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Bergen County Real Estate Blog

Sharon Vallario


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 375

It’s hard to imagine ever selling the home you just spent so much time and effort acquiring, but for most Americans, another move is inevitable – it’s only a matter of time. Families grow, families shrink and people change jobs. It’s rare these days to stay in the same home for 25 years.

So, even though finding the ideal home for you and your family should be your end goal, it pays to consider the possibility of how other potential buyers will respond to your home in the future.

Tastes may change over the years, but there are several factors that are found in homes with a high resale value consistently. If you hope to sell your home quickly and for a profit in the future, it pays to keep these four factors in mind when investing in a home.

A Prime Location

Absolutely nothing tops location in the real estate industry – why else would people pay thousands of dollars to live in a shoebox apartment in Manhattan? If your home is in a prime location, the odds are it will sell quickly and for a premium. Of course, like many things, a prime location is in the eyes of the beholder, but, typically, you cannot go wrong with good schools, convenience to nearby shopping and services, low crime rate and walkability.

A Great View

A nice view can sell your home when all else fails. People like the idea of stepping out onto their porch or balcony and seeing something beautiful each morning. You probably do too.

Now, depending on whether you are in the city or in a more rural area, your definition of a “great view” may vary. City dwellers like to be up high and overlook the skyline. Those in rural areas like to stare at the beauty of nature. One thing is for sure, the view of a brick wall or a gravel pit rarely meets anyone’s definition of a “great view”.

A Great Layout

Layout is an important factor as well. In fact, you might remember that the number of bedrooms and baths was one of the first things you considered when determining which homes belonged on your “must see in person” list. Beyond just number of beds and baths, the feel and flow of a home can play an important psychological role when selling a home. You want a home that has a floor plan that makes sense, feels larger than it is and incorporates natural light.

A Great Façade

How a home looks from the outside can plays an important role in generating interest among potential buyers. Homes that make a great first impression from the street tend to sell faster and for more money than those that don’t. So, if you plan to resell your home in the future, consider investing in a home with the potential for great curb appeal or one that already has it.

The four factors listed here are very important when investing in a home you intend to resell sometime in the future, but a much easier method is to simply remember what attracted you to the home in the first place. Trust your instincts. If the home attracted you, it will likely attract others in the future. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find the home of your dreams.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Simon Cunningham at

Children’s Sail

by Sharon Vallario

Alpine Boat Basin, Alpine, New Jersey

This weekend bring the entire family out to the Alpine Boat Basin to board an oyster schooner, and set sail for a fantastic 3-hour water expedition.  Offering a hands-on learning experience, the Children’s Sail event will introduce kids, as well as adults, to the Hudson River area, and the various creatures that call it home.

The A.J. Meerwald, New Jersey’s official “Tall Ship”, will be the vessel from which your family can indulge in the panoramic views of the harbor, and its surrounding areas.  The 115-foot oyster schooner was built in 1928, but over the years has been magnificently restored.  The two-masted boat is driven by over 3,500 square feet of sail.  As you can imagine, the opportunity to climb aboard this impressive water craft, is one you will absolutely not want to forego.  

Debora Davidson, director of the Tenafly Nature Center, will be your guide for the day.  She will be introducing your family to the history, art, music, and nature of New Jersey.  But, her primary focus will be on the wildlife and creatures of the sea.  Hudson River fish, crabs, and other living things of the water will be spotted, and discussions will be held regarding their habitat.

The Children’s Sail event costs only $26.00 per child, and $52.00 per adult.  The A.J. Meerwald will set sail twice on Friday July 18th, once on Saturday July 19th, and again on Sunday July 20th.  To view a list of your sailing options, please click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Once you have chosen your preferred date and time click on it, and then click to register your family.

This weekend put on your sunscreen and hat, grab the binoculars, and prepare to embark on a water voyage, unlike any you have ever taken before.  The Children’s Sail event promises to provide 3 hours chalked full of fun for both children, and adults alike!

Friday July 18th - 9:30AM and 1:30PM

Saturday July 19th - 1:30PM

Sunday July 20th - 12:00PM

For more information regarding the Children’s Sail event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Olaf Arndt/

The Pros and Cons of Investing in a Vintage Home

by Sharon Vallario

In today’s real estate market, more and more people find themselves drawn to older homes – rather than new construction. For whatever reason people choose to invest in these older homes over new homes (more home for the money, unique properties or prime location) it’s important for potential buyers to know exactly what comes with buying an older home – the good and the bad.

First, let’s look at the pros inherent in buying an older home.

Prime Location

Typically, especially in urban areas, older homes are located right at the heart of the city. This means that these homes are often convenient to the city center with its shops, office buildings and restaurants. For the right person, nothing beats living right in the heart of the city and being able to walk to your favorite restaurant.

Lower Cost of Ownership

Often, buying an older home allows you to stretch your real estate dollar just a little bit further than with new construction. Choosing to buy an older home in an established neighborhood rather than a new home could make the difference between living in a four bedroom with a huge backyard or a 3-bedroom patio home.

Unique Construction

Many modern neighborhoods are planned along the principle of conformity. The houses tend to look the same. For some people, this sameness can be stifling. Older homes are often very distinct from their neighbors – and each owner has put their unique stamp on the home over the years. If you value uniqueness above conformity, an older home could supply you with just what you desire.

Established Neighborhoods

Older homes are in established neighborhoods. Buying a home in an older neighborhood means that you don’t have to deal with the constant construction and the eerie feeling that comes with living in a new neighborhood that is only half complete, and your home will often be surrounded by established trees rather than saplings.

While there are great things about living in an older home, investing in a vintage home comes with some drawbacks.

Buying Other People’s Problems

You are buying a used home, and there is no guarantee that the previous owners properly maintained it. After you move in, you could discover that the plumbing is in severe need of updating, that the electrical is no longer up to code or the roof needs replacing. Even one of these problems could mean spending every dime you saved on the purchase price to make repairs.

Smaller Rooms

Older homes tend to be smaller than modern homes. If you are one who favors walk-in closets, large bathrooms and expansive master suites, moving into an older home that was built when standards were different can be an adjustment.

Built-In Restrictions and Hidden Costs

Many people buy older homes with the plan of renovating them with modern amenities while protecting their vintage character. While this is a great idea, in some cases, the owners of historic homes find that their big plans may require approval by the local historic commission.

In addition, rehab projects can invite the attention of the building inspector. If he discovers health and safety issues with the home, it can mean redoing several aspects of the home in order to bring the home up to current building codes.This can turn something like a modest kitchen remodel into a large financial undertaking.

Investing in an older home can be a great choice for the right person. Just remember what you are getting into when you buy an older home and be ready for the good and the bad. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of HDR Photography at

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast in Lyndhurst

by Sharon Vallario

Town Hall Park, Lyndhurst, New Jersey

This weekend the city of Lyndhurst invites your entire family to come out to Town Hall Park to indulge in a weekend of great eats, outdoor fun, and live entertainment.  Hailed as one of the most popular summertime outdoor Festivals in the area, the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast in Lyndhurst event guarantees there will be something for everyone.

This year the festival will be featuring an Italian-themed food extravaganza.  Mouth-watering Italian entrees, side dishes, and even desserts are all slated to be on the menu, ready to eat-in, or carry-out.  After having your fill of great food, try your hand at one of the many games of chance that will be offered.  There will also be 50/50 raffles being held throughout the course of the weekend.  And, the Super 50/50 will be drawn on Saturday, July 12th.  The winner of last year’s Super drawing walked away $12,638.00 richer.  Rides of all kinds will be available for both children, and adults alike.  And absolutely do not forget to bring a blanket and your lawn chairs.  Find a comfy spot in the Park, lean back, and enjoy the “Music Under the Stars” concert series.  Friday evening Shadows of the ‘60’s and Night Fever will be taking to the stage.  Julian & Dominique & the 3 Po Tenors, along with JT Taylor will be providing the entertainment on Saturday night.

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast in Lyndhurst event is free to attend.  So this weekend, come out to one of the community’s most highly-attended happenings.  You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to treat your family to a weekend chalked full of fun!

Friday July 11th


Saturday July 12th


For more information regarding the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast in Lyndhurst event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Saintshobhit/

Is Buying a Home with a Swimming Pool Worth It?

by Sharon Vallario

Do you love swimming? Have you dreamed of owning a home with your very own swimming pool? Being able to take a dip whenever you like?

Each year thousands of families across America choose to invest in a home with a swimming pool. For, some it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, it’s the beginning of an expensive nightmare

Let’s take a moment to look at both the pros and cons of owning a home with a pool.

First the benefits.

Great Way to Have Fun and Relax

Most people want a pool because they truly enjoy swimming. They love the thought of spending a day lazing around the pool on a float with a cold drink at hand. They have dreams of children swimming and playing in the water while hot dogs and hamburgers sizzle on the barbecue. Pools are great fun and can be the setting for many lasting memories.

Great for Exercise

As we get older, lifting weights or logging miles on the hard asphalt becomes harder on our joints. Swimming has long been cited by leading fitness experts as one of the absolute best total body workouts. It is not only an excellent cardiovascular workout but can build muscle and increase flexibility. With a pool of your own, there is no need to go to the gym; you just need to walk outside.

An Excellent Marketing Feature

Homes with pools standout – especially during those hot summer months. If you plan to sell your home in the future, a pool can be a way to distinguish your home from the competition. While it is unlikely to allow you to sell your home for significantly more, it can help you to sell your home faster.

Now, let’s take a moment to look at the drawbacks inherent in owning a home with a pool.

Pools Can Be Hazardous

Having a pool and allowing your friends and neighbors to use it can be a liability. Let’s not forget that pools can be dangerous in the wrong situations. If you have small children that are not strong swimmers – or even if they are – it’s important that you maintain a watchful eye at all times. For some, the possibility that a person could be injured on their property is too much of a risk to take.

Maintaining a Pool Can Be Expensive

Depending on the age and type of pool you have, maintaining your pool can cost a significant amount. When you add up the cost of water, electricity, chemicals and sundry expenses, you could easily spend several thousands of dollars a year for something you only use during the summer. Before you commit to pool ownership, make sure you can afford to maintain it. Nothing is more unattractive than a poorly maintained pool.

Low Actual Return on Investment

Installing a pool is actually a poor investment – on paper. It’s very unlikely that you ever see a return on investment equal to the cost of installation. In most cases, appraisers will give a third or less of the pool’s installation cost on an appraisal report.  If you choose to install a pool or invest in a home with a pool, do it because you love to swim – not because you want to increase the value of your home.

Choosing to buy a home with a pool is not a decision to make lightly. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before you commit. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, and/or help you find your dream home.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of New Pool Designs at

Vintage Baseball at Historic New River Bridge Landing

by Sharon Vallario

Historic New River Bridge Landing, River Edge, New Jersey

This weekend the adage “Take me out to the ballgame” will have you stepping back in time to the years when baseball was not baseball at all, but rather “base ball”.  The Bergen Historical Society is happy to be hosting an old-time game of “base ball” between the Fleminton Neshanock and either the Hoboken Nine, or Brooklyn Eckford’s “base ball” teams.  The beautiful meadows of Historic New Bridge Landing will be transformed into a replica baseball field, setting the stage for not a game, but a match, striker, or an ace, as it was referred to in the 19th century.

The Vintage Baseball at Historic New Bridge Landing event is going to re-create “base ball”, 1864-style.  Adorning vintage uniforms, the re-enactors will be playing the game with authentic 19th century equipment, as well as playing by the rules of that era.  When you catch a ball on the first bounce, the hitter is out.  When the runner reaches base he is not considered to be safe, but simply “not out”.  You can’t wear a mitt, you can’t overrun the base, and by all means you cannot pitch overhand.  The event aims to educate Americans to the history of the National Pastime, as great-grandpa watched it being played.  The happening offers your family an exciting opportunity to see how the game of baseball has evolved over 150 years, becoming one of the most popular sports played, and enjoyed today. 

Admission prices to attend this nostalgic event are $10.00 for adults, and $5.00 for children.  Tickets can be purchased upon entrance to the field, on the day of the event.

Grab a blanket and lawn chairs and bring the entire family out this weekend to indulge in the over a century old, “base ball” match.  Refreshments will be available from two food trucks, as your family enjoys an old-fashioned version of today’s most beloved pastime, baseball!

Saturday July 5th


For more information regarding the Vintage Baseball at Historic New River Bridge Landing event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of John Dalton/

Ten Ways Not To Sell Your Home Quickly - Part Two

by Sharon Vallario

In a previous post, we discussed five costly and common mistakes that sellers make when trying to sell their homes. Here we discuss five more mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Being Unwilling to Negotiate

Most sellers overvalue their homes for a variety of reasons, the most common being emotional attachment or overvaluing the improvements they have made to the home. Sometimes, this means that some sellers are offended when a potential buyer makes an offer that is below list price. Accept that sellers will low ball and that most likely you will need to negotiate. This can mean accepting a lower price, agreeing to do some repairs or something else. You don’t have to accept anything, but it is important to be open.

Bad Online Presence

According to, 90-percent of homebuyers begin their search online. So, it follows that in order to attract the most potential buyers within those critical first few weeks, you need to have a powerful online presence – you need to stand out in a good way. That means pictures of your home that cast it in the best light. Poor pictures can ruin even the best marketing plan. Make sure that the pictures you use to market your home online are of professional quality or at least better than average.

Not Keeping the Home Clean

Ideally, you’ll get an offer on your home within a week of putting it on the market, but in all likelihood, your home will be on the market for at least a month – if not longer. Keeping your home showroom ready for several months can be onerous, but stay the course. Keep your home ready to show at the drop of a hat (no dishes in the sink, no shoes in the living room and no dirty towels in the bathroom, etc.) in order to sell it.

Sticking Around During Showings

No one knows your home better than you, but buyers get nervous when a seller is present while they are touring a home. Understand that you want potential buyers to be comfortable when walking through your home. So, when your agent calls you and says a potential buyer would like to see your house, take the opportunity to go to the park or out to dinner. Let your agent do their job.

Choosing the Wrong Realtor

Not all real estate agents are created equal. An experienced Realtor can guide you through the entire process of selling your home and can be an invaluable resource. Make sure you choose an agent that knows your area and has the skills and connections to sell your home quickly.

If you avoid these mistakes, and listen to the advice of your agent, you should have no problem selling your home. 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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Southtrend Realty at

Rockland-Bergen Music Festival

by Sharon Vallario

German Masonic Park, Outdoor Venue, Tappan, New York

This weekend for the first time ever, the infamous Jersey Shore musician Joe D’Urso, will be presenting a spectacular musical event, festival-style.  Bordering Rockland and Bergen Counties, the happening is sure to draw thousands, upon thousands of attendees.  The astounding schedule of performances will be featuring musical legends from New Jersey, New York, and across the country.

The Rockland-Bergen Music Festival will showcase the performances of more than 20 acts, on 2 stages.  Slated to perform are Tom Chapin, John Eddie, Marshall Crenshaw, Willie Nile, Alice Leon, The Levins, and Joe Rapolla, just to mention a few.  To view the entire star-studded lineup, and their scheduled stage time, please click here.  From Rock and Roll to Rhythm and Blues, and Folk to Bluegrass, a variety of musical genres will be represented during this unbelievable Music Festival Event.

Local food and beverage vendors will be in abundance, including Jack Ford, Tequila Sal Y Limon, Denise Marie Catering and Sixpoint Beer.

Admission costs to attend the inaugural Rockland-Bergen Music Festival event are only $42.00 per person.  To purchase your tickets online, please click here

This weekend is your opportunity to be amongst the first attendees to what is destined to become a yearly, traditional event.  Don’t miss out on day-long entertainment by the music legends you love, at the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival!

Sunday June 29th


For more information regarding the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of The Magnes Collection/

Ten Ways Not To Sell Your Home Quickly - Part One

by Sharon Vallario

I’ve reviewed the things you should do to sell your home quickly and for more money.  But sometimes what you do wrong has a greater impact than what you do right – especially when you are trying to sell something.

So, here are five mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Overpricing Your Home

Depending upon market conditions when a buyer makes an offer, it will typically be lower than your list price.  However, that does not mean inflating your list price by ten or twenty percent above market value is recommended. In most cases, homes for sale see the greatest number of potential buyers within the first week of being on the market. Overpricing simply eliminates a large number of those potential buyers. So consult with your real estate agent when pricing your home to sell.

Not Showing Your Home

Showing your home means trying to keep it in pristine condition and preferably vacating for visitors – frequently at the drop of a hat. Sometimes your agent or their office will call you to arrange a showing just as you return from a hard day’s work. But selling your home means allowing prospects to see it on their schedule – not yours. The more showings you have, the greater the chance of selling it quickly at or above its listed price.

Not Willing To Let Go

Knick knacks on the mantle and that old portrait of your grandfather transformed your house into your home. But when trying to sell your home, it’s important to depersonalize and thereby, help buyers to see themselves living in your house. An abundance of personal elements prevent them from easily doing that. If you want to sell your home, depersonalize it for the best results.

Unwilling to Eliminate Unpleasant Smells

Humans depend on all of their senses when choosing a home, so keep in mind that certain odors can be a turn off, such as cigarette smoke or food and pet odors.  While these may be fine for you, buyers may react adversely.  So if you want to sell your home, it’s a good idea to clean your home thoroughly, potentially board pets and avoid smoking inside or cooking strong-smelling foods.

Not Fixing Minor Problems

Today’s buyers are incredibly discerning -- they notice everything, even minor problems such as broken tiles in the bathroom, holes in the sheetrock or stained carpet.  These “defects” could cause buyers to simply move on to the next, better-maintained home.   Little things that you have become used to may lead potential buyers to feel that you have not maintained your home. If you want to sell your home quickly, invest in fixing minor problems so your home shows well.

These all-too-common mistakes can easily be avoided and in my next post, I will discuss five more mistakes that can prevent you from selling your home. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you start the process of selling your home.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of ruthannmacklin at

Summer Craft Fair and BBQ

by Sharon Vallario

Cresskill American Legion Post #21, Cresskill, New Jersey

Two of summer’s favorite pastimes are converging in one place this weekend at the Summer Craft Fair and BBQ event.  Bring the entire family out this Saturday to shop the handmade gift items being offered by a variety of artisans, while indulging in some of the best barbecue in the area.

Craftique Creations and Promotions is honored to be sponsoring this inaugural Summer Craft Fair and BBQ event.  All things homemade, handmade, and original will be the highlight of this prestigious Craft Fair.  Items that can be found will include ceramics, quilts, woodworking items, recycled crafts, fine art, jewelry, knits, and more.  Shopping a Craftique-sponsored event is often likened to shopping quaint boutiques, where you are sure to find a special item that can be treasured for years to come.

“That’ll Do Barbecue” will be on-site offering a variety of barbecue eats.  Take a break from shopping the merchants to sit down and convene with friends over a barbecue beef, chicken, pork, or even turkey sandwich.  Every member of your family is sure to find an entrée to suit their fancy.

The Summer Craft Fair and BBQ event is free for your entire family to attend.  So this weekend come out to the Cresskill American Legion to support veterans and purchase only USA handmade quality gifts, of all sorts.  Nothing says summertime family outing more than a summertime craft fair with a barbecue spread.  Be sure your family does not miss out on the opportunity to join the masses, indulging in all of the fun!

Saturday June 21st - 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

For more information regarding the Summer Craft Fair and BBQ event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of evadele/

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 375

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, lots for sale, as well as secondary homes.

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