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Essex County Housing Report October 2021

Essex County October Housing Report 10/11/2021 Covid 19 Recovery

Year over Year Price Increases Soften:
Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold price increases were only +6.2% SF, +1.0% CC and -1.1% MF in spite of falling inventory.

Mortgage Rates rose from 2.94% in August to 3.2% now.

Month Over Month Median Sales Prices Fall: Sep 2021 vs Aug 2021

  • Median Sales Prices Down:
    Single Families -2.9%; Condos -1.5%; Multi-Families -4.7%

  • Unit Sales Down for Singles and Condos: 
    Single Families -11.8%, Condos -5.2%, Multi-Families +16.7%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Down:
    Single Families -9.5%, Condos -2.9%, Multi-Families -18.9%

Year Over Year, Sep 2021 vs Sep 2020, price increases slow
  • Median Sales Price Changes: 
    Single Families +6.2%; Condos +1.0%; Multi-Families -1.1%

  • Unit Sales Surge for Multi-Families
    Single Families -11.8% , Condos -19.4%, Multi-Families +31.3%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continues to Plunge For Singles, Condos:
 Single Families -29.1%; Condos -29.9%; Multi-Families -3.1%

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:

To Download the full housing report go to:


9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time



9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

Selling your home when you still need to shop for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the demand for new homes keeps rising, but the supply feels like it's dwindling.¹ You're not alone either if you're already feeling drained by the complex logistics of trying to sell and buy a new home all at once.  

Searching for a new home can be exciting, but many homebuyers admit that it can also be stressful, especially if you live in an unpredictable market with plenty of competitors. Unfortunately, waiting out a competitive housing market isn’t always the best idea either since listings are expected to remain limited in the most coveted neighborhoods for some time.²

That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller’s market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one. 

We can help you prepare for the road ahead and answer any questions you have about the real estate market. For example, here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.


This is an understandable concern for many sellers since the competitive real estate market makes it tough to plan ahead and predict when you'll be able to move into your next home. But chances are, you will still have plenty of options if you do sell your home quickly. It may just take some creativity and compromise.

Here are some ideas to make sure you're in the best possible position when you decide to list your home:

Tip #1: Flex your muscles as a seller. 

In a competitive market, buyers may be willing to make significant concessions in order to get the home they want. In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. 

This can be a great option for sellers who need to tap into their home equity for a downpayment or who aren’t logistically ready to move into their next home. However, many lenders limit the duration of a rent-back to 60 days, and there are liability issues to consider before entering into an agreement. A contract and security deposit should be in place in case of any property damage or unexpected repairs that may be needed during the rent-back period.³ 

Tip #2: Open your mind to short-term housing options. 

While it can be a hassle to move out of your old home before you’re ready to move into your new one, it’s a common scenario. If you’re lucky enough to have family or generous friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, you’ll need to find temporary housing. Check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage. 

You may even find that a short-term rental arrangement can offer you an opportunity to get to know your new neighborhood better—and lead to a more informed decision about your upcoming purchase.

Tip #3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

Instead of stressing about timing your home sale and purchase perfectly, consider making a plan to focus on one at a time. Selling before you’re ready to buy your next home can offer a lot of advantages. 

For one, you’ll have cash on hand from the sale of your current home. This will put you in a much better position when it comes to buying your next home. From budgeting to mortgage approval to submitting a competitive offer, cash is king. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty.


This is one of the most common concerns that we hear from buyers who are selling a home while shopping for a new one, and it’s realistic to expect at least some overlap in mortgages. To make sure you don't get into a situation where you are carrying dual mortgages for longer than you can afford, examine your budget and calculate the maximum number of months you can afford to pay both.⁴

If you simply can’t afford to carry both mortgages at once, then selling before you buy may be your best option. (See Tip #3 above.) But if you have some flexibility in your budget, it is possible to manage both a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps you can take to help streamline the process:

Tip #4: As you get ready to sell, simplify. 

You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the home renovations and tasks that matter most for selling your home quickly. For example, clean and declutter all of your common areas, refresh your outdoor paint and curb appeal, and fix any outstanding maintenance issues as quickly as possible. 

But don't drain unnecessary time and money into pricey renovations and major home projects that could quickly bog you down for an unpredictable amount of time. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

Tip #5: Prep your paperwork. 

You'll also save valuable time by filing as much paperwork as possible early in the process. For example, if you know you'll need a mortgage to buy your next home, get pre-approved right away so that you can shorten the amount of time it takes to process your loan. 

Similarly, set your home sale up for a fast and smooth transition by pulling together any relevant documentation about your current home, including appliance warranties, renovation permits, and repair records. That way, you're ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

Tip #6: Ask us about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts. 

Part of our job as agents is to negotiate on your behalf and help you win favorable terms. For example, it’s possible to add a contingency to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. 

This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of these types of tactics and what’s realistic given the current market dynamics.


When you're in the pressure cooker of a home sale or have been shopping for a home for a while in a competitive market, it's easy to get carried away by stress and emotions. To make sure you're in the right headspace for your homebuying and selling journey, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

Tip #7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable

Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Perfecting every detail with your home decor or timing your home sale perfectly isn't necessary for a successful home sale and compromise will almost always be necessary. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

Tip #8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention

Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor’s, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail. 

It's possible, for example, that seasonality trends may affect sales in your neighborhood. So a delayed sale in the summer or fall could affect your journey––but not necessarily. According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market tends to be more competitive during the summer and less competitive during the winter.⁵ But it's not a hard and fast rule, and every real estate transaction is different. That's why it's important to talk to a local agent about your specific situation.

Tip #9: Enlist help early.

Which leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do ahead of time to prepare your current home for sale, we'll also help you narrow down your list of must-haves and wants for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it’s time to list your house or make an offer on a new one.

It's our job to guide you and advocate on your behalf. So don't be afraid to lean on us throughout the process. We’re here to ease your burden and make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible.


Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. The key is to educate yourself about the market and prepare yourself for multiple scenarios. One of the best and easiest ways to do so is to partner with a knowledgeable and trustworthy agent. 

A good agent will not only help you evaluate your situation, we will also provide you with honest and individually tailored advice that addresses your unique needs and challenges. Depending on your circumstances, now may be a great time to sell your home and buy a new one. But a thorough assessment may instead show you that you're better off pausing your search for a while longer. 

Contact us for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward.


  1. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, FEDS Notes -
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED Economic Data -
  3. -
  4. -
  5. National Association of REALTORS -


Essex County Housing Report September 2021

Essex County September Housing Report 9/11/2021

Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold prices up strongly from last year, +7.7%, +15.4% and +16.4% respectively, reflecting the continuing inventory shortage and record low mortgage rates. 

Month Over Month, Aug 2021 vs July 2021

  • Median Sales Prices:
    Single Families 0.7%;  Condos 6.7%;  Multi-Families -4.1%

  • Unit Sales:
    Single Families 4.2%, Condos -1.1%, Multi-Families -4.3%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Down:
    Single Families -2.7%, Condos -7.4%, Multi-Families  -7.3% 

Year Over Year, Aug 2021 vs Aug 2020, prices up sharply as inventory plummets

  • Median Sales Prices Up Sharply: 
    Single Families +7.7%; Condos +15.4%;  Multi-Families +16.4% 

  • Unit Sales Surge for Multi-Families
    Single Families -4.4% , Condos -14.0%, Multi-Families +40.6%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continues to Plunge For Singles, Condos:
    Single Families -32.6%; Condos -32.1%; Multi-Families 14.5% 

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:

To Download the full housing report go to:


Essex County Housing Report August 2021

Essex County August Housing Report 8/10/2021 - Covid 19 Recovery

Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold prices up strongly from last year, +12.8%, +8.7% and +22.0% respectively, reflecting the continuing inventory shortage and record low mortgage rates.

Month Over Month, July 2021 vs June 2021

  • Median Sales Prices Softened - Price Resistance?:
    Single Families -5.5%; Condos -3.8%; Multi-Families +3.9%

  • Unit Sales Down Substantially - Low Inventory & Price Resistance?: 
 Single Families -9.3%, Condos -19.1%, Multi-Families -16.2%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Down:
    Single Families -10.3%, Condos -14.2%, Multi-Families -2.0%

    Year Over Year, July 2021 vs July 2020, prices up sharply, but unit sales down for Singles and Condos as inventory plummets

  • Median Sales Prices Up: 

    Single Families +12.8%; Condos +8.7%; Multi-Families +22.0%

  • Unit Sales Down for Singles and Condos: 

    Single Families -10.2% , Condos -10.4%, Multi-Families +38.8%.

  • Active Listings (Inventory) Continue to Plunge for Singles and Condos:

    Single Families -39.8%; Condos -40.2%; Multi-Families +0.7%

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:

To Download the full housing report go to:


Essex County Q1, 2021 Housing Report

 Essex County Q1, 2021 Housing Report 4/10/2021 - Covid 19

 Quarter 1, 2021 vs Q4, 2020: Sold Prices were soft and Sold Units and Active Listings plunged. 

Year Over Year, Inventory fell to record low levels but prices up strongly.

Quarter 1, 2021 vs Quarter 4, 2020 

  • Median Sales Prices rose only for Multies:
    Single Families -1.8%;  Condos +0.0%;  Multi-Families +3.7%
  • Unit Sales Plunged for Singles, Condos and Multis:
    Single Families -62.3%, Condos -54.1%, Multi-Families -44.2%.
  • Active Listings Plunged to record lows:
    Single Families -46.9%, Condos -38.4%, Multi-Families  -29.9% 

 Year Over Year, Q1 2021 vs Q4 2020

  • Median Sales Prices Up Double Digit: 
    Single Families +10.4%; Condos +10.6%;  Multi-Families +12.5% 
  • Unit Sales Mixed:
    Single Families -4.0% , Condos +8.8%, Multi-Families +12.4%.
  • Number of Active Listings Plunged to Record Lows:
    Single Families -51.6%; Condos -39.4%; Multi-Families -28.0% 


Essex County Housing Report July 2021 - Covid Recovery

Essex County July Housing Report 7/10/2021 - Covid 19 Recovery

Single Family, Condo and Multi-Family median sold prices still rising at a very high rate, 22.8%, 12.5% and 16.4% respectively from last year’s depressed Covid-19 Sales 😮 . This trend is not sustainable. The rate of price increases is starting to drop.

Month Over Month, June 2021 vs May 2021

  • Median Sales Prices Mixed:
    Single Families +3.3%; Condos -2.3%; Multi-Families +1.3%

  • Unit Sales are Surging: 
    Single Families +37.5%, Condos +34.6%, Multi-Families +30.5%.

  • Active Listings Remain Weak:
    Single Families +4.0%, Condos -0.3%, Multi-Families -6.9%

    Year Over Year, June 2021 vs June 2020, Sales and Prices Up Sharply from Depressed Covid Sales while Inventory Plummets

  • Median Sales Prices Sharply Higher: 

    Single Families +22.8%; Condos +12.5%; Multi-Families +16.4%

  • Unit Sales Explode: 

    Single Families +28.1% , Condos +40.9%, Multi-Families +122.9%.

  • However, Active Listings Continue to Plunge:

    Single Families -45.4%; Condos -40.0%; Multi-Families -17.0%

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:

To Download the full housing report go to:


Could Rising Home Prices Impact Your Net Worth?


Could Rising Home Prices Impact Your Net Worth?

Learn how to determine your current net worth and how an investment in real estate can help improve your bottom line.

Among its many impacts, COVID-19 has had a pronounced effect on the housing market. Low home inventory and high buyer demand have driven home prices to an all-time high.1 This has given an unexpected financial boost to many homeowners during a challenging time. However, for some renters, rising home prices are making dreams of homeownership feel further out of reach.

If you’re a homeowner, it’s important for you to understand how your home’s value contributes to your overall net worth. If you’re a renter, now is the time for you to figure out how homeownership fits into your short-term goals and your long-term financial future. An investment in real estate can help you grow your net worth, build wealth over time, and gain a foothold in the housing market to keep pace with rising prices.

What is net worth?

Net worth is the net balance of your total assets minus your total liabilities. Or, basically, it is what you own minus what you owe.2

Assets include the cash you have on hand in your checking and savings accounts, investment account balances, salable items like jewelry or a car and, of course, your home and any other real estate you own. 

Liabilities include your total debt obligations like car loans, credit card debt, the amount you owe on your mortgage, and student loans. In addition, liabilities would include any other payment obligations you have, like outstanding bills and taxes.

How do I calculate my net worth?

To calculate your net worth, you’ll want to add up all of your assets and all of your liabilities. Then subtract your total liabilities from your total assets. The balance represents your current net worth. 


Total Assets – Total Liabilities = Net Worth


Ready to calculate your net worth? Contact us to request an easy-to-use worksheet and a free assessment of your home’s current market value!

Keep in mind that your net worth is a snapshot of your financial position at a single point in time. Your assets and liabilities will fluctuate over both the short term and long term. For example, if you take out a loan to buy a car, you decrease your liability with each payment. Of course, the value of your asset (the car) will depreciate over time, as well. An asset that is invested in stocks or bonds can be even less predictable, as it’s subject to daily fluctuations in the market.

As a homeowner, you enjoy significant stability through your monthly real estate investment, also known as your home mortgage payment. While the actual value of your home can fluctuate depending on market conditions, your mortgage payment will decrease your liability each month. And unlike a vehicle purchase, the value of your home is likely to appreciate over time, which can help to grow your net worth. Right now, your asset may be worth significantly more than it was this time last year.3

If you’re a homeowner, contact us for an estimate of your home’s market value so that you can factor it into your net worth calculation. If you’re not a current homeowner, let’s talk about how homes in our area have appreciated over the last several years. That way, you can get an idea of how a home purchase could positively affect your net worth.

How can real estate increase my net worth?

When you put your real estate dollars to work, it’s possible to grow your net worth, generate cash flow, and even fund your retirement. We can help you realize the possibilities and maximize the return on your investment.

Property Appreciation

Generally, property appreciates in one of two ways: either through changes to the overall market or through value-added modifications to the property itself.

  1. Rising prices

This type of property appreciation is the one that many homeowners are enjoying right now. Buyer demand is at an all-time high due to a combination of record-low interest rates and limited housing inventory.At other times, rising home prices have been attributed to different factors. Certain local conditions—like a new commercial development, influx of jobs, or infrastructure project—can encourage rapid growth in a community or region and a corresponding rise in home values. Historically, home prices have been shown to experience an upward trend punctuated by intermittent booms and corrections.5

  1. Strategic home improvements

Well-planned and executed home improvements can also impact a home’s value and increase homeowner equity at the same time. The type of home improvement should be appropriate for the home and in tune with the desires of local buyers.

For example, a tasteful exterior remodel that is in keeping with the preferences of local home buyers is likely to add significant value to a home, while remodeling the home to look like the Taj Mahal or a favorite theme park attraction will not. A modern kitchen remodel tends to add value, while a kitchen remodel that is overly expensive or personalized may not provide an adequate return on investment.

  Investment Property

You may be used to thinking of investments primarily in terms of stocks and bonds. However, the purchase of a real estate investment property offers the opportunity to increase your net worth both upon purchase and year after year through appreciation. In addition, rental payments can have a positive impact on your monthly income and cash flow. If you currently have significant equity in your home, let's talk about how you could put that equity to work by funding the purchase of an investment property.

