The Best Way to Keep Your Home Clean and Safe Every Day

June 15th, 2020

If you’re wondering which way is the best way to keep your home clean and safe on a daily basis, this blog post is a must-read. Cleaning often is tedious to do throughout each day, but it is inexpensive and doable. But don’t stress about it. Just be mindful and clean, clean, clean!

Keep your home clean
There is a simple way to keep your home clean and safe.

Pandemic Versus Epidemic

Do you know what the difference is between a pandemic and an epidemic?

Pandemic

According to Merriam-Webster, when used as an adjective, pandemic means “occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.” But when used as a noun, it means “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”

Epidemic

And according to Merriam-Webster, when epidemic is used as an adjective, it means “affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.” But when used as a noun, it means “characterized by very widespread growth or extent of, relating to, or constituting an epidemic.”

Merriam-Webster further states, “An epidemic is an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time. A pandemic is a kind of epidemic: one which has spread across a wider geographic range than an epidemic, and which has affected a significant portion of the population.”

Sanitize and Disinfect to Keep Your Home Clean

All it takes is a great spray bottle, some hydrogen peroxide, and 70% isopropyl alcohol. You don’t have to have a rag to wipe things down after you spritz your surfaces. But your wood and finished surfaces will do better if you follow up with a wipe down. Plus, you’ll wipe up some dirt for an even cleaner home.

1. Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, and tables.

2. Wipe down frequently-used appliances and areas such as large appliances, bathrooms, and countertops.

3. Sanitize the small stuff, too, such as light switches, remote control, and cell phone.

4. Disinfect outside items such as shoes and items you touched while you were out and about.

5. Wash your hands.

Wash hands properly

Wash Your Hands Properly

Wash your hands and wash them often to help keep your home clean. And when should you wash your hands?

  • After you go to the bathroom
  • When you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze
  • Before you eat
  • After you touch a surface that could be contaminated

And there is a way to properly wash your hands. This video from John Hopkins Medicine shows you how.

Keep Your Home Clean Now for Selling Later

And when you keep your home clean, really clean on a regular basis, you’re actually preparing your home to sell should you decide to do so.

If you in the market to sell or buy a new home, contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. With 30 plus years of experience in the real estate industry, I can help even during these uncertain times.

Our office is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901


What are the Best Mortgage Questions You’re Afraid to Ask?

May 15th, 2020

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homebuyer. Homebuyers always have mortgage questions. And there is no mortgage question your mortgage lender hasn’t already heard. So whether those questions make you feel uncomfortable, naïve, or even stupid, ask them. Remember what your dad told you? “There is NO stupid question except for the one you didn’t ask.” Don’t be afraid to ask the awkward questions.

Mortgage questions
There are no stupid mortgage questions. And there are none your mortgage lender hasn’t already heard. So ask!

Find a Mortgage Lender Who has Your Best Interest in Mind

I’m all for transparency. But not wanting to ask uncomfortable mortgage questions of a complete stranger or a new acquaintance is quite understandable. I mean, who wants to “lay all their cards out on the table,” with someone they just met?

But you can’t shock a mortgage lender! Remember, they’ve heard it all before. And that means they have the answers to all those awkward mortgage questions, too.

Before we share a few examples of awkward mortgage questions, here is a key piece of advice. Only work with a loan mortgage lender who feels like a friend, someone who truly has your best interest in mind.

Yes, opening up about your personal life and finances is scary. We’re reluctant to reveal what we really care about because it makes us feel exposed and vulnerable. But strong financial relationships are built on trust, emotional trust. Since you need a strong relationship with your loan officer, open up to them with complete honesty. See Vanguard’s 2017 research.

So find and work only with a loan officer who is happy to answer all of your mortgage questions. No matter how trivial your mortgage questions may seem to you, a great loan officer will be glad you asked and will help you make financial decisions you’ll be confident with.

Best mortgage questions

Awkward Mortgage Questions Aren’t as Scary as You Think

1. “Will I lose my deposit, and can I still qualify for a home loan if I lose my job before or during the homebuying process?”

Above all, it’s important to be upfront about everything. If you fail to disclose that you lost your job before closing, you increase your risk of defaulting on your loan and foreclosure.

Verification of employment and income plays a huge part in getting prequalified and approved for a mortgage. Your mortgage lender looks at your debt-to-income ratio, your W2s for the past two years, your credit history, and more.

When someone loses their job before or during the homebuying process, the mortgage lender:

  • Recalculates earnings
  • Submits a new mortgage application
  • Provides new options

Your new financial situation will give you two options to consider.

a. Qualify for a smaller loan and buy a house in that price range

b. Still qualify for the same loan amount if you have more than one job or a low debt-to-income ratio

Homebuying Tip: Show sellers you’re a serious buyer. Get prequalified. Prequalifying before you start house shopping helps you find and get into a home faster.

2. “Can my ex be removed from my mortgage after I get divorced?”

Everything comes into play in divorce – mortgage payments, utility bills, home size, and family living arrangements.

There are two options to resolve this:

a. Sell your house

b. One spouse can buy out the other

The easiest option is selling your house and dividing the profits.

But if one of you wants to keep the house, one spouse must buy out the other and an agreement on the amount of the buyout must be determined. To determine the amount of the buyout, subtract the cost of selling from the home’s appraised value to equal the amount of equity leftover. Then split this amount between both parties. The spouse keeping the house will pay that amount to the other.

If a spouse chooses to use a mortgage refinance to pay the buyout amount agreed upon, the other partner is removed from the home’s title. Fannie Mae lets a partner borrow up to 95 percent of the home’s appraised value in a buyout.

3. “Does my husband/wife have to be on the loan or deed?”

Signing mortgage papers

Your odds of qualification based on credit score, employment history, and income are greatly improved when both of you are on the loan application. But in the United States, both spouses’ names are not required to apply for the loan. So, if your partner’s debt or credit score could hurt you, it might be wise to leave them off the loan or deed.

But know this, your non-borrowing spouse may still need to get a credit check during the mortgage process. If this is what you choose to do, you are solely responsible for the mortgage. Your name will be the sole name listed on the deed. And you will be solely responsible for the mortgage payments.

