Warm Weather Home Staging Tips

Nice entryway to home with carpeted staircase, and white interio

 

Although summer has come and gone, we still have many weeks of warm and beautiful weather to come. That’s why we wanted to take a moment and discuss summer staging tips for the rest of this season or for next. It’s never too early to think about staging if you are going to sell your home in the next twelve months.

 

Why Stage?

 

Staging is an important part of the process to sell your home. Staging makes the property look more like a welcoming home, and it enables prospective buyers to develop an emotional connection and start conjuring ideas about how they would decorate. If they can see themselves in your home, they are more likely to put in a competitive offer.

 

So as the days are still relatively long and the weather is warm, your NJ realtor may offer you the following suggestions to stage a home that could lead to an offer:

 

Enhance your curb appeal: Whether we are talking about the beginning of spring or the end of summer, we would highly encourage you to clean up your yard and promote outdoor living. This could mean fixing up the lawn, planting a few colorful shrubs, or finally fixing that leaning fence. Curb appeal will go a long way to show prospective buyers that you took care of your home and your home is great for the outdoors.

 

Take advantage of natural light: As the days are still long, you’ll have ample opportunities to use natural light to stage your home. Your NJ realtor may recommend you position your furniture in a way to take full advantage of the light. Natural light makes the home feel larger and more vibrant. If you can, use light-colored window treatments to accentuate it even further.

 

Serve seasonal refreshments and treats: If you are having an open house, it’s always polite to serve refreshments and treats. It might be a good idea to look into providing seasonal and local items. As it’s the end of summer, apples, pumpkins, and squash will be fresh and abundant. A little added touch, like a seasonal recipe, may actually go a long way to make your home memorable and one that buyers will consider bidding on.

 

If you thinking about selling your home or want to invest in NJ real estate, our award-winning team of realtors can help. Contact us today to learn more!

 

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.

Is Now a Good Time to Invest in a Beach House down the Shore?

Owning a house down the Jersey Shore is a dream many people in the Garden State and elsewhere share. Whether you fell in love with the Jersey Shore from yearly treks as a child or you discovered the Jersey Shore later in life, owning a home down the Shore is a dream that can be realized. But is now the right time to take the plunge and invest in a second home down the shore?

If you don’t follow “The Shore Report,” a quarterly publication we release to highlight what the Jersey Shore real estate market looks like, we would highly encourage you to do so. Each report consists of data on housing trends and comparative analysis. The goal is to help interested buyers and sellers learn where the market is going. If you had read the latest issue in May, you would discover the following about Jersey Shore houses for sale in these towns:

Brigantine: Brigantine has offered value to real estate investors for years, and it been one of the hottest markets of the Jersey Shore. Home prices are appreciating, providing investors with a good return.

Atlantic City: Although there have been economic troubles in the past that have caused real estate values in Atlantic City to go down, there has been a renewed interest in new building and renovation. Atlantic City property values should go up as more development and renovation occurs in the city.

Ventnor: Ventnor home owners should be very happy with the fact that home values are going up, making it a seller’s market for the first time in a very long time. There has been significant interest from investors in Ventnor as they see the value and potential in this South Jersey beach town.

Margate: Home values in the area are expected to go up as new construction homes and condos pop up everywhere in the town. Margate is a year-round town for many and offers a tight community spirit, providing ample opportunities for those who want to make the Jersey Shore a second home.

Longport: Longport should remain a top choice for luxury home buyers looking for a quiet, exclusive way of life down the Jersey Shore. Longport home values should remain constant for the foreseeable future.

Next month, we will be releasing a new Shore Report to highlight the latest news on the Jersey Shore real estate market. As investing in a Jersey Shore home is a very personalized decision, we would also encourage you to contact one of our agents today to discuss your options and see whether now is the right time to invest in a home down the Jersey Shore.

What Should You Know about the Two Newest Casinos in Atlantic City?

gambling, craps game

 

On June 28th, the Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City will open up, ushering new energy into the city’s Boardwalk. Although both casinos will be new, residents and visitors of A.C. will likely be familiar with their locations. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino stands in the same location as the former Trump Taj Mahal. The Ocean Resort Casino will take the place of the Revel casino, which was closed in 2014. Both casinos promise exciting world-class entertainment, a luxurious gaming experience, and premier restaurants and shops.

