500 Barnegat Boulevard North, Suite 402
Barnegat, NJ 08005
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Release Date: Monday, January 27, 2014
Media Contact: Evelyn Weiss Francisco (201) 796-7788
Walters Homes Offers an Array of Housing Options in Ocean County
BARNEGAT, N.J., Jan. 27, 2014 – Young, first time homebuyers are returning to the housing market, opting for the benefits of building home equity versus the pressure of rising rents, according to Walters Homes, an eco-friendly developer with diverse holdings that include single-family, townhouse, apartment-rental and student housing.
“More than half of the prospective buyers who have visited our sales offices so far this year are first-time buyers looking at townhouses and single-family homes,” said Pamela Schuster, managing director of Walters Homes. “Recent economic problems caused many young people to be wary of taking the plunge. They were either concerned about their credit scores or were simply waiting for the economy to improve. But that mentality is changing and they’re seeing homeownership as a viable option.”
A nationwide trend that is making home ownership even more attractive is steadily rising rents. A study by Trulia, a real estate website, reported that in most markets, including the northeast, buying a home can be roughly one-third cheaper than renting. The study compared the average cost of renting and owning for all homes on the market in many large metropolitan areas across the country, factoring in all cost components including transaction costs, taxes, and opportunity costs. The report estimated it is 31 percent cheaper to buy in the New York-New Jersey market, 43 percent cheaper in the Edison-New Brunswick market and 47 percent less in the Camden area. These figures assume that a prospective buyer is getting a mortgage rate of 4.8 percent, falls into the 35 percent tax bracket and will stay in their home for seven years.
“People are more optimistic about buying a home than they were a year ago,” said Schuster. “With home prices and mortgage rates still low, we expect residential sales will continue to increase this year.”
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage started the New Year a full percentage point higher than last year at this time, reported Freddie Mac. Rates averaged 4.53 percent for the week ending Jan. 2nd, compared with 3.34 percent a year ago. Rates are still low by historic standards, but economists believe they will continue to rise. Even with rising mortgage rates, buying is still cheaper because prices are also rising from very low levels.
Schuster advises first-time buyers to apply for pre-approval. “It’s a good idea because it gives you your affordability range,” she added. “It also allows you to move quickly once you find your perfect home.” Actually, understanding how much you are qualified to borrow is the first step to home ownership, according to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA). The organization has created a step-by-step guide entitled, “The Road Home New Jersey: A Guide for the First-Time Homebuyer.”
In southern Ocean County, Walters Homes is developing three communities – Ocean Acres, Whispering Hills Single-Family, and Whispering Hills Townhomes. All three of the residential developments are experiencing improved traffic and sales, according to the developer. The LEED-certified townhomes offer competitive pricing and eco-friendly amenities, starting at $238,125. At Whispering Hills Single-Family a new model home and sales office is scheduled to open June 2014, with homes starting at $289,425. And at Ocean Acres, three- and four-bedroom single-family homes are offered, starting at $257,185.