And if you decide to add your non-borrowing spouse’s name to the title, you can. Use a quitclaim deed.

You can also choose to add your partner’s name to your mortgage later on with a mortgage modification or by refinancing your mortgage. By refinancing your mortgage (taking out a new loan to replace your current mortgage), you will apply for a new loan again as co-borrowers.

If you choose to add your spouse to your mortgage later on, let your mortgage lender know that you want to do so. They’ll either decline or accept.

4. “What happens to my mortgage if I file for bankruptcy?”

A mortgage lender cannot change your loan terms or raise your rate if you file for bankruptcy.

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be at risk of losing your home.

But if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be permitted to keep your house and continue paying your monthly mortgage.

Again, now is the time to talk with your mortgage lender. It is their job to find ways to work with you to either modify or reaffirm your loan. Then you can continue paying on and living in your home.

5. “I owe back child support. Does that matter?”

Back child support

Yes, it does. If back child support has gone to collection or judgment, it will factor negatively into your mortgage prequalification. Back child support shows up as a negative on your credit and makes you appear to be a greater risk to a lender. Do not skip talking to your mortgage lender about this.

Also, discuss how paying down your child support debt improves your chances of getting approved for a home loan. Show your mortgage lender how you’re managing your debt. Get a court-approved repayment plan or proof of payment and show it to them.

And if you are able to, pay the debt in full. This will ease the burden on your credit and make you eligible for an FHA or VA loan.

6. “I received a letter from my lender because I didn’t pay my property taxes. What do I do?”

If you don’t or can’t pay your property tax bill, your local tax office charges monthly interest. Penalties for overdue payment may also be charged. When this continues month after month, eventually a tax lien is placed on your property. Now you can’t sell your home until the tax bill is paid.

So what do you do if a tax notice or a letter from your lender shows up in your mailbox? Contact both a tax attorney and your mortgage lender ASAP. Even when you are making monthly mortgage payments, failure to pay property taxes is considered an “event of default.” And this could put you at risk for foreclosure.

There are relief options available to help you get back on track. Ask your mortgage lender about these:

  • Making late payments
  • Requesting a tax deferral
  • Establishing a payment plan
  • Taking out a property tax loan to pay down the debt in monthly installments

7. Why do you need to know where the money deposited in my account comes from?

Large deposits that are unrelated to your earnings require explanation during the mortgage approval process. To make sure the large deposit came from an acceptable source, the underwriter asks for verification. Confirmation of a large deposit is another way for an underwriter to find out if you’ve taken out a new loan or line of credit.

New loans or lines of credit potentially affect your debt-to-income ratio and the loan amount you can afford. And mortgage lenders will always tell you not to take out a new loan or line of credit when you’re trying to buy a new home.

8. “Do I have to stick with the real estate agent I started with?”

Mortgage questions

Poor communication, lack of experience, weak negotiating skills, personality clashes, and more happens. And buyers break up with their real estate agent after the contract’s been signed. Know this: you’re making the investment. It is well within your rights to switch agents while in escrow. But how can you keep this from being awkward?

  • Go to the brokerage and request another agent
  • Select another agent from another brokerage
  • Ask your mortgage lender for a Realtor Partner referral

Sometimes an early termination fee is required in your listing contract.

But document each time you feel the ball was dropped to provide “proof” of your dissatisfaction with your agent. Most agents appreciate an honest explanation from a client as to why their services were terminated. And that’s fair. You can’t improve upon something you did or the way you did it when you don’t know about it. Right?

And there’s always the possibility of problems or miscommunications getting resolved before a breakup happens. Nonetheless, it’s well within your rights to terminate representation without providing an explanation.

9. “Will my mortgage be sold to another company after I buy a house?”

Selling a loan to a servicing company is commonplace and a way many lenders stay in business. By selling loans to servicing companies, the funds a lender needs to take on new borrowers are freed up. Plus, this allows a lender to continue offering affordable loans with competitive rates.

A lender has the right to sell your loan to a servicing company at any time. But in order to do so, you as the borrower must be notified no less than 15 days prior to the transfer. When a servicing company takes over your mortgage, there’s not much you need to do at all. Your mortgage terms and payment (with the exception of adjustable-rate interest) remains the same. You just send your mortgage payment to a new company every month.

Since mortgages are either 15 or 30-year mortgages, yes, it’s likely yours will be sold to another company. Lenders aren’t always able to service every home loan they fund. If they were, outstanding balances could add up to billions of dollars in available funds. This is why borrowers’ loans are bundled and sold to investors, like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for example, based on risk level.

10. “What do I do if my mortgage company loses my payment?”

It’s happened. People pay their mortgage payments by check, and they get lost in the mail. If yours has been lost in the mail, or you think your mortgage company or loan servicer lost your payment, contact their customer service department immediately. Your lender will help you track down your payment and get it credited to your account.

When paying your mortgage payment by check, your bank can see if it has cleared, verify when it was sent and deposited, and where, for proof of payment. Contact them if your payment is truly lost. And if your bank cannot verify that this check was processed, place a stop payment on the check. Then, call your servicing company. Inform them of the situation and let them know you are sending another payment.

Paying online and making sure each mortgage payment goes through each month prevents miscommunication and keeps your loan from going into default.

11. “If I can’t make my mortgage payment, what should I do?”

If you can no longer afford your mortgage, contact your mortgage lender. They want you to keep your home as much as you do. They’ll ask about your financial difficulties, whether they are permanent or temporary, and why you can no longer make your payment. Then, they’ll assess your financial situation and offer solutions that can help you. Your lender will explore mortgage refinance, loan modification, a repayment plan, mortgage assistance programs, forbearance, or short-selling your home before you’re faced with foreclosure or bankruptcy.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also recommends meeting with a free HUD-approved housing counselor to receive professional guidance that can help you to avoid foreclosure.

Get Answers to Your Mortgage Questions

And the answer to the question, “What are the best mortgage questions you’re afraid to ask,” is all of them!

