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Keeping Current Matters

Friday, July 28, 2017

Home Safety: How to Protect Your Family at Every Stage of Life

By Sage Singleton
We all want to keep our families as safe as possible, but home safety requirements change as your family grows and evolves. From newborns to pets, a variety of different strategies can ensure your home is as safe and accommodating as possible for your family. Here are some simple tips to help keep your family safe through every stage of life. Getting your home


Getting your home ready for a new baby

Babyproofing a home is largely about protecting them from their own curiosity. Once a baby learns to crawl, anything in reach is fair game to be grabbed, touched, or chewed on.
  1. Install baby gates to keep certain rooms off-limits. This is especially important near stairs.
  2. Fill unused electrical outlets with plastic plugs. Outlets are like magnets for babies.
  3. Store breakable items out of reach.
  4. Keep small items out of reach as well. Small objects that could be put into mouths are a major choking hazard. A good rule of thumb is if it can fit in an empty toilet paper roll, it is small enough for a baby to choke on.

Home safety for toddlers and elementary-age children

Toddler-proofing is a little different from babyproofing in that a toddler is usually more resourceful about getting into things they shouldn’t be. Toddlers will climb, open doors and drawers, and generally get themselves into trouble.
  1. Move anything small or breakable up higher now that your child is walking and climbing. You’d be surprised at what they can reach.
  2. If you have a pool, build a fence around it. You’ll want a barrier at least a few feet high to make it harder for your toddler to climb over.
  3. Secure drawers and cabinets with childproof latches.
  4. Place safety locks on windows and doors to prevent them from being opened.
  5. If you don’t have a home security system, install one for added safety. Choosing a system with the right features, like motion sensors and security cameras, can help you know if your curious toddler runs out the door or it can help you keep tabs on things while the babysitter is over.

Safety during the teenage years

As your child grows into their teens, the focus moves further from physical safety and more towards online safety and general home security. Online safety is extremely important with teenagers in the house.
  1. Set clear boundaries and expectations with your teen regarding potentially dangerous situations. These could involve simple subjects like safe driving or complex topics like drinking and drugs.
  2. Keep alcohol, firearms, and any prescription or over-the-counter drugs locked up in a safe place.
  3. Educate your teen about safe internet usage. This includes avoiding malware, being smart on social media, and using privacy settings.

Pet-proofing your home

Pets make great additions to the family, but they come with their own safety needs. In many ways, pet-proofing is similar to babyproofing. Pet-proofing involves keeping harmful items out of their reach and making sure that they can’t escape the house or yard and run off.
  1. Keep cleaning products, chemicals, and medications in high places or locked where pets can’t stumble upon them.
  2. If your pet likes to chew on (or eat!) household items, make sure that you don’t leave anything lying around. It can be helpful to do a quick walkthrough of your home a couple times a day, such as when you leave and return from work.
  3. If you have a home security system, make sure the motion sensors are capable of detecting and ignoring your pets.
  4. If you have a fenced yard, check it for weaknesses or small gaps that a pet could squeeze through.

Getting your home ready for your parents to move in

As our parents get older, it’s not uncommon for them to move in with us. This can help ensure their safety and prevent the loneliness that often comes with old age. It can also present some unique challenges when it comes to home safety.
Depending on your parent’s age and their physical and mental well-being, you may need to make small home improvements for their convenience or physical safety. In general, you’ll want to try to minimize the potential for falls and make sure that help is always within reach.
  1. Install grab bars in the bathrooms near the toilet and shower. These bars can help support a person as they move in and out of the shower or tub, both making this task easier and helping prevent falls. Make sure they can support the weight of the person who’ll be using them.
  2. Walk through your home and check for objects that might make tripping hazards. Throw rugs, children’s toys, and pet toys can all be dangerous for people lacking the eyesight or reflexes to maneuver around them easily.
  3. Set up a medical alert system. This is a wearable device that essentially functions as a panic button—if a person falls or has a medical emergency, they can push the button to get instant access to help.
  4. Learn which foods are hazardous for senior health. As your parents age, their immune system weakens—making them more susceptible to food poisoning and health risks. Prepare meals at home that won’t threaten the health of your aging parents.
Your family grows and changes as time goes by, and so should your home safety plans. If you want to keep up with each of your family members, continually assess their needs. These tips should give you a great starting point towards building a safer home for your family.




Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update July 27th, 2017


RIDE THE 7 MILE JITNEY!  Back again this summer is the 7 Mile Jitney, which operates nightly from 6pm to 2am.  Jitneys run every ten minutes following a regular route from 20thStreet north on Dune Drive to 80th Street, turning left on 80th Street then right onto First Avenue from 80th to 83rd Street, then turning left onto Second Avenue from 83rd to 96th Street.  The jitney turns right on 96th Street, then right on Third Avenue and proceeds back to 20th Street.  The cash fare is $2 from 6pm to 11pm, and $4 from 11pm to 2am.  The jitney is air conditioned and can seat up to 13 people, and can be flagged down at any corner along the route.  Save the hassle of parking and catch a jitney!

This fisherman caught a beautiful sunset, too!

THE “TWIN CAPES,” one of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessels that used to carry passengers across Delaware Bay, will become part of an artificial reef off the Delaware and New Jersey coasts.  The 320-foot vessel was mothballed in 2013 after many years of plying the bay.  Artificial reefs have become increasingly popular for boosting marine life in designated areas off the coast.  All vessels turned into artificial reefs are stripped of harmful materials before being sunk.  This past May the US Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa, made famous by the movie The Perfect Storm, was turned into an artificial reef about 26 miles off Cape May.

WATERSPOUTS are a fairly rare occurrence in this area but one was spotted over the Delaware Bay this past Sunday, and photographs of it appeared in social media.  Later Sundayevening weather radar picked up rotational movement, leading to a tornado warning for areas of northern Cape May and southern Atlantic Counties.  For the rest of the week, clouds and rain showers should give way to sunshine over the weekend.

SURF TEMPERATURES are up!   Bathers on the beach have enjoyed warm water, as surf temperatures of 76 degrees have been observed recently.  Steady sea breezes and warm sunshine have brought warm surface water into the beach.  Back bay waters, especially areas further from the inlets, have seen temperatures into the low 80s.

A TOTAL ECLIPSE of the sun will occur on August 21st, 2017.  Although Seven Mile Beach does not lie along the “path of the totality,” we will experience a magnitude of about 0.8, with roughly ¾ of the sun in shadow about 2:45pm local time.  Experts caution that observers should not look at the sun or eclipse with the naked eye; protective eclipse glasses should be worn, in order to filter the sun’s light.  For more on the eclipse, visit https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html

UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Santa Visits His Summer Home in Stone Harbor, town-wide activities with Santa & Mrs. Claus, www.stoneharborbeach.com for details, Now through Saturday, July 29
  • Thursdays on Dune Concert featuring BLT Orchestra, family friendly activities throughout Avalon’s business district from 5:30PM, concert at Veteran’s Plaza at 7PM, Thursday, July 27
  • Thursdays on the Lawn concert featuring Eddie’s Mom, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor, 7:30PM, Thursday, July 27
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at the Egret Espy Entrance at 114th Street & Second Avenue, 10AM, Saturday, July 29
  • International Tiger Day at the Cape May County Zoo, tiger related activities & keeper talks, www.cmczoo.com for info, 10AM-3PM, Saturday, July 29
  • Brendan Borek 7th Annual Low Tide Beach Ride, registration online at https://ltbr.ticketleap.com/ltbr2017/, 9th Street & the Beach, 6:30PM, Saturday, July 29
  • Stone Harbor Farmers Market, 95th Street & Water Tower Plaza, 8AM-12:30PM, Sunday, July 30
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at Egret Espy Trail Entrance at 114th Street & Second Avenue, 10AM, Sunday, July 30
  • Avalon Aware Lecture by Tom Thornton, An Overview of the New FEMA Flood Maps for Avalon, Avalon Free Public Library, 7PM, Monday, July 31
  • Family Fun Night at the Stone Harbor Firehouse, 7-7:45PM, Monday, July 31
  • Stone Harbor’s National Night Out, 95th Street Water Tower Plaza, 5-8PM, Tuesday, August 1
  • Avalon’s National Night Out, Avalon Community Hall Parking Lot, 6-8PM, Tuesday, August 1 
  • Brendan Borek Artists & Friends Art Show, Avalon Yacht Club, http://brendansfund.org/2017/03/11/17th-annual-artists-friends-art-show  for details, 6-9PM, Tuesday, August 1
  • Avalon’s Beach Movie featuring ‘Jaws,’ 30th Street & the beach, dusk, Tuesday, August 1
  • Avalon Free Public Library Presentation featuring Robert Heinly discussing Victorian Cape May, Fire Control Tower 23, Wednesday, August 2
  • Thursdays on Dune Concert featuring Eleven-Eleven, Baby Parade in downtown Avalon at 5:30PM, concert at Veteran’s Plaza at 7PM, Thursday, August 3
  • Thursdays on the Lawn Concert featuring Bob Campanel, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor, 7:30-9PM, Thursday, August 3
  • Avalon Players Performance, Avalon Elementary School, www.avalonplayers.org for info, 7PM, Thursday, August 3 through Saturday, August 5
  • Summer Club Concert: Sounds of Sinatra, Avalon Community Hall, 8PM, Friday, August 4
  • Avalon Players Performance, Avalon Elementary School, www.avalonplayers.org for info, 5PM, Sunday, August 6

Featured Property:

This home is situated on a huge 110x100 lot near Avalon’s high dunes!

