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Friday, December 30, 2011

Salute, a Little Phil, Upstairs, in The Office, with Samba A.K.A. 5 Great Restaurants in Montclair




1) Since early October, local foodies have been quietly buzzing about Upper Montclair’s new bar and restaurant, Upstairs. Owned by Aki Kaneda

2) Earlier this year, a great new "artisanal delicatessen" named Little Phil's opened in Upper Montclair Plaza. Little Phil's is a lovely place, where customers can select from a vast array of traditional Italian food like meatballs, rice balls (arancini), broccoli rabe, portabella mushrooms, capellini pie, cavatelli salad, and braised short ribs. See the review here.

3) Brazilian fare came to Montclair earlier this month. After months of preparation, Samba Montclair hosted its soft opening in the space at 7 Park St. Samba seamlessly blends the old with the new, resulting in a warm, intimate, and elegantly simplistic atmosphere.

4) Salute is still fairly new, offering a good meal in comfortable environs. Salute specializes in "Italian Countryside Cuisine" that's served by a staff that makes you feel like part of the family.

5) The Office on Bloomfield Ave. warrants a mention just because it's changed so much. Indeed, The Office has recently reintroduced itself to the Montclair community with a revamped menu that’s fresher and lighter than that of most pubs. There's also a great new brunch menu.

For more details and reviews by Melody Kettle, Click here: Montclair.patch

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Short Sales vs. Foreclosure, That is the Question?




Short Sale Vs. Foreclosure: A Short Sale Always Wins

Today’s ever changing real estate industry has brought upon some very challenging questions from our clients. We as "advisors," want to put forth the best, non-emotional advice that we can, in hopes that we can help our clients and their families navigate the rough waters of the short sale process.

The most prevalent question and one that continues to permeate the industry is:
“Why should a seller go through the short sale process rather than letting their house be foreclosed upon?”

While we cannot speak to every client circumstance, we can say one thing with complete conviction. In almost all instances in which a potential seller is contemplating whether they should short sell their house or let it go through the foreclosure process, a short sale is the better option. The following are examples to consider:

Ironically, the game of Monopoly can provide some interesting insight into the dilemma. Much like the below example:

You buy your Home and pay $220K for it. But, when you are upside down and owe more to the banks than what it is worth in the current market and can no longer afford to pay the mortgage on your home you have 2-3 choices.


Just like the above example in Monopoly, when a home is distressed it is worth far less than when it isn't. The following details help to put this into perspective.


Example A- Short Sale

Mr. Smith owns a home in which he has a mortgage balance of $220,000 and a current market value of $150,000. Mr. Smith has elected to short sell his property. His Realtor successfully obtains a buyer who puts forth an offer price of $120,000 (80% current market value according to Realty Trac Foreclosure Report 5/26/2011). After reviewing the buyers offer and the financial hardship information from Mr. Smith, Mr Smith’s bank agrees to accept the short payoff of $120,000 which would leave a deficiency balance of $100,000.

The transaction closes and is final. Mr. Smith then pulls his credit report 30 days after the transaction takes place. On the report he notices that the mortgage trade line states “Mortgage debt was settled for less than full” and the balance on the mortgage is $0. Mr. Smith is now on the road to financial recovery and may have been eligible for a Government Granted Moving Allowance, if you qualify.

It is generally understood that, provided you are gainfully employed and find a home that you can afford to buy, you can probably buy said home in 2-3 years time from when the Short Sale was processed.

Example B- Foreclosure

For the ease of illustration we will use the same value and mortgage debt amounts as in Example A. However, Mr. Smith has elected to forgo the short sale process and let the bank foreclose on the property. The bank holding his mortgage facilitates the proper legal procedures to foreclose on the property, all of which are costly. Mr. Smith is notified and his property foreclosed upon of which is taken back by the bank to sell as an REO.

Six months later, the bank finally sells Mr. Smith’s home only they sell it for $90,000 (60% of current market value according to Realty Trac Foreclosure report dated 5/26/2011). Remember, as a short sale, the home would have sold for $120,000 keeping the deficiency to $100,000. In addition to the deficiency now being $130,000, the bank has elected to add on legal costs of $15,000 and asset preservation costs of another $5000 for a total deficiency liability of $150,000. Mr. Smith pulls his credit report 30 days after being notified that the bank has sold his property and of his liability.

On the report he notices that the mortgage trade line states “Foreclosure” and the balance is $150,000. Because of Mr Smith’s choice to choose foreclosure vs. short sale his road to financial recovery has taken a major detour. He not only has a foreclosure on his credit report but now has a much larger deficiency balance in which the bank, in most cases, will report on his credit report as a balance owed.
This Option is very similar to Filing for Bankruptcy where you can expect to have a 7 year impact on your credit.

Therefore, The Best Option is Clear:

While the financial and credit advantages are clear when choosing a short sale over a foreclosure, other advantages are sometimes overlooked. The most important of all of them is maintaining the seller’s dignity and peace of mind. We have heard too many stories of families having to leave their homes because of a Sheriff’s order or some other type of legal action. The short sale process alleviates this negative social impact. The process puts the control back in the seller’s hands so that they can get back on the road to financial recovery and start providing for their families. In the battle of the two evils, a short sale always wins!!!

There is also a third choice: Deed in lieu of Foreclosure. The borrower avoids further damage to their credit if the lender is willing to accept the deed in lieu of foreclosure as well as insulating themselves from possible exposure to a deficiency judgment. If the lender and borrower agree to this arrangement early on the borrower can avoid the embarrassment of having a Notice of Default recorded and published in a local newspaper. One drawback for the borrower is they forfeit any potential proceeds they might otherwise pocket if the property went through foreclosure. If the borrower elects to pursue this alternative, a clear written agreement canceling the note and deed of trust should be executed between the lender and borrower.

Why take a CHANCE? As an SFR--Short Sale and Foreclosure--trained Realtor, I am most happy to meet with anyone needing any advice and will keep our conversations discreet! And rather than acting like an ostrich...


You might actually find you qualify for a Loan Modification.


Mark Slade
Keller Williams
Mid-Town Direct Realty
917.797.5059
marksladehomes@aol.com
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

How to Beat the New and Higher Mortgage Fees being put into effect

Another great article by Dan Green of Waterstone Mortgage

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
marksladehomes@aol.com
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com


Within weeks, new, required loan fees will make buying a home -- and refinancing one -- more expensive. Save money on your next FHA mortgage, or conventional one.

Start your mortgage loan application today.

Click here to get today's mortgage rates.
U.S. Payroll Tax Extension : Funded By New Mortgages

In December 2010, the U.S. government passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The act was meant to stimulate the national economy by lowering taxes, among other plans.

One such stimulus was a one-year FICA payroll tax reduction. FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. FICA taxes fund Medicare and Social Security. The act lowered FICA taxes from from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011 only.

In late-December, the Congress voted to extend the FICA tax holiday through February 29, 2012 at a cost of $33 billion. The bill has been signed into law and implementation has begun.

From Title IV of the bill's final form, the $33 billion price tag will be partially funded by home buyers and refinance households. The bill's section is titled "Mortgage Fees And Premiums". In it, Congress instructs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the FHA to take following specific measures :

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac : Increase loan guarantee fees by 10 basis points or more versus current levels, and do not decrease other costs to compensate
FHA : Increase mortgage insurance premiums by 10 basis points

The extra fees amount to roughly $10 per month per $100,000 borrowed.

In places like San Francisco or Arlington, Virginia, where local jumbo loan limits reach as high as $625,500 and $729,750 for conventional and FHA mortgages, respectively, mortgagors should expect to pay as much as $73 more each month.

For 2012, the government's payroll tax extension's net effect is to raise mortgage rates by roughly 0.10%. According to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey, this would immediately push conventional mortgage rates to a multi-month high.

In addition, the government has left the door open to additional price hikes, stating that more loan fees may be necessary to meet requirements over the coming months and years.

For FHA-insured homeowners, the increase in the monthly mortgage insurance premium will render scores of homeowners FHA Streamline Refinance-ineligible. All borrowers must meet a 5% minimum savings requirement per FHA Streamline Refinance guidelines.

Raising mortgage insurance premiums by 10 basis points makes it that much harder to be eligible. If you're FHA and you want to refinance via the FHA Streamline Refinance, get your application and case number now.
New Mortgage Fees "Go Live" In Late-January

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been instructed to start collecting the new, higher guarantee fees effective April 1, 2012.

However, mortgage applicants will notice new fees appearing sooner than that. This is because loans that land with Fannie or Freddie can take 75 days or more to get there.

Here's why:

First, your loan is locked. Then, your loan is underwritten, closed, and funded. For a purchase or a refinance, this process can range from 10 days to 60 days or longer, depending on the traits of your particular transaction.

Then, post-closing, your mortgage must be prepared for delivery to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, a process which typically requires a re-review of your complete loan file and a quality control audit to minimize long-term lender liability.

This post-closing/audit process can be a 1-day thing, or it can take weeks.

Only after the audit is complete will your loan be delivered to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which is why mortgage applicants everywhere will start paying the new, 10 basis point guarantee fee well in advance of the April 1, 2012 deadline -- it takes time to get a loan to the secondary mortgage markets.

New mortgage "payroll tax" fees will be levied on applicants starting no later than late-January.

Click here to get today's mortgage rates.
Beat The Increase : Start Your Application Now

Once the government's new loan fees go into effect, they will be required with all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage without exception. Loans locked after the rollout must pay the new fee. Loans locked prior will be exempt.

If you've been waiting for mortgage rates to fall, it's time to stop. Don't get greedy. Rates are already super-low. Besides, falling mortgage rates do little to help when loan costs are rising.

Get locked and exempt yourself from new fees. It's extra savings to your mortgage.


About the Author Dan Green:

Dan Green (NMLS #227607) is an active loan officer with Waterstone Mortgage. Email Dan atdan.green@waterstonemortgage.comor call 513-443-2020.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Soup de Jour

I'm having so much fun finding out some wild and crazy things about our beloved state.

So, how about this:





Campbell Soup is headquartered in Trenton NJ (they supposedly picked their brand logo colors from Cornell University).

But here is the rub as It is apparently illegal in NJ to slurp your soup in any public eating establishment. While Slurping your soup is considered bad manners in America, its actually the exact opposite in Japan and China--where it indicates "approval" and "appreciation."


Does this mean that Campbell soup will exit our beloved state and cross the Pacific to a friendlier slurping climate?

Mark Slade
keller Williams
917.797.5059
email mark: marksladehomes@aol.com
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Saturday, December 17, 2011

ChanukahMania-Last Minute Shopping? Sunday Dec 18 at Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel 9-11:30AM

Dreidels for a Good Cause — or Two

Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel’s Seventh Grade students are selling their handmade mosaic dreidels at ChanukahMania to benefit two good causes.

By Mary Mann
December 15, 2011

When is a dreidel not just a dreidel?


When Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel’s Seventh Grade students turn it into a beautiful means of raising funds for two local charitable foundations. The teens will be selling their handmade mosaic dreidels at ChanukahMania, this Sunday, December 18 from 9 -11:30 am. The dreidels will sell for $18 each.

The students have chosen two worthy local charities as the recipients of the proceeds of the sale.

First, the Nikhil Badlani Foundation, a local charity created in remembrance of 11-year-old Nikhil who was killed earlier this year in a car accident in South Orange. The Foundation's focus is to provide music instruction, support the West Orange Scholarship Fund, and educate locals about traffic safety.

For More on this event, click on: Maplewood Patch

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com
www.maplewoodnjopenhouses.com
www.southorangenjopenhouses.com

Friday, December 16, 2011

Famous NJ Celeb Trivia: You say Hat Trick, I say Hair Trick--From Hairdressers to Celebs



1 Born in Plainfield, NJ, George Clinton, the funk musician--a.k.a. Dr Funkenstein--is konw for his outlandish fashion and strange stage etiquette. Before his debut in the music industry, he was a hairdresser in Jacksonville, FL


2. We may know Danny DeVito as a funny bald actor, he was born in Neptune, NJ and raised one town over in Asbury Park. But, like George Clinton, Danny was a qualified hairdresser leading up to his debut in acting.


3. and for out 3rd, Jon Bon Joviis band was formed in Sayreville; his mom and pop met in the marines and while his mom became one of the first Playboy bunnies, Dad became a.....drumroll.......hairdresser!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
Maplewood and South Orange Homes

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some of NJ's Crazy Laws: Horse Drawn, Horsing Around & Horse Power




It is illegal for cars to pass horse-drawn carriages on the road. The law was initiated in the early 1900's in Newark, but remains on the books today




Horse racing on the NJ Turnpike is forbidden by law. Ironically, NJ has at least 200 horse farms and more horses--9.31-per square mile than any other state.




And, as anyone living in or needing gas for their car while in NJ knows, motorists are not allowed to pump their own gas, by law, this must be done by a qualified attendant. This law was passed in 1949 in an attempt to prevent customers that smoked from starting fires. (Oregon is the only other state in the US that shares this active ban and self-serve gas pumping.)
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Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

NJ Trivia--World's Largest Elephant Scuplture Building




The owners and purveyors of Lucy The Elephant, the world’s largest zoomorphic wooden sculpture, claim that no legend of the elephant’s history can match the sight of the sculpture in all of her 65-foot glory from where she now sits astride the Atlantic City Boardwalk. They may be right, though Lucy the Margate Elephant does indeed carry with her a colorful history, in fact she carries not one, but three different accounts of her origins, one of which is described below.

