Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn real estate’

Enjoy The Comfort Of Home By Preparing For The Winter Chill

Saturday, January 15th, 2022
Comfort of home - dog on chair in front of fireplace

Enjoying the comfort of home on a cold winter’s day can either be a relaxing experience, or a nightmare. Whether you are a fan of winter weather, or not, preparing your home for the winter chill is necessary to avoid those nightmare feelings. 

Preventative maintenance is a smart practice when you own a home. Spending the time to prepare for colder weather will not only help you save money, but it will provide peace of mind. 

You can even improve the resale value of your home by adding energy-efficient features. As a result, you can save money and ensure your family is safe and healthy.

Items will need to be addressed both inside and outside your home. I recommend you start outside before we are in the deepest, coldest part of winter.

Areas to evaluate outside include:

Roof

Inspect your roof for any broken, damaged, or missing shingles and flashing. Be sure there are no leaves or branches accumulating on the roof. Don’t forget to check inside your attic for evidence of water leakage that will indicate a roof issue.

Chimney

Not only do you want your chimney cleaned, but you also want to have the exterior inspected. Leaky flashing or a deteriorating crown or cap can allow water into your chimney, damaging your home. Obstructions in the chimney can occur from debris or critters that allow harmful vapors into the home. 

Gutters

While you are focused on the roof of your home, be sure to check your gutters. Before the first freeze, clean any debris and leaves from the gutters. A backed-up gutter will freeze over and cause damage to not only your roof and siding but also your home’s interior. In addition, the weight of the ice inside the gutter along with icicles can also cause damage to them.

Trees

Take a good look at the trees in your yard to determine if they need trimming so they are not hanging over your house, driveway, or fence. Branches quickly ice over in a storm. They can then snap and cause damage to your home, cars, and fences. Branches can also fall on power lines causing outages or fires.

Outdoor pipes and water features

Winterize outdoor pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. In addition, outdoor spigots, sprinkler systems, ponds, pools, and other outdoor lines need attention to prevent damage. Also, you need to know the location of your emergency water shut-off valve if you have a leak.

Outdoor Plants

Some of your outdoor plants may need some special attention to make it through the cold winter. First, check the types of plants in your yard to determine what they need to survive the colder temperatures. Some types of plants may need wrapping, covered, or mulched. If you want to save potted plants, you should bring them indoors before temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sidewalks

For your safety, the safety of your family, delivery drivers, or guests, keep your sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Check with your municipality for snow removal requirements. For example, some municipalities dictate that owners or tenants are responsible for cleaning the exterior walks and possibly even fire hydrants. Depending on when the snow stops falling, these requirements may also be time-sensitive. Failure to meet these requirements may be finable.

Driveways

Keeping your driveways clear of snow and ice is also a necessity. Parking in a driveway with accumulated snow is not only a personal safety issue, but it can damage your vehicle as well. As you expose the underside of your car to moisture, it can cause rusting. When the snow melts and refreezes, you can also have issues with safety. The melting and freezing snow can damage the driveway widening cracks as the ice expands.

Now that the outside has been taken care of, you can move inside to handle some additional items to ensure you and your household members remain comfortable throughout the winter.

Smoke & CO Detectors

You should check your smoke & CO detectors every six months and replace the battery. Many find the daylight savings time change an excellent time to schedule this task. However, if you do not have that as a regular maintenance item for your home, be sure to check them now. Carbon monoxide is tasteless and odorless but can be deadly. Also, check the municipality requirements for smoke & CO detectors and the placement required throughout the home. 

Fireplace

We discussed having the chimney inspected on the outside of the home. You also want to have the fireplace inspected from the inside. Wood burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces can both pose issues to personal safety, and you should have them both checked. If you are using a wood-burning fireplace, be sure the wood is dried correctly and appropriate for burning in a fireplace. Creosote build-up in your chimney is the cause of many house fires.

Window & Doors

You can lose a lot of your heat through poorly insulated windows and doors. According to the energy.gov website, it is possible to lose 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling through windows. Some solutions to improve energy efficiency include caulking or weatherstripping around window seals and door frames, insulated window coverings, or allowing sunlight in during the day then covering windows at night.

