets a second chance. The seller might not have gotten top dollar but can’t risk alienating two parties.

A bidding war (not an auction) gives each interested buyer one opportunity to present their highest and best offer from which the seller chooses. Buyer’s should love highest and best. It gives a buyer a chance to truly value a property and come up with an offer that if not accepted, the buyer can walk away knowing that they gave it everything they should. This is preferable to an auction because an auction can be an emotional process where winning supplants common sense. The buyer will often win an auction and then develop buyer’s remorse and back out. The losing bidder has likely moved on and the seller is left holding the bag.

So welcome back bidding wars.

This Week’s Tidbit

Pre-sales have begun on Toll Brothers 156 condo new construction project uptown called 1450 Washington at Hudson Tea(http://www.hobokenhomefinder.com)

More Brian Murray

Visit Brian Murray at hobokenhomefinder.com for weekly market updates, the latest stats, and open house directories.

And don’t forget to bookmark or subscribe to the Cornering the Market category here on Hoboken411 for the next update!

Hoboken NJ

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Where did the Hoboken pool go?

[Continuing the reader contributed series "Cornering the Market," written by Brian Murray]

I Found The Hoboken Pool!

As the memory of snow drifts fade into the leaves of spring, thoughts are turning to another year without a town pool. On the bright side, the Secaucus pool is across the street from the water treatment center… not sure if there is enough chlorine to make me comfortable sticking my head under water. And I’ve swam in the East River. Please excuse my son’s third eye.

Previous years’ attempts to secure a pool held the mantra: “Get The Developer To Pay For It.” Like some The Boy Who Cried Wolf story come to life, here we are again. Where is my pitchfork?

Well I’ve found the pool and an answer to really having a pool:

It’s as if a town pool was made of glass and dropped on Washington Street. Thus shattering into pieces that have tuned up all across Hoboken. The hidden pools tucked in the back of a typical 25 x 100 lot. No yard, just pool for the condo owners to frolic while those of us who don’t have a shore house curse those two faced politicians err I mean developers.

So if Hoboken is going to set aside $20 million or so to buy land maybe we could build a pool too. I hate to harp on a recurring theme but… How about some lot coverage trade-offs for a pool fund? What resident is going to complain that a builder built family friendly housing (i.e. three bedrooms and larger than 1500 sq.ft.) and at the same time contributed to the pool fund to do it? Tell those complainers to get out of their suits lest the drip water all over city hall.

Telling Market Stat: Available Condos on 10/15/2010: 505, Available 4/21/2011: 376

More Brian Murray

Visit Brian Murray at hobokenhomefinder.com for weekly market updates, the latest stats, and open house directories.

And don’t forget to bookmark or subscribe to the Cornering the Market category here on Hoboken411 for the next update!

Hoboken NJ

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Hoboken Curb Cut Conundrum

3/22/2011:

[Continuing the reader contributed series "Cornering the Market," written by Brian Murray]

The War On Hoboken Parking

Hoboken does not want you to have a car, and it’s not about parking.

This is not a argument for or against Zip Cars, Connect Cars or the merits of bike lanes.

It’s the stated pact of the Hoboken Master Plan page 43, under “Restrict New Curb Cuts”

In today’s Hoboken you need a double wide lot to put in a curb cut which allows access to a parking garage. The video contains my conspiracy theory. Suffice to say everything comes down to money. Why else would the City not want to take away the length of one average car to take three, four, five or even six cars off of the street?


The Curb Cut Benefit

The Curb Cut restrictions not only hurt citizens who would like dedicated parking but it slows real estate development. I am not talking about 13 stories rising out the Southwest corner of Hoboken.

I am talking about rehabs of simple four and five story buildings sitting on a standard 25ft x 100ft lot. The additional parking allows developers to make the projects profitable. The construction costs are already so high that many of these buildings in need of rehab simply are not getting fixed because of the lack of profit.

A curb cut can change this equation.

Dwellers get parking, the city gets higher taxes for the new construction, the neighbors get rid of an eyesore thereby raising their property values…… All from a curb cut!

More Brian Murray

Visit Brian Murray at hobokenhomefinder.com for weekly market updates, the latest stats, and open house directories.

And don’t forget to bookmark or subscribe to the Cornering the Market category here on Hoboken411 for the next update!

Hoboken NJ

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