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Soleil Sothebys International Realty

Looking to Sell? Boost Your Home’s Appeal With These Simple Décor Tips

When the decision is made to put a home up for sale, homeowners typically have to decide whether or not putting money into home renovations will eventually lead to the best return on investment. Our experts often instruct our clients to consider strategic décor upgrades that will make a home more appealing to the market without breaking their budget. Today, we will address a few of the best décor tips and tricks that will help any home garner the attention of the buying market.

Maximize A Home’s Curb Appeal

Every home only has one opportunity to make a first impression. Beauty is in the details, so homeowners should ensure the lawn is freshly mowed, the flower beds are complete and the front door has a fresh coat of paint. If an open house is held, do your best to keep the porch or front step swept and clean. Also, many older homes will have the same door handle for years, an upgraded door handle can be an affordable way to make a strong first impression.

Consider What Needs Paint

Every homeowner has their unique stylistic tastes. These tastes can lead to a bold wallpaper selection or a favorite color paint in a child’s bedroom. When looking to appeal to as many buyers as possible, it can be better to ensure the walls are painted a more neutral color. Neutral or white colors will give a home a brightness that is appealing to buyers. Once a home is freshly painted, keep the walls clear of clutter and allow the buyers to use their imagination.

Pack It Up

When people live in a home, they accumulate clutter. Whether it be papers from work or an abundance of dolls for the kids to play with, buyers can be easily distracted by clutter. Our experts suggest packing away miscellaneous items and storing personal items until a sale is complete. While clearing off shelves and taking down family pictures can be an emotional experience, it can lead to a faster sales process.

Make Small Bedroom Upgrades

Bedrooms are often one of the biggest selling points for a home. Besides ensuring that a bed is made, sellers can make their bedroom more appealing to buyers by utilizing neutral bedding and draping a throw blanket over the bed. Nightstands should be clean and organized, and a great-smelling candle cannot hurt. Whenever a bedroom is being shown, revert back to thinking of comfort. The more comfortable the bedroom looks, the more appealing it will be to buyers.

Use Mirrors to Make a Space Appear Larger

Designers have been utilizing the mirror trick for decades. Living areas that don’t feature large windows or exceptionally high ceilings can strategically place a mirror on the wall to give the impression of more space. If the mirror can reflect the natural light coming in from a window, that’s even better.

Prioritize The Finishing Touches

Final touches include things like ensuring all the carpets in the home are deeply cleaned before the house is shown or running out and bringing in some flowers to display. Go around the house and collect any items that may be deemed controversial. This really speaks to the removal of old political campaign stickers or fridge magnets. By taking the time to inspect the small details of a home, it can end up paying significant dividends come closing day.

Why Marketing is Essential to Successfully Listing a Luxury Property

The luxury real estate market is highly competitive throughout the Jersey Shore. When listing a property, the difference between selling the property at a price you can live with and selling the property at a price you are ecstatic with often comes down to marketing. Our experts utilize the latest in digital marketing real estate tactics to ensure that people in the market seeking their dream shore house are aware of your property and have all the details they need to make an offer. By utilizing marketing effectively, we drive the proper competition directly to your luxury property.

Digital marketing in real estate reached a new level of importance in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns. More buyers started viewing homes online before they considered scheduling a tour. 3D virtual walkthroughs, images from professional photographers, and videography that would make a film director proud are all essential elements when listing a luxury property.

Many sellers in the luxury real estate market have trepidations surrounding digital marketing because they want to maintain a certain level of privacy. Our experts understand the importance of discretion, which is why our exclusive industry networks are vital. Many marketing tactics indeed try to bring as many eyeballs as possible. Our marketing tactics are focused on exclusivity. Every step we take in our marketing plans is to reach real estate intenders who are either exploring or selecting properties and looking to buy ASAP. We drive traffic to our website that filters out all those not serious about acquiring a luxury real estate property in the Jersey Shore region.

