Snack Innovations Moving to Edison

Snack Innovations Moving to Edison

Snack Innovations Inc., the producer of naturally delicious Better-For-You gourmet snack foods, is vacating its Brooklyn facility for new digs in Edison, New Jersey.

Snack acquired a 35,316-square-foot industrial property located at 41 Ethel Road West for $41 million. The industrial building occupies 4.41 acres, providing Snack greater flexibility for future expansion. The property includes 2,000 square feet of office space, 20-foot clear ceiling heights, four tailboards and one drive-in for loading.

The company plans to use the new facility for its snack and healthy foods manufacturing and distribution to the New York metro region.

The company “started in our grandmother’s kitchen years ago. Today Snack Innovations Inc. produces snacks in a sophisticated state-of-the-art snack food manufacturing facility, utilizing advanced proprietary equipment…Snack Innovations employs a sophisticated R&D team and other food scientists,” who are involved in developing all-natural healthier gourmet snacks.

The company uses such snack base grains as potato, corn, wheat, rice, soy, oat, quinoa, tapioca, maize, and vegetables (including spinach, carrot, sweet potato, green pea, yellow pea, chick pea, tomato, beets, and lentil).

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

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

Hackers Target Real Estate Professionals

Many real estate transactions have migrated to electronic platforms, and along with the increased functionality comes greater vulnerability from fraud, specifically hackers.

Many companies will no longer wire funds on the basis of a single email. There are additional protocol

s that have been put into place to safeguard the transaction from scam artists.

Policies and protocols now require at least a phone call to be made to the seller, the attorneys and those connected with the deal.

The availability of information over the Internet has precipitated additional precautions to be instituted to identify when hackers are attempting to interfere with the financial transaction.

What makes the market even more vulnerable is the fact that transactions are increasing, creating a lot more “i dottings and t crossings.” It is not unusual for real estate professions to do multiple closings in a day.

Last year, the National Association of Realtors posted, “Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction and using information gained from the hack to dupe a party into a fraudulent wire transfer. The hackers often send an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction, informing the recipient, often the buyer, that there has been a last minute change to the wiring instructions.  Following the new instructions, the recipient will wire funds directly to the hacker’s account, which will be cleared out in a matter of minutes. The money is almost always lost forever.”

Ralph Aponte, President of Counsellors Title Agency located in Toms River, explained, “Everyone that I have dealt with over the last few years has had to deal with these types of hackers seeking to perpetrate their kind of fraud; and it’s only going to increase in the future. What was common back in the days of the Wild West is now happening online, except they don’t wear masks, but come cloaked in seemingly authoritative emails.”

“We have put into place a number of measures, including secure servers, confirmation protocols and other processes,” concluded Mr. Aponte.

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

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

Inventory Still An Issue

The majority of New Jersey counties have less than 6 months of inventory: the statewide average is at 5.2 months, according to New Jersey Realtor.

The inventory shortage is not showing up in a frenetic rise in home prices, but rather in the number of closed sales and in the percentage of price received.

Single family homes sold skyrocketed from 3,484 in January 2015 to 4,930 in January 2017, representing a 50% rise in just two years. And pending sales for single family homes followed a similar track: 3,865 pending sales for January 2015 rose in January 2017 to 5,360.

The short inventory is also affecting the days on market metrics: in January 2015 the average single family home remained on the market 96 days, but in January 2017, single family homes lasted 88 days on the market, representing an 8.3% drop.

Ocean County has dropped significantly from a 9-month supply to just 6 months; that precipitous drop is just since 2016!

Other high-demand counties such as Hudson have such scarcity that it has just 2.9 months supply.

According to the Otteau Group, Essex, Union, Morris, Middlesex, Bergen and Passaic Counties all have fewer than 5 months of supply.

The bulk of transactions involve properties under $400,000, which points to the entrance of the Millennial homebuyer, who is transitioning from renting to buying without the usual formation of new households. Mortgage before marriage seems to be the recent trend.

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

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

January 2017 HPI Rises 6.9 Percent

Forecast Indicates Increase of 4.8% by January 2018

CoreLogic reported that its home prices index [HPI] for sales nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year-over-year by 6.9% in January 2017 compared with January 2016. It also reported that according to its measurements, home prices increased month-over-month by 0.7% in January 2017 compared with December 2016.

For the balance of 2017, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.8% on a year-over-year basis from January 2017 to January 2018. “Home prices continue to climb across the nation, and the spring home buying season is shaping up to be one of the strongest in recent memory,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

In addition, it reported the CoreLogic Single-Family Rental Index was up 2.7%.

  • Lean for-sale inventories
  • Low rental vacancy rates
  • Market home prices outpacing inflation
  • Continued high demand

The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado metro area came in number one, skyrocking to its geographic mile-high reputation, climbing by 9.9% year-over-year, followed by Boston and Los Angeles, which both reported 6.8% increases year over year.

