27 King St, Dobbs Ferry, NY

27 King St, Dobbs Ferry, NY

For Sale

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1000 SQUARE FEET

Call listing agent at (914) 297-8475

Come and see this adorable starter home. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, in the Ardsley school district, with a great location for shopping and commuting. Full basement with lots of room to finish and customize–not CO’d as living space, but an easy fix for an eager buyer.  Great for an all-cash or rehab loan buyer.  

 

27 King St, Dobbs Ferry, NY – Coming Soon

27 King St, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Coming Soon

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1000 SQUARE FEET

Call listing agent at (914) 297-8475

Come and see this adorable starter home. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, in the Ardsley school district, with a great location for shopping and commuting. Full basement with lots of room to finish and customize–not CO’d as living space, but an easy fix for an eager buyer.  Great for an all-cash or rehab loan buyer.  

 

When to Get Excited About the Housing Market

Real estate professionals get that consumers, by and large, ignore housing statistics and the market until they become involved in the purchase or sale of a home. It’s only natural then that what impacts the market is a bit of a mystery to many. What determines a buyers’ or sellers’ market? What factors influence home prices?

Of course the answers to these questions and more may be multi-faceted, but it’s important to pay attention to them if you hope to keep more of your money when it’s time to buy or sell real estate.

Believe it or not, even in what seems like the gloomiest of real estate markets, there will be a glimmer of light for some.

Pay Attention to Interest Rates

It certainly is no secret that obtaining a lower interest rate for a mortgage typically allows for a lower payment. Naturally then, low interest rates make home-buying an attractive venture—and, even whispers of a rate hike can spur folks to get out into the market.

For instance, by the end of 2015, the U.S. saw 5.26 million home sales, which was the most robust housing market since 2006. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), attributed the robust market, in part, to the mere “prospect of higher mortgage rates in coming months.”

And, rise they did, throughout the following year. In fact, late in 2016, mortgage interest rates rose eight times in nine weeks, according to bankrate.com. Sounds rather gloomy until one recognizes that, post-hike, rates were still at historic lows.

The bottom line is that if you’re in the market for a home and interest rates decrease or remain attractively low, it’s time to get excited about the housing market.

The Economy

The current economy is a key factor affecting the real estate market. “Broadly speaking, when the economy is sluggish, so is real estate,” claims Joseph Nguyen at Investopedia. Rather than look at the glass half-full, however, we choose to take the opposite tack—when the economy is humming along, the housing market is at its most attractive.

When job growth is robust, consumer confidence rises and we’re more apt to spend money on high-ticket items, such as cars, appliances, vacations and, yes, homes.

Exciting Markets for Sellers

There’s an old saying in the real estate industry that counsels homeowners that the best time to sell a home is when you need to sell your home. Yes, we understand that isn’t very helpful. If you’re one of the fortunate who has no compelling reason to sell (such as a job offer in a different town or divorce), you have the luxury of choosing when to put the home on the market.

Get excited if real estate professionals mention the words “sellers’ market.” This is a period in which there are few homes for sale but buyer demand is high. During sellers’ markets prices typically increase rapidly and homes sell at or above list price.

One of the biggest mistakes we see in sellers’ markets is the homeowner who feels that the market itself will bring top dollar for the home, regardless of condition. Be aware that it’s the homes in good condition that sell the quickest and for the most amount of money. Regardless if market conditions favor sellers, if your home isn’t in move-in condition, it may be passed over by home buyers.

Buying a Home This Year?

A buyers’ market—when there is a large selection of homes for sale and few other buyers in the market—is a great time to purchase a home. Unlike a sellers’ market, prices aren’t rapidly escalating and you won’t be competing against a slew of other buyers. These markets are more relaxed so homebuyers can take their time deciding.

In a sellers’ market, however, it’s more important than ever to have all your ducks in a row before making an offer on a property. Ensure you know exactly how much you can spend and that you’ve obtained a preapproval letter from your lender. Make your offer stand out from others by keeping it lean and mean, with the shortest time periods for contingencies as possible. Finally, come in with your highest and best offer. A sellers’ market moves too quickly to assume the homeowner will negotiate over price.

