Buying

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

My Accessories Are Your Accessories!

IMG_4866Rugs. End tables. Vases. Patio Furniture. The back of my garage looks like an aisle at Home Goods. Am I getting ready for a yard sale?

Au contraire. I'm getting ready to sell your home.

Today's buyers expect a house to be presented to the market in its very best light. No one wants to see "grandma" furniture and doilies when they're house hunting. In fact, buyers sometimes don't respond well to anything that doesn't feel "fresh" or "new."

When I'm with buyers, part of my job is to help them envision what can be done to a house to make it their own. I have a background in architecture and have done several personal renovations, so I am skilled in providing this information as part of my service.

But when I'm with sellers, I need to help them look at their home as a buyer would - which is to say, critically. I maintain a large inventory of staging items that can fill a whole room (if it's empty) or just fill in the gaps where needed.

Most sellers are not able to prepare their home for sale without help. And a good staging can generate more interest and a higher selling price in the market. I employ a professional stager and include one free day of staging with all my listings!

Call me and let's talk throw pillows. 973.809.5277

How Accurate is Your "Zestimate" ?

This LA Times article about Zillow estimates is from a year ago, but it recently resurfaced on my social media pages and seems worth sharing. For homeowners, Zillow seems like the best thing since sliced bread. A do-it-yourself tool to determine home values. Unfortunately, it's not the last word in valuation and is often controversial.

Zillow uses an Automated Valuation Model  (AVM), which is an algorithm that takes into account location, price per sqft, lot size, etc by relying on publicly available data from comparable properties. Sometimes this data is old or just simply wrong.  It's not a bad system for very general ideas about home value, but it doesn't account for anything unusual (good or bad) about your home.  AVMs tend to overstate the value of homes that are in poor condition or in an awkward location (like next to a gas station).  Similarly, they understate the value of homes that have fabulous recent renovations or are walkable to the NYC train.  It's a little like the real estate equivalent of an automated telephone customer service system. It's good for only the most basic information gathering.

And, as this article points out, "Zestimates" aren't even especially accurate - on average they are off by 8%.

Working with an experienced agent (i.e., me!), you'll have access to all the same type of automated information available through Zillow AND the expertise of someone who knows what the inside of the comp homes look like.  So, together, we can make a smart marketing plan if you're a seller, and realistic decisions about bidding if you're a buyer.

I'm happy to come over and tell you what your home is worth. Buying and selling homes is nuanced and subjective. It's not about algorithms. It's about lifestyles and dreams.

New Listing: 101 Darling Ave, Bloomfield, NJ

darling BR

I have a friend who, whenever she moved into a new place, always took one of the smaller bedrooms for herself (and her husband), giving the master bedroom to her young daughter. Since I've known her, she's lived in three different homes and has done this each and every time. I thought it was crazy, but she'd always explain that her daughter spends so much time in her room -- she has friends sleep over and all her toys are in there - it's more practical. "I basically just read for 10 minutes and then go to sleep in my room. What do I need a big space for?" she'd say.

While this was never a decision I would make, I could sort of see her point. However, if she lived in this home, none of that would have been necessary.

At 101 Darling Ave, two of the three bedrooms are so spacious, they're both considered "masters." In fact, the whole house is much larger than what you'd typically find in Bloomfield (2400 sq ft vs. 1600!). The kitchen and baths are renovated, it has a brand new great room, and the house is light and bright.

However, the feature that truly speaks to me is the backyard. One of the most expansive in the area, the flat property boasts a deep lot that you can look out on from the main deck or the Juliet balcony off one of the bedrooms (perhaps this is the master relegated to the grown-ups!). The backyard truly feels like a little park!

With its quick access to both Route 3 and the Garden State Parkway, and the bus to New York City at the corner, you will be well positioned for both adventure and recuperation in this extremely "darling" home! To find out more about this or other homes, please don't hesitate to call: 973.809.5277

Just Listed: 44 Rector Place - Bloomfield

rector 3

This expanded Cape offers the best of so many worlds! With four good-sized bedrooms, 44 Rector Place in Bloomfield is more house than it appears at first. Freshly painted, refinished hardwood floors and a breakfast nook that overlooks the golf course, this home is in ready for its next owner.

Other great features include: central air, back deck, nice flat lot, over-sized garage with plenty of additional storage, partially finished basement and an unbeatable price.

I love this quiet section of Bloomfield, just slightly off the beaten path so it feels private, but also mere blocks away from bustling Broad Street, with some favorite eateries -- like Brookside Thai and Holsten's (where the ending scene of the Soprano's finale was filmed!) -- and all manner of shopping. This home is also minutes away from the Garden State Parkway and an easy walk to the New York City bus and local parks.

Listed at $289,000, this home will not last.

If you're planning a move to the area, I have many wonderful things to show you in Bloomfield! This is a great time to buy! Call me: 973.809.5277

New Listing: 1694 Broad Street - Bloomfield, NJ

1694 Broad 1Once upon a time, this house was just a single room. A Dutch oven was used for cooking and warmth and a bed built into the wall was hidden by heavy curtains during the day.

Old homes have plenty of stories, and this old home is no exception. An historic landmark, the Van Houten House was reportedly built around 1800 and expanded as part of the original owner's dowry for his daughter. This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home has three fireplaces and plenty of built-ins.

This is a spacious home with hardwood floors, a barn-like garage and a beautiful yard. If you've ever lived in an old home, you know: they were built to last forever.

I love how close this house is to Route 3 and the Garden State Parkway, but also only a few blocks from several beautiful parks as well as the Bonsal Wildlife Preserve - a 20-acre nature preserve and one of the area's best kept secrets.1694 Broad 2

This is truly a special property and it is priced to sell at $375,000. If you'd like to arrange a viewing, or talk about any other of your real estate needs, I'd love to hear from you: 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:

 

 

A Short Post About Tiny Houses

Tiny houses seem to be all the rage right now. I'm intrigued by the idea of people living in a 200-250 square-foot house, although I can't imagine doing so myself. I recently came upon this video of tiny houses that are being built as apartment "units," which can be removed from the "apartment building" and moved anywhere.

My first thought was, Wow, this could put real estate agents right out of business. My second thought was, Hmmm, for a tiny house it sure can store a lot of wine.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who is fascinated by the emotional wherewithal of people who opt to live in suminimotives-tiny-house-9ch efficient quarters. This hilarious essay in Medium struck a chord with many of us who just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to think I could live in a home where I could see everything I own just by craning my neck. But how would I host Thanksgiving? Where would I put the Christmas tree? For that matter, where would I store the Halloween candy? And would any trick-or-treaters even come?

Obviously, I'm not ready to make the big move to a tiny house. Not so for my son; he says he's going to build one in the back yard so I can't nag him about cleaning his room.

If you're ready for a move and are still in the market for a big people's house, I have inventory in all shapes and sizes. Give me a call and let me show you around! 973.809.5277

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.