Sunday, November 18, 2018

SELLING IN THE FALL & WINTER MONTHS


As the holidays approach I’m often asked whether it’s a good idea to list a house now or wait for spring, or whether to leave a house on the market or take it off until the spring.  You may wonder if the fall and winter months, will bring about a home sale but the “off-peak” time to sell can actually be the perfect moment for sellers.
Right now our advice is full steam ahead!  Studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, more quickly, and more closely approach the asking price. In a study conducted by Realtor.com, nearly 80% of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

Also ,there are currently, significant economic factors that point toward taking action sooner rather than later.  One the plus side, demand is still high and supply is low – a perfect scenario for a quicker sale if you price smart and make your home inviting to the prospective buyer.  Business is active right now,  even with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us.  Inventory of homes on the market at this time of year decreases – why would you want to take your home out of the running when there are less runners!  Buyers may have held out through the busy summer months hoping to find a better deal, and now they are searching with increased urgency to buy their home and not extend their search another year.

On the cautionary side, the economy right now is good, but the stock market is volatile. Also, people living in highly taxed states like New York, California and New Jersey will be facing lower tax deductions for mortgage interest, real estate and other local taxes next year – a scenario that may increase their taxes.

If you are hesitant to list your home – don’t be! Demand is strong and the inventory is low – a great opportunity to sell your property!  As long as weather permits, buyers will go house hunting. They know that to be in place by summer, they need to make a deal now, especially if they require financing. We are continuing our weekly open houses each Saturday through the winter and invite prospective buyers to come and see the values we offer.  Call us for a market analysis.  Or just come in and chat – were available 7 days a week! And besides, Lee has lots of espresso brewing!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

VETERANS DAY, November 11, 2018 – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE


Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday, is a time to honor and thank those who are serving or have served in the military and are still with us. Veteran’s Day is always on November 11th.  The date commemorates the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at 11:00 A.M., November 11, 1918 – that’s 100 years ago!!!
Originally called Armistice Day, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. At that time, it became a day to honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Each year, special ceremonies are held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
If you would like to learn more about our nation’s veterans search these topics on-line   ...and share them with your children:

We owe a great deal to these men and women who served and currently serve in the military to protect our freedom.  My dad proudly wears his WWII Veterans hat, and so many kind people thank him for his service!  Thank You to all our Veterans - our friends, neighbors and family members who have given so much for this country.  May we be worthy of your service and sacrifice.





Sunday, November 4, 2018

ELECTION DAY – NOVEMBER 6TH – SOME THOUGHTS AS YOU CAST YOUR BALLOT*



               Next Tuesday, we all have the right and the duty to exercise our freedom to vote for the candidates of our choice.  In these times of divisive political talk and horrendous acts of violence, it’s important for all of us to examine our own “political talk”.  I found these wise thoughts, just this morning, from an inspirational daily reader,  the Christophers:

 “The Ten Political Commandments
     1.      Do not put all your hopes in a political or economic theory or party line.
     2.      Do not worship political figures or images.  
     3.      God does not belong to your political party nor does God endorse your political opinion.
     4.      Do not use God to support your political theories.
     5.      Respect the political views of other family members, friends and co-workers.
     6.      Disagree but don’t be cruel or disrespectful.
     7.      Do not inject politics in every conversation.
     8.      Be honest when you vote.
     9.      Defend the truth even if that makes you unpopular.
   10.     Accept ballot results without gloating or moaning.

Use your God-given intellect and free will for the peace- filled common good.”

BE SURE TO VOTE  TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH.

*Source: Three Minutes a Day, The Christophers, Volume 44

Saturday, October 27, 2018

STOCK MARKET VOLATILITY...MAYBE IT’S TIME TO BUY REAL ESTATE


Like any investment, buying low and selling high is the key to maximizing profitably.  However, a volatile market makes it difficult to recognize when a stock is high and going down and when a stock is low and going up.  The TV pundits seemed almost desperate this week, advising investors not to panic and searching for good news among the downward trending prices.
Real estate on the other hand, moves at a slower pace and monthly tracking by government and industry analysts are easier to understand and react to.  Because of the 2008 crash, which was fraught with fraud at high levels and throughout the segment, we have more regulation and a more stable environment.  We also saw a gradual climb in prices that took 10 years to get where we are. 
Recent news on Real Estate suggest that low inventories, higher home prices and, “a new tax law that reduces incentives for home ownership have weighed on the housing sector this year.” Even NYC property prices are softening.  September sales of homes in the U.S., were down 4.1% from a year earlier, “the seventh straight month of decline.” On the other hand, inventory supply is still low but rising, and there are “signs of strong demand.”  
Softening sales and prices, increasing inventory and strong demand, mortgage rates still under 5%- all factors suggesting that this may be a good time to consider investing in real estate.  If you are looking, don’t take a winter break – you will likely lose opportunities.  If you are thinking of buying, start now and take advantage of this favorable confluence of factors.  If you are selling, be realistic about your pricing and insist on aggressive and consistent marketing from your broker.   For help with all your real estate needs, call us at Beninati Associates, we get results!

