Archive for the ‘Buying in Brooklyn’ 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 Find a Home Quickly and Conveniently in the Cold

Saturday, November 30th, 2019
Find a home quickly
Take advantage of the cold when house hunting. Here are 4 ways to find a home quickly in the cold winter months.

Baby, it’s cold outside! And you need to relocate now?! Here’s how you can find a home quickly and conveniently even while it’s frigid in Brooklyn.

4 Ways to Find a Home Quickly When It’s Cold Outside

Yeah, who actually wants to bundle up and tromp through biting cold temps and wind? Nobody does. Sometimes it’s necessary because you don’t really have a choice. But here are four ways to warm up to the process and find a home quickly in spite of the cold.

First, Do Your Research

When it’s cold outside, it’s the perfect time to get some quality research done. Grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and read a few home inspection reports. I know it’s monotonous and boring to do, quite honestly. But it is a part of the moving process that needs to be done, especially when finding a home quickly matters.

Second, Check ‘Em Out

Wintertime is the best time to check out houses that are up for sale for two really good reasons.

  • Cold temperatures and freezing winds reveal gaps, drafts, and leaks you don’t think to look for in the spring or summer months
  • A home’s systems are working extremely hard to keep up with frigid temperatures allowing you to check them out, too

Third, Attend Open Houses

If there are open houses in the Brooklyn neighborhood you’re interested in moving to, attend as many of them as you can. Not only do you get to inspect a home you really want, but you also create opportunities to mingle and learn of other available homes nearby.

Chances are you won’t like every house you visit. But checking them out in person allows you to see what a house is like during the colder months. And that’s a real plus in your favor!

Fourth, Check Out Parking and Other Possible Problems

Parking close matters when it’s cold and snowy outside. So check out available parking near that perfect Brownstone you’ve got your buyer’s eye on.

Also, when there’s snow on the ground, you see problems such as poor access, poor drainage, and the lack of snowplowing that occurs.

Warm Up to Winter House Hunting

‘Tis the season to warm up to winter house hunting. So put on your boots, bundle up, and head out to those showings when the ground is white with snow and the cold air bites your nose!

The cold offers several advantages making the winter season better than others for you to find a home quickly. But to top it all off, if you don’t want to go out in the cold weather, then neither do other potential buyers. And that means less competition for you.

Happy house hunting!

When you need to find a home quickly, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate right away. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] when the weather’s cold in Brooklyn.


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

What Makes Brooklyn a Great Place to Love?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
Great place to love
What makes Brooklyn a great place to love for you?

There’s no place like home. And there’s certainly no place quite like Brooklyn, New York. So what makes Brooklyn a great place to love?

6 of Many Reasons Why Brooklyn is a Great Place to Love

Whether or not you still live in the place you grew up, there are things about it that make that place your hometown. But some of us have moved from address to address so many times that “home” is a relative term. We use the word “home” to describe a great place we either loved living once or love living in currently.

Brooklyn is my home. And there are plenty of reasons why others who have moved to Brooklyn call it their home, too. Here’s why Brooklyn is a great place to love and call home.

1. Outstanding Coffee Shops

The coffee here is always served with a good attitude and a smile. Here are our five-star rated coffee shops:

There are many others with four stars, you’ll certainly have a difficult time choosing. But isn’t that fun to have so many choices for an outstanding cup of brew?

2. World-Class Eateries

We are home to amazing restaurants such as:

3. Fun Waterfronts

New York has been busy transforming from an industrial wasteland into fabulous green spaces, and it’s taken years. One of three major NYC parks opened in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn Bridge Park, the verdant Pier 3 debuted. If you enjoy panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, this is the waterfront park to visit.

4. Amazing Parks

You probably don’t think of anything but a concrete jungle when someone mentions New York. But we’re home to a lot of amazing parks and greenspaces where you can get in touch with nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

5. Quiet Streets

Brooklyn is a borough of 30 distinct and unique neighborhoods. They are as diverse as those who live in them and rich with history. And it’s full of quiet streets and safe places to walk about and raise children. There are many excellent public and private schools, too.

6. A Strong Sense of Community

Brooklyn’s neighborhoods have been able to maintain their diversity and unique personalities. Some have even maintained their ethnic personality, like many of Brooklyn’s Italian neighborhoods, for example. They still enjoy their heritage and flavor.

Recent transplants and lifelong residents both share a genuine desire to see their unique neighborhoods thrive to be the best they can be. We care about each other and share important events together, and are hopeful about the future of Brooklyn. When there is a problem, the community rallies together to get it solved.

