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Sharon Vallario


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Sid the Science Kid Live

by Sharon Vallario

Bergen Performing Arts Center, Bergenfield, New Jersey

This weekend your family is invited to come out and indulge in the wildly-popular Sid the Science Kid Live event.  Based on the highly-revered PBS television series from the Jim Henson Company, Sid the Science Kid comes to life in this incredible theatrical experience.

Sid the Science Kid is an award-winning animated television series aimed at educating children by promoting the exploration and discovery of science.  Utilizing comedy, music, props, and a phenomenal cast of characters, the Live event will take your family on an action-packed journey through the many facets of science that impact our everyday lives.  Interactive games and sing-alongs beckon your family to partake in all of the fun.  Your children will be learning about their 5 senses and how they play a fundamental role in exploring the wonderful world in which they live.  Sid, May, Gabriela, Gerald, and Teacher Susie will all be present, prepared to enlighten your family to the magnificent effects of science. 

Admission to attend the Sid the Science Kid Live event range in cost from $15.00 to $40.00, dependent on your seating selection.  To view a seat chart and to purchase your tickets online, please click here.  There will be two show times from which to choose.  One will begin at 2:00PM, while the second will start at 5:00PM.

Come out to the Sid the Science Kid Live event this Sunday.  The live musical extravaganza will have your family laughing, singing, and learning.  The happening guarantees to provide entertainment your kids won’t soon forget.

Sunday January 25th



For more information regarding the Sid the Science Kid Live event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Adam Fagen/

Cost-Effective Ways to Stage Your Home

by Sharon Vallario

Your agent most likely will tell you that when it’s time to sell your home, you have to stage your home to make prospective buyers visualize themselves living there. What you may not know, is that staging your home doesn’t mean you have to spend a bunch of money getting prepared. Nor do you have to hire a professional to stage your home for you, which ranges anywhere from $50-$150 per hour!

Let’s talk about a few tips to help you successfully stage your home.

Say Goodbye to Grandma’s Picture (for now)

Snag some free boxes from local stores, buy a $3 roll of packing tape, and start storing all those items that identify who you are and what you love. It may sound silly, but making the landscape more barren, you’re giving prospective buyers the chance to imagine their own things in place.

De-personalizing your home is the most important, and easiest, way to start staging your home to sell.

Garage or Storage Facility

Just because you’ve started to pack up all those heirlooms doesn’t mean people want to see boxes stacked up in every room. If you’ve got a garage, placing all your things in a corner out of the way is an easy way for you to be prepared for a move, as well as keeping eyesores to a minimum.

If you don’t happen to have a garage, getting a small storage facility is also an avenue you can take. Since you won’t be storing furniture for the moment, it’s not out of the question to purchase a $40 small storage facility to keep all of your things in one place and out of the way.

Fresh Coat of Paint

Rearranging your rooms and de-cluttering are two ways to make space seem bigger and more appealing, but slap a fresh coat of paint on your walls and things really start cooking. Fresh, neutral paint makes everything feel clean and new. And at $12-$20 per gallon of paint, and a few extra bucks for drop cloths and paint brushes, you’ll be making your rooms shine with new luster.

Curb Appeal

The only thing more important than cleaning the inside of the house, is dressing up and cleaning the outside. Before people ever step foot inside your home, they’re judging how good the house looks from the road.

Clean your driveway, move the lawn, and plant a few flowers. If possible, pressure wash the exterior to give it a fresh face.

Smells Linger

“The house is beautiful, but it smells funny.” That’s not something you want prospective buyers to walk away saying. Deodorize you carpets and furniture, then use candles, potpourri, etc, to put a lasting smell in the air. You should also remember not to overdo it, you don’t want people thinking you’re covering up any undesirable odors. 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 slimmer_jimmer / Flickr

Craft Fair For Autism

by Sharon Vallario

Paramus Catholic High School, Paramus, New Jersey

With Christmas now behind us, it is time to launch the start of the wildly-popular arts and crafts season.  Paramus Catholic High School invites your entire family to come out this weekend and shop at the Craft Fair For Autism event.  The happening will provide a wide selection of unique gift items to choose from.

Due to the resounding success of last year’s Fair, the Paramus Craft Fair is returning for its second consecutive year.  It guarantees to be even bigger and better than in any of years past, offering a much larger assemblage of merchants.  As the name suggests, proceeds from the Craft Fair For Autism occasion will go towards benefitting an array of Autism programs and research facilities.  This year’s Fair will feature more than 25 artisans and crafters.  Included are Origami Owl, In a Pickle, Mary Kaye, 31 bags, Mountain Timber Décor, South Hill Designs, and Partylite, just to mention a few.  One can expect to find a diverse assortment of home décor items, handbags, handmade and vintage jewelry, knitted scarves, hats and mittens, decorative glassware, homemade chocolates, wearables, and much more.  And, in addition to this unique shopping opportunity, food will be available for purchase, along with face-painters to entertain the kids. 

Admission costs to attend the Craft Fair For Autism event is a mere $1.00 per person.  Tickets can be purchased at the door, the day of the event.

So this weekend come on out and shop ‘til you drop, all while benefitting a great cause.  The Craft Fair For Autism event is honored to be the inaugural affair, initiating the onset of the trendy arts and crafts season.  Join friends and neighbors from the community, as this event is sure to draw crowds from near and far!

Sunday January 18th

10:00 AM-4:00 PM

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

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Kake/

8 Tips for a First-Time Homebuyer

by Sharon Vallario

When buying a home for the first time, there is not always something that tells you what to do or what to look out for. Buying a home is a big event, and the largest purchase most of us will ever make.

So we’re going to help you out a bit, and show you eight things you absolutely have to know when you’re ready to purchase your first home.

  1. Know your budget. Paying your mortgage is a bit different than paying rent. You now have to figure in escrow, applicable taxes, insurance, and homeowners’ association fees (location dependent). Make sure you’re choosing a house you can afford, because it can be stressful if you’re living “house poor.” It’s recommend you spend no more than 28 percent of your income on housing costs.
  2. Find a well-informed, knowledgeable agent that knows your area well. Knowing if an area is too high or about to fall can save you thousands of dollars. Moreover, knowing how home prices in the area are comparable to what you’re looking at will help you make a better, more informed decision.
  3. Prepare for closing costs, they could cost you a pretty penny. These costs include origination, title, and settlement fees, as well as taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners’ association fees.
  4. Credit score matters. Just because you have a qualifying credit score, doesn’t mean you have the best score to help land you the best rate. You should start cleaning up your credit at least a year in advance of making a home purchase, just to make sure you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s when it comes to financial matters. Get your credit report and start combing through it before it’s too late.
  5. Along with your credit score, it’s good to get all your paperwork in order. Get pay stubs, past W-2s and tax returns, bank statements, and previous address information ready because you’re going to need them. Lenders are going to want to see a lot of your personal information before they’ll give you a sizable loan.
  6. Speaking of lenders, you should always get preapproved. This gives you more bargaining power when it comes to landing that house you just fell in love with.
  7. The government has some programs to help. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has a program that insures mortgages for many first-time homebuyers. This will help sway those lenders to back you, and the FHA reduces most 10-20 percent down payments down to 3-3.5 percent. That’s a pocket full of help right there.
  8. Make sure that home buying is the right choice at the right time. If you’re not ready to put down roots, take on new costs, or become your own contractor, then maybe you should hold off on investing in such a big commitment.

If you are ready to buy a home, contact me today. 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 Photo Dean / Flickr

Martin Sexton at Bergen Performing Arts Center

by Sharon Vallario

Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, New Jersey

This weekend American singer-songwriter Martin Sexton will be taking to the stage at the Bergen Performing Arts Center.  A must-attend event, Martin Sexton is sure to astound attendees of all musical tastes, as he blends a variety of musical genres into an unforgettable performance.  His eclectic style has recently taken the country by storm, naming him one of the top “new folk” acoustic artists touring today.

Martin Sexton is a self-taught guitarist and singer-songwriter.  His career began at the early age of 14 when he stepped into the rock & roll life, joining a band while in the 8th grade.  But shortly thereafter he realized his own potential and was swayed to embrace his individual artistic talents, veering away from rock and roll. Branching out, Martin Sexton began to create his own style of music to accompany his original compositions.  His range covers everything from gospel and soul, to blues and R&B.  Although he has not abandoned his rock and roll roots, he has chosen to give them a distinct sound, blending them with a country flare.  Martin Sexton’s most recent album, “Mix Tape of the Open Road” is likened to a musical cross-country trip, guiding his listeners through a variety of genre territories.  Songs from this album along with other favorite Martin Sexton classics will all be performed, promising to tender a memorable evening of all across the board, melodic entertainment.

Admission costs to attend the Martin Sexton event range in price from $35.00 to $60.00, dependent on your seat selection.  To view a seating chart and to purchase your tickets online, please click here.

