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Zillow and Truila Come to Terms

Zillow announced on Monday, that it had come to agree to terms to acquire Trulia for about $3.5 billion in stock.

This was rumored to be in the making back on Thursday of last week.

The proposed purchase would create the single largest repository of online real estate listings.

An interesting element to the deal is that Zillow and Trulia will both maintain their separate brands.

Ralph Aponte
Counsellors Title Agency

Wedding Bells for Zillow & Trulia?

Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Zillow is looking to buyout its biggest online rival Trulia .

Zillow went public on on July 20, 2011 for $20 a share; Trulia went public September 20th, 2012, and opened at $22.10 a share, well above the $17 share price the company set for institutional investors and other IPO insiders.

The potential merger of Zillow and Trulia would represent a Google-esque digital property which would account for 89% of the online real estate listings cumulatively.

Trenton Comes Together in Defense

This past June, New Jersey's legislative bodies in Trenton passed resolutions to urge Congress to work on behalf of New Jersey's military bases: McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County.

Within a few days of the passing of the resolutions, Gov. Chris Christie approved $200,000 in the state budget to fund activities by a task force, headed by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to fend off the latest rounds in defense cuts which could adversely affect both bases.

Mortgage Apps Jump Higher

Mortgage Bankers Association’s [MBA] Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 18, 2014 reported that mortgage applications increased 2.4 percent from one week earlier.

MBA’s Refinance Index also improved, increasing 4 percent from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased just 0.3 percent from one week earlier.

Consumers appear to be attracted to some of the lowest mortgage rates reaching back to the end of 2012.

Other Statistics
+ Refinances increased to 54.4 percent of total applications (the highest level since March 2014)

New Jersey’s Economy Continues to Add Jobs

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, New Jersey added 9,600 private-sector jobs this past June. This included the 1,400 public-sector jobs lost jobs lost for the same period, lowering the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent.

Areas adding jobs were:
3,500 Education and Health Services positions
2,600 Finance
1,700 Leisure & Hospitality
1,500 Transportation & Utilities

Unfortunately, the one area that notched a job loss was in the construction industry which recorded a net job loss of 2,600.

Mobile Generating 60 Percent of Online Traffic

A brand new comScore report states that smartphones and tablets together account for 60 percent of all online traffic, which is 20 percent more than it was last year when mobile and tablet-generated traffic accounted for 50 percent of all web traffic.

The comScore study cites that 23 percent of organic traffic to websites now originates from Android or iPhone devices. The study sees that only 12 percent is coming from tablets.

The report states that:

Home Buying Guide Pt. 5

Make & Submit the Right Offer: Check

Any offer should be contingent on the results of a home inspection and your ability to secure a mortgage.
Your agent will be able to help you with the offer submission process.

When calculating the appropriate offer, you should consider:
§ How long the home has been on the market
§ How many times has the offer price been reduced
§ The current temperature of the market
§ If there are multiple offers
§ How many homes like your home are available on the market

Great Websites to Check Out in Your New Home Search

The more you know about what you want in your house and your real estate market, the greater the probability that you can find it at a price you can afford.

Here are some of useful websites:

Home Buying Guide Pt. 4

Neighborhood: Check

For most people today the search begins online.

Since most people now have access to any number of online listing services such as Zillow, Realtor & Trulia, there is a greater opportunity to use that information to educate and inform both buyer and seller.

It is also recommended that you research, which will list Fannie Mae owned properties in the area.

Read the newspaper real-estate section, check out online sources (like, go to open houses, and use your agent.

Home Buying Guide Pt. 3

Check Your Price Range

After you determine your credit score, you will be better prepared to create a true buying budget, identify the desired neighborhoods that you would like to live-in, and most importantly, your price range.

Don’t waste time looking at houses you can’t afford or even afford to maintain or live in (taxes could become onerous).

Your affordability index will include:

+ Estimated monthly income
+ Cost to service your monthly debt
+ The term of the mortgage
+ The interest rate of the mortgage
+ Your down payment