Home buyers enter the process with one of two mindsets. There are those who know what kind of house they want – the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type of kitchen and maybe whether or not they want a yard. Then there are those who know where they want to live, such as a specific school district or neighborhood, but haven’t completed a wish list of home features.
Seldom does a buyer tell his/her real estate agent that she wants a “three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a gourmet kitchen, a fireplace and a pool in the backyard, located on J Street in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood.”
While it’s important for your real estate agent to know what features you want in a home, “location, location, location” is just as important, important, important.
Even if you know exactly what you want in a house and perhaps have one picked out, it’s important to scope out the neighborhood before committing fully to buying.
Don’t Believe What You Hear
Especially when you are new to an area, it’s easy to believe what residents tell you about the various neighborhoods. Remember, however, that everyone has different opinions and personal tastes. When someone says, “This town’s schools are not as good as that town’s schools,” keep in mind that everyone has differing needs, wants and preferences. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.
There is nothing quite like first-hand information. If good schools are important to you, do the research yourself instead of relying on what others consider “good.” GreatSchools.org lists schools’ test scores and features reviews from parents.
Crime statistics can also be found online. You can also call the police or sheriff’s department in the area for more information on crime statistics.
Google maps are great for figuring out routes from the new house to your job, to a particular school, or to the nearest shopping center and they give you the mileage and a rough estimate of the time it will take to get there. You can also use Google maps’ earth view to see what’s around the neighborhood – are there railroad tracks running behind the property? Is there a huge water tank nearby? Is the property too close to a highway for your liking? What’s that large industrial-looking building one block over?
A lot of your preliminary neighborhood research can be done online, but it’s not a substitute for actually checking out the neighborhood in person.
If you commute to work, you should take “a test drive.” Whether that’s driving, taking the train or bus, it’s a good idea to actually make the commute during normal commute hours to see if it fits your lifestyle. You don’t want to settle into a home only to find out that the commute is a nightmare — far worse than you had expected.
Drive through the neighborhood at different times during the day and evening, on both weekdays and weekends, looking for anything that may be considered an annoyance. Is the street much busier during the weekday rush hour than you had anticipated when you first saw it on a quiet Sunday afternoon?
You may also want to drive around to see how far it is to stores, schools, parks, gyms, houses of worship, and other places that are important in your life.
If you don’t drive, walk the neighborhood. Locate the nearest public transportation stop and see for yourself what the walk is like to the store and other local conveniences.
Check Municipal Records, Local News
Check the neighborhood and surrounding area for anything that may impact the home’s value. Look for things like a high number of foreclosures nearby, new developments in the works, and upcoming zoning changes. You can also find out a lot about what’s going on in a town or neighborhood by reading a local newspaper or checking out a local Patch.com if there is one for that town.
Find a Local Agent You Can Trust
Especially if you’re moving to an area that is new to you, it’s important to find a local agent who is familiar with the area(s) you’re considering. You want to make sure you find a trusted real estate professional who knows the neighborhoods, the schools, the shops, the restaurants, distances to highways, etc. – all the factors that are important to you when considering where to live.
If you’re considering a move to Northern New Jersey, give me a call. I have lived here my whole life and can help you with the inside info you need to find the perfect home.
Can it be that Spring has finally sprung? When warmer temperatures come, refresh your home with an annual spring-cleaning, including important maintenance tasks for the interior and exterior. Not only will it give your house a “face-lift,” it will make your home more comfortable and will help prevent costly repairs later.
Here are the essential tasks for both inside and outside your home.
Exterior Spring Maintenance
You can start your spring-cleaning and maintenance either inside or outdoors, according to your preference. Since some things take a little longer than others, don’t feel like you must do it all in a day or even a weekend. Spring lasts several weeks!
Take a good look at your roof. Scan for missing shingles, uneven surfaces indicating damage, or other evidence that the roof needs repair.
Clean your gutters and check your downspouts. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing a ladder, hire someone to do the work for you.
Inspect your home’s foundation. Look closely to ensure leaks (usually indicated by damp or discolored spots) and cracks have not formed, and repair as needed. Consult a professional for large cracks that may signal foundation failure.
Clean your chimney. If you burn wood in a fireplace or wood stove, a spring-cleaning attacks the creosote while it’s fresh. If you’re comfortable on your roof, you can DIY. Otherwise, hire a professional chimney cleaning service.
Wash your windows. Substitute a mixture of half vinegar and half hot water for professional glass cleaning products.
Switch out storm windows for screens, and doors as well. Mend any torn screens immediately to prevent small insects from entering.
Check porches, decks and other structures for signs of rot or damage. Repair as necessary. Use this opportunity to power wash and refinish patios, decks and porches if needed.
Schedule an HVAC system check and tune-up. Replace ventilation filters at the same time. Yearly maintenance and regular filter changes help extend your HVAC unit’s life.
Turn on the water to outside faucets. Hook up water hoses and ensure everything works properly.
Check your siding or brick. Keep an eye out for termites, carpenter ants, pest damage, evidence of water leaks, holes or other damage. Repair as appropriate.
Inspect your sidewalks and driveway. Sweep clear of debris and ensure the walkways are level and safe for everyone. Hire a professional to repair these areas if necessary.
Clean out your garage. Get rid of trash or chemicals that may create a fire hazard. Sweep out dirt and debris. Look over the garage door, ensuring it seals well and any automatic opener is in good repair. Also check the garage door opener’s safety sensors.
