All Real Estate Is Local

I’m certain over the years you have heard the expression, “All Real Estate is local”, so what does it really mean? Well, to begin with what goes on in one part of the country or state doesn’t mean it’s happening everywhere else. Look at what has happened to our local market since this terrible pandemic fell upon our shores earlier this year. No one could have predicted just how bad things would become for all of us. So, here we are still struggling to get back to some form of normalcy. What we didn’t realize is that as conditions worsened in the metropolitan area, that folks would rush to the Hudson Valley to escape. Add to that the fact that companies and individuals learned quickly that working remotely was not only possible, but also very productive. What we are seeing is the single largest surge in Real Estate transactions and rising prices. All too common buyers are having to pay above the asking price in order to secure their safe haven. How long will this trend continue? No one can safely predict. As I have been advising many of our seller clients, if you were ever thinking of selling, do it now because there is no telling where this will all end up.

Good Real Estate Agents Don’t Just Sell Houses

Over 95% of all Real Estate transactions in the US involve a Licensed Agent or Broker. Why is that? It’s simply because they are problem solvers and fixers. Like in every other field, they are not all the same. Some are far better than others at what they do, and how they go about doing their jobs. It’s not wise for the consumer to just go online, find a home they like & then call that agent. Instead, once you have decided on the area you’re interested in, do your homework & find the names of that area’s local Real estate experts. The agent or broker you select will become your front line resource. They should have been doing their job in the area for a long time and have a successful track record. They will be your eyes and ears on the ground. You need their expertise, they have the answers, & if not, they know where to go find them. Later, during the buying process, when you run into issues or problems, which most transactions have, they then become your fixer. It’s what they do everyday, so there experience really counts. Making a wise decision right from the start will not only lead to a smoother transaction, but could also save you quite a bit of money.

Happy House Hunting!

Why Buyers Need Their Own Agent in Today’s Market

For most buyers, searching for a new home begins Online. Sites such as Zillow.comTrulia.com, and Realtor.com get their data directly from local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs). Typically, when a buyer sees a property of interest, they often contact the listing agent for additional information, or to arrange a showing. Here is where buyer beware comes into play. That listing agent has a written contract with the seller to represent the seller’s interest in the sale, by attempting to sell the house at the highest price possible. When a buyer visits the property, they will be required to sign a NYS Disclosure, indicating that the listing agent will now be a Dual Agent, meaning they will represent both the buyer and seller. In such a case, the agent is prohibited from offering any guidance or help in the negotiations when a buyer wants to make an offer. If, on the other hand, the agent does not choose to represent both parties, then the buyer is considered a customer, and the agent will continue to only represent the seller. This leaves buyers without their own agent and representation. Not a smart move. Here’s a better idea. Rather than starting a search for properties in the area, instead search for an agent who is experienced in that market. They know the area, and very well may already know the properties. If they don’t have firsthand knowledge of a specific property, a Buyer’s Agent can preview homes, which saves a buyer time. When it comes time to make an offer, a Buyer’s Agent is very experienced in negotiations, and local market values, which can save buyers thousands in the purchase price. And finally, the Buyer’s Agents fees are typically paid for by the sellers. Now more than ever, with multiple offers very common, you should have your own agent. Don’t shop without one.
Good Luck!

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.

Why Columbia County?

There are plenty of sound reasons to choose Columbia County as your place to live.  With over 600 square miles of beauty to pick from, the scenic beauty is simple amazing. Also, if your thinking of bringing your business here, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, as well as large potential work force. The lifestyle nicely blends a combination of full-time and part-time residents, many of which provide additional work opportunities. Our local farms provide an abundance of fresh food & vegetables throughout the year. A well rounded and active cultural scene provides an assortment of choices to locals and visitors alike. Access to a major city like Albany, is simply a short car ride away, and Amtrak’s easy transportation to the entire northeast corridor, including NYC, awaits within the lively city of Hudson. Currently all this is being enjoyed by a mere population of only 61,000. We have lots of room for all you newcomers, you’ll always feel welcomed!

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.