Date Archives: January 2012

Coldwell Banker American Homes Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Area Information | 27 Posts
BPT | 10 Posts
Buying | 6 Posts
Homeowners | 17 Posts
Real Estate Blogs | 319 Posts
RREIN | 62 Posts
Uncategorized | 148 Posts
Buying a Home | Home Purchase Guidelines | Long Island Homes and Property | Real Estate for Long Island | Energy Efficient Homes | Homeowner Tax Credits | Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency | Adjustable Rate Mortgages | Mortgages for the Long Island real estate market | The Right Mortgage for the Right Home Buyer | Real Estate Question of the Day! | Real Estate - scams and mortgages | What you need to know about real estate | Home Purchase Savings | Interest rates offer greatest leverage | Tax credit vs mortgage interest rates | Assisted Living | VA Special Pension | home loans | Home mortgage rates | Another Interest Rate Drop | Mortgage Interest Rates | Defending homeownership | Is now the time to buy a home? | Real Estate - still a great investment | Long Island condo & co-op | Long Island Homes for sale | Long Island Properties | Negotiating house purchase price | New construction on Long Island | Real Estate transfer fees | buy your home through a short sale purchase | selling short with the banks approval | Short sale home purchase | $2000 home buyer grant | New York State home buying grants | home list price vs. home sales price | negotiate a new home sales price | New York State STAR tax exemption | STAR tax exemption for New York homeowners | Buyer Brokerage | Real Estate Representation | Seller Agency | Tips for improving your credit score | Home and property appraisals | Homeowner Tax Advantages | Home Purchase Track | Owning a home vs. Renting | 55+ Adult Community | Senior housing | The Season's at East Meadow | co-op | Condo's | Homes | land for sale | Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home on Long Island | Homeownership | Open House weekend | home buying process | mortgage prequalification | Real Estate Investment Tips | Tips to Flip your real estate | Home Shopping Checklist | Look for a house with a checklist | ips to purchasing a short sale home | Short sales: How to purchase | Cut energy costs for your home | home energy efficiency | Loan application mistakes | mortgage loans | mortgage home loans | What home loan is right for you? | house hunting | Hunting for a home | Common Home Defects | What to look for when buying a home | first time home buyers | The 1st time home buyers guide | mobile based home search | Mobile phone users - coupons | smart phone applications | Housing Market Recovery Bright Spots | Natianal Housing Market Report | Home Closing - contract to closing | Home purchase timeline | 203k home mortgage program | Home Improvement Funding | Myths of the real estate market | The Home Buying Process | narrow down your home search | The Best location for your home purchase | buying a home? protect your credit! | credit protection | Home value pitfalls | home closing steps to take | New home closing | Home Styles | Popular Homes | best interest rates | credit scores | Create Energy within Your Home with Feng Shui | Feng Shui within your home | consumer confidence | home buyers more confident in housing market | Real Estate market impact | Rent verse Buy | Renters Outspend Owners on Housing | Benefits of home buying | Winter shopping for homes | Consumers confidence in home ownership | Homeownership attitudes | Real estate tax advantages & tips | Tax tips for homeowners | job opportunity | real estate agent | real estate career | rental agent | 1st time home buyer tips | priorities for home buyers | make moving fun for family | Moving for the family | Buy a foreclosure | REO purchase tips | Tips to buying a foreclosure property | Use a real estate agent to buy a home | Use a real estate agent to sell a home | Why use a real estate agent | Home Buying steps | Home Buying tips | Stepr to take prior to buying a home | home loan good faith estimate | Tips to your home loan mortgage | FICO Scores | How FICO scores are calculated | Your FICO score | Invest in a home | tax refund - invest it in your home purchase | VA Loan | The Home Buyers Wish List | Home buying expectations | real estate market report | Bidding on real estate properties | purchase offers for your home | home mortgage | downsizing your home | moving to a smaller house | Jumbo Loans for Home Purchase | Mortgage Money Lesson | newlywed home purchasing tips | The perfect wedding gift... a new home | Avoid these home buying mistakes | common mistakes when buying a home | Good News for Housing | Home Price Index | Bank fees for the homeowner | understanding banks and their fees | Home Inspections for your new home purchase | What to know about home inspections | Fire safety for your home | Is your home fire safe? | Home Mortgage programs | LTV | Mortgage loan to value | Mortgage relief for disaster challenged areas | Location | Property location - real estate | buying a short sale property | short sale tips | buying a home - best investment? | When is the best time to buy? | New Years resolutions | Resolutions: a Reality for Realty's | Get a mortgage after foreclosure | mortgage financing - after foreclosure | Is it a good time to buy a home? | What age is old enough to buy a home? | Buy a short sale property | Short Sale real estate properties | Home property tax deductions | real estate tax deductions | Real Estate License School | Apartment Rentals | House Rentals | Real Estate Rental Agent | House Hunting Tips | Simple house hunting tips & ideas | Mortgage advice - current trends | mortgaging & refinancing in 2013 | Good credit score = best equal rates | How to build up your credit score | lease - option to buy | Rent with option to buy | Avoid Home Improvement Blunders | Home improvements ideas for the property owner | Home Buyers - What do you really want? | Needs & wants of home buyers | mortgage loans for new home construction | New construction home loans | Home Buyers - Price & proximity to work | Key Concerns for the home buyer | Impressive mortgage applications | Keys to getting your mortgage approved | Home buying mistakes to avoid | Home purchasing blunders to avoid | New homes vs older homes | to buy or not to buy a home | pet friendly rentals | Pets or no pets - apartment rentals | tips for home purchasers | Flipping houses | home flpipping 101 | spec houses | home buyer how to's | how to be a better home buyer | Mortgage amortization | A happy home | What makes you really happy? | Low housing inventory | Low inventory housing market | Home prices on the rise | Rising property values | Home buyer tips to open houses | Open House etiquette | Winning a home purchase bidding war | Home mortgage rate tips | mortgage tips for the new home owner | Home Equity Line versus 2nd Mortgage | buy a new home or expand your current home | Home improvements vs. new home purchse | Mortgage Rate Lock | Residential home mortgage rates | Improve your economic profile for home mortgage | Personal Finance | Costly problems for new home buyers | New home buyers avoid costly problems | Handy man special | The home fixer-upper | How to refinance | Refinance - without perfect credit | Debt to Income | Tackling Debt | Seasonal real estate trends | The fall season housing market | Factor in home repairs in your mortgage payment | Home repairs for new home purchasers | Home sellers negotiation techniques | negotiations for home buyers & sellers | The home buying process - stress free | The process of buying a home | Recently Read | Saved for Later | Great Neck | Massapequa | Huntington | Ronkonkoma | Brooklyn | East Meadow | Coldwell Banker American Homes | Local Attractions | Home Improvement | Interior Design | Queens | Fresh Meadows | Long Beach | Local Businesses | Farmingdale | Home selling | Suffolk County | Nassau County | Wantagh
January
19

