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Articles Tagged "Home Improvements"

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October
20

How a Stager Prepares a Home for Market

Getting a home ready to sell in any market can seem daunting to anyone. While it may take some extra motivation and hard work, staging a home can make it a standout property that grabs any buyers' attention.

Here are some examples of how the best home stagers show off a home to nab multiple offers—often above the listing price.

Cue inviting curb appeal

A home stager may refresh a property's exterior by updating the original siding with vinyl, adding new shutters, and replacing outdoor light fixtures. A few weeks before listing, weeding, mulching, and powerwashing the walkways also go a long way.

Depersonalize and neutralize

Buyers want to envision themselves in the home. A stager will remove any personal elements like family photos, children's toys, and collectibles. They may choose neutral palettes, furnishings with clean lines, modern sectionals, new window treatments, cozy-chic accents, and pops of warm colors to brighten the space.

Simplify

When staging something like a kitchen eat-in area, they will look for ways to simplify and brighten. For example, removing personal wall art and extra objects can help make the space feel larger and more inviting.


Create a cozy bedroom

Bedrooms are key spaces for buyers to connect with. After removing personal items, stagers often repaint the owner's suite and extra bedrooms, and follow up with fresh bedding, colorful pillows, inviting lighting, and modern area rugs that showcase hardwood floors.

 

Put simply, staging "sets the stage" for potential buyers. By redecorating, rearranging furniture, cleaning, and employing other aesthetic strategies, a professional home stager makes the property look as appealing as possible to get top-dollar from buyers and to secure happy clients.

 

Contact us for more trick and tips in real estate.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ready to buy or sell? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country our agents have years of experience and are ready to help.

Call Today!! (732) 634-9100

https://www.jjelekrealty.com/

#jjelekrealty 

September
22

Home Improvement Projects You Should Not Ignore

When the temperatures drop and the leaves start to fall, it's time to take a good look at your home's plumbing. Preventative measures are key to avoiding damage and pricey repairs. To help you with your maintenance efforts, we've gathered some of the most common plumbing problems that start in the fall season.

Preventable Plumbing Problems

  1. Cluttered gutters
    There's plenty of beauty to be found in the changing leaves but you don't want them to settle into your home's gutters when they fall. From roof damage to foundation issues to cracks, full gutters can lead to costly repairs. Prevent this by putting on some thick gloves, grabbing a ladder and a small shovel, and clearing out the clutter. Follow up with a good rinse of the gutters with a hose and inspect them for damage or cracks.
  2. Clogged cleanouts
    Falling leaves can land in the cleanout—the outdoor pipe that provides access to the plumbing—if the cover or cap is opened or damaged. To prevent a backup of water flow leading to plumbing issues, call in a professional who can perform a camera inspection and drain snaking to ensure there's no obstruction.
  3. Dirty sump pump
    A quick visual inspection can tell you whether or not the sump pump is working—and catching it early is crucial. The pump's filter screen can collect leaves, mud, pebbles, and debris, which can lead to clogs, premature pump shut-off, or even standing water in the basement. To be safe, check it by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. If it doesn't automatically start up, it needs maintenance.
  4. Leaks
    If there's a hidden leak in the plumbing system, water can seep into electric wiring and start a fire. Keep an eye out for discolored spots after a rainy day or unexpectedly high water bills. Then call a plumber who can diagnose the problem.

Plumbing issues can happen at any time, but fall and winter are the prime times for pipe damage. Instead of waiting until it's too late, use these tips and stay ahead of it.

Contact us today for more tips for selling your home.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ready to buy or sell? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country our agents have years of experience and are ready to help.

Call Today!! (732) 634-9100

https://www.jjelekrealty.com/

#jjelekrealty 

August
4

Existing Homes versus New Construction: What's Best for You?

In today's red-hot real estate market, more and more people are searching for homes in New Jersey. As you begin your home-buying journey, it's important to know what type of construction suits your unique situation — a resale or newly built home. Let's break down some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

3 Pros of Buying an Existing Home

  1. Established neighborhood
    For many homebuyers, local amenities, school districts, and a sense of community are key. When you buy an existing home, you're joining a neighborhood with schools, parks, shopping, and commuter routes already in place. In newer communities, many of those amenities have yet to be built.
  2. Lower-priced options
    Existing homes tend to be less expensive than new construction. According to recent estimates, the median sales price of an existing US home in fall of 2021 was $354,000 versus $400,000 for a brand-new home. Add inflation and material shortages into the mix, and these differences are likely to persist into the near future.

