Fort Lee NJ Real Estate Blog

When Is the Timing Perfect for a Price Reduction?

Do you know the perfect time to reduce the price of your home? Your agent does. Whether you call it a price reduction, improvement, or adjustment, nobody wants to hear about lowering prices except a buyer. In slow markets and buyer's markets, it's not unusual for sellers to point fingers at the agents and agents to point fingers at seller's unrealistic expectations for a price.

Considerations Before Agreeing to Reduce the Price

  • How many hits has your listing received in MLS?
  • Do the marketing comments sell the benefits or features?
  • What kind of direct mail campaign has been launched?
  • How many open houses have been held?
  • How does the house show online; are there a lot of beautiful pictures?
  • Is your signage in a prominent location, contain several phone numbers, plus a Web site?
  • Do you have a virtual tour published?
  • What kind of feedback have you received from agents and buyers?
  • Are you offering enough compensation to selling agents?
  • Have you had showings and how many?


Are You Selling in a Buyer's Market and Have Little Motivation?

Maybe you don't have to sell. When the market is slow and inventory is high, demand falls. If that's the case, maybe you should take your home off the market.

It makes no sense to put an overpriced home in MLS that is not receiving any showings because it skews the numbers for market performance. You might be better off renting your house or staying put until the market rebounds if you're not motivated to sell.

Picking the Right Price

If you're too high, you'll need to continually reduce the price until you hit that "magic" number. It's called chasing the market down, which is a bad thing. Buyers will begin to wonder if something is wrong with your house and how much lower will you may be willing to go. Ideally, you want no more than one price reduction, and here are...

How to Prepare Your House for Sale

Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar, but it takes more than luck to make this happen. It involves careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home so that you'll convince homebuyers to scurry for their checkbooks.

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

Letting go can be difficult. You've lived here, possibly for years, and it's your home. It's become a part of you. But you have to make that emotional break. Tell yourself, "This is not my home. It is a house. It is a product to be sold just like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf."

Make the mental decision to let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners.

Say goodbye to every room. Stand in each doorway and talk out loud about your memories if that's what it takes. Don't look backward. Look to the future.

Depersonalize the Space

Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. You'll have to do it eventually anyway when you move, and buyers tend to have a hard time seeing past personal effects. You don't want your potential buyers to be distracted. You want them to be able to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there.

This goes for furniture items, too, painful as that might be. Not everyone will share your taste, so if you have your bright red sofa screams, "I'm unique!" you might want to remove it for the time being. Try to stick with your more understated pieces.

Depersonalizing Includes Decluttering

People tend to collect an amazing quantity of junk. If you haven't used a certain item in over a year, you probably don't need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Do you really want to go to the trouble of packing it up and carrying it to your next home?


Things That Your “House Hunting Checklist” Should Have

Hunting for your next home can be both thrilling and overwhelming. You’re bound to come across several properties that you think would be perfect for you and your family. Make your decision easier while avoiding a bad one by doing the following during your hunt:


1. Make a must-have list

Before looking around, it’s important to nail down what you want in a home. Get the family together and make a list of features you desire, whether it’s a pool, big garage, or expansive backyard. Searching for homes while you have 3-5 things as top priority will help you stay focused on what you actually want to buy.


2. Bring a pen and paper

Depending on how many houses you go out to look, remembering all the details can either be very easy or a challenge. To help you keep track of the small things, bring something to write with so you can jot down how much natural light there is in each room, the storage space, cost per square foot, etc. This will make all the difference when you’re still undecided and have a comparison checklist to help you.


3. Walk through once, then a few times again

It’s easy to get excited when exploring a gorgeous home for the first time. This is OK; house hunting should be enjoyable! But after you’ve taken in your first impression, we recommend going back out and walking through again. This time, take that pen and paper we mentioned in our last point and start inspecting the place for any details worth taking down.


4. Don’t forget the camera

Or your smartphone, which is probably your go-to device for taking pictures....

