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Billionaire says Home Ownership the Best Investment Possible



John Paulson, a billionaire hedge fund manager, says that for those looking for the best investment possible, they need to look toward home ownership.




Who is John Paulson?


Paulson is the person who, back in 2005 & 2006, made a fortune betting that the subprime mortgage mess would cause the real estate market to collapse. He understands how the housing market works and knows when to buy and when to sell. What do others think of Paulson?


According to Forbes, John Paulson is:


“A multibillionaire hedge fund operator and the investment genius.”


According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson is:


“A hedge fund tycoon who made his name, and a fortune, betting against subprime mortgages when no one else even knew what they were.”


At the Delivering Alpha conference, presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor, Paulson said: “I still think, from an individual perspective, the best-deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you’re the owner-occupier of. Today, financing costs are extraordinarily low. You can get a 30-year mortgage somewhere around 4.5 percent. And if you put down, let’s say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent, which is the latest data, then you would be up 50 percent on your investment. And you’ve locked in the cost over the next 30 years. And today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting. And if you rent, the rent goes up every year. But if you buy a 30-year mortgage, the cost is fixed.”


Paulson stressed that an owner-occupied home — not a home bought to be a rental — is what he views as the best investment individuals can make right now.


“To buy it as an investment and rent it out — I’m not so enamored with that concept,” he said.


Source: “Paulson: Buying a House Still Best Investment,” CNBC (July 17, 2014)

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Interest Rates fall to 4 1/8% on 30 year fixed

Yes, 10% down up to $1,000,000 mortgage amount!!  Call for program details and how we can make it work.  Loans to $417,000 are now as low as 4.00% so call now.  Rate sheet is attached for printing.  Thank you for the continued support and have a nice weekend.


Call Mark Cassidy for super advise and excellent service. I did. You will be happy. Ian


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Summer Shore rentals far ahead of last year’s pace

By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer


Bob Lawrence has no choice but to put behind him the memory of Hurricane Sandy ripping apart the deck and outdoor shower of his summer rental home.


“In this game you have to keep moving forward. . . . You can’t look back. You have to come back stronger and better from something like that,” said Lawrence, 57, who replaced much of the old wooden structure with fiberglass components to help attract renters to the three-bedroom bay-front Longport home that he privately rents for as much as $6,000 a week.




This four-bedroom Ventnor house rents for the summer season for up to $100,000. In some areas, bookings are up 25 percent over last year. (MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer)


Homeowners such as Lawrence and real estate brokers and rental agents up and down the coast – except in areas of Monmouth and Ocean Counties where Sandy in October 2012 created so much destruction that many property owners are still rebuilding – contend that bookings for this summer are way up over last year at this time.


Business officials closely monitor such numbers because tourism is a $40.4 billion-a-year industry that directly supports 320,000 jobs in the Garden State. Findings of a new study released last week by the New Jersey Department of State indicate that if tourism in the state were a company, its sales would rank 70th on the nationwide Fortune 500 list – ranking higher than Sears, DuPont, or Hess Corp.


Despite the ravages of Sandy and a revenue decline in Atlantic City casinos of 5.9 percent in 2013, the state-commissioned study by the Oxford University-affiliated consulting firm Tourism Economics, found that visitor spending, capital investment, and government support in the state increased by 1.3 percent in 2013. The number of visitors to New Jersey also increased to 87.2 million last year, a 5.7 percent rise over 2012.


The outlook for this summer is also optimistic, according to state officials at a tourism conference in Atlantic City last week. Projections indicate a 2.2 percent increase in the number of tourists visiting the state in 2014.


Lawrence, an avid boater who stays on his 42-foot Sea Ray when his house is occupied by renters, said that in the wake of Sandy last year, he spent more summertime weeks on land at his Longport house than ever before. By contrast, this year his home is already booked for the prime season in July and August.


“Even though this part of the Shore didn’t have that much damage compared to other places up north, people still seemed leery about renting here last year,” Lawrence said. “But this year, it’s the opposite. They’re anxious.”


In Atlantic and Cape May Counties – and even sections of southern Ocean County on Long Beach Island – the number of signed leases is up by as much as 25 percent over last year at this time, according to Realtors.


“People do seem anxious to make their plans this year. And the best properties, in any price category, always go quickly, and that’s what we’ve been seeing this year,” said DJ Gluck, owner/broker of Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty in Margate, whose agency specializes in high-end properties in the Shore’s Downbeach area of Ventnor, Margate, and Longport. The 100 or so homes on Gluck’s sales roster sell for millions and rent for as much as $120,000 for the season.


Gluck insists Sandy is no longer a factor – except in the buyer’s market where concerns center on height restrictions and other post-storm regulations – to most vacationers seeking sun and sand this summer.


“People just want to forget all about this harsh winter and get down here,” said Gluck, whose agency recently launched a marketing program designed to reach a global audience of luxury consumers through a new iPad app and other digital format presentations.


Such digital communication – especially during a particularly stormy winter like the one that just past – is what is fueling much of the early renting this year, says Michael Mavromates, broker/manager at the Long & Foster Agency in Avalon.


With bookings running about 18 percent ahead in his office, Mavromates said the cold weather and snow spurred a lot of activity on his agency’s website, which offers Shore rental listings that range from a $600-a-week two-bedroom, one-bath condo in Wildwood to a six-bedroom, $18,000-a-week beachfront abode in Avalon.


“Nobody is talking about Sandy whatsoever,” Mavromates said. “They just want to talk about sun and sand and where they are going to be spending their vacation this summer.”


Carol Menz, broker/owner of Coastline Realty in Cape May, said the rental season so far had brought “stunning volume” to her agency. Knowing that Cape May suffered almost no damage from Sandy, many potential renters came back this year to book properties they stayed in last summer.


“Clients are saying they are so dismayed by such a harsh winter this year, they are really, really looking forward to summer,” said Menz, noting that volume in her agency had been pushed as much as 25 percent over last year at this time.


Even on Long Beach Island, where cleanup from Sandy’s wrath bore a lackluster season last summer, real estate agents say business has been brisk this year.


“We are doing great,” said Michele Timlin, a sales associate at the G. Anderson Agency in Beach Haven. “People are much less hesitant to rent this year than they were last year.”


Timlin says the agency has the keys to about 1,000 rental properties on the island and nearly half are already spoken for. Rentals on Long Beach Island vary from as low as $2,000 for a two-bedroom condo to as much as $20,000 a week for a beachfront home that sleeps 14.


And at the Fox Agency in Ocean City – a geographic locale that may be the Mecca of Jersey Shore summer rentals by sheer volume – things are looking up this year, too. Ocean City offers more rental units – as many as 10,000 by some estimates – than any other Shore town.


“My projection is that this is going to be a very good summer,” said Clay Rossiter, rental manager at Fox, where rentals are up 23 percent over last year at this time on the 4,000 properties the agency brokers for rent. “Between getting over Sandy and surviving this past winter, vacationers are really thinking about getting on that beach and enjoying themselves.”


Original article link:

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Mortgage Rates have dropped back down to 4.25% on a 30 year mortgage – June 13, 2014

Rates seem to be dropping again. Call the expert.

Please let Mark know you read this on my blog. Thank you, Ian


Good afternoon!  Here are the rates for Father’s Day Weekend.  Please remember, I am available all weekend by calling me on my cell at 609-517-6035!!   Call me anytime! We can now do 10% down up to $1,000,000 either with the traditional PMI or using a Blended Program with an Interest Only HELOC.  If you have a buyer looking for less than 20% down, please call for the details!  Have a great weekend and thank you for your continued support.








Mark V. Cassidy  NMLS#209223

Senior Vice President

Philadelphia Mortgage Advisors

16 E 9th Street

Ocean City, NJ  08226

609-398-8600 – office phone

609-517-6035 – cell phone

855-469-2429 – e-fax

Apply on Line At our Website:



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12 Tax Tips To Consider When Buying A Shore Or Vacation Property This Summer

Each year on Memorial Day weekend, there’s a giant exodus from much of Pennsylvania towards the Jersey Shore. Some folks head for the glitter and night life of Atlantic City while others head for the relatively quiet Victorian gingerbread homes of Cape May. Still others opt for family-friendly Ocean City, tony Stone Harbor or any number of quaint shore towns in between.

Those lucky enough to score a prime vacation rental on the shore often consider the possibility of sticking around… perhaps permanently. If you’re thinking of buying a shore or other vacation property, here are twelve tax tips to consider:



  1. The Internal Revenue Service considers a vacation home or a second home one that is permanently in place (even though it could be moved, like an RV) and offers sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities.This would include not only a shore or lake home but a condo, co-op, mobile home, RV, house trailer, yurt or a yacht. It need not be fancy (a bare bones structure works) or located in a vacation area (somebody somewhere has to want a second home in Cleveland, right?). When you’re shopping around, keep in mind that you don’t have to have a Hamptons-style manse to take advantage of available federal tax breaks. It does, however, have to have a structure: bare land doesn’t count.
  2. For tax purposes, you can deduct “qualified residence interest” on a mortgage secured by a second home – that’s in addition to interest that you pay on a mortgage that is your primary residence.It also applies to additional loans on a primary home or second home including a second mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan. If you itemize your deductions on a Schedule A and you have a mortgage on a qualified home in which you have an ownership interest, you can deduct the interest you pay on that mortgage. The total amount of debt that you can use for purposes of calculating the home mortgage interest deduction for your main home and second home cannot be more than $1 million ($500,000 if married filing separately); some exceptions apply for grandfathered debt. You can bump the number up even more if you have qualifying home equity debt.
  3. In addition to mortgage interest, local and state real estate taxes paid on a second or vacation home are also generally deductible.
  4. You can also deduct personal property taxes payable on the value of personal property at your second or vacation home, including those taxes due on your yacht or other boats (that deduction is available if you itemize regardless of your living arrangements).Personal property taxes are imposed by state or local government on certain kinds of property like your cars or boats. In some states, it might also be imposed on recreational vehicles like snowmobiles, ATVs and jet skis; if so, those may be deductible. Note, however, that only personal property taxes are deductible on these items for federal income tax purposes and not your registration fees.
  5. If the property is your own property and you never rent it out, you can claim those breaks (items #2-#4) but not the cost of upkeep of the property.As with your primary residence, home improvements are personal in nature and are rarely deductible (some exceptions apply).
  6. If you rent out your property, you may be able to deduct some home improvement costs.To qualify, you must not personally use the home for at least 14 days or 10% of the number of days you rent it out at a fair rental price (letting your favorite cousin stay there on the cheap doesn’t count). Assuming that you meet the criteria, you don’t take the deduction for home mortgage interest on a Schedule A but rather you claim the expenses related to the property together with rental income received on a Schedule E. Those expenses may include mortgage interest, real estate taxes, casualty losses, maintenance, utilities, insurance, and depreciation – the total of those will reduce the amount of rental income that is taxed.


English: Beaches houses on the western side of Misquamicut Beach, Westerly, Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. If your deductible rental expenses are more than your gross rental income, you will report a loss.Your rental losses, however, generally will be limited by the “at-risk” rules and/or the passive activity loss rules. Those rules can be tricky but here’s what you need to know: rental activities are almost always considered passive, even if you materially participate in them, unless you are a real estate professional.
  2. What if you’re somewhere in between hanging at your home for relaxation and renting it occasionally? So long as you rent the property fewer than 15 days during the tax year, you are still allowed to take the deductions for the interest, taxes, and (if applicable) casualty and theft losses.Additionally, you do not have to include the rent you receive in your income, though you may not deduct the corresponding rental expenses.
  3. If you use your vacation home for personal use and you rent it out for more than 15 days, you’ll pro-rate the income and the expenses according to the amount of time you (or your family) are at the property.You’ll report rental income and deduct rental-related expenses on your Schedule E and you’ll deduct the mortgage interest, property taxes, and casualty losses attributable to your personal use on your Schedule A.
  4. What about using your second home as a workspace (and I mean more than checking your smartphone from the comfort of your hammock)?If you rent part of your home to your employer and provide services for your employer in the rented space, you would report the rental income on your Schedule E. You can deduct mortgage interest, qualified mortgage insurance premiums, real estate taxes, and personal casualty losses for the rented part but you cannot deduct any business expenses: that’s because you cannot use your home for profit (rental) and still take a deduction for its business use. If you opt not to collect rent, you may not deduct the related expenses and the “regular” rules for business expenses would apply, including the requirement that your home office be your principal place of business.
  5. When you sellyour vacation home, you will likely be subject to capital gains tax. There’s an exception if you convert your vacation home to your primary home: remember, however, that you must have owned and lived in the home as your primary residence for two of the five years prior to sale. The years don’t have to be sequential: you can live in the house in year one and in year five and still qualify. You can only claim the exclusion for one home at a time so if you sell your primary home and move into your vacation house for two years (and otherwise meet the criteria), you can take the exclusion on a subsequent sale. Whether to make that change solely for tax reasons may depend on a number of factors including the amount of the gain or loss (see #11 below).
  6. What if the market turns sour on you? You can never claim a loss for the sale of a personal residence, no matter how much of a bloodbath you take.You may, however, claim a capital loss on investment property (assuming your vacation home as a rental qualifies) depending on the nature of the loss and whether you have offsetting gains.

So there you have it, a quick summary of what you need to know about buying a second home for vacation or for investment this summer… The rules can be tricky so be sure to check with your tax professional before making a move. For now, however, the sun is shining and summer is just heating up…  get out there and enjoy it!

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Homes with lots of bedrooms are popular at The Jersey Shore

By BRIAN IANIERI, Staff Writer

Maybe it’s for a large family. Maybe it’s a seashore vacation home expecting plenty of summertime guests.

The homes with the most bedrooms – five or more – represent the smallest portion of New Jersey real estate, behind only homes with no bedrooms, according to the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.

This five-plus bedrooms segment is well behind the most popular (three-bedroom homes), but it still plays a critical role for homeowners who need space and are capable of paying the higher prices associated with larger homes.

Patricia Gray Hendricks, broker associate at Wilsey Realty in Cape May, said large homes are popular among the region’s second-home owners looking for ample rooms for guests and large families that can include children and grandchildren.

In Cape May, Hendricks said, buyers are drawn to large homes that are not in densely populated settings and are not duplexes.

“The traditional Cape May houses tended to be larger,” she said.

The number of bedrooms in a home is among the most vital pieces of information in sale listings, succinctly letting home hunters know if a property can fit their family and guests.

Among shore properties, homes with at least five bedrooms are generally more prevalent than in other areas.

In Cape May County, they make up 8.6 percent of total homes, the highest percentage in the state, according to the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.

In Ocean County, these homes make up 6.5 percent of total homes, the seventh highest percentage in New Jersey.

Atlantic and Cumberland counties were both below the state average of 5.5 percent. Atlantic County had 4.5 percent; Cumberland County, 2.4 percent.

Hendricks had a recent client who wanted a place in Cape May in the three-bedroom category.

“Juxtapose that to the person who’s saying, ‘I’m now ready to have a house at the shore and have people here but not in stages. I want to have my girls and their husbands and their children at the same time,'” she said. “That’s also the reason people sell houses – they’re no longer using the house in the same way.”

