Tag Archives: Christmas

Poison Ivy? Got Goats?

Poison Ivy? Got Goats?

Okay, so picture this…


You haven’t gone out to tend to your backyard in a year or two, or five. You go to walk to the outer edges of the yard where your fence is, and they are completely covered with wall to wall climbing ivy. Even better, let’s make that POISON IVY. Now I’ll tell you what, I’ve gotten poison ivy, and it ain’t no party! So now you have to realize that when you go to try to remove it, not only do you need to be completely covered, but whatever you do, don’t touch that yard tool ya just used with bare hands(or anything ELSE that’s bare for that matter!!!)! After you have used the rake, or the lawn mower, or the shovel after touching the poison ivy with them, just the oil from the poison ivy that’s attached to the tools will have you scratching for the rest of the month!

So, what’s a poor homeowner to do?

                                                                 Got goats?

Ok, there are animals that love to graze, but let’s face it, poison ivy has to be an acquired taste! What animal has no taste what so ever? Or at least really bad taste in greens? Goats! Goats love grass, love ivy even more, and love poison ivy even more than that! Okay, so what’s that got to do with the price of potatoes on Tuesday you ask? Wellllllllll….

Did you know that you can rent goats for ivy removal? Yes my friends, there are plenty of companies out there that will rent you their goats for just such a special occasion. Think I’m kidding? Google it! Even better, Google your county, I’ll bet you find at least one, unless you live in New York City. You might even find at least one in upstate New York that’s willing to bring them! Definitely ecologically friendly, super definitely easier on your skin. They’ll usually bring in any number of goats, and they will set up temporary electric fencing to kind of keep them where you need them to be eating. Sometimes, they will have a dog there also to keep an eye on them.

So how can they do all that and not get sick? The goats actually have an enzyme in their gut that allows them to eat plants that are usually poisonous to other animals. AND, because of the way their mouth is structured, they crush whatever they eat, so any seeds that another animal might eat that could pass through to be refertilized are no longer viable. The only problem with using them for poison ivy is that they may eat the poison ivy, but they don’t eat the roots. That allows the poison ivy to grow back. Now the goats will be chomping away all day, and they can go through pretty dense areas at a rate of about a quarter acre per day for 30 goats. That depends, of course upon how thick the vegetation is and the size of the goats. So, next time you walk out into your backyard and go into total overwhelm looking at your overgrown urban jungle, just ask the question,  Got Goat?


Dogs and Rentals… a Mixed Breed?

Dogs and Rentals… a Mixed Breed?

   So the old saying goes that dogs are a man’s best friend. Well, they may be, but not if you’re looking to rent a place to live. In the age of foreclosures and short sales, this has become a prevalent problem. When people call looking for rentals, they will answer every question that you ask them, and then when you say ask do you have a pet, they tap dance around the topic…  Then the conversation goes like this:

   “Well, I have a dog.”

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...
English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

   I ask, “What kind of dog.”

   “It’s a mix.”

   “Well, what kind of mix?”

    “If I knew what kind of a mix it was, I guess I’d be able to tell you.”

   To which is them to text me a picture. (Yes, I am an insane lover of dogs, and I can probably tell you what breed it is) At this point, they start to squirm. One actually said, “I have a terrier.”  To which I finish the sentence with, “Stafford?” (Essentially, it’s a pit bull.) Nine times out of ten, when they won’t come straight out with it, it’s a pitbull mix, or Rottweiler mix, or Doberman mix, or Chow.. Now listen, coming from an owner of giant dogs, I’m only speaking facts here.  I was in the same position once…

   Here’s what most renters don’t understand. We may absolutely LOVE dogs. We may even love certain breeds more than others. But what most potential renters don’t understand, or don’t want to hear, is the liability factor that is involved. If your dog, any breed of dog, bites someone, it becomes a potential lawsuit to the owner of the house. Yes, you will also have repercussions, but ultimately the owner of the home can be sued.  Saying, “Well, my dog doesn’t bite!  He’s a sweetheart!” doesn’t help, trust me.  There can always be that one time that you don’t see coming. In turn, this raises their homeowners insurance, among other things but, it can be even worse than that…

   Case in point: A very good friend of mine that I recently sold a home, learned this first hand. She had an insurance claim for roof damage on her home after a storm. The insurance company sent the adjuster out, and he knocked on the door. Now, my friend is a lover of dogs, so much so that she has six of them(it’s a BIG house). They’re a mixed bunch of all different kinds of breeds, she adopts them. So the guy knocks, she opens the door, they all come running, and he looks down at just ONE of them wagging his tail…

   “What’s that?” he asks. She said, “I think it’s a dog?”  He asks, “What kind of dog?” She said, “He is a terrier.” He said, “No it’s not.” She said,  “Yes, it IS, it’s a Staffordshire.” He said, “No, it’s a pitbull.” Now, where am I going with this? Well, he filed her insurance claim alright, and she got a notice of cancellation of her home owners insurance Fed exed the next day. Why?

   Well, did you know that the insurance company actually has a list of breeds of dog that are not allowed if a home is to be insured with any given insurance company?  I sure didn’t!   Common breeds are any pure breed or mixed breed of pitbull, Rottweiler, Doberman, and a bunch of others. She was told that if she didn’t get rid of the dog, they would not reinstate her policy. Needless to say, she found another insurance company. But, my point is, potential tenants need to understand that when they are looking for a rental, if they own any of these breeds of dog, it is going to be difficult at minimum. The owner may absolutely love dogs, but they are not willing to risk getting sued if your dog happens to bite someone.

   This is not doggie discrimination, its a rule. That’s why when you get an MLS rental listing, it will possibly say “yes with restrictions.” That usually means size and/or breed of dog. There may also be a size restriction within condo association. So please, if you are looking for a rental and you own any of these type of dog, understand that you are going to have a more difficult time finding a rental. More importantly, please understand that you must disclose what breed of dog you have, and be honest about it. Not disclosing honestly what breed of dog you have is considered a violation of your contract. You would end up finding yourself with no where to live before you were ever allowed to move in. As an agent, it puts us in a very bad position if that happens, as the listing agent can blame us for failure to disclose that you had such a breed of dog. So, please, when we ask you: Be honest and upfront with your agent from the start. It is far easier for us to help you if we know from the beginning what we’re dealing with.  There are plenty of landlords that will rent to you, we will help you find one!


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


Singer Natalie Cole Dead at 65

Singer Natalie Cole, dead at 65…

Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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

Just caught the breaking news that Natalie Cole has passed away at the age of 65.  She is/was the daughter of the late jazz great, Nat King Cole.

Her publicist says that she passed last night, but no details as to how or why she passed.  Natalie had long battled with drugs, and as such had gotten hepatitis.  Because of that, she underwent a kidney transplant in 2009.

Natalie had recorded an album, Unforgettable, back in 1991.  I had been a compilation of many of her late father’s songs reworked.  She had actually taken a taped version of that song and created a duet out of it.  That album got 6 grammys and sold over 14 MILLION copies!

I’ll update the post as info comes available…


Cole’s rep said in a statement to TMZ, who add the singer passed away from congestive heart failure. “Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived..with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/natalie-cole-unforgettable-r-b-singer-dead-at-65-20160101#ixzz3w1Z4xVSk
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

So, You’ve Decided To Sell Your Home…

So, You’ve Decided To Sell Your Home…

Ok, so you’ve decided to sell.  What next?

You’re going to need to become RUTHLESS.  Ruthless with CLEANING.  Ruthless with PURGING.  Ruthless with REPAIRS.  But most importantly…

You’re going to need to get a thicker skin.  Your Realtor may look at, and through your home, and probably going to tell you a ton of things you’re not going to like.  Like, that you need to remove things, and DE-PERSONALIZE.

Listen, it’s not that we don’t like your STUFF.  We may actually LIKE your STUFF, but a buyer can’t see THEIR STUFF in your house if all of YOUR STUFF is still there!  Your potential buyer need to be able to envision their personal belongings  in the house to really realizr that your home may be the one they want to buy…

So you’re gonna have to de-personalize.  De-clutter.  Clean clean CLEAN!  Get your stuff into boxes, out of the house, or at LEAST out of sight.  Boxes, closets, basement, garage, wherever.  Garage sale!  Free to a good home!  Just get rid of it.

nj real estate mama

Next is repairs.  Guys, anything wrong with your home becomes BARGAINING LEVERAGE.  Read: LESS MONEY FOR YOUR HOME.  Don’t let stupid, easy, cheap to fix things like leaky faucets, broken locks on windows, missing door pulls, etc., bring down the price of your home.  Carpet stains?  Carpet smells?  Rent a steam cleaner and DO IT.  Pet smells are unacceptable.  You need to neutralize odors.

Lastly, curb appeal.  Guys, if you can’t get people to NOTICE your home, you won’t get them IN your home.  You need curb appeal.  Keep the grass mowed.  Keep the hedges trimmed.  Make sure all of your windows are clean.  If you can, power wash the exterior of the house.  Last, fresh paint on the window trim, door trim and the door, if it applies.  It’s an instant face lift for the house!  Maybe a seasonal plant or two on the porch.  Azaleas for a splash of color.

So, when you decide to sell, become ruthless!

~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, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

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



5 More Reasons Your House WON’T SELL!

5 More Reasons Your House WON’T SELL!

“Wait! What the HELL are you talking about?!  Whaddya MEAN my house WON’T SELL?!” you scream. “My house is pretty dang nice! I just spent a TON of money on the chachkas on all of my countertops! My wallpaper is only 2 years old, all 4 rooms of it!!!”

Okay, you want to sell your home.  Nobody said it would necessarily be easy.  I can sit here any day of the week and tell you things that you’re doing (or not doing) that are killing your chances of your home selling.  Here’s just a couple of home sales crimes that you NEED to be sure not committing…

1.  Wanna sell your house?  YOU NEED TO LET ME SHOW IT!!!!!!

The best Realtor in the universe can’t sell your home if you don’t let them show it.  You need to accomodate showing agents to schedule appointments to show your home, and then HONOR those appointments!  You also can’t really, unless there’s an extreme circumstance, only allow showings 2 days a week for 4 hours a day.  There aren’t many buyers that will wait that long to see it, or their hours may not mesh with yours.  Keeping a lockbox on your home allows appointments to show your home to be scheduled, and you

don’t even need to be home.  Just keep your home tidy, and all will be fine.

2.  “Whaddya MEAN I’m priced too high?!”

Okay, quite often, one of two things happens to trigger this response. Did you talk to your agent about your price?  Let me rephrase that…  did you LISTEN to your agent when you discussed the listing price?  Did you insist on pricing your home at what YOU thought it is worth?  If you did, well, when you get what you think are lowball offers, don’t be shocked.  Your agent, if they’re really good, brought you comparables before you listed.  They showed you homes that have sold in the last 6 months, and that are listed for sale now, and are as close to an exact match to your home as there is.  THAT, my friend is where YOU need to be priced.  NOT $30k higher.

One of the problems many homeowners face is that they may have an inexperienced agent, or worse, an agent that will tell you what you want to hear to get you to list your home with THEM.  They will say that your number is fine just to get you to sign that paper.  End result?  No showings, more time on the market (NOT a good thing)and most importantly, NO SALE.  Interview a few agents before you sign!

3.  You NEED to De-personalize

You may be proud of your family and all their accomplishments.  I’d be proud of my family with all 65 of those college degrees hanging on the wall, too.  But, your prospective buyer needs to see HIS family pics on the wall.  HIS wall hangings.  HIS bar mirrors, if it’s going to be his man cave.  He can’t do that with all that wall clutter.  What about all of those trophies and statues and figurines and pictures and chachkas and….  PUT THEM AWAY!  Just put them in a box until you can put them on your next fireplace mantel.  When you’re trying to sell, your buyer needs to picture where they’re gonna put all of THEIR stuff.  They can’t do that if yours is taking up all of that counter space.

4. That Smelly Smell that Smells…. SMELLY!

When you live in anywhere, you’re in that airspace for most of the day.  It’s familiar, so unless there’s bad food in the garbage that you can smell, you may not notice that something’s amiss.

You know you’re going to have showings today while you’re at work.  Did you take out the garbage?  Are last night’s dirty dishes still in the sink?  How about dirty laundry?  Is the basket of sweaty gym clothes out?  How about the baby’s dirty diaper pail?

nj real estate mama

I’m not trying to be gross or disgusting here.  Every one of things happened to me on showings last year!  And I mean to the point of literal gagnation.  I kid you not.  And believe me when I tell you,  not ONE of those homes got a bid from any of my clients.  When people smell smells, it means that the house is NOT CLEAN.  Then, they need to know what’s causing it.  Or, worse, if they SEE what the problem is, then they wonder what they HAVEN’T seen.

5.  In a word, WALLPAPER

I don’t know where to file this, de-personalize, repairs or what…

Wallpaper is a very personal choice.  You took hours, days, WEEKS to pick it out!  And yes, unless it’s a historic Victorian house trying to stay true to period, it needs to go.  If a buyer absolutely HATES the print, they also more than likely know what a pain in the butt it is going to be to remove it.  That’s a job that nobody wants to do, and a headache nobody needs to have.  You will need to strip it off and repaint the walls a nice, neutral color.  Again, unless it’s there for a reason (historic home), it needs to go.

The sooner you address these potential problems, the sooner you will get your home sold…

~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, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

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