Archive for March, 2011

Turn A Brooklyn New York Home into Pot of Gold with Just a Little Green

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Turn A Brooklyn New York Home into Pot of Gold with Just a Little Green

As houses continue to sit on the market without the slightest sign of interested buyers, sellers are lowering prices and pouring more money into upgrades and remodels. While these updates might help increase sales, you could achieve the same results with your Brooklyn New York home by spending less cash and adding more green.

With the growing demand for green features, buyers like the idea of purchasing an energy efficient Brooklyn  house that already contains a few eco-conscious elements. From environmentally sound materials to energy efficient windows and doors, just adding one green upgrade could be the ticket to spark interest and sell your Brooklyn New York home.

6 eco-features buyers love:

  1. Water-saving appliances – Install low-flow toilets and aerators on showers to reduce your water usage and see a surprising reduction in your bills.
  2. High-efficiency filters and air purifiers – Remove even the smallest dust particles and kill bacteria that could be floating throughout your house.
  3. Paving stones – Use paving stones for your driveway in place of concrete. It looks quaint and allows rainwater to seep into the ground, instead of flooding the storm water system.
  4. A sealed garage – Properly seal your garage to ensure poisonous fumes and outdoor contaminates don’t accidentally seep into your living areas.
  5. Solar power – Decrease your energy bill by incorporating these sun soakers into your grid. Just make sure they’re positioned discretely, so they don’t become an eyesore.
  6. Efficient windows – Help regulate your home’s temperature by limiting air leakage.

If you don’t have the cash to turn your house completely green, just update one or two features and be sure to highlight them when marketing your home. By providing your potential buyer with energy savings, you may also save yourself time and money when your home sells faster and for more money.

Don’t endure another day of waiting for someone to buy your Brooklyn New York home. With the right updates and marketing, I can help you turn your house green and cash in on your pot of gold.  Call me Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com for more information.

Double-Check Public Records on Your Brooklyn New York Home for Sale

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Marketing your Brooklyn New York home for sale can be tough enough in this economy without having other sources working against you. That’s why you should double-check your Brooklyn property’s public records. Large discrepancies between your property description and what’s listed as public record could be turning potential buyers away.

If the public property report for your house is not up to date, you could appear as if you’re inflating its qualities, such as the square footage or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Don’t let something so simple hurt your property’s sale. Consider taking the following steps to ensure your home is being portrayed accurately.

  1. Review your property’s public record. If it matches the information that you and your real estate agent have been promoting for your house, then you’re good to go. It won’t take long, and it will give you peace of mind.
  2. Ensure that your house’s updates, renovations and additions are all included. Evaluate the report to determine if any updates have been made but not recorded. Was there an addition added without a building permit or a basement finished to include another bedroom? Every square foot counts!
  3. Fix any discrepancies. Check with your county tax assessor about updating your public record; they’ll want an accurate report for tax purposes anyway. While this might take some time and effort, having an accurate description of your property could help you sell it faster and avoid more months of mortgage payments.

Not only could an inaccurate public record hurt your Brooklyn home for sale, it could also hurt your house’s value.  Typically, real estate appraisers only consider square footage that they can verify through a building permit. If your records aren’t up to date, you may end up getting less than your property is worth.

If your Brooklyn  home for sale has yet to sell and you’d like more information on how to check its public records, give Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate a call at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at  charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com

Charles D’Alessandro Brooklyn Realtor® Answers Mortgage Questions

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

3 Tips for Buying Brooklyn New York Foreclosures

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011


Despite all the stories you hear on the news, buying Brooklyn home foreclosures doesn’t have to be a negative experience.  Here are 3 tips to make the process smoother and more profitable for you:

Tip #1:  Allow plenty of time for the whole process.

Brooklyn foreclosures take longer to get to closing than traditional homes.  What takes so long?  As you probably know, there are a lot of foreclosures happening now.  That means there is a large backlog of foreclosures lenders have to process before they get to yours.

Another common problem that extends the buying time for foreclosures is title issues. Before closing, the new mortgage lender needs to prove that you have a clean title so they feel safe lending the money.  Each step of a foreclosure increases the amount of time before you can close.

If you can’t be patient, don’t drive yourself crazy by purchasing a foreclosure.  But if you can be patient, the wait can be well worth the savings.

Tip #2:  Flash your cash.

Because bad loans weaken the banks’ bottom line, they will usually accept a lower sales price with a cash offer over a higher sales price that requires financing.  So, the more cash you can flash, the better your chance of getting a great deal.

Pay close attention to the condition of Brooklyn New York foreclosures.

