Category Archives: margate blogs

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.

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.

Tips for Buying Your First Beach House in Margate, New Jersey


For many people, their dream home sits on a pristine beach, somewhere just a short walk away from the water and with enough room to put two lawn chairs and an umbrella to read beneath. However, when buying a beach house, there are many things to consider that do not apply for homes further inland. With over 35 years of experience helping families purchase their dream homes, our knowledgeable agents know the most important considerations when buying near the water. Our goal at Soleil Sotheby’s is to find each client their dream home, so if your perfect house is beachside, please take into consideration these tips.

–         Sea Level

A home 30 ft from the water may sound like the most convenient option; however, high property taxes and flood damage may change your mind. Depending on your desired location, seasonal changes and flash floods should be taken into consideration when choosing your home.

–        Mudroom/ Outdoor Shower

An unavoidable occurrence when visiting the beach is that you take some of the beach back with you. If you are someone who doesn’t mind sand following you home, then a mud room or an outdoor shower is not a necessity. However, when it comes to cleaning a beach house you may find that these amenities make all the difference.

–        Extra Maintenance

Living by the ocean has plenty of pros, but saltwater can be a con when it comes to home maintenance. Salt water’s highly corrosive properties make repairing windows, outdoor furniture, and garden equipment a sometimes annual necessity. While you can take steps to protect your property from saltwater, this upkeep should be taken into account while viewing properties.

  • Location, Location, Location

Homes near public beaches can be a wonderful, less expensive option for those looking to save. But, if you are looking to relax with your family away from the crowds, private beaches are your best option. A good middle ground that is often overlooked, however, is the marina. Away from the crowds, less expensive than private beaches, a marina is a quiet spot for boat lovers and while keeping stunning ocean views.


Purchasing any home can be a stressful event; beach properties are not excluded from this. However, at Soleil Sotheby’s, our years of experience and specialization in beach towns such as Brigantine, Longport, and Margate, New Jersey, will give you peace of mind on your exciting journey of purchasing your dream beach house.