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I like To-Do Lists.

I especially like a To-Do list with lots of things crossed off.

Here’s a quick and easy Spring cleaning To-Do list with items that can be done in 1 minute, 5 minute, or 10 minute sprints. Accomplish one item every time you’re on hold or when you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.


1 minute

Polish the sink and mirror in your bathroom. One minute and the entire room shines.

Shake out your welcome mat and sweep your front porch. Makes the front of the house look nicer and keeps the inside cleaner longer – a twofer.

Front_Door_of_the_backdoorKGDsWipe down your front door using a multi-purpose spray and a cloth.  You’ll be surprised how dirty it was.

Throw away the old, expired, or empty containers in your refrigerator.

5 minutes

Clean the surfaces in any room – remove clutter from one nightstand , kitchen counter, one dresser, or one coffee table. Put junk in the trash can and put everything else away. Wipe down the surface and instantly the room looks better.

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Sanitize your garbage can. I do the kitchen and bathroom cans in the shower at the same time – pour water and a small amount of bleach into each can. Use a toilet brush to wipe. Rinse and you’re good to go.

Dust the blinds.

Wipe a shelf in your refrigerator.

Clean the inside and  outside of your microwave.

Declutter your kitchen cabinets. Donate unopened food that you don’t want, trash opened food that you don’t want, and donate doubles of pots or pans.

10 minutes

Dust one room – don’t forget the tops of pictures, window frames, and door frames. Do this once a week and dusting won’t be a huge chore any more.

Wipe down the doors and handles of your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. Use a multi-purpose spray and a cloth to polish the handles to a shine and get rid of any fingerprints on the surfaces.

Clean your air ducts. You could use a fancy duster contraption for air ducts or you could use the attachments on your vacuum. Either way, you’re removing potential allergens from your indoor environment.

Clean a drawer in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Remove everything. Wipe it down, and then replace the things you want to keep neatly, throwing away the rest.2917128217_d624aedb2a_z

Clean your medicine cabinet. Remove everything and wipe it down. Examine everything to separate what you want to keep from things that are expired or that you no longer use. Replace the keepers neatly.

Got more time or a bigger mess?

Try holding a garage sale. It’s a great way to get rid of things you’ve been holding on to for too long and make a little cash as well.

Try one of these organization hacks.

What are your favorite spring cleaning tricks?

The length of time it takes to sell your Union County home is dependent on several factors, the most important of which are:

  1. Location
  2. Condition
  3. Upgrades
  4. Marketing

The average Union County home that was sold in 2014 was sold after 66.6 days with the range in Days on Market from 50 days (Cranford) to 105 days (Linden).  Among the fastest towns were Fanwood with 51 days, Westfield with 53 days, and Garwood with 54 days. Among the slowest towns were Union with 96 days and Rahway at 85 days.

countydom2014

More great news – every single town in Union County had a faster average Days on Market in 2014 than in 2012.

countydom2012to2014

The county average showed that homes in Union County sold 14% faster in 2014 than in 2012. The biggest improvement in DOM were Rahway and Fanwood with a 33% decrease in time it takes to sell a home. The slowest improvement was in Linden which only showed a 5% decrease in time to sell a home.

countydom2014percentchange

How does this affect you? If you’re a homeowner, you can improve the length of time it takes to sell your home by improving its condition.  Another critical step is to choose a competent and professional agent who can market your home appropriately.

When you’re ready to buy or sell a Union County home, please contact us for more information!

Happy New Year, Union County!

With the new year comes new data, and one of the most compelling numbers we’ve crunched this week has been the change in prices from 2012 to 2014.

County-wide, the average home in Union County sold for 3.9% more in 2014  than the average home in 2012. Not every town, however, saw an increase and some towns were bigger winners than others. Garwood is the biggest winner over the past 2 years – the average sale price of a home in Garwood increased by 40% from 2012 to 2014. Also on the winner’s board was Clark with a 16.3% increase. Mountainside saw a 14.7% increase in prices and Rahway is up by 14.5%. Fanwood home prices increased by 12.6% during this time period and Springfield increased by 9.9%. Lesser gains were seen by Westfield at 4/2%, Linden at 1.5% , and Union at 0.8%.

Three Union County towns saw decreases in home values when 2014 average home sales were compared to 2012. Cranford homes lost 0.5% value, Scotch Plains lost 1.8% value and Kenilworth comes in with the biggest loss of 9.4%.

countypercentchangeinsaleprice121314

county14pricesaverage14

What is your home worth? A home’s value is dependent on many things including location, condition, upgrades, and marketing. The average home in Union County in 2014 was sold for $403,443. In 2014, homes in Westfield were the highest valued homes in Union County. The average Westfield home that was sold in 2014 was sold for $711,933. Mountainside wasn’t far behind with an average price of $605,184. In the middle of the pack were Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Clark, and Springfield with average sale prices in the $400k range. Cranford, Garwood, and Kenilworth all had average sale prices in the $300k range and Union, Rahway, and Linden had average sale prices in the $200k range.

county14pricesaveragewholecountyA

When you’re ready to buy or sell a Union County home, please contact us for more information!

The Township of Springfield, NJ, is home to nearly 16,000 people and is the home of Baltrusol Golf Club. It is also the location of the Battle of Springfield which was the last battle of the Revolutionary War.  New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Springfield as the 85th best place to live in New Jersey.

All of Springfield’s public schools are named for notable Springfield residents. Students in Springfield attend Edward V. Walton Early Childhood Center for grades Pre-K to 2, James Caldwell Elementary School in grades 3-5, Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementery School for grades 6-8 and Jonathan Dayton High School for grades 9-12.  Springfield students also attend Saint James the Apostle School serving grades Pre-K through 8.

Before you buy or sell a home in Springfield, it’s important to understand the local real estate market. Here’s what you need to know:

Inventory: There are currently 10 homes offered for sale in Springfield – about 60% fewer than were on the market in August and 33% fewer than the 2014 average.

springfield14inventory

Prices: The average price of a sold home in Springfield in December 2as $445,450, about 11% higher than the 2014 average and 27% higher than the 2013 average.

springfield14prices

Days on Market:

December was a very slow month for sales in Springfield. The average home that sold in December had been on the market for 134 days – higher than any month in the past 3 years. The average for 2014 was 65 days which is 2 weeks faster than the 2013 average of 78 days.

springfield14dom

What this means to you: It’s never been more important than now to have competent and experienced professional representation when you’re thinking of buying or selling. If you have a home in Springfield that you’d like to sell, contact us for a free comparative market analysis! If you’re thinking of buying a home in Springfield, click here to search available homes.

For more information on selling your home:

For more information on Springfield, NJ:

Happy New Year!  Rahway  has had several revitalization projects in recent years. Its population is just over 27,000. Students in Rahway are served by Grover Cleveland School,  Franklin School, Madison School, and Roosevelt School, Rahway 7th & 8th Grade Academy for grades 7-8 and Rahway High School for grades 9-12.

Before you buy or sell a home in Rahway, here’s what you need to know for 2014:

Inventory: There are currently 191 homes offered for sale in Rahway. The average active inventory in Rahway for 2014 was 214 homes – about 16% higher than 2013. Higher inventory helps to create a Buyers’ Market in which there are more homes than people interested in buying a home. This has the tendency to reduce prices. Homes that are priced closer to value and homes that are well maintained sell for more than comparable homes that are priced higher than value or are not as well maintained.

rahway14inventory

Prices:

The average sold price of a home in Rahway in December was $247,190 compared to the yearly average sold price of $236,361. This reflects a 4% increase as compared to 2013. 

rahway14prices

Days on Market:

Homes that are well maintained and that are priced close to value will sell faster than homes that are less well maintained and homes that are priced too high. The average Days on Market in Rahway in December was 52 days – this is the fasted turn around in Rahway in several years. The 2014 average DOM was 85 days, 16% faster than 2013.

rahway14dom

What does this mean to you? If you are a homeowner or a homebuyer in Linden, it’s never been more important than now to have competent and professional representation. Team Zuhl is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us now for your free Comparative Home Analysis!

For more information on selling a home:

For more information on the Real Estate in Rahway and Linden:

Happy New Year!

For much of Union County, 2014 was a re-building year, a year in which the real estate market continued making the tentative early steps to recovery from the crash a few years ago. Linden was no exception. As the market recovered, it made slow but steady improvements in price, inventory, and months supply and ended the year in better shape than it started the year.

Inventory: A low inventory typically correlates to an increase in demand and therefore an increase in price.

  • Current inventory: 223
  • 2014 average inventory: 242
  • 2013 average inventory: 249

There were 27 homes sold in December of 2014. The average month in 2014 saw 22 sales. linden14inv

Prices: Home values in Linden fluctuated in 2013 and then saw a singificant improvement in the spring of 2014. Prices have since dropped.

  • December 2014 average sale price: $188,507
  • 2014 average sale price: $207,933
  • 2013 average sale price: $209,775

linden14prices

Days on Market: The fastest selling homes in Linden are those that are the most appealing to Linden buyers. Homes that are priced closest to market value and the homes that are well maintained will sell faster.

  • December DOM: 125 days
  • 2014 average DOM: 105 days
  • 2014 average DOM: 118 days

The biggest news here is that there was an improvement from 2013 to 2014 of 13 days.

linden14DOM

Month’s Supply:  Real Estate Professionals judge the strength of a real estate market based upon the Months of Supply in the area. This number tells you how many months it would take for all the current homes for sale on the market to sell, based upon the rate of sales in the past.

A Months of Supply of 5 months is considered average – buyers and sellers are about equal in the area and homes are being bought at about the same rate that they are being put on the market.

A Months of Supply of less than 5 months is what real estate professionals often call a “seller’s market.” This means that there are more buyers than sellers in the area and homes are selling quicker than they are being put on the market. Typically, this increases prices.

A Months of Supply of greater than 5 months is what real estate professionals call a “buyer’s market.” This means that there are more sellers than buyers in the area and homes are sitting unsold for a while. Typically, this decreases prices.

  • Linden’s Months of Supply for December 2014: 7.53
  • Linden’s Months of Supply for 2014: 9.1
  • Linden’s Months of Supply for 2013: 9.5

linden14monthssupply

While still a “Buyers’ Market,” Linden is showing significant gains over the past 2 years. Not only did 2014 show an improvement over 2013, but 2014 ended with a long string of gradual improvements and ended with its lowest number in several years.

What does this mean to you? If you are a homeowner or a homebuyer in Linden, it’s never been more important than now to have competent and professional representation. Team Zuhl is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us now for your free Comparative Home Analysis!

For more information on selling a home

For more information on the Real Estate in Linden:

A necessary first step to take before you buy or sell a Scotch Plains home is to learn about local real estate market trends. Here’s what you need to know this month.


Inventory: 
There are currently 148 single family homes offered for sale in Scotch Plains. While the inventory is dropping since the summer peak, there are still plenty of homes to sell. In November of 2013, there were 119 homes actively listed. The high inventory this year isn’t because homes aren’t selling – in fact, homes are selling quite quickly. There were 25 sales in Scotch Plains in November, nearly 3 times as many as there were in November of 2013. The high inventory this year is because  some homeowners who have postponing selling for a few years are finally feeling confident that their home values have returned.

scotchINVnov14


Prices: 
While prices continue to fluctuate in Scotch Plains, the trend is definitely upward. The average sale price in Scotch Plains in November was $499,324, about 4.5% higher than the 12 month average of $478,000.  The average list price in November was $605,318, also about 4.5% higher than the 12 month average. A corresponding increase in List Price is a direct result of increased homeowner confidence in home values.

scotchPRInov14


Days on Market: 
Homes continue to sell quickly in Scotch Plains and there is no evience that the slow Days on Market of 2012 will return. The average home the sold in Scotch Plains in November was sold after 59 days, slightly faster than the 12 month average of 62 days and significantly faster than the 2012 average of 86 days.

scotchDOMnov14

What this means to you: If you’re interested in selling your Scotch Plains home, your first step is a Comparative Market Analysis, which of course we are happy to provide free of cost or obligation. With a Comparative Market Analysis, we will show you what your property will likely sell for and offer suggestions to improve the value and sell it as quickly as possible.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Scotch Plains home, your first step is a mortgage pre-qualificiation. We’re happy to help connect you with a mortgage professional and begin helping you to find your new home. Feel free to peruse the homes offered for sale at WayneZuhl.com and let us know when you’re ready to start touring homes!

Team Zuhl is here to help you every step of the way. Please call or email us when you’re ready to get your home on the market! Good luck!

For more information on selling a home:

For more information on Scotch Plains Real Estate:

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