Don’t hesitate to ask your mortgage questions. Find a great mortgage lender and get the help you need from them each step of the way.

If you want help finding a great mortgage lender, contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. With 30 plus years of experience in the real estate industry, I can help.

Our office is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901


What Have You Uncovered in the Heart of Your Home?

April 30th, 2020

You’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately, haven’t you? And I’m willing to bet it’s been rewarding to finally have the time to tackle all those projects that have been piling up. Yeah, nice. But while the whole self-isolating thing may have been great at first, stir craziness is probably starting to set in. So, if you’re still self-isolating and haven’t already tackled the TLC projects in the heart of your home, consider this. You can easily improve the atmosphere of your home in addition to your outlook with seven worthwhile DIY projects for your kitchen. And they’re surprisingly easy!

Heart of your home
Uncover the value of the heart of your home while self-isolating this spring

Uncover the Value of Home and Family in the Heart of Your Home

Traffic in your kitchen has definitely increased with staying home. Am I right? You’re cooking and creating and discovering the value of the heart of the home again.

Why not spice up your kitchen space and increase the value of your home while you’re at it?

Kitchen Project #1: Organize Your Pantry

Organizing your pantry can seem overwhelming and make you skip over that “easy” word used earlier. But it really is an easy space to organize and super rewarding, too.

  1. Start by clearing out your pantry.
  2. Next, sort like items together.
  3. Then, choose what you’d like to organize it all with – woven baskets, clear bins, lazy Susan turntables.

“You can use woven baskets, clear bins, or a combination of both,” Amato-Scotto says. “Baskets are great for snacks and chips, as those items can’t stack or stand upright on a shelf. Clear bins and containers are good for items that you use frequently, so you can view at glance how much is left.”

Shop The Container Store nearest you. Stores are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. But Contactless Curbside Pickup is available at select locations.

Kitchen Project #2: Add Some Pop with Paint

A fresh new look in the kitchen is easily accomplished with a bit of paint.

No need to paint the whole kitchen if you’re not up to that amount of work. A subtle yet contrasting applied to your kitchen island is just enough to do wonders to the look and feel of your whole kitchen.

Shop here for your perfect color inspiration before committing to a shade on your island.

Window in the heart of your home

Kitchen Project #3: Treat or “Untreat” Your Kitchen Window

Home decor trends are moving away from curtains and window coverings. So if your windows are adorned with beautiful trim, don’t cover them up. Show them off. But if the sun happens to be an issue, fabric shades in a pattern or natural woven shades are great options.

Kitchen Project #4: Add a Bit of “Glass” to Your Kitchen

I love all these easy DIY kitchen upgrades. But this one … this one speaks to me! It’s class in an instant!

 Just install glass in a couple of tired-looking old cabinet doors, and you’ve just added visual openness and a layered effect in your kitchen.

Watch Meghan Carter, host of AsktheDecorator.com, demonstrate how to install glass in cabinet doors in this video.

Kitchen Project #5: Make Your Kitchen Shine

Install a new set of pendant lights. Pendant lights add interest and highlight to your newly painted island. They’re highly functional, too.

Some pendant lights may create visual heaviness for small kitchen spaces. Clear glass pendants keep the look and feel of your kitchen sleek and, well, light.

Kitchen Project #6: Upgrade to a Dish-Drying Rack

Believe it or not, some of us are not fortunate to own a dishwasher.

So for those of us who get to hand-wash our dishes, I suggest this upgrade. Install a decorative and functional dish-drying rack above your sink. This allows your dishes to drip-dry while making your dishes look neat and orderly. And your dishes are far more accessible on a daily basis than they would be stacked in a pile on the counter. From wet and ugly to decorative and functional. Boom! Neatness, color, and pattern added to your space, just like that!

 This video will get you started on this easy upgrade.

Kitchen Project #7: Hook Up with Your Collection of Coffee Mugs

Yes, this project is super simple. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this when you weren’t self-isolating way back when. Add under-the-cabinet hooks for your coffee mugs.

This improvement adds personality and clears up space in your cabinets, too.

Focus on the Heart of Your Home

Unprecedented times such as these call for common sense, thoughtfulness, and respect for others. Be kind. This will come to an end.

And while you’re home doing the social distancing thing, put your extra time and energy into something productive. Apply some TLC to your kitchen and uncover the heart of your home.

If you’d like to make even more improvements on the heart of your home, contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. I have space-saving ideas and great resources to help you with your kitchen space.

Our office is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901


Is Now the Best Time to Consider Purchasing a Home

April 15th, 2020
Is this spring really the best time to purchase a home?

According to real estate experts, springtime is the best time to purchase a home. But this year, spring is different. It is anything but typical or ordinary. Many real estate agents are now working remotely and conducting most of their business online. And buyer and seller consultations are done virtually. But many home shoppers are wondering if now is really the best time to consider purchasing a home.

Coronavirus or Not, Always Weigh the Factors

Social distancing because of the coronavirus is attempting to cripple our economy in many ways. And to offset the negative effects this virus is having, the FED lowered interest rates significantly. But even as wonderful as that is, it’s still wise to weigh all the factors, negative and positive, before purchasing a home.

Exercise Caution When Purchasing a Home Now

It makes sense to pay less to borrow money, of course. And you should always exercise caution before taking on a mortgage. But since the possibility of a recession is at hand, it’s even more important that you purchase a home you can truly afford.

Caution: Can You Really Afford the Monthly Payment?

Amanda Abella, millennial business coach and author of Make Money Your Honey: A Spirited Entrepreneur’s Guide to Having a Love Affair with Work & Money says, “Assuming you can afford a mortgage and the other costs involved and your job is not in danger of being cut, then yes. Smart investors and people who are financially savvy know these times are ridden with opportunity because the general public is going to contract. But every individual situation is different. Unless you’re sitting on pretty hefty savings and know your industry won’t be impacted by what’s going on, then you should err on the side of caution.”

Amanda made two valid points.

