Keeping Current Matters

National Association of Realtors

Friday, August 16, 2019

How to Find the Right Home If You’re Part of a Beginning Family

By Meghan Belnap
As your family grows, it's important to create an environment that's conducive to creating lasting experiences and memories. That's why you should ensure your family has a comfortable and spacious place to live.
If you're a part of a beginning family, you'll need to consider which type of home will work best for you. Here are some things to think about:


Buying a home is a massive investment that'll require upfront costs. You'll need to consider whether you have enough to cover the down payment, closing costs and more. Sure, it's possible to negotiate a portion of the fees with your agent's help; however, you don't want to come to the table with no money down.


Once you've purchased a home, you'll want to consider the cost of maintenance. This is one factor that many people don't fully take into consideration. It's wise to set money aside to cover expenses like repairs and updates. It's also really important to consider monthly maintenance costs, like various utility bills.

Resale Value

If you decide that your next home is where you'll want to set your roots, you don't need to worry about reselling your home; however, if you know that you'll want to upgrade within the next 5-10 years, it's a good idea to consider the resale value of both options. If you were to add a few upgrades to a single-family home, the impact it can make in terms of how much more money you'll get when you resell can be major. A professional who offers real estate services can help you work through those details to help you decide the most feasible option for your family.

Space for Kids

The more children you plan to have, the more space you're likely going to want. While you can maneuver around the dilemma of limited space by using bunk beds and room dividers, that can only last for so long. Think about the future members of your family and the space you'll need as you figure out the type of home to buy.
Ultimately, you need to make a decision that honors the goals you've created. As you think about your goals, your family's future and the reality of your situation, it'll be easier to make the decision that works best for you.

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

Saturday, August 10, 2019

4 Affordable Ways to Get a First Home to Start Your Family

By Meghan Belnap
If you’re ready to start a family, you’re likely concerned over how you’ll be able to afford the right family home. You can save money on your first family home by going through the right channels to secure the best deal.
Here are four affordable ways to get a first home to start your family:

Apply for First-Home Buyer Assistance

Certain loans and grants are available to first-time homebuyers to ease the purchasing costs. Programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can save you money on a home and even help you with public housing residence, if necessary. A Veteran’s Administration (VA) loan might be available to you if you’ve served in the armed forces. You might also be eligible to apply for a USDA loan or an FHA loan.

Choose a Condo Instead

Most families want to live in a house, but there are plenty of condos for sale that make great family homes. Some condominium complexes also have security guards on staff and take other measures to keep residents safer. Buying a condo that’s large enough to support you and your growing family can be done with help from a reputable property management company.

Get Preapproved

Getting preapproved for a mortgage will help you budget better so that you can know exactly where you stand financially. To get preapproved, your prospective lender will examine your income, credit score and other financial details to determine if you’re eligible. There are online services that can be used to determine if you can get preapproved. However, it should be noted that preapproval doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a loan.

Work With the Right Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent who’s experienced in working with people who have similar budgets to yours can help you find the right home faster and at the lowest rate. The best agents know how to negotiate deals and stay updated on the housing market conditions to follow local real estate trends. The agent you hire can show you a variety of homes in the area you wish to live and offer sound advice to help you with your purchasing decision. Any agent that you choose should be licensed and willing to show you references.
Getting into a home that suits your family can be possible with the right methods. Following the best advice and taking advantage of the most suitable programs for first-time homebuyers will point you in the right direction!

source: Housecall

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

Thursday, August 8, 2019

(Really) Great Spaces: Sugar Ray Leonard’s Sprawling Italian-Style Villa

sugar ray leonard

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard has just listed his Pacific Palisades, Calif., home and it's as grand as the man himself. Nestled in the prestigious Riviera section of the Los Angeles neighborhood, Leonard has listed the 16,773-square-foot property for $51,995,000.
Designed by architect Richard Landry—who is a legend in his own field—the Italian-style villa was built by the Leonards almost 23 years ago. The seven-bedroom estate features a gorgeous ivy-covered fa├žade and a formal foyer which leads to a grand center hall that connects the home's living room, formal dining room, solarium and kitchen.
The estate also has a large gym and media room, as well as six massive fireplaces imported from Europe and stone floors imported from Jerusalem.
"This home has been a peaceful oasis offering incredible privacy and superior amenities to raise our family," says Sugar Ray's wife, Bernadette.
Outside amenities include a detached two-story guesthouse adjacent to the pool, a huge patio space, a spa and a tennis court.
sugar ray leonard

sugar ray leonard
sugar ray leonard
sugar ray leonard
Listed for: $51,995,000
Listed by: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Photos by: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

How to Get the Best Price When Selling Your Home

selling home

By Meghan Belnap
If you're selling your home, you're likely trying to make as much of a profit as possible. Unfortunately, most markets are crowded and it can be difficult to stand out. If you want to get a good price, you should consider following these steps:

Work With an Appraiser

Your first step should be to work with an appraiser. A good appraiser will help you not just to figure out how much your home is reasonably worth, but also help you to figure out which parts of your home are the most marketable. If you can put more of an emphasis on those features, you'll have a much better chance of selling your home for a great price.

Do Your Homework

Your next step is to start doing your research, and that typically means doing more than just typing "sell my house" into a search bar. You're going to want to work with local real estate professionals to figure out not just how much your home is worth, but what the market is like in your area. Remember, it's often the other homes that are up for sale at the same time as your own that'll determine exactly what kind of asking price you'll be able to post.

Finish Major Repairs

No one wants to buy a home that needs major repairs completed. Take some time to look at the most problematic areas of your home and to get the work done. Though this does mean spending money, doing so will make your home look more attractive to buyers. If you can present a home that looks like it's move-in ready, you may be able to sell your home more quickly and get more from your potential buyers.

Stage Your Home Professionally

Finally, take some time to work with a professional in order to stage your home before your showings. You want to highlight your home's potential, so make an investment that'll really wow the people who are looking at it. Just a bit of time and money spent on staging can have a huge impact on how buyers perceive your home.
Getting a better price for your home is largely a process of understanding what your home is worth and then marketing it as best you can. Get your home appraised, make it look great and take steps to make sure it stands out. Once that's done, you'll be sure to fetch a good price!

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

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Beat the Heat with Lakefront Living:® Ranks Affordable Lake Towns

It's been a scorcher this summer, with temperatures reaching record highs. So it's no wonder the masses are heading toward the water in search of a summer heat reprieve.
Forget beach houses, however. Lake towns are trending and® just announced the best affordable lake towns of 2019. Here's how they rank, according to the report:


  1. Branson, Mo.
Median List Price: $205,900
  1. East Stroudsburg, Pa.
  1. Port Clinton, Ohio
  1. Jamestown, N.Y. (Chautauqua County)
  1. Alexandria, Minn.
  1. Clearlake, Calif.
  1. Spirit Lake, Ind.
  1. Mountain Home, Ark.
  1. Baraboo, Wis.
  1. Sandpoint, Ind.
Where should you buy your lakefront vacation home? It all depends on what you're looking for.®'s rankings reflect properties listed on its website that appeared after searching phrases like "lake view" and "lake house" across 900 U.S. metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Only locations that had over 50 listings in a 12-month period, as well as median home prices below $450,000, made the cut. Also taken into consideration were amenities—what percentage of these homes offer easy access to dining, drinking and outdoor activities?
For those who like paddle boats and water skiing, Branson's Table Rock Lake offers 43,000 acres for water sport enjoyment. If you're looking for some antique shopping, Port Clinton may be more your taste. But if fishing is what you love to do, take a look at Mountain Home for some grade-A bass catching.
"Lake towns offer people an affordable destination with water sports, amenities, natural beauty and an array of often top-quality dining options," said Clare Trapasso, senior news editor at®, in a statement. "Some of these lake towns also double as ski resorts in the winter. Those who enjoy cold-weather sports, in addition to summer activities may, in fact, be getting a home they can enjoy throughout the year."
For more information on lakefront living, visit

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