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Friday, March 29, 2019

Tips for Reviving Your Lawn After Winter


By Katie Kuchta
Waking up your lawn can be challenging, and there is added pressure if you want to put a home on the market. Early spring is one of the best times of the year to make your home look great. This busy season coincides with an uptick in activity in the real estate market, making it that much more critical for you to get your lawn back in great shape.
Here are a few helpful tips for reviving your lawn after the beating it likely took this winter:

Feed It Well

Spring is the most critical time to give your lawn a boost. Winter drags on in many areas of the country, which can deplete a yard come spring. If you find yourself in this situation, try applying a quick-release fertilizer to prepare your lawn for spring. This fertilizer will get to the roots and green up your yard in a few days. However, be cautious when applying a quick-release fertilizer, as putting too much in one spot can kill your grass.
Other fertilizer options include slow-release fertilizers that'll feed your lawn over time. This kind of fertilizer usually comes in granules or pellets that sit on top of your soil. They dissolve over time and provide the best long-lasting energy option for lawns.

Water in the Morning

Fertilizer applications need moisture to work best. Watering your lawn in the spring may seem counterintuitive given the rainfall that some climates receive, but watering your lawn regularly is essential to help the grass grow strong. Consider watering your yard in the morning before 10 a.m., as this will allow the lawn time to soak up the water and dry out under the afternoon sun. Watering in the evening or at night may seem smart, but it can actually cause lawn care problems such as disease and fungi.

Ease Into Mowing

While your lawn may have grown a little throughout the winter depending on your location, lawns need some time to ease into the spring. Refrain from mowing your lawn on a low setting as temperatures go up. Short lawns expose the root system, which can create a stressful situation for the grass. Consider doing a light mow early on in the season to take off the tips of the blades. Doing so will ease your lawn back into the growing season and will help keep it looking great.

Start Fighting Weeds

Homeowners looking to put their home on the market should combat any weeds in their lawn. There are many weed and feed chemicals to help prevent weeds. These mixes often include different fertilizers, so be sure to read the directions so that you don't give your lawn too much. Locate any problem areas in your yard and consider applying weed control to those areas, as well.

Seed Thin Spots

It's common for bare spots to appear after a long winter. Immediately care for areas of the lawn that have thinned or are completely bare. These spots can cause problems, not only with weed growth, but also in presenting a beautiful lawn to a prospective buyer. Rake out these spots in your yard and apply a good amount of seed. Give these spots extra water a few weeks after you seed them to encourage new grass roots to take hold.
There are many ways to help your lawn come back after a long winter. Mow the grass on a high setting until it has had time to recover, fertilize and water the lawn to boost growth, and be sure to keep weeds away by using preventive measures. Follow all the tips listed above and your lawn will be back to its former glory in no time.




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

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Are you looking for Vacation Rentals in Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ on "7 mile island"?

See properties and find the perfect vacation rental property for you!


2019 Flip book with links to each property,  amenities, location and availability.



https://www.flipsnack.com/rjsoensgroup/2019-long-foster-renting-at-the-shore_digital/full-view.html


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

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

How to Make Your Home Look Expensive on a Budget


By Shelley Alexanian
You want your home to look luxe, but your bank account has other ideas. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot to make it look like you did.
With a little ingenuity and these 12 ideas, you can transform your home into a posh palace:
Splurge on Focal Pieces. You may not be able to break the bank on every item in your home, but consider splurging on attention-grabbing pieces. For example, a high-quality leather chair or fancy wallpaper on a prominent wall are good ways to spend money strategically. With these elements in place, you can be more budget-conscious with other purchases.
Layer Rugs. Rugs are a cost-effective way to add warmth and style to a room. To create a custom look, layer rugs beneath a furniture grouping. For example, use a large, rectangular sisal rug in a neutral color as the anchor. On top, place an animal print rug or use a series of brightly colored rugs in geometric patterns to create interest.
Employ Wainscoting and Trim. There's no way around it. Wainscoting, crown moldings and other types of custom trimwork make a home look elegant. Fortunately, they're not terribly expensive to install, especially if you have the tools and know-how to do it yourself. 
Use Paint to Your Advantage. Not only is paint affordable, but it is transformative. Simply painting walls a sophisticated color will achieve the high-end look you desire. Paint can also transform thrift-store furniture and decor. With many types of paint readily available at your local hardware store, you can easily alter textures within your design scheme. Use chalk paint to distress a vintage table or a metallic spray paint to refresh picture frames or decorative elements.
Paint Doors. Set the aesthetic from the moment a guest arrives at your house. Paint your front door a color that complements your home’s interior. The door's color will anchor your home's color scheme while adding drama and style to your entryway. Also consider painting the interior doors in your abode a signature color that makes your residence one-of-a-kind.
Opt for Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring. Love the look of hardwood, but can't afford the price tag? Luxury vinyl plank flooring is an affordable alternative. The best part? You can probably install it yourself, which means you don't have to pay labor costs. Vinyl plank flooring can be glued or clicked in place for easy installation. It's also waterproof, which makes it a practical alternative in kitchens and bathrooms.
Layer Lighting. A layered lighting concept will add warmth, depth and glamour to any room. Along with overhead lighting, utilize lamps, plug-in sconces and possibly LED lighting to create a glowing lightscape.
Copy a Look You Love. During your window shopping trips, you've probably discovered furniture, light fixtures or other design elements that are way out of your price range. That's fine! Snap a photo so you can recreate the look for less. A quick search on Pinterest may reveal similar ideas. Or hit the thrift stores and flea markets to find raw materials for your design hack.
Fake It 'til You Make It. Expensive homes often have soaring ceilings. Your home's ceilings may be decidedly lower, but you can make them look higher. Just hang your curtains closer to the ceiling than the window frame. This creates an optical illusion that makes the room seem taller.
Embrace Your Artistic Side. Large-scale artwork is a great way to set your home apart, but it's usually quite pricey. Instead of blowing your budget, make it yourself. Simply buy a huge, white canvas and create a masterpiece. Abstract paintings are good options if you're not artistically gifted; if you have a little talent in this area, you might try your hand at a more contemporary composition. Display your art prominently in your home. When friends ask about it, just tell them you had the piece commissioned by an up-and-coming artist!
Don't Overdo It. Adding too many elements to a room will cheapen the look. If a room appears too cluttered, remove some knick-knacks, pillows or books. Remember, less is usually more when it comes to interior design. You'll end up with a more sophisticated space that feels light and airy instead of cramped and busy.
Camouflage the Television. While the television may play a prominent role in your family's life, it can also detract from your interior design. Hide it in a cabinet, piece of furniture or behind a screen when you have visitors.
Making your home look like a million bucks doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can achieve a high-end look for less using some creativity and these tips.




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

Monday, March 25, 2019

Selling in April Could Save You Time and Money, Realtor.com Reports



by Liz Dominguez
Sellers are often faced with a difficult question—"When should I list my home for sale?" Each season has its own pros and cons. The winter months, for example, are slower so there is less inventory competition. Spring market, however, is abuzz with new buyers coming out in full force. For the best answer, the question needs to be expanded to "When should I list my home for sale if I live in XXX?", because according to a new Realtor.com® report, location is key.
Here's the best time to list for the top 50 largest U.S. metros, according to the report:

Based on several factors—including trends in median listing prices, property views on realtor.com, home price drops, median days on market and the number of listings on the market in the last three years—realtor.com determined that the best time to sell, on average, is the first week of April. Why? Competition is still low, but buyers are out in droves, snapping up homes and driving up home values.




"June is often considered the peak of home-buying season, but our analysis found the first week of April is best for sellers looking to maximize list price, and also reduce the risk of price cuts and competition from other sellers," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. "Given the time it takes from listing to close, putting a home on the market in early April positions sellers to attract buyers seeking to close and move before the beginning of school year."
Properties listed this week see about 14 percent more views on average. And compared to last year's weekly average, there's also 5 percent less competition and so homes sell 9 percent (or 6 days) faster, on average. Declining mortgage interest rates may also play a role in April's healthy buyer demand. Compared to the near 5 percent rates of November 2018, rates today are much lower, trending below 4.5 percent.
Sale values may also increase this week. Homes listed between March 31 and April 6 are typically priced 6 percent higher than at the beginning of the year, states the report. While June brings even higher list prices, the chance for a reduction also increases toward the end of summer as buyers retreat.
Sellers, list your home in April, enjoy a quick market time and save those pennies for a rainy day!
For more information and to read the entire report, visit. www.realtor.com.


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

Saturday, March 23, 2019

5 Reasons to Buy a Fixer-Upper Instead of a Perfect Place



“Location, location, location” is the mantra when it comes to where to buy a home. But when it comes to what to buy, it gets a little more complicated. There is definitely a contingent who would insist that you would buy the best home you can afford. But while there is something to be said for buying a move-in ready home, a place that needs a little love can be downright irresistible.
You don't have to go all Chip and Joanna here, but buying a fixer-upper makes sense for so many reasons.

It costs less

“Fixer-uppers list for an average of 8% below market value,” said LearnVest. If you’re on a budget or are being priced out in your market, this is a way to get a literal foot in the door. How much depends greatly on the location. “Fixer-uppers in Phoenix have the smallest cash discount, saving buyers just $1,000 off list price. But you can save a lot of money in expensive markets like San Francisco, where fixer-uppers are discounted an average of 10%—giving homebuyers $54,000 in upfront savings for renovations on the median home.”

You may be able to finance your renovation

One of the major drawbacks of buying a home that needs to be fixed up is having to come up with the cash—especially after you’ve just put so much money into your down payment and closing costs. There are a few different types of loans that package the mortgage with funds for renovations, and they often come as a surprise to buyers who have only focused on FHA and 30-year conventional loans.
“Whether you need a new roof or your kitchen is outdated, there is a mortgage that’s right for your fixer-upper,” said Bankrate. Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle loan and FHA’s 203(k) loan both bundle a mortgage and funds for renovations. They each require a minimum credit score of 620. You’ll need at least 5% down payment for HomeStyle and just 3.5% for the 203(k).

It gives you the opportunity to build value

With an already-updated home, “If a seller has redecorated or improved the whole place, that seller is reaping the benefit,” said Forbes. “If the home's value has been raised, the buyer is paying for it. Also, consider this reality: A seller who re-does a whole house in order to sell is not likely putting in the highest-quality materials. They're cutting costs to maximize profit. But if you buy a fixer-upper, you might be able to secure an undervalued property, improve it and get the benefit of the extra equity. It's a core real estate concept. If you can find the right property, this could mean thousands of dollars almost immediately.”

You can do renovations over time

There may be a few things you can’t live with in a fixer-upper, like the grungy carpet and cruddy plumbing fixtures, but no one (other than design shows) says your place has to be perfect the day you move in. Taking your time to make updates as you’re able gives you the opportunity to save money and recover from all the expenses of buying the home and moving in.

It allows you to put your stamp on it

When you buy a home that was lived in and fixed up by someone else, it reflects their taste and style—or at least the taste and style they think will help the house sell faster. If you buy a house with the intention of fixing it up, you get to update and upgrade it to your standards, and you have the money to do so.


“One of the primary reasons people buy fixer-upper properties is for the opportunity to make the space their own,” said Green Residential. “Instead of purchasing a home in which someone else designed the layout, chose the materials, and dictated where different elements were placed, you can buy a basic structure and then take charge. It’s like building your own home without having to go through the lengthy process of drawing plans and constructing it from the ground up.”


Written by Jaymi Naciri





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

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Six Ways to Make Yourself Happier at Home



Your home is your haven. Or, at least, it should be. But is it really making you happy or are there aspects of your place that are bringing you down? Little fixes can turn it all around.


Get some houseplants

Put your green thumb to good use and surround yourself with houseplants. Not only will they add a fresh element to your décor (literally!), but they can also make your home healthier, and improve your mood.
“Houseplants are good for your health—and not just for their visual beauty,” said NBC News. “Why? They essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. This not only freshens up the air, but also eliminates harmful toxins. Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours. Studies have also proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduce stress levels and boost your mood.”

Put your stuff away

“A lived-in home is a loved home, right? But when your stuff starts to take over, it can create chaos—in your home, and your mind. “Pursuing a state of harmony between yourself and your home…confers a range of psychological benefits for reasons that are rooted in science,” said Thrive Global. “Studies have identified a direct link between the stress hormone cortisol and clutter. Cortisol is not just linked to stress. At elevated levels, it also causes depression.” In addition, decluttering “leads to eating better” and improves air quality.”