Social media has profoundly impacted the luxury real estate market, like so many industries. When leveraged correctly, social media channels provide a perfect network of passionate people about luxury real estate. Having built up an audience across popular social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, our team is dedicated to producing content of the highest quality. We understand that reaching the right audience is futile if the content isn’t strong enough to stand out. One of the best ways to garner interest from the appropriate people is to wow them with drone photography. Aerial views of a property on a picture-perfect Jersey Shore day provide the viewer with a complete understanding of the scope of the property. Getting all the information in a single shot is ideal for an online audience.

Finally, sellers need to understand that every property is unique. No cookie-cutter strategy is going to be able to compete with a system that is created based on the unique strengths of a particular property. It’s why your assigned real estate agent will work in tandem with an entire marketing team to ensure your property gets the treatment it deserves. Ready to learn more about listing your property? Contact our team of experts today!

Finding Your Perfect Beach Home Comes Down to Selecting Your Desired Amenities

From Brigantine to Longport, there are plenty of Jersey Shore towns with beautiful luxury homes available for rent or sale. If you are amongst the many who are considering renting or buying a Jersey shore home, our expert team is here to help. One of the quickest ways to narrow down a search is to consider the amenities that matter most to you. For example, what does it look like when you close your eyes and envision your dream home?

  • Does it have a pool?
  • Do you have a backyard where you can host your friends and family?
  • How about a barbecue grill?

Everyone has a different perspective, and we cater our services to match the needs of each of our clients. For those that thought of the ocean when they considered their dream Jersey shore home, it is essential to note that there’s a difference between the oceanfront and ocean view. Prospective buyers are often disappointed when they arrive at an ocean-view property that doesn’t allow them to walk out onto the beach. Ocean view properties could be blocks from the water. However, these properties often come with added amenities like backyard space. Every property has pros and cons, so utilizing our home amenity filters is a great way to find the perfect Jersey shore property for your unique needs.

Amenity Filters

Utilizing the amenity filters available on our website can save renters, or potential shore-home buyers, time by ensuring that the opulent beach house they are searching for fits their exact criteria.

Our Amenity filters include the following:

  • Price
  • Square feet
  • Type of home
  • View or acreage
  • Features (fireplace, garage, etc.)
  • Lifestyle (aquatic activity, beach, etc.)
  • Number of bedrooms or bathrooms
  • And more!
Perfect Beach Home

When potential homes are narrowed down based on amenities, the small details can make all the difference. For instance, renters should always look into the cancellation policy of a rental property. Because vacation rentals are often made well in advance, it is crucial to understand the liability in place should a major weather event occur. As we all saw with a global pandemic a few short years ago, it’s always better to expect the unexpected. On a lighter note, renters should consider factors like sand management. One property with an outdoor shower is much more appealing to a family than another similar property without one. Getting kids off the beach and into the house cleanly will save a lot of unnecessary headaches.

With experience selling and renting properties throughout the Jersey Shore, we understand that each shore town brings something unique. One excellent methodology for choosing the city of the beach house you select is to consider what amenities are available on a rainy day. Those who live for action may want to consider properties closer to Atlantic City, while those who appreciate the value of some quaint shops may want to look at Ocean City.

Ready to narrow down what beach house property is best for you? Check out our amenity filter and get one step closer to acquiring your dream home!

Quick and Affordable Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

Whether shopping online or in-person, a home’s exterior makes or breaks the first impression. So, ensuring properties have exceptional curb appeal can be the difference between a buyer pulling it off the market and it sitting idle on the market for months.

Despite popular belief, increasing curb appeal doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, minor changes can have significant impacts, vastly boosting a home’s chance of selling quickly, especially along the New Jersey shore.

The Key Factors of Great Curb Appeal

Whether we’re talking about homes for sale in Atlantic County or any other location, a few factors universally affect a property’s curb appeal. Typically, the key aspects are as follows:

  • Front door — Consider the front door the home’s face. For maximum curb appeal, doorways should welcome people inside while aligning with the exterior aesthetic.
  • Siding and roof — Color, condition, and material all play vital roles here. Worn or faded siding could tell the potential buyer that the home isn’t properly maintained. As for color, darker hues tend to create a cozier appearance, whereas lighter shades communicate formality or grandeur.
  • Windows — They’re the eyes of all homes. Thus, clean, well-maintained, nicely painted windows are the most attractive.
  • Landscaping — Trees and plants bring front yards to life and help homes blend into their surroundings. Expertly landscaped gardens boost curb appeal exponentially.
  • Lighting and fixtures — The finishing touches (i.e., mailboxes, light fixtures, etc.) seal the curb appeal deal. They should be clean, well-maintained, and fit aesthetically with the rest of the home.

Wallet-Friendly Pointers to Boost Curb Appeal in New Jersey

As mentioned, increasing curb appeal doesn’t need to be expensive, especially when following these five top tips:

Spruce Up the Porch

Porches are the eye-catching to potential buyers — they want to feel welcomed by the decor, paint colors, and seating.

Adding a few chairs, ottomans, a coffee table, and some accent pillows can give the front porch a stylish yet cozy upgrade, increasing the chances of selling.

Fresh Exterior Paint

Nothing beats a fresh paint job. Adverse conditions and the general passing of time wears exterior walls. But by applying new paint, sellers can reverse the clock and breathe new life into their homes.

Exterior colors should be aligned with the rest of the street but also enhance the architecture of the specific building.

homes for sale in Atlantic County

Add Plants

Greenery is a surefire way to increase curb appeal with ease. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Seeds are relatively cheap these days; it’s just a case of waiting for them to blossom.

Switch Out the Light Fixtures

If the light fixtures are old or unpleasing, change them. Try finding a stylish sconce or lantern that complements your color scheme. It’s also a good idea to ensure the bulbs emit warm light — buyers are looking for a place to call home and warm hues produce those cozy vibes.

Wash and Paint Windows

Sea air is harsh on paint and home exteriors. Washing and repainting the windows gives homes the finishing touches they need to look great from the curb. The best part? The task can usually be finished in a day.


This item probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind for enhancing curb appeal, but with the mailbox residing in many cases literally at the curb, it’s a high-visibility piece of décor that can enhance that first impression of the home. If you’ve got one of those boring, featureless plastic tube mailboxes that’s now fading, cracking, and shifting put it out with the recycling and replace it with something more regal.

If your current mailbox does complement your home in style and architecture, but just needs a little love, take the time to repaint or stain it and you’ll be so happy with the result you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t do this years ago!

real estate in Margate

Open Floor Plans vs. Traditional Living in Today’s World

What exactly constitutes an open concept floor plan? Open floor plans are defined by an absence of partitions between rooms in the home, most often, the living room, kitchen, and dining room. An open concept design is often seen in lofts, townhomes, and apartments but has become very popular in single-family homes. They are also quite popular along the New Jersey coast and make up a large portion of the real estate in Margate and Ventnor.

On the other hand, traditional, or conventional-type floor plans consist of individual rooms divided by walls and doorways, creating a confined space. In older homes, the kitchen was often isolated from the rest of the living quarters. This is less common in newer homes, as homeowners now enjoy sharing their cooking space with family and guests.

Open Concept Design Advantages

The primary advantage of an open floor plan is that this design creates the feel of a larger space, especially if the home does not have much square footage. By removing walls in an older, traditional home, or building an open-concept new home can add visual square footage without the expense of a larger build, or addition.

An open floor plan is a popular feature for entertaining guests. Having an unobstructed layout creates a central vantage point of congregation, allowing effortless mingling of family and friends. This also creates the look and feel of a modern, updated space.

On the downside, an open floor plan can be difficult to keep noise levels down, and can be harder to maintain a desired temperature, especially if the ceiling is vaulted. If privacy is important, it may be harder to find in an open concept space. Something else that many don’t consider is furnishings – having multiple rooms within the same space should be cohesive with furnishing colors and style.

Traditional Living Space Benefits

Atlantic County residents who enjoy this particular layout say that traditional floor plans tend to make a home feel cozier and more intimate. With defined spaces, a feel of separation is created between each room.

Conventional floor plans also convey a sense of privacy in the defined space. This has become especially beneficial after the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people have shifted to working from home. Most prefer the privacy of a separate room that can be used as a home office or study.

