Finishing Touches

DTRE Rumson Finishing Touches

In a previous post http://rumsonfairhavenhome.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/rumson-renovation/ I told you about the work in progress renovating the exterior of the historic Diane Turton, Realtors office in Rumson. Built in 1895, it was showing signs of its age and needed a thorough spruce-up that required lots of scraping and patching followed by careful painting of the detailed trim work.

The project is nearing completion, and if you’ve driven on River Road you’ve seen how great the long side of the building looks. The old beige color is gone, replaced by pure white, trimmed in the blue and green colors that we use in the Diane Turton logo.

This morning I noticed the painters working on the front of the building, which is the last side that has to be done. The project should be completed within the next week!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

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Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Among “Top 10″

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

New Jersey Monthly has published a list of the “Top 100” public high schools in the state, and they rank Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in the “Top 10”. In fact, RFH was ranked at #10 in the state, and one of 3 public high schools in Monmouth County that made it into the “Top 20”. The other two were Marlboro High School, ranked #9, and Holmdel High School, ranked #12.

The rankings are based on the latest data (the 2012-2013 school year) reported to the New Jersey Department of Education, and include such factors as the student/teacher ratio, the percentage of students scoring 1,550 or better on the annual SAT tests, results of the HSPA and AP or IB tests, and the percentage of students enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college within 16 months after high school graduation.

The NJ Department of Education says the percentage of students scoring 1,550 or higher on the SAT is “associated with a high likelihood of college success”, and is a new indicator reported by the state this year.

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional has had a long history of excellence and is one of the reasons people buy homes in Rumson or Fair Haven. The elementary and secondary schools in our towns are also excellent, as evidenced by the consistently high ASK scores achieved by their students in the standardized Language, Math and Science tests.

If you’re interested in moving to Rumson or Fair Haven, use one of the online real estate search engines (I can provide you with an excellent password-protected real estate search engine that doesn’t have any annoying pop-ups). However, if you find a home that you like, remember my advice: DON’T CALL THE LISTING AGENT (even if it’s me). The listing agent works for the Seller, and has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the highest price. You want to work with a REALTOR® who’ll work only for you, and who will have a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the lowest price.

 

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

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Sunset on the Navesink

Sunset on the Navesink River - Fair Haven, NJ

Sunset on the Navesink River – Fair Haven, NJ

Living near the water is Therapeutic. Walk down to the river any time of the day, and you’ll see sailboats and seagulls, and you’ll hear the water lapping at the shore or at the dock. If it’s windy and the sailor hasn’t secured the lines properly, you’ll hear the clanging as the metal hits the mast- it’s a gentle, comforting sound to landlubbers, but it can drive a sailor crazy.

This evening we went down to the Navesink and watched the sunset. The colors in the sky and the reflections on the water were wonderful. The only think that could have made it better would have been aboard one of the sailboats, gently swaying at the mooring. Sigh- I miss our boat!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

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Swans and Cygnets

Swans

We took a short drive to Oceanport this afternoon and came upon these swans and their cygnets at the end of a street on the Shrewsbury River. It’s great to live in an area where you’re close to the water!

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Oceanport Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Organic

Organic

Have you ever bought a product that was labeled “Organic” and wondered whether it really was organic? This book is the story of a University of Oregon professor who bought a can of “organic” black beans labeled as grown in Bolivia and a bag of organic walnuts labeled as grown in Kazakhstan, and his attempt to discover whether they were in fact “organic”.

It’s an interesting study into the various agencies that certify products as being organic, and the governmental organizations that set standards for what is considered organic. You get an idea of what he finds just by looking at the chapter titles, such as “Traitor Joes”, “We Don’t Know Beans About Our Beans”, etc.

Reading the book reinforced what I suspected: some countries are much more stringent than others in enforcing regulations aimed at ensuring that “organic” products are grown without pesticides and herbicides. Likewise for the quality of the efforts of the various certifying agencies and their transparency (or lack of it). I’m going to be far more suspicious of “organic” products grown outside of the United States.

The most interesting idea in the book was one that I thought should be given greater emphasis. Currently organic farmers have to pay a certifying agency in order to use a symbol such as the “USDA Organic” logo. So in addition to the higher costs and lower yields from not using pesticides and herbicides, there’s a potential conflict of interest when you have to pay the folks who inspect you. If, as many of us believe, organic products are healthier for you than so-called “conventional” ones, why not have non-organic farmers pay a small tax which would be used to fund the organic certification process? Better yet, require “conventional” products to bear a small skull and crossbones label to remind consumers how the products were grown?

Len

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More Choices for Rumson Home Buyers

35 First St RUM

If you’re looking to buy a home in Rumson, you have more choices than you had a year ago. If we look at the year-to-date statistics, we find there are 4% more single-family homes listed for sale. The number of listings (or “Inventory”) is one of the 4 key, objective indicators I use to look at the local real estate market. More listings normally result in lower future home prices, and while that may be good news for home buyers, it’s bad news for anyone trying to sell a home in Rumson.

