Top attractions in Union County, NJ

NJ

 

Come to Union County to visit these wonderful attractions:

  1. Bowcraft Amusement Park
    Have a fun day out with family in Bowcraft, New Jersey’s premier amusement park. Visitors of all ages will love what this family-friendly destination has to offer. Fun rides, outdoor games, arcades, and amazing food await. They also host seasonal events – celebrate Easter, memorial weekend, the Fourth of July, and other holidays here at the park.
  2. Kidz Village
    This multi-level indoor playground is known as the best kids’ play place in Union County, and for good reason – pretend businesses, an arcade, and a comic book shop will keep your child busy. Battle it out at Kidz Castle, where you can launch sponge balls from stationary canons. Get done up at Trinity’s Salon and watch a short film at the Village Cinema.

    Kidz Village is also a popular venue for birthday parties. The staff will find ways to make your child’s celebration a happy and memorable one.

  3. Pump It Up
    Let the kids work off excess energy at Pump It Up, where colorful inflatables await. This indoor, climate-controlled playground boasts several arenas, each with its own theme. They also hold open play events where kids and their adult companions can explore two rooms with three to four inflatables each.

    Pump It Up may be rented out for birthday parties. Guests can bounce on the play equipment, make candy necklaces, and get treated to awesome snacks.

  4. Gymboree Play & Music
    Gymboree offers age-appropriate classes that help kids hone their cognitive, physical, and social skills. Their play centers are clean, safe, and engaging – kids get to learn about art, music, and science and technology in a fun environment. Activities include storytelling, problem-solving games, and flashlight play.

    Gymboree gives your child plenty of opportunity to meet and play with other kids her age. This is a place where she can build confidence and form lasting friendships.

    Private parties may be held at the play centers, with themes ranging from Princess Playhouse to Jungle Safari. The staff will take care of the invites, party supplies, gift bags, and post-party cleanup.

  5. Liberty Hall Museum
    Step back in time as you walk down the halls of this historic mansion. Erected in 1772 as a Georgian-style home, it has transformed into an elaborate Victorian Italianate home with 50 rooms. Here you’ll find antique furniture, toys, textiles, and ceramics on display. Get a glimpse of the lives of the families that lived here – seven generations of Keans and Livingstons called this place home.
  6. Reeves-Reed Arboretum
    Admire the arboretum’s display garden and go on a leisurely stroll on their woodland trails. The best time to visit is in April, when the famed “Daffodil Bowl” is full of vivid blooms. You can also drop by in the fall to see the autumn foliage in full glory. Other highlights include exhibits at the Wisner House and the Garden & Library House. They also have a summer concert series featuring some of the best musical acts in town.

Live close to Union County’s fantastic offerings. Call me, Janine Rose, at 908-753-4450 to explore your options.

Great ways to enhance your home’s curb appeal

appeal

 

Putting your home in the market? Get more offers by enhancing curb appeal.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Clean up

    Get started by clearing away dried leaves, twigs, litter, and debris. If you have old furniture, tires, and junk parked in your front yard, put them in storage. A clean and clutter-free lawn not only makes your property more desirable, it also creates the impression of more space. You only have a few minutes to make a positive first impression on potential buyers, so tidy up.

    If you’re dealing with a lot of clutter and not a lot of time, consider hiring professional cleaners.

  2. Get professional landscaping
    Bring in a container garden with blooming plants to add a pop of color to your front yard. Don’t have a green thumb? A professional landscape designer can help you choose the best plants for your yard, as well as make garden improvements that will add value to your home.
  3. Install landscape lighting
    Spruce up your front yard and enhance safety by installing low-voltage outdoor lighting. Use accent lighting to illuminate trees, the front door, or a walking path. Get professional landscaping services for all the necessary excavation and electrical work.
  4. Dress up the front door
    The front door is one of the first things buyers notice about a home, so give yours a fresh coat of paint to make it stand out. Choose a color that either makes a bold statement or complements the rest of the exterior. If your front door is worn and damaged, it’s worth the trouble to have it fixed or get a new one.

