It’s been two months, and the casino is settling in. The anticipation, and now reality, of having a full scale gambling and extended entertainment venue in Sullivan County, NY is beginning to take shape along many fronts. Read the extended article and listen to the podcast for a fuller understanding of the what Resorts World Catskills is doing and how it is effecting the local economy and infrastructure.
Are you on the hunt for a more efficient living space? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or downsizing from a larger home, buying small can still mean living big. Let’s explore four positives to living in a smaller, more intimate house or condo.
You’re Going To Save Money
The first, most obvious and most exciting reason is that you’re going to save money. The home itself will cost less than a larger one, especially if there is less land or property included. Even better: the money you save on space can be re-invested in quality. Losing a bedroom or two but having brand-new appliances? It might be a fair trade.
It’s Much Easier To Customize
Are you excited to renovate and customize your home to suit your family’s tastes? A smaller space is going to be far easier to make changes to. And while you may think that this limits your options, that’s not the case. As long as you buy with renovations in mind, you’ll be all set.
Bear in mind that some upgrades won’t work with a smaller home. For example, you may not be able to add that large deck or patio you’ve always wanted. Before you buy a small home, make sure it suits your future vision.
Living Small Is More Energy Efficient
Yes, it’s true: living smaller means using less energy. Much of the energy we use in our homes is for heating and/or cooling our living space. The smaller the home, the less energy needed for either. Depending on where you live, that difference can mean a lot of energy — and money — saved.
Cleaning Is A Lot Less Of A Chore
The smaller the space, the less of it there is to clean. It’s as simple as that. Even if the difference in cleaning time is as short as an hour each week, it adds up. Over ten years, that small one-hour difference becomes a total of more than three weeks! So if you’d rather not spend extra weeks or months cleaning your home, a smaller space is a big plus.
If you want to leave a smaller footprint, a great place to start is with a smaller new home. Contact Catskill Country Real Estate today to learn more about small houses and condos in your local area.
It’s Christmas Eve day and warm for late December in Otisville, New York. Well not quite Otisville, actually Mount Hope. That’s sort of true, Catskill Country Real Estate is in the Town of Mount Hope, but our office address is actually Middletown, NY 10940.
It’s not easy having a difficult address to define or having bushy eyebrows. Marilyn keeps trying to sit me down for a haircut and calm conversation. Clippers out, comb, scissors and that awful buzzing sound fill my ears—oh—they need a buzz cut too.
TMI—yes I know. Nobody really cares about haircuts these days—especially earcuts. Well maybe barbers do, but I’d have to go to Facebook in that there seems to be a good deal of interest in photos of just about anything. Updating status must include personal information about personal grooming—hold on, let me check Twitter too ……………………………………………
Yep—just as I suspected. All the social network platforms show the broker with the bushy eyebrows is trending and may go viral. There seems to be an unusual amount of static about busy real estate brokers, interest rates moving upward, and the Polar Vortex simmering down.
It’s been a very busy year for Catskill Country. We’ve closed many transactions, formed more solid relationships with other real estate firms and REALTORS®, helped a number of folks get into homes, and expanded our services to a multi county territory.
Our reviews are moving steadily upward as we seek to maximize our relationships with new clients, referrals, and our advertising venues. Our budget allows us to profile thousands of homes on our two websites making it easy for consumers to research and review almost too much information.
The one key difference between Catskill Country and our competitors centers on my absolute commitment to immediate contact with anyone wanting more information about real estate. We welcome all questions and respond almost as soon as we are contacted so you aren’t waiting around for answers.
I have bushy eyebrows but– I understand how to listen and bring your real estate goals into focus, and accomplish the mission of helping you buy or sell property in the Mid-Hudson and Catskills Region of New York State.
With approximately one million people having purchased vacation homes in the last year, this type of residence is gaining popularity for those who are interested in a home in a beach setting or a vacation hot spot. However, while a second home can seem like a great purchase and solid investment opportunity, there are different requirements that go into this type of purchase. If you’re considering a vacation home, you may want to be aware of the following financial factors.
The Down Payment Amount
If you currently have a primary residence, you may be aware that you don’t need to put down 20% or even 10% in order to make a home purchase, but things are different when it comes to a vacation home. Because you will be taking on an additional mortgage, there is greater risk involved, and this means you will likely have to put in at least 10 percent. Because of this, many homebuyers utilize the equity they have in their first home to make up the down payment.
About The Credit Score
Most people that have a credit score of more than 500 have the ability to use a mortgage product and purchase a home, but if you’re buying a second property, you’ll need a higher credit score in order to facilitate the purchase. Because there is more risk involved, lenders will want to make sure you’re a good bet. In addition, if you do have a lower credit score, lenders like Fannie Mae may also expect you to put more down to decrease the risk involved for them.
The Income Required
Since you’ve been through the mortgage process for your first home, you’re probably aware that you debt-to-income (DTI) ratio needs to be a certain amount in order to qualify for a mortgage. While your DTI for a primary residence may be a little bit higher since it’s your only payment, this ratio will be lower for your vacation home since it’s higher risk. This means you’ll require a slightly higher income than for your primary residence in order to get approved.
