There are many benefits to
homeownership. One of the top benefits is being able to protect yourself from
rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.
“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are
pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in
the year ahead.
“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country
and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis
threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents
will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they
cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”
“While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s
perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is
actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters
choosing to buy?”
Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your home.
"It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers
aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved
for their down payment.
It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.”
first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home. As
we have reported before, in many
areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in
less than two years. You may have already saved enough!
the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
Looking at the percentage of
income needed to rent a median-priced home today (30%), vs. the percentage
needed to buy a median-priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
Every market is different.
Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs
to own a home of your own!
Remodeling your home?
Here are eight of the
coolest smart devices to include in your home remodel.
1. Nest Cam
With its wide range
of consumer-friendly smart products, Nest has made a big name for itself in the
smart home industry—and this powerful little camera is one of the main reasons
why. The Nest Camrecords
in crystal-clear 1080p resolution and streams 24/7, so you’ll never miss a
2. Philips Hue
Philips Hue LED
smart and energy-efficient, allowing you to control the lighting in your home
while cutting energy costs.. Sync your lights with movies or music, set the
ambience for concentration, or create a gentle morning lighting routine.
3. Vivint Doorbell
Vivint’s sleek Doorbell Camera
lets you see who’s at your door no matter where you are. With a 180-degree look
at your porch and night-vision capabilities, you always have a clear view. The
Vivint Sky app will send you a notification whenever someone rings the bell and
allows you to turn the camera on and off and adjust your doorbell chime. You
can also lock and unlock the door remotely, and speak to friends and strangers
through the doorbell.
4. Chamberlain MyQ
Garage Door Opener
The Chamberlain garage door
openerconnects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and allows you to
open and close your garage door from anywhere. Chamberlain says it’s compatible
with any garage door opener made after 1993
5. August Smart Lock
August’s Smart Lock
replaces the interior side of your deadbolt (so it doesn’t throw off the look
from the outside), granting you the ability to lock and unlock your door with
your smartphone. The Smart Lock doesn’t stop there, though. You can create
virtual keys for your family and friends, granting them access as well. The
August Home app will even auto-lock the door behind you and unlock the door for
you as you approach—you don’t have to do a thing.
6. Nest Learning
Nest’s Learning Thermostat
learns your patterns as you use it—within a week it will adapt to your
preferred temperatures and set itself to match your preferences. If you like
your home cooler at night and warmer in the morning, for example, the Learning
Thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature for you. It will also
adjust to an energy-saving mode when you're not home.
7. Samsung Family Hub
Star-rated refrigerator does things you never knew you wanted your fridge to do. For starters,
every time you close the door, three cameras take pictures of the contents
inside. You can then check what’s in your fridge from your phone, so you never
have to wonder what you need from the store. If you’d rather not go to the
store yourself, you can place an online order using Groceries by Mastercard,
one of many included apps accessible right from the touchscreen on the door.
8. Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo
is a 360-degree Bluetooth speaker featuring Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated
assistant. Alexa can stream music, tell you the weather, answer your questions,
get traffic updates and sports scores—all the stuff you expect a voice assistant
These eight gadgets
can add some serious value to your life and home. If you’re already remodeling,
now’s the perfect time to try a few out and get a little taste of the future.
Construction of a third set of apartments is slated to begin in the spring in Port Jefferson Village after demolition of the vacant Islander Boat Center building on West Broadway began last week. This comes after ground was broken in June 2016 on a 112-unit apartment complex by TRITEC Real Estate Company adjacent to the Islander Boat Center property called The Shipyard luxury apartments, as well as the opening of the 38-unit complex by Rail Realty called The Hills at Port Jefferson in upper Port, which will grow by 36 units upon completion later this year.
Hauppauge-based building company The Northwind Group owns the site of the new project. A Conditional Site Plan and Conditional Use approval were granted for the property by the village building and planning department in May 2015 for the construction of 52 apartment units, according to Special Village Attorney for the department Alison LaPointe, and Northwind managing member Jim Tsunis confirmed in a phone interview that is still the plan. LaPointe said in an email several other conditions laid out by the department need to be met by the property owner prior to the issuance of a Final Site Plan and a building permit. Tsunis declined to give a reason why demolition began nearly two years after receiving board approval.
Demolition of the original structure began Feb. 10 but was not complete as of the morning of Feb. 13. The new building will overlook Port Jefferson Harbor.
“It’s a cute little nautical style building — I’m looking forward to building it,” Tsunis said. He added he’s excited to be a part of the expansion and beautification process going on in the village.
“Hopefully within the week that building will be down, which is good news,” village Mayor Margot Garant said during a board meeting Feb. 8 after the demolition permit was issued.
Another board member shared her positive outlook on the future of the site.
“It’ll approve the western entrance to the downtown area,” Trustee Bruce D’Abramo said during the meeting.
At least one trustee is concerned about the impact all of the changes in the village will have for long-time residents.
“This is a Victorian village but we’re turning it into hodgepodge lodge here,” Bruce Miller said. “There’s just no cohesion here.”