Built in 1881, Lucy The Elephant was designed at the whim of James V. Lafferty, an Irish immigrant and real estate developer who purchased beach property in the South Atlantic City area of Margate City. The sculpture was meant to attract visitors and property buyers to his holdings to increase his already impressive wealth. Lafferty enlisted the help of a Philadelphia architect named William Free to design Lucy The Elephant, sometimes touted as the eighth world wonder.

Lucy The Elephant was completed in 1881 by a Philadelphia contractor at a reported cost of almost $38,000, a veritable fortune in those times. Soon after Lafferty applied for and received a U.S. Government patent to protect his idea from the would-be copy-cats of Lafferty’s eight world wonder.

It wasn’t too many years later that Lafferty found he had over extended himself financially and was forced to offer Lucy The Elephant for sale to a Philadelphia man named Anton Gertzen who purchased her in 1887. It was John Gertzen, the son of Anton, who eventually made use of Lucy The Margate Elephant by charging visitors 10 cents a piece to tour her insides and take in the view from the observatory. In 1902 Lucy The Elephant was even rented out for use as a summer home by an English doctor and his family, and some years later was also utilized as a tavern! During this time Lucy The Margate Elephant endured many hardships, including a hurricane, and was also nearly burned down by a careless patron in her tavern days.

It was in 1970 that Lucy The Elephant Atlantic City was moved to the Atlantic City Boardwalk where she currently resides. In 1974 she was re-opened to the public and was later lovingly restored by Westfield Architects & Preservation Consultants. Lucy The Margate Elephant is now open to the public in all her pachyderm glory. Tours begin every thirty minutes at the top and bottom of the hour, where visitors can wind there way through her 90 ton interior to the top of her observatory and enjoy a stunning view of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and the New Jersey shore. Inside Lucy The Elephant you will find a wonderful gift shop with a variety of fantastic kitsch items for purchase to commemorate your visit to this eighth world wonder.

Over the years, Lucy has been used as a restaurant, office building, cottage and tavern; now that's what i call a versatile elephant!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
http://www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Sunday, December 11, 2011

75+ Holiday Recipes from Our Favorite Celebrity Chefs

75+ Holiday Recipes from Our Favorite Celebrity Chefs




Celebrity chefs are just as busy as we are this holiday season; roasting turkeys, baking up Christmas cookies, and mixing New Year's aperitifs. And guess what? You can steal their recipes. We asked the top celebrity chefs, from Paula Deen and Martha Stewart to Giada De Laurentiis and Mario Batali, to share their most cherished holiday recipes.

For more tips and recipe ideas for all the potlucks, cocktail parties, and holiday meals you'll be preparing during this busy festive season, check out our Holiday Planning Guide.

By Kiri Tannenbaum and Linda Smith


Chefs Celebrate the Season!

Choose from over 75 of the most celebrated chefs' recipes for Thanksgiving, Feast of the Seven Fishes, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, and, lest we forget, New Year's Day brunch! Try your hand at any of these sublime holiday dishes (or tipples) and your guests will surely believe that you, too, are worthy of the celebrity chef moniker.

For more: Click Here

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
9177975059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No More Bullies! Benefit Concert at Union PAC in Rahway 12/15

my friend Jill Criscuolo will be performing at the Union County PAC in Rahway, NJ, at a very important event on Dec 15th 2011. This event is focusing on bulling and the organizers plan to bring people together and make bullies a soon to be extinct commodity.


Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

High Hats OFF to Cameron MacIntosh--Grammy Awards Night!

CHS Percussionist Is Going to the Grammy Awards




Cameron MacIntosh will join 29 other student musicians for the Grammy Camp - Jazz Session in February in Los Angeles.

By Mary Mann

December 7, 2011



Cameron MacIntosh, a sophomore percussionist at Columbia High School, was recently selected to participate in the 2012 Grammy Camp - Jazz Session. Band Director Peter Bauer told Patch, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Cameron, and we are honored that he will be representing Columbia High School and our two communities in this most prestigious program."

"While there have been many wonderful news events to come out of our music program, this is perhaps the biggest to come along in many years," Bauer added.

The Grammy Camp, formerly known as the Grammy Jazz Ensembles, includes 30 of the very best high school jazz musicians and brings them to Los Angeles to play and record and hang at Grammy week (this year: February 3-13, 2012). Expenses are paid for by the Grammy Awards.

For more about Cameron and such, click on Maplewood Patch

Mark Slade
keller williams
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com
917.797.5059

Monday, December 5, 2011

Short Sale Docs-Don't pack away what you will need!




Having had success with several short sales (my last listing took 18 days to get UC), I wanted to outline How the process generally goes, especially since if you are moving out of the "shorted" home, you will need to make sure you keep certain paperwork available for immediate access.

So, let's say you currently owe more to your mortgage lender(s) than your home is worth and you are wondering what to do? Your options are to find out if a Loan Modification will allow you to keep your home as a first consideration. Your remaining options all pertain to moving from your current home and range from selling to a "deed in lieu of foreclosure" to filing bankruptcy to create a prolonged stay in your home to allowing your home to go to Foreclosure and Sheriff's Sale.

If you are hoping to either stay in the home or feel that it would be best or necessary to move and you want to entertain a short sale, here is a list of many Hardships that can often qualify for HAMP/HAFA loan modifications or short sale approvals:

1. Illness
2. Loss of Job
3. Reduced Income
4. Failed Business
5. Job Relocation
6. Death of Spouse or C0-Borrower
7. Death
8. Incarceration
9. Divorce
10. Marital Separation
11. Military Duty
12. Reduced Income
13. Medical Bills
14. Damage to Property (natural disaster or unnatural)
and
15. Adjustable Rate Mortgage Reset- Payment Shock (uncommon, but we will see more lenders accept this in the future)

In the case of a short sale, you will have to market your home as you would a traditional sale by hiring an agent (they really need to be either SFR or CDPE designated--having trained knowledge of the short sale process). You will have to prepare a short sale Hard Ship Letter, authorize your Realtor and your Real Estate Attorney (who must also have proven experience with short sales) to have "Third Party Authorization" to speak with the bank(s), and also provide updated mortgage statements. This is needed up front to get the process moving.

However, there is a great deal more paperwork that will be required when you have an accepted offer and the irony is that if you are in the process of moving or have moved out already, you may have packed this paperwork up. So, in order to keep these files at the ready, here is the additional paperwork that the banks will need:

A.Financial Information
 1. Tax information
 2. Two most recent 1040′s
 3. Two most recent W2′s
 4. 60 days of current bank statements
 5. 30 days of current pay stubs or commission check stubs
 6. If self employed-pay stubs or YTD profit and loss statement
 7. Monthly budget/financial statement signed and dated same day as P&S

B.Hardship information
 1. Hardship letter dated signed same day as purchase contract
 2. Any docs supporting the actual hardship
 3. Medical bills
 4. Child support or alimony payment information.
5. Divorce decree or child support order

C.Mortgage & Other Relevant Property Information
 1. 1st Mortgage statement
 2. 2nd Mortgage statement if applicable
 3. Recent Real Estate tax bills
 4. Recent condo association bills if applicable
 5. Any recent water or sewer bills

D.Other Pertinent Documentation
 1. 3rd Party Authorization form
 2. Signed Short sale disclosure (provided by realtor)
 3. Waiver of conflict if representing the buyer (dual agency and also provided by realtor)
 4. recent comps
 5. Listing agreement
 6. Offer/P&S
 7. Listing history
 8. Buyer proof of funds letter or Pre Approval letter

It is important to understand that the above documents are required for almost every short selling bank. There are also bank specific forms that, in most cases, must accompany the above. You may contact your negotiator or the bank directly to obtain the bank specific documents. However, if you make an attempt to structure a document checklist with the above documents and systematically approach every short sale file with the idea of fulfilling that checklist, you will soon see that the short sale process will be one which will prove to be lucrative. The end result will be a happy buyer, seller, production team and, of course, bank negotiator. After all, a systematic approach to the short sale process will alleviate the negotiator throwing the file back on your desk for deficient information. In fact, they will be eagerly awaiting the next file with your name on it!

If you have any questions about the above information, please feel free to contact me:

Mark Slade, SFR
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Freshen Up Your Drink------>Recipe?

Festive Holiday Cocktail Recipes!

Saw this great drink recipe on Montclair Patch:

Share your own fave party drink in the comments section below

By Marilyn Johnson

December 2, 2011


Entertaining for the holidays is a perfect time for signature cocktails. Here are a couple of recipes for variations on pomegranate martinis that are red in color. Red, being the key to complement a special decorative rim of flaked coconut that gives the cocktail glass the look of Santa's hat or a snowy touch. It's a festive look to serve up some holiday spirit with your ... spirits.

Things needed to make the decorative snowy coconut rim:

3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon water
1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (makes 4 or more decorative glass rims)

Combine the powdered sugar and water.

Place the mixture on a plate and roll the outside of the rim of the glass in the sugar mixture or brush it on fairly thick and about a half-inch wide on the outside rim of the cocktail glass. The coconut needs something to adhere to. If the rim is coated too thin both in mixture and width the coconut will not stick well.

Take the sugar rimmed glass and press a handful of coconut to the rim. The flaked coconut gives a snowy texture but a finer textured coconut can also be used.

The coconut rim can be made days ahead. Once the coconut and icing dries it is set.

Cocktail Recipes:

We were experimenting at Thanksgiving making our own version of a pomegranate Cosmopolitan. We came up with this yummy concoction.

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan

7 parts Citron Vodka, of choice
3 parts Limoncello (a sweet lemon liqueur)
1 part Pama Pomegranate liqueur
1 part POM Pomegranate juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake to chill. Pour into two martini glasses. Can be additionally sweetened with simple syrup to taste.

Simple Syrup Recipe

2 parts granulated sugar
1 part water

Combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Cool and store in the refrigerator indefinitely.

For more recipes: Montclair Patch

Mark Slade
keller williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Top 10 Holiday Events in Maplewood




Holiday at the Hearth at Durand-Hedden

On Sunday, you can party like it's 1829.

Tired of the crass commercialism of the modern holiday season? Visit the Durand-Hedden House on Sunday, Dec. 4 (at 1 p.m.) for Holiday at the Hearth…


Dickens Village is Coming to Town!

... and so is Santa Claus — at the annual Dickens Village event in Maplewood Village.


1978 Maplewood Arts Center Presents BANG VI: A Small Artworks Exhibition and Sale

ARTS
Yesterday

1978 Maplewood Arts Center in Maplewood, New Jersey, is presenting the 6th Annual Buy Art Now Guys! (BANG VI), an exhibition featuring small scale…


1978 Maplewood Arts Center




Secret Shoppe Coming to Prospect Church on Dec. 10

Now in its 15th year, the Secret Shoppe provides an opportunity for children of all faiths to shop for family, teachers and friends.


Seton Hall Kicks Off The Holiday Season With Tree Lighting

SHU lights their tree in front of hundreds of spectators.

The holiday season officially kicked off on Thursday night as Seton Hall University presented its annual tree lighting in front of hundreds of spectators. …

Tree Sale:

The Maplewood Rotary Club is now selling Christmas Trees at Maplewood Community Pool on Boyden Avenue, Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 8…

Local Breakfast With Santa Options

The Gate is sold out but the South Mountain Y still has spaces.

Before you even knew it was THAT time of year, Breakfast with Santa at St. James's Gate Publick House on Saturday, December 10 is already sold…

Seton Hall Invites Community to Christmas at the Hall Tonight

Tonight’s tree lighting kicks off the holiday month.


Seton Hall University presents its annual tree lighting on its campus tonight. All of the community is invited to attend the event. At 5 p.m. a Mass at the Chapel…

Village of South Orange Tree Lighting today 12/3/2011 at 4:30

this event will be located at 76 South Orange Avenue hot chocolate and cookies will be handed out.

Holiday Lights Spectacular Will Illuminate Turtle Back Zoo

Free public admission to 100,000 light display starts Friday



Essex County's Turtle Back Zoo in the South Mountain Recreation Complex will be illuminated this holiday season with more than 100,000 lights and 50 Winter…

In this Article:

Turtle Back Zoo (in West Orange Patch), Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex (in West Orange Patch), Patrons Walk in Awe of 'Holiday Lights' (in West Orange Patch), and 1 more ›


For more: maplewood patch

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Like the Dickens: yes we do love our lil Dicken's Village in Maplewood




Dickens Village debuts this Saturday, Dec. 3 (yes, it's already that time of year!) with the arrival of Santa on a fire truck (1 p.m.), visits with Santa (1-3 p.m.), holiday readings by town celebrities (3-4 p.m.), community entertainment (4 p.m.), a reading by Vice Mayor Kathy Leventhal (4:45 p.m.) and the tree lighting at 5 p.m.





The Dickens Village houses will be open for each Saturday (Dec. 3, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17) from 1 - 4 p.m. The houses will also be open from 1-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Here's the remainder of events for Dickens Village 2011:

On Saturday, Dec. 10 —

1-4 p.m. Visit with Santa
1-4 p.m. Real reindeer from Edelweiss Farms
1:30-4 p.m. Horse & wagon rides through Maplewood Village
2-2:45 p.m. Holiday reading for children at Words Bookstore
Strollers will also be caroling throughout the village.

On Saturday, Dec. 17 —

1-4 p.m. Visit with Santa
1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Jack's Petting Zoo
1:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Horse & wagon rides through the village
2-2:45 p.m. Craft & Story Program for children of all ages at Maplewood Memorial Library
Strollers will also be caroling throughout the village.

On Sunday, Dec. 18 —

1-1:30 p.m. Visit with Santa
1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Community entertainment

On Thursday, Dec. 22 —

6 p.m. Menorah Lighting, Ricalton Square

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Friday, December 2, 2011

Time to get your TREE ON!


The Maplewood Rotary Club is now selling Christmas Trees at Maplewood Community Pool on Boyden Avenue, Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

For more about this article and the sale: click on Maplewood Patch

Thursday, December 1, 2011

If its Dec 1, then its World AIDS Day!




On the first of December, World AIDS Day is celebrated. This day is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to remember those who have died of the disease and to celebrate accomplishments, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

Today, despite advances in HIV treatment and in laws designed to protect those living with HIV; many people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV or about the stigma and discrimination that remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is an important reminder to individuals and governments that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2011 is "Getting to Zero." After 30 years of the global fight against HIV/AIDS, this year the focus is on achieving 3 targets: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.

For more about WAD 22 click on Maplewood Patch

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Special Offer from SOPAC - 12 Days of Christmas


The 12 Days of SOPAC

SOPAC is celebrating 12 days of gift-giving with special discount offers just for you! Starting Thursday, Dec 1 through Monday, Dec 12, we will send you daily e-mails with a special one-day-only sale on upcoming 11-12 Season performances. Each day is a new surprise you won’t want to miss!

On the first day of December SOPAC gives to you…
50% off tickets to
The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble on Sat, Dec 18 at 3pm
Code: FiggyPudding

Tickets may be purchased online, over the phone, or in person on Thursday December 1st. Use the code when checking out to receive this special deal!*

Be sure to check your in-box and the official
SOPAC Facebook Page for daily deal information!
Upcoming '12 Days of SOPAC' Discounts:
(check daily e-mail for offer information)
Day 2: A Freddy Cole Holiday
Day 3: Mammoth Follies
Day 4: The Sounds of Sarah Vaughan
Day 5: Golden Dragon Acrobats
Day 6: Pam Tillis
Day 7: Jane Monheit
Day 8: Toomai String Quintet
Day 9: Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company
Day 10: Les Nubians
Day 11: Kyle Eastwood Band
Day 12: Eric Roberson

From our family to yours, we wish you a very merry holiday season!

*Offer applies only on the day of the deal and is available online, over the phone, and at the box office. Maximum of six (6) tickets per order. 12 Days of SOPAC offer is not valid for prior purchases and cannot be combined win any other offer. Limited availability. Other restrictions may apply. All fees apply.

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Investors can buy in cash to get best deal and then Cash-Out with new Delayed Financing Rule

Delayed Financing Rule : Pay Cash For A Home, Cash-Out Refi Next Day




Delayed Financing Rule for mortgagesIf you paid cash for a home within the last 6 months and want to take "cash out", you can. It's because of a new mortgage allowance named the Delayed Financing Rule.

The standard 6-month seasoning requirement on home purchases has been eliminated.
About The Delayed Financing Rule

The Delayed Financing Rule was introduced as part of Fannie Mae's Selling Guide update SEL-2011-05. Considering its impact on real estate investors, there was surprisingly little fanfare around its release.

Because of the Delayed Financing Rule, real estate investors can now pay cash for a home, then extract that cash immediately post-closing via a mortgage.

Click here to get a mortgage rate quote.

Prior to the Delayed Financing Rule, there was a mandatory 6-month waiting period.

The Delayed Financing Rule qualifying standards are:

The new mortgage may not exceed the documented property purchase price
The original purchase must have been arms-length
The original HUD-1 must document that the sale occurred
The original HUD-1 must confirm that no financing was used
A title search must show that no liens exist on the property
Funds used for original purchase must be documented

Delayed Financing Rule mortgages are subject to a 70% loan-to-value limit except for investors with more than 4 properties financed.

For investors with more than 4 properties financed, the Delayed Financing Rule LTV limit is 65%, and other 5-10 Property Program restrictions apply, too.
You Paid Cash, Now Mortgage That Cash Back

The Delayed Financing Rule was meant to for investors paying cash, but everyday homeowners can use the program, too. Mortgage rates are the same as for any cash-out refinance and there are no specific "points" or other fees added to the loan.

Closings are scheduled like "normal" refinances and the underwriting process is the same.

Not every bank will offer mortgages using the Delayed Financing Rule, though. Especially for investors using the 5-10 Properties program. Waterstone Mortgage does offer it, however.

You can click here to get a rate quote.
Author
Dan Green
About the Author

Dan Green (NMLS #227607) is an active loan officer with Waterstone Mortgage. Email Dan atdan.green@waterstonemortgage.comor call 513-443-2020.

Any investors in NJ that want to take advantage of this new rule change please feel free to contact me:

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059

Hello Kitty Party in Maplewood


Parteaz is hosting a party for anyone who loves Hello Kitty this coming Friday from 4-6PM

Dress as you wish--in costume, wearing pink,etc.--and enjoy the activities for children. You can make your own CAKE POP, brew the purrfect cup of tea, Sew your own "Kitty" purse or simply have some face painting done. For kids 3-7 years of age.

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

Garrison Keillor Blows into Maplewood with his "A Christmas Blizzard"

Lake Wobegon Comes to Maplewood, Yes, you heard right!




In a town blanketed with authors and publishing industry execs (including the Associate Publisher of the Viking Children's Books Division of the Penguin Young Readers Group that i just helped to place in her first home in Maplewood:MS)
and all that is literati, heralded author,
Garrison Keillor will be in town tonight to tout his new book at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 28 at Words Bookstore.

Patch article by Mary Mann
Email the author
November 27, 2011



A new short comic novel by Garrison Keillor, A Christmas Blizzard


Garrison Keillor, creator and host of the nationally syndicated A Prairie Home Companion, and Maplewood would seem to be a perfect fit.

First of all, you can't swing a book prospectus without smacking a published author and Keillor acolyte in this town. Yes, the town is lousy with the literate, postively bursting with the bookish, and one person I know even goes running in a P.O.E.M. — Professional Organization of English Majors — t-shirt (see here for an explanation).

Secondly, Maplewood seems strangely akin to Keillor's fictional town of Lake Wobegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."

Anyhoo, it behooves all the local literati to gather 'round Monday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Words Bookstore to hear Keillor hawk his new short comic novel A Christmas Blizzard — about a Hawaii-bound holiday traveler who ends up stranded in his hometown during a blizzard.

For more about this event: Click on Maplewood Patch

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Trifecta: ideas for your turkey leftovers!

What to do with Leftovers?

A turkey sandwich is just one basic idea. Adding Stuffing and Cranberry sauce, like they serve it as the "hobgoblin" at Gaslight takes it to a new level.

I highly recommend cutting up the turkey in small cubes and adding to a saucepan that is being used to saute onions and garlic, then add some taco seasoning in order to make a great big batch of turkey taco meat!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com

Here are some other ideas from around the state.