 

Some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment will be visiting Atlantic City this week. Carrie Underwood will be performing on Friday, June 29th, at the Hard Rock, and Pit Bull will follow the next day. Other acts that will be performing in the upcoming months will include Steve Byrne, Howie Mandel, Third Eye Blind, and Jon Lovitz. The Ocean Resort Casino will feature a wide variety of entertainment attractions over the opening weekend as well.

 

Additionally, there are a few cool things that both casinos will feature. For one, Topgolf will open a 26,000 square ft. simulated golf play facility at Ocean. Hyatt’s Exhale is going to have a 32,000 square ft. spa for guests who are looking for a relaxing time during their stay at the Ocean Resort Casino. Cereal Town will be an interesting dining option for guests at the Ocean Resort Casino as it will serve cereal 24 hours a day. Not to be outdone, the Hard Rock Atlantic City will feature over 20 restaurants, including an over 500 seat buffet.

 

Those who are looking at Atlantic City house rentals will find no shortage of things to do at these casinos and beyond. The opening of the Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort Casino will have other casinos stepping up their game as well to offer the best in entertainment, shopping, and game play. If you are considering visiting Atlantic City this summer and beyond, you will see that Atlantic City is going through a boom.

 

We encourage you to contact one of our real estate agents today to learn more about the many available Atlantic City house rentals and discover why Atlantic City will be a top destination for travelers of all kinds who are looking for amazing entertainment, a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean, and the top amenities you will only find down the Jersey Shore.

 

 

Getting Your Jersey Shore Rental Ready for Summer

woman doing chores cleaning bathroom at home

 

Can you believe that summer is here already? It seems like only yesterday we were talking about nor’easters and winterizing your home. Whether you’re interested in the nightlife in Atlantic City or the tranquil beaches of Brigantine, summer down the Jersey Shore is a special time of year. Each year, millions of people visit the Jersey Shore, and many will choose to book a week or weekend at one of the many Jersey Shore rentals available.

 

If you invested in Brigantine or Margate NJ real estate and are the owner of a vacation rental, you have probably already filled up most of the dates for the season already. Now that the booking is done, it’s time to get the rental in proper shape to accommodate your tenants. If the rental is dirty or needs repairs, this will reflect negatively on you and may hinder your income for future seasons. Luckily, most of the work can be quick and easy. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to make your rental ready for summer:

 

Inspect Your Air Conditioning Unit: Yes, if you are down the shore, you will benefit from those coastal winds. But it can get pretty hot in Atlantic City and other shore towns, which is why you should have your AC united tested if you haven’t done so already. Many times, a major issue can be prevented with a minor fix.

 

Hire a Professional Cleaning Service: Before you begin renting out your property to people, a major cleaning is a must. While you can clean it yourself if you so choose, it often makes more sense to spend the money and hire a professional cleaning service that can provide the deep cleaning needed. Contact a few in your area to find the best quote.

 

Make the Rental a Functional Home: While you don’t need to keep family pictures or personal items around, the rental should still look like a home. Make sure the rental is fully furnished and has all of the amenities necessary to enjoy oneself while down the Shore. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to update your linens and kitchen items if you notice they’re worn down or getting older.

 

If you would like more information, we would encourage you to check out this article published in NJ Monthly last month that goes over what vacationers should look for when choosing a rental. It may give you an idea of how you can present your property to meet your tenants’ needs. And if you are looking for a rental, we encourage you to check out all of our vacation rental listings here.

The Shore Report

The Shore Report Cover

Each quarter, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty creates a report showcasing the local market. It offers an overview and comparison of the housing trends in Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport for each quarter year over year.
In our ongoing effort to become an invaluable resource to our clients and neighbors, this quarter-by-quarter analysis of the local housing market helps us achieve that goal.

To view the report, click here

What Are the Best Jersey Shore Towns to Purchase a Home?

Atlantic city waterline aerial

 

Imagine waking up to sun rays reflecting through your bedroom bay window. You can hear the ocean’s waves gently hitting against the beach, welcoming you to another morning down the Jersey Shore. Sounds like the perfect way to start the day, right? If you are considering purchasing a home at one of the many amazing Jersey Shore towns out there, this could be a reality.  Many people have made the decision to live down the Jersey Shore and few if any would say they have regretted it. The Jersey Shore is a gorgeous coastal haven for year-round or seasonal living.

