Maplewood, NJ Real Estate News

By Caroline Gosselin
(Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty)
When I speak to clients who are looking to purchase a home in Northern New Jersey, in towns such as Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn or Short Hills, I often talk about the many creative community events that make these towns such a unique place to live, work, raise a family or just spend the day in.  The annual Strawberry Festival, the Studio Art Tour, the Halloween Parade, the 4th of July Celebration and Maplewoodstock are among my favorites. Maplewoodstock is an annual celebration of community music and art held in Maplewood every July in Memorial Park (right across from the Maplewood train station). Maplewoodstock was first held in 2004 and the event has quickly grown in size and scope. The two-day event features all day music from talented bands - 2010 headliners were Ivan Neville’...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
Let me start off by saying I am not dating any of my clients...their all wonderful people but I find the similarities between Real estate representation and dating pretty funny.... I meet with people all week-long; buyers, sellers, investors, wholesalers, distressed home owners etc...etc... but for whatever reason during my consultations ive started to say something to the effect of " us working together is similar to dating; so we have to be comfortable with one another and share a reasonable level of respect and have strong communication; if I am represent you in buying or selling" don't really know when it started but at some point through the conversation; it just comes out. So I was sitting down after another busy day and I realized I had 104 unread emails and 18 voicemails....(I k...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
I was speaking with a home owner a few weeks ago who was upside down in their mortgage and I had to ask the question " How did you get here?" their response was not shocking but a little hurtful to be honest because its the American dream turned nightmare. They explained to me how they purchased their home in 2007 for 589K and at that time was told the house was worth about 650-675k, about a year after the purchase their loan officer called and was promoting a Refinance program that they could utilize to pull some cash out and do some needed renovations around the house. All they needed to do was refinance, pull some cash out and take care of the work, he explained to them that they were refinancing their entire loan into a new product which happened to be a 5/1 Interest Only ARM.  He p...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
As an up in coming star in the world of New Jersey Real Estate (shameless self plug) I find myself in some wacky adventures as I navigate through helping buyers and sellers but none more wacky than the following.... So I was visiting one of my listing because my sellers were out-of-town and I wanted to make sure the place was in order while they were gone; so I stopped by the house and everything looked close to normal so I was in and out and off to the road.  But for some reason I decided today was a great day to see the REO Listing that is located 4 doors down and priced about 50k less than my listing, so I walk towards the property and start walking up what seemed like a 100 steps (it is a raised ranch by the way) I reach the top, search for the lockbox and input the code.  Of course...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
Being born in Brooklyn NY, I would say I am a little judgmental, aggressive, stubborn, out spoken...(OK I'll stop there) So naturally moving to New Jersey was a real big deal for me (even though I can get back to the old neighborhood in about 35 minutes) There's a BIG difference... Yeah a tree grows in Brooklyn                                                                                                                                                     But TREEE'S grow in New Jersey!!!       You can get a great bagel  or a yummy slice of pizza in New York but then again you can find a great big Wal-mart to buy all of those things in one place...  NY has FAST cars....     But NJ pays less for gas...     So OK, there is a difference, but one of the BIGGEST differences between NY and N...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
Here's something interesting that happened to me a few days ago that I thought I'd share with you all.  I was at the grocery store picking up a few items (you know the usual) bread, eggs & milk etc...and when I got to the check out line the cashier asked paper or plastic?, then she noticed my Brokers name tag and immediately asked me "how is the market" my initial response was "why do you ask?" she instantly burst into tears...now I'm thinking to myself WOW what an awkward moment.... "Was it something I said"? I quickly replied; With a fist full of tears the cashier replied "NO" then started to apologize. So I pay for my items and she somberly asked if she could talk to me for a few moments being that I was a Realtor before I left the store, so I agreed and waited on the side for her to...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
Being a Realtor who manages his own team, I take on all types of responsibilities throughout my daily routine, none more important than training newer agents; I was talking to a new agent who was explaining to me that he just got a property under contract (his 1st) & he's ready to get paid! I explained that as Realtors we don't  get paid until the deal closes, so that contract isn't worth the paper it's written on until the deal funds...he like most rookies would; walked away a little scorned, but still happy about his new-found riches.   So this agent went against one of the Golden Rules of Real estate; NEVER count your commission or its as good as gone...the next few days the madness began, he maxed out credit cards, came into the office with a few new outfits, offered to take the off...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