    Symmetry is pleasing to the human eye, so try to arrange your lighting fixtures and front door décor in a way that creates visual balance. For example, add a lantern-style sconce on both sides of your front door. Make sure that the sconces are the same size and color to create symmetry.

  5. Replace old or damaged hardware
    Make sure that all knobs, locks, handles, and hinges are working properly. Have them fixed or replaced if necessary. House numbers and wall-mounted mailboxes should also be in excellent condition. Keep in mind that buyers will scrutinize any signs of damage and cosmetic defects, and will bring up these issues to negotiate a lower price.
  6. Add window boxes
    Adding window boxes is one of the fastest and easiest ways to bring color to your home exterior. Window boxes made of copper and iron will give your home a traditional look, while wooden ones will give it a warm and welcoming feel.
  7. Invest in outdoor art
    Give your front yard some character by adding outdoor art pieces like a birdbath, wind chimes, statues, or metal cutouts. Choose artworks that complement your home exterior. You can place several pieces that blend in with your home’s design elements, or you can add a single statement piece that serves as a focal point.

With these tips in mind, your home will be ready for a sale in no time.

Are you thinking of selling your New Jersey home? Call me, Janine Rose, at 908-753-4450.

Must-try restaurants in Morris County, NJ

Morris County, NJ

 
Morris County is a culinary destination, and you’ll find acclaimed restaurants throughout the area. Here are some of them:

  1. H2Ocean Restaurant
    41 Ridgedale Avenue
    Cedar Knolls, NJ

    This celebrated restaurant serves fresh seafood, “from hook to plate,” in support of local New Jersey fisheries and vegetable farms. Feast on clams and oysters, and try their signature H2Ocean shrimp cocktail. The restaurant features an elegant main dining room, a banquet room that seats up to 100 guests, a bar and lounge, and a private loft. Come here for a unique and memorable dining experience.

  2. Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille
    1 Convent Road, The Madison Hotel
    Morristown, NJ

    This award-winning restaurant boasts an extensive wine list and some of the best grilled meats in town. Dine on filet mignon or crusted Atlantic salmon – Rod’s is just as famous for its seafood as its steak. The interior features gorgeous wood paneling and vintage railway cars to make your dinner date unforgettable. The restaurant may be reserved for private events. The rich décor makes it ideal for birthdays, reunions, and other special occasions.

  3. The Quiet Man Irish Pub
    64 E McFarlan Street
    Dover, NJ

    Named for the 1952 film starring Ireland-born actress Maureen O’Hara, this pub celebrates its Irish roots every step of the way, from classic pub fare to the dining room that carries the name of the red-haired screen siren. Dig into some Dublin-style fish and chips, and listen to live music throughout the week. They’ve got great promos as well – go on a Wednesday night and get pints at half price.

  4. Scalini Fedeli
    63 Main Street
    Chatham, NJ

    Scalini Fedeli serves modern Italian fare in an elegant setting. Located in a historic farmhouse, the restaurant’s vaulted ceilings and pine floors create a sophisticated but warm atmosphere where you can have a great time with friends and family. The menu consists of delectable dishes like chicken breast with Italian sausage and crusted rib pork chop with prosciutto.

  5. La Strada Ristorante
    1105 State Route 10
    Randolph, NJ

    Enjoy good food and impeccable service in a restaurant that exudes Old World charm. Beef ravioli, veal, and chocolate mousse are just some of their offerings. Book a table for dinner or grab some drinks at the cocktail lounge. Their banquet rooms can accommodate up to 150 guests, making them perfect for large gatherings and special occasions. The staff is amenable to meal substitutions and menu customization for private events.

  6. The Committed Pig
    28 West Park Place
    Morristown, NJ

    This fine-casual restaurant serves some of the best handcrafted burgers in the state. With a focus on comfort food, The Committed Pig offers simple but delicious offerings like grilled cheese sandwich, pancakes, fish tacos, and French toast. The laidback, dressed-down atmosphere makes it a great hang-out spot. Come here for brunch and do some catching up with friends.

If you want to live close to Morris County’s restaurant scene, I’d be happy to help you find a home. Call me, Janine Rose, at 908-753-4450.

Mistakes you should avoid when relocating

Most people think relocating is a stressful experience. The fact of the matter is with enough preparation, moving homes can be smooth and stress-free for everybody involved. Avoiding the following mistakes will guarantee you the best-case scenario for your big move.

  1. Renting out your home but not planning it wisely.

    Renting out your home is a great way to generate income and can turn out to be a great investment. Proper management, however, is the key to rental success. Most people go on and have their homes rented out without having any idea on how to properly do it.

    If you’re planning on turning your old home into a rental, prepare ahead. Do some research on how to collect rent and other things you need to do to be a great landlord/lady. Create a separate account to take care of property maintenance, and make sure to have enough finances to pay your mortgage during vacancies.

  2. Replicating your old home in your new house.

    It’s a new house, which means a new start. Some people, however, like to arrange things the way they did back in their old home. They do it to try to make the transition easier and lessen the impact of relocation, particularly on children.

    Regardless of the intention, replicating the living environment you once had in your old home can be a bad idea. It can create tension and stress, especially if you’re not successful in this endeavor. Additionally, it creates a boundary between your family and the new experiences to be had in your new home. Embrace the change and slowly adapt.

  3. Putting items on storage… and forgetting about it.

    Sorting out your things before relocating is an important step: you figure out which ones you will keep, donate, and sell. Some people opt to keep some things such as old furniture in storage, with plans of eventually moving it into the new home when the right time comes.

    While there’s nothing bad in storing possessions you don’t intend of letting go, it’s best to move all the items you want to keep into your new home. For one, it saves you money– storage is not free, after all. There is also the fact that it’s quite easy to forget the stuff you’ve put into storage. Once you’ve remembered these items on storage, they might not have a place in your home anymore.

  4. Neglecting to check on the local schools.

    If you have children (or you’re planning to have one in the near future), make sure to check on the local school district or private schools within the area. Aside from getting to know whether these schools perform well and offer great programs, you’ll also want to know whether these schools can accommodate your kids. This can disrupt how your kid handles the transition. So, do your research about local schools before you commit to a property.

These mistakes can be easily avoided with due diligence and enough preparation. Check our blog for more home buying, selling, and moving tips. You can also get in touch with us at 753-4450 x120 or 908-229-6253 for more information about Central New Jersey real estate.

Hiking and biking trails around Somerset County

Are you a fan of fitness and the great outdoors? You will definitely love Somerset County. Here, you can explore miles upon miles of hiking and biking trails that will make your heart happy and your mind relaxed.

Hiking trails in Somerset County

Walking at least 30 minutes a day is a great cardio workout. Imagine what 30 minutes of hiking will do in a lush forest. Check out the following parks and discover extensive hiking trails where you can enjoy peace and quiet.

  1. Little Brook Sanctuary – Located in Bernardsville, the 100-acre Little Brook Sanctuary traverses through a number of habitats, home to a wide variety of local wildlife. It’s one of the best preserved outdoor spots in Somerset County. Of course, one thing you shouldn’t miss is the brook that runs through the whole park.
  2. Lord Stirling Park – A favorite for nature walks, Lord Stirling Park is home to over 8 miles of hiking trails. Take a deep breath as you walk through the woods and enjoy fresh air, along with lush fields and verdant woodlands. Come winter, Lord Stirling Park transforms into a white paradise and a hotbed for cross country skiing. The Passaic River and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge are located a short distance away.
  3. Sourland Mountain Preserve – Located within the Montgomery and Hillsborough Townships, the Sourland Mountain Preserve will take you deep within the thriving nature of the Sourland Mountain. The whole preserve covers a total area of approximately 4,000 acres and is home to three family- and pet-friendly trails that offer easy to moderate hiking.

Biking trails in Somerset County

If you’re into mountain biking, Somerset County also has plenty to offer regardless of your skill level. Over the recent years, mountain biking has become a popular pastime in the area, and more trails are being opened to enthusiasts. Some of the best-loved biking trails in Somerset County include:

  1. Washington Valley Park – Along with Sourland Mountain Preserve, Washington Valley Park is one of the two most popular locations for mountain biking in the state. There is approximately 715 acres of ground to cover, bursting with life in every nook and cranny. Aside from hiking and mountain biking, people also visit Washington Valley Park to watch out for hawks.
  2. Natirar Park – Located in Peapack-Gladstone, Natirar Park is also fast becoming a favorite for local cycling enthusiasts. Natirar Park has two biking trails that will take you on a tour of the historic and beautiful estate, which was believed to have been built in the early 1910s.
  3. Skillman Park – One of the newer parks in Somerset County, Skillman Park is home to a 2.25-mile paved multi-use trail that features scenic views of the area.

Learn more about Somerset County

Eat, play, relax, and live in Somerset County. Get in touch with us today at 908-753-4450 x120 or 908-229-6253 for more information about Somerset County and Central New Jersey real estate. We look forward to hearing from you!

Affordable outdoor projects you should try

Do-it-yourself outdoor projects can be a fun, personal undertaking or an avenue where you can bond with your family. These affordable upgrades will not only increase your handiness skill but also spruce up your yard. Who knew improving your home’s curb appeal could be so fun?

  1. A DIY fence
    Fences are helpful– it adds much-needed privacy to your home, defines property lines, beautifies your yard, and increases the overall value of the property. And do you know you can build your own yard for only a thousand bucks?

    Start by sketching a design around your property to calculate just how much wood you need. Also look up for the kind of wood you want for your fence. Cut it down according to your design specs. Call in the expertise of a professional to mark areas where you can safely dig, avoiding pipes and utility cables. Lastly, rent an auger, which you will use to dig holes.

    Once there are enough holes for the fence posts, it’s time to assemble. Other things you can do to increase its appeal is to apply stain. Wood preservatives are also helpful and can help protect your fence from the elements for years.

  2. A built-in garden tool organizer
    Let’s face it– it’s quite daunting and tiring to have to go back and forth to your garage every single time you have to do some bit of gardening. One solution is to build a garden tool organizer, where you can stash all your tools such as trowels, spades, and rakes, neatly. It would also look great!

    What you need to create a built-in garden tool organizer are a couple of PVC pipes, wall studs, and pre-cut lumber. Sketch a design to get a rough idea of how you want it to look like, then get to work. You can read more about the whole process here.

  3. A neat and polished landscaping thanks to concrete edging
    There are a couple of ways you can keep grass and weeds from running amok in your garden. We highly suggest concrete edging. This easy DIY project can be made with less than 20 bucks and makes your curb look clean and defined.Start off by defining borders in your yard using wood stakes and bender boards. If you’re not too confidence doing this spontaneously, sketch a design that will help you identify the curb’s form. Once the bender board and wood stakes are held in place, pour concrete and use and edging trowel to make the curb look smooth and professionally done. For more information, check out this page.
  4. A tiled driveway
    A tiled driveway can significantly increase your home’s curb appeal and make it one of the most beautiful properties in the neighborhood. This project can cost you only $3 per square meter, which beats the ten bucks per square meter a professional will charge you. All you need to do prepare a mortar mixture in a bucket, spread it into a tile mold, and place the tile.

    It’s easier said than done, but it’s a project that will be worth all your time and effort. You can check out this page for more details.

We love home improvement tips. For more projects like this, check out our blog. You can also learn more about Central New Jersey real estate by getting in touch with us at 908-753-4450 x120 or 908-229-6253.