Much of this strong sense of community is seen in our efforts to provide green markets, community farms and gardens, cultural and historical non-profit organizations. Leaders of our community support and encourage shopping for goods made by local artists and designers.

But Wait – There’s so Much More that Makes Brooklyn a Great Place to Love

Brooklyn is a great place to love. It is a special place with a myriad of reasons to call it home. From community activities, trendy boutiques, lively music venues, amazing rooftop views, fun and diverse nightlife to a culinary scene to rival that of anywhere else in the world. Brooklyn has much to offer that compels us to love calling it our home.

Now that you know why Brooklyn is a great place to love, are you ready to call it your home? Call Charles D’Alessandro,
your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206. Or you can email him at [email protected]



Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

How to Afford the Most House Your Money Can Buy

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

House your money

Before you begin searching for a new home, you need to know how much house you can afford to buy. Here are a few things to consider to help you prepare yourself for buying a home.

Since you are new to owning a home, you’re probably wondering how much house you can afford to buy? Everyone does. And it’s a great question to ask and get answered because if you get this wrong, you could end up foreclosing on your new home. And who wants that? No one. Certainly not me, and certainly not you. Here’s what you need to know to afford the most house your money can buy.

There is more to the cost of a house than what meets the eye. Long-term costs are there as well and must be calculated to find out how much house your money can buy. You need to fully understand how much a house will cost upfront in order to get into it and how much it will cost to live there month after month.

To Determine How Much House Your Money Can Buy

Have you saved enough for a down payment?

The down payment needs to be at least 10 percent of the price of the home you want to purchase. But the best loan terms are given to homebuyers who have at least 20 percent to give for a down payment. If you’re looking at a $300,000 home, a down payment of 10 percent is $30,000. A down payment of 20 percent is $60,000.

Will the housing costs exceed 28 percent of your monthly income?

In addition to the amount you have for a down payment, lenders look at the cost of housing in comparison to your income. Your monthly mortgage payment, taxes, and home insurance should not exceed 28 percent of your monthly income. If you bring home $5,000 a month, these housing costs should not exceed $1,400.

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

Successful, long-term homeownership depends a lot on a great debt-to-income ratio. Simply stated, this means more savings, less debt. Because the greater the amount in your savings account and the smaller your total debt, the more home buying power you’ll have.

Note, qualifying for a loan and being able to afford that loan are two very different things.

Lenders look at your total debt (credit card debt, car loans, student loans, personal loans, etc). If they see that you earn $5,000 a month gross, they’ll expect that you can afford to pay $1,400 a month on taxes, mortgage, and insurance. But if you don’t have additional debts, they’ll expect that you can afford to pay $1,800 a month on taxes, mortgage, and insurance.

Do you have a good credit history?

Paying your bills on time and paying more than the minimum gives you a good credit history. Get into the habit of paying more than the minimum on time month after month while building your down payment savings before you start looking for a home, and you’ll be off to a terrific start!

With over 30 years of experience in the Brooklyn real estate market, Charles D’Alessandro is a Brooklyn Real Estate Agent you can trust. He’ll help you find and purchase the most house your money can buy and guide you every step of the way. Contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected] for your best start in the homebuying process.


 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

 

Charles D’Alessandro: A Successful Real Estate Agent with Heart

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Real estate agent

A drive for excellence sets Charles D’Alessandro apart from the rest. He’s a real estate agent with heart.

“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

Charles D’Alessandro is not as different from the rest of us as you may think. He’s just a regular guy, born and raised in Brooklyn, who loves a great a slice of New York pizza. He loves football, New York Yankee baseball, and his job as a real estate agent at Fillmore Real Estate in Brooklyn, New York. But there is a difference. He has heart. He has passion. And he puts it into everything he does. This sets him apart from other real estate agents and people in general, for that matter.

A Passionate, Motivated, Excellent Real Estate Agent

Charles is a spirited individual. His passion for excellence and having fun with whatever he does motivates him to succeed. Whether it’s his family or his business, he exceeds expectations. And that desire for excellence has brought him success as a leading Brooklyn real estate professional.

