Posts Tagged ‘Charles D’Alessandro’

Real Estate Appraisal: What A Brooklyn Buyer And Seller Need To Know

Friday, April 15th, 2022

Home appraiser

The buyer and seller need to know about a real estate appraisal in any home sale.

The buyer will have the real estate appraisal completed as part of their mortgage. The responsibility for paying for the appraisal is part of the buyer’s mortgage costs. Determining value is a key factor in the buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage.

The seller will need to provide access to their property to complete the appraisal. Most sales agreements with a mortgage contingency will be subject to a real estate appraisal. The appraiser will justify the sales price through their assessment process for the buyer and seller.

The property’s fair market value must come in at or above the sales price. A lender will not loan money for the mortgage without a satisfactory appraisal. The buyer and seller will need to revisit their negotiation if the value is below the sales price.

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) are the standards an appraiser must follow.

What is an appraisal?

Real estate appraisal or property valuation determines the property’s value based on the highest and best use of the real property (which basically translates into determining the property’s fair market value). 

A buyer and seller can request an appraisal for different reasons:

  1. Transfer of ownership of real property.
  2. Establish a basis for the exchange or reorganization for investors.
  3. Provide a mortgage underwriter a value of the security for a mortgage loan.
  4. Estimate value for tax or other legal purposes.
  5. Determine gift or inheritance taxes.
  6. Estimate the value of real property in an estate.

The person who performs this real estate appraisal is the real estate appraiser.

The value as determined by real estate appraisal is the fair market value. 

The real estate appraiser may use various methods to calculate value. However, a systematic approach will determine the fair market value.

  1. The sales comparison approach is commonly used to determine value based on recent sales of comparable properties in the local real estate market.
  2. An alternative method, the cost approach, would estimate the cost of rebuilding, minus an estimate for depreciation, plus the land value.
  3. The income capitalization approach can determine the net earning power the property will support for investment properties.

The appraiser will collect data on the market area, the subject property, and comparable properties. Once assembled, the appraiser must analyze the data collected. Supply and demand is a factor that helps to understand the competitive position of the property in the current market.

The appraiser will calculate the property’s fair market value from this analysis. A written appraisal report will show the methods used to determine the value and the information used in the analysis. Finally, the appraiser certifies that the report will be completed in an unbiased, objective manner.

Timing

There is no need for the seller to have a real estate appraisal completed before putting their home on the market unless there is an extenuating circumstance. The lender is the most interested party in the appraisal more than any other party in the sale. In fact, a lender is not likely to accept an appraisal done outside their network.

The lender will order the appraisal after the buyer applies for their mortgage. The appraiser will schedule a time with the seller to visit and examine the property based on their availability. 

Once they visit the home, the appraiser will begin the preparation of their appraisal report. It may take several days or weeks for the appraiser to deliver the information to the lender.

Sales Contract

One of the indications of value an appraiser considers is the contract between two unrelated parties, the buyer and seller, for the sale and purchase of the home. Thus, a copy of the executed sales agreement will be provided to the appraiser by the mortgage company.

Comparable Sales

In general, when you are selling your primary residence, the person buying it will make it his primary residence, too. However, if the buyer obtains a mortgage, the lender will require an evaluation of similar houses sold in the same neighborhood to prove the fair market value. The appraiser will generally find homes within a ½ mile radius of the subject property that has sold in the past six months. 

A real estate agent may choose to provide sales comps they used to determine the offering price to the appraiser, but the appraiser cannot just automatically use them in their appraisal. As an unbiased party to the sale, they must determine the comparability to the subject property.

What can a seller do to prepare for the appraiser’s visit?

If you’ve let your hair down, get your home back into “show” condition before the appraiser comes.

Everything you know about preparing your home for sale, well-mulched flower beds, minor repairs addressed, lack of fingerprints, lack of clutter, and all the rest apply.

The age of the home and the “effective age” are needed in the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form under the “General Description.” Therefore, how well your home appears affects the number under “effective age.

The Uniform Appraisal Report requires information about materials (and their condition) used for floors, walls, trim and finishing elements, bathroom floors and wainscots, and interior doors. For this reason, appraisers train themselves to notice these detail. Provide a good impression by dusting, polishing, and eliminating scratches and fingerprints.

The Report also asks about kitchen equipment (refrigerator, range and oven, disposal, dishwasher, fan and hood, microwave, and washer and dryer). Be sure all appliances are clean and operating well.

