Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, New Market For Millburn-Short Hills Home Sellers!

Believe it or not, 2012 is upon us! It's time to think about your plans for the upcoming year and take steps in the right direction. If you are thinking of selling your Millburn-Short Hills home during 2012, you may want to place it on the market soon! There are advantages in being a winter home seller, and I'll share what they are.

There are fewer homes on the market in January, so your home has a better chance of grabbing attention among serious buyers. With less competition, you won't be in a race to the bottom on price against homes with similar features. There are also fewer distressed properties to contend with this time of year.

Buyers who have been watching the market may be looking for a home like yours! But they won't wait forever. If you wait until spring to sell, they may find something else.

Corporate relocations are very active during the first quarter of the year. Relocation buyers are generally well-qualified and very motivated!

Home buyers who have mortgages pre-approved need to act before their financing offer expires. With interest rates very low at the moment, savvy shoppers are getting pre-approved now.

If you are concerned about moving while school is in session, keep in mind that the date of occupancy can be negotiated. Depending on the needs of buyers and sellers, sometimes an arrangement can be worked out to avoid disruption. You usually have one month between your accepted offer and the final closing. By the time all is said and done, you may need to negotiate occupancy for only a month or two. If you have concerns in this area, I can explain how it works in more detail.

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I know our market quite well, and I understand what buyers are seeking among different price levels. If you are considering selling your home, give me a call and we'll talk about your needs. I'll be happy to give you information about the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market and plan for a successful sale.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year,

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Giving & Receiving Down Payment Gifts for a Millburn-Short Hills Home

It's often said that we have a buyer's market today, but in some ways it may be a lender's market. Banks have been very choosy about who qualifies for a mortgage, and for Millburn-Short Hills homebuyers, coming up with the down payment can pose a challenge.

Giving money to a close family member for the purchase of a home, with no strings attached, may either come naturally or seem counter-intuitive, depending on your views. If you are thinking of granting a monetary gift towards home ownership, here's a few things to consider first:
  • Would you offer this same amount of money as a gift, if it were for any other purpose?
  • Is your family member ready to take on the full responsibilities of home ownership?
  • Will the amount of the gift cause any tax implications?
  • Are you providing the gift out in good spirit, or out of a sense of obligation?
Having the means to help your family is a wonderful thing. But if making a cash gift could leave you in a lurch, or you have doubts about this being the appropriate time, then step back and evaluate the situation. Talk it over. There are also other ways to help, such as co-signing, or helping with furnishings, appliances and moving expenses.

If you are on the receiving end of a down payment gift, be sure to know the lender's documentation requirements. A notarized letter may be required, as well as proof of the funds transfer between accounts.

Depending on the type of mortgage loan you are seeking, the amount of gift you can use may vary. For example, if your loan is being structured for the secondary market with Freddie Mac, you may need to come up with at least 5% of the down payment using your own funds. 

If your loan is being backed by Fannie Mae, then all of your down payment can come from a gift. FHA loans also allow the entire down payment to come from a gift.

In all cases, covering the down payment is only one aspect of satisfying the loan criteria. Your credit score and debt to income ratio would still need to pass muster. 

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I provide information like this as a part of my service to clients and the community. I can also tell you that there are many good opportunities for home ownership in the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market. Our location and quality of life continue to attract new buyers to our area. 

If you need help with your Millburn-Short Hills home search, or you are thinking of selling your Millburn-Short Hills home, I will be there to help you. I am truly passionate about what I do, and I would enjoy talking to you about your real estate needs. You are always welcome to contact me with your questions.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season,

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Figure Out Your Financial Strategy Before Moving In To Your Millburn-Short Hills Home!

Beginning the search for a brand new home in the Millburn-Short Hills area is always an exciting time. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have more experience with the buyer process, looking for a home is always brand-new territory. With the ever-changing conditions of the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, it can be tricky to figure out what kind of properties are in your range financially at any given time. That is where a financial strategy comes in.

Before you even begin your home search or hire your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, you need to make sure that you have a plan for the financial aspect of the transaction. Purchasing a home is a rather large investment, so if there is any time to start planning your finances, this would be it. As an expert in the Millburn-Short Hills real estate industry, I have worked with several lenders and know exactly what financial documents need to be in order before a successful home sale. My many years of experience as an agent have allowed me to help several home buyers create a financial strategy of their own. Here are some tips and strategies that will help you figure out your budget BEFORE you start your Millburn-Short Hills home search:

•    Ask yourself these questions: How long do I plan to live in this house? Where do I see myself in five or ten years? Do I have to or want to make home improvements? Do I want to keep cash on hand for other investments? Can I take financial risks? Do I want to be debt free?

Is your head spinning yet? These questions might seem difficult to answer, but they’re also imperative to figuring out your loan options and financial philosophy. They force you to consider your long-term future and plan your finances accordingly. A house isn’t just something you can easily return after you buy it; it’s a large investment that you will want to maintain for a long time. It’s imperative that you know the answers to these questions before continuing your search for the perfect Millburn-Short Hills home.

•    Use mortgage calculators. It’s important to figure out your month-to-month costs for various mortgages before settling on the right mortgage loan and picking the right price point for your home. It also helps you figure out how much you’d have to pay in various scenarios.

•    Shop around for the best rates. Don’t accept the very first loan offer you get. Go to a few different lenders and see what the best rates are. You need to figure out the best deal for your financial situation and your family, so explore a few different options before settling on one.

•    Lower rate or higher rate? Are you willing to pay for points to get a low interest rate, or would you rather keep closing costs down by taking a higher rate? This is a key decision that needs to be made for your mortgage loan, so consider it carefully.

•    Create your perfect loan. Be a little flexible. Combine features of different loans to create one that you are most comfortable with. It’s also important to have a loan that still allows you to accomplish your long-term financial goals, so do your research, consult an industry expert and figure out which options best fit your situation.

•    Don’t forget about your other costs! Many times, Millburn-Short Hills homebuyers get so caught up in what the mortgage will be that they forget to factor in their other costs! Don’t forget about your homeowner’s association fees, property taxes and insurance coverage when embarking on your home search. Believe it or not, the costs of these items can take you from one price point to another, so make sure to factor them in to keep your search limited to affordable properties.

•    Ask about alternative loan terms. Everyone has a unique financial situation, and as a result, there are many unique loan options to fit each situation. Ask about lesser-known loans, such as 20-year options. These loans do exist, they’re just not as publicized by lenders. Don’t be afraid to ask your lender for some alternatives. This could help you to find the best possible loan for your situation.

If you’re overwhelmed by having to consider all of this information, don’t be! As an experienced Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I have become knowledgeable in several aspects of home financing, and I also have relationships with several local lenders that can help you figure out your next loan. Using this information to build a financial strategy will help you avoid financial difficulties and unforeseen costs when you begin the search for your Millburn-Short Hills home.

If you have any questions about what you need to buy a home in the Millburn-Short Hills area, or you want the name of a lender in the area, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m available to help you at any time you need me, and I’d love to answer your questions. I hope to hear from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Enjoy Amazing Holiday Performances in Millburn This Holiday Season!

For some reason, the holiday season seems to bring on an influx of theatrical performances. Whether it’s a musical masterpiece or theatrical production, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years Day seems to be the time when the arts are in their prime. The area of Millburn-Short Hills, NJ is no exception. Whether you go to a local production or find one in a surrounding town, there is no shortage of artistic performances to be found in the Millburn-Short Hills community. We’d like to think that these performances add to the excitement surrounding the holiday season.

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I like to keep up with what is happening around town, and during this time of year, that means seeing what orchestral concerts and musical performances are happening in the area. My job goes above and beyond buying and selling houses. I feel that it is also important to become an expert on everything related to the Millburn-Short Hills area. This helps me serve my clients better and give newcomers the full picture of the area.

For some in the area, this may be the first holiday season they are celebrating in Millburn-Short Hills. In the interest of being the community resource, and to let you know of fun goings-on around town, I thought I’d tell you about some of the amazing performances happening around the area this month. Whether your prefer classical music, holiday stories or charity benefits, there is bound to be something going on around town in December that will put you in the holiday spirit!

White Christmas
The Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ
December 7th-14th, 7:00pm

It’s a holiday classic: Two famous song-and-dance men stage a show at a snow-covered inn in Vermont, and they end up falling in love with two sisters under the mistletoe. This staged production of a classic Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film is bound to put you in the holiday spirit! Laughter, plot twists, brilliant musical numbers and unforgettable lyrics make this a story that is perfect for you and your family to enjoy this time of year. Tickets start at $25. Go to the Paper Mill Playhouse website to order yours today!

MHS Winter Chorus and Orchestra Concert
Millburn High School, Millburn, NJ
December 15th, 7:30pm

This event is not only free and open to the public, but it’s also a great way to show support for the arts in our public schools! The Millburn High School chorus and orchestra will be putting on a holiday concert featuring some of your favorite songs. Not only will you get to see many other members of the community come together and show their support for local students, but the beautiful singing and breathtaking musical numbers will put you in the mood for holiday dinners and gift exchanges. Besides, you can’t beat a free show!

Girls Night Out Benefit Soiree
290 S. Livingston Ave, Livingston, NJ
December 15th, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and complimentary treatments are promised at this amazing Girls Night Out event at Cosmetic Laser MD in Livingston. The proceeds will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Even if you’re not interested in some of the free treatments, you can enjoy cocktails and appetizers! The $10 entrance fee will buy you 10 raffle tickets, so you also have the opportunity to win some great prizes. Not only will you get to celebrate such a great cause with some of your friends, but you can also win some great prizes that you could give away as holiday gifts!

Whether you prefer charity events or musical production, the Millburn-Short Hills area has a lot to offer during the holiday season! There’s something about this time of year that tends to bring the community together, so as your Millburn-Short Hills real estate and community resource, I make sure to keep my eyes and ears open and inform you about the latest events happening around the area.

