INHABIT | SOMa Newsletter

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Latest Blog Posts, Doable DIY, Tips and Tricks for Successful Homeownership

I'm a REALTOR with Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty in Maplewood, NJ and INHABIT SOMa is the newsletter for my Real Estate business. It will also include updates on the market statistics for NYC's Bedroom Communities, such as South Orange, Maplewood, Montclair, Glen Ridge, and Short Hills/Millburn.

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It’s Simple | Understanding Steam Heat

Many homes in South Orange and Maplewood, NJ use steam heat, an outdated but very comfortable heat source is simple to understand, but requires routine attention for proper operation.

Steam boilers (not furnaces as they are sometimes called) can be heated by oil or gas which are called having an oil fired steam boiler or a gas fired steam boiler.

Think of a boiler like a pot of water on your stove with a flame under it.  

We Nearly Sold No. 139 Maplewood Ave.

A perk of practicing real estate is the Broker Open. This is when agents debut new listings or listings with a recent price modification or renovation of some sort or another to their colleagues.  As a lover of historic homes, it’s such a treat. My husband calls it an occupational hazard.  I sometimes fall really hard and suddenly find myself daydreaming about selling No. 139 Maplewood Ave and moving.

Successful Landscape Design is Child’s Play

When Carla approached me to write about landscape design, I was unsure of an approach. I could discuss Aesthetics, Function, Feel, Grading and Drainage, Privacy,  Lighting,  Water, Trees/shrubs/Perennials, Native Plants,  Sustainability, Play structures, Garden furniture/Ornaments, Firepits, Outdoor structures,  Vegetable Gardens, Decking/Patios, Retaining walls, Water features, etc.  I started writing down some ideas and then quickly scrapped them all.

While Landscape Design encompasses these topics, yesterdays visit with a client reinforced for me the importance of combining  children’s safety with the above. 

A Bird Nest in a Tree? Yes! In the Attic? Not So Much

For two years, we’ve lived in our Victorian with her sharp angles, steeply pitched roof, and openings so small that only a tiny house sparrow could fly in. In each of those years, we’ve had had to hire an animal management company to remove those birds that set up a nest within the nooks and crannies of ours.

Lucca Fariello, a field supervisor from Got Wildlife?

Torrential Rainstorm, Flooded Basement & Burned Out Sump Pump

The last week of March brought torrential rain to Maplewood, NJ, so much rain in fact, that at one point on Saturday, our one sump pump burned out.

Earlier in the morning, Gary was in basement doing laundry and by mid-afternoon,  a good 2 inches of water flooded the laundry room and the back half of the basement. It happened in a blink of an eye!

Basco Maliqi of Instant Plumbing &

Congrats. You’re in Your New Home. Now What?

Before you begin decorating your new home…  

Most of us come from apartments and don’t have enough furniture to fill our new space.  We also have partners, kids, pets, full time jobs. We start and stop, find our motivation – only to lose it in a wake of beige paint, unopened moving boxes (some for years!), and a sea of toys.

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

I know how exciting it is to move into your new home.

Building a Garage in Maplewood NJ

Buying a home doesn’t usually involve building a garage.

And building a garage is no small feat. It takes planning and hiring the right people to see that it gets done correctly. It also requires research – as is so often the case in homeownership.

You may know that we bought No. 139 on a whim.  What you may not know is that the home didn’t have a garage or fence.

It’s Not Just a Finished Basement, It’s a Lower Level

Don’t just create a finished basement, create a lower level that discovers new, livable space and increases the value of your home at the same time.

“What do you mean you can’t find the electrical source? How is that not possible?”, I asked my electrician while we stood in our dark basement. It should also be noted that both doorbells and a few random switches on the second floor weren’t working either…

“You guys need to tear out a portion of the ceiling and most of the walls”,