Best Place To Move - Find the Best Suburb NYC - Commute to NYC Blog


How to Choose a Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project

Home improvement jobs can be enormous projects to handle.  Homeowners know the investment or remodeling they do to their home can increase the long term value of their home.  Projects can vary from adding a new room, remodeling the basement, or even building a pool, such projects are probably best left to professional contractors who have experience doing custom home jobs.  There are many aspects of a construction job, and many ways that a job can go wrong if people don’t care.  Let’s take a look at what reputable contractors do versus contractors who lack experience.

Payment:

Some contractors will ask you for payment up front, whether it’s a deposit or for materials.  Bad contractors could ask you for more of the money up front whereas a professional and reputable contractor may just ask for a deposit.  Make sure you are protected against scams.  Large projects typically require contractors to have surety bonds which guarantee the work being performed.

Permits

Reputable contractors with nothing to hide will take initiative to show you their credentials including insurance, license and references.  They know they have nothing to hide and are willing to show you in order to validate their work.

Supervision:

Experienced contractors will not need supervision from their clients.  They will go over the project with you before they begin, and then work independently to ensure they complete it successfully.  They will know how to manage their time, project, and employees without having their clients check in on their every task.

BIO: Scott is a freelance writer on a variety of topics including Surety Bonds, and when he is not writing for JWSuretybonds.com he is hiking in Upstate New York

 

 


Posted in home value Tagged ,

How to Go Green & Remodel Your Kitchen

When it comes time for a remodel, many people are also thinking in terms of adding resale value to their house. Even if you don’t intend to sell your home any time soon, any remodeling that you do has value when it does come time. Kitchens are one of the most valuable places to remodel, as well as one of the most popular.

Green Value

Being environmentally friendly is growing in popularity, so making your remodel green can have additional value beyond that of the more attractive appearance. There are a number of ways to do this, ranging from using green materials to adding ways for kitchen appliances to use less energy. Some options are more expensive than others.

Materials

If you are considering changing out the countertops, cabinets or cabinet facing, then the materials that you choose are very important. Granite countertops are one of the most popular options in homes today, but some of them are not very green. If you want granite for your countertops, try to purchase locally-sourced granite that was quarried using modern eco-friendly methods. Consider keeping granite countertops that you already have instead of replacing them.

Another alternative that looks very nice and is very eco-friendly is recycled glass countertops. These contain glass that has been melted down from other recycled items, and come in a number of different appearances. Some even include stone dust within the glass and look at lot like granite countertops but are more eco-friendly.

Cabinet fronts made from bamboo look very nice, and bamboo is an extremely renewable resource because it grows so fast. However, there are many woods that are acceptable so long as they are produced under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines, as well. Not all bamboo is green, either, so look for the FSC label on any cabinet fronts that you purchase.

Cost usually prohibits making the entire cabinets out of solid wood. Composite board is often made with extremely damaging chemicals such as formaldehyde in the glue, but it does use wood chips and dust produced by milling that would otherwise be waste. Several companies are now producing less-toxic versions with different, formaldehyde-free glue formulations, which are eco-friendly. The same glues are used for making greener plywood, as well.

Extent of Remodeling

Many people who cannot afford to replace their entire set of cabinets simply get new fronts for them. This can be a great way to spruce up your kitchen at a much lower price. It is also a very eco-friendly option, since much less waste is created this way. If you wish to remodel but don’t mind the layout of your cabinets, this is the greenest and cheapest option by far.

Appliances

Remodeling sometimes includes new appliances, especially if the timing happens to coincide with the failure of an old one. Energy star certified appliances are a must-have for the ecologically-conscious household, and they will also save you money. Pretty much everything you could want in the kitchen can be found in an energy star certified model these days, so make sure the ones you buy are certified.

Got any Green Tips? Share in the comments below!

BIO: Scott is a freelance writer on a variety of topics including granite countertops and home improvements.  When he is not writing for granitetransformations.com, he is hiking in Upstate New York.

