New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

Fireworks are now legal in Philadelphia!

If you are thinking about setting off fireworks this New Year's Eve, go right ahead! It is now legal in Pennsylvania to use fireworks. 

New laws allow you to use fireworks (think: bottle rockets, fire crackers, multi-shot repeaters, roman candles and mortars). Restrictions should be followed (No fireworks inside buildings, motor vehicles or within 150 feet of an occupied structure.)

Have a fun and safe New Year's celbration!

For more information

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Expert Insights: How Does Refinancing Work?

With a refinancing, you pay off an old loan on your home and take out a new one, usually at a lower mortgage interest rate. To refinance, you will generally need to have equity in your home, a good credit rating, and steady income. You can borrow a percentage of the equity to cover remodeling costs, debt consolidate, and college tuition.

When you refinance, you will incur all the closing costs that go along with getting a new mortgage. So unless you’re doing extensive renovations and can get a mortgage interest rate at least two points below your current loan rate, you may want to select another financing option.

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What Homebuyers Really Want

When looking for a home, buyers often narrow their choices by determining wants vs. needs. As your local real estate professional, I thought you’d be interested in this breakdown of what homebuyers really want. The infographic shows some of the features that matter most to homebuyers, according to research from the National Association of REALTORS®-and the ones they’re willing to pay more for.

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Expert Insights: How Can I Protect My Home From Creditors?

Check with your state. It may provide special protection through the filing of a homestead exemption, which exempts some or all of the value of your equity in the homestead—or home that you live in and the land on which it sits—from claims of unsecured creditors.

Whether to file a homestead exemption will depend on your situation. Contact your county recorder’s office for details.

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Listings 101: Breaking Down Selling Terminology

First-time home-buyers are usually the clients that have the most questions, but being on the other end of a sale can be challenging as well. Often misunderstood are the different options for selling a home.

While many assume consumers simply tell their agents when they’re ready to sell, and then the home is listed on the market, there are several terms that you should know to ensure you are listing correctly.

Exclusive Right to Sell
With this contract, the seller cannot list the property with any other agent and must pay the agent’s commission even if someone else finds a buyer. Even if a friend of yours decides to buy your home, the listing agent will still earn the sales commission. If another cooperating agent is involved, the commission is typically split between the agents. The...

The Cost of Homeownership

How much goes or should go into a down payment? On average, how much can you expect to spend on utilities on a monthly basis? Here are some important things to consider when calculating the real cost of homeownership. 

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Trouble Above? How to Take Care of Your Ceiling Cracks

Cracks in ceilings can be a sign of a larger problem, or they may be nothing but a cosmetic issue. But when selling a home, all flaws in the ceiling require attention.

Most ceilings will develop a few cracks over the years that are harmless and not indicative of some bigger issue. Repairing these is a fairly simple process.

Start by removing loose paint and drywall with a utility knife. Next, cover the crack with mesh tape, centering the crack within the tape. Spread drywall joint compound over the tape, using the putty knife to make the compound flat. Don’t be afraid to use too much compound, because the next step is to sand down any ridges after the compound has dried. Be sure not to sand the tape away.

The final steps are to prime and paint. Painting the entire ceiling is best so that...

When It Rains, It Pours—Protecting Yourself With an Umbrella Policy

Just as an umbrella can protect you from the rain, an umbrella insurance policy can shield you from lawsuits if something unfortunate happens at your home.

Homeowners insurance usually includes some liability coverage to protect your assets if someone is injured at your home. Umbrella policies can go beyond the $300,000 liability insurance that most insurers require of a homeowners policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

If your home or assets are worth more than $300,000, or if you’re worried that someone might injure themselves on your front step and will sue you for over that amount, then an umbrella policy could be worthwhile. The potential loss of future income is another consideration, since your future wages could be garnished in a lawsuit.

A $1 million umbrella policy...

Finding Functionality for Every Room

You probably have a room in your house that doesn’t get used much or is just acting as storage for your “extra” stuff. Empty nesters are especially prone to having a bedroom that is no longer used and has become messy and unorganized over time.

Rooms like these are an opportunity when selling a house. Presenting a room in a creative way can appeal to buyers who visit your home. Anyone buying a home is going to expect bedrooms, dens and living rooms, so transforming a spare room into something unique is sure to be noticed. Here are some ideas for turning that bonus room into something special quickly and without a high cost.

Recreation Room
Buyers with kids are sure to appreciate a room that promotes family time. While playrooms filled with toys are common, a room where everyone can gather and interact...

The Many Faces of Home Buying

Buying a home can be a very emotional process, but don’t get lost in the roller coaster. I’m here to help you navigate through these emotions, so contact me today!

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