Mortgage Rates are on the Rise – Should You Lock in a Rate Now?

November 30th, 2016
Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates are on the rise, but don’t let their rise deter you from pursuing your dream home. Rates are still low.

What does the outcome of this year’s election have to do with you and real estate? Nothing, unless you’re thinking about refinancing or purchasing a home. Mortgage rates are climbing since the election, and they’re expected to continue to climb in the new year. However, they’re not expected to keep shooting upward.

So if you are in the market to buy a home, should you rush to lock in a mortgage rate now before they go up any higher? Is it possible that they will fall?

Should You Lock in Mortgage Rates Now or Hope for a Bounce Later?

As of November 16, 2016, rates climbed nearly 0.2% since the election. They climbed to 3.95% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. They haven’t been this high since January. That may not sound like much, but as interest rates go, even a little can add up. Rising interest rates mean higher monthly mortgage payments. Buyers are obviously leary. The number of mortgage applications dropped by 10%. Refinance applications dropped by 11%.

Rates are still low, and buyers shouldn’t be deterred from buying a house. If you’re one of those leary buyers, think about this. In 1979, the mortgage rates were more than four times what they are today. Compare the rate of 16.75% to 3.95%, for example. That’s quite a difference, right?

Why Do Mortgage Rates Rise?

Mortgage rates rise because they typically follow the bond market. After Donald Trump won the presidential election, bond prices plunged and stocks started soaring. Many investors chose to get out of bonds and into the stock market. They expect that the economy will improve under his presidency which could increase inflation and lessen the value of the bonds. And there you have it: the reason why mortgage rates rise.

Does the Rise in Mortgage Rates Affect Homebuyers in Other Ways?

Yes. The rise in rates will affect borrowers’ debt-to-income ratios since buyers will be obligated to pay bigger bills each month. This affects a borrower’s credit score and cause lenders to approve smaller loans.

If You’re in the Market to Buy, Stay Calm and Keep Buying

No one really has any idea what’s going to happen, but if you’re planning to buy a home, be encouraged to keep looking. Read this housing economist’s perspective here: Postelection Prescription: Stay Calm and Keep Buying Homes.

Mortgage rates are always fluctuating. Most people either refinance when the rates go down or move within five to seven years no matter what the mortgage rates were when they purchased their home.

Although mortgage rates are on the rise, keep calm and keep pursuing your dream home. With over 30 years’ worth experience in the Brooklyn real estate market, Charles has seen the interest rates rise and fall. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] with all of your questions today.


Do You Have Physical Disabilities and Need Help Buying a Home?

November 15th, 2016
Physical disabilities in Brooklyn

Those with physical disabilities must look at homes to buy from a new and very different perspective.

Veterans Day brought our service men and women to mind, and rightly so. But thoughts of those who have returned home from combat with physical disabilities also came to mind. In addition to physical disabilities, they must learn to deal with a new way of life at home. Serviceman or civilian, disabilities caused by injuries, surgeries and even bone density issues present significant challenges. Such challenges can make it difficult to be mobile. And they can make buying a new home to accommodate their disabilities necessary.

From the challenges of looking at homes to securing financing options, people with disabilities must now look at each property from a different perspective. If you’re helping someone with physical disabilities or you yourself are disabled, consider the following.

  1. If you have physical disabilities, can you get financing?

Yes. Just because you are someone with physical disabilities who doesn’t have a conventional income doesn’t mean buying a home is out of reach. What it does mean is you need to go through a specialty loan package.

The government wants those with physical disabilities to purchase homes and achieve financial stability. They offer programs that take into account SSDI and other disability payments, like structured settlements, for example, which are designed to help physically disabled buyers finance a home. If you are disabled and without a regular income at all, you may need to find other ways to get financing, but there are services available.

  1. Do you know your legal rights?

It’s unfortunate, but disabled individuals can run into discrimination throughout the home buying process. When it comes to your disability, you have the right not to be discriminated against. Some real estate agents hesitate to work with buyers who have physical disabilities because of the complex process that goes hand in hand with them. Sellers may not want to meet with them because they are leary about the type of financing that will be used. These actions are discriminating and are not legal under the Fair Housing Act. If you believe you are being unfairly discriminated against during the home buying process, you may want to obtain legal recourse.

