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Patricia Romano

Your NJ Shore Real Estate Specialist

By Patricia Romano | Agent in Manahawkin, NJ
  • Romancing the Home: Love is in the Air

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Investment Properties in New Jersey  |  February 6, 2014 4:05 AM  |  75 views  |  No comments

    Romancing the Home: Love is in the Air

    When searching for a home, it is easy to fall in love with a property. Before you put in that offer though, ask yourself can you BE in love in the house? How a home stacks up in the realm of romance might take top tier in some peoples list of priorities, but even if it doesn't, issues like privacy, noise, temperature and certain amenities can definitely break up your love affair with a property.

    Loving a home and being in love in a home can go together. Look at properties that are well designed and maintained, easy to live in, and that are in areas that foster a sense of sanctuary, enabling people to be at their best. Homeowners that are seeking to amp up the warm feelings of love in their environment can find ways to evaluate homes with their own way of life in mind.

    Much of the romance of a home is in the ability to control the environment to fit and to create a mood. Some elements are malleable and can be enhanced with modifications of paint and furniture, additional lighting, and personal items. By spending a few dollars, you can add things that are missing or replace items that are broken, dated, or poorly conceived. However, other issues are more challenging and potentially cost prohibitive to correct: the size of rooms, older wiring systems that cannot support a modern load, too few bathrooms or placement of the home on the property.

    When assessing a property, here are some features to consider:

    Privacy How much privacy do you require from intruders, viewers, even other occupants of your home? How does the lay of the land or other buildings affect the privacy of your property? Having an audience or being the main attraction can take the romance right out of the air. In addition to the view you see or provide, think about noise. Are you constantly listening to your neighbors conversations? Will they be hearing yours? Do children or frequent guests to your home affect the romantic atmosphere? Separation of spaces might be a useful filter in the evaluation of a home. And what about bathing, dressing? Ensure that everyone sense of privacy can be achieved.

    View  Does it inspire, envelop, overlook, or make you a subject? Privacy issues aside, consider the views from different vantage points. What you see can enhance or detract from a romantic atmosphere, so pay attention to views room-to-room and in transitions around the home.

    Amenities  Are there features of a home, or luxuries that might be incorporated in a home that aid your romantic sensibilities? Many people like hot tubs, luxury bathrooms, large bedrooms, saunas or the benefits of well stocked wine cellars. If the home is lacking, can you add it? If the amenities are there, are they making up for something lacking? Consider rating and ranking amenities that are present and that could be added later. If there is a perfect place for the most idealistic of dreams, this could be a selling feature of the home  but the item might not be there, yet.

    Lighting, both natural and augmented, should provide what you want where you want it. Do you like a dark bedroom in the morning, or would the sunrise be a welcome view? How is the house oriented and how will the changing light affect different rooms? Are light fixtures adequate and up-to-date? Are lights able to be dimmed, allowing control over mood? Is there a fireplace for light and warmth, or a great place for a fire-pit outside?

    Ventilation/Heating and Cooling Temperate breezes through open windows can be quite enjoyable in the right environment. However, kitchen smells and other lingering odors can be a detractor and stifle any sense of ambience. Being able to control airflow and in turn to control temperature and olfactory stimulus can be a key factor in many climates, from hot to cold. Face it: there's nothing enticing about the smell of stale air, being too hot or too cold.

    Sound Some sounds add to a feeling of tension or discontent. Systems that produce noise like heating or cooling systems, dishwashers, ventilation fans, even refrigerators can be noisy when running. Consider a trial run to understand the noise load if you are sensitive to such things. Outdoor noise may be out of a homeowners control, but some newer homes have made advances to keep unwanted noise out. The addition of built-in speakers and audio systems enables additional control over the environment. Creating sanctuaries that attract song birds or water features that mask the sounds of traffic are also creative ways to add romance to the home.

    So in this Valentine's season, ponder the romance of a home, the romance that happens in the home and the ability to make a home romantic.

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    RE/MAX
    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    609-978-4046 ex 5115
    Direct cell- 609-312-9043- (A text message is fastest.)
    www.soldbypattie.com

  • The Real Value of a Renovation

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Investment Properties  |  December 18, 2013 7:36 PM  |  108 views  |  No comments

    The Real Value of a Renovation

    When evaluating a home that has been renovated one or more times, there are many ways to proceed. Establishing the value placed on a renovation requires some knowledge and looking so that you can understand pricing of a home. In this arena, real estate agents and home inspectors can be incredible assets as they have seen many, many homes and understand the market and condition of a house with a very keen perspective. In some cases, the buyer will be considering a renovation of their own, so understanding what has been done already will be useful in determining the direction and scope of the work at hand.

    The price of a home is essentially that which the seller is willing to accept. The value of renovations may or may not affect the offer, but the utility and quality of the renovation could swing a buyer's preference for the home. One important factor to remember is that the value of the renovation is not only received from the potentially higher sale price, but also in the enjoyment over time of the renovated home. This variable is more difficult to assess, and may be esoteric in nature, but most quality renovations are worth doing as soon as possible so that this additional enjoyment factor can increase the true value of the efforts of renovation.

    However, renovations can be expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient to the homeowner while they are being achieved. Many people who are not prepared for this suffer undue stress in their lives and relationships, and this cost is impossible to calculate. While the renovation may improve the value and enjoyment of the home, a deeper understanding of the market and a certain degree of luck combine to ensure that the sale price of the home will cover or exceed the cost of the renovation.

    The fundamental hope is that the money put into a renovation results in an increase in the sale price. Often renovations are needed to simply bring a home up to the value and standards of other homes in the vicinity. Completing major renovations to put a home on the market may be attractive if the buyer is seeking to flip the home“ that is buying an under-valued property, repairing it, and selling it at a profit. However, homeowners that are simply improving their own living space frequently run the risk of going over budget and over-valuing the work.

    The key to evaluating a renovation is understanding that balancing act behind the end result & what was achieved, how was it achieved, by whom was the work done, and with what materials. The budget, time and inconvenience, and the enjoyment of the renovation  along with understanding the market and the scope of the renovation all become part of the equation in determining its worth.

    How far did the renovation go? When all the fixtures and tile in that aging bathroom were replaced, did the owners replace the electrical wiring and water pipes, too? What are the pipes made out of? Copper or PVC, and what was the rationale? Ask the right questions and verify the answers during inspection to ensure that the project was completed as you expect it to be. If the wiring and pipes were in excellent condition and did not require replacement it is just fine to leave things alone. The key is to ensure that what was needed was actually accomplished. Doing too much or too little can cause a project to fail in the ultimate goal: to actually improve the home.

    The Best of the Best

    Workmanship is a job well done, whether by yourself or a hired professional, shows. Whether the job is cosmetic or a deeper fix, the work should be of high quality.

    Design well thought out and beautiful, with attention to use, style, scale, and materials; a great design can add the most value to the renovation.

    Utility the more something is used and enjoyed, the more the renovation is worth. Improved access, storage, or other everyday needs is among the most valuable work you can have done. When doorways, stairs or other access points get renovated  check for scale and materials that are user-friendly. Ensure that people can pass each other and that furniture can move where it is needed. Renovations that are difficult to use are a failure.

    Lighting lighting fixtures can be expensive and are very subjective. Consult with a lighting designer and use bright lights that are recessed and well-placed. Avoid the expensive, over-the-top dining room chandelier unless the intention is to use it for years.

    Electrical/Plumbing  renovation, knowing that the two greatest conveniences of modern living are up-to-date and functioning well is a huge benefit to a homeowner. Document all repairs and renovations and keep the information on hand to show the quality of the work, since it is hidden behind walls and more difficult to assess.

    Roof/Foundation/Windows  like electrical and plumbing, renovations that include improvements to a roof, windows or a foundation can add a measure of security as well as immediate and tangible value to a home. Preventing water damage and maintaining the structural integrity of the home is of the highest concern. Ensuring that quality work is done with an eye towards the style of the home is paramount in getting the highest return on this investment.

    Kitchen/Bathroom/Basement/Garage creating MORE timeless and classic space that is used frequently gets the most return in resale value. Storage is king in any of these spaces, but it should be useful and accessible.

    Worse than Bad

    Conversely, poorly designed renovations, including poor stylistic or configuration choices, shoddy workmanship or materials can deter a buyer or render your own renovation a failure. Avoid the trap of using the wrong materials: fixtures that are too big, or obviously bought because they were on sale/seconds, using the wrong windows, or inadequate materials for the project that wont hold up in the locale or manner of use.

    Fad renovations often lack long-term usability; that disco playroom or man-cave may look cool, but updating it again in a few years may be impractical. Everyone loves a steam room, sauna, billiard room or workout room, but maintenance and upkeep might make it less attractive. Furthermore, repurposing a bedroom or garage for a renovation of this sort removes spaces that future owners may find vital, so this further jeopardizes return on the investment.

    Some renovations don't go far enough. Redoing the kitchen or a bathroom without updating the wiring is an example of this. Putting in a bedroom, but failing to make it big enough or to follow the building code, is another example. Seek to find renovations that provide a lot of utility for the dollar, while accomplishing all that is actually required. If you really can't afford to renovate, perhaps waiting is a better idea.

    We all know when something is, Just a little a off. One of the worst things is a great idea, done well and with fine materials, that just misses the mark; perhaps there is a corner that always gets in the way or that constantly causes someone to get hurt, or maybe it is a cabinet that opens in the wrong direction. Measurements that are off and made right with a work-around, all of these little things end up making a good thing into a frustration.

    Don't bash a lot of bedrooms. Converting a little-used bedroom to an office is one thing, but build-ins can diminish the ability to use the room as a bedroom again, potentially limiting the use of the room in the future. Consider carefully before repurposing a bedroom in a manner that limits the future utility of the space. The number of bedrooms in a home greatly influences the homes value. At the same time, putting an extra bedroom in a basement is often a mediocre idea. Code requires two points of egress a door and usually a window with very specific requirements, which may be expensive. Additionally, basement bedrooms are often unattractive spaces that require special attention to ensure they are not cold and dark.

  • Hiring Help:

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Investment Properties in New Jersey  |  October 25, 2013 5:42 AM  |  150 views  |  No comments

     

    Whether you are in over your head or juggling too many tasks, hiring help can be a great idea. Projects can benefit from specialized expertise, more work can be accomplished at one time, and as a homeowner you can step back from the tasks at hand to get a wider perspective. The time and energy you save may more than offset the expense.

    However, trouble ensues when the wrong help is hired. Establishing what you want to accomplish is essential, so size things up thoroughly. When looking at a specific project or problem, you might benefit from having a few people look at it and offer ideas of how they might approach a solution. Sometimes the first ideas are not the best, and as you look at issues, new priorities emerge. Are you looking for an interim fix that will carry you through until you can do it right? What is the scale of the project and is the cost/benefit in line with your budget and goals? Asking the right questions will help you gain insight into the true nature of what you are doing.

    For example, let’s say that you have three projects at hand:

    1. You need cosmetic fixes to your guest bathroom.
    2. The deck that is central to your summer enjoyment is rotting and requiring a lot of time and attention so that it can be used safely.
    3. Your septic system is failing.

    How do you begin to find help for these projects? You might begin by understanding the level of help that you need. Do you want to supervise or do only a portion of the work? Do you need a handyman or general laborer? What are the benefits of getting someone more skilled with the type of help you require? What is the scope of the project? Will there be permitting/inspections involved with the project? Who is going to manage the project?

    A failing septic system becomes a health risk, and often requires sign-off by a licensed professional. Deck projects can fall into a grey area, but when incorrectly built could pose a major safety issue. When in doubt, inquire with your local building authority so that you are certain that you are following the correct course of action, and getting the permits and inspections that are required by law.

    Get referrals: Rather than trust your job to luck, find out if friends or family have used a person or service that they would recommend. Many online resources exist to help see the consumer ratings for businesses, but this information could be less than reliable, so check it thoroughly. Look for workers or service providers that are licensed, bonded and insured as protection for both parties should an accident occur on site, or problems with the project later incur liability. Licensure ensures a level of knowledge in an area, and insurance and bonding ensures that there are financial resources available should you need to bring a lawsuit against the service provider that requires a monetary settlement or costly repairs. Yes, you might be paying more for a professional with these credentials, but in the long run, it is worth it when working on any project where money or safety is at stake.

