Thursday, September 5, 2013

Checklist for Millburn-Short Hills Home Sellers!

If you’re preparing to sell your Millburn-Short Hills home this fall, congratulations! With homebuyers eager to buy before mortgage rates and home prices continue to rise, you’ve got a good chance of selling your home fast. Plus, inventory is still relatively low, so you might get multiple offers.

It’s important to be familiar with the steps in the home-selling process before you’re right in the middle of it. BHG Real Estate shared a basic seven-step checklist for home sellers. As a New Jersey real estate agent, I’ll go into detail for you about each one:

1.  Hire a real estate professional! Right away, you’ll create a trusting partnership with a professional, who can walk you through each step of the home-selling process. You’ll discuss market trends, recent sales, realistic expectations, timelines and next steps. You need to find a good match, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’m always willing to answer any questions you have.

2.  Set price expectations. You and your agent can work together on this. Determine what you need to net from the sale. Find out what your home is worth. Have your agent share with you what other homes like yours are selling for in the Millburn-Short Hills area. Consider an appraisal, which will let you know if there is any damage that needs to be dealt with.

3.  Declutter. This is a step that every home seller needs to take but that most dread. Over the years, we accumulate a lot of stuff! Potential homebuyer don’t want to see that stuff. They want to see a move-in-ready home that looks like a model. So clean out all your closets, cabinets and storage spaces and get rid of whatever you can. Make the home spotless.

4.  Host a garage sale. This is a great idea for those of you who end up with a lot of items to get rid of after you declutter. Rather than just tossing them, you might as well try to earn some cash for them! This could be put aside for closing costs, moving costs or home repairs. Also, you could let garage sale customers know that you’re selling your home. They can spread the word!

5.  Pump up curb appeal. Potential homebuyers see the outside of your house before anything else, so you want it to look memorable and inviting. Keep your lawn green and lush, but also mowed and manicured. Trim your trees and bushes. Plant blooming flowers in your gardens, or place flower pots on your front porch. Power wash your exterior. Hang a welcome sing on your front door.

6.  Transfer or cancel utilities and insurance. You want to do this after you have a homebuyer or after you have bought your next home. You don’t want a surprise bill coming in the mail after you have moved out!

7.  Get prepared for the closing. This includes bringing keys and remotes and other items that might not even cross your mind. As your New Jersey real estate agent, I can prep you for this and let you know what you need to do.

Selling your Millburn-Short Hills home is an exciting adventure! Let me help walk you through the process and support you every step of the way. Contact me!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Local Business Spotlight: Reeves-Reed Arboretum!

Complements of Reeves-Reed Arboretum
With summer winding down and fall right around the corner, it’s important to remember the places that are fun to visit year-round in New Jersey! So today, as your New Jersey real estate agent, I’d like to shine a spotlight on the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ.

Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, this arboretum displays design trends of landscape architects from the late 19th and 20th centuries. There is lots of history here, as each exhibit was added at different times throughout the past couple centuries.

The arboretum is made up of five-and-a-half acres of formal gardens, each representing design trends from the early 20th century. Some favorite exhibits include the Wisner House, the Keller Azalea Garden , the Rose Garden and the Rock Garden. You can stroll down the trails, take a group or self-guided tour, or just sit and relax on the benches.

Nature isn’t all you’ll find at the arboretum! There is the interactive exhibit called ‘Elements’, which works the six elements of stone, metal, wood, light, ice and water into the setting. There are 30 site-specific installations, using materials unique to the grounds, and some even contributed from Hurricane Sandy! This is definitely a sight to see.

The arboretum also hosts numerous events year-round, which makes it a great destination, no matter what time of year you’d like to go! They have classes on Wednesday afternoons for kids ages three to five. Each week, they create a different art project with a different theme. The arboretum also host concerts, such as the Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens Alumni Concert coming up on Sept. 11.

Annual events occur year-round as well, with ‘Celebrate Fall’ being the next one to look forward to, happening on Oct. 27 this year. There are all sorts of educational sessions too, for children, youth and teens, scouts and school groups, and adult lectures, trips and workshops.

Numerous volunteer opportunities are also available at the arboretum, which is a great way for residents who just relocated to Summit, NJ to meet new people! Currently, the volunteers meet at the Louise B. Roehm Greenhouse on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon.

The arboretum is open daily from dawn to dusk. It’s free, but there is a nonmember suggested donation of $5. Still, that’s a great price for spending an afternoon in a beautiful, serene setting!

