Archive for March, 2010

Buyer Beware: Worldwide, National, Brooklyn Homes and Scams

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Whether you’re looking at Brooklyn homes, homes across the nation or homes abroad, there’s always the possibility of getting caught in a scam.

Many potential homebuyers and renters choose to go it alone and find the home of their dreams without professional help. While this method of house hunting works for some it definitely doesn’t work for all, and the consequences often far outweigh the benefits. Yes, the same can apply for home sellers as well!

Real Estate Scams

Here are a few real estate scams to watch out for:

  • Down Payment Assistance Programs are wonderful gifts for potential buyers of Brooklyn homes. However, there are certain rules that have to be followed for this down payment gift to be legal. For instance, as a gift, the homebuyer doesn’t have to pay it back. Some unscrupulous companies offer Down Payment Assistance Programs but expect the money back. This isn’t a gift; it’s a loan, and illegal if the program is listed as “down payment assistance.”
  • Property flipping scams happen when a con artist buys a home and sells it as an investment opportunity with zero down payment, no closing costs, low interest rate, etc. Although it sounds like a great deal, it becomes a scam when the house is severely overpriced and the buyer pays way more than the house is worth.
  • Craigslist is an excellent resource for those wanting to buy or sell something. However, it is also a great source for con artists, who have turned their eyes to the real estate market. The scammers take information from legitimate listings on other websites (such as REALTOR® websites) and post it as their own on Craigslist. They often mention that they had to move for some reason, but can still rent/sell the home. All the buyers or renters have to do is send them their personal information and the first month’s rent or down payment.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget to protect yourself. Be cautious when looking for  Brooklyn homes or selling them. Always check references and backgrounds. As well, if the home seller is in another country or another state, ask them if they’d be willing to use a local real estate agent.  Then be sure to verify the agent’s credentials.

If you want to buy or sell a house and need a professional, I can help. Call me at (718) 253-9600 or email me at [email protected] for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

A Tree Falls In Brooklyn- Brooklyn Real Estate A New Beginning!

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

As Maria and I take our morning walk around Maine Park Brooklyn we are amazed by the devastation of the many fallen trees from the past storm, 60 in all! Some of the trees are as much as 80 years of age. Our thoughts where, how terrible this is all these trees we will never recover from this it may never be the same again,

Then we walked past to the Marine Park Nature Center, a little further ahead, there where many young trees that where planted a few years back. The trees where budding with flowers and new leaves.  The birds seemed to be getting ready to find the perfect spot to nest and raise their new families, spring is on its way.” A New Beginning”!

In my thoughts where the similarities with the Brooklyn real estate market for the past couple of years. Like the mighty oaks we have grown accustom to seeing each day, as we walk by them full of life expecting continued growth year after year, now is time for us to plant new trees for future generations to enjoy and watch grow.

2010 is that time for growth in our financial markets as well as the Brooklyn Real Estate market. Spring is on its way! It’s time for us to look for that nest to enjoy, and raise our families

The storm has past, time to clean up and start new. For some it may be time to clean up credit reports and others may want to go over their own financial statements and create goal to buy in the future. I believe it is time for a new beginning. Future generations will see 2010 as the beginning of their time of growth.

For others who have waited out the storm “The Clock Is Ticking”, the Federal Home Buyers Tax credit runs out on April 30th and may never return. This may be you “Perfect Storm”, Low interest rates, fallen prices, Lots of Inventory to select from.

You do not want to be the one to look back and say I shouldda or couldda but didn’t! Make 2010 the time for your new beginning, and start building for your future If you are interested in finding your  Brooklyn home or creating a plan for one in the future call Charles D’Alessandro at Fillmore Real Estate my # is (718) 253-9699 or email me [email protected]

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

National and Brooklyn Homes for Sale – Economists Predict Housing Shortage

Friday, March 19th, 2010

As a real estate agent for Brooklyn homes for sale, part of my job is keeping up with current real estate news. Most of the time, I’m largely unsurprised by the news that comes across my desk, but this little tidbit blew me away.

For two years now, we’ve seen mass foreclosures, people walking away from their underwater mortgages and warnings that there’s more to come. Foreclosure numbers reached all time highs, housing prices have reached all time lows and half the country is unemployed. It’s enough to make a homeowner with one of the Brooklyn homes for sale have a mental breakdown.

However, in February, the news went out, flooring most in the real estate industry: severe shortage of property predicted by the middle of 2011. This may sound unbelievable.  (It was a hard one for me to swallow.)  But, the construction industry has also been hard hit by the economic downturn, which means that fewer homes are being built. Combine fewer homes being built with population expansion and suddenly there’s a housing shortage.

Good News for Homeowners

In a recession, people have a tendency to live together because it’s cheaper. College students continue to live with their parents, divorce rates go down and more people share homes. However, we currently have over 300 million people living in the U.S. and we’re down to less than seven months’ inventory.

This is great news for homeowners trying to sell their homes – or even homeowners who just need more equity – although the repercussions may take awhile to spread.

