6 Ways to Grab Attention With Your Brooklyn Home Listing this Spring

March 15th, 2015
Brooklyn home listing

Grab the attention of homebuyers! Make your Brooklyn home listing stand out this spring.

Homebuyers in Brooklyn are tired. They’re tired of being cooped up. They’ve spent a lot of time online snuggled beneath a favorite throw trying to keep warm this winter. And what have they been doing online all winter? Shopping the housing market. They’re ready to buy! Low interest rates will begin creeping upward this summer, so homebuyers in Brooklyn will be eager to buy in April, May or June. Freshen up your Brooklyn home listing this spring. Make your home stand out to homebuyers, and grab their attention!

New listings inundate the housing market each spring making it the busiest season for real estate. This means homebuyers in Brooklyn have an over abundance of new listings competing for their attention. Your home must stand out to grab attention. If your home has been on the market since the holidays, your Brooklyn home listing needs to be updated now for the spring housing market. Take it off the market, and put it back on after a few weeks. Homebuyers will then view it as a fresh new listing. Here are 6 ways to grab attention with your Brooklyn home listing to make it stand out this spring.

  1. Impress with curb appeal this spring

First impressions are important. When a buyer sees your Brooklyn home, they know in about 60 seconds if your home is worth their consideration. Making a good first impression with a little curb appeal is easy to do. Pruned trees and bushes, freshly turned garden soil, freshly planted flowers, power-washed walks, porch, driveway, patio and home exterior and clean windows will make your Brooklyn home listing stand out and impress homebuyers this spring.

  1. Organize and start packing

Make your Brooklyn home look roomy and neat. Homebuyers need to see themselves and their belongings in your home. Take a good, hard look at each room, including the garage or shed. Look through your home thoroughly, one room at a time, to avoid overwhelm. Ask tough questions and be brutally honest. Do you really need that end table? Would you miss that knick-knack if you lost it to a fire or gave it away? Then, in accordance with your answers, start packing, donating or tossing. Now you’ll be a step ahead in the moving process when your home sells. Think about it. Do you really need eight sweaters?

  1. Clean and stage your Brooklyn home listing

Now that everything is organized and packed, start cleaning. Curtains, rugs, walls and baseboards, cupboards and drawers are dirtier than you probably realize. Once this cleaning is done, it’s time to freshen up your Brooklyn home listing with a few simple staging efforts. Add fresh flowers, pastel-colored throws and pillows throughout. Matching towels, a bar of soap and a candle in a clean bathroom will catch buyers’ attention.

  1. Groom your pets and clean pet items

If you own a pet, you need to be discreet about it. Homebuyers may love animals, too, but they still do not want to walk into your Brooklyn home and smell your pet or see your pet’s toys. Hide Fido’s presence in your home with lots of fresh air, clean drapes and clean carpets. While your home is on the market, make a special place in the house just for your pets. Keep toys, beds, food, dishes, litter boxes and all that pertains to your pet, clean and tidy in their special place until your Brooklyn home sells.

  1. Update your Brooklyn home listing with minor repairs and home improvements

Replacing old caulk and discolored grout, outdated light fixtures and carpets will do wonders to freshen up your Brooklyn home listing this spring. You don’t need to make major renovations before you list your Brooklyn home. Minor improvements such as matching hardware throughout, new switch plates, polished floors, neutral paint on walls and freshly painted trim will make your Brooklyn home stand out to homebuyers.

  1. Check interior systems and make repairs

Check and make sure all interior systems in your Brooklyn home are working as they should be – heating, ventilation, air conditioning, home security, smoke detectors, fire alarm and extinguishers, carbon monoxide alarms, window seals. If you find repairs that need to be made, make them yourself or hire someone to do it before the buyers walk through for a home inspection. It makes sense to pay $100 now instead of $300 later for the same repair when the buyer requests it.

Call your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] for more on how to make your Brooklyn home listing grab attention and stand out this spring. He’s the right listing agent. His experience will help your home sell quickly and for the right price. You can trust his knowledge of the Brooklyn area and the marketing strategy he will create for you. He will represent you well.

Resources:

Homebuying.about.com

Realtor.com

Bankrate.com

Forbes.com

wtnh.com


Want to Buy a Home in Brooklyn? Answer These 7 Key Questions First

February 28th, 2015
buy a home in Brooklyn

First-time home buyers, answer these 7 key questions before you buy a home in Brooklyn

First-time home buyers, now is the perfect time to buy a home in Brooklyn. Interest rates are low, historically low. It makes sense to start the home-buying process now before those attractive interest rates start creeping up and before the real estate market picks up speed in the spring.