    Check those references! Yes, actually talk to people who have previously received services. Find out the details: Was the project finished in a timely manner, within budget, with quality work and materials? How was the communication? Were there surprises, and how were they handled? Was the area cleaned up to satisfaction? In the event that there was a problem after the work was complete, how was that handled? Check with the state department of licensing to see if there have been violations or lawsuits against an individual or company, and the Better Business Bureau can help determine if there have been complaints filed against the business. Look at samples of their work -- and talk to those whose projects have been shown. If you find someone great, let them know you might have more work -- and find out who they might recommend if they were not available!

    Face Value: Meet with the handyman or service provider and get a feel for how things might go if you hired them. If it seems difficult to discuss the project or work prior to beginning, imagine how things might go if the work gets challenging. Even if others recommend this person or service, you are the one who will be dealing with them now, so size them up for yourself.

    The Devil is in the Details: Get written estimates and contracts. Understand how payment is expected. Some short jobs are accomplished with no payment up front, other jobs require that materials are paid for as delivered, and some providers require some payment prior to the beginning of work. Arrangements that allow for payment once the job is completed ensure that the customer has some feeling of control over the job being completed to their satisfaction. Be certain that estimates and guarantees are in writing so that there is clear communication about expectations.

    Level 1: Your Local Handyman

    Finding a handyman is like searching for gold. When you find a good one, it is tempting to keep it a secret -- after all, this is a resource you can depend upon for fixes all over the home. From fixing cupboard doors to replacing the grout in the bathroom (project #1), a great handyman who is available, can communicate well, is capable of a wide variety of jobs, who can trouble-shoot and think outside the box  is worth quite a lot. The great thing about hiring a handyman is that they are paid by the hour (plus materials), and you can save up a list of smaller jobs that you would like to accomplish.

    Often, local handymen who are in business for themselves are not licensed, bonded or insured -- so they charge less, but there is a level of risk in using them that you will have to judge for yourself. Some companies provide handyman services, where the business ensures that there is proper insurance and bonding, but they are usually higher in cost to the consumer.

    Level 2: A Dedicated Service Provider

    If you are working on project #2, the deck, and you want it done quickly, you might opt to call in a decking company. Specialization allows for a greater understanding of options, sometimes better, more specific tools that make for efficiency in work, and often allows for a tighter schedule. After all, when a company focuses on a specific project, they know how long things take, they often have materials on hand, and they know where unexpected problems might occur. While the cards sometimes seem stacked in the company’s favor, the customer benefits from the expertise and experience of this specialized provider. Projects are usually bid by the job, taking the average hours into account and the specific materials needed to accomplish the job. Bids and estimates should be discussed in advance so both parties are aware of their binding nature. Understand how overruns or changes to the terms of the contract will be handled.

    Level 3: Hire a Contractor/Project Manager

    Some projects are just plain BIG. Say that deck project where you thought you were just going to replace a few boards reveals that the entire supporting system is rotten and a tear-down is needed. While you are at it, you decide to expand the deck, requiring some grading, and then you discover a crack in the foundation of your home that you couldn’t see because of the deck. You just might decide to hire a contractor who can do it all and stand by the work.

    Contractors who understand building from the ground up, and who are familiar with the permitting process can save you a lot of headaches. Of course they charge the most, but they understand workflow and can schedule laborers to work concurrently. They are likely to be licensed, insured, and bonded. Additionally, project #3, the failing septic system, might require someone who is able to understand and follow highly specific plans, submit reports and answer questions of inspectors. A general contractor might be just right for the job.

    Again, understanding the job, the process of work, materials acquisition, billing and payment cycles and other details will require a high level of communication and written documentation. Before settling on your contractor, get fully clear on the work to be done and be prepared for the help that you are hiring to be in your life for the duration of the job.

    Hiring help does get easier. The more projects you do and the more providers that you contact, the more your skills and network grow. Hiring help is actually a talent, and the more you do it, the better you get at finding the right providers. Having a checklist, gathering information and keeping organized as you gain information and understanding of your options ensures that the help you get is the help you really need. Your job of hiring the best help possible begins the process, and taking the time to hire great help will leave you celebrating a fantastic finished project.

    Email me at PattieRomano@aol.com

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    RE/MAX
    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    www.soldbypattie.com
  • Fall Fixes NOT to Nix

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Property Q&A in New Jersey  |  October 25, 2013 5:39 AM  |  139 views  |  No comments

    Fall Fixes NOT to Nix

    While spring may be the time for cleaning, fall is surely the time for fixing. Simple improvements can save money in utility bills as well as prevent costly repairs in the future. Like a well-played game of football, the homeowner needs a good playbook to get ahead in the game. The trick is, by the time it is October many areas might be into the first quarter -- well on the way to frigid temperatures  so prioritize and use this valuable time to the best advantage.

    Play it Safe

    A good bet is Safety First. Start simple: look at entrances and exits in and around the home and consider how they may be affected by the change in seasons. Look at safety issues around moisture, temperature and light. Are there areas that are particularly dark that need more lighting? Would motion-sensitive or timed lighting options be beneficial? Are there areas where debris collects and creates a safety hazard? Identify issues and resolve them now to minimize risk of injury later.

    During fall and winter months pathways, entrances and exits can become compromised. Sometimes the paths or stairways might become slick with ice, snow, water, leaves or even moss or algae growth. Be sure to clear and clean these areas, making repairs to cracked or uneven walkways, securing loose boards, ensuring safe passage. Additionally, having a place for shoes and gear when people enter a home so entrances and exits remain clear can prevent unnecessary trips and falls. In cooler climates, this is a good time to create space in hall closets for bulkier coats and to put out the umbrella stand. Perhaps providing a basket for gloves and a tray for wet shoes and boots, along with an absorbent entry mat to ensure that surrounding floors don't become wet and slick.

    Fall is an ideal time to clean gutters ensuring that water will not build up and overflow and either puddle or freeze. Additionally, while the ladder is out, look at the eaves and assess the roof. Look for signs that wildlife might have tried to gain access, and consider putting up hooks for holiday lights  after all, the ladder is out, and holiday lights will provide more light around the home in the dark months. Change any burnt out or flickering bulbs in outdoor areas, putting in energy saving bulbs so that lights may be left on longer without regard to cost.

