Estate planning can be complicated, and many misconceptions about it exist. In today’s Real Estate & News!® Free consumer newsletter, you’ll learn the actual answers to four common myths related to wills, trusts, and other estate planning details.
You’ll also learn about helpful travel planning apps, home maintenance chores you should be doing annually– plus fun facts, a trivia challenge, and lots more. But first…
Here’s what’s happening in your neighborhood. So what makes real estate activity this winter different from last? Interest rates are up and as a result Buyers are shopping now instead of waiting for the traditional ‘Spring Market’ Add in low Inventory levels across all towns and you get multiple offers, home selling at or above asking price, frustrated buyers and elated sellers. What is really intriguing is that we have a ‘growth bubble’ inside of a real estate market slow down. The Luxury and Townhouse markets are struggling which is the reason that the List Price to Sales Price percentages are trending lower.
North Caldwell Boro
*These statistics reflect activity January 2017. All information is from the GSMLS. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed
Also, we would like to say a few words about our friends Gina Rossell and Moshe Rasis. Thank you for connecting us with Lisa Wolkoff and Megan Catanzaro. We appreciate your friendship and support of our business!
Finally, we want you to know that you may call us for any reason. And please let us know if a friend, family member or neighbor needs a caring, competent real estate professional to help in buying or selling.
We truly appreciate your friendship and referrals. Enjoy your issue!
Robert & Marlisa Zebaida
Robert & Marlisa Zebaida, REALTOR®
Zebaida Group at Keller Williams Realty
P.S. When you notice people talking about real estate in the next few weeks, can you tell them about the free consumer information we provide?
They may be people needing to move in the next 6 months, and you can tell them about our Free Consumer Report: “Make Your Home Show Like A Model Without Breaking The Bank.” They’ll thank you because this informative guide has a checklist of inexpensive ways to make buyers instantly attracted to a home. To request a copy for a friend, simply call us at 973.379.7030. Or,
A boy learning to drive goes down a one-way street in the wrong direction, yet he does not break the law. How is that possible?
(see answer below)
4 Estate Planning Myths Busted!
Just getting started thinking about estate planning? Putting a little thought and effort into estate planning now helps to ensure your final wishes are fulfilled problem-free.
Belief: If you don’t have a will, the government takes everything you own. Truth: Without a will or trust, the laws of your most recent home state dictate who receives your assets. Plan: Depending on state laws, your surviving spouse, children, or parents are likely to inherit what you leave behind if you don’t have a will. However, live-in partners, step-children, and other kin will be left out. To ensure your specific assets go to the people you want to receive them, you should outline your wishes in a will or trust.
Belief: You have to update your will every time there is a life change. Truth: Some parts of a will “self-adjust” due to life changes. Plan: When putting together an estate plan, discuss possible upcoming life changes, such as adopting a child or buying a home, with your lawyer. He or she can advise under what conditions an update needs to be made to the plan.
Belief: The court-supervised probate process of gathering and distributing assets to creditors and inheritors is unavoidable. Truth: Assigning a beneficiary to certain assets helps avoid probate. Plan: If you can assign a beneficiary, such as in the case of a life insurance policy and tax-deferred account, do it. But assets like houses and standard bank accounts don’t allow for named beneficiaries. Creating a revocable trust instead of a last will may help your relatives avoid probate, but make sure everything is actually transferred to the trust.
Belief: I’ve created an estate plan, so everything is taken care of. Truth: You should review your estate plan every three to five years to make sure it’s up-to-date and appropriate for your current situation. Plan: Some estate planning documents “self-adjust” due to particular life circumstances, but it’s always a good idea to revisit and close any loopholes. For example, if you recently adopted pets, you’ll want to designate what should happen to them if you die, and if your trustee is no longer an appropriate choice, name someone else in his or her place.
If you’re thinking about selling your home soon, request our Free Consumer Guide, “7 Insider Tips To Net More Money Selling Your Own Home.” This report will be your secret weapon to maximize the net profits from the sale of your home. You can get a free copy by calling us at…973.379.7030
Vacations should be stress-free, so let technology help with the planning!
