Archive for the ‘Buying a Home’ Category

It Takes a Village To Buy or Sell in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market!

Friday, October 30th, 2020
Couple Holding keys to their new home

Buying or Selling a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate market can be a complicated process. Truly it takes a village of people for the purpose of completing just one home sale.

Wikipedia explains the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” as an African proverb. It means an entire community of people must interact with children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

The phrase “It Takes a Village” has been adapted over the years for other references. In fact, it is a great explanation of what the home buying and selling experience is like in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market.

How many different parties do you think are involved in one real estate transaction? You may find it surprising. Let’s take a look.

SELLER

First, you need to find someone ready to sell their home. We often hear the term “Motivated Seller.” What would make a homeowner a “motivated seller?” Motivation to sell a home can come for many reasons.

When a buyer hears the seller is motivated, it may trigger many thoughts.
  • There is room to negotiate the price.
  • The owner may be open to making concessions to consummate the sale.
  • There are material defects to the home or property that the seller doesn’t want to address.
  • The home is near foreclosure.
  • The seller is ready to take the home off the market and wants to see any offer.
  • The seller is in a financial bind.
  • The owner MUST sell now.

Determination, not desperation, may be what motivates a seller.

There are many reasons a seller would want to sell a property that is not related to the desperation thinking above.
  • Job relocation
  • Downsizing
  • Upsizing
  • Retiring to a new location
  • Divorce
  • Settle an estate

Knowing the seller’s motivation would be an advantage in negotiations. However, you may or may not understand the seller’s reason for selling when you place your offer. 

BUYER

Next, you need someone qualified and ready to purchase a new home. Obtaining a pre-approval from a reputable lending institution makes you a qualified buyer. They also have proven they have the necessary funds and qualifications to buy a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market. The reasons someone may be interested in purchasing a home vary as much as the reasons a seller would want to sell.

Some reasons to purchase may be:
  • Achievement of “The American Dream”
  • Sound investment
  • Build equity
  • Potential tax benefits

The buyer’s motivation is as important as the seller’s motivation. An apathetic buyer can take a home off the market for some time and then decide to terminate the sale. Your real estate agent can help you vet the buyer’s motivation. Unfortunately, you would need to have a crystal ball to definitely know what will happen.

LENDER

In hopes of financing the home, the buyer will choose a financial institution for their mortgage. Surprisingly, the lowest interest rate is not always the best option. You may want to compare several lenders.

Obtaining an estimate of the lender’s fees can be eye-opening. Some things you will want to compare are:

  • Interest rates
  • Lender fees
  • Cash required to bring to closing

By all means, it is essential to find a reputable lender who is knowledgeable in lending in your area. Out of state or internet mortgage companies may not know the intricacies of a home purchase in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

The lender should do a thorough analysis of the buyer’s financial situation to determine if they qualify for a mortgage. The buyer should offer evidence of their qualifications when they make an offer on the property.

There is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification provides the buyer with a general estimate of what they can afford. A pre-approval is more valuable because the buyer’s credit has been checked, and documentation has been verified to approve the buyer for a specific loan amount. A pre-approval can be valid for 60-90 days and should be re-verified to confirm no buyer’s status changes.

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Typically you will find two real estate agents involved in any Brooklyn Real Estate sale. The first agent works on behalf of the seller, helping them prepare their home and price it competitively. The second agent represents the buyer and helps evaluate an offering price and terms once the right home has been found.

The real estate agents work together, bringing the buyer and seller to an agreement on the best terms possible.

You will want to find a trustworthy agent to represent you in either a sale or purchase.

What are the qualities of a trustworthy agent?
  • Local Market Expert
  • Proactive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Good Communicator
  • Educated

Your real estate agent should hold the designation of Realtor®, which means they belong to the National Association of Realtors® and their local Board of Realtors®. Notably, a member of these associations must follow guidelines to ensure they are fair and ethical in their business practices.

Home Inspection Checkmark

HOME INSPECTORS

A critical component of the buying process is the home inspection. The purpose of the home inspection is to determine if there are any major ticket items or safety issues affecting the home. In reality, these are items that the seller may not have been aware of. Nitpicking the seller for trivial issues or updates that were visible upon your visit to the home is not the purpose of a home inspection.

