Archive for August, 2011

Make Your New York City Home More Inviting with Feng Shui

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Feng Shui your Brooklyn Home

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of designing space so that energy flows through it in a harmonious way. While it may sound exotic and foreign, the principles of feng shui are based on making people feel secure and comfortable in their surroundings. If you want to try to implement some of the tools of feng shui in your Brooklyn home, here are some first steps to take.

  • De-clutter. This is the first and most important thing to do. Think of energy in terms of new opportunities, helpful people, prosperity, happiness, health and movement. If your Brooklyn home is cluttered with stuff, it has a restricting effect, both physically and mentally, on those who live there and on those who visit.
  • Eliminate ‘shars.’ Shars are considered ‘poison arrows,’ created by straight lines and sharp angles. For example, if your Brooklyn home sits at the end of a T-junction, with a road pointing straight at it, this is considered unfortunate. Think about it:  Any car coming down the road could come crashing into your home! While this is unlikely, it affects you on a subconscious level, making you feel vulnerable. A feng shui remedy would be to plant a hedge or build a fence across the front of the house, to hide the view of the road and remove the subconscious threat. Another type of shar is created by furniture with sharp corners; have you ever bruised yourself on a sharp corner, while dodging clutter? If so, you can see how feng shui could make your home and your life more harmonious.
  • Pay attention to your front door. Is it easy to find? Is it clean and freshly painted? Is it easy to open? Is there an open pathway leading up to it? If not, these are some things you can address to make your entrance more inviting.
  • Look at pictures of your Brooklyn home, inside and out. We become so accustomed to our own home we can’t see it as a newcomer would. It’s surprising the things that stand out in a photograph of something we look at every day.
  • Get a book on feng shui. If you like the sound of these ideas, you should look into it further. This is only a rudimentary glimpse of an ancient philosophy.

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Help the Environment by Adding Green to Your Brookyn Real Estate

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Recently, environmentally friendly or “green” remodeling has become more and more popular. Nearly every day you see a TV show or online article giving tips on how to make your Brooklyn home and life more eco-friendly.

The catch is that green building can sometimes be extremely expensive. And, in most areas there really aren’t enough buyers specifically looking for features like rain water catch basins and solar panels to make it worth your investment. However, there are some relatively inexpensive ways you can remodel your Brooklyn real estate that will benefit the environment and go easy on your wallet at the same time.

Refurbish what you can while remodeling. If it’s possible to refinish existing cabinets and woodwork instead of replacing them, you’ll save yourself tons of money. And, nothing says eco-friendly like re-using old, good quality materials instead of throwing them in a landfill.

  • Pay for extra insulation. If you’re doing a major remodel or building from scratch, pay for insulation that exceeds the minimum code requirements. You’ll see an immediate reduction in utility bills and that can be a great selling feature in the future.
  • Use sustainable and green materials. Low VOC paints and bamboo flooring are eco-friendly and still look great. You don’t have to sacrifice your overall vision in order to make your home more environmentally sound.
  • Invest in new, energy-efficient appliances. Again, you’ll see an immediate reduction in your power bills. Besides, what buyer wouldn’t love brand new kitchen appliances and a modern, tankless water heater?
  • Upgrade your windows. The biggest drain on the overall insulation of your home could be old, worn-out windows. By replacing them with new, energy-efficient ones, you’ll get immediate benefits that your potential buyers will also appreciate.

With smart planning and careful use of your money, you can remodel your home in ways that will help the environment, save you money and appeal to buyers when it’s time to sell.

If you could use help adding some green to your Brooklyn real estate, call me at call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected], for more information.

How To Prepare Your Brooklyn Home For A Hurricane

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Prepare Your Brooklyn Home For Hurricane

Active hurricane season is here; each person can take steps to prevent loss and damage to their home and family by learning how to prepare your Brooklyn Home for a hurricane.

Here are things you can do to make it easier and less stressful.

1. Put up storm shutters/plywood to protect windows if warranted

2. Make sure the house # is visible

3. Review your insurance policy and put in a safe place

4. Set up an emergency kit

5. Have a plan

6. Trim dead tree branches

7. Take in lawn furniture and decorations

8. Stay inform with radio or TV ,internet

Basic Supplies Kit – How to Prepare For A Hurricane

1.  Water tight container with import documents (personal identification, insurance  policy, will, license, etc)

2.  Portable radio & batteries

3.  1 week supply of non perishable foods (canned meat, fruits, vegetables, juices, cereals, snacks)

4.  Manual can opener

5.  Medications & medical supplies, eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries.

6.  Water – 1 gallon a day per person

7.  Flashlight & batteries

8.  First aid kit

9.  Mosquito repellent

10.Instant tire sealer

11.Toilet paper/paper towels/paper plates/paper cups

12.Air mattress/folding chairs

13.Personal hygiene products and hand sanitizer

14.Children supplies

15.Pet supplies/identification/up-dated vaccination certificate.

16.Lightweight blankets

17.Extra set of keys to car & home

18.Books, cards, games, toys for children & pets

19.Cash & coins

20.Fill your car ‘s gas tank

If ordered to evacuate

1. Stay tuned to local radio for instructions

2. Turn off electricity, gas, water

3. Take the basic supply kit mentioned above.

4. Let your family & friends know where you are going.

5. Dial 311 on your cell phone/landline real time travel information an hazards  on the road as well as reports on public transportation  in Brooklyn New York.

You need identification to re-entry back to your home, make sure you have it with you. How to prepare for a hurricane season is not difficult – just get ready and don’t wait until the last minute.

If you need help determining if now is the best time to sell your Brooklyn home, call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected],

Check your Brooklyn New York Home after Earthquake

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Brooklyn New York Experiences Earthquake 2011

I was working in my office,( Fillmore Real Estate ) in Brooklyn New York when I felt my first earthquake!  News reports are still coming in, but the reports are the earthquake started in Virginia and has been felt up and down the East Coast.  News reporters are saying the magnitude of this earthquake is 5.8 which is very unusual for Brooklyn New York.

I asked myself ,what should I to do after an earthquake comes to your Brooklyn home.  Here are a few initial things you might want to to do after you make sure everyone in your household is safe:

•   Inspect gas lines
Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.  If you turn off the gas yourself, it should be turned back on by a professional.

•  Look for electrical system damage
If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker.

•  Clean up
Make sure to clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable or potentially toxic liquids immediately. Make sure to leave your home if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.

•  Inspect your chimney
Look at the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.  If you aren’t sure, get a licensed chimney sweep company out prior to using the chimney.

•  Check for sewage and water lines damage
If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, call a plumber and avoid using the toilets.  If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from your tap.  Drink bottled water or melt ice cubes until you have a pro check it out .

•  Open cabinets cautiously Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.

Get additional tips from FEMA

If you need help determining if now is the best time to sell your Brooklyn home, call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected],

Get Schooled on Brooklyn Homes for Sale

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Back to School!

If you’re looking to purchase a new home, then you have a list of priorities. When looking at Brooklyn homes for sale, families with young children consider proximity to schools and quality of school districts as two of the top concerns on their home buying checklist.

With “back to school” on the brain, your top priority when looking at Brooklyn homes for sale might be how close a home is to schools. Before you purchase property near a school, take the following considerations into account.

Top-notch education – If the local school is the best in the surrounding area, then your property value could increase. Houses in your Brooklyn neighborhood will be in high demand because families will want to ensure their children are included in that district.

  • Around the blockLiving near a school could be beneficial if you have younger children you can walk with. Additionally, your proximity will allow you to react quickly if school closes early or your child gets sick.
  • Noise alert – With cars whizzing by and children walking past, you might have to deal with daily commotion and traffic. Depending on how close you live to the school, you could also be subject to noise from recess, after-school practice and Friday night football games.
  • School viewLiving directly across from a school could actually decrease the value of your home and increase the litter. A view of a high school isn’t as good as a view of a quaint, tree-lined street; and the constant foot and car traffic could mean more mess in your yard.
  • Neighborhood watch – Do your research. Some Brooklyn neighborhoods surrounding schools may have better relationships with the school. If your neighborhood civic association meets monthly with a school, you’ll be able to voice any concerns you might have.

While there are many pros and cons to living near schools, you need to decide what is best for your family.

Whether you’re interested in Brooklyn homes for sale near or far away from schools, I can help you find a home that fits your priorities.  Call me Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]

Brooklyn Real Estate Deal of The Week!

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Just Listed in Bergen Beach Brooklyn

Brooklyn Real Estate for Sale

Listed Today !

Check it out this is a one family in Brooklyn’s Bergen beach neighborhood

Dare to compare this three bedroom- 1-1/2 bath home with a parklike yard

private driveway on one of Brooklyn’s quietest streets !

Priced to sell today!

This one may sell to the first qualified buyer !

Call today for more details!

Whether you have questions about the above
 Brooklyn New York homes for sale,
or looking for something else I can help.
 Call Me Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate
  at 718/253-9600 ext 206
or email me at [email protected].

Advantages of Selling Your Home Without a Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Selling Your Brooklyn Home For Sale By Owner

In today’s economy, people are looking for ways to save money.  This is also true when it comes to selling their homes.  Some homeowners believe that selling their homes without a Brooklyn real estate agent will save them thousands.

Is selling your home on your own right for you?  After weighing some of the advantages and disadvantages to selling your home without a Brooklyn real estate agent, you will be able to make a more informed decision on which choice is best for you.

Here are three advantages of selling your Brooklyn home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO):

  1. You may save money by eliminating the commission. Selling your house as a FSBO means you don’t have to pay commission to a listing agent.  The average commission is 6% of the sales price, so you could possibly save that amount.  Unfortunately, buyers know that too.  So, most buyers believe that if you are selling on your own and not paying a commission, they should get the savings – not you.
  2. 2. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is now available to you. A FSBO can now be advertised on many local Multiple Listing Services.  In the past, this tool was only available to real estate agents and brokers.  You will usually have to pay a fee to get your home listed on the MLS.
  3. Offers and counter offers can be negotiated face to face between you and the buyer. You don’t have to wait for your listing agent to talk with the buyer’s agent and get all the paperwork drawn up.  However, if you are not skilled in negotiation, you may leave money on the table.

One other thing to take into consideration before you put up your For Sale By Owner sign is the state of your local real estate market.  If it is a buyer’s market, you will most likely have a hard time selling your home by yourself.  It’s easier to sell your home by yourself when it is a seller’s market.

If you’re still not sure if selling as a FSBO is right for you, and you have plenty of time, you can try selling your home without an agent.  If your home hasn’t sold after a few months, you can then hire a Brooklyn real estate agent.

If you’d like information on how to sell your Brooklyn home on your own or what paperwork you need, I’d be happy to help.  Contact me  Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] to schedule a free no obligation interview or market price review.

Disadvantages of Selling Your Home Without a Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Selling your Brooklyn Home For Sale By Owner!

Is it really that difficult to sell your home by yourself?  It depends.  Do you like to market, negotiate and fill out legal documents?  If yes, you may prefer to sell your home without the help of a Brooklyn real estate agent.

Before you make your decision, consider these three disadvantages of selling your Brooklyn home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO):

  1. You may under-price or over-price your home for sale. If you’ve overpriced your home, you won’t get many interested buyers.  When you drop the price of your home a few weeks later, you’ll have missed the “new on the market” window of opportunity that brings in a lot of potential buyers.  If you under-price your home, buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it, and if it sells, you’ll be leaving money on the table.
  2. You have to pay to market and advertise your home for sale.  When you sell your own house, you’ll spend money on marketing and advertising costs including for sale signs, online ads, print ads in newspapers and real estate magazines, as well as the cost to be included in the MLS.  When you hire a Brooklyn real estate agent, they pay to market and advertise your home.
  3. You are responsible for all the legal paperwork needed to sell your home. This means you must know what paperwork is required by the state and how to fill it out correctly.  If you fail to do this properly, it can delay the sale or even leave you open for a lawsuit down the line if something is wrong or missing.

If you determine that listing your home as a FSBO is not right for you right now, hire a Brooklyn real estate agent to sell your home for you.  Although you’ll have to pay commission, it will save you time and effort (and maybe even money) in the long run.

If you’ve decided to hire a Brooklyn real estate agent, I’d be honored to be interviewed for the job.  Please give me a call me Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] to schedule a free no obligation interview or market price review.

Tips to Gain Independence from Your Brooklyn Home for Sale by Owner

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Selling your Brooklyn Home For Sale by Owner

In order to get the most buyers through your front door, you’ll need to do more than just stick a sign in the front yard. An aggressive and thoughtful marketing campaign can make the difference between a quick sale and your house continuing to sit on the market with little activity.

Utilize the weekends to take the time to thoroughly market your Brooklyn home for sale by owner (FSBO).

Take a lot of good photographs. You have to expect that buyers will look at your property online before they decide to take the time to visit it in person. Make sure you have a lot of photographs online and that they do your house justice. Take pictures from multiple angles in each room and choose the best ones. Also, if you have a great yard, make sure you show it off.

  1. Make the most of your signage. Ensure your phone number is clearly visible. Also, check with your homeowners association and neighbors that live at busy intersections to find out if you can put a sign with an arrow pointing toward your house.
  2. Put ads on every website you can. Most buyers start their search on the Internet, so make sure your Brooklyn home for sale by owner has a strong online presence.
  3. Don’t forget about print ads. Many buyers still look at newspaper Classifieds, so make sure your house appears there. You can often place large ads in smaller publications for relatively little money.
  4. Host open houses. Not every location is especially suitable, but try it a couple of times and see how many people turn out.  If you’re getting good foot traffic, keep it up.

If you need help marketing your Brooklyn home for sale by owner, please call me Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.   And, have a fun and safe summer!

Questions for Divorcing Couples Selling Their Brooklyn Home

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Questions for Divorcing Couples

Today’s Brooklyn real estate market has a lot of divorcing couples struggling to decide what to do with their Brooklyn home. Especially when the house is the largest marital asset, the situation can easily become contentious and unclear. Here are five questions to ask yourself before deciding what to do with your shared property.

Does keeping your Brooklyn home make financial sense? Often, once a couple splits, neither party can afford the mortgage payment and maintenance of the house by themselves. If this is the case, selling is most likely your best option.

  1. Could you manage to keep living together while separated? When going through a divorce, you may not be able to stand each other’s sight. It won’t work in every situation, but you might want to tough it out and continue sharing the house (just with different bedrooms) until the market rebounds and you can make a profit.
  2. Are your emotions getting the better of you? Many people can’t help but develop a strong emotional attachment to a house. That’s certainly understandable, but it doesn’t always make the most monetary sense. It might help if you try viewing the house like any other asset. You’re unlikely to let emotion come into play regarding the yard tools and bedspreads; try to treat the house the same way.
  3. How will you split the proceeds? You’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place to split the proceeds when the house does sell. If not, you could be thrown back into a huge argument instead of finally moving on with your life.
  4. What if one of you won’t agree to a price? The negotiation process won’t go smoothly if it comes down to an argument between the two sellers. Therefore, you should have some sort of agreement as to your bottom-line price. Also, you’ll need to decide how you’ll handle counter offers.

If you need help determining if now is the best time to sell your Brooklyn home, call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected],