Sunday, February 19, 2017

Renovations with the Best Returns for 2017

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If you've been kicking around the idea of some home improvements, but aren't sure which ones make the most financial sense, don't miss "The Renovations That Will Pay Off the Most for Your Home in 2017" published by

While some renovations sound like they're a home run for your home's value, in actuality big-ticket projects recoup far less than some of their simpler counterparts.

For example, adding fiberglass insulation to your attic has an astonishing estimated return of 107.7% compared to a bathroom addition, which averages only a 53.9% return.

The report compares the average cost of the project to the expected value at the time of resale. Here are the top 10 projects and their ROI percentage:

1. Fiberglass attic insulation (107.7%)
2. Steel entry door upgrade (90.7%)
3. Manufactured stone veneer (89.4%)
4. Minor kitchen remodel (80.2%)
5. Garage door replacement (76.9%)
6. Siding replacement (76.4%)
7. Wooden deck addition (71.5%)
8. Second-story addition (71.1%)
9. Basement remodel (70%)
10. Family room addition (69.3%)

You can read a more detailed analysis of the projects (plus the next 9 projects in the ROI list) here:

Of course, ROI is only one factor in choosing a home renovation. Some projects pay huge dividends in the pleasure they give you while you live in your home. Having a second bathroom with two teenagers in the house? Priceless!

Which renovations are you considering? How concerned are you about your return on investment when the time comes?

When you're ready to cash in on your investment, give me a call! I'm here to help you get top dollar for your home:

Marie Episale, REALTOR, ePRO
Century 21 Crest Real Estate
Pompton Plains, NJ
Broker-Salesperson, Sales Manager
201-314-0106 cell/text
973-646-7423 office direct

Making Your Home "Age in Place" Ready

If you love your home and plan to live it in through your retirement years, you'll want to be sure it's safe for you as you face some of those little challenges aging presents. Assess your home and see if there are any changes you may need to make. Doing so will not only reduce the risk of injury, but it will also give your loved ones peace-of-mind, especially if you live alone.

Here's what you'll want to inspect as you consider aging in place:

1. Bathroom handrails. Next to the toilet and tub are top choices. Not only are they there for moments of instability, but they can help you raise and lower yourself more easily. You might also consider converting to a walk-in shower with a seat.

2. Non-slip surfacing. Showers and tubs are much safer if you reduce the chance of slippage. Having coating installed to facilitate your grip is a good idea.

3. Stairway railings. Both inside and outside stairways should have sturdy, useful rails (i.e. not just decorative).

4. Ample lighting. Consider adding lighting indoors and outdoors. Decreased visibility is a major contributor to falls. Lighting also adds security by deterring would-be burglars.

5. Sharp edges. Tables, countertops, and other areas were sharp edges are likely to be found should be replaced with rounded surfaces.

6. Flat thresholds. Transitions from room-to-room should be as bump-free as possible. You may be used to stepping over the occasional random stair or elevated threshold, but you might not be so agile as you age.

7. Storage height. If you've been used to climbing up and down step ladders to access your storage spaces, look for alternative storage options.

8. Furniture support. Is your couch too low? Do your chairs have arm rests for support? Are countertops too high? Find the sweet spot where comfort and safety meet.

Home size is often an issue as well, especially if there are upkeep and maintenance issues to consider. Of course, if you've decided your current home isn't the greatest for an age-in-place approach to your golden years, I am happy to get you the help you need to sell your current home or look for a new one:

Marie Episale, REALTOR, ePRO

Broker-Salesperson, Sales Manager

CENTURY 21 Crest Real Estate

Pompton Plains, NJ

973-646-7423 office direct

201-314-0106 cell/text

Friday, October 5, 2012

6 Tips for Investing in Real Estate - And 1 specific Investment to consider - Parkside at Wanaque

If this article makes sense to you, please visit and consider purchasing a unit at pre construction prices.  



6 Tips for Investing in Real Estate

October 2, 2012

If you're fed up with the paltry returns you get on bonds, the insulting interest rates paid by banks, and the frenetic fits of the stock market, you might consider turning to rental real estate to supplement your retirement income. But it's not for everyone. Walk through these six tips to see if real estate can help you construct a sound retirement portfolio. If the idea still seems solid, the next step is to do your homework.

1. Assess your goals. The days of buying real estate and flipping it for a quick profit are long gone. Rental real estate can provide a steady, long-term income, but it takes work. Are you prepared to do lots of research to secure a property in a good location that will be attractive to people in the rental market? Are you ready to crunch the numbers to figure out if a property will work out financially? Are you able to manage your own property, which may include fixing the plumbing, cleaning the carpets, and applying a fresh coat of paint for new tenants? If not, you will need to hire someone else to do it for you.

2. Know the neighborhood. Surely, you've heard the old maxim about the three important factors of real estate: location, location, and location. If you're buying real estate you need to know what you're getting into. Is there something special about the property, such as a view or proximity to waterfront or public transportation? What are the zoning laws? Is there a new highway on the drawing boards? You can never cover all the unknowns, but you can find out if the rental market is viable. Check with real-estate agents, go online to Zillow and Craigslist, and talk to people in town. You can't accurately predict what the property will be worth in five years, but you should know if you can rent it next month, and at what price.

3. Buy local. There's no neighborhood you're more familiar with than your own. I know one couple who live in a lake community in Pennsylvania. They bought the house next door to them. They break even renting it out for the summer. They make their profit on what comes in during the shoulder season. And when it's empty they don't have to worry, because they can look out their window and make sure everything's okay. The farther away you are from your rental property, the harder it is to do your job as a landlord. If it's too far, you can't do it at all. You will have to hire a property manager who will do the job but eat up your profit in the bargain.

4. Best bet: a one bedroom condo. Outside of vacation properties, the sweet spot in the rental market is for single people: young singles, divorced middle-agers, and retired widows. Most of these people do not need, and will not pay for, a larger unit. The one bedroom condo is the Honda Civic of the rental market. There’s nothing sexy about it, but for most people it offers the best value, and is the easiest property to manage.

5. Buy at a good price. An old rule-of-thumb says if you can buy a property for 12 times the amount of its annual rent, then you're getting a good deal. These days you can do better than that—maybe nine or 10 times the annual rent. Of course, there are always variations, depending on the type of property, location, and the prospects for appreciation. But, remember, there's no pressure for you to buy. You don't pay up because you "fall in love" with a place. If you've done your homework, you have a pretty good idea what your monthly rental income will be. Don't pay more than what your monthly cost is going to be. That amount is your limit for what you should pay

6. Make sure you have some reserve cash. If you already own your own home, you know that at some point you'll inevitably face an unexpected expense—the dishwasher breaks, the roof leaks, or the condo association hits you with an assessment. You need to keep a cash reserve to take care of any surprises, including the possibility that your unit might be unoccupied for a (hopefully short) period of time. You also need to build these irregular expenses into your financial equation to help you decide, in the final analysis, if the whole project is worth it.

Tom Sightings is a former publishing executive who was eased into early retirement in his mid-50s. He lives in the New York area and blogs atSightings at 60, where he covers health, finance, retirement, and other concerns of baby boomers who realize that somehow they have grown up.



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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Parkside at Wanaque Condo Complex gets go ahead at Wanaque Planning Board Meeting

On Thursday, August 16th, 2012 the Wanaque Planning Board gave final site plan approval for Parkside at Wanaque to the Greentree Development Group.  Parkside at Wanaque is an 88 Unit Condominium Complex located at the site of the old Candle Factory on the corner of Boulevard and Fourth Avenue.

The Planning Board heard testimony from the Developer, Dave Gunia as well as his Attorney, Landscape Architect and Engineer. 
This community will offer an affordable purchase opportunity for two styles of housing.  The Two Level Town Homes offer 1500 square feet of living space.  They will have 2 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, an oversized Garage and an expanded 2nd floor "landing/nook" area.  Features include an open floor plan on the first floor with a Designer Kitchen with custom cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances that overlooks the Dining Area and Large Living Room.  There is a Powder Room near the Main Floor entry.  The Master Bedroom has a Walk in Closet and an ensuite bathroom with Glass Shower.  Design elements include hardwood flooring throughout first floor and on 2nd floor landing and hallways, crown molding, upgraded window casing and base molding, attic storage, oversized garage with room for storage, patio area accessible through sliding glass doors. The Townhomes will be priced starting at $239,000.
A two bedroom condo style model will also be available for under $200,000
Construction will begin soon with anticipated "move in" dates in early 2013.  Please join our V.I.P list if you would like to schedule a Sales Center visit when we open or subscribe to our Update list to keep informed of progress.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It IS the time to buy! The Real Estate Market is shifting!


Marie Episale, REALTOR, ePRO. -ATTENTION would be buyers! My advise is ACTION. Read the article and then take the necessary steps.     Listen to the "background noise".   Don't be one who said you "wish you would have".  This time next year, prices will have already begun their rise and you can be certain that interest rates will be higher.  NOW IS THE TIME to make your move and secure the purchase of your home.  Really, now!


August 18th 2012 - Rismedia Article Estate Market Recovery

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shrinking Supply of homes. If you are in the market to buy a home, it is wise NOT to wait.

Shrinking supply of homes for sale has upended market dynamics.  Call your trusted REALTOR today.  We are available at Century 21 Crest Real Estate in Pompton Plains, NJ for a FREE  Buyer consultation.  In a Morris County composite courtesy of Otteau Valuations (, the trend indicates a shrinking inventory and increase of contracts.  In January of 2012, the "months supply" (absorption rate ) was 10.8 and at the end of June was 6.9.  While it is still a "Buyers Market", the Supply & Demand ratio is changing quickly.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Walking and cycling path - Morris Canal Greenway- Project is underway.

The Greenway is a proposed 25-mile long walking and cycling path along the former Morris Canal, including Riverdale, Pequannock Township, Wayne, Little Falls and more. A portion of the future path will run along the Pequannock River behind Route 23 businesses including our location at the 142 Professional center. To view a map of existing and proposed pathway: The purpose of the project is to preserve and restore open space and create safe recreational opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists.