Home Renovations NJ

What is Better Financially: To Fix Up a Current House or Just Move?

As homeowners, we often wonder if our home just needs some renovations or if it’s time to move. There’s no surprise because as time passes so do our needs. As such, there might be aspects
and features in your current home that might not be as appealing to you anymore, or you might no longer need it in the future.

It’s easy to consider just moving right from the start but with low inventory nationwide,
you might want to rather consider remodeling your house. Instead of moving right away, you could consider altering whatever it is you dislike about your current house with a simple renovation and check if it would be practical and financially viable to do so.

There are a few things you can investigate to see if that’s the case. You’d have to scour the internet, but we took the time to compile this short guide that will help you
with this momentous decision later on. What need:

What Need

  • Before going into the financials, we believe it would be prudent for you to think about what you really need. You have to prioritize if what you’re looking for is want, more than an actual need.
  • Chances are, what you want may just be out of a whim and well, you don’t want to get stuck with spending on that (if you remodeled), or bought a new house just because of something you don’t see yourself actually using or enjoying.

Check The Costs

  • Whether we choose to remodel or move altogether, it all boils down to one important thing—how much we’re going to spend. No matter which one we choose, we’re going to have to shell out a few dollars.
  • For those who consider renovating, check with various contractors and ask for quotes. If you can get at least three quotes, all the better for an accurate cost estimate. Make sure that these line items are included: permits, architectural plans, materials, labor, and additional expenses.
  • For those who are selling, make sure that you factor in the following: agent commissions, moving costs, minor repairs on the new home and the current place, cost of the new home, additional miscellaneous costs.


  • If you think that you live in a sought-after neighborhood, then it might be better to sell, but you can consult with real estate agents to gain more insights. They can help you out with research (how much you can sell your house for, if it is a good time to sell, whether your house is appealing to the market, etc.)
  • Consider the home you’re moving into. If you sell your house only to move to another in the same neighborhood, the proceeds from selling your current home might not go a long way.

There you have it! A quick guide to help you with your decision. Just one more thing; if you do
consider renovating, make sure that you don’t over-improve. There are risks with over-improving your home, turning it into a high-end one, in a not-so-expensive neighborhood might result in you not being able to recoup the expenses when you sell later.

Home Remodeling New Jersey

New Home Remodel In NJ

Is it Cheaper to MOVE to a New House or Remodel?

Are you considering making the MOVE to a new house? Or stay in your familiar New Jersey home that just needs some modern updates? During quarantine, many people have found themselves analyzing the current state of their homes and considered a MOVE or IMPROVE with their home; But what is the right decision financially? It is predicted that home sales will hit 4.93 million units at the end of 2020 and follow a rise in 2021 with 5.35 million units. Just between the months of June and July of this year, home sales rose 24.7%. Evidently, it’s a great time to give our trusted realtor, Jacki Venezio, a call! Interest rates on mortgage loans are super low, which allows house prices to rise faster. This made house prices go up by 10.1% this year (Zebra, 2020)!

However, the downfall of so many people jumping to get their house on the market and move ASAP is that houses are selling fast. So fast- that houses are going on the market and being sold within
the next few WEEKS! Over 2/3 of homes on the market in July 2020 were sold in less than one month (Passy, 2020). Therefore, if you want to get involved with the real estate world in the next few months, make sure you are prepared to pack up your house and leave quickly. Homeowners should keep an eye out for any houses they can see making their own and act fast! This shows that financially, if you are thinking of putting your home up for sale and starting new, now might be the best time to do it while the market is booming. Interest rates are extremely low and your home will sell for a lot more money now than it would have last year.

Some may think this fast-moving market is a little too intimidating to sell a home right now. If you are not ready to move so quickly and would rather take your time with finding a new home and packing
your current one, remodeling your current home is right for you. Financially, this is always a great option to IMPROVE your living environment to one that makes you more comfortable without the hassle of moving and starting new. The great thing is- you can remodel one room at a time and do your house at your desired pace. If you are planning on staying in your house for 5 or more years,
invest in what you can afford at the moment. With no rush to update the house for resale… you can just do the kitchen now and the bathrooms later! You get to choose the updates and look of the house based on your personal preference- and the happiness from your remodel is money well spent.