 

Now that it is spring time, the market is moving fast. Prospective homeowners are shopping around, trying to find stunning homes in their favorite Jersey Shore towns. If you are looking at homes, you might be wondering which Jersey Shore town is right for you. While each will have their own personality, attractions, and quirks, we wanted to take a second and spotlight our favorites. Who knows, maybe the Jersey Shore home of your dreams is up for sale right now in one of these towns below:

 

Atlantic City Real Estate: Everyone knows Atlantic City as a resort town with its luxurious casino hotels and iconic boardwalk. Millions of people come to Atlantic City each year to try their luck on the tables, eat at its many fine restaurants, shop the outlets, walk the boardwalk, lay on the beach, and more. Atlantic City has many residential parts as well, and nearly 40,000 people call Atlantic City home. Atlantic City is experiencing a boom as the Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resort Casino are set to open this summer, creating many new career and real estate opportunities.

 

Ventnor Real Estate: If you want to be close by to Atlantic City and other shore towns and are looking for a family-friendly, walkable area to live, Ventnor may be the Jersey Shore town for you. Ventnor has its own boardwalk, beautiful beaches, and year-round attractions. We would also highly encourage you to check out the local shops and fine restaurants on Ventnor Avenue for a fun day/night out with family and friends. In case you’re a Monopoly enthusiast, Marvin Gardens is located in Ventnor too.

 

Margate Real Estate: Margate is a small residential community that is world-famous for its beaches and marinas. The beaches are very clean, and the neighborhood is very safe and community-oriented – perfect for raising a family. Margate is also right next door to Ocean City, and there are many small shops and restaurants in Margate as well. If you’re looking for a quaint Jersey Shore town that is close by to a variety of attractions and sites, Margate is an excellent place to call home.

 

Longport Real Estate: Located just north of Ocean City, Longport is a small borough in Atlantic County with stunning homes and landscapes. If you’re looking for a quiet place to call home and enjoy the spectacular view of the ocean, Longport won’t disappoint you. We suggest if you come here for a visit or to stay, you should take your bike out to Longport Beach to enjoy the ocean waves in solitude.

 

Brigantine Real Estate: Brigantine was named one of the “12 great charming beach towns in New Jersey” by Essex Home Improvements for good reason. At Brigantine, you can see the history of the town – some of which stems all of the way back to the 1500s. There a variety of museums, historical sites, and, of course, the Brigantine Lighthouse. However, Brigantine is more than a historical destination as it offers modern family attractions, beautiful shops, and, of course, a great view of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

 

What to Expect from the New Jersey Real Estate Market in 2018

Expect the unexpected. This old adage that you’ve heard time and time again is the single most important statement when it comes to assessing the climate of real estate in New Jersey. Previous real estate forecasts with respect to last year could have never predicted the unwavering amount of pressures that commercial and residential real estate markets experienced. In fact, previous forecasts expected new construction and development to hit a boom and interest rates to increase. What happened instead? Mortgage rates barely saw movement, house prices rose, and the development of new homes and construction didn’t see an increase until very close to the end of the year. It wasn’t the 2017 that many had expected, which left many wondering what to expect in 2018.

One expectation for New Jersey homeowners in 2018 was the gross impact that the tax reform would have on their pockets. The new $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions is a considerable and unwelcomed change for residents who paid an average of $17,800 on their state and local taxes just 3 years prior. Additionally, the elimination of interest deduction on home equity mortgages and the cap on new home mortgages are expected to keep a slow-growing New Jersey real estate market at an almost stand still.

Home inventory in New Jersey is already tight enough as it is. Many homeowners have either found their perfect home and don’t want to move or simply can’t afford to move at this time. The amount of renters has increased as well, particularly in areas near major cities such as the suburbs of Philadelphia and New York. Under the new tax reform, the already limited home inventory is likely to become even smaller. Existing homeowners whose mortgage exceeds the $750,000 cap, but falls below $1,000,000 are less likely to move if they are required to take out a new, larger mortgage on the new home. An additional concern under this outlook is that those homeowners who were looking to upgrade their home or move from a starter home into a larger home may now no longer be able to afford as much house as they had initially planned. All in all, fewer home buyers pooled with the decreasing amount of homes entering the New Jersey real estate market decreases the number of home buying transactions that will occur this year.