Are you lacking confidence about the home-buying process? Does taking on one of the largest, long-term purchases of your lifetime make you anxious? With a little planning, research and a solid game plan, you can be confident you’ll find the best home for the best price when you buy a home in Brooklyn.

Get answers to the following questions from your Brooklyn real estate agent, Charles D’Alessandro, for a smart home-buying process.

1. Do you know you want in a home versus what you need in a home?

Before you buy a home in Brooklyn, you must be clear on features you need in a home and which features you can live without.

Will your aging parent be living with you? Do you have a physically challenged child? If so, handicap accessibility is a must you will not compromise on.

Ever say, “Oooooo,” when thinking about granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen? These extras are probably wants that you should be willing to compromise on.

Help yourself make logical choices over emotional ones before you begin shopping for a home. Write down your top five needs and top five wants on a wish list before you buy a home in Brooklyn.

Knowing the costs of what you want versus what you really need, will help you negotiate a better deal and help the home-buying process run smoothly.

On a side note here, if you are thinking about buying furniture, don’t. At least don’t buy it yet. Buy your furniture after you buy a home in Brooklyn. Your furniture should fit the house. The house should not have to fit your furniture.

2. Which neighborhoods do you want to live in?

Thanks to the internet, information abounds at your fingertips, and that’s a good thing when it comes time to buy a home in Brooklyn. Get online. Learn about different neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Are commute times, schools, crime or recreational facilities a priority for you? What about noise levels? Select three to five neighborhoods you want to live in and focus on them only. Your Brooklyn real estate agent can help you identify and target Brooklyn neighborhoods based on your priorities.

Use your priority list to evaluate each property, and remember, there’s no such thing as the perfect home.

3. Have you created a budget to buy a home in Brooklyn?

You don’t want to waste time looking at houses you really cannot afford when it’s time to buy a home in Brooklyn. Creating a budget before you begin shopping for a home is part of a solid game plan.

To get an idea about what you might be able to afford, start here: If you earn $100,000, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, for example, you might be able to afford a one-family Brooklyn home between $500,000 and $550,000. This figure may increase when looking at a two-family home with an income-producing unit.

Now, figure monthly expenses and debt into a monthly budget – property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, student debt, car loans, HOA fees if applicable and even day care if needed. Now you will have a better idea how much of a monthly house payment you can handle each month.

Read about home affordability here: Average U.S. Family Can Afford 63% of Homes

4. How is your credit?

Lenders look at your credit report and credit score to decide whether or not to lend you money to buy a home in Brooklyn. They use your credit report and credit score to determine how much and at what interest rate to lend you money for a home.

Lenders also use the 43% rule when considering your overall debt to determine whether or not you will have trouble making monthly mortgage payments. Your monthly mortgage payments, which include your home loan, principal, interest, taxes and insurance, plus your car loans, utilities and credit cards, etc., should not exceed 43% of your gross annual income.

If your credit is bad or your credit score is low, clean it up before purchasing a home in Brooklyn. Your credit score can be improved easily by paying every bill on time and paying down high credit card debt.

By the way, think twice before getting caught up with long-term 0% financing furniture offers. This kind of financing will affect your credit rating in a poor way which will affect your ability to get a mortgage.

Order free copies of your annual credit reports from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Read over them and make sure the information reported on each credit report is accurate. If you find errors, get them corrected.

5. How much should you save when you plan ahead to buy a home in Brooklyn?

Have you saved enough money to qualify for a mortgage and down payment to buy a home in Brooklyn? Saving and setting aside 20% of a home’s purchase price for down payment is ideal.

A small down payment means money in the bank for unexpected emergencies, which is comforting. Some lenders may take as little as 5% down, but the cons seem to outweigh this pro.

  • The smaller the down payment, the higher the mortgage you’ll need to qualify for.
  • If you do qualify with a down payment of less than 20% and a higher mortgage, your monthly payments will be higher.
  • A larger down payment can influence your interest rate and the type of loan you can get.
  • With a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price, you’ll be required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment depending on the size of your loan. If you’re a first-time home buyer, check with the state of New York and our local government for mortgage and down payment assistance programs.

6. Are there other costs involved?

Meet with your lender while interest rates are low. But before you begin shopping for a home, you’ll want to know what it will really cost you. Ask your lender:

  • How much house can I afford?
  • What will my rates be?
  • What will my monthly payment be for different home price amounts?

Then ask your Brooklyn real estate agent:

  • How much will home inspections cost?
  • Will there be any attorneys’ fees?
  • What about transfer fees?
  • And taxes?

Be aware of the costs of extras you’ll want to buy once you move-in such as window coverings, patio furniture, a lawn mower, garden hoses, etc.

7. Should you get pre-qualified or pre-approved before you buy a home in Brooklyn?

Sellers want to know that buyers are approved when they buy a home in Brooklyn. Plan ahead here. Get a mortgage and get pre-approved before you buy a home in Brooklyn. By the way, getting pre-approved is more important than getting pre-qualified. Know the difference.

mortgage pre-qualification is simply a determination that may be obtained through calling the lender. It states whether or not you will qualify for a loan within the lender’s current programs and standards. It states the amount of the loan for which you will qualify.

A mortgage pre-approval carries a little more weight. To obtain pre-approval, fill out an application with the lender, verify employment and income with W-2 forms, pay stubs and 2 to 4 months of bank statements. If you are self-employed, verify employment and income with your current profit and loss statement, a current balance sheet and personal and business income tax returns for the last 2 years. The lender will run your credit report after gathering this information about your employment and run your application through an automated underwriting process.

Being financially prepared could make the difference between being able to buy a home in Brooklyn or not, but buying or selling in Brooklyn does not have to be stressful. Visit Michael Reinhardt Brooklyn Attorney at http://brooklynattorney.com/free-e-books/ for a free booklet regarding the process of home ownership.

If you’re first-time home buyers who want to buy a home in Brooklyn without anxiety, call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today. With over 27 years of experience and expertise in Brooklyn, you can be confident about the home-buying process with Charles.

Resources:

rismedia.com

houselogic.com

houselogic.com-mortgage tips


Why Rent? Now is the Perfect Time to Buy a Home in Brooklyn

February 15th, 2015
Buy a home in Brooklyn

Why rent? Now is the perfect time to buy a home in Brooklyn!

Mortgage Rates are Low

Are you looking to buy a home in Brooklyn? Are you qualified? If so, now is the perfect time to buy. Interest rates are at historical lows!

Mortgage rates are approaching the lows of May, 2013. Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist, explains, “The US economy and job market continued to show signs of strength, but weakness abroad and tumbling oil prices have led to further declines in longer-term interest rates.”

Should You Rent or Buy a Home in Brooklyn?

Because interest rates are so low, many are wondering if they should continue to rent or dive into homeownership. These lower interest rates make monthly rent payments about the same as what you would pay monthly to buy a home in Brooklyn.

It Makes Sense to Buy a Home in Brooklyn Now

It makes a lot of sense to buy a home in Brooklyn now since mortgage interest rates, rents and home values are projected to rise in the last 6 months of 2015. Here are a few articles from those who agree that buying now makes sense:

 “If you have been thinking about purchasing a home, the first half of 2015 might be a good time.”  Consumer Affairs

 “As rent increases, it simply makes more sense to buy a home.”  Fox Business News

 “Economists see several reasons why 2015 might be a banner year for homebuying — and not just in San Francisco and Miami.”  NPR

The clock on these low mortgage rates is ticking. Those who wait to buy a home in Brooklyn will be priced out of the market. Home buyers need to move fast if they want to spend less.  “Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly mortgage payments as prices and rates rise,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®.

If you are renting or if you’ve been waiting to buy a home in Brooklyn, call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today. Now is the perfect time to buy. Don’t wait and be priced out of the market!

Resources:

http://www.marimarkmortgage.com/blog/refinance/millions-of-u-s-homeowners-in-the-money-to-refinance-as-interest-rates-approach-2-year-low

http://rismedia.com/2015-02-01/expert-ways-to-increase-home-value/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews

http://www.websitebox.com/blog/entry.php?323-Housing-Market-Report-NOW-is-the-Time-to-Buy

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/04/why-homebuyers-need-act-now?om_rid=AAKpWC&om_mid=_BU0pLgB8-LaaY2&om_ntype=RMODaily

http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/01/15/buying-a-house-everyone-seems-to-think-this-is-the-time/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Blog_Promo


The Popular VA Loan in Brooklyn

January 31st, 2015
VA Loan

What is a VA Loan? Sellers, find out! You don’t want to miss out on this huge consumer market.