    In areas prone to snowfall, ensure that supplies are stocked and functional. Snow shovels should not be buried behind all of the items accessed since last winter. A snow blower should be checked to see that it is in working order. Consider stores of sand and/or salt or kitty litter to help melt ice or gain traction. Any generators should be in good working order with fresh fuel that is properly stored.

    Conserving Energy

    Fixing anything to do with climate control is like getting first pick of the best players money in the bank. Many homeowners attend to issues around heating as a means of saving money on energy bills  and rightfully so. In many areas, heat is typically one of the largest winter expenses. The trick is to minimize drafts and to utilize the heat as effectively as possible. Begin by checking attic insulation levels and fill gaps with insulation appropriate for your climate.

    Next, windows and doors with cracked or broken glass or that are poorly sealed should be fixed. Additionally, if the seals at the bottom of exterior doors are not tight, consider replacing thresholds and/or door bottoms. Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to install along the top and sides of doors. Interior doors may benefit from “draft dodgers that stop air from cooler rooms from coming under the door, especially consider doors to basements and garages.

    Get that furnace or heat pump serviced, clean or change any filters, and ensure that all thermostats are in working order. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to optimize your energy consumption. Additionally, heating hot water and keeping it warm is a big energy draw. Ensure that the hot water heater is working well and that it is insulated if it is located in a cold location.

    Woodstoves and chimneys should be clean and ready for use. Employ a chimney sweep to check and clean them. Creosote build-up or debris from animals can start a fire in the chimney or stovepipe, which could ignite the roof.

    Drying clothes in a dryer also consumes a high level of energy. In cool and damp climates dryer vents tend to collect lint and may become clogged, making these machines much less efficient. Cleaning dryers thoroughly with a lint brush can also prevent fires from starting.

    Rain, Snow and Going with the Flow

    Regardless of temperature, water is one of the most damaging influences in a home. It can impact foundations, floors and walls, and introduce mold into the structure. Many areas experience increased precipitation in the fall and winter months which can open the door to unnecessary problems if preventative steps have not been taken.

    Visually inspect the roof for signs of damaged shingles and repair them prior to a leak. Check and clean skylights, inspecting the flashing and clearing leaves and debris. When cleaning gutters, remember that it is also important to see that water is directed efficiently away from the foundation, so be sure to install drainpipe extensions or other solutions that move water away from the foundation. And, not all water may be coming from the roof. Survey the area around the foundation for signs of standing water or run-off that brings water close to the house, driveway or walkways. In some cases changing the flow of water that comes onto a property might include installing a curtain drain or other water management plan.

    Protecting water pipes within the home is of key importance. If pipes freeze they may crack and leak, causing extensive damage throughout the home. Ensure that hose bibs are covered and that pipes in cooler areas of the home are protected with insulation or heat tape. In climates that are prone to winter storms or hurricanes, consider storm windows or shutters. If the home is in a low-lying area and has a basement, consider keeping a sump pump on hand in the event of a flooded basement.

    Take a good look at the paved areas. Repairing small cracks and holes in driveways and walkways in the fall will ensure that freezing water will not penetrate the asphalt or concrete and cause further damage.

    Engage the Grounds Crew

    Fall is a great time to tackle the vines that might be climbing a home, ruining the mortar between bricks or damaging the wood siding. Climbing vines hold moisture against walls which can rot wood clapboards, and the moisture can cause swelling of the wood and further damage when vines get between boards. Cut these vines back or remove them at the root.

    This is also a great time to trim those hedges or trees that might be potentially threaten the home or power lines if they fell. Trees that hang over roofs should be removed so that they don't provide a bridge for small animals to get onto the roof, as well as to protect from damage should branches break and fall.

    Pest Control: Defense or Offense?

    During cooler months, it is common for wildlife to want to move in to a home for warmth and shelter. Teams of mice and rats, squirrels and other animals can do damage to insulation and wiring, create unclean living situations, contaminate food, and keep people up at night with scratching and scampering. Carefully inspect possible sources of entry in the fall months and seal up any places where pests might gain access to the home.

    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has vast information about preventing and resolving rodent infestations. They recommend looking for any evidence of uninvited guests and possible access from inside the home in the following locations:

    • Inside, under, and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves
    • Inside closets near the floor corners
    • Around the fireplace
    • Around doors
    • Around the pipes under sinks and washing machines
    • Around the pipes going to hot water heaters and furnaces
    • Around floor vents and dryer vents
    • Inside the attic
    • In the basement or crawl space
    • In the basement and laundry room floor drains
    • Between the floor and wall juncture

    The CDC also recommends checking the following areas outside the home:

    • In the roof among the rafters, gables, and eaves
    • Around windows
    • Around doors
    • Around the foundation
    • Attic vents and crawl space vents
    • Under doors
    • Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines

    Defend the home by filling holes with steel wool, held in place with caulk. Squirrels and raccoons require larger holes and do even more damage, so cover larger holes with lath screen, metal, cement or hardware cloth to stop entry into the building.

    Assess the perimeters of buildings, inside and out, sweeping and raking debris away from walls. Remove woodpiles and leaves from around buildings. These areas are prime habitat for rodents and other pests, including termites and carpenter ants. In areas where problems persist, take the offense. Trapping or baiting with poison may be advised. Larger infestations may require the attention of trained professionals for control and cleanup.

    Surefire Storage

    Finally, when checking to ensure that the home is equipped with emergency supplies for seasonal storms, assess both the items stored and the storage area itself. Move seasonal items to where they will better serve in an emergency.

    Storage areas often are taken for granted, sometimes becoming damp or wet, or experiencing wide ranging temperatures. Consider making changes that might benefit the area including heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation and moisture control. Replace containers that are damaged or non-functional, and ensure that stored items are not in the way of heaters (a fire hazard) or entrances and exits. When storing items in a place that might be blocked as the result of stormy weather, be certain to have a plan for getting in should the need arise.

    The End Zone

    Making fall fixes part of an annual cycle ensures that a home is in healthy working order and ready to play the rest of the year; it is easy to see how simple preventative measures can pay off in the end. And like fall football, the best defense against trouble in the future is a good offense right now.  Need more tips- email me at PattieRomano@aol.com


    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    RE/MAX
    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050

  • Home Price Appreciation & Ownership

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Property Q&A in New Jersey  |  July 29, 2013 6:34 PM  |  820 views  |  3 comments

    How can I improve the value of my property?

    Outside of a homeowner's control, the biggest factor is market conditions. Other important issues are:

    • condition of the property
    • specific home improvements
    • neighborhood stability and safety

    The greatest rise in home prices occurs when the economy is strong and the number of home sales is increasing. Specific home improvements can increase the value above the cost of the improvements.

    • remodeled bathroom returns, 81 percent to the owner
    • bathroom addition, 89 percent
    • master bedroom suite, 82 percent

    Remember, quality pays. Well-planned and well-executed remodeling jobs are a good investment while bad work seldom enhances value or livability.

    The safety and security of a neighborhood can affect property values, too. If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate but give home values a boost, too.

    How can I increase the value of my property?

    Specific home improvements can increase your property value above the cost of the improvements themselves, such as remodeling a kitchen, adding a bathroom, finishing a basement or upgrading landscaping. Just be sure that quality pays with remodeling. A bad remodeling job will do little to boost your property value.

    If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate but can enhance property values, too. It also helps to live in an area where other homeowners are upgrading their homes, which can help pull up your property value, too.

    The bottom line is to measure the cost of any improvements you want to make against the overall values in your neighborhood. If you over improve for the neighborhood, you may not necessarily recover your costs or boost your property value significantly.

    Will buying a bigger home increase my profit?

    Consider these questions before making a choice between adding on to an existing home or moving up in the market to a bigger house:

    • How much money is available, either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel the current house?
    • How much additional space is required? Would the foundation support a second floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?
    • What do local zoning and building ordinances permit?
    • How much equity already exists in the property?
    • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy housing needs?
    Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of work involved and what will add the most value.

    How do I find out how much my home is worth?

    A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the standard methods for determining a home's value.

    Your real estate agent will be able to provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. Be sure you get listing prices of current homes on the market as well as those that have sold. You also can research this yourself by checking on recent sales in public records. Be sure that you are researching properties that are similar in size, construction and location. This information is not only available at your local recorder's or assessor's office but also through private companies and on the Internet.

    An appraisal, which generally costs $200 to $300 to perform, is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.

    What are the differences between market value and appraised value?

    The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300.

    Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.

    Condos and Home Associations

    Are condos a good investment?

    Condominiums have held their value as an investment despite economic downturns and problems with some associations. In fact, condos have appreciated more in the past few years than when they first came on the scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s, experts say.

    While there are lots of reports about homeowners association disputes and construction-defect problems, the industry has worked hard to turn its image around. Elected volunteers who serve on association boards are better trained at handling complex budget and legal issues, for example, while many boards go to great lengths to avoid the kind of protracted and expensive litigation that has hurt resale value in the past.

    Meanwhile, changing demographics are making condominiums more attractive investments for single homebuyers, empty nesters and first-time buyers in expensive markets.

    What kinds of rules and regulations do Associations regulate?

    Typical covenants, codes and restrictions (CC&Rs), which govern condo associations, give the board authority to make and enforce reasonable rules for the use of common property. But that would not apply to interior spaces owned by smokers themselves.

    A homeowners association's board of directors can restrict smoking if it applies to indoor common spaces such as hallways or recreation rooms. Outdoor spaces are a different story, say legal experts. Any restriction would probably hinge on local laws (i.e. if a city banned smoking outdoors, a homeowners association probably could restrict smoking in its outdoor spaces).

    The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act does not require strictly residential apartments and single-family homes to be made accessible. But all new construction of public accommodations or commercial projects (such as a government building or a shopping mall) must be accessible. New multi-family construction also falls into this category.

    In all states, the Federal Fair Housing Act provides protection against discrimination for people with physical or mental disabilities. Discrimination includes the refusal to make reasonable modifications to buildings that aren't accessible to the disabled.

    What fees can I expect to pay a home association?

    Condominium owners pay a fee, usually monthly, to the homeowner?s association to cover the costs of managing and maintaining all common areas. In addition, you may pay extra assessments for major maintenance projects. In general these must be voted on by the association board or in some cases by all of the owners. The particular cost of monthly fees and the rules regarding special assessments vary from association to association. When considering a condominium, it?s a good idea to thoroughly research the fees and bylaws of the condo association.

    Are homeowner association fees tax deductible?

    Homeowners association fees are considered personal living expenses and are not tax-deductible. If, however, an association has a special assessment to make one or more capital improvements, condo owners may be able to add the expense to their cost basis. Cost basis is a term for the money an owner spends for permanent improvements throughout their time in the home and is used to reduce eventual capital gains taxes when the property is sold. For example, if the association puts a new roof on a building, the expense could be considered part of a condo owner's cost basis only if they lived directly underneath it. Overall improvements to common areas, such as the installation of a swimming pool, need to be considered on a case-by-case basis but most can be included in the cost basis of any owner who can show their home directly benefits from the work.

    To find out more about how the IRS views condo association fees, look to IRS Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax," which includes a section on condos. Order a free copy by calling (800) TAX-FORM.

    Improving Real Estate

    Are there government programs for rehabilitation?

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 203 (K) rehabilitation loan program is designed to facilitate major structural rehabilitation of houses with one to four units that are more than one year old. Condominiums are not eligible.

    The 203(K) loan is usually done as a combination loan to purchase a fixer-upper property "as is" and rehabilitate it, or to refinance a temporary loan to buy the property and do the rehabilitation. It can also be done as a rehabilitation-only loan.

    Plans and specifications for the proposed work must be submitted for architectural review and cost estimation. Mortgage proceeds are advanced periodically during the rehabilitation period to finance the construction costs.

    For a list of participating lenders, call HUD at (202) 708-2720.

    If you are a veteran, loans from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also can be used to buy a home, build a home, improve a home or to refinance an existing loan. VA loans frequently offer lower interest rates than ordinarily available with other kinds of loans. To qualify for a loan, the first step is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility.

