Prep Or Pay The Price: What You Do Before You Paint Matters More Than The Paint Itself

Prep Or Pay The Price: What You Do Before You Paint Matters More Than The Paint Itself

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

So you’re sitting there on a Saturday morning, watching HGTV and drinking your coffee, when it hits. It’s the urge to paint a room, and it’s not going away. Next thing you know, you’re dipping that brush right into the paint can and slopping that blue hue up on the wall.

It’ll all be fine, right?

It’s a scenario we’ll admit to knowing all too well – one in which eagerness and adrenaline push patience and logic aside, and not always with the greatest results. But, the reality we must all face eventually is that the right preparation makes all the difference when it comes to painting. For the best job that looks like it was done professionally, these are the steps to take.

Do a little research

A paint color chosen on a whim can end up being wonderful… but, most of the time, it ends up being a mistake. Yes, buying a couple of samples to put up on the wall and watching them for at least a few days so you can really get a feel for which one works best in your space, with your stuff, and at different times of the day and night, takes time. But it’ll all be worth it when you find the right color, instead of having to repaint because your whim choice ended up looking off.

Buy the right supplies

A successful paint job is one in which you not only achieve a great result, but you do so without running back to Lowe’s 12 times because you forgot something (or you go without and make a big mess). According to Sherwin-Williams, “Important items for your supply list include:

  • “Primer
  • Paint
  • Stir sticks
  • Paint rollers
  • Roller covers
  • Small paint brushes, for cutting in or touch-ups
  • Paint trays, and if needed a sturdy holder for your paint tray
  • Painters tape
  • Rags


  • Drop cloths”Buy the good stuffPainting is one of the least expensive, and most effective, ways to make over a space. But that doesn’t mean you should buy the cheapest products you can find. Bargain basement paint likely won’t give you the coverage you want, and cheap brushes can leave brush marks, streaks, and even bristles on the finish. The Spruce has a good guide to the best interior paints. Brands of brushes and rollers can vary depending on the store, so be sure to ask the paint specialist which options they would choose for their own walls.

    Tape, tape, tape

    It’s tedious and time-consuming and a pain in the butt. And we’re speaking from personal experience. But paint all over your moldings or baseboards is not a good look. And, sadly, we’re also speaking from personal experience here, too.

    Cover your stuff

    Even if you have the gentlest, most even, most professional stroke in the world, splatters happen. So do drips and spills. Don’t take the chance of ruining something special because you didn’t remember to get a drop cloth.

    Take a good look at your walls

    Dings, cracks, or other imperfections in the walls will not be covered by paint. They may even look worse once you’re done. Use Home Depot’s recommendations to get them looking good before you start layering on the color.

    • “Carefully inspect walls for cracks, holes, dents or other surface imperfections before priming or painting.
    • Use a lightweight spackling compound and putty knife to fill and repair any holes or imperfections, then remove any excess spackling with the putty knife and allow the area to dry completely.
    • Once dry, use a small piece of very fine 220-grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge to smooth the repaired areas flush with the surface.
    • Wipe the walls clean with a damp towel or sponge and allow them to dry before priming or painting.
    • Use a floor duster to wipe the walls clean of dust to ensure paint applies evenly.”

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Somerset closes on 31-acre transit village site in Somerville

Somerset closes on 31-acre transit village site in Somerville

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Somerset Development has completed its long-awaited acquisition of 31 acres in downtown Somerville, paving the way for a project that includes more than 500 residential units and other uses adjacent to the borough’s train station.

The developer announced Monday that it has closed on the site, where it’s now planning what it says is the largest mixed-use development ever approved by the Somerset County borough. Plans now call for two apartment buildings with 371 units, 156 townhomes spread across 14 buildings, structured parking, 4,000 square feet of retail space and a 4,000-square-foot community civic center.

Somerset Development acquired the site from NJ Transit, with Investors Bank providing financing for the acquisition. AvalonBay Communities Inc. will develop the 370 apartments and the structured parking.

“This acquisition marks the culmination of 10 years of work between Somerset Development, the borough of Somerville and NJ Transit to realize our shared vision of transforming this former landfill site into a vibrant, mixed-use transit village,” said Ralph Zucker, CEO and president of Somerset Development. “We are incredibly thankful to all of the partners who played a role in the planning and execution of this transaction, and look forward to beginning work on creating a development that can create a better, more prosperous future for downtown Somerville.”

Known as Somerset Station, the project will serve to redevelop a piece of a 100-acre former landfill site bounded by NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line, South Bridge Street and Route 206. Somerset Development received approval for the acquisition via a unanimous vote from Somerville’s planning board in May 2018, according to a news release, after proposals from other developers had been denied over the last three decades.

