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Sharon Vallario


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 349

Fill Your New Home with Love First and New Furniture Second

by Sharon Vallario

Moving up to a new, larger home is exciting. Finally, you are out of the shoebox apartment or overfull two-bedroom. Each of the kids has their own room, and you could play basketball in the living room. It’s great; there’s just one problem: You have a lot of new space to fill and not much furniture to fill it.

Moving can be an expensive process, and going on a shopping spree right after you move in to decorate your new home might not be the best idea.

Here are a few tips for filling all that new space without depleting your bank account and stressing too much.

Get Used to Your New Home before Buying Anything

No one expects your new house to magazine perfect right after you move in. So, why rush anything? Take some time to get a feel for your new home and decide exactly how you want to decorate. What furniture will work best and where? What style of home décor do you like? It will come to you, and you won’t run the risk of splurging on something you don’t need just because you feel pressured to fill an empty space.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Don’t go into debt or max out your credit cards trying to fill up your new house. You know what you can spend, so set a budget and stick to it. It’s okay if you only buy a few pieces at a time or need to save up for a month to buy that sofa. You’ll enjoy your new furniture that much more knowing you won’t have any trouble paying the mortgage or the bills that month.

Concentrate on High Traffic Areas First

What rooms in your house get the most use? Those are the rooms you should tackle first. So, rather than concentrate on the formal dining room, take care of the living room, kitchen and bedrooms first. Just approach the process of filling your home one room at a time, but keep the momentum going. It’s a process.

Don’t Overdo It

Buying new furniture for your home is exciting, and it’s easy to get carried away. Try to avoid letting the rush overtake you. Make sure that you don’t make your new, larger home fill just a crowded as your old home by doing too much. Remember, you bought a new home because you wanted more space.

Take Your Time

Buying a piece here and there over the next few months or even years is fine. There’s no rush. If it takes you a while to find that perfect chair or dining room set, that’s perfectly alright. It’s better than being stuck with a piece that doesn’t quite fit. Set aside some money in a dedicated decorating account for all those little pieces that you may stumble upon one day when you’re out shopping. Then, if something grabs your eye, you can buy it guilt free.

Decorating your new home is supposed to be fun, and planning, setting a budget, tackling your house one room at a time and going at your own pace while decorating will ensure that you enjoy the process to the fullest. 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 Tim Samoff at

Easter in the Park

by Sharon Vallario

Memorial Park Van Neste Square, Ridgewood, New Jersey

Easter’s on its way!  And so is the Easter Bunny himself.  All will be arriving in Ridgewood, New Jersey this Saturday.  A celebration of the spring season and the Easter holiday will be taking place at the Memorial Park Van Neste Square, featuring a wide variety of entertainment for all.  Your entire family is invited to come out and indulge in a day of egg hunting, meet and greet with the Easter Bunny, games, activities, and more.

This year’s annual Easter festivities will begin with a unique opportunity for your family to have breakfast with the Easter Bunny.  Pull up a chair and fill up your tummies with a delightful meal, in the company of the Easter Bunny. Reservations are required for the exclusive Easter Bunny breakfast, but can very easily be made by calling 201-652-1070.

Following breakfast, the events for the day shall commence.  Beginning at 11:00AM Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream will be hosting the ever-so-popular Easter Egg Hunt.  Bring your baskets to the center of Van Neste Square and ready yourself to fill ‘em up!  Once your baskets have become too heavy to carry, join the community in partaking in the jelly bean guessing contest.  Or, take part in the design your own Easter Bunny mask workshop.  The event will also be featuring live entertainment, magic shows, face painting, and more.  The local stores in Van Neste Square will be open for shopping, and will be providing in-store fun activities, for all to enjoy.

The Easter in the Park event is absolutely free for the entire family to attend.  The Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce is honored to be sponsoring the event, for yet another year.  This year’s Easter in the Park event promises to bring “Easter joy to every boy and girl”.  Happy Easter Ridgewood, New Jersey!

Saturday April 19th

9:00AM-11:00AM Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

11:00AM-2:00PM Easter in the Park

For more information regarding the Easter in the Park event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of pic2graf/

5 Ways You Know it is Time to Move Up to a New Home

by Sharon Vallario

Deciding to move to a new home is a big, important decision. It means listing your home, showing your home, selling your home, finding a new home, packing up and moving. It can be a long and stressful process. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right help and a commitment to seeing the process through to the end, the process of selling your home and buying another can be exciting and even fun.

Here are five signs that you are ready to move.

Is Your House Just Too Small?

That two-bedroom one bath was quaint and cozy when you first married. You turned that second bedroom into an office/storage space and, later, a nursery. It was the perfect size. Now, that your family has grown beyond three and you have acquired more things than you can easily store, the once cozy space feels more like a 10X6 cell.

Everyone needs their own space, and enough space is one of the keys to a happy life. Since it is difficult to make an existing home larger, buying a new home is the best way to have the space you and your family need.

Is the Neighborhood Just Not the Right Place Anymore?

When you bought your home, that neighborhood bistro was one of the best features. Now, your priorities have changed. You’ve had everything on the menu at that bistro and what was charming is now annoying. You are more concerned about safe streets and good schools rather than a vibrant nightlife.

Neighborhoods don’t change overnight. If you find that your priorities no longer match your neighborhood, it’s time to move to a new neighborhood.

Does the Thought of Renovating Make You Break Out in a Cold Sweat?

Maybe you bought that fixer upper with the honest intention of rehabbing it back to its former glory. You were going to redo the kitchen, retile the bathroom, and bring that scuffed hardwood floor back to shining glory. Unfortunately, life got in the way, or you realized the cost in both time and money would just be too much. Now, you look around at all the half-completed projects and down at that still scuffed up floor and shudder.

If you have discovered that you do not like the idea of renovating your home, moving to a finished, up-to-date home is your best option.

Are You Spending Too Much Time in the Car?

Time spent in the car going to and from work is time not spent doing things you would rather do – like spending time with family and doing your favorite hobbies.

If you are spending more than an hour each way commuting to and from work, that is too much time in the car. We all change jobs over the years, and our new jobs are not always convenient to our homes.

Moving to a home that is closer to your work is one way to reduce your commute time.

Have Your Priorities Changed?

Are you just ready for a change? Do you find that what you once loved about your house isn’t that great anymore? Are there a hundred little things that you just don’t like about where you live?

People change over time, and if you are no longer happy where you live, that’s reason enough to make a change and buy a new house.

Moving to a new home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Make sure you have the help you need, contact me today and I will guide you through the process of selling your home and buying a new one.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Kehrig at

Meet the Easter Bunny at the Maywood Station Museum

by Sharon Vallario

Maywood Station Museum, Maywood, New Jersey

Toot!  Toot!  Jump aboard.  The Maywood Station Museum is once again opening its doors to train enthusiasts from near and far.  And this weekend on top of its Open House, the Easter Bunny will be hopping his way into town, making a pit stop at the historic landmark station house.  You and your family are invited to be amongst the first attendees, along with the Easter Bunny, to partake in the re-grand opening of the Museum at the Meet the Easter Bunny at the Maywood Station Museum event.

This Saturday bring the entire family to Maywood to indulge in a day of browsing the extraordinary assemblage of railroad memorabilia, model trains, local history displays, photos, and exhibits.  All of this and more is housed under one roof at the Maywood Station Museum.  The collection tenders a virtual tour of the direct impact the Station and the railroad has had on our area.  Be sure to check out the restored locomotive and caboose on your way to the operating model train exhibit.

The Meet the Easter Bunny at the Maywood Station Museum event is free to attend.  So this Saturday plan on bringing the family to spend the day exploring a restored historic train, visiting an array of bygone train artifacts, and watching the operable model train run its course.  Even the Easter Bunny is coming to town to celebrate the re-opening of the Maywood Station Museum.  Don’t forget to bring your camera and take lots of pictures of your children with the Easter Bunny!

Saturday April 12th


For more information regarding the Meet the Easter Bunny at the Maywood Station Museum, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Gilberto Creque/

Protecting Yourself and Making Sense of the HUD-1 Settlement Form

by Sharon Vallario

With the amount of paperwork that is shuffled at a real estate closing, it is easy to become intimidated when it comes time to close a real estate transaction.

Don’t be intimidated. Most of this is the standard boilerplate and legalese. Most closing attorneys will breeze through this, expecting you to just nod and agree.

There is one area of your closing papers that you need to pay close attention to though: the HUD-1 or settlement form.

The HUD-1 is a government-mandated settlement statement that breaks down the costs of the real estate transaction in exhausting detail. This is an important document because it details how the end amount that the buyer and seller owe is calculated, and any miscalculation can mean that one party owes thousands more than they should.

So, let’s break down the HUD statement piece by piece. It’s only about two pages, so it shouldn’t take long.

The First Section

The first section of your HUD-1 settlement form will cover the basic information about the loan that will be used to purchase a specific piece of real estate. In sections B through I you will find the buyers, sellers and lenders names. You will see the address of the property and a legal description if necessary.  The settlement company will be listed. The closing date will be listed. The loan will be described in exhausting detail.