For over 30 years, he’s been helping people achieve their dreams of owning Brooklyn homes, condos and co-ops. His credentials are numerous and varied:

Real estate agentReal Estate Agents Serving Brooklyn with Fillmore’s Best

Charles always has his finger on the pulse of Brooklyn, East Flatbush, and Marine Park real estate. He is Vice President Division Manager for Fillmore and is also the office manager of Fillmore’s 2926 Avenue J office. His sales staff consists of 35 Realtors all living in and serving the Brooklyn community the ‘Fillmore way.’ Charles considers them to be “Fillmore’s Best.”

From 1999 to today, our Brooklyn Fillmore real estate office has broken sales records and won awards. It remains one of Brooklyn’s top real estate agencies. “We’re proudest of the extraordinary level of personalized service we bring to our clients. Our goal is and always will be to amaze our clients and customers with the quality of our services. They have my personal guarantee that they will not find a more complete and satisfying real estate service anywhere,” Charles says.

Born and raised in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn, Charles is a Brooklynite through and through who speaks “Brooklynese”! He attended Our Lady of Grace Elementary School, Abraham Lincoln High School, and Kingsborough Community College. Today, he is married to the love of his life and lives in the Marine Park area where he raised his two sons.

Charles’ firsthand knowledge of the Brooklyn real estate market and its neighborhoods is valuable when you’re looking to buy or sell your Brooklyn home. His 30+ years of experience as a Brooklyn real estate agent allows him to offer indispensable knowledge, integrity, and ability to you as a buyer or seller. He speaks your language. He works for home buyers and sellers and tries to advise and consult them in the best way he knows how. At the end of every day, no matter how things may have turned out, he feels great, because he always does his best for his clients and customers.

What Others Have to Say

Find out what others who have worked with Charles have to say about him here on his Testimonial Tree and visit his About Page.

Brooklyn’s Best Real Estate Agent is on Your Side

If you’re buying or selling Brooklyn real estate, you want a real estate agent who is on your side. You want someone who cares about this important decision as much as you do. You won’t find anyone who cares more than Charles D’Alessandro. Call your Brooklyn real estate professional today at 718-253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected]

Remember, you and your family deserve the best in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island!

How to Research and Prepare for the Home Buying Process

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Home buying process

Proper research and preparation will take a lot of the intimidation out of the home buying process.

As a first time homebuyer, you may be feeling somewhat intimidated about the whole home buying process. With everything there is to learn about buying a home, it can certainly be overwhelming. Even those who have purchased homes two or three times will tell you buying a home is challenging. But they will also tell you that knowing how to research and prepare for buying a home will help you handle the challenges that come with it. First time homebuyers may find this resource helpful in easing any stress that can come during homebuying process.

Use These 5 Tips When Researching and Preparing for the Home Buying Process

 

  1. Consider the Best Location

If you haven’t heard the old cliché “Location, Location, Location” yet, you will. That’s because it’s real estate truth! Location really is the most important part of the real estate equation. Consider the following pros and cons to help you determine the best location for your Brooklyn home:

  • Take your family’s priorities into account
  • Know where you would buy a home, and where you wouldn’t
  • Try to be flexible with what you really want in your home. For example, are you longing for a place with a yard?
  • Compare the price of the home you’re looking at purchasing with prices of homes in the area. This will help you find out if you’ve found a good deal and whether or not it lines up with current market expectations.

2. Be Ready Financially

Looking for a new home can seem like an endless endeavor. Once you find “the one” though, the process moves into high gear. In real estate markets that are fast-moving, a great house for a great price can list in the morning and receive an offer a few hours later. It’s even possible for it to be under contract by nightfall, really! And this is why you should be ready financially before you find a great house and make an offer.

Ask your friends and family which law or finance professionals, any law or finance professionals. Charles D’Alessandro with Fillmore Real Estate has recommendations for mortgage companies, so ask him for his recommendations. Get quotes from several different lenders. This will give you a general idea of what your rates should be.

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Real Estate Jargon

It’s honestly worth the effort to educate yourself with some of the real estate terms that come with the home buying process. If you’re familiar with the terms, you’ll understand the purchasing terms when they’re being discussed.

  1. See the Neighborhood for Yourself

Find out if a neighborhood is right for you by spending the day there. Check for open houses you’re interested in and make a day of it. Take a walk and visit nearby shops, restaurants, parks, and schools. Find out what kind of people live there.

  1. Hire Charles D’Alessandro as Your Buyers Agent

The relationship with your real estate agent is important. They can make or break your home buying experience. Your real estate agent must be trustworthy, dependable and work FOR you in the home buying process.

The home buying process is exciting and stressful. With proper research and preparation, your home buying process can be a great experience. Start smart and hire Charles D’Alessandro. Research, prepare and contact Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of experience marketing Brooklyn homes, you can trust Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate as your buyers agent.

How to Choose a Licensed Professional for a Home Inspection in Brooklyn

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Home inspection in Brooklyn

A good home inspection in Brooklyn is worth your time and money. Do your research to find a great home inspector for the home you are buying.

“Are home inspections worth the effort?” Yes, they are! “Would you recommend an inspection of the home we are buying?” Yes, I would! A home inspection in Brooklyn gives clear understanding of the current state of the home you are buying, and that’s important. Here’s why.

A home inspection is more than acquiring a list of problems to negotiate with a seller. It is assurance that you know exactly what you’re getting into when it comes to the condition of a home. It’s true that a home inspection could reveal something the seller needs to fix or something that will cause you to want to back out of buying a home. But it’s way more fun to think of it as an owner’s manual with maintenance tips and schedules for your new home instead.

Do Your Research to Find a Licensed, Professional Inspector for Your Home Inspection in Brooklyn

All home inspectors are not the same, nor do they offer the same things. With a little research of their websites, you can create a list of licensed, professional inspectors to choose from. Check their online reviews, study their websites and write down the answers to the following questions:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. Do they have testimonials listed on their website? If so, are they from happy clients or real estate agents? How many “5-star” testimonials are listed, 5 or 50?
  3. What are their qualifications and actual home inspection experience?
  4. Is there a sample inspection report available to view? A great home inspector will not hide a sample report from website visitors. Click HERE for an example of a good one.

What to Look for When Viewing a Sample Home Inspection Report

Believe it or not, there is much more than photos and illustrations to look for on a sample report. A good home inspection report will state the problem, explain the significance of the problem, and recommend a course of action.

Further inspections may be needed, and that’s fine. However, such recommendations should never be given lightly. Additional inspections require more time and money.

Finally …

Yes, you should hire a licensed, professional inspector to conduct a thorough home inspection in Brookly. Get recommendations and a sample report to make sure they will produce a thorough report on the home you are buying. Find out what is and isn’t included in the price of the inspection. Refer to this actual home inspector Home Inspection Checklist and ask what they will test for specifically. Be clear on exactly what is and isn’t included in the inspection price. For more tips on how to find a home inspector online, read: How Hard Can It Be to Find a Good Home Inspector?

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] for a list of inspectors with reviews in Brooklyn today.

Get a seller’s disclosure statement before the day of your inspection. This statement will help you pinpoint anything you want your inspector to look at. If the sellers disclosed a leaky window that was replaced or repaired, make sure your inspector looks at it.

After you’ve decided on an inspector, book the home inspection in Brooklyn. If you can’t decide between the final two on your list, go with price. Then, plan on being there with your agent on the day of the home inspection for the entire time.

You aren’t being a pest. Think of yourself as a student. Hearing and seeing what the inspector is inspecting is super helpful to you. They will explain your home’s systems and give maintenance tips which will also be in the final report.

Do You Hope to Move from Renting to Buying This Year?

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Renting to Buying

Prepare to move from renting to buying a home this hear! Start today with these 5 good habits and make home ownership your reality!

The end of a year is a good place to start – some good habits for a new year, that is! Are you hoping to move from renting to buying a home this year? Then there’s no time like the month of January to get started on these 5 habits. Start here. Start now for a seamless transition from renting to buying in the New Year.

5 Good Habits That Will Pave the Road from Renting to Buying

  1. Start saving for a down payment right away

Unless you’ve received a sizeable inheritance, you can never start saving for a down payment too early. For a $200,000 home, the recommended 20% down payment is $40,000. That’s a lot of money, and most people don’t plan for it like they ought to.

The best way to start saving for a down payment is to automate an amount from every paycheck into your savings. Yes, automate saving a small amount of every paycheck. Set it up to go right into a separate savings account named “Down Payment.” Exercising the discipline and perseverance to set aside money for a savings account is tough. But setting up automatic savings makes it easier, and you won’t miss it. Money can be “out of sight, out of mind.” You won’t spend what you don’t see to spend.

By the way, a down payment of 20 percent is not a requirement. There are other options, but it’s best to save as much as you can. Start a savings account with your very next paycheck.