As a Summit real estate agent, it’s important to me that you become familiar with local businesses and attractions after buying a Summit home. By keeping up with my local business spotlight blogs, you can feel a bit more familiar with the town that you're moving to.

Whether it’s Summit, Millburn, Short Hills or one of the many other towns I work in, there is something for everyone! When you’re ready to relocate, contact me. Together, we can figure out where the best location is for you to live!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Home Renovations That Add Value to Your New Jersey Home

As a Millburn-Short Hills homeowner, at some point, you’ll probably want to do some renovations on your home. Whether it’s a few upgrades here and there, or a total makeover, you want to make sure you choose renovations that will add value to your home. That way, when you decide to sell your Millburn-Short Hills home, you’ll attract more potential homebuyers and receive a higher return on investment!

As your New Jersey real estate agent, I’d like to fill you in on the home upgrades that will best increase your home value. You want to stick to changes that are long-lasting and that won’t go out of style. These upgrades have been in for many years now and don’t seem to be going anywhere! That way, when it comes time to sell your house, you won’t have to upgrade it again in order to get with the times.

So when renovating your home, here is what you should stick with and why:
  • New appliances. Homebuyers will definitely look at your appliances when home searching, so this is a great way to add value to your home, especially if you make them stainless steel or with an Energy Star rating. The newer the appliances are, the higher your home value.
  • Granite or stone countertops. While laminate countertops are cheaper, they don’t last as long. Granite and stone are very durable and will last years of wear and tear. Plus, they look sleek and visually appealing. Homebuyers lover these in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Hardwood floors. This is something that never goes out of style. Carpeting gets dirty and allergenic, laminate gets stained, tiles are hard and cold… hardwood wins. It looks sophisticated and clean, and it brings an earthy appeal into the home. To save money, Pergo flooring is a laminate wood that is cheaper but looks like the real deal.
  • Woodwork and molding. An easy way to add more visual appeal throughout the house is molding with wood around doorways, ceilings and walls. Crown molding is big, and chair rails look great in a dining room. This simple addition makes any room look more sophisticated.
  • Neutral colors. You want your paint colors to express who you are and your taste, but you also want them to be neutral, earthy tones that fit every personality type. In this AOL Real Estate article, a home designer says if you want red, put it in the dining room above a chair rail, but never in a bedroom. Just be smart about how you color your home.
If you’ve got a budget, it’s best to begin your home renovation in the kitchen and bathrooms, with appliances, fixtures and countertops. These will add the most home value and gain the most interest from potential homebuyers. After that, you can work your way through the other upgrades.

Have questions? Ready to sell your Millburn-Short Hills home? Give me a call, your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent! I’m here to help!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Local Business Feature: The Mall at Short Hills

Complements of The Mall at Short Hills
When buying a Millburn-Short Hills home, or relocating to the Short Hills, NJ area, it’s important that you get to know the local businesses. As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’m a strong supporter of local business! Businesses are what drive our local economy, and owners of local businesses are often local residents. It feels great to support them.

Plus, when you live in Millburn or Short Hills, you want convenience! So today, I’d like to feature The Mall at Short Hills, which is really a collection of a bunch of local businesses and stores! This mall encompasses 150 upscale specialty stores and restaurants. While many of the stores are big-name chains, such as Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, over 40 locally owned boutiques also reside here.

The entire mall has Wi-Fi, so if you need to get some work done outside of your home or office, you can relax in the Grand Court seating area, complete with a glass flower wall and an entertainment lounge. Or, you could cozy up in a quaint café or a full-service restaurant.

Looking to get social? The Mall at Short Hills has special events and activities happening daily. Here are some of the upcoming events to look forward to:
  • Bring the kids to Childsplayspot tomorrow, Aug. 16, for their Glitter Tattoo Body Art event! This takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. Each child can choose a glitter tattoo from the collection, and a staff member will safely apply it.
  • Have somewhere to go this weekend? Look fabulous by visiting Saks Fifth Avenue Aug. 17-19 for a relaxing facial, followed by an expert makeup application. This takes place each day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only, so be sure to call!
  • Ready to decorate your Millburn-Short Hills home for fall? Pottery Barn will get you prepared on Aug. 18 by sharing with you the new textile and accessories for a rich fall palette. Plus, you’ll learn all the insider tips on how to take your summer décor to autumn décor. This begins at 10 a.m.
  • Also on Aug. 18, head to Williams-Sonoma for a complimentary technique class about cooking with wine. A class expert will teach you how to incorporate wine into sweet and savory dishes, which wines to use and how much, and so much more. Call the store to register!
Aside from these events, there are lots of back-to-school specials throughout the mall, along with more facials and makeovers, trunk shows, game demonstrations, reading events and more.