 


Posted in Uncategorized

Glad to be out of The City

As a London native, hearing about the riots in the streets of my hometown has been pretty sickening.  Although I have to admit I did have a giggle reading my cousin sign off on an email saying he had to go because ‘he’s putting on a hoodie to go looting in Tooting’ AND I couldn’t resist liking a facebook page called ‘Going to pick up your benefits but realizing you burnt down the post office’ – awful :)

 I remember growing up in South London where violence was a pretty everyday occurrence, a pub brawl here, a stabbing there, seemed like most of the population under 20 sported a ‘shiner’ or black eye almost as a badge of honor.   I remember how scary it was being close to a punch up at the local pub or at a house party when I was growing up, bodies would go flying, bottles and glass would be broken and used as weapons, I’d just duck down and get the hell out of the way – successfully I might add.  When I moved to New York City, and started spending time with friends in the suburbs, surrounding small towns and rural communities upstate and discovered that lots of regular people have guns it was really hard to get my head around, and I remember thinking thank Buddah that wasn’t an option for the London thugs.   At least for the most part.

Reading an email today from a cousin I learned that that 20% of the population under 20 are out of work.  YIKES.  He runs a successful chain of hair salons and said it was really eerie locking up the shops and hoping they’d be in one piece in the morning – hairdryers don’t command much of a fee on the black market so I figure he’ll be OK, he spent most of the day getting calls from his employees parents and telling them they were OK.

Times are hard, money is tight, and in someways the crowding and noise of a city has to  send some people over the edge at times, so today I’m celebrating ‘ self congratulations for getting out of the city day’ and hoping that riots on the streets of Manhattan are not something we ever get to witness.


Posted in Best place to move, best suburbs, best suburbs nyc, bestplace2move, Communities Near New York

Finding the right horse property

Had a wonderful day at HITS (Horse Shows In The Sunshine) in Saugerties yesterday. It’s a really well organized, highly competitive horse show on fantastic grounds. You can compete with riders from all over the country, buy everything from stirrup irons to starbucks from the many great concessions, the footing is just perfect – really well maintained and there is a high level of professionalism by the organizers and competitors That’s my kinda horse show.

When I first moved to Ulster County from NYC I was looking for a place where I could have access to the horse world and be able to ride and compete close to home but not be too far from my ‘real life’ in Manhattan. I spent hours searching for horse farms in NY, horse properties in NJ, raw land with meadows, small houses with paster and every iteration between. I looked at a lot of suburbs and small towns surrounding the city – mainly in New York State, and New Jersey and although I found some great farms and places in Dutchess county it just didn’t have the right vibe for me. I knew this was going to be my second home, so the suburbs were too expensive for what I wanted and they just didn’t have sense of privacy and getting away from it all that I was craving. So finally I found my spot in Ulster County and have loved it ever since. It took lots of weekends over about a two year period, an advanced degree in translating real estate listing blurb into facts closer to the truth, gallons and gallons of gas (much cheaper then!) and probably a couple of hundred bucks in tolls. This experience was fun in hindsight and quite an adventure – two great things came out of if it 1) the place I live now and 2) this company!


Posted in Best place to move, best suburbs, best suburbs nyc, equestrian homes, equestrian homes for sale, equestrian Real Estate, finding suburbs, homes with horses, horses near the city, how to live iwth horses, real estate, rural town, rural towns, Suburbs Tagged , ,

Summer in the City

We did the reverse commute this weekend and spent a summer weekend in NYC.  I love walking around my old neighborhood, taking my son to my old haunts, like the Popover Cafe on Amsterdam and 87th for Sunday brunch.  Central Park was packed and full of life and energy, we went for long walks and had a blast in the Diana Ross playground on the upper west side.  Driving was a breeze going down on Saturday and back up on Sunday afternoon, and there’s nothing like dining outside on a busy sidewalk on a summer evening watching the world go by.  I feel like such a tourist now, I smile at strangers, don’t care if I miss the light – basically I do all the annoying things that used to rile me when I was going about my life in the city and every minute counted.  I was amused to see a wine store had a chalkboard with a cheeky message to it’s customers congratulating them on being lucky to not have a weekend home – Ha!

Sure enough on the drive home we saw traffic jams heading into town backed up on the Palisades Parkway and the thruway full of all the weekenders hanging with their friends in the suburbs or getting away to their summer rentals or maybe weekend homes in small towns or rural communities further out.  Made me think about how hard it is for New Yorkers to know where to move to and how happy I am to run this company – the perfect getaway might be closer then they think and more affordable – we’re here to help them find it.


Posted in Best Commute, best suburbs, best suburbs nyc, best towns, Communities Near New York, real estate

The Best Search Tools & Buyer’s Agent Network Available

Whether you’re searching for the best suburbs around New York City, a small hamlet in the country, a town, a village, or for a rural community in Upstate New York www.bestplace 2move.com has the tools and network to provide today’s home buyers with the search capabilities and professional representation needed to find the right community, find the right home, and pay the right price. 

Living in the city is not always conducive to getting out to the country to view each town, village, or hamlet you are considering as a possibility.  Even if you could, renting a car, driving to there, and attempting to find out specific information on the lifestyle and amenities can be difficult.  This is where BP2M will start to help you make this process more streamlined, informative, and efficient.  We help you dip into local knowledge without even renting a car.

Using the search options you can choose from any number of lifestyle choices to narrow down the most meaningful communities for you.  Every home buyer has a list of preferences when it comes to where they want to live and what type of house they want to live in.  We simply clarify the process for finding these things.  Commuters have a guideline of the time it takes to travel into Manhattan, second home buyers may want a rural equestrian community to get away to, or maybe you live out of state and are looking to relocate.

 Best Place 2 Move provides our clients with personally researched community specific information regarding lifestyle, community statistics, and kid’s activities.  We are partnered with http://greatschools.org to provide clients who have children as a priority the information about local school rankings, as well as the taxes associated with the school district.  Whatever you are looking for in a suburb, town, village, or hamlet within a 3 hour radius of Central Park you can find on www.bestplace2move.com.

Once you have narrowed down your choices to 2 or 3 places you would like to call home you can start to think about the house itself.  BP2M offers a premium service to clients who select to gain access to our exclusive network of buyer’s agents and selected brokerages in each of the communities we profile.

Being represented by a buyer’s agent is perhaps the most important decision you can make in this process.  Having an engaged, knowledgeable, experienced real estate professional advising and negotiating for you is the best advantage you can give yourself.  The general thinking amongst home buyers is to search online for a house and then calling the listing agent attached to that house to get information and possibly view it.  It may seem as if this is the smart thing to do because the listing agent is familiar with a property, but the truth is they are bound to represent their client’s interests above yours, and rightly so. As a buyer your best advantage comes from having a buyer’s agent represent your interests above all, and they most certainly will.


Posted in Best Commute, Best place to move, best places, best suburbs, best suburbs nyc, best towns, bestplace2move, Communities Near New York, real estate, Suburbs Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Save time, energy, and money using www.bestplace2move.com

Save yourself the drive and check out our community profiles.

BP2M has done the legwork researching and profiling hundreds of communities within a 3 mile radius of Central Park so you can have all the information at the click of a mouse.  Our profiles give you all the information on the lifestyle, amenities, and attractions a community has to offer.  We are also partnered with greatschools.org to provide you with school rankings and tax information regarding all the schools districts located there.  Instead of travelling the hours to view the communities you may or may not be interested in, spend a few minutes of www.bestplace2move.com to view each profile that meets your search criteria.

Save yourself the energy and work with our search coordinators.

Working with our search coordinators will make your search more meaningful and efficient.  They will guide you through using the tools on www.bestplace2move.com so you get the best results.  Whether it’s a suburb, rural town, village, or hamlet you are looking for, our search coordinators will guide the process and you will decide what communities suit you.  The search for a place to live does not have to be overwhelming; Best Place 2 Move gives you all the tools and assistance needed to find exactly what you desire.

Save yourself the money and get matched with an experienced, reputable buyer’s agent.

Being well represented during the real estate transaction can literally save you thousands.  The selected brokerages we partner with have been chosen based on our high standards of performance. 

The agents we match you with:

 Are in the top 20% of performance statistics in their market

 Have a thorough, proven knowledge of the real estate process in their area

 Have a thorough, proven knowledge of the communities in their market

 Are in good standing with their local REALTOR authorities

 Have been licensed for at least two years

 Work full time

The Companies they work for:

 Have been in business for at least 3 years

Are in good standing with local REALTOR authorities

Are among the top 3 independent companies within their MLS

Have a proven track record

Have high standards of business practice and ethical behavior

 Hand pick agents to work with buyers – do not assign agents by rotation

Best Place 2 Move gives its clients the advantage of having everything they need right at their fingertips.  We guide ~ You decide.


Posted in agent, Best Commute, Best place to move, best places, best suburbs, best suburbs nyc, buyer's agent, Communities Near New York, community, communter, commute to work, commuter home, Commuter Towns, commuting, connection, finding suburbs, greatschools.org, Home, home buying, home online, home value, living near nyc, looking for homes, moving out of the city, moving outside of new york city, moving to the suburbs, New York City, New York Communities, new york suburb, NYC, online search, places to live, real estate, real estate agent, real estate agents outside of new york city, Real Estate Connect NY, real estate experts, real estate search, rural town, rural towns, searching for the best place to live, second home, the right real estate professional Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Many home buyers want to go it alone when searching for a new home. People often search for homes for sale in a particular suburb or commuter town around NYC on-line and feel they have all the resources they need.
 
The truth is representing yourself can be risky. There may be a lot about the market value in a suburban or commuter community that you are unaware of. Or you will be assigned an agent on a random rotation from a brokerage site that may very well be representing the seller of a particular home you are interested in. Listing agents have an obligation to the seller, not the buyer.  As a buyer it’s a much smarter move to have representation that knows the fair market value and will negotiate to get it for you; that is where bestplace2move.com  comes in.
 
We provide you with the best resources available. Our community profiles will provide you with a complete overview of what you can find in any given town, commuter town, suburb, or village. Our selected brokers are the most experienced, knowledgeable professionals in their market and know their communities inside and out. 

Ultimately it is this combination that will make your search and buying negotiation hugely beneficial to you.


Posted in agent, Best Commute, Best place to move, best places, best suburbs, best suburbs nyc, buyer's agent, Communities Near New York, community, commute to work, Commuter suburbs, Commuter Towns, commuting, finding suburbs, home buying, home online, homes for sale, New York Communities, NJ Commuter, NY State, NYC, online, online search, places to live, search, search coordinators

do-it-yourself real estate search

who needs more emails?

the whole DIY aspect of looking for real estate seems like a great idea.  You’d think that if you spend hours on the computer scouring hundreds and hundreds of listings that you’d be putting yourself at an advantage when it comes actually looking at houses and cutting to the chase. 

Trouble is online photos can be a great equalizer.  Two houses for sale in the same suburb that’s easily commutable from the city, might look comparable from the pictures presented on realtor.com or one of the gazillions of real estate web sites that share the same listing database.  Both have a nice clapboard exterior, healthy looking tree out front and a bit of landscaping.  The rooms (if you get past some of the interior decorating) might look spacious and in good shape and the description makes the whole package quite palatable.  What you might not realize is that one of them might be bang on a pretty busy road, and that tree and lawn is actually the only thing between you and the entrance to a quarry.  Or that the view from the back is of a landfill.

The other problem is, your email will get clogged up by a bunch of realtors sites that will keep sending you listings and updates, probably for the same properties if they are in the same area.

Don’t get me wrong it’s great to browse around at houses for sale online to get an idea of what’s available in the price range and area you are looking at, but if you really want to zoom in on properties that have what you want the smartest thing to do is find a buyers agent, with great credentials, to talk to you about the context of that listing before you set your heart on it.  Our buyers agents have access to ALL properties on the market, suburbs, towns, villages, and rural communities within a three hour radius of Central Park and can search the MLS using refined filters to come up with better matches.   The selling agent who is listed as the contact on the houses you see online won’t (quite appropriately) give you the same perspective, as they’re working for the seller and want you to come see that house it no matter what.

We did a lot of research to establish our network of selected brokers, we’re unbiased, they’re top of their game and know their markets and most of the listings inside and out.   Seems silly not to take advantage 


Posted in Best place to move, best suburbs nyc, best towns, bestplace2move, buyer's agent, Communities Near New York, community, commute to work, Commuter suburbs, finding suburbs, Home, home buying, home online, home value, homes, living near nyc, looking for homes, moving out of the city, moving outside of new york city, moving to the suburbs, NYC, online, online search, places to live, real estate agent, real estate agents outside of new york city, Real Estate Connect NY, real estate experts, real estate search, search, search coordinators, the right real estate professional

How long is a piece of string?

Finding and buying your place outside of the city can take anywhere from 3 months to a year depending on clear you are about what you are looking for and how motivated you are to move.

The first step is to figure out what’s important to you in choosing a community.

Use our advanced community search options to help you think about this and then search our community database to find towns that have what you want.  The next step is to look at houses on the market in those communities and see what’s out there so you can start thinking about your short list.

Our personal search coordinators facilitate this process by helping you use the site more effectively or talking to you about how to prioritize your decisions and trade off your ‘would likes’ for your ‘must haves’ if everything you are looking for isn’t realistic in your price range or commuting parameters.

When you have narrowed your choices down, it’s time to get actual listing information for properties that match your criteria and connect with a local real estate agent who will guide you through the on-the-ground property search, make sure you are fully informed about the community you are looking in, provide context for the properties you shortlist and help you decide on and negotiate the best price for that property.

We are here to provide resources all along the way.


Posted in Uncategorized