Moving can be a stressful experience for adults and children as well, but it doesn't have to be! See below for five tips on how to make moving a positive experience.

 

1. Talk the talk - Communicate with your children and encourage them to discuss any apprehension they may have about moving. Brainstorm and find solutions to alleviate any fears. Remember, technology makes it easy to keep in touch with old friends with video chats, emails and social networking sites.

2. Explore your surroundings - Go for a family bike ride and learn what your community has to offer. Check out the local ice cream parlors, bike paths, dog parks, hiking trails or specialty restaurants. Familiarize your children with the neighborhood so they are at ease.

3. Take out and stay in - Plan a family sleepover at the new house, even before the furniture is shipped. This will be an adventure for the whole family and together time in the new home often makes children feel more secure and less overwhelmed in their new surroundings.

4. Designer room - Give your children paint color options so they can decide on the color scheme of their bedroom. It may be helpful to set aside a special box with their favorite things from their old room to incorporate into the new space.

5. Integrate - Involve your children in local teams and activities. Most moves take place at the end of the school year, so by enrolling your children in clinics, camps and sports you are providing them with an opportunity to make friends with future classmates.

January
19

It's easy for first-time homebuyers to become overwhelmed as they begin their home search. Often, buyers get distracted by a newly renovated kitchen or finished basement, and lose sight the big picture when choosing a home. See below for three factors that should be a priority as you navigate the home buying process.

1.    Pricey proposition - Set a price point BEFORE you start looking for homes. It is important to talk with your REALTOR® about your budget so he/she can focus on homes within your price range. It's helpful to leave yourself a financial cushion when deciding on what to spend. Factor in closing costs, repairs, down payment and even unexpected expenses to help you find a price you feel comfortable with.

