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Disaster Kit

by Sharon Vallario

Disaster KitWatching the struggles of thousands of people in the wake of Superstorm Sandy wasn't easy, especially if you've been through a similar experience. But, it does serve as a good reminder to put together a disaster preparedness kit if you don't have one. Better safe than sorry, and it's not that complicated or expensive to be prepared.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a suggested plan for putting a disaster kit together. Among the elements in the kit, they recommend the following:

• Assume you’re not going to have clean drinking water. Set aside three gallons of water everyone in the household, including pets. You may also want to keep a container of plain household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper to make disinfectant or purify water.

• No electricity means you won’t have refrigeration, so have a three-day supply of non-perishable food. A manual can opener is probably obvious. Put aside extra pet food as well.

• A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and weather radio.

• A flashlight. More than one won’t hurt .

• Wrenches and pliers to turn off utilities, such as water or gas.

• A whistle to signal for help.

• A dust mask.

• Plastic sheeting and duct tape to help rig an emergency shelter if necessary. If you enjoy camping, you may already have a tent you can use in an emergency.

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

• Local maps and a compass.

• Emergency chargers for cell phones. Solar chargers, inverters or emergency battery chargers may be the only way for you to reach loved ones or help.

• Batteries. Extra, lots and of the right sizes to power your emergency devices.

• Baby formula and diapers.

• Travelers' checks.

• Matches in a waterproof container.

• Prescription medicines and glasses.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr.com

Haworth Day Celebration

by Sharon Vallario

Downtown Haworth, Haworth, New Jersey

This weekend your entire family is invited to come out to Downtown Haworth to indulge in the city’s annual Haworth Day Celebration event.  The wildly-popular happening is Haworth’s way of giving back to the community, presenting day-long entertainment for both children, and adults alike.

This year’s Haworth Day Celebration extravaganza will feature live entertainment, food vendors, rare shopping opportunities, and much more.  New to the event, a variety of kid’s rides will be an added bonus to this year’s venue.  And, a dunk tank will keep your family in stitches, as individuals plunge into the icy cold waters, time and time again. After having shopped the numerous arts and crafts vendors, make your way to the on-site pond, where local Boy Scout troops will be offering canoe rides for your entire family. Take a break to convene with friends from the community over a bite to eat, prior to partaking in the Haworth Fire Department’s fire hose water games. And as the day comes to a close, be sure to stick around for the explosive fireworks nightcap, illuminating the skies over Memorial Fields.

The Haworth Day Celebration event is free for the whole family.  So this Saturday join the masses for an exhilarating day, chalked full of entertainment for all.  The occasion promises to provide something for everyone!

Saturday September 13th

1:00PM-6:00PM

For more information regarding the Haworth Day Celebration event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of vastateparksstaff/flickr.com.

Energy Efficient Windows - Are They Worth It?

by Sharon Vallario

Depending on where you live, your drafty windows, skylights and doors could account for 25-40 percent of your energy bill. Given that statistic, most people would enjoy cutting energy costs and saving $500 a year on their energy bill if all they had to do was change their windows.

So why don't more people do it? Put simply, it can be a very heavy initial investment.

For a typical home ranging from 2,000-2,500 sq. ft., full window replacement could cost upwards of $15,000. Sounds a little less appealing now, right?

Reaping the Rewards

Whether you plan on being in your house for years to come or hope to sell it sooner rather than later, energy-efficient windows are a safe bet. They provide curb appeal and add instant, significant resale value. Energy-efficient windows can save you money each and every month, and in some cases, can even help your house gain net energy. Don't forget that this also adds consistent comfort to your home because your thermostat isn't going up and down all the time.

On a Budget

If you're like many people, you live life on budget, and you can't just shell out $15,000 for windows on the drop of a hat. And while you can sometimes get tax breaks or low-interest loans to help you ease the burden, it can still be a long time until you see a payoff if you continue to live in the home. As a matter of fact, it could take anywhere from two to ten years before you make up the money in energy savings.

It also makes sense that in most cases you can invest $1,000 into sealing door leaks, replacing insulation, and repairing windows and get nearly the same energy savings.

So what's the answer?

Location Means a Lot

Much of our heating and cooling loss is dependent on our geographical location. If you're set on adding energy-efficient windows to your home, it's important to talk to different contractors to determine what is available in your area, which windows would be the best cost value for your house, or if they'd even be worth installing. Only you know what you really need, so make sure to do your research, talk to professionals, and see what works best for you. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer questions you may have about home value, buying or selling a home.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Rachel Kramer/Flickr.com

Cresskill Day Craft Fair

by Sharon Vallario

Cresskill Community Center, Cresskill, New Jersey

This weekend the main thoroughfare of Cresskill will be transformed into an open air pedestrian marketplace, featuring day-long fun for both adults, and children alike.  Returning for its 5th consecutive year, the Cresskill Day Craft Fair event has joined forces with Craftique Creations and Promotions, in providing a unique shopping experience, coupled with live entertainment for all!

The Cresskill Day Craft Fair event will be showcasing a variety of merchants, selling handmade goods.  Craftique prides itself on organizing only first-rate shopping fairs, highlighting the area’s finest independent crafters.  Live music will fill the air, providing the ideal atmosphere in which to shop the over 100 vendors. Taking second stage, the barbecue challenge of all challenges will be taking place.  The Kansas City BBQ Organization will be on-site, judging both amateur and professional barbecue makers.  Kiddie rides, games, family-friendly activities, and delicious festival-style foods will round out this spectacular Fair extravaganza.

Admission is free for your entire family to attend this end of the summer Fair spectacular.  You absolutely do not want to miss out on the opportunity to be in attendance at the oh-so popular Cresskill Day Craft Fair event, promising to provide something for everyone!

Saturday September 6th

10:00AM-6:00PM

For more information regarding the Cresskill Day Craft Fair event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of bclinesmith/Flickr.com

Knowing When to Refinance

by Sharon Vallario

Much like purchasing a house, deciding to refinance your home is a big decision. That's because the process that comes with closing on a home is more or less the same process you have to go through when you're refinancing. That is to say, you are once again required to submit an application, have your credit checked, get a new survey and title search, and there's always the fees for a new appraisal and inspection.

But fear not, the two things you really need to know are fairly simple. It's important to know how long you plan to keep living in the house and how much everything will cost in the end.

As an example, if you were to save $200/month by refinancing, but it cost you $2,500 in refinance fees, it's going to take you 10-12 months for you to enjoy those savings. This means that the longer you plan to stay in the house, the more money you'll save in the long term, but if you plan on selling in the near future you've just lost money.

Here are a few fees that comes with refinancing:

  • State/City/County Stamps (3)
  • Title Insurance/Search/Endorsements (3)
  • Escrow
  • Underwriting
  • Recording
  • Credit Report

Simple rules of refinancing:

  • Refinance if you're trying to reduce your monthly payments and can lower your interest rate.
  • Refinance if you want to reduce the term of your loan and overall cost of the house.
  • Refinance if it helps to consolidate uncontrollable debt.
  • Refinance if the interest rate is two percent lower than what you're paying, currently.

Now, these aren't hard-and-fast rules as every situation has its own elements involved. Knowing how much money you'll save in the long run and how it will impact you in the present are questions that you need to ask yourself. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of Juli/Flickr.com

Wyckoff F.D. Labor Day Fireworks

by Sharon Vallario

Memorial Field, Wyckoff, New Jersey

Nothing epitomizes Labor Day weekend more than good food, convening with friends and neighbors, and indulging in an end of the day fireworks extravaganza. This weekend your entire family is invited to come out to Memorial Field, just behind Memorial Town Hall, to partake in the festive holiday, observing the closing of the summer season.

The Wyckoff Fire Department is happy to be hosting their 57th annual Labor Day Fireworks event, carrying on more than a half of a decade of wholesome family fun, at this traditional holiday happening.  Activities of all sorts will be offered for both children and adults alike.  Live entertainment will be provided by a local D.J. A 50/50 raffle will be taking place, benefitting the Wyckoff Fire Department, and its ongoing efforts in safeguarding the community.  Food vendors will be in abundance, providing a variety of good eats.  And by all means jump in to participate in one of the many games that are scheduled throughout the course of the event. Child identification kits will be given out, courtesy of NY Life.  After the sun has set, prepare yourselves for the fantastic fireworks show that will light up the night sky.

Admission to attend the Wyckoff F.D. Labor Day Fireworks event is only $10.00 per person, and will go towards supporting the brave men and women who protect your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  To purchase your tickets online, please click here.

So this weekend head over to Memorial Field to treat the entire family to an unforgettable Labor Day experience. The Wyckoff Fire Department intends on delivering an explosive good time for the close of the summer season!

Saturday August 30th

4:00PM

8:30PM Fireworks

For more information regarding the Wyckoff F.D. Labor Day Fireworks event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of carinaD-stock/deviantart.com.

6 Essential First-Home Items

by Sharon Vallario

When you finally move into your first home, and out of that apartment or dorm room where you spent the last few years eating ramen and reading in the dark, you'll quickly realize that there are few essential items that every homeowner needs.

By adding some of these items to your homeowner checklist, you can help lower the chances that you'll need to make an emergency run to Walmart in the middle of the night.

1. Spare Keys

There are few things worse than trudging home in the rain after a long day of work only to find out you locked yourself out of the house. Keeping a spare key in a fake rock or giving one to a trusted neighbor can alleviate a lot of stress. This is also great if you travel often and need someone to water the plants.

2. Towels and Hand Towels

Drying yourself off is much harder to do when you forget to keep towels on hand, and using fewer paper towels for drying hands and counters saves you money.

3. Tools (not just a Swiss Army Knife)

You'd be surprised at how many people forget how handy a good tool set is to have around. Screwdrivers—flat-head and Phillips—and a hammer are essential to almost everything you plan on working on in the house, but never underestimate a wrench and some pliers. Keeping a flashlight or candles handy is also a smart plan.

4. Cleaning Materials

A sponge, a bottle of Formula 409, and some toilet bowl cleaner can make the difference between a clean home and a train wreck. Don't forget the elbow grease.

5. Utensils

Eating out is great for the convenience, but cooking your own meals can be healthier and save you money. Getting a cheap utensil set allows you to (in theory) eat better and maybe even invite friends to dinner.

6. Relaxation Station

If you're able to, I suggest finding your favorite corner in the house and making yourself a place to feel good and relax. Start by adding a comfortable chair, hang some art you enjoy on the walls around you, hang some photos of friends and family and viola, you’ve made yourself at home by surrounding yourself with things you enjoy.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the homebuying or selling process.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of Philip Wilson/Flickr.com

Allendale Farmers Market

by Sharon Vallario

W. Allendale Avenue (behind the clock tower), Allendale, New Jersey

It’s not your average, run-of-the-mill, everyday farmers Market! The Allendale Chamber of Commerce is proud to present a unique shopping experience, coupled with live entertainment, fun for the whole family.  The Allendale Farmers Market event will be taking place this Saturday, directly behind the clock tower on W. Allendale Avenue.  Bring the entire family out to shop, dance, and partake in this atypical farmers market event!

This one-of-a-kind Market will be featuring high-quality, locally grown food and artisan products.  You and your family can browse the many vendors, selling a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, honey, jams, hummus, pesto, pastas, breads, cheeses, and much more.  In addition, there will be homemade baked goods and prepared foods, ready for you to indulge in, as you shop.

This weekend song will fill the air, courtesy of the School of Rock.  Inspiring kids to rock on stage and in life, the School of Rock rears some of the most talented musicians in the entire area. You will absolutely be blown away by their extraordinary live performance.

So this Saturday grab the family and come on out to the Allendale Farmers Market event. The FREE happening guarantees there will be something for everyone, both adults and children alike!

Saturday August 23rd from 9:30 AM-2:30 PM

For more information regarding the Allendale Farmers Market event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of sayur-sayuran-pasar-tomat-mentimun/pixabay.com.

Knowing When to Repair a Roof

by Sharon Vallario

"All I need are four walls and a roof over my head."

Most of us have heard this line once in or twice in our lives. Some of us have even used it ourselves. That's because they represent the metaphoric requirements for having a home. But as any homeowner knows, those parts sometimes need some work—especially the roof.

It's important to know when to repair a roof, because all it takes is a small leak in the roof to damage drywall, rot wood, ruin belongings and promote the growth of mold. And spending money on replacing a roof is very often cheaper than spending money on replacing your stuff. Think of replacing your roof like making an investment in your home. It adds longevity, curb appeal and value to your property. All important factors, especially if you are planning to sell your home.

Let's take a look at a few tips to know when to call in an expert.

Shingles All the Way

Missing, cracked, curled or fallen shingles are your first indicator that your roof may need some repair. It's also a sign that your roof is starting to break down. When tar strips—glue for your shingles—starts to wear out, shingles will start to break off and fall away from the house. If you look at your roof and you're missing a single shingle, it may simply be a rogue shingle; or it may mean the beginning of a larger problem. Ask an expert to see if it's a one-time deal or if it's time to get the process going.

Moss is for Trees Only

You may love nature, but nature can also be pretty destructive to our man-made homes. If your roof is covered in moss, it's very likely that the moss has grown steadily because of roots that have dug their way into and under the shingles. This, coupled with the moisture they retain, means the moss could be freezing and expanding, stretching the tar strips and pulling the shingles away from the house.

Spotting the Spots

Discolored shingles aren't just an eyesore, they're also an indicator that the granules that protect the asphalt in the shingle have started to be broken down by the sun. Though it is a natural process over the life of the shingle, it also means that the asphalt on the shingle is unprotected and more prone to wear down faster due to weather effects.

Not only that, but discolored spots could also indicate damp areas on your roof, which means you may have an even bigger problem than needing to replace your shingles. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of Bill McNeal/Flickr.com

Hermitage Outdoor Craft Show

by Sharon Vallario

The Hermitage Museum, Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey

This weekend the historic Hermitage Museum is happy to be hosting its oh-so popular Hermitage Outdoor Craft Show event.  Whether you are interested in getting a head start on your holiday shopping, or you are simply out to find unique treasures for yourself, you will absolutely not want to miss out on the opportunity to be in attendance. 

The Hermitage Outdoor Craft Show event is hailed as one of the most well-liked and highly attended artisan events in the area. This year over 1,000 customers are expected to be in attendance as the grounds are consumed with arts and crafts vendors of all sorts. The event has become so large that there is an actual waiting list for merchants, wanting to set up shop.  Currently, over 75 quality artisans are slated to be exhibiting and selling their one-of-a-kind gift items. You can expect to find art and photography, handmade jewelry, handmade painted furniture, and folk art.  Historic displays, pet items, stained glass, and pottery will also be for sale.  And the list doesn’t stop there!  Outdoor décor items, decoupage, American Girl doll clothing, wearables, soaps, fibers, and much more will also be found.

Admission to attend this astounding arts and crafts event is a mere $4.00 per person.  Children under the age of 12 are welcome to attend for free.

This weekend your entire family is invited to come out to The Hermitage Museum and ready yourselves for the upcoming holiday season, or to modestly shop for oneself.  The event guarantees that there will be something for everyone, including even the pickiest of consumers!

Saturday August 16th

10:00AM-5:00PM

For more information regarding the Hermitage Outdoor Craft Show event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: sharonval@njrealtor.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Quadell/en.wikipedia.org.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 391

Sharon Vallario of RE/MAX Elite Associates provides exceptional real estate services in Bergen County, New Jersey specializing in the areas of River Vale, Hillsdale, Montvale, Woodcliff Lake, Westwood, Park Ridge, Ridgewood and Upper Saddle River.  Sharon lists and sells residential real estate, investments properties, vacant land, rentals, as well as secondary homes.

Bergen County, New Jersey real estate and homes for sale in Bergen County
Sharon Vallario, REALTOR®

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