    Another program is the Federal Housing Administration's Title 1 FHA loan program.

    How much can I expect to spend on maintenance?

    Experts generally agree that you can plan on annually spending 1 percent of the purchase price of your house on repairing gutters, caulking windows, sealing your driveway and the myriad other maintenance chores that come with the privilege of homeownership. Newer homes will cost less to maintain than older homes. It also depends on how well the house has been maintained over the years.

    What repairs should I make before putting a home on the market?

    If you want to get top dollar for your property, you probably need to make all minor repairs and selected major repairs before going on the market. Nearly all purchase contracts include an inspection clause, a buyer contingency that allows a buyer to back out if numerous defects are found or negotiate their repair.

    The trick is not to overspend on pre-sale repairs, especially if there are few houses on the market but many buyers willing to buy at almost any price. On the other hand, making such repairs may be the only way to sell your house in a down market.

    Can neighbor problems de-value the property?

    While it may not reduce the actual value, a cluttered landscape next door can detract from the positive aspects of your home. Review your local laws, which should be on file at the public library, county law library or City Hall.

    A typical "junk vehicle" ordinance, for example, requires any disabled car to either be enclosed or placed behind a fence. And most cities prohibit parking any vehicle on a city street too long.

    It also may be worthwhile to check into local zoning ordinances. An operator of a home-based business usually is required to obtain a variance or permanent zoning change in residential areas.

    In addition, if a neighbor's repair work produces loud noises, he may be breaking local noise-control ordinances, which are enforced by the police department.

    Before bringing in the authorities, you may want to make a copy of the pertinent ordinance and give it to your neighbor to give them a chance to correct the problem.

    Insurance

    What kind of insurance do I need?

    A standard homeowners policy protects against fire, lightning, wind, storms, hail, explosions, riots, aircraft wrecks, vehicle crashes, smoke, vandalism, theft, breaking glass, falling objects, weight of snow or sleet, collapsing buildings, freezing of plumbing fixtures, electrical damage and water damage from plumbing, heating or air conditioning systems, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group for the insurance industry.

    Such policies are "all-risk" policies, which cover everything except earthquakes, floods, war and nuclear accidents.

    A basic policy can be expanded to include additional coverage, such as for floods and earthquakes and even workers' compensation for servants or contractors. Home-based business-coverage, an increasingly popular rider, does not cover liability associated with the business.

    Insurance experts recommend that homeowners obtain insurance equal to the full replacement value of the home. On a 2,000-square-foot home, for example, if the replacement cost is $80 per square foot, the house should be insured for at least $160,000.

    For personal items, homeowners can increase their coverage beyond the depreciated value of items such as televisions or furniture by purchasing a "replacement-cost endorsement" on personal property.

    Some experts recommend an inflation rider, which increases coverage as the home increases in value.

    What is guaranteed replacement cost insurance?

    Guaranteed replacement insurance is a more comprehensive policy. It tends to cost more, but it promises to cover the complete costs less deductible of replacing a destroyed house. With these sorts of policies, limits on the policies are not as common, because complete coverage is more explicit.



    Taxes

    Can property taxes be deducted?

    Property taxes on all real estate, including those levied by state and local governments and school districts, are fully deductible against current income taxes.

    Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on a second home if you itemize. Check with your accountant or tax adviser for specifics.

    How are property taxes configured?

    Property taxes are what most homeowners in the United States pay for the privilege of owning a piece of real estate, on average 1.5 percent of the property's current market value. These annual local assessments by county or local authorities help pay for public services and are calculated using a variety of formulas.

    How does home mortgage tax deductions work?

    The mortgage interest deduction entitles you to completely deduct the interest on your home loan for the year in which you paid it. Mortgage interest is not a dollar-for-dollar tax cut; it reduces taxable income. You must itemize deductions in order to do this, which means your total deductions must exceed the IRS's standard deduction.

    Another point to remember is that the amount of interest on your loan goes down each year you pay on your mortgage (all standard home-loan formulas pay off interest first before significantly paying into principal). That's why paying extra on your principal every year can help you pay off your loan early.

    What is an impound account?

    An impound account is a trust account established by the lender to hold money to pay for real estate taxes, and mortgage and homeowners insurance premiums as they are received each month.

    Are points deductible?

    If you are a buyer, and you or the seller pays points, they are deductible for the year in which they are paid only. You also can deduct any points you pay when you refinance your home, but you must do so ratably over the life of the loan. Consult your tax or financial advisor.

    Are there tax breaks for first-time buyers?

    Many city and county governments offer Mortgage Credit Certificate programs, which allow first-time homebuyers to take advantage of a special federal income tax write-off, which makes qualifying for a mortgage loan easier.

    Requirements vary from program to program. People wanting to apply should contact their local housing or community development office.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    • Some credit may be claimed only on your owner-occupied principal residence.
    • There are maximum income limits, which vary by locality and family size.
    You must be a first-time homebuyer, which means you must not have had any kind of ownership interest in a principal residence during the past three years. This restriction may be waived, however, if you are buying property within certain target areas.

    Allocations must be available. A local MCC program may have to decline new applications when it runs out of funds.

    Are home improvements deductible?

    What you spend on permanent home improvements, such as new windows, can be added into your home's cost basis, or amount of money invested in a home, which reduces capital gains when it comes time to sell. Capital gains are determined by the difference in price from the time a home is purchased and the time it is sold, minus the cost of any permanent improvements.

    However, the 1997 tax changes virtually eliminate the capital gains tax for most homeowners (the exemption is $250,000 for single homeowners and $500,000 for married homeowners.

    Still, it is worthwhile to save all receipts for permanent home improvements just in case. They also can be useful documentation when it comes to marketing your home when you sell.



    Refinancing

    When is the best time to refinance?

    It depends on how long you plan to hold on to your house and if you have to pay anything to refinance. In addition, it also depends on how far along you are in paying off your current mortgage.

    If you are going to be selling your house shortly, you probably will not recoup any costs you incur to refinance your mortgage. If you are more than halfway through paying your current mortgage, you probably will gain little by refinancing. However, if you are going to own your home for at least five years, that's probably long enough to recoup any refinancing costs you incur and to realize real savings on lowering your monthly payment. If it is going to cost you nothing to refinance, you can gain even more.