Source: The Wall Street Journal, October 20-21, 2018, Home-Sales Slump Deepens, pages A1-2.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

GOOD NEWS/NOT SO BAD NEWS ABOUT HOUSING MARKET


RIS Media reported that the trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 12% year-over-year drop in national home sales, with median sales price of $241,000, marking the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, and the highest September price in the past 10-years.  Available inventory of homes for sale, dropped for the 119th consecutive month, according to the report, but the decline of appears to be lessening, a positive trend toward market equilibrium.

The Wall Street Journal reflects, “home-price growth has slowed for the last several months and is expected to continue slowing as mortgage rates rise. The volume of existing-homes sales has fallen compared with a year earlier for six straight months.”
The good news is that the state of the housing market is far less volatile than it was ten years ago.  Also new-home starts have been increasing but at more sustainable rates.  All reflected in a gradual improvement in the number of homes on the market. 
As home buyers and sellers, how does this affect you?  If you are selling your home, it’s important to price your home right, keep it in good repair and aggressively market your property.  If you are a buyer, the low inventory levels reduce the number of possibilities and tend to keep prices up, so act when you see something you like and you feel it’s priced right. 
The report also recommends that “in circumstances like these, where the market is tricky to navigate, both buyers and sellers can benefit by aligning themselves with a professional agent—a local expert who can cut through the noise and advocate on their behalf.”



Sources: RIS Media, Brand Report: Home Sales Tumble 12 Percent as Prices Remain at Record Levels, October 16, 2018; THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, The Soft but Stable Housing Market, page A2, October 15, 2018.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Poll Reveals Most Annoying Neighbors


A National Holiday created in 2003, National Good Neighbor Day was celebrated this year on September 28th – did you know that? We all know and appreciate good neighbors, but what about the other end of the spectrum – the not-so-good neighbor? You might build or buy a home that’s a perfect sanctuary, but you have little control over what happens around it, especially when it comes to neighbors. Whether your dwelling is urban, suburban or on a private island, if you’re human, you’re bound to be irritated by things your neighbors do.
In a recent poll, ImproveNet, an online home improvement site, set out to identify the cities in America where neighbors roil each other most, and a laundry list of the most common complaints.  They surveyed residents from 24 of the biggest cities in America, and, inevitably, there were winners and losers. Atop the list of most annoying cities are Dallas, Miami and Austin. New York was 6th on the list. Cities where neighbors are least annoying include Minneapolis, Portland and Atlanta.
Without question, noise is the leading offense. Loud music is the top culprit in that category. People also cite loud adults, kids, pets and parties as top ten issues. Loud talking and shouting is the second most annoying thing that neighbors do!
General grumpiness also made the top ten, along with parking issues and dog poop. Other modes of annoyance include smells (tobacco, pets, cooking) and filth (overflowing garbage, dirty yard, dirty home exterior) and boundary disputes.

The poll also asked respondents, “Did you confront anyone about it?” Results were close to an even split—56% have confronted a neighbor. For those who have, face-to-face is the preferred method, followed by calling the police, phone call, through an association, or an attorney.
          This poll certainly should makes us stop and consider if we are good neighbors.  It is worth the effort, it will only make our community a better place to live.


Source: ImproveNet Poll, October 1, 2018, Methodology: In August 2018, 2,500 adult residents of 24 cities were surveyed. Results are based on a sample of at least 100 residents from each city.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

COMMERCIAL MARKET ON THE NORTH FORK- More than what meets the eye


Over the years that we have been doing business on the North Fork we have been involved in a number of very large and small commercial transactions.  The North Fork is a resort area with wonderful natural resources, vineyards and farms, and creek, bay, and sound front shorelines that attract visitors, who see what we see and want to stay.  This supports the residential real estate market, but the commercial ventures are what sustain the level of business that makes everything work. Without the jobs created by the commercial activities – farms, vineyards, breweries, food establishments, restaurants, service businesses, shops, Tanger outlets, boating, fishing, etc. – we would not flourish, we would not see our real estate values sustained, and we would see a decline in business, property values, population and all the related activities.
In recent years we have seen a slow but steady level of growth in the commercial real estate market.  But in the last year or so, the growth has accelerated.  It’s all good – new businesses, new ideas, make our communities flourish and bring jobs and prosperity to the community.  Hopefully, our younger people will be able to find good jobs with the new businesses and stay in the community.
Buying or leasing commercial space is not the same as buying a home.  The investment metrics are pretty cut and dry, but the vision and passion of the entrepreneur is what drives a deal and eventually makes for success.  Often, a new idea meets with skepticism, and push back just because it’s different.   It has happened that someone, who may want to open a restaurant, or build senior housing, or other type of business venture, meets with months and years of bureaucratic red tape. Unfortunately, good, competent, sincere, business people go away, rebuffed and discouraged, having spent precious time and money to no avail.
               If we are to continue to sustain our local economy, it must grow.  We must embrace new ideas, new businesses that support our way of life, but not restrict growth or be afraid of change. Local legislation should be supportive, not restrictive or punitive.  It’s time for a breath of fresh air to fill the lungs of all our elected and appointed officials.  Listen to your constituents! You can and should protect our way of life but not by closing the door to new fresh ideas or restrictive town code. Do what is right.  Go forward not backward.