If you’re new to the Millburn-Short Hills community and would like some more information about the area, don’t hesitate to contact me! I like to make myself available not just as your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, but also as your community expert. Feel free to ask me questions any time. I hope to hear from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Buyers Look For in a Millburn-Short Hills Home

In today’s housing market, home buyers want it all. With affordable prices and mortgage rates at their lowest in years, today’s Millburn-Short Hills home buyers are looking for the best deals and steals.  Home buyers know they can get more for their money, and expect their potential homes to have all of the best amenities and then some. Patios, porches, decks or outdoor rooms are a big plus in today’s home search, along with first-rate appliances and high-dollar counter-tops.

As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I have the benefit of hearing all of my clients wants and needs when it comes to buying a home, and have the inside scoop on how sellers are preparing their homes to sell. Before you list your Millburn-Short Hills home, there are a variety of curb appeal and interior enhancements to consider. If you are searching for a home in Millburn-Short Hills, compile a list of features you would like your new home to have. 

Before we jump the gun, here’s what today’s home buyers are looking for.

Homes in Good Condition: It’s no secret that a home in tip-top condition is more appealing than a home that needs some TLC. It’s also a fact that homes in good condition sell quicker. Many buyers demand a home that is well-maintained and eludes limited upgrades. Buyers don’t want an unknown expense looming over their heads, which is why they would rather spend the money for a home that’s move-in ready, rather than pay now for the house and more later for the fix-ups. While buyers have the funds to buy they may not have the funds to improve.

A Bargain: In this housing market buyers can get a lot more bang for their buck. They are also more focused on negotiating and drawing limits when it comes to price. A big part of real estate is strategy, and in today’s market, the buyers are catching on. If you’re selling your home and are hoping to sell at a fair price, it’s important to eliminate any obstacles that are in the way. That means updating, cleaning, staging and repairing are of upmost importance in selling a Millburn-Short Hills home.

Outdoor Living Space: What’s better than a relaxing warm night on your screened in porch in Millburn-Short Hills? When searching for a home, it’s quite appealing to find one that has an inviting outdoor living area. When a home already has this feature, it makes the home more competitive within the market. If a home doesn’t have it, but has room for expansion, that can be a perk as well.

A Touch of Luxury: It’s a fact. Buyers like luxury. In other words, they enjoy amenities that give off the feeling of “living large.” A popular feature that meets these criteria in high-end homes is coffee bars in the master bedroom. Imagine that! Your own private coffee shop in your personal space that brews your favorite blends 24/7. In less-expensive homes, updated features and high-dollar finishes are on the top of the list. For example, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen or marble flooring in the bathrooms and laundry areas. If you’re not ready to make these somewhat larger enhancements, consider adding barstools to your counter space in the kitchen or recreational areas. It’s an inviting idea when buyers walk into a home and can imagine hosting a dinner party or get-together. 

While you may not be able to find all of these features in your home search (or if you’re selling you may not be able to provide them all) it’s important to consider your wants and needs before buying a home, equally as important to prepare your home for a competitive market if you are selling. For more advice on how best to prepare your Millburn-Short Hills home and for more information on beginning your home search, don’t hesitate to contact me! As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate resource, I am dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process.

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prepare a Stress-Free Holiday Feast This Thanksgiving in Millburn-Short Hills!

Thanksgiving is only two days away, and many of you may be the ones hosting and preparing your holiday feast. One of the best parts about celebrating Thanksgiving in the Millburn-Short Hills area is that there is a strong emphasis on family-friendliness in the community. Whether you’re hosting your neighbors for a community Thanksgiving or your family is coming from out of town for the affair, you will see holiday dinners and community gatherings happening all over town on Thursday.

As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I have the benefit of hearing my clients discuss and plan their Thanksgiving dinners during what can be a stressful time in their lives. Hosting Thanksgiving while you’re buying or selling a home in Millburn-Short Hills is far from easy. That’s why I thought I’d share some tips that will make your holiday a little less stressful this year. Instead of worrying about what can go wrong, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the meal.

Clean your oven AFTER the meal. Don’t rely on your oven’s self-cleaning cycle to get you through Thanksgiving dinner. The cycle is stressful on the appliance, and it could cause it to break down right before Thanksgiving day. As you enter the kitchen of your Millburn-Short Hills home to prepare the turkey, take a damp cloth and wipe around the burner elements, and then save the heavy-duty cleaning for the aftermath.

You should, however, do basic maintenance and clean your other appliances. From the refrigerator to the dishwasher, there are many appliances that could potentially ruin your Thanksgiving dinner. Taking the time to do basic maintenance and clean out these two items pre-party will allow you to enjoy them during the event. Look at this as the time where you’re doing your yearly maintenance and cleanup on your kitchen appliances.