Paint something

Choose a wall, an old piece of furniture, or an entire room. It’s a manageable project you can do yourself and one that can totally change the energy of a space. Or, buy a canvas and create an art piece you can then hang in your home. “Creating art teaches you to be attuned with aesthetic of the visual world around you and makes you appreciate the beauty in and of life,” said Health Fitness Revolution. “You gain a new appreciation for the texture of a tree’s bark or the fur of a dog, of the various highlights and shadows playing on even the more bare of white walls. Embracing the beauty around you gives you a more positive outlook of the world and can even decrease the risk of mental illness.”

Make those little fixes

The burned-out light bulb 20 feet up in the living room. The broken drawer pull in the kitchen. All those little annoyances are stealing your happy. Pick a Sunday and attack them one by one or make a list and check it twice for your handyman so you can replace the long sighs with wide smiles.

Invest in a house cleaner

All that time taking care of your home leaves you little time to enjoy your home. If you can swing it, finding someone to help you with housework can be liberating in more ways than one. Not only will it free up some of your time, but a good, solid deep cleaning can make your home healthier, too.

Build a garden



Wouldn’t it be nice to grow your own veggies, or at least fresh herbs? Perhaps the best news about gardening is how it can make you feel, and not just when you’re eating what you have managed to grow. “Getting your hands dirty in the garden can increase your serotonin levels—contact with soil and a specific soil bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of serotonin in our brain according to research,” said Djanbung Gardens. “Serotonin is a happy chemical, a natural anti-depressant and strengthens the immune system.”


Written by Jaymi Naciri






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

Monday, March 18, 2019

Top Smart Tech to Integrate Into Your Home


By Brentnie Daggett
It's no surprise that one of the most common predictions for the real estate industry in 2019 is the continued importance of technology. As smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices continue to increase in popularity and capability, smart home technology continues to grow at pace. New technology built specifically to simplify the lives of homeowners is introduced all the time, and it can be challenging to understand which applications might be worth a try.
Smart home tech, or home automation systems, gives users the convenience of easily monitoring and controlling their home systems remotely. Homeowners can turn on their AC, control their lights, unlock their front door for visitors, and more—all from the office or across the country.
Home automation systems can be wired into the structure of the house with a central control panel, or installed through external devices like electronic plug adapters or standalone sensors. The systems are connected over wireless networks and linked directly to your smartphone or tablet, giving you control through an app. Smart home tech is designed to give homeowners added security, comfort, energy management and peace of mind.
If you're uncomfortable with technology or new to home automation systems, your options can seem overwhelming. Here are some easy ways to integrate new technology into your home, and how they can help make your life easier:
Smart Thermostats: While programmable thermostats are not a new concept, smart thermostats can consider weather patterns and user behavior to adjust the temperature of your home to fit your needs. You'll be able to turn on your AC or heat remotely if your schedule changes to ensure you arrive to a comfortable home. The increased control can also help you boost your energy efficiency.
Smart Plugs: Smart plugs won't require any extra hardwiring and allow you to manage different devices plugged into outlets from anywhere. You can turn on a lamp to make it look like someone is home when you're out, turn on a slow cooker to start preparing dinner before you get home, or turn off the coffee pot that you always seem to leave on. Smart plugs can also help you limit your energy use by powering down smart plug outlets when they're not in use.
Smart Lighting: Integrating smart lighting into your home is as easy as installing a special LED light bulb. (No rewiring necessary!) Homeowners can control different lighting conditions from their mobile device, setting the mood for a party or romantic dinner with color and brightness features. You can also program smart bulbs to different settings, like slowly brightening in the morning to help your eyes adjust or dimming at night to help prepare for sleep.
Smart Irrigation Systems: Smart irrigation systems can help you find the balance between maintaining beautiful landscaping and actively managing your water usage. These systems go beyond a programmed timer for watering lawns and flower beds by monitoring weather patterns, soil moisture content and temperatures to adjust water usage accordingly.
Smart Water Sensors: Truly relax on your next vacation knowing that your home is protected by a moisture sensor. These systems will send a notification to your smartphone or tablet if excess moisture is detected in your home, helping you to prevent water leakage like plumbing issues, burst pipes or flooding before it causes a major problem.
We're quick to adopt new technology in other areas of our lives, so why not when it comes to our homes? Trying out a smart system or two doesn't have to be a huge investment and can help you do everything from bolstering your sustainability practices to giving you peace of mind while away. There's a system out there that is "smart" enough to meet almost any need you could have as a homeowner.




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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Tips for Choosing a Lender When Buying a House



By Bill Gassett
Are you ready to buy your own home? That may sound like a bit of a weird question. However, many homebuyers are just not prepared when it comes to buying their first or a new home.
On the surface, it may seem that taking out a mortgage is going to be easy. Often, the opposite is true. There are many people out there who are poorly prepared when it comes to taking out a loan. It's essential to understand that getting ready to procure financing is a process and an important one at that.
Choosing an exceptional mortgage lender is crucial to making the home-buying process go smoothly. Remember, like any other industry, there are going to be those you immediately recognize as professionals and others you might have your doubts about. Make sure you don't pick the latter. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a lender:

Your Credit Score Matters

The mortgage lending process starts way before you even step into the bank. You first need to make sure that your credit score is in great shape. That doesn't happen overnight, and it's better to be safe than sorry. Before you even begin looking around for your first home, you should check your credit score.
Consider it good financial housekeeping to know your credit score. You can check it once a year for free with leading credit agencies such as Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Make sure your credit report is correct and doesn't contain any errors. You should also have an understanding of the reasons a credit score can drop.
All mortgage lenders will check your credit score to qualify you for a mortgage. An outstanding credit score will help you get the lowest interest rate and other important mortgage terms.

What Kind of Organization is Going to Lend You the Money?

The mortgage lending business forms a significant sector of the financial industry. Today, you can obtain loans from a variety of sources. If you have a good working relationship with your bank, you certainly want to talk to them first. But, don't jump the gun. This is all about getting the right deal for you, and making sure your mortgage costs you as little as possible in the long run.
Apart from your bank, check other financial institutions such as credit unions, mortgage banks, savings and loans, and correspondent lenders. Also, don't forget to check out mutual savings banks—many of them offer excellent rates for well-qualified borrowers.

Get Pre-approved Before You Start Looking For a Home

Getting pre-approved is something that anyone looking to obtain a mortgage from a lender should do. Lending organizations love documentation so be prepared to show them everything in writing when the time comes.
Here's a top tip: You don't want them pulling your credit report too often. Too many lenders pulling your credit report can affect your credit score—it's as simple as that. Once you've found the deal that's right for you, then it's okay for a mortgage lender to pull your report.
It's best to supply your copy during the pre-approval process; however, some lenders may insist on your credit report being pulled again.
Other required paperwork includes:
  • All financial information, like savings and pensions
  • Social security number
  • Any outstanding debts, such as car loans and credit card balances
  • Salary and the name of your employer
  • At least two years of tax returns
You also need to inform a potential lender of the funds you have available as a down payment. Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
  • A pre-approval is not the same as a pre-qualification letter. You need to make sure the lender is verifying your income and employment along with checking your credit history. If the lender doesn't do these things and hands you a pre-qualification letter, it's worthless. Top agents will insist on a pre-approval.
  • If you're getting a conventional mortgage and are making less than a 20 percent down payment, you'll be paying what's known as private mortgage insurance. PMI is a type of insurance the lender charges you that provides them with some protection in the event you default on the loan.

Research the Rates From Several Lenders

It's vital that you check out the rates from multiple lenders. You can use online mortgage calculators to help you make the right choice. Creating your own record is a good idea, and the best way to do so is to create a online spreadsheet.
Check both interest rates and the final amount you'll end up paying to your mortgage lender. What would happen if you were to make more substantial payments than just the customarily charged amount? Would that save you money in the long run?
Many borrowers would love to take out a fifteen-year mortgage rather than the more typical thirty-year mortgage. For many, though, that's impossible because they don't qualify. The alternative is to either make larger monthly payments or to make one extra payment a year. Doing so will help you pay off your mortgage quicker.
It's advisable to speak with a financial advisor to see if making extra payments makes sense for you or would you be better off investing the money elsewhere.

Read the Contract Before You Sign

Your mortgage agreement with your lender is a contract, and you should never lose sight of that. Many lenders include additional fees such as commission, appraisal and loan applications fees. Be sure to include these and others that you may come across in your spreadsheet.
The costs of a mortgage can quickly add up, and you need to stay on top of them. Explore all options and never feel embarrassed to ask questions of your lender. That's the only way you're going to find out the true cost of your mortgage.
Never become enamored with a low-interest rate if all the other terms make the loan more expensive in the end. The best mortgage reps never take advantage of their clients for their own financial gain. If you have already started working with an agent, use them as a resource for picking a lender!


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

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

What’s Your Occupation? It Might Help You Decide Where to Live


Would you move if your career offered you a lower cost of homeownership in another state? Well, pack those bags because you've got some great prospects! Some occupations can get you as much as $4,000 in total savings per month depending on the state in which you live.
A recent PropertyShark report analyzed the median income of each occupation in each city, as well as the funds left over after rent and other living expenses have been paid for. With this information, they were able to determine how many months it would take to save for a 20 percent down payment in each city depending on the occupation. Here's what they found:


Law Enforcement
City: Dayton, Ohio
Savings: $4.4K
Total months to save: 3
Legal
Dayton, Ohio
$3.9K
4 months
Architecture / Engineering
Syracuse, N.Y.
$2.9K
7 months
Life / Physical/ Social Sciences
Mobile, Ala.
$2.9K
9 months
Computer / Engineering / Science
Huntsville, Ala.
$3.6K
10 months
Health Diagnosing / Treating Practitioners / Technical
Buffalo, N.Y.
$1.9K
10 months
Management
Huntsville, Ala., and Little Rock, Ark.
$3.2K and $3.1K
11 months
Computer / Mathematical
Detroit, Mich.
$0.9K
11 months
Business / Financial Operations
Springfield, Mo.
$1.5K
16 months
Healthcare Practitioner / Technical
Mobile, Ala., and Bakersfield, Calif.
$1.2K and $2.3K
21 months
If you're a lawyer or work in law enforcement, Dayton, Ohio, may be your best bet. There you can save for a 20 percent down payment in just five months at the median salary. It helps to know that the Wright-Patterson complex, one of the largest and most diverse air force bases in the country, is located right over the city lines. Talk about a great commute!
Can you imagine saving up for a down payment in just seven months? Architects can in Syracuse, N.Y. And if you work in healthcare, Buffalo, N.Y., might be the place to go. There you can save for a down payment in only 10 months.
So, if homeownership is on the mind but you're having trouble scraping together some savings for a down payment, perhaps you'll consider looking for a new place to call home. Did you move based on your occupation? Let us know where you ended up!


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

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Great Spaces: March Is for Mansions

This month, we're supersizing our Great Spaces section with a look at some spectacular mansions.  by Zoe Eisenberg

Hang at the Ross-Hand Mansion
This historic Hudson Valley home—originally built in 1854—offers a fusion of rustic charm and deluxe modern amenities. The 5,000-square-foot Gothic Revival sits on four acres of private estate with epic views of the Hudson River, five bedrooms and five baths. If the mansion's stunning stonework looks familiar, there's a reason: The mansion was originally built for iconic architect Azariah Ross, the designer behind the stone bridges featured throughout Central Park. The estate is located in South Nyack, N.Y., just 20 miles outside of New York City.
 



Listed by: Donna Cox, Better Homes and Gardens Rand RealtyListed for: $1,852,500Photos by: Donna Cox, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty

Miami Beach Mega Mansion

This eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom lavish mega mansion stretches just shy of 10,000 square feet in sunny Miami Beach, Fla. The Mediterranean-style estate comes decked out with an incredible lagoon-style pool, sweeping grand staircase, a billiard room, glass-enclosed wine cellar, home gym, private dock, home theater and bedrooms ready for royalty. Built in 2002, the mansion has ample indoor/outdoor living space, water access and incredible views of Biscayne Bay and South Beach.
 




Listed by: Lourdes Alatriste, Engel & VölkersListed for: $26,200,000Photos by: Blue Ocean Photography

Sold: Park City Paradise

Utahns, listen up! This seven-bedroom, 10-bathroom estate recently sold for $11.6 million, landing the headline of the most expensive home sold in Utah in all of 2018. Spanning over 14,000 square feet on 1.5 acres, the mansion—located at 7996 Roamer Ct. in Sundance's iconic Park City—was previously owned by studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Disney chairman and the producer of family-favorite films like "Shrek" and "Chicken Run." Situated in the private Bald Eagle Club, the estate includes direct access to a kid-friendly ski-on/ski-off trail, a billiard room, game room, ski room, indoor pool and sauna.
 


Listed by: Paul Benson, Engel & Völkers Park CitySold for: $11,600,000Photos by: Engel & Völkers



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

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Top Tips for Marketing and Selling Your Home Online


By Meghan Belnap
Selling your home will vary in difficulty depending on where you live; however, using online resources as part of your marketing strategy will help you sell your house faster and get you more exposure to those who may be looking to move from another area. Here are some of the top tips for marketing and selling your home online:
List on Major Real Estate Websites 
This should be one of the first things you plan to do when thinking about selling your home. Most buyers start shopping on websites such as Zillow and Trulia and may even use these sites as their primary resource when looking. Also consider listing your property on more locally-oriented sites. Either you or your real estate agent may post the listing, though an agent may be able to get you onto listings from real estate companies that'll do extra marketing for you. Some of these sites may charge a fee to list, but the investment may be worth it for the sheer exposure to potential buyers. Your agent will also be able to direct you to sites that allow you to list for free, so be sure to ask about the services that a listing site will offer before signing up to ensure that you and your agent are on the same page as to what you want from the service.
Take Detailed, Attractive Pictures 
House listings with good photos tend to attract more buyers and sell more quickly. There is no way to properly describe your home in just words, let alone in few enough words to avoid losing the interest of a potential buyer. A picture, however, is worth a thousand words, and allows potential buyers to see the beauty of your home without having to drive out to see it. Buyers don't want to waste time on houses that could end up sounding better than they look, so providing pictures also adds visual proof of your claims in terms of your home's quality.
You can take the pictures yourself, or better yet, coordinate with your agent to get a professional photographer. Either way, make sure the photos are detailed and highlight the home's special features, such as a basement, pool or your nice hardwood floors. Try and get a few photos from different angles of the major rooms in the house, as well as different external shots. Make sure the house is clean and looks nice before you begin taking pictures. Leave your furniture in the shots so that you can show what the house could potentially look like for the buyer, but keep clutter and personal items out to give the buyer a more neutral canvas to imagine their own belongings in.
Write Effective Descriptions 
Having attractive listing descriptions can generate more interest in your home. One of the best ways to get ideas is to look at listings of similar houses or other houses in your area to see how they are being presented. Most real estate agents will write the listing for you, but you can help them by ensuring they have the information they need about your home. The information provided in the description should consist of the basics, as well as the best aspects that make your home stand out. Things that are important to include if you have them are chimneys, fireplaces, special flooring, gardens and special plumbing or lighting features. Any improvements that have been made to your home can improve the value of your home to buyers. If you're unsure if something qualifies to be put on a listing, speak to your real estate agent, as they'll be able to decide which details are most important to include in a listing for the current market.
Share on Social Media 
Go ahead and share the fact that you're selling your home on social media. While your agent will be doing networking of their own, doing your part to share your listing around the web will give you extra exposure. Someone you know may very well be interested in buying your home or know someone else who is. Your own personal page isn't your only option for marketing your listing on social media, however. Many cities have their own Facebook and other social media pages dedicated to the residents of those areas, allowing for everyone to post questions, missing animal notices and, in your case, home listings.
People often post questions on these pages about home-buying opportunities, making it the perfect place to market to someone who is looking to move into your area. Social media has an added advantage of being able to post video of your home or even do a live stream, which could entice more buyers. If your real estate agent has already set up posts on these sites with your listing, then be sure to like and share, and encourage your friends to do the same to help spread the listing around.
Internet exposure is essential to getting a swift and competitive sale for your home. It's where most buyers begin their home search in today's market and will get you a great deal more exposure to higher-quality buyers than a sign on the street. A strong online presence will increase your chances of selling the home quickly and at the best possible price. When hiring an agent, make sure that they're aware of modern online marketing practices and are actively using them with their other clients so that you can have the greatest expertise on your side.




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