We Specialize In These Northern New Jersey Communities

Allendale - Franklin Lakes - Mahwah - Ramsey
Ridgewood - Upper Saddle River - Wyckoff

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4 Tips for Building Your Credit Without a Card

Paying down your credit card isn’t the only way to build good credit. Here are four equally-as-effective alternatives.

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It really is possible to build credit without a credit card–you’ll just have to take a different approach. If you don’t trust yourself with a credit card quite yet, here are some tips:

1. Start repaying your student loans. Assuming you have them, you can start repaying your loans while you’re still in school to begin building your credit score. Waiting until you’ve graduated is also an option. Either way, be sure to pay on time each month to build your score without a card.

2. Use a credit builder loan. This is similar to a secured credit card. Once you’re approved, the funds in the loan are placed in a savings account or a CD until you’ve repaid the loan. At that point, the money in your savings is yours to keep. 

3. Repay a mortgage or car loan. Since both mortgages and car loans report to credit bureaus, either of these will help you build your credit score. The difficult part in getting approved for either of these without an established credit history can be remedied by having a steady income and a good down payment. 

A credit builder loan is similar to a secured credit card.

4. Make sure you pay your rent and all your bills on time. Also, beware of advanced fee loans and other loan scams that prey on people with no or bad credit. These loans typically guarantee approval and ask for some type of upfront payment. Be careful.

As always, if you have any questions about your credit or about real estate in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

A Thanksgiving Message for You

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We wanted to share this message of gratitude from our family to yours.

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It’s that time of year where everyone is expressing their gratitude and appreciation. We love that, but we believe in doing so all year long. We’re so grateful and blessed to be able to keep in touch with so many of our past and present clients. We’re so grateful for you remembering us and referring us to help serve all of your real estate needs. We hope you all have a very happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

If You Want a Good Return, Steer Clear of These 5 Home Improvement Projects

Today I’ll be discussing the five worst home updates that a homeowner can do. Avoid these to keep yourself from wasting money on projects that bring poor returns.

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We often talk about the best home renovation projects that people do to add some value to their property; today, let’s discuss the worst. These are five home updates that you should avoid if you don’t want to invest more money in your renovation than these projects are worth.

1. Over-the-top improvements. Before your minor upgrade turns into a home improvement disaster, ask yourself whether potential buyers in your area are likely to pony up for some posh upgrades. Unless you’re planning to stay in your home forever, we would suggest forgoing that steam shower and carved marble tub.

2. Home office overhauls.
  Home offices don’t generally pay off in resales, but if you’re working from home, they’re a must. Keep the structure of the space intact, especially if your office was once a bedroom or garage; those rooms can easily be restaged when it comes time to put the house on the market.

3. Swimming pools. They’re great to have, but they’re really controversial from a buyer’s standpoint. Pools are neutral to some people, and some people just hate them and won’t even come look at your home knowing that you have a pool.

Just keep it simple!

4. New roofing.
 Replacing your roof can help with resale, but don’t go overboard with the material—clay, tile, and architectural shingles don’t usually have as much of return on investment. If you’re in a townhouse or condo development, make sure that you check with them before replacing your roof, as some might require you to use certain materials.

5. Specialized spaces.
There is a limited audience for certain upgrades like wine cellars, slides that go between floors, and playrooms.

My overall advice when it comes to home upgrades: Just keep it simple!