All isn’t lost or bad in 2018 for the New Jersey real estate market. With New Jersey being primly located between Philadelphia, New York, and even DC, more millennials are flocking to the area to buy up homes. Despite previous reports, Forbes believes the millennial demand for housing will see a drastic increase as the population of people born after 1980 is fully in the workforce, married, and starting families. Even though millennial homeownership saw a slow start, New Jersey should begin to feel the impact of their homeownership soon.

In addition to millennials becoming homeowners, there are parts of the New Jersey that are in high demand.  Areas with access to mass transit, good schools, and single family homes are prime real estate. New Jersey Shore real estate falls greatly into this category. In fact, according to Neighborhood Scout, 5 of the top 10 highest appreciating New Jersey cities since 2000 are located along the New Jersey shoreline. Their growth is only expected to continue.

It’s fair to say that the New Jersey real estate market can be summarized with one word: uncertain. However, home prices are steadily rebounding. The median home value in New Jersey is $313,560, a 10.6% increase over the past year. The median home listing is $285,000 where the median home closing price is $253,700. It seems that those who are purchasing homes are getting more bang for their buck, making the outlook on 2018 promising.

Protecting Your New Jersey Shore Home Investment

new jersey shore homeJune 1, 2018, a day that shore homeowners across New Jersey and the rest of the Atlantic should have circled on their calendars. The first day of June is not the beginning of summer, as much as we like to believe it is. This day actually marks the beginning of the hurricane season across the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic coastline, especially New Jersey, is no stranger to hurricane season. From minor beach erosion to full on flooding that has resulted in the loss of homes, New Jersey shore homes have taken their fair share of beatings from Mother Nature over the years. As weather patterns become more unpredictable and constantly changing, it’s important that as shore homeowners, you do what is necessary to protect your investment. Whether you’re living in a luxury condo in Atlantic City all year long or own a rental beachfront bungalow in Cape May, you should take a few precautions to keep your home safe this upcoming hurricane season.

 

When assessing the best way to protect and manage your shore home property, one factor that you need to keep in mind is the various types of risks that can present themselves. Certain risks require certain coverage. This is especially true if you rent your New Jersey shore home to family, friends, and strangers. Some of the risks that you need to have covered are dwelling, personal property, and personal liability coverage. A sure way to protect your investment is to find a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy. This policy will typically cover medical care for people injured on your property, damage from natural disasters, and personal property replacement.

 

However, it’s necessary to point out that many New Jersey shore homes need to have a separate policy for flood insurance. Many residents found out during Hurricane Sandy that not all homeowners’ insurance policies automatically covered flood damage. Flood damage is usually the major cause of damage to shore homes during a natural disaster. If your home lies within the designated flood zone, it’s recommended that you check your policy and get the necessary insurance to protect your home.

 

Unless your shore home is your main residence, the likelihood that you spend a considerable amount of time there in the offseason is slim. If you don’t live locally where you can check on it every week, chances are your property will be left empty for weeks until you visit or a renter stays. It’s a good idea to make friends with the local neighbors and year ‘round residents. There are some residents who live at the shore all year long and are willing to check on properties for people who cannot make. You should give this responsibility to someone you truly trust and will keep you informed on the status and condition of your home and neighborhood.

 

Periodically checking on the state of your house will help you to detect any problems as they arise or before they become greater. On every visit, check the plumbing, HVAC system, fire detectors, security alarms, and inspect for water damage. This will also give you a chance to make continued updates to your home throughout the year. Making periodic updates to your shore home or property can help to keep the cost of your insurance down as well.

 

Even though it may seem as if summer and hurricane season are a little bit away, it’s never too early to start preparing. The sooner you take steps to prepare your home; the better you’ll be able to protect your shore home investment in the event of a natural disaster.

 

The Shore Report

This quarterly report focuses on the housing market of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport, New Jersey, and compares data from 2016 and 2017. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us – we’d love to discuss!

To view the full report, click here.

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