There’s more bad news for home sellers: 21% fewer homes sold in the first 7 months of 2014 than in the same time period in 2013. Fewer home sales indicate lower demand, and lower demand also produces declining prices in the near future. Again, if you’re looking to buy a home in Rumson this may work to your advantage.

The median Rumson home sales price is down 1% compared to what it was a year ago. A 1% decline may not seem like much, but any decline in prices represents bad news for home sellers (and good news for home buyers).

The 4th indicator I use is the real estate absorption rate. You may remember from my previous posts, that the absorption rate is a calculation of how long it would take to sell ALL of the homes listed for sale, if homes continue to sell at the same rate as they have during the past 12 months. The absorption rate is important because it takes into account both supply and demand. An absorption rate of 5 – 7 months is considered to be a “normal market”, while greater than 7 months is a “buyer’s market” and less than 5 months is a “seller’s market”. Rumson’s absorption rate is currently 5.8 months, and it was 5.7 months at this time last year. To me those numbers are similar, so this indicator is neutral right now.

Rumson Home Sales, Jan 1 – Jul 31
2013 2014
Sales (Demand) 72 57 21% fewer sales.
Listings* (Supply) 53 55 4% more listings
Months’ Supply* (Absorption Rate) 5.7 5.8 Similar Demand vs Supply
*based on the past 12 months
Median Sale $ $1,085,000 $1,077,500 1% lower median sales price.

 

So, of the 4 key indicators for Rumson real estate, we have one which is neutral, and 3 that are predicting lower prices in the near future. If you’ve been thinking of putting your home on the market you may want to do so sooner rather than later, and I’d be glad if you’d let me be one of the REALTORS® you interview to list your home.

If you’re interested in buying a Rumson home and you can pay for it in cash, you may want to wait and let prices go down before you jump in. If you’ll be needing a mortgage the decision becomes more difficult: even though mortgage rates are rising at a slower pace than the “experts” predicted they would, the trend is definitely towards higher rates. Make sure you have a letter of pre-qualification from at least one mortgage lender. You’re not committed to use that lender, but if you submit a copy of the letter when you make an offer on a house it strengthens your position with the Seller.

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

Posted in Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Homes Sold, Rumson Local Expert | Leave a comment

4 Key Numbers for Fair Haven Real Estate

Len Sign Web

July was another strong month for Fair Haven home sales, with 11 sales closing during the month (10 closed in July 2013). As of July 31st the median price of a single-family home in Fair Haven is up 11% compared to what it was a year ago. An increase in the median price is good news for home sellers and bad news for home buyers. It’s the first of the 4 key indicators we use to monitor the local real estate market.

The 2nd indicator is the number of homes that have sold so far year-to-date. For Fair Haven, there have been 25% more sales this year compared to the same 6 month period in 2013. An increase in the number of sales indicates an increase in demand, and greater demand normally results in higher prices in the near future.

The 3rd indicator is the number of homes that are listed for sale. Here I look at an average of the past 12 months, and I find that we’ve had 7% fewer listings in Fair Haven than we did one year ago. Fewer listings indicates a decrease in supply, and lower supply also results in higher prices in the near future because buyers have fewer choices.

The last indicator is an important one: it’s the real estate absorption rate. This is a calculation of how long it would take to sell ALL of the homes currently listed for sale, assuming that homes continue to sell at the same rate as they have in the past 12 months. The reason that it’s so important is that it takes into account both supply and demand. For this indicator, it’s important to look at both the number itself and the change from one year ago. An absorption rate of 5 – 7 months is considered a “normal market”, more than 7 months is a “buyer’s market” and less than 5 months is a “seller’s market”. One year ago the Rumson absorption rate was 4.3 months, and currently it’s 2.8 months. This tells us that we’re in an even stronger “seller’s market” than we were a year ago.

Here are the 4 objective indicators in tabular form:

Fair Haven Home Sales, Jan 1 – Jul 31
2013 2014
Sales (Demand) 49 61 25% more sales.
Listings* (Supply) 30 28 7% fewer listings.
Months’ Supply* (Absorption Rate) 4.3 2.8 Stronger Demand vs Supply.
*based on the past 12 months
Median Sale $ $620,000 $685,000 11% higher median sales price.

 

The bottom line is that, unlike in Rumson, where the indicators are warning of a possible price decline, all 4 key real estate indicators are predicting higher prices for Fair Haven homes. If you’re considering buying a home in Fair Haven, I’ve lived here since 1975 and I’ll be glad to find you the right house in your price range. True, you’ll probably have to pay a bit more than you would have a year ago, but I’ll help negotiate as low a buying price as possible. So use Trulia to look for homes you might like, but remember my advice: don’t call the Listing Agent (even if it’s me). The Listing Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the Seller to negotiate the highest possible selling price. I’d be glad to act as your Buyer’s Agent, and you’ll have my undivided loyalty.

Call, text or email me- I want to be your REALTOR®!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

Posted in Fair Haven Homes Sold, Fair Haven NJ Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Leave a comment