Tag Archives: Atlantic City

Stay in Your Own Lane!!!

Stay in Your Own Lane!!!

BY

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield DRE#1008764

Stay in Your Own Lane!!!

Earlier on my way home from the gym, I was listening to a great channel on Sirius XM. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Joel Osteen, but he also has a gentleman that is on his channel, and for the life of me I have no idea who he is. He’s funny as all get out, and still manages to get his point across (Guy after my own heart). I was able to take away a few things from the ride home that makes complete and total sense, and I’m going to give them a little twist from a real estate  perspective.

When it comes to real estate, each and every one of us take an insanely different approach. I’m not just talking about being able to read a client, pick out which “type” of person they are and act accordingly. I’m talking about how we conduct ourselves as agents. With real estate, there really isn’t any one size fits all. I may not be able to do what you do the way you do it, but you can’t possibly do things the same way I do them. Our personalities may be so far apart, and maybe not, but we each put our own flair on our approach because of who we are. We can learn different things from different people, and some of those people love to say,  “I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t think teach you everything I know.”  But that’s when you can turn around and say. “You may have taught me everything I know, but you can’t do it the way I do it.”

 Back in the day, one of my favorite sayings was, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”  As the years have gone by and I have learned that I don’t always know what I need to, and there’s still plenty that I need to learn everyday, I had to tweak that a bit. Now it’s more like driving a car, but much faster. You may drive a BMW, I made drive a truck, but we all drive in our own lane. We can change lanes, change directions to get where we need to go, learning with different people, trying to reach our destination of our own greatness.  But the most important thing to remember is to stay in our own lane. Passing is allowed, as long as its not done on the right. No taking advantage along the way. Enjoy the different scenery as you go. We can learn different things from different people…

Pay it forward!!!

Chris :0)

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever! I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ and Burlington County, NJ, too! Pick a town, any town! Need some suggestions? Ok! Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic. Any you don’t see here? CALL ME! I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225

609-646-1900

Attention to Detail, or What Were Ya Thinking?!

Attention to Detail, or What Were Ya Thinking?!

So…

I go to take my good friend’s daughter to go out looking for a house.  It was probably a 50 miute ride, but her buying a home in this town was going to turn her hour commute each way every day to about 20.  Neither of us really knows the town, so it’ll be nice for a change of scenery.

 

Now you would think, or at least I would, that there would be a few things that any rehabber would think of when they get a “cheap” property to flip.  They might get a good deal on bank owned properties located in good areas.  Blown septic systems, mold, holes in sheetrock, etc are always good bargaining leverage.  Sometimes they do a great job!  Other times, not so much…

 

First home was almost perfect.  Location location location.  Pride of ownership on the block.  HUGE yard.  ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL inside!  Spacious, stainless, granite, AWESOME!  And then, wer walked outside to see the yard.  It was dark out, which I usually hate, but her hours didn’t allow us to go in daylight.  It seemed like an odd layout the way it was situated to the house next door.  I had my Maglite in hand, I sneezed, the light bounced and then I saw it…

 

Across the yard, from left to right, literally just out of reach on my tippy toes, was a wrapped in black set of power cables as wide as my fist.  2 ROWS OF THEM, going across the entire backyard of 3 houses, then separate cables just as big going INTO each home.   Might as well have been a power tower!

 

But the last one, which she is now trying to buy, was the best.  Spacious, beautiful yard, BIG rancher, all new stainless appliances, hardwood floors and custom tile in the bathrooms.  As we’re getting ready to walk out of the main bathroom, she started to LAUGH!!!  We didn’t know what was going on, her husband was like omg, what is it?!  She’s bent over, she’s laughing so hard, and she points to the tub.  Me and her husband look at each other, puzzled, and then WE SEE IT…

 

toilet paper holder in the shower

Her husband looks, cocks his head and says, “a washcloth holder maybe???”

need a closer look?  here…

 

As she pulls lightly on the little rod there, she says, “I don’t think so, lol!”  As we were all in the right place should we wet our pants laughing, we nearly did!  Yep, that is a toilet paper roll holder installed in the tile in the tub, lol!  And NO, it really wasn’t in reach of the toilet, either…

 

So, they decide they want the home, along with a few additional add ons.  I call the listing agent, run down the list of add ons, and said, “Oh, and they’d like the toilet paper holder removed from the tub.”  There was a moment of silence.  She talks out loud as she’s writing the list, and says, “replace ruuuug… remooooove toilet paper holder frommmm….  wait, what?”  I repeated myself.  She just says, “You’re kidding me, right?”  I said, “did you NOT see it?”  Silence.  I said wait, as I texted her the pics.  She laughed harder than we did!  The builder wasn’t too happy, but at least it’s getting done, lol!  Who the heck put it there?  I dunno, but he won’t be making THAT mistake again…

 

Have you had any surprise construction install surprises? Let me know!  I’d love to hear them :0)

~Chris :0)

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Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever!  I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ  and Burlington County, NJ, too!  Pick a town, any town!  Need some suggestions?  Ok!  Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic.  Any you don’t see here?  CALL ME!  I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225

609-646-1900

Black Mold: An Occupational Hazard

There have always been jokes about the state you live in concerning the weather.  In New Mexico, “It’s a DRY heat…”  Well, when it comes to Jersey, not so much.  South Jersey, as in the Jersey Shore, has a TON of humidity.  Last few summers have been brutal.  You get used to it.  BUT.  In vacant, locked up homes, it can be a HUGE problem.  Why?  In a word: MOLD.

More specifically, BLACK mold.

Ever since Hurricane Sandy, mold, for me, has become an occupational hazard.  Homes were inundated with salt water.  People in Ocean City and Atlantic City weren’t even allowed to go back to check on their homes for DAYS.  Salt water(or any water for that matter) locked up in a closed up house spells trouble.  Sheetrock is organic, since it has paper on the outside.  Sheetrock gets wet, takes forever to dry.  Mold starts to grow.  Now it gets hot outside, windows are closed, no air circulation, and the mold literally starts to grow, and spread.

Listen, we’ve all seen a little mold, especially homes with bathrooms that have no fans for your hot shower steam.  If there’s nowhere for that humidity to go, and you have anything organic, like wood or sheetrock exposed, mold will grow.  Now you may remember that earlier this year, I got a bank owned property that was overrun with mold in the basement.  I was on meds for 60 days, and anybody that went into the upper part only still got sore throats.  I thought THAT was bad…

Fast forward to 3 days ago, I was given another bank owned property.  I had taken my husband with me.  He opened the front door and quickly slammed it shut.  I just looked at him,and he told me to go get my N-95 mask.  He wouldn’t open the door without it.  Much to my horror, that last home had been a walk in the park, like KINDERGARTEN compared to this :

black mold
black mold

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, the home was foreclosed on, the pipes froze and burst in the walls while vacant.  Look at the wall on the left:

mold grows fast!
mold grows fast!

Guys, this is NOTHING to play with.  I’ve ordered a respirator, as this is my third encounter with this massive a dose of mold.  I would rather look RIDICULOUS with it on than to be as sick as I was again after the last one!  I can tell you within a minute and a half if there’s mold in a house; my throat literally starts to ache almost immediately.  You can usually smell it in the air.  The last home, remediation for the basement alone was $15k.  Every shred of carpet in the entire 3 floors of the home had to be removed.  Same for the sheetrock in the basement.

basement mold
basement mold

Then they did an air treatment and filtration.  Then you need to worry about the vents for the heat and central air systems.  The spores will grow and spread in the vents as well.

 

 

 

 

 

mold on walls
mold on walls

 

 

 

 

 

moldy sheetrock removed
moldy sheetrock removed

I used to think that mold thrived at about 80 degrees?  Really?  Guess what?  It’s still going strong at 32 degrees!  You need to understand that you have to remove the cause of the moisture to effectively treat the issue.  You have to remove the moisture.  Use a dehumidifier if necessary.  Remove wet sheetrock and insulation. Keep rooms vented.  Bathrooms especially.  Use Kilz paint or paint treatment when necessary.  Change air filters.  Treat all ventilation systems.  But, most importantly, if you can see that you’re in over your head, HIRE A MOLD REMEDIATION SPECIALIST!

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Longtime Radio Man Pinky Kravitz Dead at 88

He was known as “Mr. AtlanticCity,” passed away Saturday at 88 years of age.

Pinky Kravitz, AKA Mr. Atlantic City
Pinky Kravitz, AKA Mr. Atlantic City

Pinky’s real name was Seymour, which, as history has it, he never answered to.  His personality was infectious.  For 57 years, he hosted”Pinky’sCorner” on station WOND.  He would broadcast from local restaurants and haunts, and recently from the Borgata Hotel and Casino.  He had also hosted a talk show on channel 40, an NBC affiliate that shut down last year.  He also wrote a column for the Press of Atlantic City from 2010 til earlier this year.  He used to do a 1 minute gossip clip on the locals called “Insider Notes.”

He had been out sick for the first time in all his years (56!) at WOND back in May when he underwent open heart surgery.  He had a hard time coming back from it.  He started calling in stand-in hosts and retired shortly thereafter in August.

 

Surviving are his wife, Janet; and two sons, Jeffrey and Gregory. His daughter, Cheryl, died in 2006 after 18 years as a teacher in Atlantic City’s schools.

There will never be another Pinky.  May he rest in peace…

 

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Does Your Home Meet the Super 6 Criteria?

Does Your Home Meet the Super 6 Criteria?

Okay, so you want to sell your home, awesome! Whether or not you realize it, there are many factors that will determine how much your house will sell for, if it sells at all. Your home needs to fit in with the Super 6. Okay, so what the hell is the Super 6? Let’s break it down…

 

1. Location
Like it or not, your home’s location will have a huge bearing on how much it will sell for. There are a ton of things that go into this. How close is it to public transportation? How close is it to local shopping? How safe is the area? Is there pride of ownership in the surrounding blocks? Is there any blight?

 

2. Condition of the Home
Ok, come on guys, this is a common sense factor. What kind of shape is the home in? Is it well kept? Does it show pride of ownership? Are your kitchen and bathroom old or dated? Do you have wallpaper on the walls? How about your rugs? Does the carpeting have permanent stains? What about odors in your home? Do you have pets? Is there an odor alerting your visitors when they walk through the door that you own pets? What about your roof? Are there any spots on the ceilings showing that there are roof leaks or issues? What you need to keep in mind here he said anything that is visibly wrong with your home becomes bargaining leverage on the purchase price. You will need to make sure that your home needs little to no repair to keep negotiations to a minimum.

 

3. Price
Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. If you don’t price your house properly, it won’t sell. It just wont. People will not pay $10,000 more to buy your home when they can have a house in better shape and cheaper for far less. You need to sit down with your Realtor and come to a price based on comparables. You must compare the homes apples to apples. Your agent will bring you copies of active listings of homes for sale with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, etc.. They will also show you listings of homes that have sold within the last 6 months, so that you will have the most accurate idea of where you should be priced to get your home sold quickly and for top dollar.

 

4. Market Conditions
Obviously, the real estate market has been all over the place for the last couple of years. Some towns get hit harder than others depending on the circumstances. For instance, we are very close to Atlantic City, New Jersey. As you know, many casinos have closed. Thousands are out of work. Many cannot find jobs and are collecting

English: Atlantic City, New Jersey by night
English: Atlantic City, New Jersey by night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

unemployment. Will some of those people lose their homes? Maybe, maybe not. But what that does mean is that there will be more short sales. That can have a direct bearing on what you can ask as a selling price for your home.

 

5. Financing.
The same way the housing market is affected by certain conditions, so is home mortgage financing. If you remember, back in the day during the real estate boom, interest rates were at 13%. Now, you can get mortgage financing for a home at an average of 4%!

 

6. Agent Savvy
You can have all of the first five criteria, but if your agent sucks lemons, none of it matters. Your agent needs to be savvy enough to negotiate a deal for you to get sold as quickly and for as high a price as possible. You need to be sure, BEFORE you hire an agent, to find out what they are going to do for you to get your home sold. What kind of marketing do they utilize? Are they internet savvy? Will your listing be syndicated to multiple websites? How about videos? Will they make videos of your home and create a website just for your home for sale listing? I do. Until what time can showings be scheduled for my home on any given day? I use a service through my company that schedules showings with a live human being by phone until 11pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends. I can pull up outside a vacant house with a for sale sign on it at 9pm, pick up my cell phone, get a lockbox code and be showing that house 3 minutes later. Can your agent do that? Hopefully, they can and will.

 

So there you have it. That’s the Super 6. Make sure you have them all covered. Oh, and, IF your prospective agent sucks lemons, call me BEFORE you list with them. I can get your home sold! :0)

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”