Simple Ideas To Make Your Home More Welcoming To Buyers

It may seem obvious, but many sellers fail to recognize that a home that feels, looks, and smells welcoming and homey will more likely raise a buyer’s interest when they come for a showing. Of course, you think your home is pretty comfortable and welcoming already, but there are a few things you can do to make buyers feel right at home from the moment they walk in the door. Here are a few we have put together.


Lead With The Nose

If your home smells good, it will make buyers want to stick around longer. The sense of smell is the strongest of all the five senses in its connection to our emotions. A smell can bring on a flood of memories and even influence a buyer’s mood. Certain smells simply make us feel comfortable and at home no matter where we are. There are a few smells that are almost universal. Try a flameless scented burner that is safe but releases a wonderful fragrance in your home. Choose scents like vanilla or spices, these smells remind people of home cooking and sweet treats.

Be sure your fragrance isn’t overwhelming, however, and don’t use it to mask other odors like cat litter or food smells. Buyers will know right away you are trying to hide something!


Let The Light Shine In

Clean your windows and open all of the blinds and curtains to let the sunshine into the home. The warm feeling will make your buyers want to settle in and bask in the glow. A brightly lit home looks bigger, natural light and illumination can fool the eye, while a dark home will appear smaller.

Be sure you replace burnt out light bulbs so your home will be fully lit and have a welcoming glow even in the evening or on a cloudy day. You can change the mood in your home instantly when the buyer flips on a switch. How you light your rooms with artificial light and how much natural light pours into your home can make all the difference.


Set The Table

It may seem odd, but a table...

How to Pick and Move to the Best Neighborhood for You and Your Family

Picking a place to raise your children can feel like an enormous decision — after all, it’s a major family milestone and where you live can affect everything from your kids' education to your family's social life. But before you put too much pressure on yourself to make the "right" decision, know that there are loads of wonderful (and very different) family-friendly neighborhoods out there.

The first step: Get the inside scoop. A real-estate agent, especially one with kids, can spill on the best of the 'hood — from preschools to playgrounds to popular mommy-and-me hangouts. Pick up the local paper for the lowdown about what’s going on in town. That'll clue you in on the community's vibe and important info, like the local crime rate (turn to the paper's police blotter for those reports). You can also get the skinny on, a site that compiles stats from numerous sources on everything from the cost of living to air pollution. And don't forget to tap into your network of new parents — friends of friends can give you valuable tips based on real-life experience of what it's like to live where they live.

Next, do some soul searching with your partner to figure out what tops your list of essential features (besides a house in your price range) and what's less of a priority. As you talk it over, consider these family-friendly neighborhood factors that may help make up your mind when it comes to settling on where to settle down.

Does the neighborhood have good public schools nearby? After you've checked out the local schools, consider whether there's one within walking (or, for later on, biking) distance — or whether your child will have to take a school bus. If your day includes a lot of school driving time, you'll want to factor that into your decision.

How many young kids live in the neighborhood? Check the stats, but use your eyes as well. Look for houses with strollers or trikes on the porch, swing sets for tiny...

So you want to be a Realtor®

I love being a REALTOR®. Finding passion in your work will help your business thrive and grow. I enjoy guiding people along the path of moving from one place in life to another. Understanding it is more than simply buying and selling homes allows me the joy of helping people through a significant life transition.

Everyone who comes to me for real estate help is going through something significant in their life. It could be a change in family size, a change in health, a change in job, or even a change in lifestyle desired, such as when someone wants something different like a lake home or horse farm. Understanding these transitions and helping to guide people through a process that can be complex and frustrating in order for them to have a simple and enjoyable experience gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction.

People who go into the real estate profession with a passion for helping others will usually do well. People who go into real estate thinking it is the silver bullet or magic crystal ball to wealth will fail. There is a direct relationship of effort to results, just like in most businesses.

Real Estate Can Be Intense

Agents are on call almost all the time, handling issues for people who are going through a roller coaster of emotions and financial decisions, while staying on top of ever changing laws and trends. Real estate is fast paced and requires investing a lot of hours to grow a successful business.