The parking deck, which will be the first structure to be built, is set to replace the existing commuter parking lot adjacent to the train station, the news release said. Construction is set to begin this summer, as NJ Transit commuters who use existing lots in the area will be directed secondary lots to avoid disruption during the development process.

“After many years of planning the redevelopment of the whole landfill area, the Borough Council and myself are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Zucker, Somerset Development and NJ Transit on the concept design of the Somerset Station project,” Somerville Mayor Dennis Sullivan said in a prepared statement. “This milestone project, with its variety of housing alternatives, public areas and community spaces, will offer a new and exciting neighborhood for future residents of Somerville to enjoy.”

Sullivan also noted that the project will link the downtown to the recently completed 17-acre open space area that adjoins the redevelopment area, adding to the borough’s walkability. Somerset Development also plans to build a road connecting the transit village to nearby Route 206.

“The new road link to Route 206 will provide direct access to the NJ Transit train station for commuters without impacting local streets,” Sullivan added. “Somerset Development has planned for the needs of the community and incorporated these into this project.”

Meantime, a new community civic center facility will provide much-needed space for future borough council and municipal boards meetings, Somerset said. Plans also call for more than 300 trees to be planted along the residential streets within the new community.

The full development process is expected to be completed in 2023.

“AvalonBay is very excited to have the opportunity to help create a dynamic transit-oriented development in Somerville’s wonderful, rapidly growing downtown,” AvalonBay Senior Vice President Ronald Ladell said. “We look forward to working with our colleagues at Somerset Development, and extend our gratitude to NJ Transit and the borough of Somerville as we begin the process of delivering this transformational mixed-use project.”

NJ Transit sold the property for $17 million, the state agency said.

“After more than a decade of delays, I am proud that my team at NJ Transit was able to advance this project to this next stage,” said NJ Transit CEO and President Kevin Corbett said.  “Mass transit provides cleaner, greener ways for people to get to work, school and entertainment. Planned communities that combine transit and a walkable lifestyle benefit everyone and we are pleased to be a part of this initiative. One of my priorities as president and CEO of NJ Transit is to help propel projects like this one, which provide long-term environmental and economic benefits locally and in the State of New Jersey, and improve access to our system.’’

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5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Owning a home has great financial benefits.

In a recent research paper, Homeownership and the American Dream, Laurie S. Goodman and Christopher Mayer of the Urban Land Institute explained:

“Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing wealth in a variety of ways, with tax advantages, greater financial flexibility due to secured borrowing, built-in ‘default’ savings with mortgage amortization and nominally fixed payments, and the potential to lower home maintenance costs through sweat equity.”

Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership:

1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available

Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. A 20% down payment results in a leverage factor of five, meaning every percentage point rise in the value of your home is a 5% return on your equity. If you put down 10%, your leverage factor is 10.

Example: Let’s assume you purchased a $300,000 home and put down $60,000 (20%). If the house appreciates by $30,000, that is only a 10% increase in value but a 50% increase in equity.

2. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent

Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of property taxes and home repairs. Every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs (property taxes, repairs, insurance, etc.) are baked into the rent payment already – along with a profit margin!!

3. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”

Studies have shown that homeowners have a net worth that is 44X greater than that of a renter. As a matter of fact, it was recently estimated that a family buying an average priced home this past January could build more than $42,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Owning is a hedge against inflation

House values and rents tend to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation. When you own, your home’s value will protect you from that inflation.

5. There are still substantial tax benefits to owning

We know that the new tax reform bill puts limits on some deductions on certain homes. However, in the research paper referenced above, the authors explain:

“…the mortgage interest deduction is not the main source of these gains; even if it were removed, homeowners would continue to benefit from a lack of taxation of imputed rent and capital gains.”

Bottom Line

From a financial standpoint, owning a home has always been and will always be better than renting.

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Now’s the Time to Move-Up and Upgrade Your Current Home!

Now’s the Time to Move-Up and Upgrade Your Current Home!

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Homes priced at the top 25% of the price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” In today’s real estate market, there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners wanting to upgrade from their current house.

Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have not seen as much interest.

According to ILHM’s Luxury Report, this mismatch in demand and inventory of luxury and premium homes has created a Buyer’s Market. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home was defined as one that costs $1 million or more.

“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.”

The authors of the report were quick to point out that current conditions at the higher end of the market are no cause for concern.

“While luxury homes may take longer to sell than in previous years, the slower pace, increased inventory levels and larger differences between list and sold prices, represent a normalization of the market, not a downturn.”

Luxury can mean different things to different people. To one person, luxury is a secluded home with plenty of property and privacy. To another, it could be a penthouse at the center of a bustling city. Knowing what characteristics mean luxury to you will help your agent find you the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

If you are debating upgrading your current house to a premium or luxury home, now is the time!

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