Interior Spring Maintenance
Test every ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet in your home. To test, plug in a portable item such as a nightlight or alarm clock. Press the “test” button on the outlet – it should turn the item off. At the same time, the “reset” button should pop out. When you push the reset in again, power should come on once more. Consult an electrician for assistance or information.
Check each smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your house.
Clean your carpets. Carpeting can harbor millions of germs, bacteria, mites, and a variety of other contaminants. Even carpet that looks clean may be dirtier than you think. Perform a DIY deep cleaning or hire carpet cleaners to do it for you.
Test your basement sump pump if you have one. Pour a 5-gallon bucket of water into the reservoir. The sump should start. If it doesn’t, consult a professional. During spring’s heavy rains, this item will help keep your basement dry; you don’t want it to fail when you really need it.
Clean any ceiling fans. Reverse the blade direction to ensure it directs the air down, with the blades turning counterclockwise.
Dust exhaust fans such as those in the bathroom.
Test the door seals on your refrigerator and freezer. Insert a dollar bill between the door and frame, and then close the door. If you can slip the dollar bill free, you need a new door seal. Check the interior temperature with a thermometer. Also, pull out the appliance and clean the coils on back. Dirty coils can lead to higher electric bills and appliance damage.
Depending on your home and situation, you may have other appliances and areas that need attention. Every spring, inspect your entire home, keeping an eye out for things that will help keep you comfortable and ready for the rest of the year.
Ramsey, NJ Real Estate offers a variety of home styles, including Colonial, Ranch, Contemporary,Cape Cod,
Tudor, Bi-Level and Split Level. Currently single-family homes for sale range from $325,000 to $2,695,000.
Ramsey, NJ Real Estate
Ramsey has an appearance of pastoral serenity, yet is vital and modern in every respect. Ramsey real estate is popular due to the community’s “Main Street” filled with shops and restaurants, convenient train station and proximity to major highways. Splendid recreational facilities such as swimming, tennis, junior football, soccer, and baseball for both boys and girls form a cornerstone of this fine community.
The Ramsey Golf and Country Club provides year-round family fun and sociability for its resident members. The more newly developed west side of this town has a section of ultra-contemporary homes which are delightfully in concert with the sophistication of the more traditional luxury homes.
Ramsey public schools, which includes four year Ramsey High School, does and outstanding job of preparing its youth for future endeavors. It is a warm, active community that enjoys a small town congeniality.
Search Ramsey homes for sale here:
48 Dundee Court, Mahwah, NJ
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The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for the increased competition of the spring might make a lot of sense.
Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory available in most markets currently, a seller will be in a great position to negotiate.
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Nice, private location is the setting for this condo that offers complete one-floor living! No stairs! Living room/dining room combo, kitchen with newer ss appliances, washer/dryer in unit. Two bedrooms, good closet space. Sliding glass door leads to private patio area.
Tenant responsible for all utilities, broker fee, and 1.5 month security deposit. No pets. Credit check and interview required.
More info at www.SearchNorthJerseyRealEstate.com
For a private showing, call 551-427-6343.
Comedy: Jo Koy
Bananas Comedy Club
283 Rt 17 South
Hasbrouck HeightsContact Information:
Bergen County Audubon Society Birdwatch
Teaneck Creek Conservancy
20 Puffin Way
Play: Funny Girl
Fair Lawn Community Center
10-10 20th Street
Fair LawnContact Information:
Chamber Music Concert
FDU Edward Williams Hall
1000 River Road
Laurel Hill County Park
Fort Lee Farmers Market
8:00 AM- 2:00 PM
Fort Lee Community Center
1355 Inwood Terrace
Fort LeeContact Information:
Ramsey Farmers Market
9:00 AM- 2:00 PM
Ridgewood Farmers Market
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Closter Farmers Market
9:00 AM- 2:00 PM
Music: School of Rock Concert
1409 Queen Anne Road
Music: Tyler Hilton
1409 Queen Anne Road
NY Jets vs Pittsburgh Steelers
1 MetLife Stadium
East RutherfordContact Information:
Concert: Mariinsky Orchestra
1 Center Street
Concert: Lesley Gore
1 Center Street
Adorno Fathers Country Fair
8:00 AM-6:30 PM
575 Darlington Avenue
County High School Soccer Tournament
7:00 AM-9:00 PM
Mahwah High School
50 Ridge Road
Spin-a-thon to Benefit American Cancer Society
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
Ethos Spa & Fitness for Women
85 Godwin Avenue
Midland ParkContact Information:
Closter Landing History Hike
Alpine Boat Basin
PIP Exit 2
Mahwah 10K, 5K & Kid Run
Wood-Ridge Mayor's 5K Run
Wood-Ridge High School
Live Irish Music
Tommy Fox's Public House
32 S Washington Avenue
Concert: Carrie Jackson and Her Jazzin' All-Stars
100 Ridge Road
All-Seasons Chamber Music Concert
FDU Hackensack: Edward Williams Hall
150 Kotte Place
Ramsey Junior Woman's Club Touch-A-Truck Event
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Ramsey Train Station
12:30 PM & 2:00 PM
Tenafly Nature Center
313 Hudson Avenue
Keller Williams Realty
257 E. Ridgewood Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
201-445-4300 x 222
Homes For Sale
Staging Your Home For Sale
The Towns Of North Jersey
Things To Do In North Jersey
Things To Do In North Jersey
Tips For Buyers
Tips For Homeowners
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