What should a 1st time real estate investor look for?

For a first-time real estate investor, there are several key considerations to keep in mind when looking for investment opportunities.
Here are some important factors to consider:
Location – The location of the property is a critical factor in real estate investment. Look for areas with strong economic fundamentals, low crime rates, good schools, and proximity to amenities and transportation. Consider both current and future trends in the local real estate market.
Market Trends – Stay informed about market trends in the area you are interested in. Are property values increasing or decreasing? What is the rental demand like? Understanding the market dynamics will help you make informed decisions about when and where to invest.
Budget and Financing – Establish a clear budget for your investment and explore financing options. Consider your down payment, mortgage rates, and other associated costs. Make sure you have a good understanding of your financial capacity and potential returns on investment.

Real Estate Investor in NJ

Property Type – Decide on the type of property you want to invest in. Common options include single-family homes, multi-family properties, commercial real estate, or vacation rentals. Each type has its own set of challenges and potential rewards, so choose based on your investment goals and risk tolerance.
Property Condition – Assess the condition of the property. A fixer-upper might have a lower purchase price, but renovation costs can add up. On the other hand, a property in good condition may require less immediate investment but could have a higher upfront cost.
Cash Flow – If you’re considering rental properties, analyze the potential cash flow. Calculate expected rental income, as well as operating expenses such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and property management fees. Positive cash flow is often a key goal for real estate investors.
Future Development Plans – Investigate any upcoming developments or infrastructure projects in the area. These can impact property values and rental demand. Additionally, consider the potential for long-term appreciation in the property’s value.
Exit Strategy – Have a clear exit strategy in mind. Whether you plan to hold the property long-term, sell after property value appreciation, or use it for a short-term gain, understanding your exit strategy is crucial for making informed investment decisions.
Legal and Regulatory Considerations – Be aware of local zoning laws, building codes, and other regulations that may affect your investment. Ensure that you comply with all legal requirements and obtain the necessary permits.
Network and Professional Advice – Build a network of real estate professionals, including real estate agents, property managers, contractors, and financial advisors. Seek advice from experienced investors who can provide valuable insights based on their own experiences. Remember that real estate investment involves risks, and thorough research and due diligence are essential. It’s often beneficial for first-time investors to start with a clear investment plan and seek guidance from experienced professionals in the field.

Posted on February 16, 2024 at 6:34 am
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty, NJ Property Management

Why Should a NJ Home Buyer Have an Oil Tank Sweep Completed?

A tank sweep, also known as an underground oil tank sweep or tank scan, is a process in which professionals use specialized equipment to detect the presence of underground storage tanks (USTs) on a property.

This is particularly important for home buyers in New Jersey for several reasons:
Environmental Concerns – Many older homes in New Jersey used underground oil tanks for heating oil. If these tanks were not properly decommissioned or removed, they may have leaked over time, causing soil and groundwater contamination. Discovering such contamination early in the home-buying process can save buyers from potential environmental liabilities and cleanup costs.

Regulatory Compliance – New Jersey has stringent environmental regulations regarding underground storage tanks. Sellers are required to disclose the presence of any underground tanks, and buyers may face legal and financial consequences if they are unaware of or do not address these issues. A tank sweep helps buyers identify any potential problems before completing the purchase.
Oil Tank Sweep for Home Sale Process

Insurance Considerations – Some insurance companies may be hesitant to provide coverage for properties with underground tanks, especially if there is a risk of leakage or contamination. Knowing about the presence of a tank and its condition allows buyers to address any concerns and negotiate with insurance providers if necessary.
Property Value and Resale – A property with an underground tank and potential environmental issues may have reduced resale value. By conducting a tank sweep, buyers can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the purchase, negotiate the price, or require the seller to address any tank-related issues.
Peace of Mind – Knowing the condition of the property and any potential environmental risks provides buyers with peace of mind. It allows them to make informed decisions about their investment and future homeownership.
It’s important for home buyers to work with qualified professionals, such as environmental consultants or tank sweep specialists, to conduct a thorough assessment of the property. This may involve using ground-penetrating radar, metal detectors, or other technologies to locate underground tanks and assess their condition. Ultimately, a tank sweep is a proactive step that can save buyers from potential headaches and financial burdens down the road. Lastly, if a UST is found through the efforts of the buyer’s inspection, it the responsibility of the seller to remove the tank at their own cost. The seller and buyer may negotiate terms and costs for the removal, but if there is no agreement, the buyer may walk away with no penalty. It’s in the sellers best interest to remove the UST.