The home inspector will usually look at the following areas of the home:
  • Exterior structure
  • Roof
  • HVAC System
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Electric Panel
  • Outlets
  • Windows
  • Plumbing in kitchen and baths
  • Attic

Be sure to check the credentials of the home inspector you choose. There are certifications required for home inspectors in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

The home inspector will highlight areas of concern. You will also learn from the inspector the home components that may need to be replaced in the future. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right investment for you.

LAWYER

You will most likely need to hire an attorney to represent you either as a buyer or a seller when purchasing in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

What is the lawyer’s role in a real estate transaction?
  • Write and negotiate the sales agreement.
  • Represent their client’s best interest.
  • Review closing documents.
  • Attend the closing to ensure a smooth transition.

For more information on the importance of real estate lawyers, see this previous blog post that explains it all in detail.

TITLE COMPANY

The title company researches the history of homeownership to determine the buyer receives a clean title to the property when they take possession of the home. In the event that they find any issues on the chain of title, they will resolve them before closing.

They will also research any judgments, liens, outstanding mortgages, or unpaid taxes on the property.

The title company will then prepare a report (abstract of title), revealing all the research findings. This document will validate the title of the property.

Title insurance is issued to protect the lender and new owner against any lawsuits or claims undetected on the original title search. The lender will require a title insurance policy.

If you are a cash buyer, it would be your decision to purchase title insurance. Although, if you are purchasing a home with cash it is highly recommended that you purchase the title insurance policy.

APPRAISER

An appraiser will visit the home to prepare an opinion of value for the lender. Do not confuse the appraisal with a home inspection but, the appraiser may note any safety issues that are apparent to them. Requirements for an appraiser and a home inspector are different. An appraisal is not a substitute for a home inspection.

An appraiser will prepare a report called an appraisal that will provide their opinion of value based on several factors.
  • Location
  • Structural Construction
  • Age
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Condition
  • Square Footage
  • Recent Neighborhood Home Sales

Providing a fair and unbiased assessment of the property can be accomplished by randomly assigning appraiser through a third party.

The cost of the appraisal is an expense the buyer will pay. This is a requirement of the buyer’s lender.

In the event that the home does not appraise for the amount of the sales price, it can trigger a negotiation between the buyer and the seller. If both parties come to an agreement acceptable to the lender, the sale will be completed.

UNDERWRITER

The underwriter works for the lender. Their role is to review the buyer’s information and the appraiser’s opinion of value to determine if the mortgage can be issued for the purchase price agreed upon. The underwriter will evaluate that granting the mortgage to the buyer is a sound investment for the lender.

An underwriter will look at several different areas to determine any risk of the buyer defaulting.
  • Credit and payment history
  • Income and assets of the buyer
  • Downpayment
  • Appraised home value

The underwriter may need to request additional information to clarify any uncertainties that arise to be sure lending the money to the buyer is a solid investment for the bank/lender.

The last hurdle in the process of buying or selling a home is clearing underwriting. The type of loan, buyer’s financial situation, title issues, survey issues, and missing paperwork will all affect the time the underwriter will need to complete the process.

Once they have completed their review, the Underwriter will issue the loan a “Clear to Close” status!

TEAMWORK

Real Estate Team

Buying or selling a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate market involves many parties and this doesn’t include assistants and others within these companies who help. It really does take a village to pull all the pieces of buying or selling a home together.

That is why it is so important to hire the right Realtor® to work for you, whether you are buying or selling a home. Coordinating all these parties takes a thorough understanding of the sale process and experience in the local market.

Charles D'Alessandro

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help both buyers and sellers coordinate all the details.

In the event our office is shut down we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

How to Know You’ve Found the Perfect House for Sure

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Think you’ve found the perfect house to buy? But how do you know for sure it’s the perfect one?

Brooklyn Brownstone
How do you know you’ve found the perfect house? Ask the right questions.

Purchasing a home is one of life’s biggest undertakings. And there are lots of questions you need to ask before you make an offer on a home. Asking the right questions lets you know for sure you’re making a competitive offer on an affordable home that meets your needs long-term.

15 Questions to Ask About the Perfect House You’ve Found

Knowing the right questions to ask before making a competitive offer on a home with confidence takes research, good research. And according to bankrate.com, these are the fifteen questions you must ask and research the answers to.

1. What’s my total budget?

One common mistake homebuyers make is buying more house than they can afford. And this goes beyond budgeting for a monthly mortgage payment. There are property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowners association dues, home maintenance and repair costs, and the cost of renovations to consider in addition to the price of a home.

Also, if you want your offer on the perfect house you’ve found to be accepted, get preapproved for a mortgage. This does three important things:

  • Gives you an idea of what you can afford
  • Shows the seller you have the financial means to buy their house
  • Assures the real estate agent that you are a qualified buyer and that you’re not wasting the seller’s time

2. Is the home in a flood zone or prone to other natural disasters?

If you’ve found the perfect home that’s in a flood zone or other natural disaster area, additional insurance coverage may be required. A property that’s in a flood zone or other natural disaster area may require additional insurance coverage. Homes located in federally-designated, high-risk flood zones require flood insurance. You can research whether or not a property is in a high-risk flood zone using FEMA’s Flood Map Service.

3. Why is the seller leaving?

Knowing the answer to this question could help you gauge how flexible or not the seller is. If they are downsizing, relocating for a job or because a major life event occurred for them, they may be highly motivated to sell and very willing to negotiate. A seller who needs to move quickly is much more willing to negotiate than one who isn’t in a hurry to move.

4. What’s included in the sale?

Modern kitchen

Cabinets, faucets, and window treatments, such as blinds and curtains, ceiling fans – anything that’s considered a fixture is typically included when purchasing a house. However, this depends on your state’s laws. Don’t assume that there are items included with the home. They just might not be. Listing descriptions are supposed to list exclusions the seller isn’t including in the sale. But since that’s not always the case, you should ask in your offer what is and isn’t included with the home, (like the washer and dryer or that stainless-steel refrigerator, for example).

5. Were there any additions or major renovations?

When you know a home’s major repair and renovation history, you can understand the seller’s asking price and even gauge its true condition. In some cases, sellers have a file available full of everything that has anything to do with the house. But in most other cases, this just isn’t so.

Sometimes property records and listing descriptions don’t always match up. For example, if a home is advertised as having four bedrooms, but one of those rooms is a non-conforming addition that doesn’t follow local building codes, it isn’t really a four-bedroom home.

  • Ask about major repairs or renovations the seller has done since owning the home
  • Request the original manufacturer warranties on any appliances or systems if those have been replaced

6. How old is the roof?

Roofs are necessary and expensive. If you must replace the roof of the perfect house you’ve found soon after you purchase it, you’ll spend thousands of dollars. Avoid this costly scenario. Ask about the roof’s age.

Also, if the roof has existing damage, your lender may require that it be repaired in order to approve your loan. Ask the question and check it out.

7. How old are the appliances and major systems?

Here’s where you ask about essential systems and appliances such as the air conditioner, furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, and stove. When you understand the anticipated lifespan of the essential systems and appliances, you can anticipate major repair or replacement expenses.

Have they already reached the end of their lifespan? Then ask the seller to purchase a home warranty. In certain instances, this can help cover the replacement costs.

8. How long has the house been on the market?

The amount of flexibility to negotiate a deal is reflected in the length of time a house has been on the market. The longer it’s been on the market, the more motivated the seller will be to make a deal. By asking this one question, you might be able to negotiate the price, contingencies, terms, and even credits to replace old carpet or other noticeable issues.

Brooklyn neighborhood

9. How much have homes sold for in the neighborhood?

Research the current local market. This helps you determine whether or not the seller’s asking price is too high or right on target. Listing data for similar homes on the market now or sold within that past six months give you a great basis for comparison. This in turn helps you gain confidence in negotiating the price of the perfect house you’ve found or asking the seller to pay for some of the closing costs. Your real estate agent can pull the comparable listing data for you.

