Benefits of Selling Your Home in the Fall

Selling your home at any time of the year is a daunting task, but some seasons may have benefits over others. Let’s take a look at some benefits of selling your home in the Fall.

Less Competition

Summer is usually the most popular time for buyers to look for a new home. Listing your home during the autumn months means there will be fewer houses on the market. The positive characteristics of your home will stand out more with fewer options to compare to.  Buyers looking to purchase a home in the fall are usually much more serious and eager to find something quickly. This may result in higher offers and quicker turnaround times.

Realistic Offers

In a summer market, there are so many homes that prices are inflated, and offers are high to compete with the saturation. In the fall, you’re more likely to get offers very close to your asking price. This may seem like a negative effect, but realistic offers come with realistic outcomes. Negotiations usually go smoother, and there are fewer discrepancies between buyers and sellers during the process.

Less Expensive to do Repairs and Improvements

During the fall and holiday season, big ticket items like appliances and lighting fixtures are generally less expensive. Sales and clearances are around every corner at big box stores so you’ll be able to stock up on the essentials while potentially increasing the value of your home. You can check out Consumer Reports for a complete list of the best time to buy certain items.

Cool Weather

Lower temperatures mean less stress when getting your home ready to sell. It also makes it easier for potential buyers to tour your home and property. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, the changing leaves will make your property look more inviting and cozy.

There’s no reason to look at selling your home in the fall as a disadvantage; it’s actually the complete opposite.

The Best Farms for Pumpkin Picking in Monmouth County

Picking your own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch is one of the best parts of Fall. Here in Monmouth County, we are lucky to have several awesome pumpkin farms where you can find your own Jack o’ Lantern candidate. Here are some of the best farms for pumpkin picking in Monmouth County. Remember to call before you plan your trip, weather and crop conditions could change available hours and options.

Red Wagon Farm Market

Located in Manalapan, Red Wagon Farm Market has many Fall related activities like tractor-pulled wagon rides and pony rides. You can choose from over one hundred different varieties of pumpkins available to either pick from the field or at the market stands. Check the website for dates and hours.

Antonio Casola Farms and Greenhouse

Holmdel is home to Antonio Casola Farms and Greenhouse where you can enjoy haunted hayrides, corn mazes and even a sunflower maze. Pick your own pumpkin from the fields or choose one at the shop. Try a fried s’more before you leave!

Battlefield Orchards

Picking pumpkins is indeed something you can do at Battlefield Orchards located in Freehold, but while you’re at it, why not pick some apples too? Battlefield has thirteen different kinds of apples, and most are available to pick through October.

Bullock Farms

Located in Cream Ridge, Bullock Farms is home to over one hundred acres of beautiful farmland. After enjoying a twenty-five minute hayride, you can pick your own pumpkins, gourds and ornamental squash from the fields.

Dearborn Market

Along with hayrides, corn mazes and a hay barrel pyramid, you can also pick your own pumpkins in the pumpkin patch at Dearborn Market in Holmdel. The kids have fun in the petting zoo and get their faces painted while you enjoy some freshly baked apple cider donuts.

There are so many options when it comes to pumpkin picking in Monmouth County; you’ll have a blast with your family at any of these great destinations.

Open House Etiquette When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a significant event. It can be overwhelming to pack up your belongings and open up your house to strangers who could be potential buyers. Specific unspoken rules are usually followed during the open house process. Let’s take a closer look at open house etiquette when selling your home.

Don’t Be There

You may think it would be helpful to give your potential buyers a tour of your home, explaining every detail and feature that they may miss otherwise. It actually can be intimidating and may put people off. Your home is your pride and joy, and there may be a lifetime of work that you’ve put into it to make it special but pointing this out to potential buyers may prevent them from envisioning the home as their own. It’s best to allow the realtor to show your home and make yourself scarce in the meantime.

Follow Your Real Estate Agent’s Advice

You have an emotional attachment to your home; even if you aren’t able to see that in the abstract, your realtor can. Therefore, if your realtor suggests that you clear a room of personal photos, or rearrange the furniture in your living room, know that there are years worth of experience behind that advice. Your realtor knows how to make your home more appealing to potential buyers and they are trying to get you the highest possible price for your house. Listen to them.

Clean Thoroughly

One of the most significant obstacles people have when searching for a new home is seeing past messes when trying to picture the home as their own. Clearing your property of clutter, dirt, and dust will go a long way in increasing its desirability. Store away anything that is not needed and have your home look as much as an open canvas as possible.

Following these rules when preparing your home for an open house will get it sold before you know it.

What You Should Know About Short Sales

A short sale in real estate refers to a property that sells for less than what the owner owes on the mortgage. The lender has agreed to take the “short” amount of what’s owed and take a loss. A homeowner might use a short sale if they can no longer make the monthly mortgage payments or if they need to quickly move from the property. As a buyer, purchasing a short sale home has its pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look.

