3 Great Locations!
Lavallette: (732) 793-3333
Ortley: (732) 830-3333
Seaside Park: (732) 793-6074

Ortley Beach Homes for Sale Selling Tips

Posted on: August 31st, 2021 by admin

The Ortley Beach real estate market is always going to be a very competitive market. This means that in order to sell your home, every little detail matters. Everything about the listing from the title to the photos, has the ability to draw in or push away potential buyers. This month, we’ll outline some general tips that can help sell Ortley Beach homes for sale. Of course, we hope these tips can help any homeowner thinking about listing or currently has a home for sale in any market. If you live in Ocean County, especially in Ortley Beach and the surrounding area, and are ready to put your home up for sale, contact one of our agents for help. Our agents have years of experience, lots of area knowledge, and the experience to help you sell your home fast.

Step #1 – Prepare Your Home

Ortley Beach homes for sale to-do list; left side of pic is houseplants, middle is bucket of cleaning products, and right side is wall being painted

Much of what needs to be done to prepare your home for sale should take place before you list your home. It is important to make your home a place where potential buyers can easily see themselves living. Professional stagers and real estate agents can also help you with furniture arrangement to benefit each room and maximize its potential.

It is very important to de-personalize your home. Remove family photos, personal memorabilia, and keepsakes. This helps to neutralize your home making it easier for people to picture themselves in it. This includes pets and pet accessories too. No matter how clean your home is, if someone sees a dog bed, they will “smell” a dog. Putting away all pet bowls, beds, and toys is one more detail that helps Ortley Beach homes for sale sell faster.

Additionally, it is recommended to paint the interior of your home, especially if it has been more than a few years since it was last done. Color selection is also important and avoiding excessively pigmented colors is suggested. Not everyone wants a red accent wall in their living room and something like that can be hard to look past for some buyers.

Another tip is to not only remove your personal items, but remove approximately one-third of your possessions overall. Full closets look much smaller than half-full closets and rooms look bigger without excessive furniture pieces. Less clutter not only looks better, but is also easier to keep clean.

Step #2 – Great Listings Help Ortley Beach Homes for Sale

In most cases, a listing is a potential buyers first impression of your home. What your listing says, how it says it, and what the pictures look like are what help to determine if someone wants to buy your home. Think of your listing as a book and the title and featured photo is the book title and cover art. In this situation, people most certainly do judge books by their cover. If your title and photos are bad, your listing will never be read.

A good title should grab a buyer’s attention. However, keep in mind that you are not selling a used car. Avoid visual tactics like using all capital letters and excessive punctuation. Rather, include important highlights and location specific characteristics like “beach front” or “short walk to the bay”.

Photos can make or break a listing. Great photos can make an average home appear superior just as bad photos can make a great home seem unwelcoming. It can be worth the money to have professional photos taken of your home. Plus, consider adding a 360° virtual tour. This enhances your listing and can make it stand out from others.

Your description should be informative, but concise. Nobody wants to click on a home listing and see a novella pop up on the page. A great listing has an attracting opening statement that points out some top amenities, followed by a direct description of the home, and ends with a call to action in order to encourage a response.

Step #3 – Be Ready to Sell

Attracting people to your home is one thing. Selling your home to them is something else entirely. Great photos are important for a listing. But buyers can feel like they were tricked if the home they tour looks nothing like the pictures. In order to quickly sell your home, your home needs to be visitor-ready at all times. Ensure that your whole home is able to be well lit during all times of day. It is essential to keep your home neat and clean at all times. Never leave dishes in the sink, keep the bathrooms clean, and floors mopped. Nobody wants to buy a dirty house.

Real Estate Agents Help Ortley Beach Homes for Sale in Many Ways

Real estate agents can assist in both the buying and selling of Ortley Beach homes. Our professional agents can help you stage your home, help write you a listing that attracts buyers, and be with you every step of the way as you sell your home. Plus, they’ll help you set your sale price. If you need assistance with Ortley Beach homes for sale, contact our agents today!

Seaside Park Rentals Spotlight

Posted on: August 1st, 2021 by admin

Being one of the most popular towns at the Jersey shore makes the Seaside Park real estate market extremely competitive. This, of course, includes the market for summer rentals. We have an office conveniently located right in Seaside Park so if you are searching for a home to buy or rent, reach out to one of our agents. They are an excellent source for local information as well as having the most current real estate information. For the best help in the Seaside Park real estate market, contact the agents in the Seaside Park Birchler Realtors office. In this month’s blog, we’ll be highlighting a few of our premiere Seaside Park rentals.