In several high population areas and college towns, the demand forBrooklyn housing is on the rise. As we’ve talked about before, this brings in the age-old laws of supply and demand. The lower the supply and the higher the demand, the higher prices rise. The more value a home has in price, the higher the equity.

So, for those who have Brooklyn homes for sale, take heart! A housing shortage may be hard to believe right now, but, if what the economists say is true, it’s on its way. Stay on your toes, make sure all your ducks are in a row and prepare for the rush on home sales.

If you’re trying to sell your home, or are looking for a great home to buy, I can help. Call me at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

Fillmore Real Estate Tax Credit Sale–Price Improvements Open House Weekend

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Fillmore Real Estate Tax Credit Sale – Open House Weekend working with sellers to create even more incentive for you to purchase a Brooklyn Home before time runs out. Our Federal Tax Credit Sale has resulted in over 100 Brooklyn Open Houses on properties all with Reduced Pricing  Check out our Open House’sand Price Improvements page for great homes to buy.

The weather is predicted to be great and real estate deals will be made!

Come see and Compare Fillmore Real Estate’s Open House weekend, Saturday March 20th and Sunday March 21st .Follow this link for more information on the Federal First time buyers tax refund

For more information call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate 718 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected]

Choosing the Right Brooklyn Home for You And Your Family

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

As you are looking for the ideal home for you and your family, you may find yourself trying to decide between two similar homes. You could have worse problems than this on your Brooklyn home search, but how do you decide which home is better for you and your family?

Here are primary points to consider:

  1. Location. This is where you are going to live. You need to consider how far away it is from work, schools, and shopping. You probably want to do as little driving as possible. A Brooklyn home close to where you will be spending your time away from home may be the better choice for you.
  1. Home repairs. What will you need to do to the home once you move in? Think about the time and money you will have to invest in the home before making your decision. A home in slightly better shape may be the better option for you so you can concentrate on getting settled in your new home after moving in.
  1. Age of appliances. This can make a big difference in your choice. Do you really want to have to replace the appliances soon after you move in? Your might be better choosing a home with newer appliances.
  1. Hobbies. Is there a car lover or avid crafter in your family? Look at which home has the most to offer these people. Perhaps one garage has been expanded or has built-in work benches. Maybe a closet already has a space to organize craft supplies.

Let me help you find the Brooklyn home that best fits your lifestyle. Call me today at (718) 253-9600 ext206 or email me at [email protected]].

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

Helping Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent Get You into a New Home

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Buying a home is often considered one of the most stressful things you will do in your life.  Unless you’re a real estate investor, you will most likely experience some degree of home buyer stress.” Buying real estate does not have to be stressful”.

You can help your Brooklyn real estate agent find you a home, and successfully close the deal, if you are as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. Here are a few tips to help you be ready and make your transition as painless and stress free as possible.

Have all of your financial records in order. This includes:

  • Income records: You usually need two recent pay stubs. If you are self-employed, it will get trickier.  Want to be even more prepared?  Get pre-approved for your mortgage.
  • A clean credit report: Make use of those free credit reports and check for errors, outstanding debts, and a high debt-to-income ratio.  If you find any errors, it’s worth your time to get them fixed prior to applying for a loan or searching for a home.
  • Know what you want: As unusual as that seems, not knowing specifically what you need and want in a new home can prolong the search and have you and your agent running in circles trying to find the right home. Price is only one of the considerations. Know how many bathrooms and bedrooms you need. If there are specific amenities you desire, let them be known.  Don’t wait until you’ve traveled all over the countryside looking at homes to tell your Brooklyn real estate agent you absolutely must have a sunken tub.

Read up on everything you can find that will help you understand the options available to you and what you need to get financing and you will be your own best asset in finding the perfect home. Making your Brooklyn real estate agent work smarter, not harder, is the way to a beneficial arrangement for you both.

If you’re looking for the home of your dreams, I can help.Just click; Find The House of Your Dreams], or call me at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

Choosing the Right Brooklyn Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Choosing the right Brooklyn real estate agent for you is a vital task. This is someone who will be inside your home, interacting with your family and working with one of your most valued possessions—your home. You need to find someone you trust to take care of you and give you the best advice. So what should you look for in an agent?

  • Personality. You need to get along with your REALTOR®. Interview Brooklyn real estate agents. Get to know them. Do you trust them? Can you ask them questions? Are you comfortable around them? Be honest as you answer these questions. If something doesn’t feel right to you, trust your instinct.
  • Work Ethic. Does your real estate agent return your calls within a reasonable amount of time? Do they answer your questions without making you feel foolish? Do their office hours fit with your schedule?
  • Environment. REALTORS® either work for brokers at a large franchised real estate agency or for brokers with a small boutique agency. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. This is your own personal preference. Choose which you think will work for you.
  • Experience. Agents with years of experience tend to understand more about market fluctuations. On the other hand, newer agents don’t always have as many clients at one time, so they may be able to provide more individualized care.
  • Specialization.  To get the best advice, find an agent who specializes in selling homes in your Brooklyn community.

I may be the Brooklyn real estate agent for you. Call me Charles D’Alessanndro of Fillmore Real Estate your Brooklyn Realtor today at(718) 253-9600 ext.206] or email me at [email protected] to find out more about my experience and areas of specialization.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

Before Painting Your Brooklyn Home For Sale

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Nothing makes a Brooklyn home for sale look better than a new coat of paint.  Many people are intimidated by the thought of painting the exterior of their home, and hire someone else to do it.  But, you can do it yourself, with these easy steps:

Getting Your House Ready to Paint

The first thing that you’ll need to do is inspect the house.  Look at all the walls, under the eaves and around the doorframe and windows.  Check for peeling paint, mildew and rough surfaces.

You’ll need to gather a few tools before getting to the repairs and putting your Brooklyn home up for sale:

  • Power-washer
  • 2-3” inch putty knife
  • 2-3” inch pull scraper
  • Wire brush
  • Sander
  • Chlorine bleach

Preparing the Surface

Power-wash the walls so you’ll have a clean surface.  You don’t need to use detergents; plain ol’ water works the best.

The putty knife and the wire brush remove problems where paint has peeled, blistered or wrinkled.  Avoid gouging the surface by holding the putty knife perpendicular to the wall and using moderate force.

The pull scraper is for areas that won’t easily come clean.  It’s used the same way as the putty knife, but it has a sharp blade attached that quickly gets through old paint.  The walls will need to be sanded smooth after you finish this step.

For small spots, a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block works just fine.  An electric sander is best for large areas; it’ll save you time and energy.

Removing Mildew

Mildew is a dark patch of fungus, like a dirty spot, often found on a damp, shady spot in your house.  If you aren’t sure it’s mildew, put a few drops of chlorine bleach on it.  If the spot fades away, you know you have a mildew problem.

Mildew shows through new paint, so you’ll need to get rid of it before you start painting.  A simple mix of chlorine bleach will kill it quickly.

All you have to do now is pick out a paint color and wait for the right weather to paint.  Soon you’ll be ready to put up your Brooklyn home for sale.

If you’re thinking of selling your Brooklyn home, I can help.  Call me today at (718)253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

Brooklyn Home for Sale – Are You Obsessing?

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

The national real estate market, state markets and city markets all seemed to be wrapped up in a nifty bundle that effect whether your Brooklyn home for sale will have a buyer. With the news reports over the last two years about the pop of the housing bubble, homeowners everywhere essentially lost their minds.

Here are a few examples:

  • Some homeowners panicked and immediately put their houses up for sale
  • Some homeowners chose to walk away from it all, leaving their homes vacant and mortgages in default
  • Some homeowners went into a flurry of home renovations, with the idea of selling
  • National and Brooklyn home for sale listings shot through the roof

The amazing thing isn’t that the real estate market seems to be stabilizing – that’s not the miracle. The miracle is that we still even have a real estate market at all.

Obsessing Over the Sale

This year opened up with a lot of homes on the market, but it also opened with a lot of sellers digging into real estate news. They’ve started obsessing; they’ve started pouring over online real estate digests, articles and blogs. In fact, the traffic for this site alone has jumped tremendously.

While it’s understandable that you, as the seller, want to know what your chances are for selling your home, obsessing is bad for business. Especially if you’re dealing with potential buyers in person, your eagerness to sell can show in very bad ways. You might end up selling the home for way less than you could have – or you might not sell your home at all if they sense desperation.

If you’re obsessing over whether your home will sell or not, stop. Take a deep breath. Relax. Even if you’re in a hurry, taking a short break from worry can help clear your mind and leave it open for better ideas.

It may be hard to remember sometimes, and giving trust is always difficult, but that’s what we’re here for. You hired your real estate agent to take care of your Brooklyn home for sale and get it off the market. We do the research on the market and we have the experience.  In other words, we do the worrying for you!

If you’d like to sell your home, I can help. Call me (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573

Should You Consider a Short Sale on Your Brooklyn Home?

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

A short sale happens when a lender agrees to accept less than the balance remaining on a home. It is a way for sellers to avoid foreclosure and sell their Brooklyn homes.

It seems like a good idea for people who owe more on their home than it’s worth, but that doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. Should you consider a short sale on your Brooklyn home?

Pros to doing a short sale:

  • You will be able to sell your property, get out from under a mortgage you cannot afford and lower your debt.
  • You can still sell your property in a declining real estate market, even if you owe more than the home is worth.
  • Buyers sometimes get good deals on the property or may be able to buy a home at market value in a popular area they couldn’t previously afford.
  • While a short sale isn’t ideal, it is typically better than a foreclosure which stays on your credit report for 10 years.
  • If your home goes into foreclosure and is sold at auction for less than the mortgage, you can still be held responsible for making up the difference.

Cons to doing a short sale:

  • The lender may refuse to do the short sale, or they may still hold you responsible for the remaining debt.
  • The bank’s loss is considered taxable income for you, and you may have to pay taxes on the amount.
  • Short sales do stay on your credit report and may make it difficult for you to a get loan in the future.
  • You may have to find a real estate agent willing to work for a smaller commission.
  • Short sales take longer to close than traditional home sales.

I can help you decide if a short sale on your Brooklyn home is right for you. Call me today at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected] for more information about your selling options.

Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573