Archive for January, 2010

Government Help For Our War Veterans To Buy Brooklyn Foreclosures !

Friday, January 29th, 2010

I think this is an idea! With these thousands of home foreclosure, the government and the banks are looking for a solution. Here is one. The war veterans are across the globe protecting our lifestyle, who better to take advantage of the situation.

The Veterans deserve the opportunity of home ownership. I thing they pay their dues and besides it will help get the inventory off the market. I would love to hear opinions on this issue. Lets reward their service and help the country at the same time! Pass this around if you agree and see if we can creat a movement to help the Vets!


Charles D’Alessandro

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Benefits of Exterior Lighting for Brooklyn Real Estate

Friday, January 29th, 2010

As many Brooklyn real estate agents will tell you, curb appeal shouldn’t end when the sun goes down. Exterior lighting can be both utilitarian and create a welcoming atmosphere even at night. The huge variety in lighting types will also lend uniqueness to your property and make it stand out to potential buyers.

Benefits of Popular Lighting Types

  • Reduces crime:  Motion-activated flood lights on the front and back porch are essential in high-crime areas and always a good idea for any area. It’s been proven that criminals don’t like Brooklyn real estate with bright exterior lighting.  The bright lights will draw attention to visitors before they’ve ever reached your door.  Additionally, you should never discount the value of being able to see clearly when arriving home in the dark.
  • Decreases trip hazards:  Solar lamps make beautiful walkway lighting. They’re generally not bright enough to be obtrusive or attract many nocturnal insects, but they will show the exact location of a walkway and reveal any trip hazards on the way. Solar lamps also provide an additional selling point on which Brooklyn real estate agents can capitalize.
  • Improves safety:  Good garage lighting can help you find your way to and from your vehicle. More importantly, the garage is a potentially hazardous area. Good lighting ensures that anyone walking through or working in the area will have a clear view of their surroundings and the task they may be performing.
  • Relocates bugs:  In rural areas, a high outside light (similar to a street light) not only lights large areas enough to recognize any hazards, they can also draw nocturnal insects away from lights emanating from the home. Raccoons,possums and other nocturnal animal the wander about the homes surroundings will avoid lighted areas as well.

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Charles D’Alessandro

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Brooklyn Real Estate Blog The New Brooklyn Real Estate Agent?

The New Brooklyn Real Estate Agent?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Recently, I came across a show on the Bravo network. Three high dollar real estate agents push million dollar deals in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California. I can’t say that it reminds me of when I was a new Brooklyn real estate agent.

Called Million Dollar Listing, the show is a “docu-series” with three young stars:

  • Josh Flagg graduated high school in 2004, stepped into high-end residential real estate, made several record sales and became one of Los Angeles’ best agents.
  • Madison Hildebrand graduated from Pepperdine University, sold his first home to a celebrity and now sells homes as high as $20 million.
  • Chad Rogers got his real estate license at 18, rose through the ranks and is currently working for a prestigious real estate brokerage.

What does all of this have to do with being a Brooklyn real estate agent? Nothing – and everything. Watching the show, I can’t help but think, “If these young bloods can sell a $20 million dollar house in Beverly Hills, in this economy, we can certainly sell $400,000 and $500,000 homes here.”

Okay, so they’re selling to a lot of celebrities. And, yes, people in Beverly Hills and the surrounding counties are famous for their big wallets. I also have to admit that it might be easier to sell a house with fifty natural selling points (huge pool with pool man, beautiful grounds cared for by landscapers, two-ton chandeliers, stables) than it is to sell an average house that has five selling points.

Having said all that, however, when times get tough remember that we have a beautiful city here in Brooklyn New York. We have beautiful homes for sale, nice Brooklyn neighborhoods and great communities. We have a lot of selling points to show off, at more affordable prices.

If you’re looking for a beautiful home, even if you’re not a celebrity, I can help. Call me now at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at  [email protected]


Charles D’Alessandro

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Ground Hog Day For This Brooklyn Realtor!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

What is the meaning of Ground Hog day?

What is the meaning of Ground Hog day? Well the answer is well known as,  Groundhog Day, celebrated across the  Canada and the United States on February 2, is purely a North American tradition. It is based on a belief that on this day (February 2) the groundhog, or woodchuck, comes out of it’s hole after winter hibernation to look for its shadow. If the shadow is seen, the groundhog foretells ’six more weeks of bad weather and thus a lingering winter. But if no shadow is seen the ground hog stays above ground and spring is near.

In the National Lampoon movie “Ground Hog day” Bill Murray’s character wakes up every morning only to find he is repeating the same day, every day Ground Hog day. He goes on to change one thing each day, to break the cycle, and create change and make the next day turn out differently.

Have you ever answered the question, How are you doing, or in Brooklyneze (How you doin) with the answer SOS JUST A DIFFERENT DAY! This to me is a choice, every day to repeat the day before. Most of us make our New Years resolution only to be  quickly forgotten. February 2nd is Ground Hog Day and it is a time for this Brooklyn Realtor to make a small change, a change that will impact me in a big way going forward.This change could be as dramatic as changing your career, or as simple as committing to wearing a smile on your face, saying good day, please and thank you to the people in your life. Today is the day to take that first step!

Anything to  make the day just a little different than the day before. So, “Ground Hog Day”, February 2nd, just one small change. NO MORE SOS. It is a different day! Make one change, big or small, just one little change. I promise it will grow on you, and make your life a better place to be.

If you want to join this movement, I would love to hear what changes are being made,  Start today, share the changes you will make this Ground Hog Day! Leave you comments on this page  or email Charles D’Alessandro  your Brooklyn Realtor® of Fillmore Real Estate at [email protected] I look forward to your changes.


Charles D’Alessandro

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How to Make the Kitchen in My Brooklyn Home More Energy Efficient

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The kitchen in your Brooklyn home offers multiple ways to improve energy efficiency.  It can be challenging to have versatility, style, comfort and design while still being energy efficient.  The good news is that small changes can be easy to make, without breaking your redecorating budget.

  • Use the appropriate cooking utensils in your kitchen.  Most electric stoves are equipped with two small burners, and two large ones.  Make sure that you are using your small pans on the small burners, and large pans on the larger burners.  Using a small pan on a large burner wastes energy, adds heat to kitchen, and may cause the handles to warp on the pans if they become too hot.  Place lids on your pots and pans when they are on the stove, this will conserve the heat and decrease the workload on your cooling system.
  • Repair dripping sink faucets in the kitchen.  You can replace the faucet in your Brooklyn home inexpensively.  A few drips on a constant basis adds up to gallons of wasted water.  Replacing the faucet can substantially decrease the amount of water you use.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it’s full.  There are several ways to save energy with the dishwasher.  Make sure that the appliance itself is energy efficient.  Next, scrape the dishes before you load them.  This may allow you to set the wash cycle to a light or normal wash, instead of a heavy wash cycle.  Set the drying cycle to air dry.  Air-dry cycles decrease the amount of heat the appliance creates.  These tips will save a lot of water and energy.

It’s easier than you may think to update the kitchen in yourBrooklyn home using green appliances and energy-saving methods.  Depending on what you buy, you may also qualify for a federal tax credit for energy efficiency.

Want to buy an energy-efficient home?  Call me now at (718) 253 -9600 ext.206 or email me at email [email protected] for more information.


Charles D’Alessandro

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Low Budget Decorating Tips for Your Brooklyn Home

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Don’t despair if you are short on cash. You can still have a beautiful Brooklyn home. Sometimes a little elbow grease is a decent replacement for extravagant money, and other times you can get great deals by shopping around for items that are usually costly.

Indoors

Simple things can mean a lot. You can change the entire look and feel of a room by simply changing the window treatments. New drapes or blinds add warmth and appeal and instantly give your Brooklyn home a fresh new look.

If that’s not enough, a fresh coat of paint transforms any room. Paint is one of the least expensive home decorating tools, and you can save even more money by doing it yourself instead of hiring a painter. It doesn’t require a lot of skill and is hard to do wrong.

If your furniture looks tired, adding new throw pillows in vibrant colors that either match or contrast your room’s colors can make a world of difference.  Pillows also help your old furniture regain its appeal.

The bathroom is the second most commonly remodeled room in the house (after the kitchen), but it can cost a lot of money to replace cabinets, fixtures, or tile. Simple things can help give your bathroom a face-lift:

  • Add candles for a lovely glow and inviting fragrance.
  • Get new towels to hang and repaint walls.
  • Re-grout any tiled areas for a fresh new feel.

Outdoors

Coming home from a long day of work to a worn-out looking home can be a downer. Add some hanging baskets of flowers or vines by the door and trim your path with a flower bed or decorative stone. Apply a little labor and repaint the trim on windows and doors to give your home a quick lift.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to make your Brooklyn home a haven.

If you would like more tips on sprucing up your home on a budget, subscribe to my blog.  Free tips like this one will be emailed to you about twice a week.


Charles D’Alessandro

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National and Brooklyn Real Estate Gets a Makeover

Thursday, January 21st, 2010


When home values started dropping in 2007, a lot of homeowners panicked and immediately began putting their houses on the national and Brooklyn real estate markets. The supply of homes for sale rose to a staggering amount and prices dropped lower, fueling more homeowners to “get out while they still could.”  However, as 2009 rolled to a close, a new trend that may mean a calming of the panicked markets began.

Meet the Nesters

During the real estate boom, house flippers popped up from everywhere. In fact, flipping houses became such a big industry that cable channel A&E began producing “Flip This House” for those who wanted to try it themselves. Houses had become financial investments, a way to build equity or even immediate cash. However, as prices dropped for national and Brooklyn real estate, investors found their investments failing.

So, if you can’t build equity, you can’t invest and you can’t flip homes, what good are they? Ask the “nesters,” who’ve decided that a home is something to hold on to and a good investment anyway.

2009 showed a 20% increase in the first three quarters for home construction according to NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), and another 8.7% increase in the last quarter of the year. The amount spent on remodeling in 2009 hit $114 billion by October. What are these nesters doing?

While some paying for remodeling are trying to raise the quality of their home to sell it, most are fixing it up to live in. Most people move to get more space, but these nesters would rather expand the place they live in than buy a new home. As well, many contractors believe the number of home improvement bids have gone up thanks to the $1,500 energy tax credit for raising the energy efficiency of a home.

Whatever the reason, the rise in nesters may mean an evening out of the housing supply. Although the national and Brooklyn real estate markets may not stabilize immediately, a drop in the number of homes hitting those markets could make all the difference in a housing recovery.

If you’re looking for a beautifully remodeled home, I can help. Call Charles D’Alessandro (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.


Charles D’Alessandro

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Should You Get Pre-qualified or Pre-approved for Brooklyn Homes for Sale?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

When you first start talking about buying Brooklyn homes for sale, you’ll hear “Oh, you should get pre-qualified first,” or “you should get pre-approved first.” So who’s right? What’s the difference between the two?  Is there any difference at all?

Pre-qualified Loans

Before shopping for Brooklyn homes for sale, you want to look at lenders. Not all mortgage lenders are created equal. Especially now, with the rocky economic times, you have to be especially careful who you get your mortgage through.  When you find a lender you’re comfortable with, you have two choices: start shopping for houses or get pre-qualified for a loan.

Pre-qualification for a loan is based on the best estimate of the loan officer, not “set-in-stone,” verified facts. The officer believes, because of the information you tell them, that you have good credit and can financially afford a specific loan amount. For this reason, because it isn’t verified, pre-qualification doesn’t hold as much weight with buyers. As well, you could still end up wasting a lot of time looking at houses you can’t afford.

Pre-approved Loans

The second step in getting a mortgage loan is pre-approval. With pre-approval, the lender has received verification that, yes, you are credit worthy and yes, you can afford up to a specific loan amount.

Pre-approval not only gives the seller the idea that you’re a good prospect, but it also helps you out while looking for a Brooklyn home:

  • You already know that you’re qualified to buy any home you look at that falls within your verified loan amount.
  • You have better negotiating power with the seller (who may be more willing to accept less than list price knowing that you are already pre-approved).
  • The closing period can happen faster, narrowing the typical 30-day period to less than three weeks.

In short, when looking at Brooklyn homes for sale, it’s better to be pre-approved, but you can’t get pre-approved for a mortgage without being pre-qualified.  So do yourself (and your new home) a favor and do both.

Need help selecting a mortgage lender?  I can help. Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate at 718 253-9600 ext206] or email me at [email protected] for more information.


Charles D’Alessandro

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Hud Announces Billions For Recovery Grants To Help Stabilize Brooklyn Neighborhoods

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN ANNOUNCES $2 BILLION IN RECOVERY ACT GRANTS TO STABILIZE NEIGHBORHOODS, REBUILD LOCAL ECONOMIES
Stabilization grants to help neighborhoods recover from the housing crisis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that HUD is awarding $2 billion in Recovery Act funding to states, local governments and non-profit housing developers, under HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), to spur economic development in hard-hit communities and create jobs. Nearly 60 grantees are receiving awards. A full list of grants awarded today can be found on HUD’s Recovery Act website.

Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this round of NSP grants is being awarded competitively to applicants who developed the most innovative ideas to rebuild local communities, while demonstrating that they have the capacity to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

“By investing Recovery Act dollars in revitalizing hard-hit neighborhoods, we’re not only creating new job opportunities, but giving communities across the country an opportunity for a fresh start,” said Vice President Biden. “These competitive awards go to the heart of the Recovery Act: funding innovative projects that both provide immediate relief and help lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth.”

“Vacant homes have a debilitating effect on neighborhoods and often lead to reduced property values, blight, and neighborhood decay,” said Donovan. “This additional $2 billion in Recovery Act funding will help stabilize hard hit communities by turning vacant homes into affordable housing opportunities. The Neighborhood Stabilization program is a key part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive approach to address the national housing and economic crisis.”

The $2 billion in NSP grants being awarded today will build on the work being done now to help state and local governments and non-profit developers collaborate to acquire land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; and/or to offer down-payment and closing cost assistance to low- to middle-income homebuyers. Grantees can also create “land banks” to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of foreclosed homes.

The awards will also require housing counseling for families receiving homebuyer assistance funds through NSP. In addition, it will protect homebuyers by requiring grantees to ensure that new homebuyers under this program obtain a mortgage from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created to redevelop hard-hit communities, create jobs, and grow local economies by providing communities with the resources to purchase and rehabilitate vacant homes and convert them to affordable housing. Last year, HUD awarded nearly $4 billion in NSP formula funds to over 300 grantees nationwide to help state and local governments respond to the housing crisis and falling home values.

In addition, on August 26, 2009, HUD awarded $50 million in technical assistance grants to help grantees more effectively manage the inventory of abandoned homes they purchase under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. HUD’s NSP technical assistance grants are helping NSP recipients to implement sound underwriting, management, and fiscal controls; measure outcomes created by public funds; build the capacity of public-private partnerships; develop strategies to serve low-income households; incorporate energy efficiency into NSP programs; provide support, and training on the operation of ‘land banks’; and train NSP recipients on HUD program rules and financial management requirements.

President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law on February 17, 2009 as the country faced the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The $787 billion Recovery Act program has already provided nearly $100 billion in tax relief for families and businesses, helped fill critical budget gaps for hard-hit state and local governments and jump-started tens of thousands of projects that are creating jobs and laying a new foundation for long-term economic growth. To learn more about the story of the Recovery Act, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/Recovery. To follow Recovery Act dollars, visit www.Recovery.gov.

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HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.


Charles D’Alessandro

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How to Pay Off Your Brooklyn Real Estate Mortgage Early

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Few things sound better than paying off a thirty-year Brooklyn real estate mortgage early.  Not only will you be free of mortgage payments, you could also save thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan.  Here are four ideas to help you pay off your mortgage early:

  1. Apply any windfall monies you receive to your mortgage balance.  Be sure to indicate that this is an extra payment and should be applied exclusively to your principle.
  2. Make bi-weekly mortgage payments.  Making exactly one-half payment every two weeks will add up to a total of twenty-six half payments per year.  Or, thirteen whole payments each year instead of twelve.  That’s the secret to paying off a Brooklyn real estate mortgage early with bi-weekly payments.  The interest rate itself isn’t reduced, but the amount of money you pay in interest on the principal is.
  3. Overpay a fixed amount every month.  By sending in an extra fixed amount as an additional principal payment every month, you’ll reduce the length of time it takes you to pay off your mortgage. By sending in a fixed amount every month, you can easily automate this process.
  4. Use a prepayment calculator to figure out other ways to pay your mortgage off early.  The free prepayment calculators available on the internet can also help you determine how quickly you can become mortgage free.

Before implementing any of these methods to pay off your Brooklyn real estate mortgage early, contact your mortgage lender to find out if you’ll be incurring any additional fees.  It’s also a good idea to ask your mortgage lender if there are any specific instructions you need to follow to be sure your payments are processed correctly.

Thinking about buying a home in Brooklyn New York that you can pay off quickly?  Call me now at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.


Charles D’Alessandro

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tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573
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