Throw away old food.
There’s nothing worse than preparing your Millburn-Short Hills home for guests, opening the refrigerator, and realizing that many things in there are inedible or expired. Since you’re going to be spending a lot of quality time in the kitchen during Thanksgiving as it is, now is the time to really go through the fridge and get rid of what isn’t usable. It will keep you much more organized and less stressed-out as you cook, and it will help you create the final shopping list for your Thanksgiving feast!

Stock up on some of the basics. We’re not talking about cranberry sauce and canned pumpkin. Items like garbage bags, aluminum foil, dishwashing detergent and coffee filters are imperative to the success of your holiday, but they often go overlooked. This is an especially important task to keep in mind if you’re hosting a larger Thanksgiving dinner. As simple as this may seem, forgetting to stock up on these basic sundries could cause you a lot of stress that you don’t need, so make sure to add them to your shopping list!

We could go on forever giving you different tips and ideas on how to prepare your home for Thanksgiving dinner, but these basic tips should help take off some of the stress. Now, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday along with the rest of the Millburn-Short Hills community. Although my expertise is in the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, I like to take some time to go above and beyond and help my community out in any way I can. If you have any questions about the Millburn-Short Hills community, or you’re interested in seeing one of the many beautiful homes available on the local market, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am happy to help you get started in your next Millburn-Short Hills real estate venture. I hope to hear from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Give Back This Weekend In Millburn-Short Hills!

As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, a large part of my job is to explain to potential homebuyers why they should move to the area. Besides the great schools, family-friendly community and proximity to New York City, the Millburn-Short Hills area is dedicated to giving back. With Thanksgiving being only a week away, the holidays are on my mind, and when I think of the holidays, I think of being charitable and helping those in need have just as great of a Thanksgiving as I’m prepared to have.

The holidays are a time to be thankful for all of the blessings in your life and spend time with your loved ones. For many in the Millburn-Short Hills community, the holidays will be full of cheer and family togetherness. For some, however, this won’t be the case. In these rough economic times, several families, both in Millburn-Short Hills and surrounding areas, will be struggling to provide a happy holiday season for their families. That’s where living in a community that is so dedicated to giving back comes in handy.

As the Millburn-Short Hills community expert, I consider it a priority to make sure that I let my neighborhood know about the different ways that they can help out a family in need this holiday season. This Saturday, November 19th, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey is holding a Turkey Drive. Whether you have a frozen Thanksgiving turkey you won’t be using or an abundance of non-perishable food items, the local food bank is asking you to donate holiday food so that struggling families in the area can have a happy holiday meal this Thanksgiving.

Close to forty food sites in Northern and Central New Jersey are serving as drop-off centers for the Turkey Drive, so even if you’re not directly in the Millburn-Short Hills area, you can still participate by finding the closest site to your neighborhood. The Kings Supermarket in Short Hills is serving as our area’s local drop-off site for your holiday food. Donations can be dropped off any time between 9:00am and 2:00pm. This is just one of many drop-off centers in the area. Not only will giving back put you in the holiday spirit, but you can feel great knowing that a family in need will be benefitting from the food that you donated. You’ll help make someone else’s holiday season a little bit brighter.

The holidays are always a happy time in the Millburn-Short Hills community. Between the abundance of snow and holiday cheer, a real winter wonderland is created during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Turkey Drive this weekend is an awesome opportunity to give back to the community and give a family in need a happier holiday season. As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I love using events like the Turkey Drive as an example of what makes the Millburn-Short Hills area such a great community to live in. The emphasis on giving back truly is strong.

If you’re new to the Millburn-Short Hills area, or you’re interested in seeing some of the many beautiful homes on the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d be happy to tell you more about the community and show you around town. I hope to hear from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Must-Do Showing Tips For Your Millburn-Short Hills Home!

Putting your Millburn-Short Hills home on the real estate market can be a stressful endeavor, particularly in this buyer’s market. Before you list your home, there are several tasks that need to be completed and options to be considered. Partnering an all-consuming process like putting your home up for sale with the hectic nature of everyday life can become incredibly overwhelming. That’s why hiring the right Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent is so important. The right professional will help you prepare your house before listing so that once your house is on the market, you can focus on your own life. Your agent can handle the rest.

As an experienced Millburn-Short Hills real estate professional, I know how to guide my clients during their home sale, but I also know what to tell people do before listing their home. If you can purchase and set up the right embellishments before your first showing, then you can avoid the stress that surrounds preparing your home for sale. You will have already gotten that part done, and your agent can focus on marketing and showing your Millburn-Short Hills home to potential buyers.

The quick checklist below should be completed before you list your home. This way, your property will be ready for showings almost immediately. Your home will reach the eyes of Millburn-Short Hills homebuyers much faster, and you can move on with everyday life while your agent gets your home sold. Here are a few quick tips:

De-clutter and remove all personal items and photos. We know that you’re still living in your Millburn-Short Hills home, but you’re going to have to go through all the clutter eventually. The beginning of the selling process is as good a time as any. It also cleans up and neutralizes your property. The more low key and neutral the d├ęcor is, the more potential homebuyers can see themselves living in your home with their belongings. This could get your home sold much faster.
Invest in some new, good quality, neutral rugs. Everyone has their own preferences in regards to interior decorating, which is why neutral colors for your rugs are a safe bet. It will keep the potential homebuyers from getting distracted by bright blue carpeting and keep them focused on how they can use the room for their own needs.

Re-paint rooms as needed.
This idea is similar to the rugs. If you have bright yellow walls in the bathroom, it may distract the buyers and turn them off to that room. Re-painting rooms not only freshens up what could be an old paint job, but it also neutralizes your home even more, allowing them to see each room with their own paint colors.

Replace and update light fixtures.
Lighting is everything during a showing, so make sure that all light bulbs are working and/or all light fixtures are flattering to your space. It might sound like a costly endeavor to go through and update all new light fixtures, but when your home looks perfectly lighted during showings, it will be worthwhile. It will make a big difference in how homebuyers see your home.

Make any small repairs.
The more repairs you make now, the less you’ll have to make during negotiations. It will also help you get more for your property, as the less issues buyers can find with the home, the more likely it is that they’ll give you a higher offer.

Make sure your appliances match in the kitchen.
The more cohesive your appliances look, the less distracting it will be to homebuyers as they walk through your home. You want everything to look clean and finished so if some of your appliances need replacing, it would be better to do so before putting your home on the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market. It will increase the value of your home if everything is brand-new, anyway.

Update major furniture as needed. Does that couch need to be re-upholstered? Is your dining room set ancient? Believe it or not, replacing these things before listing your home is better than waiting until the move. Today’s homebuyers want everything to look up to date and modern when buying a home. Even if you’re not leaving any furniture, you want to give the appearance that your home is modern. Having outdated furniture will make your whole home look outdated, so making these needed changes before listing your Millburn-Short Hills home is key.

Move some furniture around. You want each room to look as spacious as possible. In order to do this, you may need to remove certain furniture from a room or rearrange everything completely. This might sound like a hassle, and it can be, but you also want to make sure that you are showcasing your property in the best light possible. Taking care of it before your first showing will expedite the selling process, as you won’t be hearing feedback about how a certain room looks cramped. Have ideas for staging worked out ahead of time, so that when it comes time for an open house or showing, all you have to do is execute your plan.

Incorporate minor decorative details. You don’t want to overdo it on the decorations, but including some minor details will help give each room an inviting, finished feel. Remember, showing a home is all about perception. Even if you wouldn’t normally put so much thought into the little details, to potential homebuyers, the inviting accents could make them completely fall in love with your home. You want each room to feel like “home”, so that each buyer can see themselves living on your property.

These initiatives might sound daunting, but if you take care of them all before listing your home, you will find that your home sale goes much faster and that you will get a positive response from prospective homebuyers. If you need more advice on how best to prepare your Millburn-Short Hills home for sale, don’t hesitate to contact me! As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate resource, I can give you tips and guidance on how to make your home look its best, no matter how old it is. I hope to hear from you soon!


Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things to Do in Millburn-Short Hills During the Power Outage

After the unusually early snowstorm that hit much of New England and the East Coast, many of us in Millburn-Short Hills have been living in the dark. Even if your power has been restored, schools continue to be closed and many of us have been given a few days off. Today is the third day in a row that our kids have been home from school, and if you’ve found yourself feeling bored these past few days (or about to go insane), take advantage of what Millburn–Short Hills has to offer while the kids are off and you have some time on your hands.

Check Out a Matinee: In honor of the day(s) off, Millburn Cinema will be showing matinees of children’s movies as well as movies geared towards the adult generation throughout the week. Films being shown include Puss n’ Boots, The Might Macs, In Time and The Ides of March. The owner of the theater has been receiving a lot of calls from grateful parents. For show times, give Millburn Cinema a call or check out its website.

Go to the City: Although the trains have seen some heavy delays, they are still up and running. If you and/or your kids have the patience to wait, what could be better than a day at a Broadway matinee or a visit to a museum? Even the train ride itself could be some relief from these days without power!

Visit the Library: Whether it’s cold and rainy, snowing, or even a beautiful fall day, the library is a great place to go to sit back and relax. The library has been especially popular this week, as it is not only a place to read and find books, but it also has working Wi-Fi and outlets to charge your cell phone and other electronic devices.

Spend a Day at the Mall: The Mall at Short Hills is open! With the holiday season right around the corner, this may be the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your shopping. The mall is also a great place to visit if you’re in need of some down time. Stop by the mall to sit, eat, warm up and check out the “Arctic Wonderland and Enchanted Palace” ice exhibit.

Check Out a Museum: New Jersey has some great museums, so why not make this a learning experience? The Library Science Center in Jersey City and the Newark Museum in Newark are open for business and is each displaying some fun and educational exhibits.

In the midst of this massive power outage, make sure you are taking the proper precautions to stay safe. For future reference, here are some great tips for safe practices during a storm or power outage.

