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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


1. Is the market recovering?
2. Is this the right time to buy?
3. Is Real Estate a safe place to invest my money?
4. I think I will just RENT again this year…maybe prices will come down
5. I’m looking for a STEAL!!! Someone who is desperate.
6. I’m waiting for the “bottom of the market”

As a Realtor I hear all of the above from Buyers on a regular basis. So let’s take a look at these and address each one so as a Buyer you can accomplish your goals and avoid any pitfalls.

1. Is the market recovering? ALL REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL! There is a general misconception about the shore housing market. While the price of homes were severely impacted across the country over the past 12-18 months, the same was not true of cities like Margate, Longport and Ventnor. Sales did decease around 7-10%, but to compare our market to places like Florida, Las Vegas and even cities in Northern, NJ is misleading and inaccurate. ALL REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL! Absecon Island experienced one of smallest percentage changes in the country during the National Housing Crisis.
2. Is this the right time to buy? If not now, WHEN? At the shore, homes prices have stabilized and are lower than they have been in over 5 years. There is an abundance of homes for sale in all sizes, prices and conditions which you can choose and consider. Top notch renovators are also available to remodel to perfection your dream home in the “perfect” location. If you are a first time home buyer and this will be your primary residence, you may qualify for the $8,000 tax credit. Conventional mortgage rates continue to hold around 5%, close to the all time low in the past 38 years.

3. Is Real Estate a safe place to invest my money? A Buyer commented to our mortgage representative that he was nervous about putting his bonus money into the purchase of an $800k home. The mortgage rep. remarked: In the stock market, if you purchase stock for $800k, the cost is $800k. Hopefully it will go up in value, but it will cost you $800k. To purchase an $800k home, you don’t come up with $800k, just a percentage down and you have an investment that you will immediately use, enjoy, share with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime; month after month, year after year. You have also created an investment that will be increasing in value over time. And you did not tie up $800k to buy this $800k home!
4. I think I will just RENT again this year…maybe prices will come down! Maybe they will…Maybe they won’t. Most experts predict that mortgage rates will increase over the coming year. In addition, the average full summer rental is $15-$25,000 for a house, money that could be used towards a down payment. A number of my savviest Buyers have purchased a home and immediately rented it out for the summer, or a portion of the summer. This gave them a good investment property purchased at a good price with some income to defray costs, while at the same time still owning a shore home that they were able to use for part of the year.
5. I’m looking for a “STEAL”…”SOMEONE WHO IS DESPERATE!!!” Last week I received an offer from a Buyer on a beach block home in Margate that was $700k off the asking price. He thought that since the Seller had the property on the market for a while he might be “desperate” to sell. All I can say is, you can’t blame the guy for trying. But the fact remains that EVERYBODY who is looking to purchase a property wants the best possible deal and most Sellers are very eager to sell their homes, but for FAIR MARKET VALUE. If a similar house on the same block sold in the past few months for $800k, chances are that the house two doors down is NOT going to sell for $400k, or significantly less even if the Seller actually is desperate. 

6. I'm waiting for “the bottom of the market” mirrors the child’s chant on a long trip: “Are We There Yet?”... I have been telling some Buyers for about a year now: If you are waiting for the bottom of the market at the shore, you will continue to miss out on many great opportunities, because the only way to know for sure is after it has already happened, and by continuing to wait for “the absolute bottom of the market” many Buyers will inevitably miss out on properties that were great buys. From these Buyers I am already hearing, SHOULDA, WOULDA, COULDA!

There ARE great buys at the shore, but both Buyers and Sellers must be realistic about the numbers, and the numbers are all about market value. The numbers are not about what you would want them to be if you could have it all your way. The shore housing market is strong and will continue to get stronger in the coming years. The Time to Buy is NOW!!!

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