Free and Affordable August Activities in Bergen County

Think you’ve run out of ways to entertain yourself or your family for the summer? Think again! We may be halfway through August already, but there’s still time for fun, sun, relaxation and exploration—and you’ll find it right in your backyard (or at least somewhere nearby)! Sometimes, you don’t even have to spend a dime, either. Enjoy the rest of the summer and remember to keep it local when you can!

Explore the Great Outdoors

If you’ve ever been to the gardens at Flat Rock Brook in Englewood, you might be surprised to learn that they were constructed by volunteer gardeners. This is an ongoing project, and one that anyone interested is welcome to be a part of, regardless of experience. Volunteer gardeners work in Flat Rock’s Butterfly and Native Habitat Gardens on upkeep, maintenance and innovation for continued care. Gardeners attend seminars, field trips and meetings to discuss goings-on in the gardens. Volunteer gardeners meet on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. from April through October. Must be at least 18 years old. Learn more and fill out a volunteer form on Flat Rock Brook’s website.


Take in the Stars

With a plethora of outdoor movie showings throughout Bergen County’s many parks, from the sky to the screen you’ll be surrounded by stars. A full schedule of free and almost-free outdoor movie listings and locations can be found on Jersey Family Fun. Here are a few upcoming outdoor movie nights in NVE’s neighborhoods:

Fort Lee Movies & Music Under the Stars, Jack Alter Fort Lee Community Center Outdoor Stage, Sunset (following live music performance from 7:00-8:30 p.m.)

-Saturday, August 17 – Dumbo

– Saturday, August 24 – Stan & Ollie

– Saturday, August 31 – Jacquot de Nantes (French film with English subtitles)

Free Movies in Cresskill, 3rd Street Baseball Field, 8:30 p.m.

-Tuesday, August 20thDumbo (8/22 rain date)

Teaneck Movies Under the Stars in the Park, Votee Park, 7:45 p.m.

-Tuesday, August 20– Smallfoot (8/22 rain date)

-Tuesday, August 27 – Ralph Breaks the Internet (8/29 rain date)

Get Happy

Back for its second year, Fort Lee BDA presents Summer Happy Hour Specials, featuring more than 40 Fort Lee businesses offering special summer promotions. Shop, dine and explore Fort Lee’s Town Center District through August 30th. Here’s a full list of participating vendors!


Chow Down

Looking for a way to combat the Blue Law blues? Head to the Paramus Food Truck Festival at Paramus Park Mall Sunday, August 18th. The event features more than 25 gourmet food trucks, so bring your appetite! In addition to plenty of food and drinks, there will also be music and family-friendly activities…plus, everyone’s favorite amenity: ample free parking. To make sure everyone gets to enjoy food, event organizers ask that attendees bring a non-perishable canned or boxed item to help support the food pantry.

Explore the Arts

The Westwood Heritage Society-sponsored Westwood Craft and Antique Show comes to Veterans Memorial Park in Westwood on Sunday, August 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Now in its 20th year, the show brings together 90 arts and crafts exhibitors showing everything from hand-painted furniture to homemade pickles, and lots in between. The Antique Show features twenty dealers showcasing various items, and free appraisals will be conducted by certified appraiser Jon Felz from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Park It!

Take advantage of the water parks—otherwise known as spraygrounds, spray parks, or splash pads—offered at your community parks! Beat the heat nearby at William T. Birch Park in Fort Lee, Walter Lubbe Jr. Playground in Bergenfield, the ADA-accessible Harmony Playground  at Van Saun Park in Paramus, or James J. Braddock North Hudson County Park in North Bergen. Parenting website compiled this great list of the best water playgrounds and splash pads in New Jersey, complete with comprehensive descriptions and photos.

Sounds Around Our Towns

There’s something about listening to live music outside on a summer evening, and lucky for us, there’s no shortage of options to do just that in Bergen County. Honorable mention goes to the Tenafly Summer Concert Series, as NVE Bank will be sponsoring the August 27 performance from Billy Joel tribute band Danny V’s 52nd Street Band! NVE staffers will be there to enjoy the show, mingle with friends and neighbors, and of course we’ll be giving away goodies. Just a small token of our support of, and partnership with the Tenafly community. Don’t miss it! Meet us at Huyler Park any time after 7 p.m.

Check Your Local Listings

Libraries are a hub of fun, free, social and educational activities for people of all ages and interests. A quick Google search yields a jam-packed list of options, from children’s story time, to exercise classes, movie screenings, gaming tournaments, and more. Check your town library’s calendar for options!

Enjoying free and almost-free community-sponsored and other “hometown” events is a great way to save money while supporting your local towns. As a Community Mutual Bank, NVE offers a wide range of financial products and services to help our neighbors reach their goals. To learn more about how NVE Bank supports our communities, or to learn about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us at one of our 11 branches conveniently located throughout Bergen County.