Deciding to purchase a vacation home can be a very exciting concept for many people, but there are a number of different financial requirements that go along with buying another residence. If you’re on the market for a vacation property and are curious about what’s involved, contact John Kavaller for suitable option and advice.
Don’t be your own roadblock to success! Avoid these common seller-mistakes to ensure that your home leaves a lasting impression on buyers, instead of sending them running for the hills.
1) Dirt: It’s A Don’t
Perhaps one of the biggest turn-offs in real estate, dirt gives the impression that your property is not well maintained. A dirty home is simply not aesthetically appealing and can often be the root cause of other turn-offs, such as bad odors. Keeping a clean, clutter-free home will show potential buyers that your property is a beautiful, healthy place where they can live comfortably without any foul surprises.
2) It’s Nothing Personal
While you may love looking at family photos, funky trinkets from travelling, or your colorful assortment of bath products, personal items such as these should be stored away during an open house. Showings are for buyers to see if they can see themselves living in your home, which is difficult to imagine when there are someone else’s belongings scattered throughout the house. If you’re serious about selling, pack away any items that send the message that this is your space.
3) Old News
Most often when people are looking for a new home they’re looking for just that: a NEW home! Having old, dated fixtures in your house tells prospective buyers that your property is stuck in the past, rather than prepared for the future. Make your property a place that anyone can move forward in.
4) Street Style
You may have spent so much time and effort making the inside of your home immaculate for a sale that you’ve completely forgotten that the outside is equally as important. Curb appeal is the very first impression that your home will have on buyers, and it’s essential that your property looks just as nice from the street as it does inside.
5) Snoopy Seller
You know your home better than anyone else, and you want to sell it to someone who genuinely cares about your property. While this statement may be true, it is counterproductive for you to participate in showings, pointing out all the great features of your home to interested buyers and grilling them on their intentions for when they purchase it. Give buyers space they need to see if your home is the right fit for them, and you’ll be selling it in no time.
Interested in receiving more advice on selling your home? Contact John Kavaller today–he’ll offer more ideas and information on how to market your property for sale.
If you’re looking to up-the-ante and introduce high-tech gadgets into your home, check out our top three smart-home suggestions:
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Robotic vacuum cleaners are one of our favorite high-tech toys as they can alleviate a significant portion of the burden of your regular household chores. They’re even more beneficial considering the fact that they can also make your home much more comfortable to live in.
Food crumbs, pet fur, and dust bunnies are no match for an iRobot Roomba, which will soon become your own personal home-cleaning minion. Your house will feel cleaner and look more pristine, and you won’t even have to lift a finger!
Bonus: these things have serious entertainment value. Google “shark cat” if you don’t believe us.
- Smart Thermostat
This high-tech addition is a fantastic way to boost comfort within your home while also controlling household expenses. When you invest in a smart thermostat, a small sensor will be able to detect the temperature in each room of your home, adjusting the heat flow accordingly.
With no more uneven heating throughout your house; the chilly den that you dread working in will now become a useable space! On the flip side, your thermostat will no longer be blowing heat into rooms that have already hit your desired temperature. Now that’s what we call a ‘smart’ home upgrade.
Bonus: smart thermostats work for air conditioning as well, meaning that they can help ensure your stuffy guest room is as cool and comfortable as the rest of the house.
- Sleep IQ Bed
You’ve likely heard of sleep number beds, whose firmness is independently adjustable on each side of the mattress, but have you heard of their newest add on, the Sleep IQ?
Sleep IQ beds monitor your sleep by tracking a number of factors such as your heart rate, breathing patterns, and movement throughout the night. Based on these stats, the bed will recommend ways you can improve your overall sleep quality, and ultimately your overall health.
Many people romanticize the idea of paying off their home mortgage early so they can enjoy their home in retirement, but when it comes to the later years of life, a big house can actually be too much to handle. If you’ve started to consider a smaller home and are wondering why it might be a good decision for you and yours, here are a few things you may want to consider.
It’s Much Easier To Maintain
It is often the idea of the palatial estate with a pool that homeowners get excited about, but when it comes to reality, the larger the home, the harder it is going to be to take care of and maintain. If you don’t have a maid or a butler, a smaller home will enable you to spend a lot more of your free time doing things that you love instead of being bound to a house that is full of repairs and maintenance that needs to be completed.
Save On The Big Home Bills
One of the worries associated with getting older is having the ability to maintain your lifestyle in old age, and a smaller home can actually alleviate many of the high costs that go along with having an oversized home. A smaller home will not only minimize your insurance and taxes, it can also positively impact the amount you pay each month for heating and electricity, so you’ll notice the savings right off the bat.
The Freedom Of A Downsized Lifestyle
One of the best things about downsizing to a smaller home is the huge sense of responsibility that can be left in the dust. Instead of being held back by all of the stuff required to fill a big house, a small home means there is less to worry about. This may mean you’ll have the option to go on longer vacations or can even relocate to a hot climate for the summer months, and you’ll only need someone to come by and water the plants every once in a while!