4029 Dune Dr., Avalon, $2,199,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 173104


New Listings:

8305 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $289,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177346

7 Meadowview Lane, Avalon Manor, $375,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177326

295 78th St., #9, Avalon, $499,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177295

200 98th Street, Stone Harbor, $509,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177361

696 Sunrise Drive, Avalon, $599,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177320

328 81st Street, Unit #7, Stone Harbor, $610,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177313

125 80th Street, Avalon, $699,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177384

224 96th Street, Stone Harbor, $950,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177301

3984 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $969,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177358

153 7th Street, Avalon, $2,295,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177280

197 77th Street, Avalon, $2,495,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177307
 

Properties Sold:

8931 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, $450,000, SOLD MLS#: 174669

212 110th Street, Stone Harbor, $605,000, SOLD MLS#: 176297

2019 Harbor Avenue, 2nd Floor, Unit B, Avalon, $650,000, SOLD MLS#: 175341

7832 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $675,000, SOLD MLS#: 175496

1100 Ocean Drive, Unit 312, Avalon, $975,000, SOLD MLS#: 175837

278 63rd Street, Avalon, $1,745,000, SOLD MLS#: 167290

131 21st Street, Avalon, $2,165,000, SOLD MLS#: 174757




Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Water Woes: Tips for Reacting Quickly to Summer Flooding

Living in areas prone to summer flooding means you must take quick action if and when flooding occurs. Why? Because all that moisture can ruin your home and your belongings. While awaiting a call back from your insurance company and maybe a visit from a professional mold mitigation company, you can get started cleaning up.
Water and summer heat are breeding grounds for mold that can grow in any areas left damp after a flood. So, it’s important to follow a few tips to help ensure your home does not become a petri dish.

Think Safety Always
You should begin cleaning up and drying out your home right away, but don’t let this urgency mean you skimp on safety. Remember, flooding means there could be mold or other bacteria growing in and on items in the home. Keep your children and pets out of the house during the cleanup process to avoid making them sick.
If your HVAC ducts got water in them, do not turn them on until you can have them inspected. They'll need to be cleaned to remove bacteria from floodwater. Before entering your home, make sure your electricity isn't on if you believe electrical wiring was affected by water. You should not enter the home until you're sure there is no risk of electrocution.
You must wear a mask, gloves and some good water-resistant footwear to keep yourself and anyone working with you safe. Depending on the extent of the flooding, you may want to wear hip- or waist-high boots or waders. Don't touch any items in the home without wearing gloves, and throw out any food that has come into contact with floodwater.
Drying Out the Home
Do you know mold can start growing in as little as 24 hours? So, it's important to get in there and launch the drying process. This includes opening doors and windows to let air in and using a wet/dry vacuum to begin sucking water from carpets.
You should also invest in the equipment needed to help dry out the home. Carpeting is hard to dry out and is often an area where mold can grow quickly. Investing in a portable fan that is stackable, lightweight, and easily portable can make drying out carpet a little quicker and easier, especially if you live in a coastal area that floods often. The key is to get air flowing through the home in order to dry out wet basements, too. You can also place fans around the house to help circulate air.
Get Damaged Items Out
Depending on the amount of water in the home, you may have water damage in the basement, but sometimes the water rises into the first floor of the house as well. Unfortunately, this means you'll need to throw out water-soaked belongings. This includes many items in your home, such as:
● Carpeting and padding
● Pillows and mattresses
● Baby toys
● Stuffed animals
● Books and other paper products
● Upholstered furniture
● Rugs
● Cosmetics
● Wall coverings
● Food items
● Anything made of foam rubber
● Insulation and drywall
You can usually salvage clothes — but wash them in hot water—and upholstered furniture may be salvageable if it can be professionally cleaned. Wood furniture may be saved if you quickly take it outside and remove any drawers or shelves to allow it dry out. However, keep in mind that wood does soak up water and can become moldy and unsalvageable.
Always take photos of items damaged by floodwaters for insurance purposes. To decide what to keep and what to save, consider the monetary and sentimental value. If it’s valuable to you, check with mold mitigation specialists to determine if you can properly clean the item.
Disinfect the Home
One the home is drying out and you've removed all the damaged items, you can begin disinfection process. Clean walls and floors using disinfectant cleaner and warm water. You can also use a solution of 1 cup of bleach mixed with 5 gallons of water.
Go over these areas more than once to make sure you’ve removed any bacteria and germs that may have come in with the floodwater. Sometimes floodwaters are contaminated with sewage that can make your family sick.
Prevent Future Damage
Once you've been through a flood, you may want to consider what steps you can take to reduce the damage next time, especially if you live in a flood-prone area.
Store your belongings up high. Instead of storing items in your basement, place them in the attic. At the very least, move them up off the floor and keep items in plastic storage bins.
Use spring cleaning time as an excuse to get rid of any items you no longer use. The less clutter you have, the less you’ll have to clean up should your home flood again.
While there’s not much you can do to stop acts of nature, you can jump in right away and begin cleanup to make your home safe, clean and livable as soon as possible. Have a plan in place and invest in any equipment you might need so it’s on hand and ready to clean up your waterlogged home.

