8 Important Ways Homeowners Benefit From Using Real Estate Agents

Whether, you are a homeowner, who has decided, it’s time to sell his house, and relocate, or a potential buyer, seeking for the so – called, home of your dreams (the American Dream of home ownership), you will have the choice, of either, doing so, on your own, or using the services of, and being represented by a quality, experienced, professional, real estate agent. Some believe they will get a better deal, when they do so, on their own, because, there will be no, or fewer commissions. However, according to the National Association of Realtors, or NAR, homeowners, generally, net more, even after considering these, than those who do so, alone. Buyers also benefit because the right agent, has the local knowledge, to properly provide you, with relevant, professionally prepared, Competitive Market Analysis (or CMA), so you have a better idea of market value and the competition. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, examine, review, consider, and discuss, 8 important reasons, homeowners benefit from using the right real estate agents, for their specific needs, and situation.

1. Local knowledge: Although markets, and times, change, in the vast number of circumstances, you will get your best offers, in the first few weeks, after it’s listed on the market. Therefore, pricing it right, from the start, often makes the difference, in a significant, major way!

2. Marketing expertise: The right agent, will create a customized, personal marketing plan, which addresses your specific residence and property, location, etc, as well as your priorities, needs, etc. There is no, one – size – fits – all, marketing process, so using a quality real estate professional, often makes a significant difference.

3. Agent’s network: Those who try to sell their house, on their own, often discover, they fail to attract as many potential buyers, as those using a professional. This is referred to, as an agent’s network, which includes the important tool, of listing the property, on the Multiple Listing Service, etc.

4. Hold client’s hand: The process of selling one’s house, is often, a stressful one, so using a professional, who has been through it before, and has a better idea of what to expect and anticipation, eases many of these stresses. Seek someone who patiently, is willing to, hold your hand, through the entire process.

5. Explanations/ expectations/ modifications: Rather than assuming or guessing, wouldn’t it help, to have clear explanations? Many homeowners have excessive or wrong expectations, and the individual, who represents you, must have the inner strength, to explain fully, his reasoning, and strategies. In addition, modifications, in terms of marketing, strategies, and pricing, are necessary, and someone with more experience and expertise, is far better positioned to guide you properly.

6. Convenience: Do you want to have to stick around the house, to show, the property, or wouldn’t it make sense, to hire someone, to do so, professionally? Open – houses, are only a small component in the overall strategy!

7. Negotiating: Professionally negotiating, on your behalf, benefits the client! Wouldn’t a professional, do a better job, in most cases?

8. From transaction stage, through closing: Hire someone who will be there for you, from the initial listing stages, showings, marketing, service, to the transaction stage, and then, until the closing, and house transfer is completed!

These are only 8 of the advantages of hiring the right person to represent your real estate needs. Focus on your needs, interview several, and choose, the right agent, for you!

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4 Health and Safety Policies for Care Homes Every Employee Must Know

Caring for people in need is a noble duty that care homes are performing from a long time. It is a sector that encourages well-being of one and all. A care home comprises of people like owner, manager, staff and the people residing within that environment. A care home may be of various kinds – residential care, nursing care or dementia care and one for the older adults. Each requires a different health and safety policy for care homes with specific requirements.

It is a kind of health program that excels in providing a resource for concerned personnel inside the care home setting. The main implications it includes are-

  • Legal duties

Out of the various laws that govern health and safety regulations in a workplace, the most applicable ones are-

  • Health and safety at work act 1974
  • Common law
  • Reporting of injuries diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations
  • Control of substances hazardous to health
  • Management of health and safety at work regulations 1999

The above acts enable employers to perform their duties of ensuring a safe and secure working environment. It involves all the diseases caused by biological perils, drug exposures, bloodborne pathogens, respiratory complications along with workplace violence.

  • Facilities

The policy also encloses the various healthcare facilities that an organization issues to its employees in adequate quantity. The welfare arrangements also include safe handling and proper storage of potentially hazardous substances.

  • Training

Another most important part of a policy is providing information training with specific guidelines to employees under expert supervision. The training also acknowledges employees‘ efforts by certifying them with liability insurance.

  • Guidelines

The set of rules that are sketched for an employee also make him realize his duties to take reasonable care of each other’s health. Also, the basic guidelines that one needs to follow while working in a care home are-

  • Be attentive

While inside a care home, one needs to dedicate one’s full attention to providing a danger-free environment. One small or normal careless attitude like rugs or slippery surfaces can cost as one huge mistake to both caretakers and residents.

Also, mind the pets and make sure they are at safer distances from any ill person as their presence can make the conditions severe. It has been reported that half of the in-house accidents occur due to silly mistakes and carelessness. Hence, all the employees should take notes on how to organize the environment with proper safety.

