Category: Homeowner Tips

2014 home remodeling trends

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry data of current and future remodeling business conditions continues to show growth. Quarter-over-quarter increases are evident in nearly all sub-components measuring remodeling activity. This rating has steadily increased in the six quarters NARI has been tracking. For more details, please visit: http://www.nari.org/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=1686#sthash.5eznhtkn.dpuf

Why is this happening?

While many homeowners are remodeling due to necessity, there are other factors which have contributed to the rising remodeling rates. With the economy on the up and up, homeowners are feeling confident in their job security and overall financial well-being.

Growth indicators in the third quarter of 2013  were on an incline for:
•    Current business conditions
•    Number of inquiries
•    Conversion of bids to jobs
•    Value of jobs sold

Requests for bids remained the same as last quarter.

Home remodeling significantly increases the overall value of your home. If you are remodeling your home so you can sell it for more money, please consult with a professional before undertaking any major renovations.  Some improvements bring you a better rate of return on your money than others.

Any questions you may have about home remodeling and how it affects your resale value, contact your real estate consultant Sujatha Bhaskara at 732-319-1340 or sbhaskara@optonline.net.

Staging your Marlboro Home to sell

Staging a Marlboro home for sale may not be rocket science — but doing it well does require the ability to step outside yourself to picture what will most appeal to potential buyers. Our first instinct is to set up our home exactly as we like to see it, but that’s not how the professional stagers do it.

When you think of the way a model home looks, you begin to get the picture: they are always pleasantly neutral. Sort of boring, actually. Always. It must work!
Marlboro Summit -Sujatha Bhaskara Keller William Realty

Once you’ve listed your Marlboro home, there are some very common home staging pitfalls to avoid. First and foremost, as much as possible, pack up things that attract attention. You want Buyers to focus on your family room and not on the pictures or trophies in the family room, or the kids’ art projects in the den.

Home staging is not synonymous with redecorating. Often, sweeping renovations wind up being a money-throw that’s never returned. In home staging as in most activities you undertake in selling your Marlboro home, consult with your Realtor® partner: some times simply lowering your asking price even part of the amount you would have spent will get the job done – and faster, especially if the home needs major renovations!

This fall, as you do a first walkthrough to consider your Marlboro home staging approach, start by opening all curtains and blinds. The reason? Home staging is most successful when the rooms are filled with light. If potential buyers walk in the door and see a dark or dimly lit room, that’s a house that looks far less appealing – especially as we go through the Daylight Savings months. So throw the blinds open, turn all the lights on, and you’ll see what your prospects will be seeing.

Taking the prospects’ view is what home staging is all about. And when you are looking for an agent to help you sell your house successfully I am there and ready to put a plan to work for you!

For additional information, please contact Sujatha Bhaskara at Keller Williams Realty by calling 732-319-1340 or by emailing at sbhaskara@optonline.net. Receive a custom evaluation for your home, including comparisons to other homes that have recently sold in Marlboro or are on the market and learn more about successfully positioning your Marlboro, NJ property to sell in a short time frame. For more information on what’s happening in the Marlboro, NJ real estate market, sign up to become a Marlboro Market Insider today!

Annual Marlboro Spring Cleanup and Bulk Item Pickup

If are like me – you don’t want to miss this. It is time again for the Marlboro Annual Spring Bulk Pickup. If you have to get rid of some bulk items as part of your Spring clean up this is very convenient without having to haul them to the Marlboro township recycling center.

All pickup items must be placed on the curbside by 7am of your scheduled pick up day.

Here are the dates for the Spring Bulk pickup:

Zones 3 & 5 April 22nd
Zones 6 & 7 April 29th
Zones 1 & 8 May 6th
Zones 2 & 4 May 20th

To find out the Zone your street belongs to you can look at  http://www.marlboro-nj.gov/Marlboro_Recycling_Calendar_2013.pdf

To find out what items can be left at curbside and which ones need to be taken to the Marlboro recycling center, hours of operation, and recycling center rules please check out  http://www.marlboro-nj.gov/dpw_recy_center.html.

If you have any other questions regarding bulk pickup or drop off, please call Marlboro Township Public Works at (732) 536-0188.

5 instant tips to boost curb appeal

We all know the power of first impressions. That old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a lot easier said than done. The same goes for selling a home. Buyers’ first impressions are one the largest factors in their purchase decision. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t feel so inclined to buy a home with broken fences and a terrible paint job no matter how nice the inside may be. Here are some great (and quick!) tips to boost your home’s curb appeal, attract more buyers and sell your home quickly.

Time for a scrubbing

One of the most obvious ways to instantly spruce up any home is by giving it a good old power washing treatment. It’s amazing what a dramatic change this simple step can create to the overall look of the home. This will give the impression to potential buyers that the house has been well-kept and make them feel more inclined to signing those papers!

Put your green thumb to work

Flowers instantly add a warm and inviting look no matter where they are. Make sure that your landscaping in the front yard is clean and fresh, add mulch, and trim trees and bushes. Adding a few potted plants or even getting dirty and planting them in the garden will create a more colorful look to your home, making it instantly attractive to viewers.

You’ve got mail

Mailboxes are literally one of the first representations of a home. Their curbside location means that they really are the first impression. If your mailbox is old and rusting, with the flag hanging by a thread, what sort of impression will be get about the overall upkeep of your home? It is an inexpensive and simple task with immediate results.

Gutters not garbage cans

Gutters are meant to collect water and drain it away from the house so that water damage is minimal. However, gutters often have a double purpose and catch falling debris. Leaves and twigs tend to get stuck and stick out in every which way. Grab a ladder and some work gloves and clean out all that messy stuff. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.

Replace that old hardware

It’s time to ditch that old door knocker and the ancient house number which seem to have permanently claimed their place in your front entry way. Upgrading to a new and simple look is easy with a quick trip to your local home improvement store. Buyers will be impressed with the attention to detail and immediately have a good feeling about your home.

Take the stress out of selling your home and increase your chances by taking these tips to heart. They all can be done within the span of one day, but the impact lasts a lifetime! What are some other quick tips that you use to boost curb appeal?

 

For more help selling your home check out this site. Direct any questions you may have to Sujatha Bhaskara at 732-319-1340 or sbhaskara@optonline.net.

How to reduce your monthly heating bill

After that mild December we were treated to, Mother Nature is definitely not shying away from cold temperatures. The bone-chilling weather we’ve had of late has made us crank up our heat, as well as our heating bills. New Jersey Natural Gas and the Department of Energy have a few tips to help us all save money as winter rolls along.

Energy score

The DOE can come to your home and grade it based on its energy efficiency. A simple 1-10 scale is used, with an easy to understand breakdown of the assessment of your home. The great thing about getting your home’s energy report card is that it can have positive effects on its resale value. When buying a home, these scores can help a Buyer anticipate energy bill and improvement costs. Who wouldn’t want that?

Cool down

Simple changes to your thermostat can help to reduce those high energy bills. There’s no point in heating an empty space! Make sure you invest in an electronic thermostat where you can program the settings to go 10 degrees lower when no one is home. Bundle up under those covers at night so that you can turn the temperature down 10 degrees once again. Doing this can save you up to 20% on those monthly bills.

Ease into it

We don’t want to shock our bodies into these cold temperatures. Our homes should be comfortable living spaces. Try easing into the process. Simply turning the heat down by one degree for 24 hours straight will reduce your bill by 3%. Once your bodies become more used to the colder temperatures, you will be wondering why you had it so hot in the first place!

What are some of the things that you do to cut down on energy costs?

For more information on New Jersey Natural Gas, visit their website. Be sure to check out the Department of Energy website and their SAVEGREEN project.

You can contact me, Sujatha Bhaskara, with any questions about energy costs or anything pertaining to real estate. I can be reached at 732-319-1340 or sbhaskara@optonline.net.