However, traditional floor plans can make a home feel small, cramped, and cluttered. One of the best ways to avoid clutter in a home is to decorate with a minimalistic style. Entertaining can also prove more challenging, as guests tend to spread out into various spaces. This makes it hard to maintain cohesion in conversation.

Which Layout Do Buyers Prefer

The answer is entirely up to the personal preferences of the homeowner. In a smaller home, an open floor plan can make the space feel larger without actually adding expensive square footage in lieu of an addition. In a large home, a traditional floor plan can help to create a sense of separation between different areas. Ultimately, the best way to decide which space would best suit your needs is to tour our homes and see what feels best to you.

Design Trends

When discussing these starkly different layouts it makes sense to also look at the current trends in architecture and interior design. Looking into 2023, a variety of exciting features are getting attention from home buyers in Atlantic County and beyond.

• Multiple Window Banks

Especially in kitchens, creating a space with multiple window banks allows natural light to penetrate the space, creating an open feel that brings the outside in.

• Casual, But Collected

Another design trend has decorators looking to a casual, yet sophisticated look. By choosing natural textures and colors, in paint, wallpaper, and furnishings, this style creates a refined look and feel. Incorporating raw materials, like stone, wood and glass is also trending high in casual elegance.

• Large Islands

Multi-functional kitchen islands, with seating and built-in appliances are what buyers are looking for in both open concept and conventional spaces. Integrating a cooktop, sink or microwave drawer adds convenience, and functionality to a heavily trafficked space.

• The Outdoors

Buyers are looking to utilize all available space in a home, and this includes the outdoors. Trending now more than ever is the functionality of an outdoor gathering space that feels more like an extension of the interior of the home.

Bringing the inside of the home outdoors, and vice versa creates a delightful extension of the living area. Of course, privacy may be a consideration for many, so utilizing structural pergolas, décor, and strategic planting, can create a privacy screen for the areas that need it.

Jersey Shore Winter Activities

When considering a Jersey Shore vacation, thoughts typically turn to sand, surf, and sun.

But those aren’t the only things the New Jersey coast has to offer. The winter offseason is as good a time as any to check out the best Jersey Shore beaches, small towns, big attractions, and hidden gems that are normally packed the rest of the year.

Looking for a restful but also exciting winter escapade? Here’s what’s worth checking out during a Jersey Shore winter.

Head to a Show at the Stone Pony

The Stone Pony in Asbury Park is legendary as the launching bad for Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, but it’s not just a great place to rock out during the summer.

The winter season attracts some great acts, too, such as G. Love and Donavon Frankenreiter in February. Plus, there are great holiday shows and parties to attend.

Winter in Brigantine

But for those who want to stay in town, Brigantine Beach is gorgeous and devoid of tourists during the winter. It’s almost like having the beach to oneself. For those brave enough, the Brigantine Polar Bear Plunge raises money to help wounded military veterans and their families.

For those looking for a more permanent spot – check out Brigantine homes for sale and snag your new home away from home.

Get Pampered at the Borgata

Of course, there are a lot of casinos to choose from in Atlantic City, but for those looking to spend cold winter days relaxed and refreshed, Borgata’s renowned spa is open year-round.

Spa Toccare offers everything from facials that integrate light therapy and jade stones to unrivaled foot massages. There is even an option for a 100-minute couple’s massage.

Go Back in Time at Historic Smithfield

Located in Galloway, this old-fashioned town is pretty picture-perfect, replete with footbridges, streets lined with cobblestones, and over 60 unique shops.

Historic Smithville was established in the late 17th century and now includes a charming colonial inn, toy, and collectible shops, and an adjacent 312-acre park. It’s also just 20 minutes by car from Atlantic City.

Go Fishing in Ocean City

A longtime beach vacation destination, Ocean City also happens to be a great place to spend the winter, especially if fishing is on the agenda. December is prime ling, blackish, and cod season and winter is also a perfect time for birdwatching, especially in the Back Bay area.

There are many other winter options, too, including visiting the Ocean City Historical Museum and checking out the over 100 restaurants and ships in the Asbury Avenue shopping district.

