The Fair Haven Real Estate Market: June, 2016

This 3 bedroom, 3 bath waterfront home at 923 River Road sold in May for $1,355,000.

This 3 bedroom, 3 bath waterfront home at 923 River Road sold in May for $1,355,000.

There are the 4 key real estate indicators that I track every month (Sales, Listings, Absorption Rate and Median Sale Price). Each of them is an objective measure of the current real estate market, and each of them helps predict whether the real estate market is becoming better or worse for a buyer (or a seller). Here’s what the indicators are telling us about Fair haven real estate at the end of May, 2016:

 

Fair Haven Home Sales, January 1 – May 31
2015 2016 Comments
Sales (Demand) 43 34 21% fewer sales
Listings* (Supply) 36 35 4% fewer listings
Months’ Supply* (Absorption Rate) 4.3 3.9 Stronger Demand vs Supply
*based on the past 12 months
Median Sale Price $765,000 $780,000 2% higher median sales price

The indicator that’s underlined and in bold italics is good news for home buyers.

 

This month only one of the 4 objective indicators is positive for Fair Haven home buyers. There were 21% fewer sales in the first 5 months of this year compared to a year ago. Fewer sales means lower demand, and lower demand means home buyers can negotiate lower prices more easily.

However, the other 3 indicators are bad news for home buyers. Fewer listings means home buyers have fewer choices (less supply), and that makes it easier for the seller to negotiate a higher price. The median year-to-date sales price is up 2% compared to what it was this time last year. Finally, the real estate absorption rate is shorter than it was 12 months ago. The absorption rate is a calculation of the number of months it would take to sell all the homes on the market, if homes continue to sell at the rate they did in the past 12 months. It takes into account both the number of sales (demand) and the number of listings (supply).

Fair Haven Realtor

This 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath new construction home at 28 Lockwood Pl sold in May for $1,469,000.

When the absorption rate is between 5 and 7 months we’re in a “normal market”. When the absorption rate falls below 5 months it’s considered a “seller’s market”. Last June the Fair Haven absorption rate was 4.3 months (a “seller’s market”) and now at 3.9 months it’s even more of a “seller’s market”.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Fair Haven, you’re probably going to have to pay more for a home than you would have a year ago. Even though fewer homes sold in the last 5 months than they did during the same period last year, demand is still high and homes that are priced at the market are selling fast. Often several home buyers are bidding on the same house, and this means that some homes are selling at or above their listing prices.

There is one area of the Fair Haven market that’s showing weakness: existing homes that are assessed at more than $1,000,000. A lot of new construction is coming on the market in the $1.0 – $1.5 million range, mostly consisting of 2,200 – 2,900 sq ft homes on small lots of 0.2 – 0.5 acres. Much larger existing homes (some on much larger properties) are available in “move-in” condition in that price range offering excellent value for the money. Some have been updated with high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and have high-quality materials and workmanship that in my opinion are superior to what you’ll find in new construction.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Fair Haven or the surrounding towns it would be my pleasure to work with you regardless of the price range you’re considering. If you’re a first-time home buyer, be sure to read my series of posts on The 5 “P’s” of Buying a Home. Rumson and Fair Haven are wonderful towns to live in- I’ve lived here for over 40 years. My recommendation for home buyers is to take your time, get to know the local market, and make a decision with your head and not just your heart. You can find a home you love at a price that’s a good investment.

Len

Rumson Fair Haven RealtorLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Broker-Salesperson
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

Posted in "Fair Haven real estate", Fair Haven Homes Sold, Fair Haven real estate agent, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Leave a comment

The Rumson Real Estate Market: June, 2016

This 5 bedroom, 4 bath home at 107 Rumson Road sold in May for $1,650,000.

This 5 bedroom, 4 bath Rumson home on 1.5 acres at 107 Rumson Road sold in May for $1,650,000.

We’re seeing an interesting trend after 5 months of Rumson home sales. Although the short-term (year-to-date) volume and median price are showing strong increases, the longer-term (past 12 months) indicators are showing signs of weakness. So where does that leave you if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Rumson?

