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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 Check the water pressure and ask if there is insulation on the pipes and the pipe material (certain outdated materials you’ll want to replace).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.

Yes, New Jersey Real Estate is Still Hot

Margate NJ Real Estate

For the past few years real estate prices in the New Jersey suburbs soared. They’re still high, but more and more people are moving to another part of the Garden State — the Jersey Shore.

In towns like Ocean City, for example, nearly 21% more people moved in than left compared to the previous year, reports Bloomberg, with prices increasing since last spring. The New Jersey coast has seen a shortage of available homes since last fall — and many of the buyers are looking at Margate NJ real estate for second homes.

And many are paying for the privilege, with homes going upwards of $80,000 over the asking price, says Cape May County-based real estate agent Dan Higman.

Some of the hottest real estate in New Jersey is close to the water. Barnegat Township in Ocean County is where two large buildings of active-adult communities are building 600 luxury homes.

Cheap interest rates and low inventory have driven double-digit price growth throughout New Jersey, with the peak of prices expected for summer 2022. In Montclair, homes regular are sold for $60,000 over the asking price.

New Jersey real estate prices have seen a steady increase of 12% in 2020 and 15% in 2021. Multiple offers are commonplace. In 2022, prices will still rise, buyer demand will be strong, and inventory will continue to be low, says New Jersey Realtors President Robert White.

Even the most expensive Jersey Shore homes are getting scooped up fast. Homes in the area are regularly priced at least at the $1 million mark. Those homes are usually gone in days.

Margate Real Estate

The Big Fall in Housing Stock

How low is real estate stock in New Jersey right now? In the spring of 2021, it was about half of what it was just a year prior. For example, in Randolph, there were nearly 150 homes listed in spring 2020. The following year there were 23.

The inventory level is being called unprecedented — and driving up the average home cost to over $500,000. The median sales price in January 2021 for a single-family New Jersey home was nearly $505,000, a 22% jump over 2020.

Single-family homes sold for about 100.2% of the listing price on average in 2021 and stayed on the market for just 44 days, a fall from 72 days the previous year. Closing and pending sales are also up 17% and 14%, respectively.

The Popularity of Shore Communities

Small New Jersey shore communities are driving much of the hot real estate market in the state, with many people escaping cities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts see that trend continuing through 2022, with people attracted to relatively cheaper homes, walkable downtowns, and more outdoor space. Cape May and the Highlands are in high demand, especially with communities featuring outdoor dining and shopping districts and welcoming beaches and boardwalks.

Something — or someone — else is driving the strong market as well: millennials. More younger people are deciding to buy rather than rent, since rental costs have also soared, and are taking advantage of the fact that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are averaging around 3%.

The numbers continue to speak for themselves. According to Zillow, home costs in Avalon were up 19% in 2021. And the average home value has jumped to $2.4 million so far in 2022.

How to Stage Your House for A Fast Sale

Soleil Sotheby's International Realty Sofa

According to a survey conducted by University Hospitals, moving is consistently listed as one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. From finishing repairs to updating appliances, it’s easy to see why homeowners feel overwhelmed while preparing their homes to be put on the market. Luckily, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty has helped sell thousands of homes since its foundation in 1999 and understands the ins and outs of the staging process.

When staging a home for sale, all homeowners should have in mind how best to present their home in a way that other buyers can envision themselves living there. Clutter is an excellent way to drive away potential buyers, as clutter can make a home feel small and unclean. As the majority of realtors will tell their clients, what attracts a buyer are three things:

–       Clean spaces

–       Large, open rooms

–       A relatively blank canvas

While the first two concepts are easy to understand, many families can find “a relatively blank canvas” confusing. To put it plainly, many buyers are looking for a home that presents them with ideas for layouts and furniture without feeling already owned and highly personal.

When homeowners begin preparing their home for staging, traditionally, their mind goes to cleaning, decluttering, and staging furniture. Although cleaning is an excellent first step, many homeowners forget that an essential aspect of cleaning is removing lingering smells. Families can often become smell-blind to their own homes and miss any lingering odors of mildew, animal waste, or cigarette smoke. Before putting a home on the market, homeowners are encouraged to walk through their home and check certain rooms like the basement, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom for smells that may need to be removed with a deep clean.

Once homeowners are satisfied with their house’s level of cleanliness and have staged the furniture to their liking, it’s time to schedule house tours and viewings. Before leaving the house in the capable hands of a realtor, homeowners should take a quick look through their home for leftover clutter, and most importantly, turn on all lights in the house. Several studies have found that a home appearing too dark can be a significant turnoff for viewers who would have placed a bid. For this reason, remember to open blinds and turn on lights for your home’s next viewing!

