New Jersey Real Estate and Community News

March 15, 2021

Top 5 Jaw dropping Java Spots in Essex County

Hot, delicious, plain or doctored - COFFEE is a favorite with (almost) everyone, and drinking a cup is - or perhaps should be? - done in the company of others who also appreciate the fine smell, taste and joy of brewed beans!

Okay, that first cup in the morning for diehard caffeine aficionados might be best alone.  After that certainly, in the company of friends, co-workers, family and even new friends made over the sugar bowl, coffee (or tea!) is a social activity.

Essex County, NJ loves its java and there are many great shops for specialty lattes, espresso, or just a great cup of the regular stuff.  

Here are a few of our faves that offer cool vibes and hot and cold brew from artisan roasters:

Java Love, in Montclair has two locations to serve you and is one of those places you just have to experience to believe. Whether uptown on Bellevue Avenue, or downtown on Church Street, it's a place where everyone feels welcome. It's a meeting place for friends, kids after school, business folks, space for moms to connect and the starting point for guys who bike every weekend. Enjoy a variety of brew, sweet treats, vegan and gluten free options too! 

No time to stop and smell the beans roasting?  Order up your fav and have it sent for brewing at home from Paper Plane Coffee Co.  Or be old fashioned and stop in the Montclair store for a taste of good coffee and excellent service.

Local Coffee, located in Watchung Plaza, Montclair, offers curated products from Brooklyn and upstate New York. With a family history in the hospitality industry, these Local folks are offering a local gathering place and serving some good food and java choices to the community.  

Ethan & the Bean, located in Little Falls, is one very special place filled with extraordinary people who serve a great cup of java while serving the needs of those with special needs themselves. A chance to feel good about helping others as you enjoy that delicious cup of fresh brew!

Food and drink is a staple offering in any community, and you'll find both at the Blue Hippo, in Verona! They offer a great atmosphere - both inside and on their rear patio. They will cater your special events or host them, all with a smile and a great cup of java to go with it.  

No local list would be complete without mentioning Cedar Beans, in Cedar Grove, a coffee joint for those who love great conversation along with their java.

Stop by and see what all the fuss is about, then come on back here and comment to share the java joy with others!

Maybe while sipping your favorite cup, take a look at all the fine homes available for sale in New Jersey:


Posted in Community News
Feb. 17, 2021

5 Fun Things to Do with Kids in and Around Montclair

One of the things best loved about living in Montclair New Jersey is the wide variety of activities and recreation available for adult and child alike.  When seeking fun and engaging things to do with kids, no need to stray far from home (if you live in Montclair!) with these 5 great places to visit and enjoy:

  • The Montclair Art Museum offers a wide selection of activities for kids young and old, including whole family workshops, a School of Art to participate in, year wide community events to take part in and a revolving selectionof exhibitions to wow, make you think and inspire your creative spark this spring!


  • Love animals, adventure and a fun time?  The South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange has a little of everything to please everyone in the family! Mini-Golf Safari, a Tree Top Adventure zipline, the Turtle Back Zoo, there's even an ice skating arena and so much more in this fun family adventure complex!  


  • How about the first picnic of the spring surrounded by extensive lawns, lush groves, and plenty of trails to walk off extra calories all the good food? Brookdale Park is where you want to head the first sunny day of spring. Come summer you'll want to return for the concerts.  Fireworks are traditionally on display come July, and maybe the sports complex has a field of play you'll want to take advantage of again and again.


  • Whether you are in or around Verona, or make the drive in, there are fun things galore to explore at Verona Park!  Trails to follow, playgrounds to amuse, paddle boats, tennis courts - and you won't want to miss the annual youth fishing contest where you can try your cast for largemouth bass and rainbow trout! Whew! Just when your in need of a rest, there's a cafe to refresh and refuel for even more fun! 


  • More adventure in Montclair can be found at Van Vleck House and Gardens, offering programs for JUST THE KIDS and others for the WHOLE FAMILY to enjoy. Some of the possibilities include maple sugaring, bird watching, as well as Garden Adventures and Outdoor Discoveries programs.  There is far too much to inspire young and old alike about the wonder of the world around them, so plan to visit often.  Attend a weekly class or make walks around the beautiful grounds a regular part of your week.

These are just 5 of all the wonderful, fun, learning adventures available in and around Montclair for you and your family to enjoy.  Add to this the many lovely picnic areas, walking trails, biking paths and gorgeous parks to visit and you can make the most of the great outdoors all summer long!

#ThisIsNewJersey ....and if you aren't already living in one of the awesome communities here, you probably should be!