Every month I track 4 key objective real estate indicators (Sales, Listings, Absorption Rate and Median Sale Price). Let’s take a look at them together:

 

                                    Rumson Home Sales, January 1 – May 31
2015 2016 Comment
Sales (Demand) 31 42 36% more sales
Listings* (Supply) 73 87 19% more listings
Months’ Supply* (Absorption Rate) 7.1 9.0 Weaker Demand vs Supply
*based on the past 12 months
Median Sale Price $1,050,000 $1,398,750 33% Higher median sales price.

(Good news for Rumson home buyers indicated in bold italicized underlined font)

 

42 homes sold in Rumson this year between January 1st and May 31st, a 36% increase compared to the same period last year. An increase in the number of sales indicates an increased demand, and increased demand usually means higher prices (good news for home sellers, but bad news for home buyers). In fact, at the end of May the median sales price of a home in Rumson was up 33% compared to a year ago.

However, we see a different picture if we look at the past 12 months: the number of homes listed for sale (i.e., supply) has increased by 19%, and more homes available to choose from means home buyers have more opportunities to negotiate lower sales prices; this is good news for home buyers, but bad news for home sellers.

This 5 bedroom, 4 bath home on 1.5 acres at 153 Bingham Avenue sold in May for $1,975,000.

This 5 bedroom, 4 bath Rumson home on 1.5 acres at 153 Bingham Avenue sold in May for $1,975,000.

Many people feel the best indicator of the real estate market is the real estate absorption rate. That’s a calculated value which takes into account both supply and demand. It’’s defined as the number of months it would take to sell ALL the homes listed for sale, if homes were to sell at the rate as they’ve sold in the past 12 months. When the absorption rate is between 5 and 7 months we’re in a “normal market”, and when it’ greater than 7 months, we’re in a “buyer’s market”, and sale prices tend to decrease. The real estate absorption rate was 7.1 months at the end of May, 2015 and it’s now 9.0 months, clearly pointing towards a “buyer’s market”.

The bottom line is this: even though year-to-date sales are higher and the median price is higher, 2 of the 4 key indicators are warning of weakness in the Rumson real estate market, and they’re predicting that sales prices will be going down this year.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Rumson, my recommendation is to proceed very cautiously, and not be in a hurry to make quick decisions. If you’re relocating to this area you might want to consider renting a home for the first year so you have time to become familiar with the area. Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver and the surrounding towns have lots of great neighborhoods to consider, and you should consider all of them before making a commitment. Make a decision to buy with your head and not just with  your heart.

This 5 bedroom, 4 bath home on 1.76 acres at 2 Post Road sold in May for $2,885,000.

This 5 bedroom, 4 bath Rumson home on 1.76 acres at 2 Post Road sold in May for $2,885,000.

It would be my pleasure to work with you and spend as long as it takes until we find what you feel is the right house for you at the right price. If you’re a first-time home buyer, be sure to read my series of posts on The 5 “P’s” of Buying a Home. Rumson and Fair Haven are wonderful towns to live in- I’ve lived here for over 40 years. My goal is to build a relationship with you, and not just to make a fast sale.

If for some reason you need to move quickly and you’re not in the area, I’d be glad to preview several homes for you and walk through with my video camera so you can see what a house is really like, and not just look at a few carefully-selected photos that show the house at its best.

One last bit of advice: if you’re looking for homes online and find something you like, don’t call the listing agent (even if it’s me). The listing agent works for the seller, and has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller to negotiate the highest sales price; you want to work with a Realtor who works only for you, and who will negotiate the lowest sales price. When’s the last time a Realtor gave you that kind of practical advice?

Len

Rumson RealtorLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Broker-Salesperson
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

Posted in Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Homes Sold, Rumson Real Estate Market, Rumson Realator | Leave a comment

Fair Haven Real Estate: A Good Time to BUY or to SELL?

12 Rutgers Dr A FAI

This 4 BR, 3 Bath Fair Haven home at 12 Rutgers Drive sold in April for $915,000

There are the 4 key statistics that I track every month (Sales, Listings, Absorption Rate and Median Sale Price). Each of them is an independent indicator of the current real estate market, and when all 4 are predicting the same thing I feel very confident the market is becoming better or worse for a buyer (or a seller). I’m confident even when 3 point the same way and only 1 points the other was. However, what does it mean when the 4 key indicators are evenly split? That’s what we have now:

 

                      Fair Haven Home Sales, January 1 – April 30
2015 2016 Comments
Sales (Demand) 28 27 4% fewer sales
Listings* (Supply) 36 34 7% fewer listings
Months’ Supply* (Absorption Rate) 4.6 3.5 Stronger Demand vs Supply
*based on the past 12 months
Median Sale Price $727,500 $685,000 6% lower median sales price

 

The two indicators shown in underlined bold italics are good news for home buyers: fewer sales means lower demand, and lower demand makes it easier for home buyers to negotiate lower prices. The year-to-date median sales price is down 6%, and lower prices in a town like Fair Haven don’t happen that often. That suggests Fair Haven is in a “buyer’s market”.

However, the other 2 indicators are bad news for home buyers. Fewer listings means home buyers have fewer choices, and that makes it easier for the seller to negotiate a higher price. The real estate absorption rate is a calculation of the number of months it would take to sell all the homes on the market, if homes continue to sell at the rate they did in the past 12 months. It takes into account both the number of sales (demand) and the number of listings (supply), and when the absorption rate decreases, homes tend to sell faster and prices increase. The absorption rate went from 4.6 months a year ago to 3.5 months now, a substantial drop. That suggests Fair Haven is in a “seller’s market”.

So which is it? Is it a good time to BUY a home in Fair Haven, or is it a good time to SELL? At the end of 4 months we’ve had enough home sales in both years to calculate percentage changes that are statistically significant: sales are down 4% and listings are up 7%.

I record every Fair Haven home sale in an extensive spreadsheet and data not just from the MLS but from Monmouth County tax records. This lets me sort the data in many ways that other REALTORS® don’t look at, e.g., selling price vs. assessed value; days on market vs. number of bedrooms; etc. When do that, I see that 5 of the Fair Haven home sales involved new construction which sold for $825,000 – $1,625,000 and were on the market the longest. I see that 14 homes sold below the median price, and 6 of those 14 sold below assessed value; they tended to be the oldest homes (1903, 1920, 1927, etc.). There was no correlation between sales price and number of days on the market for homes that weren’t new construction.

At this point of the year, my conclusion is that it’s a good time to buy or sell a home in Fair Haven if the house being sold is priced at or close to the market. If you’re thinking of selling your home in Fair Haven, this means you need to work with a REALTOR® who will give you a true estimate of market value (what your home should sell for). If the seller prices the home a little higher than market value it will sell quickly and might even have multiple buyers in a bidding war. Be careful: there are REALTORS® who tell sellers they can market a house so it sells at a price much higher than market value. That’s just a ploy for the REALTOR® to get the listing. When there are few showings and no offers, he/she’ll go back to the seller several times and ask for price reductions.

If you’re a home buyer, it means you have to work with a REALTOR® who’ll spend the time to build a relationship with you, and teach you about the local market so you’ll have the confidence to move quickly when a desirable house is listed at (or below) market value. Remember, there are other knowledgeable buyers looking for homes in Fair Haven, so listings at or below the  market won’t be on the market for long.  

It would be my pleasure to work with you regardless of the price range you’re considering. If you’re a first-time home buyer, be sure to read my series of posts on The 5 “P’s” of Buying a Home. Rumson and Fair Haven are wonderful towns to live in- I’ve lived here for over 40 years. My recommendation for home buyers is to take your time, get to know the local market, and make a decision with your head and not just your heart. You can find a home you love at a price that’s a good investment.

Len

Rumson Fair Haven RealatorLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Broker-Salesperson
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

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven Real Estate Market, Fair Haven Realator, Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor | Leave a comment

Cinco de Mayo, Celebrations and Parties

Dale Bisgrove, Broker/Manager at the podium this morning. Diane and Bruce Turton are on th eleft.

Dale Bisgrove, Broker/Manager at the podium this morning.
Diane and Bruce Turton are on the left.

Today was May 5th, and many people celebrated Cinco de Mayo, which has become a really commercialized day in the United States. No, it’s not Mexican Independence Day (that’s celebrated on September 16th). In fact, I’m told that it’s a minor holiday in Mexico, and it celebrates Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico was already an independent nation, and the battle was not against the Spanish, but against the French!

