Susan Wynn –
Green Team Client Appreciation Day

Green Team Client Appreciation Day

Green Team Client Appreciation Day – Saying Thank You with Pie

It is no coincidence that our Client Appreciation Day takes place just before Thanksgiving.This is the time of year we reflect on who and what we are grateful for. We express our thanks to family and friends. But it is also the time of year we want our clients to know how much we appreciate them. The Client Appreciation Program is the cornerstone of Green Team Realty’s foundation. While our sales associates express their appreciation throughout the year, the Thanksgiving Pie tradition has become the highlight of the CAP program.


A Noble Tradition

Warwick Sales Associates display thanksgiving pies

Clients are invited to come to our offices to pick up their Thanksgiving pie. This gift is their sales associate’s way of saying, “Thank you for your business, your referrals, and your friendship.”  Whether it’s the Warwick or Vernon office, the atmosphere is the same. There is warmth, happiness, and lots of laughter. And lots and lots of pies! Since Green Team Realty supports local businesses, these gorgeous pies are provided by Noble Pies each year.

Thanksgiving Pies – A Family Event

Thanksgiving Pie event  Thanksgiving Pie Event


Thanksgiving Pie Event


There is a bond that exists between Green Team’s sales associates, and a bond between sales associates and clients. And these bonds are only strengthened by events such as this. It’s almost like a family reunion. Catching up on how things are going, sharing stories and food. And for Green Teamers there is joy in knowing that in two days a pie given in appreciation will be gracing the Thanksgiving table of a valued client and friend.






November 2019 Housing Market Update

November 2019 Housing Market Update

Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, welcomed everyone to the November 2019 Housing Market Update held on Tuesday, November 19 at 2 p.m. He began the webinar with an overview of National Stats.

National Stats

Total Home Sales

Geoff is looking for the bump locally because nationally it looks like on a year over year basis there was a bounce.  We were down in 2019 through June but then in July there was a little bit of a bounce in the Housing Market through September. It looks as though things are stabilizing a bit. We’ll be watching.

Forecasted Year-Over-Year Percentage Change in Price

In this graphic, the dark blue represents the strongest projections; which states will appreciate at the highest level. Medium blue, where we are, is still very good for price appreciation over the next year or so.

Year-Over-Year Housing Supply

Geoff and panel, prior to the webinar, had been discussing how few homes there were in the market.  Needless to say, you can see that the housing supply year-over-year is tight at best. It is getting better, but is still tight. This subject will be included in the Panel Discussion.

2019 Projected Home Price Percentage Appreciate Going Forward

Looking forward to price appreciation as indicated by some of the thought leaders in the industry. They put out stats that indicate their thinking, and it appears that everyone is looking at a minimum of 2 to 3% price appreciation going forward into 2020. It seems that no one believes this housing market is going to fall apart in any way, shape or form.

Mortgage Rates and Mortgage Rate Projections

Mortgage rate projections beyond where we are now look very much the same.  It does not appear as though projections are really going up or down.

Orange County, NY

Units Sold

Units sold is what Geoff considers the “mother’s milk” of all the analytics on the housing market. The green line represents 2019 and has pretty much been down year-over-year. The red line represents 2018. We only bounced above 2018 three times during the first ten months of this year. However, we’re still at a very high historic level despite the year-over-year decrease.

Average Sales Price

Average Sales Price is strong. The difference between this year and previous years in the year-over-year is pretty significant. Looking at just year-over-year appears to be a mixed bag. However, historically a very high pricing market.

Ask to Sold Ratio

Ask to sold ratio is the ratio between the last asking price and the sold price of a home. It is still very strong. The higher the line, the closer to 100%, means that sellers have to negotiate less off their last asking price. Again, historically very high points, but nonetheless, appears to be cooling off just a little.

Days on Market

Days on market is pretty much lower, though we do see the green line intersecting with the red last month. That really hasn’t happened previously. Again, another small sign of things cooling off.

Sussex County, NJ

Units Sold

In Sussex County we’re also seeing a mixed bag. The green line is bouncing up and down versus 2018 and 2017.

Average Sales Price

The graph indicates a pretty strong pricing market. Prices are about as good as they’ve been in Sussex in six years. If you’re a seller, it is probably not a bad time to think about putting your home on the market.

Ask to Sold Ratio

Again, the ratio between the last asking price and the sold price of a home. This is still very strong. If you’re a seller would you prefer negotiating 2.5 points off your asking price, or almost 6 points? That’s the difference between 20014, 2015 and 2016 and now. Geoff recalls those years as being difficult to get deals done.