Garant added the village board has no jurisdiction over the building and planning department, and the new apartment buildings all meet standards set in the village code. According to the village code, structures are not permitted to exceed 35-feet at their highest point.
A QUICK TEXT RESPOND OR EMAIL!
Alex Groden doesn’t know what all the fuss is about the poor, downtrodden millennials forced to live out their lives in their parents’ spare room because school loans have forced them to quash their dream of home ownership.
While in college, Groden amassed not just one, but four, school loans, yet when it came time to purchase a home at Sawgrass Lakes in West Melbourne, he found the process easy-peasy for him and his wife, Natasha.
“I’m still astonished at how easy it was for us to find what we wanted and get a loan for this house,” said Groden. “I was able to get a home loan for $200,000 even with my student loan debt. That’s one of the things that surprised me! I have to assume it was because we were both lucky enough to land good jobs, myself as a programmer at Northrop Grumman and Natasha as an event coordinator.
“Additionally, I’m sure the fact that we had to pay for private mortgage insurance also played a factor since we had relatively little money to put down, but could make the monthly payments.”
It’s the Groden’s second home, and the first one wasn’t all that difficult to finance, either.
“I think the act of finding and buying a home has gotten a lot easier than it was with my parents’ generation,” he said.
“Honestly, when we bought our first home, we weren’t really established yet, having just started my first job out of college that year and Natasha having just gotten her first job in the area, and I was amazed at how simple it was for us to obtain a loan for amounts of money I had never dealt with or thought about before.”
a handy checklist:
Check ceiling and surfaces
around windows for evidence of moisture
Check caulking around showers,
bathtubs, sinks and toilet base
Verify ceiling areas beneath
bathrooms have no leakage
Ensure all stairs and railing
do not have any loose sections
Test all fire and safety
systems regularly, including carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
Know the location of all gas
Heating and Cooling
Clean or change furnace filters
every three months of operation
Lubricate fan and motor
bearings (only where indicated)
Check fan belt tension and
listen for unusual noises
Keep area around heating and
cooling equipment clear
For boiler systems, check water
level and shut-off valve for leaks
Have system serviced annually
prior to the start of the season
Doors and Windows
Look for loose or missing
Check caulking for
deterioration at the openings and joints between dissimilar materials (e.g.
wood and masonry)
Check weather stripping
Check for broken glass and
damaged or missing screens
Inspect all window and door hardware
Check for any missing, loose or
Look for open seams, blisters,
bald areas on flat roofs
Clean gutters, strainers and
downspouts. Make sure downspouts divert water away from the foundation.
Verify the attic has no
evidence of any leaks
Check flashing (sheet metal
placed on joints of the roof to prevent water seepage) around all surface
projections, sidewalls and protrusions
Trim back all tree limbs and
vegetation away from the roof
Check fascia (board or roof
trim) and soffits (connecting the roof overhang and the side of your building) for deterioration and damage
Foundation and Exterior
Check foundation walls and
floors for cracking, heaving, spalling, deterioration or efflorescence
Inspect chimney for loose,
deteriorated or missing mortar or bricks
Check grading for proper slope
away from the foundation
Verify basement and crawlspace
has no moisture or leaks
Check all wood surfaces for
weathering and paint failure
Inspect all decks, patios,
porches, stairs and railings for deterioration
For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this
might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if
you decide to For Sale By Owner:
The buyer who wants the best
The buyer’s agent who solely
represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer’s attorney (in some
parts of the country)
The home inspection companies
which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the
The appraiser if there is a
question of value
studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in
comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents
have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
43% on the internet
9% from a yard sign
1% from newspaper
days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the
paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as
industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the
reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over
the last 20+ years.
homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on
their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they
also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and
buyer can’t both save the commission.
Studies have shown that the
typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house
sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get
$27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to
FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on
your own might not make sense.
you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit
with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to
“After back-to-back years of a robust housing recovery, we are continuing to experience another year of a shortage of inventory of homes for sale,” reports Phil McBride, COO of John L. Scott Real Estate in the Northwest. “With a large backlog of homebuyers, multiple offers on new listings are the norm. We are seeing approximately 90 percent of sales activity in the market areas and price ranges where we are experiencing the shortage/low inventory, which is sending prices upward.”
National statistics bear this out. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, total existing-home sales increased 6.1 percent in March—the highest annual rate since September 2013—however, the housing supply has only experienced a modest increase, just 2 percent above a year ago. Long to short—it’s a seller’s market.
Still, choosing to sell is a big decision—a decision that requires the careful weighing of a variety of factors, both lifestyle and financial. To help sort things out, here are five telling signs that now just might be the time to finally put your home on the market.
This is the best ice cream shake! When you're ready to buy or sell a home, you can always count on me. I'll handle the complicated details and you'll get the dessert.
Sincerely,Melissa PetscoJolie Powell Realty, Inc.(631) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sold! Strawberry Milk Shake
Prep: 5 minutes
1 pint fresh strawberry halves, frozen ¾ cup milk ¼ cup powdered sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 pint strawberry ice cream Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberries
• Process first 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth.• Add ice cream; process until blended. • Yield: 4 cups