So here in the United States we use Cinco de Mayo as a reason to party and celebrate, even though most of us haven’t got a clue about what we’re celebrating. That’s not the case at Diane Turton, Realtors. We have LOTS of reasons to celebrate, and that’s exactly what we did today. Diane and Bruce Turton, who founded the company 31 years ago, sponsored the party. We celebrated a wonderful year of real estate listings and sales, which saw us expand to 15 offices in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. We’re #1 in most of the markets we serve, and have been consistently voted “Best of the Best” in the real estate brokerage category.

It’s wonderful to be part of a company that’s family-owned and not a franchise. Diane Turton, our President, is actively involved and truly enjoys helping all the Realtors who work in her offices. She visits each office at least once/month, and all of us have her cellphone number, so we can reach her any time of the day. She’s personally accompanied me to listing presentations, and her dynamic personality makes it easy for clients to like and respect her. She stresses the importance of building relationships instead of focusing on sales.

Dale Bisgrove, the manager of the Rumson office, is a perfect example of the kinds of people she attracts and retains. A Realtor for over 25 years, Dale is respected both by agents within the company and those representing other real estate brokers in the area. Dale is honest as the day is long, and you can always count on his sense of integrity and fairness. He’s also the company-wide Education Instructor, and gives many training sessions both to new and experienced agents.

So yes, we did a lot of celebrating this morning in Spring Lake and we had a great Cinco de Mayo. It’s a pleasure working with and for people you respect, and combining working hard with having fun. I’m fortunate to be part of an organization like Diane Turton, Realtors.

Len

Rumson Fair Haven RealatorLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Broker-Salesperson
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

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven Realator, Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Real Estate, Rumson real estate agent, Rumson Realtor, Rumson-Fair Haven Real Estate Market | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Treasures in Fair Haven Fields

Dery's Pond in Fair Haven Fields

Dogwood Blooming at Dery’s Pond in Fair Haven Fields

If you’re thinking of buying real estate in Monmouth County you have lots of choices. Personally I feel “The Peninsula” (Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Red Bank) is a wonderful place to consider, and for lots of reasons. Most of the towns have excellent school systems, low crime rates and quiet residential neighborhoods. People are friendly; local merchants know you by name; you’re close to the Garden State Parkway, train stations and high-speed ferries; downtown Red Bank is a vibrant place with its theaters and restaurants; there are many opportunities to learn how to sail; and you’re close to wonderful ocean beaches.

Fair Haven Realtor

You’ll Miss the Tiny Flowers if You Walk By Too Quickly

In addition to all of that, there’s a wonderful place in Fair Haven called Fair Haven Fields. It has tennis courts and athletic fields, a community garden, and a special wilderness area with walking trails and a quiet pond. I live within easy walking distance of the trails, and use them several times each week, walking with my wife, or alone, or with our dog, Inu.

Inu at Dery's Pond in Fair Haven Fields

Inu at Dery’s Pond in Fair Haven Fields

There are lots of treasures to be found along the trails, and all you have to do is pay attention and look for them. As you walk through the woods, pay attention to the sights and sounds around you because it’s easy to miss something if you walk through too quickly. I took the photos in this post within the last 2 or 3 weeks to show you some of the treasures we found. Some are small and down on the ground, while others are in the distance but still visible from the trails, and still others are above you in the trees.

Look Up and Enjoy the View

Look Up and Enjoy the View

This time of year nature is changing so quickly that what you see on one day may be gone just several days later. Between the warming temperatures and the spring rains, flowers bloom and then wither; trees burst into life with new leaves; Dery’s Pond becomes more secluded as the woods shake off their winter sleep.

Look Closely and You'll See a Bee Exploring a Bloom

Look Closely and You’ll See a Bee Exploring a Bloom

A few days before, this spot was a mass of pretty yellow flowers. Just a few of them were left when I took the photo.

More Tiny Flowers at the Edge of a Path in Fair Haven Fields

More Tiny Flowers at the Edge of a Path in Fair Haven Fields

Off the path the woods grow thicker and less light filters down, so bushes have far fewer blooms than they’d have in a sunny spot.

Only a Few Flowers on this Bush in the Woods at Fair Haven Fields

Only a Few Flowers on this Bush in the Woods at Fair Haven Fields

The area around Dery’s Pond has lots of things to catch your eyes, so if you’re not careful you can miss something very beautiful, like this little clump of flowers at the edge of the pond:

Flowers at the Edge of Dery's Pond

Flowers at the Edge of Dery’s Pond

Even in the cold, gray days of early spring before any flowers bloom, there are wonderfully different textures in the bark of the different varieties of trees.

Look at the Beautiful Bark on this Tree!

Look at the Beautiful Bark on this Tree!

One last look up at the flowers on a dogwood tree:

Dogwood at Dery's Pond A

If you’re coming to visit the area to look at the homes that are for sale I’d be glad to also take you on a walk through Fair Haven Fields so you can find some of the treasures there yourself.

Len

Rumson Fair Haven RealatorLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Broker-Salesperson
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

 

Posted in Fair Haven home, Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven real estate agent, Fair Haven Realator, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Real Estate Market, Rumson Realator | Tagged | Leave a comment

My Favorite Weed Killer

 

Dandelion Digger

I’ve never been a fan of treating lawns with herbicides or pesticides, and haven’t used any on the lawn of my Fair Haven home for several years. My favorite weed killer is the simple old fashioned device in the photo above- a long piece of metal with a handle at one end and a fish tail shape on the digging end. You walk around your lawn in the spring, looking for dandelions in bloom, and when you spot one you insert the tool into the ground so the end gets down several inches and you pry the dandelion out of the ground with as much of the tap root as you can.

If you use this method on a regular basis you can eliminate your dandelions without using any chemicals. Since they’re broad-leaf plants you often can spot them even before the buds turn yellow. Once you get the knack it’s a very easy tool to use, although it’s best right after the rain when the soil is wet and the weeds are easier to pull out of the ground. I remember my grandfather using his pocketknife to do a similar thing many years ago. If you don’t get enough of the tap root out, the plant will grow back, so it’s important that you loosen the soil around the tap root before pulling on the plant itself.

Some people with Rumson-Fair Haven homes prefer “perfect lawns” with nothing but pure green grass. I admit it- my lawn has clover and some other kinds of weeds that I don’t bother digging out. They’re small enough so you don’t notice them most of the time unless they’re in bloom. The white blooms on the clover look pretty to me, and there are times in the year when they seem to be sprinkled throughout the entire lawn. On the other hand, the violets (see photo below) seem to grow only in the shadier parts of my lawn, and the Oxalis (yellow wood sorrel) with the delicate light yellow flowers also seems limited to certain parts of the lawn.

Violets in Fair Haven Lawn

You’ll never see one of those little pesticide warning flags on my lawn, and pets and little children don’t have to worry. And how can you beat the excited expression on a young child’s face when you tell them about 4-leaf clovers, and they actually find one on their own! That’s something you’ll never find on a so-called “perfect” chemical-treated lawn.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Rumson or Fair Haven, you know what you’re looking for, and you know what’s important to you. If you find the home of your dreams, it’s not going to matter whether herbicides and pesticides were used on its lawn or not. If you don’t agree with what the present owners did (or did not do) with the lawn, you can make changes after you take possession; in a few seasons the lawn will be what you want it to be. If you want recommendations for a good lawn service I’d be happy to give you some names. However, my recommendation is to tell them not to apply any herbicides or pesticides. Stop in at Fair Haven Hardware and get yourself a dandelion digger, and make your own decisions about what grows in between the leaves of grass. We’ll all be better off with less pesticide/herbicide runoff into the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers.

Len

Rumson Fair Haven RealatorLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Broker-Salesperson
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

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven Real Estate Market, Fair Haven Realator, Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson NJ Real Estate | Leave a comment

Flowering Trees Wherever You Look

Trees on River Rd RUM

Rumson and Fair Haven may not have a monopoly on flowering trees, but we do have a lot of beautiful ones. If pink is your color, you can’t beat the display on Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven. If you like a variety of colors try River Road in Rumson or Fair Haven.

Trees on River Rd RUM 3

A row of white on River Road in Rumson.

Trees on River Rd RUM 4

The trees on the front lawns of Rumson-Fair Haven homes are there for everyone to see. I don’t know which is more impressive, a row of a singe variety of closely-spaced trees or a majestic single specimen tree all by itself. Why try to decide? Enjoy them both.

Len

Posted in Fair Haven Real Estate, Fair Haven Real Estate Market, Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson NJ Real Estate, Rumson Realtor | 1 Comment