Archive for the ‘about staten island’ Category

Sparrow stops at my backyard feeder for a bit of lunch

bird a croped and ready 1ab squaresee more information here.

The House is not the only consideration when buying real estate

A house is only part of the search when we are relocating. Almost anything about the structure can be changed, but the area is a different story.  When we buy a house, we are buying a community as well.  Here are a few of the things I think we should be looking at when buying a new house.

The street;  do you like the block the house is on?  Are there many units for sale on this street? What does that say?

Transportation;  how important is transportation to job, shopping, schools and parks to you?

Shopping;  What kind of stores are nearby?  Take a look before you buy.

Parks;  Another great area we sometimes overlook.  Take a look below of a park that is nearby to me but I just never got around to enjoy until recently.


A tale of two houses

I’ve heard the phrase “With the internet we wont need Real Estate Agents anymore”

Really?  Well that means Realtors don’t think, have nothing to add to the process, don’t earn their money.

Now for reality.

Not too long ago, my buyer told me “I would not buy that house, no way, no how.  It stinks, trash all over the place, and it’s priced too high”  OK, fair assessment and accurate too.

Deal dies, right?  Without a Realtor, yes, it’s dead.  Internet does not think, has no original thoughts.

Realtor to the rescue.  

Me; Mr. and Mrs buyer, is this house in the area you want to live in?

Buyer; yes.

Me; is it big enought for you?

Buyer;  yes.

Me;  I’ve been watching the price drop, what if I told you that if you got this unit for the price you want to spend, had enought left over to do cosmedic fix ups, made it just the way you like it to look, would you buy it?

Buyer;  yes.

Me;  Let’s take another look.

Buyer; OK

After the second viewing, I get a low offer, but reasonable.

I call the selling agent, make the offer, agent laughs a little.

A week goes buy, selling agent calls me back.

Selling agent;  are your buyers still interested in that house.

Me;  yes.

Selling agent;  SOLD.

Now the buyers had contractors come in, spent about $15,000 and the unit looks like new.

If they were to sell this house today, they would get about $80,000 more then what they paid for it, but that’s not the case, they want to live there.

So, Thank the good Lord for the internet, but also thank Him that he gave us a brain and the will to use it.  Seller is happy, selling agent is happy, buyer is happy, buyers agent is happy.

Happy, happy, happy.


Light up your “House For Sale Sign” at night.

In the winter months we have less daylight.  Sometimes we don’t see the house “For Sale” sign after dark.  When I advertise a house for sale, I like to use my “Listing Light” which lights up the sign for 5 hours after dark.  It makes your house stand out in the night.

see video below;

How can I get a good idea of what my house is worth today

While every house is different is some way, even in tract house development, values of similar units can give you an indication of what you might expect to get in the sale of you unit today.

There are sites on the web that you can go to for this information, but they don’t all have the same criteria in determining value.  So how are you to know what is ballpark and what is really accurate valuations?

The answer is to seek a local Realtor who lives, works and plays in that area. Ask to see recently sold units like yours.  The key here is RECENTLY sold. Values change over time, so while your house might have sold for $500,000 back in 2007, it may not be worth that much today.  Don’t feel bad, one of the very few places that home values have actually increased is in the Washington DC area. Think about that for a minute.  It says that demand is VALUE.  When you buy a unit, you are buying a neighborhood.  You can change anything you want about your house, as long it’s according to local codes, but you can’t do much about your neighborhood.

So, if you want to be really informed about house values, you need to study to trends.  Here is an easy way to do that.

On my website you can sign up to received weekly updates on what is for sale.  You can limit the search to just one zip code to make it local.

Here is the link;  When it opens click on “Market Watch”, follow instructions, and every week you will get an update on the market in your area.

Christmas in Staten Island 2013

Slideshow of homes decorated for Christmas.  A lot of work went into these homes, Thank you for the beautiful display.

Click here for the slideshow


John Gambling, Rambling with Gambling

It’s Truly the end of an era.  Today December 20, 2013 was the last broadcast of “Rambling with Gambling” talk radio show on WOR, 710 on the AM dial.

If you google the name, John Gambling, you will see a ton of information about this great talk show host.

I remember listening to his grandfather back in the 1950’s, only because the show had the weather, time and when the show ended, I knew it was time to get out of the house and get the bus to go to school.

It always ended with the song, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag”, an old WW1 song.

When I started working in the newspaper business, 1960, I would listen on my way home on the car radio.  So I go back with the radio show over 50 years.

After retiring from the newspaper business in December 2004, I started selling Real Estate, and every morning I would listen to John while I did my research on active and sold properties.

Today was a real tear jerker, with listeners calling to give their well wishes and almost crying.

I wonder if there will ever be a question, “who was the last caller on the John Gambling show?”  I was listening and I’m sure Rich from Rockaway will remember.  So if you ever see a Trivia question about that, your answer is right here.  Did you hear  how he closed his program today?  A real class act, thanking his wife and playing the song Roy and Dale Rogers sang at the end of their show.  Happy Trails.

I hope we have not heard the last from Mr. John Gambling.  Only time will tell, but I’m thinking and hoping that his voice will once again be sharing his wisdom with us.

Best wishes to you John.