A friend of mine was sitting down with an investor the other day and heard some startling news, the investor told her that he was interested in buying a property; Good News right? well maybe not, the investor told her that he wanted to write up an offer but before she could grab a pen for him to sign he explained that he had" a guy" who could guarantee that he gets the property, why should he work with her?.  So I say You mean to tell me greed has entered the REO agent market?, say it ain't so...Naturally she explained naively to the investor, don't believe what you hear, lets write up the offer...                                                       So that's what they did, the investor explained that this "guy" charges $5,000 and GUARANTEES the sale, and told my friend "Don't lose th...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
A funny thing happened on the way to the bank....I closed a deal, got my commission check, cashed it, became a hero, the seller lost job and his home in two short years later.  How could this happen you ask?  well before we answer that lets go back to where this all started... The seller (who we will call Jim for the purpose of this post) purchased this property in the fall of 2007 was as happy as can be when he purchased his dream home for 680k, it was perfect because his growing family could finally have the space they always wanted, the kids could enjoy the back yard and pool and Jim could bar b Que on the hot summer days while he's friends shoot around on the basketball hoop that hangs over the garage.  Now life couldn't be any more perfect, Jim received his 3rd promotion in as many...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
  The crackdown on mortgage fraud has been increasing over the past few years and everyone that has praticed unethically over the years may get that dreaded phone call from the FEDS saying excuse Mr/Mrs loan officer/realtor/home owner  we need to talk! In NEWARK - Federal authorities today unveiled charges against 28 people accused of running a variety of mortgage-fraud schemes that attempted to bilk more than $5.5 million from lenders, authorities said. More than 160 agents from the FBI, IRS and other law-enforcement agencies fanned out across eight counties to arrest 23 of the defendants. One defendant is already in state custody on related charges. One is scheduled to surrender, and three remain at large. They include real estate agents, investors, mortgage consultants, accountants ...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
  In a 409-5 vote, lawmakers passed a standalone bill that would extend for three months Wednesday's deadline for closing on a home purchase in order to claim the federal home buyer tax credit. This comes a few days after June 25, 2010, in which the Home buyer tax credit extension bill had failed. It was labeled "officially dead" before it's resurrection on June 29, 2010 Without an extension, the National Association of Realtors estimates as many as 180,000 home buyers who were under contract by April 30 may have missed the June 30 closing deadline, including 17,700 in California, 15,340 in Texas, 14,830 in Florida and 9,130 in New York. This extension allows those home buyers from to still claim their $8,000 tax credit as it seemed just a short time ago that all hope was lost. Its fun...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
As a Realtor I come across many home owners who need some guidance as they find themselves in the worst possible position, but its important to educate our clients and let them know that there are options available. Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that buys up mortgage contracts from loan originators to keep the housing market liquid, announced new penalties for homeowners who strategically default. "Defaulting borrowers who walk away and had the capacity to pay or did not complete a workout alternative in good faith will be ineligible for a new Fannie Mae-backed mortgage loan for a period of seven years from the date of foreclosure," the company announced, adding that the policy goes into effect July 1. "Fannie Mae will also take legal action to recoup the outstanding m...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
For those of you in the Maplewood/South Orange Area there are some great events coming up that you may want to attend with friends, family or solo, MAPLEWOOD STOCK 2010 will be Awesome!!! Heres a quick rundown of what to expect: Maplewood stock will be held on July 10th & 11th so bring your family down to Maplewood and come enjoy one of the biggest events of the year. Two days of community music and art MUSIC Featured Acts for 2010 We are pleased to announce our Featured Acts for 2010. SATURDAY Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk - Saturday at 8:30 pm All the way from New Orlean's, get ready for some of the nastiest, most serial crushing funk to ever come out of New Orleans and beyond.  With each member bringing his own flavor to the music, the power of this combo is undeniable.  Led by Ivan Ne...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
  Let me start out by saying if I stand up on a crowded bus & yell out "hey Fool" & you get upset, then your probably a fool. This post is in not way a depiction of the entire Loan industry nor the great practitioners that service it, but more for those who think the tricks of yesterday will still work today, it's 2010 folks, let's be better in all that we do. The other day I received a phone call from one of my buyers that has a property under contract & she says " my loan officer said I can't get the loan" as confused as I was I managed to ask the most important question I could; which was why not? She said well he told me my husband won't qualify but he has a "friend" who can help all they have to do is go meet him to discuss...sounds fishy right? Yeah I know, well anyways back to t...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
  HOW MANY BUYERS DO WE ALL HAVE WHO ARE UNDER THE GUN TRYING TO CLOSE BY JUNE 30TH????? I AM SURE THE ANSWER IS FAR TOO MANY AND BUYERS ARE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE TO GET IT DONE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, WELL THERE SEEMS TO BE A SOLUTION TO EVERYONE'S PROBLEM...AND WHAT'S THAT YOU ASK? GIVE BUYERS THAT ARE IN THE PIPELINE MORE TIME TO CLOSE, NOW MOST SKEPTICS ARE CONCERNED WITH BUYERS CLAIMING THAT THEIR ELIGIBLE WHEN IN FACT THEY ARE NOT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SITUATION?? GREAT NEWS OR A RECIPE FOR FRAUD, LIES AND DIASTER? The Senate has decided to amend a bill that they will extend the tax credit time frames in which the buyer has to close from June 30 to Sept. 30, this would allow lenders who are extremely backed up with loan files to clear the pipeline so that everyone can win. ...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
In Most towns across America there is a huge overflow of Foreclosed and Short Sale properties and a lot of agents refuse to accept it and get educated, look Short Sales are not the most fun transactions you can do, but I cannot find a better feeling then the one I get after closing a Distressed Sellers property and allowing them to move on with their lives.   Hardships can fall on any of us at any time, from various different sources, from job loss, to death of a spouse, to personal injury, to health issues there are many reasons why someone can fall behind on their Mortgage. There are solutions to these problems and ways to avoid losing your home.  In Maplewood and South Orange there has been an increase in these types of transactions and if you or someone you know are displaying the ...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
I reconnected with a buyer that I met about a year and a half ago and she contacted me recently to tell me that she used another Realtor and placed an offer on a property, of course my initial response was why didn't you contact me? but I went on with the conversation and she explained to me how she was under contract on a house and the agent working with her, has not guided her or advised her in any way and she is confused and not sure what to do at this point.  I explained to her that not all agents are created equally and that she needs to understand that  Some Realtors don't have a clue! she explained me that the agent (keep in mind he sold her the house she is living in 7 years ago and she looked him up because he has not kept in touch over the past 7 years) did not educate her on...
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By Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate
(GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist)
    The "F" word is usually associated with profanity & often times leads to some pretty bad exchanges between people, but the "F" word I'm referring to is FORECLOSURE...the dreaded "F" word that people in our beloved neighborhoods don't care to ever discuss.  The fact remains that in this upside down economy even Maplewood & South Orange are not immune to the likes of all things that constitutes a down economy. From Short Sales starting to plague the community many of us have adopted a dont ask, don't tell approach to distressed properties in our wonderful towns.  From overgrown lawns, hidden lock boxes behind screen doors, to the shocking news that one day the neighbor across the street moved and no one knew he was selling...we too have been affected.  Now I know with the tree-lined s...
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  It’s tax day and there are two weeks before the tax credit expires…an alternate perspective.   OK, no alternate perspective on paying our Federal and State taxes by today. No matter how right, left, or fence squatting one is, no one likes to pay uncle Sam more than they absolutely have to.    Now onto the about to expire tax credit….Many buyers will feel a sense of urgency to go under contract before the deadline lest they lose the $8,000.    How many homes will be available May1st with that could be had for $8000 less because deflated sellers are feeling that buyers bought elsewhere?     I’m not suggesting that anyone who finds the home of their dreams hold out as that home could be someone else’s dreams too! I am saying that urgency should be dictated by the home itself, not the ta...
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By Alex and Deirdre Silberman
(Keller Williams)
Unless you've been under the proverbial rock, you know Maplewood and South Orange are reeling from the budget cuts. What can be done? I can think of one easy thing now that the weather is so absolutely lovely. If the township were to offer free public WIFI in the downtown areas serviced by restarurants and cafes, it would encourage people to 'work virtually'. There are several  spots I avoid because they don't provide WIFI access. As Realtor, my laptop and cell phone are my office. Give me the Internet, and I can work in a Park. Better yet, give me the Internet and the time in between clients can be productive (both for me, as well as for the establishments I'd spend money in). Would there be a cost to the Infrastrcuture? Absolutely. Would the cost be recouped with added tax revenue fr...
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