Our New Hobby

Since people are spending more time at home than ever before, baking has become quite a popular hobby, with homemade bread being one of the favorites. One of our agents, Mark Seubert, has perfected his sourdough recipe, and it definitely looks delicious! 

 

IMG_1489

 

 

Ingredients:

For the levain

  • 35 grams bread flour
  • 35 grams whole wheat flour
  • 35 grams mature starter
  • 70 grams filtered water

For the dough

  • 810 grams bread flour
  • 90 grams whole wheat flour
  • 680 grams filtered water (at 90℉)
  • 18 grams fine sea salt
  1. Mix levain ingredients and rest in a warm area (70-80℉) for 5 hours.
  2. One hour before your levain is done, mix together your bread flour and whole wheat flour. Add 580g of your water to the flour mixture (keeping 100g to the side for mixing later).
  3. Mix just until your dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm area (same as your starter) for 1 hour.
  4. Mix your dough and levain together using a little of your separated water to help incorporate it. Rest 20 minutes.
  5. Add your sea salt and the rest of your separated water and mix until incorporated. Slap and fold for 2-4 minutes or until your dough is smooth and begins to catch some air. Rest 15 minutes in the same warm area you placed your starter.
  6. Perform 6 sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 15 minutes for the first 3, then 30 minutes for the next 3. Make sure to place your dough back in the warm area for each rest.
  7. Let your dough rest for a remainder of 1.5 hours, for a grand total of 4 hours.
  8. Dump out and divide your dough into 2 even pieces. Preshape each piece into a light boule and rest 5-10 minutes.
  9. Shape your dough into 2 batards and place it into bannetons dusted with either rice flour or all-purpose flour.
  10. Chill in the fridge overnight.
  11. Preheat a cast iron combo cooker in your oven from cold to 500℉ for 1 hour.
  12. Carefully place a dusted loaf into the hot pan, score the top, place the larger lid on top, and bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Remove the top from the combo cooker and lower the oven temperature to 450℉. Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the loaf is a deep brown.
  14. Remove and cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Repeat with the other loaf.

 

Sample Schedule for Breadmaking

9am: Mix levain

1pm: Autolyse dough

2pm: Mix dough and levain

2:15pm: Mix in salt

2:30pm: Fold #1

2:45pm: Fold #2

3:00pm: Fold #3

3:30pm: Fold #4

4:00pm: Fold #5

4:30pm: Fold #6, rest for 1.5 hours

6pm: Shape dough and place in fridge overnight

Next morning: Preheat oven as guided and bake!

Peace Ride Challenge

Peace Ride Points Map
This weekend, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty is hosting the Peace Ride Challenge! We invite you to bike, run or walk this course. Be sure to post pictures and tag us so we can share!
START
Point 1 (Jefferson and Atlantic)
Run Straight down and find Point 2
Point 2 (Jerome and Atlantic)
Run back to find Point 3
Point 3 (Lancaster and Atlantic)
Run up to Winchester and make a Right run to Jerome to find Point 4
Point 4 (Jerome and Winchester)
Run back to Lancaster, left to Ventnor, and left to find Point 5
Point 5 (Ventnor and Jerome)
CONGRATULATIONS YOU COMPLETED Letter E
Run back to Lancaster and down to Atlantic to begin letter C by running to Pembroke make a Right towards Winchester to find Point 6
Point 6 (Pembroke and Winchester)
Run to Mansfield to find Point 7
Point 7
CONGRATULATIONS YOU COMPLETED Letter C
Run back to Pembroke and down to Atlantic to begin letter A by running to Quincy Ave and make right up to Winchester to find Point 8
Point 8 (Quincy and Winchester)
Run towards Thurlow to find Point 9
Point 9 (Thurlow and Winchester)
Run down to Ventnor and make a left to Quincy then run back to Thurlow and make a left down to Atlantic to find Point 10
Point 10 (Thurlow and Atlantic)
CONGRATULATIONS YOU COMPLETED Letter A
Run all the way to Benson and make a right all the way to Winchester to find Point 11
Point 11(Benson and Winchester)
Run to Union and back to Benson, make a left down to Ventnor, then left on Ventnor to Vendome to find Point 12
Point 12 (Vendome and Ventnor)
CONGRATULATIONS YOU COMPLETED Letter E
Run back to Benson down to Atlantic, make a right to Jefferson then make right all the way up to Winchester to find Point 13 (Jefferson and Winchester)
Point 13 (Jefferson and Winchester)
HOME STRETCH!
Run to Decatur make Rt and run to Ventnor, make right and run to the corner of Jefferson to find Point 14
Point 14 (Jefferson and Decatur)
FINISH LINE
Run straight down Ventnor to Jefferson to complete the word PEACE

