Archive for April, 2010

Getting Help for Moving Day after Buying Your Brooklyn Home

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Whew—you’re finished! You’ve signed all the forms and the race is won, you think. Okay, go ahead and sigh that huge gasp of relief that your Brooklyn home is finally yours.

That’s enough. Now, get yourself up and realize the heavy work is about to start. Oh yeah, you have to move all that stuff you’ve managed to accumulate over the past however many years you’ve been alive. Stuff doesn’t ever die; it just continues to follow you around.  So, how do you get it to your new Brooklyn home?  Here are a few ideas to help:

Send out invitations: You would do it for any other big event in your life. Send out invitations to your family and friends and invite them to help you on your big day. Make it sound like fun by promising a picnic in your new backyard either the day of the move or soon after. It doesn’t have to be a big complicated affair.  Order some take-out fried chicken or pizza and have plenty of beverages for sweaty, tired helpers.  Make it a real event that everyone can enjoy while laughing about the day’s adventures.

Store it: If you’re like most people, you have plenty of things you rarely use but can’t bear to get rid of. Take advantage of the fact that you’ll be packing all your things, and put those items you never use into boxes and tote them to a storage unit. You get to keep them, at least for now, but they won’t be cluttering up your brand new Brooklyn home.  In six months, if you haven’t missed the items, take the boxes (without opening them) to your favorite donation location.

Safeguard your pets: Moving day is hectic and can be frightening for your pets. Board your cats or dogs for the day. It will be worth the expense to make sure they don’t escape through doors propped open for moving.

Still looking for your Brooklyn dream home?  Give me a call today at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected], and together we’ll find your dream home fast.

Charles D’Alessandro

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

Make the Yard of Your Brooklyn Home a Bird Paradise

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Do you enjoy watching birds?  Would you like to attract more of them to the yard of your Brooklyn home?  Luckily, you can with the right setting.  Here are 3 steps to transform your landscape into a bird’s paradise:

Step 1:  Provide a food supply for your feathered friends.

One of the easiest ways to do so is through birdfeeders.  To ensure a throng of birds inhabits your landscape throughout most of the year, place birdfeeders in areas all over your Brooklyn home’s yard.

Step 2:  Supply a source of water for birds to drink and bathe in.

Birdbaths are an easy solution and wide varieties are available.  Shallow basins or troughs will also do the trick.  However, since birds enjoy moving water, you may want to include a feature in your landscape that circulates water.

Step 3:  Offer a safe shelter to perch and rest.

Birds want a place safe from the elements and predators.  Evergreen trees like cedar, pine and spruce are a good choice, as they allow birds to crawl into them and keep predators out.  Ornamental trees are another good choice that will not only provide shelter but perhaps even some food in the form of berries or insects.  Trees that birds find attractive include crabapple trees, flowering dogwood trees and Japanese snowdrop trees.

In addition to trees, you may want to provide birdhouses.  These also serve as shelter, as long as they are deep enough to protect the nest and have a small hole near the top and a cleanout panel.  The size of the hole and orientation to your Brooklyn home determine what birds inhabit it.  To keep inhabitants comfortable and safe, place birdhouses in a quiet, shady spot and secure them firmly.

Turning your yard into a bird paradise takes some time and effort, but it’s all worth it when your landscape is flittering with feathered activity throughout most of the year.

Want to purchase a home with a yard that you can turn into a bird paradise?  I can help.  Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate now 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

Will Your Credit Stop You from Getting a Brooklyn Real Estate Loan?

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Good credit is more important than ever, if you want to get a Brooklyn real estate loan.   Knowing what’s on your credit report and how lenders view various aspects of your report is crucial.

First Things First

Get a copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You are entitled to one free report every year from each of the three credit reporting companies.  Whether you’re considering getting a loan or not, you should always take advantage of that opportunity to make sure your credit reports are accurate.


FICO® scores range from 365 to 840. While the standards for what lenders consider a “good” FICO® score changes constantly and varies by lender, here’s a general breakdown of today’s standards:

  • Over 750 is excellent and should get you the best terms and rates.
  • Under 600 might get you a Brooklyn real estate loan, but you’ll want to shop for the lender who’ll give you the best rates and terms.
  • Under 500, you need to brace yourself for waiting until you get your credit in better condition.

What Determines Your Score

There are many things that can affect your score.  Magically (or not), each of the three companies tend to view things just a little differently, which means your score will not be the exact same for all three. That’s why it’s so important to get copies of your report from all of them. However, the two main things that all companies consider in rating your credit score are delinquencies and debt-to-income ratio.

