Tips On Buying A Home As Inventory Drops

The impact of this pandemic crisis has drastically reduced the level of existing residential houses for sale throughout the county. One reason being that many would-be sellers are fearful of having buyers who may be from outside the area come into their homes and unknowingly be carriers of the virus. When you combine that fear with the desire of many people wanting to leave the metropolitan area for a safer environment, the net result is a historical limited number of homes to choose from. We have seen an increase in the number of multiple offers, often just as soon as a property comes on the market. What can buyers do to help protect themselves from this happening? First, start by getting yourself pre- approved for a price range you are comfortable with and can afford. Not just pre-quailfied, there is an important difference. This document indicates you have already gone through the approval process with a lender or mortgage broker. Second, hire your own real estate agent, that can begin the search for a home while you get your paperwork in place. Be sure that your agent knows the market and has the experience in successfully representing buyers. Third, be realistic with your wish list. Include those items you must have from those that you would like, knowing it’s unlikely you can them all. When you do find the right match, you are going to have a true competitive edge as your agent presents your offer, with a pre-approved buyer. Good luck in your search!

Rethinking Where To Live

As a result of the Coronavirus, so much has changed for all Americans. No one could have imagined in such a short period of time how all of our lives would be so dramatically altered. New York State, being the hardest of all states to suffer, with the highest cases and fatalities in the entire nation. Now, as many New Yorkers are rethinking not only where they live, but also how they will live their lives in the future. In the past working remotely was limited to only a small percentage of the working public, out of necessity that has all changed and appears to be an option that both companies and individuals will be adapting to as part of the new workplace landscape. Keeping our love ones safe and secure for the most part never needed our daily attention. That is no longer the case and moves to the top of our priority list. We are experiencing an unusually high number of inquires from families seeking to consider an alternative to living in or around a large city. Some have already secured short term rentals, which will allow them time to look for a permanent home. They are asking for homes that are somewhat private, with perhaps a few acres that are close to some form of public transportation like Amtrak or Metro North. Thus providing easy access back to city, should they need to get back quickly. Their other requirement is good internet access. We are also witnessing buyers making offers on homes that they haven’t actually visited, except through a virtual tour. That pressure, on top of an all ready limited inventory, currently there are less than 400 residential properties active on the market in Columbia County. This is sure to drive home prices higher in the coming months as more buyers compete against each other. Good Luck in making sound decisions for you and your loved ones, and above all stay safe.

Adjusting To The Current Reality

Suddenly each of us are finding ourselves in a new reality. One, none of us have had experience dealing with. Of course, some are better equipped than others to cope with these feelings of fear, and uncertainty. Our daily routines for ourselves and our families have been altered. So, just as we depend on our Government to step in to help us, it’s also important that each of us find the strength to guide our own families through this crisis.

Although, we have been asked to temporarily close our office, we are relying more than ever on each other to help cope with this new reality. Currently we are only permitted to work from home, however, we will continue to do everything that we can to work on behalf of all our clients and customers. We are also adjusting to these new conditions, and turning to technology to better serve our clients. For example, we are using Zoom meetings so all of us at Beach & Bartolo can meet regularly to discuss better ways to serve you. We are also utilizing virtual tours, mobile apps and home videos, when possible, to showcase our client’s homes.

We all need to make changes and adjustments in our daily lives. Starting with becoming focused on what is most important, like you and your family’s health. This may help, make a daily plan, utilize your time wisely, and above all, follow the guide lines and stay safe. We will get through this together.

Top Four Reasons To Have Your Own Agent

Buying a home is often the single biggest investment many of us make in our lives. Don’t do it alone. Here are my top four reasons why you should have your own agent. First, typically the seller, through the sale of their homes, will be paying the fee for your agent from the proceeds of that sale. Secondly, agents usually live in the area they are working in and therefore know home values. Thirdly, they are licensed in the state they are working and are required by law to put your interests first, this is called their fiduciary duty. And lastly, they know how to negotiate. That’s what they do for a living. Thinking of buying your first or second home in 2020? Don’t begin without your own agent at your side.

My Five Best Tips For Selling Your Home In 2020

  1. Hire the most professional and successful Realtor in your area.
  2. Repair any items in your house that need immediate attention.
  3. Remove all the clutter, including all your personal items.
  4. Get help in staging the house, so it shows well in Photographs.
  5. Price it so it stands out as the best buying opportunity compared to the competition, don’t use the internet, let a professional advise.

Do Open Houses Work?

After over thirty years of doing business in the local Real Estate market, my answer is No. Why is that? There are a number of reasons. First, homebuyers buying habits have changed. The internet basically allows potential buyers to shop from the connivence of their home. After searching online they can not only visually see both the entire interior and exterior, they can also search through sites like google earth and even examine the immediate area of the homes. If they prefer, they could actually do a drive- by since the addresses are also visible. Next, smart homebuyers have already hired their own agents, so if they are interested they can see any house on their own schedule. What I have found is that most often it’s curious neighbors who want to see how the open house compares to their home. Unfortunately, I have found that frustrated sellers will pressure their agents to hold open houses to try to increase the exposure to their homes, when in reality revisiting their position in the market place is most often far more effective in getting the house sold.

AirBnB: Good or Bad For A Community?

Today more then ever before, people are concerned about the impact that AirBnB is having on the community and the housing market. As in all matters, there are two sides to this controversy. For folks who own homes that they don’t always use, or who may have additional living space, being able to rent it for them is income they may not have an opportunity to earn elsewhere. The challenge for the community at large is, as this happens with more frequency, there becomes a shortage of long term rentals for folks who are not in a position to buy their first home. At this point, the laws of supply & demand come into play, by driving up the cost of yearly rentals as they become more scarce. On the other side and on a positive note, AirBnB bringing new people to a community generally results in being an advantage to the rest of the community as these folks need to spend money while visiting and discovering the area, thus helping local business owners. They may also consider moving in permanently. Perhaps the solution resides in a compromise on both sides. By allowing homeowners the opportunity to rent with some restrictions in place, perhaps we can come together to enjoy the over all benefits.

Choosing The Wrong Realtor Can Be Costly

For most of us, deciding to buy or sell Real Estate is generally one of the most important financial decisions we will make in our lives. Even knowing the stakes, often times people will pick a friend or an acquaintance to take on this huge responsibility. To begin, you should interview at least three local agents who have been successful in your local market. I would recommend someone who is in the business full time and has a track record of representing buyers and sellers in the community where you live or where you want to live. They should also provide a list of recent clients that you can call for a reference. If your selling, you should get to see a written Comparable Market Analyses (CMA), as well last their marketing plan for your home. If your a buyer, you should ask to speak to the last three clients they represented as a buyers agent. You need a Real Estate Expert, not just a Real Estate agent.

Home Ownership

One of the many dreams and aspirations for most Americans is to one day own their own home. Unfortunately, this dream may never become a reality for some. The basic reason is what we call the affordability factor. Most college grads today are immediately saddled with the huge financial burden of tuition loans. Next, the automobile industry has made it easy for young people to lease a car rather than buying one which adds just another financial obligation. Even after securing a good job, the ability to take on more debt with a mortgage leaves them very frustrated. To compound this, the local rental market for housing is very scarce and expensive. Like anything else in life, the better prepared you are the more likely you will achieve your goals. Start with a forced savings plan. No matter how much you earn, a small portion of it should automatically be going for savings. Next, talk to an experienced financial advisor or mortgage broker who will be able to predetermine what you will need to do to get prequalified. You now have the foundation for creating a plan on how and when you can take that next step. If you know an experienced local Real Estate agent, tell them your plans and share your dreams. That’s what they do everyday. Not only will a home likely be the largest purchase of your life, it will be where you will spend most of your time. It will be your place of refuge from a world of work and stress. It may be a place where you will start and raise a family.

After Your Search

Today, more then ever before, smart home buyers start their search on the internet. Most search engines provide complete listing data, including the address, taxes, assessments, lots of photos and in some cases even videos and aerial drone images. Once you have identified some potential properties you would like to see, the next step is very important. Often even savvy consumers don’t realize that some agents are paying for leads on sites like Trulia and Zillow and may not actually be the listing agent of the property you are interested in.  At this point in your search you need to find your own Real Estate Buyer’s agent. This agent should be experienced in the area you are interested in. It’s a good idea to, at a minimum, have a telephone interview making certain you are comfortable with that agent. Questions like, how many years in the business? How knowledgable are they of the neighborhoods and local market conditions? Are they familiar with the type properties you have interest in? What comparable properties have sold in the area? Once you have selected an agent to work on your behalf, they will be able to preview new properties as they come on the market, saving you lots of wasted time. There is no better way to buy a home than having an experienced buyers agent working for you.