Category Archives: Blogs

Soleil Sotheby Christmas Decorated Front Door

Should Sellers Decorate their Homes During the Holiday Season?

Today, there are just over 1 million homes for sale in the United States. While the holiday season is spent decorating with bright lights and vibrant colors for many homeowners, Americans selling their homes are hesitant. If your home is on the market, you are likely wondering to what degree you should decorate this year. After all, many real estate agents discourage clutter and personal items when prospective buyers are likely to stop by. So the question remains, can homeowners selling their homes still decorate for the holiday season?

The primary reason many realtors discourage personal items and clutter within the home is because clutter can make a space feel cramped and personal items will often inhibit a viewer from being able to imagine themselves within the space. Although holiday decorations will fill up space within the home, they can also make a home feel warmer and more welcoming if done correctly. For this reason, many realtors recommend that sellers use only minimal holiday trimmings and decorations in order to keep the home looking as spacious as possible. A few small holiday items will likely do the trick, as too many decorations can also be a distraction to viewers.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the seller may be decorating their home for a holiday that prospective buyers do not celebrate. In order to keep your home welcoming and inclusive, it is best not to use overtly symbolic decorations and instead lean more towards festive decorations. For this, most realtors recommend one sign if at decoration within the living room and another welcoming holiday decorations by the door.

Most realtors agree to keep the holiday decorations in storage until after the shoot when it comes to staging photos. If your home takes months to sell, staging photos that show holiday decorations may seem odd and deter potential viewers from stopping by. This means that if your home’s listing photo shoot is scheduled for the holiday season, you may need to put off decorating. However, once the photos have been taken, feel free to decorate your home with tasteful decorations.

Lastly, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty recommends sellers take down any holiday decorations immediately after the holidays. Although some American families enjoy keeping their holiday decorations up until Valentine’s Day, it will likely hinder buyer interest and make the home appear unkempt and dated.

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How to Get Your Home Ready to Show

Whether you have been planning to sell your house for years or are trying to take advantage of the current seller’s market, before placing your home on the market, you will first need to get your home show-ready. What defines a “show-ready home” has been the subject of debate in the real estate industry for many years; however, there are certain things homeowners can do that will always improve the chances of their home selling. Below, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty will share their top suggestions for getting a home ready to show.

Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal?

It may surprise some readers to hear that realtors and homeowners often overlook curb appeal when putting a house on the market. This can have disastrous consequences, as first impressions are crucial, and many buyers will write off a home that has an unkempt outer appearance.

For this reason, when deciding to put your house on the market, it is essential first to take stock of the home’s exterior condition and ensure that:

–        The yard is free of grass patches and is well mowed

–        There are no weeds or dead flowers within the garden

–        The porch has no cobwebs or dead leaves

–        The outer façade of the house is free of peeling paint (homeowners should consider painting the entire home if it is in desperate need of a new coat of paint).

In the fall and winter months, it is crucial that the homeowner takes extra time to maintain the exterior by raking leaves, shoveling sidewalks, and ensuring that the driveway and entrances of the home are well-salted to ensure the safety of potential buyers.

Research the Latest Staging Trends

Staging a home does not necessarily mean purchasing staging furniture and can mean rearranging the existing furniture and décor in a way that is in style and pleasing to potential buyers. When staging, it is crucial to keep in mind the viewers’ taste, which means that homeowners should not arrange furniture necessarily to their liking, but in a way that compliments the space. Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty also recommends that homeowners research current staging trends as this can help improve their home’s chances of a quick sale.

Work with Family Members or Roommates to Always be Ready to Show

Once a certain level of “show readiness” has been created, it can be hard to maintain. However, it is crucial that occupants be ready to show the home to potential buyers at all times. Before placing a home on the market, all its inhabitants must discuss how best to keep the house looking show-ready and what steps all members can make to ensure this happens. This can mean divvying up responsibilities among occupants for last-minute cleaning or asking that the home’s cleanliness be maintained at all times.

Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty Discusses Popular New Jersey Beach Towns

For many American families, the annual trip to the beach is not only a time to sit back and relax but a time to bond with loved ones and create long-lasting family memories. Although the 2021 summer is drawing to an end, many American families are already planning next years’ beach vacation and deciding which town they would like to explore. Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty, one of New Jersey’s leading real estate companies, has many years of experience helping families find their perfect beach house and possesses an in-depth understanding of New Jersey’s many beach towns. Below, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realtywill share some of New Jersey’s most popular beach towns and their unique attractions. 

Margate, NJ

Margate is a charming New Jersey beach town located in Atlantic country, home to roughly 6,000 residents. While Margate is home to a small, tight-knit community, during the summer months, the town is visited by a large number of tourists and vacationing families. Within Margate lies pristine beaches, aqua parks, boardwalks, and a number of popular restaurants. Margate is the perfect town for both young families looking to settle down in a welcoming community as well as retirees looking to be within walking distance of the beach.

Local attractions: 

– Lucy the Elephant, a six-story elephant-shaped building constructed using wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by Margate City local James V. Lafferty. 

– Island Aqua Park, a floating water park near Margate’s boardwalk, is perfect for children of tall ages. 

– Steve and Cookies By the Bay, an acclaimed American restaurant, is known for its upscale dishes, live jazz music, and raw bar.

Longport, NJ

Located between Atlantic City and Ocean City, NJ, lies Longport, a quiet beach town home to roughly 1,000 full-time residents. Thanks to its optimal location, Longport is visited by thousands of beach-goers each year looking to enjoy the nearby boardwalks, beaches, and marina shops. Longport is well known for its classic beach block-style homes, wildlife parks, and “walkability,” making it the perfect location for any family’s summer beach house. 

Local attractions: 

– Catch Restaurant, a local seafood restaurant that serves fresh fish caught daily. 

– Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival and Island Marathon Swim. 

– Go deep-sea fishing with Moover Fishing Adventures

Brigantine, NJ 

Founded in 1890, Brigantine, often referred to as “the island,” is one of New Jersey’s largest beachfront cities. Home to nearly 10,000 New Jerseyians, Brigantine is well known for its picturesque beaches, popular golf courses, and fine dining. Previously voted one of the best places to live by New Jersey Monthly, Brigantine is a popular location for many East Coast families’ summer vacations. 

Local attractions: 

– Brigantine Farmers Market, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. 

– Brigantine Historical Museum, discover Brigantine’s fascinating history at this small local museum. 

Lines at Brigantine Beach, one of Brigantine’s most popular golf courses. 

Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty Discusses Commonly Overlooked Negative Aspects of a Home

Although price, size, and location are important factors to consider when purchasing a home, they are not the only factors that go into a house’s “livability.” Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty recognizes that buying a home may feel like a never-ending list of things to consider; however, to avoid buyers’ regret, it’s crucial to consider commonly overlooked factors during your home search. 

Neighborhood Noise 

Can you hear cars on the street? Your potential neighbors? Have you heard planes in the last ten minutes? When touring a home, viewers can be so preoccupied with all the amenities that they forget to check for outdoor noise. Although you may not notice that the house is under a flight path during your tour, it will significantly impact your daily life and your home’s potential resale value. 

Ongoing Expenses that Quickly Add Up

Going over budget when purchasing a home is quite common, as extra expenses can quickly add up. To avoid becoming house poor, homeowners should be aware of short- and long-term costs that often tie into a home’s amenities. A home with a pool may seem like a dream come true; however, this will usually include year-round pool maintenance, a massive backyard may cost a thousand dollars in lawn care, and a vacation home expensive hurricane insurance. Always consider what extra amenities may cost and create a rough estimate to ensure you and your family do not go over budget. 

Not Having Adequate Storage

Although no basement may not seem like a dealbreaker, storage is often one of the most crucial elements to a well-organized and de-cluttered home. Families without proper storage may face difficulties storing seasonal items such as decorations and coats, outdoor equipment, AC units, and other items. While you may be willing today to purchase a $200 a month storage locker 10 miles away, it may prove to be a challenge in the future. Before buying a house, consider the minimum amount of storage you need and search for homes that can accommodate. 

Potential Resale Value 

When purchasing their first home, first-time homeowners will often overlook their home’s resale value. When working with a tight budget, couples are often less concerned that their home has one bathroom, a busy street, or poor curb appeal. These couples often make the mistake of assuming that because they did not mind these factors, future buyers also will not. This can be a costly mistake and may leave homeowners struggling to find a buyer when they later try to sell their home. 

Family Fun Activities to Do Down the Shore This Summer

Soleil Sotheby's International Realty

The Jersey Shore is a fun-filled vacation destination that offers beautiful beaches, exciting wildlife adventures, thrilling water sports, and an array of attractions. From enjoying romantic boardwalks or museums overlooking the water to visiting the diverse aquarium to ascending above the coast on a parasailing adventure, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty says, “you can do it all at the Jersey Shore.”

Let us look at the Silver Pinball Museum, this is a unique museum dedicated to pinball and video games. The museum has over 600 pinball games that rotates throughout the year. The museum also has a gallery of pinball back glass artwork, photography, a gift shop, and many charitable events throughout the year. If your family loves playing pinball, this is the place to come.

Cape May County Park and Zoo has over 550 animals and several habitat zones with different species, which include the African Savannah, an Aviary, and a Reptile House. The zoo also has train rides for the kids, that travel through the zoo and a carousel.

Ocean Grove Beach features quiet dunes and gentle surf. This beach is the hot spot for sunbathing and swimming. In the summertime, the beach hosts a variety of activities such as sandcastle contests, movie nights, and athletic events that everyone in the family can join in on. The nearby boardwalk offers tasty foods, shopping, and other accommodations.

Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which is on Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach is a fun aquatic facility that is great for a family day on the Jersey Shore. The aquarium is home to many global marine and freshwater species, like the Pacific harbor seals, Atlantic and Pacific shark species, coral reef specimens, African penguins, and alligators.

North Wildwood Beach is one of the most popular beach resorts on the Jersey Shore. Families come here to swim and catch some fish. One of the biggest highlights of this area is the historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, a quaint Victorian lighthouse that offers spectacular coastal views.

Casino Pier is an amusement park with rides, games, concession stands, and other family activities. This amusement park has miniature golf, go-karting, and a historic antique carousel. The fun never ends at the Casino Pier.

The list goes on for these fun summer activities to do down at the shore. Do not forget to see the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, that has military aircraft, Belmar Parasail, soar hundreds of feet over the ocean, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. New Jersey Shore has all sorts of things the family can enjoy during the summer. These are some must see ones you need to put on your list!

 

How to Get your Jersey Shore Rental Ready for Next Year

Housewife in rubber protective cleaning and polish electric cooker. Black shiny surface of kitchen top, hands, detergent.

 

It’s a New Year, which means we have a few months of winter ahead of us. If you own a vacation home down the Jersey Shore, you probably know the precautions you should take already, but it doesn’t hurt to remind you just in case. First, you should have the HVAC inspected before the temperatures get too cold and make sure to have the heat on, so the pipes don’t freeze. We also recommend having an on-call handyman available to handle any repairs and/or snow removal if you are unable to do it yourself.

 

However, we also wanted to take a second and talk about ways you can improve your vacation rental, so that it is a hot draw come the summer. Memorial Day will be here before you know it. Many of the recommendations we make shouldn’t be too expensive or time-intensive, but they can go a long way in attracting new and returning guests. Here are a few things you should consider to update your vacation rental.

 

Replace Your Old Television: People who are looking at vacation rentals in Brigantine and other parts of the Jersey Shore probably won’t be spending too much time in front of the TV during their stay, but an outdated television is a sure way to make your rental look old. A quality flat screen television won’t set you back too much, and it can be an easy way to modernize a room.

 

Schedule a Deep Cleaning of Your Home: While you can do it yourself, we recommend hiring a professional cleaning service to do a thorough and detailed cleaning of your vacation rental.

 

Replace Any Chipped Dishes and Glassware: If you have a lot of mismatched kitchenware or dishes that are chipped, it might be a good idea to take care of that. You don’t have to spend a fortune either. You can find deals on boxed sets of dishes online and in most big-box retail stores.