by Megan Wild






Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update July 20th, 2017



MARKET STATS:  The ratio of sold prices to list prices increased by 4% in June in the Avalon-Stone Harbor market versus the same month last year, while the number of new listings was down 33% versus last year.  The number of units sold last month increased slightly from a year ago.  For a detailed look at the latest Long & Foster Market Minute report, click here:  http://marketminute.longandfoster.com/Market-Minute/NJ/Avalon-Stone-Harbor.pdf
 
DOLPHINS EVERYWHERE!  Lots of dolphin sightings have been reported just off Avalon & Stone Harbor beaches.  Sometimes playing just beyond the surf, and sometimes a bit further off the beach, dolphins routinely travel up and down the beaches.  Occasionally they’ll venture into the inlets or even the back bays, if following a food source.  Whether you’re spotting them from the beach or from a boat, they’re always a joy to see!

Several pods of dolphins swam along Seven Mile Beach last Sunday.  This pod was seen off the 96th Street beach.

“SORRY CAPTAIN, the bridge can’t be opened for a couple of days!”  That’s the answer boat captains heard this past Sunday when a critical part on the 96th Street Bridge failed, leaving the bridge “stuck” in the closed position.  Automobile traffic could flow freely, but boats needing an opening couldn’t get one.  The only choice?  Take “the long way” around via the ocean.  At the time of this writing, new parts were on order and expected to be installed this week, returning the bridge to normal operation.  There has been significant discussion about Cape May County bridges recently.  The Townsend’s Inlet Bridge was closed to automobile traffic earlier this season while it underwent emergency repairs, and the Grassy Sound Bridge (linking North Wildwood to Nummy Island and eventually Stone Harbor via Ocean Drive) doesn’t open for boat traffic during hot weather due to mechanical issues.  Combined with the 96th Street Bridge, that’s three bridges surrounding Seven Mile Island with issues.  Replacement of even a single bridge is extraordinarily expensive, but last week county freeholders discussed potentially issuing an $18 million bond, including $8 million for local bridge work.
 
TAKE A RIDE INTO YESTERYEAR!  Historic Cold Spring Village features its annual “Railroad Days” this weekend.  Visitors will find working model trains, garden railways, and railroad displays.  Just added to the event are historic railroad motorcars, often known as “speeders”, which will take patrons for a short ride along the historic railroad tracks adjacent to Cold Spring Village.  The tracks once carried steam trains from Philadelphia and Camden into Cape May, and served as the main method of transportation to and from Cape May County’s seashore towns for decades.  Cape May Seashore Lines will run the trips, which will depart every 30 minutes from 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday, July 22nd and 23rd.    Speeder car tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids.  (Patrons must purchase tickets for entrance to Historic Cold Spring Village, which are $12 for adults and $10 for kids.)

Visit Historic Cold Spring Village for “Railroad Days” and take a ride on a “speeder car” this weekend!

AVALON LIFEGUARD
 Erich Wolf took first place in the 49th Annual Beschen-Callahan Lifeguard Championships in North Wildwood.  Thanks to Wolf’s first place finish, Avalon finished in a three way tie for the team championship.  After a tiebreaker Avalon finished second overall.  Congratulations to Wolf and all Avalon lifeguards!
 
UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Thursdays on Dune Concert featuring Legendary Bar Busters, family friendly activities throughout Avalon’s business district from 5:30PM, concert at Veteran’s Plaza at 7PM, Thursday, July 20
  • Thursdays on the Lawn concert featuring The Quietmen, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor, 7:30PM, Thursday, July 20
  • Lecture by George A. Pagano, II, Rowing Across the Atlantic, Avalon Free Public Library, 7PM, Friday, July 21
  • Avalon Historical Society Clam Shell Competition, 30th Street beach, www.avalonhistorycenter.org for details, 9AM, Saturday, July 22
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at the Egret Espy Entrance at 114th Street & Second Avenue, 10AM, Saturday, July 22
  • Santa Visits His Summer Home in Stone Harbor, town-wide activities with Santa & Mrs. Claus, www.stoneharborbeach.com for details, Sunday, July 23 through Saturday, July 29
  • Stone Harbor Farmers Market, 95th Street & Water Tower Plaza, 8AM-12:30PM, Sunday, July 23
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at Egret Espy Trail Entrance at 114th Street & Second Avenue, 10AM, Sunday, July 23
  • Avalon Aware Lecture by Dr. Stewart Farrell, The Evolution of Avalon’s Beaches for the Past 30 Years, Avalon Free Public Library, 7PM, Monday, July 24
  • Family Fun Night at the Stone Harbor Firehouse, 7-7:45PM, Monday, July 24
  • Tuesdays at the Tower, concert featuring Dead Reckoning, Stone Harbor’s Water Tower Plaza, 7PM, Tuesday, July 25
  • Avalon’s Beach Movie featuring Moana, 30th Street & the Beach, dusk, Tuesday, July 25
  • Summer Author Series with Sally Mott Freeman, ‘The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family’s Quest to Bring Him Home,’ Avalon Free Public Library, 7PM, Wednesday, July 26
  • Stone Harbor Museum Summer Lecture Series featuring Jim Talone & Jamie Hand, ‘Ben Franklin and the Cape May Mitten Trade,’ 7PM, Wednesday, July 26
  • Thursdays on Dune Concert featuring BLT Orchestra, family friendly activities throughout Avalon’s business district from 5:30PM, concert at Veteran’s Plaza at 7PM, Thursday, July 27
  • Thursdays on the Lawn concert featuring Eddie’s Mom, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor, 7:30PM, Thursday, July 27
  • International Tiger Day at the Cape May County Zoo, tiger related activities & keeper talks, www.cmczoo.com for info, 10AM-3PM, Saturday, July 29
  • Brendan Borek 7th Annual Low Tide Beach Ride, registration online at https://ltbr.ticketleap.com/ltbr2017/   9th Street & the Beach, 6:30PM, Saturday, July 29
  • Avalon Aware Lecture by Tom Thornton, An Overview of the New FEMA Flood Maps for Avalon, Avalon Free Public Library, 7PM, Monday, July 31


Featured Property:

This beautiful custom built home is just steps from Avalon’s 32nd Street beach!
62 W. 32nd Street, Avalon, $2,850,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 175412


New Listings:

236 24th Street, Avalon, $989,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177251

330 87th St., #1, Stone Harbor, $1,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177209

65 W. 16th Street, Avalon, $2,195,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177232

153 7th Street, Avalon, $2,395,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177280

6 Pelican Drive, Avalon, $2,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177191

139 94th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,975,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177239

9201 First Avenue, Stone Harbor, $4,395,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177243

176 61st Street, Avalon, $9,975,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177248
 

Properties Sold:

351 96th St., #103, Stone Harbor, $245,500, SOLD MLS#: 168155

7929 Dune Drive, Unit 102, Avalon, $272,000, SOLD MLS#: 170802

263 27th Street, Avalon, $969,000, SOLD MLS#: 175359

36 W. 22nd Street Street, Avalon, $1,295,000, SOLD MLS#: 176432

9411 Sunset Drive, Stone Harbor, $1,640,000, SOLD MLS#: 174245

131 21st Street, Avalon, $2,165,000, SOLD MLS#: 174757

7 86th Street, Stone Harbor, $3,450,000, SOLD MLS#: 173754






Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ Weekly Update July 13th, 2017


SECRETS OF THE DEEP:  An exhibit at the Cape May County Museum features artifacts recovered from ships sunk off the Cape May County coast.  Storms, collisions, and even enemy torpedoes have sent dozens of ships to the bottom in local waters.  Scallopers avoid the wrecks to prevent losing their gear; sport fisherman seek out wrecks due to the marine life that congregates around the sunken hulls.  But it’s divers that visit the wrecks and occasionally retrieve artifacts from them.  The exhibit at the museum will be on display Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9am to 4pm, through October 6th.