As you can see, The Mall at Short Hills is one great reason to browse the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market! There are lots of local businesses to enjoy in the Millburn and Short Hills areas. Need help? Have questions? Contact me, your New Jersey real estate agent!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Makes a Good New Jersey Real Estate Agent?

When you’re selling your Millburn-Short Hills home, it’s important that everything goes as smoothly, quickly and painless as possible. At the same time, you want the process to be successful in terms of money, closing agreements and timetables.

As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I understand what New Jersey home sellers want from their agents! Because I was recently named the top Realtor in the state of New Jersey for sales volume, I also know what it takes to successfully sell a New Jersey home.

When choosing an agent, don’t just go with the first name you find! Choose an agent that you know will get the job done. The KCM Crew recently shared five demands that home sellers should make of their real estate agent. Because I agree with all of them, I’ve created a summary here:
  • Find an agent who will help you price your home correctly, right from the start. Many agents will agree to your desired listing price and then hit you with a price correction later. Data shows that your home will sell more quickly if priced correctly right away. Selling to the buyer isn’t the only job, either. The appraisal by the bank has to agree with the price, too.
  • Find an agent who understands your personal needs and timetable. Why are you deciding to sell your New Jersey home right now? Is it because you found another home to move into? Is it to downsize or move up, or to relocate for a job? Your agent should do whatever she can to ensure that you move by the date you need to move by. (This isn’t always possible, but don’t accept a lack of effort on the agent’s part!)
  • Find an agent that takes many challenges off your plate. There is a lot involved in the home-selling process. Your agent should be able to help you with much of it, such as researching homes in the area similar to yours, listing your home online, getting potential homebuyers over for showings and open houses, negotiating and getting all the paperwork together.
  • Find an agent that can help with you relocation. Chances are, if you’re moving out of your current home, you’re relocating to a new home. Your agent should be able to help your coordinate your closing so that you can close on your current home and move into your new residence immediately. You don’t want to be caught without a roof over your head!
  • Find an agent who can get your house sold. That is the purpose of you going through the process of selling, right? Your agent should be straightforward and more concerned with your home sale than your feelings. If something needs to be done, like a price change or a repair, you need an agent who will come right out and tell you. No beating around the bush when it comes to selling a home!
Like I said, I was named New Jersey’s top Realtor for sales volume, so you know you’re getting a trusted New Jersey real estate agent when you work with me. You can also check out my testimonials. When you’re ready to sell your Millburn-Short Hills home, contact me!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Which New Jersey Home Flaws to Address, Ignore

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’m here to help you through the home-buying process in Millburn, Short Hills, Summit, Livingston and surrounding areas! At this time, the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market is full of eager buyers, but low housing inventory, so you might be tempted to buy a flawed home. I’m here to caution you.
Even with bidding wars and quick home sales, it’s important that you have a home inspection and create a closing agreement that is fair to you as the North Jersey homebuyer. It’s also important that you’re aware of the flaws your potential home has, and you know when to address them and when to ignore them.

Here are housing flaws that you can ignore and still go through with the closing:
  • Old or unappealing wallpaper
  • Old, dirty or chipped paint
  • Doors
  • Closets
  • Cabinets
  • Fixtures
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture placement
These are all cosmetic flaws that you can easily change as the homebuyer. Once you move in, you can repaint the walls or hire a professional to do it. With fixtures and doors, you can easily switch these out with a trip to the hardware store. These are all quick, inexpensive changes.

On the contrary, here are home flaws that you should address:
  • Outdated furnaces
  • Air conditioners
  • Electrical outlets
  • Outdated appliances
  • Mold and mildew
  • Water damage
  • Foundation issues
These are all home flaws that are either expensive to fix or a serious concern. This is why it is so vital that you have an inspection done before closing! With these, you have the option of requesting that the home seller fix an expensive issue, or that the cost of the home be lowered to make up for it.

As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, the last thing I want is for you to regret your home-buying decision down the road. That’s why it’s important to know what issues are major and need to be addressed, and what issues are minor and can easily and inexpensively be fixed by you.