  1. Can you identify disability-friendly modifications that will be needed in a home?

Wouldn’t it be ideal if you were able to find a home that was already modified for your disabilities? But more often than not, modifications after the purchase of a home will need to be made. Modifications include rails, ramps and special bathroom fixtures. It’s important to pursue compensation if you were injured because of the actions of another. If you win a settlement, you may be able to incorporate the costs of modifications of your home into the costs of your injuries.

  1. Are you aware of disability-related services available to you?

Not only is pursuing compensation important to you if your disabilities happened at the hands of someone else, it is important to look for a property that is located next to or near disability-related services. Location matters more when purchasing a home for someone who has physical disabilities. Look for a home that is near physicians, urgent care clinics, handicapped transportation and grocery stores. Neighborhoods that are highly walkable are important if you are in a wheelchair or if you are able to travel in a motorized scooter.

In a walkable neighborhood, all of the amenities you will need to access are very close by. This will allow you to live independently and take care of many of your needs.

Although buying a home for someone with physical disabilities can be complex, it isn’t impossible. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. For help finding a home that will support you with physical disabilities, Charles can help.


Why Should you Hire the Best Real Estate Team Possible?

October 30th, 2016
Real estate team

Do your research and pick your real estate team wisely.

Buying a house is a huge investment and selling is just as big an undertaking. Whether you live nearby or miles away from Brooklyn, it’s important to hire the best real estate team possible. Each member of your team should be on your side to advise you through the buying or selling process, step by step, from start to finish. So, do your research and pick your team wisely.

Who should be on your real estate team?

Hiring the right real estate agent and mortgage broker is of number 1 importance, but you must first understand that you yourself have a role on your real estate team. You are your team’s leader. It is your job to assemble a team who will help you achieve your home buying or selling goals.

Your real estate team should include the following professionals:

  • Real estate agent or broker
  • Mortgage broker or loan officer
  • Home appraiser
  • Home inspector
  • Real estate attorney or settlement company
  • Insurance agent for required insurance, like flood insurance, for example
  • Home stager
  • Moving company and/or people to help with packing

First things first …

Before listing your house on the market, you need to hire:

  • A real estate agent – Your real estate agent should offer a market analysis of your home, help you determine your home’s listing price and give you a prioritized list of repairs and updates to get your home sold for the best price. In the Brooklyn market, the seller does not pay the buyer and the seller does not pick the title company, so the agent that you hire has to help with providing referrals to these services.
  • A home inspector – A home inspector finds what needs to be repaired before your home is listed. When these repairs are made, your home will look well-maintained and your home show better. These repairs also help to avoid delays leading up to the closing. Your home will appeal to prospective buyers as “move in ready.”
  • A home stager – A home stager knows how to present your home in the best way to attract buyers, from picking colors to removing personal photographs and more. They’ll choose new colors and suggest how to arrange furniture to make your home look as spacious as possible. This is the time you’ll want to declutter your home, by the way.
  • Don’t get so caught up on the inside of your home, though, that you neglect the outside. How your home looks to those who drive by or to those prospective buyers as they arrive for a tour is very important. Read Curb Appeal, A Quick Checklist for great insights on how to make a great first impression.

Your team needs to communicate well and on a very personal level

Buying and selling a home can be stressful and very personal. Make sure your team communicates with you well. If they’re not communicating with you or if they act like they don’t honestly care for your best, hire someone who does. You can’t do business with people who don’t respect you.

You want to work with a real estate agent like Charles D’Alessandro is a real estate agent with a heart for his clients.

  • Has experience and expertise with many of the problems his clients might run into
  • Provides his clients with advice and the best resources to get through the entire process efficiently
  • Knows there are emotions involved in buying or selling a home
  • Wants to get to know his clients and their families personally

Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate has a heart for his clients. Put his very best to work for you today. Call (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected].


Want to Know How to Sell your Home Quickly?

October 15th, 2016
Sell your home quickly

Want to sell your home quickly? Send your pet on vacation!

Whether Brooklyn’s housing market is hot or not, some homes seem to attract potential buyers and multiple bids without much effort. How does that happen? Is there a secret strategy that will sell your home quickly? No, there’s no secret, but there are 12 tried-and-true listing to-do’s that will help you sell your home – fast!

Want to sell your home quickly? Do this, this and this!

  1. Find a Top-notch Real Estate Agent

This to-do is listed first because it’s that important. Smart sellers hire the right real estate agent to sell their Brooklyn home. Charles D’Alessandro knows the local market inside and out and understands exactly how to position your home for potential buyers. Don’t settle for any less than the best!