Beyond a core desire to help people, the traits of a successful real estate professional include a desire to drive one’s own destiny and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The top agents are also competitive, creative, solution oriented, detail oriented, always learning, adaptable, and outgoing.

Successful agents are either single or have a significant other who supports and encourages them, cheering them on to success, and supporting the long and irregular hours needed to achieve success. The support of family and...

Are Your Neighbors Affecting Your Home’s Value?

You have put your home up for sale and done everything your agent has advised you to do to prepare your property for sale, but still no offers have come in. If you suspect your neighbor’s property is preventing your home from appealing to potential buyers, there are a few things you can do to remedy this situation. Here are some tips for dealing with problem neighbors while selling your home.

Are Your Neighbors The Problem?

Before banging down the neighbor’s door and blaming them for your home’s lack of appeal, you’ll first want to make sure that is really the problem. Ask your agent what they think the problem is, and whether they agree that the neighbors may be preventing the sale. Also ask other homeowners in the area what they think of any problem neighbors to get perspective before making that visit.

Use Tact When Approaching Neighbors

If you have determined that a particular neighbor is creating a problem that is affecting your home’s value and marketability, your best bet in getting them to agree to make the required changes is to be nice about it. Offer to help them with the cleanup and explain that it is not only for your benefit, but will also increase their home’s value as well. Planning a neighborhood cleanup and renting a junk removal service for the community may encourage them to clean up without even being asked.

Last Resort

If you have asked nicely and your neighbor still refuses to clean their property, there are steps you can take to force the situation. Many municipalities have bylaws concerning the upkeep of property, and getting your local officials involved may be necessary. Also getting other homeowners in the area on your side can make this easier. Remember though, you should always approach the individuals first and ask nicely before reporting them to the authorities.

Messy neighbors can be an obstacle to selling your home, but in most cases a little diplomacy...

Moving Tips

Congrats, you’ve made it to the end of the path. The only thing left is the hard part – moving! Whether you’re buying your first home, upgrading to a bigger and better place, or downsizing to simplify your life – you still have to physically move to reach the end goal.

Our Best Moving Advice… Move less Stuff.

We recommend creating 3 Categories of Stuff:

1. Stuff to Give Away

Donate items to local charities. By giving away things you don’t need, you are helping someone else. It is a good way to pay it forward.

2. Stuff to Sell

Some items retain value well or even gain value due to nostalgia or limited availability. We don’t recommend trying to sell everything you don’t need, but pick and choose the items that may earn $100+ on Craigslist, Ebay, or a Private Facebook Group. Anything much less than that is hardly worth the effort and hassle to sell.

3. Stuff to Keep

Now that you’ve donated and sold all the items you don’t truly love or need anymore, your move will be less expensive and much easier to manage.

Make a Plan

The only way to manage a move is to document your plan/checklist.

Whether it’s Word document, handwritten legal pad, or use an app like Trello or Evernote, they key is to make a plan and have a place to document all the details to free yourself of having to remember everything.

Checklist Items to Consider:

  •  Key Dates & Account Numbers
  • Cancel Current Utilities
  • Transfer or Activate Future Utilities
  • Forward Mail
  • Formal Address Change
  • Hire Movers

Tips to Ensure a Smooth Closing

The Importance of a Final Walk-Through

The final walk-through prior to closing on a home purchase is just as important as the home inspection.  While the inspection is typically completed during the due diligence period shortly after a purchase contract is binding between buyer and seller, the final walk-through is typically done the day before closing. This final preview of the home gives buyers the opportunity to ensure all required repairs have been completed, all personal property has been removed, and the home has been left clean and free of debris.  Should a buyer find that specified repairs are not completed, personal items remain or a mound of garbage has been left behind, they should alert their Buyer Specialist immediately as these situations need to be addressed prior to closing.