 

Switch Out Any Old Linens: Having soft linens that ensure quality sleep is an easy way to earn yourself a good vacation home review. Opt to replace any older linens and pillows for something higher quality that will last a long time and provide a good night’s sleep.

 

Put Life into Your Outdoor Furniture: Chances are your guests will spend a lot of time outside. You don’t have to replace your outdoor furniture to create an inviting outdoor atmosphere. However, you may have to do a thorough cleaning of the furniture and replace the cushions.

 

At Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty, we specialize in vacation rentals and homes for sale in Brigantine and other parts of the Jersey Shore. Contact our team today if you are interested in listing your vacation rental.

Warm Weather Home Staging Tips

Nice entryway to home with carpeted staircase, and white interio

 

Although summer has come and gone, we still have many weeks of warm and beautiful weather to come. That’s why we wanted to take a moment and discuss summer staging tips for the rest of this season or for next. It’s never too early to think about staging if you are going to sell your home in the next twelve months.

 

Why Stage?

 

Staging is an important part of the process to sell your home. Staging makes the property look more like a welcoming home, and it enables prospective buyers to develop an emotional connection and start conjuring ideas about how they would decorate. If they can see themselves in your home, they are more likely to put in a competitive offer.

 

So as the days are still relatively long and the weather is warm, your NJ realtor may offer you the following suggestions to stage a home that could lead to an offer:

 

Enhance your curb appeal: Whether we are talking about the beginning of spring or the end of summer, we would highly encourage you to clean up your yard and promote outdoor living. This could mean fixing up the lawn, planting a few colorful shrubs, or finally fixing that leaning fence. Curb appeal will go a long way to show prospective buyers that you took care of your home and your home is great for the outdoors.

 

Take advantage of natural light: As the days are still long, you’ll have ample opportunities to use natural light to stage your home. Your NJ realtor may recommend you position your furniture in a way to take full advantage of the light. Natural light makes the home feel larger and more vibrant. If you can, use light-colored window treatments to accentuate it even further.

 

Serve seasonal refreshments and treats: If you are having an open house, it’s always polite to serve refreshments and treats. It might be a good idea to look into providing seasonal and local items. As it’s the end of summer, apples, pumpkins, and squash will be fresh and abundant. A little added touch, like a seasonal recipe, may actually go a long way to make your home memorable and one that buyers will consider bidding on.

 

If you thinking about selling your home or want to invest in NJ real estate, our award-winning team of realtors can help. Contact us today to learn more!

 

Is Now a Good Time to Invest in a Beach House down the Shore?

Owning a house down the Jersey Shore is a dream many people in the Garden State and elsewhere share. Whether you fell in love with the Jersey Shore from yearly treks as a child or you discovered the Jersey Shore later in life, owning a home down the Shore is a dream that can be realized. But is now the right time to take the plunge and invest in a second home down the shore?

If you don’t follow “The Shore Report,” a quarterly publication we release to highlight what the Jersey Shore real estate market looks like, we would highly encourage you to do so. Each report consists of data on housing trends and comparative analysis. The goal is to help interested buyers and sellers learn where the market is going. If you had read the latest issue in May, you would discover the following about Jersey Shore houses for sale in these towns:

Brigantine: Brigantine has offered value to real estate investors for years, and it been one of the hottest markets of the Jersey Shore. Home prices are appreciating, providing investors with a good return.

Atlantic City: Although there have been economic troubles in the past that have caused real estate values in Atlantic City to go down, there has been a renewed interest in new building and renovation. Atlantic City property values should go up as more development and renovation occurs in the city.

Ventnor: Ventnor home owners should be very happy with the fact that home values are going up, making it a seller’s market for the first time in a very long time. There has been significant interest from investors in Ventnor as they see the value and potential in this South Jersey beach town.

Margate: Home values in the area are expected to go up as new construction homes and condos pop up everywhere in the town. Margate is a year-round town for many and offers a tight community spirit, providing ample opportunities for those who want to make the Jersey Shore a second home.

Longport: Longport should remain a top choice for luxury home buyers looking for a quiet, exclusive way of life down the Jersey Shore. Longport home values should remain constant for the foreseeable future.