Seaside Park Rental #1 – Jelly Sue

Seaside Park rental picture of Jelly Sue; a blue home with white porch and deck railings

40 23rd Ave., South Seaside Park

This recently built, luxury, home is located on the ocean block of 23rd Ave. in South Seaside Park. Built by master craftsman Peter Scott, this home has views of both the ocean and the bay. Perfect for large parties, Jelly Sue sleeps 14, has four new gorgeous bathrooms, and plenty of comfortable living space. When it comes to notable details, it’s hard not to gush over the dazzling kitchen. It comes fully equipped for renters and has stunning stainless-steel appliances. It is the perfect place to congregate after a long day on the beach to make and enjoy a meal together. When it comes to luxury details, this home boasts not only a Sonos music system, but also a gunite pool and hot tub. Comfortable, beautifully designed, and spacious, what’s not to love about Jelly Sue?

Seaside Park Rental #2 – Summerwind

Picture of the home Summerwind, a Seaside Park rental; a tan home with a stone driveway

 12 23rd Ave., South Seaside Park

Summerwind is perfectly named. This meticulously maintained, luxury Seaside Park rental is just one home away from the beach. With this location, there is a view of the ocean from nearly every room. If you are in need of a home for a large family vacation or a small corporate getaway, Summerwind is for you. There are seven bedrooms that sleep up to 16 people and 4.5 baths to accommodate everyone. The comfortable furnishings along with the welcoming decks and porch are perfect for relaxation. Outside, there is also plenty of seating for everyone in the private yard. If you want to talk about convenience, Summerwind is available off-season as well. During the prime summer season, this home is available by the week only. In addition to that, Summerwind can be rented in the off-season on a long weekend or weekly basis.

Seaside Park Rental #3 – Seagull

Seagull is a 3-story town home for rent in Seaside Park

1401 N Ocean, Unit 4, Seaside Park

If you are on the hunt for the perfect oceanfront rental in Seaside Park, Seagull is for you. This 3-story townhome is able to comfortably sleep 9 people and has 4 bathrooms. It is fully furnished and is filled with awesome amenities. Being an oceanfront property located in Seaside Park, this rental comes with beach badges for use during vacation. Additional amenities include a whirlpool, heating and air conditioning, and an indoor elevator.  For anyone that is looking for easy access to fun, Seagull is located just a few blocks from the boardwalk. The Seaside Park boardwalk is two miles of delicious treats, entertaining games, and tons of family fun. If you are looking for the perfect sized townhome on the beach, contact us about renting Seagull.

These are Just a Few of Many Seaside Park Rentals

There are a wide variety of Seaside Park rentals available. They come in all shapes, sizes, and locations. This means they span a wide range of costs as well. When you work alongside one of our Seaside Park real estate agents, we can help you find the perfect home for you so you can have the perfect beach vacation. Rentals go fast in this market so contact as early as possible for the best results.

Lavallette Real Estate Has What You’re Looking For

Posted on: July 1st, 2021 by admin
Lavallette real estate makes families happy like this trio high fiving on a couch surrounded by moving boxes

Regardless of what type of home you are searching for, you can find it in Lavallette. There are houses on the beach, homes on the bay, and everything in between. Condos, townhomes, single-family homes, and multi-family homes can all be found in this market. Along with that diversity comes a range of price points. With such a versatile market, we feel sure that if you contact our Lavallette real estate office, we can find what you’re looking for.

A Brief History of Lavallette

Honoring U.S. Navy Admiral Elie A. F. LaVallette, this city by the sea was designated back in 1878. The addition of the railroad across the bay into South Seaside Park helped this towns development. The expansion was slow going, but the area became more and more popular for the summer. This brought more people, creating the need for things like churches, stores, and, of course, the Yacht Club. This well-known club was established in 1904.  Originally a fishing town, Lavallette’s population began to increase in the 1920’s and 1930’s. This was mostly due to the addition of important utilities like electricity, running water, and gas. As early as 1937, there is a request for a 4-lane highway across Barnegat Bay to accommodate the increase in population. Today, there is little space left to develop and is still a summer town, primarily.

Today’s Lavallette Has Recreation for All

The town has four playgrounds. They all range in size and have a variety of play equipment to entertain the kids. In addition to that, there is also sports fields available for use by reservation and for a small fee. This includes a fields and courts for baseball, soccer, tennis, pickle ball, basketball, volley ball, shuffleboard, and bocce ball. And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite, mini golf. There are also three beautifully maintained parks overlooking the bay. Being a summer town there are also other fun things to do like biking, crabbing, and fishing. Add on to that summer concerts and movies on the bay and no matter what type of activity you’re looking for, you can find it in Lavallette.