1. Don't wait for a power outage in to occur Millburn-Short Hills to realize you're in need of supplies. Make sure your house is appropriately stocked with items necessary to survive a power outage. Here are just a few:

-Candles
-Matches
-Flashlights
-Extra Batteries
-Canned Goods
-Dry Food Mixes
-Bottled Water
-Seasoned Firewood
-Extra Blankets

2. Bundle up! Wear multiple layers of clothing to keep warm! It’s cold out there!

3. Pack an emergency bag. If a power outage strikes at 4AM, you don't want to be stumbling around in the dark trying to find items to pack a bag. You never know how long a power outage will last, so pack enough stuff for at least a couple of days.

4. Read a book, play a board game or spend time reminiscing with family and friends. You know what they say, time flies when you're having fun. Hopefully the next outage won't last longer than a few hours.

Stay positive and stay safe! With record breaking numbers of residences without power, this is surely an event that will go down in history. Despite the storm, Millburn-Short Hills real estate is still in full swing! For more updates on the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market and community, stay connected with my blog or contact me directly with questions.


Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Four Things To Keep in Mind During Your Millburn-Short Hills Home Search!

My years of experience as a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent have taught me many things, but one important lesson I’ve learned is that no matter how seasoned the homebuyer, mistakes can still be made. Oftentimes, people get so caught up in the excitement of buying a home that they forget to keep a rational head during the house hunting process. The rush of finding a brand-new property outweighs practicality in many instances.

I consider it a priority on my end to make sure that anyone who is searching for a Millburn-Short Hills home doesn’t simply fall for “love at first sight.” There are many elements that are important when house-hunting, and while it’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you, it’s also important to remember something: you actually have to live in the home you buy for a long time. As silly as it sounds, you would be surprised how many people who are searching for a home on the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market forget that buying property is a commitment.

With this thought in mind, I thought I’d pass on some things you should definitely keep in mind during your Millburn-Short Hills home search. If you remember these four things throughout your home buying process, I can safely say that there is a much better chance of you being happy with your property in the long-term, as opposed to having that awful feeling commonly known as “buyer’s remorse.”

Location, location, location.
You hear it all the time. Location matters when buying a home. There are several questions you should ask yourself when picking your next neighborhood. For example, what will your job commute be like? How are the school districts in the area? Is this neighborhood safe? Is it great for raising a family? Remember, even if you don’t have children yet or don’t think you’ll mind a long commute, you have to think long-term. If you’re planning on starting a family, or think you’ll get sick of the commute after a few months, it might be time to look for a neighborhood that better suits your needs.

Figure out which home features are your “deal-breakers.”
Believe it or not, sometimes, in the excitement of searching for a new home, many Millburn-Short Hills homebuyers forget to think about their lifestyle and needs. They see a home that they love in theory, but don’t think about how practical it is to live there. It’s important to remember that while you want to live in a home you love, you also want to find a home that will be appropriate for your lifestyle and what you see for yourself in the long run. Do you have pets? Find a home with a yard for them to play in. Will your family be growing in the near future? Make sure you get a home with an extra bedroom or two. Is there sufficient storage space? How much remodeling will need to be done on the home before it is “move-in ready?” These are all important factors you have to consider if you’re going to be a happy homeowner in the long run.

Don’t forget to ask questions. Even if you hire a very qualified real estate agent to handle all of your negotiations for you, it’s still important to know exactly what’s going on during your transaction. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions about the home or your real estate agent for more information about the area. The more questions you ask throughout the transaction, the less you will have to stress out about once you move in. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself in to before the move happens.

Make sure you scrutinize. Don’t forget, you’re moving in to a new home. You have every right to scrutinize it before agreeing to buy it and to ask the seller to make any needed repairs or fix any damages. If you need some guidance in this department, talk to your real estate agent. They will look out for your best interest and help you give the house a final walk-through in which you pay attention to every detail. Remember, while you want to buy a home as soon as you can, you also want to make sure that you’re looking out for yourself. Don’t neglect the final walk-through and make sure you have your eyes open.

If you keep these four key elements in mind during your hunt for a home in the Millburn-Short Hills area, you are far more likely to be a long-term, happy homeowner. The most important thing to remember is this: don’t let your emotions be your primary guiding factor! You want to give your heart some say, but you need to remember to use your head. It’s important to be practical and make sure your new home will fulfill your long-term needs.

If you have any questions about buying a home in Millburn-Short Hills, or if you want to see some of the beautiful homes available on the local real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d be happy to help you however I can. I hope to hear from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Round Up of Events In and Around Millburn-Short Hills

Fall is such a beautiful time of year in the Millburn-Short Hills area. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting brisker, and soon enough it will be time to get out the shovels and our winter attire. What have you been doing to make the most of the fall season in Millburn-Short Hills? If you’re scratching your head at this, don’t worry. There is still time to enjoy the season, as Millburn-Short Hills has plenty of great activities throughout the month of October. Take a look at what’s going on this weekend and get out there! 

