Downsizing

Free Consultation For Down-Sizers

TypewriterOnce upon a time, I lived in a big house by the park. It was the perfect place to raise my children. Then one day, with my children older and beginning to leave home, my house seemed too big for my life. So I moved to a smaller place.

This is not an original story. Most people will tell this story one day, or one just like it. It’s common for people to downsize. But the difference these days is that it’s become more difficult to get rid of our “stuff.”

I came upon a blog post the other day – “Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff” – and it was as if someone looked into my mind and recounted many of the conversations I’ve had with my seller clients. People get ready to move themselves, or their elderly parents, and discover that all those “valuable” belongings – books, china, heirloom furniture, art – that they’re finally ready to part with, don’t have anywhere to go.

I happen to enjoy the activity of figuring out “what's next” for possessions that don’t serve me any longer. But many of my clients do not!

I offer my listing clients a free 4-hour consultation with a professional home organizer who will help them decide what to keep, what to throw out, as well as arrange for appraisals, donations, and even online sales.

Once upon a time, it used to be so easy to find a new home for our “stuff,” and now, not so much. But the real story is this: if you have the support of someone who is both knowledgeable and likes the process, you can enjoy those happily-ever-after moments that arise when your lifestyle and your possessions are once again in sync.

Contact me to get started today!

New Listing: The Perfect Commuter Home - Bloomfield, NJ

What does it take to make a perfect commuter home?

o New York bus one block away! o 21-minute commute to midtown! o High end cook's kitchen! o Central air conditioning and outdoor hot tub! o Big bright family room! o Cozy fireplace! o Basement Rec Room! o Quiet neighborhood! o Easy highway access!

kitchen fam room hot tub

10 Bolton Place was just listed for $399,000 and will not last long on the market.

With ample room for relaxation and entertaining, this sweet home is perfectly placed for you to take advantage of quick, easy access to NY Port Authority. Whether your family is growing out of an apartment into a house, or downsizing into a simpler lifestyle, you have everything to gain in this 3-bedroom gem.

If you'd like to see this or any other homes, please call or text: 973.809.5277

Just Listed: 33 Mountain Ave, Bloomfield

mountain ave houseLovely starter or downsizer -- cute and walkable!

This charming home in the Brookdale section of Bloomfield is an ideal starter home, or could be perfect for someone looking to downsize.  Two bedrooms plus an office (or nursery), beautiful built-in cabinets (in one of the bedrooms, which was once used as a sewing room), newly renovated kitchen, and fully finished basement.

This is exactly the type of house I would seek out once I sent my last kid to college, mainly because of the backyard. It's big and flat, and I could finally have the vegetable garden I've always pined for. Plus, I love having people over in the summer and the back deck is a truly great entertaining space.

This house offers all the simplicity of an a town house with all the privacy (and pet-friendliness) of a private home. But you know what's most appealing to me? It's walkable!

An easy walk to Brookdale Park, homeowners can take full and convenient advantage of one of the county's most "happening" parks. Soccer stadium, tennis courts, walking trails, rose garden, new playground, dog park, archery field, summer concerts, fireworks and open fields galore, Brookdale Park has it all. And it's also an easy walk to restaurants and the supermarket on nearby Broad Street.

Listed at $339,000, this sweet home is not likely to linger. If you'd like to take a tour, please don't hesitate to call:

 

 

When You Come to a Fork in the Road...

IMG_7148One of my regular morning walks includes a route up the mountain where I come to a fork at the base of a big hill. If I go to the left, I end up eventually passing a house that used to be the home of Yogi Berra.

Montclair has been abuzz today with the news of Yogi's passing. Yogi moved to Montclair around 1960, at the time to a bigger house on the other end of town. He raised his family here, putting his kids through the public schools, and was always known as an active member of the community.

Whenever I pass by that house, it still blows me away that it belonged to the renowned Yogi Berra. Not because I'm so star-struck (although I am a little bit), but because it reminds me of how special this town is. Plenty of "celebrities" moved here early in their careers, no doubt because of Montclair's beauty, but also because of its proximity to Manhattan. However, many of them stayed, presumably because here they found a lively, vibrant community - a place that seemed perfect to start a family. To call home.

I'm a born-and-raised New Yorker - no stranger to famous people in my midst. Of course, when you become successful enough to live anywhere, who wouldn't choose to live in what's often regarded "the greatest city in the world?" Well, Yogi Berra, for one. Along with the host of others who found Montclair.

If you or someone in your world has found themselves at their own fork in the road - thinking of downsizing, upsizing, heading for the suburbs or heading out of town - you can do what Yogi suggested: "Take it." Or you can call me. I can help with forks, life changes, and all matters of real estate!

Confession: I Have Garage Issues...

Panza HouseI consider myself a very accepting person, but I also hold some very strong opinions. One of them relates to attached garages.

First, please let me say that if you have an attached garage, this is in no way meant to disparage you or your carport. But if I'm being honest, I've never really liked the way a garage looks when it's attached to a house. Whenever that big door is open it looks like a gaping mouth to me. Plus, philosophically, I've always considered houses a place for people to live in, not cars.

And yet, the house I live in now has just that amenity.

Last year, when I downsized, I made a list of the things that were important to me in a home. After looking for a while, I found a house that met virtually all of my criteria. I truly believed that buying this house was going to require some big concessions on my part, as the attached garage is quite a prominent feature from the street. I was wrong.

With my background in architecture, I am always brainstorming with my clients about change they might make to suit their aesthetics. But I also now try to impress upon them that if we give our aversions too much power, we run the risk of passing up a home that is actually pretty perfect.

Am I saying that I now like the look of attached garages? No, not at all. But I do love getting out of my car on a rainy day and taking four bone-dry steps into my house. And I'm grateful that I didn't allow my once hard-line garage stance prevent me from moving into one of the happiest homes I've ever owned.

Baby Boomers and Walkability:Retire to Montclair

Many of my Walkable Suburb posts are aimed at young families or families with school-aged kids, since these are generally the folks interested in backyards and good NJ baby-boomerspublic schools. I recently read a blog post on one of my favorite websites, though, that reminded me that walkable communities are good for all generations.

The post, on Walk Score, discusses the need to create or retrofit communities to accommodate the coming flood of retiring Baby Boomers. Author Jocelyn Milici Ceder points out that senior citizens who live in walkable communities tend to be happier and healthier than those who live in car-dependent ones. Why? First, walking to one's errands or entertainment is an easy way to get some exercise. People who walk as a mode of transportation are also likely to have more social encounters than those who drive everywhere. Having a car is not even necessary in a walkable community, which is a boon for seniors on a fixed income who no longer want to pay for gas and car insurance.

Aging Baby Boomers will naturally want to remain in their homes as long as possible. Since they are the generation that created suburbia, though, this means aging in communities that can be quite isolating. Considering their sheer numbers, it seems to me that walkable communities will be the wave of the future.