Being a homeowner is exciting and fulfilling, but you may have all sorts of questions about maintaining your home and real estate in general. Browse my posts for tips and information that will help you answer many of your questions.

Why is my 5% down payment not enough?

The Dream

You’re ready to buy a house. You worked hard to improve your credit score, saved money for a down payment and closing costs, found a property that’s perfect for your family and did your due diligence. This is The One.

You’ve also sat with a lender (whom you’ve carefully selected... Read more »

Is your home worth more than a banana?

Spoiler alert: It probably is. But only if you live in something considerably larger than a one-bedroom condo.

By now anyone trying desperately to buy a house in 2021, listing one and getting 15 offers three days after putting out the hand sanitizer and disposable shoe covers, or just employed in... Read more »

"Why does your site look like something out of Myst? "

Hey, that’s a bit harsh!

Maybe not so much.

OK, I can see your point.

Myst, my spirit animal

First things first: what the heck is Myst? For you youngsters... Read more »

Is buying a home really a good investment?

You’ve done well saving money, and you now have a substantial amount to invest in—something. You can purchase certificates of deposit or dip your toe in the stock market, but you’re also considering putting the money down as a deposit on a home.

Is it a good idea, though? Aside from... Read more »

Pets stinking up your home? Here's the solution.

Guest post by Greg Wiszniewski from Busy Bee Cleaning Services

Have you seen those “nose-blind” commercials? I have too, and I think it’s true: some pet owners really just live with a stench they’re not aware of. Many dog and cat owners do take precautions to avoid a stinky house, like... Read more »

Can I really evaluate a home's HVAC in thirty seconds?

That’s what I tell my buyer clients as well as sellers who are preparing to put their homes on the market. “Impossible!” you say. “You’re not even a home inspector!”

Evaluate I said, not fully inspect. I’m not passing myself off as a licensed plumber, but simply offering an insight into... Read more »

Is the house you're selling a Shiny Penny?

This has been a strange year for real estate. The selling season began early and with full force, with homes being offered and sold at a healthy clip. But then someone hit the brakes and by May, which is usually a busy month, sales slowed considerably. We can argue about... Read more »

Is there a best time to buy or sell a home?

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of deciding when you need to move. A job relocation or school change may dictate when you must find a new place to live. If you’re renting a home, you certainly want to time the purchase of your... Read more »

Looking for new construction for under $600,000? Are you serious?

I get this over and over. And over. Buyers want a recently built, large, immaculate, pimped-out house with a finished basement in South Brunswick or Plainsboro or West Windsor, all for the reasonable price of under $600,000. It’s not happening, folks. That ship sailed years ago. If you’ve been following... Read more »

What homework should I do before contacting a Realtor?

Guest post by Natalie Jones from

Buying or selling a home is a daunting prospect, even if it isn’t your first venture into the real estate market. There’s long been debate over how much and what exactly you should do before reaching out to a Realtor. Some people advise not... Read more »

Do you clean your dryer's lint filter only on February 29?

Some of us are conscientious about cleaning our clothes dryer lint filter, while others not so much. After all, ignoring it after one cycle can’t be too bad, right? We’ll get to it next time, right? Unless we forget…

We’ve all read the same warnings about the Apocalypse that awaits us... Read more »

Which school serves the street where I want to live?

Let’s face it, most people consider school districts when they look for a home to buy or rent. A good elementary school and high school for your kids will guarantee acceptance to a great college, leading to a high-paying job, big house and enough money to pay for your nursing... Read more »

Can I break a lease without upsetting anyone too much?

Before I begin, let’s make one thing clear: a lease is a contract, and it obligates a landlord to allow tenants to live on a property in exchange for rent in the amount covering the full term of the lease, not just month-to-month. I am in no way suggesting that... Read more »

Why is emailing me such a horrible idea?

It’s not always a bad idea; let’s not get drastic. Let me explain.

In the beginning there were telephones. They were big and heavy and clunky and attached to a wall with a wire. To speak with a real estate agent, you had to call and hope that he or someone... Read more »

Are two-year home leases a good deal or not?

I hear this question every now and again, and the reason behind it is obvious: landlords prefer stable renters and don’t want to pay a commission every year to find new tenants if they can avoid it, and tenants want the security of a place to live with no rent... Read more »

A new train station is coming! But when?

Many of you know that already. A new train station in North Brunswick along the Northeast Corridor Line, in a new urban village off Route 1 across from the Regal Theater. But for some of you this may be news, and for all of you the timeframe is a complete... Read more »

What the heck is NIXLE, and why should you absolutely definitely get it?

Ah, NIXLE. Amidst the vast sea of cell phone features, you are one of my most treasured. Not because you’re cute or clever or fun or the latest fad. But because you’re flat-out useful.

For those of you not yet initiated into the NIXLE world, it’s a means for government agencies—the... Read more »

No, really—why are the sellers moving?

I hear that often. A lot, actually. OK, every blessed time I show a home. “Are these the original owners, and why are they moving?”

I sigh. Mainly because the answer has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not the home is a good fit for my clients. No, the walls... Read more »

Are additional pet security deposits legal in New Jersey?

I see it all too often: a landlord is willing to allow a pet in a rental property, but asks for a pet security deposit in the listing. The logic seems to be, “Well, I’m down with your cat, but you’ll have to put up an additional deposit to cover... Read more »

Making a lowball all-cash offer on a home? Forget it.

All-cash offers to purchase a home are great, except when they’re not. Sure, they sound wonderful—No underwriters! No appraisal! Fast closing! But then the second shoe drops: it’s a lowball offer.

Whether I’m representing a seller or a buyer, I absolutely loathe dealing with such offers. And they are always presented... Read more »

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