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Scott Kompa

Sales Associate

My Blog

How's The Real Estate Market?

9/14/2014

In Salem County, NJ the number of homes sold in 2014 is up by a small percentage. Each township has had different results.  For example Elsinboro has seen the number of home sales increase by 167% over the same time period in 2013.  On the down side, Woodstown has seen the amount of home sales decline by a whopping 49%.  

Take a look at the chart below and see your township results 

Town Or sold sold Percentage For Under
Township 2013 2014 Difference Sale Contract
Alloway 20 15 -25% 20 3
carneys point 41 35 -15% 97 11
elmer 10 7 -30% 11 2
elsinboro 3 8 167% 25 2
LAC 5 8 60% 10 1
Mannington 7 9 29% 14 3
Oldmans 12 10 -17% 11 1
Penns Grove 19 18 -5% 42 7
Pennsville 56 76 36% 190 28
Pilesgrove 19 20 5% 37 5
Pittsgrove 51 44 -14% 69 9
Quinton 10 14 40% 33 3
Salem 19 21 11% 51 6
Upper Pittsgrove 10 15 50% 24 5
Woodstown 28 17 -49% 46 5
Total Homes 310 317 2% 680 91

As a real estate agent, I am often told by homeowners that homes are not simply not selling.  The fact is these sellers are misinformed. Homes are selling and in every township.  What sells are home are price, location, condition, and marketing.  A good real estate agent will help you determine the right price, suggest improvements for selling, and have a marketing plan including professional quality photos that gets results.  One of the most important things a homeowner should do when thinking about selling their home is to interview a few real estate agents and then select the agent with the best plan and marketing.  But remember, all the marketing in the world cannot over come a price that is too high.  Why do you think your township numbers are up or down?

Per TrendMLS 1/1/13-9/13/2014 and 1/1/2014 - 9/13/2014. Deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Open Houses in This Weekend in Salem County February 1-2

1/30/2014

Salem County's Open Houses This Weekend

Click on the Address for more information

28 Plummer Ln Alloway, NJ  Saturday 1-4 PM

17 Howard Avenue Carneys Point, NJ Saturday 1-3 PM

33 Michigan Rd, Pennsville, NJ Saturday 12-2 PM

20 Georgia Rd, Pennsville, NJ Sunday 12-2 PM

 

If you have questions or would like to view these homes at your own convenience contact Scott Kompa.

It is recommended to verify the open house is still being held before attending.  This data is deemed accurate but not guaranteed from TrendMLS 1/30/2014.

When the Temperature Drops Watch Your Pipes

1/8/2014

Freezing Temperatures in Real Estate

When the temperature drops well below freezing to the single digits there is a strong possibility of freezing pipes in your home.  This may be able to be avoided.  Water expands when it freezes causing a pipe to burst.  Sometimes you will not notice it until the pipes break and you have a mess on your hands.  If it happens it may be a costly repair.  Pipes in un-insulated locations such as crawl spaces and un-insulated walls are prone to freezing.

Tips to try to prevent freezing pipes

  • Turn up the thermostat a few degrees.  It costs a few more dollars however but well worth it.
  • Leave water trickling out of a faucet.  Moving water does not allow for ice to build up in the pipes.
  • Remove all hoses from exterior hose bibs

It does not matter if you live in Mullica Hill, Deptford, Woodstown, or Pennsville, NJ the cold weather affects us all.  Remember to dress appropriately

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Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at Your Entryway?

10/17/2013

Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at Your Entryway?

 

Is your front entryway ready for Halloween visitors? Keep everything fun and accident-free with these seven safety tips.

1. Light the Scene
Providing plenty of illumination ensures that your visitors can see where they’re walking, helping to avoid missteps and falls. Pettibone suggests using the highest wattage bulbs your outdoor lighting fixtures can safely take (check the label on the socket), and adding landscape lights every few feet along your front walk.
“We use the solar-powered kind because there’s no wiring needed,” he says. “Just push them into the ground, let them soak up the sun during the day, and they’ll light up the walk after dark.”
2. Secure the Footing
Clear your walk, steps, and stoop of any obstructions that could trip youngsters focused more on tricks and treats than watching where they’re going. That means moving potted mums and jack o’lanterns out of the way, and hammering down any nail heads protruding out of your steps.
If you have a concrete stoop, which can get slippery when wet, apply friction tape ($16 for a 60-foot roll of 1-inch-wide tape) to ensure stable footing, says Pettibone. He also stocks up on chemical ice melt ($20 for a 50-lb. bag) just in case of an early freeze.
3. Tighten the Railings
If your porch railings are wobbly or broken, family members and friends may know not to lean too heavily on them, but Halloween visitors won’t. So hire a contractor or handyman to fix the problem. It’ll make your home safer for guests all year round. Because more strangers come to your front door this night than the rest of the year combined, now is the time to take care of it.
4. Eliminate Fire Hazards
Don’t put real candles into your carved pumpkins or paper lanterns. “That’s a fire waiting to happen,” says Pettibone. Instead, pick up a bulk pack of LED-bulb faux candles, which emit a yellowish, flickering, battery-powered light that looks amazingly similar to the real thing -- without the danger.
5. Secure your Property
To prevent burglaries and Halloween pranks -- especially on mischief night the previous evening -- make sure to keep all windows and doors (other than your main door) locked shut.
You might have an electrician add motion-sensor lights around your property, so anyone who walks down your driveway or around into the backyard will be discouraged from intruding any farther.
6. Set the Scene
In addition to spooky items like cotton cobwebs and half-buried skeletons, consider a few safety-related scene-setters. Pettibone suggests propping open the screen or storm door so it doesn’t get in the way when there’s a big group of kids congregated on your stoop. “We use yellow caution tape to tie open the door,” he says. “You can order it online and it works well with the Halloween theme.” A 1,000-ft. roll of 3-inch-wide caution tape is about $8.
You’ll also want a working doorbell, so if yours is broken, either hire an electrician or handyman to fix it -- or install a wireless doorbell in its place.
7. Enhance Street Safety
Four times as many child pedestrians get killed on Halloween night than a normal night. So limit the danger as much as you can by clearing parked cars off the curb to allow better visibility and placing a reflective “watch for children sign” at the edge of the road. For for high-traffic roads in Halloween-intensive neighborhoods, consider posting an adult in the street with a hand-held traffic control light to help maintain safety.

 

By: Oliver Marks

Published: October 22, 2012

How to Fix Leaky Windows

10/10/2013

Got Leaky Windows? 3 Low-Cost Tips to Fix Them

 

I used to hang an extra woolly robe in my bathroom because my post-shower route took me past a window so drafty it made me wonder about the etymology of “window.” Turns out it comes from the Anglo-Saxon "vindr” and “auga,” which translates as “wind eye.” How appropriate.

If the “wind eye” focused on you last winter, but you’re not ready to invest in new windows, you can still cut your energy bills if you seal those air leaks—and if you do so now, you’ll prevent cool air from escaping your home this summer.
Here are three low-cost tips to help keep air leaks at bay:

#1: For most windows: Just fill the gaps.

Easier said than done if you’re dealing with old, flaky caulk, weather stripping, or adhesive that’s really tough to remove. But if you don’t clean it off well, your new caulk and stripping won’t adhere well and could peel away before you see any benefits.

However, a common household product, petroleum jelly, removes that adhesive goo quite well. Just rub the jelly over the sticky goo, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe away. Another swipe with rubbing alcohol will remove the greasy film left from the jelly. (This technique, by the way, also works for removing price labels.)

#2. For older windows with rattling panes: Make baffles.

Cut quarter-round pine strips to fit. Use finishing nails and wood glue to secure them just inside the framed glass. Once you’ve caulked and painted the strips to match, they will disappear into the framework and look like part of the original window. It worked wonderfully on my 1920-era casement windows.

#3. If you want window treatments, too: Install waffle shades.

Folding fabric shades that are made with cells that trap air have great insulating properties—so good that some of them qualify for federal energy rebates, which have been extended into 2011. They start at around $50—still less expensive than new windows—and you get a new look, too.

 

By: Nicolette Toussaint

Published: May 2, 2011

How to Inspect Windows, Doors to stop Air and Water Leaks

10/3/2013

How to Inspect Windows, Doors to Stop Air and Water Leaks

 

Inspect windows and doors regularly to stop air leaks and water seeps that create high energy and repair bills. We’ll show you how.

Big picture inspection

A home air pressure test sucks air into the house to reveal air leaks that increase your energy bills. To inspect windows and other openings:

  • Seal the house by locking all doors, windows, skylights, and shutting all vents.
  • Close all dampers and vents.
  • Turn on all kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
  • Pass a burning incense stick along all openings--windows, doors, fireplaces, outlets--to pinpoint air rushing in from the outside.

Windows and the outside world

Air and water can seep into closed widows from gaps and rot in frames, deteriorating caulking, cracked glass, and closures that don’t fully close.
To stop air leaks, pinpoint window problems.

  • Give a little shake. If they rattle, frames are not secure, so heat and air conditioning can leak out and rain can seep in. Some caulk and a few nails into surrounding framing will fix this.
  • Look deep. If you can see the outside from around--not through--the window, you’ve got gaps. Stop air leaks by caulking and weather stripping around frames.
  • Inspect window panes for cracks.
  • Check locks. Make sure double-hung windows slide smoothly up and down. If not, run a knife around the frame and sash to loosen any dried paint. Tighten cranks on casement windows and check that top locks fully grab latches.

Door doubts

  • Check doors for cracks that weaken their ability to stop air leaks and water seeps.
  • Inspect weather stripping for peels and gaps.
  • Make sure hinges are tight and doors fit securely in their thresholds.

Inspect skylights

Brown stains on walls under a skylight are telltale signs that water is invading and air is escaping. Cut a small hole in the stained drywall to check for wetness, which would indicate rot, or gaps in the skylight.
To investigate skylight leaks, carefully climb on the roof and look for the following:

  • Open seams between flashing or shingles.
  • Shingle debris that allows water to collect on roofs.
  • Failed and/or cracked cement patches put down the last time the skylight leaked.

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: January 7, 2011

Six Home Upgrades That Do Not Return the Investment

9/26/2013

Home Upgrades with the Lowest ROI

 

File these six upgrades under wish fulfillment, not value investment.

Of course, home owning isn’t just about building wealth; it’s also about living well and making memories -- even if that means outclassing your neighborhood or turning off future buyers. So if any of these six upgrades is something you can’t be dissuaded from, enjoy! We won’t judge. But go in with your eyes wide open. Here’s why: 

1.  Outdoor Kitchen

The fantasy: You’re the man -- grilling steaks, blending margaritas, and washing highball glasses without ever leaving your pimped-out patio kitchen.

The reality: For what it costs -- on average $12,000-$15,000 -- are you really gonna use it? Despite our penchant for eating alfresco, families spend most leisure time in front of some screen and almost no leisure time outdoors, no matter how much they spend on amenities, according to UCLA’s Life At Home study. And the National Association of Home Builders' 2013 What Home Buyers Really Want report says 35% of mid-range buyers don’t want an outdoor kitchen.

The bottom-line: Instead, buy a tricked out gas grill, which will do just fine when you need to char something. If you’re dying for an outdoor upgrade, install exterior lighting -- only 1% of buyers don’t want that.

Related: How to Buy a Gas Grill

2.  In-Ground Swimming Pool

The fantasy: Floating aimlessly, sipping umbrella drinks, staying cool in the dog days of summer.

The reality: Pools are money pits that you’ll spend $17,000-$45,000-plus to install (concrete), and thousands more to insure, secure, and maintain. Plus, you won’t use them as much as you think, and when you’re ready to sell, buyers will call your pool a maintenance pain.

The bottom-line: If your idea of making it includes a backyard swimming pool, go for it. But, get real about:

  • How many days per year you’ll actually swim.
  • How much your energy bills will climb to heat the water ($760-$1,845 depending on location and temperature).
  • What you’ll pay to clean and chemically treat the pool ($20-$100/month in-season if you do it yourself; $75-$165/month for a pool service).
  • The fact that you'll likely need to invest in a pool fence. In fact, some insurance carriers require it.

Related:

Less expensive option: an above-ground pool

Lower maintenance option: natural pools

If you do put in a pool, you can save money by installing a solar heater.

3.  In-Ground Spa

The fantasy: Soothing aching muscles and sipping chardonnay with friends while being surrounded by warm water and bubbles.

The reality: In-ground spas are nearly as expensive ($15,000-$20,000) as pools and cost about $1 a day for electricity and chemicals. You’ll have to buy a cover ($50-$400) to keep children, pets, and leaves out. And, like in-ground pools, in-ground spas’ ROI depends solely on how much the next homeowner wants one.

The bottom-line: Unless you have a chronic condition that requires hydrotherapy, you probably won’t use your spa as much as you imagine. A portable hot tub will give you the same benefits for as little as $1,000-$2,500, and you can take it with you when you move.

Related: What You Need to Know About Installing a Spa

4.  Elevator

Your fantasy: No more climbing stairs for you or for your parents when they move in.

The reality: Elevators top the list of features buyers don’t want in the NAHB “What Buyers Really Want” report. They cost upwards of $25,000 to install, which requires sawing through floors, laying concrete, and crafting high-precision framing. And, at sales time, elevators can turn off some families, especially those with little kids who love to push buttons.

The bottom-line: If you truly need help climbing stairs, you can install a chair lift on a rail system ($1,000-$5,000). Best feature: It can be removed.

Related: 4 Easy-Living Tips for Aging in Place

5.  Backup Power Generator

Your fantasy: The power in your area goes kaput, but not for you. You were smart enough to install a backup power generator. While the neighbors eat cold hot dogs by a flashlight beam, you’re poaching salmon in your oven and pumping out Red Hot Chili Peppers tunes.

The reality: Power outages may seem to go on forever, but they don’t. Fifty dollars worth of batteries can power portable lights, radios, and TVs; a car adaptor will charge your cell phones and iPods; and some dry ice will keep freezer food cold for at least a couple of days.

The bottom-line: If you live in areas where power shortages are the rule, not the exception, spend the money for reliable backup power: Your still-frozen steaks, home office fax, and refrigerated medicine will thank you. But if the power goes out rarely, then installing a standby generator is overkill.

Nationwide, homeowners recouped 52.7% on their average $11,410 investment in a backup generator -- one of the lowest ROIs on the annual Cost vs. Value Report. If you need occasional emergency power, a gasoline-powered portable generator ($200-$650) probably will suffice.

Related: What I Learned About Portable Generators One Dark and Stormy Night

6.  New Windows

 

The fantasy: Brand new windows that don’t stick, and slash energy bills.

The reality: A $10,000 vinyl window replacement project will recoup about 70% of your investment at resale, and if they’re Energy Star-qualified, they can save you around $300 in energy bills per year.  So, plan to live in your house about another 10 years to recoup the cost of new windows.

The bottom-line: We get it -- new windows are sturdy, pretty energy savers. But unless old window frames are thoroughly rotten, most windows can be repaired for a fraction of replacement costs. And if you spend about $1,000 to update insulation, caulking, and weather-stripping, you’ll save 10%-20% on your energy bill.

Related:

Find and Seal Air Leaks in Your Home

 

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: August 26, 2013

How To Pick Paint Colors

9/19/2013

How to Pick Paint Colors

 

Paint has remodeling power when you use it to emphasize a room’s best features or play down the flaws.

“Paint is a powerful tool that can enhance the architectural character and intent of space,” says Minneapolis architect Petra Schwartze of TEA2 Architects. “As you choose your paint, think about what the experience in the room should be.”
More Schwartze advice:

  • Always sample paint colors on a few walls. Don’t be shy about painting a few large swaths on walls and trim to consider the effect of natural and artificial lighting. Add samples to opposite sides of a room to judge the paint color from different angles.
  • Check the space with the samples in place and watch how the paint color changes at different times of the day.
  • Evaluate your reaction to the proposed colors: Does the space feel cozy or is the openness enhanced?

How to enlarge space with color
Painting walls white, cream, pastels, or cool colors (tinged with blue or green) creates the illusion of more space by reflecting light. Paint trim similar to walls (or use white on trim) to ensure a seamless appearance that visually expands space.
White or light colors lift a ceiling; darker shades can have a similar effect if you select a high-gloss paint sheen, which reflects light and enhances space.
Employ a monochromatic scheme to amplify the dimensions of a room. Select furnishings in one color and paint walls and trim to match. Lack of contrast makes a room seem more spacious.
Make walls appear taller by extending wall color onto the ceiling. Create a 6- to 12-inch-wide border of wall color on the entire ceiling perimeter, or wherever walls meet the ceiling.     Vertical and horizontal stripes of alternating color can make a room grand. While vertical stripes enhance room height by drawing the eye upward, horizontal stripes lure your gaze around the perimeter, making walls seem further away. Use similar light colors for low-contrast stripes, and your room will look even larger.
Creating intimacy
When a space feels cavernous, draw walls inward and make it cozy with warm colors (red-tinged) because darker hues absorb light. Similarly, a dark or warm color overhead (in a flat finish) helps make rooms with high or vaulted ceilings less voluminous.
Give peace a chance
The right paint choice can lend tranquility to a bathroom, master suite, or other quiet, personal space. A palette of soft, understated color or muted tones help you instill a calming atmosphere. Some good choices include pale lavenders, light grays or greens, and wispy blues.
Define your assets
Call out notable features in a room with paint. Dress crown mouldings and other trims in white to make them pop against walls with color. Make a fireplace or other feature a focal point by painting it a color that contrasts with walls.
“Using a higher sheen of paint on woodwork, such as baseboards and door or window casings,” says Schwartze, “creates a crisp edge and clear transition from the wall to the trim.”
Hide flaws
Not everything should stand out in a space. Using a low-contrast palette is a good way to hide unappealing elements or flaws. Conduit, radiators, and other components painted the same color as the wall will seem to disappear.     Selecting low-sheen or flat paint colors also helps hide flaws. Unless walls are smooth, avoid using high-gloss paint because it reflects light and calls attention to an uneven surface.
What’s the cost?
As a DIY job, painting a 12-by-12-ft. space costs about $150, including paint, primer, brushes, drop cloths, and other painting tools and supplies. A professionally painted room using high-quality, brand-name paint costs $200-$400.

 

By: Jan Soults Walker

Published: December 17, 2012

Rental Properties

10/15/2012

Rental properties have four primary factors that contribute to a return on investment. Based on market conditions and investor strategies, the individual motivating factor can change for property owners.

There was a time when the benefit of tax savings to offset income from other sources was considered important to some investors. However, in today's environment, they are more likely valued as incidental benefits.

Some investors expect appreciation to deliver the satisfactory results which can be reasonable over time if a reliable appreciation rate is used. Savvy investors today are using conservative estimates for long-term holding periods.

Leverage occurs when borrowed funds are used to control a larger asset. Positive leverage can actually increase the yield on an investment.

The fourth component that contributes to a property's yield is the cash flow. When the rents are greater than the expenses of operating the property and servicing the debt, there is a positive cash flow. A property with a good cash flow doesn't have to go up in value to justify the investment.

The combination of lower prices, incredibly low mortgage rates and rising rents are attracting investors to rental properties that include single-family homes in predominantly owner-occupied neighborhoods.

Even if you were to ignore the benefits of tax savings, potential appreciation and leverage, the attractive cash flows make rental property a very smart investment alternative. If you're curious, contact me for more information.

Using Attorneys During Real Estate Transactions

6/15/2012
In my profession there are many sellers and buyers that do not use an attorney during the sale of a home.  This could be a dangerous path to take on alone or with your real estate agent.  First, your real estate agent is not allowed to give legal advice.  Secondly, I have encountered more than what I would like to admit, real estate agents that trying to give legal advice but their advice is completely not in compliance with the contract of sale.  The contract is there to give guidance and tells both the seller and buyer guidelines, rules, and timeframes for things to happen.  The dangers and pitfalls abouting being in breach of contract may bring serious consequences.  My recommendation is to have an attorney represent you and your best interest.  Saving a little now can cost you a lot more in the long run. 
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