Foreclosures are offered “as-is.”  Do a walk-through of the property before making an offer to ensure it’s worth the price.  Include a final walk-through in the real estate contract to assure the home is in the same condition as it was when the offer was made.  By including an escape clause, if the current residents trash the place, you have the option to walk away.

If you’re in the market to buy a foreclosure, I can help.  Give me Charles The Realtor® of Fillmore Real Estate a call today at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com

How to Clean a Brooklyn New York Home with a Pet

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


If you have a pet, you know how difficult it is to keep your Brooklyn New York  home clean with a pet (or two or three) living with you.  There’s the ever present pet hair that clings to everything.   And, the pet food, water, toys and treats that are scattered from room to room.

We love our pets and wouldn’t live without them.  But, life would be much more pleasant without the pet mess.  Here are a few ideas to help tame the pet mess in your Brooklyn New York  home:

1.      Brush your pet outside. This will drastically cut down on the amount of pet hair in your home.

2.      Brush your pet regularly. Since pets shed frequently, try to brush them at least once a week.  Some people recommend daily brushing.  If you have time for daily brushing, it’d be great, but I don’t know anyone who has that kind of time.

3. Pick a pet that doesn’t shed and is hypoallergenic. Put this on your “How to Choose My Next Pet” checklist.

4.      Invest in good lint rollers. You can get these at most big retail stores.  Use them in your house to remove pet hair from your furniture and clothing, and also have one in your car for those times you see stray pet hair on your clothes.

5.      Vacuum, sweep and/or mop frequently. Pet fur will get worse if you don’t vacuum frequently.  It winds itself around the carpet fibers and becomes difficult to remove.  If you don’t remove the pet hair from the environment often, it will float into the air and land who knows where, including on your food.

6.      Get rid of the carpet. Pet hair and bodily fluids from pets are much easier to remove from tile and wood floors than from carpet.  Keep your pets out of rooms, such as bedrooms, where you really want to keep the carpet.

If you establish a schedule to brush your pet and vacuum your carpets, you’ll find keeping your Brooklyn New York home clean, even with a messy pet, becomes as simple as any other weekly routine.

Want to buy a home that’s pet friendly?  I can help.  Give me Charles D’Alessandro with Fillmore Real Estate your Brooklyn Realtor® a call today at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com

Selling Brooklyn New York Real Estate: FSBO vs. REALTOR®

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The ongoing debate as to whether selling your Brooklyn New York real estate is better as a FSBO or with the help of a REALTOR® just got some new ammunition.  The new survey supports past findings that using a REALTOR® is more beneficial to Brooklyn New York real estate sellers.

The survey, conducted by HomeGain.com, a leading online real estate resource that connects home buyers and sellers with real estate professionals, surveyed over 1,000 homeowners.   Here’s what HomeGain’s survey found:

  • 83% of homeowners surveyed said they used a REALTOR® to sell their home and 17% said they tried to sell their home on their own.
  • 59% of homeowners that used a REALTOR® to sell their homes were successful vs. 39% of FSBO’s, reflecting a 50% higher closing rate for those home sellers using a REALTOR®.
  • 81% percent of homeowners that used a REALTOR® to try and sell their homes said they would use a REALTOR® again for their real estate needs.
  • 88% of homeowners who sold their homes using a REALTOR® said they would use a REALTOR® again.
  • 71% of FSBOs who managed to sell their Brooklyn homes on their own said they would try and sell their Brooklyn homes on their own again.
  • 24% of FSBOs eventually enlisted the aid of a REALTOR® to help sell their homes.

If you’re ready to use the method most likely to get your Brooklyn New York real estate sold, give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate a call today at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com

Brooklyn Real Estate Lingo 101

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Do you know how closing costs actually work? Or, how you’d use CMAs (comparative market analysis) to evaluate Brooklyn New York real estate? And, can you decipher all of the abbreviations and acronyms, such as FDR, lo dues and MLS.

Purchasing a home is frustrating enough without having to go through the frustration of decoding all the complicated speak and legalese. If you brush up with a real estate dictionary before your home-buying search, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and save yourself a lot of time and headaches in the long run.

Basic lingo every Brooklyn New York real estate buyer or seller should know …

  • ARM – This stands for Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, which is a type of mortgage where the interest rate periodically adjusts.
  • Closing costs – These are miscellaneous expenses buyers and sellers pay upon closing; they usually include brokerage commission, escrow taxes, recording fees, etc.
  • CMA – This stands for Comparable Market Analysis, which is a report of recently sold, comparable homes in the same market as the home you’re selling.
  • ERV Estimated Rental Value
  • FDR – Formal Dining Room
  • Fixture – Anything that is permanently attached to the home, such as door knobs, carpeting, light fixtures and landscaping
  • FP – Fireplace
  • HDW – Hard Wood Floors
  • Lo dues – Dues paid to the homeowners association
  • MLSMultiple Listing Service, which is an organization that compiles multiple listings into one report and distributes it to all of their realty members.
  • PSF – Per Square Foot
  • Sale price – The actual price at which the property sells.

Don’t let the hectic housing market overwhelm you.  If you understand Brooklyn New York real estate lingo, you’ll be more knowledgeable and able to easily achieve your real estate goals.

If you have questions about any of these terms or want help achieving your real estate goals, call me Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate, your Brooklyn New York Realtor® at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com for more information.

Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate Your Brooklyn Realtor

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate

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Brooklyn Multiple Listing Search

Searching for the perfect Brooklyn Home or a Realtor® who gets homes sold?  Congratulations, you’ve just found one ! Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor®. I’d be honored if you’d give me a chance to interview for the job of selling your Brooklyn New York home.  Please call me at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com to

3 Simple Steps to Prepare Your Brooklyn Home for Sale

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Here are a few tips to help your Brooklyn home for sale show better and sell faster.

1.      Get rid of the excess: Eliminate as much as possible, and then do it again.  Remember when staging your Brooklyn home for sale, less is best.  Swap out personal photos for framed art.  The main idea is to remove as much as possible and replace personal items with neutral objects so that people can imagine their things in the home.

2.      Repair and paint: Before painting, fix all those minor dings that don’t really bother you.  Buyers notice everything.  A missing piece of baseboard, an outlet that doesn’t work, or a closet door that won’t stay on track all seem minor, but they can have a huge affect on how a buyer views your home.  The next step is to apply a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color.  Freshly painted walls make a room look cleaner and larger.

3.      Improve the curb appeal: You have to get people in the door before they’ll buy your Brooklyn home for sale.  If your house looks bad on the outside, buyers won’t waste their time taking a look at the inside.  Improving your curb appeal doesn’t mean you need to hire a landscaper.  It can be as basic as trimming your hedges and trees, especially those closest to your house.  Repair or replace loose porch railings and make sure the exterior paint is not chipping.  If needed, scrape and paint; peeling paint is a real turnoff to buyers.  Keep the lawn mowed.  Put away bikes, toys and garden tools.

Following these simple steps will go a long way to getting your Brooklyn New York home sold quickly.

Ready to sell your home?  I can help. Call your Brooklyn Realtor®, Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate today at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com

2011 Tax Tips for Brooklyn New York Home Owners

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011


It’s the time of year we all dread… time for your 2010 tax filings.  While I am not a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or even a plain old accountant, I do want to share with you some basic tax tips all Brooklyn New York home owners should consider before filing their taxes.

  • Contact a tax expert. My motto is always, if in doubt, contact a tax expert.  There’s no way around it; taxes are complicated.  While some don’t want to spend their money on tax experts, I’ve found that they’ve saved me much more money than they’ve cost.  And, the peace of mind they provide is priceless.
  • Claim your Brooklyn New York home owner’s tax deduction, if you’re eligible. In 2002, a study was conducted that showed that 61% of eligible home owners did not claim their home owner’s tax deductions on their income taxes.  That means that 61% of home owners who would have saved on their income taxes took the standard deduction and paid a higher tax bill that they needed to.  Don’t miss any more tax savings by automatically taking the standard deduction.  Consult a tax expert to find out how much you can save by taking advantage of your home owner’s tax breaks.
  • Review your past returns. If you think you might have overpaid your taxes in the past, have a tax expert review your past returns and help you file an amended return to reclaim your money.
  • Start paying back your 2008 first-time home buyer tax break. If you claimed the very first version of the first-time home buyers tax break on your 2008 tax returns, you must now start paying it back.  The credit has to be repaid in 15 equal payments each tax-filing time, beginning with 2010 returns.  The 2008 tax break wasn’t a true credit.  Instead, it was an interest-free loan, and like all loans, it must be paid back.
  • Claim subsequent home-buyer tax credits. If you qualified for and used the 2009 (which was extended to June, 2010) first-time home-buyer tax credit or home-owner tax credit, you had the option to claim the credit on your 2009 or 2010 taxes.  If you waited to claim them, now’s the time to do so.

Even though the home-buyer tax credits are no longer available, this is an amazing time to buy a Brooklyn New York home.   If you’d like to learn more about why now is a fabulous time to buy a home, or if you need help finding a home you love, I can help.  Give me Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate a call today at (718) 253-9600 ext .206 or email me at charles@brooklynrealestatesales.com