Archive | November 2015

First Time Homebuyers

 

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage

If you are thinking about purchasing a home in Armonk or the surrounding towns of Westchester contact, reneestengel.houlihanlawrence.com.

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You're Paying A Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

There are some people that have not 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 your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

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.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time in Westchester County, N.Y., or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting with home values and interest rates projected to climb.

Thinking About Buying A Home In Westchester County

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home?

Considering purchasing a home contact me for local Westchester County  information.
ReneeStengel.houlihanlawrence.com

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home? | Keeping Current Matters

In a recent article by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it was revealed that some Millennials are not looking to purchase a home simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

The article quoted Jessica Lautz, the National Association of RealtorsManaging Director of Survey Research, as saying that there is a significant population that does not think they will be approved for a mortgage and doesn’t even try. The article also quoted Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos :

“I do think that there’s a sense out there in the marketplace among borrowers that credit may not be available, especially for people with lower credit scores.”

So what credit score is necessary?

A recent survey reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780.

In actually, the FICO score on closed loans (as reported by Ellie Mae) is much lower and has been dropping over the last several months.

FICO Score Requirements | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Millennials who are considering a home purchase should get advice from a local real estate or mortgage professional now. They may be surprised how much the requirements for a mortgage have eased.


HIRE AN EXPERIENCED AGENT

Hire An Experienced Agent To Represent You For the Sale Of Your Home IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY
ReneeStengel.houlihanlawrence.com
IlyseBauer.houlihanlawrence.com

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your House

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize the financial reward when selling their home. But, how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to insuring you get the highest price possible. There are many successful examples of this strategy in Westchester County.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actually, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house. (see chart)

Impact of Price on Visibility | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

In a recent article on realtor.com, they gave this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. Yet, studies have shown that typically homes sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Recent research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Median Selling Price FSBO vs Agent | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Price it at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.


Custom Architectural Gem

Custom Architectural Gem

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Property 22 2

Custom Architectural Gem hallmarked by magnificent craftsmanship situated on 8 private acres. The Two Story Atrium Entry features gallery walls with lighting for “Art Lovers.” Gorgeous Pentagon Style windows bring nature home. A Grand scale flow compliments and accentuates the quality throughout. Each room features clean lines, a Modernist feel, perfect for today’s trends and lifestyle. Stone patios flow seamlessly from all entertainment areas, communicating a balance of indoor/outdoor living.

Listing presented by

Custom Architectural Gem

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22 Davis Drive Armonk, NY 10504

Westchester Co22 Davis Drive Armonk, NY 10504

Westchester County

 $1,699,000 

Custom Architectural Gem hallmarked by magnificent craftsmanship situated on 8 private acres. The Two Story Atrium Entry features gallery walls with lighting for “Art Lovers.” Pentagon Style windows bring nature home. A Grand scale flow compliments and accentuates quality throughout
Thinking of living in Armonk contact us for your tour.
IlyseBauer.houlihanlawrence.com
ReneeStengel.houlihanlawrence.com

 

Listing presented by

 

 

 

 

“Generation after generation, the primary vehicle to create wealth in our country has been through homeownership. In the U.S., homeownership has provided an opportunity for one generation to hand over to the next that opportunity and that wealth.”

Juilan Castro, U.S. Secretary of Hud

If you are thinking about living in Westchester County, NY, contact, www.reneestengel.houlihanlawrence.com

The Importance of Home Equity to a Family

The Importance of Home Equity to a Family | Keeping Current Matters

There has been much written about how dramatically home values have increased over the last several years. With the increase in values, that Westchester County homeowners have enjoyed.  comes an increase in the equity each home owning family now has. The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University recently,  that after taking inflation into account, aggregate home equity has increased 60% since 2010. Home equity is the major component of most family’s overall wealth.

Why is this so important?

Throughout history, families have tapped into their homes for many important reasons. Perhaps it was to get seed capital to start a new business; perhaps to help finance their children’s college education; perhaps to get needed medical attention not covered by insurance.

Up to ten years ago, families were able to use the equity in their homes to better the living situation for themselves and their family. More small businesses were created. College students weren’t forced to take on massive student debt. People could get needed medical care.

This hasn’t been the case over the last ten years as families found themselves in a position of having zero equity or, even worse, negative equity post the housing collapse. However, that is about to change.

Using your home as an ATM is not a good idea.

We realize that there are inherent risks to tapping into the equity in your home especially if you do it for the wrong reasons. Back in 2005-2007, homeowners were using their homes as their own personal ATM machine to buy depreciating assets like cars, boats and jet skis. This reckless behavior should never be repeated.

However, using your equity (aka family wealth) to invest in yourself, your children or other family members that could use help still makes sense. And the good news is that more and more families can do this as home values continue to increase.

Bottom Line

Home equity gives families an additional financial option when money is needed. The proper use of this family wealth can be used to grow generational wealth.