Does the home-buying process seem overwhelming to you? I can tell you that it’s doable! If you qualify for a mortgage and want to buy a Millburn area home, do not let fear stop you from doing so. Home prices and mortgage rates are both expected to continue rising, but both are still low by historical standards. Now is still the ideal time to buy, before it gets more expensive!

Scared of bidding wars and competition from other North Jersey homebuyers? That’s what I’m here for. As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’m on your side, and I’ll be there for every step of the process. Contact me with questions or to start searching for the perfect North Jersey home for you!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, July 25, 2013

5 Millburn-Short Hills Area Events This Weekend!

How are you enjoying your summer so far in the Millburn-Short Hills area of New Jersey? Is it flying by for you? It is for me, your North Jersey real estate agent! To ensure that you enjoy ever free moment you have left this summer, I’ve gathered information about five upcoming events in the area.

Check out what’s happening and see what you might like to attend:
  1. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and a bottle of wine to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, NJ tonight at 7 p.m. for Shakespeare in the Garden! Tonight’s performance is Henry V and is the last performance this summer. A short 15-minute question and answer session takes place after the performance with cast members. 
  2. If you’re looking for an outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy, gather the kids and head to Summit, NJ for Screen on the Green tonight! This is the second night of the outdoor film series. The night begins with a pre-movie Family Dance Party with Summit Soundz, and then there is a screening of Toy Story! Plan to be there by 7:30 p.m. 
  3. Flamenco Nights has arrived at Galeria West, an art and music gallery in Westfield, NJ. It’s a bi-monthly concert that features music and dance artists that portray and celebrate this popular genre from Spain. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, July 26. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for kids. 
  4. Considering adopting a pet to your New Jersey family? Jersey Animal Coalition in South Orange, NJ will host a Take Me Out of the Shelter community festival this Saturday, July 28, beginning at noon. You can “name your price” for any animal that has been at the facility for more than a year. There will also be a barbecue, ice cream, face painting and more! 
  5. On Sunday, July 28, enjoy a gorgeous day outside at the historic garden of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in Morristown, NJ. Gary Reed will be performing 21st century songs, with roots in the 60’s and 70’s, while you wander through the garden or enjoy a picnic on a blanket. Tickets cost $12 for nonmembers and can be purchased that day. 
For more events in the Millburn, Short Hills and Summit area, visit the Millburn-Short Hills Patch or Summit Patch! They’ve got daily events listed.

Enjoy this last weekend of July! When you’re ready to buy a New Jersey home or sell your New Jersey home, contact me! As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’m always here and ready to help you achieve your real estate goals.

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Beat the Heat in Your Millburn-Short Hills Home!

It has been an extremely hot, humid week in New Jersey, and it's not over yet! Forecasters say today and tomorrow will remain in the 90s but will feel like 105 degrees. As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I can assure you, that is hot.

What can you do to make sure you’re cool and safe in this heat? For one, make sure your air conditioner is working properly! If the air begins to feel less cool, or you notice it not kicking on, call someone immediately. With units working so hard, repairers might be quite busy.

As NorthJersey.com states, this heat poses the biggest threat for the very young, very old, disabled and pets. You can do your part by checking on elderly or disabled neighbors, to make sure their air conditioning is on and they are comfortable. Also, be sure they are drinking lots of water, as are you! If you have pets, don’t leave them outside for any length of time.

You could also visit a local pool! The Millburn, NJ swimming pool is located at Gero Park and includes a main pool with a water slide, and a wading pool. The Summit, NJ community pool is located at the Summit FamilyAquatic Center, with pools, slides, interactive water toys and a diving board. Some cities, like Hoboken, have set up sprinklers in community parks.

While in your home, these are great tips from Yahoo Homes on how to cheaply keep cool:
  • Window film can be stuck to windows to block infrared light while still allowing visible light into the room. It minimizes heat so it can save you 30 percent on cooling costs!
  • Solar shades or special screens can also help keep heat from the sun out. Solar shades are mounted on the outside of windows.
  • Exhaust fans are great for placing in windows at night when it cools off, just to filter out some of the air with fresh air. This only works when the evening air is cool, though.
  • Turning on ceiling fans are a great way to keep the air circulated and to feel a cool breeze.
If you’re looking to sell your Millburn-Short Hills home soon, don’t lose curb appeal by allowing your lawn to wither and die in this heat. Plant Solutions in NJ shared these tips:
  • Keep your lawn uncut a little longer than usual, to help it retain water and stand up to heat.
  • Skip the lawn fertilizer. You could damage your lawn with fertilizer. Wait until the fall!
  • Water it in the early morning. This way, you’ll prevent evaporation, which dries out the lawn.
  • Water deeply. Longer watering two or three times a week is better than light, frequent watering, because the water is able to get down to the roots deep in the soil.
Hope these tips help you stay cool and keep your house in great shape for a home sale! When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Millburn-Short Hills real estate market, contact me!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 Questions Every New Jersey Homebuyer Should Consider!