Take it Easy in Cape May

Cape May is one of the most beautiful spots not just on the Jersey Shore but in the entire state of New Jersey.

Be sure to stop by the Cape May Brewing Company and Willow Creek Winery and get a bite of food while you’re at it at the acclaimed Peter Shields Inn and Restaurant. And for those into Victorian architecture, the town’s famous painted ladies are definitely a must-see this winter.

What Makes Brigantine NJ Such a Hotspot for Real Estate

Real estate ventures are sometimes risky but can be just as rewarding. In a beachside city like Brigantine, rapidly growing since 2020, one has to wonder what makes Brigantine, NJ real estate such a hotspot for buyers looking to own a piece of the Jersey shore.

The city of Brigantine, NJ, has become popular among real estate investors thanks to its growing population, the investment of the city in its location through infrastructure projects, and increased price of homes in the area.

In this article, we look at what factors award Brigantine, New Jersey the title of hotspot for real estate agents, as well as the current market trends for the city.

What Makes Brigantine, New Jersey a Hotspot for Real Estate?

The following are examples of what determines favorable conditions for the real estate business:

  1. Growing Population
  2. Infrastructure Projects
  3. Price Movement

Let’s take a closer look at how Brigantine, New Jersey is meeting these conditions.

Growing Population

The year-round population of Brigantine, according to, is about 9,000 people. However, it is a popular destination for vacation homes, with the summer population at 30,000.

This means that while the revenue for local businesses can increase seasonally, the lack of crowds at beaches for the non-summer months and the quiet life Brigantine offers has a population count that is rising.

Real estate hotspots are defined by growing populations because crowded, developed locations fetch a higher price than those that are not developed yet. When people begin noticing that a nice property near the ocean like those in Brigantine are not overly populated, they become eager to stake their claim on the spot.

Brigantine, NJ real estate

Infrastructure Projects

One of the infrastructure projects featured in 2020 for Brigantine was the Atlantic City/Brigantine Community Reliability Project. This promises to modernize the energy infrastructure which links Brigantine and Atlantic City.

Construction on a new substation and rebuilding transition lines are two examples of the community’s commitment to bettering the area. Known as infrastructure projects, these types of undertakings by Brigantine’s authorities encourage people to move to the area.

It not only proves that Brigantine cares about its residents enough to improve their locale, but those very improvements can provide jobs for new arrivals. These things contribute to making the city a real estate hotspot.

Price Movement

According to the current data, Brigantine, NJ has sold at a median price of $524,995 since July, 2022. The prices of homes on the Brigantine Market have moved up by $5,000,00 in one year’s time!

Price movement like this is an indicator that, if the price of homes can move up so quickly recently, they are likely to continue going up in the future, contributing to the fact that Brigantine is a real estate hotspot. Information like this allows real estate agents to make an educated, careful guess on their investments in the area.

What are the current market trends in Brigantine, New Jersey?

Real estate hotspots are determined, oftentimes, by factors like the number of homes sold in the area, or the median price per square footage in the homes. Below is a table listing the market trends in Brigantine according to information gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Median Days on Market52
Median Sales Price$549,500
Number of Homes Sold230 in 6 months
Median Price per Square Foot$333
Median Year Built1980
Median Rent per Month$1,344


In summary, it is the amount of population growth and factors like price upticks and infrastructure projects that allow real estate agents to flock to Brigantine, New Jersey. Real estate investors are able to accurately determine how profitable an investment in the city can be, making Brigantine a real estate hotspot!

homes for sale in Margate NJ

What to Know When Buying Multiple Properties

With summer temperatures rising, now’s the time to invest in real estate along the Jersey Shore. By purchasing multiple properties and leasing them out as short-term vacation homes, investors can make a fortune on seasonal beach goers. Yet, before you go out and buy a collection of homes or apartments, be sure to prepare your finances and research the market.

Buying multiple properties is a wise investment, especially across the New Jersey shoreline. With any investment, though, you should be careful to do your due diligence before purchasing. This means guaranteeing that your credit is acceptable, finding secured financing, and locating the most profitable areas to invest in. Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Margate NJ or other areas, this article will help you prepare for your investment and guide you through the process.

Understand How Credit Can Affect Your Purchases

Your credit score is one of the most important things to consider when you’re making any large purchase, especially if you’re buying multiple properties. This becomes especially relevant if you’re purchasing your fifth-through-tenth property.

At the most basic level, a high credit score will grant you access to better interest rates on your mortgages, meaning you can save more money in the long run. If your score is low, you may still qualify for a loan, but it will come with a higher interest rate which will eat into your profits.

At a deeper level, though, you could be disqualified for financing if your score isn’t high enough. According to guidelines set by Fannie Mae, investors must have a score of at least 720 to qualify for financing on fifth-through-tenth properties, along with down payments as high as 30%. If you cannot meet these requirements, you’ll be disqualified before you even set foot in the door.

Find Secured Financing

When you’re buying multiple properties, you’ll likely need to take out a loan in order to finance the purchase. There are a few different types of loans you can choose from, but the most common for investment properties is a portfolio loan. This is a type of loan that allows you to use multiple properties as collateral, which can help you get a lower interest rate.

Another option is to get a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This is a loan that uses your home as collateral and can be a good option if you have a lot of equity in your property. The downside to a HELOC is that you may end up paying more in interest over time.

homes for sale in Margate NJ

Research the Market

When you’re buying multiple properties, it’s important to choose locations that will be in high demand. This means doing your research to find out which areas are growing, have a lot of amenities nearby, and are close to tourist attractions.

The Jersey Shore is a great place to invest in real estate because it’s a popular spot for tourists. Another benefit of the Jersey Shore is that there are many towns to choose from, so you can find the perfect location to fit your needs. Some things to consider when choosing a location include:

  • The local economy
  • The crime rates
  • The quality of schools
  • The cost of living

Once you’ve chosen a location, you can start looking for properties. Be sure to work with a real estate agent who knows the area well and can help you find the best deals.

Final Thoughts

Buying multiple properties is a great way to invest in real estate, but it’s important to be prepared before you make any purchases. Be sure to check your credit score and DTI, secure financing, and do your research to find the best locations. With a little preparation, you’ll quickly attract beachgoers and turn a profit on your investment.

Things to Look for When Viewing a Property

homebuyer tips

The average homebuyer takes about 8 weeks to find a home, and that can be a very long 8 weeks for some.

From open houses to multiple offers and inspections, it’s no wonder that home shoppers often desire to make quick decisions about property purchases to cease the search and move in as soon as possible.

Sometimes, if a home looks great on the surface, seems to be in a good neighborhood, and isn’t too far from work, offers start pouring in. And there are homebuyers will look at homes solely online. While the Seller’s Disclosure is an immensely important source of information for you as a buyer, don’t gloss over the advantages of seeing certain facets of the home up close and personal with your own eyes.

It pays to look deeper. A home will likely be the most important purchase you can make, so rushing may be a big mistake. The next time you look at a property, be sure to take the time to look out for the following.

  1. Check out the Roof

Replacing an entire roof is a major expense that unfortunately, some homebuyers learn too late they need to take care of before they move in. Be sure to check for any signs of wear, damage, or evidence of multiple patches or several layers of roofing. From the sidewalk or driveway you can see if there is any waviness on the surface of the roof – this can be a sign of warped truss beams and plywood. This is not only a warning sign that a major repair is warranted, but it could also indicate poor air flow in the attic, which would become another fix to address.

Some companies may not grant you homeowners insurance if your roof is in a state of disrepair or is too old. While patches can cost a few hundred dollars, total replacement often goes as high as $20,000.

Be sure to ask about the roof’s age as well or when the most recent repair was made.

  1. Look for Signs of Water Damage

Water damage can indicate that a house either has some major structural issues, is in a flood plain, or was impacted by a natural disaster. When touring a home, look for ceilings and walls with watermarks, if there’s a moldy smell indicating dampness, or if the plaster is flaking off in sections.