Allan Dechert, broker of Ferguson Dechert in Avalon and Stone Harbor, said homes with lots of bedrooms are popular in the second-home region, particularly among three-story properties with master suites on the third floor.

Homes with five-plus bedrooms have their niche, but they can also be too large or too expensive for some families.

Richard Shaffer III, broker-owner at Resorts LTD in Egg Harbor Township, said five- and six-bedroom homes in mainland Atlantic County have a large disparity between asking prices and selling prices.

“If you look at five bedrooms, they tend in some cases to have two master suites, so it’s a good in-law suite for an elderly parent or in-law and then share the costs,” he said. “It’s a great situation for that, but for an average family that needs the space, a four-bedroom 2 bath, you can get a very spacious house. … You can still get a nice size four bedroom, 2 bath for under $300,000 or in the high $200,000s.”

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Moving Up? Do it now, not later.


There is no way for us to predict the future but we can look at what happened over the last year. Let’s look at buyers that considered moving up last year but decided to wait instead.

Assume they had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $400,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $360,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by 13.8% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $341,400. But, the $400,000 home would now be worth $455,200 (requiring a mortgage of $409,680).

The table above show what additional monthly cost would be incurred by waiting.

Prices are projected to appreciate by over 4% and interest rates are also expected to rise by as much as another full percentage point. If your family plans to move-up to a nicer or bigger home this year, it may make sense to move now rather than later.

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3 Reasons To Buy New Construction in Sea Isle City

Looking over the available inventory of homes in Sea Isle City, I was struck by how affordable Sea Isle City new construction has become. Often many people who come down to Sea Isle City to purchase a vacation home overlook new construction assuming it must be much more expensive.

This however is not always the case, when compared side-by-side new construction can be a favorable purchase to a home several years older. If you are just looking at the initial cost of purchase then new construction can seem more expensive.

The old real estate adage, “You make money when you buy (real estate)…..not when you sell,” is extremely true in this case. Paying a slightly higher price when you buy a new home can lead to a noticeable difference when you go to sell.

In addition to a higher resale vale, new construction offers the chance for you to be the first person to live in and enjoy the home, potentially customize details while it’s under construction, and look at potentially higher than average rents.

3 Reasons To Buy New Construction

#1. Though we intend to own our home in Sea Isle City forever, the reality is the majority of folks own their home for between five to ten years. If you happen to own your own for an average number of years, then you will have the chance for higher resale values.

#2. The opportunity to customize the home while it is under construction appeals to a number of people. For the amount of money you spend on a Sea Isle City home it is nice to enjoy something brand new and built to the way you want.

#3. Brand new homes are often in high demand on the rental market. If you were to rent the home, you would have the chance for highg than average rentals.


Available Sea Isle City New Construction


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Ocean City 2nd Floor condo for Sale 3614 West Avenue SOLD

Contact info:
Ian Lazarus, The Lazarus Team | The Landis Co., Realtors | 609-457-0258

3BR/2BA Condo – Ocean City

3614 West Ave 2nd Floor, Ocean City, NJ 08226

$389,900 SOLD for $345,000 5/2014

Bedrooms: 3 Beds
Bathrooms: 2 Baths
Floors: 1
Parking: 2 Uncovered
Property Type: Condo


Only 3 blocks from the gorgeous beaches. Walk to the great dining & grocery shopping, bike to the boards & great shopping venues or just chill out & watch the world pass you by on your cozy covered porch. This beautiful 3 brm, 2 ba home was completely remodeled in ’06 incl: floor coverings, heating & air cond. sys, cabinetry & appliances. Recently done: interior painting & bamboo flooring in L.R. Contemporary furnishings are included and round out this great opportunity to own a slice of paradise.