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

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

NJ Real Estate News

American Water Breaks Ground for Camden HQ
American Water Works Co. Inc. has broken ground on its new headquarters on the Camden Waterfront, it announced recently.

The company, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility, held a ceremony at One Water Street to mark the start of a project that will see the creation of a five-story, 220,000-square-foot facility that will house more than 600 employees. The building will consolidate American Water’s four South Jersey locations, including the current headquarters in Voorhees.

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170303/NJBIZ01/170309918/american-water-breaks-ground-for-camden-hq

New Hard Rock Hotel Could Bring 3,000 Jobs
Trump Taj Mahal was sold, and will reopen as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The closed Trump Taj Mahal will reopen as a hotel and a casino — and with new owners and a new name. Owner Carl Icahn announced Wednesday night that a group of investors, led by Hard Rock International, have agreed to buy the property. No sale price was announced.

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170302/NJBIZ01/170309968/trump-taj-mahal-is-sold-will-reopen-as-hard-rock-hotel–casino

The deal could bring 3,000 temporary and permanent jobs to the city.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.
Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

Home Prices Increase, Leading Homeowners to Cash-In on Equity

The rising value of homes has not only brought many an underwater homeowner back into the black, it appears to be causing some to tap into equity for a variety of purposes.

The beneficiaries are, of course, the lenders but also building supply companies such as Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Borrowing Is Back
According to a story on CNBC, borrowers are seizing the opportunity to engage in those projects that they have put off for a number of years.

Home equity lines of credit [HELOCs] volume is now up 21% in the past two years. And as of 2017, HELOCs are at their highest level since 2008, according to Moody’s. The trend appears strong enough to continue to sustain itself as value and the economy appear to be on the mend.

In addition to the trending HELOCs, borrowers are also putting smaller down payments on home loans.

Before the last housing boom, the median down payment was over 7%, dropping to 3% in 2006-7.

At the end of 2016, the median down payment had fallen to 6%, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

This only thing that will stop such an explosive growth in HELOCs is the rise of interest rates.

What is somewhat different today is that inventory still remains low, demand is high, and mortgage rates are still reasonable, in line with higher home values.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/03/more-homeowners-cashing-in-on-their-new-housing-wealth.html

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

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

Historic Ocean Grove Site of Massive 5-Alarm Fire

A massive five-alarm blaze which started early Friday morning destroyed a vacant hotel, gutted three houses and damaged two condominium complexes, The Marlborough and La Pierre, in Ocean Grove, as well as several other smaller single family homes, three of which burnt to the ground.

Smoke was visible for miles as it drifted across the eastern horizon about daybreak.

The plume of smoke from the fire was visible four miles away. Ash and cinders drifted the two blocks to the boardwalk.

By 9am on Friday morning, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Embury Avenue had established a facility where those displaced by the fire could go.

As is the case in these historic town, the potential of one building fire spreading to other structures in close proximity is a very real scenario.  Back on the morning of March 13, 2010, The Manchester Inn was lost in a fire bolstered by high winds and driving rain in Ocean Grove early.

In Ocean Grove, the majority of homes are very susceptible to fire as most are over 100 years old, wood structures and are located very close to each other, sometimes separated by a few feet or a walkway.

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

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.com, 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.

The Elephant in the Room

The subject of property taxes is a subject that no one is willing to discuss. Right now, the average American pays about $2,149 per year in property taxes, or $180 a month. For the list of states below, that number translates into a monthly charge of $617-$261.

As you can guess, New Jersey tops the list of states on average. But there are a number of counties in New York that blow the doors off of the averages. For instance, Westchester wins with a wopping $1,153 average monthly real estate tax, followed by Rye, averaging $879 a month.

Zillow’s highest property taxes by county include Nassau, Westchester, Rockland and Bergen counties. When it comes to the lowest property taxes, counties in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Oklahoma lead the way.

The highest property taxes remained in the Northeast, with all of the top 10 in either New York or New Jersey.

The 10 states charging the most by an average in property taxes each year:

1. New Jersey – $7,410
Property tax rate: 2.35%
Median home price: $315,900
2. Connecticut – $5,327
Property tax rate: 1.97%
Median home price: $270,500
3. New Hampshire – $5,100
Property tax rate: 2.15%
Median home price: $237,300
Manchester, New Hampshire
4. New York – $4,600
Property tax rate: 1.62%
Median home price: $283,400
5. Illinois – $3,995
Property tax rate: 2.3%
Median home price: $173,800
6. Massachusetts – $3,989
Property tax rate: 1.2%
Median home price: $333,100
7. Rhode Island – $3,884
Property tax rate: 1.63%
Median home price: $238,000
8. Vermont – $3,795
Property tax rate: 1.74%
Median home price: $217,500
9. Wisconsin – $3,248
Property tax rate: 1.96%
Median home price: $165,800
10. Maryland – $3,142
Property tax rate: 1.1%
Median home price: $286,900

Safety Precautions for This Spring

Tip #1 Keep it light
Show properties before dark. If you are going to be working after hours, advise your associate or first-line supervisor of your schedule. If you must show a property after dark, turn on all lights as you go through, and don’t lower any shades or draw curtains or blinds.

Tip #2 Checking-in
When you have a new client, ask him/her to stop by your office and complete a Prospect Identification Form (Find a copy online at www.nar.realtor/Safety). Also, photocopy their driver’s license and retain this information at your office. Be certain to properly discard this personal information when you no longer need it.

Tip #3 Don’t be too public
Limit the amount of personal information you share. Consider advertising without using your photograph, home phone number and/or home address in the newspaper or on business cards. Don’t use your full name with middle name or initial. Use your office address-or list no address at all. Giving out too much of thttps://youtu.be/MHi4yNfv9Vche wrong information can make you a target.

Tip #4 Touch base
Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back; leave the name and phone number of the client you are meeting and schedule a time for your office to call you to check in.

Tip #5 Open house safety
Open house: it ain’t over till it’s over. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

Tip #6 Stranger danger
Tell your clients not to show their home by themselves. Alert them that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. We tell our children not to talk to strangers. Tell your sellers not to talk to other agents or buyers, and to refer all inquiries to you.

Northeast Pending Home Sales Jump 2.3%

The National Association of Realtors reported that regionally, pending home sales in the Northeast rose 2.3% month-to-month and were 3.6% above 2016. In the Midwest sales fell 5.0% for the month and were 3.8% lower than January 2016. Pending home sales in the South gained 0.4% for the month and up 2% for the year. The West reported sales fell 9.8% for the month and were 0.4% lower than 2016. 

Buyers signed 2.8% fewer contracts to buy existing homes in January compared with December.

“The significant shortage of listings last month along with deteriorating affordability as the result of higher home prices and mortgage rates kept many would-be buyers at bay,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR. “Buyer traffic is easily outpacing seller traffic in several metro areas and is why homes are selling at a much faster rate than a year ago. Most notably in the West, it’s not uncommon to see a home come off the market within a month.”

Mortgage rates moved higher after the presidential election and have remained elevated ever since. Home price gains continue to increase with the weaker supply, clearly weighing on affordability. Experts had expected a slight gain for pending home sales, as new supply was expected to come onto the market in January. The supply of homes for sale, however, is still down dramatically compared with a year ago, and demand for homes is rising as employment improves.

Monmouth County Closed Sales Up 21 Percent

Monmouth County January
Key Metrics  2016  2017  Percent Change
New Listings 799  906 + 13.4%
Closed Sales 362  440  + 21.5%
Days on Market Until Sale 91 74 – 18.7%
Median Sales Price $370,000 $406,500  + 9.9%
% of PX Received 94.8% 96.5%  + 1.8%
Inventory 3,238 2,643 – 18.4%
Months Supply 6.7 4.7 – 29.9%

Ocean Single Family
Key Metrics  2016  2017  Percent Change
New Listings 1,035  1,145 +10.6%
Closed Sales 427  457  + 7.0%
Days on Market Until Sale 100 109 + 9.0%
Median Sales Price $258K $264.7K  +2.3%
% of PX Received 95.2% 96.4%  + 1.3%
Inventory 4,681 3,804 – 18.7%
Months Supply 9.1 6.1 – 33.0%

New Jersey Realtor report – www.njrealtor.com

New Jersey Pending Home Sales Soar

New Jersey January Market Trends

• Single Family Closed Sales were up 13.1% to 4,930.
• Townhouse-Condo Closed Sales were up 7.4% to 1,438.
• Adult Communities Closed Sales were up 16.4% to 440.
• Single Family Median Sales Price increased 1.1% to $288,000.
• Townhouse-Condo Median Sales Price decreased 4.1% to $235,000.
• Adult Communities Median Sales Price increased 13.4% to $174,000.

NJ Single Family Home Market
New Listings  8,883  9,566   +7.7%
Pending Sales  4,191   5,360   +27.9%
Closed Sales 4,359  4,930 +13.1%
Median Sales  285  288K +1.1%
Avg Sales Px  $370.8K  377.7K  +1.9%
% Recd   95.9%   96.5%  +.06%
Days on Market  96   88   -8.3%
Inventory 41,271   33,425   -19.0%
Months Supply  7.4  5.2  – 29.7%

New Jersey Realtor report – www.njrealtor.com

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