Visit this link: to discover all the fine real estate available for you to call home here in New Jersey.  






Posted in Community News
Feb. 13, 2021

Crafting the Perfect Cocktail Outing in Montclair

Torn between the City and the 'burbs?  Each has its own charms, and if an active night life is on the list of priorities, maybe more information is all you need to help with the decision.

Montclair New Jersey has many great local eateries, kitchens and pubs to satisfy a variety of tastes.  Among these are several offering specialty crafted cocktails that may be worth dressing up to enjoy or dressing down and making part of your weekly routine. 

A Parisian flavor spices things up quite nicely over at Faubourg of Montclair, open 7 days a week to accommodate everyone's schedules and tastes!  Faubourg's offers tons of fun with magnifique' creations including craft beers and an expansive specialty cocktail menu that's c'est délicieux!

With a little imagination it won't be hard to picture yourself in the late 1930's, out for a night on the town as you are served from the beautiful Art Deco bar found at Cowan's Public. While there, be sure to order from the traditional pub menu and sample the artisanal spirits concocted from behind that work-of-art. 

You won't be disappointed if you add DeNovo European Pub to your visit list while in Montclair! Be transported to Europe to sip deliciously crafted cocktails with wonderfully naughty names!  Cocktail of the day changes often enough to call you back again and again to lose yourself in Continental fare, served up nightly.

There's surely no place like home, and the Montclair area is home to fantastic American dishes that can only be described as "comfort food" at Ariane. Some of the best local bartenders attend to your cocktail delights with a dash of flair and fun.

Speaking of home, perhaps Montclair or the surrounding communities really are the best place for you to call home!  See everything the real estate market in the area has to offer:

Need a tour of available homes that suit your fancy?  Your local market specialist has the entry key to view every abode you might want to call your new home! 


Posted in Community News
Feb. 10, 2021

Top 5 When PIZZA is What's for Dinner in Montclair

When the choices are many and all of them are good - PIZZA IS WHAT'S FOR DINNER IN MONTCLAIR! Once a week, twice a week or all weekend long.  Pizza is the perfect blend of all the recommended food groups - dairy, grains, vegetables, proteins.  When pizza is the meal, it's hard to go wrong, and these popular pizza places in Montclair all offer up something special for every pizza lover.

Desiring a dine out meal off the well traveled path?  Craving an authentic Napoletana pizzeria experience?  The charming atmosphere and fresh pies found at Bivio Pizza may be just what will satisfy!

But that's not the only choice for authentic and fresh.  Wood fired pizzas and more menu selections are the specialties offered at Brick+Dough on Walnut Street.  You can even relax with a cup of your favorite hot coffee while you wait.

The Town Pub offers yet another take on everyone's favorite, the Greek Salad Pizza. Haven't tried it yet?  No time like the present to give your taste buds a treat.  Dine in or take out, you won't be disappointed.

Montclair has still more for the pizza lover to enjoy.  Prefer a good old-fashioned NYC style slice oozing cheese and yumminess?  Villa Victoria Pizzeria is the place you'll want to order your next pie from then! Pan pizza, Sicilian pizza, whatever style you like best, Villa Victoria Pizzeria has it, even gluten free is on the menu here.

Family starved and wants dinner in a hurry? 65 years of traditional family style thin crust pizza to satisfy every hungry member of your family! Awards, rave reviews and the neighborhood atmosphere only a long time pizzeria can conger up is waiting for you at Star Tavern Famous Pizzeria.

No need to cross the river when excellent pizza choices are right in your own neighborhood in Montclair!  #ThisIsNewJersey

What's that you say?  You don't live in Montclair?  Well, we can fix that when you click right here:


Posted in Community News
Jan. 27, 2021

Garden ready in the Garden State


It's only the end of February, you have plenty of time!  But, maybe not!  Right now is the best time to begin getting your garden in shape for the spring season in the Garden State!  Especially if you want those blooms big and sassy in time for your first spring cook-out. Starting out too late to prepare

If you are a long time gardener you may already have most of these ideas in place and just appreciate a quick reminder.  For the new gardener who may have just moved into their new home over the winter months; here's the "gotta do this" list to be ready for spring flowers!

