New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

6 Things You Should Know About Homeowners Insurance

If, as is often the case, your home is your biggest investment, it stands to reason you want to protect it against damage, theft or other disasters. Your lender, who also has a stake in the property, wants to protect it, too. In fact, they will require proof of insurance coverage before you can close on the purchase.

If you are ready to purchase homeowners insurance, here are six things you need to know:

1.  There Are Different Types of Policies.

Policies differ in terms of what they cover, so be sure you understand what you are buying. Does the policy protect you in case of any disaster except those omitted in the policy, such as flood damage? Does it include total replacement coverage? Coverage if someone is hurt on your property,...

Why You Should Check Your Crawlspace After It Rains

A rainstorm can provide much-needed water for your lawn, but it can also damage your home and endanger your family’s health. A crawlspace under a house is supposed to stay dry no matter the weather. In addition to the possibility of water leaking into a crawlspace when it rains, you need to be concerned about groundwater rising and flooding the area. You should check your crawlspace after a rainstorm and take action immediately if you find water.

Why a Flooded Crawlspace Is Dangerous
Water in a crawlspace can cause mold to grow on hard surfaces and insulation. Spores can get into the ventilation system, spread throughout your home and cause headaches and respiratory problems that could threaten your family’s health, especially if members have asthma or other...

How to Prevent Electrical Fires and Injuries

Electrical fires and accidents can result in property damage, shocks, burns and even death. Many tragedies can be prevented by using electrical outlets, cords and appliances correctly.

Use Plugs and Outlets Safely
Plugs should fit snugly into electrical outlets. If a plug is loose, it or the outlet is likely damaged. Have a broken outlet replaced by an electrician. If a plug is damaged, you may need to have the appliance repaired or replace it. If a plug has three prongs, never try to force it or alter it to make it fit into a two-pronged outlet.

When you unplug an appliance, hold the plug securely. Pulling on the cord could wear it out and cause damage to the appliance or outlet, an electrical shock, or a fire.

Young kids are often fascinated by electrical...

Do Driveways Matter? Absolutely!

When a potential homebuyer comes by to look at your home, they will most likely park their car and walk to the front door via the driveway. And that means one of the earliest impressions they will have of your home in-person is of the driveway itself.

While we tend not to think much about this, a driveway can say a lot about a home and its owner. For instance, if it has lots of cracks and mud and old wood piled on the sides, it could leave an impression that you didn’t care much for the house and tended to let things fall into disrepair.

That’s why a clean, good looking driveway and walkway are important. Even if they don’t even notice, it’s better than someone noticing a flaw with your home.

A well-built, well-maintained asphalt driveway adds curb appeal...

Expert Insights: How Can I Finance a Remodeling Project?

There are many ways to finance a remodeling project. If you have equity in your home, a good credit rating and steady income, you can refinance your mortgage and borrow a percentage of the equity to cover remodeling costs. Refinancing is a good option if you can get a mortgage interest rate at least two percentage points below your current home loan rate. Other options include a second mortgage, a home equity loan or an unsecured loan. Less popular options: margin loans, which are taken against securities you own, and loans from retirement plans, life insurance policies and credit cards.

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Home Sweet Home: 8 Tips to Help You Settle Into Your New Zip

Now that the dust has settled and your belongings are put away, it’s time to get a lay of the land. Whether you moved a few houses down the street or across state lines, settling into a new location can be a fun adventure…so long as you’re ready to put in the work it takes to get acquainted with the area you now call home.

Having trouble taking that first step? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Get the Family Involved. Exploring a new place may feel like a monumental task, so divide and conquer by getting the whole family involved. Task one person with finding good places to eat, another with compiling a list of places to visit—and so on—and before you know it, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy.

Step Out of Your...

5 Steps to Take Before Buying Your First Home

House hunting is an exciting process, especially when it’s your first home. While it may feel stressful and overwhelming at times, there are ways to make the search easier. Here are five steps to take before looking for your dream home:

1. Set Your Budget. The first thing you need to do before looking at any homes is set your budget. It’s a waste of time to look at homes that are out of your price range. If you aren’t sure what your budget should be, try an online calculator that tells you how much home you can afford. Knowing how much you can spend allows you to filter home options by price. The best way to find out how much you can afford is by getting pre-approved.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. When you’re serious about buying a home, you should...

How to Find the Down Payment for Your First Home

If you’re in the market for buying your first home, chances are you have some money saved but you might be worrying a bit about having enough for the down payment. This is especially true for millennials just a few years into the workforce who probably are just learning why their parents always told them to save some of their paycheck each week.

Sure, the prospect of saving enough might be difficult to digest when you’re eager to get house hunting, which is why sometimes it makes sense to explore some other means to get the money.

Below are some helpful hints to find the down payment you need.

Family:
Deep down you might be too proud to ask your parents for a handout, but that’s probably the easiest way for you to get the...

Should You Accept Less Than Your Asking Price?

You want to sell your house for as much money as possible, but buyers are looking for bargains. You might list your home for what you consider a fair price and receive an offer that’s significantly below that. If you’re disappointed by a low offer, don’t get upset. Negotiating is a normal part of the real estate process. The fact that you received an offer at all means someone is interested in buying your home.

Is the Offer Reasonable?
You may feel insulted by a low offer, in part, because of your strong emotional attachment to your home. If you’ve lived there for decades and shared special occasions with loved ones, it’s obviously more than just a house to you. To a buyer, however, it’s not yet their home but often a piece of real estate, and the process...

The 4-1-1 of Contingencies

A word that anyone who is going through a house sale should know is “contingency.”

And along with that, understand that just because a bid is accepted, doesn’t mean that the deal is going to go through.

How it works: A bid is made with the understanding that it is contingent on having the house inspected, with the buyer needing to approve the results. Contingencies are part of any standard contract and define the efforts that must be done before a deal is finalized in addition to the inspection, such as financing, insurance and agreed-upon repairs.

All of this is necessary because if something that was agreed upon is not done as stated, the potential buyer has an out. For instance, suppose the sale was contingent upon...