Remodeling your home is a great investment because you are creating a more functional space for yourself while you are living there, and adding value to the home. Your home renovation boosts your home value for when you decide to sell it in the future. That way, you are making the money back that you spent on remodeling and maybe gaining more- all while enjoying the new space and appliances yourself! Just minor bathroom renovations alone can add $3,500 onto the price of your home (Sanctum, 2020)! After hearing about the current state of the real estate market and the investment of remodeling your home, Call MOVE or IMPROVE today to find out which option fits best for you.

Home For Sale NJ


Cost To Move Home In NJ

How Much Does it Cost to MOVE?

One of the main considerations of selling your home and buying another is of course, how much will it cost?

Let’s talk about moving in the current year of 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, New Jersey has been a busy place in the real estate market. Interest rates are very low and house prices went up by 10.1% (Zebra, 2020) which means you can save some money making the MOVE this year than you would have last year. Let’s go through what costs you will have to make the big MOVE.

First, you need the down payment for your home. This is usually a minimum of 5% the cost of the house you are buying. Once you put down that money, you will have mortgage closing costs.
These are fees for the expenses that are used to finalize a mortgage (Kearns, 2019). In New Jersey, closing costs are typically 2-3% of the purchase price. There are a couple of property related fees as well, known as the appraisal fee and home inspection. The appraisal is where you hire a professional to determine the value of your property. This way, when you need a loan, the lender can verify how much you need which will cost between $300-400. Lenders also usually require a home inspection that costs about $300-500 (Kearns, 2019). This is to make sure your house is in good shape before the bank allows you to borrow money to purchase your new house. Following these fees, you can also expect to pay some assortment of loan related ones such as an application fee or attorney fee which are different for everyone.

Now that we got the technical costs covered, let’s look at the physical MOVE. Of course, the more local your MOVE is, the cheaper the mover’s price will be. For example, a MOVE to a 1 bedroom across town that will take 3-5 hours to get the furniture in, it only costs about $200-500. For a family MOVE of 4 bedrooms, it can take 10 or more hours for a total cost of $800-2,000. To MOVE locally (under 100 miles), movers typically charge $80-100 per hour with an extra fee of $25-50 per additional movers. If you are looking to MOVE further (over 100 miles), it can range from around $2,000 up to $5,000. Extra fees for an interstate MOVE are $0.50 per pound (Zillow, 2020). But wait- we aren’t done yet. Another factor of moving is renting a storage unit. Not everyone needs to do this, but in the case that you close on your house before you can move into the next, you probably need to put your furniture in a storage unit. For a small unit, it is around $50 a month, whereas a larger one is $300-400 (Zillow).

Okay, deep breath. That’s it on the breakdown of the main costs of buying and selling a house. After reading about the details of moving -it may seem like a lot- but that’s why MOVE or IMPROVE is here to help! Call our realtor, Jacki Venezio, today for more information on getting your MOVE started!

How much does cost to move home In NJ


granite and quartz countertops

Choosing a Countertop: Quartzite or Granite?

When selecting a countertop, the two most common options are granite and quartzite NJ. Below you will find a breakdown of each material’s pros and cons.

Granite is a pure stone that is cut into “slabs” and then polished. Due to the natural element of granite, each granite countertop is unique and gives you a variety of different options to choose from; even if looking at the same style of stone. Due to its purity, granite is usually more expensive to install, open to potentially cracking, and will need on-going sealing to maintain the presence of the countertop.

Quartzite is an engineered stone product. While there are countertops that may have a level of natural quartzite, all quartzite countertops are made consisting of some proprietary blend. Due to these countertops being engineered, there are many different styles available, but very little variation within the product line. Quartzite is can be found at lower price points than granite for this reason. It is also very little maintenance that needs to be done with quartzite countertops.

In the end, there are pros and cons to each. You, the homeowner, will need to make a selection based on you and your family plan on using the space. It’s also very important to find a style that you fall in love with!



Do you think it’s time to IMPROVE your home?
People and families change over time. Certain needs and wants evolve. As children grow, often both they and the parents feel a need for separate spaces to watch TV, game or just hang out. That might mean a need for a great room addition or a finished basement. Families also enjoy entertaining friends which often creates a desire for a bigger, nicer kitchen and possibly an inviting outdoor living space. Families expand with additional children or other family members joining them. This might require bedroom additions, a master suite addition or an in-law suite.

Projects like these are tens of thousands of dollars. Larger projects or multiple projects often well exceed one hundred thousand dollars.

Now you must enter the following considerations:

  • Do we have the cash? Should we liquidate some of our assets? Should we seek a renovation loan?
  • Will we be over improving our home and pricing ourselves out of the neighborhood?
  • How long do we plan on staying here?

Faced with these questions, one should also consider whether to MOVE instead. That would mean doing all the minor repairs that the house needs and many cosmetic updates so that it will show well when listed for sale. De-cluttering and staging are almost always a suggestion of professional realtors.

While readying to sell your home, you will be seeking for possible homes to purchase that have the size and features that your family needs and desires. The fiscal math is not as simple as sell for “x” and then buy for “y.” Here are other expenses that may need to be factored into your financial equation:

  • Real estate fees
  • Lawyer fees
  • Closing costs
  • Professional services such as a home inspector and title insurance
  • Moving expenses
  • The possible need for new/more furniture and decorating

After that, there are some other unknown variables:

What are the neighbors like?

  • Friends for the kids?
  • Traffic?
  • Parking?

When you’re not sure which to do, you should consult with professionals. MOVE or IMPROVE in NJ is compromised of realtors and project designers that work together with families faced with these same options. The process is similar to the HGTV show “Love It or List It” only tailored to the real world where the decision needs to be made up front and not at the end of a major renovation at the end of an episode.

Real Estate Home For Sale in Front of Beautiful New House

Beware of This Real Estate Tactic

Because of emotional ties and pride, most homeowners believe their home is worth more than it actually is. Knowing this, sadly and unprofessionally, all too many real estate agents prey upon that belief.

The value of a home is what a willing and able buyer is prepared to pay for it. The best way to predict this dollar amount is to research the “comps.” That is the comparable homes that have sold over the past six months in the neighborhood. Plus and minus adjustments do have to be made for different features and conditions. This baseline creates a very good reference as far as how much to list a home for sale. This process is called a Market Analysis.

If priced correctly, a newly listed home in a town’s median home value range should sell within the first 30 days on the market. If there are no offers or just low ones in the first 30-90 days the correct strategy is often to make a price reduction.

Some realtors, on a listing appointment, will suggest that a higher price than proper market analysis will forecast. Homeowners will think that means more money in their pockets when their home sells. So they select this particular realtor with high hopes. Then, after the home doesn’t garner any interest and offers at that price point, the realtor suggests a price drop, most likely down to the correct market price. The once optimistic, unsuspecting homeowner might think that they own lost 30 plus days. In fact, they very well may have lost out to the best buyers in that crucial window of opportunity causing their home to sit much longer than expected, unsold on the market. Through the listing agreement, you will now be obligated to stay with this agent for months, losing both time and money.

A realtor that suggests you drop your home’s listing price by $30,000 may only be losing out $500 +/- in commission while you are losing thousands. But as this article suggests, an over-inflated home listing price merely gives owners hopes of extra money in their pocket. The reality is that it can cause a greater loss of time and money over and above the difference of the zealous listing amount and the correct marketing listing.

Be smart. Do your homework. Work with a professional realtor that has a proven track record that they can easily illustrate to you. Hire someone that you trust and feel comfortable with knowing they will have your family’s best interest first and foremost.