Why I Should Have Used Inspect It Neil For My Home Inspection

Inspect It Neil KipnisSometimes, you do online research when it comes to finding someone good at doing services such as home inspections. That was the case when we used Accuracy Home Inspection.

I must not have looked well enough since Inspect It Neil did not come up on my radar. That was until he was the home inspector for the buyers of my house. He reminded me of my godfather in looks a bit, but this is about the inspection.

Neil Kipnis, who is the home inspector, asked a lot of questions. Enough questions to the point that it got annoying as the seller.

Especially his tone when I didn’t have a good response to said questions. However, I think I would have wanted that type of mentality as a buyer.

Stu Devlin, the man who I paid to inspect my house, asked questions as well. However, he didn’t note some significant things that Inspect It Neil found.

I’m not saying they would have been fixed when I bought the house, but it would have been good to know. I’ll consider using Neil Kipnis if I choose to purchase another home.

Business Card Count: 34,968

Moving Can Be a Bit More Complicated With U-Haul

Many say breaking up is hard to do. And it is. But so can moving.

Uhaul North Brunswick NJI hired movers for the last 2 moves I made since there was a delicate curio cabinet too large to be moved by myself & other people I could trust. Since that cabinet wasn’t mine (along with half the furniture moved at that time), I decided to rent a U-Haul.

I know it’s technically a moving truck, but nobody really calls it a Penske or a Budget, do they? A moving truck is always a U-Haul, like how a cotton swab is a Q-tip.

I wasn’t worried since I got the truck I wanted in advance. However, I was inconvenienced by U-Haul since I requested a pickup at the Manalapan or Marlboro location to drop off at the Edison NJ location… turns out they wanted me to go to North Brunswick.

That’s because the first location I booked was apparently my PREFERRED location. I had no idea that was a thing, but the reasoning I had to go out of my way to North Brunswick was because they didn’t have the truck to go one way.

They had the truck I wanted. But it had to come back to Manalapan, Marlboro or wherever I booked it. I don’t know how it works with certain trucks needing to be at certain places, but I guess I drew the un-preferred location card. However, I must say that General Manager Shari Osadacz at the North Brunswick location was more than helpful in getting my truck (which had VERY few miles on it) as quickly as possible.

Will this make me second guess using U-Haul for my next move? Perhaps, though I know it’s a high-class problem, but it would have been nice to have been notified the day before or maybe the website wouldn’t have let me pick that route before taking my money.

Business Card Count: 34,837

Why Ian Bloom of UHB Law Group Was My Real Estate Attorney Twice

Ian BloomWhen buying the house, it was tough to find a real estate lawyer that was trustworthy. Especially since I’m not from this area at all. Luckily, the first realtor Margaret DiBella recommended Ian Bloom.

He’s a partner at Uniglicht, Hemlan and Bloom LLP (aka UHB Law Group, which is a name that rolls off the tongue a lot better). I guess law firms do the whole name roll call thing among the partners because each of them has a reputation in the community.

Or they’re egomaniacs that have to see their names in print. Or both. Lawls.

When dealing with Ian, there was no egomania whatsoever. In fact, he was nothing but helpful throughout the whole home buying and home selling processes. He answered emails in a timely fashion and stayed up the butt of the other attorneys he needed to.

He also answered any questions asked with no issue, even if they were repeated a couple of times over throughout both processes. I definitely felt like he was well worth the money spent.

And when I met him in person, he definitely did not look like I pictured at all. Kudos for him being able to pull off a bow tie.

Business Card Count: 34,275

My Thoughts on Stacy Prestigiacomo as My Realtor

Stacy PrestigiacomoIt’s very common to see real estate agents having their own business card and from different agencies as their careers progress or move laterally.

It’s not very common to see 2 or more to share the same business card, as is the case of my realtor Staci Prestigiacomo. My guess that would be because of the what ifs, such as the other person quitting or having a bad reputation. With that being said, this post is no reflection of Gloria Bernstein.

I wasn’t sure of Prestigiacomo’s rep going in. In fact, she wasn’t even my choice: she is the cousin of one of Beth’s friends. But I digress.

The first thing I want to note is that she was diligent in getting things done on her end. This was helpful since she spoke to Jerel Stewart to get the info we needed as soon as she got it. I also liked that that she was on top of things, but sometimes it was a little too much.

For example, I found her to be annoying on her multiple follow-up texts about issues we didn’t get information for. It’s not like it was a couple of days of a gap: it was the next day. I had to eventually be stern (or as stern as I could be via text) and say I’d let her know when there was an update.

I’m not sure if she’s used to clients who don’t talk to her often or what, but it was unappealing in my opinion. As was the fact that there were some township questions that she was unable to answer.

I don’t know why we switched realtors, but the house got sold relatively quickly and there were limited hiccups in the process thanks to the hard work of Staci Prestigiacomo.

