New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

What Homeowners Insurance Does and Doesn’t Cover

If you own a house, homeowners insurance is a necessity. A storm might damage your home, your belongings might be stolen, or someone might be injured. Without homeowners insurance, you would be responsible for paying those bills, which could easily total thousands of dollars. Homeowners insurance can protect you in many instances, but not always. It’s important to understand what a policy does and doesn’t cover.

What Homeowners Insurance Covers
A homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for specific perils, or things that could cause damage, injuries or losses. A typical policy will cover damage to your house caused by a storm or fire. A policy covers the house itself, as well as a garage, deck, porch or shed. If your home is damaged by a covered peril and you’re not able to live there...

How to Tell If a Neighborhood Is Right for You

When shopping for a new home, you have to consider more than just the house itself. You want to live in a neighborhood where you feel safe and connected to those around you and where you have convenient access to things that are important to you. Here are some things to consider:

What Matters to You?
Think about what the “ideal neighborhood” means to you. For some people, it means having a park nearby, while for others it means having local restaurants and concert venues. Make a list of what matters to you now and what might be important in the future, especially if you plan to have children later.

Education
Research the performance of local schools. This is important even if you do not have children now. If you decide to have kids in the future, the school system will...

What to Do If Your Roof Is Leaking

A roof is designed to provide many years of protection, but it can become worn out and damaged from weather, falling branches or time. Having your roof leak in a rainstorm is a situation you do not want to deal with, but it unfortunately happens often. If water is dripping or pouring from the ceiling, you need to hire a reputable roofing contractor to fix the problem as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage to your home and belongings.

Protect Your Property
Move your furniture out of the way or cover it with sheets or tarps to prevent damage. Get any electronics away from the leaky area to avoid irreversible damage. If water is falling steadily from the ceiling, collect it with a bucket, trash can or pot. You can put a board inside the container so that the falling...

What to Do If Your House Is Slow to Sell

If you recently put your home on the market, you want it to sell quickly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. When a house is slow to sell, it’s usually because of one of three things: price, appearance or marketing strategy.

Price
You need to set a reasonable price for your house. When determining an asking price, consider what comparable homes in the area were sold for recently, which may be less than the price you would like to get.

When you set a price, you need to consider the current condition of your house and any renovations the buyers would likely need to make. If the kitchen or bathrooms are dated, the roof needs to be replaced, or the HVAC system needs work, those are costs the buyers will need to incur. Those things need to be considered when you set your asking price. You can sell a house...

How to Spot Foundation Problems

The foundation provides support for your entire house, so keeping it level and in good condition is critical to the protection of the entire structure and the safety of your family. A foundation can become damaged by a variety of problems and natural occurrences. If you notice any of these warning signs, you should have your foundation inspected as soon as possible.

Cracks
The most glaring sign of a foundation problem is cracking in the foundation, walls or floors. This can be a result of movement in the soil that causes the house to sink. Even if a crack appears small, it can indicate that there is a serious problem. This should be addressed as soon as possible.

Settling or Heaving
You may notice that the house is settling or sinking on one side. This indicates a significant foundation problem...

Sherwin-Williams' Top 6 Colour Palettes for 2019

Wall colour is one of the first things buyers see when they enter a home. It’s also one of the quickest ways to establish a mood. Whether you want your home to feel stately and elegant, fresh and modern, or anything in between, the colour of your walls can play a big role.

So, if you’re a seller eager to grab a paintbrush and give your home an edge, you’ll be happy to know that Sherwin-Williams recently released their annual Colormix Color Forecast. They’re predicting these six colour palettes will be the most popular in 2019:

Shapeshifter
Featuring a selection of cool and modern blue tones, like Blue Sky, Celestial and Endless Sea, this collection also includes a contemporary yellow—called Nugget—and some neutral shades too. Sherwin calls this palette “visionary and creative,” and...

Hiring a Mover? Watch Out for These Red Flags

Hiring a mover to safely transport your belongings to your new home is not a decision that should be taken lightly. As your local real estate professional, I want to advise you on some red flags to keep in mind. This infographic offers an easy-to-follow breakdown of these warning signs.

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5 Renovations That Won’t Increase the Value of Your Home

While you’ve probably considered the various ways you can upgrade your home to increase its value, there are some renovations that won’t make a big dent on the overall value of your home when you’re ready to sell it. Here’s a few options that won’t give you the big return on investment you might be expecting.

New Furnace and Gutters 
While a buyer will appreciate a home with a new furnace, it’s not going to make them willing to pay more for the home than they would if it still had the previous furnace, since the life expectancy is around 30 years. Replacing these items when necessary are routine maintenance issues required to make your home perform its basic functions, not something particularly special or enticing.

Swimming Pool or Spa
While these seem like items that...

How to Prevent Mold

Mold inside a house can cause serious health problems, including sinus irritation, congestion, headaches and respiratory difficulties. The health effects of mold are more serious in children, pregnant women, senior citizens and people with respiratory problems.

Mold can grow in any moist environment, which makes a home a perfect breeding ground. Mold spores can accumulate on surfaces and travel through the air in a house. Here are some strategies to control the level of moisture in your home and prevent mold from taking hold.

Reduce Moisture Levels in Your House 
Walk through your house and look for areas where moisture tends to accumulate. The bathroom is an obvious one, but moisture is also often found in the kitchen, laundry room, basement and around windows.

Remove laundry from the washing machine quickly to avoid...

Expert Insights: Are 40-Year Mortgages a Good Idea?

While these are rare in today’s mortgage climate, the main reason buyers sign on for these type of loans, which add 10 years to the traditional 30-year mortgage, is to take advantage of smaller monthly payments.

According to real estate experts, the shorter-term loan is usually more advantageous for the home buyer. The drawback becomes apparent simply by calculating the cost of additional interest payments, which can total thousands for the privilege of just saving the difference of a few dollars in monthly mortgage payments.

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