Next month, we will be releasing a new Shore Report to highlight the latest news on the Jersey Shore real estate market. As investing in a Jersey Shore home is a very personalized decision, we would also encourage you to contact one of our agents today to discuss your options and see whether now is the right time to invest in a home down the Jersey Shore.

What Should You Know about the Two Newest Casinos in Atlantic City?

gambling, craps game

 

On June 28th, the Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City will open up, ushering new energy into the city’s Boardwalk. Although both casinos will be new, residents and visitors of A.C. will likely be familiar with their locations. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino stands in the same location as the former Trump Taj Mahal. The Ocean Resort Casino will take the place of the Revel casino, which was closed in 2014. Both casinos promise exciting world-class entertainment, a luxurious gaming experience, and premier restaurants and shops.

 

Some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment will be visiting Atlantic City this week. Carrie Underwood will be performing on Friday, June 29th, at the Hard Rock, and Pit Bull will follow the next day. Other acts that will be performing in the upcoming months will include Steve Byrne, Howie Mandel, Third Eye Blind, and Jon Lovitz. The Ocean Resort Casino will feature a wide variety of entertainment attractions over the opening weekend as well.

 

Additionally, there are a few cool things that both casinos will feature. For one, Topgolf will open a 26,000 square ft. simulated golf play facility at Ocean. Hyatt’s Exhale is going to have a 32,000 square ft. spa for guests who are looking for a relaxing time during their stay at the Ocean Resort Casino. Cereal Town will be an interesting dining option for guests at the Ocean Resort Casino as it will serve cereal 24 hours a day. Not to be outdone, the Hard Rock Atlantic City will feature over 20 restaurants, including an over 500 seat buffet.

 

Those who are looking at Atlantic City house rentals will find no shortage of things to do at these casinos and beyond. The opening of the Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort Casino will have other casinos stepping up their game as well to offer the best in entertainment, shopping, and game play. If you are considering visiting Atlantic City this summer and beyond, you will see that Atlantic City is going through a boom.

 

We encourage you to contact one of our real estate agents today to learn more about the many available Atlantic City house rentals and discover why Atlantic City will be a top destination for travelers of all kinds who are looking for amazing entertainment, a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean, and the top amenities you will only find down the Jersey Shore.

 

 

Getting Your Jersey Shore Rental Ready for Summer

woman doing chores cleaning bathroom at home

 

Can you believe that summer is here already? It seems like only yesterday we were talking about nor’easters and winterizing your home. Whether you’re interested in the nightlife in Atlantic City or the tranquil beaches of Brigantine, summer down the Jersey Shore is a special time of year. Each year, millions of people visit the Jersey Shore, and many will choose to book a week or weekend at one of the many Jersey Shore rentals available.

 

If you invested in Brigantine or Margate NJ real estate and are the owner of a vacation rental, you have probably already filled up most of the dates for the season already. Now that the booking is done, it’s time to get the rental in proper shape to accommodate your tenants. If the rental is dirty or needs repairs, this will reflect negatively on you and may hinder your income for future seasons. Luckily, most of the work can be quick and easy. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to make your rental ready for summer:

 

Inspect Your Air Conditioning Unit: Yes, if you are down the shore, you will benefit from those coastal winds. But it can get pretty hot in Atlantic City and other shore towns, which is why you should have your AC united tested if you haven’t done so already. Many times, a major issue can be prevented with a minor fix.

 

Hire a Professional Cleaning Service: Before you begin renting out your property to people, a major cleaning is a must. While you can clean it yourself if you so choose, it often makes more sense to spend the money and hire a professional cleaning service that can provide the deep cleaning needed. Contact a few in your area to find the best quote.

 

Make the Rental a Functional Home: While you don’t need to keep family pictures or personal items around, the rental should still look like a home. Make sure the rental is fully furnished and has all of the amenities necessary to enjoy oneself while down the Shore. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to update your linens and kitchen items if you notice they’re worn down or getting older.

 

If you would like more information, we would encourage you to check out this article published in NJ Monthly last month that goes over what vacationers should look for when choosing a rental. It may give you an idea of how you can present your property to meet your tenants’ needs. And if you are looking for a rental, we encourage you to check out all of our vacation rental listings here.