  • PLANNING - always the fastest way to the results you want is to plan ahead for success!  What do you want to grow?  How much time do you want to spend on maintenance?  How much room do you have for your garden?
  • LOCATION - like all good real estate, location is the number one concern to address first! A healthy garden needs water to thrive and excellent drainage so plants don't drown and end with root rot.  A minimum of six full hours of sunlight is the most desirable, unless you are planting specifically a shade garden.
  • PREPARATION - you'll want to get your soil in the best shape to feed your plants the nutrients and minerals they need to provide you with beautiful colors and smells all spring long!  Gather all the materials to ensure success, including your mulch to cover the top soil and hold moisture, the tools you'll need to keep the garden weed-free, and any product you'll use to combat insects you don't want making meals of your daisies!  If you'll be starting your plants from seeds,  you'll want to begin those indoors, giving them time to grow a bit before transplanting them outside once the danger of frost has passed.

A local nursery knows what will grow best in our area of northern New Jersey.  For seeds, advice, plants and more, take a look at  Van Vleck House & Gardens -  They'll help you connect with nature - and be inspired by a variety of the native plants.

If you're uncertain about annuals, perennials or wondering what will work best in the garden you want to design, Van Vleck will surely have the answers you need!  Annuals usually grow and bloom for just one season, and your perennials, once established in the garden bed, will continue to poke their heads up each spring year after year.

Whatever choice you make, make sure you'll be there to enjoy those blooms!  Owning your home offers many benefits, and enjoying the abundance of what you plant year after year is only one of those of advantages.  

Visit to see all the homes available to choose from in the soon to be blooming Garden State!

Posted in Community News
Jan. 21, 2021



Who says Valentines Day needs to be chocolate, floral or expensive dinner in a romantic setting? While everyone else scrambles to think up romance February 14th, imagine yourself relaxed, fascinated and astonished...and maybe even making new friends!

There’s so much to love about Essex County, let this be the year you flee the limits of convention.  Grab a special someone, a friend and even your partner and kids and embrace some unusual fun this Valentines week.  You just might fall in love and never want to leave!  

  EASTERN GOLDFINCH; New Jersey State bird

How romantic would a bird watching walk be? February 13, 2021, join the Audubon Society for a Birding Field Trip.  If you’ve never done any bird watching, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you’ve been missing and delighted at what you may discover.  Start a new back yard tradition or a very special kind of Neighborhood Watch Group! All the details can be found right HERE.  

Remember as a kid, your interest in all things winged and crawly - when was the last time you let that kind of fascination wash over you?  Explore this incredible side of our world at the unique INSECTROPOLIS MUSEUM.  Escape the ordinary and let the wonders of nature up close transport you to peace and harmony with the world around you once again. 

Speaking of escaping, gather a group up for an intellectually challenging event and lock down in one of the Escape Garden State rooms!  

Let go of the everyday, move past the ordinary and fall in love with the Garden State; all over again or for the first time! February is a perfect time to explore new activities and start new traditions.  You can even begin right now to envision your forever home by visiting

Dec. 16, 2020

3 Homeowner Myths in Essex, Morris and Union County NJ You Need to Kick to the Curb


As a new homeowner in Essex, Morris or Union County, NJ, you may find yourself in the same position as a new parent - advice coming from everyone, solicited or not!

It can be overwhelming, not to mention confusing when that advice conflicts with this advice and everyone has their own way of doing things....and thinks YOU should do it that way, too!

You may also find yourself experiencing doubt and guilt if you don't "do" all the chores all the well-meaning advice givers have added to your chore list with their well-meaning advice!  It can even feel like the house owns you rather than the other way around.

But it doesn't have to; and you don't need to feel burdened by your new home.  Sure, there are maintenance chores that absolutely should be done regularly to keep your new home in tip top condition and not only preserve but even increase its value over time.

However, you can KICK THESE THREE THINGS right to the curb, right now, and not feel guilty at all!  Instead, grab a glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy your home more because now you'll have a little more free time!  Especially when you take your local marketing specialists advice:


#1, LAWN LIFE: you don't want to let the grass get waist high, but you also don't want to kill your lawn, which is exactly what will happen if you mow too often or cut the blades too short!  Let it grow....a little bit!  About 2 1/2 - 3 inches is the best blade length that allows your grass to do its job - soak up some sun to thrive and make your home shine with curb appeal.

The second lawn chore you can kick to the curb is fastidious leave raking.  Wait til most leaves have made their graceful way onto the lawn and rake them up.  Then leave the leaves that gently cover the grass come late fall.  They act as a natural mulch for your lawn, feeding it through the winter and even protecting it when the snow covers every blade.


#2, PLUMBING PROBLEMS: unless you have a relative in the plumbing business you feel a need to support, DON'T POUR DRAIN CLEANERS DOWN YOUR PIPES!  They tend to corrode your pipes, and cause even more problems down the road.  Instead, invest in a drain snake for clog clearing or call that relative to snake the lines when there's a clog.  It'll actually clear the lines much better and you'll be glad you did.


#3, NEIGHBOR NUISANCE: you like your neighbors, your neighbors like you.  You even get together for backyard barbeques and the occasional dinner out.  What happens when that big limb from their tree falls onto your garage roof?  Or worse!  When your limb chooses their outbuilding to sabotage?

DON'T REACH FOR YOUR WALLET! Instead, reach for the phone in EITHER of those scenario's and call your homeowners insurance carrier immediately.  Le tthe professionals do what you are paying them to do and the friendship with the neighbors may be saved as a result.

Now that the heavy load of maintenance when you own your home has been lightened, are you ready to take the plunge?  Discover your new home to welcome in the New Year by visiting:

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 11, 2020

Location-Commute Time-Amenities affect real estate choice in New Jersey

Depending on where you were employed, shopping for a house in northern New Jersey usually involved calculating how difficult your commute to work would be. Whether it was measuring the distance to public transportation, the nearest highway, or timing the total drive, home buyers had to consider their daily routine before making an offer.

Then the COVID pandemic changed everything. People began working from home. With more of us working from home, commute times have become less of a factor in home buying decisions and that is changing how and where homes are being purchased.

Once, most of us wanted homes no more than an hour from our place of business. With work-from-home changes, people are looking at buying homes 100-500 miles from the brick and mortar building where they once occupied desk space.  This has also changed the amenities people are seeking access to weekly during what were once working or commute hours!

Another big change the real estate market is experiencing is the cycle of sales.  Winter typically has seen a major slowing in the market.  This year, like almost everything else, is different.  Defying all seasonal trends, as we head into the winter months, the market has not only remained active but it's growing!

All evidence points to continued strong buyer demand, which the inventory is having trouble keeping up with.  Favorable mortgage rates are certainly a portion of what's driving the market, but it isn't the only factor.  Rates have been low for well over a year, yet sales are up more than 60% over 2019 as the pandemic year of 2020 comes to a close.

For potential home sellers, the usual stance of "wait until spring" to put a home on the market does not apply. Buyers are looking, in high numbers, right now and closings are happening FAST.

Take a look at the market here:

Then give your local marketing specialist a call to find your home buyer before the New Year!

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 18, 2020

2 End-of-Year Real Estate Tips for nothern NJ Sellers

Homes in New Jersey’s most desirable, easy commute communities are still very affordable for first time home buyers.  In part due to excellent employment opportunities, including an influx of work-from-home options, and the continuing low mortgage interest rates. The strong economy has also meant strong equity gains for current northern NJ homeowners looking to sell a property.


Demand remaining at all time highs for new homes is good news for the whole housing market at every price point.


As large numbers of first time buyers seek out those more affordable starter homes, it opens up new possibilities in the mid-priced to luxury markets as well.


While most of the attention is focused on the sale price of a home, a buyers potential monthly mortgage payments and any necessary renovations or maintenance projects, your local marketing specialist recommends December as a great time to take a moment to look ahead at two other area’s in the cost of homeownership:


TAXES:  It’s a good idea to plan for a monthly payment if you can, but if you pay these separate from your mortgage, December is when property tax assessments come out.  For specific questions, you’ll want to consult a tax specialist, but if your assessment increased, a Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) might be helpful in bringing that number down.


On a positive savings note, this is a great time to note any TAX DEDUCTION  you are eligible to take for mortgage interest paid over the previous year.


INSURANCE: No one loves thinking about insurance; until they need it!  An end-of-year check up on your homeowners insurance is a good idea.  

  • Make sure you aren’t overpaying, by comparing rates with other company offerings and also checking that you aren’t double-insured between homeowners and auto policies
  • Make sure you have enough coverage based on the current value of your home rather than the value when you first took out your policy


As 2020 winds down, we’ve all had more distractions than usual to divert our attention from these small, but significant concerns. 


To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 13, 2020


On a Thursday in November each year, we have the pleasure of releasing ourselves to the idea of THANKFULNESS!

They say speaking out loud the things you are grateful for strengthens your heartbeat, lowers your stress levels and puts a smile on your face – which has its own positive effect on your body and soul.

I’m grateful for my health, my family and the great FUN I get to have when I go to work everyday!

Can I name a fourth?  (You can too)

I am truly thankful for every person who put their trust in me to help them sell or purchase real estate this past year.  

If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t get to do what I love best.


To search all new and available listings for sale, or find out the value of your current home, visit

Posted in Community News