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’m here to help you buy a Millburn-Short Hills home! With rising home prices and mortgage rates, and relatively low housing inventory, it’s safe to say that it’s more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market right now. Still, Millburn homebuyers are eager to buy before prices and rates rise more.

Because of low inventory, Millburn-Short Hills homebuyers might opt to rush into a closing in fear of losing a deal. While it is possible that another buyer will snatch up the home before you, it’s still important to make sure that the North Jersey home is right for you!

As your North Jersey real estate agent, it’s my job to inform you that there is more involved to choosing a house than the number of rooms it has, and the inspection. You have to make sure the home fits in with your lifestyle needs, it’s in your price range, and it’ll resell for a good amount.

Here are five questions that Realtor Magazine recommends every buyer consider, which I full agree with:
  1. How’s the noise? The home might look great, but is it on a flight path? Near railroad tracks or a busy road? By a hospital with ambulances or fire trucks roaring by? Loud neighbors? You might want to visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and see what the surrounding environment is like.
  2. Are there easements or encroachments on the property? An easement would allow others to use a portion of your property for a specific purpose, so as the homeowner of that property, you’d definitely want to know that before buying!
  3. Is the house up to code? If the current home sellers did some major renovation projects on the house before listing, and didn’t get a permit first, there might be fines that you’ll then be responsible for.
  4. What are the districts? If you have kids, you’ll definitely want to check the school ratings, but even if you don’t have kids, the school system could affect the value of the home. Also check to see if you’re in a library, park or police district. These could all affect fees and taxes that you pay.
  5. What are the local rules? Homeowner association rules vary, so you’ll want to find out what those are before moving in. Also, if you’re relocating, check the rules by the city and county, to see what you’re allowed and not allowed to do as homeowner in that area.
As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I can help you out with these! While you’re shopping the New Jersey real estate market for the perfect home, I can help you find answers and save you time. Just don’t go rushing into a closing without really knowing what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll be happy you took the time to find these answers in the long run!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Millburn-Short Hills 4th of July Guide + Special Announcement!

Happy 4th of July week in Millburn and Short Hills, NJ! As your Millburn real estate agent, I want to make sure that you’re fully aware of the schedule for this year’s Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration in Millburn! But first, I have a special announcement I’d like to tell you about.

real estate report was released this week by Real Trends Magazine with the Wall Street Journal, which ranked thousands of real estate agents in four categories. I am proud to announce that I was named twice! I ranked 81st out of the top 250 Realtors nationwide by sales volume in 2012, and I was named Top Realtor in New Jersey by sales volume!

If you want to sell your New Jersey home, now you know who to contact. Of all the Realtors in the state, I had the best sales volume in 2012, and I continue to strive for this in 2013! Contact me when you’re ready to sell!

As for this week’s 4th of July festivities in Millburn, here is the full lineup of events on Thursday, July 4th:
  • Millburn’s Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration kicks off with a flag-raising ceremony at Taylor Park. At 9:15 a.m., locals Dr. Martin Levine and Emily Young will be presented the Patriot Award for their responses at the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year.
  • At 9:30 a.m., the bike, trike and stroller parade kicks off. Be sure to decorate your bike with red, white and blue before riding it in the parade!
  • At 10 a.m., the annual girls’ All-Star softball game will kick off! Sit back and enjoy the action.
  • The afternoon program continues from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Taylor Park. During this time, your whole family can enjoy duck races, pony rides, face painting, amusement rides and more! There will also be a memorable Revolutionary War Encampment.
  • The evening program will kick off at 7 p.m. at the Millburn High School. Krazy Kat will play patriotic music, and families can enjoy a model airplane airshow!
  • The long-awaited fireworks show will begin at dusk, around 9:15 p.m. No chairs are allowed on the field, so be sure to pack a blanket and bug spray!
Advanced tickets for the entire day cost $10 and can be picked up at Millburn Deli, Futter’s Shoes, Buncher’s Hardware, Michael’s Barber Shop, La Strada and Splurge Bakery. On July 4th, you can purchase tickets for $12. Or, if the fireworks are all that interest you, $5 tickets are available!