Posted on February 16, 2024 at 6:12 am
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Blog, Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty, NJ Property Management

What are 203k loans?

A 203(k) loan is a type of mortgage loan offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that allows borrowers to finance both the purchase of a home and the cost of necessary repairs, renovations, or improvements into a single mortgage. This can be particularly useful for individuals looking to buy a fixer-upper or a property in need of significant repairs.
Here are the key features of 203(k) loans:

Combines Purchase and Renovation Financing – The primary advantage of a 203(k) loan is that it combines the financing for the home purchase and the renovation costs into a single loan. This can be more convenient than obtaining a separate mortgage and a home improvement loan.
Two Types of 203(k) Loans:

1. Standard 203(k) – This loan is for more extensive projects, such as structural repairs, major renovations, or projects with costs exceeding $35,000. It involves a more complex application process.
2. Limited 203(k) – Also known as the “Streamlined” 203(k), this is designed for less extensive renovations with a cap on the repair costs, currently set at $35,000.

203k Mortgage Loans by Century 21

Eligible Properties – 203(k) loans can be used for one-to-four unit dwellings, including single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses. However, the property must be at least one year old and meet certain livability and safety standards.
Qualification Requirements – Borrowers must meet FHA loan qualifications, including a minimum credit score and a down payment. The down payment requirement is typically lower than for conventional loans.
Renovation Scope – Eligible renovations can include structural alterations, modernization, elimination of health and safety hazards, energy efficiency improvements, and more. The renovations must be completed by a licensed contractor, and there are guidelines regarding the types of repairs allowed.
Loan Limits – The total loan amount is subject to FHA loan limits, which vary by location. The loan amount includes both the purchase price and the estimated cost of renovations.

Disbursement of Funds – The funds for renovations are held in an escrow account and disbursed as the work progresses. This helps ensure that the funds are used for the intended improvements.
Loan Term and Interest Rates – 203(k) loans typically have fixed interest rates and terms similar to traditional FHA loans. It’s important for potential borrowers to work with lenders experienced in 203(k) loans, as the process can be more complex than a standard mortgage. Additionally, thorough planning and coordination with contractors are crucial to ensure that the renovations meet FHA guidelines and are completed within the specified timeframe.

Posted on February 16, 2024 at 3:05 am
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Blog, Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty

What is Creative Financing?

Creative financing refers to alternative and unconventional methods of securing funds for real estate transactions. These methods are often used when traditional financing options may be difficult to obtain, and they involve finding innovative ways to structure deals. Creative financing techniques are more common in real estate investing and can offer flexibility for both buyers and sellers.

Here are some examples of creative financing strategies:

Seller Financing – In a seller financing arrangement, the seller acts as the lender, and the buyer makes payments directly to the seller instead of obtaining a traditional mortgage from a financial institution. This can be beneficial for buyers who may not qualify for a mortgage through traditional channels.

Lease Options – A lease option allows a buyer to lease a property with the option to purchase it at a later date, usually at a predetermined price. This can give tenants time to improve their credit or save for a down payment before committing to the purchase.

Creative Financing in Real Estate


Subject-to Financing – In a subject-to deal, the buyer acquires a property “subject to” the existing financing in place. This means the buyer takes over the existing mortgage payments without formally assuming the loan. This can be advantageous when the existing financing terms are favorable.

Wraparound Mortgages – A wraparound mortgage involves creating a new mortgage that “wraps around” the existing one. The buyer makes payments to the seller, who, in turn, continues making payments on the existing mortgage. This can be a way to finance a property without obtaining a new loan.

Creative Use of Hard Money Loans – Hard money lenders provide short-term, high-interest loans, often based on the value of the property rather than the borrowers’ creditworthiness. Creative financing may involve using hard money loans for a short period to acquire a property and then refinancing with more conventional financing.

Equity Sharing – In an equity sharing arrangement, an investor provides the capital, and a property owner provides the property management expertise. Profits or losses are then shared based on the agreed-upon terms.

Crowdfunding – Real estate crowdfunding platforms allow multiple investors to pool their money to invest in a property. This provides an opportunity for smaller investors to participate in real estate projects that may be beyond their individual financial capacity.

Assumption of Existing Mortgages – Some mortgages are assumable, meaning a buyer can take over the seller’s existing mortgage. This can be a creative way to finance a property, especially if the terms of the existing mortgage are favorable. It’s important to note that while creative financing can offer flexibility, it also comes with risks and complexities. Parties involved in such transactions should thoroughly understand the legal and financial implications and, in many cases, seek the advice of legal and financial professionals to ensure compliance with regulations and protect their interests.

Posted on February 16, 2024 at 2:23 am
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Blog, Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty

Why Choose Buyer Representation when Purchasing your NJ Home?

Until recently, real estate agents always represented the seller, not the buyer, in real estate transactions. Even that real estate agent who drove you from house to house looking at properties was not working on your behalf. By law, the agent was always required to get the highest price and best terms possible – for the seller!

Recent market developments have caused all this to change, as more and more real estate agents and companies are offering to represent the buyer in the real estate transaction. You can now have an agent specifically committed to representing you, from the initial selection of properties, to the contract negotiations, to the settlement table.

Buyer Real Estate Representation NJ

More than one million people in the United States are licensed to sell real estate. Of those licenses, very few are Buyer Representatives. Consumer advocacy groups have endorsed such representation, and licensing laws in virtually every state are now being reformed to enable and encourage representation for the buyer.

Whether you are a first time buyer or an experienced buyer, it is good to know that your real estate agent has your best interests in mind as you select a home.

Posted on February 15, 2024 at 10:08 pm
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Blog, Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Realty

Put an Experienced Real Estate Buyer Representative to Work for You

Property Search – Your buyer representative will appraise your particular criteria for a house
and neighborhood, then search for properties that fit those specifications. Your buyer
representative will set appointments for showings and monitor the market as new listings
become available.

Market Data – Market value is determined by many factors, including the availability of similar
properties at competitive prices, location, condition, and most of all the price that a
knowledgeable buyer is willing to pay. Your buyer representative will provide market data to
help you establish an offering price.

NJ Real Estate Agents


Purchase Offer – There may be other considerations besides price that are equally important in
structuring a purchase offer. The terms and conditions of the offer, amount of deposit and
possession date are likely to be factors when an offer is made. Your buyer representative will
help in your preparation of a purchase offer.

Negotiating – When a purchase offer is made, the sellers may be concerned with certain aspects
including the ability of the purchasers to fulfill their agreement, the terms and conditions of the
offer, the breakdown of closing costs between buyer and seller and even the motivations and
lifestyle of the prospective new owners! Your buyer representative will help structure a
negotiating strategy that will create the desired result, a new home.

Handling Details – A lot has to happen between signing the purchase offer and moving into a
new house. Your buyer representative will attend to the details and keep you in touch with the
transaction each step of the way. Sellers list their homes with real estate agents to ensure
professional representation.

Posted on February 15, 2024 at 9:57 pm
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Blog, Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty

Steps in Buying a New Home in New Jersey

Buying a home in any state can be overwhelming, especially without any guidance from a
professional realtor. To provide some guidance and make the process easier, provided below
are 10 systematic steps to purchasing a home in New Jersey.
Step 1: The Decision to Buy

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or entering the marketplace as a repeat buyer, you
need to ask why you want to buy. Are you planning to move to a new community due to a
lifestyle change or is buying an option and not a requirement? What would you like in terms of
real estate that you do not now have? Do you have a purchasing timeframe? Whatever your
answers, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to
effectively define your goals.
Step 2: The Mortgage Pre-Approval

In New Jersey the demand for housing is high. It is highly recommended that buyers be “Pre-
Approved” by Qualified Mortgage Agency/Broker prior to starting the home search process.
Although the pre-approval is not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter is needed
when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the
ability to proceed with a purchase.

Buying a Home in NJ

Step 3: Preview Homes for Sale

Your Realtor can provide detailed information on any property currently listed for sale,
whether it is listed by a Weichert Realtors or any another real estate company. If you see a “For
Sale” sign or an ad in the newspaper on a property that interests you, contact me immediately
so I can provide you with all the details including the price, description, special features, and
the financing terms. Remember, I am already familiar with your housing and financial needs, so
there is no reason to go through the process again with someone else. This will save you time
and take the hassle out of house hunting… and, it won’t cost you a penny more!
Step 4: Home Selected – Plan The Approach

Negotiating the purchase agreement is part of every transaction. Preparation lets you
negotiate the best price and terms obtainable. I will help you in developing negotiating
strategies and techniques to plan the approach to be taken.
Step 5: Make The Offer

You have found one that meets your needs and you are ready to make an offer!
The process varies around the country. In a typical situation in New Jersey, you
will complete an official contract of sale that your Realtor Sales Associate will
prepare, have you review and sign then present to the owner and /or owner’s
representative. You will be expected to submit a good faith deposit, usually
$1,000 as earnest money at this time. The owner, in turn, may accept, reject, or
make a counter-offer. Because counter-offers are common (any change in an
offer can be considered a counter-offer) it is important for buyers to remain in
close contact with your Realtors Sales Associate during the negotiation process
so that any proposed changes can be reviewed quickly. Your purchase offer
should be carefully prepared and presented by your Realtors Buyer’s Agent.
Step 6: Offer Acceptance – Attorney Review Commences

In New Jersey, although not mandatory, it is a prudent, typical practice to hire an
attorney for the closing of real estate. An accepted buyer offer leads to a legally
binding purchase contract. The contract is a signed agreement between the
seller and the buyer. Attorney review in the state of New Jersey is considered
three business days, but can be extended. During the three-day attorney review,
either party can cancel the contract. A list of Attorneys will be provided to you so
you can call and make your selection.
STEP 7: Home Inspections Ordered – Performed

As a buyer in New Jersey, you are responsible for hiring and paying for a home
inspector. The home inspection should be ordered within 10 days of the contract
being signed. A number of inspections are common in New Jersey residential
realty transactions. They include inspection for termites, wood-boring insects, a
radon inspection, mechanical and structural inspection. Attorneys order the title
insurance, survey and record the deed. During these examinations, an inspector
comes to the property to determine if there are material physical defects and
whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next
few years. Such inspections for a single-family home often require two or three
hours, and buyers should attend. This is an opportunity to examine the property’s
mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn far more about the property
than is possible with an informal walk-through. Any home inspection issues should
be addressed immediately after inspection results are received.
Step 8: Have The Home Appraised

Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the
value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party
company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all
the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
Step 9: Mortgage Commitment Second Deposit Attorney Orders, Title Work, Survey, Etc.

At this time in the process, you as a buyer have already been pre-approved for a
loan and the final mortgage commitment is being awaited. Typically, this process
can take up to 30 to 45 days before a final written mortgage commitment is
received. Whatever time frame is specified in the contract of sale, normally after
10 business days, the balance of usual 10% deposit is due. Your attorney will also
start the process of ordering the survey, and title work.
Step 10: The Walk Through The Closing

Coordinated through your Agent, the walk-through inspection is performed the
day of the closing. The walk-through of the home you’re about to close on lets
you re-confirm the condition of the home before the closing takes place. What to
expect: Settlement is a brief process where the necessary paperwork needed to
complete the transaction is signed. Closing in New Jersey is typically held at the
buyer’s attorney’s office, sometimes with both buyer and seller at the same table,
sometimes with each party completing their paperwork separately. The buyer
traditionally arrives 45 minutes earlier to handle the mortgage paperwork. Title to
the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys and
the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller,
the closing agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other
transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared,
signed and filed with local property record offices.

I look forward to finding you the home of your dreams!

