Realtor Curtis Counts Left a Thanksgiving Apple Pie on Our Doorstep

Curtis Counts RealtorThe holidays are a time for giving. Not just for family, but in general. Everyone seems nicer around the holidays. Unless you’re Black Friday shopping, then watch out.

But getting back onto topic. One recent afternoon, my significant other came home to an apple pie on the stoop. Along with it was the business card of Curtis Counts, a Remax realtor.

I was unaware of the significance of who Curtis Counts was until I was told that he helped my significant other with her home purchase. The first thing that came to my mind was “wow, that’s a nice thing to do.”

Remax Clark NJThe second thing is that all I ever got from my past realtors were cards and headaches. But I digress.

The apple pie was very tasty and would definitely fall into the category of an apple crisp because of its topping. That reminds me of my grandmother who made apple crisp, but I regretfully never had any because I was a picky eater in my youth.

Id like to thank Curtis for the lovely gift that complemented my pistachio Halo Top Creamery pint. It was enjoyed by my significant other and I very much.

Tis Better to Give

I think giving during the holidays is a nice gesture that can be spread all year around. I try to be giving in nature in general, but I know that I can’t always do so monetarily or with my time.

Thisyear, my Christmas season will be different because I had the idea to volunteer for the holidays. I’m still looking for a good place to do so in my area, but I’ve never really volunteered before and want to give back somehow.

My significant other and I will be heading to the Dominican Republic the week before as well since we’ll be seeing my family the week before.

Business Card Count: 36,580

Getting a Quarterly Spot Spraying & Checkup From Terminix

Terminix Trenton NJBugs have never really been a huge problem for me, more of a nuisance. A hatred of ankle-biting mosquitoes in the summer time.

Though the house I bought did have a cricket issue of them being in the wall, so that was fun. I believe I got someone to take care of them while patching the hold causing the problems.

But I feel like this is my first experience with regular bug treatments with a company like Terminix. That’s because my significant other has a plan with them that costs a minimal amount per quarter.

And I must say the outer pods are effective since I barely see bugs inside. It was only when I started dwelling in the basement (and we cleaned it) did a few more start coming.

The other day, Ibrahim Temur from Terminix came out to the house to do some spraying inside and out. He said the inside hadn’t been done in a while, so its a good thing it got done.

I was picturing a tent needing to be erected and evacuating to the backyard from the fumes. Turns out, it’s a small canister of spray and the area couldn’t be touched for 15 minutes.

Ibrahim, which must be Abraham in another language, was polite and thorough to ensure everywhere that needed to get hit did. If it keeps critters out for winter, it’s well worth the money.

Business Card Count: 36,518

How Arctic Air Conditioning Fixed a Most Unusual Issue

Sal Del're Arctic Air ConditioningKnowing the AC doesn’t work on a hot day really sucks. This happened one day recently and it was time to call somebody. But I didn’t know anybody.

Since I spent so much time at Home Depot getting paint to give the basement a new coat of paint (pun intended, though my significant other did more painting than I did), I decided to see if they knew someone who could help with this. And they had a company they recommend in my area called Arctic Air Conditioning.

I received a call from Arctic Air Conditioning to set up an appointment a couple of days later and they had openings, so it was only for a weekend that the AC didn’t work. Early Monday morning came and so did Sal Del’re.

If the R in his name is capitalized, I can’t tell from the business card, which has a cool cartoon Eskimo mascot on it who looks to be dancing. But I digress.

Sal was very helpful in fixing our air conditioning issue. Well, issues technically. The first one was more minor when he pulled the air filter out that got SUCKED INSIDE the unit. It looked like a dusty flattened accordion by the end.

The more major issue was a wire not working since it appears to have been cut. The basement was home to many wires that led nowhere, so it must have been pulled on by accident. My bad people.

I’d use Arctic Air Conditioning again and hope that Sal would return to help us out. Or maybe somebody else with a different business card can, so I can add a new one to my collection.

Business Card Count: 36,378

Another Move Down: The Good & Bad of My Most Recent Home Move

Tom's Automotive Service Old Bridge NJMoving day is always a stressful time since there are so many moving parts. But I doubt I’ve ever had a move as mentally taxing as this one.

That’s because there were a lot of layers to it. For one, I only had 3 days notice doe to my landlord somehow telling the homeowner that we’d be out by the 15th of the month when we agreed on the 1st of the next month.

My landlord also offered to get a truck for us both, but reneged. I also asked for half my rent back and am waiting on it. I would have stayed until I got my money, but the homeowner said they’d clear everything out using a junk removal company on the 15th.

So I couldn’t just stick around. At least I left things behind I didn’t want to carry out. But the landlord complained about that even though she told me I could leave anything behind since leaving excess garbage out would have cost her money.

She even sent photos claiming she’d be charged for the cleaning crew though they’d be brought in anyway. Between no notice and the fact that I haven’t heard from her since the move except for the photos, I hope karma gets her good.

This situation really caused me to panic over finding a truck, which I wound up getting at Tom’s Automotive Service on Old Bridge NJ. The place was far off of my beaten path and looked like such an old-school mechanic in the middle of nowhere.

They only had a 10-foot truck available and I thought that I’d be okay since I downsized a lot. Not enough apparently since I needed to make 2 trips, which led to a longer time moving. But it meant that I got more of a workout since I did a good amount of heavy lifting and walking. I did not go to the gym afterwards. Or the next day.

I also got some good bonding time in with my mother and significant other who both helped me with this move at the drop of a hat. I’m much happier in the new place than the old one since it means a new chapter in my life that I’ve been anticipating for a long time now.

Not to mention the laundry isn’t left in the machine for days and I’m not in a basement where the bathroom ceiling looks like it was chewed by beavers.

Business Card Count: 36,158

Finding Old Business Cards & Much More During the Home Packing Process

Old Business CardsPacking can definitely be tough, especially if you intend on downsizing for the first time. That’s the case for my move.

I held onto a lot of things I brought into the house & got from the divorce since they were mine. But I know that I needed to downsize a good amount. I was hesitant to do it at first, but I found it therapeutic and emotional as I was doing it.

I found things that I forgot I even had, including some duplicate business cards in a random bag. Shockingly, there were some bigger-ticket items than these cards.

After it was all set and done, I purged the following items:

  • Old VHS tapes that can be found digitally
  • Old games I don’t play anymore
  • Old paperwork/bills from accounts I closed as long as 10 years ago (shred, baby shred)
  • Clothes that don’t fit me anymore (anything 2x and/or I didn’t wear was donated)
  • Old greeting cards/books/non-photo memory keepsakes collecting dust & not being looked at after 2 or more moves
  • Anything I haven’t used in at least a year or was later found to be broken or there wasn’t space for

Overall, the packing & downsizing process was very eye opening for me. Seeing past bills from when I was in credit card debt, old statements from places I used to live, cards from old birthdays/holidays & sympathy cards from my dad’s passing and other things I honestly forgot I had brought up memories.

But getting rid of them helps me to leave my past in the past and concentrate on building the future that is the next chapter in my life.

Business Card Count: 36,098

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