Book Suggestions for Every Type of Reader

Fiction:

Contemporary Romance:

  • Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams
  • Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
  • Anything by Colleen Hoover 
  • Anything by Christina Lauren 
  • Anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid 
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Eevie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

 

Thriller/Mystery:

  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
  • The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
    The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

 

5 Picks from Reese’s Bookclub:

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owns
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG
  • The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes
  • Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

 

Non-Fiction:

  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff
  • I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  • Open Book by Jessica Simpson

 

Young Adult:

Cotemporary:

  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

 

Romance:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han
  • Hopeless Series by Colleen Hoover
  • Slammed Series by Colleen Hoover
  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

 

Health/Mental Health:

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

Mystery/Thriller

  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
  • One of Us Is Next by Karen McManus
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • This Lie will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

 

 

Goodreads List of 100 Biographies You Should Read in a Lifetime:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/85102.100_Biographies_Memoirs_to_Read_in_a_Lifetime_Readers_Picks

Goodreads List of “Books that everyone should read at least once”:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/264.Books_That_Everyone_Should_Read_At_Least_Once


Goodreads blog post “The Big Books of Spring 2020”:

https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1786-the-big-books-of-spring?content_type=all

 

Goodreads List of “Best YA realistic novels”:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/8460.Best_Young_Adult_Realistic_Novels

 

Goodreads List of “YA Dystopian Novels”:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2216.YA_Dystopia_Novels

 

Goodreads List of “Best Young Adult Books”:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/43.Best_Young_Adult_Books

Courtesy of On Our Shelf. Follow on Instagram for more recommendations! @_onourshelf

Open Houses – September 21st & 22nd

Open Houses - Sept 20 2019

 

Join us for some exceptional open houses this weekend. We have plenty of incredible homes to tour!

  1. 5 N. Douglas Avenue, Margate, NJ on Saturday from 9 am – 11 am & Sunday from 10 am – 1 pm
  2. 117 N. Adams Avenue, Margate, NJ on Saturday from 9:30 am – 11:30 am, 1 pm – 3 pm & Sunday from 11 am – 1 pm
  3. 3 N. Clarendon Avenue, Margate, NJ on Saturday from 10 am – 12 pm
  4. 107 N. Quincy Avenue, Margate, NJ on Saturday from 10 am – 12 pm & Sunday from 11 am – 1 pm
  5. 7600 Ventnor Avenue, Margate, NJ on Saturday 10 am – 12 pm & Sunday 10 am – 12 pm
  6. 14 S. Lafayette Avenue, Ventnor, NJ on Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm
  7. 22 S. Adams Avenue, Unit A, Margate, NJ on Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm
  8. 106 S. 16th Avenue, Longport, NJ on Saturday & Sunday from 11 am – 1 pm

Open Houses – August 3rd & 4th

Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty has some exceptional homes to tour this weekend. Come out and see these homes and let us know what you think!

Open Houses - Aug 3rd 2019 BLOG
1. 117 N. Adams Avenue, Margate, NJ – Saturday, Aug. 3rd from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
2. 14 S Lafayette Avenue, Ventnor, NJ – Saturday, Aug. 3rd from 11 am – 1 pm
3. 5 N. Douglas Avenue, Margate, NJ – Saturday, Aug. 3rd & Sunday, Aug. 4th from 10 am – 1 pm
4. 106 S. 16th Avenue, Longport, NJ – Saturday, Aug. 3rd & Sunday, Aug. 4th from 11 am – 1 pm
5. 17 S. Little Rock Avenue, Ventnor, NJ – Sunday, Aug. 4th from 10 am – 12 pm
6. 14 S. Fredericksburg Avenue, Margate, NJ – Sunday, Aug. 4th. from 11 am – 1 pm
7. 9200 Monmouth Avenue, Unit C, Margate NJ – Sunday, Aug. 4th from 1 pm – 3 pm

The Shore Report – Quarter 2

The Shore Report CoverThe Shore Report is part of our ongoing effort to become essential to our clients by providing access to information on the local real estate market. This report details the market trends as compared by both years and quarters. It puts a spotlight on local shore towns such as Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport.

Highlighting new auctions from Sotheby’s Auction House, including Original Film Posters and Royal Jewels, as well as a feature about the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casinos, which opened in July.

At Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty, we believe that to make the right decision, clients need to have all the information. We believe you deserve more.

To read the full report, click here.