Understanding Potential Closing Challenges

If during the final walk-through repairs are found to be incomplete or any new damage is discovered, buyers can request sellers provide compensation for the repairs or damage. A reasonable request is encouraged to eliminate tension as often these issues are an oversight or accidental, and not intentionally omitted.

One of the most common closing challenges is ensuring funds have made their way from the lender to the title company’s account. Most lenders wire the funds electronically, but it is not uncommon to be sitting at the closing table awaiting funds to arrive. Upon arrival at the closing attorney’s office, it never hurts to ask if funds have been received to encourage follow up on the front end of closing. (Another reason for working with a reputable and service-oriented lender!)

Also, be sure that you have the proper funds wired or a certified check to the closing attorney’s office when you arrive at the closing table.

Buyer Checklist...

Worried About Selling Your Home Before You Find One To Buy?

Do you worry about selling your home before you find one to buy?

We often hear from potential sellers worried about listing their home and selling too quickly, before they have found a place to buy. Coordinating selling and buying is one of the most valuable skills The Akkus Group team brings to our clients.

We like to start the conversation with understanding the life transition associated with your move, so we can craft a custom solution that fits your unique situation. Depending on your goals and timetable, we can use contract negotiations, financial strategies, and temporary living solutions to provide a smooth move from House A to House B. Sometimes we combine several strategies for our clients, depending on what works best for your situation.

Contract Negotiation Strategies

Negotiate for you to rent your home back from the buyer for up to two months after closing.This way you have your money in the bank to make stronger offers to buy the next home.

Negotiate an extended closing date, like 90-120 days after you have a binding agreement. This gives you more time for new listings to come on the market to give you more options.

Negotiate a reverse due diligence contingency for the seller to find a house to buy. An experienced agent will be familiar with how to craft this stipulation. It gives the seller an option to find a house to buy OR they can terminate the contract to sell their current home.

Negotiate a short term contingency to sell your current home in your offer to buy another home. We can do this with a short 14-21 day contingency if you are ready to put your home on the market quickly. This means you should have your current home ready to list when you start shopping for a new home. To entice a seller to agree to this, you will need to make a strong offer and/or...

Should Sellers Stay for Showings?

Sellers know their house better than anyone, so it makes sense why they might think it is a good idea for them to be at the showings, along with potential buyers.

In our experience with showing thousands of homes to buyers over the years, we have found the first showing of a home is a more emotional experience and the second showing is more mechanically focused. Understanding these dynamics helps us guide our sellers to create the best environment possible for a buyer to appreciate their home.


Why should a seller leave for showings?

The first showing for a buyer at a home is what we call the emotional visit. Buyers need privacy to dream and imagine themselves living in the home, and not feel like they are intruding on someone else’s personal space. Buyers need to be able to talk about what they like and don’t like about the house without having to be careful with their comments so they don’t offend the seller. When a seller is present, the buyer will feel awkward, and not be able to get a detailed look at the house. Imagine how it feels as a buyer to open someone’s kitchen cabinets while the owner is watching or hovering nearby.

If the buyer quickly decides they don’t like the house, they also need to be able to leave and not waste anyone’s time, instead of feeling obligated to look so they don’t hurt the seller’s feelings.


Why not have the seller stay nearby to answer questions?

Sometimes a seller will want to sit on a deck or wait in another room, with the goal of being available to answer questions. This approach still makes a buyer feel awkward and not able to fully enjoy looking at the home. The buyer won’t feel comfortable openly discussing the home because they worry the seller...

How to Find a Good Realtor?

It seems like everyone is calling themselves a real estate professional these days.

As the real estate market has heated up in recent years, many newly licensed agents have jumped into the business, while others who quit real estate years ago have decided to give it a try again.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of people who get their real estate license quit in the first year in the business. It is much harder work, with longer hours, and is far more complex and expensive than most new agents realize.

As one of the largest financial and emotional investments a person makes in their lifetime, why would anyone use an agent who has little or no experience, and little or no investment in marketing?

Sometimes inexperienced agents offer a discount broker fee to entice a seller.

A skilled negotiator who knows how to navigate contracts, inspections, title issues, financing options, and the myriad of complexities that arise, and who invests thousands of dollars per month in marketing, will typically net the seller far more on their bottom line.

Online digital real estate marketing is expensive. The No. 1 real estate website in the world is Zillow, and brokers must pay to play on that site, essentially buying back their own listing leads or else those leads are sold to three other agents who likely know nothing about the listing.

If you check reviews before buying a TV or Car, shouldn’t you check real estate reviews?

This may seem like a no brainer, but before working with any agent, check their reviews online. Zillow Reviews show actual confirmed buyer and seller reviews. Also check Facebook and ...

How to choose a listing agent

Hiring a listing agent is vital to your entire experience as a home seller. The person you pick will be involved in arranging your home for sale, figuring out a listing price, marketing your home and facilitating the transaction.

While you might be lured to hire a friend who has real estate experience or your co-worker’s brother, be reminded that the person you enjoy meeting for lunch isn’t always the best listing agent to represent your best interests. That person could turn out to be the right listing agent for you, but before you pick him or her, take the time to get recommendations for some agents and interview them.

Remember the agent who assisted you to buy your home? If you were pleased with this person, consider using him or her to help sell your home (if this agent has experience listing homes). If your previous agent mainly deals with buyers, ask for a recommendations for a seller’s agent.

Family, friends, and co-workers: Make sure these are not just agents who are friends of friends, but listing agents who have experience and recently and successfully sold a home for one of your contacts. Your attorney, accountant or other local professionals: They have probably worked with agents and may have good recommendations.

Search for real estate teams/groups in your area that represents a lot of homes like yours. If you come up with fewer recommendations, you can do some more research online. Look for websites of real estate teams/groups that looks like good prospects based on the number of homes they listed and sold; you can find a lot of details on homes that the they have sold including...

Home Inspections - 5 Things you should know about

If you're hiring someone to inspect the home you want to buy, or you're a seller trying to find out if there are any hidden problems that need fixing before you put your home on the market, here are five things you need to know:

1. You can choose your home inspector.

Your real estate professional can recommend an inspector, or you can find one on your own. Members of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI), must complete an approved home inspector training program, demonstrate experience and competence as a home inspector, complete a written exam, and adhere to the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

2. Home inspections are intended to point out adverse conditions, not cosmetic flaws.

You should attend the inspection and follow the inspector throughout the inspection so you can learn what's important and what's not. No house is perfect and an inspection on any home is bound to uncover faults. A home inspector will point out conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. They won't comment on cosmetic items if they don't impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing.

3. Home inspection reports include only the basics.

A home inspector considers hundreds of items during an average inspection. The home inspection should include the home's exterior, steps, porches, decks, chimneys, roof, windows, and doors. Inside, they will look at attics, electrical components, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement/crawlspaces, and garages.

They report on the working order of items such as faucets to see if they leak, or garage doors to see if they close properly. Inspectors may point out termite damage and suggest that you get a separate pest inspection. The final written report should be concise and easy to understand.

4. Home inspectors work for the party who is paying the fee.

The NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics clearly state that members...

11 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your REALTOR®

A home buyer or home seller can get a real estate agent or broker referrals from neighbors, friends, and family members. Or they can use tools like Trulia’s Find an Agent Directory or Zillow reviews to help find highly-recommended agents who know the target neighborhoods and who have a special skill set (e.g., relocation specialists, speaks a foreign language, etc.) to help with a house hunt.

For folks looking to hire a real estate sales professional, it’s important not to pick someone who’s not so close a friend that having a serious, no-nonsense business conversation is impossible. A professional Realtor needs to be someone with whom a buyer or seller can comfortably disagree. And keep in mind that this person will at some point become quite intimate with a buyer or seller’s entire financial picture.

