Archive for March, 2019

How to Overcome the Overwhelm of Buying a Home

Saturday, March 30th, 2019
Overcome the overwhelm
Overcome the overwhelm of buying a new home. Find out the answers to these 7 important questions before you make an offer on that house.

Have you found THE home? How exciting! Are you feeling overwhelmed with a flood of questions that are coming to mind? If you are, it’s totally understandable since purchasing a home is probably the biggest decision you’ll make in your lifetime. But buying a home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can actually be a lot of fun. And obtaining the right information before buying THE home is just what you need to overcome the overwhelm.

Ask Questions to Overcome the Overwhelm

Take your time. Spend a lot of time planning and researching as much as you can. Here are seven great questions to ask to help you overcome the overwhelm you may be experiencing.

“How much money do I need for the down payment?”

You may have been saving money for quite a while, but is it enough? Should you wait another six months till you’ve saved more for a down payment?

In New York, the minimum for a down payment is almost always 20 percent of the selling price. If you secure a mortgage with a down payment of less than 20 percent, you’ll have to get mortgage insurance. But mortgage insurance doesn’t have to be a major stumbling block.

“How much house can I truly afford?”

There are almost always other costs beyond the purchase price of a new home. And first-time home-buyers are often surprised when they see how costs can add up.

  • Fees for other payments beyond the price of the home
  • Renovations
  • Repairs
  • Appliances
  • Blinds
  • Flooring
  • Lawn maintenance supplies
  • Maintenance fees

It’s wise to estimate your monthly mortgage payment first. Then make sure the other costs of items you’ll need beyond the monthly payments. You don’t want to go into more debt than you can pay for.

“Are my finances in good order?”

You need to show that you can close on the home you want to buy. Check your credit score and look for any discrepancies. If you find an error, get it corrected. If your credit history is blemished, you could be disqualified for the lowest mortgage rates. And it doesn’t matter if you show enough income.

Then, before you make an offer, get preapproved for a mortgage.

“What about the loan?”

Terms and differences in mortgages can be overwhelming. There are 15-year loans and 30-year loans, fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. And there is no one-size-fits-all home loan. So find a good lender who is very knowledgeable. They should know about every option that is available to you. And they should be able to show you how to get the most out of the loan process to get you as much house as you want.

“Were any claims filed on this property in the last seven years?”

This question may not have popped into your head, but it’s one you need to ask before you make an offer. What if the house had a termite problem in the past? Or was there damage of any kind to the house in the past? Request a copy of the C.L.U.E. report from the seller. C.L.U.E. is a database that maintains all insurance claims for homes and vehicles for up to the previous seven years.

“How much should I offer on this home?”

This is a good question to know the answer to if you want to overcome the overwhelm of buying a home. If you offer too little, you risk losing the home to someone else who offers more. Yet if you offer too much, you could wind up overpaying.

“Will there be more costs to prepare for at closing?”

Yes. There are closing costs in addition to the down payment. And depending on how you’re financing the home, there are more costs in addition to the one-time closing costs, such as:

  • Commissions fees
  • Appraisals
  • Surveying
  • Inspections and certifications
  • Tax and title services
  • Government record changes
  • Transfer taxes
  • Origination fee
  • Charge for specific interest rates
  • Real estate agent commissions
  • Home inspection charges
  • Title insurance

 And they are due at the time of signing.

Hire a Great Real Estate Agent to Overcome the Overwhelm

To overcome the overwhelm you need to hire a great real estate agent as soon as the house shopping begins. Charles D’Alessandro will tell you what comparable homes in the area have sold for. And he’ll help you make a solid offer the first time. If a counteroffer needs to be made, Charles will help you make one that fits your budget. And if multiple offers need to be made, he’ll guide you through them all. He’s here to help you, answer your questions, and guide you through the whole process from beginning to end.

Want to overcome the overwhelm that comes with buying a new home? Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206. Or email him at [email protected]tatesales.com right away.


Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

How to Stay Warm Safely in an Emergency Situation

Friday, March 15th, 2019
Stay warm
Be prepared. Stay warm. Be safe. Here’s what you can do if winter weather causes a power outage at home.

Spring arrives this month. Aren’t you glad? But it’s still very likely that extremely cold temperatures and severe winter storms will hit us between now and April 30th. Are you prepared to stay warm if the power goes out during a winter storm? Planning ahead is always your best option when it comes to an emergency situation. And here are some great ways to prepare ahead of time and be safe.

Invest in a Home Generator to Stay Warm

A generator is the best way to be prepared to make sure you stay warm in an emergency situation. But there are guidelines for using a generator safely.

Install a Woodstove

A woodstove with a bountiful supply of wood to use as fuel will keep you warm, provide light, and cook your food. There are such things as portable wood stoves that you can set up in your home in an emergency. But they take time to set up. You must set up a portable wood stove by a window and build a pipe chimney. Smoke from the burning wood has to be channeled outside.

Purchase Reliable Sources of Heat Beforehand


Kerosene Heater – Kerosene is a traditional fuel suitable for emergency heating. However, they must be used with caution indoors.

Candle Heater – Yes, you should have emergency candles and matches on hand for power outages to use as a source of light. But candles are not a very good source of heat since they don’t produce a lot of it. In spite of the fire hazard candles can be, you can build a candle heater for some heat and light when the power goes out.

Catalytic HeaterCatalytic heaters today are very efficient and safe to use in enclosed spaces. It’s still safest to use them near an open window. Typically, these heaters use propane to help you stay warm and require proper maintenance.

Soapstone HeaterSoapstone is a magnesium silicate that has amazing heat-retention properties. Store a soapstone block next to your stove or heater, and it will radiate heat for hours without the danger of fire.

Dress Warmly to Stay Warm

Did you know it’s more efficient to heat the body than trying to heat a room? When the power goes out, dress in warm layers and wrap up in blankets. Natural down fill works very well to keep you warm. And you can put chemical hand warmers in your pockets to help you stay warm, too.

Designate a Warm Room

A warm room is large enough for everyone to gather and set up mattresses if necessary. When the power goes out, send everyone into the warm room. Cover vents, windows, and doors with blankets. Set up your heat source(s). Don’t forget to bring some games, snacks, and water to drink into the warm room with you.

This is the perfect spot to mention Biofuel.

  • Organic, all-natural, non-toxic
  • Cost-effective – less expensive than traditional cooking and warming fuel. Lasts twice as long as a single can of Sterno cooking fuel
  • Environmentally-friendly – made in the USA with only all-natural, organic and non-hazardous materials. Easily biodegradable. Produces fewer carbon emissions
  • Reusable/Refillable: BioFuel cans can be reused and refilled
  • Great for home, camping, catering, and emergencies
  • Unlimited Shelf Life

And canned heat is the perfect addition to a car emergency kit if you were ever stranded in blizzard conditions on the road.

Prepare to Stay Warm and Be Safe

Stay warm and be safe if your electricity goes out this winter. A working wood, gas, or pellet stove is best for heating and cooking in emergency situations. But if there is no such stove in your home, be prepared with other safe ways to stay warm until the power is restored.

And, always make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

Charles D’Alessandro cares about his community in Brooklyn, New York. Stay warm and be safe this winter. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206. Or email him at [email protected] for all your real estate needs.


Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]