Amenities such as fireplaces, patios, decks, porches, fences, and sheds will be included in the report. If an appraiser is going to take note of these things, they should be swept, cleaned, and in good condition. Also, clean out the gutters. If it rains on the day of your appraisal, you want your house to handle the rainwater well.

Here is an example of a  “comments” section of an appraisal: “The subject is well maintained, and no physical, functional, or external inadequacies are noted. Marketability is enhanced by hardwood flooring throughout most of the home, an updated kitchen, fresh interior and exterior paint, transom windows, built-ins, a front porch, a rear patio, large storage shed, and 4 fireplaces, etc.” An appraiser will evaluate your home carefully.

The importance of preparing your property before the listing is not only for potential buyers but also for the appraisal process. Be sure to keep your home free of clutter as best you can until the appraiser has visited.

An experienced real estate agent can help you price a property correctly before listing it for sale. They should use a similar method as the appraiser using the sales comparison approach. Understanding the appraisal process should help you understand why real estate agents place so much importance on pricing the house correctly.

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 prepare your home for potential buyers and the real estate appraisal. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]
Charles D'Allesandro

Important Real Estate Terms Brooklyn Home Buyers Or Sellers Need To Know

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

dictionary of real estate terms for brooklyn home buyers or sellers

Real estate terminology can get confusing for Brooklyn Home Buyers or Sellers. After all, there is a lot of information you receive in the home buying or selling process. It may feel like you have to ask a hundred questions to understand the process clearly. 

Real estate professionals often forget that some of our terms are not common to clients. For this reason, I am sharing a simple explanation of some of the words you may need to know.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage:

type of home loan with a variable interest rate set for a period of time and then the rate adjusts at predetermined intervals.

Amortization:

the schedule of your monthly payments showing how much of your mortgage payment goes to interest and principal until your mortgage is paid in full with the last payment.

Appraisal:

an independent evaluation initiated by the lender to determine a property’s value. An appraiser evaluates the home’s condition and comparable sales in the neighborhood. This report validates the purchase price.

Assessed Value:

a public assessor determines the property’s value for tax purposes.

Cash Reserves:

remaining funds after paying the down payment and closing costs. Lenders generally require some reserves to ensure you have the financial ability to make payments.

Closing Costs:

these are fees required to cover mortgage and title expenses for a property transfer. Both buyer and seller are responsible for a portion of the costs. 

Downpayment:

the amount of money paid upfront in a home purchase. Most lenders require a certain percentage based on the mortgage loan program you are obtaining.

Escrow:

a financial account set up by the lender and funded by the homeowner’s mortgage payments to cover property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when due.

Equity:

the difference between the property value and any outstanding mortgage amount owed on the property.

Interest Rate:

the percentage of interest charged for financing a mortgage. The lender determines interest rates.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage:

the interest rate remains the same for the life of the loan.

Loan-to-Value:

this is a ratio used by lenders to measure the loan amount to the value of the property. A larger down payment will lower the ratio and appeal to the lender.

Mortgage Broker:

an individual who acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders. Usually works with several different lenders to provide options.

Preapproval Letter:

the letter provided by a mortgage lender verifying the buyer’s financial ability to purchase a property. Sellers generally require this letter as part of the offer process.

Private Money Loan:  

is money borrowed from an individual investor, usually used by real estate investors to finance deals that may not qualify for a traditional loan.

Private Mortgage Insurance:

this fee is a percentage of the mortgage loan when a buyer puts down less than 20% and can be satisfied once the homeowner reaches a certain equity level. It is also known as PMI.

Proof of Funds:

a statement from a financial institution that verifies the buyer has enough funds available to complete a cash purchase offer.

Refinancing:

a homeowner will usually restructure their loan later after closing to either reduce the interest rate or pull out equity.

The first step for a home buyer is to work with a lender to determine the price range of the house they qualify for and the monthly payment that comfortably fits their budget. Understanding the above terms will help you when meeting with the lender. Nerdwallet discusses how to obtain a pre-approval in this article

The real estate purchase agreement or contract offers its terms for Brooklyn home buyers or sellers.

As-Is:

a property offered in “as-is” condition means the seller is unwilling to repair the home. It does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the property. The property frequently offers a lower to sell in “as-is” condition. A buyer can still elect to have a home inspection for informational purposes.

Addendum:

a separate form or addendum is used to add any additional terms and conditions included in the sale but not covered in the real estate purchase contract.

Buyer’s Agent:

is a real estate agent who represents the sole interest of the buyer in the home buying process.

