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Holiday Sites to Visit in New Jersey

Built in 1764, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest standing lighthouse in the country. Because of Sandy Hook's location just miles across New York Harbor, the lighthouse served the important function of facilitating the safety of ships coming in and out of New York.

2016 Mortgage Apps Soar from 2016

Mortgage applications are nearly 24% higher than they were this time in 2015.

And last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the total number of mortgage application increased 2.3% for the week ending May 20th, 2016.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week, seasonally adjusted, and 17% compared with the same week one year ago.

The demand continues to be spurred-on by low interest rates, a continuing improvement to the economy and employment as well as the inventory shortage.

RealtyTrac Reports U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 7 Percent in April 2016

RealtyTrac released its April 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Activity data this week, which shows 100,932 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings during the month, down 7 percent from the previous month and down 20 percent from a year ago — the ninth consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease.

The 100,932 properties with foreclosure filings in April was below 2006 levels when the average was 104,000 a month, but still not quite back to 2005 levels when the average was 75,000 a month.

The Press Reports Approval of 1,400+ Toms River Housing Units

The housing shortage and low inventory of available exiting homes on the market have had an impact upon this new growth spirt in Toms River.

According to a story in the Asbury Park Press, “More than 1,400 units of housing have been approved for development in Toms River's northern sections, with over 900 of them either under construction or recently completed… All include at least 20 percent affordable housing units to help the township meet state mandates to provide housing for lower income buyers or renters.”

Mortgage Applications Fall

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications decreased 1.6% for the week ending May 13th, 2016, from one week earlier.

The Market Composite Index decreased 1.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
On an unadjusted basis, the Index fell 2% from the prior week.
The Refinance Index increased 1% from the prior week as rates remained low.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6% from one week earlier to the lowest level since February 2016.

Ways to Fatten Your Wallet Part 2

According to a survey featured on CNBC, eight in ten Americans are in debt, and most will take that debt into their retirement.
6. Cut-Out Impulse Buying
It is that must-have technology on the web that is the newest.
Give it 36 hours and then decide.
If you have to buy something on your credit card, always pay it off the next day with an extra $2 fee.
You will see your credit balances go down to nothing!
7. Cable
Always go standard. Forget the HBO. Get off the couch. TV slows your thinking and metabolism.

April Housing Springs Ahead

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. housing starts bolted forward by 6.6% in April.

Builders were obviously in high gear in new construction of single and multi-family homes furthering the sentiment that the economy was getting stronger.

The new construction translated into an annual pace of 1.17 million units, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had projected that housing starts would rise to a 1.13 million-unit pace last month.

In addition, March's starts were revised up to a 1.10 million-unit rate from the previously reported 1.09 million-unit rate.

Ways to Fatten Your Wallet Part 1

According to a survey featured on CNBC, eight in ten Americans are in debt, and most will take that debt into their retirement.

1. Make Your Morning Coffee: ABC News points out that the average American worker spends $1,100 annually on coffee.
Buy a coffee maker and make your first cup. You will save a $1,000 or more.
2. Your Mobile Phone
Save on your mobile phone service.
Keep your number and port it to a cheaper carrier.
I have even kept my NYC number as a mobile number: 212 is like a 'gold-coast' number.
3. Cash Is King

Monmouth and Ocean County Sales Are Up

New Jersey April Stats

MONMOUTH County April 2016
Key Metrics 2015 2016 % Change
New Listings 1,305 1,273 - 2.5%
Closed Sales 382 469 + 22.8%
Days on Mkt 90 84 - 6.7%
Median Sales Px $367.5K $385K + 4.8%
% of PX Rcvd 96.0% 96.4% + 0.4%
Inventory 3,955 3,413 - 13.7%
Months/Invent 9.0 6.6 - 26.7%

OCEAN County April 2016
Key Metrics 2015 2016 % Change
New Listings 1,332 1,306 - 2.0%
Closed Sales 446 505 + 13.2%
Days on Mkt 108 91 - 15.7%

The Walll Street Journal Tips on How to Sell a Mansion

Big is no longer big enough. Today it has got to have a wow, zing, bam and some boom.

Those who know, know you can’t just price a mansion based on location and size alone.

The Wall Street Journal did an interesting and sober piece on positioning your mansion to sell.

They warn to avoid the tendency “to aim a bit high with the price.”

These are the tips they recommend: