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Urbanites in the Suburbs Find Your Green Thumb

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Having lived my life in cities with no outdoor space to speak of, purchasing a home in the suburbs with an ample back yard presented me with an unfamiliar yet intriguing canvas. I was cautiously curious about the possibilities of the property I inherited – a deep lot with patchy grass, about 50 % shaded by tall trees – a proverbial blank slate.

My first trip to the nursery invoked in me feelings of exhilaration and excitement! 

Inside Story | Nureed Saeed, Interior Design Outside the Lines

We find ourselves here again, saddled up to the kitchen island sipping a cup of white tea sweetened with raw honey, chatting a lot longer than we intended to. This always happens. We are both working moms with hectic schedules and we know this is a luxury to be treasured…in fact, it’s a scene we’ve played out a few times before. There is comfort here for me – for any visitor –

How to Hire Contractor Part Two: How to Plan for a Home Renovation

In my day job as a realtor, my clients consistently ask me about contractors – who to hire and what goes into the process of home renovation. And my friends and family are no different. Everyone around here seems to have a renovation they are dreaming of or ready to pull the trigger on.

So, here it is folks, the definitive guide you’ve all been waiting for.  For the second part of our two-part series on how to hire a contractor,

How to Hire a Contractor Part One: Ready for Your Kitchen Remodel?

If you ask me, a proclivity for the managing of projects, a.k.a “project management” should be recognized as a trait – you either have it or you don’t. And yet, if you are a homeowner keen on renovation projects, this trait can certainly come in handy.

What if project management isn’t one of the traits that makes you, fabulous you? And what if you just have to remodel your avocado-green kitchen,

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Many homes in South Orange and Maplewood, NJ use steam heat, an outdated but very comfortable heat source is simple to understand, but requires routine attention for proper operation.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

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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

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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?

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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.