“AVALON AWARE” PUBLIC INFORMATION SERIES:  The Avalon Library will host the upcoming “Avalon Aware” series, featuring talks on a variety of topics of interest to the public.  On Monday, July 17th Dr. Brian Reynolds will discuss the importance of Avalon’s dune system.  On July 24th Dr. Stewart Farrell will speak about the evolution of Avalon’s beaches over the past three decades.   On Monday, July 31st Borough Engineer Tom Thornton will discuss new FEMA flood maps.  All sessions begin at 7pm and are free. 

What a beautiful end to a summer day! 

RIDE ALONG with the dolphins and Nik Pattantyus!  Nik is known for his videos recorded while paddle boarding in the ocean, and his latest video makes you feel like you’re out there too!  Watch as dolphins swim alongside and under his paddleboard!  https://vimeo.com/224421388

PHILLIES MANAGER Pete Mackanin took a three-day break in Stone Harbor while Major League ballplayers were on their all-star break.  The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted Mackanin as saying he’d “eat, have a few drinks, and sleep.”  Mackanin also added that he’ll “go to the beach.”  Hopefully Mackanin and the Phillies will have a better second half of the season!

THE WINDRIFT TURNS 50 this summer!  A Seven Mile Times article by Dave Coskey in their July edition recounts the development of the Windrift in 1967, as the Seven Mile Beach responded to growing demand for more accommodations.  (The Golden Inn was built in 1966.)    Over the years the Windrift has grown to offer several restaurants and entertainment along with beachfront accommodations.  Pick up a copy of Seven Mile Times and take a trip down Memory Lane!

 UPCOMING EVENTS:
  • Thursdays on Dune Concert featuring Blue Bone, family friendly activities throughout Avalon’s business district from 5:30PM, concert at Veteran’s Plaza at 7PM, Thursday, July 13
  • Thursdays on the Lawn concert featuring The Snake Brothers, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor, 7:30PM, Thursday, July 13
  • Crabulous Crab Day, The Wetlands Institute, crab themed activities for the whole family, games, prizes, more, www.wetlandsinstitute.org  for details, 9:30AM-3PM, Friday, July 14
  • American Legion Oldies Night,  http://www.stephencludlampost331.org/  for info, Avalon Community Hall, 7-10PM, Friday, July 14
  • Avalon Flip Flop Walk, boardwalk at 32nd Street, visit http://theparkinsoncouncil.org/tpc-events/2017flipflopwalk/   for details, 8AM, Saturday, July 15
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at the Egret Espy Entrance at 114th Street & Second Avenue, 10AM, Saturday, July 15
  • Bay Atlantic Symphony concert, www.avalonfreelibrary.org for info, Avalon Elementary School, 7PM, Saturday, July 15
  • 18th Annual Stone Harbor Triathlon, Yacht Club of Stone Harbor at 9001 Sunset Drive, visit www.compuscore.com for details, 7:30AM, Sunday, July 16
  • Stone Harbor Farmers Market, 95th Street & Water Tower Plaza, 8AM-12:30PM, Sunday, July 16
  • Avalon Yacht Club ‘Run from the Sun’ 5K, 8:30AM, Sunday, July 16
  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour, meet at Egret Espy Trail Entrance at 114th Street & Second Avenue, 10AM, Sunday, July 16
  • Lutheran Church of Our Saviour Blueberry Fest, 9212 Third Avenue, 6:30-8:30PM, Sunday, July 16
  • Tuesdays at the Tower, concert featuring the Mighty Parrot Band, Stone Harbor’s Water Tower Plaza, 7PM, Tuesday, July 18
  • Avalon’s Beach Movie featuring ‘The Secret Life of Pets,’ 30th Street & the Beach, dusk, Tuesday, July 18
  • Stone Harbor Museum Lecture, Music of the World War I Era, 9410 Second Avenue, 7PM, Wednesday, July 19
  • Avalon Public Library sports author lecture ‘The Philadelphia Phillies’ Spring Training in Cape May’ with Jerrold Casway, 7PM, Wednesday, July 19
  • Thursdays on Dune concert featuring Legendary Bar Busters, activities throughout Avalon’s business district starting at 5:30PM, concert at Veteran’s Plaza at 7PM, Thursday, July 20
  • Thursdays on the Lawn concert featuring The Quietmen, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stone Harbor, 7:30PM, Thursday, July 20
  • Avalon Historical Society Clam Shell Competition, 30th Street beach, www.avalonhistorycenter.org for details, 9AM, Saturday, July 22
  • Santa Visits His Summer Home in Stone Harbor, town-wide activities with Santa & Mrs. Claus, www.stoneharborbeach.com for details, Sunday, July 23 through Saturday, July 29

Featured Property:

Just sixth from the beach, this four bedroom townhouse style unit awaits a new owner!


