The 2 Sides Of A Reverse Mortgage

May 15th, 2015
Reverse mortgage

A reverse mortgage has 2 sides: Benefits and Drawbacks

You’ve probably heard of a reverse mortgage, but do you know what a reverse mortgage is? A reverse mortgage, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a type of home loan for senior homeowners, 62 years or older, that uses the home’s equity as collateral. Cash payments are paid to a senior homeowner based on their home’s equity. A reverse mortgage provides cash payments to a senior homeowner by allowing them to convert part of the equity in their home into cash. Generally, the loan is not due until the last surviving homeowner dies, sells or moves out of the home. The homeowner is responsible for property taxes, homeowners insurance, upkeep and any relevant condominium fees.

When the last surviving homeowner dies, sells or moves out of the home, the estate must pay off the reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay back the loan balance. The estate has roughly 6 months to do so. If there is any remaining equity, the estate inherits the remainder. If the home sells for less than the balance of the reverse mortgage, the estate is not personally liable.

The idea for a reverse mortgage came about because retired senior homeowners with limited incomes needed a way to pay for health care and monthly living expenses. Thus, the reverse mortgage was created and without restriction on how it would be used by the senior homeowner. It allows senior homeowners to use the equity they have built in their homes to help them pay for health care costs and their basic monthly living expenses or take a vacation if they so choose.

A reverse mortgage differs from a traditional mortgage, because the lender pays the homeowner cash rather than homeowner making monthly mortgage payments.

A reverse mortgage can be a good way for retired homeowners to increase their spending power and financial security in retirement. However, there are 2 sides to reverse mortgages, benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of a reverse mortgage:

  • You can live in your home for as long as you want without a monthly mortgage payment and improve your immediate financial situation.
  • You can tailor and utilize the reverse mortgage as a financial planning tool.
  • Your home cannot be taken from you for non-payment as in a home equity loan. You do not make payments on the loan until you permanently leave the home.
  • You will never owe more than the value of your home at the time the loan is paid off. This is a great advantage if you secure a reverse mortgage and then the price of your home drops.
  • Whether you receive the money from a reverse mortgage as fixed income or in a lump sum, the money is typically tax-free.
  • You may use the money from a reverse mortgage however you see fit.
  • You can receive the money from a reverse mortgage in one lump sum, as annuity, a credit line or even as a combination of these.
  • You maintain homeownership of your home and are able to live in your home.
  • You can rest assured that you have a place to live for as long as you want when you secure a reverse mortgage.
  • A reverse mortgage is federally insured.
  • A reverse mortgage can increase your spending power and financial security in many ways.

Drawbacks of a reverse mortgage:

  • Upfront fees on a reverse mortgage are high. (Learn more about reverse mortgage fees here: Reverse mortgage rates and fees)
  • Even though you make no monthly payments on a reverse mortgage, the amount of interest you owe and the amount you must eventually pay back accumulates over time.
  • You may have built a lot of equity in your home, but a reverse mortgage might allow you to use only some of it. The amount of your reverse mortgage loan is determined by the appraised value of your home, what you still owe on your home, your age and what the current interest rates happen to be.
  • A reverse mortgage is the opposite of a traditional home loan. It is a mortgage in reverse. You accumulate the loan over time and pay it all back when you are no longer living in your home. This can be difficult to grasp.

The benefits of a reverse mortgage clearly outnumber the drawbacks, but a reverse mortgage is not for everyone. Here are three things to consider before securing a reverse mortgage:

  • If you are eligible for low-income assistance, securing a reverse mortgage could disqualify you from Federal or State government assistance.
  • If you are planning to move in the near future, a reverse mortgage is not a good idea since the loan is due when “the last surviving homeowner dies, sells or moves out of the home.”
  • A reverse mortgage decreases the equity in your home and affects your estate. (See Innovative Uses of a Reverse Mortgage for more information on these options)

Studies have shown that more than 90 percent of those who have secured a reverse mortgage have less stress and the freedom to choose to live the life they want to live. Learn more about the fees associated with a reverse mortgage or instantly estimate your reverse mortgage loan amount with the Reverse Mortgage Calculator.

Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, I have been collaborating with and helping my clients buy or sell their Brooklyn homes for over 27 years. Do you have further questions about a reverse mortgage? Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected]. I know real estate and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just ask!

Resources:

http://www.newretirement.com/reverse-mortgage/reverse-mortgage-disadvantages-advantages.aspx?nr_product=revmort&nr_a=LI_BidManager&nr_placement=&nr_medium=display&nr_creative=rmdown_blkwhteleg&nr_size=LREC&nr_campaign=StandardCPMV2&nr_adgroup=Desktop&nr_adtype=STTC&utm_medium=display&utm_source=LI_BidManager&utm_content=rmdown_blkwhteleg

http://www.reversemortgage.org/about.aspx

http://reverse.org/what-is-a-reverse-mortgage/


Homebuyers Are Different in Brooklyn

April 30th, 2015
Homebuyers are different

Homebuyers are different. To sell your home, you must understand the different types and their specific needs.

 Homebuyers are different in Brooklyn . There are basically two categories of homebuyers: Baby Boomers and those mysterious Millenials.

Millenials are today’s first-time homebuyers. They dominate today’s housing market. Baby Boomers are your trade-up homebuyers, down-sizers and empty nesters. Gaining an understanding of these two groups and the different types of buyers represented, will help you market the unique and special features of your home to appeal to buyer’s needs and help you sell your Brooklyn home.

Millenials know how to turn a profit on everything they touch. They are known for their research, assessments and decisions during the homebuying process. In the next 10-15 years we will see more for-sale-by-owner properties (FSBOs). Millenials will be selling their own homes, and they’ll be good at it. Millenials will be better at listing a property than most real estate agents will be. And because there will be such a great demand to accommodate FSBO sales, we will see technologies surface, helping Millenials do what real estate agents do for their clients.

So, what value does a real estate agent bring to the table now or in the future?

  1. A valuable real estate agent will not sell Brooklyn, just a specific neighborhood in Brooklyn. He won’t be a one-size-fits-all real estate professional. He’ll go deep into the neighborhood you’re interested in, not broadly into Brooklyn.
  2. A valuable real estate agent is completely transparent, all the time. What you see is what you get, no surprises. He draws no lines between himself personally or as a real estate professional. His values, work ethic and interests don’t change with the crowd. His honesty and transparency make him refined and successful.
  3. A valuable real estate agent hustles on your behalf, and then hustles some more. His skills as a buyer’s agent are sharp. This means he puts in the smart work for custom, automated property searches. He’ll find coming soon listings before they hit the market or before they even become coming soon listings (think neighborhood FB pages, etc).

It is for these valuable reasons more and more of today’s homebuyers choose to work with professional real estate agents. Selling a home without a real estate agent puts you at a great disadvantage.

As with all types of buyers, earning your trust is important. Everyone wants to work with  someone they trust, someone who will match them with the perfect home or sell their home. Charles D’Alessandro provides his clients with outstanding care by crunching the data, running reports, walking you through a contract, negotiating inspection repairs, etc. He hustles on your behalf exceeding your expectations. If you’re ready to list your home or buy the perfect home for the type of buyer you are, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, is your agent. Contact Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected]. You can trust him for your home buying and selling needs.

Resource:

http://www.inman.com/2015/04/13/why-for-sale-by-millennial-is-the-future-of-the-industry/

 


7 Basics of Home Fire Safety in Brooklyn

April 15th, 2015
home fire safety

Practice home fire safety in your home regularly

In March, 2015, the great city of Brooklyn suffered a tragedy in the Midwood community. Fire broke out in the night claiming the lives of seven siblings. Such sadness moves us to seriously face the important issue of home fire safety in our own homes. Does your family know what to do if a fire were to break out in the night in your home?

Take action now. Protect yourself and your family with the following basics of home fire safety:

  1. Before retiring to bed:

  • Unplug as many electrical appliances as possible.
  • If you are a smoker, safely put out cigarettes and extinguish candles. (Always keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children).
  • Check gas appliances.
  • Put a fireplace screen in front of open fires.
  • Clear clutter from staircases.
  • Close interior doors and keep them closed.
  • Keep house and car keys near you or appropriate doors and windows.
  • Keep a mobile phone nearby for emergency calls.
  • If you use an electric blanket, turn it off.
  1. When cooking in the kitchen:

  • NEVER leave a pan in use unattended.
  • Use spark devices to light gas cookers. Matches or lighters are not as safe to use.
  • Pot and saucepan handles should be positioned to point toward the outside edges of the stovetop. Don’t let them hover over pilot lights or other burners.
  • Keep the oven door shut.
  • Use only a thermostat-controlled deep fat fryer for frying.

Kitchen fires account for 50 percent of apartment fires and 25 percent of home fires. One-third of these fires are caused by leaving a pan unattended when in use. Don’t leave cooking food unattended!

  1. When smoking (if you’re a smoker):

  • NEVER smoke in bed.
  • Never leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe unattended. As they burn down, they can fall, land on something combustible and start a fire.

Smoking causes more fires and kills more people than any other single cause. Be aware of and take the necessary steps to avoid the fire risks that come with smoking.

  1. If drinking alcohol or taking drugs:

  • If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are uncoordinated, uninhibited and more at risk of causing a fire while cooking or smoking.
  • Don’t attempt cooking when impaired.
  • Don’t smoke when impaired. You may fall asleep. Whatever you are smoking will burn down, could fall onto something combustible and could start a fire while you’re asleep.
  1. When using electronics:

  • Keep appliances away from water.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances when not in use. Service them regularly.
  • Never overload outlets. An outlet can overheat and start a fire if too many appliances are drawing power from a single outlet.
  • Never fix damaged cords with duct tape. Throw away the cord or the appliance the damaged cord is attached to.
  • Never run cables or cords under mats or carpets. You’ll never know if the cable or cord is damaged and in need of replacement.
  1. Teach home fire safety tips to your children:

  • Explain the dangers of fire and how it should be dealt with. Depending on the ages of your children, tell them that fire is best dealt with by an adult.
  • Teach your children to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothing catches fire. Rolling on the ground will smother the flames.
  • Make a home fire safety escape plan with escape routes and a meeting place across the street from your home. Share it with your children and practice it with them regularly.
  1. General home fire safety tips:

  • Make sure smoke detectors are working properly each month. Change smoke detector batteries every six months. (Before properly disposing 9-volt batteries, cover the positive and negative connections at the top of each battery with duct tape).
  • Place at least one smoke detector on every level of your home.
  • Install escape ladders in second- and third-story bedroom windows.
  • Fire extinguishers should be placed in the kitchen and near places in the home where there are open flames.

A home has many potential hazards, but preventing fires in your home should take top priority. Take time to make your home as safe as it can possibly be. Make your family feel safe and secure at home.

For more information on home fire safety, visit  http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/safety-tip-sheets.

As a Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, I truly care about my clients’ safety in their homes here in Brooklyn. Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] when looking to buy or sell your next home.

Resources:

http://www.syfire.gov.uk/homesafetybasics.asp

http://www.syfire.gov.uk/homefiresafety.asp

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/03/23/local-leaders-urge-brooklyn-families-to-prioritize-fire-safety-in-wake-of-deadly-blaze/


How to Grow a Garden at Home in Brooklyn

March 30th, 2015
Home in Brooklyn

You can grow a garden at home in Brooklyn

Even when you’re short on space, it’s possible to grow and enjoy fresh vegetables, strawberries or flowers at home in Brooklyn. All you need is a planting box or containers, a little dirt, water and sunlight.

Proper planning is the first and most important step to grow a garden at home in Brooklyn.

  1. Choose a layout for your garden at home in Brooklyn

  • Will your garden be a practical garden or a beautiful feature to add curb appeal to your home in Brooklyn?
  • What size will your garden be? 4-by-4? 8-by-4?
  • Will you build a planting box, hire to have it built or purchase a pre-made planter or containers?
  1. Choose the materials

  • Whether you build raised bed yourself, hire to have it built or purchase a pre-made planter, this article will give you a variety of ideas and looks to choose from. 8-materials-for-raised-garden-beds
  • If you choose to build or purchase a wooden planter, buy rot-resistant wood. The following link shares 8 rot-resistant woods to choose from: 8-rot-resistant-woods-for-your-outdoor-projects
  • DIYers, planting boxes are easy. Here is a complete list of materials, tools and instructions to make a beautiful raised bed for your garden at home in Brooklyn. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/
  1. Choose the crops or plants

  • Purchase crops that will not outgrow the garden space. They should be vegetable plants that will produce all season long, not at the end of the season only. Think salad greens, beets, peas, beans, some tomato types and herbs here, for example. grow-a-kitchen-garden-in-16-square-feet
  • Some fruit bushes are patio-appropriate and provide great curb appeal. They are good choices for your container garden at home in Brooklyn. BrazelBerries, for example, are easy to grow. They do well in either containers or a raised bed. patio-perfect-berry-bushes

Spring has arrived! Add beauty and value to your home with the curb appeal of a garden at home in Brooklyn. For more ideas on spring curb appeal to prepare your home for sale, contact your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected]. Enjoy the season’s best!

Resources:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/24538559/list/how-to-build-a-raised-bed-for-your-veggies-and-plants


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/