Lavallette Real Estate Offers Up Good Eats Too

There is nothing like enjoying a meal and along with a beautiful sunset. If you are looking for an “Ideal beach town café” according to one review on Trip Advisor, check out the Bay View Café. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner so it is perfect any time of day. For something a little different, The Ohana Grill is for you. Bringing the taste of the island to Lavallette, this restaurant is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on their Facebook page.

Of course, there are also the must haves like Dunkin Donuts and Jersey Mikes Subs. But there is also a fresh produce store and a number of pizzerias. And everyone needs ice cream in the summer. We can’t neglect to mention Lavallette’s own Kohr’s Frozen Custard, Iceberg Ice Cream, and the crowd-pleasing The Music Man singing ice cream shop.

Casual to more elegant, savory to sweet, when you buy a home in Lavallette real estate, you do not have to go far to find good food.

Lavallette Real Estate Has Homes Galore

Just as with everything else we discussed so far, the real estate market in Lavallette has a wide variety to choose from. Being a summer town, many of the homes located in Lavallette are rental properties. Now is a great time to invest in real estate and Lavallette is a great town to do it in. The popularity of this town is not going to cease any time soon, there will always be a need for rental homes. For those looking for a primary residence, there are plenty of those too. Take a look at our Featured Homes page to browse a few of the beautiful homes that are available now in Lavallette, Seaside Park, and Ortley Beach. Even just that abbreviated list shows you the range of types of homes in these shore towns.

Seaside Park Real Estate is Popular for Obvious Reasons

Posted on: May 31st, 2021 by admin

Any real estate market at the Jersey Shore is pretty competitive. Each town and locale offer its own set of unique attributes. Seaside Park real estate is certainly not exempt from this rule. With all the great restaurants, fun family activities, and awesome beaches, what’s not to love? This month, we’re going to highlight a few local businesses in Seaside Park. If you have ever had any interest in Seaside Park real estate, contact our office today. We can help find you the perfect year-round home or rental property. The great thing about Seaside Park is that there is something for everyone. So, no matter what your dream is or what you are looking for, we can find it.

Great Restaurants are Easily found in Seaside Park

Casual dining options along with fine dining establishments are easy to find in Seaside Park. There is almost no limit to the options when it comes to good eats.

The Sawmill

Perhaps one of the most iconic places in Seaside Park, this restaurant is an anchor of the southern end of the boardwalk. Famous for their jumbo pizza, if you have ever been to Seaside Park, you have probably heard of or, more likely, visited The Sawmill.  

Jimmy’s Breakfast

If you’re in Seaside Park and are looking for the most delicious breakfast available, check out Jimmy’s Breakfast. If you have any doubts that you’ll enjoy Jimmy’s, check out their reviews on Facebook.

Chef Mikes ABG

If you are looking for something a bit more upscale, you will not want to skip over Chef Mike’s ABG. Chef Mike’s personal style is imbedded in each and every dish on the menu. This restaurant is reviewed by one of their clients on their website as the “absolute best, most fantastic food on the barrier island, bar none.” We don’t think there is anything more to say than that.

Seaside Park Real Estate Includes Tons of Fun

The most memorable and popular activity in Seaside Park is the boardwalk. Not only are there even more great restaurants and delicious food stands, there is so much to enjoy on the boardwalk.

The Beach

We know, it’s obvious, but the number one reason people visit Seaside Park is for the beaches. Luckily, in the Seaside park real estate market, we have lots of homes located right on the beach. For those that are looking for something a little less expensive, there are also a wide variety of homes available mid-block or even bayside that come with a less expensive price tag. Regardless of where in Seaside Park you decide to buy, the beach is not far away.

The Boardwalk

Right along with the beach, comes the boardwalk. Rides, yummy treats, arcades, and so much more awaits you on the boardwalk. Nothing says summer like a Kohr’s Orange Cream custard cone! Let’s not forget funnel cake too! There is so much delicious delights on the boardwalk. Plus, you can enjoy all the fun rides. Perhaps not in that order, but maybe before you indulge in that custard, check out the amusements on display. There are plenty of child friendly rides and games so the boardwalk is a great place for the whole family.

Parks and Playgrounds

Aside from the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk, there are quieter, more low-key playgrounds and parks to enjoy. Baseball fields, basketball courts, and a variety of playground equipment is available for everyone.

Seaside Park Real Estate Spans the Spectrum

Seaside Park Real Estate in block letters on black stripe at top of picture of beach house in background with beach grass in the foreground

Even for those with a long must-have list, there is a house in the Seaside Park real estate market that will check all the boxes. Location is a key factor when deciding to buy in Seaside Park. There are gorgeous homes right on the beach, perfect little beach shacks on the bay side, and just perfect sized homes mid-block so no matter what you are looking for, our agents can find it for you. In addition to all the great options for location, there are a wide range of prices in the market. This just increases the chances that we can find you exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us today to get started on the journey to finding your dream home!  

Ortley Beach Real Estate Has a Lot to Offer

Posted on: April 30th, 2021 by admin

It is easy to see why this less than one-square mile of property on the Barnegat Peninsula is such a popular vacation destination. It is bordered by Lavallette to the north and Seaside Heights to the south. In addition, year-round residents enjoy the benefits of this location all 12-months of the year. There are a number of great restaurants to enjoy. For fun, there’s an arcade, a park, and two beaches. When it comes to the houses, no matter if you are searching for a summer rental or a new permanent residence, the Ortley Beach real estate market has it. Let’s take a closer look at everything the town of Ortley Beach has to offer.


You don’t have to go far to find good food in Ortley Beach. There’s a number of cafes, casual dining eateries, and more elegant restaurants. There are restaurants that serve Italian, Chinese, and American, as well as delicious seafood.

For the all-American pancake house, check out Sunny Hunny by the Sea. In business for over 50 years, they specialize in breakfasts like omelets and pancakes, but serve a lot of other delicious food. If your party can’t decide on what to eat, Sunny Hunny has something for everyone.

After a long day spent on the beach and in the water, there is nothing more appetizing than an easy dinner. Pizza is the answer and Mia’s Pizza and Café. has you covered. All their food is made fresh to order daily and they offer the convenience of online ordering.

For a sit-down dinner, Rockafellas By the Sea is a must go. Delicious Italian meals in a beautiful atmosphere for the romantic night out on vacation.

The Barrier Grill is another local favorite that serves fresh, casual shore favorites. Plus, they’re conveniently located at Barnacle Bills so it’s not hard to find.


Speaking of Barnacle Bills, not only do they have a delicious restaurant, it also has an arcade and mini golf course. If you are in search of family fun, Barnacle Bills look no farther than this place.  The course was rebuilt in 2013 and is a fun challenge of players of all ages. Plus, everyone loves to stop by to say hi to the Giant. This immense structure withstood Superstorm Sandy and is now a treasured landmark and icon of the strength of the community of Ortley Beach.

Ortley Beach Real Estate

For Rent, Orley Beach Real Estate in white font on banner at top over picture of gray home with porch

If you prefer a townhome, we can find you one in Ortley Beach. Partial to single family homes on the water? We can find that too. Big or small, ocean side or bay side, our staff of highly talented and experienced realtors can help you find exactly what you want in Ortley Beach. Ocean side homes offer the gorgeous views and the convenient access to the sun, sand, and surf. For those that prefer other water activities like boating, crabbing, and fishing, the bay side might be your preferred location. Have people in your party that enjoy both? Compromise and find a suitable home right in the middle where you can enjoy the best of both worlds. We have access to some of the best listings for sale and for rent in the Ortley Beach real estate market and all over the shore so contact us today!

Premiere Rental Listings Highlights: Seaside Park Real Estate, Lavallette Real Estate, and Ortley Beach Real Estate

Posted on: March 31st, 2021 by admin

When it comes to Jersey Shore vacations, these three towns are some of the most popular to rent in. Finding a rental can be overwhelming due to both the large number of rentals available, but also the competition for these homes. The best chance you have to book a home that fulfills your wish list is to work with an experienced realtor in that area. We have an office conveniently located in each of these three towns that you can contact here:

Seaside Park Real Estate Office

Lavallette Real Estate Office

Ortley Beach Real Estate Office

With the help of one of our talented realtors, you’ll be booking your dream vacation in no time! No matter what type of rental you are looking for, we can help you find it.

Seaside Park Real Estate Rental Highlights

Townhome available for rent in Seaside Park real estate market

1401 N Ocean, Unit 4, Seaside Park

For an ocean front rental, take a look at this gorgeous townhome. You don’t have to worry about a thing when you rent this home. It comes fully furnished, includes a driveway, and it also provides the renters with the necessary beach badges. With the Seaside boardwalk a short walk north, this might just be your ideal rental.