Contingencies:

conditions the buyer or seller needs to meet before purchasing a property can close. Typical contingencies are inspections, mortgage approvals, and appraisals.

Disclosures:

sellers are required to complete property disclosures that may reveal various defects or improvements that may affect the home’s condition. Required disclosure varies by market. Typically, the areas covered in a disclosure include general information about the house, known environmental issues, known structural issues, and mechanical systems.

Due Diligence:

This is a time-specific opportunity for a buyer to examine the property thoroughly. Generally, this timeframe is for inspections or performing tests. 

Earnest Money Deposit:

a deposit made by the home buyer typically when they enter into a contract with the seller demonstrating their earnestness in purchasing the home. The amount is held in an escrow account until closing and deducted from the buyer’s cash needed for closing.

Inspections:

a buyer may choose to inspect the property before deciding to move forward with purchasing a home. Typical inspections are general home inspections, wood-boring insect or pest inspections, and radon inspections.

Listing Agent:

is a real estate agent who represents the sole interest of the seller in the home selling process.

Mortgage Contingency:

a condition in the purchase contract that the buyer must receive a mortgage commitment from the lender by an agreed-upon date.

Seller’s Contribution/Seller’s Assist:

the seller agrees to pay a percentage or defined dollar amount towards the buyer’s closing costs if negotiated.

Title Insurance:

usually required as part of the closing process, title insurance protects the buyer from the responsibility of an undiscovered lien after closing on their new home.

an examination of public records to confirm the property’s rightful legal owner and determine if any claims or liens on the property would affect the purchase.

Transfer Tax:

when property transfers from one owner to another in the state of New York, transfer tax is collected and typically paid by the seller.

That is a lot to remember, but your real estate agent can refresh your memory as you review the sales agreement together. This previous blog post will help you to learn more about how a real estate agent can help Brooklyn home buyers or sellers.

There is some miscellaneous terminology you may hear that may need some clarification:

Comparables:

are comparable, similar homes sold in a defined radius of the subject home used to establish a fair market value.

Distressed Property:

property can be in disrepair; an owner may have defaulted on their mortgage payments or property taxes are delinquent.

Fee Simple:

this term describes the most common type of homeownership. A property owner can transfer, or an heir can inherit the property rights at the owner’s discretion.

Flipping:

an investment strategy of purchasing a home, making improvements, and then reselling the property for a profit.

Foreclosure:

a bank repossesses a property due to the owner’s inability to make mortgage payments.

MLS:

the Multiple Listing Service is a database available to licensed real estate agents to view property listings.

Motivated Seller:

a homeowner may be pressed for time, nearing foreclosure, or own property out of state and are open to negotiating a favorable price for a property.

Probate Sale:

If the death of a homeowner occurs and they do not have a written will, the probate court authorizes an estate attorney or representative to hire a real estate agent to sell the home.

Real Estate Auction:

usually, a financial institution will sell repossessed homes through an auction to the public. Privately homeowners may also choose an auction to sell.

Short Sale:  

a homeowner can not sell their property for more than what they owe on the home. The lender must approve a short sale.

Real estate has specific acronyms and terms that can confuse those not working in the field like any other industry. However, when you hire a real estate professional to work on your behalf, they can answer your questions on anything you do not understand.

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 help many home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. Reach me 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

Want to Buy a Home in Brooklyn? Answer These 7 Key Questions First

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

buy a home in Brooklyn

First-time home buyers, answer these 7 key questions before you buy a home in Brooklyn

First-time home buyers, now is the perfect time to buy a home in Brooklyn. Interest rates are low, historically low. It makes sense to start the home-buying process now before those attractive interest rates start creeping up and before the real estate market picks up speed in the spring.

Are you lacking confidence about the home-buying process? Does taking on one of the largest, long-term purchases of your lifetime make you anxious? With a little planning, research and a solid game plan, you can be confident you’ll find the best home for the best price when you buy a home in Brooklyn.

Get answers to the following questions from your Brooklyn real estate agent, Charles D’Alessandro, for a smart home-buying process.

1. Do you know you want in a home versus what you need in a home?

Before you buy a home in Brooklyn, you must be clear on features you need in a home and which features you can live without.

Will your aging parent be living with you? Do you have a physically challenged child? If so, handicap accessibility is a must you will not compromise on.

Ever say, “Oooooo,” when thinking about granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen? These extras are probably wants that you should be willing to compromise on.

Help yourself make logical choices over emotional ones before you begin shopping for a home. Write down your top five needs and top five wants on a wish list before you buy a home in Brooklyn.