The amazing Martin Sexton will be arriving in Englewood this Saturday night.  He will be bringing his remarkable vocals, mind-blowing acoustic guitar pickin’, and an ovation-worthy performance.  You absolutely do not want to miss out on the opportunity to see the artist that is swooning the nation, with his unforgettable original style. 

Saturday January 10th


For more information regarding the Martin Sexton event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Owen Walker Brown/

Red Flags for Homebuyers

by Sharon Vallario

The sad fact of home buying is that the seller may not always disclose the whole truth about their home. That’s why it’s important to not only hire a professional home inspector, but to understand exactly what they’re looking for, why there could be issues, and when to walk away from prospective issues.

Along with your professional inspection, here is a list of things you should keep on an eye on before you finalize the paperwork.

Starting with the Outside

It’s important to walk around the house and see if there are any cracks in the foundation. If you find horizontal cracks bigger than a third of an inch in size, it could mean that there are substantial structural problems. Yards that slope down toward a house often have water runoff during times of heavy rains that cause further damage to these areas.

We started at the bottom, now it’s time to check the roof for damage. Missing shingles, dips in the roof, or chimney damage can all lead to water leakage and further structural damage. Find out how old the roof is well before it is too late for easy fixes.

And finally, bugs and critters. Check the area around the foundation for bees, bird and mice nests, and anywhere that wood touches the foundation of the house. Termites are devastating to homes, as they lead to often unseen structural damage.

Inside the Home

Each time you step into a room, pay attention to the odor. If you smell heavy amounts of deodorizers, especially bleach, the owners may be trying to hide real problems. Cigarette smoke and pet odors are difficult to get out, but mildew and mold can be even bigger issues.

These could be signs that mean those outside issues are starting to crop up inside, or that there are plumbing issues. If there are water pressure issues, such as old plumbing or low flow, it could cost you upwards of $15,000 to fix outstanding issues.

Some other things to look out for are:

  1. Doors that don’t close, which could indicate structural issues.
  2. Flickering lights that could mean bad circuitry or electrical problems
  3. Leaky water tanks
  4. Stuck windows could lead to drafts and ultimately energy concerns
  5. Carbon monoxide, lead paint, water contamination and asbestos (most all in older homes)

As always, it’s important to have a professional do a thorough check of the home, and to work hand-in-hand with your agent to determine any issues. Small problems now can become big problems later if left unchecked or unseen. 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 David Train / Flickr

River Vale Farmer’s Market

by Sharon Vallario

406 River Vale Road, River Vale, New Jersey

The Township of River Vale is happy to announce that this weekend they will be hosting the River Vale Farmer’s Market event.  From farm to table, the Market offers all things fresh, healthy, and local.

Due to the brutally cold temperatures, the River Vale Farmer’s Market has been moved indoors, providing a more suitable shopping experience.  And people will be coming from near and far to purchase the bounties grown and produced by local farmers.  One can expect to find a variety of fruits and vegetables, bread, freshly baked goods, gluten-free products, eggs, frozen prepared meals, hummus, homemade marinara sauces, and soups.  Grass-fed beef, chicken, and pork will also be for sale, alongside tapenades, empanadas, and chili.  Amish-baked goods, honey, all natural body products, dried fruits, and nuts are just a few more items of note. The Market invites your family to sit down with the growers, producers, and preparers of the products for sale, being educated to their production practices and techniques.

This weekend bring the entire family out to stock up on fresh foods picked locally just hours ago, not weeks ago thousands of miles away.  Freshness guaranteed!

Saturday January 3rd


For more information regarding the River Vale Farmer’s Market event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of The Meeting Place North/

Tips for Keeping Windows Secure

by Sharon Vallario

Knowing your home is protected against burglars and intruders, can give you great peace of mind. Having a security company install alarms and monitoring devices is one of the best ways to accomplish this. But, there are some things you can do that don’t require a security company. Today, let's look at tips for keeping your windows secure.

Make a List

Take a walk around your house and make a list of all windows and glass doors. Do they have locks? Are they secure in their frames? Are their frames secure? Are the windows hidden from neighbors or the street? Can you see expensive items through the windows? Wherever you see a yes to one of those questions, that's an opportunity for you to make improvements.

Weak Spots

Intruders are going to look for the easiest way to get inside your home. Open or unlocked windows, hidden from observers, on the ground floor, are always their best bet. Beyond that, windows that are easy to break or force open will be a target.

Security Devices

Perhaps the most sure fire way to secure a window is to install a metal window guard. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks, not the least of which is the unappealing look. And of course, you won't be able to get out of a barred window in an emergency situation.

In addition to standard locks, interior pin locks or key bolts are an excellent way to keep windows from moving in their frames. Wooden dowels or PVC pipe can keep sliding doors or windows from being opened. Make sure the frames themselves are not rotten or corroded. Replace any that are with the best quality material you can afford. Tempered Glass and Plexiglas are stronger than regular glass, and should be a serious consideration for your most vulnerable windows. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind:

  • Keep windows visible from the street, and plant roses or thorny bushes under windows.
  • Remember to lock your windows.
  • Check basement and garage windows too.
  • Keep valuable or expensive items out of sight through the windows.
  • Use curtains or translucent security film to block the view inside.
  • Install motion-sensitive floodlights.
  • A dog that barks might be ideal for keeping burglars away.
  • Add inexpensive window break alarms.

Consider these ideas for protecting your home and family. You will rest easier for taking the time to tackle these projects to improve window security in your house. 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 glasseyes view/

A Victorian Child’s Christmas

by Sharon Vallario

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

If you were unable to indulge in the Victorian Child’s Christmas event prior to Christmas, The Hermitage Museum invites your entire family to come out this weekend to do so.  The historic home is decorated for the holidays, bursting at the seams with an enchanting Victorian theme.

The Victorian Child’s Christmas happening tenders the ideal opportunity for your family to journey through the historic home, taking in the sights and sounds of Christmas during the 1800’s.  Rooms throughout the house will feature antique toys, dolls, trains, and much more.  Decorated trees, wreaths, and twinkling lights will also be in abundance.  Your family will be mesmerized by the Victorian-style adornment of the home.  And, after having visited each room, make your way to the quiet area where you can sit as a family and participate in a live reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  Magical moments loom around every corner, and in every room of the home.

Guided tours will take place at 1:15PM, 2:15PM, and again at 3:15PM.  However, you can opt to purchase your tickets and take the spectacular tour on your own.  Admission costs to attend the Victorian Child’s Christmas event are $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for children, and free for children under the age of 4.  Tickets can be purchased at the door, the day of the event.

So this weekend stretch your celebration of the Christmas holiday out by attending the Victorian Child’s Christmas event.  Come out to view the replica Victorian-era holiday décor, while learning how children who lived during the 1800’s celebrated the season.  The occasion promises to provide something for everyone, both adults and children alike!

Saturday December 27th

1:00 PM

For more information regarding the Victorian Child’s Christmas event, please click here.

Sharon Vallario
Phone: 201.803.1416

Feature Properties in Bergen County

Photo courtesy of Marcel Rieder/

Homebuying for Serious Pet Owners

by Sharon Vallario

There are those of us that hold our pets in such high regard that they are viewed as family. And because they are family, it’s important to keep them in mind when getting ready to buy a home. That’s why it’s important to do research and find the best location to also satisfy their needs.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re house hunting.

County, City, and HOA Codes

Do you own an exotic animal? How about even something as unique as a potbellied pig? You should know what your county and city codes allow when it comes pets, because the right location may not even allow your type of animal in the area. Especially if it’s a homeowners association issue.

Not every HOA even allows pets, and those that do often have bylaws that address particular restrictions on having them in the area. Check with the HOA beforehand to avoid penalties!

Local Pet Friendly Areas

Is the house located on a street that’s a high-traffic area? If your pet has a habit of escaping, even if just for the occasional stroll around the block, a busy street can be dangerous for your adventures one. If possible, find a home located on a cul-de-sac or in areas that see more foot traffic than car bumpers. And if you’re unfamiliar with the area, a great way to learn about local pet amenities is to meet your prospective neighbors! 

For example, you should know if there are any pet food stores, vet clinics, pet sitters, groomers, or dog parks in the area.

Home Features and Layout

While you may think wood, carpeting, or ceramic floors aren’t extremely important to your decision making, flooring plays a big part in your pet’s life. Depending on your animal, they may have trouble with slippery surfaces, or want to eat and/or tear up carpeting. You know your pet best, so make sure and think about that in the long run.

Additionally, stairs and windows do matter. Older pets may have trouble climbing stairs, while our feline family members often prefer laying on window ledges soaking up the sun. Places for litter boxes are also a factor, but you already know about that.

Finally, the outdoors. Outdoor faucets are important for bathing our larger pets, but more importantly, does the place have a fence? If you’re choosing to live in the suburbs, or the city, providing your pet a safe place to run and play is important. This fence should also be solid construction that is also high enough they can’t jump over it. 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 Joe Penniston / Flickr

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 427

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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