Seaside Park vacation rental single-family home with yellow siding

40 Island Ave., Seaside Park

If you prefer to be a little farther away from the boardwalk scene, check out this pretty ocean side home on Island Ave. This 5-bedroom home is ready for your next family vacation. It sleeps 10, has 3 full bathrooms, a deck, and a large kitchen for gathering in. Just a block and a half from the beach and within walking distance to Ice Cream Boss, be sure to fill out a contact form today about this property!

Newly built single-family raised, blue sided home available for rent in South Seaside Park

40 23rd Ave, South Seaside Park

If a single-family home is more your style, this newly built ocean side home may fit the bill. It comes with beautiful views off of the multiple porches and decks, a built-in granite pool with hot tub, and an amazing modern kitchen.  Located right outside of Island Beach State Park, across the street from Bum Rogers and down the block from Chef Mike’s ABG, there is not much more you could ask for. Contact our Seaside Park real estate office for more information!

Ortley Beach Real Estate Rental Highlights

Picture of patio set on gray patio right off beach for condominium that is able to rented for vacations in Ortley Beach

41 Dune Terrace, Ortley Beach

Condominiums are a popular choice for vacationers. This corner-lot property is located right on the beach which is staffed by lifeguards all summer. This location is nice because it is only a short distance to Casino Pier, but enough distance away to be able to enjoy peaceful evenings on the deck. Ortley Beach offers Wednesday night fireworks every week during the summer and is home to the iconic Barnacle Bill’s Amusements, there is something for everyone.

Ortley Beach real estate market duplex for rent for vacation

14 6th Ave., Unit A, Ortley Beach

This duplex unit is perfect for those who want the ideal beach vacation, but have a budget to consider. Another characteristic that helps this unit be affordable is that it is located off both the beach and the bay. While it may not give the amazing views that other homes have, those views aren’t far away and are still easily accessible to this rental. Only a few blocks away from Barnacle Bill’s and the Ortley Beach Bayside Park, there is no shortage of activities that are within walking distance. Contact an agent in our Ortley Beach real estate office today to find out more about this and all the other great rentals we have!

Ortley Beach vacation rental. White, ranch style, Bay-side home on the water with red shutters

439 Coolidge Ave., Ortley Beach

Attention all water and dog lovers! Do not scroll past this charming home. Perfect for a party of 6 that are looking to spend their days on the water. This home has direct access to the bay with its own 50 ft. boat dock. Plus, with the owner’s approval, dogs are welcome. You cannot find that kind of hospitality in all rentals. The last great thing about this rental is how affordable it is. You just can’t ask for much more!

Lavallette Real Estate Rental Highlights

Lavallette vacation rental on Jersey City Ave

17 Jersey City Ave., Lavallette

Only ½ block off the beach, this large home that sleeps ten is perfect for a multiple family vacation. There is plenty of room both inside and out and it is easy to see why if you want to rent this home, you need to contact us early. As with most Jersey Shore vacation rentals, they are often booked up to a year in advance. A few more perks with this rental are the ice cream store, pizza place, and pancake restaurant that are all just around the corner.

Brand-new Lavallette real estate market townhome for vacation rental

26-A Trenton Ave., Lavallette

If you are looking to spoil yourself while you are on vacation, this brand-new townhome is perfect. This house screams calm, coastal retreat while surrounding you with opulence. It has a fenced-in yard, paver patio with grill, and an enclosed outdoor shower. Lavallette is perfect for beach lovers, bay lovers, and water lovers of all kinds. If you are in search of the perfect beach vacation in a perfect beach town, this rental may just be for you.

In-ground pool surrounded by turf grass, large pink flamingo float in pool, and white vinyl privacy fence around

4 Philadelphia Ave., Lavallette

If glitz and glamor are the things you dream of, this home probably looks like it came from one of your dreams. Beautifully decorated with eye-catching metal accents, this isn’t your typical beach house. It has a private, fenced-in yard with an in-ground pool and is just steps off the Lavallette boardwalk. When you are ready to live your dream, contact our Lavallette real estate office today!

When you are ready to not only start, but finish your search for your next vacation home at the beautiful Jersey shore, Click Here!

Lavallette Real Estate Rentals Amenities that are Worth the Expense

Posted on: February 28th, 2021 by admin

Lavallette Real Estate Rentals in white text on shaded black rectangle over a picture of a two-story white home with a pool

A majority of the owners of rental properties decided to purchase the home as an investment opportunity. A much smaller portion bought the house for their own use and rent it out to assist with the cost. No matter which position you are in, the issue of competition is a looming shadow over all owners’ heads. In a saturated market like the Lavallette real estate market, the homes with the best value are rented the most often and most reliably. Meaning, if your home does not have the conveniences renters are looking for, your home will be passed over again and again. Low rental numbers are the enemy of every rental property owner. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to attract as many renters as possible. As always, Birchler Realtors is here for all your Lavallette real estate rental needs.