By Patch Staff
Email the author
November 25, 2011




So the feast is over and everyone has had a good night's sleep fueled by an excess of food and drink.

So what to do with the leftovers? We asked our own staffers and their friends and neighbors and of course, being Patch, scoured the Web, to find out what Jersey does the day after the feast.

Of course, there's a turkey sandwich. But why not make it a bit more Jersey-specific, with a turkey Sloppy Joe? First, a bit of history: cooking enthusiast Ben Salmon explains the history of how the sandwich was invented in South Orange and rates three local purveyors.

But now on to the recipe, complete with homemade Russian dressing.

Ben has lots of other good ideas for leftovers, including what sounds to us like a Thanksgiving Dagwood.

Want a more traditional sandwich? Try "Thanksgiving on a Bun," from Mahwah's Mason Jar restaurant.

And one more twist on a sandwich, from Fabian Quiros, Executive Chef at the Salt Creek Grille in Princeton.

Not a lot of turkey left over? Then try Fabian's recipe for Southwestern Turkey Soup:

Make a deliciously hearty and easy soup with turkey and corn leftovers mixed with tomatoes, beans, and warm southwestern spices.

For more ideas: Click Here Maplewood Patch

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NO LEAF LEFT BEHIND-MAPLEWOOD TOWN LEAF PICK UP SCHEDULE

2011 LEAF COLLECTION SCHEDULE




Week of 11/14/11 Section: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12

Week of 11/21/11 Section: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Week of 11/28/11 Section: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Week of 12/05/11 Section: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Week of 12/12/11 Section: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


BEGINNING THE WEEK OF OCT. 10TH LEAF PILES WILL BE COLLECTED IN ALL SECTIONS UNTIL REGULAR SECTION PICK UPS BEGIN ON OCTOBER 24th

PLEASE NOTE THAT WEATHER AND EQUIPMENT FAILURES MAY CAUSE A DELAY IN THE SCHEDULE. DELAYS SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN 1 OR 2 DAYS. IF THE TOWNSHIP GETS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE THEY MAY COME THROUGH YOUR SECTION EARLY, BUT WILL ALSO BE BACK DURING YOUR SCHEDULED WEEK.

NO LEAVES SHALL BE PUT IN THE STREET MORE THAN 7 DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR SCHEDULED WEEK. NO LEAVES SHALL BE PUT IN THE STREET AFTER THE SUNDAY BEFORE YOUR LAST SCHEDULED PICK UP WEEK. THE TOWNSHIP HAS PICKED UP THE LEAVES ON YOUR STREET DURING YOUR LAST SCHEDULED PICK UP WEEK

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
181 Maplewood Ave
Maplewood, NJ 07040
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com
www.maplewoodnjopenhouses.com

Friday, November 18, 2011

Song and Dance All Around Town-Pre Thanksgiving Weekend

Song and Dance All Around Town

Singers and Dancers Perform Various Shows Locally This Weekend


Credit South Orange Performing Arts Center

The opportunities to indulge your love of music and dance abound locally this weekend. From the music of the Beatles, to love song and ballads, to chorales and symphonies, your favorite genre is sure to be represented. Dance enthusiasts will enjoy the Dance Theatre of Harlem or the Broadway production numbers of White Christmas. Read on for the details of these events and others and feel free to add your own suggestions for weekend entertainment in the Comments section.

Jay Dougherty Ballads & Love Songs

Spend an evening enjoying the songs of Sinatra, Martin and Gershwin when local favorite Jay Dougherty performs at Highland Place. The steaks and chops are prepared over a wood fire, so plan to stay for dinner, too! Free admission; Friday at 8 p.m.; Maplewood

White Christmas

Based on the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye movie, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a delightful musical about two singer/dancers performing a show in snowy Vermont, while falling in love with two singing sisters under the mistletoe. Holiday magic, song, dance and comedy all wrapped up in one merry show. $25-$80; Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; Millburn

Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble

Sixteen young dancers trained at the Dance Theatre of Harlem will delight the audience with a show for all ages at SOPAC. Young dancers and those interested in learning more about dance will find this interactive performance fascinating. $30-$40; Sunday at 3 p.m.; South Orange

Drew the Dramatic Fool

In the tradition of Vaudeville, royal jesters, clowns, silent films and animated cartoons, Drew the Dramatic Fool offers laughs for imperfect humans, taking the audience through a range of emotions from joy to fear to despair and back to joy again. $15; Sunday at 11 a.m.; South Orange

Beatlemania Now

The Maplewood First Aid Squad presents “Beatlemania Now” as a fundraiser to help the Squad with operating expenses such as medical supplies and emergency vehicle maintenance. The show tells the story of the Beatles from 1964 to 1969, with authentic costuming and 30 classic hit songs, with all the spirit of the original Fab Four. $16; Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Maplewood

South Orange Symphony Concert

Stay after the show for a reception with Maestro Helmacy and Orchestra. Free; Saturday at 8 p.m.; South Orange

Yoga, Breakfast and Bling

Yoga is by donation only; Saturday at 8 a.m.; Millburn

The Friends of Maplewood Library’s Fall Book Sale

Free admission; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Maplewood

Summit Chorale Concert

Free; Saturday at 8 p.m.; Maplewood

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com
917.797.5059


For More details: Maplewood Patch

Monday, November 14, 2011

This is not Carole King's Tapastry, but it is a new Tapas Restaurant hosting a Guitar Night this Friday!

Come join for a night of music and Spanish food this Friday in Montclair. The second annual Guitars In The Round will feature Ian Smit, Doug Gill, Harvey Valdes and Rich Maloof doing all sorts of inadvisable things to guitars of various shapes and sizes.




Tapastry is a new tapas place in Montclair with a performance space upstairs. FYI, it's BYOB, FWIW. It's $8 at the door (if you don't eat anything, they also ask a $10 corking fee).




Tapastry Restaurant (upstairs)
12 Church Street, Monclair
973 233 0216
http://tapastryrestaurant.blogspot.com/

sent to me by my friend Rich Maloof

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Can you believe it now Costs 21% less to Own a Home?

Homeowners Paying 21% Less To Own Their Homes




Mortgage rates have plunged this year, driving down the long-term costs of homeownership. Regardless of loan type -- either FHA, USDA, conforming or jumbo --mortgage payments are downright cheap as compared to just six months ago.

REALTORS® will tell you it's a great time to buy a home. That may be true.

It's an even better time to refinance one.

Exceptionally low mortgage rates make for exceptionally low mortgage payments and, no matter for how long you've owned your home or made payments on it, you have a chance to dramatically slash your payments, leaving money for other things such as retirement, home improvement, and college tuition.

Here's why : When you make your mortgage payment each month, a portion of your payment is interest. The lower your interest rate, the less interest you pay each month. This math applies to all amortizing loans -- 30-year schedule, 15-year schedule or otherwise.

Over the life of a loan, the interest cost savings can be substantial.

As a real-life example of two 30-year fixed rate mortgages for $300,000 -- one from April 2011 and one from today :

April 2011 : The $300,000 mortgage requires $275,000 in interest paid over time
November 2011 : The $300,000 mortgage requires $217,000 in interest paid over time


In other words, at today's rates, with a $300,000 mortgage, you can chop $57,000 off your long-term mortgage interest costs as compared to a mortgage from just 6 months ago.

That's a 21% savings and the math applies to all loan sizes.

Click here to get a mortgage quote.
The Reverse Of "Starting Over" With Your Mortgage

There's a common refrain among homeowners facing refinance scenarios. It goes like this: "These low rates are excellent," they say, "but I'm already 6 years into my loan and I don't want to start over. I don't want a new 30-year fixed rate loan."

Maybe you've even thought something similar; something akin to refinancing to a 15-year fixed or some other shorter-length loan.

The good news is that you don't have to.

There's a simpler way to refinance without "starting over". It requires just a small amount of advance planning, but yields a lifetime of real-cash savings. Here's what to do:

Make note of your current principal + interest payment
Refinance to a new, lower mortgage rate and payment; reset your loan for a new 30 year
Make your former principal + interest payment to your new lender each month
Continue making payments until the loan is paid off

In other words, refinance your mortgage but continue to make your "old" payment to your new lender. This will add extra principal to your payment each month, thereby accelerating your home loan payoff.

So long as you don't add egregious costs to your loan balance at the time of closing -- in every example imaginable -- you will own your home faster than if you never refinanced at all.

Click here for a rate quote. I can show you how the numbers work for your home loan.
Get A Mortgage Rate Quote

Because of today's low mortgage rates, the cost of paying off a mortgage has never been lower. You can save on interest costs and put that money to other use.

So, if you own a home -- no matter when you last financed it -- see what you can save with a refinance. You have nothing to lose by asking, and everything to gain. Especially now that you know how to refinance without taking on 30 more years of borrowing.

About the Author

Dan Green (NMLS #227607) is an active loan officer with Waterstone Mortgage. Email Dan atdan.green@waterstonemortgage.comor call 513-443-2020.

And, if you are searching for a home, please keep in mind that with today's interest rates, every $1,000 in taxes equates to approximately $9,000 in house price. So, if you are using a Top Agent, you should keep in mind that you might be able to afford even MORE house for the buck, if you confirm that a home has less than the usual amount of taxes relative to its asking price!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Top 10 Tips to Entertaining for the Holidays

As we turn the year's bend and Thanksgiving approaches, followed by Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Year's to name some, it's only fitting to start making preparations for your entertaining needs. The key is not to procrastinate, while getting your list together--not the "who's been naughty and who's been nice" one--to make things that much easier and also to create an opportunity for you--THE HOST--to also enjoy the experiences you put together for friends and family.

So, let's start:

1. Candles, Candles and More Candles. Tea Lights are cheap and can fit into a variety of "containers" to add atmosphere that is consistent with your decorative style. Simple Glass Votive Holders work anywhere but are especially relevant to a more modern decorative style; whereas, rustic metal votive holders work with more ornate or antique oriented home designs.



I must stress that you use caution as to where you place these candles as we don't want to end up with a fire hazard. So, if you are keeping guests, residents and animals away from a center staircase, then the picture above provide an incredible mood. If you are planning for a "full-house" then I recommend placing votives in punch bowls like featured above, to still provide atmosphere but in a safer context.

2. Mood Music. Ever since the iPod and its newer, faster, sleeker brothers, becoming your own DJ has become that much more fun and easy. It's your party, so why not pick music you and your guests will enjoy to enhance their experience, as sound is one of the top 5 sensory experiences an individual can have. I actually suggest that, depending on the crowd, you can move through a variety of genres--lifting the pace from introductory mood music to Chic Hotel (these hotels make CD's and iTunes Albums) with a little more vibe; of course, if you are planning your own rave, house dance music-a-thon, or 80's rock retrospective, be my 'guest.'

3. Prep isn't just for Preppies. Have you ever had everything cooked to perfection, decorated to the 9's and all your guests are raving about how wonderful a time they are having only to wake up the next morning and realize it felt like you weren't at your own party? Prepping in advance can make such a huge difference and free you up to actually enjoy your party.



i. MAKE A LIST. yes, organize your thoughts on paper and organize in chronological order so that the flowers are ordered, food purchased, etc.
ii. set the table(s) in advance
iii. if using candles, have them set up in advance. This will also get your home's residents more aware of where the candles will be in advance for safety's sake.
iv. even better, try to chose foods that can be made in advance and simply reheated or put on warming trays. This will allow you to be less stressed leading up to the first knock on the door or doorbell ring.
v. consider buffet set up and style to minimize serving needs. This reduces set up efforts and also helps to cut down on wasting food in many cases so that your guests take what they will eat.

4. Flowers or other forms to decorative enhancement. Let's face it, flowers usually rule the day for adding color and fragrance to freshen up your home. And, if your home has any lingering pet odors, flowers can help to minimize and mask them. A note of caution, if you follow the rule of K-I-S-S--Keep It Simple Stupid--you will be rewarded for simplicity and save money at the same time. I also recommend you chose vases that you already own or, if buying with your arrangements, choosing ones you plan to reuse in some way, shape or form so as not to waste $ and add to landfills.


5. Home GPS. GPS stands for navigation and your home may not be set up for easy navigation for a party. So, depending on your style of party--formal sit down to buffet to cocktail/dance party--you would be best served rearranging your furnishings to provide the appearance and traffic flow you would like to see rather than leaving it to chance. Is it a big enough difference and worth the effort, in a word YES. I still remember my first experience going through a museum, in my case the JFK memorial museum outside of Boston, taking its nautical spiral tour and spilling out to the beach to see JFK's beloved wooden boat. Controlled flow produces intended outcomes, conversely, you could end up with a chaotic evening with "fender benders" and spilled drinks.

6. Chairmen of the Board. You buy your home, you move your furniture in and you get to sit back in comfort (hopefully) and enjoy your home as intended. Well, your home is generally a box that houses 2-6 inhabitants from kids to pets, etc. When you are hosting a party, this number usually doubles if not triples. So, do you have enough seating? Do you have room to add enough seating to accommodate your guests? Lastly, if your are adding any chairs, will they be comfortable enough for your guests to enjoy themselves or will your playlist have to be managed so everyone is playing musical chairs to win your beloved club chair? Simple solution: borrow, bring in outdoor cushions or buy some inexpensive cushions to fit whatever extra chairs you will be using (if you have the budget, there is nothing like using a nice comfy chair cover to convert the orange wood and metal chair into a not-so-shabby chic!



7. And while we talk about dressing up your extra chairs, what about your table? Let's face it, nothing says HOLIDAY like having the right festive tablecloth or runner for your dining room table.