What You Can Do To Immediately Improve Your Score

  • Check the entries: Make sure any debts or delinquencies listed are true. Report any errors.
  • Pay off debts: But do not close accounts. Having available credit is good as long as it doesn’t look like you’re over-extended by having your credit maxed out. The lender may worry that you’re living off your credit and can’t afford your bills.

If you would like more tips on how to improve your chances of getting a Brooklyn real estate loan, I can help. Call me today at (718)253-9600 ext206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro

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

Where Can I Find XYZ On the Brooklyn Real Estate Market?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

If you’re like me and other real estate agents, home sellers, homebuyers and homeowners, you’re always looking for a great resource for information on the Brooklyn real estate market. You have questions and you want answers.

  • What are the mortgages like in this area?
  • What are the current selling prices for homes?
  • What’s a specific neighborhood like?
  • Is there anything besides the economy affecting the Brooklyn real estate market?

For instance, you want to know current market trends. Are they stabilizing? Are things still sliding down hill? Is there a buying trend sellers can take advantage of to market their homes? While a professional real estate agent will help you sell or find a home, it doesn’t hurt for you to do some research on your own to become more knowledgeable. Who knows, you may come up with some ideas we haven’t thought of!

So where can you find reliable information on the real estate market? On the Internet, there are thousands, perhaps millions, of informational sites. Below are just a few of my personal favorites: (real estate) – The information on has no bias in terms of convincing you to sell or buy. Where are home prices falling? Where are they strongest? What information do you need to know as a buyer or seller? From mortgages to pricing and market stability, you can find it here. – If you can’t find it on CNNMoney, you can most likely find it on RISMedia. Home improvement, financing and foreclosure information are just a few of the topics. As well, because RISMedia is actually involved in real estate, you can find the latest market information. – DataQuick provides real estate data on a state-by-state basis or on a specific area. While the information can be a little technical for the non-real-estate-professional, if you want to know how the Las Vegas region is doing for home sales, or the average mortgage rates in Missouri, DQ can help. Depending on your area, you may have to pay for the data, but it’s fairly inexpensive and can give you great information.

If you’re interested in the Brooklyn real estate market in any way, bookmark this blog and the listed sites for easy reference. The more you know, the better you can prepare for upcoming trends, good or bad!

If you’re trying to sell your home, or are looking for your dream home to buy, I can help. Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate (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

First Impression May Be Your Last When Selling Brooklyn Real Estate

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

When people meet you for the first time, their first impression is usually a lasting one. You also never get a second chance to make that first impression when you’re selling your Brooklyn real estate. You need to present your home at its very best all the time.

Here are 3 things you can do to make a great first impression when selling your Brooklyn real estate:

1. Clean up the yard: A messy yard is a distraction. It can be time consuming to keep up with general yard work, but it’s worth the effort. Overgrown shrubs, limp lawns, and general disarray can turn off a potential buyer. If you have to hire someone to come in and give your yard a quick pick me up, it’s worth the money.

2. Get Rid of Items You Don’t Need: Be very strict about this and get rid of all but the bare necessities. You don’t have to throw or give everything away. Find a storage unit and put the things in there you will be taking with you to your new home but do not need immediate access to for now.

3. Fix Up the Little Things: Little things count. If you have a leaky faucet, a broken tile in the floor or a crack on the wall, now is the time to fix it. Little flaws like this make potential buyers worry that there are bigger problems waiting to be found.

Selling Brooklyn real estate is a lot of work. You can get it sold faster, easier and a lot less stressful. for the most money when you take the time to make a great first impression.

If you have any questions about what you can do to make your home sell faster, I can help. Call me today at (718)253-9600 EXT.206] or email me at [email protected].

Charles D’Alessandro

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

How to Make Sure You’ll make it to Closing on Your New Brooklyn Real Estate

Friday, April 16th, 2010

You’ve gotten your financing, your offer has been accepted and you just have to wait the few weeks until your closing date and your new Brooklyn real estate is all yours. Nothing can go wrong, right? Wrong!

Technically nothing is likely to go wrong in that period of time, when it comes to the actual process of the property transfer. However, people often make critical mistakes that cripple their deals in that tense time right before closing.

Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Closing

Buy a new car: Don’t buy a new car or any big ticket item that might flag your loan company. Your credit will be continuously under review and your Brooklyn real estate loan can be turned down at any time up until closing, even after it was accepted. Keep that in mind when doing anything that will impact your debt-to-income ratio.

