I’m practically breathless, and it’s not from the pollen. May in Montclair is in full bloom and there is truly not enough time in my days for it all.
“May in Montclair” is not simply a town during the spring. “May in Montclair” became a “thing,” in 1979, when the town first distributed a calendar of events listing everything to see and do. From the Presby Iris Gardens to the blossoming Van Vleck estate, it’s a month-long celebration of one of the most beautiful places in New Jersey during one of its most beautiful moments in time.
Do I already sound like a commercial? It may get worse.
As I write this, we’re in the middle of the Montclair Film Festival, a 10-day extravaganza of screenings, discussions and parties that has grown so much since its inception in 2012, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been part of May in Montclair forever.
There are parent workshops, lectures, lunches, garden tours, walking tours, dance performances, choral performances, cooking demos, book sales, art talks and art walks. And garden events galore!
Also, over the next two weekends, the high school is staging Pippen on Friday and Saturday nights. Aside from being a wonderful show, this is a great way for parents to get a sense of the amazing arts education available in the district.
If you’re considering buying here, please spend some of your May in Montclair. It’s like seeing our town in its most flattering outfit and having its best possible hair day. I know you know what I’m talking about. Dig in!
Home Staging has become one of the biggest buzzwords in world of selling real estate, yet many sellers are still perplexed by the concept. “Why do you want me to dismantle my photograph wall?” a client will ask. “It’s one of my favorites parts of the house!”
Plain and simple: staging a home allows a buyer to more easily envision himself living in the space. And the more of “your” stuff that’s around, the less of “his” stuff he can imagine there.
There are many suggestions I make when I meet with a client about getting ready to sell, but a few are worth noting as Staging Rules of Thumb – small changes you can make that will make your home show better and sell faster.
- Don’t Overdo It. Many people think of staging as bringing things in – furniture, rugs, accent pieces – but most of the “work” of staging is taking pieces out. The more “available” square footage in a room, the more easily the buyer will be able to see her own furniture there.
- Create Conversation Spaces. Sofas and chairs do not need to line the perimeter of the room. Consider furniture arrangements that allow people to easily converse and socialize. Let the buyer to imagine all the lovely entertaining that she can do in your home.
- Keep Accessories Tasteful. Small, thoughtful additions can go a long way in making a space feel homey and inviting, especially gentle smells like potpourri in the bathrooms. Best, though, to keep additions neutral; controversial material – like political or religious books – is better off out of plain sight.
- Focus on the Main Rooms. Staging is crucial for the Big 4: Living Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom and all Bathrooms. The other rooms – kids bedrooms, guest rooms, den – can simply be pared down and filled in by the buyer’s imagination.
- Let a “Blank Slate” Be Your Guide. Your personal photographs and children’s artwork is no doubt amazing, but they are just going to muddy the waters when it comes to helping a buyer visualize herself in your home. Put away your personal effects, but please, don’t take it personally.
These rules are general so if you’re in need of a personal staging consult, don’t hesitate to call me. 973-809-5277
There isn’t much more stressful in life than buying a home – and especially buying your first home. You can get a sense of what it’s like to work with me if you spend some time reading reviews on Zillow. Here’s a recent post that made me feel great about doing the work that I do:
“Lina helped us purchase our home recently. As first time homebuyers, we had many questions going in, but Lina patiently and confidently guided us through each step of the process. Lina was professional, reliable and very accessible, returning calls and addressing questions and concerns efficiently.
We very much appreciated that she took the time up front to learn about our family and the type of home and neighborhood we wanted. She did a very nice job of only bringing to our attention homes that met our criteria.
Lina was very well versed in the local real estate market and was able to teach us more about the geography and detailed attributes of the many different neighborhoods in town. From beginning to end, Lina was calm and patient but knew when to push, frequently offering the right piece of information and guidance at the right moment. It was a pleasure working with Lina, and we look forward to many happy years in the home she helped us purchase!” — K.T.