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On the Mark for Active Adults: Lois Rantzer on The Real Deal, episode 007

Selling your family home and moving into an Active Adult Community can be a difficult life transition. If you need help exploring your options one person who is happy to take the journey with you is our guest Lois Rantzer, Sales Associate with Re/Max First Choice Realtors II. Lois shares with us the different types of communities available for the 55 and over crowd and how her expertise in that area helps her buyers make a good decision for their individual lifestyle. As co-owner of On the Mark Home Staging, Lois can help sellers prepare their home for sale. She shares with us some tricks for making a home more appealing to buyers. She also discusses how other successful Realtors can benefit from her home staging expertise. Thanks for joining us, Lois! 

Lois Rantzer, Realtor with Re/Max First Choice Realtors II and co-owner of On the Mark Home Staging,



The NJ Lakeside Specialist: Geri Wilson on The Real Deal, episode 006

Geri WilsonChoosing which lake to live on is no easy choice – unless you take the help of someone who has been selling, buying and living on lakeside property in NJ for 25 years! That someone is our special guest Geraldine “Geri” Wilson, Sales Associate with Terrie O’Connor
Realtors. She describes how there are different lakes for different personalities. Day in and day out Geri helps folks evaluate their preferences regarding lake living, and then she educates them on the details of the various lakes to make sure they end up ecstatic after they purchase their lakeside property.  One of the biggest concerns for buyers is potential flooding, which Geri expands upon in this interview. And did you know that instead of a well, some folks get their water right from the lake?! Since lakeside property is always on demand there is always a low inventory of available homes. Start early – contact Geri to begin the process even if your purchase may not happen for a while.  Thanks Geri!

Geraldine “Geri” Wilson, Sales Associate with Terrie O’Connor Realtors,,


Dynamic Duo Sets the Stage for Success: Valerie Picardi and Marie Dasaro on The Real Deal, episode 005

Valerie Picardi (Real Estate Strategist) and Marie Dasaro (Home Staging Specialist) discuss their unique working relationship and how it adds to their incredible success helping folks buy and sell homes. For starters, they have an extreme level of trust with each other as well as with their clients. They also discuss the impact home staging can have on the selling process. One major benefit of home staging (along with having a proper inspection done early on) is that fixing potential issues ahead of time will cost a small fraction of what the buyer will demand from you s what Valerie and Marie specialize in.   And of course nothing can compare to relating to people with true empathy and genuinely listening – practices that come naturally to Valerie and Marie. Thanks to our guests!

Valerie PicardiValerie Picardi, Real Estate Strategist,





Marie DasaroMarie Dasaro, Home
Staging Specialist and Sales Associate,

Exceptional Realtors and Support Staff: Doug Radford on The Real Deal, episode 004

Doug RadfordAfter 25 years in real estate, Doug Radford brings his A game to The Real Deal show. He shed light on his organization, Realty Executives, and how they propel their 250 exceptional realtors by backing them up with an all-star support staff which includes administrative processors, marketing folks, graphic designers, an internet syndicator, closing agents, and PR folks from his Fairfield, NJ office. Doug absolutely loves surrounding himself with talented people and then bringing out their best skills and talents. Host Bob the Broker and Doug also discussed how in the largest real estate companies it’s all about building their brand, not about building the realtors brand and reputation. Doug’s company has literally reversed this by providing broad based marketing for the agents so they get the credit, not the firm. Thanks to you, Doug!

Doug Radford, President of Realty Executives., 973-575-6700,

Set Fee, Full Service: Dan Desmond on The Real Deal, episode 003

Dan DesmondOur guest Dan Desmond is a real estate industry leader in so many ways. He swears by set fee commissions instead of percentage based commissions. For the past 25+ years he has been doing things differently- helping homeowners save tons of money when selling their homes. He focuses on Ocean County and the Jersey Shore. Dan says professionals charge fees, salespeople charge commissions. For instance- does the doctor as for your tax return before he quotes you a price? Wonderful insights – Thanks Dan!

Dan Desmond, Real Estate Broker,

Wall Street to Main Street, John Haydu on The Real Deal, episode 002

JohnHayduJohn Haydu, real estate agent, started in real estate when the industry was awful and he’s found a way to build his business. Tapping into his 15 years experience on Wall street, he knows more about the business after 5 years experience than most realtors with 20+ years experience. John gets a ton of referrals which is proof of his worth as an agent. He understands it’s an ever changing market and understands the new tools available today. Thanks for clarifying so many important aspects of buying and selling real estate, John!

John Haydu: Real Estate Agent,


Flat Fee Real Estate Commissions, Joe Kerouac on The Real Deal, episode 001

JoeKerouac.bookJoe Kerouac, author of Out of Commission and owner of Command Realty, was a guest on our inaugural show.  Joe and show host Bob the Broker talk about Joe’s book, which positions a case for flat-fee commissions in the real estate industry.  Joe’s mission is to continually bring down the costs of buying and selling real estate for the consumer, while increasing the income of the newly defined “best” agents in the industry.  *Receive 25% off his book by using code “RealDeal” when purchasing the book at .

Joe Kerouac, Author of Out of Commission, Owner of Command Realty,

Help for Underwater Homeowners: HARP 2.0

Many homeowners still struggle today with high loan rates on big mortgages based on formerly bloated home values. Qualified homeowners are taking advantage of historically low refinance rates to lower their monthly mortgage costs. However, millions are “under water” with loans that are higher than their homes’ current value, and therefore do not have enough equity in their homes for a traditional refinancing transaction.

For underwater homeowners, there is hope in HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP was initiated in 2009 for those whose mortgages are owned by government entities Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The federal government has recently liberalized the qualification guidelines so that more homeowners can participate, lower their mortgage rates, and pay down their loans more efficiently.

What’s New with Harp?
The overall goal in the revamped HARP 2.0 program, which ends December 31, 2013, is to allow more eligible borrowers and lenders to participate more easily. The basics are that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie & Freddie, has removed the ceiling on the accepted loan-to-value (LTV) ratio-the percentage of the loan amount to the property’s value. High LTVs= greater risk to lenders so this figure determines fees that borrowers are charged for their loans. Formerly the LTV ceiling to qualify for HARP was a whopping 125%. In fact, In some cases an appraisal is not even required!

To qualify for HARP, homeowners must meet all the program criteria including:
* A Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan-sold to either entity on or before May 31, 2009.
* The current loan-to-value ratio must be at least 80% .
* Current on their mortgage with no late payments in the last 6 months and only one late payment in the past 12 months.

HARP 2.0 has been released and guidelines do vary from lender to lender, so contact your mortgage professional for more information and to see if you can qualify.

Robert Snyder
Mortgage Advisor
Silex Financial Group, Inc.
Cell: 973.495.8925
Fax: 973.966.1063
nmls #207771

Drive More Traffic To Your Open House

There is always business out there, you just have to hustle and think outside the box to find it.  Gone are the days of sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring.  If you are like most real estate agents then hosting open houses is something you routinely do to create more business.  The goal is simple when hosting an open house: expose your name to the neighborhood, help showcase your clients listing and MOST importantly make contact with new prospects that need a Real Estate Professional. 

There is nothing “outside the box” about an open house.  The question is, are your open houses successful or do you spend the time reading the Sunday paper.  If you’re cutting coupons on Sunday afternoons then maybe you need to stop advertising your open house in the local newspaper and find new ways to draw a crowd.  Today open house advertising on the Internet has become THE way to drive traffic.  With fewer and fewer people buying newspapers and the advent of smartphones, Wi-Fi hotspots and notebook computers, open house advertising has moved almost entirely to the web

One strategy I really like is the use of Facebook ads.  Facebook ads work much the same way as other Pay Per Click ads, however, there are a few significant differences.  The biggest difference and key is that Facebook allows you to target your ads so they are seen by your specific demographic (i.e. Age, Sex, Location and often their interests).  Facebook ads are great because you can start with low budgets, analyze results and make changes.  Facebook ads also allow you to target based on profile key words, so they can be more effective than search ads.

If you are going to spend a Saturday or Sunday hosting an open house you owe it to yourself to make it a success.

Robert Snyder

Mortgage Advisor

Jacob Dean Mortgage

Cell: 973.495.8925

Fax: 973.966.1063

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If you are in need of a mortgage in Morris County, Middlesex County, Sussex County, Bergen County or anywhere in New Jersey please give me a call!

Fall 2011: The New Lower Conforming Loan Limits Are Coming

For anyone in the New York/New Jersey area this is very important!

As of now, the temporary conforming loan limits are set to expire on September 30, 2011. There has been some recent chatter inn Congress about extending these limits. Barney Frank recently said that he believes the Obama administration will support keeping the loan limits where they’re at now. He also told the WSJ he believes many House Republicans will support doing so, given current housing market concerns.

“I think there’s a very real chance they’ll get extended,” Rep. Frank told the WSJ.

“Temporary loan limits” were enacted in 2008 as part of the government’s economic stimulus package. This was because private money left the mortgage market, home buyers that were unable (or unwilling) to bring a large enough downpayment to get their respective loan sizes to $417,000 or less found themselves without financing.

20 percent down didn’t matter anymore. You had to bring as much money as needed to get to the magic $417,000 number.

In areas like New York and New Jersey this left a large sector of the housing market a complete disaster.

In February 2008, to help more Americans get financing, and to help the housing market recover quicker, Congress agreed to let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitize mortgages for more than $417,000, based on local home prices.

The “variable loan limit” concept proved to be a success and was later rolled into the 2008 Housing and Recovery Act which made “high-cost areas” permanent, but with a slightly different formula. Under the Housing and Recovery Act, loan size limits are not to exceed $625,500.

The Housing and Recovery Act limits take effect October 1, 2011 — one day after the original, temporary limits expire.

Starting October 1, 2011, today’s high-cost conforming loan limits will be reduced in the New York/New Jersey area from $729,750 to $625,500. This means that home buyers will have to bring an extra $104,250 to the closing table if they want to avoid having to pay jumbo mortgage rates. Fixed jumbo mortgage rates are traditionally higher than conforming fixed ones.

Mortgage rates may still be low come October, but you may not be eligible for them because of your loan size. Refinancing households should pay attention, too. You won’t be able to refinance a $729,750 mortgage to new conforming loan without paying $104,250 at your closing toward your loan balance.

October 1, 2011 is coming up quick. If you’re buying a home this fall, or thinking of a refinance, make sure you act sooner rather than later. The clock is ticking. As we have seen recently, we cannot rely on Congress to get anything done!

Robert Snyder

Mortgage Advisor

Jacob Dean Mortgage

Cell: 973.495.8925

Fax: 973.966.1063


Check Out My You Tube Channel!

Become a Fan: Facebook

Follow Me On: Twitter

If you are in need of a mortgage in Morris County, Middlesex County, Sussex County, Bergen County or anywhere in New Jersey please give me a call!