Days on Market

Here in Sussex County we don’t see any intersecting lines. Though we have seen some close variances. It is tightening up a bit. We’ll watch to see where that heads.


Housekeeping Items

The next Housing Market Update will be on Tuesday, December 17 at 2 p.m You can sign up at

Thank you to our sponsor, REALLY, The Real Estate Referral Community. REALLY is where Professionals who serve the Real Estate Industry can connect, communicate and securely exchange referrals with speed and ease. And there are no fees on commission exchanged between Agents. Join for free at


Meet Our Panel for the November 2019 Housing Market Update

Keren Gonen

Our panelists this month are (left to right): Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty and Carol Buchanan of Green Team New York Realty.



Our moderator is Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty.




Thoughts on where the Orange County Market is heading in 2020

Geoff asked Carol where she sees the NY market heading. She believes 2020 is going to be an excellent year. Inventory is still down, there’s no doubt about that. However, there are very active buyers out there, looking for a nice home in the price range they can afford. They’ll jump on it right away when they find the right home. Inventory is a bit of an issue. But she thinks as more homes start coming on the market 2020 will be a fabulous year.

Geoff remembered that Carol joined the panel of the Housing Market Update about a year ago. And at that time she said that 2019 would be a strong year, although numbers seemed to be deteriorating. Geoff didn’t know where those numbers were headed at that time. His experience as a real estate professional back in 2004 and 2005, when numbers dipped and didn’t come back for 8 years, had him concerned. However, seeing numbers start to dip 18 months ago and now suddenly playing out and maybe coming back together, is a breath of fresh air. So, Geoff congratulated Carol for “calling it” during that HMU and is happy she’s predicting a good year in 2020.

Thoughts on where the Sussex County Market is heading in 2020

Keren agreed with Carol. She thinks that one issue in Sussex County is that a lot of sellers are hanging on to their houses, just waiting to see what happens. Keren said that all homes priced properly are gone the same week that they’re listed. She took some buyers out the previous Monday to look at some houses. Keren told them if they saw something they liked they needed to jump on it. They said, no, they wanted to look at some other houses. Two days later they came back to her and said they wanted to put in an offer. However, the house already had an accepted offer! She hopes they’ll listen to her advice and not wait to put in an offer the next time they see a house they like.

Pricing a Home Properly is Key

Keren emphasized that it’s important for all real estate agents and sellers to make sure the home is priced properly. If you’re looking to sell right away, let your realtor know that this is what you want to do. If you want to sit on the market, they can do that, too. However, if you want to sell, this is the time to do it. In the spring, everyone else will be listing. Geoff agreed that during his 15 years in the industry the one thing that is always true is you have to price it right. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a down market or an up market or somewhere in between. If you don’t price the property right, it’s not going to sell, for many reasons.

Bank Inventory

Geoff always checks in with Keren on foreclosures. He asked if banks were still holding on to the properties, renting them out, or flipping them themselves. Keren said that banks are starting to release properties. Their only two strategies are: We’re going to list high and see if anyone bites because the house is in good condition. Or, we’re going to list really low and have everyone jump at it. Keren, who buys and flips homes, recently went to see a house. There were ten other people there during the half an hour she was there. The listing agent came back with “highest and best.” She’s sure the house will sell higher than it should have. Because there is not enough inventory listed low for the flippers, they’re all going for it.


Geoff asked if either Carol or Karen was experiencing any problems with appraisals. Carol replied that she hasn’t had much trouble with that. Basically homes are appraising with no problem. Geoff stated that about 2 years ago, when prices started to shift dramatically, there were a lot of problems with appraisals. Fortunately, that problem has gone away rather quickly. However, anytime the market turns on a sharp incline, appraisals will be a problem again. They can prevent buyers from getting the loan they need to move the transaction forward. It can be difficult for appraisers to get the comps. If the comps don’t exist, new deals are coming in higher than the last one and the market’s moving up, appraisers have to take a leap of faith. Many were hesitant to do that as the market hadn’t increased in some time. Now that price appreciation has been going on for some time, it seems to be okay.

Keren said she’s always there at appraisals and always has the comps that she gives to her clients. She also tells the appraiser about everything in the house they may not see. That might be foam insulation, updated electric, something in the basement or a whole house generator. She understands that appraisers add a dollar amount for that. That’s been helping her appraisals come in at the correct price.

Lack of inventory in the sweet spot

Referring to middle of the range pricing, Geoff said it’s surprising to see the lack of inventory. Only approximately 6% of the market is in the sweet spot, whereas there is much more inventory at higher levels. Even more significant is more inventory at lower levels (very inexpensive homes, homes needing lots of work, etc.).  Geoff thought it interesting and finds that as a society we’re moving away from one-income households. Most households are two income. And they just don’t have time to do renovations or be bothered with it. They want a house to be well located and in good condition. Otherwise, most people don’t want too much to do with it. He asked the panelists if they agreed.

The importance to sellers of having a home that doesn’t require buyers to do renovations and repairs

Carol absolutely agreed. She said looks do matter and when you go up to a home that’s nicely landscaped and well maintained, people just jump on it. Most people are looking for a nice home they can put their own finishing touches to, but which is not overwhelming for them. Geoff said there are some interesting business models popping up around the country. Companies are financing renovations to help sellers get out and maximize their home’s value. And they’re not just providing the financing. They’re doing the design, the build and the financing. It will be interesting to see how these models work out in the dense metropolitan areas they are starting out in. There is a real value to this. Some people will simply not buy a home unless it’s in good shape and finished. So, if you’re a seller, if you don’t have the time and money to do the work, this might be an option.

Geoff has seen many agents, both in the Green Team and other agencies, who go out of their way to assist with that process of helping sellers get their home together and renovated. He talked about Keren literally rolling up her sleeves and clearing up a yard. While Keren isn’t able to do that for everyone, it just demonstrates a willingness to help clients get a good result. He gives credit to all the hardworking realtors in the industry who go out of their way to make that happen. Carol agreed with that, too. A lot of realtors go above and beyond. Geoff said that it’s a testimony to the industry and they deserve a lot of accolades.

Geoff’s quote on Real Estate Professionals

We are the grease on the wheels of the housing industry. Without it, people wouldn’t be getting as much money for their homes, or be able to make the moves that they do. You need the grease to keep the wheels turning – and that’s us!

Keren definitely thinks that when your realtor is willing to go the extra mile for you, that’s what really counts. Most of the people she’s bought and sold homes with were actually people she talked to on a regular basis. Whether it was a Facebook or text message, or an invite to a party. It becomes part of your circle. People that you care for, people you spend time with. In the most stressful time of their lives, to be there and hold their hand and let them know everything will be okay, means a lot. For the client as well as to her, because they’ve allowed her into their lives.

One last question: Do you think home appreciation will increase in 2020 vs. 2019?

Keren absolutely thinks so for Sussex County. Houses that possibly last year or the year before listed lower are now listing higher and selling. She’s pretty sure that trend will continue into 2020.

Carol definitely agrees and thinks that values are going up. No doubt about it!

Here’s how to contact our panelists

Keren Gonen, Green Team New Jersey Realty – 551-262-4062 (cell): Call or Text. You can also Google Keren to find out more about her.

Carol Buchanan, Green Team New York Realty – 845-705-9162 (cell): Call or Text, Or email her at [email protected]

Thanks to Melissa Bressette, Marketing Director, Green Team Realty, for putting this webinar together.


We’ll see you on December 17th at 2 p.m.



October 2019 Housing Market Update

October 2019 Housing Market Update

Geoff Green, president of Green Team Realty, welcomed everyone to the October 2019 Housing Market Update. The webinar was held October 14 at 2 p.m. on Facebook Live.

National Housing Market Statistics

Oct 2019 HMU Orange & Sussex Counties


Everyone’s talking about it. Geoff thinks probably the impending 2020 US elections have a lot to do with that as well. The simple fact is that more and more people are starting to think that it will happen. .Because of that, we need to address it. No matter how much less impact we feel this recession would have on the housing market than the last one was, it’s still going to have an impact.

The above charts show a survey of different analysts and influencers in the economic world. Most think the recession will come in 2020. Again, it will be interesting to see the affect that the elections will have. Needless to say, the vast majority believe the recession will start within the next two years, 2020-2021.

Oct 2019 HMU Sussex and Orange Counties

Recessions don’t necessarily mean a bad housing market

A recession does not mean that there has to be a sharp decline in price. Or an overall reduction in home valuations. The last series of recessions dating back to 1980 and only two of them had negative price appreciation. That’s important to note. Geoff believes that the bottom will not drop out like it did in 2008. That was a very scary time for the real estate industry. There are now a lot of economic fundamentals in place that should lead to a better downturn, if one were to come.

Oct 2019 HMU Orange &I Sussex Counties

Projected Home Price % Appreciation holding steady

Again, stake holders, influencers in the world of economics are predicting that not only will pricing on a national basis not go down, but it will continue to appreciate. Not at the pace seen in the last few years, but these numbers are probably healthier. The rapid market we were seeing wasn’t going to last forever and could not be sustained. There is nothing wrong with appreciation slowing and growing at a slower pace.

Oct 2019 HMU Orange & Sussex Counties

Regional projections

Corelogic shares its forecast for Year-over-Year percentage of change in price, according to markets throughout the U.S. From this it appears the northeast is looking good.

Local Housing Market Statistics

Orange County, New York

Oct 2019 HMU - Units Sold Orange Cty NY

Geoff had expected the green line for units sold to be lower for the third quarter. However, it really held out very well. If you look at July, it was above all previous six years. August was a touch below. And September was even. So it was a good third quarter.

Oct 2019 HMU Ave Price

Average Sales Price is doing well. It’s well above where it’s been the last 5 or 6 years.

Oct 2019 HMU Ask to Sold Ratio

This is the last asking price versus the sales price.  The market is becoming a little more competitive. Sellers are having to negotiate a little more off their selling price. Again, as the market is cooling it’s bound to happen. However, we are not seeing a precipitous decline here.

Oct 2019 HMU Orange County NY Days on Market

Days on market is still extremely low. Not one month dipped above any of the previous years.

Sussex County, New Jersey

Oct 2019 HMU Sussex County Units Sold

Although the year started out slower in Sussex County, it caught up in the third quarter. The third quarter was strong, which is  important.

Oct 2019 HMU Ave Sales Price Sussex County NJ

Average price is holding pretty strong.

Oct 2019 HMU Ask to Sold Ratio

Despite a few dips, Ask to Sold Ratio is remaining at a very high level.

Oct 2019 HMU Sussex County NJ Days on Market

Days on market,  not one month has risen above previous years, showing that the market is still strong.

Life events determine buying a home, not market data

Oct 2019 HMU Orange and Sussex Counties

Buying a home is based on our life events and where our lives are going. This is good advice. As realtors we want you to find a good home in the place you want to be. If the above three items are all in check, it doesn’t really matter what market you’re in. You’ll make a good decision and you’ll buy a good home.

Housekeeping items

Oct 2019 HMU Orange & Sussex Counties

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Meet our Panel

Keren Gonen

From Left to Right: Toni Kreusch of Green Team New York Realty and Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty

The Fear Factor

Geoff started the discussion, asking about the fear factor. Should people be afraid? Should they hesitate? Keren replied that in her experience, people are always afraid of the unknown. That’s one of the reasons people are holding back, whether selling or buying. However, what she did with one of her clients who was buying in Highland Lakes, was advise him to review the previous month’s housing market update. After taking all the information in, that client put an offer on a property and wound up getting the house he wanted. Before learning more about the market, he had been apprehensive about even buying at that time.

Also, Keren reiterated that interest rates are really low and should be capitalized on. Whether refinancing, buying, downsizing, this is the time to do it. Geoff agreed that rates have been so low it’s remarkable. Especially now, at the end of the day, Geoff’s advice is that it’s all about monthly cash flow. What is it going to cost me each month to live there? And do I have enough income minus my living expenses to be able to pay my  mortgage, save for retirement, etc. So, financing really matters.

Toni agrees that people can purchase more house for their money and often pay the same or less if you are currently renting. By owning a home you’re building wealth. What better way to save money as you move into your future?

Would a buyer’s market not be the ideal time to sell?

It’s hard being a broker because there are always two sides to a discussion: there are buyers and there are sellers. One would think if we were in a buyer’s market then it would not be the ideal to sell. There would be lots of inventory, you’d be competing against other people, downward pressure on the price of your home, etc., as opposed to a seller’s market. Geoff believes it is the right time to sell. If you’re someone at or near retirement who has been thinking about getting out it is the right time. Even though we’ll be seeing price appreciation for another few years, even if it goes flat or goes down a little, we’re not going to see a roaring uptick at any point of time in the very near future. Pricing is probably as good as it’s going to get. He asked if Keren and Toni agreed.

