Not just selling shore homes, selling a shore way of life. Your resource for the best homes, hotspots, & happenings in Margate, Ventnor, & Atlantic City.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Taking The PULSE of the Shore Market for 2009

The summer season is quickly approaching and March and most of April are already behind us. Its time for another update on the State of the Market down here are the shore.

New sales continue to rack up all over the island as eager Buyers come down to try to take advantage of the "The Perfect Storm", the combination of affordable home prices and low mortgage rates ( Trident Mortgage is currently offering 5.0% for a 30 fixed mortgage).
Please join me in sending out congratulations to the Buyers and Sellers I represented in the past few weeks in successful transactions:

Chuck and Eileen L. for the purchase of their duplex in March in Ventnor
Barb & Ken Z. on the purchase of their home in March in Ventnor
Jennifer & Mark S. on the sale of their home in March in Margate
Earl & Deena R. on the purchase of their home in March in Margate
Martin & Debra B. on the sale of their home in April in Margate
Jay & Randi H. on the purchase of their home in April in Margate
Jennifer & Mark S. on the purchase of their home in April in Margate
Paul P. on the sale of his multi-family home in April in Atlantic City
Rich & Michele B. on the purchase of their home in April in Ventnor
Dina & Jim D. on the purchase of their home in April in Margate
In addition to these completed sales, I currently have 10 more properties under contract and scheduled to close in the coming weeks.
Good news for you and good news for the shore. Still a great place to invest your money and great place to share with friends and family.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Margate Seeks Performers for "Thrilling Thursdays"

This summer the streets in the business district are going to take on the air of fun as entertainers will be stationed along Ventnor and Atlantic Avenue to help locals and visitors enjoy "Thrilling Thursdays."
Beginning June 25 and running for 10 consecutive weeks, Margate will host Thrilling Thursday, a day dedicated to giving residents and visitors memories that are worth coming back for week after week.
Thursdays will feature select entertainers who can intact with children and adults. "Like you find in the Village in New York - where a caricarturist might be working on a corner and you hear a great saxophone player on the next - we want the atmosphere in margate to be very positive and upbeat," said Anna Marie Blescia, director of the Margate Business Association. Blescia says the MBA wants Margate to become a destination for visitors and shoppers with attractions such as the Margate Community Farmers Market on the grounds of Steve & Cookie's on Thursday mornings that began last year.
Merchants will be cooperating with draws such as in-store specials, sidewalk sales and lunch and dinners along the avenue on Thurdays.
The city also announced recently the no badges will be required on the city's beaches on Thursdays.
All that, coupled with the addition of the street performers just might put the thrill in "Thrilling Thursdays".
The Margate Business Association is looking for talent to showcase on the streets this summer. it is seeking local performers, jugglers, magicians, caricature artists, puppeteers, mimes, balloon artists, clowns and musicians.
"This is a great chance for some of our local performers to get some exposure." Blescia said.
Performers and artists are asked to send a resume or send a demo or sample for MBA members to review. They should provide the specific dates they are available to facilitate scheduling and make sure everyone who qualifies has a chance to shine.
Email -
Or Visit to complete Registration Form.
The above article was written by Shaun Smith and appeared in the Downbeach Current on April 16, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Creating Your Own Perfect Shore Getaway


Just two months ago (see blog entry February 2, 2009) I told you about a house located at 104 N. Clermont Avenue in Margate.
When it came on the market, most of the people, Realtors included considered the house a "tear down". Well, with a little bit of money and the innovative concepts of builder/developer, Remarkable Renovations' Debra Buchalski this outdated house, has become an elegant and modern beach getaway complete with every amenity one could hope for in a home of this size tailor made to suit the needs of the people that purchased it.

Originally a traditional 3 BD 2 BA house with tiny kitchen, this home was transformed into a 4 BD 2.5 BA house with an open floor plan that includes an eat in kitchen w/granite counter tops with breakfast bar, new hardwood floors, corner gas log fireplace. There is a first floor master suite, and the enclosed staircase was opened and replaced with decorative railings found in high end homes. The old alcove kitchen has been turned into a small bonus bedroom with a pull down Murphy bed.