Business Card Count: 34,235

How a Visit From Jerel Stewart Led to My House Sale

Jerel Stewart

Keller Williams Realty Monmouth/OceanIt’s funny when opportunity knocks on your door. It’s even more hilarious when it literally knocks like it did in mid-July.

When I opened the literal door, here stood Jerel Stewart: a man in a suit who I found out after a sentence that he was a real estate agent. He let me know that he had a buyer who was interested in moving into my townhouse complex.

You see on the flyer he handed me: “Our Buyer Wants to Move in NOW!” They had to wait though, but they got the house they were looking for: our house.

I never did find out why they decided to only want to move into Kingsley Square, but I can think of some reasons:

  • Proximity to Route 9 and the Freehold Mall
  • The $100 per month HOA fee
  • The fact that there’s a fenced-in backyard (albeit a small one)
  • The fact that they lived in Freehold before and wanted to stay close by

Regardless of the reasoning, that meant a highly motivated buyer, aka them staying pretty close to our asking price. And that they did, so a nice profit was made even when subtracting the closing costs out of the equation.

It took a little while to close since there were some things that needed to be fixed and taken care of (see my AA Electrical and Borough of Freehold blog posts). It was bittersweet given the circumstances of the house sale, which I’ll get into in a future blog post.

But I hope that Jerel Stewart (and other realtors reading this) learned that persistence pays off since him going out and knocking on everyone’s door got him a commission. I’m just glad it wasn’t some ruse to lure someone into hiring him as their realtor under the guise of saving half a percent of commission if both the buyer & seller used the same agent and then suddenly the buyer “mysteriously” isn’t interested.

I watch too much TV with zany plot twists. My next blog post will cover the thoughts I had working with our realtor.

Business Card Count: 34,235

My Electric Experience With Anthony Gallicchio of AA Electrical

Anthony GallicchioMore things required fixing in the house for the sake of the sale I mentioned last blog post. And one of them was getting some electrical work done in the attic.

Precisely, repairing a junction box that was improperly sealed. The last electrician who did work on the house was very unreliable in terms of being available (yes, I’m talking about the guy ATK Solutions uses) and it was something that was a quick job that needed to be done fast.

Note: I had no idea I used the “electric experience” alliteration in the ATK Solutions blog post I wrote until I viewed it once again.

Anyhoo, Anthony Gallicchio of AA Electrical was recommended to me, so I gave him a call to get an estimate. His initial one was $150, so I made an appointment to get it done & he was available quickly (yes, I’m still griping at you Joe from ATK). He came over and went up into the attic and said the job should take no longer than an hour.

He was so nice that he reduced his price in half to $75 because of how little time it took. I felt bad that he slashed his fee so much, so there was some insulation in the attic that wasn’t properly laid down. I told him I’d make it an even $100 if he did that. He was more than willing to, so we called it a day. I’d definitely use him again

Business Card Count: 34,206

Dealing With the Borough of Freehold Code Enforcement Office

Borough of Freehold Code Enforcement OfficeTrying to get things done with any branch of government can be a real pain in the ass. This was my first time dealing with the Code Enforcement Office in the Borough of Freehold and boy, was it an experience.

I had to do it, so I could get a permit for the roof on my house. I really thought that was taken care of when I got my new roof installed by Richard P Koenig almost 2,000 business cards ago, but apparently not.

It took a bit of time and running around in the rain to get this completely filled out, but it only required 2 visits to the town. I had to call the roofer to find out some info about his license and when it expired. I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t recognize my name, but he’s done thousands of roofs in his time.

What I wound up doing was filling out a form with the same info 3 separate times for some bureaucratic reason detailing all the work that was done already. The Code Enforcement Officer would then come and inspect it to ensure that we did a good job. I was forced to be home between 9 and 1 (which is fine since I worked from home) and I got concerned when nobody came after 1:30.

I called the Borough of Freehold and was told that the roof passed inspection. Now, how the hell did that happen? I didn’t hear a knock at the door or the trampling of feet on my roof. Did they send a drone to inspect the roof? Or maybe a video camera on a really long stick? Oh well, I don’t care as long as it passed.

Then, I was told “oh, we don’t know how long it’ll take to get the actual certificate.” That’s a pain in the butt, but it thankfully only took like a week to process. This sounds like our crack team of local government at work.

The reason I had to get a roof permit? Because of the upcoming house sale. More on that in a future blog post… (my first ever “To Be Continued…” blog post).

Business Card Count: 34,166

How Getting a New Patio Door Was Not So Open and Shut

Fate sometimes comes in the most unusual way. This time, it came in the form of what I think was a rock while weed whacking. Or something else.

The point is that the patio door window got shattered, which means it’s time for a new door. I searched online and got some coupons to decide on a few possible choices to do the job.

Window WorldWindow World

The first company I called was Window World in Edison, New Jersey since they offered a pretty good coupon. It’s pretty clear that windows are their specialty, though they also do patio doors.

When I spoke to the man, he measured the door area and told me it would be a pretty easy job to do. The only issue I had was the fact that the guy said their doors weren’t customized, so it would be off by an inch.

