New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

3 Important Tips for New Homeowners

Buying a new home is an exciting experience, especially when it’s your very first home purchase. In the midst of the excitement and celebration, there are some steps you shouldn’t ignore. Now is the time to get your ducks in a row to ensure that your first year of homeownership goes as smoothly as possible.

Embrace Your Inner Handyman
Learning as much about home maintenance and DIY projects as you can will serve you well when beginning your journey into homeownership. Find a local hardware store and see what classes they offer. Many hardware stores offer workshops on everything from painting walls to installing a kitchen backsplash. Make it a priority to hone your general handiness around the home so that when you are presented...

Why the Amount of Equity You Have Is Important If You Want to Refinance Your Mortgage

Refinancing your home loan could help you lower your interest rate and monthly payments. Lenders look at many factors, including the amount of equity an applicant has, to decide whether to approve a refinance and what terms to offer. 

Conventional Mortgage Refinance 
Conventional lenders set their own requirements when it comes to the amount of equity needed to refinance a mortgage. It’s generally easier to qualify for a mortgage refinance if you have at least 20 percent equity, but some lenders will approve an application from a homeowner with less equity and charge higher fees and interest rates. 

If you have less than 20 percent equity, you’ll most likely need to have private mortgage...

Should You Gut and Remodel Your House or Tear It Down and Rebuild From Scratch?

If your house needs major work, or if you’re unhappy with certain features of the overall design, you have to decide whether to remodel it or to demolish it and start over. That will depend on the nature and scope of the problems, local zoning laws and your budget.

What is the Condition of the House?
Have your house inspected by a professional builder. If you don’t have construction experience, you most likely wouldn’t be able to accurately assess the condition of essential components, such as the foundation and roof.

Think about whether the house meets your family’s needs. Also consider how long you plan to live there. If you’re planning to sell the house in the future, ask...

Should You Paint or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets?

So you’ve got new kitchen cabinets. Congratulations! But now what? For those wondering how to finish their brand-spanking-new cabinets, we run down the pros and cons of painting vs. staining—the two most popular finishing avenues. The kitchen is one of the most important factors in your home’s value, so consider how the following information impacts your real estate investment.

Pros for paint
– It’s flawless. Regardless of the color you choose, painting your cabinets covers up any quirks or blemishes in the natural wood, which can often be magnified by staining.

– Your color choices are endless. When it comes to picking a paint, the world is your multi-colored oyster. Get crazy and really customize the look and feel of your...

Simple Tricks to Keep Your Closet Organized

Clothes, shoes, belts, bags. Are these items taking over your closet? Get organized without the hassle of an overhaul or the cost of hiring a professional. These simple tricks will help keep your closet clean and keep you stress-free each and every time you get dressed. 

Use the Back of the Door
More often than not, the closet door is nothing more than the entry to your wardrobe. By maximizing this vertical space, you can easily organize your accessories. Attach hooks, decorative knobs, towel bars, a cork board and even a mirror. This organizational hack will make it easier to mix and match jewelry, belts and other accessories to your favorite outfits in no time. 

Install Some Hooks
...

Wise Ways to Avoid Wind Damage

There doesn’t need to be a hurricane or a tornado for a wind event to wreak havoc on your property. In fact, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, branches can start breaking off when winds reach 40 miles per hour, and entire trees can be uprooted when winds reach 55 miles per hour. According to Hippo Insurance, extreme wind—exceeding 100 miles per hour—and hail are responsible for the largest share of property damage claims in the U.S. between 2013 – 2017.

Preparation is your best defense against damage due to wind, say the experts at Hippo, who offer the following advice to help protect your home and your family before a wind event occurs:

  • Start by taking a good look around your property and secure or store anything that’s not firmly...

3 Ways to Keep Your Home Mold-Free

In addition to being unsightly, mold in your home can create numerous health problems, from breathing issues to skin irritations, fevers and more. Below are some tips for keeping your home mold-free.

Treat topically. Homeowners often have their own mold-murdering solution they prefer. Whether you prefer vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or bleach, clean surfaces monthly to keep mold growth under control. Make sure you research your topical solutions before applying them – bleach to a painted wall can discolor it.

Add ventilation. In addition to removing mold when it pops up, adding ventilation to an under-ventilated space can be key in keeping mold at bay. Your bathroom and basement are prime mold spots, so decide whether or not you should add an extra window to open the space....