Archive for January, 2011

Whenever a home owner is “upside down”, meaning that they owe more on their mortgage then the unit is worth in today’s market, and they want to sell the unit, they are a candidate for a “Short Sale.”

I say candidate because not every owner will qualify for a “Short Sale.”
If the owners can make the payments, or if they have other assets to cover the difference between the sale price and the balance of the mortgage, they don’t qualify.

What happens is, to put it simply, the bank saves money when they can avoid a foreclosure. Foreclosure can cost a bank $35,000 and take 18 months to complete. Banks don’t want to own property, they want to make money by lending your savings to someone else at a higher interest rate then they are paying you. So, they want to “Move” money, not property. Your property is a number to them. How can they make more money on your loan? They can service the loan or sell the loan.

In order to minimize the loss in a home that is “Under Water”, they can agree to a “Short Sale.”

There are several websites that go into all the details about “Short Sales.” This can be quite extensive. To really understand this you may wish to visit some of them. To start you might want to begin on some links below;

Fannie Mae is a good start.

Another site is the Governments program. This government program can be very helpful to the “Under Water” seller, because of the benefits they can get.

If the sellers have no other assets to make full payment on their loan, and if their bank agrees to the governments “HAFA” guidelines, sellers can get $3,000 to relocate. HAFA stands for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program

There are a lot of paper work and guidelines to go over, best to deal with a Certified Short Sale Agent who has ties to processors who know the ropes. Sloppy paper work and no follow up action can make buyers abandon the process, and then the sellers are in a deeper hole and the property goes into foreclosure.

You can look up all the needed documents required, or you can call me see if you can qualify.
I can be reached at 917-696-0275, if I don’t answer right away, please leave a message and I promise I’ll return your call ASAP.


Today, the Condo at 920 Armstrong closed. The young buyer was very happy. Nice to see young folks taking part of the American dream. 45 Days on the market, not bad. Closing only took 55 minutes.

Looking to sell or buy real estate on Staten Island? Give me a call, 917-696-0275

Staten Island Weather for today

Posted: January 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Sixteen degrees out side, 68 degrees inside. What is the relative humidity of your home INSIDE? You could save some $$ and FEEL more comfortable with the moisture in you home at the right amount. Without overdoing it, adding moisture to the air makes you FEEL warmer. Remember last summer with those dog days with temps in the 90’s? If you see moisture condensing on your windows, you might be adding too much moisture to the air. Get yourself a weather station, 30 dollars or so will do, you don’t need to buy a very expensive unit, this can help you read the moisture levels.

Some homes in winter are dryer than the Sahara Desert. Also your furniture doesn’t like dry air either, and neither does your nasal passages. So add some moisture to your home, save $$ and feel better.

Attorney’s and Home Inspectors

Posted: January 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

These are providers I’ve worked with, respect, and would use if I were buying or selling real estate.
Please call each of them, ask questions, get a feel of who you would like to work with, and then make your decision. Feel free to call me also if you have any questions.

From the desk of
Kenneth Cole

NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Seniors Real Estate Specialist
Certified Short Sale Agent
4651 Hylan Blvd. S.I., N.Y. 10312
Office phone 718-966-4000, ext 234
Cell 917-696-0275
Fax 718-356-4785
E mail

Real Estate Attorney’s

John Harrington, 718-815-0602, fax 718-815-0603, Admitted in N.Y. & N.J.
390 Manor Road, S.I., N.Y. 10314

Christopher Fitzpatrick
235 Forest Ave. Staten Island, N.Y. 10301
718-442-4600, fax 718-442-9804

Amir Alishahi, 718-984-5555, fax 718-984-1352
3925 Hylan Blvd. S.I., N.Y. 10308

Home Inspections ask for Dan Meraglia, cell 917-379-1061, office 718-384-1122
E mail

Valued Home Inspectors, Inc. Patrick Corbett, cell 917-589-7310, office 718-232-1776

Homeprobe Inspections, Mike Nuzzolo cell 917-561-5050, office 718-727-3013

I receive no compensation or favors from these providers; all I ask for is good communication with them for you, my clients, to insure your success in this transaction

Water Vapor

Moisture in the air. We need it, we want it. It can make you feel comfortable, or it can make you feel uncomfortable. Too much is bad for the house, and too little is also undesirable. So what’s a person to do? Let’s start with what we need.

Did you know that, in winter, some homes are dryer than the Sahara desert? True. We heat the air in our homes without adding moisture, bad news for our sinuses and our furniture. Also, if the relative humidity in our homes is what it should be, between 50-60% in summer and a little lower in winter, we can save money on our utilities bills. Adjust this figure to suit your needs best, but most will agree that this is a good starting point. The relative humidity makes us feel comfortable, allowing the thermostat to be either lowered or raised according to the season. So, in summer we can be comfortable at higher temperatures and in winter be comfortable in lower temperature. So a meter will pay for itself in no time, as well as our health. Ask your doctor about that.

How do we add or subtract moisture? It’s easy in the summer, set your central air to 55 % relative humidity. In the winter we need to add water vapor. This can be done in several ways, most folks will have a humidifier on their forced hot air furnace. If you have hot water or steam, you will need to add water vapor manually. In the “olden days” we would put a big pot of water on the stove and let it boil on low heat to add moisture.
Today you can buy a machine to add the moisture, but you must check on it to keep it filled. Now for the problems. Too much moisture can cause MOLD.

I am told that there are over 100,000 species of mold. For this newsletter, I will only talk about the few that make our lives miserable. Mold can make us very sick, and can destroy our homes. Wherever there is moisture, cool temperature, little light, there is mold.
Mold spores are all over. We breathe it in the air and it’s on our clothes, shoes, and pets. There’s no getting away from it, but we can make our homes less susceptible to mold by following a simple maintenance program.

First and foremost, remove or reduce moisture in areas that don’t get sunlight. A simple way to do this is to vent the area. Remember mold spores need moisture and little or no light to thrive.
Second. Remove the food source. Mold spores eat organic material. So, paper and glue, found on the inside of wallpaper, earth, wood, clothes, almost anything. I know if you removed all of these things you would not have a house left, but that’s the place to look for mold. Clean shower stalls with a bleach solution if you see black stains in the corner or at the bottom at the shower doors, shower curtains, or under sinks. Be careful here, read directions on the label of the product you are using. Again, easy to remember, take away the food source, moisture, and vent the area. Don’t give the mold a chance to build a colony!

Kenneth Cole, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Appleseed Homes, 917-696-0275

Water, Water, Water

We all know that water comes in three forms. Vapor, liquid, and solid, (snow and ice). This issue will deal with all three.

Snow and ice can be a problem on your roof. For most roofs, snow is not a problem, unless it’s an excessive amount and the roof structure is not up to present code. Some older homes were constructed with framing that would not pass in today’s standards.

Ice. Ice can build up under the snow when you have the right conditions. It’s called ice dams. An attic with improper insulation can be the problem. When the ice melts, it moistens the wood and that can cause rotting and mold. For both of these conditions, consult a good home improvement contractor or home inspector.

Water. If you get water in your basement when you get heavy rain, you may be able to correct that very simply. First, check the grade of the surface outside. You should have a POSITIVE slope, meaning that the ground slopes AWAY from the house. Next check the downspouts and make sure they have splash guards under them. If all looks ok, and you still get water in your basement, you might need the services of a water proofer.

You might also want to check the sidewalks. If you have any cracks, water will get in there and if cold enough at night, can turn to ice and make the crack worse. Clean out the crack and fill with mortar or caulking.

Don’t forget to check your gutters. Make sure they are clear of leaves and other debris.