What are your 4th of July plans in Millburn, Short Hills, Summit or Livingston, NJ? Let me know by leaving a comment! And remember, when you’re ready to sell your North Jersey home, contact me! I am your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, and also New Jersey’s top Realtor for sales volume in 2012!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Declutter Your North Jersey Home For a Healthier, Calmer Life!

Anyone who has gone through the home-selling process before knows how stressful it can be if you start out with a cluttered, unorganized home. Likewise, moving can be a real hassle if you have an overabundance of stuff. As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’d like to help you out!

As it turns out, clutter in the home has been scientifically proven to raise your stress levels year-round, according to HGTV. This is true of all homeowners, whether buying, selling, or just staying put. However, if you work toward a more organized, clutter-free home now, moving and staging your home to sell will be much easier down the road!

Here are some of the tips HGTV offers for living a healthier, calmer life in a more organized home:
  • Spend 15 minutes each day or night tidying up your home. This could be anything from straightening out throw pillows to wiping down kitchen countertops or washing and putting away the dishes. Create a time slot for this everyday so you keep up in a doable fashion!
  • If you don’t have a home office, create a small nook with a floating shelf and a small cabinet. This can be your “command center” for writing bills, taking phone messages, keeping a calendar, printing and storing files. That way, everything is organized in one place.
  • Stick with the basics in the kitchen. You don’t need all the latest and greatest gadgets and tools to be taking up space on your counters or in your cabinets. In fact, spend one day emptying the drawers and cabinets, and only put back what you use on a regular basis.
  • Use a shoe organizer in the bathroom. Hang it on a cabinet or closet door so that everything you need is easily accessible but not strewn on the counter or thrown into the cabinet. From nail polish, makeup and razors, to hair spray, curling irons and brushes, everything will have its own little nook!
  • Use bins in your closets and label what’s in each one. It’ll add storage space while still keeping things organized and categorized. You can use these bins for anything, from pajamas, bathing suits and workout clothes, to toys, shoes and books.
For more clutter-free cleaning tips, read the entire HGTV article here.

By incorporating these small changes into your household and everyday living habits, hopefully you’ll find yourself calmer and more organized at home and in life! And when you’re ready to sell your North Jersey home, or move to a new home, the job will be much easier.


Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Downtown Summit's Events & Attractions!

Are you familiar with Downtown Summit, New Jersey? Whether you live in Summit, or you’re from the surrounding Millburn or Short Hills areas, there is plenty for you to enjoy! As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, allow me to introduce you to some of the current and upcoming attractions.
  1. The Third Annual Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts is this Saturday in Downtown Summit! This special event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Beechwood Road, Union Place and Springfield Avenue, with over 75 artisans! Shop among local artists and crafters while enjoying live entertainment. From paintings and woodcarvings, to homemade quilts and jewelry made from recycled silverware, you’ll be sure to find something that impresses you. Are you new to the North Jersey area? Start decorating your home with original arts and crafts while meetings other local residents!!
  2. Next weekend, June 27 through June 29, you can come out to Downtown Summit for Super Sidewalk Sale Days! Local businesses will bring some of their merchandise out onto the sidewalks for you to browse through, so you can easily stroll from one business to another and check out the bargains. At the same time, you can enjoy the fresh summer air.
  3. Beginning June 27, check out Summit, NJ’s brand-new Greenmarket! It opens June 27 and continues every Thursday through Sept. 12, from 3 to 8 p.m. on Beechwood Road. There will be 13 local farmers and purveyors present, including Little Big Farm, WoodsEdge Wools Farm, Brownie Points Bakery, Pickle Licious, Z Food Farm and so many more. Save a trip to the supermarket while supporting local businesses!
  4. If you can’t make it to the new Greenmarket, don’t forget about the Summit Farmers Market, celebrating its 20th season this year! The market opened on May 12 and runs every Sunday until Nov. 24. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can purchase produce from two organic farms and five other New Jersey farms. Apart from produce, an array of other goods is available, such as gourmet nuts and fruits, pizza, bakery goods and so much more.
Aside from all these specialty events, Summit, NJ also features permanent attractions for you to enjoy year-round. These include Clearview Beacon Hill Theatre, Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit Playhouse, Visual Arts Center of NJ and more! Check out Downtown Summit’s website for full details.