Clients spend a lot of time with their agent so his or her style had better be compatible. Does the client need someone easygoing or someone aggressive? Maybe a seller is a self-proclaimed overachiever and likes the idea of working with someone similar, provided the agent has an easygoing personality and a great sense of humor. Remember too, if a client says, “I may not like him, but he is a real bulldog and will fight for a deal,” might not work either. If the client doesn’t like the agent, chances are no one else will either.

So choosing the most qualified person for the job will be someone who is easy to work with. The ideal person will be an experienced professional who knows the market, acts in an ethical manner, answers every question, addresses every concern, and, most importantly, will listen and be a teammate throughout the entire buying or selling process.

Selling or buying a home can be a time-consuming and emotionally challenging event. Here are some questions you can ask once you start interviewing your candidates.

  1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee...

What do you need to do before you buy a home?

Buying a home is a complicated yet an exciting process especially if you are a first-time buyer. You think you are ready to buy a home, but do you have the knowledge you need when buying a home? There are many things to keep in mind while undergoing this big step of your life. In this article, I wrote some valuable tips you can use to make the home buying experience easier for you.

Credit History

Most likely you would need to get a mortgage to buy a house right? Then you must make sure that your Credit History is clean as much as possible. Before starting your home search, get copies of your credit report and make sure that everything is correct and fix any problems if there is one.

Don’t buy Stuff you Can’t Afford

This makes a lot of sense right? Rule of thumb is you need to look for a home you can really afford. You can buy a house that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. To better handle your income, expenses and debts about this issue, you can use some mortgage calculators that are available online and it’s for free!

Look for a good School District

Who wants to send their kids into a mediocre school? Even if you don’t have school-age kids as of the moment, top priority of many home buyers is a good school district (if time comes you want to sell your house). Having a good school district increases your home value.

Get Pre-approved

By getting pre-approved, your home search would be easier. This gives you an advantage because you can narrow down the list of homes which you can afford. This is also gives a good impression to home sellers because they know that you have the means on financing the house. A home seller does not want to sell their home to people who just promise that they have the ability to pay right?

You also need help

Internet can be very helpful to you when it comes to your home search because of the vast numbers of listings available online. However, a buyer agent can be a very good...

Benefits of an Open House

Much has been written about both the ups and downs of an open house, but there is a lot to be said for showing your home in this way. Here are just five reasons that an open house might result in a sale:

It gets eyes on your home. Open houses bring in potential buyers who would otherwise be too busy to book a showing. And they draw in visitors in more ways than a simple listing will. Your friends and family can mention the event to anyone they know who might be interested in taking a look at your home. Neighbors who drop by might just be angling to have someone they know move into your neighborhood. Add in advertising and signage, and you’re going to catch the eye of both casual and serious prospective buyers.

You can set the scene – your way. When prospective homebuyers stop by your home for a traditional showing, they often do it with little notice, which is why it can be stressful keeping your home “show ready” for the entire duration that it is on the market. It can be very consuming to keep wastebaskets emptied and floors free of clutter, ensure that the laundry doesn’t pile up, and make certain that floors are routinely swept and vacuumed. With an open house, you’ll be able to prepare for an event that has the potential to bring in many prospective buyers with one fell swoop. It’s much easier to do some deep cleaning that will leave your home spotless if you know exactly when people will be visiting. And you’re also able to sweeten the deal by baking cookies and setting them out or filling vases with fresh flowers.

You could lock in that interested buyer. There’s likely a limit to the number of times even the most interested buyer is willing to ask for a private showing. If your house has already caught the eye of a potential buyer, he or she might be more willing to come back for a second look in a less formal setting. An open house gives that buyer the opportunity to bring friends or family along for their opinions. And as...

Simple Questions to Ask Neighbors Before Buying a Home

Before purchasing a new home, it is important to check out the neighborhood. You may have questions to ask neighbors, in the area, before you decide if the house is right for you. Potential homebuyers can learn about the prospective neighborhood by getting out of their cars and talking to the neighbors.

You may not be happy if neighboring activities, schools and people don’t fit with your lifestyle—even if the potential home has the amenities of your dreams.

