What else can I get out of it?

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My Sunday open house tour continued this week as I visited 6 more houses in my surrounding areas (Whippany, Cedar Knolls, Morristown, Morris Plains, Morris Township). I have actually started seeing the same Realtors/Agents which is a good thing as they begin to get to know me. If they know me, and what I’m looking for then they are more likely to start thinking about me when a listing that fits my criteria comes up.

Sometimes I feel bad for “wasting” the agents time because I’m only there to learn the market. I then think that they probably enjoy the company as most of them aren’t too busy as I’m the only one in the house. If someone else in the house I tell them to just show those people around, I then listen to what they are saying.

Of the 6 houses I saw, one was backed by a MAJOR Highway (287) and one was backed by the main NJ Transit rail line that goes into New York City. I got a good feel for how much each hurts the value of the house. The one that has the rail line in the back yard was easily 100k lower the actually value. The house that had 287 behind it was very loud and you could hear it in the house. The price had been dropped form 525k all the way down to 425k and my guess is that in this market it will sit for a long time. Gonna have to come down to the “Steal” level to get sold, probably 375k. The Agent said the owner was motivated, but for my first property I’d like to avoid having a major highway in the backyard.

One of the earlier houses I looked at I saw sold for list price of 546,000. It was a nice solid house that had the basic stuff updated and it was clean. It was an estate and was on the market for about 3 months.

From talking with the Realtors I’m figuring I need to pin down my criteria a bit more. So I’ll list it here and if anyone has any opinions about it please let me know.

My Criteria

  • Starter house
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 1.5 to 2 Baths
  • Built prior to 1980
  • $375,000 or less
  • Owner has lived in it longer then 10 years (not sure about this one)
Scott Costello
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