New Listing – 29 Francisco Ave West Caldwell

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29 Francisco Ave W. Caldwell

Classic 3 bedroom brick, slate roof colonial in desirable Presidential Section. Located on a quiet street with Francisco Park on  one end and a cul-de-sac on the other. The classic center hall layout directs traffic left to the spacious living room with fireplace and built-in bookcases, right into the formal dining room, or back to the jalousied porch. Be sure to notice the beautiful wide-plank hardwood floors. The kitchen includes a walk-in pantry and connected breakfast room complete with a wall of built-ins. A wood paneled den and powder room complete the first floor. The second floor features a huge master bedroom with bath, 2 additional bedrooms and a full bath. Your updates can turn this special house into the home of your dreams!

To see this property call me today  @ 973-349-6731

For more information visit 29franciscoave.c21.com

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Top Tips and Decluttering Insights for Your Next Move

packing oneMoving can be emotional and the ways you manage it – including the downsizing of your possessions – may be influenced by your age, suggests a new study.

“From heirlooms to kitchen gadgets, moving is one of the few times in life when you’re forced to consider all your possessions and decide what goes and what stays,” says Pat Baehler, senior vice president, Mayflower Moving. “It can be a journey of ups and downs, from feeling brief guilt over purging gifts or older furniture, to pure joy in remembering the story behind a family heirloom and thinking of the memories you’ll soon make in your new home.”

Baby boomers (64 percent) and Generation Xers (60 percent) are more likely than millennials (53 percent) to put an heirloom in a safe place to pass along, according to the 2018 Mayflower Mover Insights Study, which explored different generations’ relationships with their belongings. However, millennials (17 percent) are more likely than Generation Xers (12 percent) and baby boomers (10 percent) to refurbish or repurpose an heirloom into something new.

The survey, conducted by Mayflower, which moves approximately 50,000 families annually, also explored how Americans feel about decluttering and purging unused items: 80 percent of survey respondents agree that clutter stresses them out, and half declutter their living space to feel more relaxed.

While such emotional stressors are often unavoidable during a move, the following tips from the experts at Mayflower can help you ease the logistical and financial burdens.

• Most people want to move on a Thursday or Friday, so if you can move earlier in the week there will likely be more availability. Likewise, it’s best to move in the early or middle part of the month, as well as to avoid summer — the busiest time for most moving companies.

• Prevent mishaps. Consider letting professionals pack breakable items.

• Help offset relocation costs by looking into programs such as CityPointe, provided by Mayflower, offering cash back on the sale and purchase price of your home.

• Of the millions of Americans that move annually, fraud occurs in as many as 3,000 cases. Don’t get scammed. Ask for a moving quote from three companies and don’t be hooked by the lowest price. If one estimate is much lower than the others, it could be a red-flag that the company isn’t legitimate. Generally, reputable moving companies will not require a deposit, so don’t pay up-front.

• Reduce energy spent packing and unpacking. While 57 percent of survey respondents say they’ll purge everything they don’t need before moving, only 44 percent have actually done this in the past. Luckily, there are both new and lucrative channels for doing so: 47 percent of Americans say they use some kind of online service, social site or app to help them declutter, 26 percent are considering selling unused items through a resale or consignment shop and 35 percent are considering selling unused items online, according to the Mayflower survey. For additional moving tips and tools, visit Mayflower.com.

Whether you’re a minimalist or a pack rat, smart strategies can mean a low-stress move.

(StatePoint Media)
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) SolisImages/stock.Adobe.com

Interest Rates are Rising: Should You Buy a Home or Wait?

(StatePoint) With heightened talk of rising interest rates, many prospective home buyers are understandably concerned about whether it’s the right time to purchase a home.

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Indeed, you may be wondering if you waited too long and let the historically low interest rates pass you by or if you can still find a dream home that fits within your current budget.

Experts say that it’s true that rates are at their highest in almost four years and that this year has been particularly rough, however, it’s not all bad news. Rates are still well below the levels seen 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

“Rates are still low by historical standards, helping make mortgage payments affordable for many, but your wallet might take a hit if rates continue to go up,” says Freddie Mac deputy chief economist, Len Kiefer.

How big will the hit be? Assume you buy a home with a 20 percent down payment, take out a $200,000 mortgage and are getting a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. At a 4.5 percent interest rate, your monthly payment would be $811 with total interest paid over the life of the loan being $131,851. With a 7.5 percent interest rate, your monthly payment would be $1,119 with a total interest paid of $242,748. With an 18 percent interest rate, your monthly payment skyrockets to $2,411 with a total interest paid of $708,081.

If rates jump a half percentage, you’ll pay a bit more each month, which isn’t ideal, but the added expense will unlikely be a deal-breaker. However, if rates jump to the levels they were in 1981 (an average of 18 percent), you can expect to pay a whopping $1,600 more per month, which may cause you to think twice about taking the plunge into home ownership.

To find out how much you’ll pay, check out Freddie Mac’s free Fixed-Rate Mortgage Calculator at calculators.freddiemac.com. For other free tools and resources, visit myhome.freddiemac.com.

Don’t let current rising interest rates prevent you from buying a home this year. Experts suggest that while rates have risen recently, historically speaking, it is still an overall great time to buy.

Are Common Myths Holding You Back from Buying a Home?

(StatePoint) Aspirations of home ownership is strong for America’s families, yet findings from the fifth annual America at Home survey from NeighborWorks America indicate several perceived barriers to home ownership among the majority of consumers.pexels-photo-106399.jpeg

Findings from the survey, which consisted of 1,000 U.S. adults and 500 millennials include many misconceptions about what it takes to buy a home:

  • The average millennial mistakenly thinks the minimum required down payment is 21.6 percent.
  • Approximately 73 percent of all consumers and 62 percent of millennials said they were not aware of or are unsure about down payment assistance programs in their communities for middle-income home buyers.
  • Seventy percent of adults feel they don’t have enough money saved for a down payment.

Experts believe that confusion about down payment requirements and lack of awareness about assistance programs are holding back many people from pursuing homeownership. “Before deciding if owning a home is right for you, take time to understand your down payment options, and separate myths from facts,” says Freddie Mac Vice President, Danny Gardner.

For example, the average down payment among first-time home buyers in 2016 was just 6 percent and, for repeat buyers, just 14 percent. What’s more, mortgage options, such as Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Mortgages, make it possible for qualified borrowers to put down as little as 3 percent.

If your down payment is less than 20 percent with a conventional loan, you’ll have to pay private mortgage insurance, an added insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. However, mortgage rates — despite their rise in recent years — remain at historic lows, providing you with a significant advantage.

There are also millions of dollars available for down payment assistance. A great place to start is right where you live. Many state, county, and city governments provide financial assistance for people in their communities who are well qualified and ready for home ownership.

To help demystify down payments and the home buying process, free tools and resources are available at myhome.freddiemac.com.

Don’t let misconceptions hold you back from pursuing home ownership. Check out the facts to learn how much home you can afford.

Is it time for you to make your move?  Email me at kim.fiore@century21.com  to get started.

How Much Home Can You Afford this Spring?

How Much Home Can You Afford this Spring?

Factors to Consider

house dream(StatePoint) The chicken or the egg? Which came first continues to fuel philosophical debates. But when it comes to buying a home, experts are pretty clear about the proper order of things — agreeing you should fit your mortgage to your finances, not to a house.

“Before you even start your search for a home this spring, it’s crucial to know how much you can afford to pay each month,” says Freddie Mac Senior Vice President, Christina Boyle, who stresses that there are a few important things to keep in mind as you calculate this figure.

Start by getting a handle on your finances. What do you earn? What do you spend? How much do you have in savings? Answering these questions will help you better understand how much home you can afford. Make a budget and use free online tools and calculators to determine how much you can afford.

Remember that your monthly expenses go beyond mortgage payments, so leave some room in your budget. Whether it’s a new roof or a leaking faucet, homeownership can mean unexpected expenses. Be prepared to pay for such items, as needed. General maintenance, combined with utilities (an expense that can vary by home depending on its size and other factors), are added expenses to consider. Some neighborhoods also have homeowners’ association fees to cover the cost of upkeep of common spaces.

Your lifestyle can also help you assess whether a particular home is right for you and your budget. Location is key in determining what you can afford. Some points to consider are whether you want to live in a suburban or urban setting, whether you need to be near specific schools and public transportation, and the potential length of your commute. These factors can affect the cost of a home and you should determine your priorities in advance of home and mortgage hunting.

Remember, getting pre–approved can help you act fast and make a confident offer, so talk to your lender now before you start shopping.

A full rundown on all things home buying, including free tools and resources, is available at myhome.freddiemac.com.

This spring, be sure to prepare yourself for the home buying experience by being well-informed and aware of what you can afford.

Is it time for you to make your move?  Email me at kim.fiore@century21.com  to get started.

How to Find the Right Home Mortgage So You Don’t Overpay

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(StatePoint) Ample bedrooms and bathrooms? Check. A roomy kitchen? Check. A nice-sized backyard, storage space in the attic and just the right amount of curb appeal? Check, check and check.

Once you’ve found your perfect home, the next step is finding the right mortgage — which can sometimes feel like you’re competing in a contact sport, being blindsided by confusing requests or financial surprises as you go through the application process.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 63.7 percent of Americans own their home. But getting there wasn’t necessarily easy. A 2017 NerdWallet survey reports that 42 percent of homeowners felt the home-buying process was stressful, a third said it was complicated, and 21 percent found it intimidating.

To help make you a mortgage all-star, Ally Home has created “The Mortgage Playbook,” a free, easy-to-read resource. Authored by members of the Ally Home Team, a dedicated group of loan experts, the “Playbook” features four sections that cover the entire field — from a getting-started game plan to approval and closing on a mortgage. It also breaks down confusing financial terms, helping applicants avoid pain during the home buying process.

To help you prepare for your mortgage game day, here are three top tips from the experts at Ally:

• Maximize your financial fitness. There are five steps consumers should take to improve their “financial fitness” before applying for a mortgage. These include demonstrating stable employment, managing debt, paying down credit accounts, accumulating assets like savings or retirement accounts to boost credit histories, and reviewing (and correcting, if necessary) your credit reports.

• Know your numbers. Borrowers can take advantage of free online tools, such as the Affordability Calculator available at Ally.com, to determine how much house they can afford. Using two pieces of data — monthly income and monthly debt — a borrower can quickly calculate their debt-to-income ratio. In most instances, this ratio should not exceed 43 percent, meaning your monthly mortgage payment and other debt obligations (car loan, school loan, credit card payments) should not comprise more than 43 percent of your gross monthly income.

• Know what type of mortgage is best for you. One of the biggest decisions borrowers make is whether to get a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. When interest rates are low, a fixed-rate mortgage may be the better option. But if interest rates are higher, an adjustable rate mortgage could make sense because its lower initial rate means lower monthly payments for a specific time period (usually five, seven or 10 years) before the rate could change.

For more valuable tips, visit ally.com/docs/bank/ally-home-playbook to download the complete “Mortgage Playbook.” This free resource was created by Ally Home, whose mortgage products are offered by Ally Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

Just like you wouldn’t hit the field without training and preparation, don’t head into the home buying process without the right knowledge. Leverage free resources that can help you be prepared.

 

6 Home Decor Trends to Make a Style Statement

 

Picture1(StatePoint) Is your home decor starting to feel a bit stale? Spruce up your interiors with some of the hottest home design trends for 2018 — from customized cozy to natural textures to retro touches.

Here are some stylish ways to incorporate new trends, from one of the nation’s most sought-after celebrity interior designers, Taniya Nayak.

1. Create an Oasis: Make your home a tropical escape all year long. Add floral or banana leaf accents to form a staycation-worthy “at-home paradise” no matter the temperature. Nayak suggests pairing pops of metallic gold with plush greens and crisp white to build a look that is sophisticated, yet fun and exotic.

2. Keep it Simple: In 2018, Nayak encourages DIYers to “go big or go home…in the simplest way imaginable.” An easy way to accomplish this is to paint your baseboards, trim or window mullions a dramatic contrasting color, like black against a white wall, for an effortless, yet powerful effect. And when it comes to achieving clean, sharp paint lines, one of Nayak’s vital, go-to tools is a premium painter’s tape, like FrogTape brand painter’s tape that delivers the sharpest paint lines possible. Treated with patented PaintBlock Technology, FrogTape is a fool-proof way to get professional-looking results and eliminate the need for touch-ups.

3. Incorporate Natural Touches: This trend is all about nature’s textures — think wood grain, geodes or ocean waves. One way to incorporate this look is to combine earthy tones like browns, beiges and deep blues with vibrant neon colors to generate the effect of the northern lights around the home.

4. Get Back to the Future: Give what’s old a modern, futuristic update to achieve this trend. Try painting a vintage chair with a pop of color, like the Sherwin-Williams 2018 color of the year, Oceanside, a combination of rich blue with jewel-toned green. This creates an eye-catching masterpiece that seamlessly integrates into both retro and modern home decor. Introducing bright colors to antiques produces a beautiful new spin on a classic look.

5. Design it with Love: What’s “in” in home design this year? Creating warm and cozy spaces that are customized just for you. This is the true essence of DIY. Painting an accent wall in a pastel color, like lavender, will set a relaxed and comforting tone in the room. From there, add personal pieces like a soft woven blanket, a macramé wall hanging or ivory plates on a wall to transform any room to “your” room.

6. Embrace New England Prep: This style embraces the timeless combination of crisp white linens and navy blues, but what really gives a room an authentic New England vibe is the addition of camel-colored leather decor accents. Nayak recommends adding monogrammed pillows to a leather accent chair, or whitewashing your brick fireplace to create a look that never goes out of style.

Visit FrogTape.com for more trend information and inspiration.

Get started on your home projects now so you can enjoy your refreshed decor all year long.

3 Mini-Makeover Ideas to Refresh a Room

(StatePoint) Looking to bring new energy to a space? Hoping to update that outdated décor?  These easy tips can help you revitalize any space in your home with minimal time and effort — utilizing color, accessories, accents and more.ab8e9dae

A New Color Scheme

Looking at the same wall color day after day can be uninspiring. Consider a new color scheme to change the dynamic of your space. Blue hues are shown to create a calming, tranquil effect, making them the perfect choice for a baby’s nursery or spa-like bathroom.

Pastels are also a fun way to stimulate the same soft, calming effect of blue, and their less saturated nature creates a unique twist.

Color is also a great way to explore new looks. Both coastal and farmhouse styles are easy to accomplish through a neutral color palette, giving you plenty of opportunities to incorporate your unique style accents.

Find a Focal Point

When choosing a design aesthetic, many find inspiration from an accessory, like a piece of artwork or textile. However, highly functional objects that feature great design can also serve as your muse. One such example is a ceiling fan. Its elevated, and often central location, can serve as a stylish focal point, while enhancing comfort.

Whether you decide to incorporate a fan that blends into the existing style or opt for a statement piece, the addition can help put a new spin on your room. Consider stylish, yet timeless options, such as the Hepburn from Hunter Fan Company. Its mid-century, modern flair is complemented by light and airy colors, combined with a brass finish.

Accessories and Accents

Revamp a tired space with new and inexpensive accessories. A new duvet cover, vibrant pillows, or a statement floor rug can help to refresh a room without a high price tag. Adding in mixed metal items can add texture to an otherwise boring countertop, while positioning items in groups of threes can create a visually pleasing setup.

Go shopping in your own home. You can also switch things up by using objects from around the house, to make a space new again. Decorating a built-in bookshelf with jars, candles, pottery and those favorite items you just can’t find the right place for, can make your room feel new without having to purchase anything at all.

More design tips and inspiration can be found at hunterfan.com/inspiration.

Updating a room doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take months to complete. Mini-makeovers that focus on smaller details can make all the difference.

 

5 Easy Ways to Update Your Home Office for Greater Productivity

c32d42d0(StatePoint) If you work from home, you likely spend a lot of time in your home office, which makes it’s design just as important as the rest of your home. If it’s not up to par, it’s time to bring new life to the space.

A few easy updates will help you feel more comfortable and inspire you towards greater productivity.

1. Let in light. Update your window treatment to maximize natural light and get more direct sunshine, and swap out drab lamps for eye-catching fixtures that offer brighter light. Make sure your office is a well-lit place where you can see what you’re doing without straining your eyes.

2. Update your tools. Having up-to-date tools makes working in your home office that much more efficient and enjoyable. Swap out older tech with newer tools offering the latest advancements, such as Casio’s HR-170RC next generation compact printing calculator. It has a host of features, including two-color printing (red/black), a tax calculation function, a clock/calendar and a power adapter.

3. Decorate. Ditch the bare walls and add an interesting focal point — whether it’s a tapestry, cool shelving or an art print that matches your interests and inspires you creatively.

4. Go green. It is said that certain plants and flowers can promote health at home. Add some plants or fresh cut flowers to your home office to reap the benefits.

5. Get organized. Flight clutter and make important items and documents easier to locate with organizational tools like filing cabinets, folders and bins. A clean and tidy work zone will help you to feel more on top of your work, and may encourage you to form other great habits.

5 Rules for a More Organized Home in the New Year

(StatePoint) After the hectic holidays, it’s no surprise that many people commit to getting better organized in the new year. eb166683

There are plenty of reasons why people obsess over organization and resolve to master it year after year. Household items become easier to find. Rooms all of a sudden seem bigger and more welcoming. Each walk past a tidy linen closet — where there was once an avalanche waiting to spill forward — comes with a small sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re after smarter storage or looking to cut clutter, successful resolutions begin with a thoughtful approach.

 

Think Small

While it’s fun to dream about a large-scale routine reset, smaller sustainable actions are key to lasting change. Take it one room or even one drawer at a time to keep momentum positive and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Doing so also allows you to focus, leading to more creative solutions for taking advantage of under-utilized areas. For example, you may find using over-the door organizers a great way to free up space in home offices and craft rooms.

Say “No” to Clutter

Everyone has items they keep around for no real reason that aren’t particularly meaningful and don’t serve a purpose. Being able to objectively identify these items makes everything easier.

Paring down possessions doesn’t have to be painful. That cardinal shaped cookie jar that you’ve always been on the fence about? It would make an incredibly thoughtful “just because” gift for an ornithology-obsessed aunt. Often, less can literally be more: Consignment shops and eBay make it easy to turn four or five pieces of furniture you “kind of like” into one piece you absolutely love.

Store Décor Wisely

Everyone loves holiday decorating. Taking down decorations afterward… not so much. It’s difficult to preserve items in a haphazard collection of cardboard boxes, plastic bags and mismatched bins, all crammed into the corner of a garage or basement. Stepping up storage containers can make a big difference. For a wide selection of storage solutions specifically designed for holiday décor, check out Improvements, which offers everything from ornament and gift wrap organizers to wreath and garland storage bags.

Keep a Place for Everything

Nobody likes wasting time gathering or searching. Make storage more convenient and efficient by streamlining. Items frequently used together should be kept together, from coffee supplies to vehicle maintenance tools.

Make a Plan

Create a schedule so nothing is overlooked. Knowing which project is next gives you time to prepare and purchase any storage items you might need. When scheduling, designate specific rooms and spaces for certain seasons. For example, the first warm days of spring are made for cleaning out the shed or garage.

More organizational inspiration can be found by visiting improvementscatalog.com.

Successful resolutions are essentially new habits that become part of a lifestyle. Deliberately choosing to incorporate small acts of organization on a daily basis will pay off tremendously throughout the year.