3.Architectural details and history
Older homes are more likely to offer aesthetic details that would be difficult and expensive to replicate. Many older properties also have great stories behind them, which you become part of when you move in.

The Drawbacks of Existing Homes

Outdated floor plans
Barring extensive remodeling, you're unlikely to find modern floor plans in existing homes. The kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms may not match the style you're seeking.

Potential for more repairs and maintenance
Unplanned repairs to roofing, heating systems, and appliances can have you spending money where you didn't expect to.

Energy inefficient
Older houses may be poorly insulated and rely on environmentally unfriendly resources like oil for heat.

3 Pros of Buying New Construction

  1. Modern and customizable floor plans
    If you're buying a new construction that's already complete, there's a good chance the layout will be more modern, with wide-open floor plans. If you're going for a custom-built home, you can work with the contractor to create a layout that works for your life.
  2. Lower maintenance
    With brand-new appliances, roofing, and HVAC systems, newly built homes usually require less maintenance. That means you can better predict monthly costs. Plus, newer homes often come with builder warranties that protect elements of the house for years before you need to address any major repairs.

    3. Smart and safe
    Newer homes often integrate "smart" technology components allowing you to automate internet, cable, speakers, and alarm systems. And new homes often use low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) building materials, improving indoor air quality.

The Drawbacks of New Construction

Higher costs
New construction is typically more expensive than a resale home. For example, the median sale of an existing home in the US jumped to nearly $391,200 in April 2022, while a brand-new home topped $450,600 that same month.

Delays
If you're signing up for a home during the construction phase or building a custom home, it could take several months longer to move in compared with an existing property. This will vary by market and builder, so consider budgeting time for potential delays. If the construction is complete, this won't be an issue.

Lackluster landscaping
The area where the earth has been cleared to make way for new construction can feel stark and exposed with a newly constructed home. This is because it takes years for landscaping to grow and bring natural life to the property.

Still Deciding What's Right for You? Let JJ Elek help.

JJ Elek agents have years of experience with existing homes and new construction in the NJ market. We're ready to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Contact us today.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ready to buy or sell? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country our agents have years of experience and are ready to help.

Call Today!! (732) 634-9100

https://www.jjelekrealty.com/

#jjelekrealty 

July
21

Home Projects for You and Your Little Helpers

When your children are home more often, and you're looking for ways to keep them safe and busy, why not engage them in some fun projects to do around the house?

There are plenty of creative ways to alleviate the boredom and frustration they may be feeling after spending less time at school. With just a few supplies and some tools you likely have lying around the house, you can keep those little hands busy while giving your house some TLC.

3 DIY Projects for Home Improvement and Kid Enjoyment

  1. Makeover your mailbox

A fun way to brighten up the entrance to your home is to give an older mailbox a makeover. All it takes is a few supplies and extra time to deliver a smile to your child's face–and the mail carrier's!  Here's what you need

  • Protective facemasks
  • Aluminum primer
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Painters tape
  • Metal paint spray paint in a vibrant color

Once you both have your facemasks on, it's time to start. First, sand off any rust and old paint on your mailbox. Then have your child assist you with placing painters tape over the mail flag or any address numbers to protect them from the paint. Spray the box with aluminum primer, allowing it to dry before using the metal spray paint. Consider customizing your mailbox with stencils to create designs, letters, or flowers for some flair.

  1. Create raised garden beds

The gardening trend is hot right now. If you join in, you'll enjoy your own fresh vegetables, herbs, or flowers right outside your house. Raised garden beds are a fairly easy project for children to assist with and these beds are easy to maintain. This project also provides a natural outdoor classroom where you can help your kids learn measurements, basic botany facts, while boosting their physical and mental well-being. To make a 4×4 raised garden bed, all you need are the following:

  • A drill
  • A box of 4-inch wood screws
  • 8 untreated 2x4s that are 4 feet long
  • 4 untreated 12-inch 4×4 corner posts

Construct the rectangular box by attaching two 2x4s to each corner post (stacked vertically). Have your older child hold the boards securely in place as you drill. When you're finished building your structure, kids of all ages can assist you with picking out a sunny spot in the backyard for your raised garden bed and help you pour in the soil and plant flowers or vegetables.

