Hans Island 

Canada and Denmark have disputed their claim to Hans Island for decades. Both countries will periodically visit the island to remove the other country's flag and leave a bottle of Danish Schnapps or Canadian Whiskey.

This is known for being one of the friendliest boundary disputes
in history (aka the "The Whiskey War")

Click here for location & details on Hans Island.
Homes for Sale
SOLD OVER ASKING
12 Chelsea Drive
Randolph, NJ
FOR SALE New Price!
1722 Kennedy Blvd
Unit 26
Union City, NJ
$299,000

1BD/1 Bath
Granite & SS appliances
Low HOA fees
UNDER CONTRACT
661 Mount Kemble Ave
Harding, NJ
Contact us here for more information or to request a showing
of these and/or other properties in your desired area.
The Truth about Negative Home Equity Headlines

Home equity has been a hot topic in real estate news lately. And if you’ve been following along, you may have heard there’s a growing number of homeowners with negative equity. But don’t let those headlines scare you.

In truth, the headlines don’t give you all the information you really need to understand what’s happening and at what scale. Let’s break down one of the big equity stories you may be seeing in the news, and what’s actually taking place. That way, you’ll have the context you need to understand the big picture.

Headlines Focus on Short-Term Equity Numbers and Fail To Convey the Long-Term View
One piece of news circulating focuses on the percentage of homes purchased in 2022 that are currently underwater. The term underwater refers to a scenario where the homeowner owes...click here to read the full article.
In this issue of "Doug Talks..."

Understanding Tax Rate,
Assessed Value and Appraisals

Property tax, sometimes called an ad valorem tax, is a tax on real estate and some other types of property. The property tax is usually based on the property location and how much it’s worth (that typically includes both the land and structure - vacant land will likely have lower real estate taxes). Generally, property taxes go to the local government in order to fund school districts, police and fire departments, road construction and other local services. Property taxes range depending on the state, county and town you live in (New Jersey has the highest real estate tax in the entire country).
 
Real estate tax rates are often based on the "millage rate," where one mill is equal to one-thousandth of a dollar. Your tax rate might not be expressed as a percentage, but rather as some number of mills.
  
Your NJ property tax is determined by six basic factors:
1.    The market value of the property that you own
2.    The cost of municipal and county programs and services
3.    The costs of your local public schools
4.    The availability of other revenues to cover those costs
5.    The extent of the presence of tax-exempt properties in your municipality 
6.    By the total value of all the taxable properties in your municipality
 
Your town's tax rate (your local tax authority determines this) is calculated by dividing the total dollar amount it needs to raise to meet local budget expenses by the total assessed value of all its taxable property. An individual's property taxes are then calculated by multiplying that general tax rate by the assessed value of his particular property.
 
Tax Assessors (who determine the assessed value of your property) find annual property tax liability by multiplying three values:
·      the state tax rate
·      the assessment ratio (the portion of the property value subject to tax)
·      and the property value

Some of these values fluctuate according to the market and state. States do their property assessments at different frequencies, some annually and others every couple of years.
 
A tax roll is an official record of the properties in a taxing district that includes the taxes due and paid on each property and is sometimes combined with a record of assessed values.
 
A home appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home's current value and is required whenever a mortgage is involved in buying, refinancing, or selling property. It can assure you and your lender that the price you’ve agreed to pay for a home is fair. If you need a mortgage to buy a home, your real estate agent will likely suggest that you include an appraisal contingency in the sales contract. The appraisal contingency lets you walk away from a home purchase if the appraisal comes in too low to justify the agreed-upon purchase price. While necessary in most cases, appraisals aren’t required. You may want to skip the contingency if you’re buying a home with cash or if you’re in a seller’s market. However, it makes a lot of sense if you’re buying your first home or if you’re on a tight budget. It also protects you from paying too much for a house that’s worth less than it’s being sold for.
 
Your home’s assessed value will likely be less than its market value. By how much less will vary by location, but it's common.
The "Doug Talks..." section will be featured in our monthly real estate email
and will include articles and/or videos showcasing some aspect of
home improvement, construction, or design.
What makes a home...a home.

There’s no denying the long-term financial benefits of owning a home, but today’s housing market may have you wondering if now’s still the time to buy. While the financial aspects of buying a home are important, the non-financial and emotional reasons are too.

Home means something different to all of us. Whether it’s sharing memories with loved ones at the kitchen table or settling in to read a book in a favorite chair, the emotional connections to our homes can be just as important as the financial ones. Here are some of the things that make a house a home.

1. You Can Be Proud of Your Accomplishment
Buying a home is a major life milestone. Whether you’re setting out to buy your first home or your fifth, congratulations will be in order when you’ve achieved your goal. The sense of accomplishment...click here for full article.
2023 First-Quarter Housing Trends:
A Slower-than-usual Market

The change in calendar from 2022 to 2023 brings with it an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and move forward with fresh momentum. If your goals for the year include buying or selling a home, it pays to peer ahead cautiously, as housing market conditions can change rapidly from month to month.

We consulted with several industry pros to predict what might be coming for the real estate market in the first quarter of 2023. Here’s a big-picture snapshot of what the experts expect across the first three months of this year.

High interest rates upend traditional cycles
Traditionally, the first quarter of the year is a time of increasing excitement and activity among potential home buyers and sellers. “Nearly 1 million homes are sold during the first three months of the year, representing 19 percent of the whole home sales activity throughout the year,” says Nadia Evangelou...click here for full article.
Doug Collinson Real Estate Group
44 Whippany Rd, Suite 230, Morristown, NJ 07960
Office (973) 539-1120

Doug Collinson Cell: (973) 214-0347
Doug Collinson Email: dtcollinson@gmail.com
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