TripIt: This single app keeps all travel itineraries, tickets, booking details, reservations, and confirmations in one place. Even better, it is simple to share travel plans with anyone who needs to know specific details.
Waze: Make the most of your road trip with this constantly updated app that tracks interstate delays, speed traps, and road construction that might impede drive times.
Travefy: Group travel is made easy with this app, which lets users pull details like hotel reservations and attraction reviews into a single shared space. A chat feature with a poll option lets group members plan together prior to travel.
TripAdvisor: The popular traveler review website has its own app, letting users browse reviews, ratings, photos, and other relevant information before making decisions about where to visit, eat, and stay.
Thanks to all of our clients and friends who support our practice and graciously referred us to your friends and neighbors. Rather than pester people with unwanted calls and visits, we build our business based on the positive comments and referrals from people just like you. We couldn’t do it without you!
Chris Goscinski, Megan Catanzaro, Anand & Deepa Krishna
Fun Facts and Laughs
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
Keeping a house in tip-top shape requires that some things be tackled only once a year. Save this list (as well as the ones from the last three Service For Life issues) to ensure you don’t forget any important tasks.
Identify and seal cracks and gaps in windows, doors, walkways, and the driveway.
Have the fireplace and chimney inspected for damage and hazards.
Inspect the roof for broken, loose, or missing shingles or tiles.
Flush hot water heater – search online for how-to information for your particular brand.
Check the home’s exterior for chipped paint and cracks in the foundation, and fix as necessary.
Remove showerheads and clean built-up sediment.
Deep clean the basement and garage.
Test well water, if applicable.
Update your home disaster kit. Check ready.gov/kit for a comprehensive list.
Now You Can Search The Home Market, Get Helpful Community Information, AND Receive Important Resources For Saving Time And Money When Buying Or Selling At www.zebaidagroup.com
“Who Else Wants To Win Movie tickets for two?”
Trivia Challenge for the Month…
Guess who won last month’s Trivia Question? We’re pleased to announce the lucky winner of last month’s quiz. And the winner is, drum roll please: Bob Singer was the first person to correctly answer our quiz question.Who was the highest paid celebrity of 2016?
a) Beyonce Knowles
c) LeBron James
d) Taylor Swift
The answer is d) Taylor Swift, who made 170 million dollars (calculated from June 2015 to June 2016). Let’s move on to this month’s trivia question.
What U.S. state has the most mountain ranges?
And You Could Be One Of Our Next Winners! Call Us At 973.379.7030 OR
Q. How much money do I need for a down payment? A. Your down payment will be based on the cost of the home and most likely one of the following popular loan programs…
Conventional financing – For conventional financing, you will probably need a minimum of 5 percent up to a maximum of 20 percent down.
FHA financing – You will need a minimum of 3.5 percent down.
USDA financing – You may not need a down payment.
VA financing – You also may not need a down payment.
Here are a few more things to know if you go with conventional financing. If you put less than 20 percent down, you may be responsible for paying private mortgage insurance. Also, the lower your down payment on a home, usually the higher your interest rate and monthly payment. Mortgage lenders tend to offer better terms to those with a high credit score, a higher down payment, and a stable employment history.
Learn more about down payments by calling and asking for our Free Consumer Report called “4 Quick Ways To Buy A Home With Little Down.” We’ll send a copy right over to you.
Do you have a real estate question you want answered? Feel free to call us at 973.379.7030 or email us. Perhaps we’ll feature it in our next issue!
THANK YOU… for reading our Zebaida Group’s Real Estate & News!® personal newsletter. We wanted to produce a newsletter that has great content and is fun and valuable to you.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this email is intended for informational purposes. It should not substitute as legal, accounting, investment, medical or other professional services advice. Always seek a competent professional for answers to your specific questions. This email is not intended to solicit real estate properties currently for sale.