So, quarantine is starting to get old.
I'm not going to lie - in the beginning it had the feel of a little stay-cation, and since I haven't taken time off in while, it felt nice. But I noticed more recently I've started getting bored, lazy, and gaining weight! I realized that there is a certain physical and psychological impact of being on lockdown. After a couple of weeks, it becomes a new normal. It's hard to stay motivated, and it's easy to slip into couch potato mode. IT'S DEPRESSING! I've found that the best way to avoid that quarantine malaise is to keep a schedule of daily activities and goals that are both mentally and physically engaging. For example, I've created a daily schedule out of the 5 tasks below and it's helped me stay focused, disciplined, and healthy. Add these to your daily routine and stay out of that lockdown rut!
2018 was a great year for New Jersey’s housing market and economy, but what’s in store for 2019 is still anyone’s guess. If you want to keep a pulse on what's happening with NJ homes values, especially in Union & Essex Counties, pay attention to these 5 areas in 2019:
INTEREST RATES: In 2018 interest rates rose 4 times to finish just north of 5% in December, but then dipped back down to 4.7% around Jan 2nd. As far as the rest of 2019, The Mortgage Bankers Association thinks rates will hold at 5.1%, while Realtor.com predicts the average 30-year loan rate will reach 5.5% by the end of year.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT: Now more than ever, it’s important to stay in touch with what’s new on a local level. Use Tapinto.net, Patch.com, or your town's official website to check on nearby developments or construction projects and think about they effect home values your neighborhood.
NEW TAX LAW: This year there will be 2 big changes to the federal tax law that will effect many NJ residents. #1 is standard deductions have increased from $6,350 to $12,000 (and up to $24,000 for married couples), and #2 is the new $10,000 cap on property tax deductions. I recommend speaking with a qualified accountant ASAP to see how the new tax law will effect you.
MINIMUM WAGE: NJ lawmakers announced they have reached an agreement to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage. The new law will increase the minimum wage by $1 every year until it hits $15/hr by 2024. The increased minimum wage, along with changes to tax and healthcare policies, will no doubt have a deep effect on small businesses in NJ
STOCK MARKET: Last year was exciting for the stock market, it was like watching your favorite sports team! Now, many experts are predicting a crash is just around the corner. Considering we’ve been riding a bull market for the last 10 years, a correction does seem inevitable. The point is this - GET YOUR CASH READY - great buying opportunities are going to become available soon!
What do you think? Is there something I left off the list that we should be looking at?
-Silvio / Realty 33
Summer is officially over, and if you're like me, you're soaking in every last bit of sunshine and warmth we get before winter hits. ❄️
Let's recap how the market did over the last couple of months. Here's a quick summary of June thru September 2018:
The average sale price in Union rose to $319,216
⬆ up from last year's average by 5.6% ‼️
For new listings, the average asking price is $349,558, which is also up from $326,000 last summer.
Highest single family sale: 459 Homestead Pl, $612,000
Lowest single family sale 863 Boyd Ave, $137,000
Highest Multi-Family sale: 1300 Biscayne Blvd, $465,000
Lowest Multi-family sale: 134 Valley St, $167,500
I came across this topic on Facebook today and thought I'd share it with you. The State just recently released data revealing the average SAT test scores for every high school in New Jersey. This data is part of the state Department of Education's School Performance Reports for the 2016-17 school year. An article from Path.com then ranked the public high schools in order from lowest to highest scores. I've highlighted a few towns from our area for consideration.
#1. Montgomery High School, Montgomery (1331)
#2. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (1327)
#3. Millburn High School (1326)
#385. Woodrow Wilson High School, Camden ( 821)
#386. Central High School, Newark (819)
#387. Barringer Arts High School, Newark (795)
Other Rankings for Union/Essex County:
#250. Union Senior High, UNION (1049)
#81. Columbia High School, SOUTH ORANGE-MAPLEWOOD, ESSX (1164)
#90. Montclair High School, MONTCLAIR (1159)
#17. Livingston High School, LIVINGSTON (1240)
#19. Union County Tech, UNION COUNTY VOCATIONAL (1239)
#183. Jonathan Dayton High School, SPRINGFIELD (1097)
#281. David Brearley Middle/High School, KENILWORTH (1015)
#259. East Orange STEM Academy High School, EAST ORANGE (1036)
#136. Elizabeth High School, ELIZABETH (1125)
#294. Linden High School, LINDEN (996)
#295. Rahway High School, RAHWAY (996)
#378. Irvington High School, IRVINGTON (847)
It's no secret that there is a direct correlation between home values and quality of schools. A recent study showed that on average, buyers pay $50 more per square foot for homes in top-rated school districts compared with homes served by average-rated schools. So where does your town rank? Check out the full list here.
Today we learned that Newark has made the short list of 20 cities throughout the country that are still in the running to host Amazon's new Headquarters. A total of 238 applications were submitted from cities throughout North America, 6 of which were from New Jersey. Newark, however, was the only NJ city to be accepted into the 2nd round of the selection process.
Newark's bid came with huge backing from both the State and City. Former Gov. Christie announced in October that the state would make up $5 billion in tax incentives available. The City of Newark also committed to a $2 billion city property tax and wage tax waiver for Amazon to open it's doors here.
Sound like a big commitment? It is. But consider this: Since Amazon was first created in 1994, it has employed more than 40,000 people in Seattle, where it's primary headquarters are located. It has been estimated that Amazon’s investments since 2010 have brought a staggering $38 billion into the city’s economy. This includes $4 billion dollars worth of real estate development and commercial office space that will stand in the city for hundreds of years.
Now, the company plans to invest another $5 billion in development and create up to 50,000 jobs wherever it builds its newest hub. So why not Newark? "There is a story that Amazon could tell about how they were a part of expediting a city’s growth," Mayor Baraka said earlier today. "A city that is like a phoenix in a fire and continues to move forward despite all the obstacles. Amazon gets to come here and expedite that, fashioning and forming a story of a city 50 years in the making.”
Can you image the kind of economic impact of having one of the largest - if not THE largest - company in the world setting up it's HQ right in our backyard? My fingers are crossed!
At Realty 33, We tap into 25+ years of experience and market know-how to help our clients make streetwise real estate decisions.