  • Emergency services

The care providers also need to have complete knowledge about the contact details of nearby emergency help providers like police, fire or ambulance. They must be aware of the safety profile of the neighbourhood and should stay alert while witnessing any suspicious activity in the immediate location.

  • Documentation

Recording the history of each person’s medical issues is also one of the major characteristics of a health and safety policy. A caretaker should also be in his finest health to able to ensure welfare to other people, and if not so, he or she is certainly not liable for this duty.

  • Safety Tools

A caretaker also needs to be well aware of how the safety tools function and ways to operate them. A very common notion about healthcare sectors is that they have the maximum rates of work-related injuries and illnesses. Hence, each worker should be aware of how to handle the critical conditions without losing his composure.

A caretaker working in a care home for elderly often complain of back pain as he constantly needs to lift and move older people. This results in muscular as well as skeletal hazards along with other stress-inducing factors.

The healthcare and social welfare industry draws huge benefits from the safety policies and has prime necessity in each sector. Hence, knowing about the implications that an employee has to dedicate his assistance to will make him realize his duties and responsibilities in a refurnished way.

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Private Schools Around Wentworth Estate in Surrey

The Wentworth Estate village (in Virginia Water, Surrey) is one of the most exclusive residential areas in the world. It is the home of millionaires as well as one of the world renowed golf courses that shares its name: the Wentworth Golf Club.

With such exclusive residents of the Wentworth Estate or the remaining areas of Virginia Water, there is no shortage of private schools around the area. Here are some of the good private schools nearby:

Papplewick is as a prep school for 200 boys aged 6 to 13. By setting the bar high, Papplewick boys gain entry to the top UK senior schools including Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Wellington, Charterhouse, and Stowe.

St Mary’s Schools is a leading Roman Catholic boarding school for girls aged between 11 and 18 years set in 55 acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of Berkshire. They are a friendly, stable and caring community, proud of our academic and extra-curricular achievements and dedicated to bringing out the full potential of each of our 380 pupils.

Gordons School is listed as one of Britain’s outstanding schools by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Gordon’s is a unique non-selective state boarding school that recognises that a good education is not just about outstanding examination results but a thorough preparation for life. Gordons is one of Britain’s most academically successful state schools.

Heathfield is a leading, all-boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 years old. The school is set in 36 acres of magnificent grounds, and conveniently situated in Ascot. The school is fully equipped with all the teaching, sporting and leisure facilities required to make education a challenging and positive experience.

The Marist The establishment of a boarding and day school in the Berkshire village of Sunninghill by the Marist Sisters was a direct result of the German air offensive against London in the early 1940s. Today the Marist Schools are independent Catholic day schools for girls aged 2½ to 11 and 11 to 18 years. Both schools are situated within 55 acres of woodland on one site.

Hall Grove The school occupies a unique site, with lots of open space, parkland and woodland. The school started with just 6 pupils. The property was in near derelict condition and had been empty for over two years. Today, it is a vibrant, happy community of over 400 boys and girls with an outstanding reputation for academic, musical and sporting success.

Coworth Flexlands is a preparatory day school and nursery set in 13 acres of countryside on the Surrey and Berkshire borders near Chobham. They provide places for 160 girls with boys being accepted into the nursery between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

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Tips On Purchasing A Vespa: A First-Time Buyer’s Guide

Vespa is a popular Italian scooter brand that was introduced to the market over 66 years ago. Today, it is one of Europe’s most popular two-wheeled vehicles. And Piaggio, its manufacturer, is hailed as one of the world’s largest motorcycle companies in terms of unit sales. It’s not that difficult to distinguish this product from other counterparts because of its unique features. Vespa scooters are actually quite known for their colourful and pressed steel unibody, flat floorboard and a prominent front fairing. They are more comfortable and convenient to ride. And they provide better protection than most motorcycle models. They wouldn’t be one of the fastest selling scooters for no reason. So if you are convinced that owning one is the best move for you, here are some tips you might want to refer to when buying your first Vespa.

If you have never ridden a scooter before, it is highly recommended that you get a 50cc model during your first purchase. It is considered the beginner bile and it will help you learn how to balance yourself, glide, take corners and keep yourself stable when you are riding. When you are confident enough, you can move on to 150cc or 250cc models which offer more power and speed.

Shop around for a scooter dealer that offers you the best price on a Vespa scooter. They usually retail below $2,000. So anything near $1,500 can be considered a good deal. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the payment terms as well as the services that go along with the acquisition. Merchants would be more than happy to oblige you with your requests in exchange for a sale.