1. “Assuming you can afford a mortgage and the other costs involved …”

With or without all that dealing with the cornonavirus has thrust upon us, low interest rates don’t have much to do with all of the costs associated with purchasing a home. There are property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and closing costs, with every home purchase. The closing costs alone can cost you anywhere from one to five percent of the closing price. You must calculate your home-buying budget accurately, beyond the monthly mortgage payment alone.

2. “ … and your job is not in danger of being cut …”

Caution: Can You Secure a Mortgage?

Mortgage rates are low, but they’re not at zero percent. Here’s what Drew DeWitt, senior vice president of investments for Ivy Equities, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based real estate private equity firm has to say.

“Lower interest rates mean lower monthly mortgage payments on your home loan; therefore, you technically can pay more since your monthly costs are lower. However, it also means that there is greater risk in the economy in general. The FED drops rates to spur growth when there is risk of unemployment and people not being able to make their monthly mortgage payments. As a result, banks will tighten their lending standards, and it may be harder to actually secure a mortgage despite the lower rates. This is where people get confused.”

Caution: Are You Taking Logistic Difficulties into Consideration?

Danielle Lurie, a licensed real estate sales person with Compass sheds perspective on logistical issues that also need consideration. There are government agencies, such as notaries and title offices, which are now closed.

“Even if you could buy a home at a steal right now, most buyers would wish to physically go and see the property, bring a home inspector to assess the property, and—assuming you get an accepted offer and arrive at the virtual closing table—you will need to hire movers to move into the property. Depending on what amount of time is needed to contain this virus, those three things are all difficult if not impossible to do right now.”

Look for Win-Win Opportunities

If you’re determined to buy a home now, and you’re willing to walk through homes virtually instead of the traditional way, there is opportunity for a great deal out there. Some agents say now is the best buyer’s market they’ve ever seen!

According to Homelight’s recent poll of 600 top real estate agents across the country, you will have to work hard to find a great deal. Their poll found that “22% of respondents say sellers are taking their homes off the market in response to coronavirus concerns.” And there were reports of a housing shortage before life as we knew it changed, too.

Unmotivated and uncommitted buyers have dropped off which means less competition for you as a buyer. And that’s a good thing. With fewer home buyers out there looking, you have less competition to contend with. But the window of opportunity for buyers won’t stay open like it is right now forever.

Seize the Opportunity While Minimizing Your Risk

Once the quarantine guidelines are lifted, a strong rebound will likely follow the soft real estate market we’re now seeing. And the high demand of a strong rebound could push home prices up. And as Roger Ma, a New York-based financial planner and owner of lifelaidout, says, “Recession or not, it’s impossible to time the market, whether for buying stock or buying real estate.”

Yes, current market conditions offer incredible opportunities for you as a homebuyer since you can lock in a historically-low interest rate. But rates are actually going up, and quickly, too! Why? Because so many people are refinancing.

Prepare to Buy a Home Now

So, if you’re still employed, have the necessary resources, and want to take advantage of the low interest rate opportunities, do these things now:

1. Start browsing online

2. Get yourself familiar with the market

3. Look through your finances and prepare for the time when you are ready to buy

4. If you’ve already found your dream home, put in your offer and lock in your rate

5. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Confused About Purchasing a Home Now?

Do you need help with your decision about purchasing a home now? Sellers are selling. Interest rates are low. And there are great deals to be had. Right now you can own a home for less per month than you can rent in most areas. But is now really the best time to consider purchasing a home?

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. I can help you weigh economic concerns and help you determine if now is a good time for you to consider purchasing a home.

Our office is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901


How to Work Together as a Team and Get Through a Crisis

March 30th, 2020
Now’s the time to work together as a team and get through our current situation. Be kind. Stay home. And call your friends, family members, and neighbors.

When a crisis strikes, working quickly to get ahead of it is key. And working together as a team is the quickest way to work through any crisis because together we’re stronger. Everyone responds differently to a crisis. But we all have different and unique abilities. That’s why we need to work together! Together we complement each other’s strengths to manage and get through tough times. But how exactly, do we work together in crises?

What It Takes to Work Together as a Team in Crisis

Crises never show up at opportune times. And that’s why they’re stressful to go through. But when we prepare for a crisis before it hits, we can diminish a lot of that stress.

The first and best piece of advice offered is to anticipate a crisis. No one is immune to or exempt from major or minor crises. Simply, because you are alive, crises will happen.

3 Steps to Take to Emerge Out of a Crisis Situation Confidently

Getting your family, business, or community through a serious situation is emotionally challenging. Here are three steps you can take to help you out of troublesome times.

Step 1: Prepare in Advance 

Crisis plans make a difference when it matters most. So have an actionable plan ready to put into place before a crisis arises.

When we don’t prepare for a crisis situation ahead of time, we open ourselves up to panic and insecurity. It is stressful. Some of us go into denial. Others assume dealing with this crisis is someone else’s job. And many begin blaming or attacking someone in leadership. We react instead of enacting a well-planned strategy prepared ahead of time.

So avoid a lot of stress before disaster strikes. Prepare for life’s inevitable surprises in advance.

Step 2: Find the Facts

Empower your family, business, or community with the facts. When we know what we’re up against, what we’re dealing with, we can handle a tough situation with a lot more confidence.

Step 3: Reconnect and Maintain Social Connection

During a crisis, uncertainty and confusion abound. When a crisis hits, we want our basic needs met – security, warmth, food, and the absence of pain. If our basic needs are not met, we can cease to function.

Today, our livelihood has been threatened by COVID-19. Businesses are shutting down to help stop the spread of this virus creating financial hardship for many.

With so much uncertainty and confusion, it’s important to reconnect and maintain a social connection.

Most people really appreciate staying in touch during hard times. Contact your neighbors, friends, family, and business clients and colleagues by phone, text, or email. Make sure they are okay. Offer to help them in whatever way you can.

Creatively and safely socializing.

Implement creative ways to socialize without inviting others into your home or vice versa. Just today, I saw three moms park their vehicles in a large parking lot, open the rear doors of their vans, and visit with each other from a distance.

Work Together as a Team Through Loss

This time of crisis for us brings loss as well as gain – the loss of loved ones, the loss of a way of life as we knew it. And with all loss comes grief, pain, and suffering. It’s important that we allow help people grieve because we cannot move on until we grieve for that which is gone.

I challenge you to rise to the occasion during our present crisis through:

  • Creativity
  • Ingenuity
  • Optimism
  • A willingness to work hard
  • The ability to make difficult choices
  • Accepting sacrifices
  • Setting personal interests aside in favor of the interests of others

People are finding the stress and uncertainty of our present situation debilitating.

But troublesome times show us what we’re truly made of. They allow us to find out what really matters and who really cares. We discover what is important and what isn’t.

3 Assets to Anchor Us in Uncertain Times

When we feel fearful and anxious, it’s hard to manage our own thoughts and be mindful of others at the same time. But as challenging as it is, we must if we’re going to come through this crisis better than we were.

There are three key assets that anchor us in uncertain times:

  1. Hope
  2. Confidence
  3. Reasonable optimism

They help us to be more resilient and more creative, a better version of ourselves. We see our key values confirmed and our community working hard to preserve what we’ve always cared about.

With responsibility, mindfulness, kindness, compassion, and consideration, we can and will get through this crisis.

We will get through this. But it has to be together.

In what ways are you working together as a team to get through our present crisis? Are you working from home? How are you dealing with all the new challenges our new normal brings?

Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. If you have any questions or need anything from me, reach out at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. I’d love to help you find the perfect place to call home. Be kind. Stay home. And take care!


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206


What You Need to Know About Reverse Mortgages

March 15th, 2020
About reverse mortgages
Before you sign any papers, it’s very important that you understand everything you need to know about Reverse Mortgages.

Seniors, are you having trouble getting through retirement? Have you’ve heard about Reverse Mortgages and how other seniors have pulled the equity out of their homes to help them get through retirement? Does all this Reverse Mortgage information confuse you?

It’s important to understand what a Reverse Mortgage is as well as the benefits and risks of this type of loan before you sign any papers. Banks offer information on these types of loans, but you may find attending a workshop to be more helpful.

What Is It?

Investopedia.com defines a reverse mortgage as “a loan. A homeowner who is 62 or older and has considerable home equity can borrow against the value of their home and receive funds as a lump sum, fixed monthly payment or line of credit. Unlike a forward mortgage – the type used to buy a home – a reverse mortgage doesn’t require the homeowner to make any loan payments.

”Instead, the entire loan balance becomes due and payable when the borrower dies, moves away permanently or sells the home. Federal regulations require lenders to structure the transaction so the loan amount doesn’t exceed the home’s value and the borrower or borrower’s estate won’t be held responsible for paying the difference if the loan balance does become larger than the home’s value. One way this could happen is through a drop in the home’s market value; another is if the borrower lives a long time.”

How Do Reverse Mortgages Work?

When you take out a reverse mortgage loan, you basically pull out the equity you have in your home to help you through retirement. You can choose to take out that equity in one of two ways:

  • One lump sum
  • Monthly payments

The loan does not need to be paid back until you either sell your home or stop living in it.

Your homeowner’s insurance needs to be maintained and the taxes on your home paid.

If you choose to, you can make payments on your reverse mortgage. But these payments are not required.

What Benefits Does a Reverse Mortgage Offer Seniors?

Most people who are over the age of 62 have half of their net worth tied up in their homes. A Reverse Mortgage allows you to cash out your equity when you need it while still living in your home. This is the most appealing feature of this type of loan. With a Reverse Mortgage, it’s quite possible to live comfortably in retirement.

Are There Risks Involved?

This all sounds great, but are there risks involved? Yes. A Reverse Mortgage puts your home at risk because it limits the amount of money you can pass on to your children when you die. How?

  1. When you die and your children inherit your home, they must either pay off the mortgage themselves or sell the property to pay off the loan.
  2. If you can no longer live independently in your home and must move into a nursing home, the reverse mortgage must be paid off. This usually means you must sell your home.
  3. The interest rates on a Reverse Mortgage loan may be high depending on your credit.
  4. If you put your home up as collateral and then borrow money against your home, you risk losing it.

Also, be aware of other possibly risky scenarios. For example, if you sign the reverse mortgage and go into a nursing home while your spouse lives in the home, the terms state the loan must be paid back. This means your spouse may no longer have a home to live in.

Risks can be reduced by limiting the amount you borrow on the loan. If the loan is smaller than the total equity, you can sell the home and still have enough to buy a smaller place live.

And since the risks could involve and affect your children greatly, talk with them when you take out a reverse mortgage.

Knowing About Reverse Mortgages

Maintaining your independence and solving a cash flow problem if your retirement benefits don’t cover your expenses is ideal. So carefully review all available information as well as the terms on a Reverse Mortgage. And once you understand the benefits as well as the risks of Reverse Mortgages, you can decide whether or not it’s good for you.

Many government agencies caution seniors to review the terms and consider all their options before taking out a Reverse Mortgage.

Are you confused about Reverse Mortgages? Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate with your questions. I can help. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206


How to Find the Best Mortgage Lender with Confidence

February 29th, 2020
Best mortgage lender
Dreaming of buying your first home? Find the best mortgage lender with confidence! Here’s how.

Finding the best mortgage lender on your journey to homeownership is important. But it can be challenging, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. It’s a big deal because picking a lender is an important part of the home buying process. And finding the best the right mortgage is crucial. Here’s some excellent information from NerdWallet to help you navigate this part of buying a home with confidence.

5 Things You Need to Know to Help You Find the Best Mortgage Lender

NerdWallet says, “The best mortgage lenders for first-time homebuyers embrace government loans, offer low down payment options, charge reasonable fees, and help you find financial assistance programs.”

1. Know Your Credit Score and Financial History

Lenders judge you on your credit score and financial history to determine your ability to get a mortgage and the interest rate you’ll pay. So you need to know it. Knowing your credit score allows you to determine your loan options.

Credit scores of 620 are good, and the higher, the better. Scores of 740 or more will help you get the lowest interest rates. But it’s not impossible to get a mortgage with a credit score that’s in the 500s.

