In Real Estate News
THE “WATCHER” SCARES NEW HOMEOWNERS
A New Jersey couple with young children recently filed suit against the seller of a home they bought in 2014, plus the listing agent and settlement company. The suit says the family received several anonymous and threatening letters and felt forced to flee their dream home in Westfield, NJ almost immediately after they bought it for $1.3 million last year.
The frightening letters asked: “Why are you here? Will you fill the house with the young blood I requested? Have they found what is in the walls yet? Will the young bloods play in the basement? Who has the rooms facing the street?”
The lawsuit actually names the unknown “Watcher” of the home as one of the defendants, along with the previous owners who the lawsuit alleges also received similar letters but failed to disclose the letters to the buyers.
Law enforcement is involved and seeking the identity of the person who wrote the letters. The family has unsuccessfully tried to sell the home. Currently, the house remains vacant.
TOLL BROTHERS STOPS OFFERING STUCCO HOMES
According to a representative of Toll Brothers, as of January 1, 2015, the builder stopped constructing homes with stucco exteriors in the Philadelphia area. Their new construction models offer brick, stone and vinyl exteriors.
The decision to discontinue stucco stems from the myriad of issues stucco homes have had in recent years with water getting trapped behind the stucco and causing damage to the sheathing and framing and creating potential mold issues in the homes. Many builders have been sued over the damage and expensive remediation process.
Additionally, several relocation companies have instructed relocating clients to not purchase stucco homes due to the issues, thereby slowing demand.
RISING INTEREST RATES
Interest rates have stepped upward in the last several weeks. The rate for a 30-yr fixed is currently 4-4.25%.