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Bergen County Real Estate Blog

Sharon Vallario


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 393

Home Decorating Tips

by Sharon Vallario

The sad truth is that we're not all made out to be decorator material. That's because it can be difficult to know what colors you need to match colors between pillows and couches, what kinds of materials make a home more inviting, or how using different lighting can transform a room.

And that's why some of us may be doing a decorative disservice to our homes. These tips to liven up, warm up, or even reinvent some of your favorite rooms, are especially important if you are planning to sell your home.

Let's start with lighting.

Lighting has the ability to transform a room's mood. With it, you can change the same space from a reading room to a romantic atmosphere, simply by utilizing reflection, tracked lighting, candles or dimmer switches.

Shifting light around a room using reflective surfaces can not only create ambiance, it can make a space seem bigger than it really is. Tracked lighting helps highlight any specific pieces of art or furniture in the room, which helps acts as a visual queue. The warm glow from candles can entice the senses. And dimmer switches are an easy way to control the overall amount of light in the room.

Materials, shapes and fabrics in your home can create a lot of different visual and physical feelings. Sheer, wispy materials create a more romantic space, while thick, burlap materials provide a more somber tone. Depending on the materials you use, you can set the kind of mood you're looking for. Shapes also go a long way in creating feeling. Blocked shapes represent more sterility and modernism, while curved shapes soften a room.

And finally, let's talk colors.

Washed-out, bright, or saturated colors determine if a room is warm and inviting, or all business. Choose the right color by determining what you want the room to say to you or to guests. Choose what works for the room.

It's safe to say that all of these factors need to coordinate with one another. If you're still unsure about things to look for, talk to a friend or professional about what you can do to make an ordinary room stand out. 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 Eric Havir/

Ridgefield Park’s Annual Street Fair

by Sharon Vallario

Main Street, Ridgefield Park, Ridgefield, New Jersey

Ridgefield Park’s Annual Street Fair event is returning to Main Street this weekend for its 5th consecutive year, promising to provide a day chalked full of fun for both adults and children alike. The wildly-popular happening expects to draw thousands of attendees from near and far.  Jam packed with people, live music, great food, shopping, and all around amusement for all ages, the open air street fair extravaganza is not one you and your family will want to forego.

From Main to Cedar to Park Streets, Ridgefield Park will be transformed into a festival-goers paradise this Saturday. The Annual Street Fair event will feature children’s activities, shopping, live entertainment, and much more.  Rides, face-painting, sand art, and a climbing wall will all be available for your kids to participate in, as you indulge in a multitude of rare shopping opportunities. The local merchants will be open, offering deep-discounted sales, while creative crafters will be setting up shop along the streets.  Great bargains and unique items are going to be in abundance.  Take time to grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes along the street fair route, while enjoying the live music that will fill the air.

Ridgefield Park’s Annual Street Fair event is free for your entire family to attend.  So this weekend come out to Main Street to treat the family to an unforgettable street fair experience.  The giant town block party guarantees to be even bigger and better than in any of years past!

Saturday September 20th


For more information regarding the Ridgefield Park’s Annual Street Fair event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Ariane Hunter/

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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/

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


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

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of vastateparksstaff/

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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Rachel Kramer/

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


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

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of bclinesmith/

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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of Juli/

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


8:30PM Fireworks

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

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of carinaD-stock/

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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Image courtesy of Philip Wilson/

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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 393

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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