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” […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Buying The Millionth Article Advising You to Get Pre-approved Before Visiting Homes for Sale You’ve read it before, unless you just learned to read (in which case house hunting is a long way off for you), on financial platforms, blogs, real estate websites, magazines, newspapers, and maybe even ancient hieroglyphs: get pre approved before you start looking at homes. This is what you’ve never read from any credible source: […]
Buying Inclusions and Exclusions From time to time there is an issue with a transaction related to the inclusion or exclusion of a fixture, an appliance, or an article of chattel. For the uninitiated, “chattel” are furniture or personal belongings not attached the house, such as furniture, clothing or wall art. When a property is entered into the MLS, […]
Buying The Most Compelling Economic Indicator for Real Estate on Earth As the real estate market cycles into a recovery, talking heads are discussing what index will be the most accurate predictor of the 2014 market. Will it be new housing starts? Employment? The DOW?  I beg to differ. In 2014, we’ll be busier than any year since 2005 due in the largest part to one […]
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Buying Why You Can’t Steal a Co-op While the real estate market here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley is certainly on the mend, one vestige of the old buyer’s market, the would be-buyer with the low ball offer, is still with us. Typically, the justification for the low offer is one of two things: the property is unsold, or the property […]
Buying Buyers: I’m Not Lying About Other Offers on my Listing  Three times in the past two weeks, we have had listings go in bidding wars. Three times in the past two weeks, we have had buyer agents tell me that their buyer client did not believe me that they had competing bids. In each case,  those buyers all lost the house. In my own company, […]
Buying Grand Salami Home inspections are so important that, unlike most markets, local attorneys will not draw up contracts until they are settled. They are never a contingency of the contract in Westchester. Today we  had a home inspection on a property our clients had a recent offer accepted on, and it did not go well at all. […]
Buying On Hovercrafts I was fortunate enough to be quoted in Business week in an article entitled Why Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia Haven’t Killed Off Real Estate Brokers.  I spoke with the reporter for what seemed like a good healthy duration on where technology is taking our industry, the significance of its impact on the consumer experience and how licensees ply their trade, […]
Buying What Does $245,000 Buy in Greenburgh? What can you buy for just under $250,000 in Greenburgh? I’m glad you asked. $245,000 buys you a 3 bedroom condo in Granada Crescent in White Plains with 2 full baths, a balcony, and a beautiful swimming pool right in the middle of the complex like the one we just closed on last week. The […]
Buying Yet Another Reason to Avoid Over Pricing Real Estate I am working with an extremely nice pair of clients right now -due to a job transfer to Westchester County, they are moving to the area from out of state. They sold their own home quickly, and we have been out and about looking. The selection process has brought us to a number of homes, […]
Buying Friday Night at 9pm: Bad Time to Request a Saturday Showing This past Friday evening, I was having my usual crazy start to the weekend, at my desk, nursing a Diet Coke, and figuring out the median price of homes in Chappaqua for the month of May, when the email came in. We would like to see the house you have listed at XX Rd Saturday […]
Buying Buyer Mistake: Not Being Pre Approved I have wagged my finger at both buyers and sellers on the current real estate market, and today it is once again the buyers’ turn. While we are indeed far from an overall recovery, all real estate is local and in Westchester we are in a busy spring sales cycle. In more than a few […]
Buying Cold Spring & Philipstown Market Report 1st Quarter 2012 The first quarter of 2012 for the Cold Spring and Philipstown area indicated a very slow quarter compared to the same period last year, according to the sales data from the Empire Access MLS. In the first quarter of 2012, there were 3 sales in Philipstown and Cold Spring at a median sale price of […]
Buying Êtes-vous prêts? Partez! 25 years ago I was a proud member of the Villanova University rowing program. You might know it as Crew, and we reviled the redundancy of those who would say “Crew Team.” I was a coxswain all 4 years, and my job was not to row, but to be the one crew member who sat in the […]
Buying What is a Silent Second Mortgage? In all real estate transactions involving a mortgage-which is most of them-all details of the transaction are recorded on a government form known as a HUD-1. A purchase can have more than one mortgage- the bank can loan a second (subordinate) mortgage, or in some cases, the seller can hold a second mortgage as well. In Westchester […]
Buying Dear Moms and Dads of Homebuyers This is an open letter to the parents of the world who have grown children looking to buy a home. I have 4 children myself. While they are not grown, I get the parent thing. I laugh when people mention “18 years” as the length of time for active duty parenting, because if I live […]