Acknowledge Why People go on Vacation

One of the most important pieces of information for a rental property owner to keep in mind is why people go on vacation. The answer is to rest and take a break from day-to-day chores. The best way to allow renters to unwind is to provide as many conveniences as possible. Rental property owners can increase their rental cost with each amenity they add. The better quality the amenity, the more the rent can be raised. To a degree of course. It is also possible to price your home out of the market by overdoing upgrades and needing to charge more for rent than the average vacationer can pay. One way for you, as an owner, to decide on which additions or upgrades to add is to think about what you enjoy on vacation yourself. If you enjoy it, it is likely a renter will enjoy it as well.

Lavallette Real Estate Rentals Need Conveniences

One way to maximize a vacationer’s relaxation level is to provide many, appropriate conveniences. By appropriate, we mean conveniences that are fitting for a beach house. Items as small as beach badges to something as large as an outdoor shower are all relevant to making a vacation more enjoyable. More convenient often means easier which means, on vacation at least, more enjoyable. Obvious conveniences like common household appliances are a must. Neglecting to upgrade the washer and dryer to larger machines or machines of higher quality that can withstand greater than average use, can end up costing an owner much more money in the long run. Some ideas of other amenities that are suitable for a beach house are providing beach chairs, bicycles, air conditioning, and ceiling fans. Large ticket items that can be extremely attractive to renters are things like a pool, hot tub, or spa.

Alternate Upgrades to Consider

Depending on the location of the rental property, certain other upgrades may be worth a consideration. Providing renters with top-quality linens and comfortable furniture can be well worth their purchase cost. Along with items like these come adjectives like luxurious, deluxe, and plush. Other amenities that are eye-catching to vacationers fall in the technology category. Providing wi-fi, setting the house up with as many smart items as is appropriate, and selecting high quality electronics like TVs and sound systems. People want to feel spoiled and well taken care of while on vacation. Giving them things that are on another level than the things they have in their own homes is what people are looking for. Renters don’t want to watch TV on one that is smaller and a lower visual quality than what they watch every day. Investing in exceptional electronics will prove worth the expense.

Lavallette Real Estate Renters are Looking for Value

Value means relative worth. Working with our realtors, the right amount to charge for rent can be determined by a number of factors. The top two are location and amenities. For owners who already own a home, there isn’t anything you can do about the location now. However, there is always an opportunity to make upgrades to the rental property to improve the value. While many big-ticket items can scare away some property owners, others understand where to invest their money to obtain the highest pay-back.  Some upgrades are costly, but don’t attract more renters and are therefore, not valuable. Other beach-friendly, high-quality items will be a source or revenue for years.

Lavallette Real Estate Information on Home Inspections

Posted on: February 1st, 2021 by admin

Home inspections are not required for the sale of a home. It is something, however, that is very much recommended. Licensed home inspectors can examine every inch of a home in an unbiased, professional manner and make a determination on the condition. This information is very important for a buyer. Depending on the contract, a buyer may use the home inspector’s findings to negotiate a lower price. With the bargaining leverage a home inspection can give a buyer, it is easy to understand why an inspection should be done by a third-party inspector. This ensures a fair and just judgement on the home and its condition. A home inspector is required to be licensed and it takes a fair amount of education to become one because they need to be adept in a number of areas. This month we’ll discuss why home inspections are important for every Lavallette real estate sale.

Why an Appraisal Isn’t Enough

Lavallette real estate home inspector wearing red plaid shirt with one hand held up by mouth, a white safety helmet, and carrying and looking at a clipboardAn inspection is different than an appraisal. We covered appraisals a few months ago – you can click here to read that blog.  An appraisal simply evaluates the value of the building and property and is required by a lender. A home inspection looks at the functionality, safety, and condition of all parts of the home. The goal of a home inspection should be to learn as much as possible about the property being purchased. Where an appraisal may compare this home to other homes in the area, an inspection is specific to every home. The simplest way to think of it is that appraisals are concerned with the money and a home inspection is focused on the structure. An appraisal protects the money the lender is loaning. A home inspection can protect a homeowner from potentially making a large financial mistake or from being taken advantage of.

A Home Inspection Typically Happens Late in a Lavallette Real Estate Sale

Occasionally, a seller may choose to have their own home inspection done prior to putting their house on the market. This gives them a good idea of what repairs may need to be made. They then have a few options. First, they can choose to list the house as-is knowing these damages may come into play when negotiating the selling price. Second, they could list the house without any improvements and put an “as-is” clause in the contract releasing them from the responsibility. Third, and on the other hand, they can opt to fix what needs to be fixed and possibly raise the asking price.

This, however, is rare. More commonly, a home inspection takes place as soon as the home is under contract. The timing makes it crucial to review the entire contract closely with your Lavallette real estate agent. Before signing it, it is important to look for fine print or clauses that may release the seller from making any repairs prior to the sale being final. One thing to make sure is there is a “due diligence” contingency. This defines the time period the buyer has to find and contact an inspector, schedule the inspection, receive the inspection, and decide what to do with the information. An average amount of time is usually between one to two weeks.

Final Thoughts on Home Inspections

From a buyer standpoint, there should always be an inspection. Here are a few final key points to take away about home inspections:

  • If you are a buyer, when you contact an independent licensed home inspector, make sure it is ok for you to be present during the inspection. This may seem like a waste of time if nothing major is uncovered. But, if there is something that could potentially negate the sale, it is a good idea to see it with your own eyes.
  • It is good advice to be wary of sellers willing to offer money off the sale price if the buyer agrees to purchase the property without an inspection. There may be a perfectly innocent reason for this, but this should be considered a red flag and be looked into further.
  • An inspection can find things a common homeowner or layman can’t. In addition, there are parts of a home that are almost impossible to view without special tools and safety equipment. Just looking at a house with a naked eye isn’t going to reveal potential issues like a professional home inspection can.
  • Not everything about an inspection will be catastrophic. There may be items in the report pointing out things as simple as hot and cold faucets being reversed on a sink. The big things, however, are what are really important.

Ortley Beach Real Estate – Important Mortgage Terms To Know

Posted on: January 1st, 2021 by admin

Mostly everyone who has ever had any experience with an Ortley Beach real estate transaction or the purchase or sale of any property has had experience with a mortgage. Unless the real estate purchase is being paid for in full at the time of closing, a buyer will need to obtain a mortgage. With how important these loans are, it’s important to be familiar with some vocabulary associated with them. Purchasing a home can be stressful enough. We hope that by understanding some of these terms more, the overall buying process will be more enjoyable for you. A mortgage is often the first step in your journey so starting off on the right foot is the best way to set yourself up for success.

Ortley Beach Real Estate Can be ConfusingOrtley Beach real estate home buyer looking stressed while using laptop

We understand. Real estate can be very confusing.  There are a lot of terms that you’ve never heard before. And may never hear again. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn a little about it. The more you understand, the better you will be able to navigate through the home buying process. Here’s a headstart on mortgages.

Adjustable-rate Mortgage (ARM)

This type of mortgage applies varying rates of interest over the life of the loan. This also means the monthly payments may differ month to month. The interest rate is based on market value. One advantage to an ARM is that many lenders will give you a short period where your interest rate does not vary. This interest rate is often lower than a fixed-rate mortgage. All ARMs also have caps which limit the amount that your interest can increase or decrease.

Fixed-rate Mortgage

Unlike an adjustable-rate mortgage, a fixed-rate one has the same interest rate for the life of the loan. The benefit to this type of mortgage is that no matter what the market does, your interest rate remains the same. Many homeowners enjoy the uniformity of the payments and the stability of this type of loan.

FHA Loan

The Federal House Administration (FHA) offers this type of mortgage to people who may have trouble obtaining a loan due to a low credit score or not being able to make a 20% down payment. The loan is insured by the government and protects the lender if the loan is defaulted on.

Debt-To-Income (DTI) Ratio

Basically, the percentage of what your average monthly debts (including credit card bills, loans, and other recurring monthly payments) divided by your monthly income. This is extremely important because lenders look at this number to make sure that you have enough income coming in monthly in your household to cover the loan. Typically, a DTI of 43% is the highest percentage allowed in order to be considered for a loan. That said, the lower the better and many mortgage lenders won’t consider someone with a DTI more than 36%.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, a lender will require you to get mortgage insurance. This protects the lender if you should stop making payments on your loan.  Once you reach 20% equity in your property, you usually have the option to remove this from your loan.


Performed by a certified appraiser, this gives an educated value of the property that is for sale. It is an important term to know. This number is what the mortgage lender will use to determine the amount of loan they will approve for you. It ensures that the amount of the loan does not exceed the value of the home. We have a number of certified appraisers on staff including Eric Birchler in our Ortley Beach real estate office.