  1. Pay down debt and pay your bills on time

Can’t say this enough, “Pay off debt and pay your bills on time.” Mortgage lenders want to see that you’ve paid off past debts. They also want to see that you are paying your credit cards and other loan payments on time. If you’ve been late in the past, get current and stay current. Even if you make $250,000 a year, a mortgage lender will likely deny a mortgage if your credit card payments are always late. Keep in mind, lenders favor not using more than 30 percent of your available credit, too. Pay down as much debt as you can before applying for a home loan.

  1. Live on a budget

Owning a home isn’t necessarily pricier than renting. It depends on your area. Do your homework and compare the costs of renting versus buying a home. If you expect your mortgage payment to be larger than your rent payment, create a budget that factors that in. When you live on less, you get used to it. Then you won’t choke when your monthly mortgage payment becomes a reality. You’ll also be able to save more for the down payment and pay down debt.

  1. Learn how to do your own repairs and maintenance

When renting, repairs are the landlord’s responsibility. That’s nice. Learn the basics of property maintenance while renting. What if your new home has a lawn? You’ll need garden hoses, a lawn mower and other maintenance tools, because lawn care will also be your responsibility. It would be wise to add home maintenance as a budget item, too.

Knowing how to do basic home repairs and maintenance will save thousands of dollars as a homeowner.

  1. Get to know the real estate market

Here’s something else you should do while renting – get to know the real estate market. Prepare before you’re ready to hire a real estate agent and start touring homes.

Browse homes online to get a sense of what is available. Find out what you can afford and how much of a down payment you should be saving for. This saves you from disappointment when you begin touring homes.

And Now You Know How to Pave the Way from Renting to Buying

Now you know 5 good habits to start now to move from renting to buying a home this year. Hiring an agent may be in the somewhat distant future, but there is plenty for you to do right now. Change your hope of buying a home into a reality in 2017. This is a huge purchase, and it requires some preparation financially and mentally.

Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate today at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of experience, Charles has the expert real estate agent skills needed to help you prepare to purchase your first home.

Do You Have Physical Disabilities and Need Help Buying a Home?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Physical disabilities in Brooklyn

Those with physical disabilities must look at homes to buy from a new and very different perspective.

Veterans Day brought our service men and women to mind, and rightly so. But thoughts of those who have returned home from combat with physical disabilities also came to mind. In addition to physical disabilities, they must learn to deal with a new way of life at home. Serviceman or civilian, disabilities caused by injuries, surgeries and even bone density issues present significant challenges. Such challenges can make it difficult to be mobile. And they can make buying a new home to accommodate their disabilities necessary.

From the challenges of looking at homes to securing financing options, people with disabilities must now look at each property from a different perspective. If you’re helping someone with physical disabilities or you yourself are disabled, consider the following.

  1. If you have physical disabilities, can you get financing?

Yes. Just because you are someone with physical disabilities who doesn’t have a conventional income doesn’t mean buying a home is out of reach. What it does mean is you need to go through a specialty loan package.

The government wants those with physical disabilities to purchase homes and achieve financial stability. They offer programs that take into account SSDI and other disability payments, like structured settlements, for example, which are designed to help physically disabled buyers finance a home. If you are disabled and without a regular income at all, you may need to find other ways to get financing, but there are services available.

  1. Do you know your legal rights?

It’s unfortunate, but disabled individuals can run into discrimination throughout the home buying process. When it comes to your disability, you have the right not to be discriminated against. Some real estate agents hesitate to work with buyers who have physical disabilities because of the complex process that goes hand in hand with them. Sellers may not want to meet with them because they are leary about the type of financing that will be used. These actions are discriminating and are not legal under the Fair Housing Act. If you believe you are being unfairly discriminated against during the home buying process, you may want to obtain legal recourse.

  1. Can you identify disability-friendly modifications that will be needed in a home?

Wouldn’t it be ideal if you were able to find a home that was already modified for your disabilities? But more often than not, modifications after the purchase of a home will need to be made. Modifications include rails, ramps and special bathroom fixtures. It’s important to pursue compensation if you were injured because of the actions of another. If you win a settlement, you may be able to incorporate the costs of modifications of your home into the costs of your injuries.

  1. Are you aware of disability-related services available to you?

Not only is pursuing compensation important to you if your disabilities happened at the hands of someone else, it is important to look for a property that is located next to or near disability-related services. Location matters more when purchasing a home for someone who has physical disabilities. Look for a home that is near physicians, urgent care clinics, handicapped transportation and grocery stores. Neighborhoods that are highly walkable are important if you are in a wheelchair or if you are able to travel in a motorized scooter.

In a walkable neighborhood, all of the amenities you will need to access are very close by. This will allow you to live independently and take care of many of your needs.

Although buying a home for someone with physical disabilities can be complex, it isn’t impossible. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. For help finding a home that will support you with physical disabilities, Charles can help.

Does Your Agent Have Expert Marketing Skills?

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Marketing skills

Hire a real estate agent who stands out from the competition. Hire someone who has expert marketing skills.

Remember the old days of marketing a home when a real estate agent could put up a sign in your front yard and buy an ad in your local newspaper? Marketing that way doesn’t work very well these days. Online activities have taken the world by storm, and to market well in today’s world your real estate agent must have expert online and offline marketing skills.

Since the housing financial crisis, competition among real estate agents has been heating up. Because the competition is fierce, real estate agents must set themselves apart from the crowd with expert online and offline marketing skills.

 Real estate agents must have online and offline marketing skills today

Working with a real estate agent is still key when buying or selling a home, but buyers are doing more work online before choosing an agent to work with. The National Association of Realtors conducted a study. Results from the study showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their home search.

Is your real estate agent active online and offline? Are they social media savvy? If they are not active, engaging and networking online, YOU are missing out.

Investigate the online and offline marketing skills of your real estate agent. The following list marketing questions is extensive, but it will help you determine how well your real estate agent sets himself or herself apart from the crowd in today’s competitive market:

  • Do they have social media accounts on all the big networks – Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram? Do they interact with users, share great status updates and promote their clients’ properties on social media? Are they active on social media?
  • Are they reaching out to potential clients through ads on social media?
  • Visit their Pinterest boards. Do you see boards created for each one of their clients’ properties?
  • Are they easy to find in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+ because they set up a Google My Business account?
  • Are social sharing buttons added to their property pages? Is it easy for their home buyers to email and share properties online?
  • Are there testimonials from real, live people who endorse their services on their website and social networks?
  • Is their website attractive and user-friendly? Is the information on their website easy to access? Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Do they offer irresistible free content, like ebooks for example, to reach out to potential clients and to grow their real estate business?
  • Is their website mobile-friendly?
  • Is their contact information on every page of their website so that they are easy to contact? Is it eye-catching? Does it grab your attention?
  • Is there a shared scheduling app for you to schedule home tours and meetings with them?
  • Do they showcase the best that our Brooklyn area has to offer with high-quality, professional photos of Brooklyn, our landmarks, familiar sites in addition to their clients’ homes for sale?
  • Have they hired a professional photographer to take gorgeous photos of their clients’ properties?
  • Are comprehensive, enjoyable (not out dated) virtual tours of their clients’ properties available on their website?
  • Is there a short, cute, high-quality cartoon video that establishes their brand and showcases their personality? Or is there a video that features local Brooklyn landmarks or sites unique to Brooklyn? Maybe a video all about a small business owner in Brooklyn?
  • Have they partnered with local businesses?
  • Do they host webinars and create YouTube videos to share with potential clients on their website?
  • Do they host free seminars for home buyers?
  • Do they nurture their clients by interacting with clients based on their previous actions, such as attending an open house or a first-time homebuyer’s seminar, for example?
  • Do they have an awesome looking business card? Do they hand them out freely like coupons to a favorite New York pizza joint?
  • Do they sponsor local Brooklyn festivals, sports teams or school events? Getting their real estate business on t-shirts, pamphlets and flyers tells you they are working to stand out from the competition.
  • Have they got swag? (pens, pencils, bookmarkers, letter openers, t-shirts, keychains and other freebies that are branded with their real estate business)
  • Are they building client relationships with relevant email marketing? Do they send information about upcoming open houses, houses that recently listed, updates and such to subscribers via enewsletters?
  • Do they have a specific niche or target audience that they focus on taking care of? Charles’ niche is Baby Boomers, 50 years old and older.
  • Do they utilize postcards to reach out to potential buyers in addition to online marketing?
  • Do they showcase their knowledge about the current real estate market or how well Brooklyn is doing in local magazines or newspapers, for example?
  • Do they give a local care package or gifts to clients after home closings?
  • Are they building relationships with past buyers by staying in touch with anniversary cards, holiday cards and birthday cards?
  • Do they give incentives to clients for referrals to future homebuyers?

As you can see, to win the real estate marketing game you must hire a real estate agent who is working to stand out in today’s competitive market. They must have expert marketing skills both online and offline.

With over 30 years of experience marketing Brooklyn homes, I have the expert marketing skills needed to sell your home or help you find the home of your dreams. Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.