Keren agreed. And Toni said we’re experiencing a special time right now, with low interest rates and low inventory. It’s a great time to buy and sell. From a seller’s perspective, Geoff would advise sellers to put their home on the market now.

Is the Holiday Season not the ideal time to sell?

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanuka coming, these are low transaction months. Many people put aside their buying regimen during the holidays. Less people are identifying homes in November, December, January. However, one phenomenon Geoff has seen was the buyer who needed to buy a home in December. There wasn’t a lot of inventory and they paid too much for a house because they had to buy. A few months later lots of inventory rolled out and prices were lower. As we head into the holiday season, there are still buyers out there who haven’t found what they wanted yet. They don’t care if it’s December. They’ll still want to look and will buy the right house..

More than most any year that he’s seen since being in the business, Geoff recommends if you are a seller thinking about selling, if your home is ready, put it on the market. Don’t wait until Spring. It’s very busy now. Right now is a very good time. Toni said they still have people calling in and coming into the office who appear to be serious buyers, not just lookers. Keren stated that November has always been her biggest month. People looking in the winter are serious. You’ll probably get less traffic, but the showings are going to be more serious. If it’s priced right, there is enough intensity in the market to get transactions.

This is the time to buy – and the time to sell

Geoff predicted that if someone is going to buy a home and is planning on living there at least a 7-10 year period, they’re fine. Even if the market goes down during that time, it’s going to come back up and re-appreciate. The last down turn lasted a really long time. Looking at it on a hyper-local level, it lasted 8 years regarding pricing. It dropped precipitously in 2008 and did not restabilize until 2016. Eight years of price declines is rare in terms of the history of the housing market. He just does not see that happening this time around. While the market may continue to soften for some time, he doesn’t think it will drop that low. And he believes it will come up relatively soft, compared to the rapid rise the last time. This follows principles of physics. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The markets tend to do the same thing.

Geoff asked Toni and Keren if they agreed with the premise: if a buyer is going to live in a home 7-10 years, they should be just fine in terms of outliving any market turbulence. Keren did agree, and also reiterated that now is the time to sell. If you’re looking to downsize and you’re on the fence, this is it. We have good qualified buyers and low interest rates, but don’t know how long this will last. Like Toni mentioned, sometimes you can purchase with a mortgage less than a rental. That’s important to mention again because it is the time to buy and sell.

Suitable Housing clause

Geoff mentioned that you can structure your listing to make it subject to finding suitable housing. For example, if a retiree worried about finding housing after selling their home a suitable housing clause could be utilized.  However, you do have to give buyers reasonable terms on that clause. It is an option to discuss with your Green Team sales associate if this is a concern.

Selling in a bad market

Geoff recounted that a majority of his listings were during a really bad market. Listings would languish and go on and on, very different than the market we’ve been seeing the last 3-5 years here. To those buyers or sellers going through the transaction process, Geoff offers some advice. Sellers may have a home listed and haven’t had any showings, or maybe many showings but no offers, or offers that fell through. Sometimes the reason that sellers are in that place is because the property is priced too high. A lot of people are not willing to admit it, but it is a fact. To those in that situation, what is going to matter most to you when closing is done is not the bottom line on the closing statement. It’s going to be that it’s over and done and you can move on with your life. Far too many people are trying to get an extra $5,000 or $10,000 while they’re spending $1,000 a month on taxes, interest payments, utility costs, maintenance. That all adds up quickly. They’re also not factoring their own well being, factoring in the stress that comes with the whole process. If you’re a seller and you’re thinking of selling, go for it!

Keren’s thoughts

Keren agreed. She stated that sometimes sellers have it in the back of their mind that they are going to get “X” amount of dollars for their listing and they end up being listed for 6, 7, 8 months. As an agent, Keren believes it’s imperative to make clear that we have several different options. If you are looking to sell quickly, this is where we need to be. This is your market value because as realtors, this is what we do day in and day out. For some sellers the home has sentimental value and they are also concerned about the bottom line. There’s a thin line to walk when discussing price.

Toni’s thoughts

Toni said that working with motivated sellers is helpful. So is aggressive marketing, which is done by your agent. And, if your home is not selling, you should certainly consider a price reduction.

Final thoughts

Geoff hoped that this discussion helps people in this position, who may be agonizing over whether to drop their price. Remember, if the house is priced right, you’re going to get a good offer with reasonable terms. Buyers are looking to move on, too. They need a house, need a place for their family.