Not exactly something you want to hear when you see the price tag of a new door.

Superior Windows and GlassSuperior Windows and Glass

Next up was a call to Superior Windows and Glass in Matawan, New Jersey (which is closer to where I live). This was actually a choice that I made to see if just replacing the glass was an option.

Clearly, it was not. They claimed our door was too old and the fact that it had vertical blinds inside the glass made it impossible. They of course offered to replace the door at a higher fee than Window World. Pass.

Nationwide Window and SidingNationwide Window and Siding

The company I wound up picking was Nationwide Window and Siding whose local headquarters is in Paterson, New Jersey. I met with the sales rep who gave me the same spiel as the other companies about measuring.

However, they added that their doors are custom made, which is really what turned me onto Nationwide Window and Siding. Not to mention the coupon I had plus a $250 discount that was “only available if I signed up today” really put them at the same price point as Window World, except the door would be personalized.

Next, I dealt with James and Raymond when scheduling my appointments for measurement and installation. I got a little bit of the runaround when I was told one date, given an earlier date and then it being canceled on the earlier date just to be moved to the later date. That got annoying, especially in the condescending way I was told “well, understand that your window is 8-10 am, but they’ll probably get there around 9:30 because they have to drive south.” They said this in pretty much every conversation and I was paranoid they’d cancel again with no notice.

But the day of finally came a few weeks later (even though I asked for it to be rushed, which seemed to mean nothing). I must say that the door was put in very efficiently in less time than they estimated. The one bad part of the door installation experience was having to get a certified check for the work. That doesn’t make too much sense to me since it’s not like this has huge legal ramifications.

Would I use Nationwide Window and Siding again? Maybe, though I’d still shop around for a cheaper solution.

Business Card Count: 33,763

How an Incompetent Home Depot Employee Almost Cost Me Over $500

I mentioned in my previous blog post that my HOA had some “architectural assessment” issues that included the shed door and the attic vent needing to be painted white. The door was no problem, but the attic vent concerned me.

Joseph AnselowitzThat’s because I felt like I needed to rent a ladder to get up the 2 stories to the vent. And I decided that I wanted to rent one at Home Depot and the location in Howell, New Jersey is the one that had the most ladder variety in my area.

I met with the Tool Rental Manager and he seemed to be helpful in letting me know that the ladder I wanted to rent (32 foot) could be tied to the roof of my car (a Nissan Sentra) with 20 feet of rope doing the trick.

Oh, how wrong he was. My first clue should have been indicated by the guy who helped me find the right rope for the job. He pretty much scoffed and rolled his eyes when I told him 20 feet of rope would do the job. He said I should get like 75 feet… that’s a lot more than the Tool Rental Manager said!

Ron OrocchiThen, I went to pick up the ladder the same day after getting a comforter to be a buffer between my roof and the ladder. Thankfully, the Sales Associate (who I assume is below the Tool Rental Manager) showed up and said that what I was trying to do was totally illegal on so many levels.

I was told that I would be a cop’s wet dream since I could get so many tickets that it’d cost me more than $500/a lot of points and I would fulfill a cop’s quota for the month. And the excuse of the Tool Rental Manager, who told me this was perfectly legal when I asked? “I didn’t know that your car’s roof was rounded.”

REALLY?! How would that have any bearing on the length of the ladder? That’s what the Sales Associate asked with no response from the Tool Rental Manager. Man, thankfully that sales associate was there… otherwise I would have been in deep trouble and possibly have gotten car damage or killed someone if that ladder fell.

I wound up renting a smaller ladder that didn’t work and then buying a paint roller extension pole that got me 23 feet extra length, so I can do the job myself in 15 minutes. Man, I didn’t think that through for all the trouble it was for this to get done on time.

Home Depot Howell NJ

But at least I got some business cards with the company logo, as well as these generic non-corporate ones.

Business Card Count: 33,419

How Innovative Pressure Cleaning Powerwashed Their Way Into My Heart

Innovative Pressure CleaningMy HOA did its annual architectural assessment, which is apparently a thing. A difference between my townhouse and others is that we’re responsible for the exterior.

Part of their complaint was that the siding needed to be cleaned. That’s when I decided to hire a powerwashing company. I chose Innovative Pressure Cleaning purely because they were included in a coupon envelope mailed monthly.

I saw mixed reviews online, but $25 off any job more than $250 (which mine wound up being) and not knowing anybody else in the area were motivators to choose Innovative Pressure Cleaning.

I am willing to give Innovative Pressure Cleaning a rave review. The 2-man team got to the house on time and explained the whole process to me, including how the soft wash cleaning detergent worked. After about an hour, the house was spic and span, as was the back patio and walkway to the house.

They provided exceptional customer service and even sent me a letter thanking me for choosing them afterwards with a magnet. I did have to ask the employees for a business card for this blog post and it was well worth it to see a water drop wearing sunglasses holding a pressure cleaning hose.

He looks like a boss.

Business Card Count: 33,378