The Pros of Buying a Short Sale Home

When looking for a home, short sale properties are enticing mostly because of the low prices compared to similar properties. There are other advantages to buying a short sale. Such as:

  • Prices sometimes as low as 10% below market value– Because the owner needs to sell quickly, the starting price is almost always below market value.
  • Less Competition– Since short sales are often intimidating to buyers and real estate agents alike, they don’t get as much interest as typical listings. If you’re willing to take on a short sale, you won’t have to compete with an abundance of other offers from potential buyers.
  • Less risk than a foreclosure– If you’re a bargain hunter, chances are you’ve scoped out some foreclosure properties as well as short sales. Buying a short sale comes with fewer risks than foreclosures since the properties are still usually occupied and taken care of.

The Cons of Buying a Short Sale Home

  • Long waiting period– Since the lender has to approve the offer and sale as well as the seller, the process is much longer. It also involves much more paperwork and red tape than a typical sale.
  • The possibility of costly repairs– Since the seller is usually selling their home through a short sale because of financial hardship, the home may have fallen into disrepair.

Be sure to consult your real estate attorney with any questions about the legal process of a short sale.

 

The Importance of Flood Insurance

Floods happen suddenly and can be dangerous and damaging. If you own a house, you may need to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect you when the unexpected happens.

What is flood insurance?

Typically homeowners insurance does not cover damage as a result of a flood, it is one of the main exclusions. Flood insurance is a separate policy you’d have to purchase to cover costs for repairs in the event of a flood. According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 12% of American homeowners have flood insurance. To help encourage homeowners to protect their homes, FEMA introduced The National Flood Insurance Program that offers affordable flood insurance to homeowners. To find out if you qualify, click here.

What does it cover?

All flood insurance policies are different, but most cover things like the structure and foundation of your home, the plumbing and electrical systems, air conditioning, furniture, paneling and detached garages. You can also purchase policies to cover your personal belongings inside your home like electronics, clothes, jewelry and appliances.

Should I get flood insurance?

According to FEMA, 20% of flood claims are from homeowners living outside of high-risk flood zones, so you may be at risk for a flood even if you live away from a major body of water. If you live in a high-risk area, you may be mandated to purchase flood insurance as a condition of approval for your mortgage. To check if your home is in a flood zone, enter your address here.

How do I get flood insurance?

To find out if you qualify for The National Flood Insurance Program or to ask any questions, contact their help center at 1-800-427-4661. If you don’t qualify, but still need to purchase insurance, contact a local insurance agent.

Floods can be devastating. Protect your family and your home with flood insurance so you can have peace of mind that if you experience a flood, the damage will only be temporary and you’ll have the means to repair your home and replace your belongings. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your insurance agent.

 

Tips for Finding Homeowners Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is a necessity for anyone who has purchased their own home. It not only significantly helps lesson financial burden during a weather emergency or an unexpected occurrence that may cause damage to your home, but it also may be required by your lender for certain types of home loans. So what kind of home insurance should you purchase and how do you find the right type for you? Let’s take a closer look.

Shop Around

There are so many different insurance companies out there competing for your business. Never settle for the first offer you come across. Compare different rates and plans and always check online reviews. Although everyone has different experiences depending on their situation, if a company has a large number of negative reviews on their customer service, for example, you might want to keep that in mind when making your final decision.

Location

Make sure you know everything about the location of your house. Are you in a floodplain? What is the crime level? What is the average home price in your neighborhood? All these facts can alter the price of your insurance and determine the type of coverage you need.

Know Your Discounts

Most home insurance companies offer discounts for several different things like smoke detectors, alarm systems and even being a first-time homebuyer. These discounts may not be offered to you if you don’t ask, so be sure to be vocal with your agent when getting information.

Compare Deductibles

A company offering complete coverage for something may sound good until you realize you have a $2,000 deductible. You may have a lower monthly premium, but if something happens and you need to use your coverage, will you be able to afford the deductible? These are things you need to consider when choosing a plan.

Choosing your homeowner’s insurance is an important step in buying a new home. Make sure you’ve explored all your options and done all your research before making a choice.

 

Historic Homes in Monmouth County

New Jersey is rich in history. Monmouth County, in particular, is full of historic homes and buildings. What specifically qualifies a home as “historic”? In order for a house to get the distinguished title of “historic”, several criteria must be met, and lots of research must be done. Let’s take a closer look at this process.

What does “historic” mean exactly?

The general definition for a historic home means a house at least fifty years old with significant relevance in the area. That would mean there could have been a famous person that lived there, something historic happened there – like having the first working telephone or electricity in the town – or some sort of association with a historic event.

How do you get a historic designation?

The New Jersey Historical Preservation Office can officially designate your home as historic, which comes with certain perks and regulations. You might not be able to paint or remodel without specific permission so that to maintain its historic properties and appearance. This may be inconvenient, but a historic designation adds a significant amount of value to your home. Be sure to seek out an appraiser with experience dealing with historic properties since you’ll need to contact your insurance company to change your policy.

