New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

Home Hosting Tips You Need for the Holidays

Hosting guests in your home for the holiday season can be a joyful–but stressful–situation. As excited as you may be to have your friends and family join you for your next holiday event, without proper planning things can go from stressful to tense very quickly. These tips will help ensure that you and your home are truly ready for your guests this year.

Begin Early

There is a murphy’s law of holiday hosting; no matter how long you expect preparations to take, it always takes longer. Start early this year. You will thank yourself as the event gets closer. If you are preparing food for a big holiday dinner, take inventory of necessary ingredients and asses what items can be made in advance, and how soon.

Declutter

Few things...

New to Home Buying? Here’s Why You Should Consider a Starter Home

When people think about their first home, rarely do they think about small rooms, little closet space or a yard that barely has room for some lawn chairs. But for those who want to buy their first home, especially millennials just starting in their careers, sometimes they need to realize that their dream house is probably not going to be the first house they buy.

Starter homes should not be considered “bad” though, and many of these homes have great character and provide people with that same great feeling of being a homeowner. After all, the idea of finally buying a home is to gain that independence and call something your own.

By buying a starter home, you will be on the road to establishing credit, which will be helpful when you’re ready to move on to your next home. It’s...

Tips for Designing a Dramatic Powder Room

All too often, powder rooms are an afterthought in home design. Being small and utilitarian, they just don’t get the same attention as the rest of the house. For some designers, however, that’s exactly why you shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance and be bold in the powder room. It’s the perfect way to introduce some surprising flair to your home and make it more memorable!

Here are five tips for designing a powder room that’s worth getting excited about:

Tactile Textures and Bold Patterns
The walls are going to define the ambiance in such a small space, making them a good area to focus on first. Ornate patterns that would be too overbearing anywhere else in the house can be fun to use here and provide...

How to Clean Your Gutters in 5 Steps

It might not be anyone’s favorite chore, but cleaning your home’s gutters is an essential maintenance task not to be overlooked. When leaves, sticks and other gunk clog your gutters, it can lead to serious and costly issues, such as foundation problems, leaky basements and attic damage.

To help keep your home in good shape and save money, you should clean your gutters at least two times a year, depending on where you live, which types of trees you have on your property and other factors.

HomeAdvisor suggests following these five steps to debris-free gutters:

Step 1: Get Prepared. Put on a long-sleeved shirt and heavy rubber gloves to protect yourself from sharp edges on your gutters. Also, be sure to...