What’s Your Home Worth in a Declining Market?

Here’s a quick note to let you know how I can help you—or anyone you feel comfortable introducing me to.

It’s no secret that parts of our area are experiencing declines in the real estate market. Home prices are not going up for many area.  Take a look at the charts showing the Mainland area real estate market (Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Pleasantville, Absecon, Port Republic, Egg Harbor City, Mullica Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Northfield, Somers Point, Beuna and Hamilton Township.)  A healthy real estate market depends on a balance of buyers and sellers being able to move in and out of the market.  Right now we are seeing a buyer’s market in the mainland communities.

CMM_Report_SupplyAndDemand_chart CMM_Report_UnitsExpired_chart CMM_Report_UnitsForSale_chart CMM_Report_UnitsSold_chart CMM_Report_SoldForSaleMedianPrice_chart For sellers, the implication is that they will need to price their homes more competitively. A competitive price will attract more interest than a higher price. In the end, the higher priced property usually sells for the same as the competitively priced home, but just takes longer to sell.

If you or someone you know is thinking about selling, contact me to get a price analysis to help plan your sale: 609-338-3773. Also ask for a copy of my free report, How Sellers Price Their Homes.

Matthew Haviland, Your Real Estate Consultant For Life Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore 609-484-9890 ext 132

P.S. Do you know someone else who’s thinking about selling their home? Please introduce us so that I can help them get the most money possible from the sale

February 2015 Market Statistics, Ocean City, Longport, Margate, Brigantine, Linwood, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway, NJ

Spring is hopefully right around the corner.  I wanted to take a moment and look at last month’s sales data and update you on what’s happening in the market.   With this update I am comparing a few statistics among different municipalities:  Ocean City, Longport, Margate, Brigantine, Linwood, Egg Harbor Township, and Galloway, NJ.

median-pricenumber of salesinventory-sales

As you can see sales, inventory and price varies greatly among each or these communities.  The turnover ratio shows the percentage of homes selling in each city.  The higher the percentage the more homes are selling each month.turnover ratio

The most commonly asked question I get is:  “How’s The Market.”  Experience shows it all depends on where you live.  If you’d like to know How the market is in your neighborhood I’d love to do some research for you and send you an email that will tell you what homes are for sale now, what homes have sold recently and how long homes are taking to sell in your neighborhood so you can feel secure in the knowledge that you have the most accurate information.  This timely information will tell you right away how your market is right now!  I imagine that information would be of value to you, would it not?

Please contact me if you’d like to know what’s happening in your market.  609-338-3773.

Best wishes,


*  Information based on MLS data as of 3/2/15

A Different Kind of Spring Cleaning

Spring is nearly here, and for many people that means spring cleaning. It means tossing away old clothes, moving the furniture and mopping unseen places, washing hand and nose prints off the windows, scrubbing walls, and perhaps painting or redecorating.

A beautiful Spring day at Verona Park

A beautiful Spring day at Verona Park, Verona, NJ

But there’s another kind of spring cleaning, a kind that could do more to spruce up our lives and brighten our day than any other kind of cleaning. What if we spring cleaned our relationships, too, this season?

What if we scrubbed the stains off of our marriages, our relationships with our children, our co- workers, bosses, and friends? What if we mopped up the messes we’ve made and wiped off the dirt we’ve allowed to build up?

What if we swept away the dust bunnies under our friendships? What if we listened more, spent more quality time, and reached out to those we’ve ignored? What if we spruced up our promises and intentions, and remembered that our loved ones want us to be there for them emotionally, not just physically?

If you’re interested in giving it a try, here’s a proactive approach to doing this kind of spring cleaning: First, make a list of people you have relationships with, including your close family, kin, friends, etc. Next, go through each name and ask yourself how you could tidy up that relationship. It may only need a little polish, like a letter to Aunt May who hasn’t heard from you since Christmas. It may need deep cleaning, like telling the truth about a big lie or getting vulnerable about your feelings. Or you may simply decide things are just fine the way they are.

Whatever your spring brings you, I hope it is bright and clean and fresh. Sincerely,

Matt Haviland
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

P.S. If you like this idea, let me know. I’d like to hear about your experiences. Contact me at: SJHouses.com or 609-338-3773.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to view or download my entire March newsletter with great tips, articles and ideas click here:  March 2015 Newsletter – Matt

Tax Appeal Time – Help With Your Atlantic County, NJ Tax Appeals.


I’ve been getting calls from clients regarding appealing their Atlantic County, NJ property tax valuations.  In an effort to help I’d like to include some resources to help with this process.

The deadline to appeal taxes is April 1st.  All of the information and forms required can be found here:  http://www.aclink.org/taxation/homepage.asp  Here is a link to the form you’ll need to download and complete:  http://www.aclink.org/taxation/pdfs/FormA-1-Print.pdf

You’ll see on form A-1 that you will need to provide 5 comparable sales to justify your appeal.  Comparable sales used as evidence in 2015 should have occurred between October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014.  This is where many people get stuck coming up with this information.

If you need help completing the form or obtaining comparable properties I am available to help.

For a fee of $50.00 I will locate the 5 best comparables and email them to you with full details including lot and block number and addresses.  (This service is free to current and past clients)

If you need additional help completing form A-1 I can also help for an additional $75.00 fee.

Note:  The county charges a separate filing fee ranging from $5.00 to $150.00 based on the assessed valuation. The filing fee schedule is as follows:

If the assessment appealed is:
Less than $150,000 $5.00
$150,000 or more, but less than $500,000 $25.00
$500,000 or more, but less than $1,000,000 $100.00
$1,000,000 or more $150.00

Best wishes on saving money on your taxes!


P.S.  Call me if you need my help with your property tax appeal.  I have a limited amount of time set aside to help with this so call me at 609-484-9890 ext. 132 if you need my help.

Why Some Homes Take Longer To Sell…

Ocean City, NJ

Snow Covered BoardwalkOcean City, NJ

Here’s a quick note to let you know how I can help you—or anyone you feel comfortable introducing me to.

Sellers who list their houses in a hot market expect to get multiple offers. But when a house languishes without selling, even though plenty of buyers are looking, they wonder what’s wrong. They might think their price is fair, their bedrooms spacious, and their location just right. But buyers are not looking at any one house in isolation; they are comparing it to others. In that light, many features of a home, including price, can look less desirable than it would if standing alone. The only way to know what’s keeping a house from selling is to ask buyers for their input.

As a real estate consultant, my job is to get input from buyers about what interests them so I can help you position your home for the highest price possible. If you, your friends, or family members are planning to sell this year, please contact me at 609-338-3773. When you do, I’ll share with you a copy of my free report, Five Deadly Mistakes Home Sellers Make.

Matthew Haviland, Your Real Estate Consultant For Life Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore 609-484-9890 ext 132

P.S. Who do you know who’s thinking about selling a home? Please introduce us so that I can help them see their home through the buyers’ eyes.

How Does Someone Create a More Interesting Life?

I was reading a blog post that asked people how they would define an “interesting life” for themselves. After reading the responses, I thought I’d share one with you that I particularly liked.

Having an interesting life doesn’t mean it has to be interesting to anyone else. It also doesn’t mean you have to do the typical things most people associate with being interesting, such as travel.

Beach-at-sunsetThe definition of the word interesting, in application to life, is different to everyone.

I have done things such as swim with dolphins, ride a horse along the beach, rappel down a steep cliff, star in high school plays, have my picture in the newspaper, ride home on the first train of morning because I missed the last train the night before, roll around in a large plastic ball on water, walk on stilts for a circus company, teach a college course, sew my own clothing, make actual useful things in woodshop, and more. The list of random things goes on and on.

Are these things going to make me famous? No. Are they exciting enough to make a book out of? Probably not. Do you think any of those things are interesting at all? I have no idea. But I feel I’ve had an interesting and meaningful life so far.

Sometimes what we think of as interesting is some external idealized life. But if you listed all the things you’ve done in your life, I’ll bet you’d have a fairly long list of things that you found interesting at the time, and even more so in hindsight. From that list, you may find yourself feeling motivated to do something a little different to recapture that feeling of doing something interesting. Go for it!


Matt Haviland
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

P.S. I’m amazed at the interesting things people have done with their lives. Next time we talk, I may just ask you about some of the interesting things you’ve done. You can always reach me at: 609-338-3773.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to view or download my entire February newsletter filled with interesting articles and ideas click here:  February 2015 Newsletter – Matt

FHA and USDA Mortgage Updates In Galloway and Egg Harbor Township, NJ

FHA will be lowering their mortgage insurance starting today, 1/26. The monthly mortgage insurance will drop from 1.35% to .85%. This will help bring FHA’s monthly insurance more in-line with USDA and Conventional mortgage insurance. FHA is still the #1 first time homebuyers program as it still only requires 3.5% down, and we require only a 580 credit score. Some good news at least, especially with USDA going away in certain areas. FHA is not the end of the world and is a great loan program!!!


I have just received word that as of February 2nd, 2015, USDA is officially changing its maps. For Atlantic County, it will make EHT ineligible and parts of Galloway (closer to Absecon). Feel free to call me with any questions about this:

Home For Sale

Egg Harbor City Is Eligible For FHA and USDA Financing

Thus, the ineligible area maps based on the above classifications will be effective on February 2, 2015. The changes will be those already published on the “Future Eligible Areas” maps posted on the Eligibility Websitehttp://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

 Jim Malamut

Greentree Mortgage


Cell: 609-432-2829

Office: 609-646-5555


Why Sign an Agreement with Your Agent?

Here’s a quick note to let you know how I can help you—or anyone you feel comfortable introducing me to.

Real estate agents often ask home buyers to sign a formal agreement that commits the buyer to working with that agent. Usually no money exchanges hands for this agreement, but it does commit the buyer to working with that agent for a period of time. Why would a buyer do this? Primarily to ensure that they are working with the best real estate agent they can, which will matter the deeper they go into the home buying process.

Happy Buyer Clients

Happy Buyer Clients

The buyer doesn’t pay the agent, but the agent will invest significant time working with the buyer. Without a commitment, a real estate agent can’t guarantee they’ll make money in exchange for the time spent with that buyer. If a buyer wants to work with a great agent, they’ll be willing to make a commitment in exchange for that agent’s time.

If you or someone you know wants to buy a house in the next few months, please let me know at 609-338-3773.  Also get a copy of my report, Making the Move Easy On the Kids.

Matthew Haviland,

Your Real Estate Consultant For Life Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore 609-484-9890 ext 132

P.S. Who do you know who’s thin

king about buying a home? Please introduce us so that I can help them have a great home buying experience from start to finish.

Helping Happy Home Buyers And Sellers

Mildy, Augustin and Lilliam.  New home buyers.

Mildy, Augustin and Lilliam. New home buyers.

I love helping home buyers and sellers make their dreams come true!  In today’s real estate economy there are many challenges and opportunities.  I’m grateful that my clients choose me to help them buy and sell their home.


Fruit basket

Earlier this month I helped a family purchase their first home.  And to my surprise a few days later I received this wonderful edible arrangement at my office.  Congratulations to Augustin, Mildy and Lilliam and your family.  MattIMG_1591