Closing Costs

This is a set of fees paid to the lender to cover the costs incurred in the process of getting your loan. These may include, but are not limited to, title search fees, pest inspections, attorney’s fees, appraisal fees, and title insurance. The amount is customarily about 3% of your total loan amount.

Escrow Account

This is an account set up at no cost by your mortgage lender. In this account, your lender will hold money that they will use to pay for property taxes and homeowners insurance for you. Most people opt for this because this lets you divide these payments into small monthly payments rather than paying a large bulk once a year.

Down Payment

This is the amount of money you will be paying at closing towards the purchase of the home. Typically, this is 20% of the price. While many people think that 20% is required, there are many types of loans that accommodate those who cannot make that type of payment.

There is So Much More to a Mortgage

Ortley Beach real estate deal being closed with shaking hands

This is very much just the tip of the mortgage vocabulary iceberg. Buying a home or purchasing property in the Ortley Beach real estate market can be confusing. There are a lot of terms that some people only hear a handful of times in their lives. While this may not explain the whole process from beginning to end, we do hope it will help you feel more comfortable the next time you have to discuss a mortgage. No matter where you are in your home buying process, one of our experienced agents can help guide you through the process.


Seaside Park Real Estate: The What, Why, and Importance of an Appraisal

Posted on: December 1st, 2020 by admin

Any person who has ever bought or sold a property is familiar with the term appraisal. There is, however, likely a lot that many don’t know about this important Seaside Park real estate process. Buying and selling a home can be a stressful and confusing journey.  There are many steps that happen either without the client’s knowledge or, more likely, their full comprehension. However, not understanding what is happening during the process leaves you vulnerable. An appraisal is designed to provide an unbiased assessment of the property’s worth. This protect the lender by confirming that they are providing a loan for an appropriate amount of money.

What is an Appraisal

As previously described, an appraisal is an assessment of a property’s value. It should be performed by a licensed, non-biased individual or a third party who has no vested interest in the transaction. This ensures it is a fair and accurate judgement. An appraisal is almost always necessary for the sale and purchase of a property, but is also routinely used in refinance transactions. The only deal that will not require an appraisal is an all cash sale. In this case, there is no money being lent so the value of the home is irrelevant to the purchase price.

How is the Value Determined

Seaside Park real estate appraisers desk with open black laptop and silver calculator. Assorted other office equipment and items blurred in background.

There are three common schools of thought on determining a residence’s value. These are the sales comparison approach, the cost approach, and the income approach. The sales comparison approach looks at how much similar properties in the same location have sold for recently. The cost approach uses what the cost of construction would be. After determining that number, any depreciation is taken into account and then the cost of the land is added to determine the market value. Lastly, the income approach is used almost exclusively for commercial or business real estate transactions.

Who Performs an Appraisal

An appraisal for your Seaside Park real estate transaction should only be completed by a certified or licensed professional like those in our offices. There are four levels of appraisers that can perform appraisals in New Jersey. The first level is a trainee appraiser. There is no prior experience required to become a trainee appraiser. In order to take the first step to become an appraiser, a trainee must complete 75 hours of approved education. Once the application is completed and approved, a trainee must find a certified appraiser to be their supervisor. Upon the completion of 1,000 appraisal related working hours and 150 hours of qualifying education, a trainee can apply to become licensed. The top-tier is a certified appraiser. This level requires the fulfillment of one of six college education options. Plus, additional approved education hours and 1,500 hours working related to appraising. A certified appraiser has to apply to become one and must also pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam.

Why Are Appraisals Done

An appraisal is something that is requested by the mortgage lender. The reason this is done is to ensure that the lender is not mortgaging a loan that is more than what the property is valued at. If this does turn out to be the case, the lender may require the buyer to pay the difference in cost. Depending on the type of loan, a more explicit appraisal may be needed.  This is true in the case of loans such as VA loans or FHA loans. In these instances, if any issues are found during the appraisal, most will need to be fixed prior to the closing.

An Appraisal Will Happen and Now You Know Why

Most likely, in any New Jersey real estate transaction you experience, you’ll have an appraisal. In the best of cases, everything goes without any questions or hitches and it is just one item to complete on your checklist. However, if the valuation comes in under the amount of the mortgage, a sale can be hugely disrupted. In the worst case, a sale may completely fall through. Either way, with the knowledge you now have, you can understand more of the process and why it is done.

No matter what your Seaside Park real estate needs are, Birchler Realtors is here for you. Contact Us today!