Knowing the costs of what you want versus what you really need, will help you negotiate a better deal and help the home-buying process run smoothly.

On a side note here, if you are thinking about buying furniture, don’t. At least don’t buy it yet. Buy your furniture after you buy a home in Brooklyn. Your furniture should fit the house. The house should not have to fit your furniture.

2. Which neighborhoods do you want to live in?

Thanks to the internet, information abounds at your fingertips, and that’s a good thing when it comes time to buy a home in Brooklyn. Get online. Learn about different neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Are commute times, schools, crime or recreational facilities a priority for you? What about noise levels? Select three to five neighborhoods you want to live in and focus on them only. Your Brooklyn real estate agent can help you identify and target Brooklyn neighborhoods based on your priorities.

Use your priority list to evaluate each property, and remember, there’s no such thing as the perfect home.

3. Have you created a budget to buy a home in Brooklyn?

You don’t want to waste time looking at houses you really cannot afford when it’s time to buy a home in Brooklyn. Creating a budget before you begin shopping for a home is part of a solid game plan.

To get an idea about what you might be able to afford, start here: If you earn $100,000, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, for example, you might be able to afford a one-family Brooklyn home between $500,000 and $550,000. This figure may increase when looking at a two-family home with an income-producing unit.

Now, figure monthly expenses and debt into a monthly budget – property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, student debt, car loans, HOA fees if applicable and even day care if needed. Now you will have a better idea how much of a monthly house payment you can handle each month.

Read about home affordability here: Average U.S. Family Can Afford 63% of Homes

4. How is your credit?

Lenders look at your credit report and credit score to decide whether or not to lend you money to buy a home in Brooklyn. They use your credit report and credit score to determine how much and at what interest rate to lend you money for a home.

Lenders also use the 43% rule when considering your overall debt to determine whether or not you will have trouble making monthly mortgage payments. Your monthly mortgage payments, which include your home loan, principal, interest, taxes and insurance, plus your car loans, utilities and credit cards, etc., should not exceed 43% of your gross annual income.

If your credit is bad or your credit score is low, clean it up before purchasing a home in Brooklyn. Your credit score can be improved easily by paying every bill on time and paying down high credit card debt.

By the way, think twice before getting caught up with long-term 0% financing furniture offers. This kind of financing will affect your credit rating in a poor way which will affect your ability to get a mortgage.

Order free copies of your annual credit reports from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Read over them and make sure the information reported on each credit report is accurate. If you find errors, get them corrected.

5. How much should you save when you plan ahead to buy a home in Brooklyn?

Have you saved enough money to qualify for a mortgage and down payment to buy a home in Brooklyn? Saving and setting aside 20% of a home’s purchase price for down payment is ideal.

A small down payment means money in the bank for unexpected emergencies, which is comforting. Some lenders may take as little as 5% down, but the cons seem to outweigh this pro.

  • The smaller the down payment, the higher the mortgage you’ll need to qualify for.
  • If you do qualify with a down payment of less than 20% and a higher mortgage, your monthly payments will be higher.
  • A larger down payment can influence your interest rate and the type of loan you can get.
  • With a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price, you’ll be required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment depending on the size of your loan. If you’re a first-time home buyer, check with the state of New York and our local government for mortgage and down payment assistance programs.

6. Are there other costs involved?

Meet with your lender while interest rates are low. But before you begin shopping for a home, you’ll want to know what it will really cost you. Ask your lender:

  • How much house can I afford?
  • What will my rates be?
  • What will my monthly payment be for different home price amounts?

Then ask your Brooklyn real estate agent:

  • How much will home inspections cost?
  • Will there be any attorneys’ fees?
  • What about transfer fees?
  • And taxes?

Be aware of the costs of extras you’ll want to buy once you move-in such as window coverings, patio furniture, a lawn mower, garden hoses, etc.

7. Should you get pre-qualified or pre-approved before you buy a home in Brooklyn?

Sellers want to know that buyers are approved when they buy a home in Brooklyn. Plan ahead here. Get a mortgage and get pre-approved before you buy a home in Brooklyn. By the way, getting pre-approved is more important than getting pre-qualified. Know the difference.

mortgage pre-qualification is simply a determination that may be obtained through calling the lender. It states whether or not you will qualify for a loan within the lender’s current programs and standards. It states the amount of the loan for which you will qualify.