Quit or change jobs: This will also look suddenly troubling to your finance company. Don’t give them any reason to change their minds. If you really need to switch jobs, hopefully it can wait a few weeks.

Move money around: Keep things as stable as possible during the weeks before closing. There are few things that can’t wait. Even if you had planned to move to a new bank, or buy into stocks or IRAs, but were delaying it in order to get your loan in the first place, don’t jump the gun now. Wait a few more weeks.

Take new credit card offers: No matter how attractive they are, don’t accept any new credit offers. In fact, you’ll probably get a glut of junk mail or email offers for new credit cards now that you have been approved for a big loan. Don’t do it. Wait until after closing, if you have any desire to take them. Your loan company will get nervous if you suddenly have the opportunity to build a lot of debt.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling Brooklyn real estate, give me a call today at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected].  I’ll guide you step-by-step through the entire process including your successful closing.

Charles D’Alessandro

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

Taking the Plunge and Buying Brooklyn Real Estate Makes Perfect Sense

Monday, April 12th, 2010

There has truly never been a better time to think about buying a new home. The current economy has created a buyers’ market like never before. This works to your advantage, and the fact that the real estate market is recovering means that buying Brooklyn real estate as a future investment is a smart move.

Consider New Construction

Builders are faced with unsold homes in developments and are willing to make deals. They are interested in all reasonable offers, and, especially if you have pre-approved financing, will negotiate with your real estate agent to give you better price and terms. It is in their best interest to get their existing homes sold.

Best Mortgage Rates in Current History

You can take advantage of the low mortgage rates to get fantastic payments on your new Brooklyn real estate. These low rates won’t last forever, so if you have good credit and solid employment, buy now to make your new home truly affordable.

Tax Credits

If you or your spouse has never owned a home, or if neither of you have owned a home as a principle residence in the past 3 years, buying a home now makes financial sense. You will get a large tax rebate at the end of the year for making a home purchase now.  However, you must act immediately because you have to have a binding contract signed no later than April 30, 2010, and close on the home no later than June 30, 2010, in order to qualify for this first-time home buyer tax credit.

If you’re a repeat home buyer, you too might qualify for a tax credit.  Again, you must act fast.  The same dates apply for this repeat home buyer tax credit as for the first-time home buyer tax credit.

Affordability and Availability

The market is wide open for buyers now, and finding the perfect home at a reasonable price is easier than ever before. Waiting too long can prove to be a very costly decision. The market is getting stronger and tax credits are coming to an end. Over the course of the next year, it will become increasingly more difficult to buy Brooklyn real estate at prices and rates now available.

If you would like more information on the intelligence of buying a new home now, please call me today at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected].  I look forward to talking with you!

Life after Tax Credits – Brooklyn Homes for Sale

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The government’s first-time and repeat-buyer tax credits gave homeowners with Brooklyn homes for sale a lot of hope. The potential for getting their homes sold seemed infinitely higher. The credit expires at the end of this month though, and many homes are still on the market. If yours is one of them, what should you do?

Don’t Panic!

The first inclination for many homeowners with Brooklyn homes for sale is to panic.  Often, it’s during the hard periods of life that something miraculous happens. You find the job of your dreams after searching for two years for any kind of job at all. Your life has been plagued by bad relationships so often that you’ve quit looking and then – out of nowhere – your soul mate walks up. You need to sell your house, money is tight, you might have to walk away… and a buyer appears, ready to close immediately.

Don’t scoff; it happens. In fact, life is so full of “sudden happenings” that the miraculous becomes common. By allowing panic to get in the way, you may be locking the door that opportunity knocks on.

Look At Your Options

Sometimes, we’re so full of worry that we miss obvious possibilities. Now is a perfect time to take a deep breath, clear your mind of worry (as much as possible) and look at what you’ve done to sell your home. Once you’ve outlined what you’ve done, you’re then free to look at what you can still do. Here are a few things you might not have considered:

  • Research owner financing – Owner financing opens the door to many potential buyers, but it also provides benefits to you. For instance, if you have a lot of bills that need to be paid, the down payment from the buyer may be enough to take care of the important ones. Additionally, monthly payments from the buyer may be enough to keep you afloat while you’re looking for a job, trying to pay rent or feed your family.
  • Create a “honey do” list – If you’ve lived in a home for several years, you’ve probably become used to cracks in the walls, peeling paint or squeaky doors. Invite an honest friend or your real estate agent to look around for you and help you create a “honey do” list. If you’re handy, a lot can be fixed with very low cost. If you’re not, hiring a handyman may be something to consider.
  • Reassess your marketing – If your home hasn’t had a single view and has been on the market for quite a while, you may not have the marketing reach you think you do. If pictures of your home are on the Internet, make sure they show the home’s best features.  Talk with your real estate agent about marketing techniques they recommend using.

It’s hard to blow off worry during times of high stress. However, if you can step away for just a minute to clear your head and think, you just might find your miraculous answer for taking your home off the list of  Brooklyn homes for sale.

If you’re ready to sell your home, I’m here to help.Turn the marketing of your home and worrying about it over to me.  Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate 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

3 Tips for a Better Deal on Brooklyn Real Estate

Monday, April 5th, 2010

As a buyer in this buyers’ market, there are plenty of opportunities to get great Brooklyn real estate at rock bottom prices. Because of the large amount of housing inventory throughout the nation, home sellers (those who recognize the level of competition, anyway) are much more willing to negotiate.

If you’re looking for the perfect piece of Brooklyn real estate, here are a few tips to help you get a great price:

Stay Updated

Looking online is a great place to start. However, be aware that you have a large possibility of getting outdated information. You can find a beautiful dream home and contact the agent only to find that the listing has expired or the house has sold. Stay updated. Ask your Brooklyn real estate agent to register your email address for daily MLS (multiple listing service) updates so you can get information as soon as it comes out.

Visit Homes with Reduced Pricing

Sometimes you may see a home that has more than one price reduction. For many, this is a sign that something is wrong with the house. Today, there’s a great possibility that there’s nothing wrong and the homeowner is simply trying to get the home sold in a competitive market. Tour the homes with recent price reductions as well as those on the market for more than 30 days. These home sellers may be more interested in selling for lower prices.

Look for Possible Negotiation Points

Even homes with higher prices may be worth looking at, due to the many ways you and your real estate agent might find to negotiate. For instance, it’s always wise to get a home inspection before signing the contract. Depending on what the home inspector finds, you may be able to negotiate for lower closing costs or a lower price.

Right now, it’s important to remember that just because a house is listed at a specific price doesn’t mean that price can’t change. If you’re a buyer interested in Brooklyn real estate, whether as your personal residence or an investment, take a chance. Find out how low buyers will go!

If you’re looking for a great price on a great home, 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

2 Big Housing Trends That May Affect Your Home for Sale in Brooklyn

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

The real estate market is shifting toward some definite trends that may affect your home for sale in Brooklyn Since 2006, the median cost of a home has dropped almost 30%. The good news, according Moody’s, is that most of the nation’s metropolitan areas are expected to see less than a 5% drop in prices a year from now. Even better news, 10% are expected to see modest increases.

If you have a home for sale in Brooklyn, keeping an eye on the trends can greatly increase your chances of selling, no matter what the area. Here are two of the biggest trends:

Trend #1:  Home Prices Staying Down

Home inventories are slowly creeping back up, and another 3 million distressed homes are expected to be foreclosed on this year. As well, one-fourth of current homeowners are now underwater with their mortgages, and 18% of borrowers are choosing to walk away. In short, stressors on the current housing market may very well push national median prices down another 5%, as mentioned above.

How can I take advantage?

With the glut of foreclosed homes, they’re likely to be your highest competition.  That means competing in price could be disastrous. Instead, play up the advantages of your home. For instance, foreclosed homes may need a lot of fixing up.  To compete, make sure your home is inspected and fixed up before it’s listed. Once you know there aren’t a lot of problems add a one-year warranty for the buyer that covers fixes such as the furnace or water heater. It’s inexpensive and may very well make the difference in how quickly and at what price you sell your home.

Trend #2:  Small Homes Selling Faster Than Large Homes

Larger, more expensive homes now have a 20-month backlog in inventory. They cost more and require a larger financial commitment. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the median home size dropped from 2,300 to 2,100 square feet since 2007.

How can I take advantage?

If you have a large home, don’t wait until prices dip further; put it on the market now. The major key to getting it sold now is price.  Keep the price competitive, and start out low enough so that you won’t have to drop the price more than once. This is a red flag for buyers.

If you have a smaller home for sale in Brooklyn, you’re already set to take advantage. People also want to lower their energy bills, which usually happens with a smaller home.  Market these advantages for a better chance of selling.

If you want to sell your home, it helps to keep up with the housing trends and look at each one to see how you can take advantage of it.

If you’re trying to sell your home, I can help. Call me at Fillmore Real Estate  (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