Springfield Township NJ Bark-a-Que

Springfield Township NJ bark-a-que

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Head to Meisel Park in Springfield Township from 11 am – 4 pm for the 7th annual “Bark-a-Que” event. The day, hosted by Home for Good Dog Rescue, features an adoption event, allowing families to find a rescue dog. The event is expected to be attended by almost 3,000 people and pups.

In addition to celebrating the dogs that have already been placed into loving homes by Home for Good Dog Rescue, those in attendance will also have the opportunity to sign their dogs up for contests! Face painting, professional photos, live music, food and more will also be offered at the event. Click here for more information. A $5 donation per family is suggested. Avoid the lines the day of event by registering in advance.

To learn more about Springfield Township NJ and surrounding communities, please be sure to contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. Thinking of making a move to the area? Click here to search homes for sale. For great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

The New Jersey Down Payment Assistance Program

Recently Shannon sat down with her favorite mortgage expert, Jon Lamkin, with Guaranteed Rate. He is the cream of the crop in the mortgage industry. Jon and Shannon talked about the exciting new New Jersey Mortgage program, the New Jersey Down Payment Assistance Program. Additional funding from Hurricane Sandy left New Jersey with some extra monies. The state has allocated the $3 million dollars left to be used to assist first-time homebuyers with up to $16,000 towards their down payment and/or closing costs. The program is designed for 6 counties in New Jersey. Essex, Union, and Passaic counties are the areas that Shannon and Jon service that qualify for the program. The program is specifically for first-time homebuyers, and there are income restrictions. Families earning $131,000 or less would qualify for the program. A minimum 620 credit score is also required which is feasible as it is not an incredibly high score. Conventional, FHA, and VA mortgages are all allowed with this program. It can be used for the purchase of a single family home, multi family home, or condos.

Milleniums have really started to take advantage of this program. The program is great for people who have possibly been paying $3,000 or more a month in rent who just haven’t been able to save enough for a down payment. Even if someone does have enough to cover the down payment, sometimes they can forget about the closing costs which can be an additional 2.5 – 3%.

As an example, to purchase a $350,000 house, 20% down would be $70,000. That might not be realistic. So, suppose someone only has $35,000 to put down. That’s 10% down. But then maybe they don’t have money for closing costs. You can then take that $16,000 and put it towards some of the down payment or closing costs. Now, they have $51,000 vs. the original $35,000.

Next Shannon and Jon talked about purchasing a home with even less down, perhaps through an FHA loan. With an FHA loan, you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down. So, for example, if you purchase a $300,000 home, you only need $10,500 for the down payment. Perhaps the closing costs are another $10,000. That’s a total of a little of $20,500 needed. With this program, someone could purchase a home with $4,500 of their own savings and use the $16,000 to make up the rest of the costs. The pros of an FHA loan are: Interest rates are typically lower; The loan is not credit-sensitive. Cons of the FHA loan include: You do need to pay the upfront Mortgage Protection premium, with is 1.75% being added into the loan which gets financed over 30 years.

If someone uses the $16,000 New Jersey Down Payment Assistance Program, that money does not need to be paid back with interest. The $16,000 acts as a lien on the property; However, if the homeowners own their home for at least 5 years, the $16,000 loan is forgiven. Jon mentioned some people buy their first home and live it in for 3 or 4 years and then decide to move again. He said if they rent out the home, but still own it, that $16,000 would still be forgiven after 5 years. Shannon talked about the benefits of real estate investments. She said if you can get into your first property with a very small amount of money down, and then start saving money for the down payment of your second home, then, when it’s time to move out, keep that first property as rental income, even if it’s just a break-even, and let someone else pay down your mortgage for 15, 18 or 20 years, that rental income could now potentially fund a college education. With an FHA loan, however, you do have to notify the lender if you move out.

They ended their conversation with a discussion regarding current rates. Rates right now are approx. 3.75% on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Jon says it is only a matter of time before long-term interest rates are going to go up. With rates being as low as they are now, and home owner affordability being high, there are a lot of buyers out there right now.

If you are thinking of buying a home, be sure to contact the Shannon Aronson team. We’d be happy to arrange a showing for you. Curious about the area? Contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach us by phone at 973.637.0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. For more great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Fall Lawn Care Tips

fall lawn care2

With the end of summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about cooler temperatures and Fall. HomeAdvisor.com offers the following tips for cleaning up your yard so that it is ready for the new Fall season.

Fall Lawn Care Tips

  • Rake Leaves: It is important that you rake or mulch your leaves so they don’t kill the grass underneath them that you worked hard to have beautiful during the summer.
  • Fertilize Your Lawn: Putting fertilizer on your lawn now can make a big difference with how your yard will look next summer.
  • Aerate Your Lawn: Aeration helps fertilizer, water and air to get into your soil, all helping to keep a lawn healthy even during winter months.
  • Winterize Your Sprinklers: If there is water left in your sprinkler system, it could cause your pipes to crack or freeze and thus ruin your sprinkler system. It could cost over $1,000 to replace the system should that happen.
  • Clean Your Gutters: After the leaves begin to fall, be sure to check they haven’t blocked your gutters. Blocked gutters will hold water, and the weight could pull down your gutter system or even parts of your roof.

For additional real estate tips, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com. Planning a move to the Millburn Short Hills NJ or any other surrounding towns? If so, be sure to contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. Click here to search homes for sale.

Chathams NJ Real Estate Trends


The Chathams NJ Real Estate Trends – Listing vs. Sold Prices

If you are considering buying a home or selling a home in The Chathams NJ it would be helpful for you to see what the current Chathams NJ Real Estate Trends are. Before we talk about the chart below, it is important for you to understand the difference between a listing price and a sold price. The listing price is how much a seller is asking for their home. The sold price is how much the buyer is willing to pay for the home. When we look at the most recent Chathams NJ real estate trends, we see after a 12 month low in October of 2016, the listing prices reached a high between December 2016 and January 2017. After that, the listing prices began to once again decline. The sold prices reached a high between May and June 2016, and saw a dramatic decline between June and July of 2017.

The Chathams NJ Real Estate Trends

Chatham NJ Real Estate Trends – Market Inventory Trends

Looking further into Chatham NJ Real Estate Trends, we learn that the number of active listings in Chatham NJ dropped by 7.5% from the previous month. The median number of days active properties have been listed is 72.

Chathams NJ Market Inventory Trends

Chathams NJ Real Estate Trends – Learn More!

Some additional interesting statistics include:  $1,306,690 is the median listing price for homes in Chatham NJ; 72 is the median days on market; and 86 is the number of active listings.  If you have unanswered question or would like to learn more about the Chathams NJ real estate trends, or if you would like to see any of the properties for sale in Chatham NJ, please be sure to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 973.637.0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. For more information about The Chathams NJ and our surrounding communities, please visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Millburn Township Schools Niche.com Ranking

Millburn, NJ Schools

Niche.com ranking proves that Millburn Township schools are among the best! According to Niche.com’s recent study, Millburn NJ schools rank high on their best schools list! Millburn ranked #2 in New Jersey and #36 nationally. Other Essex County schools also ranked well, ranking in the top 100. Those school districts included Livingston, the West Essex Regional School District (North Caldwell), Montclair, South Orange-Maplewood, Verona, West Orange, Caldwell-West Caldwell and Bloomfield.

Niche.com bases their rankings from sources including US Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Civil Rights Data Collection. In addition, they use self-reported data from Niche users and schools.

Millburn Township Schools Niche.com ranking is just one of the many reasons why Millburn NJ is a great place to live. If you are considering making a move to Millburn NJ, click here to see homes for sale. See one you like? Contact Me! I’d love to set up a showing for you. You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To learn more about Millburn NJ and for great real estate information, please visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

35 Conforti Avenue West Orange Township NJ

The Shannon Aronson Team is excited to share with you our new listing at 35 Conforti Avenue West Orange NJ. This spacious and pristine bi-level home offers a fantastic location close to NYC transportation, schools, and shopping! Join us for an open house on Sunday, 8/27, from 2-4 pm.

MLS Number: 3412240
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2.5

Open Concept Home with Plenty of Space

The bright, eat-in kitchen featured at 35 Conforti Avenue West Orange NJ is where you will find the chef in your family. The sliders onto the deck and easy access to the adjacent living and dining room make it the perfect place to entertain your guests! A master bedroom with en-suite and plenty of storage, as well as two additional generously-sized bedrooms and a full hall bath, complete the top floor.

Don’t Miss the Fantastic Lower Level

Make your way to the lower level at 35 Conforti Avenue West Orange NJ and you will find an open family room with sliders leading to the patio and generous backyard. A laundry room/utility room, half bath and access to the 2 car garage round out this level. Outside enjoy the spacious deck overlooking the large yard, perfect for entertaining and free play.

If you cannot join us for the open house on Sunday, 8/27, from 2-4 pm, and you would like to arrange a private tour of 35 Conforti Avenue West Orange NJ, please contact me! You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To search more homes for sale, click here. If you would like to learn more about West Orange NJ, contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. Don’t forget to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com for more great real estate information.

Chatham NJ Library will Host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

solar eclipse

On Wednesday, 8/21, from noon until 4 pm, the Chatham NJ Library will host a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party. The Chatham NJ library will be playing NASA’s live stream in which you will be able to see both the full and partial eclipse. New Jersey will only see a partial eclipse. If you plan to look at the eclipse, please bring your own solar eclipse glasses as the library has already distributed all of theirs.

According to the Morris Museum Astronomical Society, the moon will begin to cover the sun at 1:22:02 pm. At 2:44:28 pm, the moon will reach its midpoint of 73% coverage which is the most coverage that will be visible in Morris County. The sun will be uncovered again at 4:00:59.

It is important to follow safety precautions if you plan to view the eclipse. It is very dangerous to look directly into the sun. Doing so could cause serious eye damage, even blindness. The only way to safely view the eclipsed sun, or even partially eclipsed sun, is through solar eclipse glasses that feature solar filters. Free glasses are being distributed by many of the Morris County libraries, and the Morris Museum is selling solar eclipse glasses in their gift shop. Using solar eclipse glasses is the only safe way to view the eclipse. If purchasing eclipse glasses online, make sure you are purchasing them from a NASA approved manufacturer.

Below find safety tips from NASA:

    1. Homemade filters or sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun. Five manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar views meet international standards, and they are Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, TSE 17 and Baader Planetarium.
    2. Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
    3. Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.

If you are planning a move to Chatham NJ, please contact me! I’d love to show you any of the homes for sale. For a FREE copy of our town snapshots, give us a call or send us an email! We can be reached by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. To learn more about Chatham NJ, click here. For great real estate information, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Millenials Are Buying Homes with Their Dogs in Mind

millennial dogs 2

According to a recent article on How Stuff Works.com, more millennials are buying homes with their dogs in mind! A 2016 study done my Mintel shows that 7 in 10 male millennials and 3 in 5 female millennials own dogs. In another survey completed by Harris Poll and SunTrust Mortgage, released late last month, it was found that as many as 33 percent of millennials who purchased their first home say they purchased a home to have more space and a better yard for their dogs. Additional survey results show that millennials are happy to spend money on their pooches, too. 76% of millennials say they like to splurge on such items as custom beds and expensive treats for their furry friends.

In a recent Facebook Live event, Shannon met with Laura Delli Paoli to talk to her about some of her favorite places in the area to take her dogs, as well as the reasons why she, as a millennial, purchased a home in the suburbs for a better life for her dogs. Click here to see the blog post.

