Buying Smart Agents Will Excel at Assumable Mortgages If I were asked by a seller what separates me from other agents to get them the best price for their home, I’d answer their question with a question of my own. What type of mortgage do you have on the house now? If the answer were an FHA, VA, or USDA mortgage, I’d then […]
Commentary Bedroom Count and Septic Systems Westchester County has a population of about 1 million residents. Most of those folks who inhabit the 914 area code live in homes that are connected to public sewers, but there are a hefty number of properties, especially in the northern part of the county, that are on septic systems. I’ve said before that there’s […]
Commentary Solving the Catch-22 on New Development: Build 55 and Over Housing I posted not long ago that one of the reasons why inventory is so low is that we are not building new homes at a rate needed to meet our housing needs. It is estimated that we need another 7 million units to solve this, and that won’t happen overnight. What’s worse is that in […]
Buying What Buyers Must Know About Buying a Foreclosure in Westchester County Ever since I got in to real estate in the 90s, the public has had a bit of a preoccupation with buying foreclosures. The perception that a bank owned property is a bargain is hard to argue with, but it’s not always a simple or straightforward process. Having specialized in distressed properties for decades, I’ll […]
Industry News What Home Sellers Really Need to Know About the Commission Lawsuits When I went to pick my son up from baseball practice earlier this week, a friend came up an smiled at me. “Sorry about your pay cut!” I knew what she was referring to, and as I peruse the news reports on the recent NAR commission settlement, I share many other Americans’ frustration at the […]
Commentary New York’s New Property Condition Disclosure Statement For more than 20 years, home sellers in the state of New York have been required to furnish their buyer with a form known as a Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS). It is a collection of several dozen questions that the seller is required to answer about the characteristics of the home. The law always […]
Community News Bonnie Meadow Rd, AKA Dick Van Dyke Show Way If you’re my age or older, you probably recall the the old Dick Van Dyke show. Dick Van Dyke Played Rob Petrie and his TV wife Laura was played by the great Mary Tyler Moore. You may not recall the exact address, but the Petrie family lived at  fictitious 148 Bonnie Meadow Road, New Rochelle.  […]
Commentary What’s Up With All Those “We Will Pay You Cash for Your House” Signs on Street Corners? If you’ve ever wondered what the story is behind those flimsy looking signs nailed to telephone poles all over the place promising you a fast cash sale on your house, I have the answer. I’m sure you know the signs I speak of. They are known in the industry as “bandit signs.” Some are professionally […]
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Market What $705,000 Will Buy You in Ossining If your budget is in the $700,000 range and you’re looking in Ossining, you’ll be pleased to know that you can still buy a 4 bedroom home on over an acre like the one we just closed on this week in town. 5 Ridgeview drive has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a 1.6 acre lot. […]
Buying It’s February in New York, so Let’s Talk Swimming Pools Swimming pools are probably the last thing on most peoples’ minds but we are still selling homes that have them, and this thought is a bit overdue. Swimming pools are an improvement, so they add value to a property. They can’t not add value presuming they are in working order, but there’s a but. The “but” […]
Real Estate Tips Price Changes Are No Longer Guesswork When I was first licensed in the 1990s, if a house didn’t sell for a period of time like 30 or 60 days, we would often reduce the price. Sometimes it was because we had too few showings, or because the showings we had didn’t yield any offers. On occasion, some home sellers would voice […]
Commentary How Online Reviews Have Impacted Real Estate Agents Back in 2009, I was approached by Redfin to help them enter the Westchester real estate market as a referral partner. They did not have employee agents here, so referring clientele to other brokerages would be a win/win arrangement to start. I was eager for any new source of business, and took a closer look. […]
Commentary Living Indoors is Not a Fad In some respects, the housing market is like the biggest, longest domino set up in the universe. Chances are, with rare exception like the purchase of an empty house, that the person you are buying your home from is going to be moving somewhere that someone else moved out of, and they in turn are […]
Buying Sale Contingency vs Closing Contingency People live indoors. Its hard to say that without sounding sarcastic, but I am sincere. It should not come as a surprise to a seller or their listing agent that their purchaser is selling their own home, especially if they are in a higher than average priced property. I shouldn’t have to explain, for example, […]
Buying Buy Before You Sell Program is Now in New York The conventional wisdom for people with a house they own who want to buy a new home has always been that they sell their current home before they made an offer on a new home because no seller wants a “contingent” deal on their sale. Also known as a Hubbard Clause or a sales contingency, […]
Community News My Visit to the Sunshine Children’s Home In 1962, my older brother Paul, then just 4 years old, got gravely ill and was rushed to the hospital. He would not come home until a year later. His life would be an odyssey of living with diabetes, kidney failure and dialysis, a urostomy most of his life, and all that comes with those […]
Buying Buyer Agents and Due Diligence I’ve posted many times that people seeking to buy a home should use a buyer agent. The transaction is too expensive and complex to not have your own exclusive representation. Recent events have inspired me to address buyer agents themselves, as the role is a huge position of trust from the client. Buyers don’t need […]
Home Improvement  When DIY Comes Back to Bite You Sellers have an extreme advantage in the current market due to the lack of competition. But even that has limits. One a recent walkthrough of a home, a buyer client and I noticed a few things that a smart seller should consider. The home appeared to have been off market just under 3 weeks after […]
Buying Waiving Home Inspection vs “Inspection for Informational Purposes Only” The following is a list of good reasons for a buyer to waive their home inspection: Never Waive Inspection I’ll table the inspection of apartments for now, condo or co-op. They are a different category from a house on land. In short, even if a client signs a form holding their broker harmless and indemnifies […]
Commentary For Agents: Open House Parking Etiquette This past weekend some agents on my team held an open house for a listing in Mahopac. It was busy, with 25 separate parties and possibly 50 or 60 people walking through the home. The one wrinkle was that street parking was sparce. It had a driveway that could fit up to 10 cars, but […]