A Good Time to Buy – A Good Time to Sell

A Good Time to Buy
As we conclude the third quarter of 2019, the average sales price for a single family home climbed by 6.2% year-over-year and 65% of people surveyed by the National Association of Realtors believe that now is a good time to buy a home.

Only 35% of people in the survey think it isn’t a good time to buy a home.

The contributing factors to this are the robust economy, the inventory shortages and the acceleration in average rents, which stood at $1,467 the last time it was measured.

Even Millennials are more likely to think that it is a good time to buy a home.

A Good Time to Sell
On the other side of the equation are the sellers, of whom 73% see that now is a good time to sell a home. This makes for a very motivated market. This is an even higher percentage than 65% the last time it was reported.

Chart of those who think it is a good time to sell.

Millennials     Gen X   Younger Boomers   Older Boomers
     67%               76%              74%                        76%

Most age groups in the US believe that the economy is going to continue to improve (55%).

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

LET’S CONNECT ONLINE!
Connect with Ralph on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CounsellorsTitleAgency/

Connect with Ralph on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphaponte/

NAHB Reports Single Family Starts Up 4% in 2018

PRESS RELEASE

NAHB analysis of the Survey of Construction (SOC), nationally, there were 881,076 new single-family units started in 2018, 4% higher than the units started in 2017. It was the double of the units started in 2011, and still 49% less than the peak of 2007 (1,731,171 units).

Among all the nine Census divisions, new single-family units started in the South Atlantic, West South Central and Mountain Divisions exceeded 100k in 2018. These three divisions represent 21 states, while the number of new single-family housing starts in these three divisions accounted for about 62% of the total new single-family housing starts in 2018.

In addition, there were 98,760 new single-family units started in the Pacific Division and 78,858 units started in the East North Central Division in 2018. The Pacific Division accounted for 11% of the total new single-family housing starts, while the East North Central Division accounted for 9%. The other four divisions, including East South Central, West North Central, Middle Atlantic and New England, accounted for the remaining 18% of the total new single-family housing starts.

Each division grew at the different pace, while, nationally, new single-family housing starts rose by 4%. Four out of the nine divisions grew faster than the national level. The New England Division and the Mountain Division led the way with a 13% increase each, followed by the West South Central Division with an 8% increase, and the South Atlantic Division with a 4% increase. Meanwhile, the growth rates of the other five divisions were below the national level.

Meanwhile, six out of the nine divisions, including South Atlantic, East North Central, Pacific, Middle Atlantic, East South Central and West North Central, experienced a deceleration in growth in 2018. Among them, the West North Central Division experienced the largest deceleration with a decline of 14% in 2018. Moreover, the West South Central Division grew by 8% in 2018, unchanged from 2017.

Source: NAHB. Click here for full report.

Monmouth Tourism Boom

Monmouth County tourism has grown significantly in 2019, most likely due to its proximity to New York City. The Jersey Shore has established itself as a summertime destination, complete with historical sites, famous rock landmarks, trendy restaurants and galleries in many of its shore towns from Red Bank to Barnegat Bay.

According to the Monmouth County Division of Tourism, Monmouth County accounts for a $2.5 billion dollar tourism industry which produces 30,000 jobs.

In addition to its famous Jersey Shore beaches, Monmouth County also represents numerous outdoor hiking trails within the Monmouth County Park system.

The dozens of lakes that separate many of the Jersey Shore towns, such as Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Deal, Allenhurst, Spring Lake, and Belmar, are also great places to drop in the fishing line and catch some freshwater fish.

The financial windfall from Monmouth County’s tourism has resulted in $47.7 billion in total economic impact since 2009.

The most recent report from Brand USA, New Jersey attracted 98 million visitors, domestic and international, in 2016, generating $3.6 billion in tax revenue for that year, translating into more than $1,500 per New Jersey household.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

LET’S CONNECT ONLINE!

Connect with Ralph on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CounsellorsTitleAgency/

Connect with Ralph on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphaponte/

Celebration of Columbus Day

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Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a faster route to the Far East only to land at the New World. His first voyage to the New World on the Spanish ships Santa María, Niña, and La Pinta took approximately three months.

During the anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These rituals took themes such as citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and the celebration of social progress.

Counsellors Title celebrates the discovery of Columbus which began the sequence of events leading to the birth of America.

Columbus Day Hours

HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS

Wishing All of Our Friends, Clients and Associates a Happy Columbus Day!

Our Office will Close on Friday, October 11th @ 5:30 p.m.
Closed Monday, October 14th.
We will reopen: Tuesday, October 15th, 8:30 a.m.

Eileen Nicosia Joins Counsellors Title Agency

TOMS RIVER, NJCounsellors Title Agency, Inc., www.counsellorstitle.net, is pleased to announce that Eileen Nicosia has joined the agency’s sales force of licensed title producers. Eileen Nicosia arrives at Counsellors Title Agency with a notable professional background in the title insurance industry.

“Our company’s vision is to become New Jersey’s most respected agency, and that is only possible by adding to our core team exceptional professionals who raise our benchmark and reputation for delivering the most reliable service possible. Eileen’s industry expertise matches our company culture of excellence,” stated Ralph Aponte, President and Founder of Counsellors Title Agency.  

Background & Experience
Eileen Nicosia has been a licensed title producer since 1998. For the last two decades she has been involved in every aspect of the title business, including owning her own settlement agency. She will work to foster Counsellors Title’s lead generation business growth.

Eileen brings to Counsellors Title a wealth of knowledge and experience in addition to her commitment to maximize client satisfaction. She can be reached at 973-477-1922 or email eileen@counsellorstitle.com.

Counsellors Title Agency
Counsellors Title Agency, Inc., a New Jersey-based title company, offers title insurance and closing services to sellers and home buyers throughout the state. Through its agency headquarters in Toms River, and its branch offices in Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Union counties, Counsellors provides title services such as title insurance, settlement services, document preparation for its attorneys, realtors and loan officers.

The title insurance policy protects the home buyer and mortgage lender from issues arising during the transfer of title ownership and as such seeks to avoid potential financial loss stemming from a lawsuit or claim after the property has been purchased. The search process which precedes the title policy seeks to provide a clean history that is free of fraud, unpaid taxes and legal obligations.

Counsellors Title Agency currently serves all 21 counties in New Jersey through its four county locations: Ocean, Morris, Monmouth and Union.

About Counsellors Title
Counsellors Title Agency was founded in 1996 by Ralph Aponte. His hard work and collegial enthusiasm grew the title/escrow agency into one of New Jersey’s premier property title agencies, writing thousands of policies for home owners, businesses and institutions since inception. He is a lifelong New Jersey resident and businessman. With over 30 years’ experience specializing in title insurance and title research, Ralph has built his repertoire of business tools to include management, commercial and business development. Counsellors Title Agency [CTA] maintains an outstanding customer retention record of over 95%. Today, CTA’s impeccable track record over the last 21 years is one on which hundreds of attorneys, loan officers and Realtors have come to rely. Counsellors Title Agency, Inc. has consistently provided swift and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

For more information, please contact Ralph Aponte, 732.914.1400 or go to the company website for a free quote or more information.
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American Debt

Americans over the age of 18 report that they average $29,800 in personal debt. This does not include mortgages. The financial cultures debt has approximately 15% of Americans believing that they will be in debt for the rest of their lives, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning and Progress Study.

The numbers reported in 2019 show a significant improvement over 2018’s average of $38,000 in personal debt.

According to the report, 34% of people’s monthly income goes towards paying off debt.

Personal Debt by Generation
Gen X debt of $36,000
Baby Boomers debt of $28,600
Millennials debt of $27,900
Gen Z debt of $14,700

Sources of Debt
Mortgage – 22%
Credit cards – 22%
Car loans – 9%
Education – 8%

Home Closings Taking Less Time

The speed of technology has enabled the transaction time necessary for a home to be purchased to be greatly reduced. The home purchase process has cut weeks off of the closing time in many cases. Digital platforms are playing a greater role in this acceleration of this complicated process. Technology is enabling buyers to get mortgages quicker and sellers to close on properties even faster.

According to a recent report published this year,on average the closing time for a typical U.S. homebuyer has fallen by 11 days in 2019.

The increased speed in closing on a property has accelerated the overall ability of real estate agents and loan officers to increase the number of transactions per month.

As long as inventories remain historically low, the demand for speed has becomes a premium value for anyone involved in the real estate industry.

A big part of the speed at which deals close is attributed to the quality and knowledge of the title agent. A title agency plays a critical role in the ability of the home seller and home buyer to quickly bring together all the parts that are necessary to close a property transaction. The title agent is responsible for identifying and making sure that the property owner possesses a clean title on the specific property they are seeking to sell.

At Counsellors Title Agency, one customized service is its Attorney Settlement Assistance Program, also known as ASAP. The Attorney Settlement Assistance Program was created specifically to help real estate attorneys process much of the secretarial paperwork involved in a real estate sale. ASAP includes such services as:
Documentation Preparation
Disbursement of Funds
Attendance at Closing
HUD Preparation

The title agents also coordinate with many industry professionals such as lenders, real estate agents, buyers, sellers and their attorneys to make sure all the documents are prepared properly, filled out, signed and ready at the time of the closing.

The title agencies can also provide Escrow Services that will allow buyers and sellers with the disbursement of funds. According to the FBI, nearly a billion dollars was diverted or attempted to be diverted by fraudulent actions. The best title agents use only secure communication platforms and are knowledgeable when it comes to hackers and fraud.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

LET’S CONNECT ONLINE!

Connect with Ralph on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CounsellorsTitleAgency/

Connect with Ralph on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphaponte/

The Closing Process

Closing processes involve many documents, surveys, analysis and individuals, all of which can vary depending upon the property and conditions surrounding it.

Before any escrow can close, all the terms of the purchase contract must be met. At which point the seller will then deposit the deed and the buyer will deposit the funds. Here are some of the financial instruments and agreements involved:

  • Fully executed purchase agreement and addendums.
  • Deposit of earnest money.
  • Home inspection or waiver.
  • Fulfillment of seller obligations.
  • Submission of pest inspection report and/or completion.
  • Submission of the roof certification.
  • The preliminary title policy.
  • The beneficiary demand receipt.
  • The certification of Request for Repairs.
  • Completion of buyer inspections.
  • The release of contingencies, if demanded.
  • Buyer’s final walk-through inspection or waiver.
  • Appraisal of property by lender’s appraiser.
  • Lender’s loan approval and satisfaction of loan conditions by buyer.
  • Seller’s signed and notarized deed conveying title.
  • Seller’s and buyer’s signed escrow instructions.
  • Buyer’s signed and notarized deed of trust and executed promissory note.
  • Buyer’s signatures on all loan documents.
  • Deposit of buyer’s funds from lender.
  • Deposit of balance of buyer’s down payment and buyer’s closing costs.

How Long Does a Home Closing Take?
Most federally related mortgage loans can close within 30 days. There is also the special first-time home buyer program, which might take 35 to 45 days to close.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

LET’S CONNECT ONLINE!

Connect with Ralph on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CounsellorsTitleAgency/

Connect with Ralph on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphaponte/

Home Prices, Inventory and Rents Create Equity Juggernaut

The fiscal health of homeowners nationwide appears to be improving based upon the data published by CoreLogic. Homeowner equity has risen from the first quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2019, according to CoreLogic. The number of residential properties underwater (with a negative equity position) fell to 2 million homes or 3.8% of all mortgaged properties. This represents a decrease of 7% from the first quarter of 2019. Based upon numbers reported for the second quarter of 2018, negative equity fell 9% from 2.2 million homes.

Overall, home equity increased by 4.8% year-to-year at the end of the second quarter of 2019. This accounts for a collective gain of approximately $428 billion according to the same CoreLogic report, translating into an average increase of $4,900 in homeowner equity since the second quarter of 2018. In New Jersey, the percentage of homes with negative equity stands at 6% of all mortgages. But this is better than Connecticut, which stands at 8.5%. The metropolitan area that has gained the most over the course of the last year is Miami, which saw a 9.5% rise in homeowner equity.

Total Homeowner Equity
Total homeowner equity hit a record high of $6.3 trillion according to another report published by Black Knight.

Rental Surges Also Drives Up Prices
The unaffordability of housing is indirectly the result of a strong rental market and the shortage of new construction. Especially in the case of New Jersey, Manhattan seems to be driving values in New Jersey higher and higher as rents in August in Manhattan hit $4,272 a month on average. This makes Manhattan the most expensive place in the country to rent an apartment. Other cities in which rents are extremely high include San Francisco, where rents average $4,272 a month and Boston, where the average apartment rental is $3,545. The average rent in Los Angeles stands at $2,525 per month.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

LET’S CONNECT ONLINE!

Connect with Ralph on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CounsellorsTitleAgency/

Connect with Ralph on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphaponte/
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