Upstairs there are two large bedrooms that share a beautiful bathroom with tub shower. The outdoor space includes a large front porch with wood capped railings, and there is a fenced yard with pavers and grass with room for barbeques and the enclosed outdoor shower. There is also an attached one car garage. Just 2.5 blocks to the beach, the new owners purchased the finished products for $525,000 on April 6, 2009.

Remarkable Renovations has another new project beginning in May, not yet on the market. This new home will have direct ocean views. We are very excited about it.

Our area is not lacking for Buyers, and based upon the current mortgage market, there is no better time to buy. The true challenge we face is finding a home that meets the needs of the Buyer. Smart Buyers discover that a house in the right location is worth fixing. Perfect homes do not exist, but with the right people, you can make a home to meet most of your needs.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Short Sales - Not Always A Short Cut

In this new “Buyers Market” we have been introduced to a slew of new terms still unfamiliar to most people. “Short Sale”, “Pre-foreclosure” and “Subject to Bank Approval” are terms we are seeing in advertisements more and more, particularly in home markets where the properties are not selling or there is an abundance of the same type of condos or homes. In Atlantic County, it is more prevalent on the Mainland, but lately even the Island has not been immune.

Here are the legal definitions of Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure that I found on the Internet. (They appear to be the same thing.)

Short Sale - A sale of a house in which the proceeds fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage.
Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and forgive the rest of what is owed on the mortgage when the owner cannot make the mortgage payments. By accepting a short sale, the lender can avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure, and the owner is able to pay off the loan for less than what he owes.
Pre-Foreclosure - A
procedure in which a lender allows a mortgagor to avoid foreclosure by selling the property for less than outstanding balance of the loan.

So what does it mean and is it really a good deal for the Buyer?

There is now a third component to this process that makes the entire “Short Sale” purchase a very different buying experience. That is and “Subject to Bank Approval”.

When a Seller has reached the point that they can not longer make payments on their mortgage and wants to sell their home for less than the amount that is owed on the mortgage, that amount must be approved by the bank or banks hold the loans.
Buyer’s Step #1 - An offer is made to the Seller. Be prepared to wait a very long time. Buyer’s Step #2 – Be prepared to wait some more.

So you found a property you like that “requires Bank Approval”. You write an offer and it is presented to the Seller. Now the fun begins!

The Seller’s agent prepares documentation about the property along with a Settlement sheet which shows all of the closing costs and forwards this to the bank. Regardless of how motivated the Sellers to sell their property, banks are not. Short sales can and do take a minimum of 4-5 months and most times take longer than that to get all final approvals from the banks. Many Sellers who have reached the point of needing to do a short sale have more than one loan or lien against the property. All lien holders must agree on the price and the financial arrangement for the deal to go through.

Once an offer has been presented, a bank negotiator is assigned and the bank will then send out an appraiser from the bank to determine the value of the property. Based upon that determination, the bank will eventually come back with a counter offer, requiring a percentage of the appraisal that meets their standards or the offer is rejected. If there is more than one bank involved, each bank must approve each change, and each bank may have more than one approval required. In one Short Sale I am doing right now, the offer was sent in December 2008, I received an approval from the main bank in February 2009, the first approval from the second bank in the beginning of March 2009 but we are still waiting for the final approval from the second bank now and have had to delay closing twice because of this. In the meantime, my Buyer’s mortgage lock (on their rate) has expired).

BUYER BEWARE! – in the Short Sale the Bank is now the Seller so you are buying the property “As Is”. In most cases, the original owner has been in financial distress for a while, so the property has not been well cared for and in all likelihood all things of values have been removed. Keep that in mind realize that you are still writing an agreement that includes a home inspection clause. Make sure that clause gives you an out if you find the property is not really the value you thought.

The last thing you will need is an agent that will stay on top of the situation. A short sale is not fun for an agent. It is frustrating, time consuming and requires a lot of detail work. Make sure you are working with an agent that will cover all bases.

Short sales can be a good opportunity but be sure of what you are buying and that you are willing to start this long hard road. There are many very motivated Sellers out there that can deal with you directly, that can offer a well priced property that may require a lot less work than a short sale property. A short sale can be a good opportunity for a very patient Buyer ready to invest time and money to make it into a worthwhile investment.