  1. Hit the Perfect Price Point

You may think your home is worth top dollar, but charging top dollar isn’t always the best strategy to implement when you want to sell your home quickly. A whopping price could land your home on the market for a long spell. If you study the local comps carefully and follow Charles’ advice, you’ll hit the perfect price point.

  1. Focus on Maximizing Curb Appeal

If those who drive by your home like what they see, they’ll most likely show up at the open house. That’s why it pays to freshen up landscaping, trim bushes, paint the front door and add attractive outdoor lighting. Smart homeowners know that to sell your home quickly, you must focus on your home’s curb appeal.

  1. Update Kitchens and Bathrooms

An outdated kitchen or bathroom will turn prospective buyers off quicker than you can say, “Trick or treat?” Consider painting cabinets, updating faucet hardware, or replacing at least one of the kitchen appliances. This is an excellent strategy when you want to sell your home quickly, providing you update the rooms cautiously.

  1. Scrub the House Clean

Homes that are deep cleaned inside and out sell quickly. A thorough cleaning from top to bottom doesn’t cost much, but it takes a ton of time and elbow grease. Home buyers investigate every nook and cranny of a potential home. Smart sellers know this and will invest the extra time necessary to clean their closets, their basement, fans and baseboards, too.

  1. Address and Fix Potential Problems Before Inspection

It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on renovations before you list your home, but it is smart to address any possible problems that might show up during inspection. Check the roof for leaks, look for sticky windows and make sure the wiring isn’t outdated. If a major problem is discovered during inspection, you may not get to sell your home quickly.

  1. Send Pets on Vacation

Dogs or cats, no matter how well-behaved or cute they are, aren’t selling points. Even potential buyers who happen to be animal lovers, too, won’t appreciate your pets. If you have pets and you want to sell your home quickly, send your family pet packing. Find a friend or relative to keep your pets and all their toys, crates, and bowls. Then open up the windows to let a lot of fresh air in.

  1. Hire the Pros

It’s true that certain up-front expenses can really pay off. Smart sellers hire floor refinishers, painters, and landscapers to spruce things up. Then they hire a professional real estate photographer to share images of their homes in their best light.

  1. Make Your Home Standout

Much like deep cleaning, a few spruce-ups can turn your house from boring into “Wow!” Add a coat of fresh paint in a warm neutral color to walls. Purchase some new and updated furniture and brighten up the room with new throws or pillows. Don’t forget to declutter counters, cabinets and closets. The “Wow Factor” will sell your home quickly.

  1. Talk About It, Talk About It, Talk About It

Your Brooklyn real estate agent, Charles D’Alessandro, will take care of the major marketing for your home, but word of mouth is an extremely effective tool to sell your home quickly. Let the world know about your listing. Share the news on Facebook, at the dentist’s office, on the playground, … everywhere you can.

  1. Be Show-ready, Always

The more people who tour your home, the greater your chances of finding a buyer quickly. Make your bed and fluff up the pillows as soon as you wake. Never leave a dirty dish in the sink. Set some fresh flowers on the dining room table. If your home is always neat and tidy, it is always ready to be shown at a moment’s notice.

  1. Time it Right

It’s a fact. Spring is the best time to list if you want to sell your home quickly. Listing a home during the months of March through May usually attracts more potential buyers, and curb appeal is at its best. But don’t discount selling in the fall. There are great reasons to list your home in the fall. Take a look at why listing in the fall is a smart move from the buyer’s perspective: 10 Reasons Why House Hunting in the Fall is a Wise Move.

Want to sell your home quickly? Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. Charles knows the Brooklyn market and what it takes to help you sell your home quickly.


10 Reasons Why House Hunting in the Fall is a Wise Move

September 30th, 2016

House huntingIt’s a fact: Home sales heat up in the spring and summer and cool down in the fall, every year. By November, after the leaves have changed, people turn their focus from real estate to the holidays. House hunting slows down to a crawl, if anything. And that’s why now may very well be the best time to begin your hunt for a home.

 10 reasons why house hunting in the fall is a wise move

  1. Sellers are more motivated

More often than not, homes are listed when the real estate season is at its peak in the spring and summer. If a seller’s home is still on the market in the fall or winter, they will most likely be very eager to close on it. When owners are more motivated to close, owners may be more open to negotiating and making a deal.

  1. Buyers have more time to make decisions carefully

House bidding wars require fast thinking and fast action. When there are fewer buyers house hunting, the competition for properties is lower. Lower competition allows buyers to take full advantage of the slower pace and do more comparison shopping.  It gives them more time to make decisions carefully.

  1. Moving dates are more flexible

When you’re not involved in home bidding wars with other buyers, the power is in your corner, lots of corners. Need an earlier or later closing date? Ask the seller to adjust their move-out date to better fit your schedule.

  1. Lenders may be more willing to offer favorable rates

Business lulls and holiday bills happen for mortgage lenders, too, and they may be willing to offer slightly better rates in order to close a deal. Take the time to shop around. Negotiate on interest, points, or down payments. It’s possible you may negotiate numbers in your favor.

  1. You’ll see more of what the neighborhood is really like

Many neighbors are gone on vacation during late spring and through the summer months. Neighborhoods can feel empty and a little lifeless. But in late August when school starts again, so does neighborhood activity. Fall is a great time to visit neighborhoods and their schools and get a feel for what the neighborhood is really like.

  1. Inclement weather may be more revealing

Curb appeal is at its best on a gorgeous sunny day in the spring. But rain-soaked November days or a frigid January days during the off-season will allow you to see a truer picture of how a house is holding up under inclement weather.

  1. More of the real story about a home is easy to see

House hunting when the trees have dropped their leaves and the flowers are spent can be very telling.  Landscaping can camouflage peeling paint, a worn roof, cracks in the foundation and other issues with the home’s exterior. Exterior issues will be plain as day during the slow season.

  1. Contractors, movers, house painters and others are more available

The off-season is a slow season for handyman service providers, too. When you buy a home in the off-season, you’re apt to get things fixed quicker and for a better price.

  1. It’s the perfect time for more sales on new things for the new house

You may not have thought of this benefit of house hunting during the slow season. Sales are fantastic after the holidays just before spring! Vendors may have everything from a new fridge to a new rug drastically reduced.

  1. Agents are more attentive

The slowest time of year for real estate agents is September through January. If you’re house hunting during the slowest time of year, they’ll be willing to go the extra mile to get your business and keep it. They’ll search for the right home and help you get the best deal with more fervor than usual.

 

House hunting in the fall is wise. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. He’ll go the extra mile to keep your business and get the best deal on a home that’s just right for you.


Why A New Home is a School Supply Every Year

September 15th, 2016
New home

Buying a new home in a quality school district adds value to your home when it’s time to sell.

Advertisements for back-to-school clothes and supplies usually start appearing in the month of July. Families begin budgeting and planning to spend hundreds of dollars for everything from pencils, paper, crayons, safety scissors and erasers for their kindergartners to bedding, curtains, towels, wash cloths and even appliances for their college students. Some families will even buy a new home to get Junior into a good school or to keep from paying the college dorm costs for Sally. Buying a new home for school is not uncommon practice.

3 Reasons Why a New Home is Listed as a School Supply Each Year

  1. School Quality

The quality of schools in an area remains a crucial factor to parents when they buy a new home. For most parents, education is even more important than the price of a home, the time it takes to commute to and from work and nearby area amenities.

  1. Traditional Suburbs

Traditional suburbs are still the most attractive communities for young families with school-aged kids, like Cold Spring Harbor, on New York’s Long Island, for example. Parents are no longer interested in partying as they may have once been. They now have kids to deal with and take care of.

  1. Resale Value

Homes in areas with attractive school districts hold their value better when it comes time to sell, so there is a great economic reason to buy a home in also.

And This, Too …

Quality schools are often built into the price of homes, but parents are willing to change their lifestyles to compensate for the size of their new mortgage payments. They eat out less and try to pinch their pennies. A top-rated education for their kids is worth the expense of living in an attractive school district to a lot of parents.

Some parents will invest in a small home for their college freshman and rent the extra bedroom(s) out to other college students. This helps pay the monthly mortgage and avoid the high costs of college dorm living for four or more years of college. Then, when Sally earns her degree, her parents can sell the small home for a profit. The Pros and Cons of Buying a House in College talks more about reasons why college students should buy a house in college, if they can afford it.

Did you buy a new home for your kids this year? Maybe you like the idea of purchasing a small home and renting it out to other college students to live with your student(s). With over 30 years of experience in Brooklyn, I can help you find a new home in a quality school district for your young family or your college student. 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.