10. Are there any health or safety hazards?

Health of safety hazards? I bet you hadn’t thought about asking this question. Am I right? This question is asking about things such as lead paint, radon, mold, or other major hazards. These health or safety hazards can be costly to fix. And they can stall your loan approval.

If there have been past issues,

  • Ask the seller to provide documentation
  • Find out exactly what was done to resolve those problems

This is an important question to ask because you might need to pay more for these types of specialized services If a home inspector suggests additional testing.

11. What’s the history of past insurance claims?

Bankrate.com recommends you get a copy of a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or C.L.U.E., report from the seller. A C.L.U.E. report allows you to see if there have been any homeowners insurance claims filed in the last seven years. It gives an insight into what, if any, damage the home has been through due to weather or vandalism. A home inspection doesn’t usually catch these kinds of damages to a home. And sellers might fail to mention them.

12. What are the neighbors like?

Yes, get to know the neighbors before you make an offer on the perfect house. To get the true feel of the neighborhood, ask the seller:

What are the neighbors like? Are they noisy or quiet?

Is it a pet-friendly neighborhood?

Are the existing neighbors friendly or do they keep to themselves?

Take a drive around the neighborhood and stop and talk with neighbors. They’re an excellent way to get to know about the community surrounding the perfect house you’ve found.

13. How is the neighborhood?

Brooklyn neighbors

Unlike a house, a neighborhood can’t be changed or fixed if you don’t like something about it. So it’s important that you like its community amenities, crime statistics, school ratings, and the amount of traffic there is on the street where you’ll be living.

Research the neighborhood’s schools, homeowners association rules (if applicable), nearby parks and other amenities online. And research the amount of time your commute to work will take.

14. Are there any problems with the house?

A disclosure form listing any known defects must be provided by a seller. Those defects you don’t know about could mean major issues for you later. This is why a home inspection is critical! As soon as a purchase agreement is signed, hire a professional home inspector and get a home inspection done.

A home’s overall condition is outlined in the inspection report. You can then negotiate future concessions for repairs or back out of a deal without penalty providing you included a home inspection contingency. And when this happens, your earnest money will be returned in most cases.

15. How much will I pay in closing costs?

And finally, research and ask about what is included in the closing costs, because the down payment isn’t the only money you’ll be paying someone on closing day. You are also responsible for closing costs.

You should expect to pay 2 to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price in closing costs. But depending on your area, this percentage can vary.

Closing costs include:

  • Loan origination fees
  • Third-party fees for title research
  • Fees for processing the paperwork
  • Appraisal fees
  • Administrative task fees

Lenders are required to provide you as a buyer the closing disclosure three business days before closing. It outlines all your loan fees and how much total cash you need to close.

And Now You’re a Homeowner!

Yes, when you think you’ve found the perfect house, you’ll know it because you asked the right questions and made an offer with confidence. You’ll sign the closing documents, pay the closing costs and fees on closing day, and move into the home you love!

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. I help buyers find the home of their dreams and guide them in their research during these challenging times.

Our office is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901

How to Find the Best Mortgage Lender with Confidence

Saturday, February 29th, 2020
Best mortgage lender
Dreaming of buying your first home? Find the best mortgage lender with confidence! Here’s how.

Finding the best mortgage lender on your journey to homeownership is important. But it can be challenging, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. It’s a big deal because picking a lender is an important part of the home buying process. And finding the best the right mortgage is crucial. Here’s some excellent information from NerdWallet to help you navigate this part of buying a home with confidence.

5 Things You Need to Know to Help You Find the Best Mortgage Lender

NerdWallet says, “The best mortgage lenders for first-time homebuyers embrace government loans, offer low down payment options, charge reasonable fees, and help you find financial assistance programs.”

1. Know Your Credit Score and Financial History

Lenders judge you on your credit score and financial history to determine your ability to get a mortgage and the interest rate you’ll pay. So you need to know it. Knowing your credit score allows you to determine your loan options.

Credit scores of 620 are good, and the higher, the better. Scores of 740 or more will help you get the lowest interest rates. But it’s not impossible to get a mortgage with a credit score that’s in the 500s.