A mortgage pre-approval carries a little more weight. To obtain pre-approval, fill out an application with the lender, verify employment and income with W-2 forms, pay stubs and 2 to 4 months of bank statements. If you are self-employed, verify employment and income with your current profit and loss statement, a current balance sheet and personal and business income tax returns for the last 2 years. The lender will run your credit report after gathering this information about your employment and run your application through an automated underwriting process.

Being financially prepared could make the difference between being able to buy a home in Brooklyn or not, but buying or selling in Brooklyn does not have to be stressful. Visit Michael Reinhardt Brooklyn Attorney at http://brooklynattorney.com/free-e-books/ for a free booklet regarding the process of home ownership.

If you’re first-time home buyers who want to buy a home in Brooklyn without anxiety, call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today. With over 27 years of experience and expertise in Brooklyn, you can be confident about the home-buying process with Charles.

Resources:

rismedia.com

houselogic.com

houselogic.com-mortgage tips

What is a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Just what is a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?

Brooklyn Real Estate Buyer's Agent

Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Buyer’s Agent

Wikipedia explains it something like this:

A Real Estate Buyer’s Agent –

  • is a professional real estate agent (also known as a property search agent).
  • acts solely on your behalf as the property buyer.
  • helps you through the entire purchasing process from finding the properties that match your wants to negotiating the best possible price and conditions with the seller of a property.
  • helps you through the entire legal process to complete the purchase.
  • previews properties on your behalf and chooses those most suitable to your wants.
  • accompanies you to all property showings.
  • connects you with people who have the needed skills which are vital at each stage of the buying process such as lawyers, surveyors and other professionals.
  • has access to off-market properties through their network of contacts.
  • will advise you without self-interest for their own success fee. They offer professionalism and honorable expertise.

Subscribe to the Brooklyn Real Estate Blog to get your questions about buyer’s agents and and seller’s agents answered.

I am the Brooklyn Expert! I have been connecting clients with Brooklyn homes for over 27 years. I know the Brooklyn area inside and out. I am honest, and I know the right way to connect you with the Brooklyn home you’re looking for. Give me, 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].

Bathroom Updates Add Value to Your Brooklyn Home

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

By Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

When buying or selling a home, a kitchen is the number one place a potential buyer will focus their attention, and you as the seller should, too. Since bathrooms come in at a close second, let’s take a look at how bathroom updates add value to your Brooklyn home.  Learn what your bathroom’s key measurements are along with the sizes of common fixtures and begin discovering the many advantages compact spaces offer. Your bathrooms will turn into inspired occasions to fashion beautiful and useful rooms that will increase the value of your home.

Steven Corley Randel, ArchitectClick the link or image above to view photos of the following bathroom update ideas.

Add pedestal, floating or braced sinks to make your small space feel larger.

Extend the vanity countertop over the toilet tank. Will the fixtures fit comfortably under an extended countertop? The tank needs to be low enough, and you must be able to remove the lid without difficulty.

Store bathroom items efficiently and comfortably in a custom-designed medicine cabinet that stretches over the vanity and over the toilet. A tall, narrow strip of lighting could be built into the cabinet. A light fixture placed on each side of mirror would be ideal to provide even lighting while getting ready for the day.

Line up all bathroom fixtures on a single wall. This cost-effective layout saves on the cost of plumbing installation and allows hot water to be distributed efficiently, especially when the wall with the fixtures is near or directly above the water heater in the basement.

Install a clear glass shower door to create a larger feel to the compact space of a bathroom.

If you prefer a shower only, install a glass wall with a curb that is 3 to 4 inches high, 4 to 6 inches wide. Or define the shower area by a glass wall and shower floor that is flush with the bathroom floor for a sleek and very updated look.

Install a ready-made medicine cabinet and build trim around it. Add small shelves to store personal items in baskets that will fit in or on the small shelves to maintain a clean and organized look.

Mount towel bars or hooks between 36 and 42 inches above the floor, 48 or 50 inches if you are taller or use extra-large bath towels/sheets. The top of the mirror should align with the top of the tile in the shower which should align with top of the window if your bathroom space has a window.

A clear space of 24 inches in front of a toilet is required by current U.S. codes. Be sure to allow for this dimension – more than the minimum if possible is even better. In older homes it is not uncommon to come across arrangements that don’t meet minimum standards. But if you are renovating, make sure you have ample space provided for the measurements of the toilet. If you choose an elongated toilet over a standard-size toilet, another 2 to 3 inches will need to be allowed for the extra length of this choice.

In extremely tight spaces, place the sink at the end of the tub with the toilet next to the tub. Nooks added above the toilet will provide storage. Everything will need to be waterproofed in this compact layout. The use of mosaic tile outside of the shower to keep everything waterproof is a good idea in tight baths and will add subtle contrast, too.

For your compact space you may need to consider installing an oval-shaped sink and cabinet tucked into a hollowed niche in a wall. The toilet could be placed next to the shower, still providing enough space to get in and out of the glass doors of the shower.

As you can see, the beautiful possibilities to make the most of your bathroom spaces and add value to your Brooklyn home are almost limitless.

Want more ideas on how bathroom updates add value to your Brooklyn home?  Subscribe to Brooklyn Real Estate Blog for more home improvement tips.

Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext. 206 or email  [email protected].

Resource: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/26567086?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u517&utm_medium=email&utm_c

Using Comparables to Sell Your Brooklyn Home Like an Olympic Athlete

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

With the London Olympics kicking off this month, athletes from all over the world are putting their competitive strategies into place to be one step ahead of the competition and go for gold. Channel the world’s champions this summer to establish a game plan, analyze what’s worked in the past and beat out the competition by presenting your Brooklyn home at its best!

Athletes constantly stay informed on the statistics of their biggest competitors, and so should you when it comes to selling your Brooklyn home. Below are the basic components to consider when using comparables to price your real estate:

Make sure the comparable house has sold. Before using a property as a comparable, it needs to have sold so that you know the selling price. Consider the original listing price as compared to the selling price of the home, when developing your winning strategy. Pay close attention to price reductions and how many months the house was on the market. These are essential indicators to pricing your property right the first time.

  • Look to see if it is the same type of home as yours. Find comparable sales that are similar to your home in square footage, style, construction material, number of bathrooms and bedrooms and other amenities.
  • See if it’s in the same location. Real estate pricing is largely based on location, so make sure any houses you consider as comparables are close to your own house or in proximity to the same conveniences.
  • Double-check the research. Just because someone hands you papers that they claim to be comparables doesn’t mean they actually are. You know your house best, so do your own research and read the fine print to make sure that the comparables you’re using to determine your property’s resale value are a good match.

Starting off on the right foot might help you sell your house faster than an Olympic track star. Dedicate yourself to researching comparables so that you can contribute educated facts when discussing the list price of your Brooklyn home.

If you need help pricing your property or need a real estate agent to help you beat out the competition, 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.

 

 

 

Buying or Selling Brooklyn Short Sales Can Be Tricky

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Call Charles for help with your Brooklyn Short Sale

Whether you own a property in distress or you’re looking to make a good investment. Buying or selling Brooklyn short sales can be tricky ,and a frustrating process. The best-case scenario is that sellers reduce their debt and buyers get a great deal, but that outcome is ultimately up to the bank.

Below are some standard short sale trials that both sellers and buyers should be aware of before getting their hopes up:

Sellers need to prove hardship. As a seller, you should talk with your bank and then gather all of the documents they require to put together a hardship portfolio to apply for a short sale. These usually include tax returns, employment status and other personal and financial information. Be quick about it, because the bank has the final say, and you don’t want to leave them hanging.

  • Everyone needs to get used to the waiting game. This is probably the most frustrating part, so don’t plan your life around a bank’s approval. They could take anywhere from a couple days to a couple years to make a decision.
  • Banks are waiting on banks. Not only are you waiting on the bank that has the mortgage, but there could also be other liens taken out against the short sale. Those third parties also have to sign off on the debt.
  • Buyers should get a thorough home inspection. If you’re considering buying a short sale property, make sure you hire a professional home inspector.
  • The home could go into foreclosure. Sometimes [city] short sales take so long that the owners cannot keep paying their mortgage and the home goes into foreclosure. Then the bank takes it over and starts a new waiting game.

If you’re considering buying or selling short sales, you’ll want to enlist professional help to navigate the tricky waters. As an expert on Brooklyn short sales, I can help. Please call me  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.

 

Deal Of The Day Queens Village Home For Sale

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Click on Picture Below for Details

Brooklyn Real Estate Sales Offers Queens Village

Queens Village, NY 11427
Type: Residential
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 2.5
Living Area: 20 x 30 Square Ft.
Lot Size: 32 x 100 Square Ft.
Just Listed – Queens Village Detached 1 Family
Offered at $465,000
MLS Number 368354

Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] today. to schedule an appointment.

Brooklyn Realtor® Presents Marine Park Brooklyn Condominium For Sale

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011