  1. Build a birdhouse

It's nice for birds to have a safe spot to land in your backyard and even nicer for the whole family to watch as they come and go. With this project, you have options. You can construct your birdhouse using a pre-cut birdhouse kit available at most home improvement stores or make the cuts yourself on a 2×6 or even a spare fence post. Older kids can help wood glue or nail the house together while little ones can personalize it with paint.

Get Creative

There are so many ways to keep kids busy and entertained with super-easy DIY projects. Not only do you get to spend quality time with them, but your house can get some sprucing up in the meantime.

July
7

Tips & Advice to Downsize Your Home

Moving into a new house can be bittersweet. You may be excited for the change but sad to leave a home so full of memories. Downsizing can be even more of a challenge because a smaller place won't provide the space you need for all your current possessions.

The truth is, spending the time and effort downsizing and decluttering can have a very positive impact on your life. Here's how you start the process successfully (and without feeling like you're letting go of a memory).

Your Downsizing Plan

Whether you're downsizing or simply want to clear out some clutter, it can be a challenge without a plan. Of course you'll want to keep the most meaningful pieces, but holding onto too many things can become a clutter problem in itself. Here are some tips to declutter and downsize, without sacrificing your meaningful belongings.

Make room for minimalism

Downsizing doesn't have to mean getting rid of every single unused item you own. It's perfectly fine to keep some special pieces, within reason. Be a little ruthless by setting some kind of limit while decluttering sentimental items. Does it really have as much meaning or usefulness as you think it does?

Ask yourself why you're saving it

As you dive through boxes and storage, ask yourself why you want to hold onto a particular item. Does it remind you of a special moment? Is it for your kids when they're adults? Is there a sense of obligation making you feel like you have to keep it? We all have different reactions to sentimental items, so be honest about the motivation behind wanting to keep them.

Take photos

Once you've narrowed down your limit of saved items, take photos of things you'd like to remember, but don't necessarily need to keep. Whether it's a kid's trophy or an old costume, this is a simple and meaningful way to preserve the memories associated with them.

Repurpose

Instead of storing sentimental items, find ways to use or repurpose them. For example, if you're downsizing for retirement, instead of buying new generic décor, display memorable pieces that are meaningful to you. Then you can enjoy and appreciate them every day.

Remember, all the effort that goes into downsizing and decluttering ends up giving you more space and freedom to enjoy. Don't be hard on yourself. It's a journey, and even small steps mean you're making progress.

Contact us at JJ Elek for more tips on downsizing your home.

April
7

What's Hot and What's Not in Home Design

 

From dark hardwood flooring to home offices hidden away in closets, we're taking a look at what's hot and what's hot in-home design trends in 2022.

 

Not hot: The Cloffice

Early on in the pandemic, people started turning their closets into a home office. Coined the "cloffice," these makeshift offices served their purpose at a time when we all needed a quiet place to work. Homeowners are no longer looking for temporary workspaces, and if they are still working remotely, they're now looking for a more permanent, clearly defined home office (with windows!).

 

Hot: Light-colored flooring

After years of preferring dark hardwood flooring, we're seeing a resurgence in lighter wood plank flooring. One of the hottest trends is a color known as greige, a blend of gray and beige. It can offer a fresh look to bedrooms, living rooms and entryways. Darker colors can overpower a room at times. Lighter tones can make a room look brighter and larger, plus they camouflage dirt and dust much better than hardwood.

 

Hot: Wallpaper

Wallpaper has been rising in popularity in recent years, but it's made a full comeback for 2022—just not in ways you might expect. You can use wallpaper to create a statement wall, provide a colorful backing for cabinets or line your shelving. Another outside-the-box idea is to use wallpaper on a ceiling to add dimension and excitement to your room.

 

Hot: Murphy beds
Creative furniture solutions, such as Murphy beds are coming back in a big way. These items are functional, allow us to do more in a small area, and have greater flexibility when designing a space.

 

Not hot: Minimalism

An uncluttered, sparsely decorated home can feel sad with a lack of personality. As we spend more time at home, they're seeking more meaningful interiors and placing more personal accents on display.

 

Hot: Plants

If you've always wanted to turn your home into a plant paradise, now's the time to do it. Rather than going the faux plants route, which may have been convenient in the past, this year you should go for the real deal. After all, plants add a little joy to your surroundings.

When it comes down to it, trust your own personal style. The design elements that make you happy are the best ones to choose!

JJ Elek Realty -Trusted for over 50 years! Call Today 732-634-9100.

June
2

Tips to Downsize Your Home

Whether you're a recent empty-nester, eager for a change, want to simplify your life, need to move closer to family, there are plenty of reasons to downsize your home. There are also plenty of ways to do it wrong!

Have no fear. We've seen it all when it comes to the downsizing, and we've created a short checklist to make it a little easier.

Your Downsizing Checklist

  • Start as soon as possible and pace yourself. A general rule of thumb is to start at least three months before you plan to move.

  • Once you start decluttering and combing through items, stick to a strong set of ground rules and options for sorting your items, such as keep, donate, sell, trash, or recycle, and pass it down or memorialize (take a photo).

 

  • Get rid of things. Our favorite tactic is the one-a-day method. Let go of one item per day or let go of the number of items that corresponds with the date (i.e., giving away 12 items on the 12th of a given month).

 

  • Focus on one room at a time. Try creating a plan or schedule broken down by room or smaller projects within a room to make sure that you stay on track but don't get overwhelmed.

 

  • Organize as you go. Leave each space more organized than you found it. This will improve your current day-to-day list, and make packing much easier.

 

  • Solicit help if needed. Downsizing can be time consuming and overwhelming. If you feel like any step is above your ability or you don't have the time, bring in some help. Put the feelers out for family or friends, or looking for a paid service.

 

The best tip for downsizing is to know your strengths and weaknesses. If you're a super organizer, maybe you'll just need help moving boxes on moving day. If you have a hard time letting go of items, a professional organizer could be well worth your money.

Whatever your situation, once you've completed the process, you're likely to find it was a great decision financially and mentally.

 

January
25

Home Improvement Concept

First-Time Homeowner? Tackle These Improvements First.


Recent low mortgage rates continue to motivate first-time home buyers, but competitive inventory means many will end up purchasing a house that requires repairs.

Where do you start when figuring out your financial planning? Which problems are the most pressing? 

A thorough home inspection is a good start, but many people skip it to make their offer more appealing to sellers in today's competitive market. Fortunately, real estate professionals at JJ Elek can help you look past the shiny new home you just bought and see problematic signs, such as energy inefficiencies, a leaky roof, or cracked pipes.

Home Improvement Checklist for FIrst-Time Buyers

  • Check for leaks. More and more heavy rains and storms are plaguing the East Coast, making stable gutters and downspouts more important than ever. To avoid problems with interior leaks and standing water in the yard, clear your gutters annually or semi-annually. Also consider regradeding your yard if it slants downward toward the house.

  • Make sure the house is well sealed. If you want to avoid warm air from escaping in the winter and cool air in the summer, be sure your home is well sealed. Openings make it easier for bugs and rodents to find their way inside. Use caulk to seal air ducts, around windows, and areas where the walls meet the foundation.

  • Stabilize the foundation. Noticing cracks in the foundation, stains on walls, or bad odors? Without immediate attention, they can spread and cause even more severe problems. An expert can help you waterproof down to the footings or install a sump pump and battery backup system to remove future water.

  • Inspect the roof. Unless your roof is missing some shingles, this topmost layer can become an expensive repair if it's badly damaged or aging. Be sure to ask sellers how old the roof is and how it was constructed.

  • Upgrade lighting. Energy costs tend to increase when you use old incandescent light bulbs. Using LEDs is an easy, affordable lighting update that increases energy efficiency. Also avoid compact fluorescent lights, which take time to warm up and be as bright as a floodlight.

  • Prepare for outages. Electricity outages continue to be a problem, which makes investing in a solar-battery backup system a wise decision. Plus, you get the added benefit of a federal solar tax credit.

  • Maintain wood. Wood flooring, siding, decking, and railings require regular maintenance. Even new boards can rot due to weather and insects. Maintain its integrity by sealing wood well with quality paint and pressure-washing wooden areas to remove mold if present.

  • Care for your trees. Trees are a beautiful addition to a property, but they come with some risks. Larger limbs can come down during storms, insects can feast on wood, and rotting roots can even clog sewers. New homeowners should hire an arborist to examine their property's trees.

 

It's common for new homeowners to focus on the aesthetics of the property rather than what's invisible or behind the scenes. But if you care for your home from both a lifestyle and economic perspective, you can enjoy a long, happy life in your new home.

 

 

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