New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

How to Become a Maintenance Pro as a New Homeowner

Congratulations on your new home! You survived the paperwork. You got all your belongings moved in and everything unpacked. You even got a lawnmower, some power tools and a massive tool chest. Now what?

Many new homeowners don’t even think about home maintenance until something breaks, but that’s not the best way to take care of your new home. Here are some tips to help you protect your investment and keep your property in good shape for years to come:

Set a Maintenance Schedule
A good place to start is by following a home maintenance schedule. Just as your car needs to have an oil change and checkup regularly, your home and yard will need some regular maintenance, as well.

If you bought new appliances, make sure you send in your warranties...

6 Renovations for the Average Joe

Hoping to renovate or remodel a space yourself? While certain jobs should be left to the pros, there are a few you can tackle yourself, regardless of your level of experience.

Painting: This is the easiest and most obvious quick fix, but it can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your space.

Molding or Wainscoting: If you like the look of wainscoting on walls, you will be pleased to know you can do it yourself. You will need even, flat walls, wainscoting paneling, baseboard and rail if necessary, and glue or nails.

Medicine Cabinet: Have an hour, a stud finder and a drill? You can hang a medicine cabinet as you would a painting, so long as you choose a cabinet that can mount directly...

How to Make Your Home More Heat Efficient

Heating (and cooling) your home can be one of the priciest expenses in homeownership. But if you know what to invest in, your home can retain all the heat and cool air you need to get through the coldest winters and the most humid summers. A home that is heat efficient may also sell faster, giving you a high ROI, so take the time to make these improvements now, before you’re ready to sell.

Cavity Wall Insulation
If your property was built between 1920 and 1980, there’s a high chance it was built with cavity walls, as that was seen as the best way to trap heat at the time. Nowadays, we have insulation to fill that cavity and trap heat even more. It’s worth investing in this insulation, as it could save you hundreds off the yearly heating bill—a big appeal to potential buyers.

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How to Upgrade Your Kitchen on a Limited Budget

For many families, the kitchen is the focal point of the home. Since it’s used so frequently for cooking and sharing meals, the kitchen should be warm, inviting and well organized. If you’re unhappy with the current state of your kitchen, you can make some improvements without breaking the bank.

Paint
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to brighten up your kitchen is to paint. If you’re tired of plain white walls, consider a brighter color, or paint an accent wall with a vibrant hue that will catch people’s attention.

Kitchen cabinets can become faded and dull over time. If your cabinets are looking worn, you do not have to replace them. A fresh coat of paint can be enough to make them look like new.

Change Hardware...

Should You Lower Your Asking Price or Keep Waiting for a Buyer?

It can be frustrating to have your home on the market for a month or longer and not receive a single offer. You may question whether you’re asking for too much money and consider lowering the price. While this could prove to be the right move, you might also come to determine that your house is slow to sell for a reason that has little to do with the price.

Possible Reasons Your House Hasn’t Attracted a Buyer
If dozens of prospective buyers have looked at your home, but you haven’t gotten an offer, they could all be passing on it for the same reason. If people have offered suggestions or criticism, take that to heart, especially if the comments are about issues you can fix. For example, if potential buyers have noted the need for repairs, or have commented on the home’s dated appearance,...

Make Moving Easier With a Checklist

Moving is a double-edged sword. On one hand, there’s the excitement of moving into a new home (maybe your dream home!), but the logistical hassles sometimes make it hard to get too excited about the whole thing. One thing that’s always helpful? A checklist. Here’s what to include:

Book your movers in advance
For certain times of the month, movers get booked up fast. Book sooner rather than later, as this gives you time to get organized, as well as ample time to compare rates and services. If you live in a condo (or are moving into one), don’t forget to book your elevator, as well.

Throw away what you don’t need
Before you start packing, make sure you declutter. This is helpful if you’re downsizing, but also a great way for...

What to Do If You Suspect Your House Has Mold

Mold is extremely common and can develop slowly, often without homeowners being aware of it. Some types of mold are harmless, but black mold can cause headaches, coughing, sneezing, and irritation of the eyes or nose. It can also aggravate existing health problems, such as asthma. Often by the time a mold problem is identified, it’s so serious that it requires expensive cleanup or renovations.

How to Find out If Your House Has Mold
Sometimes mold is visible, but often it isn’t. You may notice an unusual smell, or family members may have unexplained health issues. If you suspect you might have a problem, you can look for evidence of mold and sources of moisture. Check behind drywall or wallpaper, under ceiling tiles and carpet, inside ducts, and in walls around pipes...

3 Tips for Displaying Your Home Art Collection

For many luxury homeowners, having ample space to display their art collection is as important a feature as a state-of-the-art kitchen or spa-like bathrooms. Significant works of art require being exhibited in a way that does them justice—and it’s not just about high ceilings and expansive walls.

Whether you’re getting ready to mount your latest acquisition or you’re a serious collector looking for a new home that has a dedicated wing to serve as a gallery, here’s what you need to know about displaying your art at home:

Assess the Space

Consider how your wall space relates to your collection. Do you have large paintings that can hang by themselves or will you arrange several smaller works close together? If you’re going with the latter, try to group pieces that are connected...

Reasons Why a Homebuyer May Get Earnest Money Back

Earnest money is a sum that’s offered to show a party selling a house that a buyer is serious about proceeding with a purchase. It indicates that a buyer is genuinely interested and has the financial means to close the deal. An earnest money deposit can help one buyer stand out when compared to others and can help a buyer persuade a seller to make concessions in negotiations.

How Much Earnest Money Should a Buyer Offer?
The amount a buyer should offer as earnest money depends on the area and the price of the house. In a competitive market, a fairly large earnest money deposit is necessary to have a seller take an offer seriously. A real estate agent can offer a client specific guidance in that area.

How Is Earnest Money Handled?...

5 Expenses to Plan for When Flipping a House

Thanks to television, house flipping has swept the nation and inspired thousands of people to start investing in real estate. While this can be a quick way to make a lot of money, there are many hidden expenses and oversights beginner house flippers often miss. As a result, many people wind up spending far more than they bargained for when they decided to flip a property.

Thinking about getting into the business? Here are five expenses you’ll want to plan for before renovations begin:

Closing Costs
Most house flippers are working with a hard budget, so it’s important to know exactly how much you’ll have to pay for a property. Closing costs are typically 2 – 5 percent of the purchase price, so if you bought a fixer-upper for $90,000, you can expect to pay an additional $1,800...