Let’s jump right into it. One year ago at this time in Bergen County there were 183 homes for sale in Teaneck, Bergenfield and New Milford combined and there were 64 homes for sale in Englewood. The average list price was $579,000 and $1,474,000 respectively. This year there are currently 79 homes for sale in Teaneck, Bergenfield and New Milford and 45 in Englewood with an average list price of $769,000 and $2,223,000 respectively. These are historic changes.
The housing stock for sale has diminished by more than half in most locations and the average list price has jumped by more than 30%!
What does this mean to those of you who are house hunting?
I have often told my buyers that finding the right home is very much like dating. How many of us thought that we could only be attracted to tall, dark and handsome and then found ourselves in love with short and slightly balding? Chemistry is a funny thing and can be applied to house hunting as well. There are many ways that one can feel charmed by a “home”: You may have always had your heart set on new construction but find that the unique character of a 100 year old Tudor colonial makes you smile, and whether you put money into restoring the home to its original glory with some modern touches now or at some point in the future, this is something you will be proud to call home. Maybe for you this means giving a different area a chance, as it turns out our towns are filled with wonderful neighbors and perhaps a new friend is waiting for you on a street you had not formerly considered.
For each of us this can be a very personal decision and when the market seems to be leaning in the seller’s favor you can maintain your purchasing power by really thinking through your priorities and making sure you don’t lose a potential house for the wrong reasons. In the meantime, solidify the relationship with your agent, who is checking the market ‘round the clock, and make sure you understand and portray your buying power by getting pre approved with a mortgage broker/banker and learning what it means to be a cash buyer even if you intended to obtain a mortgage (more on cash buying next week).
And for those of you reading this who may be selling or thinking of selling your home: Does this mean you have won the lottery? Unless you are one of the few blessed with a year-round heated hot tub it’s still imperative to price your home right. While there may be multiple appropriate buyers for your house, price is almost always the driving factor in how quickly your home will sell. If a well-thought out market analysis is performed and a correlating listing price is set, all indications are that your home will find its buyer shortly.
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC, located at 1401 Palisade Ave, Teaneck New Jersey, 201.692.3700.