Get all the latest news and information about local events on NVE’s Community Events page and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for event photos and more! 

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NVE Bank Grants Scholarships to 18 Bergen County Students

School may be ending for the year, but for the 18 students who received educational scholarships from NVE Bank this week, it’s the beginning of a bright future! On June 18th, NVE executives including President & CEO Robert Rey, members of the board of directors, NVE branch managers, school officials, students and their family members gathered at our Englewood headquarters for NVE’s 12th Annual Scholarship Ceremony.

Local high school seniors received a $2,000 scholarship and graduating middle school eighth graders were awarded a $1,000 Savings Product Scholarship. These student scholarships are part of a program that has been offered by the Bank since 2008; in the 12 years since the program’s inception, NVE has awarded more than $180,000 to 240 deserving scholars in Bergen County. 

Without further ado and with great pride, we introduce to you the NVE Bank Scholarship Awards class of 2019:

High School Scholars

Julye Calderon – Pascack Valley High School

Victoria Catala – Bergenfield High School

Aisha Davis – New Milford High School

Dylan Distell – Cresskill High School

Ryan Distell – Cresskill High School

Jade Greer – Tenafly High School

Jessica Lee – Academies at Englewood

Madisen McIntyre – Dwight Morrow High School

Yanil Morales Garcia – Teaneck High School

Isabelle Raskin – Leonia High School

Gianna Tavares – Northern Valley Demarest Regional High School

NVE’s High School Scholarship recipients with Bank President & CEO Robert Rey
(Left to right): High School Scholarship recipients Dylan Distell, Ryan Distell and Jessica Lee with Board Member Harlan Hollander, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Steven Baker, and NVE Bank President & CEO Robert Rey.

Pascack Valley High School graduate Julye Calderon (who was unable to attend the ceremony) with Hillsdale Branch Manager Jessica Tuzzio. We wish Julye good luck at Montclair State University!

Middle School Scholars

Esther Cho – David Owens Middle School

Hasnia Mulic – Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Melanie Norberto – Benjamin Franklin Middle School

Peter Park – Cresskill Middle School

Yun Lee Park – Leonia Middle School

Raul Tylrt Seetahal – Janis Dismus Middle School

Margaret Vasquez – Roy Brown Middle School

Three of NVE’s Middle School Scholarship recipients with Bank President & CEO Robert Rey
Cresskill Middle School scholarship recipient Peter Park (who was was unable to attend the ceremony) with Tenafly Branch Manager Brian Uhlfelder, as well as his grandfather and his sister, Seoyoung Park, who received an NVE scholarship in middle school (2015) and is now studying nursing at Drexel University!

These deserving students put school first, and NVE is delighted to put them first, just like we do with the customers and communities we have served since 1887. We hope our latest class of scholars is as proud of themselves as we are!

To learn more about how NVE Bank supports our communities, or to learn about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us at one of our 11 branches conveniently located throughout Bergen County.

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Is 2019 A Good Time to Buy a Home?

Scenario: you know exactly what type of home you want to live in, you know what city or town it’s in, and you even know how you’re going to buy it. This is all great! But what about the “when?” As in, when is the right time to buy? Your own personal financial situation is, of course, a substantial factor, but real estate prices, interest rates, and the time of year are just some of the key factors to consider in the homebuying process. If you want to get the best deal possible—which, of course you do—the “when” is an essential part of the equation.

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The ideal arrangement would be if you were able to buy the home you want, for the price you want, at the exact time that’s most convenient for you, when interest rates are at their lowest and your cash flow is at its peak. If the stars align for you and that becomes your reality, you’ve got yourself quite a cozy situation! More often, the case is that you must take stock of all these variables and prioritize them according to your needs, wants, and means.

Is the price right?

Home inventory is historically the highest from spring into summer. One significant factor contributing to this outcome is that families with school-age children want to get settled before school starts back up again around Labor Day. This type of saturation can drive sellers to price their homes more competitively. On the other hand, shopping around during the off-season can also give you the upper hand. December, November and January are the months with the least inventory, respectively. If a seller has listed their home during this time frame, it’s very possible it’s because they don’t have a choice in the matter, in which case they may be more willing to negotiate.

Quick tip: If you’re in the market for a home, make sure you know what you can afford before you start looking. Get a handle on this in the early stages of research by using NVE’s calculator, designed specifically to help you determine how much mortgage you might qualify for.

Is there ample inventory?’s Entry-Level Market Report found that entry-level inventory rose 4.1% this year, meaning buyers can expect to see an increase in inventory. According to a statement from General Manager, Justin LaJoie, “Potential buyers who tested the waters in recent years should have an easier time now, which should be especially good news for anyone who made an offer but lost their bid for a home. First-time buyers can give themselves an extra boost by being well-informed, prepared buyers. And the work they do – contacting more agents, doing more research and visiting open houses – should pay off this year.” Being well-informed and prepared is great advice for anyone in the real estate market, if you ask us!