2.     Location, location, location - This is one of the few things you absolutely cannot change about your property. If you need to be in close proximity to mass transit or within a specific school district, only view homes that fall within this area. Is it really your dream home if you are out of your desired commuting distance? Also, be aware of the condition of the neighborhood. Is it safe for you to live or desirable should you decide to sell down the line?

3. Room to grow - Remember to ask yourself how long you plan on staying in your new home. Will the one-bedroom loft or two-bedroom cottage work for you in five years?

January
19

By: G. M. Filisko You've found your dream home. Make sure missteps don't prevent a successful closing. If a contract requires you to have a home inspection, schedule an appointment immediately. A home purchase isn't complete until you make it to the closing. Until then, the transaction can fall apart for many reasons. Here are five tips for avoiding mistakes that cause a home sale to crater. 1. Be truthful on your mortgage application You may think fudging your income a little or omitting debts when applying for a mortgage will go unnoticed. Not true. Lenders have become more diligent in verifying information on mortgage applications. If you fib, expect to be found out and denied the loan you need to fund your home purchase. Plus, intentionally lying on a mortgage application is a crime. 2. Hold off on big purchases Lenders double-check buyers' credit right before the closing to be sure their financial condition hasn't weakened. If you've opened new credit cards, significantly increased the balance on existing cards, taken out new loans, or depleted your savings, your credit score may have dropped enough to make your lender change its mind on funding your home loan. Although it's tempting to purchase new furniture and other items for your new home, or even a new car, wait until after the closing. 3. Keep your job The lender may refuse to fund your loan if you quit or change jobs before you close the purchase. The time to take either step is after a home closing, not before. 4. Meet contingencies If your contract requires you to do something before the sale, do it. If you're required to secure financing, promptly provide all the information the lender requires. If you must deposit additional funds into escrow, don't stall. If you have 10 days to get a home inspection, call the inspector immediately. 5. Consider deadlines immovable Get your funds together a week or so before the closing, so you don't have to ask for a delay. If you'll need to bring a certified check to closing, get it from the bank the day before, not the day of, your closing. Treat deadlines as sacrosanct.
January
17

As the nation's unemployment rates slowly recover, the apartment industry continues to see strong demand for new employees in order to keep up with a growth rate that is expected to increase as people opt to rent apartments. Approximately 35 percent of U.S. households are renter households, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That number is up 4 percent from 2004. It is likely to climb even higher as the number of renter households increases anywhere from 360,000 to 470,000 annually over the next decade. Ultimately, that increase will translate into the creation of more well-paying jobs in the apartment management industry, which has come through the recent recession relatively unscathed by the layoffs and downsizing that have plagued other businesses. "The reality is that at no point in time have we seen a significant reduction in the number of apartment units in the United States," says National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) President Maitri Johnson. "Every year we keep adding to the apartment stock, and we keep adding jobs. That has not been the case with many other industries during the past few years." The multifamily housing industry employs more than 1 million people, not including the thousands of others working in industries that provide products and services to apartment communities. Large national apartment management companies may hire as many as 2,000 new employees in any given year. These employees often come from a variety of college backgrounds, including business, marketing, communications or facilities maintenance. Managing apartment communities requires a team of employees performing a variety of functions such as management, customer service, accounting, business analysis and preventive maintenance. A recent search of job postings on ApartmentCareers.com highlighted open positions for an accountant, webmaster, maintenance technician, housekeeper and regional marketing director. John Cullens, president and founder of ApartmentCareers.com, said few industries can provide a career that is not only portable – virtually every community has a few rental homes or an apartment community – but also provides a variety of career paths, good pay and good benefits. The apartment industry is particularly attractive to new college graduates who may lack the experience needed for well-paying jobs in other industries. Once exposed to the opportunity to manage a $3 million budget, a team of six employees and a real estate asset valued at over $20 million, most recent graduates realize that they have found their niche. "The apartment industry has a constant need for new employees to not only keep pace with the growth we are seeing in the industry and the construction of new rental units, but also to fill those positions that open as a result of standard employee turnover and baby boomer retirements," says Johnson. "Multifamily housing is an industry that doesn't require all employees to have advanced degrees. Our workforce is very diverse, and people can find good jobs at all levels." With more than 95 million (and growing) Americans living in rental housing, the industry's job opportunities are only expected to increase in the coming years. To find out more about job opportunities with Century 21 American Homes send your resume to careers@c21amhomes.com.
January
10