Contact info:
Ian Lazarus, The Lazarus Team
The Landis Co., Realtors

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Shore Home Sales Making Comeback

By Christine Bahls, For The Philadelphia Inquirer


For those who have delayed buying a Jersey Shore vacation house for any reason – maybe an allergic reaction to Dodd-Frank mortgage reform, or post-Sandy confusion compounded by flood-insurance phobia – the experts’ counsel is this:

No worries.

“Sandy is past news,” said Marge Swanson, a mortgage consultant with Trident Mortgage in Ocean City. “The lenders are lending. It’s kind of behind us.”


Said Cheryl Huber, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach in Ocean City: “Most people have decided that life is too short.”

Maybe not most, but certainly many. New houses are going up, market observers here say, and previously owned houses are moving, with bidding wars in some towns because for-sale inventory is limited.

A condo in Diamond Beach, already under contract for the full price of $799,900, went into a bidding war with multiple offers, said Robert Snyder, an agent with Weichert Coastal who sells in one of the two most popular Jersey coast zip codes, the Wildwoods.

“You see that with people who are trying to move up,” Snyder said, adding that there are not a lot of listings.

In the other most popular zip code, which includes Ocean City, 259 building permits were issued for 2013, up from 152 in 2012.

And in tiny Longport, all 1.6 square miles of it, there were 27 new permits, said Suzy Lawler, an agent with Long & Foster. It may not sound like much, but considering that five out of 10 houses occupy about 4,000 square feet each, they cover a lot of real estate.

All this is not to say Hurricane Sandy is just a memory – it’s anything but. Those new houses, if they are in flood plains, must adhere to new federal rules on elevation, which can require that structures be at least 12 feet above base. And those flood-insurance prices will be elevating, too. But with the U.S. House’s move earlier this month to ensure that annual premiums not rise more than 18 percent, vacation-home buyers will get something of a break – if President Obama signs the legislation. (The Senate passed the measure in late January.)

House hunters are doing “more due diligence, just to see if there was water damage,” said Snyder. And they are asking about elevations, Huber said.

“Buyers are smarter. They know what they are getting into. They want a Shore home,” said Rick Butera, a branch manager for HomeBridge Financial in Bayville, Ocean County. “Before, values were escalating, but Sandy put a damper on it.”

Whatever obstacles a would-be buyer – one who can afford another mortgage – thinks might exist between second-home dream and sand-dune reality are scalable, market observers said. But that buyer will need patience, cash, and a good credit score, because cheap VA or Federal Housing Administration mortgages are not available for traditional vacation homes.

You have to prove you can afford the second home, Butera said – that’s what the Dodd-Frank reform is all about.

“It’s cumbersome, but you can get through it,” he said. And different lenders require different amounts on down payments.

Consumers have noticed, said Chace Gundlach, mortgage-banking regional sales manager for Citizens Bank. “They say, ‘It’s not as easy to get a loan. It’s not just one assets statement; it’s a couple of years’ worth of W-2s.’ ”

Which, apparently, is why so many people are paying cash for their vacation homes: They don’t want the bother.

“Out of 10 buyers, maybe five are paying cash,” Lawler said, “even before Dodd-Frank.” Butera said he is seeing the same on Long Beach Island, as is Gundlach at Citizens’ Avalon branch.

The latest U.S. trend data from the National Association of Realtors, from 2012, showed 46 percent of all vacation homes (purchased primarily for personal or family use, rather than for investment) were paid for with cash.

Where does that leave buyers whose lexicon doesn’t include the words liquid assets?

Crawl before you walk, Butera advised: “Get something that makes sense. Trade up in a few years.”

That something might be a foreclosed property. Opportunities exist, said Gundlach, but the process can be exhausting: Prior owners can get nasty, ripping out bathrooms and kitchens, making the property unlivable.

A property like that needs to be fixed before you can make settlement. If the lender has assumed control, it could be a minimum of six months before it can be purchased.

But in the end, for a house at the beach, it may very well be worth it.