Most of this is pretty simple stuff, but mistakes are made. One area to pay close attention to is the “Loan Type” section. Make sure the box that is checked is the correct one.

The Second Section

Section two of your HUD-1 settlement form will summarize the costs of the buyer and the seller. Section J deals with the buyer’s costs. It bears a strong resemblance to a tax form. Fields 100 through 120 detail the various sums the buyer owes. Line 120 will show the total. Fields 200 to 220 deal with amounts credited to the buyer with 220 being the total. 300 to 303 calculate the final amount due from the buyer using line 120 and 220 to calculate line 303 – the final amount due.

Section K deals with the seller’s side of the transaction. It will detail and total any reductions in the final amount due to the seller at close.

Check these figures carefully and make sure they are accurate.

The Third Section

Section three details the various settlement charges such as brokerage fees, lender fees, title insurance, escrow deposits, recording fees, etc.

Once again, make sure these fees are accurate and do not hesitate to ask questions of the closing attorney if you have any.

The Fourth Section

This is the Good Faith vs. Reality section, and many real estate professionals feel that this is the most important section for the buyer – and for good reason. In this section you will find a line-by-line comparison of the estimated costs of the loan versus the actual costs of the loan.

The final line will have a dollar amount and a percentage that the actual amount varies from the estimated amount. Most of the time this percentage is minimal, but on occasion, lenders make mistakes. If the amount exceeds 10-percent, the borrower is entitled to a refund for the overage.

The Final Section

The final section of the HUD-1 settlement form deal with the particulars of the loan. It will cover loan amount, interest rate, monthly payment, amount of insurance, etc.

So, that’s it. The HUD-1 form only looks intimidating. In reality, it’s very simple, and you shouldn’t feel intimidated as you check it line by line. It’s a very important document. Make sure to read it to protect yourself. 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 Alexander Owens at

Maywood Springtime Family Funfest

by Sharon Vallario

West Pleasant Avenue, Maywood, New Jersey

Spring has finally sprung, and Maywood, New Jersey is prepared to celebrate its arrival with a day chalked full of food, fun, shopping, and live entertainment.  With over 20,000 expected attendees, the Maywood Springtime Family Funfest will be featuring a venue that offers something, for everyone.

West Pleasant Avenue, along with its adjoining side streets will be lined with a variety of merchandise vendors.  They will be exhibiting and selling their one-of-a-kind, handmade items, of all varieties.  Sprinkled amongst the merchants will be amusement vendors providing games of all sorts.  Go ahead and try your luck at winning one of those giant stuffed animals.  And don’t forget to visit the Kiddie Zone which will be showcasing a huge climbing wall along with kiddie rides, a face painter, clown acts, and much more.  Sand art, and other hands-on activities will provide plenty of entertainment for the family.

Are you tuckered out?  Take a break to indulge in a pulled pork sandwich, sausage and peppers, cheeseteak, or a zepole.  These are just a few options that will be available in the food court.  While enjoying your lunch, take in the fantastic live entertainment that will fill the air with rich sounds of music. 

Head to the streets and join the masses, in celebrating the arrival of spring. You and your family can spend the day taking in all of the ongoing activities this marvelous funfest event has to offer. This free-to-attend event promises to deliver an outdoor street fair experience, unlike any you have ever attended.  So grab the family and meet the other 19,955 other people that will be in attendance at the Maywood Springtime Family Funfest, this Sunday!

Sunday April 6th


For more information regarding the Maywood Springtime Family Funfest, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Retoucher07030/

Moving to a New City? Dont Stay on the Couch

by Sharon Vallario

Some moves involve a couple of friends, a moving truck and a few short trips back and forth across the city. As stressful as these local moves can be, they pale in comparison to a cross-state or cross-country move. With a local move, there’s no need to find the best places to eat, the best route to work, or a new group of friends. You already know and have those things.

Big moves are different. It’s starting over, and the moving process continues even after the last box is unpacked. After you square away all your belongings, it’s time to focus on the biggest part of the move: building your new life.

Integrating into a new city is as easy or difficult as you make it. If you are willing to get out there and explore, it will be much easier, so get off the couch and get out there.

The Essentials

Depending on your age and interests, what you consider essential will vary, but I think just about everyone can agree that knowing where to shop for groceries, pick up a prescription and get a good meal is important.  Beyond those, it’s all up to you. So, how do you find these places?

Lucky for you, you live in the internet age and have a wealth of information on just about everything – including your new city – right at our fingertips.

Use the Internet

Open up your browser of choice and go to Google Maps. Now, enter in your address. A map of your area will pop up. If you want to see everything of interest in the area, do a wildcard search by typing “*” into the search field. As cool as that is, most people like to narrow it down a bit. Typing “Thai restaurant”, “country bar”, “pharmacy” or “organic food” will display matching results on the map and sidebar. The side bar will also show a star rating and contain a link to written reviews and the business’s website.

Don’t forget to map out your route to your new job while you’re exploring.

Ask for Advice

As great as the internet is, it cannot compete with the recommendations of people you trust. You probably know a few people that live in your new town or city. Give them a call and ask all those questions the internet cannot answer. You might want to ask them to meet you for dinner or drinks at anywhere they recommend.

If you cannot get them on the phone, head back to the internet and put out a blast on Facebook and Twitter asking for recommendations and advice about your new city.

Meeting New People

You can discover all the great restaurants and night spots in the city, but what good is that if you don’t have a group of friends to share them with?

Making new friends is essential if you want to make your new city your home.

Use Your Hobbies

What are most friendships built upon? Shared interests. If you have a hobby, use it to meet new friends. It doesn’t matter if you love rock climbing or you love Spiderman; someone in your new city loves the same thing. A great way to connect with people in your area with the same interests is through local Facebook groups and the site Take a look around, find a group of people that shares one of your hobbies and go to a meet up.

Help Out in the Community

Community service is an excellent way to meet some great, civic-minded people. When you take initiative and do some good within your community, it becomes your community. It’s no longer just a place you live and work. It’s your home.

Keep it Going

If you do the things mentioned here, you’ll meet new people and learn a lot about your new city, but don’t stop there. Once you meet a few people, meet their friends and become part of the group. Don’t suddenly become a homebody after that initial push.

Keep it going and, pretty soon, your dance card will be full and your new city will feel like 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
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Kurt Komoda at

Paramus High School Spring Craft Show

by Sharon Vallario

Paramus High School, Paramus, New Jersey

Spring inspiration awaits you and your family this Sunday at the Paramus High School Spring Craft Show.  Only held twice a year, the Craft Show attracts thousands of shoppers in search of one-of-a-kind, hand-made items.  The Spring Craft Show is particularly popular, as it features multiple vendors offering springtime merchandise.  Enough of winter already!  Head to Paramus High School this Sunday to indulge in a spring shopping extravaganza.

Over 100 quality exhibitors will fill the vestibule, hallways, auxiliary gym, and café at Paramus High School.  Hand-painted flower pots, garden decorations, and lawn art will have you longing for a change in the outdoor temperature.  Spring flowers will accompany hand-made wrought iron items, turned wood pieces, folk art, apparel, origami, hair accessories, knits, sculptures, and more.  Homemade soaps and candles will delight the senses.  And of course we mustn’t overlook the chocolate, pickles, and other food varieties available for purchase.

The Spring Craft Show is proudly being sponsored by Project Graduation, and promoted by P.J. Promotions.  Admission to attend is a mere $3.00 per person.  Tickets can be purchased at the door, the day of the Show.

Gather your family and head to the Paramus High School Spring Craft Show this Sunday.  Take in the sights and smells of the upcoming spring season. Paramus High School will be bursting at the seams with amazing springtime merchandise, along with one-of-a-kind gift items.  The Spring Craft show is saying goodbye to winter, and hello to spring!

Sunday March 30th


For more information regarding the Paramus High School Spring Craft Show, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Choo Yut Shing/

Understanding What It Takes to Sell a Luxury Property

by Sharon Vallario

Selling luxury real estate is an art form and requires an attention to detail that is near obsessive as well as the assistance of an expert realtor. Buyers that are willing to invest millions of dollars to acquire a luxury home know what they want and they are determined to get it. The slightest problem or misstep and they will go on their merry way.

So, how do you ensure that you avoid any of these missteps when selling your luxury property on the open market?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with selling your luxury home regardless of the market.

Get Your Property Ready to Show

When selling any property, it’s an accepted practice to clean the property to get it ready for showing. With a luxury property, this process intensifies tenfold. It’s not enough just to clean a luxury home; it needs the white glove treatment. Most sellers choose to hire a professional cleaning crew to go over the property with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. Every little detail must be perfect.

The same is true for the grounds. Once again, a professional landscaping crew is normally hired to make sure that all the hedges are uniform, the flower beds are refreshed and full of new, colorful flowers and the grass is fairway perfect.