EAST MEADOW, NY, Jan 10, 2012-Before tax season hits, think about brushing up on your property tax know-how to save money and ease stress. Whether you're buying, staying or selling, in this tough housing market, the more you know the better. Below, Michael Litzner, Broker of Century 21 American Homes shares their top five tax tips with us.1. Understand your capital gains tax. "So many homeowners don't understand how their capital gains tax is calculated when selling," says Litzner. When you sell your home, you're taxed on any profit over a set amount, which changes based on your marital status. However, calculating your gains isn't as simple as price sold minus price paid. "The IRS takes into account expenses invested in improving the property, so be sure to save receipts for any repairs, maintenance and upgrades," adds Litzner. 2. Get a reliable estimate of your property tax bill. This is a top tip for those looking to buy a new home. "Don't rely solely on the tax information in the property listing. Your tax bill can differ from the previous owner's bill, so do your research," Litzner suggests. 3. Deduct the interest. "On your tax return, you can deduct the interest you pay on your home loan," says Litzner. This deduction reduces your tax liability, and as your mortgage payments for the first few years are almost entirely interest, this means they are almost entirely tax deductible. 4. Lower your interest rates-deduct property taxes and points paid. The IRS allows you to deduct your state and local property taxes from your income tax return, which can help to offset their expenses. "Plus," Litzner continues, "You get a tax benefit if you paid for discount points to lower your mortgage interest rate." 5. Market value declined? Request a property tax reassessment. You can get your taxes lowered if the value of your home has decreased. "All you need to do is show proof of your home's current market value and recent comparable sales in your neighborhood," Litzner explains. For more information on property taxes, please contact Century 21 American Homes at MLitzner@C21AmHomes.com, 1-800-270-6318, or Century 21 American Homes. Century 21 American Homes is one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages serving Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn. To find out more about an exciting career in real estate contact us at careers@c21amhomes.com.

January
10

By Pete Bakel Americans' attitudes on a variety of issues are marginally better than one month ago, according to results from Fannie Mae's December National Housing Survey. Despite overall low levels of optimism among Americans, consumer sentiment trended in a positive direction in the final months of 2011. Americans who say the economy is on the right track rose by 6 percentage points since November, while the percentage who say the economy is on the wrong track dropped by 6 percentage points. When asked about housing, more Americans expect home prices to increase compared to November and, on average, Americans expect home prices to increase by 0.8 percent over the next year, up from an expected 0.2 percent increase last month. On the personal finance side, for the first time since February 2011 more respondents say their financial situation will get better over the next year than say it will stay the same. In turn, the share of consumers who say their income is significantly higher than it was a year ago rose 5 percentage points since last month. "December attitudes have rebounded from the lows seen during the debt ceiling debate and economic deterioration of Europe this past summer. There is marked improvement in consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy, personal finances, and future home price expectations," says Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "This improvement is in line with the modest fourth-quarter pickup in the U.S. economy. However, while December results show that more Americans think the economy is on the right track, consumer attitudes are still at depressed levels, with more than two-thirds saying that the economy is on the wrong track." The survey showed that 22 percent of Americans say the economy is on the right track (up by 6 percentage points since November). The percentage who say the economy is on the wrong track dropped to 69 percent (a decline of 6 percentage points). For the first time since February 2011, a larger share of respondents (40 percent) say their personal financial situation will get better over the next 12 months than say it will stay the same (39 percent). In other findings, 21 percent of respondents say their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago (up 5 percentage points since November), while 59% say it has stayed the same (down 7 percentage points). Eleven percent say their household expenses have decreased over the past 12 months (up 3 percentage points since November), while 39 percent say their expenses have increased significantly. 49 percent report that their expenses are about the same compared to 12 months ago (down 5 percentage points since November). On average, the survey concluded that Americans expect home prices to increase by 0.8 percent over the next 12 months, up from 0.2 percent in November. Additionally, 26 percent of respondents expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months (up 4 percentage points since last month), while 18 percent say they expect home prices to decline (down 4 percentage points since last month). Findings show that 36 percent of Americans say that mortgage rates will go up over the next 12 months, up 3 percentage points from November and even with October. Seventy-one percent of respondents say it is a good time to buy a home (up 3 percentage points since last month), and 11 percent say it is a good time to sell. On average, Americans expect home rental prices to increase by 3.5 percent over the next 12 months, up from 3.2 percent in November. For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder