New Jersey Real Estate News & Blog

Are You Putting Things That You Shouldn’t Down Your Kitchen Sink Drain?

Drains and plumbing systems are designed to dispose of liquids, but many people mistakenly think it’s fine to put other things down the drain. Common foods, cooking byproducts, and household items can damage your pipes, leave you with clogs and expensive plumbing repair bills, and even affect human and animal health.

Foods That Are Dangerous to Drains
Greasy items, such as cooking oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter, margarine and grease left over after cooking meat, can congeal and block pipes over time. They can also combine with other things that go down the drain and form sludge that makes it difficult or impossible for water to get through. Pour grease, fat or oil into a jar, let it cool, then dispose of it in the trash.

Coffee grounds can...

How to Save for Property Taxes

A property tax bill is easy enough to get. Local governments typically assess property tax and send homeowners a bill in the mail. Paying the tax, and saving for it, are the hard parts.

The amount of the tax is largely based on where the property is and how much it’s worth. They can easily be thousands of dollars and can usually be paid in two installments over one year. 

There are a few ways to save for the average property tax bill in the U.S. One of the easiest is to spread the payment out over 12 months with your monthly mortgage payment. This is called an escrow account, where the money is held and automatically paid to your tax collector. Homeowners insurance payments can also be paid into an escrow account, and by paying...

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrades

Bathrooms, though some of the smallest rooms in a home, can require the most work when it comes to upgrades. If your budget just isn’t ready to take on a remodel, taking the DIY path can be the best choice…and the most fun! With a quick trip to your local hardware store and the will to get creative, these budget-friendly projects can spruce up your bathroom:

Frame Your Mirror
No matter the size, a bathroom mirror is an essential piece that all eyes are naturally drawn to. Give the room a finished look by framing the mirror. Most hardware stores will cut wood to size and offer tips for staining or painting, so you can construct the perfect frame for the look you’re going for. Alternatively, you can purchase...

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Features That Won’t Break the Bank

Eco-friendly features are all the rage today as homeowners commit to living greener lives. But for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, where do you begin?

For many, the answer is the kitchen. The central hub of the home, the kitchen offers a perfect foundation for incorporating green features and appliances.

Getting started, you may want to consider adding an induction stove, a stove that utilizes magnetic energy to induce a current that heats the food. Not only do pans heat up quickly on this type of stove, but the amount of time needed to cook meals is greatly reduced. In addition to the energy savings and coolness factor, induction stoves tend to be much safer than traditional stoves since there’s no open flame or hot electric element involved.

It’s also important to add energy-efficient appliances....

Why Your Mortgage Servicer Might Change

Many homeowners are surprised to receive a letter stating that their mortgage servicer has changed. Financial institutions that issue mortgages are permitted to sell loans or to transfer the rights to service mortgages to other financial institutions without borrowers’ consent. That doesn’t mean the homeowner has done anything wrong or that there is anything to worry about. 

How and Why Mortgages Change Hands
A mortgage originator works with borrowers to set up a mortgage, while a mortgage servicer takes care of administrative tasks, such as collecting payments and handling escrow accounts. Many mortgage originators don’t service loans. In those instances, after a borrower has obtained a mortgage, it’s...

Why Selling Your House Without an Agent Could be a Costly Mistake

When a real estate agent helps an owner sell a house, the agent receives a percentage of the sale price as commission. You might think that selling your home yourself would save you some money, but it could wind up costing you a lot more.

Many buyers and real estate agents don’t take homes listed as “for sale by owner” seriously because they assume that the seller has unrealistic or unreasonable expectations or will not behave professionally. Some buyer’s agents will only show their clients houses that are listed by a seller’s agent.

It’s easy to overlook problems with your house that you see every day, but a seller’s agent would spot those...

Tips for Decluttering Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart and hub of any home. While you may spend most of your time in other rooms, the state of the kitchen is sure to reflect in all areas of your life. A messy and cluttered kitchen makes it difficult to have family dinners, healthy, home-cooked meals and can be an all around stressor. If you’re ready to clean out your kitchen, but don’t know where to start, these tips are for you.

Vet Your Spice Rack
If your spice rack is overrun, it’s time to toss anything unnecessary. Ground spices generally last only six months. Spice doesn’t necessarily expire the same way other foods can, but it does start to lose its potency overtime. Keep your meals fresh and tasty while decluttering your counters and pantry by discarding any old spices....