Archive for the ‘Great Kills Train Station’ Category

Great Kills Parks

A new park is born, for a slide presentation click here Great Kills Park
Great for the 3-8 year olds and their grandparents.

For more information about this area, Annadale, Eltingville, and Great Kills, please visit my web sitewhere you can take a video walking tour. Just scroll down on the left side for the links.
Also more information on buying and selling your home.

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Good Day at the Patch.

Airplane lovers, don’t miss this.

How can a Good Realtor save me money as opposed to selling myself? (edit/delete)

How can a Good Realtor save me money as opposed to selling myself?

If you sell your own home yourself, you will not have to pay a commission. But by doing that will you actually SAVE money?

If your unit is perfect, and you are good at pricing houses, and negotiating terms and conditions, and have the time to market properly, then yes you can save money. But what about the other factors that most home owners never think about?

#1-What are the possible future expansion options of your unit allowed by your town or city that could impact price? If the code says you can expand the living space, what is the value of that factor? Could it be enough to pay the Realtor’s fee alone and make your unit more desirable?

#2- Have you made any alterations since you bought the property and do you have the current C of O? (Certificate of Occupancy) If alterations were made and the contractor or architect did not file the work, that could impact the sale price also. If alterations were made before you purchased in a time of lax appraisals and no inspection by a qualified home inspector, you may think that all is OK until your attorney calls you and tells you “we have a problem.” Sometimes sellers get away with it and sometimes they don’t. You don’t want to be the one that gets caught.

#3- A pre home inspection; What is the value for you the seller to have a pre home inspection? How much do you know about home construction and the present codes? Will some issue cost you at closing? Get the facts before you put your unit on the market and you could save big time.

#4- Is being present at the showing hurting your sale? How can you show your unit and not be present? Sometimes buyers don’t feel comfortable having the owners present when they look at a house. Some sellers are all over the place, showing this and that, actually hurting themselves. A good agent will read the buyers actions and proceed accordingly. Some want to take their time in certain areas and think. Leading the buyers around too soon can kill a sale.

#5- How to answer personal questions. You would be surprised at some of the questions buyers ask. Are you prepared to answer in a way that will not hurt your sale price? After all, that’s the main point of all this. The sale price.

Realtors with experience can help you to avoid most if not all of these issues.

Think about it and don’t be afraid to interview a few good agents in your area.
See more on my new web site where you can search like a Real Estate agent at http://kennethcole.listingbook.com/?&page=home

A job well begun, is half done!

Why is pricing your house RIGHT so important?

The biggest problem people have when selling their home is pricing their unit right.

Why is it, that most homes don’t sell at or near full price? Everyone loves a bargain, but not every unit is a bargain.

In my city, we just received our statements regarding our property values for tax notice. Now that’s opening up a can of worms. Folks are calling me asking, “How can my value go up (according to the city) when prices are still falling”?

Or, ZESTIMATE says my home is worth more, or less, then the city says. Another asks, “Why does the city have a big difference in the value of my home when I just had it appraised and the report came back much lower then the city?”

Still another said, “I know the market here.” With all due respect, do you really?

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect the numbers.

We are talking about Comparative pricing, that is looking at other units just like mine. We need to understand that we are comparing “apples to apples.” When appraisers look at similar units and add or subtract value accordingly. See my post on Appraisals.

New York City uses a system that estimates the value of your unit based on recent sales of comparable units. However, it does not consider certain factors that might affect the real value, such as if your unit needs updating or repairs that buyers will see when they visit the property.

Consider this example. House A sold for $480,000 a few months ago, that I would have priced lower because it needed about $100,000 worth of repair and updating. My thoughts are that there was something about this unit that the buyers were really interested in to make that offer.

House B also sold around this same time period, also for $480,000. This unit was a cream puff, a doll’s house. Two years ago it would have sold for over $500,000 yet if you looked it up on Zillow before it sold, it would have been quoted lower. Sometimes it’s estimated higher. Now of course if you look it up, it reflects the recent sold price.

There are other examples that I could make the point that pricing can be off as much as $100,000 in extreme cases. Unless you really know the market in a certain area, it’s a guess no matter what resource you use. As I stated above, even the city can be off quite a bit. So it’s a factor of having “incomplete” in information. An agent who know the area, uses several resources for information, visits the insides of properties for sale, and tracks the sales records is the person to go to for expert opinion. Even then, the evaluation can be off a little. The final proof is in the sale price. So if you’re looking to sell, check the agent’s marketing program and sales history to be sure you get the best person to help you.

If you want to see more about how I market homes, please go to my website, or give me a call and I’ll go over all the details with you. My cell number is 917-696-0275

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

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