Posted on February 15, 2024 at 9:16 pm
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Blog, Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty

Get an immediate cash offer with QuickBuy

QuickBuy makes it quick and easy to sell your home. With our simple, straightforward process, you can get an offer on your home in just one day. We’ll take the stress and hassle out of selling your home, so you can focus on moving forward with life’s next adventure.

Our team is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service throughout the entire process. Plus, QuickBuy offers competitive rates with no hidden fees or commissions – giving you peace of mind that you’re getting a great deal.

QuickBuy is a service that specializes in buying homes quickly, often for cash. If you are looking to sell your home fast, you may want to consider using QuickBuy’s Immediate Cash Offer service. Here’s how it works:

  1. Contact QuickBuy: You can contact QuickBuy to request an immediate cash offer for your home.
  2. Property assessment: QuickBuy will assess your property to determine its value.
  3. Immediate Cash Offer: QuickBuy will provide you with an immediate cash offer for your property, based on the assessment.
  4. Close the sale: If you accept the offer, QuickBuy will close the sale quickly, often in as little as a week.

It’s important to note that this type of sale is usually for less than the market value, as the buyer is looking to make a profit from the sale. You should research and compare multiple offers, and consult with a real estate professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Get started today – contact C21p at (973) 838-3600 or visit QuickBuy to learn how we can help you sell your home fast!


Posted on January 30, 2024 at 12:33 am
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

New Jersey Real Estate Locations

New Jersey is one of the most desirable locations for real estate in the United States. With its proximity to New York City, access to beautiful beaches, and high-end shops and amenities, it’s no wonder why. Real estate in New Jersey offers a range of options, from luxury high-rises in bustling cities, to quaint beach towns and sprawling suburbs.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, there are plenty of beautiful properties to choose from in this diverse state. Homeowners looking for an urban lifestyle can find upscale condos in cities like Hoboken or Jersey City, or opt for a condo on the shore. For those looking for a suburban experience, towns like Maplewood, Montclair and Chatham offer lovely homes in serene, tree-lined neighborhoods.

Of course, there are also plenty of options for luxury living in New Jersey. From waterfront homes with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, to luxurious single-family estates in the affluent suburbs, luxury real estate in New Jersey offers something for everyone.

If you’re planning to buy or sell real estate in New Jersey, it’s important to work with a qualified real estate agent that understands the finer points of the local market. They can help you find the ideal property for your needs, and provide invaluable insight into the best time to buy or sell. With the help of an experienced real estate agent, you can be sure to find the perfect home in New Jersey.

Posted on February 11, 2023 at 7:22 pm
Jeff Montemarano | Category: Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Home Sale Process Explained

The home sale process typically involves the following steps:

1. Pre-listing preparation: The homeowner will typically prepare the home for sale by making any necessary repairs or improvements, and may also work with a real estate agent to determine the best listing price for the property.

2. Listing the property: Once the home is ready for sale, the real estate agent will list the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other online platforms, and will also market the property to potential buyers.

3. Showing the property: The real estate agent will schedule showings of the property for potential buyers and their agents to view.

4. Receiving offers: Once a potential buyer is interested in the property, they will submit an offer to purchase the home, which the seller can accept, reject, or counter.

5. Negotiating the sale: If the seller receives multiple offers, they will typically work with their agent to review and negotiate the terms of the sale with the potential buyers.

6. Home inspection: Once the terms of the sale are agreed upon, a home inspector will typically be hired to conduct a thorough inspection of the property to ensure that there are no major issues that need to be addressed before the sale is completed.

7. Closing the sale: After the home inspection is completed and any necessary repairs are made, the sale of the property will be finalized in a closing process, which typically involves signing a purchase agreement and transferring the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.

8. Post-closing: The transaction will be recorded in the county public records office and the title will be transferred to the new owner. The seller will have to vacate the property on
the closing date and the new owner will take possession of the property.


Posted on January 26, 2023 at 9:50 pm
Jason Alan Amendolia | Category: Buying & Selling, Century 21 Preferred, New Jersey Real Estate, New Jersey Realty | Tagged , , , , , , , ,