Friday Night Fright – What could be better than an outdoor movie in the heart of fall?  Well, a free movie might be a little better. This Friday Essex County is offering a free, outdoor showing of Monster House. Bring your blankets, hot chocolate and mittens, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Patch - Wyoming Presbyterian Church will be and has been open from 10am – 5pm selling plump pumpkins for your choosing! All proceeds are donated to local, national and global volunteer outreach programs and much of the proceeds will also go towards feeding, clothing and housing the less fortunate in Essex and Union counties. You can visit the pumpkin patch now through Halloween. 

Oktoberfest – The Fieldhouse Pub in Fairfield will be hosting a special event to welcome their new chef. In accordance with the celebration, the restaurant will feature a custom Oktoberfest menu, offering authentic German dishes.

Stadium of Screams – The Newark Bears Stadium will transform into the stadium of screams in anticipation of Halloween. Featured at the stadium will be a haunted house, hayrides, contests, food, concerts and more. The stadium will be open on Halloween day and admission is free.

Monkeyworks: The Halloween Concert – If you’re looking for an activity that is both creative and entertaining, check out Monkeyworks at the Burgdorff Cultural Center this Saturday, October 22. The concert will begin at 8pm, and the event is requesting a $5 donation for admission.

Antique Expo – The First Annual What’s It Worth? Antique Expo will come to Maplewood Sunday, October 23. Appraisers will be present at the expo, and visitors are welcome to bring no more than two items to professional, verbal appraisal. Along with an abundance of antiques, the expo will also include food, games and more. Proceeds will go towards the Maplewood Rotary Club Local Needs Funds.

October Trails Halloween Dog Walk – Calling all dog owners and animal lovers! The annual Halloween-themed dog walk fundraiser will support Paws for Patients, a canine therapy program. A costume contest for dogs will be the main event of “October Trails” and each pooch will be eligible for a prize.

I hope this roundup gave you some motivation to enjoy the rest of the fall season in Millburn-Short Hills. For more community and real estate updates, stay in touch with my blog or contact me directly. You will not find a more knowledgeable realtor in terms of both real estate and community. Whether you are buying or selling, contact me when you are ready to begin a stress free and laid back real estate experience.

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get Your Millburn-Short Hills Home Organized This Fall!

We’re fully immersed in the fall season, which means a few things. One is a fresh start. While the new year technically starts in January, something about the fall suggests a new beginning. Another thing that fall signifies is the weather cooling down and many are preparing for winter the Millburn-Short Hills area. When the winds start getting harsh and the temperature drops, it can be difficult to find the motivation to go through your Millburn-Short Hills home and start organizing.

As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I have many years of experience with our freezing winters. The best way to make sure that your house is the ideal escape from the snow is to take action while it’s still pleasant outside. I thought I’d share a few quick tips that will help you organize your home this season:

Create a mudroom. There’s nothing worse than having your kids or pets track mud through the house. Establishing a “mudroom” is a great way to condense cleanup into one room and have all sports gear, school bags, and coats in one area.

Do you have a remote corral?
The anxiety that sets in when one loses the remote might sound comical, but when it happens to you, it’s more of an annoyance. Use an old basket or inexpensive container to place all remotes in. It will keep you sane when it comes time for your favorite show to come on.

Keep your slippers in a basket.
Waking up in the middle of winter and placing your bare feet on a freezing floor is far from fun. Having your slippers handy, in a basket next to your bed, will eliminate the discomfort and keep your bedroom a little more organized.

Create a power and wire map. Snowstorms, as we all know from this past winter, can mean power outages. Figure out your house’s inner workings, (such as where the fuse box is, where you can turn your toilet and sink water on and off and where you turn off the gas), before your leak or power failure. Here’s a hint: keep the map next to where you keep the flashlight for more efficient problem-solving.

Use a boot organizer in the colder months. When you’re about to head to work in the blizzard and you can’t find your favorite pair of winter boots, it’s easy to get frustrated. Having a boot organizer will help your winter boots keep their shape and create some extra space in your coat closet.

As trivial as some of these organization tips may sound, eliminating some of the excess clutter around your home will take the stress out of your home. The freezing winter weather is difficult enough to deal with. Getting your home organized now will allow you to enjoy your Millburn-Short Hills home for the haven it is during the harsh winters.

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I can give you some tips and ideas on how to “de-clutter” your home before you put it on the local real estate market. If you’re interested in putting your home on the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, or you have some questions on how to maximize the space in your home, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d be happy to help you in any way I can. I hope to hear from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ten Ways to Have a Smooth Move to Millburn, NJ!

You’ve done it: you’ve found the right Millburn real estate agent, scoured the market for the perfect home, and have closed a deal on the house of your dreams. This process is stressful enough, but what comes next can be even more difficult, and that’s moving. Planning and executing your move to Millburn, NJ is an exciting, but very draining, task. You need to get all of your possessions packed and ready, make sure your new house is ready to move into when you get there, and make sure all loose ends are tied up.