If you are interested in making a move to the suburbs and are looking for the perfect home for you and your pooch, please contact me! I’d love to show you some of the fantastic homes for sale! You can reach me by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com. For more great real estate information, including more information about Millennials and home ownership, please remember to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Let’s Talk about Dogs

Let’s talk about dogs! In a recent Facebook Live event, Shannon met with Laura Delli Paoli at 75 Hemlock Road in Short Hills NJ to talk about millennials and dog ownership. Shannon stated that a recent survey said that 33% of millennials are buying a home and moving out to the suburbs for their dogs (She Shannon’s blog post later this week to learn more about the article). Laura talked about how she feels that having a dog or pet can really increase your quality of life in so many ways and help us to establish relationships, especially if you are relocating. Laura personally relocated to the suburbs from the city. When she relocated, Laura met many people while she was walking her dogs and doing other activities with her dogs. Those people have now become friends. Shannon said she has several friends whose spouses meet up religiously to walk their dogs together. Their weekly dog walks have really helped the group to grow and bond together. Laura said moving to the suburbs and having a place to be able to get outside and play with her dogs has been a real stress reliever for her when she comes home from a busy day at work. Living in the suburbs makes it easy to do that. She said she enjoys taking her dog on a walk in the neighborhood and maybe meeting up with someone else to walk their dogs together.

As far as local dog parks, Laura enjoys taking her dogs, Wrigley and Scout, to Echo Lake Park in Mountainside. She said it’s a quiet, friendly, safe environment in which to walk her dogs. She also likes taking the dogs to the beach seasonally. Some dog-friendly beaches include Island Beach State Park just South of Asbury Park. It is a well-regulated beautiful beach. Sandy Hook has a great bay that allows dogs. She believes they are open all year long. Other favorite places include Hacklebarney State Park with well-maintained trails. She said there are plenty of places to choose from depending on the energy level of your dog. Laura said she really loves Round Valley as well. She said dogs are allowed in the sporting and boating area. She suggested checking BringFido.com to see what dog-friendly areas are near you. Also remember to visit Shannon’s Facebook page for more information.

Shannon and Laura talked about safe lawn care when you have pets. Laura suggested using an organic lawn care company. Something that is mindful of non-toxic chemicals. Laura recommended Murray Hill as a veterinarian. They are located in New Providence, NJ and have a wide range of doctors. Laura also loves VIPuppy in Summit NJ. VIPuppy offers grooming services, day care, and overnight care. She recommended Faux Paws pet shop in Summit NJ for food, treats, and pet supplies.

For more great information, please contact Shannon Aronson. You can reach her by email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com or by phone at 973-637-0004. Please also remember to visit her website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com.

Make a Small Room Appear Bigger

tips 'n tricks

If you are trying to make a small room look bigger, be sure to avoid these common mistakes. According to an article on HouseLogic.com, the following changes people make to their small rooms, in an effort to make them appear bigger, actually do the opposite! For the full article, visit the HouseLogic.com website.

1. Ceiling Lights
Overhead lighting illuminates the room and, therefore, emphasizes its size. When working with a small room, placing lights in various areas will draw the eye to different spots, hence making the room not appear as small. Both table and floor lamps work well.

2. Painting Every Room a Wildly Different Color
If you have a larger home, each room can be its own color; However, in a smaller home, making rooms different colors is not a good idea. In a smaller space, its a great idea to stick with one color palette and use a few different colors within that palette.

3. Sliding-Glass Shower Doors
Using glass doors as your tub enclosure is essentially like putting up a permanent wall. By dividing the space in your bathroom, it is actually making it appear smaller. HouseLogic suggests adding a glass panel that goes one-third to halfway across the tub to give the room a more open feel.

4. Filled-Up Rooms
Keeping your room clutter-free will make it appear larger. If you think of the size of your room in terms of cubic feet vs. square feet, you will start to see that the more bulk you put in your room (ie: large sofas, knick-knacks, etc), the smaller it will appear.

5. The Stark, Dark Kitchen Look
Having dark colored cabinets in your kitchen can make it look smaller. On the contrary, lighter cabinets reflect light, and make the room look bigger. If you really love the dark cabinets, make sure all the walls in your kitchen are white. If you don’t have much wall space in your kitchen, and your kitchen is mostly made up of cabinets, go for the lighter color if you want your room to look bigger.

For more great real estate information, including insider tips, please be sure to visit my website at www.NJRealEstateDirect.com. Thinking of buying a home? We’d love to help! Contact us to set up a showing! If you’d like more information about Millburn Short Hills and surrounding towns, please contact us for a FREE copy of our town snapshots. You can reach us by phone at 973-637-0004 or via email at Shannon@ShannonAronson.com.