14 E 27th Street, Avalon, $974,900, ACTIVE MLS#: 175458


New Listings:

9501 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $325,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 176990



177 80th Street, #102, Avalon, $329,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177178

162 96th Street, Unit 1, Stone Harbor, $419,900, ACTIVE MLS#: 177074

105 30th Street, Avalon, $439,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177069

10726 Third Avenue, A10, Stone Harbor, $569,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177176

700 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $699,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177137

248 81st St., Unit A, Stone Harbor, $749,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177114

629 Avalon, Avalon Manor, $775,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177019

213 E. 33rd Street, Avalon, $799,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177048

1100 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $944,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177134

1119 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor Manor, $949,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177016

128 11TH Street, Avalon, $1,150,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177062

409 22nd Street, Avalon, $1,199,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 176996

281 88th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,257,900, ACTIVE MLS#: 177027

10803 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, $1,469,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177097

23 West 12th Street, Avalon, $1,695,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177158

3589 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $2,050,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177021

66 E 11th Street, Avalon, $2,375,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177061 

100 107th Street, Stone Harbor, $2,995,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177099 

74 E. 13th Street, Avalon, $3,395,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177091

202 75th Street, Avalon, $3,449,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177076

10 88th Street, Stone Harbor, $4,499,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177063

11610 Second Ave., Stone Harbor, $4,999,000, ACTIVE MLS#: 177156


Properties Sold:

440 21st Street, Avalon, $495,000, SOLD MLS#: 176282

8120 Third Ave., Stone Harbor, $500,000, SOLD MLS#: 173040

1719 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $537,500, SOLD MLS#: 170357

601 Dune Drive, Avalon, $625,000, SOLD MLS#: 176397

700 Ocean Drive, D-4, Avalon, $655,000, SOLD MLS#: 167532

236 23rd Street, Avalon, $710,000, SOLD MLS#: 175071

10626 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, $925,000, SOLD MLS#: 174993

286 83rd Street, Stone Harbor, $1,000,000, SOLD MLS#: 170896

1306 Ocean Drive, Avalon, $1,399,000, SOLD MLS#: 174170

558 7th Street, Avalon, $1,500,000, SOLD MLS#: 177052

272 90th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,637,500, SOLD MLS#: 176455

129 114th Street, Stone Harbor, $1,750,000, SOLD MLS#: 169704

442 24th Street, Avalon, $1,950,000, SOLD MLS#: 171512

10500 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, $2,250,000, SOLD MLS#: 174138








Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to Get Denied for a Mortgage After Preapproval

You've done the work to clean up your credit score, scrape together a down payment and pry a preapproval letter from your mortgage lender. Cheers!

Getting preapproved is a smart move, especially in a seller's market characterized by tight inventories and, in some regions, bidding wars. Having a lender's letter in hand signals to sellers that you're a legit buyer whose offer merits serious consideration.

Even so, a preapproval letter is just a conditional commitment. It can be withdrawn if your financial situation changes in a way that makes your lender nervous.

The best advice? "Maintain the status quo," says Scott Schang, branch manager at BuyWise Mortgage in Anaheim, California.

There are a few surefire ways to get rejected after you've been preapproved.
Among them:



Quitting your job
There's nothing wrong with leaving a job to take a similar or better-paying position at another company, so long as you remain a full-time employee who gets a W-2 form at the end of the year.
"If you're going from a W-2 job to a W-2 job, that's fine," Schang says. However, taking a significant pay cut will raise red flags. So will switching from a salaried job to a position where you're compensated mostly on commission. And quitting your job to launch a new venture is a no-no, at least when it comes to keeping your mortgage approval.
Lending guidelines are much stricter for self-employed borrowers, and lenders typically want to see a two-year track record of self-employment income, says Mathew Carson, founder and broker at West County Mortgage in San Francisco.
The best play: Wait until after you've closed on your house and started paying your mortgage to quit your job and pursue your entrepreneurial dream.

Loading up on debt
This is an obvious bit of advice, but one well worth heeding. In the weeks or months after you get preapproved and before you close on your home, keep your spending impulses on lockdown. That means no new credit cards, no car loans and no big-ticket purchases of any kind. Ignoring this rule of thumb is likely to bring scrutiny from your lender.
Running up a balance on a new credit card will lead your lender to re-examine your debt-to-income ratios, Carson warns. If you were on the borderline before your shopping spree, the new bills could kill the deal.

