Category Archives: fireplace

How to Win Homes in a Seller’s Market

love lettersIf you’ve ever experienced the disappointment of losing out on a home in a seller’s market, you want to do everything possible to keep it from happening again. One tactic many buyers overlook is the “love letter” written to sellers about their home.

Rationally, you might expect the highest offer will always win the home, but there are a host of other factors involved. Some are emotional. Some sellers want to see their home go to a buyer they not only trust to close the deal, but they also like personally.

Want to give yourself an edge? Craft a short “love letter” to go with your offer. Here are the basics you’ll want to cover in your letter:

  1. Explain how much you like their home. Don’t go overboard, but prove to them you know the home and you truly appreciate their taste and the unique characteristics of the house. This might touch on improvements they’ve made or other aesthetic details. 
  1. Spare them all the things you might want to change. What you say is as important as what you don’t say. Don’t tell them you’re going to gut the place as soon as you close, add a second story, or rip out their garden for a pool. 
  1. Demonstrate you’re qualified to close. Make them feel confident in your qualifications as a buyer. Show them you’re pre-qualified for a loan, are buying cash, or have other reasons why you’ll be a hassle-free buyer. 
  1. Be humble and positive. Don’t give them a sob story about the four other homes2022051168 you’ve lost out on. Praise the neighborhood and make them feel as though you would be positively honored to be chosen as the next owner of their home. 
  1. Check the letter for typos. Read it out loud. Listen for clunky sentences or awkward repetition. Have someone proof it for mistakes. Their confidence in your attention to detail is important.

 A good agent should be able to tell you if the letter sounds like an honest appeal. Have it included with your offer as a cover letter.

Need help finding a home worth a love letter? Get in touch today: Barbara & Gregg, The Nicholas Team of Village Square REALTORS 973-509-2222 ext. 1126

Can You Cut Costs & Be Safe with a Space Hwater?

As we type this it is a warmer winter day- although the sky is gray and it is a little damp feeling…today is the type of day your mother would tell you to put a sweater on because she is cold.  And that thought is what prompted today’s post- if someone in the house is cold, but not everyone – does it warrant a thermostat increase, a sweater or a space heater for certain rooms? 

The humble space heater gets a bad rap, but when used correctly it can actually represent a good option for taking the edge off the winter chill. download

 

Here are some tips about how to safely use a space heater and when it’s a good choice:

Are you heating a whole house when the family is concentrated in the living room? Turn down the central heat and use a modern space heater rather than heat the empty rooms.

  1. A space heater can be a wise choice when you live in an uninsulated or poorly insulated home.
  2. Avoid unvented combustion space heaters. Instead, look for electric space heaters, preferably with a fan to circulate the hot air.
  3. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord.
  4. Maintain three feet of clear space around the heater in all directions. Be aware of loose rugs, blankets, or other potentially flammable objects nearby. spaceheatersafety
  5. Unplug your space heater when no one is around to keep an eye on it.
  6. Do not use a space heater in a damp room (i.e. bathroom!) unless it is specifically designed for outdoor or bathroom use.
  7. Don’t hide the space heater electrical cord where it might get torn or degraded under foot. Run it where it is visible, but does not create a tripping hazard.
  8. If you’re shopping for a space heater, consider this handy Consumer Reports buying guide: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/space-heaters/buying-guide.htm

 

By the way: Heating and cooling a large home after the kids have moved out can be a waste of your retirement dollars. If you’re thinking it might be time to downsize (or rightsize!) your home, get in touch today:  we are never too busy for you or your referrals!   Barbara & Gregg 973-509-2222

 

 

 

Practice Fireplace Safety!

Gathering the family around a crackling fire can be one of the joys of the coldest months… or it can be a nightmare. fireplace  It’s one thing to be seated cozily on the couch while the firewood glows, and quite another to be standing on the curb in the cold watching the fire department trying to save your home.

 More than 14,000 fires begin each year in fireplaces, and fires are the cause of nearly $900 million dollars in property damage. Don’t be a victim because of shoddy maintenance or careless usage of your fireplace. This goes for both wood-burning and gas fireplaces.

 Here are some tips to maintain your fireplace and protect your life:

 1. Before the coldest months set in, get your fireplace inspected. Remember, most inspection companies will be very busy during the winter, so try and secure an inspection at least a month or so before you anticipate using your fireplace heavily.

 2. Inspect your fireplace before you use it. Take a flashlight and look in the flue. Look for obstructions. Check for cracked bricks, missing mortar, or other signs of damage. Be sure to clean out any ashes and dispose of them in a metal-lid trash can.

 3.      10121-f5f9c001-768f-4c7d-9114-3f7bdbb9e259Burn properly.  This means using seasoned hardwood (which avoids creosote accumulation), and burning logs on an approved rack or elevated grate. Also, don’t burn trash, cardboard, or other debris in your home fireplace.

 4. Keep the area around the fireplace clear. Don’t put your Christmas tree near the fireplace, or anything else which is liable to combust. If it’s flammable, keep it safely distant from those flames. 

 5. Guard against sparks. Sparks may periodically leap from your fireplace, so use a screen to prevent them from landing on rugs or nearby furniture. A screen will also prevent family pets from exploring the fireplace when not in use.

 6. Don’t leave the house with a fire burning. Extinguishing a fire before you leave is common sense, so don’t leave those burning logs unattended!

Would you like a home with a fireplace? Let us help you find just the right one: Barbara & Gregg, The Nicholas Team of RE/MAX Village Square  realestate@thenicholasteam.com  973-509-2222

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Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance recently published this infographic about fireplace safety -you might want to print it out and share with your friends and family!

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