Author Archives: vlm


COVID 19 and Real Estate

COVID 19 and Real Estate

So I am pretty sure if you are local to Southern NJ, or the Northeast, the US, heck- the world, you are well aware there is a pandemic situation right now that most likely is affecting your life and normal daily habits. I wake up every morning, go to the gym, walk the dog, get my Starbucks on Main Street, then stop and talk to neighbors and friends on my way back home before getting ready to go to the office. This has all changed dramatically. The gym is closed. Starbucks is closed. The office is closed. And I learned that one of my morning friends that I saw each and every day on his walk was a victim to COVID-19 and lost his fight. This was an eye opening moment for me. He appeared to be healthy and vibrant, full of life. Walked every day, worked hard, and was of no apparent risk to my knowledge. We shared our love for our children and grandchildren. We talked often about work and the town. And we always knew even on dark cold mornings we would most likely pass each other for a simple wave and comfort of knowing we were not the only ones on the road at this time. Life is forever altered for many people right now, and you might not even realize how much it has changed till this is all over and the new norm sets in. I started my year off the strongest I ever had business wise, and am now forcibly humbled and remembering what is really important.

So I am tormented with the idea as I hear some saying “it’s business as usual”. It is not, not at all. Business is forever changed for many and alternative ways to best serve my clients have been put in place and will continually be tweaked till I know I am doing the best I can. But keeping basic safety measures is so important right now! The risk is not worth the benefits of hosting open houses or some showings. Most important to all of what is going on is respecting the fact that sometimes the best thing we can do for clients is to be safe and protect them in any way possible. Yes, people still and will forever need housing. Have the rates changed and the ability for some to get a mortgage? Yes, 100%. Do some of these clients that were buying and now can no longer get a mortgage need to find a rental? Absolutely! And are people still selling homes because of previous plans or job changes? Without a doubt.

So I am creating new ways to market your home to keep you safe. That is now a huge part of my job beyond helping you buy or sell your home. I am working within guidelines and with my company to add a different type of marketing to my portfolio, as well as taking heightened safety measures to ensure all parties stay safe. Please look in the upcoming weeks on how myself and Compass can show you a different way to buy or sell your home. And in the meantime, business is not usual but it is still going on. And when you can, hug your loved ones or call to tell them how you feel. Life is so incredibly unpredictable and precious.

Michelle Discusses COMPASS Concierge

Michelle Carite discusses the COMPASS Concierge Program that allows a homeowner to perform home repairs, remodeling, cleaning and even staging ahead of listing their home with absolutely no money up front. This exclusive service from Compass pays for a wide array of items such as painting, staging, pest control, landscaping, roof repair and much more. And, you don’t have to pay for a thing until your home sells! The program comes with no charged interest, no hidden fees and no payments until the sale of the property. In fact, in many ways, the service pays for itself through faster sales and higher offers.

Michelle Carite was recently featured on NBC10 where was profiled one of her sellers who utilized the C Concierge program to remove old wallpaper and carpet to make their home ready for sale. The client also used COMPASS Concierge to have the hose professionally deep cleaned and staged. The results were quite impressive.

Watch Michelle Discuss CONCIERGE on NBC10

New Construction vs Buying a resale property

New Construction vs Buying a resale property

Often buyers wonder if new construction or resale is a better option. The biggest benefits to new construction is often picking your choice location when available, as well as the ability to determine any upgrades or cosmetic choices. Added bonus of course is that everything is brand new and often under warranty.

Then you have the option of perhaps buying something that is older. Many buyers who do that are truly seeking a particular location that they love for some reason. Maybe its the town or commuting purposes. Maybe they grew up there or prefer a particular school. There could be any number of reasons to be honest. Then with an older home or resale, they retreat to knowing that they can do cosmetic work within their finances that make this home “theirs” like they would in picking fixtures for new construction.

New Construction vs Buying a resale propertyAnd finally you have those looking for an updated resale. These buyers may prefer features about an older home or resale, but they want everything to look and work like its brand new. These are the buyers we see the most of. They are not looking to get into a serious project or spend a lot of money on cosmetics, but they prefer an existent location or neighborhood. They want what we often refer to as “move in ready”.

Currently we have quite a few of those homes on or coming to market. Take 3 Isabelle Court in Marlton for example. This home was built in 2015 and at the time of build they home owner spared no expense. One of the best lots in The Reserve at Marlton, and loaded with higher end choices of colors, appliances, fixtures and more. This home is truly move in condition at 5 years young! A rare opportunity for those resale buyers, but equally as appealing to those looking at new construction.

Call for a private tour of this home. No doubt you will think you have just entered the model home of a new construction opportunity, but not at the price tag you would pay to have built a home like this.