There are plenty of people that decide to downsize later in life since it can actually be a great way to save money and have a lot more freedom. If you’re considering your smaller home options and are curious about what’s available on the market, you may want to call John Kavaller, owner/broker at Catskill Country Real Estate.
Nicholas Michael Papajohn
Home Mortgage Consultant
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
701 Westchester Avenue
White Plains , NY 10604
914-285-1477 Office Ext.
NMLSR ID 404042
- Existing home sales jumped 14.7% in December from November to reach a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.46 million units. Sales in 2015 numbered 5.23 million units, a 6.3% increase over 2014. 1
- The months’ supply of existing homes dropped to 3.9 months, meaning that it would take just under four months to sell all the homes currently on the market at December’s sales rate. That’s the lowest monthly ratio of housing inventory to sales in more than ten years. During 2015, the average months’ supply was 4.8 months. 1
- The median price of existing homes sold in 2015 was $219,900, a 6.4% increase over the $206,700 median price for 2014 sales.1
- New home sales climbed 10.8% in December to a 544,000-unit annual sales rate. An estimated 501,000 new homes were sold in 2015, a 14.5% increase over sales of 437,000 units in 2014.2
- The median sales price of new homes sold in 2015 was $293,600, a 3.8% increase over 2014’s $282,800 median price.2
- Business investment has hovered near $70 billion per month since 2012, as measured by orders for capital goods excluding defense and aircraft. Orders for the fourth quarter of 2015 were 3.5% below orders for the same quarter a year earlier.3
- The homeownership rate was 63.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 63.6% in the third quarter. A year ago, the rate stood at 63.9%.4
- For households headed by an individual 35 years old or younger, the homeownership rate in 2015’s fourth quarter was 34.7%, down from 35.3% a year earlier. 4
- The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in Freddie Mac’s survey was 3.79% during the week ending January 28, down two basis points from the previous week. That’s four consecutive weeks of declines since the 4.01% average posted during the last week of 2015. The January average was 3.87%, down from December’s 3.96%. All rates quoted have fees and points averaging 0.6% to 0.7% of the loan amount.5
As in most endeavors, experience and judgment play critical roles in accomplishing the task at hand. And although conceptually the selling and buying of real property appears to be fairly simple, it isn’t. Statistics say real estate law produces more litigation than any other area which is proof positive of how intricate a real estate transaction can become.
Each state has different rules, regulations, guidelines, and laws governing how real property is purchased and sold. Reams of decisions, clarifications, and precedents are published weekly attesting to the complicated nature of the real estate business.
In the area I work (Sullivan and Orange County, NY), the following providers are among those called upon during different phases of a transaction. The services required vary by transaction type and flow of the process.
Attorney for seller, buyer or both
Agent for buyer and seller: For example
Environmental service providers
Building trades people
Property management firms
Any other providers needed to assure the closing takes place according to our client’s wishes
In NYS, licensed salespeople work under the the guidance and direction of the broker’s license. And as in life, so it is in real estate: Not all are created equally.
A competent broker manages, guides, and is responsible to those doing business with the firm. The experienced broker stays on top of the transactions in the office and problem solves with salespeople to overcome the challenges that invariably arise during any real estate transaction.
My services center on client satisfaction. Period. It’s my job to get your business executed and closed by being the expediter, middleman, problem solver, and coordinate the myriad and varied number of tasks required to get your home sold or purchased.
Please feel free to view recommendations made by a number of my clients and customers over the years. Thanks for your consideration.
Whether you are preparing to purchase your first home or it has been many years since you last walked through the home buying process, you may be starting to feel overwhelmed at the thought of all of the work that lies in front of you. From concerns about finding the right home to the physical act of relocating all of your belongings after the closing, there is certainly a lot to think about. While each home buying transaction is unique, the most successful home buyers have typically adopted a few behaviors. You may keep these in mind to help you navigate through the process with success.
Keep An Eye On Your Budget
Financial stress when buying a home is common. You may have saved for years to afford your down payment, but there are various expenses that some may have not calculated or planned for. It is important to leave extra funds available for unexpected expenses, such as paying for the appraisal up-front on the home you have fallen in love with. Likewise, keep a close eye on your budget so that you are aware of your financial situation at all times.
Be Available And Flexible
It is imperative that you remain available and flexible as much as possible. Your real estate agent may call you at the last minute with a great new listing that has come on the market, and you may need to be flexible with your schedule to see this property before other buyers do. In addition, you may need to be flexible and accommodating with regards to contract negotiations, working with title company requests and more.
Seek Advice And Knowledge
Buying a home does not have to be stressful, but it also is not something that you do every day. There is a lot for even an experienced home buyer to learn, and you should be prepared to seek advice and to educate yourself along the way. Ask questions as necessary, and use the Internet for additional research.
Home buying is a process, and you may consider taking one day at a time as you proceed through the journey to reach your ultimate goal. John Kavaller will guide you through the process and can help you to more successfully reach your goal. Reach out to John today to begin looking for your new home.