In the previous blog post, Don’t Overlook Buyers With a VA Loan in Brooklyn, we looked at misconceptions home sellers may have about a VA loan and how they could be missing out on this huge consumer market. But what is a VA Loan? A VA Loan is a flexible, government-backed mortgage loan supplied by an approved lender (Veterans United Home Loans, for example). The military loan guaranty program was created by the U.S. government in 1944 to help military service members purchase homes after returning from the field. Since then the VA Loan program has helped more than 20 million veterans and their families purchase homes by providing home financing options that are within their means. The VA Loan program is the most powerful home loan program on the market for veterans and their families. Because of the significant benefits a VA Loan offers to veterans who might otherwise struggle to obtain financing, home ownership is a reality.

Because of the loan program’s definite advantages over traditional mortgage, the VA Loan is increasing in popularity. Those advantages are:

  1. No Down Payment – This is the number one advantage! Service members who are constantly on the move may have difficulty saving money and building credit. But with VA-guaranteed financing, borrowers don’t have to put any money down.

The limit is sometimes much higher in some places, but in most, veterans can borrow up to $144,000 without putting up any cash of their own. Buyers can go above the limit, of course, but for every $4 borrowed after that limit, lenders typically require a down payment of $1.00. For example, if a veteran is trying to borrow $200,000, they would need $14,000 as a down payment. ($200,000 less $144,000 equals $56,000. $56,000 divided by 4 is $14,000).

  1. No Private Mortgage Insurance – Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is insurance that protects lenders in case of a borrower default. If a borrower is not able to put down at least 20%, many conventional lenders will require them to pay private monthly mortgage insurance. This is difficult for many veterans. With a VA Loan, however, there is no PMI. The federal government backs all VA Loans and shoulders the risk on behalf of the borrower typically covered by PMI. This VA Loan advantage allows a veteran to build more and more equity in their home, actually saving them thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage.
  1. Competitive Interest Rates – Home loan interest rates are based on risk assumed by a financial institution to finance a loan. Because the VA backs each VA Loan with a guaranty, financial institutions carry less risk and can, therefore, offer interest rates of 0.5 to 1 percent lower than conventional interest rates. The savings add up significantly when a veteran is able to combine the advantages of no money down, a very low interest rate when purchasing a home, and no PMI.

Two additional benefits which add to the popularity of a VA Loan are:

  1. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) – Lenders can count BAH as effective income, which means a veteran can use BAH to pay some or all of their monthly mortgage costs. Pay grade, geographic location and number of dependents determines BAH. Learn more about Basic Allowance for Housing here: http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/basic-housing-allowance-bah/
  1. No Pre-Payment Penalty– Paying off a home loan before it matures results in a pre-payment penalty with many different types of loans. When a homeowner pays off a home loan early, lenders miss out significant amounts of interest. Pre-payment penalties are a financial institution’s way of recouping some of that interest money. An added benefit of a VA Loan allows for a home loan to be paid off at any time without a pre-payment penalty. Without pre-payment penalties, borrowers have the freedom to consider future home purchases and refinancing options.

Many states and many localities offer additional benefits over and above what the government provides. The types of programs vary from place to place, too. To find out what New York state offers for veterans, visit http://www.military.com/benefits.

Look into government programs and the benefits Brooklyn or the county you live in offers. It’s to your advantage. Failing to do so could mean leaving money on the table when you purchase a home.

Since there is no central repository for local information, you’ll have to do some digging. I suggest you start with New York’s VA department.

As your Brooklyn real estate agent, I take my responsibility of service to you as a veteran with a VA Loan very seriously. If you are looking to purchase a Brooklyn home with a VA Loan, please call me, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today.

 

Resources:

http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/

http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/va-home-loan-advantages/

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-lew-20141228-story.html?track=rss

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/12/29/are-vets-missing-out-home-ownership#sf6627801


Don’t Overlook Buyers With a VA Loan in Brooklyn

January 15th, 2015
VA loan

Nearly 12% of the 16.4 million active-duty service members and military veterans with a mortgage have a VA loan.

Home Sellers, are you overlooking buyers with a VA loan in Brooklyn? If so, you could be missing out on a huge, fast-growing consumer market. Wanda Petty, president of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals, says, “Most home sellers have major misconceptions about veterans and active military, so they don’t even try to market their homes to this large population. As a result, they are missing out on a huge consumer market.”

Here are 7 misconceptions home sellers may have about VA loans (VA-guaranteed financing):

  1. There’s too much paperwork involved with a VA loan. Those buying a home with a VA loan need to go through the same steps as someone applying for a conventional loan: 1) prequalification, 2) pre-approval, 3) search for a home in Brooklyn, 4) make offer and 5) process and close on your dream home in Brooklyn.
  2. VA loan appraisals are a nightmare. On average, VA loan appraisals are coming back in a little less than 10 days nationwide. The VA wants service members to purchase solid, move-in ready homes. VA loans are not designed to fund fixer-uppers. A home in good condition makes the VA loan appraisal a breeze.
  3. VA loans are slow to close.  According to AVREP, VA loans close as much as two days faster than conventional mortgages. Most VA loans close in 30-45 days.
  4. VA loans are difficult to qualify for. Qualifying for VA loans is easy for veterans, and when both buyers and sellers know the loans’ limits, the qualifying process flows more efficiently, according to Wanda Petty.
  5. VA loans require a perfect credit score (850 being a “perfect” score). The minimum credit score required by the VA varies by lender. Most VA lenders are looking for a 620 credit score. The average credit score is 525 which compares favorably with the 600 needed for most conventional loans.
  6. Our home may be out of their reach with a VA loan. Few neighborhoods are too expensive for VA loans.
  7. VA buyers are few and far between. Military families are everywhere. They are in your community.  According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 12% of the 16.4 million active-duty service members and military veterans with a mortgage have a VA loan.

According to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication, the increasingly important VA loan program is among the fastest-growing areas in the mortgage market. At last count, the VA owned nearly 25% of the primary insured-loan market, easily outperforming the Federal Housing Administration (the FHA). Sellers, don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell your home. Don’t overlook buyers with a VA loan!

As your Brooklyn real estate agent, I take my responsibility of service to you as a seller very seriously. If you are looking to sell your Brooklyn home, call me, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today.

Resources:

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-lew-20141228-story.html?track=rss

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/12/29/are-vets-missing-out-home-ownership#sf6627801

http://www.veteransunited.com/valoans/note-to-home-sellers-leaving-out-va-borrowers-is-your-loss/

http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/5-va-loan-myths-dispelled.html

http://www.veteransunited.com/realestate/5-most-common-va-loan-myths-busted/

http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/


10 Ways to Prevent a Fall in Your Brooklyn Home

December 30th, 2014
Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home

Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home

The number of serious and fatal injuries caused by falls is rising in America.

The New York Times reported in November, 2014:

“The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, almost double the number 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“More than 200,000 Americans over 65 dies after falls in the decade from 2002 to 2012. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.”

“And more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone, an increase of 50 percent over a decade.”

You may not see your need to do anything to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home until after you have fallen, but a bad fall will certainly make you wish you had! A fall can seriously impact your health and independence, but they are not an unavoidable part of growing older. They can be prevented!

Here are 10 ways to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home:

  1. Exercise – Exercise strengthens your legs and improves balance, making a fall in your Brooklyn home much less likely.
  2. Be aware of side effects – Side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness caused by medicines and combinations of medicines will make a fall in your Brooklyn home more likely. Talk about possible side effects of your medicines with your doctor or pharmacist.
  3. Get your eyes checked every year – Wearing glasses or contacts with the right prescription and seeing clearly will prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.
  4. Identify potential home hazards – Tripping hazards, (papers, books, clothes, shoes, rugs), clutter and poor lighting should be identified and removed or changed to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.
  5. Install handrails and lights on your staircases in your Brooklyn home.
  6. Install grab bars, too. Put them inside and next to your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
  7. Use non-slip mats in the tub and shower.
  8. Avoid the need for a step stool. Keep items you use most often within easy reach in your Brooklyn home.
  9. Use bright lighting – You need brighter lights in your Brooklyn home in order to see well as you grow older.
  10. Wear shoes – Going barefoot or wearing slippers will prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.

Stay safe, secure and independent while growing older. Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home before you fall.

I can help you find the perfect home with all or almost all of the 10 ways to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home. Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, a call at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]. Let’s start looking today!

Resources:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/03/health/bracing-for-the-falls-of-an-aging-nation.html?emc=edit_na_20141102&_r=0http://www.cdc.gov/Features/OlderAmericans/


To Move or Not to Move in Brooklyn? That May Be Your Question

December 15th, 2014
move in Brooklyn

Is it time to make a move in Brooklyn?