Where are some historic homes in Monmouth County, New Jersey?

Ocean Grove, NJ is full of beautiful historic homes. The Historical Society of Ocean Grove offers a self-guided home tour where you take in all the unique features of these historic Victorian homes up close and personal. These homes are a large part of the reason thousands of visitors a year flock to Ocean Grove to take its rich seaside history.

Whether you’re looking to own a historic home or just admire them from afar, Monmouth County New Jersey has everything you’re looking for.

Local Colleges and Universities

If you have teenage children that will be attending college shortly or are looking to attend a university yourself, Monmouth County, New Jersey is full of quality colleges that you won’t have to travel far to visit. Let’s look at some of the top universities in the area.

Monmouth University

Located in West Long Branch, Monmouth University was founded in 1933. Besides its rich history, it offers many benefits to its approximately 6,500 students.  It’s small class sizes, and almost 400 faculty members can provide students with a personalized teaching experience that isn’t common at other colleges. Besides its stimulating classes, students will be able to enjoy the vast beauty of its large campus and surrounding local charm.

Rutgers University

Located just north of Monmouth County is Rutgers. Also known as The State University of New Jersey, it is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and the eighth oldest university in the country, having been established in 1766. The original campus is located in New Brunswick, with additional campuses in Newark and Camden. Rutgers educates a staggering number of over 65,000 students with the help of its 9,000 faculty members. Full of hundreds of years of history and distinguished honor from across the world, any parent would be proud to have a child attending Rutgers.

Brookdale Community College

State universities aren’t for everyone, and in fact, you can get a high-quality education at a fraction of the cost at a community college. Located in Lincroft, Brookdale Community College is a public open-admission college, offering classes for anyone over 18 years old who has a high school or equivalency diploma. One in every three high school graduates from the Monmouth County area attend Brookdale, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to continue their education surrounded by familiar faces and a sense of community.

Monmouth County is home to several other great colleges and universities, making it a great place to live for the future of your family.

 

 

 

Differences Between Houses, Townhouses, and Condos

If you’re looking to buy or rent a new home and have been searching online, the chances are you’ve been coming across these terms quite often: home, townhouse and condominium. What are the differences? Let’s take a look.

Home

This term could be referring specifically to a house or any type of home including apartment, townhouses, condos or even trailers. Therefore, it’s important to remember that home doesn’t necessarily mean house. If you’re looking for a single-family detached house, be sure to specify that in your search or to your realtor. A single-family house is a separate house not attached to any other buildings. You would own everything in that house, including the land that it sits on (unless the land is specifically deeded to another owner or interest). A single-family home comes with a lot of responsibility, but an equal amount of benefits.

Townhouse

A townhouse is usually defined as a long narrow home attached to a larger building with other townhouses. It usually has more than one level and sometimes has its own garage. There are several benefits to owning a townhouse as opposed to a single-family home. They are usually much less expensive, have lower utility expenses, have no outdoor maintenance, have amenities such as a pool or clubhouse and a sense of community.

Condominium

Buying a condominium is kind of like purchasing an apartment. A condo is a unit inside a building of similar sized units. Owning a condo comes with some of the same benefits of owning a townhouse, except less space and most likely one level. You don’t have to worry about outside maintenance and will have access to multiple amenities. Most condo residents contribute to a reserve fund that helps pay for repairs and replacements to the building like windows or roofing when needed.

Be sure to do your research when searching for a new home. Whether you choose a house, townhouse or condo, the perfect home for you and your family is out there waiting to be found.

 

Entertainment Venues in Central Jersey

There’s plenty to do in New Jersey. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or just a fun night out listening to live music, the venues around central NJ have you covered. Let’s look at some of the many entertainment venues Monmouth and Middlesex County have to offer.

Starland Ballroom

Located in Sayreville, the Starland Ballroom is a perfect place to spend the night out and see some awesome live music. It may be on the small side as far as music venues go, but its intimate feel and retro vibe make it one of the local favorites.

PNC Bank Arts Center

If you enjoy a nice outdoor concert, PNC Bank Arts Center is a great venue to check out. The amphitheater, located in Holmdel, features both reserved seating and a sprawling lawn section which can hold approximately 10,500 people. While there are some bands who make it a point to visit PNC every summer while touring, their schedule for the summer is vast and features performances that everyone in the family will love.

The Strand Theatre

Entertaining visitors of the Jersey Shore since 1922, the historic Strand Theatre has had its share of legends grace its stage. Performers like Milton Berle, George Burns, George Carlin, and more recently Taylor Swift, have all had their hay day at the Strand.

Count Basie Theater

Since 1926, the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank has been home to a range of entertainment from music to plays, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. The vintage look of the historic theater is enchanting, and you’ll be able to see all your favorite artists and performers.

Whatever kind of entertainment you’re looking for, you’re bound to find a venue that’s providing it in Monmouth or Middlesex county. So go exploring, you never know what you can find nearby!