Fall is in the Air: Prepare for Winter Now

August 30th, 2016
Prepare for winter

Winter is on its way! Prepare for winter now and enjoy those long winter’s naps in comfort.

Summer’s come and almost gone. Fall has arrived, although not officially. That will happen September 22, 2016. The days are getting shorter and the mornings are turning crisp. Winter is on its way! Prepare for winter now and enjoy those long winter’s naps in comfort.

Prepare for winter outside your Brooklyn home

It’s time to wrap up summer’s outdoor lifestyle and prepare hearth and home for the beginning of the long cold spell.

  • Clean, cover and store patio furniture, umbrellas, decorations and toys.
  • Paint the trim, railings and decks or touch them up if that’s all they need. Remove flaking paint with a wire brush and prime bare wood before you paint.
  • Check around windows and doors. Re-caulk if needed.
  • Install weather-stripping and thresholds if external doors and garage doors need it in order to close tightly.
  • Wash windows, inside and out.
  • Drain and store garden hoses. Frost-proof spigots with a faucet insulator and blow the sprinkler system lines free of water.
  • Power wash gutters and downspouts. Consider installing heating cable to prevent ice dams.
  • Inspect and clean chimneys and flues.
  • Repair your roof. Check your roof for curling, loose or missing shingles.
  • Prepare your deck for winter. Sand splinters, repair damaged boards and reseal to protect it from rain and/or snowfall.
  • Switch out your screen doors for a storm door. Clean and repair screens prior to storing.

Prepare for winter inside your Brooklyn home

Fall means it is time for the “second spring cleaning.” It makes good sense to clean and store all things summer before you retreat to the warmth inside your Brooklyn home. Besides, the holidays are coming (and you may decide it’s time to sell after the winter thaw).

  • Start with the rooms where most of the household activity happens. Focus on one room and clean it from top to bottom. Vacuum or wash curtains and window treatments. Clean window sills and window wells. Vacuum and wipe down baseboards and corners.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture, or clean it professionally. Move each piece of furniture and vacuum underneath and behind each piece. Don’t forget to vacuum underneath the couch and chair cushions!
  • If you haven’t already washed the windows inside and out as mentioned above, now’s the time for that chore.
  • Turn mattresses front-to-back and end-to-end to even out their wear and tear.
  • Wash or clean all bedding: mattress pads, pillows, duvets, blankets, comforters.
  • Make an appointment to have your carpets cleaned professionally. Do this early in September so that the remaining warm afternoons can help the carpet dry speedily. Carpet cleaners tend to get busy by the end of October.
  • Clean and organize kitchen cabinets.
  • Clear kitchen counters of all appliances. Store heavy appliances down low.
  • Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils of dust and debris. While the refrigerator is pulled out from the wall, clean the sides of the refrigerator, the sides of the cupboards on each side of it, the wall behind it and of course, the floor and baseboards.
  • Wash light fixture bowls from light fixtures and fans. Clean ceiling fans. Change the direction of your ceiling fans. In the spring and summer, your blades work best turning counter-clockwise. In the fall and winter, the blades work best turning clockwise.
  • Clean and store floor fans and box fans.
  • Stock up on water softener salt.
  • Do you have a central vacuum? Empty the collection area.
  • Clean electronic air cleaner elements. This should be done monthly for cost-effective efficiency.
  • Inspect your humidifier. Clean or replace elements before it is needed.
  • Inspect washer hoses for bulges, cracks, splits and a collection of “crud.” They should be replaced every other year.
  • Check dryer exhaust tube and vent for lint build-up and debris to eliminate a fire hazard in your home. Does the exterior vent door close tightly when the dryer isn’t being used?
  • Schedule furnace inspections now. Schedule an annual checkup for your furnace in the fall, September 22 – December 21. Don’t wait for frigid temperatures to arrive!
  • Buy six furnace filters and change them monthly for maximum efficiency, savings and comfort.
  • Drain the sediment from your hot water heater.

Prepare for winter or the sale of your Brooklyn home now. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] for a FREE consultation on how to get your home ready for what’s coming.


This Year’s Top 10 Senior Housing Trends for Baby Boomers

August 15th, 2016
Baby boomers

Baby Boomers are a force to be reckoned with! Retirement today is nothing like our grandmother’s retirement of yesterday.

Baby Boomers are shaping and changing the way seniors live – everywhere. We know what we want, and how we want to retire. Because we have our own unique ideas about retirement, the senior living industry is rapidly changing to meet up to our expectations and preferences. Baby Boomers are a force to be reckoned with! Retirement today is nothing like our grandmother’s retirement of yesterday.