As a Baby Boomer, chances are you have had to come to terms with one or more of the following by now:

  • Your home has become too big. You’re an Empty Nester now and no longer need 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Cleaning rooms you no longer use or need just isn’t practical.
  • You want to downsize your home maintenance. Lawn care and maintenance of your home’s exterior is overwhelming and burdensome.
  • You’ve retired. You need a new and more manageable lifestyle.
  • Your neighborhood is deteriorating. You are concerned about safety.
  • Stairs in your home, if you have them, have become hard to navigate.
  • Cash is needed, but your assets are tied up in your home.
  • You no longer drive. The availability of adequate transportation is a must.

Whatever the reason, choosing to move or not to move in Brooklyn takes a lot of planning. Moving is always stressful, but if you do your homework and know what to expect before deciding to move in Brooklyn, you’ll be happy with your new location.

There is a wide variety of independent living options available to you:

  • retirement homes or retirement communities
  • low-income or subsidized senior housing
  • 55+ or 62+ communities
  • senior apartments or congregate care housing
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities
  • Active adult communities

Ask yourself these questions about each independent living option listed above before you make a move in Brooklyn:

  1. Will I have common interests with my neighbors or other residents?
  2. Are the people that will be around me friendly and helpful?
  3. Are support services timely?
  4. Is this move going to take me farther away from friends and family than I want to be?
  5. How active is the community? What kinds of activities are offered?
  6. How large is this community?
  7. Is medical care available at the facility? If not, is a medical care facility nearby?
  8. What amenities and services are included? If none are included, how much does it cost to add on services if I need or choose to want them later? Are the amenities and services outside of the facility within walking distance or is transportation needed?
  9. What is the climate like here?
  10. Do you feel safe coming and going at any time of day in this community?
  11. Are pets welcome?
  12. Can I comfortably handle the initial investment and monthly fees?

Moving is a major life change that can be tough to do. Feelings of anger, embarrassment, regret, grief for the loss of your home and memories of the old neighborhood, vulnerability, anxiousness, loss of control, longing for the way it used to be, are normal. It’s okay to admit that you are not as independent as you once were. It’s time to reach out to those you trust for support.

Give yourself time to mourn what once was and to adjust to your new home and living environment. A new chapter in your life has opened up. Look forward to and enjoy new experiences and relationships. Explore new interests, too.

To move or not to move in Brooklyn? For help with the answer to that question, call your Brooklyn Realtor, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today. You can trust me to sell your home for the best possible price and find the perfect independent living home for you.

More help for independent living for seniors:

 

Article Resource for this post:

http://www.seniorresource.com/house.htm


Your Brooklyn Realtor, Multiple Offers and You

November 30th, 2014
Brooklyn Realtor

List With Charles D’Alessandro, Your Brooklyn Realtor

When you list your home and the housing market is fierce, it is not uncommon for more than one offer to be given on your home. Multiple offers are a great problem to have! Plan for them.  Talk with your Brooklyn Realtor about all options available to you. Discuss with him about what to expect and how to handle situations that may come up with multiple offers. Sellers and agent work together. Collaborate with your Brooklyn Realtor and set up a standard policy to handle multiple offers before they start coming in. Knowledge is power, and your agent will work in your behalf. He will keep you informed throughout the entire process from beginning to end so that you can make a good decision.  Working with your Brooklyn Realtor is like a marriage – come together and make the sale of your home happen!

Your Brooklyn Realtor is your representative. He does everything on your behalf. He presents each contract to you and provides his advice on each one. He will work together with you to get the greatest amount of money from the sale of your home with the least amount of stress.

Every offer should be in writing. Proof the buyers have the money for the sale and proper financing to support the offer should accompany their offer. Remember, your Brooklyn Realtor is your representative who works in your behalf, and therefore, all offers should be discussed with him. He will help you understand each offer as they come in, and you will be able to make an educated decision based on clear understanding of what to do with each offer on your home. For instance, an offer of $400,000 cash is a strong offer and could be better than a $405,000 offer with 5% down. Your Brooklyn Realtor is here to help you understand why, and he will explain everything.

What if you’ve accepted an offer when another that seems better is received? What if you accept a first offer but it has not yet been delivered to the purchaser? In either of these situations, talk with your Brooklyn Realtor. He is knowledgeable and easy to talk to.  He will help you know what to do.

Ultimately, you must decide what is best for you and your situation. The option to accept an offer and close it is in your hands, but you and your Brooklyn Realtor must work together to obtain the best offer for the sale of your home with minimal stress.

Ask your Brooklyn Realtor about how the selling process should happen and make sure you are on the same page. Don’t forget that he works for you. You are in a partnership with him. Trust him. He has your best interest at heart to obtain the ultimate goal – the best price for the sale of your home – with as little stress as possible

Selling or buying a home does not have to be stressful. Click on the link provided for more information on selling and buying a house:

http://www.brooklynrealestateblog.com/buying-or-selling-your-brooklyn-real-estate-does-not-have-to-be-stressful/

I have been collaborating with and helping clients purchase or sell their Brooklyn homes for over 27 years. I am knowledgeable and will represent you well to get you the best possible price on your home. Hire your Brooklyn Realtor, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, Call  (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today.


Are You Dreading Spending Another Winter in Brooklyn?

November 21st, 2014

 

winter in Brooklyn

Your Brooklyn Realtor Charles shoveling snow during the winter in Brooklyn

December 2014 weather predictions: temperature 37 degrees (2 degrees below avg.); precipitation 6” (3” above avg.); Dec 1-2: Heavy rain, then sunny, mild; Dec 3-5: Heavy rain, then sunny, mild; Dec 6-13: Rain to snow, then flurries, cold; Dec 14-17: Heavy rain, then flurries, cold; Dec 13-21: Stormy, rain and snow, then sunny, cold; Dec 22-29: Rain and snow, then sunny, cold; Dec 30-31: Snowy, cold.

The end of November is approaching, and the temperature has been dropping. Winter is coming, and it is going to be cold! The 2014-2015 Farmers’ Almanac predicts that winter in Brooklyn “will be colder and slightly wetter than normal, with above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January. The snowiest periods will be in mid- and late December, mid-January, and early to mid-February.”

Has this thought crossed your mind, “Do I want to go through this again?” Do these predictions of oncoming snow and cold encourage you to fly south to a warmer location? Are you considering purchasing a second home to avoid winter in Brooklyn?

Whether or not you choose to migrate south with other snowbirds to avoid spending another winter in Brooklyn, there are a few home maintenance tasks to check off your to-do list to winterize your home. Write these tasks down and get to work before it’s too cold:

  1. Make sure weather stripping on your doors is in place.
  2. Caulk windows.
  3. Switch your blades to run clockwise to push warmer air down.
  4. Invest in a programmable thermostat.
  5. Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors even if they’re not beeping.
  6. Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  7. Winterize your air conditioner.
  8. Replace or clean furnace filters.
  9. Insulate exposed water pipes and give the water heater an insulated jacket.

Now your home is ready for winter in Brooklyn.

winter in Brooklyn

Winter in Brooklyn – A warm “Hello”

Snowbirds usually take flight to spend the winter in warmer locales such as California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas or elsewhere along the Sun Belt.

Snowbird? What’s a snowbird? Wikipedia defines snowbirds as “typically retirees who wish to avoid the snow and cold temperatures of northern winter, but maintain ties with family and friends by staying there the rest of the year.

“A significant portion of the snowbird community is made up of recreational vehicle users (RVers). Many own a motorhome for the sole purpose of traveling south in the winter. Many RV parks label themselves “snowbird friendly.”

No matter where you choose to fly south for the winter, you’ll want to think about the weather there before choosing.

  1. Are the daily highs averaging between 63 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit for seven or more months of the year?
  2. Is there less than 60 inches of rain a year?
  3. Does the sun shine for at least 60 percent of the time on a yearly average?

The top ten states with the best weather year round are:

  1. California
  2. Hawaii
  3. Texas
  4. Arizona
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. South Carolina
  8. Delaware
  9. North Carolina
  10. Louisiana

Runner-up states to consider spending the winter in Brooklyn are:

  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

In addition to weather, consider the tax environment of each locale listed above. Florida, for example, has no income tax. Most of the lowest per-capita tax states are in the South, partly because of the lower income in regions of the South.

Another point to consider is that when you retire, your income usually falls. This could make saving on heating costs extremely important. Look into the answer to this question, “Will what I save on heating be spent on the cost of air conditioning in this locale?” The answer could be the deciding factor on where you will stay while it’s winter in Brooklyn.

If you are dreading spending another winter in Brooklyn and are considering selling in order to relocate or have questions about purchasing a second home in a warmer locale, contact me,  Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, or call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 for answers. I am knowledgeable and easy to talk with. Your real estate needs are top priority with me. I can also be reached by email at [email protected].


