Tag Archives: New Jersey

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

609-646-1900

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)

http://activerain.com/blogsview/4801940/attention-to-detail-or-what-were-ya-thinking-

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

I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!

I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!

So…

You’d like me to sell your house you say?  ABSOLUTELY!!!  BUT.  There’s a few things you’ll need to do first.  Like patch the holes in the walls?  Paint the black walls a slightly lighter shade?  Rake the leaves from last year?  Ok?  You get that done, and I’l be back in 2 weeks to take the listing and take AWESOME pics of your house, m’kayyyyy?

I'm GOOD, but I'm NOT God!
I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!

Fast forward to 2 weeks later…

 

I pull up, leaves are pretty much gone, ok, good.  But the garbage cans are overflowing in the driveway, one is knocked over onto the lawn.  Heading for the door, I’m almost afraid to see what’s inside.  I knock, owner is all smiles.  The black room is now a perky purpley lavender color.   Ooooooooookay fine.  I go to check the walls.  Where the holes were, I MEAN are, there ARE now 2 dressers in front of them!  As in, the holes are still there!!!

So now I try to reason with the owner that the holes are, errrrr, unacceptable?  They don’t want to have to fix them.  Alllllllrighty then.  Moving on…

So, I start taking pictures of the home, asking the husband to please move the garbage cans so that I can get a good pic of the outside.  I get to the kid’s rooms, there are toys EVERYWHERE.  NOT on shelves, or neatly arranged.  Like, I couldn’t go in the room without twisting my ankles, which I DID.  Legos everywhere.  Books on top of toys on top of trucks.  Ok, let’s pass on the pics of THAT room.  I get to the master bedroom.  I kid you not, there were dirty clothes EVERYWHERE.  I can’t…..

At this point, I feel like I need a shower.  I’m done.  I get to the kitchen, where the sink is full of dirty dishes, condiments from their taco Tuesday all over the counter.   A cheery, “All done?!” from the wife.  Yep, I’m DONE all right.  “What’s wrong?” she asks.  What ISN’T?

I now explain to her that there is no way on this green earth that I can post pics of the house like this if they ever want to get it sold.  I explained that I gave them 2 weeks, and they didn’t do anything except paint the black room.  She then says she sees pics of rooms like this posted on the internet all the time.  To which I say “Yes, and that’s why they haven’t sold yet!!!  She sees nothing wrong.  She thinks the home will sell itself.  She literally says, sarcastically, “Well, if you don’t think you can sell it…”

At that point, I pick up my listing agreement and my camera, and I say, “Listen, I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!  I am NOT a miracle worker!  I cannot wave my hand and BAM!  Your house is sold!  I think you need another agent…”   3 weeks later, the home still wasn’t listed.  I watched and waited.  2 weeks after that, somebody’s sign was in the ground.  Turned out to be a newbie agent.  Not only were the MLS pics of the inside full of the laundry, the toys and the dishes, but the house was also priced $30k OVER what I told them they needed to list it for!  Newbie+lazy listers+tell the seller what they wanna hear=recipe for disaster.  Last I checked, the house was still listed at the same price, on the market for 146 days.  Did a driveby, same overflowing garbage, different day.  Eventually, they’ll learn.  Or get another agent that will do the right thing, as long as THEY do, too…

Guys, we ALL, as in ALL agents, are here to help you sell your home.  But we CAN’T if you don’t help.  Of course you love your house.  But you need to step back and ask yourself, would someone ELSE love my house if they were here right now?  First impressions are HUGE here.  You need to clean.  Declutter.  Polish your home like the diamond that it can be.  Only then can we get it sold for top dollar.

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

I’m a Realtor, NOT a Referee!

I’m a Realtor, NOT a Referee!

   Ok, so the ongoing reality is that when we went to real estate school, they taught us the LAW, NOT how to sell a home.  Well, there’s a WHOLE LOTTA OTHER things they didn’t teach us…

 

Liiiiike, how to negotiate… how to deal with rejection, aaaaaaand…

 

                                                                          HOW TO BE A REFEREE

 

“Wait, WHAT?!” you ask?  This isn’t what I signed up for!!!  I don’t play games… watch baseball… watch fights…  Oh, wait, yes, I do…

 

Now.  I deal with quite a few rehabbers, fixand flippers, partners of sorts.  Now YOU would think, and I would think, that in a partnership, everything’s hunky dory.  Partners know each other.  Meep!!!!  WRONG!!!  Creative differences are one thing.  Financials are another.  PERSONAL takes it to a whole new level…

 

I’ve been told BY SAID CLIENTS that I should have been a marriage counselor, a mediator, or,at minimum, a referee.  I have one set that didn’t make it through a deal.  I have another set that are KILLING each other every.  Single.  DAY.  And yet another that bicker on a daily basis.

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  DING!!!

