How to Stage Your House for A Fast Sale

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

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

–       Clean spaces

–       Large, open rooms

–       A relatively blank canvas

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

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

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

Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty Discusses Popular New Jersey Beach Towns

For many American families, the annual trip to the beach is not only a time to sit back and relax but a time to bond with loved ones and create long-lasting family memories. Although the 2021 summer is drawing to an end, many American families are already planning next years’ beach vacation and deciding which town they would like to explore. Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty, one of New Jersey’s leading real estate companies, has many years of experience helping families find their perfect beach house and possesses an in-depth understanding of New Jersey’s many beach towns. Below, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realtywill share some of New Jersey’s most popular beach towns and their unique attractions. 

Margate, NJ

Margate is a charming New Jersey beach town located in Atlantic country, home to roughly 6,000 residents. While Margate is home to a small, tight-knit community, during the summer months, the town is visited by a large number of tourists and vacationing families. Within Margate lies pristine beaches, aqua parks, boardwalks, and a number of popular restaurants. Margate is the perfect town for both young families looking to settle down in a welcoming community as well as retirees looking to be within walking distance of the beach.

Local attractions: 

– Lucy the Elephant, a six-story elephant-shaped building constructed using wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by Margate City local James V. Lafferty. 

– Island Aqua Park, a floating water park near Margate’s boardwalk, is perfect for children of tall ages. 

– Steve and Cookies By the Bay, an acclaimed American restaurant, is known for its upscale dishes, live jazz music, and raw bar.

Longport, NJ

Located between Atlantic City and Ocean City, NJ, lies Longport, a quiet beach town home to roughly 1,000 full-time residents. Thanks to its optimal location, Longport is visited by thousands of beach-goers each year looking to enjoy the nearby boardwalks, beaches, and marina shops. Longport is well known for its classic beach block-style homes, wildlife parks, and “walkability,” making it the perfect location for any family’s summer beach house. 

Local attractions: 

– Catch Restaurant, a local seafood restaurant that serves fresh fish caught daily. 

– Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival and Island Marathon Swim. 

– Go deep-sea fishing with Moover Fishing Adventures

Brigantine, NJ 

Founded in 1890, Brigantine, often referred to as “the island,” is one of New Jersey’s largest beachfront cities. Home to nearly 10,000 New Jerseyians, Brigantine is well known for its picturesque beaches, popular golf courses, and fine dining. Previously voted one of the best places to live by New Jersey Monthly, Brigantine is a popular location for many East Coast families’ summer vacations. 

Local attractions: 

– Brigantine Farmers Market, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. 

– Brigantine Historical Museum, discover Brigantine’s fascinating history at this small local museum. 

Lines at Brigantine Beach, one of Brigantine’s most popular golf courses. 

Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty Discusses Commonly Overlooked Negative Aspects of a Home

Although price, size, and location are important factors to consider when purchasing a home, they are not the only factors that go into a house’s “livability.” Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty recognizes that buying a home may feel like a never-ending list of things to consider; however, to avoid buyers’ regret, it’s crucial to consider commonly overlooked factors during your home search. 

Neighborhood Noise 

Can you hear cars on the street? Your potential neighbors? Have you heard planes in the last ten minutes? When touring a home, viewers can be so preoccupied with all the amenities that they forget to check for outdoor noise. Although you may not notice that the house is under a flight path during your tour, it will significantly impact your daily life and your home’s potential resale value. 

Ongoing Expenses that Quickly Add Up

Going over budget when purchasing a home is quite common, as extra expenses can quickly add up. To avoid becoming house poor, homeowners should be aware of short- and long-term costs that often tie into a home’s amenities. A home with a pool may seem like a dream come true; however, this will usually include year-round pool maintenance, a massive backyard may cost a thousand dollars in lawn care, and a vacation home expensive hurricane insurance. Always consider what extra amenities may cost and create a rough estimate to ensure you and your family do not go over budget. 

Not Having Adequate Storage

Although no basement may not seem like a dealbreaker, storage is often one of the most crucial elements to a well-organized and de-cluttered home. Families without proper storage may face difficulties storing seasonal items such as decorations and coats, outdoor equipment, AC units, and other items. While you may be willing today to purchase a $200 a month storage locker 10 miles away, it may prove to be a challenge in the future. Before buying a house, consider the minimum amount of storage you need and search for homes that can accommodate. 

Potential Resale Value 

When purchasing their first home, first-time homeowners will often overlook their home’s resale value. When working with a tight budget, couples are often less concerned that their home has one bathroom, a busy street, or poor curb appeal. These couples often make the mistake of assuming that because they did not mind these factors, future buyers also will not. This can be a costly mistake and may leave homeowners struggling to find a buyer when they later try to sell their home. 

Family Fun Activities to Do Down the Shore This Summer

Soleil Sotheby's International Realty

The Jersey Shore is a fun-filled vacation destination that offers beautiful beaches, exciting wildlife adventures, thrilling water sports, and an array of attractions. From enjoying romantic boardwalks or museums overlooking the water to visiting the diverse aquarium to ascending above the coast on a parasailing adventure, Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty says, “you can do it all at the Jersey Shore.”

Let us look at the Silver Pinball Museum, this is a unique museum dedicated to pinball and video games. The museum has over 600 pinball games that rotates throughout the year. The museum also has a gallery of pinball back glass artwork, photography, a gift shop, and many charitable events throughout the year. If your family loves playing pinball, this is the place to come.

Cape May County Park and Zoo has over 550 animals and several habitat zones with different species, which include the African Savannah, an Aviary, and a Reptile House. The zoo also has train rides for the kids, that travel through the zoo and a carousel.

Ocean Grove Beach features quiet dunes and gentle surf. This beach is the hot spot for sunbathing and swimming. In the summertime, the beach hosts a variety of activities such as sandcastle contests, movie nights, and athletic events that everyone in the family can join in on. The nearby boardwalk offers tasty foods, shopping, and other accommodations.

Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which is on Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach is a fun aquatic facility that is great for a family day on the Jersey Shore. The aquarium is home to many global marine and freshwater species, like the Pacific harbor seals, Atlantic and Pacific shark species, coral reef specimens, African penguins, and alligators.

North Wildwood Beach is one of the most popular beach resorts on the Jersey Shore. Families come here to swim and catch some fish. One of the biggest highlights of this area is the historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, a quaint Victorian lighthouse that offers spectacular coastal views.

Casino Pier is an amusement park with rides, games, concession stands, and other family activities. This amusement park has miniature golf, go-karting, and a historic antique carousel. The fun never ends at the Casino Pier.

The list goes on for these fun summer activities to do down at the shore. Do not forget to see the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, that has military aircraft, Belmar Parasail, soar hundreds of feet over the ocean, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park and Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. New Jersey Shore has all sorts of things the family can enjoy during the summer. These are some must see ones you need to put on your list!

 

Tips for Buying Your First Beach House in Margate, New Jersey

Margate

For many people, their dream home sits on a pristine beach, somewhere just a short walk away from the water and with enough room to put two lawn chairs and an umbrella to read beneath. However, when buying a beach house, there are many things to consider that do not apply for homes further inland. With over 35 years of experience helping families purchase their dream homes, our knowledgeable agents know the most important considerations when buying near the water. Our goal at Soleil Sotheby’s is to find each client their dream home, so if your perfect house is beachside, please take into consideration these tips.

–         Sea Level

A home 30 ft from the water may sound like the most convenient option; however, high property taxes and flood damage may change your mind. Depending on your desired location, seasonal changes and flash floods should be taken into consideration when choosing your home.

–        Mudroom/ Outdoor Shower

An unavoidable occurrence when visiting the beach is that you take some of the beach back with you. If you are someone who doesn’t mind sand following you home, then a mud room or an outdoor shower is not a necessity. However, when it comes to cleaning a beach house you may find that these amenities make all the difference.

–        Extra Maintenance

Living by the ocean has plenty of pros, but saltwater can be a con when it comes to home maintenance. Salt water’s highly corrosive properties make repairing windows, outdoor furniture, and garden equipment a sometimes annual necessity. While you can take steps to protect your property from saltwater, this upkeep should be taken into account while viewing properties.

  • Location, Location, Location

Homes near public beaches can be a wonderful, less expensive option for those looking to save. But, if you are looking to relax with your family away from the crowds, private beaches are your best option. A good middle ground that is often overlooked, however, is the marina. Away from the crowds, less expensive than private beaches, a marina is a quiet spot for boat lovers and while keeping stunning ocean views.

 

Purchasing any home can be a stressful event; beach properties are not excluded from this. However, at Soleil Sotheby’s, our years of experience and specialization in beach towns such as Brigantine, Longport, and Margate, New Jersey, will give you peace of mind on your exciting journey of purchasing your dream beach house.

Our New Hobby

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

 

IMG_1489

 

 

Ingredients:

For the levain

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

For the dough

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

 

Sample Schedule for Breadmaking

9am: Mix levain

1pm: Autolyse dough

2pm: Mix dough and levain

2:15pm: Mix in salt

2:30pm: Fold #1

2:45pm: Fold #2

3:00pm: Fold #3

3:30pm: Fold #4

4:00pm: Fold #5

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

6pm: Shape dough and place in fridge overnight

Next morning: Preheat oven as guided and bake!

Peace Ride Challenge

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

Book Suggestions for Every Type of Reader

Fiction:

Contemporary Romance:

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

 

Thriller/Mystery:

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

 

5 Picks from Reese’s Bookclub:

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

 

Non-Fiction:

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

 

Young Adult:

Cotemporary:

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

 

Romance:

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

 

Health/Mental Health:

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

 

Mystery/Thriller

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

 

 

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

Goodreads List of “Best YA realistic novels”:

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

 

Goodreads List of “YA Dystopian Novels”:

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

 

Goodreads List of “Best Young Adult Books”:

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

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

Open Houses – September 21st & 22nd

Open Houses - Sept 20 2019

 

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

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

Open Houses – August 3rd & 4th

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

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