Micro-Living in Brooklyn

October 30th, 2014
Micro-living in Brooklyn

Micro-living in Brooklyn – My Micro NY units will be constructed by Capsys in the Brooklyn Navy yards. Photo credit: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671701/micro-apartments-give-a-hint-of-city-livings-future

by Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

In a previous blog post about downsizing, one of the questions asked was “How much living space do you really need?” Could you live in a 300 square foot apartment in Brooklyn? Data shows that today’s renters have an obsession with micro-living. Because rent is so expensive, more and more city folk are living alone. It makes sense for developers to invest in and provide small-unit, high-density buildings for the sake of cost, efficiency and affordability. The “walkability” of Brooklyn makes the city prime for micro-living because residents can easily access grocery stores, parks and other things that provide quality of life just outside of where they live.

What is the Meaning of “Micro”?

Every area has a different definition of “micro.” A micro-apartment has been defined by the City of Seattle, Washington, as “a small, typically urban, self-contained apartment that is between 150-350 square feet.” Wikipedi agrees on this size of “micro” and defines a micro-apartment, apodment or micro-flat, as “a one-room, self-contained living space, usually purpose built, designed to accommodate a sitting space, sleeping space, bathroom and kitchenette within around 150-350 square feet. Residents may also have access to a communal kitchen, patio and roof garden.” Most real estate experts define micro-units as any apartment having less than 500 square feet that is constructed for efficiency.

What is the Micro-Living Trend in Brooklyn?

Fewer two-bedrooms are being built by developers now than they were in 2000, according to research.

As the cost of rent increases, new apartment buildings are counting on studio and one-bedroom apartments as real estate’s answer to the question, “If millennials are living together and divvying up the cost of two- or three-bedroom apartments in nice buildings, why don’t we offer smaller spaces for one tenant to afford living alone?”

Micro-living appeals to millenials. Mini-apartments, ranging from 350 to 600 square feet, are built with young hipsters under the age of 30 and especially under the age of 27.

High-quality finishes and fixtures, oak flooring, stainless-steel appliances, movable islands, Bosch washers and dryers, well-designed floor plans and double-door closets with shelving come standard with some micro-apartments. Some micro-apartment buildings accommodate their tenants with features like rooftop grilling stations, seating areas or a penthouse lounge providing the opportunity to socialize and entertain guests. Others might have 9-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass, a glass-bottom pool, gardening plots, volleyball courts and other rooftop niceties.

Big cities are experimenting with micro-unit apartments. Brooklyn is just one of them. Some cities are deterred by local laws from building micro-units because of the minimum apartment size requirements.

In 2013, Brooklyn developer Monadnock Construction won the micro-unit competition and acquired the loan to build Manhattan’s first micro-unit rental property for micro-living, My Micro NY. This multi-unit building will be a nine-story tower built at 335 E. 27th Street in Kips Bay next year. Each of the 55 prefab units will come with almost 10-foot ceilings, seven-foot-wide balconies, 16-foot-long overhead loft spaces and full-sized closets making these 300 square foot units feel spacious. They were designed with the cabin of a ship in mind and will be long and thin, full of hidden details. The My Micro NY unit skeletons will be built at Capsys Corporation in the Brooklyn Navy yards and then stacked with a crane on the Kips Bay site. My Micro NY units will be available for rent in 2015 and nearly half of the 55 micro-apartments will be priced below market.

Micro-apartments, micro-flats, apodments or micro-units, whatever you choose to call these newly termed efficiency apartments for micro-living, are often nicer and more affordable than the traditional one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Every square foot becomes vital and important in a micro-unit. You must remain code-compliant while working to get maximum use out of minimal space. Well-designed floor plans, carefully laid out space, built-ins and small appliances are the key to getting a micro-unit to work.

The micro-unit will become a growing part of the real estate market as the demand for apartments continues to pass the supply in many cities.

Are you a 20-something single millenial with an obsession for micro-living? Are you a baby boomer looking to downsize your life, save money, improve the overall quality of your life in Brooklyn or gain economic freedom? Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. Whether you are a single millennial with an obsession for micro-living or a downsizing baby boomer, whatever your reason for interest in a micro-unit, I am your Brooklyn real estate agent who will help you find what you’re looking for!

Resources:

http://www.lifeedited.com/what-the-heck-is-a-micro-apartment/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/micro-units-coming-to-desirable-locations-in-the-district/2014/07/17/07e0a33e-f63c-11e3-8aa9-dad2ec039789_story.html

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671701/micro-apartments-give-a-hint-of-city-livings-future