8. To be Flat or Not to be Flat, that is the question. So many people have flat screen TV's in this day in age and let's face it, put on a sports game will act like a magnet drawing those tv zombified guests to your flat screen like bugs to the bulb. So, here's the trick: either set up your TV to act as a screening room for your most recent family vacation/party/event or find some soothing images to display, even consider buying a "fireplace" dvd to set the mood!



9. Doing the Dishes. Let's say you are having 12 guest and that there will be appetizers, main courses and desserts being served at the very least. That translates into at least 36 dishes and 12 glasses (24 if you are serving drinks of any kind in addition to water). Unless your home has 2 dishwashers or you have hired help for the evening, the pile up at the end of the night will look like one of those horrific snow/ice storm pileups on a national highway. The best advice i can give is to take a moment at "half-time" and load up your dishwasher and run it. First of all, there is a good chance one or two considerate guests will help you rinse and load or later unload and re-load later. This will at least cut down the work by 50% and won't leave you with as much as a bad taste in your mouth when the last of your guests have left.


10. My Last Tip is for you! Let's just imagine you have done all the prep and set the stage for a great time. But, its 5 minutes till your "start" time and all of the sudden your anxiety kicks in: what did i forget? will my friends show? is someone allergic to Puss N Boots or Dudley the Dog? While you can't control any of these you at least owe it to yourself(ves) to have a toast to one another or a wonderfully warm sip of wine to relax you and get you back into party enjoyment/fun mode! So CHEERS!



I hope you found this helpful! Enjoy your Holidays! Bottoms Up!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com
www.maplewoodnjopenhouses.com

and if you need some party planning expertise:
Sandy Gold
973.710.6333
www.loveyourcloset2.com

Jersey Concert For Jersey Music Lovers

A Jersey Concert For Jersey Music Lovers




Buy your tickets today for the Rock & Soul Concert Festival 2011


On Saturday, November 19, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., The Rock & Soul Concert Festival 2011 will hold its first annual concert at the Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University.

In short, this is a Jersey concert for Jersey music lovers.

The Rock & Soul Concert Festival is a combination of two concerts in one night. The first show, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will consist of three rock acts: Little Devil (of Warren), The Jersey Royale (of Ramsey), and Black Water (of Jersey City). The second show, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., will bring together four R&B and soul talents from New Jersey to New York that will include: Jesse Idol (of Newark), J Mello (of New York), and Shanelle Gabriel (of New York). Lastly, and most gratefully, there is Stephanie White & the Philth Harmonic, the inspiration for this combination of rock and soul.


The show will be held at the Memorial Auditorium is located on the Montclair State University campus at 1 Normal Ave. in Montclair. For more information on this event please call (201) 506-4536. Please visit the website, rockandsoulconcert.moonfruit.com. To purchase tickets ($15 for the Rock show, $15 for the Soul show and $22.50 for both) you can go directly to rockandsoulconcert.eventbrite.com.

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com
www.montclairnjopenhouses.com

For more info on this concert, Go To Montclair Patch

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BofA actions might inspire us to OCCUPY MAPLEWOOD, Let Alone Wall Street!

This entry is courtesy of my friend Tom P., a Maplewood Resident and also a fellow KW agent.



We hope you find this useful!

"My mortgage was bought from my mortgage company about two years ago by Bank Of America. I pay into escrow to cover taxes and insurance. When I noticed that out monthly payment went up a lot, I called. The rep at Bank Of America explained that my taxes and insurance had gone up so the escrow payment would be higher. When I asked for the breakdown there was about $110.00 unaccounted for. I pointed this out, and was told by the rep that the unaccounted for money was going into a "reserve requirement fund". I asked about the fund and was told that the fund was in place in case my taxes and insurance went up. I then pointed out that that the taxes and insurance had indeed gone up, and the increased payment to my escrow covered the difference. The rep then asked if I wanted the "reserve requirement fund" removed. I told her yes, and mentioned that I was never given notice of this fund. Her response was "I apologize for that." DOUBLE CHECK YOUR MORTGAGE, FOLKS. If Bank Of America holds 1 million mortgages and tacks on a $100 "reserve requirement fund" fee to all of them, that's 1.2 billion dollars. Suspected fraud or complaints about banks can be filed online here: http://www.helpwithmybank.gov/
--Tom P."

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Eateries in Montclair

Cuban & Cars: New Eateries in Montclair

Two new eateries on the way!


Although QBA is in the process of closing, Montclair will soon have a new spot from which to procure Cuban fare. A sign posted in the window at the former site of California Chicken on Valley Road at Van Vleck (two doors down from Enzo’s) states “Coming Soon Cuban America Food Home Style Cooking.”

In the space right next door to the newbie-Cuban, another poster is displayed signaling the arrival of “CARS Late Night Delivery.” According to the sign, CARS will “satisfy all your late night munchies."

For more about this please go to montclair.patch

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
www.goodhomesforgoodpeople.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Halloween Scare is over, it the Housing Market Scare over too?


We can't accurately predict where housing prices will trend at the moment as it has had the appearance of a Texas Two-Step lately and the same goes for Mortgage Rates. In the past, low interest rates would drive up prices as buyers could afford more "home" for the same monthly budget. But, our past year's worth of historically low interest rates haven't really had the buoying effect that most economists would have suggested.

So, the only thing an economist has left in their "bag-o-tricks" (one to be confused with Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bags) is to look at the returns that have been generated since 2000. We all know that home prices skyrocketed from 2000-2005 and that they have plummeted since.

But, are you aware that if you bought/invested in a home in 2000, your return on investment would trump the Dow's 6.7% ROI by over 6X? Yes, Home prices are still showing a 43% ROI if you bought 11 years ago and after the major slide.

The problem with all of us is that we have a hard time about having "lost" the additional run up in home prices and equity up until 2006, which would have provided you with a 71% ROI.

The bottom line is that you can keep you cash under the mattress, but it won't earn a thing (it also won't lose unless a cleaning person or burglar finds it); you can keep your cash in the DOW with its 6.7% ROI (as oppposed the losses if you put your money in NASDQ or S+P; or, you can buy a home and live in it, thereby taking advantage of a the tax credits available to you and watch your investment ROI grow over time!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
181 Maplewood Ave
Maplewood, NJ 07040
917.797.5059
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com
www.maplewoodnjopenhouses.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Leaves turn & fall, then the Clocks need to be turned Fall back

The Leaves turn & fall, then the Clocks need to be turned Fall back

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.

Spring forward, Fall back

During DST, clocks are turned forward an hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.







Year DST Begins @2AM DST Ends @2AM
2010 March 14 November 7
2011 March 13 November 6
2012 March 11 November 4
2013 March 10 November 3
2014 March 9 November 2

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
917.797.5059
marksladehomes@aol.com
www.maplewoodandsouthorangehomes.com
www.maplewoodnjopenhouses.com