real: New Fed Rules to Prevent Future Runs on Bad Loans - 09/23/08 09:24 AM
The Federal Reserve Board has amended the "Truth In Lending Act," Regulation Z under the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)."  Originally passed in 1994, HOEPA targets abusive practices in home equity lending.  The Fed now extends the Act's protections to include home purchase loans.  Effective October 1, 2009, these new rules should help prevent future runs on bad loans.  The new rule's four key provisions include protections that:
Prohibit a lender from making a loan without regard to borrowers' ability to repay the loan from income and assets other than the home's value.  Lenders must more closely scrutinize a … (1 comments)

real: Moving Away From Heavy Gasoline Use - 09/19/08 05:28 AM
With a gallon of gasoline costing around $3.75, up more than a dollar from a year ago, affordable housing isn't just a measure of your mortgage and related expenses, but also the cost of transportation to and from work, school, stores, and all the other locations you regularly travel.  The closer you live to these destinations, the less money you'll spend on gasoline.
If you want to reduce your gasoline usage (and the associated high costs) consider moving to a transit oriented development (TOD).  TODs are communities designed to encourage compact growth around transit stops.  They include pedestrian-friendly development with easy … (0 comments)

real: Sell Faster by Thinking Like a Buyer - 09/17/08 09:06 AM
Your home never has a second chance to make a first impression.  A buyer's first impression will generally be their most lasting, and you want your home to show off its assets so that you can make a quick sale for as close to full price as possible.  Keep things simple, stick with the basics, and think like a buyer to accomplish this goal. 
Eliminate all clutter, clean deeply, and let in the light.  Stick with neutral paint colors, and repair anything worn, torn, or broken.  You want the buyer to walk in and immediately be able to see your home … (0 comments)

real: Selling a Home with a "Get It Done" Attitude - 09/16/08 06:23 AM
Looking to sell your home takes a "Get It Done" Attitude. Here are some ways to help attain and sustain a positive outlook and help increase your chances of selling your home in today's market on your terms.
Find the Right Agent. Selling a home is different than buying a home and a seller who means business knows this. Look for an experienced agent who specializes in listing and selling, they will often go by "Selling Agent" or "Listing Agent". These agents will be able to market to both other agents and to homebuyers for you, which will increase your odds … (0 comments)

real: Beat the Housing Market Trends and Buy or Sell a Home - 08/29/08 05:51 AM
The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It's necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Ask yourself: If you were buying this home what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers - and as much demand - as possible.
Get a Pre-listing Inspection
Having your home inspected by a professional home inspector before you list is a recommendation … (0 comments)

real: Snapshot of the NJ Real Estate Market - 08/27/08 09:47 AM
Houses For Sale: 1618  Median Price $359,900
New Homes: 3  Median Price $529,900
Foreclosures: 1.032  Median Price $339,900
Snapshot of NJ Mortgage Rates
15 Year Fixed   6.187%
30 Year Fixed  6.572%
1 Year ARM     5.539 %

real: How Does Inflation Affect Home Prices? - 08/25/08 10:12 AM
Question: How does inflation affect home prices?
Answer:  Inflation means that the value of the dollar is dropping over time, which means it will take more dollars to anything from a pound of fruit to a residential home.  The good news for home-owners is that when the interest rate of a mortgage (as with a fixed-rate mortgage), inflation actually means that you're paying with the same number of less-valuable dollars each month, but the cash value of your home may still be rising.  If the cash value of your home rises faster than the rate of inflation, they you'll gain more … (0 comments)

real: Durand-Hedden House & Garden - 08/22/08 11:41 AM
Rich in history, the town of Maplewood is home to the historic landmark of The Durand-Hedden House & Garden.  This non-profit consists of a historic house from around 1790 that has been restored to show the continuum of its life from 1790 to 1930.  They hold open houses are each month with tours, children's activities and country store.  School tours are also available, along with a junior docent after-school program for members in third and fourth grade.
More about the Durand-Hedden House & Garden can be found in the book Maplewood, published by Arcadia Publishing in 1999, available from bookstores like … (1 comments)

real: Moving Your Houseplants - 08/21/08 05:13 AM
If you feel you cannot move your plants with you to your new home, all is not lost.  You can take some cuttings (small clippings) of your favorite plants before giving them away to friends or neighbors.  Pack the cuttings in damp paper and place in unsealed padded mailers along with a bit of its original soil, if possible.  The clippings can survive like this for several days until you arrive at your new home, and then you can then replant them with plenty of water.
If, instead, you'd prefer to bring your special house plants with you, here are some … (0 comments)

real: Surya Yoga Academy - 08/20/08 05:29 AM
Yoga is an ancient practice that can benefit mind, body, and spirit.  For those interested in the physical and stress-relieving benefits of yoga, Surya Yoga Academy in Summit is a great choice.  They aim for an intense and thorough workout in each class.  While their Introduction to Yoga classes take place in normal room temperatures, most of their other classes take place in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is referred to as "Hot Yoga"-a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. 
Hot yoga is designed to increase stretching abilities while avoiding injury.  Proponents of hot yoga ascribe to … (1 comments)

real: Ten Unique Selling Strategies - 08/15/08 09:36 AM
In today's market, it takes more than fresh-cut flowers and the smell of baking bread to attract buyers, and now HGTV's FrontDoor has shared the top ten unique selling tactics used by today's frustrated buyers to get their homes noticed.
Feng Shui.  The ancient Chinese philosophy, Feng shui (fung-shway), involves rearranging the elements of a home to improve its energy, its chi.  Good chi makes potential buyers feel hugged by the home, and more likely to buy, so many professional stagers are now including Feng Shui in their bag of tricks.
Open House Parties.  Some sellers are now going above and … (0 comments)