    Many lenders will allow you to roll the costs of the refinancing into the new note and still reduce the amount of the monthly payment. Also, there are no-cost refinancing deals available. In any case, it pays to consult your lender or financial advisor, or run the numbers yourself, before you refinance.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of no-cost loans?

    In many states, real estate regulatory agencies are cracking down on such advertising. The very term, "no-cost" loan, is misleading because borrowers are actually paying a higher interest rate in exchange for not having to pay fees or closing costs up front when the loan is secured.

    A "no-points" loan is one for which the lender does not charge points (one point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount). But there are other fees involved in no-point loans, as with most loans.

    How does bankruptcy affect my refinancing?

    Refinancing may be prudent but could be difficult after a bankruptcy. If you're considering bankruptcy, you may want to go to your current lender first and explain the situation. If you have been current on your payments, the lender may be accommodating and refinance your loan, easing your financial situation.

    Which home buying costs are deductible?

    Any points you or the seller pay to purchase your home loan are deductible for that year. Property taxes and interest are deductible every year.

    But while other home-buying costs (closing costs in particular) are not immediately tax-deductible, they can be figured into the adjusted cost basis of your home when you go to sell (any significant home improvements also can be calculated into your basis). These fees would include title insurance, loan-application fee, credit report, appraisal fee, service fee, settlement or closing fees, bank attorney's fee, attorney's fee, document preparation fee and recording fees. Points paid when you refinance an existing mortgage must be deducted ratably over the life of the new loan.

     
    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    RE/MAX
    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    www.soldbypattie.com


  • Window Wonders

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Home Ownership in New Jersey  |  July 25, 2013 8:43 PM  |  858 views  |  No comments

    When sizing up a home, either to purchase or to sell it .windows are one feature that can make a dynamic difference. Size and placement of windows affects the character and curb appeal of the home from the outside, and light, views, energy efficiency, air flow, noise and egress from the inside. Done right, windows can make your home everything you would want it to be. Windows that are inadequate can be a headache and an expensive fix.

    When examining windows, look at the frames and how they are built into the wall. Understand the materials used and how the window functions. Windows that are designed to open should open and close easily and completely, and have the ability to be secured with a lock. Signs of moisture around the window should be addressed, to ensure that there are no leaks.

    Examine the type of material in the window frame. All-vinyl windows generally cannot be painted, and other, older wood framed windows might have so much paint on them that they are difficult to open. While you are looking at the window frames, notice how the windows open, and whether the glass is single, double, or even triple-paned. Depending on your climate, double or triple-glazed windows can make a huge difference on your heating and cooling bill. Gas-filled windows use argon, krypton or other inert gases to fill the areas between the panes, further enhancing the insulating factor. Excellent windows also help to deaden noise from the outside, which can be helpful in urban environments.

    Most building codes require each bedroom to have a window, primarily as a means of emergency exit in case of a fire. In the bedrooms, it is important that the windows can open to permit someone to climb out, while also being child-safe to ensure that small children don't fall out. Bathrooms with windows enable better air-flow and ventilation; however they are often glazed with translucent glass for privacy.

    Skylights, essentially windows in your ceiling, can be a huge source of light, but might also be sources of leaks. Ensure that the skylights are properly installed, with flashing around them, and that the glass is of high quality. Cracked skylights should be replaced. If a skylight opens to permit airflow, ensure that it opens and closes well, and consider how the UV light and heat of the sun might affect the room at different times of the day. Low-E coating, an ultra-thin, metallic coating that is applied to windows at the factory, can help reflect heat into the home in the winter and keep out heat and UV rays in the summer. Special shades for skylights could also be installed.

    While looking at the windows, don't forget to examine the state of any screens. Windows that open in climates that are prone to bugs should have tightly fitting screens that are not full of holes. Doors that open to decks might have screens, and some may be fitted with glass to convert to storm doors in the cold and rainy seasons. If ground floor windows need to be secured with bars or other security measures, understand how they function and the condition of this feature. Similarly, if the home is in an area prone to hurricanes, consider storm shutters, or the potential benefit of installing safety measures of this nature.

    Windows may be replaced individually, or throughout the home. While doing the whole home might provide better value, it is a big, expensive process and can be very disruptive. It is worth taking the time to do as much research as you can. Get estimates from reputable dealers and installers, and plan to accomplish the work during dry seasons when possible. Ensure that your installer is bonded and insured, and that they will be following the installation instructions for the windows that you buy. The finest windows, poorly installed, will still provide problems, so pay attention to details.

    Additionally, windows should match the style of the home. Older homes with fine detailing throughout should have windows that make sense with the other materials and stylistic features in the home. Research window styles and look at comparable homes in your area to see what other homeowners have done. Outfitting a home with the wrong windows can be as big a mistake as hiring a poor installer.

    When considering windows, view the home at a variety of times of day and take notes. Understanding window coverings, shades, blinds and drapery or curtains will aid you in deciding if those big windows in the living room require special treatment. How will the sun fill the room, and will sunrise or sunset affect your rooms in ways that will work for your lifestyle.

    Windows connect the inside of the home with the outside world, and so these assets help dwellers and visitors to truly connect to the home, the environment, the neighborhood and in some cases the city or area itself. When the outside environment is less desirable, the ability to control that view through shutters, shades, or other means will be essential. In urban environments privacy might be an issue. Places with views should have windows that make the most of those unique features, framing them like art.

    Viewing the home from both the inside and out, at various times of the day, and noticing the windows close-up and from afar, their views to the inside and outside, will enable you do understand the home in a new way of shedding light on the home itself. Want More tips- Just give me a call

    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    RE/MAX
    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    www.soldbypattie.com

  • The Cool Sale

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Jersey, Home Selling in New Jersey, Design & Decor in New Jersey  |  June 27, 2013 10:49 AM  |  1,028 views  |  No comments
     

    The Cool Sale

    It’s summer and warm, but beating the heat in your home can be a selling factor. No one wants to move into a house that is too warm or too cool, so keeping your home at the perfect temperature is a trick that can swing a sale.

    Climate control has many elements – temperature, humidity, and light all play important roles. In climates with a lot of sun, shady areas can provide an oasis or can help keep interior temperatures from being warmed by powerful rays. Places with cool breezes might mean that open windows are preferred for their energy efficient solution to beat the heat. Even the colors of your décor can create a feeling of coolness, adding to the impression that your home is the perfect place to settle to beat that summer heat.

    If you are planning to show your home during the summer months, and if you live in a place that experiences temperatures that can make your home uncomfortable, the importance of cooling your home and its cooling features cannot be underestimated. By featuring one or more “cool” aspects of your home, you can bet that your home will be the one that buyers remember.

    Air Conditioning

    Air conditioning, the number one choice in hot climates, comes in a variety of styles. Since electricity bills can be high, a well-functioning air conditioning system that is both efficient and suited to the home is very important.

    Central air conditioning is by far the most popular, due to the fact that it can cool the entire home and doesn’t require specialized equipment in each room. The functioning elements are located outside the living area, and the cool air is pumped through ducts to the rooms. If you have central air conditioning, keep the home at a reasonable coolness for your showings, and if it is new, has been especially well maintained, or if you have a service contract on it, advertise that fact.

    There are other types of air conditioning units, from window models that require mounting inside window frames but only cool a single room, to “split” units that can be installed to cool multiple rooms, with the compressor housed outside and the cooling coils inside the rooms, to “packaged” units that may be installed in various rooms, but require no special duct work. If you have installed one of these types of units, have them on to keep the home at a comfortable temperature and demonstrate their effectiveness. If a unit is particularly noisy or isn’t working well, consider a repair or replacement.

    In parts of the country with low humidity but high temperatures, evaporative coolers, sometimes called “swamp coolers” or wet-air coolers can provide excellent results with lower energy consumption than typical vapor-compression air conditioning systems. When there is moderate humidity, evaporative coolers provide excellent spot-cooling options for outdoor spaces like porches, greenhouses and kennels.

    Ceiling Fans

    Attractive ceiling fans can be an important feature in a room’s décor. In addition to providing a cooling breeze, they can move heated air to lower heights in the winter months when high ceilings work against keeping warm. Ceiling fans can be installed outside under a covered porch, or inside, providing a practical and cost-effective way of affecting a home’s comfort by circulating the air. While window fans or circulating fans may be used to move air, these generally detract from the décor and advertise that your home is not well-equipped to deal with the heat. Minimize the use of these during showings, if possible.

    Blinds, Shutters, Drapery

    Where sun is a blessing, it may sometimes be a curse. Blinds, shutters, drapery and awnings are all ways that homeowners can control the rays of the sun that heat the home.

    Keeping blinds and drapery closed on the sunny side of the home during the midday heat can reduce temperatures throughout the home. Of course, you will want them open during a showing, so when possible keep them shut until just before the home will be shown.

    Colors, Fabrics, and Art

    Decorating with color is a matter of taste, but it is common knowledge that some colors are “warm” while others are cooling. Lighter colors along with blues and greens can mimic a watery feeling, while yellows, pinks, oranges and reds remind us of the heat of a flame or sun.

    During hot summer months there are many ways to adjust your décor to emphasize the cool feeling that you are trying to promote. Consider lightening up the fabrics, choosing cotton or linen over wool or velvets, and stowing the heavy blankets; move to a lighter, more airy color palette. Similarly, remove any items that seem to evoke fall or winter and bring plants and art that underscore summer into your home. You can promote a cool feeling of health and well-being in the home with a few flowers or plants in appropriate places.

    Swimming Pools

    If your home has a pool or outdoor spa, summer is the time for it to shine. Showcase this feature by having it in fine working condition, and embellish it with chaise lounges and other seating that invites people to it. Put a few towels by the pool to illustrate that it is ready to use. If there are special features, like a cabana or maintenance tools, or if any system related to the pool has been recently serviced, ensure that potential buyers know about them. A pool provides a cooling element, exercise and health benefits as well as prime entertaining possibilities – all things that can be a benefit to the future homeowner.

    Outdoor Rooms: Porches, Decks, Lanais

    In many climates, summer is a time for outdoor entertaining. Porches, decks, lanais and patios can extend the living area of a home and provide a back-drop for the most memorable days of the year. Pay attention to seating, shade options and placement of things like grills and plants. These areas should appear well-cared for and uncluttered. If they are too sunny, they can be too hot to enjoy, so ensure that viewers can see the utility of these outdoor spaces by attending to the temperature here, too. Large umbrellas or a retractable awning can provide cooling shade, and proximity to a pool or cool breeze can make a difference. When none of that is possible, the addition of plants appropriate to the conditions can visually cool the eye. A particularly lovely spot could sport a “just use me” look with a pitcher of iced tea and a few glasses on the table, inviting the buyer to take a moment to sample a cool refreshment.

    Views and Other Water Features

    Like color, fabrics, and indoor art, the view from your home can provide a cooling sensation, especially if there is a water, mountain or forested element. For many people, scenery can evoke strong memories or feelings, so capitalize on this when you can. If there is a spectacular view that might be obscured by weather or time of day, ensure it is seen by placing excellent photographs on a dining room table or counter – not only will they attract attention, they will add dimension when showing the home at various times of day.

    Water features may be as small as an indoor fountain or as large as a pond or stream running through the yard, but the sight and sound of water has a cooling and calming psychological effect, inviting people to relax and stay. In hot weather, the evaporation of water combined with a slight breeze is similar to the evaporation cooling systems, but with a distinctly natural flare.

    Showing your home by night can be a wonderful way to highlight a city view with lights, while also featuring the cooler night-time breezes. While you cannot control the time of a visit, let it be known that you are open to evening appointments if it is an option. By day or by night, in any season, you are seeking to ensure that your home is the one that buyers remember as “just right” for them. Controlling the elements of temperature to put “cool” on your side is a great way to promote a summertime sale.










    Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
    REALTOR® Associate
    RE/MAX
    At Barnegat Bay
    31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
    Manahawkin,NJ 08050
    www.soldbypattie.com

    Please click to read: Consumer Information Statement ( C I S ) New Jersey law requires that real estate licensees inform prospective buyers and sellers about the four types of business relationships prior to the first discussion of financial matters or the motivation for buying or selling

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