Heating System

Maintaining a comfortable temperature is crucial to the comfort of home. A poorly maintained heating system can cost you more money to heat your home as well. Having an annual inspection of your heating system will prevent surprises from occurring in the dead of winter. Carbon monoxide can be emitted from gas furnaces. Proper maintenance of your furnace can avert this danger.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can help save heating costs. Programming the thermostat to lower while you are not at home or sleeping will prevent you from heating your home when you are not there or snuggled under blankets sleeping. You can set the temperature to rise before you arrive home or wake in the morning.

Boot Station

Creating a designated place for everyone to take off their wet shoes and boots as they enter the home will save you from having to clean up snow and ice melt from your floors. The deicing materials brought in on shoes can damage the flooring. Create a simple spot with a boot tray or rug to place boots and shoes.

Your winterization would not be complete without gathering supplies you should have on hand. Some items to consider having on hand include:

Snow Shovel

Snow shovels come in many styles. Be sure your snow shovel is sturdy and in good repair before the first snowfall. The prices and materials of snow shovels vary greatly. Be sure to choose one that is easy for you to use and gets the job done!

Ice Melter

There are many types of ice melting products on the market. Choose one that will not damage your sidewalks and driveway. If you have pets, you may also consider a pet-friendly product that does not irritate your pet’s paws when they walk on it.

Ice Scraper

If you own a car, you need to have an ice scraper and snow brush in the car during the winter. You need to remove the snow and ice from your vehicle for the safety of yourself and others.

Flashlights

If you have a power outage, you will need some light. Although our cell phones have flashlights built into them, you will use up a lot of the battery using that as your light source. So buy some emergency flashlights and batteries to have on hand. 

Back-up Cell Battery

An external power bank is a good idea to have ready. If power outages due to storms are widespread, it can take some time to restore the power. You can keep your cell phone and other electronics charged with a power bank.

Water

Having a supply of water on hand is a good idea. You may need water for drinking, cooking, and even flushing toilets.

Pantry Items

Having some easy-to-prepare pantry items can be a lifesaver. For example, you can eat canned foods such as tuna, vegetables, and fruit without cooking. Other things you may want to have on hand include peanut butter, crackers, cereal, juices, and granola. 

Maintaining the comfort of home is well worth the effort to complete preventative maintenance. Not only will you save yourself the stress of dealing with an emergency, but you will also save yourself money by not paying for expensive emergency repairs. 

You may be dreaming of warmer weather. Now that your home is ready for winter, you can start thinking about your outdoor space for spring and summer. Check out this previous blog post to spark your ideas.

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 like to help my clients with helpful tips and accumulated knowledge. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

Can You Create A Stress-Free Kitchen Update On A Budget?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Man working on a kitchen update on a budget.

Many Brooklyn homeowners consider making a kitchen update on a budget. Thinking through the entire process before you begin the work can help create a stress-free experience for you.

The first step is to develop your budget and stick to it. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much do I want to spend?
  2. How long do I plan on staying in this home?
  3. What finishes are typical for this neighborhood?

These are essential questions to consider when you are working through your planning process. Don’t spend more than you can afford. The time you plan to live in this home will help you determine how much to spend and what types of finishes you want. If you are only staying in the house for a couple of years, you do not want to over-improve the kitchen by adding finishes that are not typical for the neighborhood. You may not get a return if the finishes are too upscale, or you may take longer to sell if they are lower than typical.

You will find that it is easy to go over budget when you remodel a kitchen. Thorough planning and budgeting will help you avoid the stress of overspending. It is a good idea to budget for any contingencies. Unforeseen expenses often occur.

Next, you will want to gather ideas.

You can gather some incredible ideas through internet searches, Pinterest, and visiting local building supply stores. Estimate the cost of each element you are considering. See if there are less expensive alternatives that will give you the same look. In a budget breakdown, HGTV suggests the percentage of your budget you should spend on:

  • Cabinets – 35%
  • Labor – 20%
  • Appliances – 20%
  • Windows – 10%
  • Fixtures – 5%
  • Fittings – 3%
  • Other – 7%

Keep these guidelines in mind as you make decisions on the design and materials of your kitchen update on a budget.

Before you set everything in motion, consider these points.

DIY or Contractor

With the popularity of home improvement shows, it may be tempting to do it yourself. However, if you are not skilled, you should budget for a professional contractor. Finding a reliable contractor requires some research. The best place to start is with family and friends who may have previously finished a kitchen update. Check references, and try to visit a job they recently completed. If the contractor has a good reputation, you may need to wait to get on their calendar. However, it is often a worthwhile wait.

Space and Layout

If your budget is tight, you may not be able to add additional space to your kitchen or change the layout. Adding space to a kitchen may require tearing down a wall which can be costly. If the change in layout requires relocating plumbing or electrical, you will need to account for extra in your budget.

Schedule

When you want to start the project may be determined by when you need the project complete. If you want it finished by a particular date, you will need to work backward to calculate the best time to start the project. If you plan on hosting any significant events at your home, proper planning can eliminate the stress of meeting deadlines.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation in a kitchen serves several purposes. First and foremost is your comfort. A ventilation system will keep your kitchen from getting too hot. It will also help you to eliminate cooking odors that permeate the home. Ventilation helps keep your smoke detectors from being set off by smoke and steam. Pay careful attention to how you can achieve good ventilation in your kitchen using an exhaust fan such as a hood.

Temporary Kitchen

While your kitchen is under construction, you may need to set up a temporary kitchen to prepare quick meals and snacks. Your time estimate may determine how extensive a setup you need. Going out to eat or getting take out for a few days may not be a problem, but you may want to be able to cook some simple meals as your timeframe extends. 

When you plan a kitchen update on a budget, you want to be sure to incorporate ideas that will help your home sell.

If you are not planning on moving right away, you can enjoy selections that may not necessarily appeal to a broad range of homebuyers. However, if you think there is even a remote possibility of moving within 2 – 3 years, I would recommend selections with a broad range of popularity. Check out other homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold, and take a good look at the kitchens. What sorts of finishes seem to be ordinary?

Some simple ideas that are appealing to a broad range of people are:

Kitchen Island

It may be a wise investment if you have the space for an island, especially with seating. The additional counter space is appealing, along with the extra seating. In addition, the ability to have family or guests sit in the kitchen while you are preparing meals keeps you involved in the interactions and creates some great memories.

Open Shelving

The use of open shelving is helpful to create a sense of space in a kitchen. As a result, this modern touch has become popular.

Pull Out Shelves

Cabinets and pantries that have pull-out shelves are appealing because it creates more efficient use of the space. It is also convenient to pull out the shelf to locate what you need, especially deep and lower cabinets. Corner cabinets with shelves that open out also make great use of that lost corner space.

Lighting

The use of different types of lighting can make an immense difference in the feel of the kitchen. Overhead, recessed, chandelier, task, and under-cabinet options illuminate an area differently and have specific purposes. Planning for a good mix of lighting will help make food preparation and eating meals more pleasurable.

Faucets

Like lighting, there are so many options for kitchen faucets. The price ranges vary drastically. Think of the function of your kitchen and your needs. You may not need a touchless faucet, but having a sprayer may be a necessity.

Coffee bar

Many people enjoy having a designated coffee or beverage bar in their kitchen—a space to house all the equipment and supplies you will need to prepare your favorite drink. Depending on your kitchen, a separate sink may also be an added touch you want to consider.

Appliances

You may not have the budget for top-of-the-line appliances, but updating with the best in your budget is a good idea. A home buyer would be concerned that older appliances will break or waste too much energy. Shop around to find the best deal within your budget.

Paint

A fresh coat of paint does wonders. But, again, if you are considering selling shortly, avoid bold or specific color palates with limited appeal. Neutral tones appeal to a wide range of people. 

Floors

If your floors are damaged or dated material, you should consider an update. If you have a tile floor, simply regrouting can make the floor look fresh. There are many affordable options in flooring. Research to find the best solution for your lifestyle and budget.

Cabinets

Your budget will determine whether you can replace the old cabinets with new ones. If you do not have a budget for new cabinets and your current cabinets need repairing, you can consider painting, stripping, and refinishing the wood or refacing. Using bright white paint can hide outdated cabinets and create a more modern feel. But, again, the solution for you will depend on your budget.

Average estimates for kitchen remodels include:

Low = $5,000 to $15,000

Medium = $15,000 to $30,000

High = $30,000 or more

With good planning and smart shopping, you can accomplish a stress-free kitchen update on a budget.

Caution – be careful not to over-improve for your neighborhood. For more tips, you can read my previous blog post.

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 know what types of updates work to help sell a home quickly. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

How Does Capital Gains Tax Affect Property Owners?

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Man's hands calculating  capital gains tax.

President Biden has proposed a capital gains tax increase. At the time of writing this blog post, it has not yet passed. But, many are wondering how this increase would affect them when they sell their real estate holdings.

When was capital gains tax implemented?

Capital gains tax has been in existence as far back as 1913. Taxes were calculated at the ordinary tax rate of the time. The capital gains tax rate has been lower than the top ordinary income tax rate since the 1950s. The percentage of taxation and rules about the sale of capital assets has changed over the years.

Capital assets are homes, cars, investment properties, stocks, bonds, and collectible art with a useful life longer than one year. An asset sale can result in a short-term gain or a long-term gain. Assets held less than a year are considered short-term gains. Long-term gains pertain to assets held longer than one year.

Ordinary tax rates apply to short-term gains. Tax rates on long-term capital gains vary by filing status and income bracket; rates range from 0%, 15% to 20%. Higher-income taxpayers may have to pay an additional 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT).

Let’s take a look at how capital gains affect real estate.

If you sell your primary residence, you first need to determine if you realize a loss or a gain. To calculate that information, you need to determine your basis. The basis is generally what you paid for the home. You can include the cost for some improvements, but not the expense for regular maintenance and repair of the house. A good rule of thumb is that improvements must add value to the property, change its use, or increase longevity. Consult with your tax professional to learn what can and can not be included to determine your basis.

Special exemptions apply for primary residences if you live in the home for two of the previous five years before the sale date. You also must have owned the house for at least two out of the last five years. They do not need to be the same two years for each requirement. You can only use this exclusion once every two years. There may be exceptions that can disqualify you, which is why you will need to consult with a tax preparer before filing your income tax return. 

If you qualify for the exemption, you will be able to exclude up to $250,000 of capital gains if you are a single tax filer and up to $500,000 of capital gains if you are married filing jointly. 

If you own a second home, it will not qualify for the capital gains exclusion. For example, you own a beach home that you live in for two months out of the year and rent out at other times.

How do capital gains apply to investment properties?

Investors must meet the requirements of living in the home to qualify for the exemption. If you have not, you will not be eligible for the exemption when you sell your investment properties.

Investment properties can also fall under short-term and long-term capital gains. The tax rate for this investment is calculated according to the ordinary income tax rate for your tax bracket if you held it for less than one year. Flipped houses usually fall into a short-term capital gains tax category because investors want to refurbish the home and turn it over quickly.

Any capital gains on an investment property held at least a year would be subject to long-term capital gains tax rates for the investor’s tax bracket.

Like a primary residence, you will need to calculate your cost basis, including purchase cost and any qualifying improvements. You calculate your gain by subtracting your sales price from your cost basis.

A 1031 Exchange can defer capital gains.

If investors want to sell a particular property and invest in a like-kind property, they may qualify for a 1031 exchange. This classification allows the investor to sell now and defer paying capital gains. A third-party facilitator is required to handle the process. The investor is under strict time limits to complete the exchange. The replacement property must be identified within 45 days and close within 180 days of selling the property. In the event of a missed deadline, capital gains tax is applicable.

What are the possible effects of the proposed changes?

The Biden administration’s proposed capital gains tax changes would increase the capital gains tax rates and limit the use of 1031 Exchanges. The proposal includes raising the capital gains tax rate to 39.6% for people making over $1 million per year. It is important to remember that this proposal will affect all capital assets, not just real estate, as we are talking about here.

It may seem that the capital gains tax will not affect many, but in areas where the cost of real estate has skyrocketed, that could be another story. For example, if the property has a low basis, the seller may make a significant capital gain when selling. This considerable gain could put them in a higher tax bracket triggering a higher capital gain tax rate.

Another area of concern in the proposed capital gains tax changes is eliminating stepping up the basis of inherited property. The capital gains on inherited properties are calculated on the home’s fair market value at the time of death or “stepping-up” the basis of the property from the owner’s original purchase price. Utilizing the stepping-up practice reduced the amount of capital gains the estate would be taxed on. 


Because of the increase in prices in New York, this could become an issue for families selling or inheriting long-held estate properties. You can find out more about the proposal’s effects on inherited properties in this recent article from Bankrate.

Should you sell your investment properties?

Real estate investors may be wondering if it is time to sell their investment properties. The answer is as individual as the investor. For example, if you need to sell and your property has held its value, it may be a good time for you to sell. In contrast, you may want to hold onto the property if the value has decreased yet the area expects to increase, and you don’t require cash right now.

There are so many variables to the proposed tax changes; you need to consult with a tax professional to understand how your portfolio will be affected and what the best next steps would be for you. It is unknown what the final changes will be in this proposed legislation and how far-reaching the effects will be.

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 you find the right home for your primary residence or investment. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Allesandro

Is It True? Answering Myths About Real Estate Agents!

Monday, August 30th, 2021

real estate agent writing myths or facts

There are many myths about real estate agents floating about; many have been hanging around for years. Since 1900 real estate has been a profession, and many myths about real estate agents still exist.

Having over 30 years of experience in the Brooklyn real estate market, I can address these misunderstandings. In addition, I think I may have answered questions from family, friends, and clients over the years related to all 15 of these myths.

Real estate agents earn a 6% commission.

It is important to remember that commission is always negotiable. But, an average commission would be around 6%. That is a contractual agreement between the seller and the listing agent and brokerage they choose to sell their home. After a home sells, the 6% commission is split between the brokerage representing the seller and the brokerage representing the buyer. Assuming that is a 50/50 split, each brokerage receives a 3% commission.

The commission is split even further between the brokerage and their agent, depending on their agreed-upon split. For example, if that split were 50/50, the brokerage received 1.5%, and the agent received 1.5%. From the agent’s 1.5%, the fees the agent pays the brokerage are deducted. An individual agent in this scenario may only receive 1 – 1.5% of the sales price in commission depending on the brokerage fees they are required to pay. Although it sounds like a high commission, after splitting the commission several ways and paying for fees, you can see the agent only receives a small percentage of the total.

Real estate agents receive a salary.

Real estate agents receive compensation on a commission basis. Agents do not receive payment until the property closes. They work for 2-3 months or more before ever receiving any compensation for their time. If the sale falls through, an agent will not receive payment for their time and effort invested in the transaction.

Lenders, title companies, and inspectors pay real estate agents a kickback.

Kickbacks are defined as “an illegal payment intended as compensation for preferential treatment or any other type of improper services received.” An agent may have a legal arrangement with preferred service providers but must disclose their interest in any partnership to their clients. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development oversees the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which includes disclosure laws and prohibits kickbacks, referral fees, and unearned fees. RESPA is a highly regulated act. 

Real estate agents get reimbursement for their expenses.

Agents are not reimbursed for expenses from their brokerages. This is because they are running their own small independent business under the umbrella of their brokerage. Therefore, they are responsible for their expenses, including gas, car expenses, insurance, office supplies, office copies, renting a desk within the broker’s office, E&O insurance, MLS fees, etc. 

The real estate agent’s brokerage pays for marketing and advertising expenses.

Many brokerages advertise as a group. It appears that the brokerage is adverting properties, but in actuality, the agent is paying to participate in the ad. Like other general business expenses mentioned above, the real estate agent is responsible for all marketing and advertising expenses. These include professional photos, staging, brochures, advertising online and in print, etc.

Real estate agents get rich quickly.

Real estate sales is not a get-rich-quick career. Having 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses is a good rule of thumb for new real estate agents as they begin their careers. An agent can work with a buyer or seller for months before a property goes under contract. Once under contract, it can take 45-60 days for a home to close and the agent to receive their first commission check. Maintaining a consistent income takes discipline and a ton of effort for real estate agents. There is constant lead generation, contract preparation, listing appointments, showing homes, negotiating contracts, and facilitation of the closing that keep a real estate professional working long hours. Reaching a high percentage of referrals from past clients, friends and family is the goal of all career real estate agents. It takes time to build those relationships.

Real estate agents make too much money.

The National Association of Realtors tracks the average income of real estate agents annually. In 2019, the nationwide average was $49,700. Their study shows that agents with 16 years or more of experience average $86,500. Many find these statistics surprising. The confusion comes from agents advertising they are multi-million dollar producers. Multi-million dollar refers to the total sales price of the homes they sell. If an agent sold $2,000,000 in homes that averaged $250,000 each, they only sold 8 houses and may have only earned around $30,000, but they technically qualify as a multi-million dollar producer. That is a far cry from actually earning a million dollars.

Real Estate Agents are expensive to hire.

Hiring a real estate agent may cost you, but not hiring a real estate agent can cost you more. For example, did you know that sellers who choose to sell for sale by owner usually end up selling their home for less than they could with a real estate agent representing them? Not knowing the legalities of a real estate transaction can also cost you money. A real estate professional understands the local market and stays current on trends and issues that may affect a real estate transaction. If you are not a real estate agent yourself, do you have time to learn all the intricacies of the market?

Signing a contract with a real estate agent means you are stuck with them.

You should understand the terms of any contract before you sign. Most listing contracts and Buyer agency contracts have a defined period that will be effective. Ask the agent questions to understand how you can remedy any issues in your working relationship. For example, many brokerages will allow you to cancel or switch to a different agent within the brokerage to fulfill the contract period if you are dissatisfied with the agent you first contracted.

Working directly with a listing agent will save me money.

As a buyer, working with a listing agent can be a costly move. The listing agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to the seller. They may not have your best interests at heart. Representing both parties in a home sale is a tricky situation. This type of representation is Dual Agency. Some states permit dual agency, and others prohibit it. The states that prohibit dual agency are Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming. Here is a link to a previous blog post that discusses additional mistakes buyers may make.

A real estate agent can’t sell you a For Sale By Owner.

Most sellers who choose to sell their homes For Sale By Owner will pay a commission to the agent who brings a buyer. They are happy only to pay part of the commission. Because buyer agency is so common now, For Sale by Owners know that most buyers want to work with an agent. If they are not willing to pay the commission, they could lose many potential buyers. If you see a For Sale By Owner, it is best to have your real estate agent contact them first. Your agent can discuss the commission issue and set an appointment for you to see the home.

Real estate agents want you to pay higher prices because they earn more.

When you work with a buyer’s agent, their fiduciary responsibility is to you and your best interest. An agent will indeed make a higher amount based on the sales price. But the additional amount they would make would not be an incentive to disregard their duties to you as their buyer’s agent. A $10,000 difference in sales price would only net the agent approximately $150 more based on a 3% commission and a 50/50 split with their broker. A code of ethics governs a real estate professional. They take their responsibilities seriously. Not doing so could end up with a fine or suspension of their license.

Real estate agents can only show you their company’s listings.

An agent who is a member of the local Multi-List Board can show you any property listed in the MLS regardless of which company holds the listing. It is rare to find an agent who is not a member of the Multi-List these days. Therefore, the brokerage that offers the home for sale is statistically not the same brokerage that sells the home.

Real estate agents can work whenever they want.

Real estate agents are independent contractors. They do not have to punch a time clock every day. However, they do need to be available when their clients are available. So what may look for the outside as a flexible schedule may not indeed be. You may see your local real estate agent at the gym in the afternoon, but what you may not see is your local real estate agent working in the evening showing homes to their clients or missing an event because their client needs them.

National website portals are better than real estate agents.

National website portals have changed the way real estate agents do business. But it has not replaced an excellent local real estate agent. Real estate portals are fed through the local MLS. It takes time for a property to upload from the MLS to the website portals. Some days it seems to happen quickly, and other days it takes longer for that to occur. Your real estate agent can set up a search in the MLS to notify you when a new home is listed that meets your criteria. Getting that information quickly has been a definite advantage in the local sales market we have been seeing. Relying on your local real estate expert is the better route to take. Your local expert knows the market and has information that the national website portal may not provide.

I hope this gives you a better glimpse of what it is like to be a real estate agent. Most real estate professionals do what they do because they love helping people. They are great problem solvers and lifelong learners. Every real estate sale is different, and agents are continually honing their skills. 

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 answer your real estate questions. You can reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Allesandro

S’more End-of-Summer Insights to Get Your Brooklyn Real Estate Sold

Friday, September 7th, 2012

 

Summer is quickly drawing to a close. That means you need do some serious evaluating in order to take advantage of the rest of the season’s long daylight hours and get your Brooklyn real estate sold.

So before you spend the evening catching fireflies and roasting marshmallows, buckle down and get s’more work done on your Brooklyn real estate. Below are five ways you can prepare your home and yourself for the big sale!

Host a block-party barbecue. People in the neighborhood are a great resource to tap into to market your home. Host a party to tell them your plans and allow them to see your home. If they have a friend they want to have nearby, they might just sell your house for you.

  1. Make your yard memorable. Summer is the ideal time to spruce up your curb appeal so that your home makes a good first impression on potential buyers.
  2. Repair the roof. This can be a big expense, but it is also one of the first things that home inspectors note. If it needs repairs, do it now. If you don’t, it could cost you more money when it comes time for closing negotiations.
  3. Eliminate odors. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home, not be distracted by how they’re going to get the summer-intensified smell of your pet out of the carpet.
  4. Know your minimum price. You need to prepare yourself for the numbers game. Do your research using comparables to determine what your house will most likely go for and what you’re willing to accept.

 Use what’s left of summer to make your Brooklyn home stand out from the rest! You’ll sell quickly and can start looking forward to next summer in a new home — maybe one with a pool.

If you’re thinking about selling your Brooklyn real estate and would like more tips on how to get it ready, please call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected], for more information and aFree Market Price Evaluation without obligation!

 

 

U.S. and Brooklyn Real Estate Continue to Improve

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

 

Economists say and statistics show that there are true signs of improvement in the most recent housing figures for U.S. and Brooklyn real estate markets. Here are a few of those stats:

Investors bought 1.23 million homes in 2011, up 64.5 percent over 2010, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. 

  • The median investment-home price was $100,000 in 2011, up 6.4 percent from $94,000 in 2010.
  • Single-family home sales rose 3 percent in April.
  • New home sales increased 3.3 percent in April, according to new Commerce Department data.
  • Sales of existing homes rose in April, up 10 percent from April of 2011.
  • The median price of existing homes nationwide also moved up to $177,400 from $164,800. This is the biggest year-to-year gain since January, 2006.

In addition to good news in both nationwide and Brooklyn real estate, there’s also good news about the economy:

Economic growth is now projected to grow by 2.4 percent this year, up from a 2.2 percent forecast in February.

  • The new job creation forecast, which is the most watched economic indicator, has also improved. The data now shows that 188,000 new jobs will be created each month this year, which is up from the 170,000 new jobs per month forecasted earlier this year.

As you can tell from this data, if you want to buy Brooklyn real estate while prices are at their lowest, you shouldn’t wait a minute longer. Give me a call today at Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].. to get started!

 

 

Seven Signs Brooklyn Real Estate and Real Estate Nationwide are Improving

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Recently released figures indicate real estate nationwide and Brooklyn real estate are continuing to steadily improve. Here are seven signs that demonstrate the upturn:

Housing affordability has risen dramatically. This is due to a combination of reduced real estate prices and record-low mortgage rates.

  1. Housing starts are increasing, driven mostly by multifamily starts.
  2. Existing home sales increased in January. That means we’ve now had three months of gains out of the past four months.
  3. Total housing inventory fell to a 6.1 month supply at the end of January. This means that on average it now takes just over 6 months to sell a home, which is an improvement. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, “The broad inventory condition can be described as moving into a rough balance, not favoring buyers or sellers.”
  4. There are plenty of home buyers and investors competing for foreclosure sales in almost all markets.
  5. Purchases of homes are on the rise by all types of buyers, from seasoned investors to first-time home buyers.
  6. Most economists agree that the market is improving. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist says, “Our outlook anticipates gradual, but steady, improvement in the economy and the housing market, supported by low interest rates and brightening job market prospects.”

This is excellent news for the spring and summer Brooklyn real estate season that’s just around the corner. If you’ve been considering buying or selling a home, now’s the time to start that process so you’re ready for the hottest season we’ve seen in years.

Thinking about buying or selling Brooklyn real estate? Please contact Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] . I can help you achieve your goals.

Take the Leap and Purchase Brooklyn Real Estate this Year

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Is your family starting to feel cramped in your current house, or are you ready to quit renting and start investing? With the extra day added into this leap year, you have an additional 24 hours this month to decide if you’re.

Not sure how to decide if this is the year? Whether you’re a property-purchasing pro or a first-time home buyer, take a look at the three points below to determine if you’re prepared to take the leap and invest big.

You have a sizeable down payment. Knowing what you can actually afford is half the battle. A good estimate is to triple your household income, and that will roughly be what you’ll want to spend. Whatever you’ve saved as a down payment can go on top of that or, if you’re frugal, can just be used to reduce your monthly payments. The larger the down payment you have, the smaller your mortgage payments will be, and it could possibly get you a better interest rate.

  1. You have a good real estate agent. It’s important to find a trustworthy, competent agent before you find your dream house. Take the time to thoroughly interview agents and get referrals. You’ll want to make sure you have someone who is knowledgeable about the Brooklyn real estate market to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your life.
  2. You have a brag-worthy credit score. Strike while the iron is hot! If you’ve taken the time to build up and ensure a great credit score, use your good standing to take advantage of today’s low interest rates.

If you meet all three qualifications, consider taking advantage of this month’s extra day, as well as the low interest rates and home prices, and leap into a new home. Please call Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] if you have questions concerning your credit score and down payment, or want to work with a knowledgeable Brooklyn real estate agent.

The Bottom is Here and It’s Time to Buy Brooklyn Real Estate

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The latest statistics indicate that the U.S. real estate market is at or very close to the bottom right now. And it may be  Time to Buy Brooklyn Real Estate !

On January 18, Bloomberg News reported, “Confidence Among U.S. Homebuilders Climbs to Highest Since 2007.” Bloomberg said, “The confidence measure, which increased for a fourth straight month, improved in all four regions of the U.S. This is ‘yet another indication of the gradual but steady improvement that is beginning to take hold in an increasing number of housing markets nationwide,’ Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Reno, Nevada, said in a statement.”

The official data on home prices might not show the recovery yet, because they are always months behind, but most other data indicates that in general the housing market has hit the bottom.

Right now, homes in America are the best value they’ve been in many generations. And right now, mortgage rates are off-the-charts low. In short, now is the time to buy Brooklyn real estate.

The reasons to buy now are incredibly basic:

Of course, there is no guarantee that this is the bottom. But with prices this low and with very few other great places to invest your money, now’s the time to seriously consider buying Brooklyn real estate. If you can buy now and hold on to it for a few years, it could be one of the lowest-risk, highest-reward investments you ever make.

If you’re still not convinced real estate is one of the best values out there right now, please give call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] I will share specific numbers with you about our Brooklyn real estate market.

Brooklyn Real Estate Deal of The Week

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Ditmas Park Professional Building

Ditmas Park Corner Property for Sale CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Ditmas Park Professional Building. Two family converted to dentist office with professional tenants,

corner property close to transporation. For more information, Call Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor®

with Fillmore Real Estate today (718) 253-9600 ext 206

or e mail me at [email protected] today for private tour and or

Open House Schedule !

for these or any other Brooklyn House For Sale, priced to deal !