Find out the credit score you need to buy a house here. But keep in mind, you may be able to borrow more than what you can actually afford to pay each month. So don’t overextend yourself from the get-go!

2. Inquire About First-Time Homebuyer Programs in New York

Some lenders and state housing finance agencies partner up in order to help first-time homebuyers. Then they can help you with rate discounts, a down payment, and closing costs, or educational resources to help you get into a home. Isn’t that nice to know? So do your research on assistance first-time homebuyer programs here in New York.

Take note: Not all lenders participate. So be sure to ask.

3. Look for Lenders Who Offer Government-Backed Home Loans

Why? Because most of the time, FHA, VA, and USDA loans offer relaxed income, credit, and down payment requirements. And this allows for easier qualification. But check out this list of homebuyer loans and programs! You could rack up some big savings if you don’t rush through this process.

  • FHA loan
  • VA loan
  • USDA loan
  • Fannie and Freddie
  • State first-time homebuyer program
  • Home renovation loan
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • Dollar Homes

And on another note, not all lenders offer FHA, VA and USDA home loans. Their options may be limited. So, when you do your comparison shopping, always ask about availability.

4. Ask for Quotes to Compare Interest Rates

Ask several lenders for quotes (at least three), and let them compete with each other for your business. One of them will rise to the top of your list with a lower rate and lower fees. You’re looking for APRs (annual percentage rates) to get a better picture of what you’ll end up paying over the life of the loan.

You’re also looking for fees when making lender comparisons. Application, appraisal, title, and loan origination fees affect closing costs. And they vary widely depending on the lender.

Again, don’t rush through this process either. Mortgages have pages and pages of details that loan officers know how to get through quickly. Ask for clarification as needed through every step and make sure you have all the facts. Choosing a loan that matches your needs and your budget with confidence isn’t something you should feel rushed through.

5. Get Preapproved

Getting preapproved before you begin house hunting helps you in three ways:

  • Proves a lender is willing to loan you a certain amount of money
  • Signals to the seller that you are a serious buyer who they can rely on
  • Helps you look for homes within your budget

Compare preapproval options, too. Some lenders provide approval online in minutes. Others require a phone call or that you visit a local branch office to pick up your documents in person.

Be prepared. You may run into preapproval barriers. If you have a low credit score or inconsistent income, ask lenders before you apply if they’re willing to work with you on this. Some lenders will gladly help you find errors and discrepancies on your application which could get you preapproved.

Lacking Confidence in Your Search for the Best Mortgage Lender?

Are you stumped trying to find the best mortgage lender? When you’re a first-time homebuyer, shopping for a mortgage lender can get overwhelming. Just take time to compare all your options, no rushing through the process. You’ll buy a home with confidence and save money, too.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate with questions you have about finding the best mortgage lender. I can help. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206

What I Really Love About Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, February 15th, 2020
Brooklyn, New York
I love my home in Brooklyn, New York!

Since February is all about love, let’s talk about it. Our love for the place we call home, that is. I am a Brooklyn native, a Brooklynite who speaks Brooklynese. This iconic NYC borough has been home to me for 62 years. And here’s what I really love about Brooklyn, New York, my home.

About Brooklyn, New York

There are many reasons to love Brooklyn, New York: colorful assortment of people, culture, food, activities to enjoy!

Size

Of the five boroughs of New York City – The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, Brooklyn is the most populous. Also known as Kings County, it is the largest (69.5 square miles). In fact, if Brooklyn were its own city, it would be the third-largest city in the United States with over 2.5 million residents, second to Los Angeles and Chicago.

Cuisine

Brooklyn, New York
The famous Grimaldi’s

I love the food! Brooklyn is particularly well-known for its Italian food – especially its pizza. Anything you have a craving for can be found in Brooklyn! Our borough offers countless ethnic cuisines. And if you can’t quite find what it is you’re looking for, wait until next weekend or next month. New restaurants are constantly opening up for you to try with your date, family, or friends.

Crown Heights serves Jamaican jerk chicken and roti. You’ll find dim sum at Little Fuzhou in Sunset Park. Craving something sticky-sweet? Try the baklava in Sheepshead Bay.

Character

We are a melting pot, a miniature Manhattan, full of rich history everywhere you look. Even our most popular neighborhoods are famous!

Our borough is not the hustle and bustle you might think of when New York City comes to mind. We are a people defined by incredible diversity, creativity, community, and culture, and we’re proud of it. And unlike many neighborhoods in the Big Apple, we’ve maintained that diversity, that personality unique to each area of Brooklyn.

In the Past

We were once our own city until the late 1800s. And we used to be known as one of the more dangerous boroughs of New York.

Today

Brooklyn is a vibrant and peaceful place. It’s also exciting and family-friendly. And this makes many of our neighborhoods ideal for both families and young professionals.

Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn borough doesn’t fit any particular stereotype. so it appeals to everyone. We’ve literally transformed into what some say is the hottest, trendiest spot in all of New York City.

I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, but one thing stays true about Brooklyn, New York. You can go five blocks, and because of the vast diverseness of each of our communities, the vibe totally changes.

Attributes that Make Us a World-Class Destination

We’re proud of Brooklyn, New York! And for good reason. People come from all over for:

  • Lively music venues
  • Trendy boutiques
  • Iconic restaurants
  • Independent artisanal coffee bars
  • Pro sports
  • Immigrant history
  • Diversified culture
  • Family-friendly activities
  • And communities to call home

We offer a large number of amazing parks, walkable sidewalks, and tight-knit communities. And compared to Manhattan, even reasonable rents.

Our Parks

Park near Brooklyn Bridge

There are over 40 parks in Brooklyn. The top four being Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, and Owl’s Head Park.

Means of Transportation

Subway

Brooklyn is incredibly walkable, especially within the neighborhood you call your own. Brooklyn offers many beautiful and safe walking routes.

And here, walking beats owning a vehicle and paying to park on the street, hands down. In fact, according to Tri-State Transportation, more than half of us live in car-free households. Owning a car isn’t necessary when you live in Brooklyn, because you can get anywhere you need to go by subway.

There are other means of public transportation here in Brooklyn, but the subway is still the fastest and most reliable way to get around.

Tight-Knit Communities

Brooklyn has an undeniably strong sense of community. And it is this sense of community that makes our borough not only unique but also popular for families and young professionals.

Also, we Brooklynites tend to define ourselves based on which neighborhood we settle into. We are loyal patrons to the shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars that are local to us.

I remember, as kids, we played street games one block against another. And we built friendships that have lasted a lifetime.

Brooklyn Heights, New York
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, NY: Classic late 19th Century brownstone homes with stoops and arched doorways on Joralemon Street

From Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, and Flatbush to Bedford- Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Park Slope, Red Hook, and so many others, each of our neighborhoods has a distinct history and personality all their own.

Reasonable Rents and the Cost of Living

According to a Streeteasy report put out in October 2019, the average price for a house is around $700,000. And the average cost to rent a place is about $2,700 a month. So compared to other places in the United States, Brooklyn is one of the most expensive places to live. But food, rent, clothing, and a lot of other things are less expensive here than they are in Manhattan. And this makes Brooklyn ideal for you if you’re beginning a career.

Brooklyn, New York
Colorful residential and commercial real estate for rent in Brooklyn

With plenty of searching (and a little help from your friend, Charles D’Alessandro), you can find a great place that suits your personality, home life, interests, and your budget.

Brooklyn, New York – Something for Everybody

Brooklyn grows on. People come from all over to be part of it. And I’m proud to be part of that on a daily basis.

We continue to attract new-comers and families from all over with our excellent schools, booming job market, and that strong sense of community we like to own.

But more than anything, we are proud of and celebrate our diversity, our people. There really is something for everybody in Brooklyn, New York, even you!

Moving to Brooklyn

If you plan to move to Brooklyn, you need to experience the unique personalities, charm, amenities, sense of community, and price tags of each one to find “your” place. There’s one that’s just right for you, one that best suits your needs.

Working as a real estate professional for over 30 years, I have seen the transformation of my home. Like the Beatles sang in “In My Life,”

“There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain …”

Brooklyn has grown. Our borough has changed. Some changes have been for the better, others, not so much. But I love her, and I’m proud to share my home, Brooklyn, New York, with you!

Want to build a life you can love in Brooklyn, New York? Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. I’d love to help you find the area that’s just right for you!


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206

The Best Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

Friday, August 30th, 2019
Advice for first-time homebuyers
First-time homebuyer? Here’s some of the best advice for first-time homebuyers!

If you’ve entered the real estate market as a first-time homebuyer, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. And that’s totally understandable. It is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make after all! But where do you start? What should you know before investing in homeownership? Here’s the best advice for first-time homebuyers. Read on and put your mind at ease.

Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

In a seller’s market, inventory is low. That means bidding wars are going to happen. And the seller ends up selling for a higher price than what the house was initially listed for. That’s great for the seller! But this means you as a buyer need to be prepared and available to act quickly. You should also be prepared to lose out on a few homes before purchasing the home you really want.

1. Find Out How Much Home You Can Afford

Speak with a mortgage broker (preferably several) and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. And don’t forget to allow for the monthly costs of homeownership. There’s more to owning a home than paying the monthly mortgage. Owning a home means electricity, water, gas, sewer, and maintenance.

2. Know Your Credit Score

First-time homebuyers need to know their credit score before doing anything. Lenders set their own credit score requirements and may require a minimum score higher than 580.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan

While knowing how much you can afford is your very important first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range.

With pre-approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property.

Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close on your loan.

4. Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Reach out to and hire a buyer’s estate agent, someone who is looking out for your interests, not the seller’s. It’s free.

5. Communicate Clearly Your Lists of Needs and Wants

Make two lists. And be as specific as you can be. The more specific you are, the more your real estate agent can help you in finding the home that’s perfect for you.

The first list should include items you must have (the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.).

The second list is your wish list, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but aren’t absolutely necessary. Realistically, you probably won’t get everything on your wish list as a first-time homebuyer. But the lists will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

6. Stay Focused and Be Organized

Keep the following items handy. They’ll help you maximize your home search efforts.

  • Maps – One or more detailed maps with the areas you’re interested in highlighted
  • File – A file of the properties your agent has shown to you and ads you have collected
  • Notebook and Pen – Take notes on each home you walk through
  • Camera – A camera or video camera will help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you’re visiting more than five homes

7. Look at a Property with the Eyes of a Seller

Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive and negative features of the area? Think access to shopping, parks, freeways or abandoned properties, garbage dumps, noise, heavy traffic.

8. Visualize the House Empty and with Your Décor

Will the home meet your needs now as well as three to five years from now? Are the rooms laid out in a way that the home will accommodate your family? Is there enough light? What about outlets and storage space?

9. Be Objective

Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Too often, first-time homebuyers succumb to their emotions and allow themselves to become attached to a less than desirable property.

Spend time researching the local market trends and make sure your finances are suitable for a home purchase.

Purchasing a property should never be a rushed process. There are many houses on the market. Don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

10. Be Thorough

A few extra dollars well spent now will save you big expenses in the long run.

  • Include inspection and mortgage contingencies in your written offer
  • Have the property inspected by a professional inspector
  • Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing (Check to see that no changes have been made that were not previously agreed upon. For example, a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale has been replaced with a cheap ceiling light).

11. Know the Home-Buying Process

 Review the home-buying process with your real estate agent

  • timing of a purchase
  • costs you need to be prepared for beyond closing costs
  • whether the market is a seller’s market or buyer’s market

The Most Important Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

Above all, the best piece of advice for first-time homebuyers is to choose a real estate agent with these three qualities:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Excellent communication
  • Quick responsiveness

Charles D’Alessandro is a real estate agent you will connect with personally and professionally. You feel comfortable confiding in and trusting him with the most expensive purchase of your life.

Need advice for first-time homebuyers? Contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] and get your questions answered. He is the Brooklyn Expert connecting clients with Brooklyn homes for over 30 years. He knows the Brooklyn area inside and out.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]