You’ve got all of Summit’s shopping and dining options, too. So really, the opportunities for an enjoyable day or evening are endless! If you’re new to the Summit, NJ area, be sure to check out Downtown Summit and all that it has to offer.

Want to buy a North Jersey home? Contact me! As a Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’d be happy to help!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mortgage Loan Approval Tips For Millburn-Short Hills Homebuyers

Are you gearing up to buy a Millburn-Short Hills home? Smart move! Mortgage rates rose again this week, almost reaching 4 percent. This is still relatively low, but they aren’t going back down anytime soon. The sooner you buy, the less money you’ll spend!

As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I want you to receive the best mortgage rate you can. Did you know that the rate you receive depends on your credit, debt and other factors? The better off your financial situation is, the more likely a lender will give you a loan and a lower interest rate.

So as a Millburn-Short Hills homebuyer, what can you do to ensure that mortgage lenders are happy to help you? Here are some financial areas to work on:
  • Credit score. The higher the score, the better, and if it’s below 700, you might have a hard time getting approved for a loan. To improve your score, the best thing you can do is start paying off debt and paying bills on time. It takes three to six months to improve the score, so find out what your credit score is and get to work as soon as possible!
  • Debt. This directly affects your credit score and what lenders think of you. The more debt you have, the less likely they’ll be to give you more of it through a mortgage loan. Start paying off credit cards, loans, your car and anything else you can lower. If you’re close to paying off the debt, you’ll have better luck with lenders.
  • Income. Lenders will check to see that you have a secure job with steady income. Have old tax returns ready to bring in, along with W-2 forms, pay stubs, bank statements and whatever else they may ask for. If you’re thinking about changing jobs, you might want to wait until after you purchase a home.
  • Down payment. The more money you have to put down on a Millburn-Short Hills home, the better. That means the lender doesn’t have to lend you as much. If you don’t have much saved right now, start making lifestyle changes that will allow you to save every penny you can from now until when you’re ready to buy.
It’s important to remember that even if you have some debt or a small down payment amount, there are still options. Contact me, your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent! I’d be happy to answer any questions that I can, or turn you to someone who can. When you’re ready to buy, contact me!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 Upcoming Events In & Around Millburn, NJ!

Did you just buy a Millburn home? Have you lived in the Millburn-Short Hills area your whole life? Either way, summer is a great time to leave the comfort of your home and socialize with other local residents at local events! Warm weather brings markets, festivals and annual traditions that you won’t want to miss. As your Millburn-Short Hills real estate agent, I’d like to fill you in on what’s coming up!

Mark your calendars for these five upcoming events around the Millburn-Short Hills area. If you attend one, leave a comment and let me know how it was! When you’re ready to buy a Millburn home or sell a Millburn home, contact me. I’ll be ready for you!
  1. The Millburn Farmer’s Market starts back up this week! The first day of the 2013 season is tomorrow, June 7, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Town Hall on Essex Street. It’ll run every Friday at that time until Oct. 25. Local farmers will be present with fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. USDA certified organic products will also be available. Want to start eating healthier? The market makes it convenient and easy to do so! 
  2. On Saturday, take a drive to Primrose Farm in Morristown for the first organized public event since the site opened! Between 10 a.m. June 8 and 10 a.m. June 9, you can capture a photo of nature that holds “The Essence of Primrose.” Professional photographers will be present between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday to offer tips. Submit your photo to see if you win the photo contest! 
  3. Not sure how to keep your kids busy this summer? Visit New Horizons Day Camp’s Open House on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.! New Horizons is located in West Orange and accepts children entering kindergarten through 9th grade. While kindergarten and first graders are in a traditional camp program, kids in grades two through nine can choose their own schedule from a plethora of activities!
  4. Mark your calendars for the Millburn Sidewalk Sale and Stroll on June 13, 14 and 15! Downtown Millburn will be bustling with local residents during this annual event, so it’s a great time to meet new people if you just moved to Millburn. Local business will bring bargain items and new merchandise out onto the sidewalks for a casual, festive atmosphere. 
  5. Love to run? Want to shape up for summer? Start training for the 34th Annual President’s Night Race in Millburn, NJ on Monday, June 17! This 5K is open to people of all ages and usually attracts around 1,500 runners. The race begins at 8 p.m. and starts and finishes at Charlie Brown’s Restaurant parking lot. Call Sneaker Factory in Millburn at 973-376-6094 for details and to register!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Home Features Most Preferred By Millburn-Short Hills Homebuyers

As a Millburn-Short Hills home seller, you want to stand out to potential homebuyers as much as possible, and to satisfy their list of desires. Also, you need to know what the value of your home is, and what to list it for. Certain home features will make buyers more inclined to pay more.