Here are the top 10 housing trends for seniors thanks to us, the Baby Boomer Generation.

  1. Technology Today

Technology has made the aging process less challenging for us. Wearable devices that automatically alert caregivers, large-screen cell phones and remotes and more have given us high-quality care options like never before. For example, caregivers now have geo-fencing options to keep those with Alzheimer’s and dementia safe. What took them so long? Ingenious, right?

  1. Aging in Place and In-Home Care

Aging in place is a trend we Baby Boomers find attractive. Many of us want to live in our own homes for as long as we are able. The senior living industry and technology have made in-home care both affordable and viable. This will allow us to age in place for as long as possible.

Senior Planning Services is a tri-state area Medicaid planning firm. It cited a recent AARP study estimating that almost 90 percent of Baby Boomers who are over 65 years of age want the option to live in their home for as long as they able.

  1. Senior Care Providers

Our generation is giving senior providers increased impact as we hit our Golden Years because there are so many of us. Physicians, hospitals, insurance companies and other organizations in the health care system are working together to create comprehensive care that will meet the needs of seniors today.

  1. Person-Centered Care

What is person-centered care? Person-centered care is treating an aging senior as an individual instead of treating them for the abilities they no longer have. This isn’t a new trend, but it is gaining ground. Person-centered care from nursing homes, doctors, and other health care organizations are assuring people that they will be cared for with dignity and as a whole person.

  1. Life Plan Communities

Life plan communities are based on living in the moment. They encourage young Baby Boomers to live a full and active life right now while we are healthy, helping us get the most out of every moment for as long as we can.

  1. Memory Care Units and Reminiscent Therapy

Memory care units are embracing the theory behind reminiscence therapy. They stimulate sight, sound, smell and touch. Doing this creates communities that help many seniors retrieve long-term memories reminiscent of the world in which they grew up.

  1. Senior Co-Housing

Single-family dwelling, reduced costs and a sense of companionship are offered to Baby Boomers in senior co-housing. Here seniors share responsibilities and access to communal caregivers. The caregivers assist seniors with daily tasks. This is ideal for seniors who need the support of institutionalized living balanced with remaining at home.

  1. Embracing the Green Movement

Many assisted living facilities are going green to entice earth-conscious Baby Boomers, cut heating and cooling costs, conserve water and meet Energy Star standards.

  1. Location of Senior Living Communities

Senior living facilities are looking for ways to engage seniors with senior-friendly activities for Baby Boomers who are just starting to retire. They are learning to look for area amenities that will make a retirement destination great.

  1. Independent Living for Baby Boomers Instead of Assisted Living

We know that we can live comfortably on our own for a long time now. More and more senior living facilities are designing their facilities to provide independent living and celebrate independence. Those of us who are under 80 years old, who wish to live independently and without assistance find this trend quite appealing.

Developers and providers are creating environments around what we Baby Boomers want and need. They are considering where we want to live and where we need to live. They know they need to enhance senior living environments in a rapidly shifting market, because we won’t settle for anything less!

Follow today’s housing trends for Baby Boomers. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] for a FREE consultation today. We have so many senior housing options available to us, Baby Boomers.

This article originally appeared on RISMedia.com.


Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes When Selling Your Home

July 30th, 2016
Selling your home

Don’t make selling your home harder than it needs to be. Avoid making these 5 seller mistakes.

Selling your home can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

There’s a lot to do before it goes on the market. There are questions to be asked, emotions to detach and many things to be aware of simply because you are selling. It can be overwhelming and daunting to say the least.

Don’t make the selling process harder than it needs to be. Start your home-selling process with your best foot forward and avoid making these 5 mistakes:

1. Don’t FSBO (For Sale By Owner) when selling your home

In 10 reasons why for-sale-by-owners fail, data from a National Association of Realtors survey on FSBOs is shared. It shows that less than 10 percent of all home sales are FSBOs. Less than 10 percent! You may feel you have the skills necessary to sell your home. You may want to avoid paying agent commission fees. But when only 8 percent of all home sales are FSBOs, it proves that going it alone is a mistake.

2. Don’t skip properly preparing your home for sale

If your home isn’t properly prepared or staged, it’ll be tough to sell.

  • Remove hard-to-clean odors when selling your home. If your home smells like smoke or you own a pet(s), invest in professional cleaning services.
  • Declutter your home. When selling your home, it should always be show-ready. Remove photos and knick-knacks. Clear countertops and downsize the contents in your closets. Yes, even the toaster should be put away.
  • Boost your home’s curb appeal. If your home doesn’t look good on the outside, it will be hard to get potential buyers to come inside.
  • Make improvements to your home, but don’t go overboard. Don’t think a home improvement expense is going to add dollar-for-dollar value to the home. A home maintenance expense adding a dollar value of any size to a home at all isn’t a for-sure thing.

3. Don’t stick around during a home tour

If you’re hesitant to hold a showing or refuse to leave as potential buyers tour your home, your chances for buyers making offers on it greatly diminishes. Potential buyers want to imagine themselves living there. Just looking at photos or trying to get a feel for the home with you lurking in the background will minimize the number of offers given, if you even receive any.

4. Don’t share too much on social media

Venting about the home-selling process and sharing incorrect listing information on social media is a big mistake. Keep things to yourself or between you and your real estate agent.

5. Don’t overprice your home

Overpricing your home and refusing to compromise is the biggest seller mistake. If you think your house is worth more than the market suggests or that a low commission will save you money, constantly turn down offers thinking a better offer will come eventually. You could end up with a home you don’t want.

Be smart about the offers that come to the table.

Don’t make selling your home tougher than it needs to be. Work with your real estate agent and avoid these seller mistakes to get your home sold. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. Put his 30+ years of excellent real estate experience to work for you today.


Baby Boomers And Retirement: Are You Financially Prepared?

July 15th, 2016
Financially prepared

Baby Boomers, are you financially prepared for retirement?

America, we’re getting older. Those of us born in the USA after World War II and before 1964 (ages 51-69 respectively) are known as Baby Boomers, and we’re nearing retirement. Are you financially prepared to get to retirement or through retirement? Is there a chance you will not get through retirement because you are not financially prepared to do so? It’s time we evaluate our fiscal health.

None of us knows what’s ahead in the next 1, 5 or 10 years, but there are ways to prepare financially to get us through retirement One of the best ways to ensure your money lasts through retirement is to plan on living longer than you think. Here are four ways for Baby Boomers nearing retirement to get financially prepared:

Reduce Your Expenses and Get Rid of Debt

Take charge of your spending. It’s important to create a budget that you can stick to now in case your income is reduced in the future. If you’re looking for ways to save money, look here: Federal Citizen Information Center.

Stop Self-Investing and Go Pro Instead

The pros can manage a lot of money cheaply. How?

  • Their costs to do what they do for their clients are at an institutional rate
  • They get lower commissions on buying/selling securities
  • They can manage money for a lot less

Your 401(k) and IRA returns can amount to little because money managers charge you “retail” and overcharge for their commissions for sales, management and securities. Costs matter. Find the lowest-cost provider in every retirement fund you have, particularly in your 401(k) if you have one.

Add to Your Income-Producing Investments

Take a look at your investment portfolio. Is it heavy on the stock funds side?  If so, now is a good time to increase the percentage of bond funds or other investments that are designed to provide a steady income for you throughout retirement. Ask your financial pro to review your money distributions.

Invest in Real Estate to be Financially Prepared for Retirement

Real estate is a secure investment, and homeownership is critical in building wealth and financial security over time. That’s important when planning your retirement. Owning is much wiser than supporting a landlord financially and having no equity to show for any of it. Homes appreciate. Owning is far superior to renting because it locks in your housing costs and over time your real costs decline.

In the past two years, home prices have increased more per year than the 4% average that rents have risen per year. And homeownership comes with valuable tax benefits, too.

If you don’t own a home, consider purchasing one. Real estate is a secure investment to use as your retirement fund.

Take advantage of the great real estate market situation. Brooklyn real estate is at an all-time high, but we don’t know for how long.

The bottom line

Because we are nearing retirement, don’t take unnecessary risks to get financially prepared. There is no wisdom in trying to recover losses we may have incurred by putting even more money in risky investments. We will need that money for living expenses throughout our retirement.

But do get financially prepared for your retirement now. Save with purpose and intensity, invest wisely and take advantage of the benefits of today’s great real estate market.

Are you financially prepared for retirement? Are you ready to downsize and simplify as you near retirement? Is it time to sell your real estate investment? Get the help of real estate agent Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email him at [email protected] today!