As you walk the neighborhood, prepare yourself with a few questions to ask local residents. You are certain to find out some useful information as you meet and greet potential new friends on the block.

1. Ask about the house

Neighbors often have good insights into the history of the home and its surroundings. A house can look great and pass all of the usual inspections, but some faults may not show up. Neighbors may know if the house you want to buy suffers from hidden problems.

Alternatively, if all of the neighbors had tree roots damage their water pipes, you will know to get your home checked for similar problems.

Learning more about the condition of the house and why the sellers are selling may put you in a better bargaining position when it comes to making an offer.

2. Find out about the neighborhood vibe

Because you will be new to the neighborhood, ask about local amenities. Where is the best dry cleaner, dentist, hair stylist, etc.? Do they know of any house cleaners or dog walkers? Where do people in the neighborhood go for fun and to exercise?

In addition to getting a feel for the available amenities, also ask about neighborly activities and whether people get along. Is there a neighborhood association? Are there regular gatherings? Do neighbors share parking spaces, responsibilities or other common areas? Neighbors, for instance, might take turn trimming hedges and trees on the property line. While legal documents might dictate these shared responsibilities, you also may find...

A Nice Home versus a Nice Neighborhood

When you start shopping for a home, you probably have a very specific image of what you would like that home to look like. You probably also see the perfect neighborhood surrounding that perfect home. Every buyer sets out with an image of the house they want to own, but in reality compromises are often necessary in order to stay within your budget.

Compromising On the House

There may be certain things that are non-negotiable when it comes to your new home, such as the number of bedrooms or a two-car garage. But as you take a look at the homes that are within your budget, you may discover that it is not likely you will get everything on your wish list. But the great thing about owning a home is that you have the power to remodel it at any time and bring your vision to it. Once you are in your new home, you can renovate or even add on if necessary to create the home you really want. And if you have managed to stay below your budget, you will even have the extra money each month to make some of those changes.

Compromising On the Neighborhood

So you’ve found the house of your dreams, but the neighborhood isn’t precisely what you were hoping for. Too much traffic, dated looking homes, no parks nearby. In most cases, you will have to accept you cannot change the neighborhood, and this means you have to decide if the concerns are things you can live with or without.

You know the old saying don’t buy the biggest and nicest house on the block, you may have trouble selling it down the line. If other houses in the area are available for less, why would anyone buy your expensive house to get into the same neighborhood?

So Which Matters More?

In the long run, when it comes down to choosing between the right house and the right neighborhood, you should choose the right neighborhood. While you...


Nicknamed as New Jersey’s Gold Coast, the waterfront across from Manhattan stretching to the new up and coming towns of Weehawken, West NY, Edgewater, North Bergen and Cliffside Park are just a stone’s throw away from Jersey City and Hoboken. As it also near to shops, restaurants, and waterfront walkways, with all the convenience you can wish to enjoy in a neighborhood are just minutes away. With a population of approximately 24,000, Cliffside Park is one of the most densely populated boroughs in the Garden State. You do not have to worry about Cliffside Park being jam-packed because it offers a wide variety of housing options, including single family homes, duplex’s, condominiums, and many more. The borough is home to an independent public school system that serves students of up to 12th grade. If you are looking to move to Cliffside Park, NJ and want to know more about the neighborhood in general, look no further than here for we have the answers you seek:

The selection of restaurants in Cliffside Park is unbeatable, with choices such as pizza, Armenian and Turkish, so your only problem will be deciding on where to go. In this place you'll find both big-name supermarkets and independent groceries so it is the best stop for all your grocery shopping. A good time is never far away in this borough with the many nightlife venues that line the streets. If an active lifestyle suits you, this vicinity is perfect with its year round activities. Stores in this area have a large variety of products to choose from, such as jewelers, electronics and eyewear stores, insuring that shoppers of all kinds are able to find something. Cliffside Park is served by a remarkable variety of public transportation services which many residents use to get to work.


Apollo Theater

The famous Apollo Theater has made momentous contributions to America’s music landscape since its inception....