 

 

And it’s let the games begin….   I keep telling them that they need to meet in the middle, because at the end of the day, it’s all about the paycheck.  Two deals kept threatening each other with lawyers, they quit, they want to dissolve their partnership.  DING!!!!  ONE kept screaming, “List the house as is!!!” half completed. The other said, “I’ll let the place get foreclosed on first!!!”  I keep explaining that if I list it as is, they won’t get out as even a break-even.  I spent 2 1/2 HOURS tonite in the middle of 2 SCREAMING partners/clients that I’m in my 2nd deal with.  I know they’ll get through it, as I’ve been here with them before.  One headache and a bottle of wine later, everybody left on speaking terms.  DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING!!!!  “The one looks at me and says, “You sould have been a referee, or at LEAST a marriage counselor!”  The other one apologizes and says,”I’m sorry, you don’t get paid to do this…”  I just looked at her, because it seems that in many of my deals, this is the norm.  As I hit the mat, down for the count, the final bell goes off…

 

We all deal with it.  Arguing spouses over whether to accept the low offer on their homes, partners arguing over how the money is spent, rehabbers fighting over what design will net them more money on the out number.  This is a time when you really hope that you really REALLY know your clients, so you can head the problems off at the pass.  Why?  Because if you can’t, or don’t, it will be YOU that will not get paid when the deal falls apart…

 

Remember, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee?”  You have float like a butterfly,  feel out the situation, try to calm it down, but if people are too busy mud-slinging, STING LIE A BEE.  MAKE THEM STOP.  Explain that it’s counterproductive to getting the deal DONE.  Clients hitting below the belt verbally?  TKO, disarm the argument.  Agents need to learn how to do the old verbal rope a dope.  Sometimes it can truly be an art form.  Verbal sparring is the order of the day.  Are you ready to come out punching?

 

 

 

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

Excuse Me, I gotta see a guy about a boat….

Excuse Me, I gotta see a guy about a boat….

Sooooooooo…

I get a bank owned listing. House is overgrown, place is a trainwreck, and then there’s….

THE BOAT.

Now, I hear ya, saying, “HEY! It’s a free boat!” TRUST me, NOBODY wants this boat. Been sitting, green with pollen, weather beaten, tanked, dry rotted tires on the trailer. Ok, so what’s the problem, you ask?

Welllllllll…

Because it’s at the house, even though it’s vacant, and the bank took the house back, they need to do an eviction. FOR THE BOAT. Why? Because apparently it’s personal property. Ok, fine. So I get all the DMV info for the attorneys. Why? Where do I live? New Jersey. Where’s the boat last registered? DELAWARE. UGH, another one that will be sitting for another 6 months before it gets listed.

Fast forward to last weekend, when I went to check on the house, and sonofabitch, dang boat’s still there. The ONE TIME ya WANT somebody to steal something, it’ll be there ’til the cows come home. So the neighbor sneaks up on me and scares the bejeepers outta me. She then tells me about

THE BOAT.

As a matter of fact, there HAD been TWO of them. Apparently,after the home was foreclosed on, the grandson and his friends had been squatting in the house. If you remember, after Hurricane Sandy, you can no longer have your boat on the street outside your home. The grandson decided to allow a guy to pay him monthly to keep his boats there in the yard. After said neighbor repeatedly called the police, they found the guy and he came and picked up ONE boat. Not

THE BOAT.

So I pass the info on to the asset manager. Who passes it on tothe eviction specialist. Who passes it on to the bank’s attorney. Who answers back to the specialist that answers to the asset manager who answers to me: SEE EMAIL FROM THE LAWYER BELOW ON WHAT TO DO ABOUT

THE BOAT.

Now, I thought that since I knew that the police had this guy’sinfo, I had things all sewn up into a neat, tidy package. The attorney’s email said that after many back and forth contacts with DMV in both states, the easiest solution is the simplest. He said to have me remove

THE BOAT.

So, I’m thinkin’ I’ll just go to the poice dept., explain that said boat was abandoned, and can they please come and impound it. I explain about the guy they need to find, and say just reach out to him and have him remove it. Cop can’t find any records on him. I give him the registration numbers. Invalid info on the search. Cop looks at me and says well, the bank owns the house, so now they own

THE BOAT.

I said, “Wait, you don’t understand. I get the pleasure of trying to get this done. What the hell do I do?” He says, “Impound it.” I said, “That’s what I came to YOU to do. He says, “I don’t do it, YOU do it.” I asked, “where do you impound it to?” He says, “You mean where do YOU impound it?” He said, “I dunno. A dump?” He says, “They have lawyers, right? Let THEM do it.” I wailed “But they want ME to do it!!! Listen, I own a chainsaw, the dang thing is made outta fiberglass!!!” To which he says, “well, THAT won’t work…” So, an hour and a half later, I left with no solution. So, what’s the one place that works for STUFF? Craigslist. Free to a good home. Don’t you know, by the time I made the 10 minute ride home, my husband had already gotten potential takers! In the meantime, just in case, would YOU like…

THE BOAT???

boat

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.”