Aug 172014

Fixer-Uppers or distressed properties are often sought by investors that are looking to clean-up and repair them and flip them for a quick profit. Is this a good strategy for you to follow too? That depends on a number of factors:

  1. Experience with home renovations/repairs – if you are a novice buyer, it may be best to stick to properties that only need cosmetic repairs.  If you are experienced with finding good contractors and/or doing the work yourself, distressed properties may be a good option.
  2.  Financing – do you need to finance both the home and the repairs?  If you need a home loan to buy a “fixer-upper” and remodel it, look at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 203(K) loan program. The program is designed to facilitate major structural rehabilitation of houses with one to four units that are more than one year old. Condominiums are not eligible.
  3. Building Code – If you are buying a house that has been significantly remodeled, ask for proof of the permits involved before you purchase to avoid future liability for fines.
  4. Contractors – never hire a construction professional without first checking him or her out. Search them on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, to find out if there are any outstanding complaints against that license holder. Also, call your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file.
  5. Value – Don’t forget to include transaction costs along with the value of your time in deciding if the benefits of a lower purchase price out weigh the costs of fixing up the house after you buy it.

The Realtors at RE/MAX first in East Brunswick have a great deal of experience dealing with Short Sales, Bank Owned Property and other distressed property.  The Broker, Carl SanFilippo is a New Jersey short sale specialist.

Our list of pre-foreclosure and short sales may serve as a good starting point for investigating distressed properties.



Aug 172014

Once you have decided that you are going to be selling your home, there are a some relatively easy things you can do
that will help your house to sell more quickly and at a higher price.

Get rid of clutter

Your house will look much more spacious and elegant if clutter is removed.

  • Start packing up things you don’t need every day so that your shelves and surface areas don’t look crowded.
  • Renting a storage locker can really help to make garages and basements look clean and usable.
  • Throw away things that you are not going to take with you when you move.
  • Have that garage sale now rather than waiting until after you have sold your house.

Remember, the more you get rid of now, the easier your move will be.


Your kitchen is a great place to focus on in getting your house ready.

  • Remove all items from your counter tops and from all other flat surfaces
  • Clean out your junk drawer if you have one
  • Pack away or throw away old pots and plastic containers that you don’t use every day.
  • Clear out cabinets and pantries by using up food supplies and keep your stocks low until after you move.

Making your kitchen look spacious will really help to sell your house.


Clearing out some of the clothes and other items stored in your closets can help to make them look
like they have plenty of room for the new occupants. This might be a good time to give away some
of your old cloths or box them up if you have enough storage room.


Consider moving some of your furniture into storage if you can live without it. Rooms will look
larger if there is open space and the furniture doesn’t look crammed in. A rented storage space
can really come in handy in this regard.


Minor problems can scare off buyers, so completing some minor repair work can really help.

What Price Do I Pick

Experienced Realtors such as those at RE/MAX First Realty can really help you to decide what the best price is to list your home. This is a critical step in maximizing your total return. When you search real estate listings to see what other homes are selling for, don’t forget that if you are looking at the asking price, it might be very different from the price they eventually sell for!

Aug 172014

First time home buyers especially can be overwhelmed when thinking about buying a new home, but the East Brunswick Realtors at RE/MAX First Realty are very experienced and can help you at every step of the journey.

Working with a Realtor can save you time because they know which properties really meet your criteria and can help you avoid situations like power lines in the back yard or busy roads if those things are important to you.

Our RE/MAX First Realtors can also help you figure out what is important to you.

Schools:  For many home buyers, this is a critical item.  These buyers will benefit by reviewing the information about East Brunswick Schools contained in this website and will likely be focused mainly on East Brunswick and South Brunswick.

Commute: Many buyers are very focused on avoiding a long commute.  With Exit 9 on the Turnpike in East Brunswick, this is a convenient location for driving into New York or Northern New Jersey locations, but there are very good East Brunswick public transportation options including East Brunswick parking facilities.  A RE/MAX First Realtor can help you find homes and townhouses that are an easy walk to a bus stop.

Cost: A Realtor can help you figure out how much you can afford and can explain things such as pre-qualification that can make the whole home buying experience very smooth.

Features: What features are most important to you?  Do you want an in-ground pool, a large garage, a finished basement?  These decisions can help you to narrow your search.

Search:  Your can do your own Middlesex County Real Estate Search, right here on this site.  This is a great place to start.  If you login, you will then be able to save your searches.

The following recently listed East Brunswick Single Family homes could be a place to start.

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The following recently listed East Brunswick Townhouses and Condos could be a good way to go.

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