real: The Messy Artist - 08/14/08 10:31 AM
The Messy Artist, an art studio for kids, focuses on sensory exploration and the process of art. All the art projects we do are open ended in nature, and the children can use the materials in any way they choose. We follow a "hands off" rule and request that adults not to touch their child's artwork and instead create their own projects alongside their children.  The Messy Artist believes this approach encourages  independence and success, and builds self-esteem.
The Messy Artist program was created by Donna Bernstein, an early childhood educator and child development specialist with a Master of Arts degree … (0 comments)

real: The Connection for Women and Families - 08/13/08 06:13 AM
The Connection for Women and Families provides programs and services to women and families of diverse economic circumstances, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, culture, and physical and mental abilities.  The Connection offers a wide range of affordable classes, programs, and events for the personal, professional, and physical development of all who attend.  
In addition to a full fitness center, The Connection offers classes and programs not only for adults, but also for parents and children together, preschoolers, school-aged children, after school care, and those with special needs.  Fall registration start o August 12 at 10:00am and the fall session runs from … (0 comments)

real: Color Me Mine, Paint-Your-Own-Pottery - 08/13/08 06:11 AM
Color Me Mine is a fun and fresh Paint-Your-Own ceramics studio who invites the community to come in and "discover the Art of Having Fun" in their relaxing and inviting studio space that houses warm, natural wood furniture, contemporary music, and a friendly environment.  Finished pottery pieces decorate the studio, inspiring those who come in to do their own works.  Color Me Mine offers over 400 different unfinished ceramic pieces (and adds about 100 styles each year) for those who want to create their own gifts, host a unique party, or just have fun and relieve stress.
Everything is food-safe-their glaze … (0 comments)

real: Tips for Buyers and Owners - 08/07/08 10:06 AM
A first-time buyer working to get a mortgage should always get pre-qualified for a loan and know what they can afford.  It is best to work with a local bank mortgage professional who can walk you through the process and share information about community grants and special, first-time home-buyer programs.   Most importantly, budget for more than your down payment!  Make sure you have enough money for inspections, closing costs, and any other surprises.
For those who may currently be struggling with their mortgages, the most important thing you can do right now is talk to your lender!  Unfortunately, many borrowers in … (0 comments)

real: Is Your Bank Safe? If you Live in New Jersey - Yes! - 08/05/08 06:11 AM
July 2008 will be remembered for a long time in the banking industry as the second-biggest bank failure in history, and many still have images of Californian depositors lined up to get their money out of the failed IndyMac Bank.  However, New Jersey bank veterans are eager to reassure most depositors that they have no reason to worry if they have less than $100,000 in the bank, since they are completely covered by the FDIC.   More importantly, New Jersey banks have a conservative tradition of lending to people they know and businesses they are familiar with, backed by collateral that is real, … (0 comments)

real: New Jersey Transit Train and Bus - 08/01/08 11:56 AM
The New Jersey Transit Train and Bus Transit covers 5,325 square miles and is the nation's third largest provider of bus, rail and light rail transit, linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.  Its mission is to provide safe, reliable, convenient and cost-effective transit service with a skilled team of employees, dedicated to our customers' needs and committed to excellence.
NJ Transit operates 2,027 buses, 711 trains and 45 light rail vehicles on 236 bus routes and 11 rail lines across the state, providing almost 223 million passenger trips each year.  In addition, NJ Transit runs publicly-funded transit … (0 comments)

real: Visual Arts Center of New Jersey - 07/31/08 07:01 AM
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey was founded in 1933 by seven local artists who aimed to foster the appreciation, enjoyment, and practice of art.  The none-profit Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, a nine studio art school with three interior galleries and an outdoor exhibition space, is recognized statewide for its high quality arts education and exhibition programs.
The Art Center is the largest of the state's regional art centers devoted exclusively to contemporary art through studio classes, workshops, special programs, and exhibitions.
Guided tours are available by appointment for school, community, and adult groups. Special programs include lectures, … (0 comments)

real: So Many Homes, So Few Buyers - 07/28/08 10:02 AM
Today's market would be perfect for buyers if it were only a bit easier to get a mortgage.  There are more empty homes now than at any other time in U.S. history; according the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation's empty homes rose to a record 18.6 million in the first quarter this year.  This high vacancy rate tends to create price breaks for buyers. 
In addition, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) have contributed to rising foreclosures by causing unaffordable mortgage payments.   Some people bought more than they could afford with little money down when the market was peaking, and now home prices … (0 comments)

real: Pierro Gallery of South Orange - 07/25/08 10:38 AM
The Pierro Gallery of South Orange (PGOSO) exhibits the work of diverse, established and emerging visual artists in a non-commercial, user-friendly venue.  PGOSO also aims to foster community involvement with art, serve as a vital force in the arts community, create and conduct educational programs, and provide resources for artists.  The Gallery has shown the work of over 800 visual artists and approximately 600 craftspeople and has also provided networking opportunities for artists to share ideas, resources and collaborations.
Their current exhibition, "Wake Up, Are We Desensitized?" runs from June 1 to July 27, 2008, from 1:00-4:00pm.
For more information, call  … (0 comments)


Margaret "Maggee" Miggins

Short Hills, NJ

More about me…

Keller Williams

Address: 488 Springfield Avenue , Summit, NJ, 07901

Office: (973) 467-5501

Mobile: (973) 879-9711

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