As your New Jersey real estate agent, I can help you with this! I know what homes in the Millburn-Short Hills area are listing for and selling for, and I know what home features and upgrades can bump up your asking price. We can determine all of this when we work together.

As a preview, the National Association of Realtors just released their 2013 Home Features Survey, showing which features homebuyers cared about most and were willing to pay more for. Here is a summary of the results:
  • Out of all 31 home features mentioned on the survey, the most important feature to homebuyers was a home with central air conditioning. Sixty-five percent of buyers considered this very important.
  • In the kitchen, buyers most preferred new appliances and eat-in kitchens. In fact, 69 percent of buyers who did not buy a home with new appliances said they’d be willing to pay up to $1,840 more for this feature! After those two features, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances were preferred.
  • The rooms that had the highest dollar value, as in buyers were willing to pay more for, were basements and in-law suites.
  • Almost half of buyers prefer a home with a laundry room. Of those that found it at least somewhat important to have one, 89 percent did buy a home with a laundry room.
  • Other home features that interested homebuyers were fireplaces, which 57 percent of buyers purchased a house with, and garages, which 78 percent chose a house with.
  • After the fact, if they could change anything about the home they purchased, the majority of buyers said they would have wanted more or larger closets and more storage.
To view this report in its entirety, click here

As a Millburn-Short Hills home seller, what does all this mean to you? Obviously, unless you want to go through a major remodeling overhaul, some of these features are out of your control. But what you could do is install central air conditioning, update your kitchen appliances, add an island or table to your kitchen with seating, and show off all available storage space.

Need help staging your Millburn-Short Hills home or selling your home in the New Jersey real estate market? Contact me! I’m always here to help.

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why to Buy a Millburn-Short Hills Home Now!


If you keep up with current real estate news, you know that most of it is about how great conditions are for home sellers right now. Home prices are rising, home sales are rising, homes are selling at record speeds, competition is low, sellers have negotiating power and buyers are eager. But as a Millburn-Short Hills homebuyer, it’s important that you know now is the time to buy, too.

Why are homebuyers so eager to buy right now? For the same reasons that I’m about to share with you for why to buy a New Jersey home now! While prime conditions and historically low home prices have come and gone, as the housing industry continues to recover, housing will become more expensive. That’s why you shouldn’t wait.

Here’s a rundown on why you should buy a North New Jersey home now:
  • Mortgage rates are still near historic lows. This is the top reason to buy now. Rates continued to drop in early spring, but for the last couple weeks, they rose. Real estate experts predict that as home prices and sales continue to increase, which they’re expected to do, mortgage rates will rise too. The days of historically low rates are probably over. So the longer you wait, the higher they’ll be.
  • Home prices are rising. The latest prediction is that they’ll appreciate by 5.4 percent in the remainder of 2013. If this is true, by next year at this time, homebuyers will be spending $10,000 more on a $200,000 home, $15,000 more on a $300,000 home, and so forth. You can view a chart explaining all of this here. If you buy now, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money!
  • With home affordability still high, homeownership is a better deal than renting right now. A recent report showed that after you live in your Millburn-Short Hills home for two to four years, you’ll be better off financially than if you were spending your money on rent. So as long as you plan on staying in a home for a few years, it’s a financially sound investment to buy!
Because housing inventory is low and New Jersey homebuyers are getting caught in bidding wars for the house they want, some buyers are choosing to wait until more houses go on the market. But when that happens, prices and mortgage rates will also be up.

Decide how much you can spend on a house, get pre-approvedfor a mortgage and contact me! Together, we can negotiate with Millburn-Short Hills home sellers until you find the home of your dreams that is also in your budget. Do it now, and you’ll save lots of money in the long run. Talk to you soon!

Elaine Pruzon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Visit My Website
See My Listings
Become My Fan on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter
Add Me to Your Circle