As Julián Castro, U.S. Secretary of HUD,

“Generation after generation, the primary vehicle to create wealth in our country has been through homeownership. In the U.S., homeownership has provided an opportunity for one generation to hand over to the next that opportunity and that wealth.”

Katonah, The Little Village That Could

North of NYC

Tips for Buying and Selling A home North of NYC

Buying or selling a home in Westchester? Check out our guide to real estate terms.

Home-buying and selling is stressful — and with industry acronyms and real estate terms flying at you from all directions, you may feel overwhelmed navigating your new real estate reality. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer sifting through Northern Westchester or a seasoned investor, there’s always more to learn. Trulia’s quick guide to common real estate terms is a good place to start. Download the PDF here and find more helpful information in the articles below.

Know these real estate terms before you start house hunting!

– See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/the-abcs-of-real-estate-quick-guide-to-real-estate-terms/#sthash.AdFVByfQ.dpuf

THE HOLIDAYS ARE ALMOST HERE NOTHING LIKE A WARM FAMILY SITDOWN BY A FIREPLACE

Nothing warms a home quite like a fireplace, and of course we mean that in every possible respect. Working flame features into an interior can be an art form unto itself, and a unique one in that it’s the frame, not the contents, that make the masterpiece. Our properties north of New York City are a diverse bunch representing just about every epoch, style, shape and color, giving our inventory an endless diversity of that covers everything from Colonial-era hearths and cast iron stoves to gas-plumbed modernist walls of fire. We went on the hunt for the most standout mantels snuggling up by the fireplaces of our current listings:

LARCHMONT | 9 Locust Avenue | $2,795,000
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Larchmont Manor is best known for its stock of Queen Annes, Colonials and Shingle Styles with wraparound porches and few-blocks walk to the beach, making this Spanish-style manor all the more exceptional. A towering carved limestone mantelpiece and overmantel anchors a dreamy sunken living room, soared over by coffered ceilings with hand-painted insets and accented with wrought iron railings, columns and Mission arches.

See more of 9 Locust Avenue

SOMERS | 413 Route 202 | $2,495,000
4539747 - Stone House 01
Built at a time when country homes effused simple elegance, the stone mansion of circus entrepreneur Gerard Crane captured uniquely urban sensibilities, with grand proportions more akin to Brooklyn Heights brownstone. The Cranes’ cosmopolitan tastes are fully apparent in the ornamentation found throughout the lower level. In the library and formal living room, a duo of hand-carved Italian marble mantelpieces complement plaster moldings, pilasters, friezes and cartouches, playing to a shared theme of talons and the heads of great literary figures.

See more of 413 Route 202

CHAPPAQUA | 48 Haights Cross | $17,900,000
4511892 - 48 Haights Cross
Kitchen fireplaces aren’t incredibly out of the ordinary, but Chappaqua’s Rosewood estate, composed of 86+ prime acres in northern Westchester, possesses exceptional mastery. A brick arch and millwork mantelpiece sits flanked by booth seating on both sides. We’re pretty sure the aroma of fireplace coupled with whatever is cooking off the designer appliances throughout this lavish cucina is bonafide olfactory nirvana.

See more of 48 Haights Cross

WAPPINGER’S FALLS | 8 Turner Mews | $1,499,000
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A Colonial-era tavern walked into a house. That’s not a one liner that isn’t; it’s our most accurate description for the heart of this 1743 Hudson Valley farmhouse, authentically restored by the family of none other than fireside music legend Bing Crosby. The original stone farmhouse portion of the structure (which predates amazing fireplace peer The Beekman Arms) was expanded into a center hall Colonial in the the 1770s. The spacious great room, bolstered by hand-hewn posts and beams, is complete with a robust hearth framed by a solid hardwood mantelpiece, set just a few steps past the bar.

See more of 8 Turner Mews

RYE | 15 Hilltop Place | $7,500,000
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Hand-carved marble mantelpieces occur twice in this Mediterranean-inspired estate on Rye’s exclusive Apawamis Club golf course, designed by renowned architect Grosvenor Atterbury.  The elegant manse is walking distance to downtown Rye and Metro North, making it a truly unique offering.

See more of 15 Hilltop Place

SCARSDALE | 35 Birchall Drive | $6,950,000
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This circa 1950 stone residence in Scarsdale boasts elegance well beyond its years, and the elaborate wood-paneled study, accented by a fireplace with illustrative etched mantelpiece, is truly a sight.

See more of 35 Birchall Drive

WACCABUC | 19 Schoolhouse Road | $2,150,000
4540140 - 19 Schoolhouse
Behold, the hot seat you want to be in. The facade of this oversized block fireplace at this Tudor in Waccabuc plays two roles: bench seating and curio display.

See more of 19 Schoolhouse Road

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SECRET AGENT IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY

 real_estate_agentSecret Agent

NORTH OF NEW YORK CITY

 

Are you confused by dual agency, you are not alone.  Will the agent that you  choose truly represent you and your interests.  It is important you understand  your agent’s fiduciary obligation to you. A while back real estate agents represented  only the seller.  So, if you listed your home your agent was called, “the listing agent.”  And a cooperating agent had a potential buyer that signed a contract to purchase your home, that agent was a buyer’s agent.

Today we have a many different forms of agency       

       NEW YORK STATE DISCLOSURE FORM FOR BUYER AND SELLER             

Seller’s Agent

A seller’s agent is an agent who is engaged by a seller to represent the seller’s interests. The seller’s agent does this by securing a buyer for the seller’s home at a price and on terms acceptable to the seller. A seller’s agent has, with-out limitation, the following fiduciary duties to the seller: reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account. A seller’s agent does not represent the interests of the buyer. The obligations of a seller’s agent are also subject to any spe-cific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent and the seller. In dealings with the buyer, a seller’s agent should (a) exercise reasonable skill and care in per-formance of the agent’s duties; (b) deal honestly, fairly and in good faith; and (c) disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the value or desirability of property, except as otherwise provided by law.       

Buyer’s Agent

A buyer’s agent is an agent who is engaged by a buyer to represent the buyer’s interests. The buyer’s agent does this by negotiating the purchase of a home at a price and on terms acceptable to the buyer. A buyer’s agent has, without limitation, the following fiduciary duties to the buyer: reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account. A buyer’s agent does not represent the interest of the seller. The ob-ligations of a buyer’s agent are also subject to any specif-ic provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent and the buyer. In dealings with the seller, a buyer’s agent should (a) exercise reasonable skill and care in perfor-mance of the agent’s duties; (b) deal honestly, fairly and in good faith; and (c) disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the buyer’s ability and/or willingness to perform a contract to acquire seller’s property that are not inconsistent with the agent’s fiduciary duties to the buyer.

BROKER’S AGENTS

A broker’s agent is an agent that cooperates or is engaged by a listing agent or a buyer’s agent (but does not work for the same firm as the listing agent or buyer’s agent) to assist the listing agent or buyer’s agent in locating a property to sell or buy, respectively, for the listing agent’s seller or the buyer agent’s buyer. The broker’s agent does not have a direct relationship with the buyer or seller and the buyer or seller can not provide instructions or direction directly to the broker’s agent. The buyer and the seller therefore do not have vicarious liability for the acts of the broker’s agent. The listing agent or buyer’s agent do provide direction and instruction to the broker’s agent and therefore the listing agent or buyer’s agent will have liability for the acts of the broker’s agent.

DUAL AGENT

A real estate broker may represent both the buyer and the seller if both the buyer and seller give their informed consent in writing. In such a dual agency situation, the agent will not be able to provide the full range of fiduciary duties to the buyer and seller. The obligations of an agent are also subject to any specific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent, and the buyer and seller. An agent acting as a dual agent must explain carefully to both the buyer and seller that the agent is acting for the other party as well. The agent should also explain the possible effects of dual representation, including that by consenting to the dual agency relationship the buyer and seller are giving up their right to undivided loyalty. A buyer or seller should carefully consider the possible consequences of a dual agency relationship before agreeing to such representation before agreeing to such representation.  A seller or buyers may provide advance informed consent to dual agency by indicating the same on the form. 

Dual Agent with Designated Sales Agents

If the buyer and the seller provide their informed consent in writing, the principals and t he real estate broker who represents both parties as a dual agent may designate a sales agent to represent the buyer and another sales agent to represent the seller to negotiate the purchase priced and sale of real estate.  A sales agents works under the supervision of the real estate broker. With the informed consent of the buyer and the seller in writing, the designated sales agent for the buyer will function as the buyer’s agent representing the interest of and advocating on behalf of the buyer and the designated sales agent for the seller will function as the seller’s agent representing the interest of and advocating on behalf of the seller in negotiations between the buyer and seller. A designated sales agent cannot provide the full range fiduciary duties to the buyer or seller.  The designated sales agent must explain that like the dual agent under whose supervision they function, they cannot provide undivided loyalty.  A buyer or seller should carefully consider the possible consequences of a dual agency relationship with designated ales agents before agreeing to such representation.  A seller or buyer may provide advance informed consent to dual agency with designated sales agents by indicating the same of this form.

 This form was provided to me by ____________________ (print name of licensee) of ____________________________ (print name of company, firm or brokerage), a licensed real estate broker acting in the interest of the: ( ) Seller as a (check relationship below) ( ) Buyer as a (check relationship below) ( ) Seller’s agent ( ) Buyer’s agent ( ) Broker’s agent ( ) Broker’s agent ( ) Dual agent ( ) Dual agent with designated sales agents If dual agent with designated sales agents is checked: ____________________ is appointed to represent the buyer; and ____________________ is appointed to represent the seller in this transaction. (I)(We) acknowledge receipt of a copy of this disclosure form: Signature of { } Buyer(s) and/or { } Seller(s): ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ Date:_______________ Date:_______________ http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/RPP/12-A/443#sthash.t8NCCeqC.dpuf

Information is always useful and if you are looking to purchase a home or list your home for sale call me at c914 450 666