Reminder: The next Housing Market Update will take place life on Facebook Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 2 p.m.

To reach our panelists if you’d like to buy or sell a property or learn more about the housing market

Keren Gonen – 551-262-4062

Toni Kreusch – 845-283-2450




August 2019 Housing Market Update

August 2019 Housing Market Update

August 2019 Housing Market Update

Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, welcomed viewers to the August 2019 Housing Market Update. It was held on Tuesday, August 20 at 2 p.m. on Facebook Live.

National Housing Market Statistics

Recession?  So what’s the story?

We’ve all keep hearing the word, and the questions… Is it going to happen?  Is it not going to happen? In Geoff’s view, that’s always up for debate. We know that at some point it is going to happen. Maybe not right now.  However, the question is does a recession lead to a housing crisis?

Based on what he has been hearing from industry experts, Geoff believes that a recession will not lead to a housing crisis. Rather, it appears that the market is normalizing. Over the past three years we’ve been experiencing a super hot seller’s market. Things have been going very quickly. It has not been a normal market, where homes take longer to sell, Prices aren’t dramatically increasing. Things are a little more where we’re headed. Although right now we’re rather hot, looking at numbers and seeing into the future, Geoff does think that things are cooling and we headed towards that more normalized market.

Contrary to the hand-wringing, the U.S. housing market is in fact normalizing, and that is mostly a positive development for the American economy.

Pending Home Sales

This graphic shows pending home sales on a national basis since 2014. . It shows the trends, the ups and downs, including seasonal fluctuations. Usually we peak in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of each year, which is where we are right now. However, you can see how low we got nationally as opposed to the last 3 or 4 years. Again, this shows that the number of units selling throughout the country is definitely slowing down.

Pending home sales – which represent signed contracts on existing homes, and are therefore considered a leading indicator – have advanced to their best level since mid-2017. New-home sales, also representing signed contracts, have been bumpy in recent months but have climbed about 15% so far this year.

Are Americans planning to buy new homes?

This not-for-profit organization put together this survey on the percentage of Americans planning on buying a new home in the next six months. What they discovered?  Americans are quite bullish on buying homes. In fact, more people are considering buying a home than we saw in 2006, 2007, 2008…

With the numbers gradually increasing, home ownership is still on the forefront of peoples’ minds.

According to the Conference Board, buying intentions for new homes have exploded to levels not seen since before the financial crisis.

The S&P Homebuilder Group

This consolidated group of stocks were compared from June 2018 to June 2019 (in blue). The 30 year fixed year interest rate is in orange. You can see there is a consistent relation with one another. However, even though rates are still low, confidence in gaining in the stocks in the Homebuilder group. It appears that Wall Street is still seeing opportunity for growth and profit in this sector.

The S&P 1500 Homebuilder group has rallied 35% in 2019 to a new 52-week closing high in mid-June.

Housing Affordability Index

This chart shows housing affordability from 1999 to 2019. Historically, at least since 2008, 2009, we were at a low level. Homes are very affordable in terms of what people are able to generate in income through their occupations. Although prices have been rising, it’s still a relatively affordable market, and much of that is due to interest rates

The higher the graph, the more affordable homes are.

It’s more affordable than the normal markets that preceded the Boom and Crash.

Typical Mortgage Payment

In January 2000, the typical mortgage payment was $1,100 because rates were significantly higher.. Now the typical mortgage payment is $910. Prices nationally are at a much higher level. However people are able to buy people are able to borrow at a lower rate, so their payments are less. Most people in the world have to deal with here and now. “I  have to pay my mortgage this month, I have to get my child into camp this month. I’ve got to make college payments this month.”  It’s hard for people to look out further than a month or two or three in advance. So this monthly analytic is very important.

Adjusted for inflation, today’s typical mortgage payment is less than what it was prior to the boom in January 2000.

Part of the reason is wages are up and Interest Rates are still statically low.

Payment as a Percentage of Income

Per Geoff, there is an old adage in real estate which says, “You name the price, I’ll name the terms!”  You want $500,000 for your property? Well, if you are willing to give it to me at a low enough interest rate with a really long amortization term, it will cost me hardly anything to carry on a monthly basis. I can acquire the property, rent it out and achieve much more income that needed to service the debt.

Real Estate is an asset that can be leveraged and therefore the rate at which leverage can be gained is very important. The drop in rates is very significant to this market and where it is headed. If we were in a rising rate atmosphere we would be having a very different conversation.

According to Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist: The difference between buying a home versus other goods is that we buy them with a mortgage. So, it’s not the actual price that matters, but the price relative to the purchasing power.”

Local Housing Market Statistics

Orange County, New York

We’re starting to see an upturn in number of units sold in Orange County. July was the best month we’ve seen in a long time. We had been lagging for a while but

Average sales price continues to increase in Orange County.  There had been a cooling-off period for awhile, but over the last three months there has been a steady increase. 2018 showed a definite increase over prior years, and 2019 shows signs of continuing the upward trend.

The last asking price versus what homes sold at. 98.53% means Seller are only negotiating 1.47 percent off of their asking price. If you are a Seller whose home is on the market and you’re not getting offers, note that this is the last asking price, not the initial. The key is to having a good, competitive asking price. You can’t put your house out there at just any price and expect these kinds of numbers. However, if a home is priced right, you may hit this ratio.

Sussex County, New Jersey

Over the course of a few years we’ve been watching the comparison of the housing market in Sussex County, NY versus Orange County, NY. The numbers are consistently a little lower in Sussex than what we’re seeing in Orange. This is a pretty consistent down trend over 2018 and 2017 and hasn’t gotten above 2018 except for March of this year.

While Geoff does not see this as a steeply declining market, he does think that prices are softening.

This is a very strong number. While not quite as high as Orange County, it is still a very good number. Only 2.4 percentage points off the asking price, much better than it was a few years ago.

Days on Market for Sussex County

Things are definitely moving in Sussex. There are less days on market than in Orange County. It’s a very robust market in Sussex County.

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Meet our Panel

From left to right, Keren Gonen and Pam Zachowski of Green Team Team New Jersey Realty and Toni Kreusch of Green Team New York Realty.

Geoff opened the discussion to comments from the panelists on the information presented.

Low Interest Rates

Keren Gonen began the conversation by noting that interest rates are so low that a lot more people can qualify for mortgages. When the rates are high, many people just can’t make it on a monthly basis. They can’t afford the house they wanted and pay their other expenses and debts as well. Low interest rates not only allow for buyers to make smarter decisions but also to become eligible for financing. This is also causing low inventory. Even though the market has softened a bit, it’s still a seller’s market. When a good house comes on the market it does not stay there for long. Keren sees bidding wars on a daily basis. She tells clients if they love the house, let’s jump on it.  You don’t have to go to asking if the price is ridiculous, but get your foot in the door. The house will not stay. And, when they do not listen, they lose the house.

What is a good house?

Geoff noted that Keren had mentioned “good house.” He went on to describe what he sees as a good house. A house in good condition and well located and there’s a good asking price, it’s going to sell. The old adage is “Location, location, location.” What Keren tells her sellers is to figure out their time line. Do they want to sell right away, or are they willing to let the house sit on the market for a few months? If they want to sell right away, the house needs to be priced to get offers within a week or two. Or do they want to price higher and sit on the market. She leaves the choice to them. Knowing where they stand, what the market is, will help determine what they want to do. Keren believes it is important for agents to educate their sellers and buyers so that they can make the best decisions.

Real Estate – Still a good investment

Pam mentioned she had been listening to Suze Orman in the morning, who was talking about how we were likely going into a recession. However, one thing she pointed out was that real estate was still a good option. She doesn’t anticipate another housing crisis like we had before. She says it’s normalizing and real estate is still a good investment to have. Geoff went on to say that real estate is always a good option. It’s important to make sure you make the right purchase and there’s good logic. If you need a place to live and you’ll be there for at least 3 to 5 years, it doesn’t pay to rent. Even if the market takes a downturn, there are still a lot of advantages to home ownership over renting. He believes that home ownership should be the core of wealth management strategies.

Toni mentioned that for anyone considering buying or selling, home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate right now. And they have been for the last 10 years. With forecasts predicting that with growth continuing at this normal rate and interest rates being low, it is really a great time because you’ll get more money over the life of your loan, and you’ll get more house for your money. Geoff noted that the big takeaway for anyone going to buy a home and planning on living there, you can never really time the market. It’s best to just get in and go for it. Over the course of time your home will appreciate and you will build wealth.

Is low inventory still the major headline for our local markets?

Geoff addressed this question to the panel. Is the lack of inventory a problem for all of the buyers you’re running around, trying to find homes for?  Toni agreed that there is a shortage of houses. Geoff asked if it’s mostly the middle range that is so short, or is it the lower or higher end homes that have low inventory? Pam said there is definitely a shortage of homes for investors. She said it is very hard for people to find that house to flip. Also, she feels there are not enough mid-range houses out there. Buyers are looking but just can’t find what they want.

Toni mentioned that first-time home buyers are competing with investors for those lower-end homes. In the higher-priced market, you have the pick of the house. Geoff agreed that the high end has been dragging nationally for some time now. There seems to be a shift in what people want now. They don’t seem to want big homes, higher taxes and big utility bills. People in general are more concerned with smaller footprints. The panelists agreed with Geoff on these points.

Keren mentioned that she is seeing young buyers heading up to Sussex County where they can afford to own a home with a mortgage less than their rent would be in other areas. Geoff agreed. Here in the northern suburbs from New York City there are amazing places to live. It’s a fraction of the cost of living in the City and some of its immediate surrounding areas.

In summary

We’re still in a very strong market. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. Geoff said that many economists are fearful of the possibility of an impending recession within the next 18-24 months. However ,many people feel that the strong housing market is one reason we may not slip into a recession. Even if a recession happens, perhaps the housing market will be okay.

To get in touch with the panelists for your real estate needs:

Keren Gonen – 551-262-4062

Pam Zachowsky – 201-452-0516

Toni Kreusch  845-283-2450

Join us for the next Housing Market Update

September 17th at 2 p.m. Stay informed! Sign up for our Housing Market Updates at:

November in Orange and Sussex Counties

November in Orange and Sussex Counties


November is a beautiful season here in Orange and Sussex Counties.

The beauty of leaves changing color can still be seen. And, even when skies are gray, it’s a gorgeous backdrop to the red barns and the fields that dot our counties. Of course, November brings many things. Such as Thanksgiving and the inevitable countdown of shopping days until Christmas. Better Homes & Gardens helps you take control of Thanksgiving with this handy time table and recipes. Also, here are 30+ Thanksgiving Menu Ideas from Further, leave it to Martha Stewart to provide us with these gorgeous table settings for Thanksgiving.

Along with all the fun and excitement of the Holiday season comes cold and flu season and a whole lot of stress. has tips for strengthening your immune system. And they’re pretty easy to work into our daily lives. Another thing that November brings is leaves. Lots of leaves. Here are some tips from AAA Northeast on Landscaping Fall Cleanup for Your Home.

Places to Go, Things to Do in Orange and Sussex

November 1. Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site starts its new Fall/Winter hours. It will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults; $3 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under Free.  84 Liberty St, Newburgh, NY. 845-562-1195.

November 3: 19th Annual Salute to Military Veterans. The tribute consists of a parade highlighting Sussex County’s veterans of all branches of service. There will be military vehicles, civic groups, community and local high school bands. In addition, there will be a reading of essays by local students. Finally, a POW and MIA solemn remembrance will take place with a 21-gun salute. Refreshments will be provided at conclusion of event. 1:00 p.m. Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.

November 4 – 17 is Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. Enjoy prix fixed meals from some of the County’s finest restaurants.  Here’s the list of participating Orange County Restaurants.  The 3 Course lunch is $22.95 and Dinner, $32.95. Bon appetite!

November 11: Veterans Day

The Broadway musical Hamilton renewed interest in the Revolutionary War. And there are lots of historic sites throughout Orange and Sussex Counties to explore.

Revolutionary War New Jersey has a listing of the many points of interest throughout Sussex County. Orange County Tourism shares a Revolutionary War Tour. With Veterans Day celebrated this month, it’s the perfect time to remember our Nation’s first veterans.

November 9 & 10: Thanksgiving Tasting & Toy Drive at Museum Village. This annual event features tastings of recipes of both the  Pilgrim and Victorian eras, made right on the hearth. Adults: $14. For children ages 4-12 admission is $10, and children under 4 are free. This year Museum Village is asking for donations of unwrapped new toys for the Country Kids Food Pantry. They need gifts for children from 2-16 years old, with a special need for TWEEN toys. Museum Village. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 1010 State Route 17M, Monroe, NY. 845-782-8248

November 29 & 30: Love Local Maker Market 2019. Handcrafted gifts by local artists will be available at the Warwick Community Center. In addition, there will be make-and-take ornament stations throughout the market where people of all ages can create their own handmade decorations. There will also be hot drinks and baked goods.  10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 11 Hamilton Ave, Warwick, NY.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!





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