Find out the credit score you need to buy a house here. But keep in mind, you may be able to borrow more than what you can actually afford to pay each month. So don’t overextend yourself from the get-go!

2. Inquire About First-Time Homebuyer Programs in New York

Some lenders and state housing finance agencies partner up in order to help first-time homebuyers. Then they can help you with rate discounts, a down payment, and closing costs, or educational resources to help you get into a home. Isn’t that nice to know? So do your research on assistance first-time homebuyer programs here in New York.

Take note: Not all lenders participate. So be sure to ask.

3. Look for Lenders Who Offer Government-Backed Home Loans

Why? Because most of the time, FHA, VA, and USDA loans offer relaxed income, credit, and down payment requirements. And this allows for easier qualification. But check out this list of homebuyer loans and programs! You could rack up some big savings if you don’t rush through this process.

  • FHA loan
  • VA loan
  • USDA loan
  • Fannie and Freddie
  • State first-time homebuyer program
  • Home renovation loan
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • Dollar Homes

And on another note, not all lenders offer FHA, VA and USDA home loans. Their options may be limited. So, when you do your comparison shopping, always ask about availability.

4. Ask for Quotes to Compare Interest Rates

Ask several lenders for quotes (at least three), and let them compete with each other for your business. One of them will rise to the top of your list with a lower rate and lower fees. You’re looking for APRs (annual percentage rates) to get a better picture of what you’ll end up paying over the life of the loan.

You’re also looking for fees when making lender comparisons. Application, appraisal, title, and loan origination fees affect closing costs. And they vary widely depending on the lender.

Again, don’t rush through this process either. Mortgages have pages and pages of details that loan officers know how to get through quickly. Ask for clarification as needed through every step and make sure you have all the facts. Choosing a loan that matches your needs and your budget with confidence isn’t something you should feel rushed through.

5. Get Preapproved

Getting preapproved before you begin house hunting helps you in three ways:

  • Proves a lender is willing to loan you a certain amount of money
  • Signals to the seller that you are a serious buyer who they can rely on
  • Helps you look for homes within your budget

Compare preapproval options, too. Some lenders provide approval online in minutes. Others require a phone call or that you visit a local branch office to pick up your documents in person.

Be prepared. You may run into preapproval barriers. If you have a low credit score or inconsistent income, ask lenders before you apply if they’re willing to work with you on this. Some lenders will gladly help you find errors and discrepancies on your application which could get you preapproved.

Lacking Confidence in Your Search for the Best Mortgage Lender?

Are you stumped trying to find the best mortgage lender? When you’re a first-time homebuyer, shopping for a mortgage lender can get overwhelming. Just take time to compare all your options, no rushing through the process. You’ll buy a home with confidence and save money, too.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate with questions you have about finding the best mortgage lender. I can help. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206


What I Really Love About Brooklyn, New York

February 15th, 2020
Brooklyn, New York
I love my home in Brooklyn, New York!

Since February is all about love, let’s talk about it. Our love for the place we call home, that is. I am a Brooklyn native, a Brooklynite who speaks Brooklynese. This iconic NYC borough has been home to me for 62 years. And here’s what I really love about Brooklyn, New York, my home.

About Brooklyn, New York

There are many reasons to love Brooklyn, New York: colorful assortment of people, culture, food, activities to enjoy!

Size

Of the five boroughs of New York City – The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, Brooklyn is the most populous. Also known as Kings County, it is the largest (69.5 square miles). In fact, if Brooklyn were its own city, it would be the third-largest city in the United States with over 2.5 million residents, second to Los Angeles and Chicago.

Cuisine

Brooklyn, New York
The famous Grimaldi’s

I love the food! Brooklyn is particularly well-known for its Italian food – especially its pizza. Anything you have a craving for can be found in Brooklyn! Our borough offers countless ethnic cuisines. And if you can’t quite find what it is you’re looking for, wait until next weekend or next month. New restaurants are constantly opening up for you to try with your date, family, or friends.

Crown Heights serves Jamaican jerk chicken and roti. You’ll find dim sum at Little Fuzhou in Sunset Park. Craving something sticky-sweet? Try the baklava in Sheepshead Bay.

Character

We are a melting pot, a miniature Manhattan, full of rich history everywhere you look. Even our most popular neighborhoods are famous!

Our borough is not the hustle and bustle you might think of when New York City comes to mind. We are a people defined by incredible diversity, creativity, community, and culture, and we’re proud of it. And unlike many neighborhoods in the Big Apple, we’ve maintained that diversity, that personality unique to each area of Brooklyn.

In the Past

We were once our own city until the late 1800s. And we used to be known as one of the more dangerous boroughs of New York.

Today

Brooklyn is a vibrant and peaceful place. It’s also exciting and family-friendly. And this makes many of our neighborhoods ideal for both families and young professionals.

Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn borough doesn’t fit any particular stereotype. so it appeals to everyone. We’ve literally transformed into what some say is the hottest, trendiest spot in all of New York City.

I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, but one thing stays true about Brooklyn, New York. You can go five blocks, and because of the vast diverseness of each of our communities, the vibe totally changes.

Attributes that Make Us a World-Class Destination

We’re proud of Brooklyn, New York! And for good reason. People come from all over for:

  • Lively music venues
  • Trendy boutiques
  • Iconic restaurants
  • Independent artisanal coffee bars
  • Pro sports
  • Immigrant history
  • Diversified culture
  • Family-friendly activities
  • And communities to call home

We offer a large number of amazing parks, walkable sidewalks, and tight-knit communities. And compared to Manhattan, even reasonable rents.

Our Parks

Park near Brooklyn Bridge

There are over 40 parks in Brooklyn. The top four being Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, and Owl’s Head Park.

Means of Transportation

Subway

Brooklyn is incredibly walkable, especially within the neighborhood you call your own. Brooklyn offers many beautiful and safe walking routes.

And here, walking beats owning a vehicle and paying to park on the street, hands down. In fact, according to Tri-State Transportation, more than half of us live in car-free households. Owning a car isn’t necessary when you live in Brooklyn, because you can get anywhere you need to go by subway.

There are other means of public transportation here in Brooklyn, but the subway is still the fastest and most reliable way to get around.

Tight-Knit Communities

Brooklyn has an undeniably strong sense of community. And it is this sense of community that makes our borough not only unique but also popular for families and young professionals.

Also, we Brooklynites tend to define ourselves based on which neighborhood we settle into. We are loyal patrons to the shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars that are local to us.

I remember, as kids, we played street games one block against another. And we built friendships that have lasted a lifetime.

Brooklyn Heights, New York
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, NY: Classic late 19th Century brownstone homes with stoops and arched doorways on Joralemon Street

From Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, and Flatbush to Bedford- Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Park Slope, Red Hook, and so many others, each of our neighborhoods has a distinct history and personality all their own.

Reasonable Rents and the Cost of Living

According to a Streeteasy report put out in October 2019, the average price for a house is around $700,000. And the average cost to rent a place is about $2,700 a month. So compared to other places in the United States, Brooklyn is one of the most expensive places to live. But food, rent, clothing, and a lot of other things are less expensive here than they are in Manhattan. And this makes Brooklyn ideal for you if you’re beginning a career.

Brooklyn, New York
Colorful residential and commercial real estate for rent in Brooklyn

With plenty of searching (and a little help from your friend, Charles D’Alessandro), you can find a great place that suits your personality, home life, interests, and your budget.

Brooklyn, New York – Something for Everybody

Brooklyn grows on. People come from all over to be part of it. And I’m proud to be part of that on a daily basis.

We continue to attract new-comers and families from all over with our excellent schools, booming job market, and that strong sense of community we like to own.

But more than anything, we are proud of and celebrate our diversity, our people. There really is something for everybody in Brooklyn, New York, even you!

Moving to Brooklyn

If you plan to move to Brooklyn, you need to experience the unique personalities, charm, amenities, sense of community, and price tags of each one to find “your” place. There’s one that’s just right for you, one that best suits your needs.

Working as a real estate professional for over 30 years, I have seen the transformation of my home. Like the Beatles sang in “In My Life,”

“There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain …”

Brooklyn has grown. Our borough has changed. Some changes have been for the better, others, not so much. But I love her, and I’m proud to share my home, Brooklyn, New York, with you!

Want to build a life you can love in Brooklyn, New York? Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. I’d love to help you find the area that’s just right for you!


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206


How to Improve Your Life by Ridding Your Life of Stuff

January 30th, 2020
Improve your life
Get rid of unused items and improve your life.

What comes to mind when you read the title, “How to Improve Your Life by Ridding Your Life of Stuff”?

As one year comes to an end and a new one begins, most of us inevitably ponder the following:

  • Make resolutions
  • Set goals
  • Decide to live more simply and economically
  • Get rid of stuff and organize what’s left

Truth be told, none of the above is very sexy. But every December and January we are challenged with how to improve our lives in one way or another. Let’s focus on the last point: Get rid of stuff and organize what’s left.

Improve Your Life by Ridding Yourself of Stuff

How is your life improved by getting rid of stuff?

Clutter causes frustration. When you get rid of stuff, you get rid of the frustration that goes hand-in-hand with it. And you make way for living peacefully and efficiently.

Have you ever felt a wave of anxiety hit you at the thought of someone stopping by unexpectedly? Keep sinks, flat surfaces, and floors free of unnecessary stuff, and say goodbye to anxiety whenever the doorbell rings.

Rediscover useful stuff you need and throw out or donate the rest. Not only will you avoid spending money unnecessarily by buying duplicates or triplets, but you’ll also improve the lives of others who truly need the stuff you don’t use.

Are you building more shelves and buying more boxes to put stuff in? If so, clutter has taken over! Getting rid of stuff saves money on storage and frees up space to enjoy.

Clutter also creates an unsafe environment. Accidents are more likely to occur when piles of stuff are everywhere. Stuff crammed on the top shelf of a closet can fall and land on your head. Piles stacked on the floor can cause you to trip and fall. Reduce the clutter and create a safer place to live in.

Sell unwanted, valuable belongings you aren’t using and make some money to pay a bill or finance a home project.   

How to Rid Yourself of Stuff That’s Taking Over

1. Start small. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and stop before you even get started. But if you pick one closet or area, declutter it completely before moving on to another space, you’ll be enjoying a clutter-free environment before you know it.

2. Make decisions quickly. Don’t overthink what to “Keep,” “Throw Out,” or “Donate.” Here’s a rule of thumb to help you decide what to keep: keep only the items you have used in the last three months and items that are heirlooms or keepsakes. Throw out or donate the rest.

3. Ask questions. With each item, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I still use this?
  • Is this an heirloom or a keepsake?
  • Is this in usable condition?
  • Would someone else use this item?

Improve Your Life and Keep It That Way

The average household is overrun with unused belongings and stuff. Getting rid of stuff to improve your life is a time-consuming and tedious process. But once you’re rid of everything that doesn’t serve you and you’ve organized what does, a stress-free home environment is easy to maintain.

Is it time to improve your life with a new home? When you’re decluttered and organized, moving is a piece of cake. And when the time comes to sell your home, call me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. I’d love to help you find the perfect place to call home.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206


How Much Should You Offer for a Fixer-Upper?

January 15th, 2020
Fixer-upper
Don’t make an offer on a fixer-upper until you’ve counted the cost of the renovations it needs first!

Are you thinking about buying a fixer-upper?

Can you really afford to buy it and fix it up, too?

How much will fixing it up really cost you?

These are key questions that need to be answered. It’s extremely important that you assess the real cost before you buy it. For without that information, you won’t know how much to offer for a fixer-upper.

But don’t fret about it. These seven steps will help you figure that out.

Step 1 – Determine What You Can Honestly Do Without Help

We all do it. We watch our favorite TV shows and YouTube videos and think we can do it all. All those home improvement pros make every project look super easy to do. But in reality, it just ain’t so.

Take that “simple” plumbing project you tackled. Remember it? How many times did you have to run to the hardware store to purchase something else that you needed to complete the job?

No, moving a staircase or even bringing wiring up to code requires much more time or skill than most folks can tout. They’re not a fix-it job like that leaky little toilet valve was.

So, since every project always takes longer than you think it will be brutally honest with yourself. Are you really able to DIY that project? Do you even want to do it yourself? And are you willing to accept the less-than-professional results that you could end up with? Less-than-professional results won’t increase the value of the home you’re working on.

Be Wise – Leave It to a Professional

Some fixes need to be left to the professionals. Remodels or updates can be dangerous when you aren’t trained or certified to do them, like electrical work, for example.

And one more thing. Will you be stressed out while you live in a demolished house month after month? You’ll most likely have time to complete home projects on the weekends only.

Step 2 – Determine the Cost of All Renovations and Then Some

Here’s a great tip! Ask your contractor to do a walk-through in the house you want to purchase and fix up. Then he can give you a written estimate on the cost of all he needs to do to bring the home up to par.

If you decide you can do the work yourself, price all the supplies needed for every renovation and upgrade.

And, whether you hire a contractor or choose to do the work yourself, tack on an additional 10 to 20 percent to the cost total. This prepares you for the surprise costs that inevitably pop up when fixing up a house.

Step 3 – Factor in Time, Costs, and Aggravation for Getting Permits

It’s a fact. Doing a home renovation without a permit saves money. But when it comes to selling the home you renovate, you could be asking for trouble. Play it safe. Ask your local officials whether or not you need a permit for the work you’re going to do. Be sure you ask about the cost of the permit you need, too.

If you decide to go with a contractor, they can make arrangements for the permits you’ll need. But if you decide you want to get the permits yourself, know this: getting permits can be time-consuming and frustrating. How? Before home inspectors give you the necessary permit for a particular renovation, they can force you to do additional work or change the way you want to do a project. Yeah …

Step 4 – Budget for Structural Work on the Fixer-Upper

Does the fixer-upper you’re looking to buy need major structural work done to it? Do a double-check. If it does, you’ll need to hire a structural engineer.

They charge $100 to $236 per hour just to inspect the house. But before you put in an offer, you’ll be confident all structural problems have been uncovered and conservatively budgeted for to the fullest extent.

Before you commit to buying a home with structural problems, get written estimates for the repairs.

A home that needs major structural work should be offered with a steep discount. So don’t commit to the purchase of a fixer-upper with structural problems without these three things:

  • Knowledge of the full extent of the problem
  • The certainty that the problem can be fixed
  • A binding written estimate for the cost of the repairs

Step 5 – Make Sure You Have Enough Funds Available to Fix a Fixer-Upper

Before you make an offer, do this:

  • Make sure you have enough money for a downpayment, closing costs, and all necessary repairs
  • If you’re going to fund the renovations with a home equity or home improvement loan, get pre-approved for both loans. Then make sure the deal is contingent on getting both the home equity loan and the home improvement loan. This safeguards you from being forced to close the sale when you have no loan to fix the house.

Have You Looked into an FHA Section 203(k) Program?

You might want to take a look into the Federal Housing Administration’s Section 203(k) program. It’s designed to help homeowners who are purchasing or refinancing a home that needs rehabilitation.

The FHA Section 203(k) program bundles purchase/refinance and rehabilitation costs into one monthly mortgage payment. But in order to qualify for this type of loan, the total value of the property must fall within the FHA mortgage limit for your area.

A 203(k) program is streamlined and much simpler to obtain than a standard 203(k) is. And it provides an additional amount for rehabilitation, up to $35,000, on top of an existing mortgage. It’s worth looking into, for sure.

Step 6 – Determine a Fair Purchase Price to Offer

Market value

This step isn’t a hard one. Just take the fair market value of the property and subtract the upgrade and repair costs. The fair market value of the fixer-upper is what it would be worth if it were in good condition with up-to-date remodels.

Let’s say the fixer-upper you’re considering has outdated design features such as:

  • Dark wood paneling
  • Beige walls
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Pastel fixtures
  • Laminate countertops
  • Shiny gold fittings
  • Avocado green appliances
  • Built-in media cabinets
  • Chintz wallpaper
  • Millennial pink everything
  • Tile counters
  • Linoleum floors
  • Wallpaper border

And it has high levels of radon in the basement.

How to Determine a Fair Market Price

A comparison house or “comp” in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, sold last month for $490,100. That house had an updated kitchen with new appliances, no wallpaper, was recently re-carpeted, and has a radon mitigation system in the basement.

The cost to remodel the kitchen, remove the wallpaper, carpet the house, and put in a radon mitigation system is $100,000. Your fair purchase price bid for the fixer-upper should be $390,100.

As your real estate agent, I will let you know if it’s a good idea to share your cost estimates with the sellers, to prove whether or not your offer is fair. Be sure to ask!

Step 7 – Hire Pro Inspectors to Properly Assess Your Fixer-Upper

Hire pros to inspect your fixer-upper. This is key in helping you properly assess the value of the house and the cost of its repairs.

Home inspectors look for and uncover hidden issues in need of replacement or repair. You want to replace those 1980s kitchen cabinets, but the home inspector detects the water leak behind them.

What they don’t do:

  • Lead-based paint inspection
  • Well and septic system inspection
  • Sewer issues
  • Pest or termite inspection
  • Chimney inspection
  • Asbestos testing
  • Mold inspection
  • Lot size survey
  • Radon testing

Include Inspection Contingencies

Most home inspection contingencies allow you to go back to the sellers to ask them to do the repairs or when you close on the house, give you cash to pay for the repairs.

If the inspection turns up something major you don’t want to deal with, you or the seller can simply back out of the deal. If you or the seller back out of the deal, it’s okay. It just means this fixer-upper isn’t the right house for you.

Contact Charles D’Alessandro for Help

If you’re determined to find a fixer-upper to fix up, but you aren’t sure if you’re ready to take one on, call me. I’m Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. You can reach me at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or [email protected] today. I’d love to help you find the perfect house to make a home.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206