Real Estate Information Archive


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Purchasing New Construction with a Buyer's Agent

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

If you are planning to buy a new construction home, it is wise to have an experienced buyer's agent represent you in the transaction. You do not pay for the advice and representation of someone looking out for your interest. The seller pays the agent's commission.

The buyer's agent is experienced in negotiating the contract for the sale of a new and often unfinished home. Your agent should be familiar with the builder's reputation for quality. This is of major importance in a development where the building company hires its own agents to sell the homes. That agent represents the builder and developer, not the buyer. 

You may have the choice of buying a new home that is not yet built or only partially completed in a development. You will decide how you want the home to look. You can plan to have the basement finished off with walls and floor covering or just leave it with a cement floor.

You may select a new home from several plans the builder has available but you want to make minor changes. These changes may have additional costs. This is where the buyer's agent can help you in the negotiations. Your agent knows which incentives the builder will offer to close the sale.

Many first-time home buyers are attracted to new home communities. They qualify for a loan but they are on a tight budget. The buyer's agent knows which upgrades are better as a do-it-yourself project to save money. The buyer's agent will recommend and negotiate a contract that does not include certain extras such as a built-in patio barbecue that you can build later.


Your agent is familiar with homeowner association requirements that are usually part of a new home community. The buyer's agent is the best person to explain the CC&R concept in all of its detail. A seller's sales agent may not tell you that you cannot keep your motorhome in the driveway and that the exterior color of your home must conform to neighborhood standards.

The type of fencing allowed and other architectural controls are included in the contract when you agree to purchase the home and accept the regulations.

The real estate agent representing you will follow the sale as it goes through the escrow process. Your agent will make sure the builder covers all of the details of your contract.

Home Winterization Tips

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Many people think that the main reason for winterizing their home is to make sure it is ready for the cold weather so that their family will be comfortable. Winterizing can help make your home more comfortable by making it more airtight and energy-efficient. However, did you know that this small investment of time and money in performing what normally is considered basic maintenance could also help prevent costly emergency repairs to your home? Consider these tips for winterizing your home.

Making Your Home Airtight

  • Caulking. Prevent drafts by caulking around the edges of the interior trim of your windows and doors. If there are gaps between your walls and baseboard, seal them with caulk also.
  • Windows. If you have window-mounted air conditioners, remove for the winter. Lock your windows to prevent cold air from seeping in through small cracks. Use weatherstripping tape to fill any gaps.
  • Inspect your doors. Make sure that your doors close completely to prevent air leaks. Install door sweeps to help keep cold air from getting indoors.

Protecting Your Roof

  • Inspect your roof. Check for loose shingles or other damage to your roof and have repaired. Remove any debris such as leaves or branches that may have accumulated on your roof.
  • Clean and inspect gutters. Remove any debris from your gutters. If your gutters cannot drain during rain or snowstorms, they could cause damage to your shingles or indoor leaks.
  • Insulate your attic. By insulating your attic, you will help prevent heat loss during colder weather and ice dams.

Maintaining Your Heating System

  • Have furnace inspected. Regular maintenance is important for keeping your furnace running at its best.
  • Change filters. Ensure proper airflow by changing your furnace filter every month or as needed. A clean filter will help keep the air in your home fresh and prevent problems with your furnace.
  • Clean and inspect ducts. Your ductwork should be cleaned every three to five years. Inspect for loose sections or holes and have repaired.

Preventing Water Damage

  • Insulate pipes. Wrap pipes near exterior walls or those leading to and from your water heater with foam wrapping to prevent freezing and heat loss.
  • Outside faucets. Detach hoses, drain and shut off water supply to outside faucets.

Open cabinets. If extreme cold is expected, open cabinets under sinks to prevent pipes from freezing or install freeze alarms near pipes.

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Contact Information

Photo of Tami Rapaport Real Estate
Tami Rapaport
Tami Rapaport
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly NJ 07670