What do interest rates look like?

Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly, so this is something you really need to keep a close eye on. It’s also important to compare rates to make sure you’re aware of your options. The rates offered to a borrower are based on various factors such as debt ratio, credit score, or how much of a down payment you can afford. All lenders have differing methods and models for assessing a borrower’s risk/reward ratio. Because community banks have more flexibility in terms of setting guidelines when it comes to mortgage interest rates, we are are often in a better position than big banks to provide borrowers with more options.

Ask your lender about a rate lock, which guarantees a certain rate, at a certain price, usually (but not always) for a term of 30, 45 or 60 days. If your loan doesn’t process within the allocated window, you’ll lose the rate lock, so timing is everything. Working with professionals you trust to guide you through this process goes a long way! NVE’s mortgage specialists will work with you every step of the way to help make the whole process smooth and hassle-free. We offer a full range of flexible mortgage products to meet your lifestyle needs. Call today at 201-816-2800, ext. 1233, or apply online at

Is it time to stop renting?

The notion that owning a home is more cost-effective than renting is widely accepted, particularly in New Jersey, which has the fifth-highest rent prices of any state in the nation, according to Census data. But how long does it actually take for buying a home to cost less than renting? Zillow looked at the cost of renting vs. owning in New Jersey and created this tool that allows anyone (that means you!) to find the answer to this question in almost any town in New Jersey.

Calculators like this should be used as one of many research tools, along with the help of trusted professionals. NVE offers a suite of convenient and helpful online mortgage tools, including four Home Financing Calculators, which can help you answer important questions such as:

Should I Refinance?

Should I Rent or Buy? 

How Much Will I Save By Increasing My Mortgage Payment?

How Much Mortgage Might I Qualify For?

You’ll also find 11 more calculators that address a range of personal financing, investment, and retirement topics.

Working with a mortgage specialist who knows the area you’re looking in makes things easier, faster and better. With headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Bergen County, the mortgage professionals at NVE are also your neighbors. That means our customers have access to experts who can provide service quickly, efficiently, and with a local point of view.

Learn more by speaking with an NVE Lending Specialist! Call 201-816-2800, ext. 1230, email us for more information at, or apply for a mortgage on our website.



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What style of architecture once dominated Bergen County?

What style of architecture once dominated Bergen County?

A. Cape Cod

B. Dutch Colonial

C. Ranch-Style

D. Bi-Level

If you think the answer is Dutch Colonial, you know your stuff!

Like New York City and the Hudson Valley, Bergen County was settled by Dutch farmers. The earliest houses in Bergen County were made of wood, but they did not last, and Dutch Colonial homes—mostly known as sandstone—replaced them. According to the Bergen County Historical Society, today, 192 of those Bergen-Dutch Sandstone Houses are listed in a thematic nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The Steuben House at Historic New Bridge Landing is one of the earliest and largest, c.1752.

The Steuben House at Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge, New Jersey [Photo credit: Bergen County Historical Society]

Today, the homes throughout Bergen County reflect almost every style of architecture imaginable! And some of them are for sale. If you’re in the market, make sure you know what you can afford before you start looking! You want to work with a mortgage specialist who knows the towns you’re looking in; with headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Bergen County, you’ll find that person at NVE Bank.

When you’re ready, here’s what we can offer you

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Which Home Renovation Offers the Best Return on Investment in 2019?

Which of these home renovations tops the list of projects that will get you the best return on investment in 2019?

  1. Master Suite Addition
  2. Swimming Pool Installation
  3. Garage Door Upgrade
Hands Framing House Drawing and Photo Combination on White.

If you guessed, “C,” good for you! A new, upscale garage door is not only functional, but it also contributes to your home’s curb appeal. And as far as upgrades go, this one is relatively affordable! According to REMODELING magazine’s 32nd annual Cost vs. Value Report, ditching the standard 16′ by 7′ garage door and replacing it with an antique-style, four-section door with decorative handles and top panel windows can yield a 97.5% payback. In dollars, the report estimates a new $3,611 garage door — which is likely energy efficient, with foam insulation and thermal seals on the window — will yield a $3,520 return.

Need a hand? NVE is here to help with a flexible home equity line of credit or fixed rate home equity loan.


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How Many Acres Make Up Bergen County’s Park System?

A. 4,000+ acres

B. 6,000+ acres

C. 7,000+ acres

D. 9,000+ acres

Ramapo Valley County Reservation, Bergen County’s largest park area. (Photo credit:

Answer: D – The Bergen County park system is comprised of more than 9,000 acres.

That’s a lot of green! Finding the mortgage that’s a fit for you isn’t always a walk in the park, but NVE has been helping people secure mortgages in Bergen County since 1887.

Click here for a full lineup of our mortgage products, helpful tools and more!

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