This is a daunting task for any brand-new Millburn homeowner. As a real estate and community expert for the Millburn-Short Hills area, I consider it part of my job to help my clients have as seamless and stress-free of a move as possible. My experience in navigating the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market has allowed me to witness and assist with several moves, and along the way, I’ve picked up a few ideas and methods that will help your move go smoothly. These ten tips will make your relocation to Millburn-Short Hills as easy as possible:

Get at least three written in-home estimates.
It’s important to shop around when selecting a moving service. Have each mover come to your home and show them everything that is being moved. Once a mover physically sees everything that is being moved, they can then give you an accurate estimate that can’t be obtained with internet or phone quotes. From there, compare the prices of all three companies. Two will most likely be similar in price, and one will be much higher or lower. Go with one of the two with similar pricing to insure the best service.

Read the three “pre-move” documents given to your by your carrier.
The best way to avoid unwelcome surprises during your move is to read the information your mover gives you ahead of time. These documents should include your Rights and Responsibilities Brochure, your Ready to Move brochure and information on your carrier’s arbitration program. Keep these documents handy as a reference during the move.

Avoid large down payments. Is your moving service asking for a large down payment? If so, it’s best to avoid them. They could be overcharging you for a reason.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The moving world has its own language. If you don’t understand something your carrier is telling you, ask them to clarify. It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into during your move, so make sure you understand everything beforehand.

Plan an off-season move.
June to September is peak moving season. The best way to get quality and superior service is to plan an off-season move whenever possible. If you can’t, try planning your move for mid-month or mid-week to avoid frustration with your carrier.

Be reachable. Have your phone glued to your side during the entire move. If your carrier has any questions or issues, you want to be able to get it resolved as soon as possible, and that means being reachable to them at all times. Make sure you have all of your driver’s information as well, so you can reach him with any questions or issues. This will make communication go much faster and insure a faster move.

Take your valuables with you. Money, jewelry, important documents, and other valuables should be with you during your move or sent ahead using a traceable service like UPS or FedEx. It gives you peace of mind and can help avoid you losing something very important.

Segregate your personal travel items. Things like clothes or important documents should all be placed in one area, either in your car or in the truck. Not keeping your inventory organized will create high stress levels when you have to search through each box or a full truck to find your important, personal items.

Don’t get upset it something goes wrong.
Almost nobody has a perfect move. Relax, take a deep breath and resolve the issue as quickly as you can. Stressing yourself out will most likely only make things worse, so keeping a cool head will help you find a better solution even faster.

Tie up the lose ends before you move.
Make sure your new neighbors have your key, so you can get in to your house right away. Make sure all address changes, school documents, and electricity or water paperwork are taken care of in advance, before the move. That way, when you arrive at your brand-new Millburn-Short Hills home, you’ll be ready to move in and unpack without the added hassle.

As your Millburn real estate agent, I’m always here to help if you need any assistance with planning your move, finding your home on the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, or have any questions about which moving company to use. If you need anything at all, never hesitate to contact me! I’m happy to help you begin your life in our Millburn-Short Hills community.


Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome to the Millburn-Short Hills Real Estate Blog!



As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I am always looking for new ways to communicate and educate my clients! I pride myself on using innovative and creative marketing ideas, combined with quality customer service, to help people buy or sell their Millburn-Short Hills homes. One of the ways in which I’ve been successful as a real estate agent is by keeping the lines of communications open with my clients, which is where this blog comes in.

By providing quality real estate tips, information about the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, and community information about Millburn, NJ, I am acting as an expert and resource for you during your Millburn-Short Hills real estate transaction. If we’re open from the beginning about what you can expect from your Millburn-Short Hills home search or sale, then the real estate transaction will be much more stress-free and smooth. While I love listening to the requests and needs of my clients, I feel that it’s of the utmost importance to give them the best tips, tricks, strategies and advice so that they can have realistic expectations for their Millburn-Short Hills real estate transaction. I also think it’s important to let people know what they can expect when they move to the Millburn-Short Hills area.

Each week, I’ll be providing you with the latest news in the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, buyer and seller tips, ways to prepare for your journey through the market, and updates on what’s happening locally. This well-rounded approach to my blog will insure that you’re getting the most information possible about both the Millburn-Short Hills area and real estate market.

I would love to be your go-to resource for anything related to the Millburn-Short Hills area! My years of living and working as a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent have given me the knowledge of the local market and neighborhoods that will help guide you through buying or selling your home. I want to use my expertise for your benefit, whether you’re relocating to Millburn or Short Hills, have just moved here, or are looking to sell your Millburn-Short Hills home. I want to be your trusted resource that you feel comfortable utilizing for any question regarding the Millburn real estate market or lifestyle!

I look forward to keeping you informed with these weekly updates, and I hope that you’ll check back regularly to see what’s new! If you need anything, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me today! I’d be happy to help. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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