Beyond just simply cleaning, many people choose to professionally stage their properties. Staging is the process of creating a look using furniture, artwork and other embellishments to create a look that is appealing to the discerning luxury homebuyer. It replaces furniture that may be dated with modern furniture. Essentially, it updates the entire look of the house.

Yes, this will cost money, but studies have shown that luxury home sellers that go through this process typically sell their home from between five and 20 percent more than those that do not.

Professionally Photograph and Film Your Property

Photographs used to sell a luxury home should be taken by a professional home photographer. Most luxury home buyers – or their agents – begin the home search online, and the only thing they have to judge a property by is a photo. Make sure that your photos stand out by using a professional photographer.

Because luxury properties are unique and possess so many distinctive architectural features and amenities, it is difficult to convey and accurate representation of the property with just still photos. That is why many people choose to also incorporate a video of their property in their marketing materials. Like the photos, make sure this video is recorded and edited by a professional. It will pay off in the end.

Market Your Property

Marketing is essential to sell a luxury property. The pool of potential buyers for luxury properties is understandably small. You must do your best to ensure that as many people have the opportunity to view your property as possible in order to improve your chances of finding the right buyer. Make sure that your agent is distributing your property through a variety of online outlets such as the local MLS, Trulia, Zillow, etc. Also, do not neglect to advertise on foreign real estate sites. A large number of luxury property buyers live outside of the United States.

Put the Word Out Through Brokers and Friends

As a luxury homeowner, your friends and their friends are part of your potential buyer pool. Make sure to get the word out to your network of business colleagues and friends that you are interested in selling your property. Some sellers even go so far as to host a party right before they put their home on the market or right after. They invite all their friends as well as well-respected brokers to the party. This gives the seller the chance to get the word out while the house looks its absolute best but in a relatively informal setting.

Show the Property

Be prepared to show your property as often as it takes to sell it. Don’t expect that your property will sell within the first few weeks. If it does, that’s great, but be prepared for the process to take a while. Luxury home buyers are picky. Don’t be offended if everyone doesn’t love your house. Be persistent and the right buyer will come along.

Showing your home is made much easier with an expert real estate agent on your side. He or she will handle all the showings. You don’t even have to be there. You can be away at the office or on vacation while your agent is showing the property. In fact, it’s normally better for both parties if the owner is not present while the house is being shown.

If you follow these steps, you will sell your luxury real estate, and you will command a top price. So, there’s no reason not to do your best to put your home in the best possible light, market it aggressively and show it until it sells. Contact me today if you are ready to sell your home. I will be happy to go over any questions you may have and help get the selling process started.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Sean Stanfield at Flickr.Com.

Ethical Brew Presents: Mike Agranoff and Dan Pelletier

by Sharon Vallario

Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, Teaneck, New Jersey

Two Great Acts…One Great Show!  This Saturday the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County is pleased to welcome the versatile storytelling, and musical genius acts of Mike Agranoff and Dan Pelletier.  You will absolutely not want to miss out on the opportunity to indulge in an evening of song, laughter, and storytelling.

Ethical Brew is a live music venue focused on delivering a blend of high quality folk, and indie performers, of all sorts.  This Saturday, the intimate and welcoming environment of the Ethical Culture Society is delighted to have two of the best in the industry on their stage, simultaneously.  Although Mike Agranoff and Dan Pelletier are both of the folk genre background, they bring two different styles to the arena.  While Agranoff offers an entertaining finger style guitar pickin’ demonstration, Pelletier pounds it out on his keyboard.  Both artists deliver a unique folk sound, utilizing self-written lyrics, accompanied by gritty, yet soulful voices.  Mike Agranoff performs songs ranging from the traditional, to more modern varieties.  His lyrics tender an exceptional combination of humor and storytelling.  Pelletier, in turn, packs a punch with songs of a more whimsical nature, also coupled with comedy. 

Admission to attend this two for one event is only $20.00 per person, if tickets are purchased in advance.  To purchase your tickets online, please click here.  Admission will be $25.00 the day of the show, at the door.

The passion that encompasses the folk music industry will resonate this Saturday, as Mike Agranoff and Dan Pelletier converge in Teaneck, New Jersey.  Two rapidly rising folk stars will be providing an unforgettable one-stop show.  Their witty humor, sensuous lyrics, and instrumental performances are sure to deliver a memorable evening that will truly touch your soul!

Saturday March 22


For more information regarding the Ethical Brew Presents Mike Agranoff and Dan Pelletier event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Garry Knight/

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 349

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®