  1. Check the Plumbing

Plumbing can be a major issue in older homes – and one of the most expensive fixes for homebuyers. Check the water pressure and ask if there is insulation on the pipes and the pipe material (certain outdated materials you’ll want to replace).

It’s also worth asking the age of the boiler, looking at the hot water tank, and determining if the radiators are in good working condition.

homebuyer tips
  1. Figure Out How Well the Home Has Been Maintained Overall

There can be many different signs that a previous owner or renter was less-than-responsible with the home’s maintenance, including faded paint, cheap replacement tiles, and mismatched fixtures.

If the home’s HVAC system seems aged prematurely and not running smoothly, it may mean that it wasn’t cleaned yearly or that it’s on its last legs. All this evidence points to the likely possibility of expensive updates and repairs you’ll need to make.

  1. Look Outside of the Home

You can discover a lot about whether a home is right for you without stepping foot inside. Look for poor grading, swampy spots in the yard, and the condition of sheds or any outbuildings.

Walk around the neighborhood, check out businesses close by, get a feel for the road noise at different hours, and see how strict the HOA is if there is one.

Remember that while the Seller’s Disclosure tells you about conditions the current homeowner is aware of, it won’t cover all qualitative considerations you might have for your dream home. Furthermore, it’s subject to that person’s level of diligence and memory and is no substitute for your own poking about.

The Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations

Homeowners Associations

Homeowner associations (HOA) can help increase property value and improve the amenities and safety of a community. Despite some drawbacks, these benefits can prove very attractive to some kinds of home buyers, who may even be willing to pay more for properties that are managed by an HOA.

Beautiful neighborhoods

Many neighborhoods have design requirements for home exteriors, in order to maintain a consistent or historical look throughout the community. The HOA approves any construction and renovation projects, to ensure that everyone follows the rules and meets the community standards. It also works with the local government to ensure adherence to municipal codes.

The HOA is also in charge of maintaining the beauty of communal areas, from the landscaping of roadsides and parks to renovations and maintenance of community buildings.

The result is a community that looks beautiful, well-maintained, and harmonious.

Community activities

The HOA is in charge of organizing events and activities that will benefit the residents. This can include festivals or parties, free classes or workshops, or weekend markets or bazaars. Neighbors can get to know each other and enjoy extra services without having to travel far from their home.

Improved facilities

The HOA can use association fees or hold special fundraisers in order to improve community facilities and amenities. For example, it can convert a community lot into a sports facility or dog park or improve playgrounds and walking trails.

Improved community safety

The HOA can also lobby for safety or security measures, such as better street lighting or security cameras. If the area has an increased incidence of crime, it can organize neighborhood patrols or hold safety seminars for the residents.

An active HOA also fosters stronger relationships between neighbors, which on its own can already increase everyone’s peace of mind. If people know each other, they are more likely to look out for one another, and notice any unusual activity or suspicious persons.

Homeowners Associations

Intervention for conflict and disputes

An HOA sets clear rules and regulations to prevent many common disputes, such as parking rights or short-term rental guidelines.

In the event that there is a complaint or a dispute, the HOA can also step in: by creating a committee and setting proper procedures and sanctions. This can help diffuse or resolve a conflict before resorting to more expensive and time-consuming legal means.

Stronger community pride

The HOA’s activities help build the “community identity” – from the unified look of houses to the group activities and stronger relationships with neighbors. Over time, this can develop into a sense of pride and even prestige. Residents are grateful to be part of such a close-knit, well-maintained neighborhood.

Increased property value

If the community identity is sustained over a long period of time, it becomes part of the neighborhood’s reputation. Naturally, it will attract the interest of property buyers, who are looking for not just a nice house in Margate or another shore town, but a “happy, safe place to live in.”

The HOA rules for adherence to building codes and exterior designs, and its regular maintenance and improvement of communal areas, can also add to the neighborhood’s overall property value. One study found that these ret

HOA: A rising trend

According to Investopedia, about 25% of Americans live in neighborhoods that have homeowner or community associations. While communities that have HOAs generally are more expensive – in addition to monthly HOA fees – a study shows that the perception of safety, exclusivity and homogeneity can all increase property value.