 1. Long-term or traditional rental

A long-term rental property is one that is leased for an extended period and typically used as a primary residence by the renter. This type of real estate investment offers you the opportunity to generate consistent cash flow while building equity and appreciation.6

As an owner, you don’t usually have to worry about paying the utility bills or furnishing the property—both of which are typically covered by the tenant. Add to this the fact that traditional tenants translate into less time and effort spent on day-to-day property management, and long-term rentals are an attractive option for many investors.

 Short-term or vacation rental 

Short-term rentals are often referred to as vacation rentals because they are primarily geared towards recreational travelers. And as more people start to feel comfortable traveling again, the short-term rental market is poised to become a more popular option than ever. In 2020 alone, in the thick of widespread travel bans, the short-term rental platform Airbnb’s market share of the hospitality industry reached as high as 41 percent.6

Investing in a short-term rental offers many benefits. If you purchase an investment property in a top tourist destination, you can expect steady demand from travelers while taking advantage of any non-rented periods to enjoy the home yourself. You can also adjust your rental price around peak demand to maximize your cash flow while building equity and long-term appreciation. 

To reap these benefits, however, you’ll need to understand the local laws and regulations on short-term rentals. We can help you identify suitable markets with investment potential.


Ready to calculate your personal net worth? Contact us for an easy-to-use worksheet and to find out your home’s current value. And if you want to learn more about growing your net worth through real estate, we can schedule a free consultation to answer your questions and explore your options. Whether you’re hoping to maximize the value of your current home or invest in a new property, we’re here to help you achieve your real estate goals.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. National Association of Realtors -
  2. Forbes -
  3. The Washington Post -
  4. Bloomberg -
  5. Federal Reserve Economic Data -
  6. Propmodo -


Essex County Housing Report June 2021

One year after Covid-19 decimated our economy & jobs,  May median prices up an astounding 29.6% for Single Families, 20.9% for Condos and 26.5% for Multis from last May.  Year over Year Active listings continue to plunge.

          Month Over Month, May 2021 vs April 2021

  • Median Sales Prices Up Strongly:
    Single Families +5.7%; Condos +10.2%; Multi-Families +1.1%

  • Unit Sales Up for Singles and Condos Down for Multis: 
 Single Families +14.3%, Condos +8.1%, Multi-Families -4.8%.

  • Active Listings Still Falling:
    Single Families -0.2%, Condos -12.4%, Multi-Families -10.0%

    Year Over Year, May 2021 vs May 2020 Up Sharply from Depressed Covid Sales - not sustainable

  • Median Sales Prices Sharply Higher: 

    Single Families +29.6%; Condos +20.9%; Multi-Families +26.5%

  • Unit Sales Hot: 

    Single Families +18.2% , Condos +70.9%, Multi-Families +46.3%.

  • However, Active Listings Continue to Plunge:

    Single Families -49.9%; Condos -41.0%; Multi-Families -22.5%

To view data for every Essex County town, go to:

To Download the full housing report go to:


Finding the Right Home for Right Now


Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

Imagine the first place you lived as a young adult. Now imagine trying to fit your life today into that space. Not pretty, right? 

For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical.1 A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical to heat and clean. It’s no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase. 

While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbor’s or friend’s, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. No one wants to regret their home purchase, and taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.

The Newly Married or Partnered Couple

The financial and legal commitment of marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries, though these days more couples are buying homes without exchanging rings. In the last few decades, changing demographics have shifted the median age of first marriage and buying a first home into the late 20s and early 30s, planting most newly married or partnered buyers firmly in the millennial generation.2,3 But no matter your age, there are some key factors that you should consider as you enter into your first home purchase together.

Affordability is Key

There’s no doubt about it—with high student loan debt and two recessions in the rearview mirror, many millennials feel that the deck is stacked against them when it comes to homeownership. And it’s not just millennials—Americans of all ages are facing both financial challenges and a tough housing market. But stepping onto the property ladder can be more doable than many realize, especially in today’s low mortgage rate environment. 

While many buyers are holding out for their dream home, embracing the concept of a starter home can open a lot of doors.4 In fact, that’s the route that most first-time homebuyers take—the average home purchase for a 20-something is about 1,600 square feet. While the average size increases to around 1,900 square feet for buyers in their 30s, it’s not until buyers reach their 40s that the average size passes 2,000 square feet.5

Chosen carefully, a starter home can be a great investment as well as a launchpad for your life together. If you focus on buying a home you can afford now with strong potential for appreciation, you can build equity alongside your savings, positioning you to trade up to a larger home in the future if your needs change.6

Taking Advantage of Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are historically low, making now the perfect time to purchase your first home together. A lower interest rate can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, which can significantly increase the quality of home you can get for your money. 


But what if both halves of a couple don’t have good credit? You may still have options. First, boosting a credit score can be easier than you think—simply paying your credit cards down below 30% of your limit can go a long way. But if that’s not enough to boost your score, you might consider taking out the mortgage in only the better-scoring partner’s name. The downside is that applying for a mortgage with only one income will reduce your qualification amount. And if you take that route, make sure you understand the legal and financial implications for both parties should the relationship end.

Commute and Lifestyle Considerations

Whether you’ve lived in a rental together for years or are sharing a home for the first time, you know that living together involves some compromises. But there are certain home features that can make life easier in the future if you identify them now. The number of bathrooms, availability of closet space, and even things like kitchen layout can make a big difference in your day-to-day life and relationship. 

Your home’s location will also have a significant impact on your quality of life, so consider it carefully. What will commuting look like for each of you? And if you have different interests or hobbies—say, museums vs. hiking—you’ll need to find a community that meets both your needs. Need some help identifying the ideal location that fits within your budget? We can match you with some great neighborhoods that offer the perfect mix of amenities and affordability.

The Growing Family

Having kids changes things—fast. With a couple of rowdy preteens and maybe some pets in the mix, that 1,600 square foot home that felt palatial to two adults suddenly becomes a lot more cramped. Whether you’ve just had your first child or are getting to the point where your kids can’t comfortably share a bedroom any longer, there’s plenty to consider when you’re ready to size up to a home that will fit your growing family. 

The Importance of School Districts

For many parents, the desire to give their kids the best education—especially once they are in middle and high school— surpasses even their desire for more breathing room. In fact, 53% of buyers with children under 18 say that school districts are a major factor in their home buying decisions.7 Of course, better funded (and often higher ranking) schools correspond to higher home prices. However, when push comes to shove, many buyers with kids prefer to sacrifice a bit of space to find a home in their desired location.

But when you’re moving to a new community, it can be tough to figure out what the local schools are actually like—and online ratings don't tell the whole story. That’s why talking to a local real estate agent can be a gamechanger. We don’t just work in this community; we know it inside and out.

Lifestyle Considerations

For many families, living space is a key priority. Once you have teenagers who want space to hang out with their friends, a finished basement or a rec room can be a huge bonus (and can help you protect some quieter living space for yourself). 

A good layout can also make family life a lot easier. For example, an open plan is invaluable if you want to cook dinner while keeping an eye on your young kids playing in the living room. And if you think that you might expand your family further in the future, be sure that the home you purchase has enough bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate that comfortably. 


Try to think about how each room will fit into your day-to-day. Are you anticipating keeping the house stocked to feed hungry teenagers? A pantry might rise to the top of the list. Dreading the loads of laundry that come with both infants and older kids (especially if they play sports)? The task can be much more bearable in a well-designed laundry room. Imagine a typical day or week of chores in the house to identify which features will have the biggest impact.

Chances are, you won’t find every nice-to-have in one home, which is why identifying the must-haves can be such a boon to the decision-making process. We can help you assess your options and give you a sense of what is realistic within your budget.

The Empty Nesters 

When we talk about empty nesters, we usually think about downsizing. With kids out of the house, extra bedrooms and living space can quickly become more trouble than they’re worth. While the average buyer under 55 trades up to a larger home, buyers over 55 are more likely to purchase a smaller or similarly sized but less expensive home. Even in the highest age groups, the majority of home purchases fall in the single-family category. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, by the time buyers reach their 70s, the median home size drops to 1,750 square feet.5 But there’s plenty for empty nesters to think about besides square footage.

Maintenance and Livability

What factors are driving your decision to move? Identifying those early in the process can help you narrow down your search. For example, do you want to have space for a garden, or would you prefer to avoid dealing with lawn care altogether? What about home maintenance? In many cases, a newer home will require less maintenance than an older one and a smaller one will take less time to clean. You may also want to consider townhomes, condos, or other living situations that don’t require quite as much upkeep. 

Lifestyle Considerations

Many empty nesters have retired or are nearing retirement age. This could be your chance to finally pursue hobbies and passions that were just too hard to squeeze into a 9-5. If you’re ready to move, consider how you’d like to spend your days and seek out a home that will help make that dream a reality. For some, that might mean living near a golf course or a beach. For others, being able to walk downtown for a nice dinner out is the priority. And with more time to spend as you wish, proximity to a supportive community of friends and family is priceless. 

Ability to Age in Place

Let’s face it—we can’t escape aging. If you’re looking for a home to retire in, accessibility should be front-of-mind.8This may mean a single-story home or simply having adequate spaces on the first floor to rearrange as needed. While buying a home that you plan to renovate from the start is a viable option, being forced into renovations (because of the realities of aging) a few years down the road could seriously dig into your nest egg. Location matters, too—if your family will be providing support, are they close by? Can you easily reach necessities like grocery stores and healthcare? While it’s tempting to put it out of our minds, a few careful considerations now can make staying in your home long-term much more feasible.

Finding the Right Home for Right Now

One thing is for sure—life never stands still. And your housing needs won’t, either. In the United States, the median duration of homeownership hovers around 13 years.9 That means many of us will cycle through a few very different homes as we move through different life stages. At each milestone, a careful assessment of your housing options will ensure that you are well-positioned to embrace all the changes to come.

Whatever stage you’re embarking on next, we’re here to help. Our insight into local neighborhoods, prices, and housing stock will help you hone in on exactly where you want to live and what kind of home is right for you. We’ve worked with home buyers in every stage of life, so we know exactly what questions you need to ask. Buying a home—whether it’s your first or your fifth—is a big decision, but we’re here to support you every step of the way.

We support the Fair Housing Act and equal opportunity housing.



  1. Freddie Mac -
  2. PRB -
  3. Experian -,by%20real%20estate%20marketplace%20Zillow
  4. Nerdwallet -
  5. NAR 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report -
  6. Investopedia -
  7. NAR 2019 Moving With Kids
  8. Kaiser Health News -
  9. National Association of Realtors -,varies%20from%20area%20to%20area

Essex County May Housing Report May 10, 2021

One year after Covid-19 decimated our economy & jobs,
Single Family median prices up an eye-popping 20.8% from last year. 


Month Over Month, April 2021 vs March 2021

  • Median Sales Prices Up for Singles and Multis and Down for Condos:
  • Single Families +10.9%;  Condos -4.5%;  Multi-Families +7.2%
  • Unit Sales Up Sharply, Buyer Demand Is Strong:
    Single Families +35.9%, Condos +13.3%, Multi-Families +30.2%.
  • Active Listings Down as we move into Spring:
    Single Families -2.1%, Condos -1.4%, Multi-Families  -9.4% 

Year Over Year, April 2021 vs April 2020

  • Median Sales Prices Up Double Digit for Single Families and Multis: 
    Single Families +20.8%; Condos +8.5%;  Multi-Families +25% 
  • Unit Sales Up Sharply:
    Single Families +23.9% , Condos +31.4%, Multi-Families +78.3%.
  • However, Active Listings Continue to Plunge:
    Single Families -51.7%; Condos -34.5%; Multi-Families -34.6% 



To view data for every Essex County town, go to:

To Download the full housing report go to: