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Sharon Vallario

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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.

Buyer's Advantage

by Sharon Vallario

Competition is generally considered a healthy, natural happenstance in life. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for buyers looking into real estate. That's because the more people there are bidding on your dream property, means there's the less chance of getting a great deal on it.

But with the previously cold market finally starting to heat up, there may not be a better time to get in on the action. Why? Economists believe—and rightly so—that the rise and fall of the real estate market holds a close relationship to the rise and fall of employment rates. That's why it's especially important to be cognizant of the job market in your area; you'll want to get the best deal while you can.

Here are five things you should know as a buyer that will help you negotiate the best real estate deal:

1) If you find that house you're looking for, look for comparable sales in the area. There's nothing worse than insulting a seller with a lowball offer before you've even done your research. A good seller will know what houses in his/her market are going for, so don't try to outsmart them.  

2) There are other ways to get the "discounts" you're looking for. In your proposals ask for things that you'd like to see done, or left in the house. Keeping appliances and other amenities in the home, or cutting out dead trees in the backyard, are both good ways to save money on changes or additions you'd make anyway. Getting these into the agreement (on the buyer's dime) can help you save on your bottom line anyway.

3) Combine our first two tips with this one: find out why the seller is getting rid of the home in the first place. If you find out if it's because of job relocation, divorce, retirement or any number of other factors, you may be able to come to a better understanding which often means a better deal.

4) Determine whether you want an established home or a fixer-upper. Houses can sometimes be priced comparably even though one may need significantly more work than another. Understanding property values in your area can help.

5) Don't get caught holding all the cards. Remaining in a bidding war over a few thousand dollars is meaningless on a 30-year loan, especially if the house you're looking at it is your dream home. It's OK to stand your ground for a good deal, but don't run yourself out of the deal by asking for too many things at once.

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
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of TheeErin/Flickr.com

Sing into the Sunlight

by Sharon Vallario

Sesselman Park and Bandshell, East Rutherford, New Jersey

This weekend bring the entire family out to Sesselman Park and Bandshell to indulge in an all-day festival extravaganza, while benefitting a great cause. The Sing into the Sunlight event is happy to be returning for its 3rd consecutive year, raising money and awareness for suicide prevention.  With over 1000 expected attendees, the happening promises to be bigger and better than in past years.

The Sing into the Sunlight event will be featuring a wide variety of live entertainment, vendors of all sorts, information booths, fun activities, guest speakers, and more. Up and coming artists Madeline Smith, Alissa Cavallaro, Little Falcon, and Sam Huston are just a few of the musicians who will be taking to the stage throughout the course of the day.  All are currently breaking through in the music industry - making names for themselves on a national level.  And to compliment this extraordinarily rare musical occurrence, there will be a wide assortment of arts and crafts vendors scattered amongst the grounds.  Antique and collectible dealers will also be present, neighboring with flea market vendors.  The merchants will be providing a very unique shopping experience, for even the pickiest of consumers.  Food trucks and vendors will be offering a variety of good eats.  

An amazing day of fun, great music, activities, and inspiration awaits you and your family this weekend at the Sing into the Sunlight event.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend this spectacular family festival, all while benefitting an excellent cause.  The happening will provide entertainment for both children and adults alike!

Saturday August 9th

12:00PM-7:00PM

For more information regarding the Sing into the Sunlight event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of pixabay/pixabay.com.

Remodeling: Cost vs. Value

by Sharon Vallario

There are lots of questions to ask yourself when you're talking about your home and tossing around the idea of remodeling.

That's because whether you're looking to add aesthetically pleasing décor to a room, or looking to sell your home, you're still looking to add value without spending a lot of money. And believe it not, many times the money that it costs you to remodel doesn't add up to the value you'd hoped to have received.

It's important to know what can be done to add value, without wasting money on unnecessary improvements. According to Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2014, by replacing the front door—or sometimes simply painting it—you can add, on average, a 96.6 percent return on the amount you spent on the door and add that value to your home. That's great value.

Most people like to remodel rooms that they spend most of their time in, like the kitchen. They're not wrong. Updating kitchens and bathrooms is still one of the most profitable, if not difficult, ventures you can undertake, often adding 82.7 percent of the cost back to the overall value of the home. And while that sounds well and good, the average minor kitchen remodel still averages out to about $19,000. Not exactly pocket change for the average consumer.

Sticking with small renovations and growing as you run out of ideas is always a good rule of thumb. By replacing or fixing things all over the house - guttering, energy saving windows, heating and cooling elements, and small decks - you can add value without having to knock down walls. If you're in the adventurous, “We need a new room” category, you can easily convert an attic or other usable space into a bedroom or powder room and have a return of 84.3 percent. That's not to say that adding on a spare bedroom and expanding your house isn't profitable, but there are a lot of factors you should think about before taking that step.

Here are three renovations with great returns on investment:

  • Deck addition (wood): 87.4 percent
  • Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent

Here are three renovations with not so great returns on investment:

  • Home office remodel: 48.9 percent
  • Sunroom addition: 51.7 percent
  • Master suite addition: 67.5 percent

Remember that while these are monetarily based figures, you still can't put a price or return on what a change would mean to you or your family. If you want to add that game room or bed that hangs from the ceiling, do it. Just remember that it's your home, and you should enjoy it as much as possible. 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: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of www.hbfotografic.com /Flickr.com

Fort Lee Commission Movies & Music Under the Stars

by Sharon Vallario

Fort Lee Community Center, Fort Lee, New Jersey

Pack some snacks, a blanket, and lawn chairs.  Put on your dancing shoes and head out to the Fort Lee Community Center this Saturday evening.  The oh-so popular Fort Lee Commission Movies & Music Under the Stars event will be in full swing, and your entire family is invited to come out and indulge in all of the festivities, for free!  The happening will be featuring live entertainment, dancing, and of course the feature movie presentation, beginning as soon as the sun has set.

This weekend the Double Down Swing Band will be taking to the stage, modifying the good old day’s swing genre of music, adding a more modern-day twist.  From Frank Sinatra, to Bobby Darin, to Sammy Davis Jr., the Double Down Swing Band will be providing fun variations of current music, accompanied by renditions of the songs of yesteryear.  Their electrifying performance is sure to have your entire family on their feet, dancing ‘til dusk. This weekend’s showing of “Gravity”, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, will take you on a spellbinding journey.  The plot follows a group of astronauts attempting to find their way back to Earth, after their space shuttle is destroyed in mid-orbit. The film has won multiple awards including Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects.

This weekend you absolutely do not want to miss out on the opportunity to attend the FREE Fort Lee Commission Movies & Music Under the Stars event.  Be sure to arrive early to find a good place on the great lawn!

Saturday August 2nd

7:00PM-8:30 Live Entertainment

Sunset Showtime

For more information regarding the Fort Lee Commission Movies & Music Under the Stars event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Assistant08/en.wikipedia.org.

How Clean is Clean Enough When You Move Out of Your Home?

by Sharon Vallario

Once you have sold your home, loaded all your belongings onto the moving trucks, you might feel that you are done with your old home, but common courtesy dictates that you leave your old home “broom” or “vacuum” clean for the new owners. It’s just the right thing to do.

Many homeowners choose to hire a professional cleaning service to take care of the post-move cleaning due to the fact that they already have enough on their proverbial plate, but if you choose to take on the task of preparing your home for its new owners yourself, here’s an easy list of things you should do before locking the doors for the last time.

Clean Any Appliances That Will Remain with the Home

If the stove, refrigerator and any other appliances will stay with the home, they must be emptied and cleaned. Make sure to remove all items from the refrigerator, defrost the freezer and wipe down all the shelving. As for the stove, remove the heating elements along the range and clean the drip pans thoroughly as well as the interior of the oven.

Scrub and Wipe Down All Surfaces in the Kitchen

Break out the cleaning supplies and go to work on the countertops, sinks and cabinets. This might seem arduous, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to clean a kitchen when there are no utensils, pots and pans or cutting boards in the way.

Clean the Bathrooms Thoroughly

Once you have removed everything from your bathrooms, clean them thoroughly. Like the kitchen, this is remarkably easy once bathrooms are empty.

Dust Everything

Dust any fixtures and blinds that will remain with the home. Don’t forget to run a cloth along the wainscot and baseboards.

Wash the Walls

If you notice any stains along the walls – some that may have been hiding behind furniture – clean them to the best of your ability. Some multi-surface cleaner and a few paper towels will satisfy the requirements of common courtesy.

Clean the Floors

Here’s where the terms “broom” and “vacuum” clean originates. The last thing you do before walking out of your old home is to clean the floors. Sweep and mop any hard surfaces and vacuum any carpets.

There’s no law or rule regarding how clean you should leave your home for its new owners. It’s understandable if you do not want to spend too much time cleaning something that is no longer yours, but if you expect your new home to be clean when you begin the move-in process, you should extend the same courtesy to the new owners of your home. 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
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Picture courtesy of YuYuYu8 at Flickr.com.

2nd Annual Play Day at the Hermitage Museum

by Sharon Vallario

The Hermitage Museum, Ho-Ho Kus, New Jersey

This weekend The Hermitage Museum invites your entire family to step away from all electronic devices, and indulge in a day of outdoor fun, activities, live entertainment, and more.  The 2nd Annual Play Day at the Hermitage Museum event aims to introduce your family to pastimes of the 19th century, coupled with games that are often played today.  All activities will be supervised by the museum’s educational staff, who are prepared to bring the past back to life.

Games, activities, and art and craft projects will be taking place both inside the educational center, as well as outdoors, on the museum’s sprawling five acres of land.  On the agenda are games such as badminton, croquet, hopscotch, marbles, jacks, sack races, spoon races, and even scavenger hunts.  Find your way to the arts and crafts area, where your family can build a birdhouse, or partake in various other hands-on activities.  New this year, a miniature golf area will be set up, allowing all member of the family to take their chances at a hole in one.  Sing-alongs will be taking place throughout the course of the day, before “Mountain Laurel” takes to the stage, offering live entertainment.  Be sure to stop by the Children’s Garden where your kids can learn how herbs were gardened, and used during the Victorian era.

Admission prices to attend the 2nd Annual Play Day at the Hermitage Museum are only $7.00 for adults ages 13 and over, and $3.00 for children under the age of 13.  Your ticket purchase also includes a guided tour of the historic Hermitage house, along with a viewing of the current exhibition, “Footprints:  350 Years at the Hermitage”.  Tickets can be purchased at the door, the day of the event.

The inaugural Play Day event was such a resounding success that the community demanded its return.  This weekend come out to see for yourself what made the event such a wildly-popular happening.  The 2nd Annual Play Day at the Hermitage Museum event guarantees to provide a day chalked full of fun for both children, and adults alike!

Sunday July 27th

1:00PM-5:00PM

For more information regarding the 2nd Annual Play Day at the Hermitage Museum event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Duncan Hull/flickr.com.

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
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Simon Cunningham at Flickr.com

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
www.bergencountynjhomesource.com
Phone: 201.803.1416
Email: info@SharonSellsBergen.com

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Olaf Arndt/flickr.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 383

Contact Information

Photo of Sharon Vallario Real Estate
Sharon Vallario
RE/MAX Elite Associates
313 Broadway
Westwood NJ 07675
Direct: 201.803.1416

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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