Paying down old debt
Say you have a preapproval letter but realize you could get a better mortgage rate with a higher credit score. Don't make the mistake of trying to be a hero -- it's likely to backfire, Carson and Schang say.
Paying off delinquent debt, settling up with creditors who have charged off an old debt, canceling credit cards -- all might seem like responsible moves, but they'll hurt your credit score.
"That's one of the backwards things with the credit scoring system," Schang says. "If you cancel a card, that will drop your credit score significantly for 60 to 90 days before it starts to creep up."
It's unclear exactly how much your score will fall if you cancel a card, but the hit could amount to as much as 40 points. Paying down an old balance presents a similar quandary. You think you're cleaning up your finances but your lender just sees more available credit, Carson says, and you could be jeopardizing your credit score.
And when it comes to credit scores, not all debt is created equal. Before you close on a home -- and ideally before you seek preapproval -- you'll need to pay off any liens, old tax bills or current debts in collection. However, if a debt has already been charged off -- that is, the creditor isn't expecting any more payments -- paying it will vault your old debt to a "current" status and actually lower your credit score.
So the rule of thumb for retiring charged-off debt is the same as the guideline for taking on new debt: Wait until after you've closed on your home.

Moving large sums of money
Down payments are a challenge for first-time buyers, and many hit up relatives for help. However, receiving any sum that amounts to more than half your regular paycheck is likely to draw scrutiny from your lender, Carson says.
Banks want to make sure you aren't laundering money. They also want to be certain any sudden windfalls are in fact gifts and not loans. "If money is moving around, that's going to be a red flag for an underwriter, and they're going to pull out the magnifying glass," Schang says.
The good news is that receiving a gift doesn't need to kill your preapproval. But your bank likely will require you to provide a paper trail that includes a letter stating the money is a gift and two months of bank statements from the gift giver. "It can be a little tedious," Carson says.
The wiser move, Schang says, is to have your benefactor wire the down payment gift directly into your escrow account.

The bottom line
Keep in mind credit scores are based on complex calculations, and every borrower's situation is different. In general, though, your overall financial situation matters.

If you have a gold-plated credit score and enough income to comfortably afford your loan, a new store credit card probably won't kill your deal. But if you have a borderline credit score and you're stretching to qualify, even a small hiccup could hurt your chances.


Written by Jeff Ostrowski



Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com

Monday, July 10, 2017

Easy Ways to Make Your Patio Look Great This Summer

Summer is the perfect time of year to be outside with family and friends. The cold weather, snow and rain are gone, and you see bright, sunny days ahead of you. If you're getting ready for a season full of pool parties and barbecues, here's everything you need to make your patio look great:




Update Your Furniture
It's a new season with new trends, so you might be in the market for new patio furniture, or your old furniture just needs some updating. Chances are your cushions and pillows are looking faded, worn out and tattered from last year, so replace them with new cushions or fabric covers to match the rest of your decor. Don't be afraid to go with bold and bright colors or big designs because they won't dominate the area since it's an open space.
You also need enough furniture and seating to fit your family and friends. Get a large round table or a long rectangular table for your guests to eat, snack and set down their drinks. Add extra chairs or a love seat around your table so you can add more people than your immediate family when you host a party. Go for items that are easy to clean so dust, dirt and spills don't permanently ruin your furniture.

Make Some Shade
The summer sun can be intense, so you need shady areas to give yourself and your guests a break. Get a table with an umbrella in the middle to provide some shade while you're eating dinner on the patio. Or add an umbrella on the top step of your pool or behind lounge chairs to stay cool.
If you want a larger shady area, set up a pavilion with a canopy roof in a section of your yard. Add chairs, side tables and a reading area underneath. You also can build a pergola and cover the top and sides with growing vines or climbing plants. This will add some color and nature to your patio as well as provide you with shade.

Light It Up
Transform your patio into a summer wonderland by lighting it up at night. Once the sun goes down and the temperature drops, you'll want to relax on your patio with a nice cocktail or dessert with a lovely glow around you. For a touch of glamour, install an outdoor chandelier or light fixture over your patio table and chairs. String up hanging lights from the roof and side of your pergola to light up your ivy or plants. Put a few candles in translucent vases on side tables surrounding your other furniture or in the middle of your table. This is a great place for you to include some of your accent colors and add a delicate touch to sometimes bulky furniture.

Make It Party Ready
Now that you have the necessities, it's time to get to the fun part. You want people to see your beautiful summer patio, so give them an excuse to come over for a party. Set up a grill, cooler for drinks and counter space to prepare and display your summertime treats. If it tends to get cool at night, get a table with a fire pit in the middle or build your own fire pit where you can roast s'mores and tell ghost stories. You also should invest in some lawn games and board games that you can play well into the night.


Written by Realty Times Staff




Nancy M. Alexander - Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Real Estate NancyAlexander.com