Don’t forget to inspect the product before you take it home. Take it for a test drive too. If you are planning to buy a Vespa online, you have to make sure you get a great warrant and money-back guarantee so you can exchange your product if it is not up to standards. Don’t go for retailers who do not cover frater damages because that would just increase the risk of ending up with a subpar merchandize. Now, before you sign release forms from the logistics company, look over the scooter carefully for any bends, scratches, chips, and ripples; and then, check the engine if it is working. It would be great if you have a mechanic on standby for professional advice. But if you don’t, at least you have warranty to rely on.

Finally, for sound resources and advice, reach out the communities. They should be experienced enough to provide you with the insight you need for satisfying transaction. Ask them for scooter dealer suggestions as well as model and service endorsements on top of safety precautions and driving tips.

There’s really not that much to buying a Vespa. The process is pretty much the same as in ordering every day commodities. Perhaps, what makes it a bit more complicated is the amount of money involved. And it makes perfect sense if you are a bit concerned about the investment. But with the aforementioned guidelines, you will do just fine at it. Now, if you are still unconvinced, postpone the purchase and do a little more research on the matter.

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Choose a Best Home Which Fits on Your Budget

Buying your first home is the most exciting and pleasing experience but this happiness turns into disaster if you fail to deal matters properly. The whole process may complicate for the first timer or people who don’t understand these matters. Better to hire a well reputable real estate agent who has deep knowledge about your concern area. If you spent more amount than your estimated cost you might get into trouble. Finding the perfect home that totally fits in your budget is the most important thing in home buying process.

Start your research about what kind of home you want and what is your budget limit and most important find out which communities are offering such homes. New Jersey is the 4th largest state of US and on of the most demanding place to live in. the state has more opportunities for every age group. People wants to live here and desire to start a family in their new home. Large numbers of home communities are in service of people offering different home designs and styles at different prices. But everyone loves to build their dream home at dream location with all the modern facilities of life. For our customers‘ convenience and ease we narrow down your list by introducing you best home communities in NJ with affordable home prices, fits right in your budget.

Choose best home that fits in your budget in finest communities of NJ. Our recommended communities are located at premium locations with thoughtful design and excellent building. One of our favorite communities in Burlington County, NJ is situated at peaceful Chesterfield, which is also voted as number one Best Place to Live in Burlington County. Traditions at Chesterfield, a beautiful and well develop community has everything that is in wish list of home buyers. This community is designed by professionals with number of exquisite homes, ranging from Single Family Homes to Luxury Garden Homes and Carriage Collection of Townhomes.

Due to its immense popularity in short period of time all the townhomes at this community is already sold out! The most important reason behind this popularity is reasonable prices as compared to the market. Traditions at Chesterfield build worth watching homes at county’s most demanding location, near to the New York and Philadelphia City. The community has easy access to all the major highways.
Residents can enjoy The Shoppes at Old York Village within walking distance of your new home. The community is planned as Smart Growth and make sure there will be guarantee preservation of land.

Traditions at Chesterfield offer variety of home designs to choose from according to your family requirements and needs. Either chooses from our single family classics or from our luxury garden homes. Choice is unlimited! We bestow nine splendid single family homes and three beautiful garden homes. Let’s have a look at our single family homes first and choose that fits in your budget.

The HAMPTON is available on priced from $400,990. This floor plan offers 2,013 square ft. Of living space with an open living layout. The wonderful home offers three bedrooms, two and a half bath, a full 9′ basement and two car garages. The Hampton home design features spacious kitchen with breakfast nook that flows beautifully into a family room and dining room. Other protuberant features include a full size laundry room and an option of bath in the basement.

THE RICHMOND is priced from $464,990. This floor plan offers 2,601 square ft. of living space with four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Two car garages, full size laundry room, gigantic kitchen with breakfast nook, full size 9′ basement and spectacular two story foyer are highlights of The Richmond home design.

THE ARLINGTON is a home design offers abundant 2,600 square ft. of living space. It has four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and two car garages. It is priced from $457,990. Arlington also features full 9’basement, an expensive laundry room, a gas fireplace and master suite with separate his and her vanities.

THE ROANOKE is an impressive home design featuring 2,998 square ft. of living space with four bedrooms with loft, two and a half bathrooms. Other highlights include splendid two story family room with gas fireplace, an oversized two car garage, custom master suite, impressive two story foyer and kitchen with breakfast nook.

THE SHENANDOAH home design is priced from $492,990. It features 3,205 square ft. of luxurious living space with four bedrooms, two and a half baths and two car garages. Other eminent features include first floor den, custom master bath with his and her vanities and dramatic oversized family room where you can spend quality time with your family and love ones.

THE WILLIAMSBURG is spectacular home priced from $502,990. The Williamsburg offer four bedrooms, two and a half baths and two car garages built on 3,549 square ft. of an abundant living space. Other highlighted features of this home design include den, first floor laundry room, full 9′ basement, lovely porch and exquisite master suite with sitting area.

THE FREDERICKSBURG is most demanding home design with 3,654 square ft. of luxury living space. The beautiful home offers four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms and two car garages. The home begins with the lovely porch and long foyer connects to the entire first floor. A full size 9′ basement and large laundry room is part of this home. Other highlights include first floor den, loft, sitting room with master bedroom and huge walk-in closets. You can get this amazing home from $543,990.

THE ALEXANDRIA is priced from $472,990. A perfect home design features 2,982 square ft. of spacious living space with four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and two car garages. a full nine-foot basement, large family room with gas fireplace, full size laundry room, oversized kitchen and corner soaking tub in master bath are highlights of The Alexandria home design.

THE HOPEWELL home features 2,400 square ft. of ideal living space with 3 bedrooms with loft, 2.5 bathrooms and 2 car garages. A full size basement is also part of this floor plan. You can get this spectacular home at price starting from $440,990.

From these amazing homes you can choose that fits in your budget and meet your family demands and needs. For further details you can contact us at any convenient hour. We are open daily from 10am to 5pm.

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Choosing How to Search for Condos for Sale Makes a Big Difference on What Is Found

When someone is buying any kind of real estate, they are going to want to make sure that they have a good selection to pick from. Nobody is going to want to buy the very first piece of property that they come across. Searching for condos for sale is no different than searching for any other kind of real estate other than the location.

A realtor is able to show buyers the ones that are listed for sale. They may be looking for ones in a certain area. The only difference with condos is that they may not be built yet when they are being sold.

There are many companies that are selling them before they are built. The buyer is able to customize some of the features that these have. There are a lot of different types of things that can vary from one condo to another.

The general design is going to stay the same though. This is something that includes the actual layout of the condo. As far as paint colors, flooring and appliances, these can be chosen by the person that purchases that condo.

This can affect the price of them, but they will have what they want to have instead of settling for something that someone else designed for them. They will have a brand new place to live and be the first ones to live there too. This can be exciting to a lot of people.

There are many different choices that people will choose when they are buying a condo. The size of them are going to be very important too. They have many different things that need to be perfect for the buyer.

The location is another thing that people have to consider. They need to have a lot of different choices for every one of them. There are many different opportunities that are in each neighborhood, but many times, the location is chosen because of the employment that a person has.

There are a lot of these condos that have heated parking garages and more also. This is something that can be very beneficial in some areas. The garbage removal is also an added benefit to living in these communities.

Every place is going to offer something different for the tenants. The landscaping that is done can be enjoyed by everyone that lives there too. The grounds are maintained by the facilities too.

There are several other things that can be enjoyed by everyone too. Some of them will have shared pools and other activities. The location will determine how much they have in each of the communities.

When someone is choosing which condos that they want to look at, they will often choose ones that offer the most convenience for them as well as the most amenities that they can take advantage of. They will also look at the location as a benefit or not. There are a lot of things that are important to people when they are searching for a place to live.

Everybody has a different preference of what they like to have the best. They have many different things that are going to be beneficial to living in one of these communities, but also have many things that may make a person feel constricted on what they can and cannot do. Everybody has something different that they like and want to have in their living arrangements.

There are many different sizes and types of condos for sale all around the world. Finding the best suited one for the person that will be buying is going to be a task though. There are a lot of options that are available, but not everyone likes all of those features.

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History of Real Estate Agency Relationships

In the beginning, real estate brokers were known as middlemen and optioneers. Back then, the customary practice was for a middleman to know about a property for sale, but to keep it secret from other middlemen. It was difficult for these middleman to collect a fee for their services so they would resort to tactics that were not always in their seller’s best interest. Optioneers, on the other hand, were usually more successful in collecting their fees because they would tie up the seller’s property on an option to purchase, sell the property to a buyer at a price over the option amount, pay the seller the option price, and then pocket the rest.

The early real estate brokerage business was loosely organized and used methods of brokering that were often dishonest, subject to fraud, and that took advantage of sellers and buyers. Eventually, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and owing a fiduciary duty to the seller and receiving payment for his services was developed. This new concept forced the seller and broker relationship to a higher level of service and duty. It also allowed brokers to list property for sale using contracts. These contracts are what we now refer to listings. The earlier forms of listings we called open listings. The open listing is a type of non exclusive listing contract authorizing a real estate broker to offer a property for sale, find a buyer and get paid for services upon the closing of that transaction.

Other brokers could also have open listings for the same property, but only the broker who actually found the buyer would receive a commission. In addition, no broker would get paid a fee if the seller sold the property. The open listing discouraged cooperation between brokers, since each broker could obtain their own open listing. To solve the open listing problem, the exclusive agency listing became popular.

The exclusive agency listing is a type of listing contract wherein the seller offers only the listing brokerage compensation if the buyer is procured through the brokerage’s efforts or the efforts of other real estate brokerages. This means that in certain situations, such as For Sale by Owner, the listing brokerage may not receive compensation when the property is sold. In the exclusive agency listing, the listing brokerage or another brokerage working with the listing brokerage must procure the buyer in order to have a claim on compensation.

The exclusive agency listing encourages competing brokers to find buyers for listing, since the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage’s fee. However, the seller still does not pay a fee when a seller finds the buyer. The exclusive agency listing eventually gave rise to the exclusive right to sell listing.

The exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing brokerage is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the buyer. The exclusive right to sell listing guarantees that the listing broker will get paid a fee, even if a competing broker or the seller sells property. It provides the most protection for the listing broker and is considered in the best interest of the seller because the listing brokerage will put effort and resources into marketing the property, since a commission is guaranteed during the term of the agreement.

Even after the exclusive right to sell listing became popular, there was little cooperation between brokerages, since a buyer who wanted to buy a specific property would have to deal with the broker who had exclusive listings of interest. It was also quite clear to all parties in that the broker represented the seller and that the buyer had no representation.

By the 1950s there was pressure for more cooperation between brokerages. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokerages to to learn of their inventory and possible matches for their clients. Deals often resulted where the selling agent did not know the seller or their agent and the selling agent’s only dealings were with the buyer. Suddenly, the concept that the selling brokerage owed its fiduciary duty to only the seller was no longer a neat and logical concept. However, it would take many years before the unworkable agency concepts would be sorted out and lead to buyer representation.

As the 1950s and 1960s progressed, a more formalized cooperative brokerage system, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), was developed. Through the MLS, the concept of subagency evolved. Simply stated, this meant the listing broker was the agent of and represented only the seller. The listing brokerage would hire sales associates who were considered subagents of the seller. The listing MLS brokerage was required to make the listing available to all cooperating brokerage within their MLS. These cooperating brokerages were also deemed subagents of the listing brokerage, who were agents of the seller. If the cooperating brokerage had sales associates, they were subagents of the cooperating brokerage, who were subagents of the listing brokerage, who was the agent of the seller. During this period, an agency relationship with a buyer was not possible, since the agency relationship was always with the seller. The only duty a licensee owed to a buyer was to not lie when asked questions about a property. The concept of „buyer beware“ was truly the reality of how the brokerage business operated and buyers were always unrepresented.

The rise of consumerism, as manifested in numerous court decisions, put pressure on the brokerage business to be more concerned with the interests of the buyer. Because of that, licensees working with buyers had an affirmative duty to disclose known matters affecting a property. For example, if the broker knew that a roof leaked, he would have to disclose this fact. This disclosure concept was later expanded by the courts to include conditions about the property that the brokers should or could have known.

By the 1980s, a government study found that nearly three-quarters of all buyers thought the brokerage they were working with was representing them as a client. The same study concluded that nearly three-quarters of all sellers also thought that the cooperating brokerage represented the buyer’s interests. It soon became obvious the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to impose in order to simplify and clarify the agency relationships had not worked. Continued pressure from consumer groups and the courts finally led to the buyer representation movement of the 1990s.

In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® formed an advisory group to study agency representation issues. Testimony was received from real estate practitioners, industry experts, the public, and state regulatory authorities. The advisory group’s report made the following recommendations:

  • The NAR’s multiple listing policy should be modified to make subagency offers optional. If subagency was not accepted by a cooperating brokerage, then the listing brokerage was to offer compensation to the brokerage representing the buyer.
  • The NAR would encourage state associations to promote changes in real estate law and regulations in order to promote disclosure of agency options. These options would include seller agency, buyer agency, and disclosed dual agency. The purpose of this recommendation was to assist consumers in making informed decisions regarding representation.
  • The NAR should encourage real estate brokerages to adopt written company policies addressing the handling of agency relationships with its clients and customers.
  • The NAR would encourage education of all members on the topic of agency representation. State regulatory agencies would also be encouraged to include agency as a mandatory topic in continuing education requirements for all licensees.

As of 1992, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the following policy:

„The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions. The association respects the need for all REALTORS® to be able to make individual business decisions about their companies‘ agency practices. Furthermore, NAR endorses freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers or real estate services when creating agency relationships with real estate licensee.“

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Represent buyer agreements now allow a buyer to contract with a brokerage to find, and negotiate, the purchase of real property. Generally, these agreements are for a specified period and require the buyer to pay a commission upon the closing of the real property transaction. As an agent of the buyer, the buyer’s brokerage owes all of the fiduciary duties (care, loyalty, disclosure, obedience, and accounting) to his principal, the buyer.

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How To Make Your House For Sale Stand Out From The Crowd

People who can afford the luxury want their homes close to amenities that support their lifestyle. The proximity to the finest goods and services is part of the purchase decision. Your best potential buyers have an active social life and look for amenities such as high-end boutiques, museums, art galleries, concert halls, five star restaurants, catering, and spas.

If you are like most sellers, you want to get as much as possible for your home and you want to do it as quickly as possible. But of all of the houses in Short Hills New Jersey, how do you make your home the one everyone wants?

Make a Presale Investment

The more repairs and upgrades you make, the more attractive your home becomes to those looking at Short Hills New Jersey real estate.

Take an inventory of the features you have already and decide what investments you are willing to make to appeal to buyers.

Some homeowners add a fresh coat of paint to their home, which will bring life back into a fading color. Others repair or upgrade their lighting scheme.

Lighting is a tool any good upscale home design uses to the maximum effect. Natural light is, of course, extremely important and can be achieved with large windows, glass walls, and skylights. Turn on the lights and open the blinds and draperies to create a bright and inviting environment in your home. You want a soft romantic glow in the bedroom and as much light as possible in the exercise room. There are plenty exciting lighting ideas for every room of the upscale home.

The kitchen and bathroom are two of the main selling points to any home. Potential buyers of luxury New Jersey real estate, are looking for upscale kitchens.

These can be traditional, European, or contemporary.

The home buyer, these days, embraces the newer styles and delights in innovative materials for counter tops, better lighting with more elegant fixtures and colors. Darker wood tops can be punched up with touches of reds or citrus colors.

Buyers of luxury houses for sale in Short Hills New Jersey are looking for spacious bath with large showers and separate tubs. Marble or granite flooring, walls, and shower and tub enclosures are expected.

Outdoor Improvements

Make sure your home looks just as good on the outside as it does on the inside. Landscaping is very important and should enhance the curb appeal, style, and sophistication of the property. Your lawn should be cared for, flower beds must be maintained and any outdoor clutter must be removed.

Many upscale homes have fountains, waterfalls, and rapids in their pools to add focal points of interest.

Make sure the water in your pool is crystal clear and all outdoor furnishings are free of mold or dirt.

Finally

Entry ways of natural stone such as granite, marble, or, slate are very popular and give the home an elegant touch. Make sure this area is spotlessly clean and have a focal point such as a potted plant within the entry way.

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How to Appeal A Property Tax Assessment

If you believe your home’s assessed value is greater than what you can sell your house for, then it is in your best interest to contest the value. The first thing you have to understand is that property taxes are one of the largest sources of revenue for your municipality, county, and state government. Tax assessments are made up of two components, they include: the value of your land and also your dwelling. The Ohio revised code and Ohio administrative code mandate the appraisal department to conduct a re-appraisal of each parcel every six years, or an update every three years if improvements were made to the dwelling based upon building permits pulled on your property. Understanding how to contest your home’s assessed value is critical to winning your appeal. You will need to consider many factors to determine the fair value of your home. The auditor will look at acreage, age of your home, square footage, recent improvements, outbuildings, decks or patios, and/or other areas of your property that have value.

To appeal your property tax assessment, you should contact your local county auditor to file a formal appeal of the assessed value of your property. You should start by requesting a copy of the property card from your local auditor’s office. The property card should include the information used to determine your homes assessed value, which includes: square footage, lot size, bedrooms, bathrooms, finished basement, etc. If there are any inaccuracies in this information, you should inform your auditor’s office in writing of the errors. You should also contact your local auditor’s office to fill out an appeal form or you can electronically file an appeal on their website. E-filing provides homeowners easy access to complete and submit a department of taxation form, which is a complaint against the valuation of real property online eliminating the requirement for a signature and a notary seal. Many of the county auditors in Ohio will only accept property valuation appeals during the first three months of the year. If you have recently purchased your home, you should provide the auditor a copy of your purchase agreement and a copy of your HUD statement or closing disclosure as evidence of the value of your property. If you have owned your home for more than a year, it would be in your best interest to contact a licensed appraiser to have your home appraised and valued. In addition to the appraisal, it would be beneficial to provide a list of recently sold homes in your area that are similar in age, square footage, amenities, and lot size to your own home. You should provide as much information and documentation as possible when you appeal your property taxes. When referring to your property, use your parcel number and address. This can be obtained from your tax bill. The more information you provide to the auditor, the greater the chances that your assessed value will be lowered, but be careful because the board of revision’s may use the information you provide to increase or decrease the total value of any parcel included in a complaint.

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Top Ten Tips For the Best Road Trip Ever

There is nothing more fun than an old-fashioned road trip. I love taking to the open road and exploring our country. Now, I’ve been a „road tripper“ for some time and though I love air travel, I love the road trip because that’s how you can really experience the country. So it’s time to get your favorite tunes and munchies ready and plan your open road trip adventure with these ten easy road trip travel tips.

1. Plan your trip. First, you need to determine where you’re going to go and then plan your trip. Planning doesn’t have to take a long a time, but you do need to know the route you’re going to drive and points of interest along the way that you’re going to want to stop and explore. Half the fun of a road trip is seeing the sites along the way. I like to MapQuest my trip and have that as my main plan of attack for my road trip. GPS is very popular these days and I recommend them, but you can’t always rely on them when you hit construction zones or accidents on your journey. That’s why it’s essential that you have a real map with you for the areas you’ll be traveling to and to plan alternate routes if necessary.

2. Make your hotel reservations BEFORE you go. Part of the fun when traveling on the road is stopping wherever your heart desires, but there’s nothing worse than a „no room at the inn“ experience on a road trip. You may not realize that there is a „Comic Book Trade Show,“ „Strawberry Festival“ or convention in town while you’re visiting and there are no rooms to be had. If you do not book your reservations in advance, not only are you running the risk of having to sleep in your car but also you can’t manage your road trip budget effectively. If you’re traveling with your family or a group of friends, consider staying at an all-suite hotel or even renting a time share, a great option for families taking a road trip. Did you know that 90 percent of people who own a timeshare don’t utilize it on a regular basis? Many great offers can be found at some of the bigger hotel chains that offer timeshares and many of them even have a washer and dryer. For my road trip to Scottsdale, I booked a fantastic one-bedroom suite with a kitchenette at a time share property directly through the hotel for just $100/night including tax at the Sheraton Desert Oasis Villas.

3. Give your car a full tune up before you go or consider renting a car. One week before you go on your road trip, take your car in for a tune up and ask your mechanic to ensure the car fluids are topped, air pressure in your tires is at its best for highway driving, and any other necessary concerns regarding your vehicle are addressed. Should you need to get something fixed, it is best to do it at a place you can trust before your road trip. Plus, it can be more expensive when it is a have-to situation. Also, make sure you pack a roadside safety kit just in case of an emergency. For me that kit includes my American Automobile Association membership card (Premier Membership). If you have a car that is no longer under warranty or has automatic roadside assistance, then a American Automobile Association membership is a necessity as it will save you a fortune in the unfortunate event you have a break down and have to have your car towed. If you’re at all concerned that your current vehicle is not „road trip worthy,“ then you may want to consider renting a vehicle for your road trip. I did this for my trip to Arizona as I found a great deal on a rental car and had the peace of mind for my road trip.

4. Pack your own food and plan a picnic. I used to be addicted to stopping at fast food joints on a road trip. There was something that felt fun about that on a trip but I’ve since learned that I prefer to pack my own food for my journey. It doesn’t just keep me eating healthier, but it also saves money, too, especially if you’re traveling with your family. Also, if you plan ahead, you may find that there is a great stop for a scenic picnic in your travels and packing a picnic is so much better than flying through the Drive-through. If you do make a stop, either for a picnic or to explore a cool sight along the way.

5. Bring great music or audible books with you! Music is truly the soundtrack of our lives and every road trip needs a soundtrack. I think of my trip to Seattle every time I hear a Phil Collins song from „No Jacket Required“ because that was the primary music I was listening to on that trip. I think of the Bahamas Harbor Island and the amazing walks on the Pink Sands Beach every time I hear Wilson Phillips music. It’s sort of like having a theme song for every vacation but hearing the music even today will evoke fun memories of wonderful trips. I also love catching up on books I’d like to read but somehow find it easier to listen to. That’s where audio books come in and you can download them to your mp3 player, iPhone, or other PDA device. !

6. Don’t forget to pack a boredom buster bag for the kids. One thing I’ve learned from producing for TV’s „The Travel Mom“ Emily Kaufman, is that if you’re traveling with kids, you need to make sure you have plenty to entertain them during your road trip. She calls this the boredom buster bag. Don’t forget to pack some kid music your children like along with fun travel games that include magnetic board games. DVD players are an option for really long trips and as long as your child isn’t prone to car sickness. Of course, electronic games will keep your kids occupied but I would encourage you to limit the time on these toys especially if you’re traveling through some great scenic areas. It’s an excellent chance to bond as a family and your child’s memory of the trip will be lost if they’re lost in a Game Boy.

7. Remember, a road trip is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. One of my all time favorite road trips was the day my niece, Jessica, and I drove 52 enchanting miles on the „Road to Hana“ on the island of Maui in Hawaii. I’ll never forget that the guide book said, „Remember, Hana is not a destination, it’s a journey.“ Hana is located about 52 miles from Kahului, however a typical trip to Hana takes at least three hours, as the road is very winding with approximately 620 curves over 59 bridges, 46 of which have only one-lane. This delightful road trip is a memorable journey that winds through a lush, tropical rain forest that is laced with tumbling waterfalls, black sand beaches, scenic lava cliffs, fresh fruit stands, and tropical hillsides. Jessica and I stopped at least ten times including one stop to picnic on that black sand beach. We took photos by waterfalls, delicious fruit stands and beautiful tropical flower gardens. You should treat your road trip vacation the same way we did our Road to Hana: Enjoy your road trip as a journey, not a destination.

8. Make good use of every stop. I like to plan my stops for fuel, food, and restrooms so that I utilize my time efficiently and don’t waste time making three stops instead of one. Probably the most important thing is that every time you do stop, make sure everyone in the car uses the restroom (even if they think they don’t have to right then). This will cut down on the stops you’ll make only for that purpose. Also, if you’re traveling with kids, and you just need to stop for the restroom, I recommend stopping at a Starbucks. Parents can get a coffee or an ice tea, the restrooms are clean, and there are not a lot of distractions for kids (like toys to buy) that a truck stop or gas station may have. Use the Starbucks store locator at their website to help you plan your stops before you go. Do be a „good egg“ and make a purchase at Starbucks while you’re there.

9. Avoid Trouble. When you’re on a road trip, you need to be street wise. Don’t be a target for crime by leaving your valuables on the seat in your car (DVD players, Game Boys, etc.) and don’t advertise you’re on a road trip with pillows and blankets every where. When you park your car, hide your valuables and road trip creature comforts. If you are proactive at keeping your „I’m on a road trip clues“ clearly hidden, any thief or troublemaker should just walk right by your car. Other street wise considerations is to always park where there is good light and foot traffic and make sure your windows are rolled up and the doors are locked whenever you leave your car. You may also want to purchase items like „the Club“ if you like that extra insurance for safety. Finally, when you’re driving, watch your speed. Speeding gives you the chance to get a ticket and more importantly, it decreases your time to react if the need should arise. If you are the driver, you are responsible for your passengers. When you see signs that say, „Speed limits are photo enforced,“ believe them. Other good driving tips include avoiding rush hour, especially in bigger cities, and whenever possible take turns driving with other people in the car. You’ll also want to avoid driving at night if you are not familiar with your surroundings.

10. Get a Go City Card and save up to 55% on attractions and theme parks at your vacation destination. Last year, I flew my 8-year-old niece, Alexis, and 10-year-old nephew, Tyler, out to Los Angeles for their spring break (using Southwest Airlines Reward Miles, of course) and we took a road trip down to San Diego. That’s when I discovered the money saving Go City Card for San Diego. With this card, I saved hundreds of dollars in admissions to Legoland, the Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo and other attractions including a Whale Watch on the Pacific Ocean just by purchasing a Go San Diego Card.

Instead of paying individually for each local attraction, you pay one price for up to 40 attractions (depending on the city your visiting) and you get to create your own experience, tailoring your activities based on what you like to do, while also enjoying tremendous savings. For example, with the Go Los Angeles Card, you can choose one, two, three, five, or seven day cards at a low, pre-paid price to gain access to 40 included attractions. This saves up to 55% compared to buying tickets directly at Universal Studios Hollywood, LEGOLAND California, Knott’s Berry Farm, Paramount Studios, the Queen Mary, and many more attractions. Go City Cards are available in many cities and vacation destinations in the U.S. including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Honolulu, Orlando, Miami, Seattle, Blue Ridge and even Toronto.

Final Tips: Don’t forget your cell phone and make sure you’re „hands free“ when you do use it while driving. In many states, it’s the law, but it’s also down right dangerous. Always use your cell phone „hands free“ when you drive. Don’t forget to update your software on your mobile before you leave because you don’t want to be charged higher rates for roaming charges. Finally, it’s a real good idea to email a copy of your itinerary to other family members or friends in case of an emergency – this is especially a good idea for women traveling together. Now, drive safe and have fun!

You can get more details at my website at Best-Travel-Deals-Tips.com.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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