Search by Neighborhood or address

Blog :: 12-2019

How To Adopt a Homeowner's State of Mind

Over the summer, I got a call from clients after the home inspection. “There are roots in the sewer pipes!” they said, panicked and dejected.

“That’s not uncommon,” I said.

“Should we pass on this house and look for another one?”

No. No. No.

As a longtime homeowner, it sometimes surprises me how home repairs can seem so ominous to new buyers, and how easily they can get cold feet. Coming from an apartment, this couple had no idea that clearing the sewer line is a typical aspect of owning a home in a town full of old trees.

Buying a home is an event. Maintaining a home is a process.

With a Maintenance Mindset, you can just assume that there will always be something to contend with. A new roof. A leaky pipe. A squirrel in the attic. A crack in the plaster from settling. A tree that falls in a storm. Appliances need repairing and bushes need pruning. Everyone deals with this stuff. It’s all part of owning a home.

For example, I just had a fence put up to keep my cats in the yard. The workers didn’t construct it properly, and within six months, one section of the fence separated and my cat was again able to get out of the yard. This was especially frustrating because during their installation, I had pointed out this potential problem and suggested a way to avoid it. However, the fence installers did not take my advice, and now they need to come back and fix it. When I was a new homeowner, I’d have found this entire process — getting stuff fixed and fixed again — overwhelming. Now, it’s simply another call to make, another thing to check off my list.

All houses need maintenance. And if you’re buying a new home, there may even be things your home inspector points out that need maintenance right away. Don’t worry — this is not uncommon. I have enough experience to let you know what you actually have to worry over as far as home repair goes, and I have many resources that can make what might seem like gigantic challenges into manageable tasks. I help buyers and sellers make molehills out of mountains every single day. And I’m happy to do that with you, too!

NEW TO MARKET: 56-60 Old Indian Road, West Orange

OPEN HOUSE

Saturday 12/7 & Sunday 12/8

2 - 4 PM

Offered at: $999,000

Slow season?? What slow season...

Introducing my latest winter listing, 56-60 Old Indian Road: a spectacular, renovated home with its own indoor ice skating rink, right in the back yard.

            

Set on over two private acres, this updated colonial, expanded and refreshed, with over 5000 square feet of living space will wow you with all of its custom finishes and thoughtful details.

On the east wing, you'll find a breathtaking two story library inspired by Thomas Edison's own in Llewellyn Park.

On the west wing, a first class kitchen with a wide array of professional appliances overlooking a dramatic family room. Connecting these two spaces is a sun-filled enclosed loggia that opens to an over-sized brick patio and lushly landscaped back yard. The radiant heated floors in the family room, kitchen and loggia, built in espresso machine and 130 bottle wine fridge are just a few of the luxury touches.

          

Upstairs, you’ll enjoy a fantastic master suite with sitting area, separate dressing room and five fixture bathroom in addition to a second floor laundry room, two additional bedrooms and an updated full bathroom with marble finishes. The third floor offers a perfect guest suite with its own bathroom and views over the expansive property.

The true definition of a turn-key home! You truly have to see it to believe it.

Can't make it to the Open House this weekend Sat and Sun 2-4? Call me and I will arrange a private showing: 973-809-5277

Long Island City to Bloomfield – The Scootable Suburb

Nicki and Dani both grew up in Florida, moving to the New York area where they both went to law school. After renting in the East Village, Astoria, Ossining, and Long Island City, they bought a house in Bloomfield, NJ in November 2018. Both commute to NYC for work, Nicki to her midtown law firm, Dani to her sales job in Soho.

Why Bloomfield?

We’d visit friends who live in Bloomfield and we thought the town was cute. When my mother moved into our apartment with us, Dani and I decided it was time for more space. We chose this area for its proximity to Montclair, which was a town that had a lot going on. Coming from the city, we wanted to live somewhere that felt lively. 

What’s your favorite thing about living here?

It’s great to have outdoor space to entertain friends. Dani had wanted a backyard for a while and we even “renovated” our garage to be a hang-out space, which includes an inflatable hot tub! One of the very best things we did was, after a recent trip to Europe, bought ourselves each an electric scooter, which people ride constantly over there. It’s insanely fun to ride up and down Ridgewood Avenue, and we often scoot over to Rita’s Ices or to have breakfast at The Corner in Montclair. 

What was your buying experience like?

Even though our friends had recommended Lina as an agent, Dani actually discovered the house herself on Zillow, where she had, coincidentally, once worked. We went to an Open House and really loved the Bloomfield place, but it was more than we could afford, and we weren’t in a position to move so quickly. A few weeks later, we got in touch with Lina and she took us to a few houses in different towns so we could see the variety of what was available. They dropped the price on the first house and Lina counseled us on how to bid. Then she counseled us on everything else, including attending the home inspection and asking all the follow-up questions that we had no idea to ask. She was a great resource every step of the way, including after the sale when we had water in the basement. She actually came over on a Saturday during the holidays to help us figure out how to solve our problem. 

What’s turned out better than you expected?

Getting to and from the city is easier than we thought. The bus is a few houses away. It’s a longer commute than from Long Island City, but we don’t mind it. A lot of our social life involves our city friends, so we’re often there, or our friends come here. If we’re out late, we don’t typically splurge on Ubers from the city. Instead, we figured out that if we miss that last bus, we can take a slightly later train to Secaucus and Uber from there, which is a lot cheaper. And if we’re driving, it’s so much quicker than Ossining (which was our “test suburb”). Here, we're close to New York, close to big box stores (which, I’m embarrassed to admit, is a plus!), and close to anything we want to do in Montclair. Our next purchase may be a guest scooter.