While the type of market may determine when to jump in, as mentioned earlier, interest rates can also cause excitement in the housing market. Low rates and relaxed lending guidelines, such as we saw in 2015 and 2016, presented a prime opportunity for many would-be buyers who previously couldn’t afford to purchase.

Lower mortgage rates mean a lower monthly payment, which means you have more purchasing power, and that additional power can “mean the difference between buying a 2-bedroom home versus a 3-bedroom one; between buying a home with large closets versus small closets; and, between buying an upgraded home versus a dated one,” according to Dan Green at The Mortgage Reports.

Regardless of the media’s perception of the housing market, there is always a mix of good and bad news, depending on whether you are in the market to buy or to sell. Arm yourself with a professional real estate agent who can supply you with current and local market information (too often what you read in the news is stale and based on nationwide statistics), follow his or her advice and buying or selling a home in any market will be an exciting process.

Choosing the right home

cropped-1-Allaire-St.jpegLooking for the right home can be a daunting process for first time buyers and seasoned vets alike. From the style of the house to the type of appliances, there are countless factors that can go into such a big purchase. The following short checklist outlines the most important things you should think about when you’re on the hunt for a new home.

1. Define your budget:
It’s never fun to fall in love with a house that you can’t afford. Avoid the heartbreak by taking the time to analyze your financial situation before you begin the search. Start by reviewing your credit score, monitoring your debt and choosing an appropriate down payment. Meeting with a financial professional can help you get an accurate picture of your financial situation and the loans you are eligible for.

Looking at your debt-to-income ratio is one of the ways that creditors establish how qualified you are for a mortgage loan. Your debt-to-income ratio is determined by taking your monthly debt (think current mortgage payments, student loans, car loans, etc.) and divide them by your gross monthly income. Ideally, you want to keep that ratio at 43% or lower. According to the Federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, “studies of mortgage loans suggest that borrowers with a higher debt-to-income ratio are more likely to run into trouble making monthly payments. The 43 percent debt-to-income ratio is important because, in most cases, that is the highest ratio a borrower can have and still get a Qualified Mortgage.”

Don’t skip the down-payment analysis! A huge factor in getting the best mortgage rate relies on how much cash you are able to put down initially. The rule of thumb has been to put 20% down as a minimum. Anything below the 20% rule will usually require mortgage insurance and end up costing you more on the loan long term. Determining the right path for you will require you to analyze your own situation—your budget, timeframe and any other factors involved in figuring out your financial capacity to save and put money away for your new home.

2. Your Must-Have List:
Always search for homes that meet your “must-have” list. A must-have list encourages you to write out exactly what you need in a new home and will significantly aid in narrowing down the scope of your search, especially when searching with another person. This list will also foster communication on critical aspects of your new home that might not have been discussed previously, and help you identify requirements that may be in conflict with each other.

Focus your list on the high-level, pricey aspects of a home. Minor changes such as painting and smaller renovation projects can be worked on down the road, but changes that add up in time and money should be avoided (think kitchen remodels or adding another bathroom). Narrowing down your search to homes that don’t require major changes will help ensure you choose a home that is within your budget.

If you are struggling on where to start, think about what type of home you want to live in–Single Family or Townhome/Condo? How many bathrooms and bedrooms do you need? Do you want a fireplace or pool? What’s the minimum lot size you would be comfortable with and do you require a garage? What about air conditioning?

Keep your list short and sweet–try to keep your must-haves on the shorter side by focusing on major requirements and ranking them by importance. Prioritizing your list will help when it comes to decision-making time, as selecting a home will often require some flexibility. Your list will provide you with an easy way to determine which aspects you can compromise on and which are red flags telling you to move on.

Compromise can be hard, but don’t let small things completely take a home off of your short list. Remember, minor changes such as painting and smaller renovation projects can be worked on down the road, however, if there are a lot of these things the costs of those projects can add up. Focus on the minor modifications that you feel comfortable changing.

3. Location, Location, Location!
While the importance of location is often a no-brainer, the location of your potential new home serves multiple purposes. Location will impact your daily life and happiness as well as your home’s value down the road.

When looking at location in terms of resell value, you want to look at a multitude of things: school districts, crime stats, and the neighborhood & community. A little research can answer most of these questions, and this website offers Market Insider, a tool to give you details on all these factors and more! Besides looking at the current stats and trends, take this information and think about what the value of the area might be in 5 or 10 years when you potentially could resell your home.

Along with the resale value, analyze the location of a home from the perspective of your wellbeing and happiness. Things such as your daily commute, surrounding noise, and community will greatly shape your experience in the home.

Along with this checklist, seeking guidance from a professional is always a good idea! A realtor like me can offer a wide array of skills and expertise, from the showing of a home to the endless paperwork. You can count on me to guide you through the process and assist in your home buying decisions.

Finding the right home might not necessarily mean finding the “perfect” home, but rather, finding the right home for you to make your own. Hopefully this checklist provides you with a guide to start your journey towards the right home. When you’re ready to start looking, don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Five DIY Projects to Make Your Home Trendier

Updating your home to be more chic – without looking cheap – is completely doable on a budget.

If you’re looking to add more class to your home, taking on a DIY project can give your house that extra sense of style while saving you money. No need to cringe at those three little words: “do it yourself.” There really are fast, easy and affordable projects you can do on your own. Here are five relatively easy ways to enhance your home.

1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
Switching out an old or basic light fixture for a more elegant one is an easy way to shift the ambiance of a room. By adding a sophisticated light fixture, you can control the intensity of the light and character of your room. And you don’t need to pay a pretty penny for expensive new fixtures – you can buy used fixtures online.

2. Add Floating Shelves
Installing floating shelves in your home combines the functionality of extra storage space with a bit of style and personal flair. Floating shelves can be mounted on walls in many different patterns, and they come in various materials to give your rooms a unique touch. For a small room choose shallow shelves to display framed photos; for a larger room you can afford to use deeper shelves to hold vases, books and unique trinkets.

3. Paint an Accent Wall
Painting an accent wall can add a pop of color and showcase your personality. Usually a low-risk project, a homeowner of any skill level can tackle this project in a day. You just need some painter’s tape, a brush and the color that suits you! Just make sure the color you choose is complementary with the other colors in the room. Stay consistent between warm and cool tones.

4. Install Decorative Molding
Adding decorative molding around your home can add an extra touch of elegance. Install molding to the ceiling by capping walls, columns and cabinets, or add chair molding lower to the ground. With detailed molding you can add character to your rooms while also making them feel taller and more finished.

5. Build a Stone Fire Pit

Take your sophisticated style outside by building a stone fire pit in your backyard. Completed in only a few hours, take uniquely shaped rocks or large stones and put them together to create a functional and stylish fire pit. Before starting the project, be sure to check your local fire codes or homeowners association to ensure you are safe and allowed to start building.

Adding a touch of class to your home doesn’t have to break the bank! Just be sure to start with one project at a time, allowing yourself to complete one before starting the next. Otherwise, you’ll fall victim to chronic project incompleteness syndrome – not a good look!

Now that you know about these five inexpensive DIY projects, which will you try?

Online Lending: Pros and Cons

You’ve seen the commercials–very cool people using online lending services to save time or to get an instant pre-approval. Is online lending for you? Here are the pros and cons.

Pros:

1. Great deals abound. Online lenders know that to attract business they must make a good offer, so they usually have competitive interest rates.

2. Less chance of being charmed. Without slick salesmanship, the numbers have to speak for themselves. If terms and conditions are lacking, you won’t feel obligated to go with someone just because he has become your buddy.

3. User friendly. If your credit profile is good, you are a perfect candidate for online financing. Spending a few hours in front of your PC can lead to multiple email offers. Let mortgage bankers and brokers outbid each other to win your business.

4. A loan is a loan is a loan. Most companies on the Internet stick with traditional methods for application approval and funding. Regardless of where they originate, all mortgage loans are protected by state and federal regulations.

5. Simplistic rate comparisons. When you’re checking only the facts, loans are easy to compare. Double-talk doesn’t transmit via the Internet.

6. Easy access to providers. Online, borrowers can skip the middleman.

 

Cons:

1. Lack of accountability. Local lenders rely heavily on referrals and repeat business, so when loans go bad, it reflects poorly on the company. Online lenders face less accountability.

2. A new breed. Since online lenders are a recent addition to the scene, they haven’t earned the reputations of their off-line competitors.

3. License requirements vary by state. It’s possible that you could select an online lender who isn’t licensed in your jurisdiction. If an online company is placing mortgage loans in your area, make sure they have the legal authority to do so.

4. No face-to-face contact. Some online lenders are bad apples, as are some traditional lenders. Though consumer confidence in Internet purchases is rising, Internet suspicion may still be too big a deterrent for you.

 

Tips

If you are ready to surf for online lenders, take the following precautions:

1. Expect a professional site. A good website doesn’t guarantee a good company, but a poor site is a bad sign.

2. Do research. Many lender sites offer the company’s history and business practices. If you can’t learn anything about the company, try another one.

3. Ask your Realtor to suggest reputable online lenders.

 

I’m always available to share referrals to mortgage professionals or for any other information or service you require.  Give me a call.

A scary business (originally posted Halloween, 2017)

Buying Distressed Properties

Buyers often hear about bargains from short sales, bank owned properties, or foreclosure properties, but this can all seem like a scary business to be in considering. What exactly do all those varying degrees of scary mean? Each type of property sale and transfer of ownership is based on different circumstances and means different things for the lender, the seller and the buyer.

The short sale of a property is intended to prevent foreclosure and bank ownership. A short sale occurs because the amount the owner owes on the house is more than the value of the house. Short sales are often priced lower than comparable sales, and buyers look to short sales for good deals. However, short sales can take months to close, because offers are all contingent on lender approval, not just seller approval. For this same reason, many short sales never close at all, because lenders want to lose as little money as possible.

Foreclosures occur when owners have defaulted on the loan by missing multiple payments. The bank usually sets the date of foreclosure about three months after it records a Notice of Default (NOD) on the loan. This is also the date that the bank can legally evict the owner. The bank publishes the notice of the foreclosure auction. Five days before the auction, the owner can no longer reinstate the loan. If the house is sold to a bidder at the foreclosure auction, the bidder can have the owner evicted within 24 hours.

If the house does not sell at the auction, the property becomes bank owned. The bank lists the house for sale just like the owner of any other property. Because banks only need to collect the remaining debt, the prices of such property can be very low. This is not always the case, however.

Short sales, foreclosures, and bank-owned homes are all potential bargains for the buyer, but the experience can be quite stressful and can take longer than a traditional home sale. It is good to know as much as you can before venturing into this type of transaction.

Four reasons to buy a home this winter

Now is the best time of year to buy!

1. Prices Are Still Rising

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.0% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Rising, Too!

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, you are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

I do estates and probate cases gladly

When I first began working with probate clients I realized this community of people was commonly under-served. People often felt lost as they navigated a very stressful and emotional process on their own, and often for the first time.

I quickly learned as much as I could about probate and the specific type of assistance that it takes to walk a client through the probate process with honesty, integrity, and guidance.

Think of me as your probate project manager who will create & execute a complete plan to meet your needs.

Once we formulate a plan, my team of expert service providers can handle or facilitate many things related to the probate process, such as:

  • Attorney representation for legal guidance
  • Estate Sales from Start to Finish
  • Clean out teams to prepare the property for sale
  • Facilitating repairs or improvements
  • Listing, marketing, and selling your property for peak current market price as a traditional list and sell transaction
  • Providing a cash offer for your property from one of our investors to purchase and close quickly on the property in it’s ‘As-Is’ condition
  • Future Estate planning to avoid the probate process in the future for other family members
  • Financial advisors to heirs receiving inheritance
  • Senior Care placement
  • and more!

I would love the opportunity to serve you and help you navigate the often stressful and emotional process of probate.

27 King St, Dobbs Ferry, NY – Just Listed

27 King St, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1000 SQUARE FEET

Call listing agent at (914) 915-8310

Come and see this adorable starter home. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, in the Ardsley school district, with a great location for shopping and commuting. Full basement with lots of room to finish and customize–not CO’d as living space, but an easy fix for an eager buyer.  Great for an all-cash or rehab loan buyer.