Compass Concierge Helps You Get the Most Money for Your Home

Compass Concierge Helps You Get the Most Money for Your Home
The Compass Concierge program gives you money to do renovations BEFORE you sell! Have you ever thought about how to get the most for your home? And when you do, does that end up in a laundry list of things that you either don’t have the money sitting around to do, or maybe you just do not want to be bothered managing? Maybe it’s your childhood home and it’s just too emotional to deal with it and pay the nursing home bills for your parents. Or maybe you have already relocated across the country and it’s not physically possible to meet contractors, pick out paints, etc.
These are real life scenarios, both that I have personally dealt with multiple times in my career as an agent. And I have always been as proactive as possible in these situations, trying to help my clients. But now, with Compass Concierge, the tools are there now for me to go above and beyond the norm. I can manage these projects, hire contractors of your preference, and get you the most money for your home. All with the Compass Concierge program and an interest free loan to do so.

Compass Concierge In Action!

Before

After

Recently I had a beautiful Mount Laurel home on the market. It’s set in a small neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac, with over 4000 sq feet of living space including a fully finished walk out basement. Many buyers would dream to find a home of this size and location. However, the feedback was again and again that the home needed to have the wallpaper removed and more neutral coloring. My clients are truly the kindest people and really wanted to make these changes, however they were scheduled for their cross country move and could not physically manage doing these tasks. So that is where myself and Compass Concierge has came in to help.
I met with designers, painters, flooring companies, etc. When the home was emptied out we had it repainted, carpet replaced and then staged it for the new listing. This home is coming to the market again in the next few days and with a complete facelift! I can not wait to see the traffic it will get now with some simple interior changes based on feedback from local realtors and potential buyers.
If you want to know more about how myself and the Compass Concierge program can help you get more for your home, call me today! I would gladly help walk you through this simple process and how it is of no cost to you!

Single Family Homes in Mount Laurel Needed

Single Family Homes in Mount Laurel Needed

Holy Moly Mount Laurel! You are still a hottie! Is it your award winning schools? Your won’t break the bank taxes? How about your undeniable convenience to multiple major highways and public transportation for the commuters dream? I mean the variety of choices and options is limitless! But you know what is not here? Inventory.

Inventory is at a low- but this is not a bad thing! This means there are more buyers than there are homes to be sold, which is to be expected! Why would you want to leave a town that truly has it all? As of the end of the Memorial Day weekend almost 40% of the available single family homes in Mount Laurel are under contract already, and as the prime real estate season gets under way I am sure this number will continue to increase.
So this is the time my friends if you were on the fence about selling. There are buyers anxious to get the perfect home in your area. It is a hard decision to make, trust me I know too well being a recent down sizer myself. But the trends are showing an increase of mortgage rates which historically changes that available buyers. With that in mind, don’t miss your moment.

Home Photos: Get Your House Camera Ready

home photos

Nothing is more bothersome than scrolling through home photos and admiring all the design work, moldings, layout, etc. Then you get to the bathroom, and there it is. The porcelain thrown staring right at you, wide mouthed and open. Stop! Put the seat down please! And lets be clear, this is not a lesson in manners, this is a lesson in how to stage your home to make it desirable to the naked eye. There is medical proof to show the slightest disturbance in a photo can brand a person with a negative thought. It sounds silly, yes, but it is true. Images, be the image itself or the angles play into the psyche, and leave lasting impression. Do you want that impression to be known “Beautiful house with the open John”?

What to do BEFORE home photos are taken

So take some time before the photographer arrives and walk room to room. Make sure beds look tidy, towels are straight, blinds are even, and dressers/vanities are clear of products. Put toys away as much as your possibly can and put laundry away…or hide it in the closets. This is not only for playing into the psyche of a buyer envisioning themselves in a new home, but also for a sellers safety and privacy. Along with that we all also suggest removing personal photo’s. Like I said, you want a buyer to come in and see this as their next home, not admire your wedding photographs or know what type of deodorant you prefer.

So take the time to consider these small details. Your home photos in most cases are your first impression to a buyer, let it be a positive one.

Do you want to become a real estate agent?

become a real estate agent

Want to become a real estate agent? It looks both glamorous and easy on many of the mainstream television programs. In fact, if you watch enough of them not only do you want to be one, but you can’t help but think its a job pretty much anyone can do. But the truth is a successful agent works much more than an hour long show with commercial breaks to get a deal to the table. And in the end, though hard, long hours and an emotional roller-coaster at times, I must say it absolutely can be one of the most rewarding occupations out there. Often you are playing a key role in one of the most exciting purchases a person can make.

How to become a real estate agent (a successful one)

To become a real estate agent, well a successful one anyway – real estate can not be treated like your average purchase of today’s times. You don’t just “add to cart” and get back in touch with your clients for the final check out. No way, its much more than that. You are with them every step of the way from determining what is the perfect home, to finding that home, assisting with any financing aspects, negotiating, inspections, repairs, and more. A successful real estate agent is there for their client and their needs often during abnormal hours, weekends, and even holidays. And most important, a successful real estate agent does not look at their client as just a buyer or seller. Instead they become more of a crucial role in their life, not someone who just passes through. They become friends and create a longstanding relationship based on trust and the fiduciary responsibility of the best interest of that client. Your reputation is all you have in the industry and it is important that you maintain one that is respected among clients and peers.

So to the original question, have you ever thought about becoming a real estate agent? And now seeing that realistically it is not what you see on television, are you still interested? If so, let me help you and guide you in the right direction. There are plenty of full-time and part-time class options to get you licensed for starters. Then from there you can determine what type of office is the best fit for you. Obviously I am biased in some ways to COMPASS being both an agent and owner, but there is many reasons I made the move which I will gladly share with you. After many years in a traditional office setting, I saw the opportunity in both training and technology that set COMPASS above the rest. But most importantly is the standards that they preach and the morals they expect from their agents.

Do not hesitate to reach out to me, I would love to help enlighten and guide you in how to become a real estate agent and how real estate could be an excellent career opportunity that you too could enjoy as much as I do.

The Home Buying Process: Found Your perfect home! Now what?

home buying processSo if you read the previous article about getting started on buying a home, you are anticipating the next steps in the home buying process. So plain and simple, here they are!

You have found your perfect home, and hopefully your equally as perfect realtor has negotiated and got you the price you wanted. Now, they next step is moving forward with contracts.

The Home Buying Process: Contracts

Contracts will be drawn up, in most cases by the listing agent. You, the buyer, will then review, have any changes made, and sign. At this point the seller then signs as well, and you enter what is called a “Attorney Review Period”. This is three business days from when all parties have signed. During this time either party, for any given reason, can change their mind about moving forward. Also, if you are buying a home in “as-is” condition, this is when you would want to have any inspections done. The reason for this is it is the only time to truly understand what “as-is” really IS, and therefore if you are unhappy with the results you can get out of the contract without penalty because you are in the 3 day window.

The Home Buying Process: Attorney Review

Now, where it can get tricky is if either party uses an attorney. However, an attorney is up to the individual party and often recommended by your agent, so do not think having an attorney is a negative by any means. It protects you in many ways beyond a standard contract. So in this case, because there is a real live attorney involved, that 3 day period is obsolete. Instead the attorneys review the contracts until they are satisfied which could day any given amount of days. Once happy with how the contract reads, seller and buyers sign and the attorney review period is over. There are some excellent real estate attorneys in the area, your realtor can often refer you to if you decide to use one. If you find one on your own, just be sure that they are truly a real estate attorney and in the state you are purchasing. All state real estates laws differ and for your protection you want to be sure to have someone whose skill set is a match.

The Home Buying Process: Inspections

So now the attorney review period is over and this is not an “as-is” property, therefore you have 10 days to do your inspections. Depending on the homes location will vary the type of inspections. It is always recommended at the very least to have a general home inspection and pest inspection. In other cases well, septic, oil tank, bulkhead, etc might be suggested. These inspections will be done and generate a report.The reports will be used to request any repairs you would like made prior to settlement and a negotiation process will be made for this. An addendum will be drawn up to acknowledge these repairs.

The Home Buying Process: Lender Docs

Other things going on between now and settlement may also be request of things needed by your lender to process your loan. All of the contracts will also be sent to a title company who will began the process of getting ready to settle on your purchase and insuring clean and clear title, to which you may hear from this representative if they need any additional information. And finally, in some situations you may be involved in the repairs undertaking. But otherwise its a slight waiting game till the big day!

The Home Buying Process: Walk through & Settlement

Prior to settlement you will do a final walk-thru. This will be the last time you see the property before you own it. You will have a check list of things to do and look for, including any repairs that should be made. You also will receive a list of to-dos from the title company that include making sure all utilities are switched over to your name to avoid interruption and fees. You should always do this at least 2 business days prior to the scheduled settlement.
And then, you are off! Time to buy your home!!!

USDA Loans for Low Income Buyers

USDA loan program

Did you know it’s possible to purchase a home through a USDA loans program even if you are considered among the “low income”? How about this; not only can you do so, but it can be done with next to no money out of pocket. That is correct, you heard that right. No money out of pocket. So let us tell you how…

The U.S. Government has backed a loan program through what is called USDA Rural Development (RD). It offers terms to give a low-income borrower the ability to purchase homes in rural areas. It almost sounds too good to be true, and the options of USDA are not just for purchase options but refinancing as well. They are fixed-rate and fixed-term loans with a maximum base loan up to 100% of the appraised value- and in some cases you can finance up to 2% over the appraised value.

So now, you found the home of your dreams in one of the eligible rural areas, and you are approved for a loan to purchase this property. What about closing cost? Well the good news is that in some transactions even those can be financed as well as other prepaid expenses. And this purchase option of a USDA property is also great for those who may not have perfect credit as there is a low minimum credit score requirement and flexible credit terms, not to mention the ability to substitute a lack of credit history for a nontraditional credit substitute.

So before you give up hope on ever owning your own home, or settle for a less than desirable rental option let us help you, you will be shocked when you see the areas USDA is accepted. We work closely with an expert lender who handles these types of loans. Once you provide him with your basic information, he can let you know if and what you are approved for that same day. It is truly as easy as it sounds, and we will help you through every step of the process.

So here is step 1, give Matt Prizzi a call today at (856) 985 9944 x104 or send him an email mprizzi@EveshamMortgage.com. He is well versed and been in the business a long time. And if find you are not eligible at the moment, he can help give you some steps to assure you get yourself set up in the future for home purchasing. And once you are approved, let’s get you started on the path to being a home owner!